Sunday, January 04, 2009


The Japanese word for someone who is your senior. It could refer to someone at work who is of higher rank, your mentor, etc.

I've been a VA [voice actor] in the Philippine dubbing industry for over 8 years. My humble beginnings started when I was being trained and taught by my director. Since then, I've had numerous projects and even worked for other studios and other directos. I daresay, I learned most of what I know of the craft today from him.

Sa industriyang ito, laging may bagong sumasali, anxious to get a slice of the pie. madaming VA na magugulat ka na lang ay biglang mga director na. While I respect and admire my coworkers, it's quite obvious that some of them didn't earn it. Being a director doesnt just involve technical directing, but it involes giving the whole thing, even the other people behind it direction.

I've been working in another studio. The director doesn't talk to me as much and I have no real idea what kind of script they want me to write. Mababalitaan mo na lang, after makabigay ka na ng mga tatlo, na ilang linggo mong trinabaho, ay may mali daw at dapat ayusin. Ang kaso, hindi naman sinasabi kung ano ang mali at papano ang gusto nilang ayos.

Nagkaron ako ng long break itong holidays. Nahinto ang dubbing. Sa lunes [jan 5] pa ang deadline ng unang script ko for the year. Halos 3 weeks ko nang hawak ito, pero hirap na hirap akong simulan dahil hindi ko alam kung tama ang ginagawa ko.

Last night, dumalaw sa bahay ko ang long-time director ko. [Saan ka makakakita ng director pa ang pumupunta pa sa bahay mo?] Pagkatapos ng mahaba-habang kwentuhan at palitan ng input sa mga bagay-nagay tungkol sa industry at dubbing, nakwento ko sa kanya ang problema ko sa script.

Without even looking at my script, he started by saying "If you don't mind a little constructive criticism..." and I sure didn't mind. What have I got to lose? He may know how to help me. And in just one minute, he told me what the problem with my script could be and why it was a problem, and I immediately understood what I was doing wrong. It was the most fulfilling talk I have had in a while. Napakaikli ng sinabi, pero ang dami kong natutunan!

When other directors teach me something, the usual feeling I have is I am hesitant to try writing because I am afraid I still don't know what to do, because their explanation usually isn't clear. After my talk with my old director, I felt a rush and the first thing I did was revise my script in one sitting! I didn't even feel the need to rest. Ang sarap ng pakiramdam. Ganadong ganado.

It's what I believe he's got that makes him rare, despite the fact na ang dami nang dubbing director dyan ngayon. Bihira ang magaling magturo. Most just let you watch them at work and all you can do is hope you pick something up on your own. You can really learn from this guy and he isnt against the idea of learning from you, too. And he isn't like others who give themselves big titles and charge for lessons.

Before he left, I told him... "Tignan mo nga naman... 9 years and I'm still learning from you." And I hope with that message, I let him know how grateful I am, grateful that he is my SEMPAI.