You Never Have to Work a Day in Your Life

12:00 PM

When I was younger, I really thought I was going to be a news anchor, reporter or a broadcast journalist right after college. Everything I imagined that I would be five years ago didn't turn out to be who I am now five years after.

Let me tell you, even if this has been my case, I'm glad I didn't become what I wanted to be. Right now, I'm thankful for turning into someone I'm meant to be (I really hope so, haha). 

Animalistic themed outfit for an indie film shoot! Click "Read More" for full entry and outfit details.

Well I guess I'm probably not old enough or experienced enough to say this (wait I'm just in my early 20s, haha!) but with everything that has happened to me so far, I've come to realize that the most important thing in life is not necessarily what you want. Most of the time, the things that make you happy are the ones that are truly essential.

Way back in the past, I was so fixated to get a title, to be the best, to make a name for myself and to achieve a career envied by many. Wanting for all of these so badly made me hard on myself and forget about everyone else around me that I missed out on simply enjoying life. Little did I know, I slowly changed into the person that I hate. I got too competitive, insecure and "crabby" (a term we use when we deliberately pull others down in order to get ahead).

This is Enrique, the dog of our film's production designer. It matches my shirt! :)

Too much of my ambitions have clouded my character -- the most valuable thing that makes a person. Only after failing, feeling alone and losing my way, did it finally dawn into me (thanks to prayer!) that what I really needed is to come back to the heart of worship and go after what puts a smile on my face; not the accomplishments that I think would impress other people. Let it be clear though that choosing happiness never equates to settling for mediocrity.

Living the freelancer's life (working for indie films, hosting events, styling, and social media PR work) and deviating from everyone else's route has never been this liberating. Here, I get to pick my own projects among a set of job offers, dictate my schedule and decide how much my work is actually worth. Based on my happiness policy, I only accept projects that are fun (doesn't mean it would be easy or stress-free) and work with the people that I genuinely like. Not only has this mindset placed me in a positive position, it has also made me thrive and directed me to a fulfilling career.

Top bought from Tin Iglesias at the BU Bazaar | Skirt c/o Closet Chic | Boots F-STOP

I never realized how blessed I am -- not until a friend told me of how jealous she is with what I do, that she'd be willing to trade places with me even if her office job seemed lucrative and very stable. This only goes to show that even if you have more, it doesn't automatically make you contented with life. However, if you are enjoying yourself in the process, then you'd be completely satisfied no matter how great or little you have. 

Now I understand when old people say, do what makes you happy and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

So I tell you, never stay in a job, a relationship or a situation (a college course perhaps) wherein you're no longer happy. Time will come when you'll find out that the measure of true success is happiness and not the other way around. (30)

* * * * * * * * * *

Speaking of work, last month, I was preoccupied with an indie film shoot commissioned by the Film and Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). It's entitled Kapitan Basura (Captain Garbage), a Sineng Pambansa full length film entry directed by Doms Lim from Asia Pacific Film Institue. 

Look at those eyebaaaags! So huge! We haven't been sleeping. Hmmm. sigh. Anyway, I love my film orgmate Phy! 

The outfit above was what I wore to one of our shooting days. Normally, I would just put on an over sized shirt, shorts and some boots but on second thought, I wanted to dress up a little but be comfortable at the same time. Ayoko na mag-mukhang haggard pag shoot noh, haha!

 One of our shooting locations is in an informal settlement area we call "Purok Ocho."
A cute kid bystander. :)

Since it was my first time to be a part of  a "surreal comedy indie," I was very reluctant about the project at the beginning. I thought doing it wasn't right for my personal branding -- maybe because initially, I wanted to be part of "serious" films that are politically or socially relevant. Said to be pegged after Monty Python, a 1969 British comedy television show (that later on developed into film spin-offs, musicals, books, etc.), Kapitan Basura mocks the "idea" of a super hero with his silly adventures (or misadventures rather) and injects a hilarious commentary on our country's environmental situation (in terms of our garbage disposal), and brushes on politics and society altogether.

TV Host-actress Gee Canlas (in yellow) playing as lead actress.
Dan Lim (brother) as taong grasa Kenneth and young director Doms Lim

It's as campy as it gets, the director unapologetic of its sarcasm, humor, stereotyping and slapstick methods. What I liked most about Doms is he's not trying to please anyone. He got me at, "Hayaan na natin ang mga art films sa mga 'artists'." (Let's leave the art films to those who call themselves 'artists'.)

Mailes Kanapi from the movie Zombadings!
Victor Anastacio and James Caraan from Comedy Cartel

Towards the end, I knew I made the right decision of getting myself involved in it. It may not be "my kind of film" but hey, I can truly say I had a blast! During the entire shooting period, I was laughing so hard at the scenes, at the jokes of our director, at everyone! I couldn't remember when was the last time I actually laughed that way. The lead characters from Comedy Cartel ("the best stand-up comedy act in Manila" according to, Mailes Kanapi (from the movie Zombadings) and everyone else in the production were unforgettable. I really had such a great time (this alone is an understatement, haha). If I passed up on this, then I wouldn't have met a new group of people who are delightful to work with -- no bullshit, just an honest-to-goodness experience.

The movie will premiere around November in Davao city (Sineng Pambansa festival) and will be brought here  in Manila. Please do us a little favor by liking Kapitan Basura movie facebook page! Thank you guys!


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  1. I can really relate to the part when you said before, you wanted to be the best at your field and have a career envied by many. Also, that what you thought you'd be 5 years ago is not what happened. That happened (is happening) to me too. When people find out about my story (studied in UPD too but moved back here to Davao), they say "sayang". While I love UP and it will always have a special place in my heart, when I look back at what I was becoming, I didn't like it one bit. Like you, I was becoming moody, crabby and insecure. Even though people don't necessarily get why I came back and even though sayang ang opportunity for a UP education and diploma, ultimately I wont be able to be at my best there if I was unhappy. So right now, I am pursuing a job in fashion whilst studying. Even though it's quite hard to balance both, I don't feel the strain. I am happy at what I do, like you!! :) Cheers to us! Sana yung iba din, they can feel this fulfillment.

    PS. Sorry ang haba ng comment ko :))

    1. Bakit ka naman nagsosorry girl? Haha! Okay nga yung mahaba yung comment eh. Saka with what you're saying, obviously you have read my entry. :) For that, THANK YOU!!!

      Tama yan, kung san ka masaya jan ka. After all it's your life. You can't live by listening, considering or worrying about other people around you all the time. The only people you have to listen to are those you truly love and trust. When you're doing the things that make you happy, walang "sayang"! UP is not all that but some would think na yeah, you probably missed out on a lot. But what the heck, go go go. Go after what makes you happy, I'm rooting for you and happy for you too! <3

  2. Love your top and skirt! As well as the boots :) Hihi :3

  3. Hi ate Melai! This is so inspiring especially at this point in my life where I'm choosing which path to take and it's so difficult because I graduated as a nurse but it's not what I really want to do so now I'm hoping for this alternative that will make me work a stable job and do what I love at the same time. I've read a lot of your posts but only had the guts to comment now because I feel like this is so relevant. Count me in as one of the people who envy you. I only hope that one day I see myself happy with what I'm doing in life. :)

    1. Hi Adly!

      Why only now? Haha joke. But hey, just keep the comments coming. I appreciate all of them. :) You know this is why I write this way. I want to connect to people like you who are in (or has been) in a similar situation like I do. YES -- to be relevant. And knowing that I can truly relate makes writing this worth it. :)

      You're young. I checked your profile and I saw your age, you have all the time in the world to figure things out, evaluate your activities and finally decide which way to go. Yes, we'll second guess ourselves a lot of times (I still do) and at different times in our lives, what makes us happy will still differ but you always go with what makes you happy. Use your head too since it helps us do what's smart and practical, but always balance it with what your heart says. :)

    2. I don't know why din. Haha. I'll keep commenting, that's for sure. :) Thank you for the words of wisdom ate. It really helps. I hope that one day I will be happy in whatever field I end up in.

  4. Replies
    1. hehe it's not my dog but thanks! our film's production manager owns it :)

  5. I love your outfit!! :)

  6. "I really needed is to come back to the heart of worship and go after what puts a smile on my face." THIS. You always have such inspiring words to share, Melai. Love it. I met Lem Lorca recently, by the way. You know each other daw? :)

    1. Thank you Angel! :) I just really impart something that could help people in this blog. Personal life experiences that could probably help others out there who might be or has been in a similar situation. Thanks so much Angel!

      Really? Lem Lorca? He's director! We're acquaintances I guess. Haha. We haven't worked together yet. :)

  7. I love your Givenchy-esque top.. lovely!

  8. I'm gonna graduate soon and I'm a little scared because I don't know what I want to do for a living yet. Thanks for the tip there! I guess you'll just have to find opportunities and go with what makes you happy. :)

  9. Hey Melai, I miss reading your blog. :) You really do write beautifully :)


I appreciate anything you have to say. Thanks for dropping by. It means so much to me. Love, Melai

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