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“Sorry, I Can’t Work on This”


Whoever said that one of the signs of a successful career is when one begins to turn down good projects?

I remember when I was 20, then a restless student from the University of the Philippines, I was very studious, getting good grades and all, but my biggest priority was to build a career in the entertainment industry. So, whatever project that was offered to me, whether television, theater or a corporate event, I would never turn it down and do all these workat the expense of my sleep, my studies or even my sanity.

Fast forward, eight years after with several failures and financial losses under my belt, I find myself turning down many, many projects and opportunities.

For the past two days, I just turned down two projects. Things I would have loved to do had I been much younger. I just said no to a new film with my director Joselito Altarejos, just because my mind is in a “vacation mode” right now. And I don’t feel writing a sex film, if there is nothing new that I can contribute in the discourses on sex.

And I just said sorry for not being able to work on a new project with a wealthy and good looking male model who asked me to help him promote his new website service with a series of events and press releases. This project would have been really fun as well.

Let me set the records straight. I am not successful and I am very far from being one.

I am just older, much older than my previous workaholic self. My time for yoga and writing blog posts is just too precious for me. Unless if you dazzle me with exorbitant talent fee, which I know would never happen.

And because I am much older, I know that my life no longer depends on “more money” and “bigger career”. There is more to life than what has preoccupied my mind wayback my restless days.

And for my being older, I can always call on wisdom to always say “Sorry, I can’t work on this”



My First Year Teaching Yoga

It has been a year since I attended my Yoga Teacher Training. And looking back, my life has dramatically changed.
First, I now teach seven days a week. I grow with my students and they inspire me to have a deeper yoga practice.
Teaching 15 classes a week, have made me let go of several television and film projects. But It is a decision I would never regret.Because teaching yoga does not require me to go on late nights with killer script deadlines, kiss ass with entertainment executives and deal with tantrums from “wannabe stars”.
Teaching yoga simply requires to be myself – adventurous, appreciative and nurturing. It does not require me to wear nice fitting signature pants,expensive watches and other fashion statements shouting “look at me, I’m a creative person”. Everyday, I simply wear my most comfortable shorts andsneakers geared to face the harsh urban Manila.
And because I can simply leave my fashoin in my closet, I can now afford not to drive my car. With the onset of exorbitant gasoline prices, I’m just glad that most of the studios I teach in has a direct access to a train station. Now, I can pay for the food that I crave for without thinking of my gasoline and parking expenses for the next day.
For the most part of the week, I only teach in the evenings. For this reason, I have gained enough free time to write about things closest to my heart: yoga, my queer advocacies and the philosophies that I stand for. I have written scripts for films which have earned praises from critics and have grown three blogswith hundreds of readers a day. And for the first time in my life, I am publicly recognized as a writer.
Aside from the great wonders of a lifestyle change as a yoga teacher, my practice has deepened. I am now entering the realm of backbends, something for me was impossible for the past three years of my yoga practice. My meditation has become deep enough for me to have an overmhelming appreciation of my life and the world around me. Having attended the Asian Yoga Conference in Hongkong has taught me that there’s a huge world of yoga outside of Manila. And there’s a limitless direction into how I want to grow my practice.
Let me end this note with my most important lesson so far — I have learned that our lives are anchored on our mind and our body. The lifestyle of yoga leads us to a better body and a better mind. Hence, as I grow in yoga as a teacher and as a practitioner, I live a better life and so do my students.

Living from Doing What You Love To Do

“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy” – Malcolm S. Forbes (1919-1990).

If there is one thing in my life that I am absolutely proud of is the fact that I am able to live doing the things that I love to do. I teach yoga everyday. And I can write as much as I can (posting blogs, writing screenplays, writing scripts for companies). Doing these simple things are enough to keep me satisfied with my life. And the good thing is, they are also enough to pay the bills and get me a decent life here in Manila.

I am certainly not wealthy. But with majority of Filipinos living in poverty and millions of other workers experiencing dissatisfaction with their careers and their income, I feel absolutely blessed.

Don’t be afraid to take risks. Do what  you love to do. We measure the quality of our life with every single minute of our existence.