Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

A headmaster and student’s reunion

Posted on July 29, 2008 by jimparedes

Boboy and I had a fun evening last week  teaching the kids at the Pinoy Dream Academy ( a reality TV show about artists in training)  how to be in a group. It was a strange feeling for me to enter the academy again since my stint as ‘headmaster’  two years ago. The physical layout had changed and the whole cast of characters, students, faculty save for Monet Silvestre, Kitchie Mlina and Joey Reyes had changed as well. Nevertheless, it was great to be there and  see the staff behind the show and to visit.

We taught the kids how to harmonize, to think as one unit when singing with a group, to listen to each other, and a few other techniques to speed up the gelling process which they needed to do to sing as three separate groups that weekend.

I felt I was looking at the same type of kids I was helping train two years back–wide-eyed, lean and hungry for fame and fortune. People ask me constantly how I feel about the new batch. The main difference between the two, and I admit I say this because I was more emotionally involved with PDA 1,  is the earlier group seemed to have had it in them  in a more fierce and intense way. People like Panky, Rosita, Yeng, Iya, JR, Irish, Ronnie, Yvan and the rest had that yearning to be somebody in a way that was more palpably felt by the viewers. Some gave it their all in  brief shining moments. But what great moments they were. Some are still glowing up to now. Some, although not present in the TV world as of the moment will still, I believe, make their mark in some way someday. We will see.

Batch 1 also had the advantage of being the first group to tell this type of story to a TV audience in the Philippines– the story of artists on the make with all its sordid details. Batch two has the burden of being compared. Don’t get me wrong. I am not being negative about Batch 2. There are some students there  that stand out as well.  I like some of them especially Bugoy and Liezl maybe because they do not fit the pretty boy-mestiza mold of the regular, run-of-the-mill  ‘young stars’ currently shining in the firmament. Their talent shines easily and brightly.  I wish all of them the best.

*     *     *

Still on PDA mode, I enjoyed a lunch with some of the students of batch 1. Yeng, Ronnie, JR and Irish joined me for a late lunch  at Ebisu  in Eastwood the other day. It was great reminiscing with them, and talking about their take on what they went through. I’ve always imagined what it’s like for them to now watch youtube episodes of their lives in the academy then. They admitted feeling good  watching  their teachers cheer every performance they did which was not obvious to them as they were performing live then. We also  had a good laugh at some of the  then ‘burning’ issues they went through. The pain and tears have  lost their sting in the past two years and had been redefined as growing pains.

I did appreciate and relish their view that  the Company and I, and the entire teaching staff had prepared them well for the world outside. I was surprised and touched to hear them quote verbatim, the five rules of creativity I had taught them which they said they try to live by. We had great bonding that day. I am  grateful and proud to see these former raw talents on the way to promising careers or at the very least become performers on the make with the right tools and attitude which we inculcated in them.

Some of them have achieved much, but it seems that they are hungrier now than when they entered the academy. The taste of success is sweet and intoxicating. One can never have enough!

Good luck guys!  There’s a whole big audience waiting to see you shine–again and again.

*      *      *
TCU begins in a few days. If you’re still dilly-dallying about joining, write to emailjimp@gmail.com NOW. Or call 4265375 and 0916-8554303 and ask questions or make a reservation. Chase the dream before it gets away.

8 to “A headmaster and student’s reunion”

  1. witsandnuts says:

    I never had the chance to watch regularly PDA 1 but I was there in the finals (invited by a friend from ABSCBN). I am diligently catching PDA 2 (saw your guesting) and I must say that the first batch is much better. They seemed more determined, in that aspect I say. I like Liezl and Bugoy: voice quality… and Laarni also (except for the attitude).

  2. rabsin_d says:

    WoW! You must have been very proud seeing these Talents shining very BRIGHT. Anyhow, you are undoubtedly very true, there are some people (you can easily identify) very eager for fame and fortune. One reason for this is due to their family’s capacity to leave normal…normal in a sense that they can put their children to education and giving them enough allowance in day-to-day activity inside and outside the campus. You might wonder why I know this kind of things, because my family is one of those lucky unfortunate people.

    Lucky because I wouldn’t be independent if it wasn’t for these challenges in our family. I became a full scholar for 4 years in high school so that my parents won’t feel the burden of money. I worked for 3 years in College in the Library to minimize expenses in my Tuition Fee.

    Soon, I’ll be graduating and boy I can’t wait. I just hope all the miracles and destinies will fall into me in order for my family to surpass this burden.

  3. jimparedes says:

    Witsandnuts–I don’t really watch regularly now. I only watch TV for news. But the little I’ve seen, I like the same people you do.

    rabsin_d–go for it. I was like you–a scholar with very meager means and I think the ‘poverty’ made me sucessful.

  4. Jon says:


    My wife and I are big fans of APO. I watched your concert here in Edmonton last year and I totally had a blast. We will be coming home this October and we’re hoping that you and APO will have a scheduled concert on that month so we can be there. I know that the group will be having a major concert in Araneta in September but unfortunately we can’t adjust our schedule anymore since our flights were already booked. Any October show for the group?

  5. kat says:

    i was so happy to see you and boboy sa PDA! miss ka namin sa academy!! you were such a great headmaster/mentor.
    napanood ko po yung PDA 1 at pinapanood ko pa rin yung 2. i have to say, mas OK po talaga yung una (burden nga po at nakukumpara yung 2 sa kanila!). pero parang mas eager yung mga students sa 1. biruin mo, 2 yung nag-drop out dito sa 2! parang nasayang lang yung 2 spots na yun! pero sa 1 talaga parang ang daming nag-s-stand out. ang gagaling nila, at entertaining sila panoorin sa loob ng bahay kase laging may tawanan. dito sa 2, si bugoy at liezel din po ang gusto ko! humble sila at magaling!

    at nakakatuwa naman po at nakapag-mini reunion kayo ng ibang scholars! =)

  6. Rino says:

    “the earlier group seemed to have had it in them in a more fierce and intense way” — Jim you are right. We felt that though we’ve never watched the live performances.

    The second group (PDA 2) looks like someone has poured ice cold water on them. No intensity. No fighting spirit. You can’t feel anything. Even if we don’t compare them to PDA 1 you’ll know what I mean.

  7. jimparedes says:

    Jon–This October, we will be in the US! If you can come home earlier, APO’s 4oth Anniversary show will be at the Araneta on September 20. Not to be missed even just for the historical value of OPM.

    Rino and kat–In fairness to batch 2, they are improving every week. I think they just need time. Some of them can do really outstanding performances na.

  8. Mon says:

    Irish was my bet back then.

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