“I’ve always been fascinated with history – with how things were before, how things worked centuries ago. Maybe I just want to understand how the past shaped the present. Or maybe I’m just an old soul, a reincarnation of someone from the old era.”
“I actually wanted to be a history teacher, but some things happen which alters your planned route. I think that’s how things are.”
“I like the smell of new paper. It’s like milk. Like I want to eat it. It’s like I smell tree. I also kind of get high on the smell of burning fuel and spray paint. Those are the strange, strange things about me, just like everyone else.”
What's your favorite song?
“I’d go for the classic. ‘On my Own’ from Les Mis.”
Do you also find the vintage vibe appealing?
“You have no idea. The vineyards, Tuscany, the feel of the old times – the classic – gosh it’s the best thing that’s ever happened.”
When was that moment you felt the happiest?
“We had this exam in Philippine history. I almost got a perfect score, like I only had one mistake. Well, whether it’s something of a big deal or not, when you did good at something you’re really interested in, you just feel happy.”
“I can memorize every date, every event in a certain period of history if you make me. It’s ironic because I can barely remember the major details in my life.”
If there’s one thing you’ve learned from all the studying, what would that be?
I believe you have a cause, something you feel strongly about.
“That would be saving Mother Earth. We all have the power to restore our planet. We all can save the Earth in our own little ways – not letting the water run, recycling, lessening the use of synthetics; those simple steps make a huge difference.”
What’s the worst blow you took by far?
“I was supposed to go visit my aunt in London. I was 18 and it was supposed to be my birthday gift. So I was optimistic and excited and all. But when the letter came, my visa was denied. It was devastating, of course. That’s when I learned to just play things down, shut down expectations. It’s better that way.”
What are your words for a good life?
“There’s always going to be something that’s not nice about things, so you’ve got to stay positive – look away from the dark stuff, hold on to the positive that’s left. That’s what matters.”
Photo by DONALD RENTIQUIANO
Interview & Text by RONA LIN