Praises for Avel

To God be the Glory!  And thank God for people like Avel Manansala!

Kuyavel plays many significant roles in my life; as mentor, friend, talent agent, talent manager, and critique.  He is the instrument of my personal, professional and artistic growth.

In 2000, Kuyavel became my talent manager and agent when the KTV Bar of Anchor Hotel was re-engineered and the management decided to take on Videoke Masters to host their nightly operations.  Together with Nestor Almerante and Ryan Velasco, we braved Gensan’s “resistance” to hosted/emceed videoke-ing.  I look back to that time with much fondeness as it was one of the happiest phases of my life. My nights were filled with laughter, music and free booze.  It was good to know that despite initial apprehensions of Anchor’s patrons, we became a big hit!  The KTV Bar became a “must-go” gimik venue in Gensan.

But, just when things started to get better… Kuyavel left for Kuala Lumpur to join the circus!

There are stories to be told about that, but its Kuyavel’s to tell.  Nevertheless, I stayed on at the KTV Bar for awhile but eventually, left the scene too.  Like the majestic eagles, the mentors leave the young in order to make them stronger.  Kuyavel left to make me soar.  (After thought: NO, he did not join the circus as an eagle!)

In 2004, we joined forces again.  This time for government service. 

Have you heard of the saying “Power is intoxicating”?  I believe that this is the curse that plagued the Private Secretary post at Gensan City Mayor’s Office.  Of all my years in service in that office, I have seen a ghost, a bird and an emperor fill that position.  They started very well, sincere in their intentions for public service and noble in their actions.  In due time, their speech, manner of dressing, demeanor, and general attitude are visibly transformed… revealing the effects of the curse from within.  They strut about as if somebody important, yet the quality of the work was abyssmal.  As their egos inflate, their jobs deflate.  

All, except one. KUYAVEL. He was the only person holding that position who was immune to the curse.  He was speech-writer, media liaison, advance party, appointment officer, confidante.  Yet, all the while he was able to keep his lovable, huggable, amiable, efficient self intact.

Well, he no longer holds that position now.  But we are still together in the same office, upholding each other’s sanity as we face the daily challenges of public service.

Recently, Kuyavel is the reason why I’m keeping a journal again.  “Mag-blog ka lagi ‘Let.  Sayang yang utak mo!” (After thought:  I will not translate his words to English.  The essence will be lost in translation.)

I admit that it took awhile before I cracked.  I realize that I have been writing (some good, some bad, some worth publishing, some not worth recycling) for other people.  Always assuming their personalities and seldom taking credit for the good ones.  After numerous years of doing that, I got accustomed in letting other people have ownership of my thoughts.  Anonymity is my comfort zone.  Publishing my thoughts or exposing my views is the same as opening myself to rejection, criticism or ridicule.

“‘Let,I remember a time when nobody could step on you or get the better of you.  What happened?”

“I got married, had kids and gone old.”  I answered.

Girl, I don’t like what you have become! ”  he replied.

That line did it. 

Thank you Kuyavel for setting me free.