Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Way of Rounding Things

The first time a close friend invited me to attend a theater workshop, I was a little bit skeptic. I asked her what's it all about. She mentioned about exaggerated gestures while acting, forming a group in circles and making your own dialogue when you're picked. My friend could  not help but laugh at my reaction. I had my mouth opened, trying to understand what she said but failed.

"Close your mouth or else a fly might mistake it for a cave, "she said in jest.

She said it was fun, instead of spending the summer of not doing anything. I told her I do read, a lot, I pointed. But she reasoned out that a theater workshop was something different and that I have to test the waters  to learn it. When I asked her who's handling the workshop, she said it was her cousin, Jun Matias. By the look of it all she seemed exited, even beaming.

"So there's the catch."

 So I asked her who's Jun Matias aside from the fact that he was her cousin. My friend answered, in near irritation, that he was a theater artist from PETA, once became a staff for a famous director named Lino Brocka and  that he also writes. I told her I am a fan of Lino Brocka movies, that it was cool his cousin writes but I am not familiar with PETA, at that time. I apologized  and told her I am not interested.


Together with Richard Reynante, Jun Matias  was the creative genius behind
 Precious Pages Corporation and Lampara  Books Publishing
(credits goes to facebook for the image)



"You might regret this one day, you know, " and left.

Luckily, my friend did not take that personally. Our friendship did not tint by shallow disappointments. Besides we were in high school. Our place at that time was still  backward. Summer workshops and self help programs where unheard of. Sadly, there had been a time that I had spent my summer just by reading pocketbooks when I should have tried other arts instead. My friend did finish the workshop and to show my support, I've watched their play, which turned out quite well.

A decade later, when local television was full of the weekly shows from Regal and Viva Films, I got the chance to catch  Jun Matias'  name. He did write, this time his name on the screen was Segundo Matias, Jr. He wrote  stories where artists like Gretchen Barretto, Rita Avila, Jean Garcia and Aiko Melendez who was just a teenager then but whose acting ability can be lined up with the veteran ones, appeared . The stories were simple, depicting of one 's ordinary life, its woes and joys, all compressed in an hour because of the commercials.

It was in the late 1990s' that his name became such a revelation. I have read in the newspapers that he had been publishing books. Love stories at that, just like the Mills and Boon and Harlequin local versions. But it was in 2003, at  my son's recognition event that I had one of  the biggest surprises in my life.  An alumnus will give a short speech about his younger days and humble beginnings. Turned out the visitor was nonetheless, Segundo Matias, Jr fondly called Jun Matias. He was already then  a businessman, the man behind the famous Lampara Books Publishing and Precious Pages Corporation.


He had gone a  long way. His giftedness, popularity and humility was so overwhelming that I had been speechless when he handed me the medal so I can pinned it on my son. We even had our picture taken but for some reason had chosen not to post it here as I looked very different then, lost even. I could have said something like, "Your cousin is a very good friend and we came from the same town. I am so sorry that I was not able to attend the theater workshop you spear headed then."


Lately, I have learned he had chains of  Precious Pages outlets in most major malls in the Philippines. When I visited one of his stores, I even had the gumption to interview some of his staff. They said  he was a good hearted person, fun to be with and easy to get along. In fact they even knew his birthday which was just a few days away then. They asked me if we were related. I told them we were and we came from the same place. Recently I learned that he still writes, had become a Palanca awardee and now visits schools to promote reading which is a very good advocacy.




This  store found at the SM Mall of Asia, is just one of the many store outlets
that Jun Matias handles
( credits goes to phr.com.ph for the image)

Funny it took decades for us to meet. I did not plan nor envisioned it will happen but somehow fate did find its way. Before I could not help but ponder the meaning behind all these but now I know.Though I am not regretful of that missed opportunity because of my age but given the chance I can still attend theater workshops. As for us having a connection, he is a facebook friend and I did send him a message about what happened many summers ago. It is also  true that we are related on my grandmother's side as  told by my aunt and my mom. Strange though that  meeting him  was like  the gift of writing or any other God given gift for that matter. One can set it aside, forget it even until an incident or a person perhaps sent from Above will point out that gifts were given so they can be harnessed, and shared so people can learn, be inspired and perhaps realize that they too have gifts lurking within, waiting to come  out. Meeting him finally, was like finding my creative voice, which somehow found its way home.

I know one day when I get the chance to write a short book for kids, he will be the publisher and his autograph will be the first one I will have.

Because now I know that  life indeed  has a way of rounding things.



63 comments:

  1. It is never too late and there's a reason why you don't met him before and just now. :)

    Mommy Maye (http://momayes.blogspot.com)

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  2. Very cute story. I agree that life's like that.

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  3. Indeed.  I had sent him this post and he was very thankful adding he  hopes to meet me very soon. 

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  4. Palanca awardee, he must be really good.

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  5. He really is Rae and had remained humble after all this years. 

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  6. Thanks for liking it  and for dropping by ! 

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  7. he must be really good writer. Don't regret if you havent met him a decade ago. There's always a right time for everything.

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  8. i have that book "stories with moral lesson". good luck to his advocacy! 

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  9. very touchy story. what an inspiration to the youth.

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  10. Nice story. It was a missed opportunity, but I also believe that everything happens for a reason.

    http://www.jejeizahfaye.com

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  11. Like what they say, everything happens for a reason. Whatever the reason may be, we may not know. But for sure, it was for the best. :)

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  12. Very nice story. It is true taht things happen for a reason, keep posting

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  13. is he still doing theatre workshop nowadays?

    http://khyutee.wordpress.com

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  14. That's great Michi ! He has  facebook account and so does Precious pages and Lampara books ! Thanks for the visit .

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  15. He was indeed . He had  written a series short stories about mothers. Jun was very affectionate to his mom until now. 

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  16. I know there is . Thanks for the visit !

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  17. all things that happen always has a purpose... keep your faith intact and hope for the best always...

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  18. this is interesting, thanks for sharing

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  19. Life has its way of turning things around for you. 

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  20. I would not have joined a theater workshop myself. I'm very shy and a theater workshop is way out of my comfort zone. I love how you came full circle and finally met.

    The Twerp & I

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  21. nice story. life indeed  has a way of rounding things.

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  22. i love your attitude.. things happen for a reason there's really no room for regrets

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  23. Yup, nice story  indeed. Let's all hope for the best. God bless.

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  24. The Joyful CrafterMay 29, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    There's a reason for missed opportunities... I believe that if it's really what's meant for us, it'll happen no matter how hard we try to avoid it. Like what the others said, there really must be a reason -- and it's always for the good. Good luck and thanks for sharing! =) 


    - The Joyful Crafter
    www.peachyalvarez.com
    www.thejoyfulcrafterph.com

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  25. Though you missed the first opportunity to work with him but the good thing in the end you two met!

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  26. Big things come from small ones. :)

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  27. I'm sure everything will work out for good. When you are ready, the door will be opened.

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  28. I dont' think so. He had lots of Precious Pages stores that he  visit, he writes and travels to different schools for his advocacy. He is a avery busy man but had remained humble until now. 

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  29. If you are meant to know that person it will find it's own way.

    Good to know such talented person through this post.

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  30. I'd like to recommend looking into big blogs like pickthebrain.com and zen habits. Often I find the answer and cheering up I need from their posts. Smile:)

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  31. yes, i agree there is indeed a way of rounding things...wonderful story

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  32. Just believe and claim.. best of luck to you!

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  33. Farida Jane TiongsonMay 29, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    "Age is just a number"  and it is never too late to do what we love doing best. Continue writing.. many authors suddenly became renowned like J.K. Rowling who captured the kids and the kids-at-heart. Break a leg, dear :)

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  34. I believe that everything happens for a reason... whichever path we decide to walk on. 

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  35. I read this one slowly and I am happy that I did. Inspiring story. :) Well, I guess we will just wait for your book and his autograph in another post. :D 

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  36. Thanks for the visit and the enocuragement. 

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  37. Such talented one. Way to go.

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  38. The world is sure small and round!  Life is something that we can't really predict of who we may bump into in the future but that's what is great about life we don't know the outcome will be.  Just let God plan your way.

    Nice story!

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  39. nice story, :) good luck! :)

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  40. That's life indeed! I also wish to write my own book. Hopefully soon...

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  41. Can't wait to see and read about your book when it comes out. 

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  42. i think ive gone to precious pages a couple of times here in gateway mall if im not mistaken but the name of the store is very familiar especially it's books hehe. i also wanted to be in theatres, but my mom disproves it stating that there's no money in acting and i was still young she said there's still so much more than writing and acting...which i regretted eventually :)

    Manilenya Mom

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  43. What an inspiring stories to read :-) Destiny is by choice and that faith leads your path to meet each other. I wish you luck in your endeavor :-)

    http://www.kidsnpet.com/2012/05/one-of-our-koi-fish/ 

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  44. Christian Melanie LeeMay 31, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Believe on what's your heart is saying to you. Keep the faith.

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  45. hope to meet him too :)

    http://khyutee.wordpress.com

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  46. nice story, good luck to your book lunching..

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  47. Hey I buy Lampara books! Nice~ I got to see the owner.
    I buy these for my nephew & nieces. I think its nice they publish classic stories for children. Those were the kind of books I wished I had while growing up. Its hard to catch up when you're older. Hehe.

    Yeah things has a way of coming back to us in the end. :) Nice post!

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  48. Good luck on pursuing your dreams... :)

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  49. destiny, maybe it was not lost opportunity before, not just the right time...

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  50. Oh yes, one is never too old to attend theater workshops or to try anything new for that matter.  I too dream of writing a book for children but find that I still need to hone my writing skills.  I do hope you do get to write that dream book of yours. :D

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  51. I think I saw precious pages before but I don't know where.. Goodluck to your book! :)

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  52. looking forward to read your book ;) goodluck!

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  53. i know you can do all the things you like to do as long as you put your heart to it.  You are indeed a good writer , i can feel it. 

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  54. Oh, fate! This is a nice story, btw.

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  55. That's the way things are. In the first place, they're seemed to be awry for you're not in position to accept them because of personal preference. But opportunity is kind and  heals everything for a good purpose. Thus, you've realized that you've missed the benefit of it. That's life!

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  56. very nice story. God just gave way for you to meet him again. Good luck with your plan in writing a book.

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  57. Good luck in writing your book! I'd love to read it someday :)

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  58. Everything happens for a reason, God has a better plan for you. I know you can still do it

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  59. You write really well. My husband even told me this after I showed him your blog. If you can dream it then you can do it. :)

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  60. theatre workshops are exciting, I've tried it once. It is also good to mingle with higly skilled individual like JM... as for your aspirations to become a book writer, go for it! God bless you

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  61. He must really be an inspiration to you :) keep writing!

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  62. I salute actors and actresses of that started
    in theatrical work.


    The quality of their acting is really good.

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