The gift that is Olivia Lamasan has been given to us in the form of cleverly woven stories told on the big screen and behind the shining moments of our favorite actors. This time, we get a more direct and personal glimpse of the master director, or Inang as she is called in the industry, beyond the medium that may usually separate us.
On Inang’s very birthday, October 17, she was featured in Toni Gonzaga’s Youtube show “Toni Talks.” In the interview, Inang gave us front row seats to her motherly wisdom as she answered questions about her purpose as a storyteller, successes as a director, and insecurities as a mentor.
As a director, Inang may be instantly defined by the awards won by her blockbuster movies “Sana Maulit Muli,” “Milan,” and “Starting Over Again,” among other critically-acclaimed films. But as a storyteller, Inang points to the viewers’ response as her source of validation.
“When I come across people and when people come to me and they say ‘I’m so touched with that movie that you directed.’ Dun ako naiiyak, because it validates my purpose as a storyteller,” she shared.
More than winning “Best Director” for her films, Inang said that she feels a greater sense of fulfillment when the actors under her direction garner awards and recognition.
As her films have become widely beloved both in mainstream culture and through critical lenses, Inang is one to be frank about what goes on behind the scenes: “You know, people think that we’re in this industry, it’s glamorous. Hindi po. Napakahirap.”
“Kaya ako ‘pag tinatanong nila ako, oh anong advice mo sa mga taong gustong mag-direct at magsulat, sinasabi ko na, you know, if it’s your passion, there’s no other way but to do it, but before you do that, know that it’s not easy,” outpoured Inang’s words of wisdom.
“No undertaking in life is easy,” she continued. “No job, work, is easy. You work hard for it. It takes a lot of hardwork, lalo na when you’re directing, when you’re writing, because you always live with your ego. Masakit. You’re always being critiqued.”
When asked how she deals with her aforementioned ego, Inang answered: “I’m so blessed with the ability of being able to confront myself. I have to always get to the point that I’m face to face with myself with all honesty.”
The “The Mistress” director was also refreshingly upfront about the insecurities she deals with in her role as a mentor and creative executive.
“As head of creative for the longest time, there’s always that thing about… may struggle ka eh, because you’re also a director, you’re also a writer. So may struggle ka palagi on whether ituturo mo ba lahat ng secrets mo. Will you mentor? Will you share? So you’re always questioning the amount of generosity you’d be able to afford to give,” revealed Inang.
Behind that struggle is the fear of possibly being replaced by the people she mentors.
“I will admit, hindi ko naman ide-deny that I am also visited by bouts of insecurities, by bouts of self-doubt, by bouts of fear, because you’re mentoring this person but this person may usurp your position in the future,” she reasoned.
Despite these spells of fear and self-doubt, Inang stands by her core belief that “the more you give, the more that you will be blessed.”
“Ang palagi kong naiisip, that God is so generous. And that the more you give, the more that you will be blessed. And that He will always give it back to you,” she said.
She further asserted, “Always I would say that never nagdamot ang Panginoong Diyos sa akin. When it is my turn to write, when it’s my turn to do a project, He always gives it to me. There’s always an outpouring of creativity. I am never in lack with God.”
She went on to name directors Rory Quintos, Cathy Garcia-Molina, and Mae Cruz-Alviar as she details her fulfillment as a mentor coming from “seeing them succeed.”
Watch the full interview here:
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