By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – In October 2017, OSM! online magazine hatched a new segment on its platform: Awesome in 5 Minutes on YouTube. It is a five-minute video show that features global citizens which have inspired people through their successful careers and community work, so much like the Main Feature of www.justcliqiticom.
After doing random consultations with millennial artists Leani Auxilio and Melissa dela Cruz, I embarked on my pre-production work during the entire summer in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. At last, I have unleashed my excitement that has been going on in my head for several months.
A Cellphone and Available Light
This show, which I produce, write and direct, is nothing technically intimidating. I only use my cellphone and available light (honestly, that is all I have) to interview (based on prepared questions) and shoot. After scribbling a script-guide, my work gets digitally edited by Renato Regis who is on the other side of the globe, in Cebu City.
Three months since its inception, the show’s viewership is on a turtle-paced steady rise, without any artificial boosts. Philippine multi-talented actress and director Lorli Villanueva was the segment’s maiden feature. During the shoot, Lorli was busy preparing for her book launch: Dancing with the Dictator and Realms of the Unknown.
Fascinating and upbeat, being on a scooter is also a reinvention for the unstoppable Lorli. Click here to watch Lorli.
One week later, our second feature was Kids Philippines CEO Cherry Smyth of Connecticut who shared how she developed her philanthropy project together with her husband, Pete. Cherry is relentless and definitely giving it back to her hometown in Lanao del Norte. Click here to watch Cherry.
And we guested a refreshing young immigrant who excelled in school, almost quite naturally, Marq Herman Lungayan IV. Marq is blessed to have the full attention of his mother Flor and father Herman to be able to excel. Click here to watch Marq.
We had our first international guest, Telly Leung, the lead star of Broadway’s Aladdin. Telly was a joy to interview at the New Amsterdam Theatre: quick and witty. Click here to watch Telly.
We also featured the world-class music of Dr. Raul Sunico who did a one-man piano concert at the Kaufman Music Center in mid-Manhattan. Dr. Sunico was flawless on the ivory keys, and that morning interview definitely prepped me to survive that hectic Wednesday. Click here to watch Raul.
Towards the end of summer, we got to appreciate the value-laden cubist art of maestro Celso Pepito. A friend way back in good old Cebu City, Celso has carved a good following in the Big Apple for his distinctive artistry. He did a successful 42nd solo exhibit at the Philippine Center. Click here to watch Celso.
Well-loved home-grown singer Kirby Asunto was our autumn guest. Sweet, candid and articulate, Kirby is set for larger world stage but treats everything as a surprise. This interview was set 10 days before she did her very successful show at the New Jersey City University in Jersey City. Click here to watch Kirby.
Then there is Hard Ball Press publisher Tim Sheard, who is passionately into social justice publishing here in the Big Apple. Tim is the publisher of my first children’s book, Hats Off for Gabbie, as well as several books that aim to instill compassion and fairness. Click here to watch Tim.
For our Christmas special, we featured Ms. Lea Salonga who launched her album Bahaghari (rainbow) on traditional Philippine folk songs at the Philippine Center mid-December. Lea gave a sampler of two songs: Ili-ili and Paru-parung bukid which were enough to warm us all with childhood memories in the midst of the winter chill. Click here to watch Lea.
Kirby Asunto was delightfully hopeful and said, one day, you will have a huge TV crew when you do your interviews, Tita. Oh well, the young star has spoken. This three-month old baby is getting there on baby steps. At this point, my heart is filled with excitement and gratitude as the show unfolds further.
Our Awesome Quotable Stars
To be awesome is to be humble: Lorli Villanueva
It touches your heart that you can make a difference not just to (the kids) but also to the mothers: Cherry Smyth
So here’s the thing, Do your studies and homework before anything else. And always sleep on specific time. Eight-nine hours of sleep or even more, so when you go to school, you’ll be ready to learn: Marq Hermann Lungayan IV
I love the diversity of my Broadway theatre community: Telly Leung
The environment here in New York is one thing we musicians have to maximize – the people that we come across with, the concerts that you attend, the interactions and everything that’s in New York: Dr. Raul Sunico
In cubist art, I hope to impart my aspiration for love of God, love of country, and love of family: Celso Pepito
The stories that inspire me as a publisher is to publish books that try to make a better world: Tim Sheard
I sang Matud Nila. And someone in my crew who is Cebuano got crazy: Lea Salonga
I’ve always been happy singing for everyone in the community, singing for Filipinos: Kirby Asunto