I was at Greenhills the other day taking some assignments from a freelance gig, when I came across the bronze statue of the late great Max Soliven. I don’t know what is it with statues and inspiration, but burnout ceased for me at that very moment.
I’d be a sycophant if I said that I idolized Mr. Soliven, but I did admire his work. If there’s anything worth reading in the Philippine STAR at the time, it was the wise words of the man many referred to as “Manong Max.” Before this pillar of Philippine journalism wrote 30 some four years ago, he was a foremost social critic, political commentator, and writer. No weekday of mine was complete without the quick wit and solid opinions he made in his STAR column, “By the Way.” That, a can of Coca-Cola, and a couple of cigarettes was usually enough to make for a fine day of reading a newspaper.
I always thought that the “Opinion” columns in newspapers belonged rightfully to old people, to people wise beyond their years, or to young folk who have good connections with mainstream media. We young folk who are bent on making our opinions known rely on our blogs. Even with the so-called “Age of Information” upon us, print media is still the Holy Grail for writers. Many are called, few are chosen, but only the best would ever make it to a respectable newspaper and write opinion columns.
That’s where I want to be in the next ten years, and while I know that I will never eclipse the profound influence of Max Soliven, I know that if I work hard enough, I could very well belong to that pantheon of writers, journalists, and opinion-formers that Manong Max represents. I think it’s all a matter of dedication, good timing, and good sense.
Why am I rushing? I’m enjoying online writing too much to leave it just yet!