[2 of 3] More Than The Responsibilities Of A Director: Papa Neil Tolentino As A True Life Mentor - The Best Filipino Motivational and Inspirational Speaker | The VoiceMaster of The Philippines

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

[2 of 3] More Than The Responsibilities Of A Director: Papa Neil Tolentino As A True Life Mentor

People in the industry of dubbing who had worked with Papa Neil Tolentino know his commitment to excellence. In the veteran director's perspective, he always ensures to help, teach, encourage every individual he encountered. In this second part of the article interview, discover the great and selfless heart of Papa Neil Tolentino.

Papa Neil Tolentino in the ABS-CBN dubbing studio

Recalling The Experience As A Veteran Instructor For Beginners in VoiceWorx

Along with Danny "Ama" Mandia and VoiceMaster Pocholo Gonzales, Papa Neil is among the early and long-time instructors in VoiceWorx since 2005. As he was asked what does he feel after being chosen as one of the instructors in this voice acting training academy, he convincingly said, “Prerogative naman niya (VoiceMaster) kung sino kukunin niya. Ang kaya ko lang sabihin, I have always been truthful, honest, and sincere with my students. If I don’t like what a student is doing, I tell him straight away. Kung magkasakitan tayo eh di magkasakitan tayo. Mahirap yun nagtatago ka pa nang di mo na gusto. Confront na natin. Ang tinatago, lumalaki so sumasama na pala loob mo. Ikaw rin ang gumagawa ng bagay na papatay sayo o papatay sa relasyon ninyo. Mas magandang rektahan na. Saka pag nirekta mo kasi, wala nang dahilan para magsalita ka pa sa ibang tao kasi tapos na. You’re able to confront it. You’re able to deal with it right away. Papasimula pa lang yun problema, nilutas mo na. May problema ka pa ba? Wala na kasi naayos na." 

Papa Neil doesn't like beating around the bush and holding back the necessary learning and life lessons for his students. He makes sure that everyone whom he taught had learned important takeaways from him. He further explained, "Nakikita ko kasi na kung gustong gumanda ang trabaho ng mga makakatrabaho mo in the future, start from the very beginning. Train them the way they should go so when they grow old, they will not depart from it. Kung tama ang turo, tama sila pagdating ng araw. Pag nagkatrabaho na sila, they’ll never forget the lessons na binigay mo sa kanila. Pero kung mali ang paraan mo ng pagtuturo, yun mga katrabaho mo, they’ll be in trouble. You’ll cause trouble pag nakatrabaho mo sila. Kaya ako, I’ll rather work with people I know or I work with because I know them already. Most of the people I am working with right now, anak ko, mga anak-anakan ko sa industriya. Alam ko kapasidad nila, alam ko ugali nila, alam ko kung paano sila magtrabaho. I protect myself also. You have to protect yourself. I can’t be at the mercy of the people na binigyan ko lang ng trabaho. Pero di rin naman sila at my mercy. It’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s a win-win situation, all the time so everybody happy."

Papa Neil Tolentino in a workshop exercise for VoiceWorx with Batch 50 students

Not A Dubbing Director But A Mentor And A Teacher: How Papa Neil Wholeheartedly Accepts His Calling To Teach And To Inspire

Papa Neil revealed he don't see himself as a dubbing director. Instead, he wants to share and give more of his time and skills through teaching and mentoring all the hundreds of dubbers whom he had helped along the way. "I didn’t see myself as a dubbing director. I always see myself as a teacher and a mentor. Every time I direct, I make sure they get something from it. There’s a takeaway. There’s a take-home thing. What do they get sa pakikipag-trabaho niya sa sa akin? Hindi pera. They learn something. What they learn from me, they apply it to other projects. That’s enough consolation. Ang teacher kasi...alam mo yung mahal ng teacher ang estudyante but he maintains some distance from them. I give them the love they need but I don’t give them anything that they’d be so familiar with para mag-cross ng boundaries para the respect ma-maintain. But I love all of them dearly. All the voice actors that I worked with, I love them dearly. Malapit ako sa kanila pero may distansya."he tenderly mustered these words. 

As to why a lot of his students call him Papa Neil, this is because of his father-like figure to them. He disciplined them with the values while encouraging them to be at their best. He added, "Pag sinulat mo ‘to, sana mabasa nila for them to know how much I love them. I wouldn’t be training them or directing them. I’m guiding them. I’m teaching them. Before I became a director, I’m a teacher, I’m a father. I’ll do anything and everything to help them know kung anong dapat nilang malaman. I want them to be knowledgeable. I want them to be good. I want them to be always at their best dahil kung hindi, ang balik noon sa akin din. I hate mediocrity. No voice actor na nanggaling sa akin ang mediocre mag-dub. Ang yabang ko di ba? Ganun talaga! Sorry! Hahahaha!"

Papa Neil's dedication to teach and mold aspiring voice actors had catapulted them into their respective careers. At this point in his life, he is more determined to help more beginners and inspire them to pay it forward in their journey.

Watch out for the last part of the article interview where Papa Neil shares more life lessons and the legacy he aspires to leave behind.

Papa Neil Tolentino smiling for the perfect shot (Photo Credit: Vino Oriarte)

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