[3 of 3] Creating A Masterpiece From Life: Papa Neil Tolentino’s Lasting Legacy - The Best Filipino Motivational and Inspirational Speaker | The VoiceMaster of The Philippines

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

[3 of 3] Creating A Masterpiece From Life: Papa Neil Tolentino’s Lasting Legacy

Papa Neil Tolentino's extensive experience in the dubbing industry and the world of theater can be described in two words: flamboyant and fulfilling. In this last part of the article interview, discover the life lessons he wants to impart for aspirants and the lasting legacy he wants to ingrain in everyone whose lives he has touched.

Papa Neil Tolentino for UP Playwright's Theatre's "Angry Christ"

No Holds Barred: How Papa Neil Tolentino Stands Up For His Principles And Core Values

His passion and energy are both contagious and he admits knowing how influential and infectious he can be. He also did not mince a word against people who lives by with actions contradicting with his principles and core values. He shared, "I know how infectious I can get. Kasi kung totoo yung sinasabi mo, bakit ka magpipigil di ba? Wala ka namang tinatago eh di sige go! Ayoko ng taong naninira. Yun ang pet peeve ko. Yung taking advantage or using powers, influence, friendship. Kaya nga ako may distance eh para hindi pamilyar. Para mas professional at tama ang work ethics. Baka kailangan bumalik ng ibang tao sa delicadeza...dapat may malasakit sa kapwa. They have to learn how to be considerate. Yun mercy, yun awa hindi yan kailangan but you have to be considerate. You have to appreciate the good things na ginawa ng ibang tao. Kailangan mong balikan kung saan ka nagsimula para malaman mo kung tama nga yun landas na tinatahak mo. You cannot reach your goal unless you look back kung saan ka nagsimula. That will remind you not to go back to that state again."

He has a strong reminder of why everyone should remain humble. He explained, "Always remind yourself that and keep your feet on the ground. Why? You don’t have wings, darling. You cannot fly. Those who think na nakalipad sila? Illusion yun, delusions of grandeur. They think angat sila sa iba. Darling, reality check: my sh*t smells like your sh*t. This I learned from Silence of the Lambs. It’s always been my favorite movie. Yun sinabi na ‘ under the skin, pare-pareho ang kulay natin. Puti ka. Itim ako. Pag binalatan ang tao, pare-pareho tayo. Sino ang gumagawa noon? Ang nagsabi nun si Hannibal Lecter. Yun ang tawag niya kay Buffalo Bill. Kasi si Buffalo Bill lahat ng victims niya, binabalatan niya. Pare-pareho tayo. Wala tayong pagkakaiba. Equal tayo. Under the skin, we’re all the same. Kasi ang skin natin parang damit, pare-pareho tayo pag naghubad."

Papa Neil Tolentino as Pilosopo Tasyo for Gantimpala Theater Foundation's "Kanser" 

More Than Just Learning The Skills: Significant Life Lessons For Aspirants 

From Papa Neil's colorful life with triumphs and defeats, joy and sorrow, he generously shared these life lessons for every aspiring voice artists, "We’re all survivors. We fight for survival. Dahil gusto nating mabuhay, makipaglaban tayo sa buhay nang buo ang prinsipyo. We should not sacrifice our dignity for money or for fame. Fame, money, luxury...bonus yun for a job well done. Kung yun iba na-achieve yun sa maruming paraan, would you have the same respect for them? I'd rather be the person that I am now with whatever I have as long as I didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t take advantage of anyone, wala akong problema. Gawin mo lang, mabuhay ka sa paraang gusto pero wag kang mang-aapak ng ibang tao to get where you want to go. Wala kang magiging problema. Sa dami ng dinaanan ko, yung hugot na ‘to pang 48 years. Inoobserbahan ko kasi hindi lang yung nakikita ko pero yun nararanasan ko rin sa buhay. Kasi kahit na anong daanan mo, may pagkatuto. Nasa sa’yo na lang kung isasabuhay mo yung natutunan mo."

He added, "Walang perfect na tao. I have my shortcomings. Walang dark secrets. I have my kalokahan. Hahahaha! Merong kalandian. Pag trabaho o pakikitungo sa tao, I never try to push myself to anyone or please anyone. No, I wasn’t that. Gusto kong ma-enjoy ang company ng lahat. I don’t wanna cause troubles. Ayokong may problema. Ayokong may nega. I’m aware how contagious I am. Let’s enjoy it. If I can share the positivity that I have with everyone, then go! Magkakaroon ba ng problema yun? Would it cause war? Ng giyera? Oh eh di share all the positivity we have! We will have a better world, di ba? Ayun nga ang gusto ko: to live in a better world, to raise my children my apo in a world that enjoys the love of everyone. There’s no perfect world but at least, learn to appreciate even the bad things. Because those bad things can help you go through life better."

Papa Neil Tolentino for "Sakuntala" presented by Art Theatre Manila (Photo Credit: Fatima Cadiz)

Create A Beautiful Masterpiece From The Journey Of Life

Papa Neil had been very jolly and upbeat in his tone the whole interview. But, for the last question regarding the legacy he wants to leave, tears start to form in his eyes. His passion and love for the art resurfaces as he said these words, "I’ll end it with a poem that I wrote recently. Bale, lyrics siya ng kanta ngayon: 
Ako ay lilikha ng obra maestra. 
Obrang magsasabing ang mundo ay maganda.
Ipahahayag sa sining, lungkot man o saya. 
Hahalinhan ng ngiti ang pusong humihikbi.
Sa lahat ng ginagawa natin, masaya man tayo o hindi, let’s make sure that we do our best all the time. Let’s create a work of art sa lahat ng ginagawa natin. Let’s make our life a work of art. Kasi ginawa natin kasama ng puso natin at kaluluwa."

He looked back at the growth of the dreamers whom he once helped in their journey. He realized, "Mas marami na akong naging produkto na mas malaki na sa akin. Mas marami nang nagawa. Mas marami nang naipundar. Mas marami ng achievements. Meron akong tinulungan na mga kabataan sa Bulacan. They’re on their 6th year, nasa likod lang ako. Tatay lang ako. Iba yun mukha ng grupo, anak-anakan. Hindi ako nakapronta so sila yun kilala. Hindi ko kailangan makilala para sabihing may nagawa ako para sa mga tao. I don’t need recognition. The only recognition I would appreciate would be a simple ‘Thank you’ from all the people that I have worked with. Pasalamatan ka lang, that’s enough."

A true advocate of performance art and theater, a genius dubbing director, and a strong-willed person---Papa Neil Tolentino showed us how to live our life to its fullest extent without getting beaten by regret and fear. His courage and commitment to follow his dreams and passion led to his genuine happiness and success in life.

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