Last night, we were watching this Netflix documentary called Chef’s Table, where they feature excellent chefs and their story and why they cook. As a person who’s worked on, and for, several docus already, I think I’m in a position to say that it is incredibly well-researched, well-written and impeccably shot.
I just sprinkled unnecessary adjectives on to that paragraph, I’m sorry.
Watching it reminded me of being young. When we were kids, up to our pre-teens, it was Jerry’s absolute dream to become a chef. We watched all the cooking shows available on local tv, like the dubbed Iron Chef on what used to be Channel 27. (Morimoto!) Whenever we got balikbayan boxes from relatives in US or Canada, Jerry’s portion would be cooking tools and spice boxes and cookbooks. He also got boxes of the microwaveable Kraft Mac and Cheese. We didn’t have a microwave so Jerry had to experiment, and eventually, find a way to cook it.
In the same balikbayan box, all things labeled For Krizia were the usual, run-of-the-mill teenage pasalubong. I got Lip Smackers in different flavors, but because they have been in that box in all kinds of weathers they all tasted the same. I got super mini skirts and plaid boots that I never really got to wear. I got glittery makeup that didn’t show when you apply them to the skin. I also got teen magazines. J-14, Tiger Beat, even People and USA today. It didn’t matter to me that they were at least a year old and all the breaking news in it weren’t actually breaking anymore, but I loved them. I read each from cover to cover to cover so many times over.
Back then I really wanted to become a magazine editor, specifically for Preview Magazine.
After watching Chef’s Table, I logged on to twitter and saw several news tweets that said this major Philippine publisher is going fully digital and will, therefore, stop all its print magazines.
Preview is one of those magazines.
They’re not really stopping production, just going fully digital and probably never touching the printer again. I didn’t know I would be as affected as I was, but then again I could trace the feeling back to two things about me, maybe – that one, I’ve studied media for so many years and that two, thirteen year old me always wanted to see my name in a printed magazine.
I used to produce my own magazines at home, using leftover notebooks from class (the ones with blue-red-blue lines) and I either staple them or glue them together. I cut out dresses and makeup from my magazines and made my own lists of What’s Hot! or Daytime Office Looks! (sorry for the plagiarism, I guess HAHA). It was a one-woman magazine, I wrote everything from the Editor’s Note to the embarrassing stories included at the back, just for laughs. Even back then, at the age of dial-up internet I dreamed of putting it online and calling it M Magazine. I forgot why I chose that name and what it stands for. I’m sure I explained it in one of my issues.
My glued-up magazine production eventually stopped. I wish I could show you my masterpieces but they all burned in 2012 when our house burned. I look back and find that pre-teen Krizia is a literary protege. Nothing stopped her from writing. She transcended genres and forms. Mostly because no one was telling her what she was doing was wrong or that her grammar was wrong or that it actually costs money to publish things. She had Hello Kitty clearbooks full of things she made, but they’ve been long gone.
My dreams, as many of you know, have changed since then. They used to be colorful and vibrant but reality muted the colors. Adjusted my sight. Even in college I had to recalibrate what I thought I wanted to do, so many times, because I’m just me. I can only do so much. I can only achieve as far as my near-sighted eyes can see.
I guess here’s the funeral of my old dream, to see myself in a glossy Preview magazine page. Such a specific dream. But even dreams grow up. This has been the direction media is taking for so many years now. Some say digitization of print is inevitable. It is true. I shouldn’t be surprised.
I wish that growing up was like an HGTV show where, before they start renovating your house, they give you a box where you could put things you want to keep. Scratch that. I hope before our house burned down I was given an empty box for things I wanted to keep. Like my brother’s trophy for writing. Our favorite books. My mom’s clothes. Our family pictures. The Twin Hearts figurines that my mother loved, because when she was pregnant, she prayed we would be just like them. And, maybe, one copy of M Magazine.