Can We Start Over Again 5
Maya dela Rosa and Richard Lim were on their way to the office of Mr. M. They were called for a meeting together with their parents.
“O bakit parang ang saya mo naman Ricky?”
Maya noticed how happy he was. Richard and Maya were seated at the last row of the van the network sent to fetch them.
“I’m just happy. At last natapos na rin yun mga commitments natin. Makakauwi na tayo. Miss ko na si papa at yun mga kaibigan natin.”
They just finished all their commitments as winners of The Voice Duets. They will be going home after two days.
“Ako din. Miss ko na si tatay at si Tito Roberto. Makikita ko na rin sina Edz, Ruby at Emman. Marami kaming pagkukuwentuhan.” Maya was very happy as well.
“I miss my friends too. Nakakamiss maglaro ng basketball with them. Kagabi nga tinawagan ako ni Ryan. Magpapaparty daw sila for us pagdating natin. Even our teachers are missing us na rin.”
“Nakakatuwa naman sila Ricky. Naku kung hindi lang sobrang mahal yun plane ticket papunta dito, gustong gusto ko silang ipasyal dito. Ang saya siguro no?”
“Oo nga eh. I’m sure they would have enjoyed yun mga pamamasyal natin sa mga beaches at dun sa Baguio, they would have loved it there. Pero you know what? Pumunta tayo sa mga souvenir shops. Bilhan natin sila ng pasalubong.” Richard suggested.
“Sige ba. Gusto ko yan Ricky. Pero gawin na lang natin yan sa travel natin sa ibang bansa. Yun tour package we won. Dun na lang tayo mamili. Kapag dito kasi wala na tayong privacy. Sina nanay at Tita Esmie na lang ang bahala bumili ng pasalubongs na gawa dito. Actually ang dami nang nabili ni Nanay.”
“That’s a better idea. Ilang countries din yun pupuntahan natin di ba? Doon na lang tayo mamili. I’m also not so comfortable kapag may lumalapit sa atin while sa malls here in Manila. Nakakahiya and I don’t know how to react sa kanila. It’s so embarrassing.” He voiced his concern.
“Suplado ka kasi talaga.” Maya teased.
“Of course not! I’m just shy around people. Imagine they spend time and money just to be able to see us. I don’t feel worthy. Kumakanta lang naman tayo pero grabe sila.”
“Ricky kasi napapasaya natin sila. Di ba sabi nga ni Coach Lea yun mga supporters natin they love us and most are very loyal pero we should work hard din to make them happy. Dapat we give our 100 % in all our performances. Dapat we make them feel special and kahit pagod na pagod tayo, we should never make them feel that mababa na ang energy natin.” Maya remembered the advice of their Coach Lea.
“Yes I know that. We owe them everything that we reached now. Kaya nga nahihiya ako kasi hindi ko mabigay sa kanila yun kagaya ng ginagawa mo.”
“Yes. Yun nakikipagbiruan ka sa kanila. You can easily talk to them. You can easily mingle with people.”
“Naku Ricky makulit at madaldal naman kasi talaga ako. Atsaka pangit naman if ikaw yun madaldal. Hindi bagay.” Then she laughed. “Mas okay sa’yo yun ganyan na image. Pamysterious. Pagwapo.”
“Oy excuse me Maya dela Rosa! Gwapo talaga ako at hindi pa-gwapo.” He protested.
“Pikon talaga to. Alam ko naman yun. Binibiro lang kita. Pero seryoso Ricky. Excited na akong umuwi. Ang saya saya ko talaga! We will go home na successful tayo sa competition, we met new friends at marami tayong new adventures na mababaon pauwi.”
“Me too Maya. I will never forget this experience. It was extra special pa kasi I get to do all of it with you.”
“Ako din kaya! Alam mo kahit na sumpungin ka Ricky, hinding hindi kita ipagpapalit kahit kanino. Hindi rin magiging kasing saya yun lahat ng naranasan ko dito sa Philippines kung mag-isa lang ako or kung iba yun kasama ko.”
“Oo naman! Nakakatuwa kaya kapag tinitopak ka.” She laughed at him.
Their banters were interrupted when they reached their destination.
Maya dela Rosa, Richard Lim and their mothers Esmeralda Lim and Teresita de la Rosa were inside the office of Mr. M, the head of Star Magic.
“Mrs. Lim, Mrs. Dela Rosa I want to congratulate you again for the success of Richard and Maya. I commend you also for raising these very talented kids. They’re very polite, courteous even if sa US sila lumaki. They’re also dedicated sa work and they’re even more professional than the old celebrities. Maganda yun work ethics and halos lahat ng mga nakasama nila parehas lang yun feedback – napakabait daw at madaling katrabaho ang dalawang to. Everybody enjoyed working with them.” Mr. M was really impressed with the kids.
“Naku salamat po Mr. M. Nakakataba naman po ng puso yun sinabi nyo. Proud na proud naman talaga kami sa mga bata.” Teresita dela Rosa was very thankful for Mr. M’s kind words about the kids.
“Thank you Mr. M. I’m also happy that everything went so well. I’m also thankful that Ricky and Maya would leave good memories to people they’ve encountered. More than what they’ve won, pinakamasarap pong marinig na minahal yun mga bata dahil sa magandang pakikisama nila. Happy memories po ang babaunin ni Maya at Ricky paguwi namin.” Esmeralda Lim was also very proud.
“Mrs. Lim, Mrs. Dela Rosa that’s what I want to discuss in this special meeting we have. I know the kids are excited to go home and return to their normal lives. Alam kong marami silang achievements way back home as well. I know everything about how they excel in school, how they are also active members of their choral groups back in the States. I have watched the interviews prior to their audition in The Voice Duets.”
Richard, Maya and their mothers suddenly got curious of what Mr. M was leading to.
“I know that what I will be proposing would require a major change in the lives of Richard and Maya and also of your families. I don’t expect an outright decision kasi kailangan nyong pagisipan muna.” He then paused. “I would like to offer Maya and Richard a two year exclusive contract with our network.”
Maya and Richard were surprised. They didn’t say anything. They can’t believe what Mr. M. was saying. Even their mothers weren’t able to react as well. Being offered an exclusive contract of the top network of the Philippines is like hitting a jackpot for many aspiring artistas, singers, performers.
“I know many factors should be considered but Mrs. Lim, Mrs. Dela Rosa what these kids attained now is something anyone would pray and hope for. This is a major opportunity for them. The contract includes many projects, TV seryes, movies, concerts, worldwide tours and recording contracts aside from the one they won. I am sure that you know the track record of ABS on how we take care of our artists. Like how we took care of these kids during the last two months, ganun pa rin and makakasama na yun education nila. We will be the one to coordinate with their schools. Yun sa tirahan, sasakyan, assistants, everything else will be discussed in the contract but I am sure that you are already aware how we could make your kids big stars.”
Maya was already imagining what they could become once they decide to sign the contract. It was her long time dream to be a singer, an artista like her idol, Darren.
Richard on the other hand thought of the school he will be leaving, his parents, his friends.
There are many things to be considered.
“Mr. M. we are so honored that you are offering Maya and Richard a contract na alam naming napakahirap makuha ng basta kung sino lang. Salamat po sa pagtitiwala pero hindi ako makakapagdesisyon na hindi kasama ang tatay ni Maya. Sana po bigyan nyo kami ng konting panahon para pagisipan ang bagay na to.” Nanay Teresita voiced her concern.
“Yes Mr. M. Like Teresita, I also need to talk to my husband. Even ang dalawang to, kailangan ng masinsinang usapan kung ano man ang magiging desisyon namin. Maraming salamat sa pagtitiwala.” It was Esmeralda Lim this time.
“I know that. You go home first sa States. Then di ba may tour pa kayo as part of your prize? You enjoy everything first then talk as a family. In a month’s time, papatawag ko ulit kayo for your decision. Whatever decision you would have, I will respect it. Pagisipan nyong mabuti.”
Mr. M was really an amiable figure of the kapamilya network. He is like a tatay to every celebrity under his care.
Esmeralda and Teresita didn’t have any problem entrusting their kids to him. They just couldn’t easily do it because it would be a life-changing decision for them.
If the ride to Mr. M’s office were full of banters, their ride back to their hotel was quiet.
Maya and Richard each looked outside their widows as their van traversed the busy streets of Manila. The offer of Mr. M, which should have been a happy news for them, made Maya and Richard feel excitement, sadness, anxiety, dread and uncertainty as well.
Whatever they choose would definitely have an impact in their lives.
If they choose to sign the contract, their lives would suddenly change, they would be in the limelight, very far from the laid back simple life they had in the States.
If they choose not to sign it, they would forever regret turning their backs on the great opportunity offered exclusively to them.
“Sorry Maya pero I really can’t.”
“Pasosolohin mo ako?”