Monday, May 21, 2012

ME, MYSELF AND NORA






I'm an avid Noranian. This is how a devoted fan of Superstar Nora Aunor is called. I like her a lot. In my childhood games, mostly played alone in front of a mirror, I lip synch to her songs. When my parents were at work, I would play the stereo at deafening volume and start singing in front of the mirror. That was in the early 1970's when I was of preschool age. When I turned seven, in 1972, I was old enough to be admitted to the cinema so my mother would take me to Sampaguita Theater in Cubao. I first saw Nora Aunor onscreen in Jose de Villa's Winter Holiday, a movie filmed entirely in Japan, produced by Sampaguita Pictures, her home studio. When she sang Sayonara, I thought Nora was singing to me and no one else. Ate Guy, as we, her fans, would fondly call our idol served as muse to a talent that I would later develop as a result of my adulation. I applied and was chosen as one of the 35 scholars for Ricky Lee's Scriptwriting Workshop. The award-winning screenwriter wrote the Superstar's monumental film Himala (1982). Ate Guy is a versatile performer, who proved it by playing disparate roles. I also fostered an emotional identification with my idol. I would be hurt when others would say that Vilma Santos is prettier than Nora. I would challenge any detractor to a fight. I remember believing myself to be the character my idol is portraying, most especially when the character was a movie fan herself, as in Lino Brocka's Bona (1980). I would see myself in one of the three characters she was playing, the misunderstood nun in the Gerardo de Leon episode of Fe, Esperanza, Caridad (1974). I was identifying more with a character far removed from the image in my mind of my idol and myself. But identification does not only take place in the imagination while watching a movie. Identificatory practices take on social meanings beyond the cinema. A pretending fan assumes the identity of the star in a temporary game of make believe. My private mirror games were manifestations of resembling. I did not have have the daring or desire to look like Nora Aunor in public, instead I wrote plot lines for movies and roles that I would like her to portray.

My misrecognition of the image in the mirror and on the screen was not only psychological, it was also ideological. In my last year of college, I would quit classes and ignore calls for participation and demonstrations over campus and national issues because I would rather watch Nora's current movies downtown, although I have already seen them many times over. While fellow students were raising each other's political consciousness, I was lost in a world of fantasy with my idol. The intensity of my fan-atic idolatry would not be much different in 2004 when I learned that she will be performing alongside Kuh Ledesma in a series of concerts around the US. I sought my idol out hoping I would finally get the chance to meet her in person. Face-to-face with my idol, conversing with her and listening to her as she talked about her career in hindsight, I suddenly realized that my Ideal self, my screen idol whom I adored and worshipped from a distance, was after all accessible, just like any other human being, and different! I had even more reason to admire her. She talked sense. She was warm and gracious. But then in addition, something else happened, the mystery was gone. The demystification started when I realized that, I, the fan, had finally developed a separate identity. I might have already constructed my own person derived from a complex mix of genetics, familial contexts, environment, socialization, education and most especially, the various identifications made from infancy to adulthood that helped construct a distinct identity for the rest of my adult life. Thanks to my Idol and Muse, without whose very special participation, the construction of this Self might have been seriously impaired.

Happy Birthday Superstar!

8 comments:

Dennis said...

Beautiful words from a true-blooded Noranian that is you Jojo!

Jojo Devera said...

Maraming salamat Dennis at na-appreciate mo ang isinulat ko about my being a Noranian...

MICHAEL U. OBENIETA said...

Brod Jo!

Isang masigabong palakpakan sa testimony mo. Naalala ko rin tuloy noong bata pa ako (I think I was in grade 3) tinanong ako ng mga kalaro ko kung sino ang crush ko. Nang sinagot ko sila na si Nora Aunor, nagtawanan sila. Doon ko unang nadama na ang bighani ni Ms. Nora ay hindi lamang magaan sa pakiramdam; isa din itong mabigat na pasanin. Dahil pag-Noranian ka, para kang disipulo na may kaakibat na tungkulin gaya ng iniidolo: Ang pagpalawak sa pang-unawa hindi lang sa sarili pati na rin ang pag-iisip ng iba. Ang mga nagawa at patuloy na gagawin pa ng Superstar natin ay isang tungkulin ng pagliyab ng kamalayan at damdamin. That explains why she's also my Muse. That justifies why I'm always grateful for the grace of her ability to entertain and to enlighten. Mabuhay si Ms. Nora at ang mga Noranians!

Dennis said...

You're very welcome Jojo! Marami kaming napapasaya mo sa mga isinusulat mo. :-)

Jojo Devera said...

Maraming salamat Brod Myke!

Lahat tayo may kanya-kanyang kuwento about being a Noranian. Crush mo pala si Ate Guy nung bata ka. I wonder kung paano ka magre-react if you see her in person. You're right we are her disciples. It is our duty to make others aware of her brilliance. Kaya siguro nai-inspire tayo to write about our experiences with her kasama man siya o hindi. I'll always be grateful for what Ate Guy has given me. Malaking bahagi talaga siya ng akin buong pagkatao and she knows that dahil nasabi ko yan sa kanya. Nanghihinayang nga ako dahil nung nagpalit ako ng phone nawala na yung mga text messages niya sa akin. There was this one message at nakasulat soon na kahit daw hindi ako maniwala, mahal na mahal niya ako. At naramdaman ko talaga ang nilalaman ng text at napaiyak na lang ako. Kung sino at ano ako ngayon, malaking bahagi si Nora Aunor...

Jojo Devera said...

Thank you din Dennis sa pagbabasa ng aking mg kuwentong Nora...

ROBERT DC GANNON said...

nakakatuwang basahin kapatid..kapatid saludong saludong saludo ako sa iyo..sana mabasa ni guy ito minsan.kung bibigyan mo ako ng permiso ay ipapabasa ko sa kanya ito...

Jojo Devera said...

By all means, ipabasa mo sa kanya kapatid! Sana magustuhan din niya... maraming salamat!