10 Questions – Derek Parrenas


Interview and Transcription by Eric Sto. Domingo 

Me: Good morning Derek, thank you for joining me in my interview.

Derek: Can I…before we start, can I just say that I’m very flattered that I’m being interviewed by the greatest Atenean playwright of our generation.

Me: It’s my pleasure, it’s my pleasure to do this. A writer of your calibre needs to be interviewed. Um, first question that’s on everyone’s mind when I ask about you is, “Where are you? Nasaan ka na ba?”

Derek: Me, *coughs* as I was gonna say, if you were really looking for me, then you’d find me. Just like you right now. You’re with me right now. The only reason why people don’t know where I am is because they’re not looking hard enough. But you will now that I am in the trees, I am in the wind, I am in the…the plants, the animals. I am everywhere.

Me: So Spirit ka? *Laughs*

Derek: Something like that, yes.

Me: *Laughs* Ang bobo

Derek: *Laughs*

Jomac: *Laughs* ay pota

Me: Wait, so, with all of that free time being everywhere, what do you do?

Derek: What do I do?

Me: *laughs*

Derek: What do I not do?

Me: *Laughs harder*

Derek: Me, the whole world is right under- right in front of you and you’re at the peak of your youth. You must use your life to…for the betterment of society.

Me: *Laughter*

Derek: So what do I do? So What do I do? I do, almost everyday…uh…I enrich myself with culture, I bike, uh…

Me: Wait, wait, you bring your own bike? Your own bike?

Derek: No, no. I bike around near my house. I go around. During Wednesdays and Fridays, because I’m dismissed early, I go to malls and stuff. I walk around and enjoy the sights, and all that.

Me: Okay, so as former EIC, what was your favorite ECHOES project, and what was your most hated?

Derek: Wait let me think. Most favorite project would probably be…hm…the Feb issue. Because it turned everything around. It changed. It was considerably thicker than previous releases, and it was like me being able to prove my worth as EIC.

Me: Ah okay, how about your most hated? Go serious answer ha.

Derek: Iniisip ko bola eh *laughs*

Me: Walang bola, walang bola *laughs*

Derek: My most hated would probably be when I had to interview Jomac, ’cause Jomac was a very dull person honestly. There was nothing funny about his interview. He kept giving me straight answers. Jomac’s a very ano eh–

Me: I think Jomac told me that his interview never came out.

Derek: Ah no this was different. That one was Sam for 10 questions. This is cover for article interview. His interview was very bland. I had to add all sorts of words in it.

Me: *Laughs* So Jomac wasn’t a good interviewee?

Derek: Yeah, around 70% of that was like fiction na eh.

Me: Ah talaga? Naiintindihan ko naman.

Derek: The only reason why I put him on the cover was because he asked me for help in the elections.

Me: *Laughs*

Jomac: Fuck!?

Me: So political pala yun, may political undercurrent yun?

Derek: Yeah, but the truth was for August was that it was supposed to be just Mike.

Me: *Laughs*

Derek: But Jomac went up to me and was like” Derek, it’s August naman. I don’t speak English that well. I need to uh, like uh put my image up for Ecosoc. So can you please cover me?” Then I told him, “Pare, ano,” What do you call this? “Mike’s the cover na.” Tapos sabi ni Jomac, “Pare, ibalato mo na sa akin.”

All: *Laughs

Me: So nag Bong Revilla pala si Jomac sayo? *Laughs*

Derek: Oo, something like that. You know, we met in this like, cafe. We had breakfast, and then he just told me straight up, “Derek, ibalato mo na sa akin. Kailangan ko na talaga tong cover na to.”

Jomac: Tang ina.

Me: *Laughing the whole time* Wag ka mag-aalala Jomac. Isasama ko yan lahat.

Jomac: Gago, nakakahiya na. *Laughs*

End Part 1, dumating yung tapa:

Part 2, ubos na yung tapa:

Me: So Derek, what plans did you have that never pushed through as EIC?

Derek: Ah, actually it goes all the way back to when I was associate editor for Echoes under Horace Cimafranca. We had this idea kasi for the September issue that we’d put all the hot girls of Ecosoc. We’d vector them and then put them in a straight line for the cover in an art deco style.

Me: Bakit hindi nag push through?

Derek: Well you know, politics rin yun ‘eh. ‘Tsaka, you know, people don’t like it when you objectify women. We’re not even objectifying the women! We’re celebrating their beauty, for what they are. Gets mo? Cam Cruz, Klaud Moreno, Georgina Gonzales, Kyla Rivera, ah, Simone Carpio. Basta, those, those, those, beautiful Ecosocers that people find so attractive.

Me: So yung mga yun ba yung trip mo sa Ecosoc?

Derek: Ah not really naman. *Grins*

Me and Jomac: *Laughs*

Derek: But you know, I can appreciate their beauty.

Me: Okay. Aside from that, since you are a very good writer, can you please describe your creative process, or how you come up with your ideas.

Derek: How I come up with my ideas? Actually, it’s a very, ano eh, there’s no uniform way of how I come up with my ideas. Sometimes I look at something, and I try to think what’s wrong with it. Sometimes I look at, like, sometimes I don’t even look at anything, then boom, something comes up. Like, I don’t know. Like uh…I can’t think of anything.

All: Laughs.

Me: Something, kunyari ano. You look at Jomac, what’s wrong with him?

Derek: I look at Jomac and I think of how short he is…*laughs*

Me: Gago, foul *laughs*

Derek: Ah fine fine, but then no, I was going to get into a good topic. I was going to say, that maybe I should write an article on (how), Jomac compensates for his shortness with his burgis clothing. Pero don’t get me wrong. Jomac’s a very good Memcom chair. He’s like the greatest Memcom chair ever…according to him of course.

Me: *Laughs* Ito, when you were EIC, who was the Ecosocer that you were most afraid of?

Derek: Ah when I was EIC?

Me: Yeah, EIC.

Derek: I was most afraid of my two predecessors, Kenneth Reyes and Horace Cimafranca.

Me: Ah Ecosocers pa yung…ah second sem kasi ako.

Derek: Yeah, but by the time second sem came up, my second sem as EIC came up, wala na akong kinatatakutan kasi tang ina, *laughs* wala na sila eh. *laughs*

Me: So parang okay na sayo, walang nakatingin sayo?

Derek: Because yun nga, I felt like they were constantly scrutinizing my every move but then I later on [understood] that it was all in my head, and they were probably not scrutinizing me. We’ll never know.

Me: Is that why ano, you decided to take a step back for Jude?

Derek: Yeah, because I, you know, wanted him to breathe easier. I didn’t want him to think that I was breathing down his neck, watching his every move. Kaya nga hindi ko na chinecheck yung… (Completely forgets what he was going to say) Actually, I also took a step back because I want to be surprised by Echoes again because when I was EIC, talagang, you don’t get surprised anymore by the stuff that

Me: Stuff that comes out?

Derek: Yeah, because you’re on top of it but now that I’m distancing myself, I can allow myself to surprised by whatever you guys achieve.

Me: So, when you do come back, what can we expect from you?

Derek: I don’t know. *Laughs* Probably the same guy, the same associate editor type of person.

Me: Okay sige. I’m going to ask questions from other people. So, from Martin Consing, “Do you ever doubt yourself?”

Derek: All the time. Kasi I realized that, you know, I was watching this movie called Gandhi, you know, starring, Ben Kinglsey. And then there’s this point in time at the start of the movie, that he gets mad at his wife for disobeying him and then, when he gets mad, he stops to think. He tells his wife, “What is wrong with me?” And you can see that his face is full of remorse and full of regret, and then his wife tells him that, “It’s only because you are human.” So I constantly have doubts with myself, because I feel as if my human condition conflicts with my will. Because the human body, for example, when you’re susceptible to anger and all that, you start to think, um what do you call this, that you’re probably not capable of anything more than what you have right now.

Me: Okay…

Derek: What the fuck did I…did what I say even make sense!?

Me: Ewan ko. Pag na transcribe ko na, makikita nating lahat.

Me and Derek: *Laughs*

Me: Okay, from Marte Caronongan. If you were a girl, papatol ka ba kay Jomac Conty?

Derek: *Laughs* Well going back to what I said earlier, “Pare, i-balato mo na sa akin.”

Me: *Laughs*

Derek: Yes! Of course! I will! I will! Because Jomac is very handsome!

Jomac: God dammit!

Derek: He has the ano, he has the body, he’s full of sex appeal. And the thing is he just doesn’t know it, he has to flaunt it around talaga! I don’t know, you know? There’s something about him talaga that makes the girls go wild eh.

Jomac: Fuck you.

Derek: Sometimes, I wish I was like that eh.

Me: *laughs* Okay um, from GJ Agregado, “Who would be your dream Ecosocer girlfriend. Please answer seriously.”

Jomac: Hehehe.

Derek: Uhhh…Actually…

Me: Answer seriously nga eh! *Laughs*

Derek: *Laughs*

Jomac: *Laughs* Oh god. That killer queue.

Derek: *Still laughing* I don’t know what to say right now at this point.

Me: Do you need me to say the name?

Derek: No!

Me and Jomac: *Laughs*

Derek: No! That was a long time ago. How…*Laughs*

Everyone: *Laughs harder*

Derek: Right now, I can’t think of anyone eh.

Me: Who’s the prettiest, top of your head.

Derek: I don’t know eh. Kung maganda sila ah, siguro alam na nila yun dahil sinabi ko na sa kanila.

Jomac: Unintelligible

Me: Ah sige, yung para [sayo], yung pinaka pwede mo maging girlfriend ngayon.

Derek: ‘Di ko talaga alam eh!

Me: Bigay mo na lang initials kung ayaw mo sabihin pangalan.

Derek: *laughs* Ayoko! Wala talaga! * laughs*

Me: Starts with letter what?

Derek: I don’t know, wala yata sa alphabet.

Me: Sige na nga. Tang ina, wala kang kwenta. Okay sige last, 10th question! Tell me something that I didn’t need to know.

Derek: Yun yung last question? Bakit ang bilis?

Me: Naka 10 na tayo ‘eh.

Derek: Ah ulol?

Me: Oo, kanina pa tayo nagsimula eh.


Derek: What is something that you didn’t need to know?

Me: Ano, like Sam’s questions.

Derek: Ah, the essence of it is that I have to tell you something that is not going to affect you in any way?

Me: Uh, it has to affect me, in a way that, I wished I didn’t ask the question.

Derek: Ah, you wish you didn’t ask the question? I see. Ah! *Laughs* Sometimes when I play videogames, *Laughs*, whenever I’m playing and there’s something heroic that’s happening, and I don’t like the music, I make my own background music. Usually to the tune of Indiana Jones or Lord of the Rings. You want something wilder?

Me: No…sige go ahead!

Derek: *Laughs uncontrollably* My definition of a….*Laughs*

Me: Ano?

Derek: Hindi sige ‘wag na.

Me: Sige sige ‘wag na.

Derek: Gago baka mapunta pa akong jail.


One thought on “10 Questions – Derek Parrenas

  1. Ayla says:

    And you were the most recent 10 Questions. I remember proposing the idea to do this for the echoes website and you wanted to start it right away but we would never agree on who was interesting enough to be one of the first few.

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