Netflix announced that they will have Sailormoon streamed in June 2021. When it came out, I did not watch it right away because I was too busy with so many things. By the time I saw it, the hype was gone. I was hoping to see the classic Sailormoon series back in the early 1990s, but was disappointed. A few weeks later, I found the series in iFlix and was able to watch the episodes I was yearning for. The music, the animation, the story took me back to more than two decades ago. The Sailormoon series was my favorite in my teenage years. But for me, the most unforgettable and heartwarming is the day I met the real Sailormoon.
Highschool Life and Sailormoon
I was thirteen when TV5 aired the very first Tagalized Sailormoon anime. Being an anime fan myself, I devoured the series every week. The TV transported me to a universe I understood very well. Sailormoon was me and I was Sailormoon. We were together in my heart.
Even the very first manga I read was also Sailormoon, thanks to a classmate who lent his.
The story of Bunny (Usagi) resonated with me. Usagi was a high-spirited second-year high school student. She was mostly scared all of the time but was courageous when it came to the people she loves. Though she was not a good student when it comes to academics, a scaredy-cat, and a love-sick romantic which are totally opposites of my personality, I understood her. Inside I wanted adventure, yet was afraid to take risks. I was smart for my age but inexperienced in the world. Every time she stumbles on the pavement was like how I felt whenever I am faced with real-life situations wherein my textbooks won’t give me answers. In high school, Usagi understood me.
I took public transportation going to and from the school. There was actually a “Mamuro” that I get to ride the jeepney almost every morning. Back then, I’d like to think he was the mysterious Tuxedo Mask. I liked him because he was handsome and was a snob. Haha! I didn’t get to know him personally though.
In school, I even had classmates who indulged me in my kahibangan. We had a Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus, and Sailor Jupiter. These women, let me tell you, were close to the anime characters. Ang gaganda nila! I miss these ladies!
One time I wrote to TV5 and addressed my letter not only to Sailormoon the anime character, but addressed it to the voice actor. Surprisingly, I got a reply through the mail including an official Sailormoon poster! I don’t know where my stuff is anymore since I moved places. But the memory is still vivid in my mind.
Dreamed to Be a Voice Actor
When I changed schools, my obsession with Sailormoon changed from anime to obsession with voice actors. In fact, I enjoyed listening to radio dramas and was hooked on their voices. Maybe I can be like them? I guess the universe conspired to make things possible that I met the voice actor Montreal Repuyan on a field trip in 1997.
When I went to college, I continued to admire voice actors through the years and found myself developing the same skills. And because I was a crazy fanatic and stalker, I was able to find Gloria de Guzman, the voice actor who voiced Sailormoon. She also voiced Cedie, Lavinia, among others. I exchanged messages with Tita Ollie using the mail (oo uso pa ang sulat noon haha), and finally, she invited me to meet her personally. This little girl was thrilled to the bones.
Meeting the Real Sailormoon
Sorry if I can no longer recall the year the month and year I first met Tita Ollie. But it was a rainy afternoon before the on semestral break. I asked one of my closest friends from high school, Amor, to accompany me to ABS-CBN. That day Tita Ollie had a recording session. (Super thanks again, Amor!)
When we got to ABS-CBN, we told the security guards our business that day and Tita Ollie met us at the lobby. She was a jolly old woman and I just giggled inside to finally meet this wonderful person. She accompanied us inside the recording studio and introduced us to other voice actors.
Ang lamig pala sa loob ng ABS-CBN, hindi ako handa. Haha!
We met a lot of voice actors including Wendy Villacorta and Vilma Borromeo (the one who voiced for Sailor Mars).
After their recording, Tita Ollie asked if we would like to join her at the recording studio in Makati to record a Mexican telenovela. Since Amor and I both lived in the south, we said yes.
We rode a taxi while it was raining hard that afternoon. The very thing I noticed in that ride to Makati was how courteous and respectful Tita Ollie was. Here is this old lady who was saying ‘po‘ and ‘opo‘ to the taxi driver who was obviously younger than her. Tita Ollie all throughout the ride was courteous and would ask us from time to time how we were.
I felt the genuine kindness of this lady. And we continued to communicate in the next couple of years.
The Real Sailormoon Was an Angel
Tita Ollie reminded me to be respectful and courteous to others no matter what status or age.
I was a young, hard-headed teenager, and had a devil-may-care attitude about how others would feel as long as I get what I want. I was stubborn. Tita Ollie could have easily turned down my pangungulit back then. I was a complete stranger! But she was very welcoming and warm. She probably understood my need to accomplish things how hard and impossible the situation may be.
Looking back, I know I should have tried to contact her after graduating from college. But I had different dreams in 2002 and the fire that was there to be a voice actor quickly dissipated. I grew up.
Tita Ollie was an angel to me. Though I only met her a few times, she has inspired me to dream, reach out for that dream, and be an angel to others. Who would have thought that my simple obsession with anime will lead me to meet voice actors from TV and radio?
Frankly, the real Sailormoon was way better than the anime.
A woman who is not afraid to learn from her mistakes. Gnawing at life’s lessons each passing day.