It's been three years since Eric Quizon decided to work and live in Hong Kong. He is now a director for Springtime Productions, a live entertainment company. He recently renewed his contract for another two years and work will begin anew this coming October.
One of the popular television shows in Hong Kong that his company produces is called Be Our Guest.
"Simpleng format niya. May nag-i-interview. Inimbita yung isang artista. Kuwento-kuwento habang kumakain. Ganoon siya ka-simple but it's very popular," he related at the Mandaluyong location of his new television show for TV5 called My Darling Sweet Lover, which he directs.
"Over there, I produce and direct live shows, events and musicals for them. Mostly, I've been in charge with the English and Tagalog productions but lately they've been concentrating more on Cantonese shows. I enjoy the job. I have a good relationship with my co-workers. I'm happy there."
In the meantime, Eric is directing his dad Dolphy in Pidol's Wonderland, which has been renewed for another season. In addition, he is also busy taping twice a week My Darling Sweet Lover, which will feature JC de Vera, Danita Paner, Richard Gomez, Carmi Martin and Dina Bonnevie. The show will premiere in Ocotober.
He described the new show as at par and at the same time different from the Kapatid network's alternative programming. He was also drawn to the light drama series because of its cast, which includes Nova Villa, Pilita Corrales and Eddie Gutierrez.
"I've worked with these people before. It would be nice to work with them again. Plus the fact that I'm also acting in the show. I also play the part as the father of Danita. And I also missed acting and directing.
LIFE IN HONG KONG. Eric learned the rudiments of directing when he studied film directing, specializing in television and movies at New York University (NYU) in 1993. He credits ABS-CBN for giving him the chance to start his directing career, with an episode of Maalala Mo Kaya, which featured Carmina Villaroel and Victor Neri. Then came Wansapantaym, Star Drama, Judy Ann Drama Special, and Your Honor with Richard Gomez.
When he transferred to GMA-7, he megged the first GMA Telebabad series in June 2003, Narito Ang Puso Ko, which featured Jolina Magdangal.
"From that time on, nagdirediretso na iyon. From 2003 up to 2007, I was doing soaps for GMA. Marinara. After that was Darna. Majika came after. And then it was Asian Treasures," he recalled.
"I had a good string of television hits. The last three shows were all top raters. When Darna came, it was the number one show. Majika was the number-one show. Asian Treasures also became the number- one show at that time. I consider myself very lucky."
It was after his stint as director of GMA-7's Asian Treasures with Robin Padilla and Angel Locsin that he started working in Hong Kong in 2007. He accepted the chance to work abroad a month before the television series ended.
"I did an interview with them," he said, when he applied at Springtime. "It was a welcome change for me. I was getting burned [out]. Burned [out] in a sense that I was getting so tired. Parang wala na akong time. It came to a point na my cholesterol was up. My sugar was up. My blood pressure was up. I was out of shape. I said, 'Wait, this is not a very good lifestyle.'"
He has come to love his life in Hong Kong. "It's quiet. I take the train. I walk around. Nobody bothers me."
He added: "I like the lifestyle because it's fast. Before you know it, the day is over. Tulog ka na 'tapos gigising. My lifestyle is healthy. I try to eat healthy also. One thing nice about Hong Kong is masarap kumain sa Hong Kong."
He described his setup as very light as he is able to work at home. With Hong Kong just an hour and a half away by plane, he travels to Manila every weekend.
HOSTAGE-TAKING AFTERMATH. Even as he's directing here, Eric still has to report and attend meetings in Hong Kong once a week. He was there when the people held a rally in the aftermath of the hostage incident which took place at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila last August 23.
"It was really more of a silent protest. The only thing that they are demanding is justice," Eric said. "They want justice for the victims. They want a thorough investigation. Yun lang ang gusto nila. They just want to find out what really happened. The whole world was watching that time."
During the hostage crisis itself, wherein a disgruntled ex-policeman armed with an M-16 assault rifle hijacked a tourist bus filled with Hong Kong nationals, Eric was in the Philippines and was awakened by his boss to watch the incident on television that Monday evening.
Eric could only shake his head at the bungled police rescue that left eight hostages killed and several injured. "It's something embarrassing and sad. I just hope that it doesn't lead to something anything grave or war or whatever."
"It's a natural reaction by them. Kung tayo nga mga Pinoy, sinulat lang sa atin ng isang taga-Hong Kong about us na negative, nag-react tayo kaagad. We demanded an apology. They're not asking for an apology. They're just asking for justice, which is right.
"Imagine kung sa atin nangyari iyon at yung mga Pinoy yung namatay. Ganoon yung blunder na ginawa, aren't you going to ask for justice? Of course, we would. That's the normal reaction."
Eric said that he's been receiving a lot of text messages and e-mails that say bad things about the Chinese. But he finds this behavior unreasonable and hopes this won't turn into a hate campaign.
"I think it's the wrong thing to do. Parang mali that we retaliate for whatever happened in the past. Dapat hindi na. Dapat wala nang mga ganoon.
"There's nothing wrong when you humble yourself. We made a mistake. We just have to accept the fact that we made a mistake. And that's it. It's so sad that it happened. I just think there's no reason to say that we are proud to be Pinoys. We can be proud any time. It's just that what happened that time was nothing to be proud of.
"Let's just accept the fact that we made a mistake. I think we should give the family of the victims the justice due them."