MANILA — With adult and teenage children of his own, Ian Veneracion has seen first-hand the uncertainties of younger generations when it comes to navigating life goals, from pursuing a job to finding a partner.
Veneracion, 46, has experienced the same in love and career, and thus has the wealth of knowledge to pass on to those who may need it — particularly those who feel pressured to keep up with a society-dictated timeline.
“I always tell even my kids and people I know: you’re a complete person already. You don’t need anyone to complete you,” he told ABS-CBN News.
“Your reference point should not be external — not your friends, not the people you see online, not anyone. Your reference point should be always yourself. If you can be a better person than you were yesterday, that should be your reference point.”
Veneracion spoke on the topic in light of his latest character, the titular businessman in WeTV Philippines’ “B&B: The Story of the Battle of Brody & Brandy,” meeting his match (Iza Calzado) and starting a new venture, all in his late 40s.
In real life, Veneracion has experienced similar situations, with breakthroughs as a romcom leading man and as a musician late in his four-decade career, on top of fulfillment from newfound hobbies.
“Iba-ibang istorya tayo. Iba-ibang timelines sa atin, whether in love, in career, in certain aspects. Wala namang generic timeline for all things — na dapat at this age, may ganito na ako, may ganiyan na ako. No. May kaniya-kaniya tayong istorya,” he said.
“The reference point should be internal. It’s not outside.”
Veneracion, who entered showbiz in 1982 as child star, learned over the years to apply what he now terms, in jest, as the “art of non-clinging,” as he navigated the highs and lows of his career and his personal life.
“I don’t feel like I’ve worked a single day in my life, because I just do the stuff that are meaningful and work with the people I love to work with. I do the work that I love doing,” he said.
“From child star, teenybopper movies, to action, teleserye… Hindi ako ‘yung tipong, ‘I have to plan my career.’ Walang ganiyan! What’s meaningful to me now, I’ll do it!”
Aside from being a sought-after leading man, Veneracion is a contemporary artist who has held exhibits, a musician with a March concert scheduled, a licensed private pilot, and an avid outdoorsman (his range of sports include trail riding, paragliding as a pilot, recreational fishing, and sailing).
“Every six months, nagbabago pa naman ako ng timpla! Six months from now, I don’t know… I feel like I’ve been in this industry for 40 years, in actual time, but I feel, up to now, I’m still testing the waters. I don’t know if I’m going to like this six months from now, or a year from now,” he said.
What he is certain of, however, is what will determine what he does next. “As long as it’s meaningful, I’ll keep on doing it, these projects and these characters,” he said.