By Nikki Quiambao
Justin Quirino's voice is a welcome and well-known sound: he's an on-air radio DJ for 99.5 Play FM and a regular TV and events host. Contrary to what you might think, Justin never really thought of hosting until one of his high school administrators assigned him to do so for their prom. And, as they say, the rest is history.
On a scale of 1-10, how much of a geek/nerd are you?
“I think I'm definitely at least an 8/8.5 for both. But okay, let's differentiate. For geek, I'm probably a 7.5. Nerd, probably an 8.”
What's your favorite elective in college?
“In my Human Literature class, my prof insisted that comic books are literature. For an assignment one time, we had to read Sandman by Neil Gaiman. So, that was nice! He also taught us about the different Lanterns. There's a Green Lantern, Red Lantern and he taught us the symbolism of each one. That was fun! I don't think that was an elective, it was seemingly an alternative subject matter for a floating subject.”
What sparked you interest in the particular field you are in right now?
“I've always loved people, always loved performing. In high school, one of the administrators called me to the office. I thought I was in trouble. She said, "Justin, sit down." I said, "Okay, what's gonna happen?" She was like, "Justin, I want you to host your prom." I was like, "What? I've never hosted anything in my life!" She goes like, "Justin, trust me. One day, you're gonna come back to me and thank me for making you host your prom." Sure enough, I hosted. My batchmates liked it. Next thing I knew, I was hosting ICA's Battle of the Bands, Poveda Varsity Night, and all that. In college, I was part of the student council. I was always with the people who were planning the events and stuff. They were like, "Justin, ikaw na lang mag-host." "Okay, fine." There you go! I just kept on hosting. Until today, I'm still hosting practically everything under the sun.”
So you said you're performing. What kind of performances do you do?
“Hosting, I still act for TV commercials, and I would like to go back to theater if I have time.”
Were you part of DLSU' Harlequin Theatre Guild?
“No, I wasn't. I think my highest acting accolade was in Grade 7. I was the president of the Junior Actors Guild in La Salle Greenhills. After that, I was a professional tap dancer. I was the tap dancing crocodile for the Ballet Philippines production of Peter Pan.”
Who's your role model in your industry, and why?
“If it's all encompassing, I think it's Gary V because he really gives everything he has. That's why he's Mr. Pure Energy, right? At the same time, he's just so unabashedly Christian. It shows you that you can embrace your faith and still be wildly successful.”
How do you use your smarts to your advantage career-wise?
“In editing. I think that a lot of people have a lot to say, and it takes smarts to know what not to say. I think that's me. I always learn from each encounter and that better equips me to be more tactful in the future."
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What's your favorite book?
“To be completely honest, my favorite book is the Bible! I mean, it's the handbook of life, right? If you're thinking of non-Bible books though, I'm currently reading Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, which is a New York Times bestseller, Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud, and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.”
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
“My first favorite Bible verse was Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the new kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these will be added unto you." It's always a good reminder that if I seek God first, then everything else I want: whatever I need, my food, clothes, all that, I don't have to worry about it. He's gonna give it to me.”
How about your favorite movie?
“I think my favorite, honestly, is Nacho Libre. There are a lot of serious movies out there: Shawshank Redemption is one of them; it's one of my favorites. But, I can't get enough of Nacho Libre. Jack Black is so funny. Just looking at his facial expressions, that alone, is hilarious. I think, you won't see a treatment like that anywhere else on cinema.”
Your favorite band?
“I think I'm just gonna go straightup, Paramore 'coz I love Hayley. I think it was a matter of perfect timing for me to discover their music. I was just getting into the Pop, Punk, more Emo scene back in 2006, and that's when they were new. That's when I started to follow their journey. I felt that Hayley wrote a lot of lyrics that were relatable to me; there were a lot of lyrics about faith and tribulation. What was that one line in 'Brick by Boring Brick'? It's something about pride and humility. Something like "I'm better off when I'm at the bottom.' It highlights that when you are at the bottom, your perspective is more correct, because you're less full of yourself. It's easier to know your place.”
What's your guilty pleasure?
“Jane the Virgin. Rogelio de la Vega! 'So funny! I think the editing of that series is brilliant. It's creative with their transitions, and all the effects, the narrator, and Rogelio. Perfect, perfect.”
In terms of catching a girl's eye, do smart guys have the advantage over sporty guys?
“In the long run, yes, I think so. Your looks, your physique, and the glory of the crowd screaming and everything, they only last for a short time. But, someone who knows how to use his mind to engage a woman in conversation, specifically in conversation that is useful for life—that's someone you marry.”
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On Justin: Sweater, Mango Man
Produced by Camille Santiago | Creative direction by Barry Viloria | Photographs by Vyn Radovan | Styling by Gelie Manansala | Grooming by Leonie Galang of MDA | Hair by Ronald Manzano of Vivere Salon | Shot on location at: Pangaea Ultra Gaming Lounge, City of Dreams, Pasay City | Special thanks to: Charisse Chuidian, Romina Gervacio, and Fran Arias of City of Dreams | Melanie Acedillo of MDA | Glaiza Agbayani of R2 Group of Companies