Award-winning writer Ricky Lee helps writers and aspiring writers jumpstart their story ideas by detailing the process of storytelling – from the conceptualization to the final draft – in the iWant TFC original docu series Trip to Quiapo, based on his best-selling scriptwriting manual. It is now streaming on the iWant TFC app and website.
Shot like a reality show, it is a five-episode master class where Ricky shares his knowledge about how to build stories, where to draw inspiration for them, and meaningful lessons from his life and over 40 years in the industry. Trip to Quiapo is directed by Treb Monteras, who co-wrote and directed the Cinemalaya 2017 Best Film Respeto.
Enchong Dee is also featured in the series as Julio Manunulat, the representation of aspiring writers and storytellers who are struggling to put into words the ideas they have in mind, similar to how Ricky began his writing journey.
“When I was a newbie writer, I didn’t know where to start. I went through a lot and made a lot of mistakes before I learned the ropes. And until now, I’m still learning. For those of you who want to become storytellers, I will try to share the experiences and knowledge I gained after a decade of writing. But as for actual writing, you might not learn it here because as always, life is the best teacher,” shares Ricky.
Aside from discussions, the series is also accompanied by cinematic visual storytelling of his life, how his passion for writing began, and why he intends to share his knowledge of storytelling with others.
As an adopted child who lost his parents at an early age, Ricky reveals that he had always felt like an outcast but was able to find refuge in a small library in Daet, Camarines Norte where he would spend countless hours reading books and eventually, where his passion for storytelling developed.
He shares, “When you read, you go on a journey. It’s like you embody different characters. You become a pilot, a teacher, a nun, a superhero, anyone you read on the page. When I was a kid, I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, but books helped me and I also want to share that magic to other people. The power of storytelling saved me. Stories connected me to the world.”
“So I want to do it for other people also. I want to write scripts and movies that have the power to change lives, even for a brief two hours,” he adds.
Ricky also shares in the iWant TFC series the three types of writers and their different approaches to learning how to write – or go to Quiapo. As a child, he would read a lot about Quiapo, the destination that would become a symbol of his dreams.
“For a kid like me, Quiapo is a dream come true. When I was writing, Quiapo was the symbol of my dreams to write a successful script. And that’s the place that three kinds of writers want to go to – that’s Quiapo.”
Trip to Quiapo is available on the iWant TFC app (iOs and Android) or on iwanttfc.com. Watch the trailer below.