A few months ago, Rod Marmol was just telling us about a book that he was writing. We were interviewing him for a Valentine’s day special about the proliferation of hugot in the internet, some of his own, and how creating the Facebook page, Utot Catalog, has unexpectedly helped him get through all sorts of heartbreaks in life.
Lahat Tayo May Period is yet another gift that Utot Catalog has given Rod. Unlike his first, Puro ka Hugot, Ibaon mo muna, which he published and sold independently, this time around, his work is backed by Summit Books and is sold in bookstores nationwide, big and small.
Contrary to popular belief, Utot Catalog wasn’t born out of a love problem but because of career woes. Rod didn’t have a job, and as a millennial, needed an avenue for his rants. His clever, hard-hitting prose found an audience not just in his friends but in every person who finally found the words to describe what they were also going through.
In this book, Rod turned the random rumblings in Utot Catalog into well-organized thoughts, providing thousands of advice-seekers who fill up his inbox everyday a handy hugot bible which they could turn to in times of despair.
Lahat Tayo May Period… at iba pang punctuation marks is divided into five sections, as the title suggests, represented by different punctuation marks symbolizing the phases in Rod’s life–tuldok, kuwit, tutuldok-tuldok, tandang padamdam, tandang pananong (period, comma, ellipsis, exclamation point, question mark).
In these five sections, Rod talked about his own love stories that ended abruptly and stories he thinks need to end immediately (tuldok), complicated relationships and commitment issues (kuwit), closures (or the lack thereof) and cliff-hangers (tutuldok-tuldok), the emotional roller coaster of love (tandang pamdamdam), and the never-ending lingering questions that we all have (tandang pananong).
In between stories about love and lost, Rod also shares some tales from childhood, family, friendships, the University of the Philippines, career, TV, and advertising that helped shape the person that he is now.
With all the reflections, learnings and commonly asked questions finally answered, readers who are either stuck in a rut or in the process of moving on from an unhealthy relationship, or contemplating a change in career, can glean from Rod’s own struggles and successes.
Lahat Tayo May Period, in a word, is an autobiography, probably a sweet revenge, but moreover, it's a hindsight–of all the hardships, bad decisions that initially looked good, and heartbreaks over and over that all of us, more or less, have gone through. It is an acceptance of a past that wasn’t too kind but not a marker of a now perfect life, only a reminder that we can find a person and be the person to have an imperfect life with.