Next in line, a serious Erik

Next in line, a serious Erik

By Antonio Salac Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Posted date: June 16, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—Fifteen years ago, when he was in high school, Erik Santos heard the After Image song, "Next in Line."

The melody and meaningful lyrics appealed to him so much, he vowed to himself, "Someday, I will sing that song... as a recording artist, before a large crowd, like in a concert."

The song is now one of the celebrated tracks in Erik's album, "Your Love" (Sony BMG), which turned platinum recently. The 25-year-old ranks it as one of his favorite inspirational tunes, alongside R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."

"Next in Line" makes Erik imagine kids growing up to be successful doctors, lawyers, professors, scientists, engineers, entertainment stars, athletes — working to make the world a better place.

The song, he says, assures him that the way to move forward is to inspire others to learn. And for him, to learn is to educate one's self beyond academics. "That's the point of the Chinese proverb about teaching others to fish instead of just giving them fish," explains Erik. "In the same way, I encourage members of my family to stand on their own feet, to manage their lives independently..."

His voice trails off now, his eyes get that faraway look. Then slowly he speaks again, savoring every word: "One's got to work for something hard enough to be able to call it a success. It's not all about wealth or fame, either. More important is how happy and content you are."

Erik says there are questions he asks himself frequently: "Am I at peace? Am I satisfied? Do I like where I'm at?"

He pauses when asked if he's happy. "Things could be better," he admits. "I'd like to free myself from worry, strengthen my faith and trust— firstly in myself, and then in God. I'd like to stay healthy for my family, too."

Healing period

He continues: "I'd also like to be able to communicate with people better, make them appreciate the reason I'm not into any single 'meaningful' relationship at this time: I'm focused on self-development. I think that somewhere in my 30s is the best time to get serious, to think about raising a family of my own."

Erik also explains that he's still going through a healing period, absorbing the important lessons from his much-publicized relationship—and breakup— with Rufa Mae Quinto.

He admits that it was extremely difficult to move under the glare of the public eye. He recalls that when he realized he had started that phase of his life on the wrong foot, he noticed the self-inflicted restrictions. "I don't need that kind of relationship right now," Erik says. "There are definitely more important aspects in my life that have to be addressed. I've got other priorities on my current list ... many other things that are next in line."

(Erik performs in a public program, "The Circle of Life," featuring life coach BK Vedanti, at On Stage, Greenbelt 1, 6 p.m. June 26. Call 890-7960.)

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