Angelo Ramirez de Cartagena is a powerful storyteller. It is evident in the way he carries himself—often in a quiet, unassuming demeanor, yet one can see his eyes often scanning the room, observing and already stitching stories in his head.
It is not a surprise that this is what Angelo does on a daily basis, to look for stories and tell them in ways they have never been shared before. As assistant editor of Mega Magazine, he has written about celebrities most people can only dream of seeing from afar.
Angelo, however, didn’t initially start as a writer for his current magazine, though he had wanted to be one even as a child. He spent hours pouring over books and newspapers from end to end, but looking back admits he saw the written word as a means of escape rather than a profession. His passion for writing never left him, even when a mentor convinced him to join the magazine as a stylist.
Without realizing it, he had arrived at the doorstep of his dreams. Soon enough, colleagues discovered through his wonderfully written Tweets and Facebook status updates that he could write, and from then on began to receive assignments from the team.
Asked how he manages to produce hard hitting and raw pieces even for a fashion magazine, Angelo is quick to say that more than being a storyteller, he is also a voracious reader, which is what inspires him to shape his articles in unique ways.
“The intent is to always write a story in a way it has never been told before. I always ask myself three things: Will I want to read this until the end? Will the subject want to read it? Will my mom or my best friend read it?”
To be a good writer, he adds, lies in the art of listening.
“This is not only a lesson for writers but for human beings as well: Listen. It is a trait that has been muddled with the advent of by-the-second updates and dizzying graphics. Look that person in the eye and really listen. Don’t ask the typical questions. Don’t drown in research because you will want to learn something new.”
This is a trait he has perfected because he listens with his heart and not just his ears.
Empathy also plays a crucial role in sharing a tale. “And think, if it was your story being told, how do you want it to be told? How will you want to read it? Whether it’s a 100-word rehash of a press release or a full blown cover story, coddle the subject with so much care.
Give the same amount of love and effort, because you are responsible for yourself and your subject.”
What further sets Angelo apart is his ability to stay raw, real, and in touch with his emotions despite being in an industry that has long been tagged as manufactured and fake.
Angelo has learned to brush off these misconceptions but what irks him the most is when people assume that the work they do doesn’t matter.
“Spoiler alert, what we do matters, very much. We may not be running around the hospital in clinical whites or making cases in a palette of somber neutrals but make no mistake about it, we make you think; we expedite the process-or take your mind off it, depends on the time of need.”
And so with glistening eyes, Angelo carries on in his living his passion, enthusiastic to discover what else the world has to offer—and as a fan, I can’t wait to read what’s next.