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[dropcap letter="A"]s much as possible, no plot-baring spoilers can be found in this list. Despite that, if you haven’t seen the amazing Erik Matti’s noir-inspired crime thriller On the Job yet, consider bookmarking this list for reading after you’ve done so. That’s an order.

Okay. Done watching? Already seen Jose and Wally unironically warning people about the dangers of camcording, and realized just how sad that seems right now?

On the Job is probably the greatest Pinoy action film we’ve had since the mid-'90s, and that is no exaggeration (Nope, sorry. Asiong Salonga: Manila Kingpin didn’t quite do it for me.) on my part.

It’s also an amazing vehicle for two stars you never expected much from acting-wise: Piolo Pascual and Gerald Anderson, who more than held their own in the middle of a cast including immense talents like Michael de Mesa and Joel Torre.

But you see, more than an action-thriller, On the Job lives up to its title by showing how Daniel (Gerald Anderson) learns to become a hitman, well, on the job, as he worked under the tutelage of Tang (Joel Torre). For the average viewer, all these lessons also taught us a thing or two (or 8) about real life, such as knowing how to…

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For the Hitman: If you are too well-known as a hitman, everyone can see you coming. The element of surprise is gone, and if you’re too high-profile as a hitman who happens to be a convict still doing time in jail (Which is the premise of the film, as described in the trailer.), then you’re just asking for trouble.

For Life: Let’s face it. If you keep a high profile when you don’t have the substance to back it up, you end up ruining yourself. Be like Tang in the film: he knew when to keep his head down, and he knew when to step it up.


Keep a low profile-8v

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For the Hitman: Keep your tracks covered. Being a prisoner means you have the perfect alibi for any crime they want to pin on you, seeing as you were supposedly in jail at the time it happened.

For Life: Know where you came from, so when you go places in success, you don’t get lost in it. This also keeps you from getting stuck in a Peter Principle situation, since you know your limits, and won’t let yourself ascend to a position of incompetence.


Always know where you came from-7v B

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For the Hitman: If your target survives, finish the job at all costs. A surviving target becomes a credible witness against you.

For Life: If you’re not willing to finish something you’ve started, then you will not reap the benefits of your efforts, more often than not. Why even bother doing something if you’re just going to do it half-baked? Have some pride in yourself.


Be an utmost professional always finish what you started-6V B

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For the Hitman: Exploit anyone who doesn’t realize this rule, and distract them from the prize. If there is a target surrounded by bodyguards, create a diversion so that you can proceed to approach your target unmolested.

For Life: Don’t let trivial diversions sidetrack you from what you want in life. Those momentary distractions add up, and what you should have achieved in five years becomes a distant dream even after ten.


Learn to keep your eyes on the prize-5V

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For the Hitman: The one paying you to kill people could very well turn against you at the drop of a hat, if it becomes convenient for them to do so. Trust them only as far as they can pay you for doing what you do best, but don’t expect to share a drink with them to unwind after a hard day’s work.

For Life: You can’t really trust anyone. Everyone is capable of betraying you, regardless of intentions. That includes yourself. That’s why you have to work harder and smarter so that you can afford to take the risk of trusting people, and not being completely helpless if anyone fails you.


Don’t trust anyone-4V

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For the Hitman: You can’t shiv, shoot, or run effectively without messing up a few times. Keep at it, and maybe, eventually, the backup becomes the lead hitman.

For Life: Why do we fall? So we can get back up. Mistakes only become pointless when we keep on making the same ones, without learning from our past. There was a time where most of the people we admired and respected had no idea what they were doing. Some of them still have no idea what they’re doing even now.


Practice makes perfect-3V

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For the Hitman: One shot to the chest, one shot straight to the head. Then walk away. Clean. Quick. Simple.

For Life: Don’t dilly-dally and do something for a week when you can do it in an hour. Think of all the other things you could have gotten around to doing instead, and yes, that includes goofing off without worrying that someone is breathing down your neck.


Work efficiently-2V

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For the Hitman: Hugs will fuck you up. Trust me on this.

For Life: There’s always a catch. Make sure you know what it is before you leap into someone who seems to only have your best interests at heart, because obviously, something’s in it for them.


There is no such thing as free hugs- 1V

Kel Fabie

Kel Fabie. is a DJ, host, mentalist, satirist, comedian, and a long-time contributor to 8List (Hello, ladies!). He has an Oscar, a Pulitzer, a Nobel, and two other weirdly-named pet dogs. He blogs on mistervader.com.

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