I started my journey as a writer when I was studying in the University. I didn’t join any organization that could expand my writing, but I would just sit down in the school café upon arriving in the campus rather early or when I have to wait for my brother or my father as my whereabouts is completely tied with them. I’m usually alone during breaks so I grab a quick lunch in the cafeteria and order coffee from my barista friend there. I just needed a pen and a journal and I’ll be lost in the imaginative world. Waiting is not a problem for me.
In college, I was the one tasked to write scripts, and on one class project which was a radio play, my professor even told me that I should’ve been the one to have written the script with my talent instead of just being a crew. I had some writing classes like our Filipi 3 in College where we were tasked to write journals and stories and I was really encouraged by Ms Kate, our professor then when she told me that I should continue writing. Another class was Litelec, which is an elective, and I happen to get a writing course. I felt jittery during workshops but our professor Ms Asenjo had encouraged my writing skills and helped develop my stories.
Then we had our major courses that included Feature Writing, where my professor, Sir Nonon, was really inspiring and the writing exercises he gave us were challenging and enriching. Until now, he encourages me to write and submit my stories. Another major course was centered on writing, mainly because our professor then was a writer. Just this time, it involved critical analysis of media trends with a hint of creative writing. Generally, our major classes involved researching and writing which for me was a fun activity.
Looking further back, I used to make cards, write letters and do crafts for my family and relatives. I would receive encouragement to write but not really to further develop it. When choosing a course in college, I shun away from the Mathematics and felt that I needed something that links to writing. While in college, I would receive comments about what would I turn out to be with the course I’m taking up? I didn’t have much confidence then to develop my writing skills.
And then when I started working for my professor/mentor, I would still hang out in the café for the same reason back in college and start scribbling. This has become a habit that I have to order a cup of warm coffee to accompany my writing. At times, I would bring along the paperworks as I have to check the stacks of student submissions and slip in writing a page or two of my journal or story drafts. I accumulated a lot of drafts that I have yet to digitize. Even in the digital age, I still preferred scribbling in notepads, papers and notebooks, thus, I developed a pile of clutter in our room. I still continue to contribute written drafts, but right now, I am more consistent in encoding them and every single day I have something new to add.
Working in our department (not as a professor as most people would conclude), I gained the opportunity to write stories, translate, submit my works, edit entries for book compilations, and publish. Together with my professors, I was able to publish a few of my short stories mostly in Filipino (which became a subject for question again to my relatives). Some of them really read my stories even though they had a hard time with it. Filipino was one of my favorite subjects ever since, maybe because I liked all my teachers then that really inspired me.
I began to really read books after I graduated since I was just busy with the ones required at school or for research purposes. At first, they were crime fiction novels, adventure or young adult series novels, Later on, it evolved to non-fiction books which covers topics about psychology, business, economics, finance, sciences and Chinese books. I discovered that I really love reading, visiting bookstores and trying to find a new title to read. Reading has introduced me to different and similar worlds, to interesting perspectives and inspiring stories around the globe.
Being able to publish is a huge encouragement to me and I saw how proud my dad and relatives were when they saw my books (even though they are just entries). Some of my relatives were expecting an entire book written by me, but I am grateful with the published stories and I will continue writing. The editor of one of the books my entry was selected into gave encouraging words that have pushed me to write more.
I write when there are significant issues that I want to address, whether it is personal or a national issue. I write to be refreshed and discover something new or something that was already there all along. I write to weave stories that hopefully are inspiring. I write to tell an inspiring narrative, to commend a good book, music or show. I write because it feels right.
I started this blog at WordPress which really help me explore more about writing. In this blog, only few of my family and friends know about this. Writing has helped me bring in the pieces together, in the process I learn to make sense of the things that are happening around me. There are painful moments and hard lessons in life that made my heart weary but through writing, I gained a comfort zone where I can be creative, explore the questions and sometimes even find the answers.
I started another blog which might be a next step for me to somehow publicize this. When I started an Instagram account, it encouraged me more to take pictures and write about them. This created another path in my writing skills. For me, reading and writing opened up new avenues for me and I won’t get tired of writing.