It’s 2’o clock in the morning and I’m still awake. Why? It’s because I’m thinking about how to be a writer maybe just by starting a blog. When I was in high school and college, I have never joined any clubs or our school’s newsletter. I don’t have the guts and I always thought that joining these clubs was costly – for someone like me who was just able to attend high school in an exclusive catholic school because I happened to have a kind teacher when I was in elementary who applied me as a scholar. Thankfully I passed the test although it’s just for a partial scholarship. My mother had to work hard and usually plead to the school’s administrator to allow partial payment of my tuition fees so that I can take an exam. It helped maybe that I’m an avid reader of books since I was 6 years old that I was able to pass my way through college.
I can’t say I’m that studious but I love to learn and read. When I was in kindergarten since we don’t have the means to buy books, I used to go to another town walking just to borrow books from a foundation there. I loved reading about anything but usually since I was still a child I loved fairy tale stories, I’ve read about Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Ugly Duckling maybe because they brought me to a fantasy world where I am the lead character. My favorite at that time was Cinderella and Ugly Duckling since I felt that these characters were me. I mean I’m poor and I’m not pretty and I want to be beautiful and rich and to find someone someday who will love me and take me to a place I’ve never been. When I was not able to read these books, I turned to comics and when I read I’m oblivious to the world around me and that the time had passed by. Aside from reading, I loved watching movies, at that time when I was in kindergarten and since we are poor we have no television. I used to go to a neighbor’s house that allowed children to watch television on their house (the TV was black and white). It was the time where Superman was the rage, Christopher Reeve was my hero and my first crush and Wonder Woman was me. I can also go on many hours straight watching different movies (I still do!) and since in our town where movie houses at that time offered two movies for one ticket and you can stay inside the movie house as long as you want, and because my grandmother will usually bring me along (despite being poor this is the one thing that we both enjoyed together and she finds ways to pay for the ticket) I was able to watch a lot of action movies, her favorite was Fernando Poe, Jr. (the Action King in the Philippine Movies) while my favorite was Lito Lapid. If I can’t watch movie or read books or comics I resorted to listening to the radio about series or dramas.
I think love for reading runs in my blood since my father and mother were readers but usually they read things that are not worthwhile for me. They have a different taste but they loved reading. They didn’t teach me to read or even encouraged me to read but they allowed me to read even though I’m the eldest and had responsibilities in our house especially on taking care of my two brothers and my sister. They didn’t taught me anything since they were not able to even graduate from elementary, they can be what you call “no read, no write” in a sense that they have no finesse, were not elegant or knowledgeable but they do know how to write at least their names since I think they are still smart and they do know how to read even if they lacked education. When I was in high school I have to study hard to maintain my grades, I have no money to buy books so I was always in our library, I have to walk all the way to the third floor just to reach it and I usually am the last to get out of the library. If we really needed to have our own book, I have to save money from the very small cash reserved for my lunch (I have to resort to eating a five peso worth of spaghetti every lunch time) just to buy the needed book. When we needed to do assignments and type them using a typewriter (computers were not invented then) and since I don’t have a typewriter, I have to do the assignments of my classmate/friend so that I could borrow her typewriter. It’s not easy but I did graduate (despite experiencing being bullied but that’s another story altogether). I can’t say I enjoyed my high school life but I learned a lot at that school especially in Math and Science because when I was in college I’ve aced these minor subjects.
My dream was to be a teacher because my kindergarten teacher was kind to me and she was my idol so I thought, “Hey! I want to be a teacher.” However, because of my high school classmates who bullied me I changed my mind and chose to take Management instead. I thought, “I don’t want to teach those kinds of students.” When I graduated from high school after passing our NCEE, I thought I can study in a University. I wanted to study in the University of the Philippines (our country’s state University) but I thought it will be hard for my mother since it will be costly, I have to have money for dormitory, money for books, money for allowance and transportation and even if I became a scholar it would not be enough so I stayed in our town and studied in a local college. I wanted to study in another school but since their entrance exam fee was higher than the other school, I’ve chosen the other one instead. Thankfully I passed and since they offered a discount if you reach a certain grade I was able to benefit on that. In college, I’ve joined only book lovers club so that I could borrow books. I read fiction, mostly romance novels and still I’m usually at the library, my taste on books changed since I have to learn about Management, I resorted to photocopying the Executive Digest and our books so that I can read them. Here, I can say that I have enjoyed learning, although I have to resort to working while studying just to finish college. My favorite subject at that time was Psychology, here I have to write essays to pass, and thankfully I did. I don’t know but I enjoyed listening to my teachers (except when they were really boring and really harsh).
When I graduated from college and had found a job, I took up Master of Business Administration (MBA), here my classmates were my professor (the one who gave me a very low grade – the only low grade I had when I was in college), professionals and managers and they were rich. Since I don’t have a computer and I have limited budget because I’m a bread winner, I have to resort on doing some of my classmate’s assignment or the assignment of the daughter of one of my classmates so that I can borrow their computer or they would pay me (which is good since it helped augment my allowance). I have enjoyed it since I’m learning new and more advanced things but regretfully I was not able to finish it because of family problems (this is another story altogether again).
And now, here I am, after needing to do freelance work, I’ve found out that there are many work available for writers but I can’t apply to them because I have no experience, nothing to show for it and I have to learn how to do it. Not only because I have to earn but because it piqued my interest, I mean I love reading, I love words, I love talking to people about things, my experiences, ideas, dreams, I love listening to their stories so it would be natural that I would love to write. Right? Nope. It’s not natural to me, what is natural to me is to talk about things, not to write but then again, it should be easy since it involves words. Right? No again. I don’t feel confident at this, I mean, when I read books I admire these writers, they are very creative, they used words I’ve never heard of, they are very talented, they are gifted and I think I don’t have those things. I mean where did they get their ideas from? I really envy those people who are very creative, who have the talent I don’t have, like a friend who is a painter/illustrator, he creates new things, original things which I’m not sure I am able to do when it comes to writing. However, I do appreciate art, music and books. I love the classics, I love the 80’s music, I love old movies and suspense-thrillers but I also love action, drama, comedy especially romantic comedy. I love reading fiction, self-help books, management and financial books. I just hope that these loves can be used to turn me into a good writer, I didn’t have to be a great writer but well, it’s not bad if I’ll be. Now, I did this blog, my very first blog, I don’t know if anyone will read it but I hope someone will. It is long but I guess it will be a start of a long but I hope not arduous journey to writing.