Archive for January, 2008

My Epiphany

January 17, 2008

     In 1987, I was trying to fit in a new school in high school. My family transferred to the province. I just thought of contributing an article to the school paper, Cor Unum. My article was about my experience in the 1986 Edsa revolution.I remember it was entitled “Turning Back”. It was not about the revolt but how a teenager like me was there in a swam of multitude. My sisters and I  were  eyeing for cute guys. It was published and I was appreciated. The feeling of being accepted somehow began my start of loving to write.

     It was also that year when I wrote a letter to aspiring senator, Rene Saguisag about my admiration of him. That was a start of more than a decade of correspondence. He never fails to respond to my letters. Why he gave time to read a fan letter like me is still a mystery to me. He thought I write well so that inspired me all the more to continue writing. Since he was a big influence on me, I began to write articles on political issues. I shared my comments on the Inquirer and my write-ups were published in the Letters to the Editor. That boosted my confidence. Senator Saguisag’s  good words and college classmates were very generous of their praises.

     I recall very fondly a classmate of mine one day blocked my entering the classroom.  He then recited in front of me the memorized two long lines from the article published on the Sunday Inquirer magazine! He told me this story that on that Sunday, his dad was having a long call of nature in the bathroom while reading the sunday newspaper. He then out of the blue shouted so proudly to my classmate that he read an article made by me! His dad and him end up laughing but admired my article.

     I remember one time I wrote an article about a controversy involving the school administration and was published in the Inquirer. I posted myself as anonymous. A week later after that, our college has a rally and the school admin was there for a dialogue with the students and this was brought about what I wrote because the school officials made reference to it on their speech. The issue was resolved in favor of the students. Everybody was asking who wrote the article but I just keep mum about it. Inside, I was smiling.

     On another occasion, I wrote something about presidential aspirant Jovito Salonga and another about a friend in need. Both were published in The Inquirer and weeks later, I received letters from the readers of the newspaper. I was happy. I want to be this kind of person who touches people’s heart. Through my writings I hope I will be able to continue this because as it warms my heart, I hope I will also share that same warmth and more.

     On my early 20’s, I began to write stories and poems on love. I kept them all intact. One of my fiction stories, “Crossings in My Mind” was published in a local paper and its the first time I won an award. My other inspiration was my late dad and I wrote poems about him as well. I also try insert my dad in my fiction stories as well. My fondest memory of my dad when he was alived was that day when one of my articles was published in the letters to the editor column of the Inquirer. He bought a copy and proudly showed it off to my titas. I was not that close to my dad but if I can write thousands of articles just to repeat this scene again, I will do so but my dad is long gone and so as my passion for writing?

     Somewhere along the way, I set aside my love of writing. Priorities shifted like I was concentrating on earning a living and getting married got in the way of my love for writing. Years were counting….

    Last Christmas, I gave my two nieces autograph books and I was delighted to sign them. I was surprised and  did not realized how I enjoyed writing in a slum book! My mom and sisters began to teased me that I was taking too long answering the autograph book. They say as if I was writing a novel. But I was delighted to have the chance to impart my love thoughts for my nieces through writing it. How I am proud of them and I also imparted my words of wisdom. Their smiles upon reading it was priceless and their mom, my sister was kinder to me. She even commented that my nieces got their knack of writing as well from me!

     Two weeks later, my husband and I went to Divisoria and it was my first time in years. I was looking for supplies for my shop and we wander with weariness in different markets there like lost souls for we cannot find what we were looking for. The muddy road, scorching sun, swamp of people and foul smell did not help at all. As we thread thru aimlessly in different directions, we went inside a big, closed-roof market. This was really a big one but as soon as we were in the middle, I began to feel the thinning of air as stalls were in very close proximity of each other like sardines so to say.

     I search for the nearest exit to grasp for air and there I pointed from a far distance. I saw the outside street from inside the crowded market  like the feeling you were seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  Where it leads is still unknown though. I was happy to finally get out but still have not found what I  was looking for. In that street, I was surprised. I read it was Carmen Planas Street, Binondo. Like a light-bulb moment, I suddenly have an epiphany. I realized that this is the place where a former classmate in college lives. He was my inspiration for writing, “Crossings in My Mind”. After almost 20 years, why I suddenly thought about this makes me feel weird. Maybe it is a sign to get an update on this person? I tried to search in the internet but it was futile after how many days.

    Last week, my sister, who is also the mom of my 2 nieces drop by my shop and told me just out of the blue, “Hey, since you love to write, why don’t you have a blog?” I was dumbfounded as she tries to explain me how and I was thinking maybe she is saying this because she read what I wrote on my nieces’ slumbook? Did I make an impression on a autograph book?Funny.

     When she left, I almost totally shrugged off her idea but then again, I suddenly have another epiphany, a light-bulb moment. Was searching for my former classmate a wrong move? Was I not listening carefully to what all of these means? At one point, I was at a lost in a big market and then on the other, I smiled at this street. Was it telling me to go back to this place where I once found joy and that is… through writing? It must be not the physical person I am looking for, but the story I made about this person. The hands that made this person come alive…through writing.

     Strange circumstances though…but were nevertheless clues…the autograph books of my nieces, Divisoria market and my sister telling me to blog.

     I wish to recapture my love and passion for writing and I hope it captures me back. Welcome to my weblog, world!

Postscript: Was it a divine providence? My wireless internet in this laptop keeps on disconnecting itself since I opened it up for hours already but as soon as I began writing this very first-write up of mine in years, this wireless connection is cooperating with me! Just a thought…

Marites Tan Gerona………..January 17, 2008