“THE MASKED ANGELS”

NOTE: This was written as a photo-essay about children in the cancer ward for The Big C magazine (January-March 2006, Children’s Hour section)

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Here where many wage wars, little heroes fight their own battles armed with a dash of hope and sprinkles of innocence, coated with a touch of loved ones’ tender loving care. Every smile has a story.

Imagination takes flight and little Masked Angels make where sweet dreams lie, to bask under the morning sun or traipse on a moonlit night calling out to friends hidden behind trees or under makeshift carton houses. “Pung! Huli ka!” they cry out racing towards the base to be saved.

They run and laugh and play. Sometimes they tumble. But heroes are made of sturdy stuff. After every fall they take a stand against unseen enemies in defiance. Sometimes, imagination flies back to the classroom—there’s the little girl he loves to tease; there’s the little boy who gives her candies; there’s the art section with the flowers, cars and matchstick men all drawn from their little happy hearts.

“Riiinngg!” shrills the school bell as they race towards the sweet promise of school recess. Life’s lessons seem much simpler in the confines of the classroom. Yet Masked Angels leave its four corners to learn more, much more, about living. Still, even heroes need their heroes. In moments of weakness, they come back home where wonderful kisses and warm hugs await to soothe their tired, frail frames. Surrounded by love, they are comforted by the thought that all is well in their perfect world.

But a perfect world does not exist and the world needs its heroes to dwell where courage is needed. Here where they are most vulnerable, the Masked Angels bravely fight their own battles surrounded by cold machines, going through rituals that test their strength and endurance, wearing masks to shield them from the onslaught of hidden fiends.

From the iStockphoto collection of http://www.thinkstockphotos.com

Questions are but full of the why’s: Why can’t I go home? Why can’t I go back to school? Why does Mommy cry when she thinks I’m not looking?

Like mere humans, they cry in pain and suffering, like Superman meeting his kryptonite. In all this, the Masked Angels emerge victorious, finding time to smile and laugh and be happy like it’s the most natural thing in the world. For in their heart of hearts, they know that life is all about holding on and fighting the good fight.

What you learn from a smile of a child – a story of hope, love, courage, and living.

Copyright © 2006, 2011 J.Gi Federizo

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“OBSESSION”

Photo Copyright ©  J.Gi Federizo

HE watches her from afar, feeding his hunger for her with his eyes. Ah, but the night is long. Hallow’s Eve has always been long for Daniel Marco.

Tonight at the Ball, he sits at a lonely table, unmindful of all the meaningful glances thrown his way by coquettish vixens. He drinks all the merriment in as he sips a glass of blood-red wine, which is all but fitting. He has come here as Count Dracula, that vile man condemned and accused centuries ago. Some say Vlad Tepes never really drank anyone’s blood, that the manner in which he killed was by impaling his innocent victims. Yet, history has not completely proven it true or otherwise. Always, there are only speculations, speculations and nothing else.

However, it is the least in Daniel’s thoughts. Tonight, his thoughts and his eyes are on her, and her alone. She has, once again, come as a dark angel. Indeed, the mere sight of her intoxicates him. A fiery angel in red, casting her spell on almost all the men in the room. Always, they swarm at her like bees hungry for a taste of her precious nectar, the way they swarm around her this evening. He has watched her for several years now. Though he has not had the chance to see her every time, he has seen her often enough to learn her name, recognize her laughing yet innocent voice, memorize her movements. At times, even as he holds gracious ladies in his arms, his eyes wander across the room and find her.

He has never seen her leave with other men. He makes sure he does not, afraid of such notion. Daniel leaves early, pulling his women away from the crowd, into the streets, and in his waiting bed. But always, it is her face he sees. It is her scent he imagines, for he has also memorized it on the few occasions he is able to be near her enough. If he has satisfied his women, it is because of her.

From the moment Daniel set eyes on Helena, she took his breath away. She had worn the same costume that she wears tonight. She, in fact, has worn it on every Hallow’s Eve that he has had the chance to be acquainted with her mere presence. Adorned by a pair of feathered wings, the red leather costume never fails to wreak havoc on men’s senses, not excluding Daniel’s. The smoldering look on her eyes, her full lips, the sweet contours hidden under leather make Daniel ache with a primal need that no woman has ever summoned. Perhaps, it is the feelings she invokes in him that has kept him away from her all these years.

But Daniel has now made up his mind. No more waiting. He will not wait any longer, not when she returns his gaze with a seemingly equal longing. Tonight, he will finally speak to her, hold her, feel her and, yes, have all of her. Helena will come with him. Daniel always gets his women. This one, though, is going to be special.

“Hey, handsome,” a woman in a revealing gothic attire sits beside him, linking an arm with his as her hand dangerously travels on his thighs. “Care to give a lift?”

Daniel knows she expects much more than a lift. Any other day, he surely would accept such a wanton invitation. His attractive countenance always makes it easy for him. He can simply sit alone like this and still, they come. But not tonight. He hardly pays the woman attention. “Forgive me, m’lady, but the night is still young and I am not yet prepared to leave.”

The woman laughs. “Ooh. In character, eh? You talk funny. I like that…Hmn…Are you sure you don’t want to accompany li’l ol’ lady me? You know, they say that every year, the Hallow’s Eve Mangler claims a life. Perhaps,…I need a gorgeous man like you to keep me safe?”

Again, Helena glances his way and returns his gaze. “And what makes you think you will be safe with me?” he replies meaningfully as he takes a last sip of wine and stands up, leaving the woman alone, confused, rejected, but safe.

SHE watches him walk towards her, holding her gaze. Could it be?

For years, he has fascinated her. She has watched him watch her, anticipating the moment that he will finally come to her. Yet he never does. Always, he leaves cradling other women in his arms, and disappearing into the night, only to return the next year. Though she has not had the chance to see him every time, she has seen him often enough to learn his name, recognize his worldly and sophisticated voice, memorize his movements. At times, even as she is surrounded by other worldly and sophisticated men, her eyes wander across the room and find him.

Very often, she finds him looking at her. The mutual attraction is there. Yet somehow, the invisible line has never been broken by any of them. How she wishes it is her he takes into his strong arms! Daniel, with his inexplicable confidence, exuding appeal, and lingering eyes makes Helena ache with a primal need that no man has ever summoned. Perhaps, it is the feelings he invokes in her that has kept her away from him all these years.

She needs to find what it is about the man that seems to be such a mystery. Perhaps it is true when people advise you to be careful what to wish for. But it is also true that if she does not find the answer to this puzzle, she might never ever find it. Oh, but the night is long. Hallow’s Eve has always been long for Helena. And tonight, it seems that her wish is about to come true.

She watches him walk slowly but with purpose. From the first time she laid eyes on him seven years ago, he has always walked like this, confident and with silent fire in his eyes. Still, something in his eyes tells of sadness and longing. At times, she has also seen lust in them. Helena is not naive of such things and does not pretend to be so.

“Excuse me, gentlemen,” she says, leaving her admirers disappointed, their stories of wealth, power, and adventures cut short by her.

“Uh, I’ll give you a call, okay?” one of the men calls out but already, her mind is too far away from them to care. Her thoughts and her eyes are on him, and him alone.

Helena meets Daniel half-way, trying not to show too much eagerness in her steps. They stop and silently regard each other as dancers move gracefully around them. Daniel then bows and offers his hand. “May I have the pleasure of having this dance with you, m’lady?” he asks. Helena secretly smiles at the way he has addressed her.

“Certainly, m’lord,” she answers as she takes his hand, earning an amused smile from him. The mere touch of his hand sends a current through her. Her body trembles as he pulls her close against him. Perhaps, he has not noticed.

“Are you feeling cold?” he asks, holding her closer still that Helena only wants to be crushed against him. His scent intoxicates her senses as she struggles to keep sane. She does not know how much longer she can take it. “If I may ask, what is the story behind this wonderful attire?”

Helena looks down nervously and does not answer. True, she has worn the same outfit but only because of him. Seven years ago, it was this thing he saw her wear. The next years, she made sure he’d recognize her every time.

Helena looks up at Daniel and meets his eyes. “Daniel, take me with you…”

Daniel studies her face and smiles a little. “It may not be safe, m’lady.”

She smiles back. “For whom?”

HE watches her lying naked in his bed, sleeping like an angel.

It is past midnight and he has been sitting from a distance for an hour, admiring the beauty that has made him gloriously alive tonight. And he has not been alive as far as he can remember, never felt so, until seven years ago, from the night he first saw her. Since then, once in every year, he feels his heart beat, for her. He is quick to rule out lust. What he feels for her is more than lust. Perhaps, it is what they call love. Or perhaps, he is simply…obsessed.

Obsessed? At the thought of it, Daniel feels a sudden jolt. Obsession? Wasn’t that exactly what he had been called years ago? By that woman in the dark house several blocks from home? She had liked his Dracula costume and gave him many treats. The lone woman had called him in for more. She was sad, she said. She was alone, she said, and would he stay for a little while? But when she closed the door shut, it would be weeks before he ever saw it open again as the sound of sirens, banging, and gunshots filled the air together with the stench of blood, his and hers…

Helena stirs and opens her eyes, smiling. “Hey…What are you doing?” she asks half-asleep. He smiles back until she dozes off to sleep again. Daniel’s smile turns into a small frown. What has this girl done?

Before she invaded his world, he had been brutal, a savage, taking his women almost blindly and violently with no remorse. And when they were most vulnerable, at the precise moment their obsessions were already beyond control, it was then that he would strike, a stake right through their hearts! Before they knew it, he would have already smothered them until they breathed no more.

Daniel sneers. Oh, they were so blind with so much lust to ever care. They could not see the danger, never thought of looking under the pillows. All they saw was him, Daniel. Yes, those wenches deserved it. Lonely wenches that they were, no one ever really looked for them for long. And why should anyone? They were all like her, that cruel, cruel woman! They all had to die!

But…not her…Certainly not his Helena?

Daniel thinks in agony. For six years, he had been gentle and satisfied the women because of her. But always, no one ever lived to tell the tale. Tonight, this girl made him far more gentle and passionate than he ever thought he could be, far more caring, far more…alive.

No! She must die! Helena must die! It is too late to feel. He does not want to feel! He does not want to be obsessed with her. No, he will not allow it. He will not be like that horrible woman!

Daniel stands up and gets a pair of handcuffs from the drawer. This is what he should have done all along. He will kill her, drain her blood, and drink it! And then, he will slice her into pieces, bits by bits by bits, burn her, and scatter her ashes everywhere to be one with the air. The way the Hallow’s Eve Mangler does it. As always.

Helena stirs a little as Daniel handcuffs her hand to the bed. This is it. He must do it, he must! Daniel feels the chills all over his naked body. It is not the cold seeping through him, but the sadness, the pain, and the guilt brought on by all the years. He goes to the bed and gently pins the girl down, grasping her free arm in place as he aims the stake at her heart. Daniel takes a deep breath only to lose it in a sudden surge of emotions. He must say goodbye. He must. And he kisses her.

Either the kiss or his weight on her awakens Helena. She smiles until she sees the unexpected tears welling down Daniel’s face. “Daniel, what is it? What is the matter?”

“I-I have to…” he says, his hands shaking.

“You have to what?” Helena asks, confused. It is then that she notices the stake aimed at her. She turns pale and nervous. “D-Daniel?”

“I’m sorry, Helena…Goodbye…” Still, he hesitates. This is Helena, she is his. Should he destroy the only person he has somehow felt a connection to? And what if it is love?

But it is Helena’s response that surprises him. “H-how did you know?” she asks, her voice trembling. “Who told you?”

“What do you mean how did I…” Daniel freezes and looks at her. Something is happening. What is happening to Helena? She is changing right before his eyes…! “Helena, w-what…Your teeth…You’re a — !”

Then suddenly, everything dawns on him. Why had he not known? Had he known, perhaps, he would not have brought her here. Or would he?…Helena, his Helena, is a vampire!

He does not know when it is exactly that Helena breaks lose from the handcuffs. He only knows the feel of the mattress on his back as she pushes and overpowers him easily, the sharp pain of her fangs and the warm blood as it trickles down his neck. Of course, it is true! It is now that the legend of Vlad Tepes will be proven true and it is he, Daniel Marco, who will finally welcome it…Daniel does not scream and Helena stops to look at him. He looks back straight at her red and crying angel eyes, the last things he will ever see as Helena takes away his final, last breath.

SHE watches him lying naked and lifeless on his bed.

She has been sitting there and crying from a distance for an hour, staring at the mystery she has never really uncovered. In death, he is smiling, still with that inexplicable confidence, smiling even as she drove the stake into his own heart. Perhaps, she had given him one thing he had wanted all along — death. Ironic for no one has ever made her gloriously alive, and she has not been alive as far as she can still remember, never felt so, until seven years ago, from the night she first saw him. Since then, once in every year, she had felt her heart beat, for him. Who would have known that she still would have a heart?red-angel-marisol

What was it about him that attracted her so? Perhaps it was because he was an enigma, a mystery that waited to be solved. But now, she will not be able to know the story behind the mystery. How he even found out about her is also a mystery that will never be answered.

Right now, she feels something that she had not expected. Pain. How could she make herself believe she could finally love and be loved?…But no, it was not love. Daniel was an obsession that simply had to end. “Be careful what you wish for,” they said. But she never did get it.

Wiping the tears away, Helena stands up to put her clothes on. She has to leave before sunrise and go back to her own sanctuary. She is tired and terribly sleepy now. She is also hungry but no, she does not need his blood. She did not drink it at all. Somehow, she feels she wants to leave Daniel with a little more dignity. Oh, Daniel, now I will never really know you…

If only Helena knows that the mystery, indeed, has been solved. No more Hallow’s Eve Mangler…Goodbye, Daniel Marco.

Story Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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Did you like this story? Feel free to express it by pressing the LIKE button.  Or do you have a constructive comment to share? Feel free to let me know! Write down your thoughts on the comment box below or email me at j.gi.federizo@gmail.com …Thanks!!! :D

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Feedback from Deborah Owens of Creative Writing Institute, Inc.:

Feedback from Deborah Owen

Feedback from Deborah Owen of Creative Writing Institute Inc., shared through her Facebook account. She posted a comment here before but is not sure where it went

“BUNTONG HININGA”


“Inay, ano’ng oras ka babalik?” ang tanong ng iyong bunso. Ang sabi mo, “Ewan ko. Matulog ka na,” sabay senyas sa panganay na anak na patulugin na ang bunso. Sa di-kalayuan, tatlo pang mga anak ang subsob sa pag-aaral.

Palagi na lamang ganoon. Itatanong nila ang oras ng iyong pag-uwi, sasagutin mo naman sila ng “ewan.” At sila’y tatahimik na. Alam na nila kung bakit. Bumuntong-hininga ka.

Oras na. Nakapaligo ka na. Pagpipinta naman ng mukha ang iyong aasikasuhin kaya naupo ka sa harap ng salamin. Inuna mo ang eye shadow. Lagay. Lagay. Lagay. At… Aba, napuna mo, nasaan na kaya ang maniningning mong mga mata? Ngayon, ang mga matang nakatitig sa iyo ay tila hindi na sa `yo. Mapapanglaw ang mga ito, pilit na itinatago ang lungkot na naroroon.

Buntong-hininga…

Ito ay nagmula sa Internet at hindi ko inaaring akin

Ano ka ba, Nena? Gumalaw ka na nga! Baka ma-leyt ka sa trabaho! At itinuloy mo ang paglalagay ng eye shadow. Pero napansin mo ang iyong noo. Aba, saan nanggaling ang mga guhit sa noo mo? Napatawa ka. Itinatanong pa ba `yon? Sa trabahong ito, bata ka pa, malolosyang ka na. Pero wala ka nang magagawa. Kailangan mong kumayod para sa mga anak mo upang kayo ay may matuka. Kailangang makapag-aral ang mga bata upang hindi lumaking api-apihan ng lipunan. Di tulad mo.

Buntong-hininga…

Tapos ka na sa eye shadow. Inumpisahan mo naman ang mascara. Tumama ang dulo sa iyong mata. Aray! P_____ ina! At may naalala ka. `Yun din ang madalas mong maibulalas sa tuwing sasaktan ka niya, ng walang kuwenta mong asawa. May pitong araw sa isang linggo pero para bang nagiging walo. Walang araw na hindi ka nalamog at nagkaroon ng pasa sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng katawan. H’wag, maawa ka na sana, ang pakiusap mo. Nguni’t tila wala siyang narinig…Hindi na ngayon.

Nasa’n na kaya’ng gagong `yon? Tumawa ka na naman. Isang matunog na tawa. Ano’ng pakialam ko? Natakot na siguro ang gago kasi nang minsang hindi ka nakatiis, lumaban ka. Nadampot mo ang mainit na plantsa at…siguradong ibang-iba na ang mukha niya. Inisip mo kung makikilala mo pa kaya siya sakaling magkatagpo kayong muli ng landas. Pasensyahan na lang kami. Naghihirap siya ngayon, naghihirap din kami. Ano pa nga ba ang dahilan at naririto ako sa putik?

Buntong-hininga…

Tapos na ang kaartehan sa mata. Sinimulan mo namang pinturahan ang humpak mong mga pisngi. Lagay, lagay na naman hanggang sa pumula. `Sus! Daig ko pa’ng kamatis! Buti pa nga ang kamatis, mas mukhang sariwa…Ay, oo nga pala, pareho lang kami. Sariwa ngayon, lamog na bukas. Tumawa ka na naman sa sarili mong biro na sa katotohana’y hindi nakakatawa. Kung kasama mo siguro sa trabaho ang iyong biruin nang ganoon, matawa rin kaya sila?

Buntong-hininga…

Ito ay nagmula sa Internet at hindi ko inaaring akin

Mapula na ang iyong mga pisngi. Sa labi naman. Lagyan ng pula ring lipistik. Kinapalan mo. Kinapalan mo pa. Ha, ha, para ka palang klawn sa perya, Nena, sabi mo sa salamin. Kulang na lang ay umabot hanggang pisngi ang lipistik. Pero bago ka napatawang muli, may sumagi sa isip mo. Naalala mo ang isang lalaking naging kostumer mo. Higit pa.  Naging magkaibigan kayo. Hanggang minsan, nasabi n’ya, “Mahal kita. Gusto kitang pakasalan. Handa ako, kahit na saang simbahan.” Sinabi mong pag-iisipan mo muna. Ang totoo, nagsimula ka nang mangarap ng pagharap sa dambana kasama n’ya, noon pa mang bago ka niya inalok.

Nguni’t pagsapit ng araw na inyong itinakda, ano’ng isinagot mo? “Hindi ako maaaring pakasal sa `yo. Umalis ka na. Hindi ka putik na tulad ko. Wala akong lugar sa mundo mo. At lalong wala kang lugar sa mundo ko.” Katwiran mo, ang pangarap ay pangarap lamang. At tulad ng payasong may ngiti, ngumiti ka rin. At tulad ng mukha sa likod ng maskara, pinilit mo ring magtago. Umiyak ang puso ng payasong ikaw.

Buntong-hininga…

Tinanggal mo na ang tuwalya sa ulo at umagos pababa ang mahaba mong buhok. Dati, maganda ito, katangi-tanging tingnan. Maganda pa rin ito subali’t hindi na tulad noon. Iba’t ibang kamay na ang sumuyod dito. Mga kamay ng kung sinu-sinong tao, kakilala mo man o hindi. Kung maaari lang ay kalbuhin mo na ang sarili. Muli, umalingawngaw ang malakas pong paghalakhak.

“Bakit, Inay?” tanong ng bunso mo nang magising sa iyong tinig. “Wala, matulog ka na.” Bakit ko nga ba tinatawanan ang sarili ko? Sinagot mo rin ang sarili mong tanong. Siguro, hindi nga nakakatawa ang trabahong `to. Pero sa buhay kong ito, mamatay ka nang tumatawa kaysa sa magutom.

Buntong-hininga…

At saka mo naalala, gabi na nga pala. Leyt ka na. Masasabon ka na naman sa klab. Kaya mabilis mong sinuklay ang iyong buhok at isinuot ang malaswang damit, pati na rin iba pang kulurete sa katawan. Oras na para harapin ang trabaho. Sasayaw ka na naman sa entablado, sa ilalim ng makukulay na ilaw, sa mahaharot na tugtugin. Iteteybol ka na naman ng kung sinu-sino. At…Hindi bale. May pansit naman kaming meryenda pag-uwi ko mamaya.

Sa pagmamadali, hindi mo na nagawang bumuntong-hininga.

Natagpuan ko ito sa artisticallylinked.ning.com

Ang “Buntong-Hininga” ay isa sa mga una kong kathang maikling kuwento. Ito ay unang nalathala sa UPLB Perspective noong Pebrero 1995.

Karapatang-Ari sa Kuwento © Pebrero 1995, 2011 ni J.Gi Federizo

 

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Nagustuhan mo ba ang kuwentong ito? Maaari lamang na paki-LIKE kung gano’n. O maaaring may mabuti kang maibabahagi ukol dito? ‘Wag mag-atubiling iparating sa akin! Isulat ang iyong nasasaisip sa nakalaang kahon sa may ibaba o di kaya’y sulatan ako sa j.gi.federizo@gmail.com …Maraming salamat!!! :D


“REBORN”

REBORN

Darkness has bitten.

And it is thus that I rejoice
the coming of the Dead of Night,
unabashedly waiting, pausing
with quiet but eager anticipation.

Ah! I wield the sword with one hand
as I sense the mingled shadows
lurking around me, whispering,
creeping nearer, closer, slowly taking form.

One by one by one, they come in revelation.

I pause, and I breathe the air in;
I strike, and I joyfully shiver.

A calming warmth envelops me,
coursing through me and claiming me.
I smile in response, savoring
my surrender, striking with my kindred sword.

Darkness has bitten, and I am now reborn, again.


From SellingBooks.com

                    

Copyright © January 2002 J.Gi Federizo 

***Featured in The Sunday Times (August 4, 2002), The Makata (April 2003), The Muse Apprentice Guild (July 2004)

My Evolution as a Writer

NOTE: I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been curious about how writers started. Well, here is my story, if you’re interested. I thought I’d start with this post (well, technically, this is the second post…) as it’s a good introductory of myself as a writer.

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female-writer-typing


I have always loved stories, that is the clear and honest truth. It is the reason why I began to write. It is the reason why even in my own dreams, I make up stories and watch how they unfold. Perhaps, more than a writer, I am actually a pen-toting storyteller. But it wasn’t always like that. When I was small, I used to have this ritual. At night, I would lie in bed and imagine stories in my head, stories of adventure and drama—oh, I was such a masochist, making myself cry and loving it!—until I fell asleep. Which is probably why they made it  in  my dreams. I don’t daydream anymore, but I can’t say I don’t dream of movies still. And in colors!

I started with writing, though, by writing literally. In school, we had handwriting exercises and we tried to write legibly, neatly and nicely. My penmanship still leaves much to be desired, but no matter. I know I enjoyed writing, enjoyed the letters perhaps because they presented to me a whole lot of possibilities. I felt liberated for some reason. That was during second grade. The next year, I wrote my first story.

See below for individual credits

Well, technically first. It was about a horror story writer who was no good in his so-called craft and couldn’t get published until he unwittingly sold his soul to the devil. Things then went really well, except the devil made him pay for his part of the bargain in the end.

Would’ve been quite an interesting piece from such a novice writer if only it was not a story I read from one of the Tagalog (a Filipino dialect) comic books that were already near extinction back then. My version ironically made my parents (and me) laugh. So much for horror.

I really enjoyed writing exercises in grade school especially when we had to summarize stories that we were made to read. I may have misconstrued summary as re-telling, though. But I did write my first stories within the next years.

I was still quite “un-well-versed” and not sure how to go about creative writing properly, so my early works were in script form written on extra notebook sheets. That was probably because I was too impatient and wanted to do it fast, and I loved reading the short plays found in our textbooks. I also loved to watch TV that my first stuff starred characters from a well-known sentai (Japanese live action shows for kids) and those from a local action-comedy movie intended for teens and pre-teens. My own plots, but the characters not my own. There is a term for that now: fan fiction.

Seems like I have always been partial to adventure, be it action or fantasy. My road to the world of adventures got temporarily sidetracked, however, when I entered high school. You know high school, it exposes you to crushes and drama. Soon enough, I was writing romantic dialogues, words that I thought I fully understood. No more fan fiction. However, my plots were shallow, trying-hard-to-be-mature, and unoriginal, culled unintentionally from TV and movies. I did find a technique, which was to “have” actors “act” in my stories as I imagined them.

Despite that foray into pretentious writing (by “pretentious,” I am referring to my own writing, not others’), fiction still as they were, high school actually brought me to newer heights. I started my first non-fan fiction (supposedly) action-adventure, a detective story called Ticay where a young girl was a secret agent. My father happened to see that one though I wasn’t sure how much he got to read. He mentioned it to me because I think he saw what little of the draft I wrote when I decided to throw it away. After the horror-thingy, I had not let my family read my stuff.

Meanwhile, I wrote my first poems then, which made me think deeper about things and study myself more. I was uncomfortable about writing poetry before simply because I thought poetry was only for smart people. I realized that it was more for people to understand themselves and the world. Around this time, I began composing and experimenting with songs as well, themes ranging from friendship, social relevance and, what else? Love, or the lack of it. Still, storytelling was/is my first love and it was swell getting some kind of recognition as a writer. I was soon given tasks to write scripts for group and class presentations, something that started when a friend volunteered for me when our Literature teacher asked, “Okay, who will write the scripts?” The wheels started turning.

sweet-dreams-ps-iloveyou

High school was really the highlight of my writing “career” and I somehow had Bantam Books’ Sweet Dreams (S.D.) to thank for. Even back in gradeschool, and I knew this because of my big sister, S.D. was the romance book of choice for teens (that’s the first-ever of the series at left, published way earlier), and the same was still true when I got to that stage. I began to dream of being a novelist and S.D. fanned this desire in me because aside from I loved to write, I realized one thing: the endings were mostly so predictable, in fact, you could guess from what were written at the back alone. I thought, hey, if they could do it, so could I!

I would write my own S.D.-like stories and hopefully submit to them. So I did write (though not submit mainly because I had no idea how). I believed in the idea so much that I created my own series called Roseville Books and it even had its own simple logo. In a span of a little more than a year, I wrote seven—I repeat, SEVEN—novelettes! Wow…I had never been so inspired, so prolific in my entire life, ever! It was a feat that I unfortunately have not been able to duplicate. I laugh now when I re-read them, but that stage was still good training ground for me, judging from how my characters and plots grew with more depth and maturity.

Too bad I became busy with school that my eighth Roseville book, as well as some other stories that were mostly SciFi (my friend Raine and I were obsessing over Star Trek then)  were left unfinished. College life then started and everything seemed to be in boring, uninspiring slow motion. I was able to write a few songs and poems, but not short stories, nor the eighth Roseville Book, nor the unfinished novel called King Arthur’s Daughter. All I had were all drafts that kept accumulating and lists of fictitious names.

uplb-perspective

When I joined the school paper, it was only then did I get to concentrate again on short stories/vignettes. Campus journalism was a whole new ball game and I had to dabble in-between creative and journalistic writing. It seemed that writing became an evolution for me. My Development Communication degree taught me to write for various media, including for radio. I found that though there are obvious differences in the technical aspects, there are not much differences when you write for film, radio, and other stuff. Only a few adjustments and change or additional terminologies to consider.

These knowledge gained were particularly of use to me when I worked for a tertiary school as scriptwriter-producer of (mostly) their institutional videos. I also had the privilege to join a writing-for-film workshop under the great Armando “Bing” Lao. Who would have thought that story-writing could be scientific as well? Honing my chosen craft and wishing to learn further, I joined several writing groups and blogs online. Meanwhile, while these were going on, my dream of becoming a published writer was not diminished. This dream was realized when I joined The Big C magazine team where I became the editorial assistant and staff writer. I not only wrote, edited and proofread, but got to learn more about cancer that I could ever imagine.

Still, the “novel idea” is yet to see fruition, an idea I’ve had before I finished school. It is said that we should write what we know. And so I try to find more information as much I can to make it work. I did use to stress over it, but now, I try to take it in stride. Stress does not solve anything and if I die without ever publishing any book, so be it. Meanwhile, I try to finish a whole lot more in my collection of unfinished “business.”

bigc-magazine

Copyright © The Core Group Publishing, Inc. Unfortunately, I heard they folded up so the dotcom of the magazine is no more. The Tripod account was the first and reeeaally old one that was there even before I joined the publication

Currently, I write content for the web. For those unfamiliar with the actual meaning of “web content  writer,” the job mainly entails writing articles and what information you read from businesses’ websites and blogs. For instance, if you were new to WordPress and would like to know what it’s all about and how you should go about things, you go to WordPress.com and the information they provide have been written by their web content writers, not any random writer or blogger who simply wants to write about WordPress.

I still love fantasy, suspense and adventure, with my interests lying on psychology, psychiatry, parapsychology, psychoses, the paranormal, forensic science and other things that boggle the mind. I will never stop writing. Take a hiatus every now and then, perhaps, but never really leave it.

Fiction, essays, poems, songs—they all have their stories. It is just a matter of knowing how and what to write.

Comic book images in collage credited to/found in:

Komiklopedia (for Tagalog Klasiks)

ComicBookMovie.com (for Pilipino Komiks)

Video48 (for the ff.: Hiwaga Komiks, Espesyal Komiks, Extra Komiks)

en.wikipilipinas.org (for Universal Komiks-Magazine and Halakhak Komiks)

 

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So that’s how this writer evolved. How about you? What is your writer’s story? Let us know. Let’s exchange stories 🙂