Written on June 28, 2016
To start off this blog, which I’ve started because tumblr was becoming too mainstream (and I needed a venue and place to start), I’m going to tell you all (you, who even dared to venture into this site) the story of how I started writing (and it’s not a pretty tale, I tell you) and the people, who inspired me to write, or pushed me to write.
So it started with bingo.
My grandmother was crazy about bingo, always playing every Saturday, putting all her money just to win. When I asked her why she wanted to win so bad, she replied that ‘I’ll go look for your grandfather outside’. By that, she meant my deceased grandfather. I’m not sure if those were her exact words, but if it was, it’s quite sad. Maybe she didn’t want us to pity her. she was a strong woman like that, always putting her brave front, wearing her smile, but always had her guards up.
One day, I was in her room going through her things when I saw her leftover bingo ballots. I played around with them, fascinating myself with the odd object and numbers on it. And then, I was given a pen. Mommy Dako told me to write. I was four; I had no idea what she was talking about. But I went to her fancy glass table set and scribbled away, unaware of someone snapping a shot of it.
And that’s how I discovered writing.
Well, I didn’t really write then on. Nor did I ever think that writing would impact me, but it’s a memory I’ve held on since forever. It was my earliest memory, and one of my favorites. And let’s just leave it at that. The rest of the story falls on weabo/anime crazy/angst/emo days in my pre-adolescent years.
People who inspired me to write about just about anything or blog about life, regardless if it’s relevant or not:
I’ve met Stephen when I volunteered on summer 2014 for VEST, or Valuing Ecosystem System Together. I don’t know much about him, just that he’s my senior, a DevComm graduate, he works for Rappler and is with VEST. We didn’t really talk much that summer, just sort of bonded whenever we were in the same room. At the time, I was known for two things – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (I had just finished the book, but I just couldn’t get over it) and my cousin, Frankie. I’d gush, squeal and practically spazz right then and there whenever they brought it up. It was kind of funny really. A few months later, I was tasked to hand him an article about our visit. And then, we just became friends. The one thing I admire about Steph is that he’s a writer, and when he speaks, it feels like he’s taking me with him to the 1950’s. At times, it feels like you’re talking to a philosopher or a warlock. (He likes vintage literature) The fact that we’re friends remains but a mystery to me, but he’s a friend I’d rely on about writing.
So one day, he was so intrigued about why I liked Red Queen so much that he then asked me to lend him my book. I did. But it took him forever to give it back. I pardoned him for the fact that he’s busy, but I kept joking him to read it and return it to me. Over on Facebook, he then said that to compensate for due return, he’d treat me to coffee at Starbucks, and we’d catch up. February (I think), it happened. It’s funny because, I just happened to see him and remind him of my book and his promise, then he sort of kidnapped me to keep his promise. Over coffee, we talked about a lot of things, writing most especially. I consoled him on my worries that I’ll never be a good writer. His advice? Keep reading, read books outside your usual genre. His advice stuck, and I found myself purchasing some classics – Pride and Prejudice and the Picture of Dorian Gray, the former, I fell in love with, while the latter, I’m yet to finish. Stephen’s advice gave me a newfound appreciation for Jane Austen, and to rediscover literature classics.
Last summer, Stephen became my supervisor when I interned at Rappler. I will admit, I was pressured by that fact. Forever the pessimist that I am, I was worried that my articles would be horrible and that I’d disappoint him time and time again. But the man has his ways of reassuring me with his cryptic tone, sarcasm, and words of wisdom, and of course, praises each solo-article of mine gets published.
At first glance, you’d think of the guy as a hipster from the way he’s well-dressed, the glasses, his voice, the cup of coffee he’s sure to carry during class, and not to mention his online life. To me, he’s my number one customer when it comes to snacks. To our batch, he’s known as ‘mayor’ (why, I’ll never know) and one of the highly elite students (at least for me). Also, he’s known to be quite the blogger and a big one too! Being that business establishments have approached him to promote them on his blog (and wow to the freebies). And it was by that fame of his that inspired me to blog/venture into the digital world to imprint my existence. Though, I’ll never be as famous as him, the fact that he blogs about life gets me.
Funny, because the same time it happened, we had this Filipino class where the course was about writing a blog. And well, I don’t really know how it happened, but it just did. One day, I just happened on his blog and read. Days later, I found myself itching to write. And soon, I found myself blogging, writing about little things that happened in my life.
A wattpad writer I just happened upon years ago, and before I knew it, I was an avid fan. The best part? She’s a fellow Kagay-anon.
Back then, I was just looking out on what the app had offered, happened upon stories, until I happened on her one story ‘Mapapansin Kaya’. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really fond of the Filipino literature, lest one online. But here came wattpad.
What I love about her stories are the personalities you get to meet, the perspective of the character (even though majority of her characters are from wealthy families), and her ability to make her readers think outside the romance zone.
On my 18th birthday, my two friends surprised me with a video greet from her. A few months later, I got to meet her in person. She was so pretty. I felt so small next to her. She’s got a great fan base, one, I haven’t been active in a while because of academics and priorities.
Jonaxx tries on certain themes, uses her character to toy with the theme that’ll leave readers thinking about how they would react if they were on her shoes, and in the end, prove that loves conquers all. Honestly, I’m not a romantic. Ironically, I read them. Although I’ve noticed a certain pattern with her writing, and that the leading men will always have the same possessiveness over the heroine, the fact that she still continues to write amazes me.
Funny thing? I just happened on her – like Jonaxx, on fanfiction.net. I was looking for a good read when I happened upon hers. She wrote this amazing Harry Potter-fanfiction. The result of reading it? It opened my imagination and inspired me to write my own, to relive my childhood. Mine will never be as great as hers, though.
I don’t really know her name, just that she’s an archivist and is quite busy (as of writing this) with graduate school. To write fanfiction during her spare time amazes me, also the fact that she’s still writing fanfiction in her twenties. There’s no shame in that, she says. Somedays, I turn to her, asking random things – about her story, her characters, writing advice and graduate school. I love her answers, mostly because they’ve been really helpful on my part and encouraged me to do more. And she left me with this quote when I told her of how much she inspired me to write.
“Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
– Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
To those reading this (and I still don’t know how you managed to read all through that or even thought of wasting precious seconds of your life), thank you. It means a lot. And to you, who I’ve mentioned here, you have my deepest gratitude.
From here on out, I won’t promise much. But I can only guarantee the truth and nothing but the truth spoken through my point of view (read: biased) and motor mouth (that has quite a colorful vocabulary).