Although I am not one of the best, writing is one of those few things which I think I can do better than the others. Although, the number of books I have read is incomparable to others, I consider myself as a person, who loves to read good books.
How I came to love reading and became a writer did not start at an early age. In fact, those two are the two things which I hated doing when I was younger. My sister, a year older than me, was the one who loved to do those. She specially loved reading (probably she was intelligent and that was what all intelligent people always does). I still could remember, how consistently my parents would tell me to replicate my sister’s attitude. An energetic child as I was, I would rather spent my time playing “step” or “luksong-tinik” with my friends than to sit and read.
As me and my sister grew older, it became my parents’ concern to hone my sister’s intelligence and reading interest. They bought her dictionaries, encyclopedias and even subscribed to Reader’s Digest. Of course, my sister became a good writer and even became the Feature Editor of our school’s student publication. She even made it to the Regional Press Conference. Eventually, she graduated and the Feature Editor position was left vacant. I was asked to take her place for obvious reason that “they” (I am referring to those persons who surrounded us) were expecting that I was as good as her. I did not accept the offer for two reasons: First, I was afraid I might not be able to meet their expectations. Second, I’d rather spent my free time playing or watching my favorite anime show. Eventually, though – thanks to Mrs. Lucita Paalan’s encouragement, my favorite teacher at that time and who happened to be the adviser of “The Princesans: PPPES Student Publication” – I decided to face the challenge. That was my debut in writing. I then joined the Division Student Press Conference Feature Writing Contest and Copy-reading contest. I won third place in feature writing and second in the latter. Accordingly, I joined the Regional Student Press Conference, where I did not bag any place. Concurrently, because of being a member of the publication, teachers came to noticed me and they made me joined several contest like spelling bees, and essay writing contest. But despite everything, I still did not want to read.
Then came my high school years. During my high school at Palawan National School, Mrs. Vergel de Dios, my first-year English Teacher chose five students from our class to join Spelling Bee and other five students to join English Quiz Bee. Luckily, I was chosen to join both. Forty students from all year level competed in the Spelling Bee. As a freshman I am lucky to make it to the top ten. On the other hand, our group in the English Quiz Bee got fourth place.
My first year at PNS was ok. However, as time passed it became apparent to me that my classmates were much better than I at almost everything, since we are the Special Science Class – the cream of the crop. I also became tired of being compared to my sister, who preformed well in academics that I dared to be different from her. I did not even audition for any writing competition and did not join the “The Princesans”, despite my classmates’ encouragement to join. I just wrote something when it was a school requirement. But the events had a positive effect, too. Because of my inferiority complex, I tried to cope with my classmates and sister through reading. I found the City Library. There I was introduced to different reading materials fro newspaper and magazines, to encyclopedias, to story books and novels. I met Zeus, Danielle Steel, Mark Twain and many more. I found “The little Prince” one of the first novels I had read, which had become one of my all-time favorite stories. I also came to love reading, as I forgot how to write. In other words, I shifted from being a writer to being reader – which is ironic since one should be a reader first before he becomes a writer. And sadly, I was not able to go back to writing. Although at some point, whenever I got to read good articles, I got inspired to write essay or even stories, but then I found it very taxing to get a paper and pen to and to start an opening sentence. Perhaps, it was because I was so astonished on how good were the authors of the articles I had read that I got intimidated to write my own articles.
It was on my second year college that I began writing again because of my Creative Writing Class. It is a requirement I need to fulfill. At first, I found it hard to write about topics our instructor, would give us. I was afraid I might not be able to express myself clearly, concisely, and even coherently. However, she helped me to get through it. She made me realized that writing is more than just doing it for a contest or for grades. And because of her, I found writing as a means of freely expressing myself in a pure and honest way without any façade or cover-ups. Thanks to my teacher who always had something good to say about my works and my classmates’ work. Thanks to reading also because it helped me to become better at writing. But I know becoming better at writing is still miles away from writing well. And I don’t have any delusions that I don’t have anything to improve on. I know to improve I have to keep on reading.