The following Sunday I rushed to the newspaper stand to browse over the Lifestyle section. You know that feeling when every bone in your body says something is true even if you haven’t seen it? That’s how it felt. I know there are a lot of brilliant writers out there competing for the slot, but God, I just knew. I knew it from the moment I wrote that essay, and that’s not me merely on an egotistical high. That’s intuition talking.
That dusk, I hurriedly scoured the pages and there it was, my head shot on the paper with the edited title “Becoming A Daughter” in boldface (the original title I put in was Becoming A Daughter In a Time of White Oleander), with my 1,900-word article printed on over 3/4 of an entire page. Waaaah!!!I paid for two copies and hurried my way to my husband in the car, teary-eyed like a Nora Aunor protegee.
Yes, I’ve had that article about Piolo printed in the Manila Standard Today – which I didn’t see and is not present in their online archives – but this is the first time I’ve actually seen my article on national paper. It’s an exquisite feeling; Like that moment you knew you were in love (cheeeeessssy!). To be published is a sturdy trophy for a small writer. Who would’ve known a last minute entry would serve me well?
The 2010 contest is over now and although I wasn’t shortlisted as one of eight grand winners for that year, I’m more than happy to have been part of the roster of weekly winners. I’m more than happy that companies like the Philippine Star, Globe and National Bookstore hold contests like this to encourage more Filipinos to read books. In an age of e-books and all-things-instant, it’s an exceptional virtue to take time to read books from cover to cover.
Books are a gateway to an intrinsic part of society and well-being. They nourish the mind and deepen the spirit. Whether a child is formally schooled or not, books play an integral part in building a knowledge base and consequently, laying the foundation for dreams. People who continue that legacy by encouraging us to read, in turn, pave too the road to bigger paths.
Now I wouldn’t spoil the entire entry for you (although more than half of you facebook buddies are already aware by now, with my husband posting a picture of that particular Sunday paper about four months ago), so here’s the whole article from the Philstar online portal.