Happy Sunday everyone! May kwento ako sa inyo. I received this message on Facebook:
And this was what I said:
So yes, if ever I agree this would be the second time I’d judge for the Essay Writing Contest of Tagisan. Last year, I said “Yes!” right away. It really was an honor to be invited. Buuuut, when I got to know my fellow judges, nakow!!! Nanliit ang lola n’yo! Paano, they were Palanca Awardees and winners of prestigious writing contests!!! Mantakin n’yo ‘yun? These were true-blue writers—what I had wanted be when I was in elementary and in high school. So, anyare sa akin?
Enter college. I took up Development Communication and majored in Development Journalism in UP. But that was about it, and hindi ko pa sineryoso. College was just about having fun for me (and I really regretted this!) And then enter Brain Train. Since my job required me to be an eloquent speaker, naechepwera na talaga ang inner writer in me. My teaching prescriptive grammar made me all the more conscious—I found it difficult to marry creative writing and flawless grammar. That’s why it took me a long time to really start blogging: I was afraid my grammatical lapses on my blog would discredit me to teach grammar. Because really, honestly, I don’t proofread my blog posts. Once I finish, I’d just hit the “Publish” button and that’s it. And after weeks or months I’d stumble upon a blog post and I’d cringe because I’d find grammatical errors. Que horror!
Anyhoo, blogging still got me back to writing. Writing is really my first love—go ask my parents! I enjoy sharing my experiences and my thoughts on my blog. All the more when I receive “Likes” and comments (so go on, don’t be shy to comment please!) However, my blog does not really require me to be the serious writer I had wanted to be. It allows me to use clichés and write in bekimon. In fairness, I tried to be Conrado de Quiros-esque at first. But then I found it more fun to write as though I were just talking to a friend (kayo ‘yun!!!) Ergo most of the time, kabaklaan at ka-jolog-an ang laman ng blog ko.
Back to my co-judges in last year’s Tagisan. When they talk, artist na artist talaga! They talked about the poetry readings they attended, their circle of Palanca awardees, the latest non-fiction books, ganun! But let me clarify—they’re super nice! They made me feel welcome in their circle and never made me feel as though I were a bimbo. Buuut, I still felt so insecure. In fact, while waiting for the contestants’ essays, I was reading an ebook on my tablet. One of them asked me what I was reading, and I closed it right away! Pa’no, I was reading a Pretty Little Liars book!!! Homaygahd! Samantalang sila they were discussing the merits and demerits of Juan Ponce Enrile’s autobiography! They politely asked to see the library of my tablet, while saying that it was so nice that the nice thing about tablets is the easy access to the classics!!! In fairness to me, I have downloaded Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare, Grimms’ Fairytales, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, and even Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince. O ‘di ba, pangmatalino? However!!! Meron din akong Tips and Tricks to be a Total Flirt (don’t judge me—free ito sa Kobo! At curious lang ako!), lots of books from the Pretty Little Liars series and the 50 Shades series! My gas!!!
Anyway, my insecurity diminished a tad when, on my way to the van after the event, a couple of students approached me. At hindi n’yo kakayanin ang mga susunod na ikukwento kong pangyayari: in front of my Palanca awardee co-judges, they asked for my autograph!!! Fans ko raw sila, and they love this blog! I was both shy and flattered! Shy, because I was in the company of the country’s most brilliant writers! Flattered, because they asked for MY autograph despite that I was in the company of the country’s most brilliant writers! 🙂
But still, ayoko na talagang mag-judge. Hiyang-hiya pa rin ako. I wish to be a serious writer, and for a respected award-giving body to recognize the inner Hemingway in me.
Tell me what you think!
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