Magic #19 – Writing for kiddos

I remember, when I was in Grade 2, I used to write stories. One of my friends did the same, and I wanted to compete. Sort of. But my literary pursuit was shortlived.

In high school I ventured into writing kids’ stories again — or at least, I remember writing one story and painted illustrations for it. I submitted a sample to a publisher. After some weeks, the well-known local children’s book publisher replied saying they couldn’t publish my work if I was not of their religion (non-Catholic). After telling her about my rejection, my doting tita in the States was furious and said that that publisher didn’t deserve my — in her unprejudiced opinion — good work.

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Now I feel like I want to explore doing children’s literature again. I guess it’s a way of sharing my own experience when I was still a child, for which I’m very grateful: being surrounded with colorful books filled with life. I had a picture book of animals (which introduced me to zebras and giraffes and penguins), a slew of fairy tales free in every can of Nido milk, and several second-hand hardbound collections from, again, my tita in the States. If it weren’t for those books, I wouldn’t have gained a hunger to know more and be amazed by life’s simple details.

I’m sorry it’s taking me three paragraphs to say that, really, I’m excited. Here’s to a future Palanca Award! 😛

The stories will be posted here.

Magic #11 – Dreaming to be someone’s Superman

A dramatic series of events led me to my new job. And I can honestly say I am nothing short of grateful.

To my previous standards, the choice is rather fancy. But now I realize that deep down (and I don’t want to sound madrama), it’s actually what I wanted all along; it’s something like the long-lost toy found by the cute little boy who owns it. Or at least, in this period of my life, it’s most appropriate.

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I remember Pope Francis and his appeal to help the needy. I remember Steve Jobs and his appeal to the “crazies”. I remember my former boss and her enthusiasm to help her subordinates do their best. And I remember the cynics who warned against relatively low-income organizations.

Well, this is the Magic Zone indeed!

Magic #10 – A confession

Tomorrow’s my first day in my new job. Naturally I’m quite excited, but at the same time a bit nervous. The place is almost entirely new to me. I worked in Ortigas Center for the past five years and now I’ll be spending my weekdays in Makati’s central business district, which I rarely visited.

So, to reduce the gap between expectations and reality, today I made a trip to my new workplace, noting details of the commute, the landmarks, and possible places for meals. I didn’t mind being a provinciano for a while and observed the fast pace, cleanliness, and business-y primness of the area. I thought that if I won’t try to look at the trees that adorn pockets of the district, I’d soon be lost in the city’s rat race.

Then I went to the Greenbelt Chapel and realized such a race doesn’t have to exist.

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Greenbelt Chapel. By LoriPori of virtualtourist.com

The chapel is an oasis amid the city’s din. But the serenity that emanates from the little church comes not only from the Blessed Sacrament hidden in the hi-tech altar, but also from the confessional. There people can receive the Sacrament of Penance from 7am to 8pm. How convenient is that?

It’s very consoling to know that in the middle of Makati’s frenzy is Jesus (acting in the priest) waiting for people to come to him, confess sins which surely overburden them, and be reconciled with Him in the most palpable manner, at the same time being given new strength to do good and avoid evil.

I went in and did my confession. Then I attended Mass. It was like having a spiritual all-you-can-eat buffet. It’s good to have this feast often.