Sunday, December 23, 2012

To Papa Duck

Years ago when I was in my sophomore year in high school, I first met you at the Science Annex Bldg., II-2 room. You were our English teacher. The one who always asks us to write two-stanza-poems in a one fourth sheet of paper. I remember one time you asked me if you could keep my work and publish it in the next issue of The Republic. I was kind of giddy then, ha! Cos not everyone's given the chance to have their writings published. Come the end of second year, you grouped our section in tens for our last project, a newspaper dummy, complete with articles, photos and lay-out. You pointed me as the group leader. Did you know how proud I  felt then to handle the position? But it was nerve-wracking at the same time cos I got zero experience in newspaper-making, technically-speaking. But still you believed that I can. We named our dummy newspaper, La Gazetta, and fortunately landed on the second place past some ten others. I was very happy.

Come fourth year, after years of asking me to join The Republic as a staffer (and drop being a staffer from Ang Malaya, the Filipino counterpart of The Republic in our school), I took the staffer test which composed of on-the-spot news, feature, editorial and sports writing. And I, again felt very fortunate but a bit hesitant to accept the Editor-in-Chief position. But still you believed in my potential. 

I will forever remember the days I was excused in class cos we needed to attend a press conference somewhere in Nueva Ecija or cos of the dry run for the division press con wherein I opted to join the photojourn category, or cos of our newspaper-making duties in The Republic room in the old English Bldg. I will forever remember the day you helped me practice my craft, the torch fire as my subject, and of course, the day you handed me my I.D., with a big red PRESS printed on it. It felt magical.

Sir Bong, I owe you a lot. I wouldn't know my writing potential exists and maybe I wouldn't even have this blog in the first place, if you didn't push me to write and speak my mind out. More than that, thank you for being a father-figure to me back then. You know, I'll forever be grateful to you. I hope you can access my blog up there so that you can read this. Thank you, Papa Duck and may you rest in peace.