Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Story of an IGOROT Lady

I have always dreamed of becoming a writer when I was a young girl.  Believe me, I was an Igorot but my dream was not to write in my own language but to write in English.

I have always been so curious about a lot of things. I started coining stories in my mind when I was only 8. I could still remember how I loved to sit by our window and watched the rain as they fell in torrents and the water rushed to the open canals. There I would create stories in my young mind, just like how my father and my sister told us stories.

I was surrounded by interesting people who were storytellers. My father was a brilliant storyteller who told us the story of "Alibaba and the Forty Thieves", countless times. He was very good at relating past events; especially during the Second World War when he was a runner. I loved how my father spoiled us with stories of all kinds. He taught us how to appreciate books too and read them. We never got tired of reading the same old books (donations from the UK). In fact, I almost memorized every page of the book. My eldest sister was a great storyteller too. I always thought she was brilliant in that she always managed to invent stories for us. My sister was only in high school at that time, yet she taught us a lot of things and created stories that we thought were stories she read from books. We later found out that she only created them in her young mind.

There was also this old woman who used to drop by our house. She was not a relative, but my family always welcomed visitors from other communities. This old woman would tell us endless stories. We would be asleep by then but she didn't know, and she kept on telling the story until early morning when she finally finished the story and perhaps only one adult was able to finish listening to it while all of us were already dreaming. I couldn't imagine how she was able to relate to such long, long stories. She was illiterate, and she was also very old. It was amazing.
In the school compound where I attended high school. (2010)

When I was in high school, I learned to read cowboy stories. My elder brother loves these Western stories and I often read the books myself. I learned to love Western Cowboy pocket books early in life. There was even a time when I thought it was so easy to write a novel. But when I tried, I gave up on the second page. I realized that at age 15, I still needed a lot to learn before I could write a book.

I became so inspired when I was in college when a professor of mine recognized my talent in English. I was taking up education that time and he gave me grades that made me dilate my eyes. He said that I deserved the grades. I was really amazed. He told me that once I finish my college education, I should go back to my place and serve my people. He even told me to write about my people. I belong to a minority group of people in the Philippines called Igorots. I had experienced discrimination since I stepped into college. Until now, I am still discriminated against in my own country.

The inspiration from my instructor became only a dream. I landed a job as a preschool teacher in the city and forgot about writing. Perhaps writing was not for me. But then something new sprouted when I worked in Hong Kong for more than three years.
In HongKong (1994)

I was in a foreign land with strangers around me and it was not at all a pleasant experience. I had a two and a half-year-old son who was left with my siblings and I always missed him. At night I couldn't sleep and in the morning my employer would be asking me if I slept well. She knew from my puffed eyes that I didn't. My employer was so nice and kind and this is not an exaggeration.

I started writing short stories while in Hong Kong. I went home after three and a half years and continued writing for our local magazines,; I was able to send more than twenty short stories that were published in different magazines.

I discovered online writing in 2008 when my sister bought us a computer. I never thought that I would become an online writer. I learned to write online in a hard way. My knowledge of the computer was as minute as the drop in the rain and I didn't even know how to open the computer. My son taught me how to do it right without getting into trouble. When I finally learned a few things about Microsoft Word, I subscribed to an internet connection. I didn't know anything about computers, especially the website, but I was curious about what people were talking about.

My internet connection was activated, and soon I was on the computer working like a pro. I felt so excited. I started surfing the website that I didn't have any knowledge about.

Bingo! I came to a site where I was able to read about how to earn money writing online. I forgot about the site. But my first writing site was Triond, then Helium; until finally, I was writing like crazy and soon earning real money that I never thought I could earn. Although I'm sure it is not real money to others; it was real money to me.

It was fun; so much fun and I almost sat in front of the computer the whole day. This was it, I said but then I slowly dwindled in my writing activities and my earnings dwindled too. I finally learned that in order to earn more money online, one has to work really hard.

Making money online is hard work. But I always find time to write and have fun with words.

Your dreams won't be impossible to achieve.

Patience, patience, patience... dedication plus your love for what you are doing. THESE are the main ingredients in order to achieve your dreams of making money online.


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