This was how my third chance to be a Feature Writing resource speaker in Tagaytay City National High School’s Campus Journalism School Based Workshop went on. I was calm all the time, but I’m exploding internally…

and these are the 13 reasons why

My first visit as an invited resource speaker: Way Back Home (Plus The First Step To One Of The Careers I’m Rooting For)


The second time was around September 2016: 24 Heartwarming Responses From My Trainees



  1. The moment I reached the 3rd floor where the AVR is located, I heard gasps from the students (and I’m assuming those are the good kind of gasps). They were standing to see me and were smiling with curiosity (the memory still melts my heart).
  2. Ma’am Armin, my former coach and my mentor in a lot of things, introduced me and it was another heart melting moment. I was pretending to be scrolling through my phone, but honestly, I was preventing myself to be teary-eyed because her words make me nostalgic. It’s like my memories of being a high school student instantly come alive from a special treasure box I’m keeping sacred and they flashed in front of me like a live action film playing in a big screen.
  3. There were a lot of active students during my talk, raising their hands even though they aren’t sure of their answers. At first, they were few, but as soon as my lecture progressed, I saw more enthusiastic participants. They were so cute and nice.
  4. Part of the lecture is the one where you must give them an activity where their outputs will be critiqued. I will have to choose the Top 3 in each medium (English and Filipino) that will be awarded at the end of the whole workshop. What’s nice was when they eagerly walked towards the front when the speakers had a problem, so that they can hear the video that I prepared for them to write about. We’re lucky that the problem was fixed ASAP and so they watched the video comfortably.
  5. While we’re waiting for the speakers, they asked me for selfies and groufies. I was totally pacing back and forth inside the room as I tried to accompany them all. I don’t know. I’d like to think that they saw me as a ‘good enough’ speaker so they were that cool with me. If that’s the case, I’m happy I did my job well.
  6. And the most beautiful part I guess was when a student grabbed my hand and told me, “Miss, thank you so much po. Marami po akong natutunan talaga.” I really lapsed after that.
  7. And their outputs? I’m happy with what they delivered. Especially that one in English that stood out. Also, there were a lot of students (who wrote in Tagalog) with potentials. I’m so honored that I somewhat imparted even just a little bit of knowledge in their young minds and hearts. It’s this feeling that maybe one of those cute students will become a great and celebrated Filipino writer someday and that I passed by his/her path once.
  8. I had a courtesy call with Sir Costa, the new principal of the school. We talked about the broadcasting and journalism industries in the country nowadays. We talked about the current happenings in the school, my days in TCNHS, my budding career as a novelist. We talked about dreams and hopes and the bright future ahead for everyone. And as we departed, he said,

    “Sana one day, maimbita ka namin uli, pero bilang guest speaker na sa commencement.” 

    I hope one day, we can invite you again, but as a commencement guest speaker (to give inspiration to students).

  9. Even though I’ve just been there for a couple of hours, I saw the huge improvements in the school. It was a delight for my eyes. It was overwhelming for someone who treats that place as her training ground. It’s a place where I gained a lifetime family.
  10. I saw Sir Tobey, a special friend and a good mentor as well. He’s always fun to be with. Seeing him being happy when I told him that he lost weight will be an adored memory of mine forever.
  11. I visited all four of my former advisers and I just missed them. I literally had to snuck around a meeting just to give my regards to Ma’am Olan/Mommy Rain because they were having an orientation in the covered court.
  12. The publication office is now in a new place and I remembered how I used to slept a lot in the former pub when we used to have trainings for schools press conferences.
  13. I visited Tita Dory, a middle aged woman who lives and has a store outside the school. My high school squad has been very close to her ever since she was too kind to administer some help in a picnic that we arranged a long time ago. I remembered her giving us fishballs HAHAHAHA! That’s why we also call her ‘Ninang’ because of her kindness.



And those are the 13 reasons why my heart was pounding with joy during that day, but I managed to look peaceful on the outside because I need to be composed.

Now, what could be a good ending for this short narrative? Uhm, maybe this will work:

I will always come back. I will always give back. If I’m needed by my Alma Mater, I’ll be happy to serve. I can’t put into words how much love it has given me. How much intense the experience was studying there for four magical years (intense in a good way). My family there: Clinic family, Guidance family and Pub family…I will always treasure them.