When I was in college, ako na siguro ang "nerd" sa grupo namin. Aminado naman ako. I wore specs. I always stayed in the library during class breaks. I did advance reading. And I dreaded any kind of sports. I would rather stay in the library or in a nearby restaurant just to study.
For a time, I was teased by one of my blockmates as a 'Book Anaconda' for I always bring a lot of books. Ako daw ang "Book Anaconda," bilang higanteng version ng isang book worm. Paano, lulong daw ako sa pagbabasa ng sangkaterbang libro. Little did my blockmate knew, some books were untouched, at yung iba ay halos props lang. Hindi ko pa nababasa ang mga yon. Dinadala ko lang at minsan ay kailangan ng ibalik sa library dahil overdue na. Of course, I prefer not to pay overdue fees. Pang-Jollibee ko rin yon noh.
When I was in highschool, hindi naman ako palabasa. Lalo na nung elementary. I just read what's required in class. Wala akong carebears magbasa ng novels.If I'm not mistaken, Hardy Boys and Sweet Valley High were the "in" books before among my classmates. They would even exchange some books to read on. Ako, deadma. Ang carebears ko lang noon was to read the assigned books in class, finish my assignments and relax. Ang iba tutok sa pagbabasa ng novels, ako tutok sa chocolate cupcake na binebenta ng seatmate ko.
However, if there's a genre of fiction writing that I loved reading during my free time, it's primarily mystery and horror narratives. So hindi naman pala ako carebears sa reading. Meron din pala akong napusuan.
I love readings horror and mystery stories. Gustong gusto ko na tinatayuan ako ng balahibo, mula ulo hanggang pwet. And if that happens, umaani ng award ang libro sa akin. In highschool, I became a fan of R. L. Stine. Di pa nuon uso ang mga Facebook, Twitter at kung anik-anik na social media distractions kaya nakatutok ako (pati mga classmates ko) on reading novels. Thanks to one of my classmates in highschool who lent me one book of R.L. Stine, naging hayok ako sa mga patayan, pagtataksil, at multuhan. Adik noh?
Dahil nga sa naging interested ako sa mga panulat ni R.L. Stine, it came to a point that I saved some of my allowance to buy books. Sugod ako lagi niyan sa National Bookstore and I always look for copies -old or new. At love na love kong basahin ang mga panulat ni R.L. Stine sa gabi, kung kailan mas nakakatakot ang eksena.Yung tipong naiihi na ako or natatae ako pero dahil takot ako, magpipigil ako. Sira noh?
Things changed when I went to college. Dahil kumuha ako ng kurso on Creative Writing in Filipino, I walked in to the indescribable and enchanting world of the literary genuises. At this point, tuwang tuwa ako dahil ang mga professors ko ay mga Palanca Title holders. Although it was intimidating and talagang nakakatakot, I became accustomed to the fact that I have to move with the raging waters.
Winner noon ang mga readings. From literary theories to a roster of mind-boggling narratives, wala kaming kawala.Doon na rin nagsimulang mabuo ang aking (natatagong) talento sa pagsusulat. As a creative writing major in Filipino, I stepped out of my comfort zone and found my voice. So hindi na lang puros katatakutan ang puede kong basahin, I ventured into some adventurous, experimental and hindi-ko-maisip-na-may-ganito-ko genre.
Obviously, I am a late bloomer in embracing the value of reading, sama mo na ang writing. In highschool, gaya ng sinabi ko, di ko masyado bet ang mga essay writing assignment. Paano, mas gusto ko ang mag perform. Mas suki ako noon ng declamation and singing contest. Then again, when I passed the test to become a feature writer in our school paper, I gained a fresh perspective on my hidden and current pangkabuhayan talent - writing. Nung pumasa ako, mega buy ako ng munchikins dunkin donuts to celebrate. Ako lang ang magisang umubos ng isang box. Hindi pa uso noon ang Krispy Kreme.
Now, I appreciate the impact of reading. Reading electrifies the lethargic nerves in my mind. Hindi lang ako natuto ng mga bagong salita, but I'm transported to a level of greater understanding with my being and the unspeakable realities. On my solitude, a book never fails to paint a smile on my face especially if the characters tend to tickle my imagination. And in times I just need to relax, a good book massages my fantasies. There's a character, a plot or a scenario that will always be present to nurse a discerning emotion. Sa mga oras ng pageemote, kayang kaya akong sabayan ng libro na binabasa ko.
Sa ngayon, I would never imagine my life without a book in my hand - fiction or non-fiction. If a book is my asawa then reading is like pagtatalik. Sadyang, oh-yeah! #hahaha