Who are you and how the hell did you manage to publish two books?

I know, I know. I’m an unprivileged nobody born in an unknown city in the Philippines. I have a job that has nothing to do with my bachelor’s degree. I have a bachelor’s degree that has nothing to do with the genre of my book. But I have a book that has a lot to do with who I am and what I love.

I think the fascination goes back to when I was still a small human. I mean, I enjoy reading books now, but I loooove reading books back then.

I was in kindergarten when I had my first, huge, hardbound, full-color children’s book written in English. It’s one of those pricey books which was sold door-to-door. My parents couldn’t afford it, so I begged and destroyed a challenge to get my dad’s uncle to buy it for me. The challenge was to read one full story aloud fluently. I was 5.

Then thanks to my mom’s high school cousins, I was introduced to Sweet Valley High, Archie and Friends, Betty and Veronica, the letters C and D encyclopedias as they contain all the cat and dog breeds complete with cute photos.

I guess I simply enjoy reading. And have a reciprocated love affair with the English language.

Fast forward to puberty, I started writing and have fallen deeply in love with it as well.

Fast forward to 2015, I started a WP blog, and posted all sorts of poems, prose and quotes, almost on a daily. After over a year and a half, I had numerous nights when I find it hard to sleep because my brain won’t shut up telling me, “publish a book…publish a book.” I woke up one weekend, and my brain still won’t quit. Bit pissy, I got up and responded “fine, dammit!” I brushed my teeth, grabbed my laptop, locked myself in a cube, and wrote the manuscript for Brave Vulnerable.

Eye-straining research and self-teaching were involved but I was able to publish it November 2016.

All the while I was still writing, that in March 2017, I have finished the manuscript for Dreamers and Daydreams. Thanks to adulting though, it took me months to release it.

But yeah, I guess what I’m getting at is that it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you have been given, it’s all about what you’re made of and how willing you are to go after what makes sense of your existence.

Why do you think people would be interested in your work, is there even a benefit in reading them?

Oh no, I know some people would not be interested in my work. And that’s totally fine. We all have different tastes. We all have certain genres we can’t swallow. I just hope honest, 21st-century poetry isn’t one of them.

And well, the benefit you get from it is totally up to you, totally up to your interpretations, and how the lines on the book made you see and feel.

Why poetry?

Poetry, emotion and soul in a creative written form, is a universal language. It connects us, bridges our differences, helps prove that within our core, we are one and the same. We are all humans, caretakers of the same planet. And despite how unique we see and experience life, we recognize all sorts of feelings the same way.

To me, the ability of poetry to be able to haul emotions out of you and onto paper, and then evoke the same emotions from other people who’ve read it, is not just beautiful, it’s also powerful.

What did you do after hitting the publish button for the first time?

Went for a walk, grabbed a box of sushi, ate all of it by the beach.

Who are the authors you admire?

Charles Bukowski, Pablo Neruda, and Paulo Coelho.

Will you publish a book again?

Highly likely, as my brain won’t shut up…