At the beginning of this year I was really excited by the prospect that I might actually get to write again. It had been a while, and it had gotten to the point where I was finding it difficult to find reason to put pen to paper without it causing the surfacing of some not-so-healthy emotions. I needed focus. I needed something to write that got me thinking again. Two of my friends who had been readers of my old journal gave me that opportunity when they asked me to contribute to the projects that they were working on.
The first one didn’t pan out as either of us had hoped, the subject of the site wasn’t something that I was familiar with and so I found it difficult to figure out what exactly I was going to do. However, I remain immensely grateful for that chance and that someone believed in me enough to want me to be a part of something they were creating. I’ve watched Le-Mode grow over the past year and though I was right when I thought it wasn’t the place for me I’m glad that others have found their place there.
I seem to have found my place at LDNmeetsMNL. The brainchild of a friend from my college days, who also happens to be one of my bestest people, LDNmeetsMNL was created to bridge that gap between Flipinos around the world and things that were happening back home in the Philippines. I knew a bit more about this having done my college coursework on a similar topic and I thought that at the very least I could help a friend get their idea off the ground. Also, I’ve never quite been able to learn how to say ‘no’ when a friend asks.
Over the past 10mths I’ve been trying to do my bit and come up with articles for the site. I try to write things that are relevant for those people who may not be aware of everything that’s happening in the Filipino community but to also explore ideas about what it is to be a Filipino who doesn’t quite know what that means. I don’t have my finger on the pulse as much as I would like, I know very little about Filipino entertainment and I catch things here and there about what’s going on in Filipino politics – which can often be just as dramatic as any Filipino shows.
It was only recently that I realised how big LDNmeetsMNL had gotten. I know that I have some very supportive friends who do their bit and read the articles whenever I beg and plead for them to do so. They’ve dutifuly joined the Facebook group and follow us on Twitter, but they’re my friends and they’re the bestest so as incredibly grateful as I am (especially of those who aren’t even Fili) I wouldn’t expect anything less. When someone hasn’t been guilted into reading it though and they know of it and say something to someone like, ‘Oh this is the site I was telling you about…’ it’s just so amazing to me.
Sometimes it feels like I’ve got a second job. Running around on assignment, covering events, going to screenings, being invited to dinners. There isn’t a paycheque yet but if there was I think I may just have found one of those jobs that you’d do for free. It is tiring and it is hard work and more often than not I come home exhausted but I am in this endeavour with some of my very best friends and the fact that I can legitimately put ‘Intrepid Ace Reporter’ on my card puts a smile on my face.
I am genuinely excited when a new update comes out just to see what everyone else has written. We all discuss our ideas but we go off to our respective computers and write it up and then don’t see the finished issue until it’s been posted. So when I get that e-mail that a new issue has been posted I quickly go to the site to see the final product and I am always blown away by what we’ve managed to achieve. It makes me want to be better at what I’m doing because this thing we’ve created deserves it.
When I said that I would write for the site I never imagined where it would take me. In the past few months alone I’ve met people I would never have been given the chance to. I have discussed ideas and concepts with like minded individuals who actually want to hear my opinions. I’ve been given backstage access to events I probably wouldn’t have been able to even get a ticket for. Most importantly though, I have been able to help a friend make their idea a reality, I believe what I’m doing is important, and I am a writer again.
Not even a year old and I am already so proud of everything we’ve achieved. I know that next year is going to bring us even bigger and better things. I’m so excited to find out what’s in store for us.