Back to School Contest 2010: A Tribute to Literature and the Visual Arts

I was a voracious reader. Pictured here is Singapore’s Kinokuniya.
Felt like a child in a candy store when I visited this in 2007.

It’s funny that I’ve discussed childhood dreams with my DGMEDIA (Digital Media in the Social Context) students last Friday.  I asked them what theirs were and how they ended up in the Multimedia Arts program.  Some of them said that they became Multimedia Arts students accidentally and weren’t sure yet what they really wanted to do in life.   The irony is, I’ve studied and worked in various fields but it was only last week that I remembered what my childhood dream truly was.  Reading my classmate Jenny Ortuoste’s personal blog brought me to my epiphany.  See, I’ve been to Jenny’s horse racing blog — the jargons made my nose bleed — but it was only last week that I’ve stumbled upon the personal side of her site.  She writes so beautifully, it made me weep.  It’s rare that I get addicted to reading someone’s blog. And when I say addicted, it means I spend hours poring over entries. Hers wistfully reminded me of a time long gone…

Everyone had been an artist as a child. I think this concept has been covered by Cris Dumlao’s Branded Exhibit in 2009.  But I’m not too sure that everyone had been a writer.  My dad has a whole brief case of the little picture books I created when I was a little girl (I’m still little, but that’s not the point). In them were my stories, accompanied by my crude drawings.  Well..some of my stories horrified my mom because “unfortunate events” tend to happen to the princes so my princesses could avoid arranged marriages. Um…I started writing them when I was four.

If there was one thing I was really addicted to besides weaving gory fairy tales (Hallo! As if the Brothers Grimm weren’t just as disturbing), it was the smell of books. My high school best friend, Charisse Villamar, and I would often escape to National Bookstore to see what we could add to our collection.  I remember not eating so I could save up for the next batches of Jude Devereaux or Iris Johansen novels.  I was inspired by these authors and I wanted to become like them.  By 14, with the help of Wordstar, I had penned my first novel. It was 458 pages and was supposed to be the first of a trilogy.  At 15, I finished the second of the trilogy; it had 441 pages.  I showed these to my MAWRITE students.  I didn’t get to do the third installment because I grew disgusted with the story.  That was the last time I wrote anything creative that went past ten pages.

The two novels I finished back in high school.

See how yellowed the pages are?
Printed with a dot matrix machine, yeah!

My high school yearbook said that I would publish my novels someday.

Why hadn’t I?

Because I had gone into technical and research writing and had lost every ounce of the Creative Storyteller. Woe is me.

The good news is that, as a tribute to this dream, a sponsor from Asia Pacific College School of Multimedia Arts provided me with National Bookstore gift certificates. These will be given away to three lucky literary/visual artists at the rate of: P500 (1), P300 (1) and P200 (1).  It may have been too late for me, but this could be of help to some of my readers, who wish to fulfill their own artistic dreams. The GCs can buy books, paints and brushes and school supplies…just in time for the first weeks of classes.

This contest is open to everyone: mommies, students (of all levels, including post grad), educators. Everyone.

Here are the contest mechanics:

  1. Like the Skysenshi’s Hermitage Facebook Page.
  2. Express yourself by writing about any of the topics I’ve covered. Here is the site map of topics. Your entry must be a creative recounting of a similar experience. You can do poetry if you wish.  Haiku? ASCII art? Poetic Jejenese? (Yes, I’ve seen it happen. Hehe.) The possibilities of combining both literature and visual art are endless. You can have more than one entry (for more chances of winning).
    • For non-bloggers, you can participate by commenting on any topic within
    • For bloggers, you can participate by blogging about any topic within Just leave the link to your entry on the comment box of the topic you wish to blog about. Your entries must also have a link back to this particular contest post.
    • Be sure to leave your Facebook names on your entries so I have a way of contacting you.
  3. The criteria for judging are as follows: 20% number of entries, 40% creativity & originality, 40% content.
  4. Contest ends on June 30, 2010. Winners will be announced on July 1, 2010.



    1. Laurice

      June 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      Jude Devereaux!

      So far, read only two of her books: Always and Forever. The latter, the one I borrowed from the school library back in highschool and the one that made me fall in love with the author and her writing.

      Hehehe, after reading this blog of yours, I feel like burying myself in novels again. 🙂

    2. skysenshi

      June 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      Yay! Maybe you can piece together something for this contest. One line will do, actually. As long as the words are creatively arranged. 🙂

    3. skysenshi

      June 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      Hm…then again this could also be one of your official entries. 😀

    4. papaviktor

      June 13, 2010 at 12:34 am

      “My dad has a whole brief case of the little picture books I created when I was a little girl (I'm still little, but that's not the point).”

      I soooo can relate to this one…but my mom didn't have a brief case. what she had was a huge safe (enough for a full grown adult to fit inside it) with all the family's important documents inside. i was surprised to find out that one of the drawers inside the safe was full of my old drawings and make believe writings since i was about 4 years old, and maybe until i was 8 (after which i went into watercolor painting).

      i basically grew up alone, being the youngest and everyone else at least 10 years older than me, so i would often play by myself, or draw, or doodle all day. we also live across National Bookstore so buying cartolina (which at that time cost 3 pesos each) was really easy. i never ran out of paper and never got tired of drawing as well…fun times!

    5. Rowena Wendy Lei

      June 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm

      I promoted this contest on my FB Fan Page. 😀

    6. Laurice

      June 29, 2010 at 12:01 am

      (sorry for the late reply)

      I'm working on a “formal” entry for your contest now Ms. 🙂

    7. Pauline Gutierrez

      June 30, 2010 at 1:13 pm

      Face book account: Pauline Gutierrez

    8. skysenshi

      September 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm

      Yay! Maybe you can piece together something for this contest. One line will do, actually. As long as the words are creatively arranged. 🙂

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