Friday, December 28, 2012

Manila Bulletin - Behind the Scenes: Patty Laurel Filart

This is Patty Laurel, also known as the new Mrs. Patrick Filart. She loves her status as a married woman so much, which really brought me back to my own honeymoon days almost 6 years ago. Yes, interviewing Patty was such a joy!

The column was initially about her wedding and her life as a new bride. But a few days before my deadline, I found out that Patty was auctioning off her bridal gown to benefit the victims of the devastating Typhoon Pablo. I had already written the column. It was done! But as a former editor, I knew that while Patty's love story is wonderful, her generosity is the bigger story.

That's a tip for you, writers: Learn to recognize the worth of a story. If a better topic comes along, change your story! It always hurts to see all that work go unpublished but you want to be the one who'd tell the great story. In this case, Patty's sacrifice for a good cause.

So I quickly asked her additional questions (and thankfully, Patty responded quickly!), rewrote the whole thing, and submitted it just before deadline.

Actually, my editor Liza Ilarde-Cuenca said my column didn't make the deadline but I begged her and told her the urgency of the story. I'm so happy she found space!

Please grab today's Manila Bulletin. You can also read my column here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Manila Bulletin - Behind the Scenes: Ana Amigo Antonio

What I really like about being a writer is the constant discovery of fascinating people. There's not a lot that you can write about if you don't open your eyes and observe the world around you and understand human nature. Writing forces you to really look at life and the characters that people it, and then writing forces you to record what you see. That's the best thing about writing. In many ways, that's also the worst!

In my case, as a journalist, part of my job is interviewing media personalities, and I have always felt privileged to be able to talk one-on-one to such important and interesting people. They also almost always go out of their way to feed me. So another perk is I get to eat really good food!

The yummy cheese platter I talked about in my column.

In my Behind the Scenes column today, I feature Ana Amigo Antonio. I first met her when I was the editor of OK! magazine and she was launching Chocolate Clothing Co. Yes, she's the woman behind that fashion brand. I was so impressed with her beauty, poise and grace. So when I came over to her house a few days ago and saw how she lived—simply but with lots of art!—I was inspired!

I do learned a helpful tip from her about managing my crazy life: Start the day with prayer. Ana says, "This act instantly creates balance." That's true. Everything does fall into place when you give your day to the Sovereign One!

You can find out more about Ana in today's Manila Bulletin. You can also read my column on Ana here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Behind the Scenes: my column in Manila Bulletin

Hi, fellow writers! I'm glad to say that I am now a lifestyle columnist for national daily, Manila Bulletin! My column is called Behind the Scenes. It's all about what media personalities are busy with and what keeps them looking great even though they're so occupied. Plus, the title of the column also describes me. Because that's what a journalist should be!

I hope you can grab today's paper. If not, my column is also online here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The writing life

Oh boy, here we go.

I'm finally writing here. I've had this website bear my name for more than a year. It's supposed to be my professional home so that when my name comes up in Google searches, you won't just land on my blogs, Topaz Horizon and Topaz Mommy. Those are blogs that are very dear to me but they're personal and don't showcase my work.

I haven't had the time to update this blog because life has gotten in the way in the most wonderful ways possible. Two kids! I also said good-bye to my magazine job to be a freelance writer and editor and, pretty soon, writing teacher. That's why this blog will soon become interesting since I plan to fill it up with all my adventures in the writing life.

I'll keep you posted!