Hushbury Liz

Why Write?

I write to live. I live to write. Back in kindergarten, I was taught to write the basics: the ABCs and the 123s. (I believe, we were all taught to do so) But never in my playful mind have I thought that such a typical childhood task will play a gigantic role in my everyday living. When I reached high school, writing became complicated yet fulfilling. Writing movie reviews, book reviews, essays, short stories, and poems was a tough exercise of the mind. Sometimes, my creative juices got drained like that of a withered plant in a deserted place. I do not know where to begin with nor how would I be able to finish my masterpiece. In the end, I survived. Perhaps, those defining moments have awakened my senses, challenged my aspirations to take the road less traveled.

Come college, I pursued a communications-related course. Some said that the degree might not work for me given my quite laid-back personality. Others spelled high hopes on me, believing that I will be able to run the race. My heart screamed, “I want to write and this is my legacy”. The clocks ticked. I embraced writing religiously. Pens and papers became my great confidantes. I delved into the vastness of words, life-changing stories, moving pictures, ideas, vulgar opinions, and bloody hell scenarios. Truth be told, these were difficult to deal with. Then again, “What else is not difficult to understand”? I knew that something like this is worth my time and effort. I knew that this endeavor will be fruitful. And yes, it became fruitful beyond measure. You see, I was never a writer. I just love scribbling down my crazy thoughts in a piece of paper.

Hushbury Liz Iloilo City, Iloilo, Western Visayas, Philippines
Image for A+ Learning through Reading

A+ Learning through Reading

Have you remembered the very day that you learned how to read? Perhaps, you were at kindergarten or elementary when that patient mentor of yours beamed with delight upon learning that you could read and comprehend. Lucky you.

Two years ago, I came across with a photo that dealt with a barefooted boy found reading at one corner in the bookstore. Said photo stirred the hearts of millions as it spoke about social illness. The subject who was then thirteen-year old MJ seemed to be a curious cat. One that wondered what lies beyond or what happens next. My heart was pinched at the same time joyful. You see, this child might have undergone life’s crucial battles and yet he opted to settle down with any books that he could find; books that contained brilliant notions of whatever sorts; books that opened his mind to the many possibilities given the harsh reality. I salute him for I know that an incredibly bright future is ahead of him. I salute him for serving as an encouragement to his fellow. I salute him for taking the road less traveled.

In 2010, the National Statistics Office (NSO) data on the Census of Population and Housing (CPH) revealed that Western Visayas scored a 97.9 percent literacy rate, surpassing the national rate which is 97.5 percent. Generally speaking, this meant that 69.8 million Filipinos out of 71.5 million Filipinos with ages 10 and above were literate. These figures seemed to be overwhelming considering what the Philippines has undergone in the previous years. Former Education Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz, however, stressed that there is a distinction between literacy and reading.

“To start with, let’s establish the difference between literacy and reading. They are related, but literacy is a level of competence, while reading is a skill. One can be literate but not necessarily a reader because reading, as a skill, requires the development of a habit that must be exercised daily if it is to be retained and enhanced. If left unexercised, the skill becomes rusty and can even be lost.”

In a bid to boost literacy and reading skills, the Department of Education (DepEd), has strategized worthwhile programs such as Language Development, Basic Literacy, Library Hub, Book Week, and National Reading Month among others. These celebrated programs were further strengthened with the help of private institutions and non-government organizations (NGOs). Thank heavens as these conscientious efforts paved way to a profound desire of learning.

Some people took time to read (or so I thought). They read as part of their hobbies. They read to research, be entertained, and gain knowledge. Illustrious author Lewis Carroll underscored key points on nurturing critical thinking and understanding the passages while reading. He advised that one should “begin at the beginning, and do not allow yourself to gratify a mere idle curiosity by dipping into the book, here and there.” This held true with respect to establishing a mental connection between the reader and the author.

On a personal note, it is with kindred hearts I share with you my Top 10 Reasons as to WHY EVERY PERSON SHOULD READ A BOOK…..NOW

A book a day kills ignorance away.

They say ignorance is bliss. But hey, such ignorance will shatter your soul to death one day. When you read a book, there lies enlightenment, a jumpstart towards developing critical thinking, analytical ability and social responsibility. These are necessities that, sadly, are often disregarded. It’s never an excuse that you know nothing just because you did not read. You need to read, otherwise, you end up being a foolish one.

Reading soothes your mind, mends your heart.

Whether you’re from work, practice, or school, reading relaxes your tired mind. There’s this heart-warming feeling rushing through your veins the moment you read an interesting line. The next thing you know, you can’t get enough of embracing the book. And when you’re feeling blue, go grab a book and there you’ll find happiness, contentment and peace. The comforting words teach you that, in time, you’ll heal the scars, forgive those who have wronged you and move on with optimism.

Great books lead to great writers.

Reading and writing goes hand in hand. The words are like sharp-edged swords that fuel the passion to speak out your thoughts. Today’s great writers owe their brilliance to those books they savor, and that they still continue to learn from them. Phenomenal A Song of Ice and Fire Series author George R. R. Martin, for instance, draws his inspiration from the literary masterpieces of J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E Howard, Fritz Leiber and related novelists.

There is renewed hope in every pages.

And when you think that hope is gone, well, think again. Every book promises a gleaming hope, serves a reminder that beneath the dark clouds, the sun is smiling at you.

It ignites imagination, sparks interest.

Talk about mental image power and interest rolled into one, a book is an enchanting storyteller. It knows how to capture its readers’ attention. It forms vivid pictures that only the playful mind can think of. It hones ingenuity, hence, unleashing your creative juices. A book is never boring to read at. The key is to select carefully the one that best mirrors your interests.

It’s a reflection of a lifetime.

The characters in every book exist not just for flattery or whatsoever. They are meant for something great. They create a definite purpose and that includes imparting life lessons. Many times, readers can relate their experiences based on the characters’ due to the universal themes that bind them together. These themes usually dwell on love, hatred, pain, loss, forgiveness, justice, faith, hope, truth, and power. On top of that, these equally great characters etch worthwhile memories through ages.

…because books have magical wings that can bring you to faraway places

Dreaming of traveling to distant places or basking into sweet escapes? I tell you, books have the power to splurge you to the many wonders regardless of time. Choose from a variety of science fiction, mystery, history, political satires, fantasy, classic literature, and you’re good to go.

The paperback scent is just too hard to resist.

The touch and musty smell of an aged paper is something to look forward to. Its distinctive scent is one of the characteristics why a lot of people still prefer paperbacks despite the emergence of electronic copies.

To nurture young minds

To our dear friends, parents, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins, consider this: Our children need books to ponder on, to shape their point of views. It is best that you read along with them as it promotes optimum learning and healthy bonding relationship.

Reading brings out the best in you.

I believe authors don’t want to mess up with their readers. By all means, I am referring to books as comrades – the kind that brings out the best in you no matter how tough the ride gets.

For starters, I believe it is never too late to read. Go grab a book NOW. Begin reading from page 1, and in no time, you’ll crave for something more. For adept readers, I urge you to shred your ideas into pieces and help your fellow embrace the art of reading in pursuit of harnessing their full potential.

Hushbury Liz Iloilo City, Iloilo, Western Visayas, Philippines