Plain & Simple | The art of column writing

COLUMN writing looks easy, but it’s really not.

The column writer spends so much time pounding the keys of the typewriter when laptops were not yet the byword. He also spends a lot of his time reading books. Books not only to fill the writer’s mind but to fill his thoughts with ideas and concepts, grammar included.
Pwede ra gud magbisaya, pero bisan atong bisaya sa Davao way klaro man. Ug bisan bisaya basa gihapon ug research. Di gihapon sayon.
And really, as a column writer, I do not pretend to know a lot. Funny but the more I know, the more I really do not know. This wisdom I learned from my philosophy class while studying theology.
Maybe I can write well on the concerns of education because I have been teaching for the last 40 years. Imagine! Whew! That long! Every time I share my thoughts on being a teacher to teachers I would usually tell them maybe I will die as a teacher.
Maybe I can talk about theology because I studied that subject for so long. But like I said the more I know about the theology I learned, the more I am inadequate to even discuss about it. Ironies of life. Paradoxes of life.
But don’t ask me to talk about business. I am not cut for business. I tried so many times to be a businessman, but many times, I failed. I tried to read the business concept of Lee Laccocca, of Bo Sanchez, of the author of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. Wala gihapon.
And so I simply admire friends who are into business. They were not the best in class but now they have millions. One time we were in Cateel with Tatay Rene Lumawag and company. I don’t know why he asked us “nganong wala man ta nadato noh… dugay na man ta sa media?
I heard the comment, I did not answer. But I remember so lucidly.
Right now I have four friends who were not the best in our class but are now millionaires. They have businesses, though not big, that enable them to thrive economically.
But all four do not have the “time” and the “energy” and the “interest” to write their stories. They may have the riches, but when they go, nobody will tell their stories of success, stories that would surely inspire others to emulate their lives.
Their lives would be forgotten. To use the words of the late Councilor Tony Castillo, “their lives will be relegated into the dustbin of forgotten memories”. Whatever this is, their stories will be left in the cold of their pantheon.
This is probably one of the beauties of writing. We tell their stories and they are kept in the archives for people with interest to look into. And in the pages of these newspapers, their names and their stories live.
I love being a communicator, both written and oral. And this is probably a gift that I have developed through the years. Not for myself, but for the stories of others who have been very successful in life who do not have the facility to turn their stories into books.
I have done three biography books of people, and I am glad I have done them.
Column writing is an avenue where their stories are known. No wonder DepEd has scrapped one event in their press conference, the copyreading event.
DepEd has included opinion and column writing.

Posted in Opinion