The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"The Strange Becomes Ordinary...

November 5, 2005, Saturday

Around 10 a.m., Tito Ren and Tita Lucy with Grandfather and I attended a small gathering at PCCM (Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba, on Keewatin Avenue), held to welcome new Filipino immigrants. Among the speakers was Mrs. Rosalinda Natividad-Cantiveros, the editor in chief of The Filipino Journal, a popular Philippine newspaper here in Manitoba. Also present during the occasion was Mr. Alan Canlas, the publisher of another Philippine newspaper, Peryodiko. It's been quite a while since Tita Lucy had encouraged me to inquire about contributing articles to these publications. I was certain that the occasion was the opportunity I was waiting for.

I didn't waste any more time; before he could even slip out of my sight, I approached Mr. Canlas, who was already leaving.

eLf: "Good afternoon, Sir. Kayo pala ang publisher ng Peryodiko. Itatanong ko lang sana kung p'wedeng mag-volunteer kahit as a proofreader for the newspaper. I used to be an editor and writer of scholastic textbooks and magazines when I was still in the Philippines, just a little more than two years ago. Right now, caregiver ako ng lolo ko; but I keep on writing. Since sa April pa darating ang immigration papers ko, hindi pa ako p'wedeng magtrabaho other than my current job; but I can offer my services para naman magamit ko for something very worthwhile ang skills and extra time ko."

Mr. Canlas: "Naku, tamang-tama, kelangan namin ng proofreaders. Teka, writer at editor ka kamo? Ba't hindi ka na lang magsulat, mas mabuti pa?"

eLf: "I can give you a copy of my résumé and samples of my works."

Mr. Canlas, handing me a business card: "Let's discuss about this at my office. D'yan lang ang opisina ko sa tapat. Drop by anytime."

eLf: "Thank you very much, Mr. Canlas. I'll drop by your office anytime this week with my sample works."

Mr. Canlas: "No problem. See you then."

After the snack time, the hostess finally introduced Mrs. Cantiveros, who rendered her speech in Filipino. I heard a few remarks from some people near me concerning the speaker's use of "deep" Tagalog/Filipino words. "Ang lalim magsalita ah, parang makata...," remarked one of them.

Strangely, or should I say unsurprisingly, instead of feeling the same reaction, I felt a kindred spirit in her. Of course, I am a writer, too! I never react that way every time I hear people speaking uncommon Tagalog or Filipino, or even English, words, for I do the same from time to time.

I think, only those who are not interested in the languages or who do not own a literary pen feel strange when hearing poetic, obscure, or archaic words.

If you're a poet or a writer yourself, such utterances sink into your system naturally. You learn to regard "strange" words as common, the way you would see nothing extraordinary in the gentle sound of the splash of the waves onto the shore or the cackle of a flight of seagulls hovering above during migratory season—common, in the sense that these wondrous things become a natural part of your everyday preoccupation. To you, they become as ordinary as they can ever be—like the air that you breathe, the pillow that you hug every night, or the leafs that sway or fall before your probing eyes.

"To the ponderous, the strange becomes ordinary and the ordinary becomes brilliant."

What I especially remembered from the speech of Mrs. Cantiveros was: "Sa mga mangangailangan ng trabaho, at sa tingin n'yo ay may angkop kayong kakayanan, wag kayong mag-atubiling tawagan ako. May mga kakilala akong maaaring makatulong sa inyo sa larangang iyan." And she gave her contact number, which I jotted down in my little journal.

After her speech, Mrs. Cantiveros went around to distribute copies of the current issue of The Filipino Journal. I didn't wait for her to reach my area; I stood up and approached her, got a copy, and then introduced myself the way I did a while ago with Mr. Canlas.

Back home, I excitedly made printouts of my résumé and samples of my literary works. On Thursday, Tito Ren would be accompanying me to the publishers' offices. Of course, I'm expecting something fruitful; but if I fail to get an assignment, better luck next time. At least, I grabbed the opportunity and tried my luck.

...and the ordinary becomes brilliant."


Post a Comment

<< Home