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Turning the Page to Chapter Five

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

August 26 was a rainy Saturday. Thirteen writers showed up for the momentous occasion held at Milky Way Café in Makati, Philippines. Scribblory had just turned 5 years old, and its “birthday” celebration had a good turnout.

We kicked it off with an opening prayer, followed by brief self-introductions. It was great to see old and new faces, and it was interesting to know that one of our members is a seminarian. Everyone is indeed grateful to be part of the writing community. We were treated to a scrumptious meal. We had a variety of foods such as pastas, salad, pizza, fries, and sausages. A couple of minutes into the gathering, Elaine Marie Factor graced us with her presence. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Scribblory.

Aiko “Aiks” Gillera Hara (Scribblory’s administrator and writing tutor) and Nichelle “Nini” Dizon (Scribblory’s administrator and social media content writing mentor) are the geniuses behind our first activity: improvised telestrations. It was not the usual telephone game or pass-the-message game. We alternated drawing a picture and guessing the drawing on stapled sheets of paper. After it was passed around, the last person (which was me) attempted to draw it. We ended up turning a “quill and ink” into a Maya bird! It was a little bit of a challenge, but we were amused. We had loads of good laugh. In the end, we realized that the game was still connected to writing.

After this, Naysan Albaytar (author of All the Light Around Us and Remembering Pandan: A Famer’s Life and Other Stories) shared her inspiring journey of writing. She went through a transition from living in the province of Bicol to residing in the bustling city of Metro Manila. She told us that she grew up in a house that had no electricity. When she was a teenager, she and her grandma would listen to radio dramas and she would form pictures of the scenes in her head. In college, she looked for a writing course out of her love for the craft but her university was not offering anything directly related to that except Education, Major in English. She also found organizations and joined school activities. When she finally entered the workforce, the world of freelance writing also opened its doors for her. It was a success story.

Naysan’s inspirational talk helped us set our minds to writing; hence, after that, we went to the exciting part—the writing contest. We were given 20 to 30 minutes to write about Memento’s theme for September: “The Journey Within: Exploring the Soul of Travel.” After this, we had snacks, drinks and cake, followed by group photo sessions, closing remarks, and prayer.

Overall, my take-aways from this special event are:

1) We have shared energy. We can use this to spread love, light and positivity through our stories.

2) We need a writing community. We get accountability and support to continue writing.

3) We need to take action and start writing.

4) We need consistency.

5) We should not forget God.

Here’s to more years of writing through Scribblory. Keep it up. May we continue to share our stories through the written words.

Happy fifth year, Scribblory!

Written by AnKat Lopez

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