Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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Thank you, Young Blood

05:04 AM January 10, 2018

I’ve been following the Young Blood column ever since I was 18, when our college English teacher encouraged us to submit essays. I’ve submitted several over the years and have had the luck of getting a few published.

I now work as a senior high school teacher, and a subject I am teaching is creative nonfiction. Over the years of teaching, I’ve learned to select reading material that my students can relate to. And when I was preparing to teach creative nonfiction, it occurred to me to discuss Young Blood essays.

I’ve selected the ones I felt my students could relate to. They have enjoyed these essays very much because they talked about young Filipinos and their experiences — children who grew up without their OFW parents, growing up poor, falling in love and getting their heart broken — we would read these essays out loud in class and understand what the author is trying to say.


Teaching Young Blood essays to these students have been a precious experience, because most of them come from public schools, the types who were in the lower sections and were never encouraged to read for leisure. I see them light up when they read the essays and they beg me to give them a copy (I can’t give enough copies of the essays because of lack of funds, so two-to-three students have to share while reading).

Many of them have aspired to also send their own essays, one of them Arnel Morales, who wrote “You’re too old” (12/17/17). When it came out, I couldn’t even contact him because he doesn’t have a phone (that’s how hard up he is). It was a great joy for him and his family to see the essay on newspaper. It’s because of students like him that I get inspired to teach and continue teaching.

So, I end by saying thank you for sorting through hundreds of essays every week to select the publish-worthy ones and giving young Filipinos a voice, a venue to express their sentiments, their opinions, their deepest longings. You never know the impact these essays will have on the reader.

LEX ADIZON, aaadizon@up.edu.ph

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