A Whole New World
What a whole new world for me! A world with powerful women making waves and threading lives in colorful and dynamic ways. A world of amazing shining stars that give joy and inspiration to the ones who care for women and the whole of humanity. A world far and away yet so near and so close. A world full of wonders where everything seems magic!
I felt so magically bliss finding this world of exciting journey of self– discovery and self- actualization as a woman. In here, every woman’s energy and breathtaking courage reverberates in my entire senses making me stronger to carry on my daily battle for self empowerment being a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a daughter, an activist and a beginner citizen’s journalist.
Looking back of how I came into this fascinating world, I can’t help but smile of disbelief. It all started finding Pulse Wire by chance last year 2009. Wow! , I said surprisingly and excitedly. I think this is it! Who knows? I quickly registered on line giving myself a go for a chance of learning journalism. A long time fleeting fantasy that keeps coming back playing in my mind. I never thought will come into reality.
It was a sort of a trial and error or hit and miss. I introduced myself not knowing my life will change into something new and exciting. From a very simple reason of having a taste of virtual journalizing and learning whatever comes along, I was hooked to a world that makes me marvelously engaged. I didn’t know that in the near future this will fascinates me into the world I never dreamt of.
I did give my best shots despite time limitations, doubts and difficulties of self expression as VOF correspondent aspirant. I spent sleepless nights head cracking tracing scattered thoughts and precious memories weaving it together for a piece of artwork. It was a mixture of heartbreaking, heartwarming and rewarding process. In the middle of my creation, I often found myself in tears remembering the life I had been through. It refreshed my memory and made the people dear to me back to life especially my beloved father and brother. It made me feel the presence and the love of my mother living by herself in our hometown in Mindanao. I could hear the bundle of laughter and the cries of my beloved fallen colleagues and friends and my first husband who offered their lives for the living. I could feel the rushing sounds of women and children in the silence of the night running to and fro to survive the painful whip of hunger, poverty and violence.
Their images continued to inspire me in my journey. But it always took me a hard time finding beautiful words and sentences to make it an open story for the women and men of PulseWire and the world. I knew I have to hurdle so many challenges along the way knowing that writing demands so much time and thoughts concentration. In the first place, I’m not a writer though journal writing is one of my passions. I have so much pressures in my activism work. I’m struggling to be a good mother for my pre-school daughter in the midst of my very hectic activism work. I have to send and pick her at school everyday. I have to help her cope with schooling in her new school. I have to bear her tantrums and demands everyday that drained my patience at the end of the day. But I remember, I said in my earlier journal that I didn’t know what the future lies what matters most for me is I will give a try and I dared.
My focus in writing assignments was most of the time put on hold due to these challenges. My activisms work and my domestic concerns took so much of my time, my emotions and my energy. In April of last year, I had my emergency surgery due to my constant bleeding. I went to the hospital with only a hundred peso bill or two dollars in my pocket. My son was hospitalized in June due to pneumonia without my presence. My husband was also hospitalized in July without my knowledge because I’m away for my community work. Only to know he was in the hospital on my way back home.
Our finance resource was not really enough and we had to borrow from relatives and friends to keep our day to day existence especially during emergency situation like hospitalization and it was so hard. In June, we did transfer our daughter to a new school because we couldn’t afford to pay for the tuition fee which I felt so sad. I really cried. It was hard but I just keep my finger cross that we can overcome all these trials.
I did continue my activism and my VOF journalizing under very insecure times. The financial difficulties and the death threats of my husband last year as well as mine did not stop us in our activism work. Instead, I doubled my time working to keep up with the fast turn of events politically and economically. I continued joining mass demonstration and public protests for the interest and welfare of women and the Filipino people.
I resolutely kept my determination and my commitment as a Pulse Wire correspondent aspirant. I kept my self on line and joined discussions and gave commentaries aside from my monthly articles until the wee hours of the morning. In times of my doubts and low self confidence, I was so inspired with the support of the Pulsewire listeners, my fellow correspondents who always kept me up in my low moments and the amazing voices of Pulsewire team of Jennifer and Janice whom I constantly in contact with.
I felt so happy, when the announcement came last June that I was one of the thirty lucky women selected for the VOF training on journalism. I felt like floating with happiness. Though, deep within me, I felt so nervous and uncertain if I could cope up with the corresponding demands and pressures. I couldn’t imagine myself diving into this deep, wide and never ending circuits of women energies shaking the powers in every corner of the world through journalism. I was so overwhelmed and most of the times mesmerized by this women power. Anyhow, I tossed myself up in the air once more with butterflies in my stomach. My relationship with Pulsewire community deepened everyday. My mentor Jeanne brightened my day every time she called me up; Jennifer was always there for me keeping me inspired and Janice’s friendships was so captivating! My VOF friends were quick to give me their sincere and wholehearted solidarity and warmness. Thank you, Jackie and Janice for making friend with my daughter.
Time just turned very quickly. In November, the most awaited part of the journey came. It was that time that I woke up at 4 am for an early morning appointment. I opened the computer to check my emails. Voila! I was chosen as one of the three awardees. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to shout and jump for joy but the neighborhood was still sleeping. I just so overjoyed and I woke up my husband and whispered, “I made it sweetheart!” It was such an exciting moment in my life. My husband told me to take care of my newfound world. My daughter was so excited that she told me she’s going with me in my tour. I called my mother and I did cry telling her I won the award. I told my friends and their so excited for me. Such a feeling I just couldn’t explain.
Two weeks after, I was put under a litmus test. I made a letter to my VOF classmates and the Pulsewire community about my wishes to take a short break with a short news story of the Ampatuan massacre of more than fifty people mostly journalist , women and lawyers friends in Mindanao. My dear Jensine surprised me and made me shivered to the bones when she told me to submit immediately a frontline news article out of my letter. “My God! This is what I’m scared of”, I said. I heard my stomach grumbled of nervousness for such a baptism by fire of being a journalist the first time. But I braced my self and successfully raised the gruesome human rights violations in the Philippines to the international community. Thanks Jensine for such a wonderful breakthrough you made for me!
Thus, my journey as a Pulsewire correspondence is an interconnection of my precious past, my fascinating and struggling here and now and a promising and exciting future. Indeed, the beautiful and sorrowful traces of my footprints totally left me with a higher and renewed spirit. I never thought I would have gone this far. This whole new world of mine no matter how difficult getting through the way is a beautiful journey with unexpected gifts along the way. My faith in myself and the women and few men behind helped me reach my destination with dancing stars.
I owed my whole new being to the people that loved me so much beyond compared. To my parents who give love unconditionally and give me all the preparations I need for life. To my husband who always made it easy for me even if it was hard for him. To my sisters and brother who are always here for me in my most trying times. To my kids, who give me strength to move on and always trying to give happiness for me. To all my gracious friends, who understand me and keep me in their hearts near or far. To my Pulsewire colleagues, who believe in me and share with me my joys and sorrows. To Jensine and whole team, for creating WorldPulse and believing in me, transforming me and bringing me to this whole new world of women’s empowerment and citizen’s journalism.
I’m sure my life ahead will not be a bed of roses but I know there will be bunch of flowers. I just received yesterday my fresh bouquet of flowers which was my press ID and my WorldPulse certificate. My gosh! I’m a journalist now! I quickly showed it to my husband and the whole family full of smile and laughter. I couldn’t take off my eyes on my ID and the certificate the whole day. It moved me to tears as I hold the remembrance of my handwork and the triumph that goes with it. Looking at it, I could see the many faces of the women and the few good men smiling, laughing, screaming and crying to make this dream come true. Indeed, these pieces of papers are mosaics of love, sacrifices, patience, friendship collectively handcrafted into one beautiful masterpiece of life’s creation.
I wanted to share this creation to the women and children of the world especially the Filipino women and children who needed it the most in the gallery of this suffering world. They are the center of my triumphs, they are the reason of my being here and I will continue to be their voice in our struggle for freedom and peace. I may have flaws along the way, but the level of empowerment and my strong and gentle WorldPulse community will definitely help me stand fast the test of times being a woman activist and a citizen’s journalist for global women liberation.
Malayapinas is a World Pulse Correspondent. She participated in Voices of Our Future, a World Pulse program which provides rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 31 emerging women leaders.