Saturday, August 18, 2007
When I wrote my first and only short story for children more than two decades ago, I learned a lesson from my first employer who is also considered the first most significant short story writer in the Philippines, Mrs. Paz Marquez Benitez. She was 83 then when I landed on my first job as editorial assistant at the Philippine Journal of Education, a teacher's magazine published monthly. The great Benitez encouraged me to write and submit a short story for children. I did it but with a big but. She did not like its ending so she asked me to revise it, make it into a happy ending. Her words still ring loud and clear in my ears today, "No children's story should have an unhappy ending". I did what I was advised to do, and true enough she had it published and of course, earned me my first money from writing.