Sunday Lifestyle

Here i go again

SECOND WIND - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura - The Philippine Star

Many of you must be sick by now of the way I write about what I do to make a living. But you have to understand that all of us, I think at all times, still must earn money to support ourselves. That means working.  Once I used to work in an office but one day, I got tired and quit. I was only 57. That was tantamount to taking early retirement.

Since then, life has taken new forms for me. When I had my stroke, I woke up one day and heard a male voice that said, “Tweetums, you will live to be 69.” I thought that was God talking to me. I was 59 then. Ten more years, I thought. I budgeted myself. Well, today I’m 73 and have a lot more life left in me and no more money set aside than I had at 69. What if I grow to be 80 and run out of money? I don’t want my children supporting me. I’ve always been so independent.

So I make a living doing a number of things. I teach writing. I sell drugs, but not the kind that will have me killed. I am editing and putting together a book. I sing for my supper. These are the things that occupy my time. I think, judging from what my writing students have written about my writing course, I do it well. I have one that just ended last Saturday and another one that will start on Sept. 23, another Saturday, at two in the afternoon. Here is what a few of the recent graduates said about my class.

From the oldest male, an interesting man who is 75, who walks home from class in Bel-Air, Makati to where he lives near Roxas Boulevard:  “I enrolled in this class mainly because I know nothing about writing. In my school years, I hated it when the day’s lesson was Theme Writing but surprisingly, I was a voracious reader. So, in my old age I decided to satisfy my curiosity and try my hand at it. The class exceeded my expectations. It was a big help in organizing my ideas but I think I need more practice. I hope this is the beginning of something new and enjoyable so late in my life.”

From another male who is a lawyer: “This is a different ball game — the technique, I mean. I am figuring out how to apply this to lawyering.  The main reason I signed up was to find a way to beat deadlines, which seem to be a constant struggle for me. Although I have never been late in submitting papers for the courts, I want to do away with all that heart thumping because of impending deadlines. I want to finish all papers and submit them to the courts a day or two after I receive the order to submit them and not wait for the period indicated in the order.”

Then, from this 21-year-old male (I decided to concentrate on the males of this class though they were the minority): “This class is a pretty solid class. I learned how to do a style of mind-mapping that’s a lot more based on gut feel than my logical flow and I learned how to write about my emotions again. Being able to write about my feelings and learning how to process them has been pretty therapeutic and being able to do it in a setting that doesn’t feel that imposing, it’s pretty nice. The teacher is pretty encouraging when it comes to how you write and really helps you find your own voice.”

Those are the points of view of three of my recent graduates. I hope those of you interested in learning something new will want to take my writing class, which I also call “From the Heart.
I teach you to write in your own voice. If you are interested, just call 856-4414, Customer Service, and inquire.

Then there is my singing club for seniors. I tried it out last Aug. 16 and it was a huge success. So I am doing another show on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. at The Happy Garden Café again. They promised to get the restaurant side all straightened out. You pay P300 at the gate then go in, pay for your dinner and listen to me and my surprise male guests sing.  And you, as members of the audience, will also get to sing. We will have a lot of fun together. Please come. Please also reserve. The restaurant has a 100-person capacity and last time we almost overflowed so please reserve early, the earlier the better. Just text me your reservation and I will pass it on.

“Here she goes again,” I can almost hear you sigh, “writing about her personal concerns.” What can I do? You and I? We all need to live.

 * * *

Please text your comments to 0998-991-2287.


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with