People love to romanticize the process of writing, but in reality, it is hard work. It takes a lot of discipline and determination. Sometimes, writers even have to squeeze the words out–contrary to what other people think that words always come out like water from a faucet. Don’t get me wrong, there is a delicious joy in writing, and part of it is when words are hard to find. I have a favorite trick whenever this happens to me, and I’d like to share it with you.
Xiao Chua and I have been Facebook friends for almost a year, but we never had the chance to meet in person, that’s until he thought of the perfect idea. Mr. Chua is one of the most popular historians in the country, and he knew about my fascination with Jose Rizal, my literary idol. So, he organized a private tour of Intramuros, the National Museum, and the National Library of the Philippines. It would be my first time to visit the National Library, and I was very excited because I knew that the original manuscripts of the Noli and El Fili are kept there. They’re Jose Rizal’s most important works of literature which changed the course of my country’s history.