I find it hard to believe that a year has passed since the publication of my first children’s book, Prince Juan. In celebrating the success of my book, I plan to take Prince Juan to its birthplace – my hometown of Iligan City in the Philippines. The story of Prince Juan was passed down to me by my late grandmother, Linda Sabayle, which in turn was passed down to her by her grandfather, Jose Ramiro. Putting to print, for posterity, the story of Prince Juan – a story passed down from one great storyteller to another by word of mouth in my native tongue with all its nuances – is the most challenging endeavor I ever undertook; and the most humbling, for I can never measure up to the masters before me. The thought of bringing a story, which has been passed on for five generations, back to its homeland gives me goosebumps all over.
In bringing Prince Juan to its hometown, I will endeavor to pay forward the opportunity and success the universe – and Canada – has granted me by bringing to Canada the works of local writers and artists. I hope that in doing so, I could promote local talents, help enhance their skills, develop their potentials, and eventually get them published. I am not only looking for local talents who wish to publish their works, but also for local illustrators to help me with my ongoing projects.
For writers and artists residing or working in Iligan City, I look forward to seeing you and your works some time in May of this year. There is no fixed date at the moment as to when I will arrive in the Philippines, but I will keep you posted. Please visit my website from time to time for updates, or subscribe to my blog if you wish to receive updates by email. You may also leave a comment here or send me a private message on the Contact page.