By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas
My son has the most number of followers among our columnists. Including me. Thus he needs to be introduced. Mentioned JV is my son. He just graduated from senior high two days ago. Whew!!! My greatest fear was his not being able to finish high school. I have a number of relatives who had, or have, the brains but somehow these (their brains) were misaligned with reality. So, either they had a hard time finishing college or they never received a diploma.
In junior high, we accidentally found out JV was cutting classes in a nearby Korean school. That really scared me. My contemporaries who did not finish high school on time, never got to college. Sinmadot dan. Now there is some hope for such people. There is the ALS (Alternative Learning System) where they can belatedly get a certificate for college or to finish a vocational course for abroad.
Anyway, my son sort of redeemed himself when he showed us his score last year on a book report. He got 102 out of a perfect score of 100. Where did the extra 2 come from? It was a bonus for submitting his work early.
How did he get into writing? It was by an accident. I was anticipating a blank space in one of ZZW’s pages for our Halloween issue last year. So the night before, I told him we would pay him P500 if he wrote an article on Halloween. I was shocked when he submitted his piece. With some very minor polishing, it was very good. Obviously, he had the knack for writing. He had the proper expressions and metaphors in the right places. As I wrote earlier, I saw it in the middle of the night and I immediately celebrated just by myself. How does one with “high blood” celebrate? I did it by eating unsweetened oat meal. Since that time, he has been regularly filling up his weekly column space in the opinion pages of ZZW
Here are the questions some lawyers (or relatives) would accost me with in the corridors of the Justice Hall or wherever we meet them: “How old is he?” “How did you train him?” “How could he write on serious subject matters for matured people?”
He is now 18.5 years old. I never trained him. I just made efforts early on to develop the love of reading in him. My theory was, if a kid discovers the joy from reading, he can learn anything under the sun on his own. About 4 years ago, I paid him P500 to read the “The Godfather.”
I think he unconsciously developed the skill to write during the pandemic lockdowns. Like any other kid then, he was glued to his cellphone most of the time. We would leave him alone in the house (with 5 dogs and a cat) on the mountain as long as there was internet signal. We had to go to work. Then I started worrying about suicide when some such cases hit the news. Luckily, later, two of his cousins about his age came to live with us, giving him some company.
So there. I never trained him. I think kids now just need some little prodding along the lines of their interest. Some of your kids, grand kids, nephews and nieces just night need to be nudged a little bit.
Hopefully, the praises JV is getting from all over will not get into his head.
Knock on wood that I am not leading him to the wrong place by encouraging him to get into such a mundane course as Business Management. Mng. Manolo Villano sort of warned me about that when we were at Ekoy’s place. My theory was, getting JV into a writing course might lead him to hunger.
But, as Mng Manolo said, that might be the right place for him.
Yes, Manong, I took that “under serious advisement.” JV will have to finally decide for himself.**
(Note: For those who are abroad or otherwise unable to get a hard copy of ZZW, you can access for free the online version through zigzagweekly.net. Just google it.)