10-year-old reveals writing secrets

By: Cris Evert B. Lato-Ruffolo September 05,2017 - 10:23 PM

Pupils from Ateneo de Cebu campus (left) were among the participants of the Siloy Campus Journalism lecture-workshop held on August 30. (Right) CDN Correspondent Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo gives lecture participants tips on how to write a good feature story.


Secrets to become a prolific writer was shared not by a seasoned novelist but a 10-year-old pupil who writes his own fantasy stories.

For grade 4 pupil Manuel Angelo Gicos, continuous reading of books and constant practice will make a person an excellent writer.

“You can never be good at something if you do not practice a lot. Like musicians, you have to practice so you will get better and better every day,” says Gicos, a pupil of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF).

Gicos, the son of a musician and a teacher, is a consistent honor student who loves to write his own stories. He says he can express himself better in words than in drawings.

“When I write, I feel that the words express the person that I am. It expresses my personality so I don’t have to explain to other kids what I mean because they can read it in my stories,” he explains with the maturity of a human being who has lived a hundred years to understand life and its many complexities.

His English teacher, Mardeline Miller, says Gicos is a brilliant child who goes beyond the literal comprehension of stories.

“He asks a lot of questions and creates stories which makes teachers like me more hardworking because I have to do advance readings and research,” says Miller, a teacher for three years.

Miller accompanied Gicos and nine other USPF pupils during the third leg of the Siloy Campus Journalism session held on August 30 at the main function room of the USPF Main Campus in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

The lecture and workshop was organized by Cebu Daily News in partnership with USPF. It was sponsored by Jollibee and Global Business Power.

School paper

Apart from USPF, other private schools who joined the campus journalism session were Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, Mandaue Christian School, Maria Montessori International School–Talamban Campus and Sto. Niño Mactan Montessori School.

A total of 60 pupils and 17 teachers attended the whole-day session.

Teachers Gaye Katrin Cajes, Jhoanna Miñoza and Lyka Paquera of Maria Montessori International School-Talamban Campus said they appreciate the lectures and workshops on news writing, feature writing, editorial writing and photojournalism because it gave them a background and inspiration in starting their own school paper.

“It is challenging to start a school publication because we are new to this. We don’t really know what articles to include in the school paper. We’re happy we get to attend this because it serves as a guide as we are in the process of setting up our own publication,” says Miñoza, 22, and one of the school paper’s advisers.

It was the second time for Paquera, 28, to attend a campus journalism workshop, yet she cherished her CDN experience as much as her first.

In teaching children to be campus journalists, Paquera says it is important to give specific examples so they can understand the topic.
They brought 15 grades 5 and 6 pupils to join the workshop.

CDN editor Doris Bongcac, who speaks and trains participants on news and editorial writing, says this is the most inquisitive batch so far in the 2017 Siloy Campus Journalism Workshop series.

“The children’s questions kept us on our toes. They asked a lot of intelligent questions which field practitioners will not think of asking because this is what we do on a daily basis. They made us relearn the lesson that we should always be prepared for,” says Bongcac.

The Siloy Campus Journalism Workshop is part of CDN’s corporate social responsibility to reach out and train future journalists. It started last year as a joint initiative of the advertising/marketing and editorial departments.

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