No matter how many times I’ve been to Cebu, the city always seems new. Every Cebu encounter is different.
I usually take time to meet old friends and visit old haunts, but the experience is always evergreen.
My latest trip was to facilitate a back-to back creative writing workshop for students and teachers who were handpicked by the school head because of their interest in both reading and writing.
At the airport I was met by Teacher Hananel, the school's representative, who was to be my roommate (and soon BFF) for my whole stay in a cozy guest room adorned with special welcome buntings.
“Are there any places or sites you want to visit?” the school head asked.
“None,” I said. “I came to work.” But, really, anything that has to do with creative writing is never work, it’s what I love doing.
From the airport, we took a short rest, lunch, then the “work” began. Twenty irrepressible students, grades 7-10, voracious readers all, “worked” with me. There were joshing and laughing and unlimited grace of delightful things. Each one was a quick study and his/her ideas were out of the box.
We concluded the afternoon with a promise to do more “work” the next day. Their written evaluation of session 1 are now locked in my heart’s treasure box. Here are some of them:
“What I disliked about the workshop is nothing.”
“The games and activities helped me learn in a fun way.”
“I like how the class is interactive and how we are given the chance to write freely and express what is in our mind.”
“Now I know I can open my mind and that my imagination is infinite.”
“I learned that a writer should always be positive.”
My Day 1 in New Cebu ended with a relaxing dinner with some teachers I met for the first time, in an old place I saw with new eyes.
(Next post: Day 2 of New Cebu)