Renowrites blog!

Author of YA novel "Enlightenment" available March 2019!

Booktalk in Los Angeles

ᜊ ᜆ ᜎ Booktalk at Philippines Expressions Bookshop in San Pedro on Saturday 8/31/19 had me in a great mood when a reader came up with a copy of Enlightenment from her library for me to sign. Memorable times with Tita Linda Nietes, Robert, MariLu Morris! Great to hang out with my homie Rex Sampaga and spent time exchanging stories with Eliseo Art Arimbulo Silva, Abe Pagtama and entrepreneur and writer Gabe Pagtama who has a new release on the Watsonville Riots. As I make my rounds to different bookstores and festivals around the country, I’m encouraged by the support and acceptance of Enlightenment and The Bathala Series in the literary world. Here’s to Philippines Expressions Bookshop for offering me and other Filipino authors a platform for our stories! #renowrites #authorlife

Filed under: Writing, ,

Self actualization

I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose. As I get older, I’m in a state of wonder at life’s journey.

I’m the son of Filipino immigrants who worked diligently to provide a good life in the States for me and my sister, JoAnna. We had a nice house and nothing to complain about.

However, there was a lingering feeling of something missing that was hard to pinpoint. I consider the days of my youth lonely times, the loneliness slowly burning a hole inside me. I played basketball and baseball which helped me not dwell on this loneliness. Sports was my great escape.

Books and music were my other outlets to combat loneliness. And when I started to write in high school, my haphazard stories became the impetus for me become a published writer. This was a dream I didn’t share with anyone. At the time, I thought my family wouldn’t take it seriously.

The last nineteen years, I’ve been privileged to be a husband and father. My kids have a good life in Northern California. Now they are teenagers and on their way towards adulthood.

When they were babies, I was resolved to keep a roof over their heads and not be homeless. As strange as that may sound, that was my fear — being a homeless family. That’s what drove me to go to work everyday.

Now that they are older, I have a sense everything will be okay. The fear still resonates at times, but I’m a in different place. I think less of homelessness and more about my life’s journey, my overall purpose to mankind.

My eldest daughter, a smart beautiful eighteen year old who I enjoy talking to about life’s philosophical questions, reminded me in a recent car conversation that this is self actualization, the final stage of development in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This stage occurs when a person is able to take full advantage of their talents while still being mindful of their limitations. In other words, its the desire to be most you can be after the most basic needs like shelter, a sense of belonging and esteem are met.

Self actualization. I realize I’ve been working all my life to get to this stage. My lonely days in my youth, to finding a sense of belonging in college, to building my reputation in music and writing, to taking care of my family. All of these needs have been met.

Now when I attempt to hit my daily minimum word count while balancing my day job and family life, writing serves as a mechanism for me to reach my potential, to test my limits, and to tell a story worth remembering.

And realizing I’m self-actualizing should make me feel blessed. Perhaps I’ll feel that way one day when all the books of The Bathala Series are written.

But I’m here. I’m writing. I’m in self actualization. And I’m hoping to enjoy the details of this journey, to breathe it all in, instead of always focusing on the destination.

Filed under: everyday, Writing,