Friday, December 1, 2006

Thank You

Greg S. Castilla

I started writing for the Filipino-American Bulletin November of 1989. If my math is correct, it’s seventeen years of writing this November of 2006. Previous to that, I regularly contributed articles to The International Examiner for five years. Over a year ago, I started writing for the Bayanihan News in Sydney. My articles vary from sports to politics, from overly critical to honestly neutral, and from serious to not too serious.

I don’t know how many read my articles. But I do know people read them because I continue to get some feedback from the readers. They read my articles to get a different view of life, to know how I think on certain issues, to take a glimpse at the latest outrage or bias in my mind, to acquire new insights, to get some information to throw back at me, to reinforce their opinions, and probably because they have nothing else to read.

While I’m essentially a thoughtful person, not once have I publicly thanked these readers. Some of them might not like what I write. Others might have been offended by my frankness. But they deserve my thanks for taking a few minutes of their time to know what my perspectives are.

No matter if my articles are criticized, admired, agreed with, dissected, as long as they are read, the efforts of these readers are very much appreciated.

I spend a few precious hours writing articles. The prep work includes a lot of reflection. Sometimes it helps if I’m familiar with the topic I want to write about. At times, I look for topics to write about in newspapers, in casual conversations with friends, in talking to my wife, in what I observe around me or in watching TV. If I’m inspired, ideas come out freely and it does not take that long to sit in front of my computer and come out with a decent article. But unlike many professional writers, writing for me is ninety percent perspiration and ten percent inspiration. Inspiration sometimes comes in the form of a reminder from my editor (thanks to you, too).

It would be very disappointing if my effort is ignored and does not impact the readers whether negatively or positively. Certainly, the worst that could happen is if I find out that no one reads me anymore. Thus, special thanks to those who go out of their way to give me feedback.

I would be negligent if I thank my readers but fail to be grateful for the many blessings that have come my way this year. Despite pulling my hamstring for two consecutive Sundays while playing basketball, I remain relatively healthy. To be 57 years old and still be able to play competitive basketball, with no major illness, is a gift that is worth thanking for.

I’m eternally grateful to my wife, daughters, relatives and friends who are always there for me. They continue to be my sources of inspiration, strength, comfort and support. Just like my readers, they’ve tried to understand my views. But unlike my readers, they’ve wished me nothing but the best. Thank you to all of you on this Thanksgiving Day!