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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Essay, My Simple Motto

My Simple Motto
Melchor F. Cichon
April 26, 2020

I am not lifting my own chair. I just want to share my experiences to those who wish to accomplish their dreams.
This has been my motto since I was in high school: Work while others are sleeping.
This is one reason why I have accomplished a lot of things which I thought I could not do.
When I was in high school I thought I could not finish my studies because I was away from my parents. I was with my elder brothers in Zamboanga City then and I had very low grades in the elementary. All my grades were below 80. In fact, I flanked in Grade Five because I could hardly read. And spelling was my waterloo. Don't ask me about my math classes because I wished there was none. So when I was in high school, I decided to befriend my classmates who were honor students. I asked them how they spent their time. From them I learned that they spent more of their time studying their lessons instead of going out to see movies or play basketball. With that background, I followed their example. I noticed that my grades in high school improved. I became a staff member of our school organ. When I graduated, I was first honorable mention. In college, I did the same technique. Instead of going out with friends to see movies or indulge in drinking or in playing basketball, I spent most of my time in the library reading and doing my assignments.  Although, I did not earn any academic award in college but I was able to publish some poems in the Philippine Collegian and in Philippines Free Press, and other national magazines. When I started working at the University of the Philippines Main Library in Diliman, Quezon City, instead of talking with my co-workers while on duty, I did my duties even without the presence of my supervisor. If I had no knowledge about my new work, I would ask help from my supervisor or from my co-workers. Or I read books or magazines to get a better understanding about my work. And I was always present in my work, except when I was sick. The internet was not invented yet. And the price of one bottle of Coke or Pepsi was only ten centavos (Ph 0.10) while the cost of Ikot jeep within the UP Campus in Diliman was only five centavos (Ph0.05). That was one reason why I was always given a raise in my salary or a promotion. Later I decided to enroll in graduate schools. Luckily, I earned two graduate degrees, plus a post-graduate study sponsored by UNDP-DOST-UP Institute of Library Science. When I was working at the UPV Library, I studied the criteria for getting promotion or to become an outstanding UPV employee. Hence, I did extra work aside from the normal library duties. I wrote articles on fisheries and other topics, prepared indexes, bibliographies and abstracts, and poems, among others. I applied as a lecturer in management at the UPV College of Management and luckily I was accepted. These were things which were not done by my co-workers. And before I retired as a College Librarian of UPV College of Fisheries and Oceanology, I received two awards as UPV outstanding university employee. I do not know if someone else from the UPV Library has achieved such a feat.
And even after retirement from the government, I wrote a lot of poems and some short stories. Until today. With that, I became the first Aklanon to receive the Union ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) award for my contribution in Aklanon Literature. The Province of Aklan also gave me an award as an Outstanding Aklanon in Culture and the Arts. And in 2019, I became the first Aklanon to receive the Taboan Award. To date, I have published 10 books/pamphlets on Aklanon Literature and history. Two of my books are Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii? A collection of Aklanon poems withFilipino translation, c2015, and The Katipunan in Aklan, as co-author with John E. Barrios and Dominador I. Ilio, 2nd ed., c2019. Some of my literary works have been included in anthologies like Sa Atong Dila; introduction to Visayan Literature, edited by Merlie Alunan,c2015, and in Sansiglong Mahigit ng Makabagong Tula sa Filipinas, edited by Virgilio S. Almario, c2006. Two of those graduate students who studied my poems were Charlie Ileto Ureta for his Master of Arts in Education (English) thesis entitled English Translation Attempts of Selected Akeanon Luwa, Aklan State University, April 2018, and Sharon Concepcion Masula for her dissertation entitled Pagsusuri sa Istruktura ng Tatlumpu't Limang (35) Piling Tula na Isinulat ni Melchor F. Cichon, Pamantasang Manuel Luis Quezon, Quezon City, 2016.
But one major reason for the accomplishment of my dream is my wife, Mrs. Pilma D. Cichon, for her support in my writing activities.

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