In every season of my life, I’ve told stories in some way, shape or form.
Since the age of 9, I kept journals and notepads filled with diary entries and short stories. Before graduating from university, I got hired as an editorial assistant in San Miguel Corporation’s Public Relations Office, where I worked on magazine articles and transcribing interviews for two coffee table books.
That provided awesome training for my later foray into the glossy world of women’s magazines: first, as managing editor for Cosmopolitan Philippines, and then as editor of Candy, a magazine for pre-teen girls. A year after launching Candy, I flew to New York to train as editor of Seventeen Philippines, the first international edition of Seventeen, the iconic American teen title. My job was to write stories that plucked at the heart strings of teenage girls, but the upside was meeting and interviewing celebrities like singer/actress Mandy Moore, the girl band Atomic Kitten, cool singer-songwriter Michelle Branch, and international crooner Michael Buble. In 2004, I moved from my hometown of Manila to Singapore to work for Female, first as lifestyle editor and then as beauty editor. Four years later, I joined Ink Publishing to edit Smile, Cebu Pacific Air’s inflight magazine, which I happily did until I moved to New Zealand in late 2011. I’ve also contributed my stories to Preview, Marie Claire Philippines, Top Gear Philippines, Men’s Health Singapore and Female Brides Singapore to name a few.
I’m also a published author with two chick-lit novels under my belt: The Breakup Diaries (Summit Books, 2003), which was later adapted to Philippine television on ABC-5’s Love Books, and Undercover Tai Tai (Marshall Cavendish Singapore, 2008). My third book, Good Night, Lala (Adarna House), is a collection of my mom Corazon O. Calica’s stories about being a child in Pampanga during WWII. I edited her childhood tales and illustrated them using sewn artworks. That set the stage for yet another storytelling adventure, Sew and Tell, an art exhibit featuring 12 stories expressed in narrative embroidery. Read more about it here.
Now that I tell stories with more than just words, I can’t wait to start on more creative adventures. Care to join me?