My love affair with reading started in my elementary days.
I loved reading.
I didn’t have money to buy books then.
Thus I read anything that I came across with.
Be it comics.
Bannawag. The weekly magazine of the Ilokanos.
All borrowed from neighbors and friends.
At times I even read the loose newspaper pages that were used in wrapping stuff that my mother bought from the market.
That’s how I loved reading.
I was obsessed with reading especially when a visiting school supervisor told my Grade 2 teacher then that I was bright.
At that time in late 1970s there was no electricity yet in some provinces of the Philippines.
I read using a small kerosene lamp.
I read one book a night.
I didn’t want to put down a book without finishing it.
In high school I was into reading pocket books.
Then one night.
I was nearly burned!
I fell asleep while reading a book.
I accidentally hit the lamp while sleeping.
The lamp fell on my pillow.
It burned part of the pillow.
Part of the ends of my hair was already burned.
Fortunately for me, my older brother woke up.
Their house was a few meters away from ours.
He shouted Fire!
He kept on shouting while running to wake us up!
From then on, my mother would not sleep if I was still reading.
And I have learned to read a book by chapters.
Not necessarily finished a book in just one night.
I still love reading.
But mostly online now.
So I am already safe!