A new dose of Young Blood | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Before Twitter, there was Young Blood, the Philippine Daily Inquirer column that has provided a voice to generation after generation of twentysomethings who have a lot to say. The tradition thrives to this day.


The best essays published in the column have been previously compiled in three best-selling Young Blood books.


Sunday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m., Inquirer  will launch Young Blood’s fourth volume at National Book Store in Glorietta 1. Edited by Ruel S. De Vera, Rosario A. Garcellano, Pam Pastor and JV Rufino, Young Blood 4 includes the best essays published in the column from 2005 to 2011.


On these pages, meet some of the authors of Young Blood 4. Greet the rest of them (and have your copies signed) at the launch on Sunday. Special book launch price is P300.


Young Blood 4 will be available at National Book Store and Powerbooks branches starting next week for P375.


Melissa T. Que


Melissa’s Young Blood contribution is “From a bride-to-be,” a letter she wrote to her brother Mojo just before she got married.


Why did you send your story to Young Blood?


I love writing and Young Blood is a good avenue for the kind of pieces that I write. I’ve been wanting to submit an article since I was in high school but never got to come up with a piece long enough to occupy the entire column (I didn’t want to occupy just half of the column, haha). So when I realized my “letter” was lengthy enough, I told myself, “That was it!”


Your piece came out in 2011. How much has your life changed since then?


A couple of months after our wedding, my husband and I got an opportunity to open a business and move to Cagayan de Oro (from Manila). So we dropped everything, packed our stuff into a 10-foot container and flew to a new city! We are now enjoying the luxury of “provincial” living and expecting our first child.


What are you now busy with?


Reading books and articles on parenting and baby care, as well as transferring my FB notes to my blogspot account, www.bloggingpepita.blogspot.com.


How’s Mojo?


Mojo’s doing great! God answered our prayers to surround him with good friends. We also realized that our brother-sister relationship just entered a different season and in no way diminished in terms of “quality.” In fact, he also gained a brother!


How did you find out that your piece would be included in the book?


My dad called me last Thursday evening and told me the good news. I was ecstatic! I also had goose bumps when I read the announcement on INQUIRER.net, blessed to be one of the 65 out of all the articles published since 2005!


Will we see you at the launch?


I really want to be there, but since I’m six months pregnant now and flying isn’t as easy as it used to, I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it. Mojo will drop by on Sunday to get my copy.


Irene Andrea Perez


An editorial production assistant at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Irene wrote “Kicked Out of Home,” her loving (and rocking) tribute to the gone—but not forgotten—radio station NU107.


Why did you send your story to Young Blood?


My friends and I camped out at the NU107 booth on its last night, out of nostalgia. I came as a rock-music fan and not as a writer on an assignment, but the energy was so high that I started jotting down notes for a story. I was supposed to submit the article to Super but there was limited space that week, so I gave it to the Opinion section for consideration. Thankfully, it was published in Young Blood. It has been a fantasy to be published in Young Blood way before I was hired by the Inquirer.


Your piece came out in 2010. How much has your life changed since then?


I used to listen to just rock, indie and jazz. Now I listen to pop music. I never appreciated boy bands in the ’90s when they were very popular, but now I pretty much like One Direction. I also celebrated my 10th year in the Inquirer last December.


Which radio station do you listen to now?


I listen to Magic 89.9 because “Boys Night Out” topics are always trending on Twitter.


How did you find out that your piece would be included in the book?


One of the book editors told me, “Congrats,” and I replied, “Why?” He accidentally informed me that my article would be part of Young Blood 4. Best accident ever! Apparently people were trying to break the news to me, but I couldn’t be reached that day.


Will we see you at the launch?


Of course! Having my story chosen from six years’ worth of entries is a big honor. It is a dream come true.


Antoinette Jadaone


In 2010, Antoinette wrote about her broken keyboard in her Young Blood piece “The revenge of ‘b.’” Two years later, she released “Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay,” the critically acclaimed film that she wrote and directed.


Why did you send your story to Young Blood?


Pangarap ko ang Young Blood. It’s in the editorial section of the Inquirer, same spread as Conrado de Quiros and Randy David. So, feeling ko, when it’s published in Young Blood, your voice matters. And somebody listens.


Your piece came out in 2010. How much has your life changed since then?


I have a new laptop, for one, and I’ve since abandoned my Blogdrive blog (I now blog via WordPress). I’ve pursued my “non-ambition to write”—I now semiregularly write for a newspaper. And my ambition to be a director as well—I’ve finally directed my first full-length film.


Do you have a fully functioning keyboard now?


Haha, yes—of a new laptop. The old laptop, namatay na siya, sumalangit nawa.


What are you now busy with?


Writing screenplays and being afraid of the daunting task of making my second film.


How did you find out that your piece would be included in the book?


I woke up to a friend’s (Pepe Diokno, my editor in another broadsheet) text message saying that he saw my name on the list of the Young Blood 4 contributors. Ay, grabe, ang saya ko! Really, it’s my dream to be published in a Young Blood book! When I saw our copy of PDI downstairs, naka-highlight na ng orange yung pangalan ko. It could only be my mom. Event dito ang ma-publish sa Young Blood.


Will we see you at the launch?


Naman! :)


Aileen Estoquia


In the piece “Ma’am Simby,” Aileen paid tribute to her professor and journalist Chit Estella who passed away in 2011.


Why did you send your story to Young Blood?


The piece was actually just a note that I wrote on Facebook about a former professor who was killed in a tragic accident. I wrote about how she was as a teacher and how she had an impact on me. I guess people were touched by it because it got a lot of shares, even among people I didn’t know. Someone suggested that I send it to Young Blood, so I did.


Your piece came out in 2011. How much has your life changed since then?


In my piece, I wrote about how my professor used to murder my writing. Since the piece came out, I have written a few pieces in print magazines and in a major news website, edited three books and worked on three more, and edited several legal papers.


I was in sophomore year in law school when I wrote the piece. I’m now in fourth year.


What are you now busy with?


I’m busy with law school, work, and my outdoor adventures. I climb mountains whenever I can, backpack, surf, and travel a lot. I also write and edit sometimes.


How did you find out that your piece would be included in the book?


An officemate saw it in the Inquirer and told me about it as soon as she saw me. I was so excited to share it with friends and family that I almost forgot to have lunch.


Will we see you at the launch on Sunday?


Yes, I’ll be there on Sunday. I can’t miss it!


Justin Gatuslao


In “Finding father,” Justin shared the touching story of how he found his biological dad, whom he now calls “Bio-Dad.”


Why did you decide to send your story to Young Blood?


I wrote and sent my story to Young Blood knowing how adoption, though hardly unusual, is still considered taboo if discussed openly. I wanted to share what I went through in the process of self-identification, which was the most difficult aspect of dealing with the reality of adoption. In my case, it came as a confession but only much later in life to avoid confusion. I can only hope that those keeping such secrets can find the courage to speak up and for those who are fellow adoptivos to understand that we are lucky indeed to have been chosen to be loved.


Your piece came out in 2011. How much has your life changed since then?


Since my piece was printed, I have since entered government and am now much busier compared to my days as a cultural worker. I am now with the Presidential Communications Group where the daily grind has kept dormant a sequel to my piece.


How is “Bio-Dad”?


I actually met bio-dad, halfway around the world, in bustling London. Relations with bio-dad and his family have remained very warm since our rendezvous. We

keep regular contact through Facebook and I sometimes get glimpses of how it must have been like growing up with him. He’s a supportive stage dad who “likes” everything I post on my FB wall and actively leaves comments. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome of finding and finally being with him.


How did you find out that your piece would be included in the book?


I found out my piece was included in the book via Facebook notification, after a friend tagged me in a post with a link to the article. I was at the gym and almost fell of the elliptical machine after seeing my name. It came as a welcome surprise and I felt privileged to be among promising, young individuals with stories to share that uplift, inspire and bring hope.


Will we see you at the launch?


I will definitely be at the launch.


Dr. Alex Pisig


In “Moonlighting,” Alex chronicled his career in medicine and his days as a general physician.


Why did you decide to send your story to Young Blood?


The Philippine Daily Inquirer is actually my number one broadsheet; and I’m an avid reader of its no-holds-barred editorial commentaries! But the Young Blood column captivates my attention the most. I find it fascinating. It is as if I’m with those writers at the time they’re experiencing their “moments,” because I feel their emotions, too. I thought that I could share my experiences, too, as a budding medical doctor. I was at the crossroads of my career that time. I knew that many other doctors were experiencing the same thing, so I thought sharing my story would be also representing the plight of my colleagues.


Your piece came out in 2009. How much has your life changed since then? You’re no longer moonlighting, right?


A lot has happened since then. I decided not to stay as a moonlighter and took the US medical licensure exam. I then applied for a training position at a tertiary hospital here in the metro, and was accepted as an ophthalmology resident. The US license would hopefully help me in pursuing further subspecialty training abroad, after which I plan to come back to our country to practice as a world-class eye doctor. I am currently a senior ophthalmology resident at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City, and this is where I’ve been inching my steps to be that fine physician that I’ve been longing to be.


How did you find out that your piece would be included in the book?


While doing rounds

in the hospital, two message notifications from Facebook popped on my phone. Later on I found out that the first message said that I was featured somewhere and the second was asking for an autograph, with me having absolutely no idea on what they were talking about. So I checked out the announcement during my break and was surprised. I immediately told my

coresidents about it and they joined me in my elation.


Will we see you at the launch?


Yes, definitely! This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I won’t miss it. We are conducting a surgical mission for our poor patients that same day and I will be coming from there. A very busy Sunday indeed!


Eljohn Yee


Eljohn juggles his love for cooking and the pressures of gender stereotypes in his Young Blood piece, “Plastic Chef.”


Why did you decide to send your story to Young Blood?


“Plastic Chef” was my English class essay when I was a freshman in Ateneo. I really had difficulty in writing prose when I was in high school, and that essay was one of my biggest improvements. My teacher really liked the essay and she told me to send it to Young Blood. I was shy at first, because it might not be at par with other essays. But one time, I saw my friend’s essay in Young Blood and I got inspired!


Your piece came out in 2009. How much has your life changed since then?


When it got published, a lot of people messaged me on Facebook and some of them even became my friends. One of the most notable was a lieutenant in the Philippine Marines, Mr. Roger Flores. He was an amazing and multiawarded individual who shared with me a lot of insights. We even had the chance to meet when I asked him to be a speaker at an event in Ateneo. Another amazing experience was getting a message from Enderun Colleges to attend demo lessons in their school! Even if I wasn’t able to attend, I was honored to be offered that opportunity.


What are you now busy with?


I am currently a freshman medical student at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. Last 2012, through God’s grace, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree on BS Health Sciences minor in Health and Development from the Ateneo de Manila University. Aside from my current Herculean academic load and several upcoming exams, I’m mostly busy preparing for the Asia-Pacific Medical Students Conference in Taipei. I am representing our thesis group and I will present the findings of our undergraduate thesis entitled, “A cross-sectional study on the factors affecting the utilization of maternal health care services by Filipino women in Barangay Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City.”


Have you become more open about your love for cooking?


Yes! I’ve been baking a lot since we need a fundraiser for our current study on reducing hyperlipidemia in rats, which costs a lot! I’ve been trying to improve and my classmates have been very appreciative of my efforts. I do still feel conscious about cooking outside our house, not just because of the stereotypes, but also because of my unfamiliarity with the location and other factors. If I do have more time, I would love to write about food and explore its wonders.


How did you find out that your piece would be included in the book?


I didn’t sleep that day because I had a long exam on Neurology. I was groggy and inattentive, trying to remember what I can from the readings. Around 7 a.m. my brother excitedly showed me the newspaper. That woke me up. I was really happy and excited. I informed my friends and relatives. I wasn’t able to finish the other readings because I got distracted, but I was more awake and lively for the exam. I told my teacher and mentors about it and they were really excited for me as well.


Will we see you at the launch?


Yes, of course!


Mong Palatino


Mong Palatino, a blogger, activist and congressman representing the Kabataan Party-list, is the only person in the history of Young Blood to have two essays printed in the same book. His first piece, “Activist Lover,” is a tale of romance set in the world of activism. His second, “Neophyte,” discusses what it’s like to be a young congressman.


Why did you decide to send your stories to Young Blood?


I have a story to tell and I wanted it to be read by many people.


How does it feel to be the only person with two essays in the book?


Very grateful for the honor and chance to share my adventures as a young man with the reading public. It’s a special gift that I’d like to dedicate to my two kids and inspire them to embark and write their own adventures in the future.


Your pieces came out in 2007 and 2010. How much has your life changed since then?


I was running for Congress in 2007 when the Inquirer published my Young Blood piece about my love story. Then I was already a member of the 14th Congress in 2010 when the Inquirer published another Young Blood essay of mine. Today, I’m finishing my second and last term as youth party list representative in the 15th Congress. It’s quite fascinating to reread my neophyte reflections on being a young member of Congress, and be able to affirm them as still valid, as I prepare to graduate from the institution a few months from now.


What are you now busy with?


Still blogging, still rallying, still legislating, and still very much married to my wife.


How did you find out that your pieces would be included in the book?


I was in Benguet for a Congress hearing on the proposed P125 wage hike bill when a friend informed me through Twitter that my name was mentioned in the Young Blood announcement. The first thing I did was to read again the Young Blood pieces on the Inquirer website; and then I remembered that I haven’t collected my payment for my last Young Blood essay. Kidding aside, I was happy and thrilled to learn that my Young Blood contributions will be published in book form.


Will we see you at the launch?


Yes. I’m looking forward to meeting the other Young Blood contributors.


Kim Boysie A. Enage


In “High Blood,” Kim wrote about his battle against his rising blood pressure.


Why did you decide to send your story to Young Blood?


I felt it was something worth sharing. An extra motivation was to be in the same page or spread as someone like

Mr. Conrado de Quiros, to whom I have complete deference when it comes to good writing style. I was fortunate to see three of my articles published in Young Blood and, I think, on two occasions, Mr. De Quiros also happened to have a column on those days! It was quite a thrill!


Your piece came out in 2005. How much has your life changed since then?


Quite a lot. I got married (to my girlfriend of eight years) in 2009,  became a lawyer in 2010 and embraced parenthood in 2011, to name just some of the more recent developments.


What are you now busy with?


I’m connected with a pharmaceutical company where I do finance and legal work. I also teach in UP.


How is your BP these days?


It’s been normal for years, thanks to a healthy diet and a healthier lifestyle.


How did you find out that your piece would be included in the book?


I was reading the Inquirer last week and was pleasantly surprised to see my name!


Will we see you at the launch?