Apprentice of Life’s Author

keeping the Adventist Journalism creed for His glory *Photo credits to Kemeul Kevin Lagrada, taken on February 7, 2007 @ Angel Hills, Tagaytay

Her quest as a writer started in high school. It was beyond her expectation to be chosen as the Associate Editor of The Trumpet (Pubication of Nabuslot National High School) on 1998, juggling the responsibility with the feature editorship of its Filipino counterpart, Ang Trumpeta. It  was during freshman when great pivotal moments changed the brooding teen-age gal’s life forever.

There were many triumphs she achieved through God’s grace. She bagged the 1st place for the Feature Writing Competition- English Category at the Regional Press Conference, and the publications The Trumpet and Ang Trumpeta, both 2nd place in the Best School’s Publications, English and Filipino categories, respectively. There had been failures, later realized as great blessings. She only stayed in high school for two years due to some unexpected circumstances. (Keep posted for her full high school memoir…soon)

For almost four years, she was out of school and served as a full-time missionary/volunteer after high school graduation. She’d been a contributor for the international quarterly magazine, Mission Projects International. It was never her plan to go back to college after quitting Philippine Women’s University on 2002. But God made it possible for her to finish her bachelor’s degree at AUP (Adventist University of the Philippines), where she served as a youth leader and a writer. It had been a big surprise, a leap of faith, and a great privilege to hone her talents and skills… to be trained for service.

modeling the UV 06-07 T-shirt with her cousin Kemuell Kevin Lagrada, UV staff-turned-Silang Memoirs' EIC '08-'09 (where's the loyalty to UV Kevz? LOL!)

In 2006, Lai joined the University Voice for a sole purpose — to serve as the Life’s Author’s apprentice. It was her longing to touch lives and to direct them to the Life Giver. It was not all fun, yet the four-year service was rewarding! By His grace, she can express much gaiety for the fruitful publication ministry He endowed. Once, she declined accepting the call to be one of the board members; she preferred to be a staff writer for three years. Twice, she declined to take the grave responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief. She felt unworthy…unqualified. But she etched in her heart the truth that “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” After two years, she accepted the call to be the managing editor of MUTAWI, the UV Journal. It wasn’t a bed of roses, but God’s grace made the thorns’ impact minimal.

Mr. Bean-faced Lai for University Voice poster 2008 (no other model available...LOL!) *Photo credits to Mark Oliver Mole

For Lai, writing isn’t as easy as reading. Reading can be entertaining and at the same time, consuming the mind’s energy to decipher the books and other reading materials without much effort.  Writing on the other hand is twice the effort. It is like cutting yourself and spilling some blood to give life to your imaginations and ideals. It is also opening your heart to greater vulnerability, being criticized and being rejected. However, setting aside the risks, there’s glory in writing. There’s actually greater glory when you take greater risks. But to compromise is never an option!

taking time to laugh and to have fun with Deomie Lyn *Photo credits to Kemeul Kevin Lagrada, taken on February 7, 2007 @ Angel Hills, Tagaytay

some of the laurels for UV team during the Tertiary Press Conference on Feb. 2007 🙂 Praises to the Heavenly Author! *Photo credits to Kemeul Kevin Lagrada, taken on February 9, 2007 @ Angel Hills, Tagaytay

“Write to EXPRESS, not to IMPRESS!”  That’s her  motto, knowing that “a drop of ink will make millions think”. She longs to rise above the mediocrity of a writer that is easily swayed by the impending threats, manipulated by the media and bribed by politics in all aspects. The half-truths and blatant lies that the majority of people believe and embrace are subjects of her work. To uphold Biblical truths without compromising is her creed, embodied in Philippians 4:8, NIV: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Our Life's Author has always been faithful. Praise His name!

Writers and Editors Seminar-Workshop at Philippine Publishing House *Photo credits to Pastor Ron Genebago

Delegates from Central Luzon Conference * Photo credits to Jeruel Ibanez

fellow writer/editor Marvie Javero and Deomie Lynn Rivamonte *Photo credits to Deomie

one of the most fulfilling days of life 🙂 from left to right: Dr. Gracel Salangsang-Saban, Armon Tolentino, Malou Escasa and Miriam Carlos (former editors of University Voice and Silang Memoirs)

with one of the key-note speakers, Steven Chavez, Managing Editor of Adventist World and Adventist Review and CLC Communication Director, Pastor Ron Genebago (the current NPUC Youth Director)

receiving a great souvenir, the certificate 🙂 at her right are Roy Adams, Associate Editor of Adventist World and Adventist Review, and Mrs. Lilibeth Casel, the Philanthropic Director of the Adventist University of the Philippines (she's now the PR Director as well)

Writers and Editors Seminar sponsored by the Adventist World and Adventist Review in coordination with the Southern Asia-Pacific Division * Photos credit to Mark Oliver Mole, taken on November 12, 2009 @ CLC Cocueco Hall

On December 7-14 2007, Lai was given a break to join the 8th SAUM (Southern Asia Union Mission) Pathfinder Camporee in Saraburi Thailand. It was rewarding to be one of the counselors for the AUP Academy Drill Team, and correspondent for the said event. The SEA GAMES was simultaneously happening during the camporee, and the kingdom of Thailand just celebrated King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s  80th birthday on Dec. 5, 2007, it was a package of surprises and adventures! (keep posted for the up-coming article about it)

Philippine Contingent (AUP Academy Drill Team, Counselors, University PF Club Directors, SSD Youth Director, SAUM Youth Director & CLC Youth Director

Caught in the act! A stolen shot taken by MG Jeruel B. Ibañez while interviewing a faculty from Ekamai International School (Bangkok), during the culminating activity on Dec. 13, 2007

The book that has been the treasure chest of her fondest memories and adventures; a challenged her faith to write more for His glory.

Her journey as a writer is not yet half-way through. She knows that there are many things to discover yet. She believes, there are many traits she needs to unlearn and to learn, character that would help her grow as an apprentice of Life’s Author. She simply give God  the pen, knowing He’ll continue to scribble the best life story the world could ever read.

~LAF 2011


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