Trip to Daet: Para kay R sa higit 65 na Kataga

As part of the celebration of the 22nd year of the Daet Pinyasan Festival, the Local Government Unit of Daet, Camarines Norte included in its line up of activities a Scriptwriting Workshop with none other than (drumroll please)… Mr. Ricky Lee! 🙂

Months, Weeks, Days before the Workshop

The moment I got to know about the inclusion of the writing workshop, I knew I wanted to be there through hell or high water. Writing workshop yun, si Sir Ricky Lee ang magsi-spearhead at dito sa Bicol gaganapin. Sa’n ka pa?! I would never ever let an opportunity like that just pass me by. Tipong once in a lifetime ang drama. Luckily, one of the persons I met during the Date in Daet (hi Sir Norj!) was the contact person himself of the workshop. He was the one preparing the short list of participants. Talk about the Universe conspiring with your dream? Uhuh.

And yes, para di naman ako mukhang tanga, nag-iisa at walang kasama during the workshop, I invited my writer and non-writer friends to join me. Sobrang nangulit talaga ako. Sadly, they had other matters and prior engagements already. I resolved though na kahit mag-isa ako, I’ll got for it. Go, go, go maski na solo.

I then brushed up on my Filipino (Tagalog) and bought Sir Rick Lee’s two (2) novels.


I even sent him a friend request on Facebook. And guess what?

Screen cap from FB

Omg! Ang galing! He accepts friend request from mortals like me! 🙂

Then I thought of my other writer-friend Ahrdee. I sent him a message via Twitter and asked if he was willing to go with me. He called me back about two (2) days later and told me he had two (2) other writer-friends who were also interested to go. Buti na lang, Sir Norj was very accommodating and graciously obliged our request for the inclusion of two additional participants. Thank goodness!

Para di naman dyahe, I met up with Ahrdee and his friends, Isa and Plops, over pizza.

We availed of the extended promo. Hehe.

We availed of the extended promo. Hehe.

So yan. I was set for the scriptwriting workshop. I had companions na and my books were ready for Sir Ricky’s signature. I made some, ehem, research, too.



Whoa! So this is how a script looks like. I haven’t really seen one in real life.
The first thought that came to my mind when I saw this? Gulp. Ano na naman tong pinapasok ko?! Ay sus! Bahala na si B, ay si Batman pala.

The Day of the Workshop

Our foursome (Ahrdee, Isa, Plops, and I) wanted to catch the first trip to Daet in order to arrive early or at least on time for the workshop. We wanted to get front row seats, absorb as much information as we can, and be up close and personal with Sir Ricky.

I woke up at 3:00, rode the Lagonoy bus bound to Naga at 4:30, and was at the terminal at 5:00 in the morning.

The first trip ordinary bus already left when the three of them arrived. The next bus leaves at 6:00 and had to make a stopover at Sipocot for a few more undetermined minutes. “We’ll surely be late!” We then decided to take the van — costlier fare at PhP 180.00 but will at least take us to the venue faster.

Hmm. I should have brought my ADNU ID pala. Sayang din ang 30 pesos.

Hmm. I should have brought my ADNU ID pala. Sayang din ang 30 pesos.

From the Central terminal, we took a tricycle to the LCC van terminal and waited for other passengers. It was already 6:30 when the van was finally filled up. Gosh! Computing the travel time, we knew we will be late for the start of the program. But what can we do? We just said goodnight slept through the whole ride. I was asleep until I felt our van stop — a full stop. What the?! I removed my eye mask and amid my blurry vision, I saw that we were at the middle of the road yet people were likewise on the road. What was going on?

A parade, they said.

A parade, they said.

Sipocot was having a parade which has just started. My watch said that it was nearly 8:00 already, and we were still stuck here. Anobayan! Sana kahit yung half nang road ay binuksan para sa mga dadaang sasakyan. Huhuhu. Late na late na late na kami!

Gumising ng super aga, late pa din. :p

Gumising ng super aga, late pa din. :p

It was a good 45-minute wait before the van started its engine and continued with our journey to Daet. We accepted our fate and said goodbye to front row seats, the introductions, and the preliminaries of the workshop with Ricky Lee. Sigh. We again slept through the rest of the travel.

Ahrdee awakened me with a nudge. I think we passed through the Welcome to Daet sign that’s why he woke me up. A good fellow asked if the Daet Municipal Hall was our destination, and said it was already near. Yey! Just in time that I’m alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic again. Isa and Plops were still asleep. Jejeje. We got down by the side of the road where the iron fences were riddled with pineapple designs. This must be it. We entered the gate just as a Starex van came in. We were near the stairs when the doors of the Starex flew open and the passengers alighted. One was a man with glasses wearing a blue, white and black plaid polo. He looked like Sir Ricky Lee. Uhm, on second thought, he was Sir Ricky Lee!

Goodness! I literally jumped with joy. “He has just arrived! Di tayo late. Yey!” I uttered in mixed disbelief and excitement.

His group led us to the stairs on the way to the Conference Hall of the Daet Municipal Hall. We registered and peeped through the glass windows. The inside seats of the conference table were unoccupied. Wow! Front row seats still. We cannot believe our luck. Despite the seemingly endless distractions we encountered just to make it to the workshop, everything weaved into place just as we wished it would. Hay grabe Lord, ang bait mo. Super thank youuuuu! 😀

During the Workshop

So ayun, front row seats nga:

Sir Ricky Lee

More of Sir Ricky Lee

The workshop was an informal exchange of ideas between us and Sir Ricky at the helm. He did away with the technical aspect of scriptwriting but instead taught us the heart and soul of writing — the inner lives and the philosophies behind every story told. In fact, what he talked about was how to become effective story tellers. ❤️

After which, we were divided into groups and were told to come up with a storyline which we will later present to the rest of the participants. Here are my group mates while we were brainstorming:

Go, Group Three!

Go, Group Three!

After two (2) hours, each group was asked to present our respective story lines. Among the six (6) groups, we were the first to do so. Yikes! I knew though that the story line we crafted was all good. We were represented by Sandi:

Group 3, represent!

Group 3, represent!

When Sandi was finished, I said to myself that we totally nailed it. Being the first ones to present our story line, we have set the bar high for other groups to even try. Hehe. We patiently listened to the other groups’ story lines. When everyone was through, we gave each of us a round of applause for a job well done. *thunderous applause*

While the judges deliberated on which group presented the best storyline, Sir Ricky took the liberty of introducing the books he wrote (which were up for grabs for the group with the Best Storyline).

The Making of Himala, Trip to Quiapo, Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata, and Para Kay B

The Making of Himala, Trip to Quiapo, Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata, and Para Kay B

Thereafter, he made chika about his life story, his mission of giving back to Daet every year, his work at ABS-CBN, his humble beginnings, people he worked with — a lot about him. It came to me that he’s been through the ups and downs of life and he is tao lang just like everyone else. People people look up to him dressed in his accolades and laurels, yet, he remains humble with his feet firmly planted on the ground. 🙂

After the chikahan portion, the announcement of the Best Storyline came. And who won? Group Three!!! We won!!! 😀 Here’s our little project in its raw form, erasures and all:

All rights reserved. No copying please. :P

All rights reserved. No copying please. 😛

After the workshop

As winners, each group member was handed a copy of the book they fancied. I got me Trip to Quiapo because I had the other two books already: Para kay B and Si Amapola sa 65 Kabanta. I was one happy kid! I’ve been rooting to have the book early in the day pa lang, and I got it. Yey! 🙂

The giving out of books semi-ended the workshop. Semi because let’s of picture-taking and autograph signing took place thereafter. Syempre, avail avail na ng sikat pag may time. We had to catch the next van trip back to Naga so we had to beg off from the rest of the picture-taking.

Upon taking our van seats, we were immediately settled and in no time, were fast asleep.

The whole experience was awesome!!!! It was medyo bitin but it was all worth it. I look forward to attending more workshops like this.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this experience! 🙂


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