The Language of My Heart

β€œLet life’s symphony reveals the unpublished mystery and the riveting story of who I am..”

A precious smile captured during the Launch and Book Signing of my poetry book Language of My Heart.

It all began with the desire to better express myself during the times that I couldn’t find words to communicate verbally. Speaking has always been a challenge for me during my first few years in a foreign land but I am aware of my ability to play with words through writing. I started to attend workshops through the Migrant Writers of Singapore where I am one of the active volunteers. I always believe that there is a room to improve for everyone. We just need to take chances and grab opportunities.

I came to slowly embrace poetry and other forms of writing. I feel free whenever I hold my pen and let my fingers wander through the waiting lines of the smooth paper. I like the feeling of connecting to my readers through my piece.

And on my 32nd birthday, I have done a huge thing on my literary journey. I bravely submitted the manuscript for the publication of my first ever poetry book to Poetry Planet Book Publishing House. I was taking my own sweet time compiling my poems when two of the closest persons in my heart didn’t stop β€œpestering” me about letting my writings be read in the whole world. They motivated me so much and helped me with the book cover and illustration. The publication of this book is my employer Audrey’s birthday gift to me and I couldn’t be happier and grateful to them.

Naicy, Pardeep and I posing for a photo during one of the events we are involved in.

The book cover illustration by Pardeep Toor.
This was the draft made by Naicy for the book cover.

After thorough editing and proofreading, Language of My Heart was officially published on 3rd December 2022 creating excitement not only to me but with everyone who loves me dearly. I literally cried when I received my author’s copy. It was so beautiful and I couldn’t believe how kind life is to me to be able to make one of my biggest dreams come true.

The author’s copy which I gave straightaway to my employer because they deserve it. If it’s not because of them, I wouldn’t possibly be able to publish my book. Maybe it have taken more time.

I started planning about the launching in Singapore while the publisher was producing copies to be shipped here. My employer helped me decide with the date and time and we both agreed to do it on 8th January, 2023 which according to her is lucky for me. I made a list of the people who I wanted to give congratulatory messages as well as read poems during the launch. I have many names in mind but I had to be cautious of the time and the length of the program. I’ve chosen Sing Lit Station to be the venue and they were very happy to support. After all, it has been a home for me who has been attending the writing workshops every 4th Sunday of the month since 2019. When the news about my book broke out, I received so many offers to support the launching. Ms. Ning Pei Chua of IAmInvisible sponsored the poster as well as water for the guests. I have worked with her on the successful β€œDo You See Me?”, a migrant storytelling showcase happened in August 2022 and we are continuously connecting for programs that aims for migrant to be seen in the society. Uplifters supported through promoting the event on social media and Pardeep helped with the bookmarks.

I and Ning Pei posing at the poster sponsored by her.

I worked with the promotional posters and other important details for the event and as the day was approaching, I couldn’t hide my excitement as well as worry wether the event will be well received but I had to cling on my faith.

My dear friend Julie who was also the host during the launch brought more than 50 copies of books from my publisher in the Phillipines when she came back after her holiday. I was very happy that she offered her luggage bag to make sure that the books will reach me before the launching.

On the day of the launch, I went to Sing Lit Station early in the morning to prepare the venue and I was joined by my friends. We did the cleaning, organising and laughing in between. Before 1 PM, people slowly arrived. I was tensed and couldn’t find the strength to stand and walk inside until Julie guided me. I was so overwhelmed to see the number of people whom most of them were familiar. My friends from different communities.

The program started with a prayer led by Rochelle quickly followed by a warm welcome message from Karisa, the programmes manager of Sing Lit Station.

The first congratulatory messages were from Uplifters’ CEO Marie Kretz Di Meglio, Ning Pei Chua, Rolinda Onates EspaΓ±ola, Zakir Hossain and one of the highlights was my employer’s message. It was an emotional day listening to her sharing how proud they are to me.

I and my employer’s family.

Tasrif Ahmed, Rea Maac, Sonia Serennade, Rema Tabangcura and Jo Ann Dumlao were the first set of poem readers. It sent me goosebumps listening to how they read it with so much emotions.

We also listened to the second set of congratulatory messages from my daughter Therese Jane and my mom who was just smiling the whole time on the video (extremely missing them), Migs Bravo Dutt, Empowered Ladies (Maria Nemy Lou Rocio, Ailenemae Ramos and Liezel Fernandez), Evelyn Obillo and Theophilus Kwek. All their messages truly warmed my heart.

The final set of poem readings were Jenelyn Leyble, Nelie Bautista, Cristina Belingon and Ms. Claire Betita De Guzman. It was then followed by my gratitude speech which I delivered over tears of joy. I wasn’t expecting the amount of love and support I have received during that day which I will be remembering for the rest of my life.

I was also overwhelmed by the presence of Vice Consul Joy Anne Lai and Ms. Roselle Bantay of the Philippine Embassy whom I wasn’t expecting to accept my invitation. This made the moment even more special. They also published an article about the launch on the Philippine Embassy website which you can read through this link;

A candid shot with Ms. Migs Bravo Dutt, Vice Consul Joy Anne Lai, the author, Ms. Claire Betita De Guzman and Ms. Roselle Bantay.

The event was concluded with the book cover being revealed which was followed by photo taking and book signing. There was more than 60 people who came and attended the event.

Revealing the book cover.
Book Signing

I am immensely grateful to everyone who extended their support in kind from the day they learned about the book launching and to all of you who continuously spread the word about the existence of this book. I may not be able to write all the names but know that my heart is overflowing with gratitude and I am always praying that you’ll be blessed beyond measure.

As I have mentioned during my gratitude speech, this is just the beginning of many more surprises to come and I will continue to write and be a beacon of light. I will make use of this tool to inspire and influence more people to keep working on their dreams even if it takes a little more time to come true.

Here are few more photos credit to Renelyn and Sherman:

Watch the livestream from here:


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