Written for feature writing class, submitted February 2012.
Photo from Isa Garcia’s blog (with permission)
THERE MAY not be enough adjectives that could fully describe the multifaceted personality of Isa Garcia. This 23-year-old creative writing Atenean graduate has earned a strong readership base from around the world, from America to Middle East to the Philippines. With her signature writing style that unfailingly exudes positivity and a refreshing kind of openness to readers, she professes to doing this by simply being herself.
She is currently a creative writing enrichment teacher in Assumption High School, and on the side holds creative writing classes for home schoolers from The Master’s Academy.
When asked how teaching has changed her as a person, she says, “Phenomenally. And it continues to change me. It is a greatly humbling path.” She professes that no one goes into teaching for the money, and admits that she may not be earning as much as compared to her peers. “I guess that’s okay,” she says, “Because the sense of fulfillment outweighs the financial repercussions on most days. That being said, it is teaching me a lot how to balance finances and how to be a more responsible adult.”
Teaching has given her a greater sense of respect for today’s youth, given that they seem to be so different, even when she is a mere one generation away from them. “They’re fully immersed in the digital era and it’s a privilege to get to understand their psychology and their issues.” She aims to reach out to her students in a personal way, understanding how they also have dealt with similar teenage issues she has gone through before. “…Like acceptance and self-worth, and I do my best to remind them that they are amazing little people with great potential.”
When asked what makes life worth living, she answers, “I think it’s knowing and believing in something much bigger than the universe.” Her strong faith as a Christian has also made her less fearful and more certain of herself. “Because I know I am held by a God that knows me and loves me, I can face the future bravely. I can risk and charge into my best life possible. I can love wildly. I can rest in the fact that whether I sink or swim, I’m safe.”
She says that she is a pretty laid-back person who loves spending time with friends and family, reading, traveling, and food-tripping. She is inspired by things “that brim with passion and adventure.” She say, “I think the world is filled with countless stories just waiting to be told and I can think of no other way to honor God than to tell them the best way I can. Ultimately, I love writing about what’s real and what’s true.”
What she considers her top three greatest achievements are being a creative writing teacher in Assumption, being asked to lead a writing workshop last year, and receiving countless messages and e-mails from her readers. “Best of all, I’ve heard from so many Filipino women and I am just overwhelmed by the response and the love,” she says.
She advises aspiring writers and artists, as well as anybody who is still feeling lost and confused, to rise and find their own voice. “And when you do, use it. Your story matters and you are changing your corner of the world just by being you. Make the most of who you are and what you’ve got. Take courage; be the original God designed you to be.
As she continues to touch the hearts of students and readers alike with her elegant words and her graceful character, she in turn continues to be moved by them. “Teaching changes me because just as I teach, I am taught also. I think that’s pretty cool.”