Writing is a Noble and Sacred Mission – Elizabeth Castillo

Photo credit: Parkchester Times

Could you introduce yourself to netizens?

I am Elizabeth Esguerra Castillo, an international author/poet/artist from the Philippines. My parents are the late Roberto N. Castillo and Elisa E. Castillo who both hailed from the province of Pangasinan, Philippines. I am the eldest of three children. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Management and another course in Computer Programming. I am currently taking up International Humanitarian Law in the University of Lieden based in the Netherlands in their MOCC. I am the author of two books, ‘Seasons of Emotions’ (UK) and ‘Inner Reflections of the Muse’ (USA) and co-author of more than 100 international anthologies in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, India, Romania, France, China, Spain, Ecuador, Belgium, Argentina, Poland, Iraq, Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, Albania, Japan and the Philippines. My works are already translated into 12 languages – Arabic, Greek, Portuguese, Tamil, Japanese, Polish, Albanian, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish, French and Urdu.

For the avoidance of doubt, who is Elizabeth?

I consider myself as a dreamer and believer and at the same time , an inspirer. I reach out to my audience and readers through the Creative Literary Arts. At an early age, I already knew that writing is my Higher Calling and my Personal Legend if I can quote that from Paulo Coelho in his book, ‘The Alchemist.’ My works have been published in various international literary platforms in both print and online. My writing journey started when I was given a break to work as a news correspondent in a local newspaper in our city, Antipolo Star, followed by my stint as a Features Writer for Highlights in a corporate magazine. It was in 2011 that I first got involved in an international anthology, ‘The Art of Darkness’ published in the United Kingdom followed by other global charitable anthologies in the USA. My first book ‘Seasons of emotions’ was published in the United Kingdom after winning an international poetry competition in 2013. ‘Inner Reflections of the Muse’ , my second book, was published in the USA in 2014. I am currently writing two novels and working on a poetry collaboration book. I believe that ‘Writing is a noble and sacred mission.’ It is through words that we can create a change in the world.

Besides being an author and poet, I am also the Cultural Ambassador to the Philippines for Inner Child Press International as well as a member of the Board of Directors and I am also the Ambassador of Peace and Goodwill to the Philippines for the Naciones Unidas delas and Semillas de Juventud Siglo XXI based in Argentina. Being a Global Peace Ambassador and Youth Leader, I am also the Peace Ambassador to the Philippines and International Adviser and Consultant of Youth Awareness and Peace Forum (YCAPF) based in Nigeria. Real-izar La Paz, Argentina also appointed me as a Universal Honorary Member, Co-Founder in Asia and Palestine and Presidente Adjunto Filial Filipinas.

What’s your nationality?

I am a Filipino citizen with a tinge of Spanish blood for my great grandmother was Spanish.

Where are you now?

I am currently living in Antipolo City in the Philippines with my mother and two siblings together with my sister’s family.

What was growing up like?

I was raised by a religious family and at an early age, my elders read the Bible to us. Reading books was highly encouraged in our household. I was influenced by my late father to pursue writing since he was a frustrated journalist. I also got his love for reading and composing poetry. I was a timid and very shy girl in my younger years. I would often observe people in silence. At a tender age, I already knew where this raging storm inside me was heading to.I awakened one day and declared that I wanted to become a writer. I was just five when I started weaving stories of creatures lurking amidst trees while I was playing alone in our backyard beside an old mango tree.

How did you come about such an intimidating credential?

People would tell me I possess such impressive qualifications but I often reply that I simply followed my rainbow and passion. I believe that we must love what we are doing. My inspiration for being an achiever is those who continuously support me in my writing journey.I believe that we need more encouragers and that the change we want in the world should start with us. I chose to share God’s gifts to me so I can give back to the world.

Since you’re a lover of children, what message do you have for the young ones?

One of my advocacies is the protection of women and children’s rights. I occupy a position as a Regional Coordinator for Asia for the United World Movement for Children. I am also a supporter of UNICEF and Save the Children and other children’s organizations. My love for children prompted me to defend their rights and to get involved in these organizations.

For the young ones, I believe today’s youths are more intelligent and there are diverse and huge opportunities available for them now with the advances in technology. I advise them to take advantage of modern technology in improving themselves and honing their skills.Most especially, they should remind themselves that the character says much about him more than his physical appearance.Let’s educate the young ones to be more focused on their goals and achieving their dreams. It is important to choose our models at this time when we have access to different personalities via the internet. They should inspire us to become better.

To the young ones, instill in your mind the importance of getting an education for it serves as our pillar to fall back on during our journey in life. Continue on dreaming
and believing in yourself for it’s the first step in achieving your goals.

Tell us the happiest day in your life, so far.

I consider the first time I published my book as the happiest day in my life so far. Becoming an author had been a huge dream and having my own ISBN and seeing my name on the cover of my own book is so overwhelming!
I achieved more than I had imagined and for these, I am thankful to the Almighty.

What about your most embarrassing moment?

The most embarrassing moment in my life was when my heels broke before I could go upstage to receive my Inspirational Poet Award at the National Museum of the Philippines in 2013. I had to snap the other heel of my shoe so it would be fine walking with them. The idea came up because of a television advertisement I saw years ago. I also believed that the show must go on and so I just laughed at myself.

Tell us what happened on a day you’ll never forget in your life.

A day I’ll never forget was when my dad died and I saw him slowly dying on his death bed at the ICU of the hospital. Tears were falling from his eyes when we bade him goodbye and he took his last breath. That was the saddest day in my life and I ended up sobbing like a baby. After his death, I promised myself I would pursue my writing career and ever since 2012, I have continuously reaped recoignitions and achievements all of which I dedicate to my father. I believe that in one’s darkest moments, masterpieces are born.

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