August 12


“Artfully Speaking” and writing advice from author Jerry Yapo

By Odyssa

August 12, 2023

I met Sir Jerry Yapo at the first Philippine Book Festival last June. I watched him signing copies of his book, "Artfully Speaking", humble in speaking to his friends and readers.

On the last day of the festival, when the crowd has settled, I purchased a copy of his book and took the opportunity to ask for writing advice. 

At that time, I was just about to start writing for Write Program's summer season

Writing tips

1. Read your work out loud. Make sure you, and your reader, can breathe between sentences. 

2. Tell stories from your life. Magkwento ka.

3. Start every piece with a powerful hook. Capture the attention of your reader right away. 

In Sir Jerry's writing, I saw all three of these  present. 

With Mr. Jerry Yapo, author of Artfully Speaking, published under San Anselmo Press.

Favorite pieces

"Sitting Atop A Carabao" is an essay where he told his story of life as a village boy.  It reminded me of the simplicity of living away from the noise of the city, how we seem to constantly long for it. 

Then there's "Elbi is Home", describing his place of work, UP Los Banos, as an 'old town that enchants visitors'. Where we spend most of our days become our dwelling, where we feel the most sheltered. 

In "Almost There", I thought of how the next three decades of my life would be, and how I would write paragraphs of my aging body, greying hair, and wrinkling skin. 

Reading the book in my cozy studio apartment here in Hanoi took me back to the Philippines, and to a brilliant writer's reflective journey. 

To Sir Jerry, thank you for this book! What a gift.


Purchase your copy of "Artfully Speaking" through this link


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

January 5, 2024

“There was nothing more I could ask for.”

October 12, 2023

Autumn is here. Another season means a change

August 25, 2023

I'm wary of attending organized events that happen