#PublishCaloy: A Young Man’s Journey to Get His Work Out There

I’ve been writing for 10 years now. In fact, I’ve started writing a few simple stories during my childhood days but it progressed to creating more complex ones including an actual full-length novel.

Last year, I’ve gotten the privilege to get my work published and sold online and along with it, was an unforgettable experience of writing a novel, meeting deadlines, and sharing a piece of me out there for everyone to see.

But this is not about my story.


Photo courtesy of Julio Panaligan

This is about the story of Caloy who sacrificed a lot for the sake of his artistic dream of getting published. He started his journey to write a full length novel when he was 17 years old. He’s 19 now, but unfortunately, the big publishing houses here had been too busy to notice and give his work a chance.

As an author and a writer of fiction, I know the feeling of badly wanting to have your books out there on the shelves of bookstores, so I understand where this guy’s coming from.

We’re now looking for publishers who can fulfill his wish. His novel had been revised and polished over and over again. I think we’re pretty good to go, if only publishers could have a look at it.


Photo courtesy of Julio Panaligan

Just in case you guys are wondering about who Caloy is, here’s a short summary of who he is, basically.

Caloy dropped out of school at aged 17 to pursue his dream of getting published. It was a decision he made all on his own and at age 18, he packed his bags and went to Manila from Laguna. Because of that decision, he became independent and worked a variety of hard jobs to fund his novel. Growing up a sheltered kid, he found the real world truly challenging but he defined the entire experience as “nothing short of fun.”


Photo courtesy of Julio Panaligan

When asked about his advice to those who want to pursue their artistic dreams as well, here’s what he said:

I know the rest of you out there can and will learn, too, if you just make one of the toughest decisions ever which is to begin. If you just take the first step, somehow, the rest will just fall into place.

As long as what you’re pursuing is good and/or for the good, you don’t need to explain yourself. Especially not to a stranger who knows nothing about you. Protect that fire within you. Work hard, work smart. Never be ashamed to ask for help if you truly need it. Surround yourself with people who will genuinely root for you and focus on their love and not to the hate you will get from people, especially strangers, who don’t mean well. Uplift the good people around you instead of making it a competition. Be kind to others and to yourself.

You are enough.

(See also: A Message For When You’re About To Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone)

Lastly, I asked him about his book. I’m sure you guys are wondering about that, too. He wouldn’t want to reveal much, so basically it’s a coming-of-age contemporary young adult novel. For those who are interested to help out, please reach Caloy at contactcaloy@gmail.com.

Check out his submission here on wheninmanila.com!

What are your words of encouragement for this young boy with big dreams?