It’s an undeniably proud moment when you learn that someone from your community took the leap of greatness and inspires others while bringing out the best in them. Young author Marianne Mencias of Alcala, Pangasinan and the youngest sister of the town’s mayor wrote her book “What’s your Life’s Masterpiece” and gladly shared to focus the story behind her book, about finding one’s purpose in life, happiness and passion.
Maan, as she is fondly called, belongs to a family of six. She shares that she is very close to her family. “They are really my life’s treasure”.
She loves to travel, loves to go out and hang-out and shop. She loves reading books. “Sobra!”,she emphasized. Here is the Marianne’s story and what she wants us to understand:
Vanj Padilla (VP): Your book, ‘What’s your Life’s Masterpiece’, what is this about?
Marianne Mencias (MM): What’s your Life’s Masterpiece is all about helping people discover their purpose, their passion. It’s really about realizing that you are a masterpiece and that you’re meant to create something amazing that will not just make you very happy but also bless a lot of people.
VP: What do you want people to understand after reading your book?
MM: I want people to get to know themselves more and to realize that God created all of us for a purpose. Sabi ko nga sa book, I see the world as one big puzzle and each one of us, ako, ikaw, sila, we are all puzzle pieces and in this big world puzzle, we’re meant to do something we’re assigned as spot in that big world puzzle that will fit our mold perfectly. So maraming tao ang ipinipilit nila ang sarili nila in a particular spot na hindi talaga for them so they end up unhappy and at the same time the person who belongs to that spot is also unhappy.
VP: So why do they need to understand that they have to fill a certain spot or they have to fill a certain piece?
MM: Kasi ako I really believe that we all have the potential to be successful, fulfilled and happy. I really know it’s the kind of life that God wants for us and if we don’t find our unique purpose, our unique contribution, I don’t know how it’s going to be possible for people to live their dream lives which is actually the life meant for each one of us.
VP: FOCUS helps our readers make better decisions, so how can Life’s Masterpiece’ help them make better decisions and choose the right ones?
MM: If people only knew how important our choices are, so many beautiful changes will happen in the world. The book will help them, because I feel that if we will remember who we really are that we are wonderful people, we’re created in God’s image and likeness as we have so much beauty, love inside our hearts. If we remember that and we base our decisions on that base on a healthy self-worth, and we always remember that we are here for a purpose to contribute something that only you can, only I can. And if you leave this world without filling that spot and that big world puzzle, umalis ka na hindi mo na-fulfill ‘yon, the world is left with a gap, the world is left with a gap with an empty space sayang hindi na fill in.
VP: Do you have a particular target market for the book?
MM: Yes. My main target for the book are the yuppies, students, and people who wanted to start again, who are not happy with their work and looking for directions.
VP: Punta naman tayo dun sa writing process. How long did it take you to write the book?
MM: From the concept writing to the finished product, it took me three years. Actually, ‘yong three years na ‘yon nakakausap ko na si Brother Bo Sanchez, si Jose Mari Chan. When I attended this seminar na we’re supposed to come up with our personal goal, and one of our goals was to write a book. So that’s when I really started.
VP: Please tell us more about the interviews and how you put it all together during the writing process.
MM: The writing process was fun, it was light. Of course there are many times that I felt like, that I didn’t feel like writing, marami rin na ganoon. Na pagkagising ko sa umaga, magsusulat na naman ako, bakit ko ito ginagawa? Tapos I’d look at my laptop and then at the top of the page nakasulat talaga that this will change lives. And that has kept me writing especially on those days that I don’t really feel like it. Also the process was very fun because having a chance to meet successful Filipinos and learning from them is like once in a lifetime experience. Yong parang sitting down with them, learning from them, iba eh. That’s a gift in itself. So that was fun.
VP: What challenges have you faced in writing ‘Masterpiece’
MM: The challenges I’ve faced in writing the book. Well, one is the people I’ve approached, not all of them said “yes”. Mayroon namang iba na sinama ko na talaga sa line up pero nag-yes na tapos biglang hindi na. So those are some of the challenges pero kasi ako I really believed in the power of surrender that when you know what you’re doing is God’s will.Then there it comes a point wherein this is what I want to happen. These are the people I want to interview but if it’s not your will then I will still have peace. So ‘yon, ni-line up talaga ni God the best people. Kasi now I’ve been getting feedback on the book. “Wow, I was so touch by the story of Jose Marie Chan. I love the story of Marvin Agustin”, talagang perfect line up siya. So the ‘no’s’ in the process were actually blessings.
VP: So ‘yung mga interviews ba ay all planned?
MM: There was one time, I was travelling from Pangasinan to Manila. When I was looking out the window, tapos ayan na ‘yong mga greeneries. Tapos sabi ko, out of all the nationalities, why did God make me a Filipino? Di ba? Ang dami-daming ibang nationality, bakit Filipino? So ‘yun yung reflection point ko. Tapos sabi ko, what if I interviewed most successful Filipinos and really share with the rest of the world what work for them. Their mindsets, their attitude, what if I do that? I started jotting down names on my phone without any idea kung paano ako mag- ko-connect sa kanila. ‘Yong iba, wala talaga. Parang bahala Ka na Lord. So I listed down names of different people— successful people who were inspiration in their respected fields, iba-iba ‘yan.
VP: The hardest part of writing the book is….?
MM: The hardest part in writing the book is, siguro ‘yong squeezing out from all that they’ve told me. Really squeezing out which story to put in the book what inside I relate to that and also making sure that the book will be… that people will keep on turning the pages, ‘yong ma-hook talaga sila in every page.
VP: You just have to ask your mind to listen?
MM: Oo at tsaka when you know you’re doing His will, you’d really feel that things will just fall into place. Totoo ‘yon
VP: So, what are your future plans?
MM: Ito na! Future plans. I plan to get married, Joke lang! My future plans are, I wanna write a book on also love na talagang helping single people to maximize and develop your potential and not make this significant other the center of your life or finding that significant other. It’s really finding yourself, loving yourself so that when you are in a relationship with someone, you’re in a healthy relationship and at the same time when you have children. I also like to continue writing about successful people. We’re all the same, more or less, pare-pareho lang tayo ng struggles,self-worth, dreams, we all have dreams, we all want love, to feel loved, so may mga taong may narating na eh, ‘yong mga gusto nating marating and it’s important we learn from these people. I also want to line up an all women book na parang ano naman siya, women empowerment naman siya. Women should really see how powerful we are and we can change the world. Malaki talaga ang role ng babae but I would never discount the fact that we still need the men. We have to work together kasi we’re really created differently and in a complementary way kasi we’re gonna create beautiful changes together, ‘yon ang take contact.
VP: Beautiful changes?
MM: Yes, beautiful changes together, masterpieces together.
VP: Including children?
MM: Oo naman. Naku ‘yong mga bata! Children should always be reminded that they’re worthy, that they’re loved because they will bring it eh, when they grow up. A lot of people di ba when
we we’re kids, we’re so brave, we’re so happy when we look at life in a positive way pero somewhere along the way, may nasaktan ka, so nag-iba na ‘yong outlook mo sa world pati na sa sarili mo, nagsi-shrink ka na. So I really encourage people to treat children with so much love, so much respect, really tell them you’re beautiful, you’re great, you’re awesome, you’ll do something amazing. Magsa-shine sila and magiging maganda ang effect nila sa buhay nila, and at the same time, sa buhay ng mga taong naka paligid sa kanila.
VP: Where can we buy your book?
MM: ‘What’s your Life’s Masterpiece’ is available in National Bookstores nationwide. It is also in PowerBooks, and in select branches of Fully Booked. It can be purchased online through www.nationalbookstore.com as well as amazon.com.