About Riza

riza interview Riza Oledan-Ramos grew up in Cabucgayan, Biliran, Philippines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Martinez Memorial College in Cabucgayan City, and is currently a staff nurse at the Commonwealth Health Center on Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. She has written dozens of poems, and is currently writing a series of children's non-fiction books.

On August 18, 2009 my third grade son asked me to help him with his school project in Language under Mrs. Frances Taimanao in Mt. Carmel School, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, this was not the usual project or art work like he has had since the first grade. It was his autobiography.

We started collecting his baby pictures and revisited events that had occurred in his life. My son shared his thoughts as we looked at the photographs. As I input his words into the computer, he told me things he remembered, things he actually felt, and things that I had missed while I was away from him.

As I typed, I realized that to capture his thoughts accurately, I needed to put myself in his shoes, and think like a child. I asked my son for things I could hardly describe, but he was smart enough to answer me in a child’s way. During the process, I felt how sad it is for a child to be left by his/her mom or dad. I imagined how many children are being left by mothers or fathers for jobs far from home.

As we finished my son’s project, I had an idea that we could actually make a real book; a book worthy enough to share with the world. Every day in the Philippines and around the world many parents are leaving their home country to find work elsewhere to give their children a better future. I, for one, am one of these parents. My brother and brother-in-law also work in foreign countries, all with the same motivation: to gain a better life for us and our children.

This is a story not just for Filipino children, but for all children in the world with a mom or dad living far away, who in one way or another have had the same experiences as my son.

This book is not only for kids to enjoy, but also for parents. This will be like your child opening his feelings to you. My aim is not only to make it a memorable experience for children, but also to touch a parent's heart with simple words from a child’s point of view. HAVE FUN READING!

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