Sophomore Joaquin De Guzman's story about Richie Fernando is published by Bookmark

October 18, 2013
Paul Daza; Photos by Bojet Rabena, Bok Pioquid, and Bookmark

Last February 18, Ateneo de Manila High School freshman Joaquin Domingo S. De Guzman of 1-A was announced as the third place winner of Bookmark’s Modern Heroes for the Filipino Youth writing contest. Joaquin’s essay, entitled “I Know Where My Heart Is,” was about Richie Fernando, SJ, a Jesuit scholastic who died in Cambodia in 1996 from a grenade blast as he was protecting his students from a troubled boy.
Eight months after winning third place in the contest, Joaquin is now a sophomore in the AHS, and a published author to boot. “I Know Where My Heart Is” is now an inspiring children’s book under Bookmark’s Modern Heroes for the Filipino Youth series, with  beautiful illustrations by Jomike Tejido.
“I Know Where My Heart Is” was given a soft launch in the morning of October 16, 2013 during the AHS’ annual celebration of Teen Read Week. Present with Joaquin at the event held in the AHS Library Discussion Room were a few of his classmates from 2-A, who assisted the teen author by giving the book a dramatic group reading. Also present were Dr. Mari Delfin of Bookmark, AHS Educational Media Center Coordinator Elizabeth Peralejo, Associate Principal for Academic Affairs Ma. Jennifer Concepcion, Associate Principal for Student Affairs Ron Capinding, Associate Principal for Formation Fr. Jboy Gonzales, SJ,  and AHS Principal Gabriel F. Mallillin.
Fittingly, “I Know Where My Heart Is” was given its soft launch on the eve of the 17th anniversary of Richie Fernando’s death. A graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Development Studies, Richie was killed in Cambodia on Oct. 17, 1996 at the age of 26.