HOURS after the unofficial counting of the May 9 election votes showed Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. winning by a wide margin in the presidential race over Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, a reader told me to stop writing because the former senator's apparent victory just proved that readers don't believe what I write.

Since I began writing opinion pieces 10 years ago, I have been called so many names and described in so many ways that people who know me well wouldn't recognize. Initially, I was hurt by some of the criticisms, particularly those that were twisted or taken out of context. But as time went by, I've learned to take them with a grain of salt. Handling criticism is a difficult but necessary part of my work as an opinion writer.

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