Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

Natalie Goldberg (free-flowing writing)
Clarissa Pinkola Estes (wild woman writing)
Jane Hutchison (direct-to-the-point writing)
Ernest Hemingway (simple words writing)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Visitas

around 9am today, i rounded up my 10th interview in abella. at so early a time, did a spur of the moment thing. decided to do a Visitas Iglesias; at first, at only Cathedral, Basilica, and Mt. Carmel, until after passing by it, San Francisco Church was added to the list. so starting 930am, trekked around Naga on foot (San Francisco-Cathedral) and commute (Cathedral-Pe├▒afrancia-Mt. Carmel-Immaculate Conception Church-Holy Cross Parish-Tabuco) until 1148am.

it is so easy to be puffed with self-importance when doing a phd all by yourself. without an assistant, i do my interviews, transcripts, data processing, and secondary data gathering to the simple tasks of buying supplies, filing, and working up daily and weekly fieldwork schedules. it's so easy to think that you're doing the phd all by your lonesome. self-pity and hubris is not far behind.

although a spur of the moment thing, the Visitas, especially the quiet of the church this regular workday, and the one-on-one commune with God as embodied in our beloved Ina and Jesus on the cross, could grant a whole new different perspective in what i'm doing.

for one, i'm not doing this phd all by myself. one gross mistake on my part. my support networks are so rich to the point that i could even go out on the field without worrying about yaman and her needs. i am away from ShadowMan but every time he hovers and asks how i am. even from a distance, i need not worry over losing him to temptation because of the trust he assures me every day. i think of my mom and her many sacrifices, of elvie's patience, in allowing me to immerse in work even after coming home from the field. my little girl Yaman is growing in understanding and is back to her usual self of now drawing and designing cakes online especially 'for mommy'. i think of her school, village montessori, and the intellectual and emotional care they're adding on to her.  my bestfriend, Angeline, whose experience in mothering, reassures me all the time amid my doubts on my capacity for mothering.  i remember old friends like Joey who never fail to ask how i am almost every week. Dr. Galicia and Dr. Joson, whose diagnoses on my breasts have saved me from worrying on yet another thing in doing this phd. my brother and sister who become pseudo-dads and moms everytime yaman needs extra care when sick, stuck in school because of heavy rains, or just plainly being a kid. and there is jane and carol who are helping me now work from theory to empirical evidence to my own theory-building.

i am not alone. i fly on the wings of others and stand on others' shoulders. i am truly humbled.

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