Finally, an MA degree.

Sa dami ng nangyari, nahihirapan akong magsulat ng isang katanggap-tanggap na blog post tungkol sa mga araw na nagdaaan.

Sobrang hirap ng pinagdaanan ko talaga para matapos ‘tong MA ko. 2016 ang student number ko, pero 2017 talaga ng second semester ako nagsimula. Natapos ko, sa wakas, ang mahabang paglalakbay patungo sa MA matapos ang limang taon.

Isusulat ko pa rin nang kompletong detalye lahat para may babalikan ako pagdating ng araw. So, tara?

Paano nagsimula

Secondary Education ang course ko, Major in English. Ang MA ko naman ay Master of Arts Malikhaing Pagsulat. Sa tingin ng madla, magkabaligtad ang English at Filipino, pero para sa kurso ko, halos kaunti lang naman rin ang pagkakaiba. Iba lang ng babasahin, pero parehong may teoryang binabasa, kritisismo, pagtuturo, at may isusulat pagkatapos. Siksik ang kurso namin dahil may Filipino at English readings.

Bakit Filipino MA mo? tanong ng marami. Ang lagi kong sagot, Bakit hindi? Kung walang kukuha ng MA sa Filipino, sino na lang matitira sa bansa?

Ang cheesy pakinggan, pero nag-aral uli ako dahil gusto ko talaga mapahusay ang pagsusulat ko para sa Diyos. Kasagsagan kasi ng 13th Prayer ko na libro na nailathala ng St. Paul’s.

Sa totoo lang, wala sa isip ko ‘yung kumuha ng MA dahil sa ranking, sa points, o sa technical na aspeto. Gusto ko lang mag-aral. Gusto ko lang mapahusay ang pagsusulat. Personal ko lang itong dahilan. Wala namang problema kung anong trip ng iba. Hehe.

Sa pagsusulat ng thesis

Noong nakaraang taon lang, natapos kong depensahan ang proposal ko. Isang taon ko ring binuno ang pagsusulat ng thesis. Ang dami kong gawain at ganap na hinindian dahil sabi ko sa sarili ko, hala ka Kim, kailangan mo na ‘tong upuan.

Tungkol sa Panitikang Pangkabataan ang thesis ko, dahil nga ang background ko naman sa pagsusulat ay Wattpad na hindi ko naman kinahihiya at proud ko pang sinasabi sa school. Bakit ko ikakahiya. Ang saya kaya noon.

Ang output ng thesis ko ay isang nobela tungkol sa isang kabataan na may halong tauhan sa mitolohiya ng Pilipinas. Ito na ata ang pinakamatagal na kwentong naisulat ko. Habang sinusulat ko ang blog na ito ay pinag-iisipan ko pa rin kung ipapasa ko ba ito sa publisher o hindi, o babasahin ko muna uli para masundan ng book two. Trilogy kasi ang ganap nito.

Hindi talaga madali lahat

Mahirap magsulat ng thesis. May trabaho ako full-time, may ilan ring side line (dahil breadwinner ako at ako lang may maayos na trabaho sa amin).

Kasagsagan ng pandemya noong nagsusulat ako ng thesis. 2021-2022. Ang daming nangyari noong taong iyon. May mga araw rin na kailangan kong mag-report onsite sa trabaho. Ang hirap ng biyahe.

Pero syempre, hindi naman ito nakikita sa social media. Ang makikita lang talaga ay ang tagumpay, hindi ang hirap sa likod nito.

Kapag nahihirapan ako, lagi kong binabalikan ang mindset na, gusto ko naman kasi ang ginagawa ko, kaya tuloy lang.

‘Di ba kapag may gusto tayong gawin, lahat gagawin natin magawa lang ito kahit mahirap? 🙂

Limang beses kong inulit ang thesis ko. Ang dami. Kung makikita niyo lang yung printed copy ng thesis na sinuri ng thesis adviser ko, maiiyak na lang talaga lahat pero tears of joy.

Birthday ko noon, pero tanda ko na nagrerebisa ako ng manuskrito. Pero syempre, hindi ito makikita ng lahat.

Mahirap at matagal magtapos sa UP

Sa totoo lang, napakahirap is an underestimation. Pero di ba, lahat naman mahirap. Pipiliin na lang talaga natin kung alin ang paghihirapan natin.

May semestre na halos isa o dalawa lang ang subject ko. Kaya napakatagal kong matapos lahat ng academic requirements.

Sa kabila ng lahat, masasabi kong sulit. Nakakilala ako ng mga kaibigan, natuto ako mula sa iba’t ibang napakagaling na propesor. Hanggang ngayon, baon ko ang GITING AT GALING na pinapaalala ng unibersidad.

Walang pagmamadali sa loob ng unibersidad na ito. Ang mahalaga talaga sa lahat ay ang pagkatuto. Ideal pakinggan, sa totoo lang. Pero ito naman talaga ang point ng akademya, ang makapag-aral upang makapagsilbi sa bayan. Serve the people, ikanga.

Ano na pagkatapos?

Siguro magpapahinga muna ako sa pag-aaral. Magbabasa na muna uli ako. Magsusulat pa rin sa Facebook page ko. Babalik sa dati, pero mas magiging malay at mulat na sa nangyayari. Gagamitin ko ang natutuhan ko upang maging kapaki-pakinabang na mamamayan ng bansa. Wow.

Patuloy ko pa ring pahahalagahan ang mga ordinaryong araw.

Paghilom Book Signing in Patsy’s

Paghilom is my first solo self-published book. It was launched last year in June. Now, it’s published by Lifebooks, and (hopefully) it’s reached the right audience because it’s only 100php (cheaper than the original price. To be honest, finishing a manuscript is very challenging. But, I know my reasons. Whenever I feel tired, I always go back to my WHY.

Last July 16, 2022, I had my first ever book signing for Paghilom. It was on May 31, 2022 when the owner of Patsy’s Coffee and Pastries shop first sent me a message. I wasn’t able to read that because my page does not have notifications. She sent a message again last June 15, 2022. There, I was able to read her invitation.

I was hesitant to confirm at first. Sino ba naman ako para mag-book signing. Baka walang pumunta. But, eventually, with Ate Patsy’s convincing powers and assurance, I was convinced to say yes to her invitation. Here’s Ate Patsy! She’s so kind-hearted, warm, and very supportive. Thank you for believing in me ate.

Patsy’s in Pandi, Bulacan. It’s a coffee shop filled with books. Upon entering, you’ll immediately smell the aroma of the coffee inside their shop. You’ll be welcomed with their friendly baristas, too. If you’d like to read the books displayed, you have the liberty to do so. They do not judge. You won’t feel bad if you stayed inside their shop, reading.

We arrived early in Patsy’s. While waiting for the buyers of the books, we organized my books on the table where I’ll have my book signing. The book signing started at 10:00AM. I was welcomed by their regular customers. They happily greeted me and bought my books. Teenagers, college students, and even adults were there, asking me to sign there books.

I feel blessed. I know I do not deserve this kind of treatment. Again, I’ll always ask myself, deserve ko ba ‘to because I don’t feel worthy enough to sign books. After the book signing, I gave a mini-workshop about creative writing from 12:30-1:30PM. Six participants were present. Our output is a six-word story. Three winners received a tote bag, and a book from the owner of the coffee shop, Ate Patsy.

I’d never forget this moment. I feel so blessed and honored to have a book signing. I am so grateful to Ate Patsy for supporting local authors like me. She’s mentioned that it’s her passion and advocate to promote the love of books to others. I hope she continues doing that because lots of people will surely benefit from it.

Claiming for more books, booksignings, and readers in the future. May I bless more people through writing.

When the time is right, the Lord will make it happen.

The theme for this week is “When the time is right, the Lord will make it happen.”

Despite the ups and downs of unemployment, I was able to manage several writing gigs and to work on some personal projects. I was able to speak to a group of youth ministers. I was able to talk to Basic Bible Seminar 2 attendees. I was able to submit my deliverables. Wow. This week was one of a kind. A lot of things happened which I am grateful for.

When I went to National Book Store, I saw my book Paghilom on the Most Popular Books shelf. Who would have thought that this cutie cutie book would reach this shelf?

Aside from this shelf in NBS Megamall, I also saw the announcement of my first ever book signing and writing workshop! Patsy’s Coffee and Pastries Shop sent an invite last May 31 about this book signing but I was able to read it recently. The coffee shop owner invited me to have a simple meet and greet! Please help me by liking their page, too ha.

Any readers from Bulacan? I’ll be in this coffee shop on July 16! I will be signing books and giving a short writing workshop for those who will attend the event. It’s a dream come true for me because the last time I had a book signing was in 2016. Praying for more opportunities like this so I could be of help to others. Yes? Yes!

The most exciting news for this week is this!!! Paghilom is one of the bestsellers in National Book Store!!! Such a big thing for me. Among the many books in NBS, Paghilom is in the list. My heart is so happy. Noong bata ako, pangarap ko lang magkaroon ng libro. Pero yung mapasa pa sa bestseller? Sobrang thankful ako kasi hindi ko naman in-expect ito. Thank You, Lord, sa kilig feels po talaga! Kahit hindi siya bestseller, masaya ako as is for this book. People tell me that they feel blessed after reading it. Kaya, Lord, please, pa-claim na po ako ng points slash rewards from you po?

My heart is full. After reading Chapter 1 of the book The Gratitude Diaries, I’ve changed my perspective about life. I’ve realized that I have a lot of things to be grateful for.

How about you? What are you grateful for? Happy week ahead!