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.

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!

You need to rest, really.

This is my third post for this month! Yey! Usually, it takes me months to post a blog. I am grateful with the gift of time.

Life update! I am currently (technically) unemployed because I focused on freelancing. I now have the luxury of time to do the things I really love. This includes writing.

In my other blog post, I wrote about how silence helps people become stronger. Silence and rest go hand in hand. As if they’re a tandem.

For today, I unearthed this 2021 blog in my drafts about rest.

When was the last time that you REALLY rest?

Like, you do not check on your phone, do not read email, do not reply to urgent private messages, or answer calls related to work or a side hustle?

Has it been a long time?

I have a problem resting. It’s my weakness. I work a lot. I make sure that my schedule is filled with activities. I don’t want to be idle. There’s a time when I even work on weekends. However, this should not be a habit. It’s really tiring at the end of the day. (I have two eyebags.)

Time came when I felt really tired. I felt like I was only dragging myself to work. My mind couldn’t come up with creativity and aesthetically pleasing thoughts. With this, I knew that I needed to rest.

Rest is a reminder that we, humans, need a break. We need to pause. This pause does not mean that we are giving up, but we are just taking a break from everything.

After the pause, we move forward and start functioning again.

Rest is a reminder that we need to relax. Think of ourselves. Remember that we have a family who wait for us. For some, maybe they have a puppy who’s waiting for them, too. (In my case, tyni (a shih tzu).)

In Filipino, rest is translated as pahinga. The root word of pahinga is hinga, which means to breathe.

Rest is a must. It doesn’t have to be a luxurious activity. But, it should be as simple as finding time for deep breathe.

When I feel so exhausted after a productive day, I pause and breathe consciously. This has been my calming way of resting since 2019.

When I feel overwhelmed, I read books to escape from my reality. Highlighting text from the book is relaxing for me. Then, I copy these notes in my journal. When I feel uncreative, I watch anime on Netflix.

You need to rest, really. It’s a gift that you should not leave unopened.

When was the last time that you really rest? Feel free to share your thoughts in the chat box. 🙂