Saturday, January 19, 2008


It’s January 16, 11:30 in the evening. By the time I get to post this, my exam in my major class, which is 13 and a half hours away from now, would have been over. Hopefully, I did well.

I’m currently studying for it right now. I’m almost done, actually. But despite the fact that I shouldn’t be veering away from reviewing, I can’t help but do just that. Friends, that class is my Field Methods class. And the topic I was just reading a while ago is about Panunuluyan.

As I read about it, I can’t help but picture our group doing panunuluyan in one of the Gawad Kalinga villages. I originally wanted to do that, but at that time I wasn’t able to express myself well enough and I wasn’t sure how we’d go about our study if we do GK for our final paper. If only I have read about this then… GK fits in the picture so well! We could be doing all the things in our readings had we done GK.

But don’t get me wrong, ha. I like our topic now J We decided on that topic because through sharing, we realized that it’s something we all could relate to.

Reading about Panunuluyan now, though, I wish I could still find an opportunity in my other classes in the future to do a psychological study about GK. I don’t know exactly where. Perhaps not in a class anymore; perhaps I could do that purely for service.

I guess I just miss GK L Armed with all the things I’ve learned from the class and especially from the great Dr. Elizabeth De Castro (who was once a PsychSoc president!), I feel like I could relate to GK more now.

Tomorrow, UPGK will sponsor the Builders’ Launch at NCPAG. But I don’t want to attend another launch… You see, for the time I’ve been involved in UPGK, most of the things I did weren’t even things I like doing; nor did I excel in them. Still, I did those things because as a freshman, I became enamored with the idea of Gawad Kalinga. I talked about it a lot. But mostly were second hand kwentos. Yes, I do go to builds at times… But you see, the heart of Gawad Kalinga lies in how we gawad kalinga to our fellowmen. To gawad kalinga is to relate to the very people you are helping. And to relate is not just a one-time thing. When you were able to form pakikipag-palagayang loob with the people in the community and you are also nakikipagkaisa with their interests, then that’s when you’ve reached the core of what it really is to gawad kalinga in the strict Sikolohiyang Pilipino sense.

I guess my passion waned when I started getting stressed and not truly feeling GK. I’ve attended many talks, some even gatherings with only a lucky few with the Tony Meloto, but still those weren’t enough to sustain my passion for GK. There, I’ve admitted it. For the past weeks, I’ve been noting to some how I miss the UPGK one year ago. And admittedly, I think I failed as one of the leaders to really commit my time. But alas I’ve finally realized what was missing: my heart, my passion, lies somewhere else.

And now I know where. As someone who in her childhood days already aspired to a prime mover in the country, I have always wanted to use my training in psychology to benefit those who are in need of help in this country.

Now I feel like there’s this huge gap in my heart. I miss GK. Sobra. I’ve never reached what we call bukana ng loob. I’ve served in the UPGK Execom for two semesters, and yet I haven’t really gone hardcore. I’ve always been more of just the one who talks about it. But through our in-class lectures and on-the-field experiences, I’ve realized how big the difference is when you experience something for yourself. Like what our Dr. De Castro said, you’ll never know how it is to be like someone unless you’ve been in those person’s shoes; and that by the end of Psych118, we will never be the same again. So true.

I have experienced GK. But I still haven’t experienced it the way the others have. I guess by the time I get to really immerse myself in it, I’d be able to appreciate it more. I still want to pursue the study. I just don’t know how I’ll fit that in my schedule if it’s not for class, given that field work is TEDIOUS work. Previous 118 students literally lived together for a week and countless weekends for the paper. And that’s just the paper. There’s also the field part, which is the more tedious one.

My Field Methods class taught me to be humble. In general I’ve always liked finding comfort in being me… until 118 came and humbled me to really try to be someone else, just so as to have a more in-depth understanding. Do you know how much we were able to write in our critical analysis as fans-for-a-day in Wowowee? Actually ours was quite easy. Those from our professor’s past classes tried being a prostitute (though only up to a certain point, okay), a beggar, an embalsamador, a mentally-incapacitated individual, a gasoline girl, a messenger in the pier… (Some were semester-long projects, that’s why)…

I don’t want to be part of UPGK’s Execom anymore, as I feel like I’m not really for that. But I would very much like to be a regular visitor in the villages, and perhaps establish close ties with the people there. I have been with GK for quite some time… And yet now I realized I haven’t really been with it. To touch somebody’s life for a day already means a lot. That, I have experience, especially during my first build. But to touch a people’s lives continually and to go deep in your pakikipagkapwa with them… that must be one of the greatest feelings. That must be found in GK. ;)

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