More than the fieldwork itself

It’s been a long time I haven’t open this site. Most of you might think I have died after conquering the battle I had for a semester. Technically, it isn’t finished yet since I have to submit my final draft of practicum manuscript tomorrow and must be signed by my adviser, the department chair and the college dean. So it’s another battle again. What you will actually read in the succeeding paragraphs are some of the drafts I was trying to post but I couldn’t finish due to academic priorities. If you happened to see my previous Facebook posts and tweets, you’ll probably get what I was into months ago. So here, listen to the sentiments of this absolutely deprived human being.

I wasn’t in this platform for about a month now. I was so, so busy since the semester is about to end in less than three weeks and I am getting ready for the finals. Uh, you’ll again see the zombie version of myself. I’ve four pending papers, exams, final manuscript and other final requirements. I really wanted to write something or to give you, guys updates about my jerky life or I want to create a piece or something I can wander on. I have these random thoughts and things in my mind I want to share but my time won’t allow me to. I had this sudden blogging hiatus but I am always figuring out what can I do to counterbalance my time since everything is becoming so scarce to me now.

But here. Here are things ongoing for the past few days and weeks and months. These are the things I devote my weekends to– stuffs I need to do and sacrifice my rest days for. I was in different fields (locale) to obtain the necessary data I will be needing so I can finish my papers in my different courses. I’ve been to Barangay Poblacion of Binan City Laguna thrice for our disaster-preparedness study in SOC 191 (Special Topics); been to Tanauan City, well relatively near, for our study on culture and urbanization; been to Crossing Calamba Terminal and interviewed barkers for our economic sociology course and to Padre Pio Parish Church to observe and witness how healing masses are being conducted, interview people, put a write-up on it for our Collective Behavior class. Data gathering isn’t this easy, bes! I was also feeling under the weather these past few days. Perhaps because of too much fatigue and stress. Aside from financial constraints, you’ll get body fatigue–sore legs, sore back, intense heat and hunger. Afterwards, it is mandatory that you’ll transcribe the interviews, expand notes, perform divided tasks, do quantitative and qualitative data analysis, do write ups and eventually die.

Three weeks left in the academic calendar and I do not know how to balance all of these. I am enrolled with 15 units, 5 major courses. Before, I thought, this wouldn’t be this hard since one of which is my manuscript which I am already polishing by now. But nahh, every course demands much time, effort and blood. I should multi-task and I am beginning to sleep undertime. Four hours, five hours. Yes, I am this deprived. 


Few proof photos of the fieldwork we’ve had. Good thing I was with my closest friends during those times– Ish and Diane.

Sleeping is for the weak. Pero inaantok na talaga ako. Kbye.

Lots of things crossed my mind lately. These are just some random reflections of how my semester went and the things I realized– to myself, to people, even to simple things.

More than the fieldwork, I’ve known myself more. I realized that I am a tough kid. Hahaha. I mean, I have hurdle all through these without kneeling down, figuratively. I have learned how to be flexible and get things done in the earliest way possible. That is, I shouldn’t waste my time because I wouldn’t know what’s going to happen next. I am enrolled with 15 units (all majors) and it was quite challenging that I was going to and from the school everyday, Tuesday to Friday. I thought, it’s going to be okay. But as usual, UP life is a bit harsh, getting more and more complex as you grow.

Doing fieldwork to different areas, especially those unfamiliar to me was also a bit challenging. My body is squandered wandering around the areas/households that need to be surveyed. And we had to do this thrice. We had to go back to the area for three weekends just to gather the data we will be needing. It was no joke to walk around places you never-not even your classmates-know about. There are security issues, and we were not sure if we will go back home safe and alive. There was an instance when one of the respondents advised us not to go to some specific areas in their barangays since those are becoming corners/places for people engaged to illegal drugs. We were terrified then and we have no idea which those areas were. So… bato-bato sa langit na lang. 

I just want to share a little realization of mine. Since class to fieldwork, we were being oriented of the proper ethics when conducting a research especially during data gathering. We had different respondents coming from different social class. Some were rich, some came from the middle class, some were poor. And you can just know it by looking at them, and their places physically. I just came to realize that those lower class are more welcoming and hospitable compare to the rich ones. I mean, they almost have no place where we can sit so we can conduct the survey, but they still offered us to get in and occupy the available seats/spaces that they have. Their surrounding isn’t that clean, and there were lots of children wandering and playing around. Meaning, there were only a little place for them to offer so we can stay. But they still did. They accepted us and let us in without any doubt. I thanked and salute them.

On the other hand, those rich persons, whose house constructions were made by an engineer or an architect, never even bothered to open the gates so we can conduct the survey more efficiently and that it will be easier for them to clearly understand what we are surveying about. Some were just dictating their answers on holes and bars of their gates, some were pinpointing us to their housemaids or manners similar to this. One said “Ano ba yan? Matutulog pa ako eh.” We still pleased him (which made me regret it) to answer. He pulled the questionnaire and contest that he alone can manage. So, fine! After he answered, I thanked him. But I didn’t look at him in the eye like what I normally do when I thank people. Because I didn’t mean it.  I was not thankful to that person. It’s just, he has undergone college, and it is most expected that he knows what we were doing just to get a degree. He must feel the beat of our pulse! We were so desperate and we have no much time to finish the task. It just pissed us off! I mean, yes we were just students and we do not belong to the same class. But y’know, respect is ALWAYS a must– no matter who you are and no matter whom you are giving such.

It is always mandatory that one also knows who the right persons we should trust and depend on. During the previous semester, I am glad that my groupmates happened to be my friends. Major subjects demand group papers, researches and other group work. And for a paper to proceed successfully, it is important that the team is working together for each other. I am glad, though everything wasn’t perfect, it all turned out fine because we know we worked real hard for it.

More than the lessons I learn from every fieldwork I went through, I’ve learned much more life lessons which I know I will be needing for the next chapter that awaits.

Consummatum est.


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