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In My Life: 1999-2009

Writing this chronological account has helped me realize that I was literally and figuratively “all over the place” from 1999 to 2009, but I'm thankful that I’ve finally found my “corner of the sky.” I don’t know if anyone else can learn anything from my experience, but this is my blog and I’m doing it for the record =)

At the beginning of 1999, I was still an assistant manager at Bank of the Philippine Islands with my own car. But after four years of working at a bank (including going through a merger!), I resigned, gave up the car, and eventually made my way to Arvisu House, a Jesuit prenovitiate, where I discerned whether my future lay in religious life. After it became clear in 2000 that the Jesuits and I were better off as friends (as opposed to “married” LOL!), I left for Cebu to teach Religion and Business English at Sacred Heart School for Boys (see "Introducing Gen X to the Bible"). At the end of SY 2000-2001, I returned to Manila and drifted from the Social Security System (as a consultant) to Loyola School of Theology (as a part-time graduate student and assistant editor) to Parlance (as a supervisor), until I decided to go back to school full-time for a master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) at the University of the Philippines (instead of an MBA at AIM) toward the end of 2002. I finished my MLIS, began working at Asian Development Bank (as a records assistant) and obtained my librarian’s license in 2004 (see "Librarians: Already... But Not Yet").

In 2005, I started blogging (see "Mabuhay"), received a travel grant to attend a librarian’s conference in Toronto (see "Librarians as Leaders"), wrote an investigative report for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (see "By Vernon R. Totanes"), and got hired to teach Research and Library Management at UP’s then-Institute of Library and Information Science (see "Gainfully Employed"). I submitted my application to do my PhD at University of Toronto while I was an assistant professor at UP, and by the end of SY 2005-2006 I learned that I had been accepted (see "PhD - Information Studies"). On the way to Toronto, I wrote some more for PCIJ (see "Edsa 20/20: One Year Later") and was given another travel grant (see "Open Access in the Third World"). From 2006 to 2009, I travelled back and forth between Toronto and Manila to attend classes and do research. Perhaps the most significant event in my life during this period that was not directly related to my profession as a librarian or my status as a PhD student was my stint as a game-show contestant on "Kapamilya Deal or No Deal."

After I obtained my librarian’s license, it occurred to me that I was not drifting anymore, especially because it was then that I began to receive invitations to lecture as a librarian and blogger, and present papers at refereed conferences. I even got a few things published along the way (see "A Day in the Life"). Since 2005, I have delivered presentations in Manila, Singapore, Toronto (I just realized that I've never blogged about my presentations in this city!), Vancouver, Oxford, Hanoi, and at Library of Congress in Washington, DC. I hope there will be a few more before I graduate—finally?—in 2011. I have no idea what the future holds, but based on my own previous experience (i.e., from corporate to religious to academic, with lots more in between), I am confident that it will all work out in the end =)

Happy New Year!

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