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SDRC@33 Anniversary Program
SDRC@33: On Your Knees, Get Set, Go!
Response on Behalf of the Awardees by Dr. Robert C. Salazar, DLSU University Felllow and former SDRC Director and Dean, College of Liberal Arts; Currently, Professor, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Oita, Japan
Quite recently, while cleaning up my old research files, I chanced upon a centerfold from Kislap magazine.  Back in 1984, if you'd allow me a little reminiscing (tatanda rin kayo), I was doing an ethnography of Iraya, a village in Buhi, Camarines Sur, as part of my doctoral dissertation research.  I had asked my research assistant to help me get some data on local numerology because jueteng was and still probably is very much a part of village life.  Showing her creativity and resourcefulness as an RA, as I'm sure SDRC’s RAs also would, she recorded the data on this centerfold  featuring Amy Austria in a bathing suit, but now "tattooed" with numbers:  5 near her left eye and 10 on her right; 19 and 20 on her neck;  and, on her shapely legs, the note "33 = knees".  

Also on a separate note on folk numerology, my RA wrote "snake (big) = 33", along with 27 and 28 which she referred to euphemistically as female and male reproductive organs, respectively.

Apparently, old folks say that if these objects, events and body parts stand out on any particular day and most especially in your dreams, then you should bet on their corresponding numbers in jueteng.

Well, I've had numerous dreams, centerfolds included, though I dare not let you know and interpret them. Hard as I try betting on my numbered dreams and dream numbers, I haven't been fortunate yet with  6/42, 45, 49, and 55, not even when I joined the pooled bet among SDRC researchers and staff many years ago in our desire to win the Superlotto.  But that's another story.

I cannot share with you all the numbers and their dream equivalents; these are PCSO’s trade secrets. But I can tell you the showbiz news in January of 1984 as shown on the back of the centerfold:  “Sharon-Gabby’s Kissing Scene…with Rowell’s Blessings?”  and “Claudia (Zobel):  Nawala noon, kinauuhawan ngayon!”

So what of SDRC @ 33?  Is SDRC scheming, vindictive, treacherous and deceptive like snakes supposedly are?  Is SDRC now on bended knees?

I'd say far from it . . .  SDRC@33 has very strong knees and is ready for more climbing.  SDRC@33 is, like a snake, adaptive, life-renewing, wise, healing, transformative, and regenerative.  Excuse the bias; I was born in the year of the snake.

If interested in mythology, snakes, and healing, start with Mercury Drug and ask why it is that the naked man in its logo has a caduceus or a rod with two serpents intertwined rather than a rod with just a single serpent entwined.  Deconstruct it, as our postmodern scholars would say.  But that too is another story.

If snakes scare you, 33 has other meanings in other numerologies and I take liberties with their use, glossing over computational intricacies.

One source [1] says:
"The 33 is the most influential of all numbers . . . [It] lacks all personal ambition, and instead focuses its considerable abilities toward the spiritual uplifting of mankind.  What makes the 33 especially impressive, is the high level of sincere devotion.  This is shown in its determination to seek understanding and wisdom before preaching to others.  . .  The number 33 offers guidance to the world."


Another source [2] reads:
"It is said that number thirty-three is associated with learning to discover the power of healing through love. The person with a life path number of thirty-three in numerology is learning to become totally selfless and to love unconditionally."

Finally, a third source adds:
"The major positive personality traits that correspond to the number thirty-three... include:  Intuition; Visionary; Sensitive; Selfless Service; Altruistic; Caring; Spiritual Nurtures; Mystical; Sympathetic; Tenderhearted; Protective; and Forgiving."  Well, never mind that this source is entitled The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Numerology [2].


So what of SDRC@33?

Having retired from DLSU 11 years ago, I had to update myself with the works of SDRC and my colleagues these past 11 years and the years before that, indeed these past 33 years.  By the way, 11 is another master number, and yes, that is yet another story.

My dear friends, I would argue that SDRC's story fits 33 to a tee.  Its works, done by today's honorees and many others, truly speak volumes:

CARING and SYMPATHETIC are Tata Lamberte's work with DOH (Department of Health) on issues of  quality assurance; the child and family welfare system; mental health, among others; and her concern for poverty alleviation;

VISIONARY and WISE are Trining Osteria's countless writings on decentralization, health service utilization, operations research, quality of care assessment, and demographic analyses -- classic in their handwritten beginnings and scholarly prose;

PROTECTIVE and HEALING are Lalay Jimenez's advocacies on violence against women, her international research and task forces and working groups on reproductive health, her leading and sustaining the MAHESOS (Masters in Health Social Science) program, and her reaching out to children and communities in crisis situations.  Incidentally, a strong component of Lalay's studies on youth sexuality is sexual desire, which is also represented by the snake;

TENDER HEARTED and NURTURING as only Asa Marco can be are her projects on maternal, newborn and child health; health and nutrition of children in cultural communities; people's access to medicine;  effective approaches to dengue control ; and the urban poor.

SENSITIVE & INTUITIVE are Ellen Javier's perceptive analyses of the social benefits and costs of the US Bases; her pioneering call to build people into forestry; her insights on women in agriculture and marketing, forestry and natural resources, her views on indigenous people's participation in their ancestral domain claims;  her reading of the role of secondary organizations in negotiating land rights -- insights and views that an anthropologically trained researcher like Ellen always effectively communicates.

SELFLESS SERVICE is epitomized by Lita Quebengco's almost annual climb to the mountains of Oriental Mindoro to engage the Hanunoo Mangyans in her innovative education project, described in SDRC's 2009 newsletter as “the longest running research project”, continuing as it did for 25 years.  Several times I joined Lita on these climbs and visits, and attended the meetings occasionally chaired by the Mangyans themselves.  Enlightening and almost mystical experiences, I might add.

ALTRUISTIC are Kiko Magno's analysis of governance and civil society issues, and the promotion of corporate environmental and social responsibility.  Possibly FORGIVING is the spirit embedded in his conflict management and resolution projects;

UPLIFTING, at least in name if not in substance, I hope, are the PUMP (Participatory Upland Management Program) projects that I inherited from the equally uplifting and charming Bunny Aquino.

My dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, encouraging as all these are, being 33 is not almighty. Thirty-three faces dangers too, as numerologists hasten to add.

One source [2] explains:
 "[There are] a few additional problems that thirty-threes have to work hard to overcome. These include both codependency and compulsive lying. . . . The master healer can become a compulsive liar if they fall into one of two traps. The first trap involves a desire to avoid hurting other people's feelings. The second trap involves a person's desire to be viewed by others as 'special.'  In either case, the person is not living up to his full potential as a thirty-three."


“In the case of codependency,” the source continues, “the root problem is that the person does not have the inner faith and belief that they are capable of handling the world on their own. As a result, they attach to a capable person. Once attached, they are unable to detach because of their inner fears. The person born with this number in their chart must learn to strike out on their own and to not be afraid of the world and the people within the world."

Indeed, lying is a temptation even in research.  Should we stop research in reproductive health simply because we are a Catholic institution?  Should we avoid making critical comments lest our funders and clients no longer contract our services?  I say, sting if we must, but always offer a healing antidote, too.

As for codependency, we find serendipitously that today's theme is "SDRC@33: Learning and Leading Through Collaborative Research".

I am confident, of course, that our seeking to collaborate does not spring from our fears.  Many times the temptation to decide FOR the Mangyans reared its head, but we were steadfast in our view that the collaborative project must be mutually liberating.  I am confident that we speak of collaboration in the spirit of mutual strength and growth.

I must now end my story, lest I fall into the trap of storytelling a lie.

To the officers, associates, and staff of SDRC, thank you for honoring us and our works.  Thank you for helping us in and with our research.  As the retirees among us clearly exemplify, we continue to regenerate and remain active in research.  Such is 33's sincere devotion to research.

As we do in quantitative research, let us continue making sense of those numbers, no longer as numerologists but as statisticians.   As we do in qualitative research, let us like always search for meanings and wisdom.  As we do in participatory research, let us ever be transformative.

Let us all continue to dream, let us all continue to guide.

SDRC @ 33:  On your knees, get set, go!


Notes:
[1]  http://www.decoz.com/numerology-Course-01a.htm

[2] Culbertson, John.  (2009, October 15).  Numerology Number 33 - The Master Healer:  The Symbolism and Personality of Number Thirty-Three.  http://john-culbertson.suite101.com/numerology-number-33-the-master-healer-a146089
 

 

 

 

 

 

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