Was in a book launching of Ricky Lee’s new book, “Kung Alam N’yo Lang.” Went there alone, from Montalban to Taguig (Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street). I just wanted to see him and have him sign my books he wrote. During the open forum, I took the courage of asking Ricky Lee a question: how he would handle it if he was my age and a senior told him na hilaw ka pa to be given more challenging tasks.
Just to give you background, I received a remark from a senior colleague that really bothered me. Labeling us the junior staff as “hilaw” or raw. And in my case, only good with one thing: documentation or writing reports. That bothered me big time. I mean, how can you say that’s the only thing I can do when we the junior staff are not given a chance to do more. Just observing her, she herself also needs some improvement. I know I should just ignore it, still, it bothered me. Of course, I did not mention this to Ricky. I just tweaked my question, making it general.
Here is the answer of Ricky Lee, turning it specific on writing:
“Hindi ako naniniwala na ang isang tao o ang isang writer ay dumarating sa punto na hinog na hinog na sya. O mahusay na mahusay na sya. I think wala syang katapusang journey. Hanggang sa mamatay ka na o tumigil ka na sa pagsusulat, never ka darating sa punto na “sobrang hinog na ako.” Lahat ng trabaho ko work in progress. I think ganun din ako, a work in progress ako as a writer pero never ako darating sa punto na hinog na ako o kumpleto na ako. The reason why I keep writing is because I feel na hindi pa talaga ako hinog. But on the other hand, ako lang magsasabi nun sa sarili ko. ‘Pag sinabi yan ng iba sa akin, hindi naman nya alam eh. Hindi nya alam kung gaano ako kahanda. So keber lang.”
The good news: Weeks after meeting Ricky Lee, I received a resolution that I got my promotion, my second promotion in my more than five years of tenure. God is good and I am grateful to people who believed in me. In my agency, if you are aiming for promotion, you have to apply for it. You have to prove yourself all over again. “With great power comes great responsibility,” unsolicited advice (or was it a warning?) from one of my bosses.
I know. And I am ready.
This is me, with Mr. Ricky Lee. Photo taken last July 2017.