WAYWARD AND FANCIFUL: The seven-year itch

Tambara owes its elevated stature in the academic circles – both local and international – largely through the efforts of its editor, Macario D. Tiu, the much awarded writer, fellow MindaNews columnist, and this year’s most outstanding ADDU alumnus. Don’t mention me. I just keep time and the coffee flowing.

In the six years that I’ve worked with Tambara, I have been honored to keep company with fellow academicians Rex Rola, Bel Actub, Rey Pilapil, and of course, Mac. Beyond the formalities of collegiality now, we have grown to be fast friends who respect and support each other, who recognize and appreciate each other’s strengths and adjust to each other’s weak points. Ours is a closeness forged by the panic of deadlines, the refreshing stimulation of intellectual exchange, and lots of laughter over editorial meetings. There’s no way that we’ll lose each other now even as we’ll be drifting apart to pursue our personal goals.

Our term as the editorial team saw the Tambara moving towards readability as we repackaged research articles to be easy on the eye. It’s a lot harder said than done when one considers that the articles have to be pretty tight while at the same time staying true to the original words of the author. Mac is a hard taskmaster, and some of those articles took two years and thirteen edits for us to finally get fit for publication. Mac as the final arbiter would not compromise on the standard he set when we all came aboard. I guess that’s why he wins awards.

As our final offering, we’re putting out a volume that’s a bit thicker than usual. Tambara volume 23 is 260-odd pages of grade A articles that showcase a broad spectrum of research methodologies for various topics of interests.

Lawyer Gus Gatmaytan does anthropological notes on the performance of the Kaligaon ritual among the Banwaons. Educators Vinice Organiza and Siverlyn Camposano document, translate, and analyze Blaan and Tagakaulo oral narratives. Marvin Cruz, former Dean of the  School of Business and Governance forecasts consumer preferences using conjoint analysis. Jesuit Volunteer Erika Catral reflects on the fate and future of the Tboli tnalak in the age of consumerism, globalization, and intellectual property abrogation. Rey Pilapil, exiled to Europe to pursue a pre-doctorate course, inquires on the morality of terrorism. Yours truly took out her broad sword to hack apart the state of tertiary education in the Philippines. Bel Actub checks in with an unusual travelogue from Zurich. Humanities professor Gerry Betonio attempts a feminist rereading of the women in Mac Tiu’s fiction.

For his part, Mac was quite content this time around to review three books published by the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Bel did me the honor of reviewing Fly on the Wall. Fr. Albert E. Alejo, SJ reviewed Sikami’n Lumad, a compilation of the written works of the Lumad scholars of the Mindanawon Initiatives for Cultural Dialogue.

Tambara volume 23 is going to be a collector’s item. Somehow, we all feel that as a final offering, we outdid ourselves with this concoction of flavorful articles that shows the vibrant range of academic investigation in the social sciences, philosophy, humanities, and theology.

On a personal note, I would have loved to stay some more on the journal now that I’ve got the procedures down to pat. However, having started on my doctoral studies, I feel I won’t be able to keep up with the amount of work and concentration required in editing and running the office. Besides, there’s the very real danger of pushing the limits to the seven-year-itch – and I’m not talking scabies here. They say that when a couple makes it through the first seven years of marriage, they significantly increase their chances of staying together forever.

Well, see, I’m monogamous. Pretty as it is, I didn’t marry the journal. Don’t make me. (Wayward and Fanciful is Gail Ilagan's column for MindaViews, the opinion section of MindaNews. Ilagan teaches Social Justice, Family Sociology, Theories of Socialization and Psychology at the Ateneo de Davao University where she is also the associate editor of Tambara. You may send comments to gail.ilagan@gmail.com. "Send at the risk of a reply," she says.)