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For love or for money

I've tried clicking on this link telling of a person who's found the right job for himself. Been trying all morning and until recently but only a blank page is displayed.

Either that person does not exist or there is no such thing as a right job.

At least, in the Philippine setting. I'm already in my Week 4 as the newest innovation engineer on the proverbial block and I still feel that I shouldn't be here in the first place. Not even sure if I should have taken engineering in the zeroth place at all. I wanted to be a physicist and I wanted to be a writer. Strangely enough, prolific writers within the scientific fold come from physics. Take Alan Lightman, or Baryon Tensor Posadas. Stephen Hawking did a good job in coming up with a bestseller, but if there is such a thing as a four-by-three-inch coffee table book, displayed and never meant to be read, then Hawking would be the first.

It's all a matter of survival. I fear that should I pursue a career full-time as a writer, I would be living on the streets first. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth thus the reason I have to take the daily grind for nine hours exclusive of transport time. There will be no stock options, no retirement plans, not even medical insurance should I develop carpal tunnel syndrome from too much typing or clicking. Not in the Philippines. Not if I am Jessica Zafra whose word is biblical. Sooner I might file for bankruptcy if there is such a thing in Manila that would officially declare me to be poor.

What's new, everybody's poor anyway.

Moving on, I want to take the challenge. That branch called quantum physics surely conjures romantic notions of Heisenberg's uncertaintly principle, potential wells, and the theory of relativity. I have to make do with Kirkendall voids, stress relaxation and the rules of Hume and Rothery and other laws of nature that are meant to be named after some scientist, and then followed. In that order.

I dream of it as a part-time job that will not make me scrape the bottom of the barrel anymore. And should I sell 14 million copies, like Douglas Adams did, I would not even wait for my Ph. D. anymore, but retire. And think of a sequel to make another 14 million. But not now, not yet. I still have to play the game and make sure that I play it right. I'll restate that: not at this moment, but in between, when I get a chance. My spoof on GMA and a fake Einstein Dream shows 0.05 milliliters of potential. Goody.

One qualm that I've been nursing if I take this step is how big the Philippine market is with regards to science lit. Most Filipinos are always afraid of hard science, and they diss physicists, mathematicians and metallurgists as nerds. Ever observed that? Cool means knowing where is the nearest Belo Medical Center. Nerd means calculating how many bars of glycerine soap can be made from a day's worth of liposuction at the nearest Belo Medical Center.

I fervently hope sci lit can be accepted in the mainstream as much as Valentine Romances. There's a glimmer of hope as I saw a ripoff of Stargate, complete with a rendering of the pyramid on the front cover, from the same publishers that brought Elena Cabral to the drawers of our househelps. In the first world, sci fi, sci lit, along with R&D, piano recitals and geodesic architecture, are exercises in culture.

I want to take part in the warmups.

“For love or for money”