Vancouver resident Florchita ‘Chit’ Bautista has a new book, and she dedicates it to people who are searching for meaning in their lives.
Titled Interviews Across Time and Space, Bautista’s work features fictionalized conversations with biblical figures, exploring how people respond to choices and challenges.
“As you read the stories of the characters in the book, it is my hope that you, too, will find your mission in life and thus, find the meaning you are looking for,” Bautista wrote.
Interviews Across Time and Space follows Bautista’s first book Leaping Into the Unknown, which was released in 2006.
“Life as a journey is a precious invitation, a gift, and a call that goes on as long as we are alive,” Bautista wrote in her new book. “How we respond to the challenges along the way defines the success or failure of that endeavour.”
Bautista is a former nun, teacher, guidance counselor, and pastoral worker in the Philippines. She had immersed herself in the lives of the urban poor and workers.
In Canada, Bautista worked with the Filipino migrant workers in Toronto to advocate for their rights, and raise their consciousness.
Philippine Asian News Today (PNT) interviewed Bautista here:
PNT: How did the idea for your book start?
Florchita Bautista: Actually the thought of writing a book started after I came back from my trip to Greece and Turkey to “Follow the Footsteps of St. Paul”, about three years ago. There was that kind of urging in my heart to write something. But I was not interested in writing about our trip itself. I did not like to write another travelogue describing the places where we had been. The idea of writing persisted so I thought of writing something about the journey of mankind from birth to death. How? and what about the journey?
PNT: About your conversations with historical figures, where did the inspiration for this technique come from?
FB: I went home to the Philippines and I was talking to a friend who just came back from a trip herself and she told me that one of her companions wanted to interview their group so he could write about their visit to the Holy Land. The word INTERVIEW suddenly gave me a jolt. Why not go back in time and involve some of the characters in the Old and New Testament in writing about our life’s journey.
PNT: For readers of your new book, what can they expect?
FB: Well, you see, I do believe that each one of us was created by God with a purpose. That purpose becomes our mission in life. Our success or failure to achieve that mission determines our life’s meaning; that is, do we live our life with satisfaction, inner peace, and happiness? Or do we live an unfulfilled life, where we seem to be ever searching for something that is missing but which we cannot even define? Oftentimes we blame others, our parents, our boss in our office, our spouse, or even some events in our life, for our failure to achieve anything of value in our life. Maybe we are missing the point. We want to achieve something great, we want to make a name before others, to be pleasing to God. So we become a workaholic. We can never rest; work, work, work, … until we drop dead! Maybe God created you and me only for a simple task or mission – be nice and loving to our family, to our neighbours, love them as you love yourself, be satisfied with what you have and do not aspire for that which is above your capacity to achieve. One saint said, “do the most ordinary task with extraordinary love.” That’s all.
PNT: What do you think are the principal take-aways from your book?
FB: I hope that the readers will not just take the stories as accounts of the lives of simple people performing great deeds and then close the books and forget what they had read. It is precisely because they were simple folks like the majority of us, yet were able to perform great wonders, why? Because they believed in a God whom they could trust to guide and enable them to do what was humanly impossible. It is important for the reader to reflect behind the simple stories, to get an insight on how to “read” God’s message in their everyday existence. That way they might knowingly or unknowingly be fulfilling their mission in life – big or small it might be.
PNT: How is your new book related to your first? Is there any connection?
FB: Now that you ask the question, yeah. I think there is a connection between the two books because the first one was about how I fulfilled my mission which I realized only after going through so many painful trials. That’s why maybe I could write the second book because somehow I already experienced searching for meaning in my life and finding it while serving our migrant workers in Canada. The title of the book was “Leaping Into the Unknown”, published in 2006, and the theme was “Leaping in faith into the unknown where God was leading me”. That’s my own planned theme; but most of the readers’ feedback focused on “how to forgive and find peace,” which became apparent to them as they read the book. And I looked back and indeed, they were correct.
PNT: How long or how much time did you complete your new book? What are the highlights of your experience in putting this book together?
FB: It took me almost three years (the first book I wrote for only three months) to write this 2nd book and there were many times when I almost gave it up especially when I lost one chapter which I just completed the evening before. The next day I wanted to read it through once more but could not find it anymore, not even with the help of my computer savvy friends who helped me locate it in all my files. I ended up re-writing the whole chapter. Another time, my computer was hacked and I thought everything was lost. It took my computer teacher in the community centre to locate it after about an hour’s search. As it turned out the hackers switched off the search engine of my computer. But there were also times when the inspiration felt just flowing out of my fingertips, I found it difficult to stop, even to take my meals.
PNT: When and where is your second book Interviews Across Time and Space to be launched?
FB: It will be launched on August 31, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. at the basement hall of St. Mary’s Parish, 5251 Joyce Street. I hope you will come and buy a copy of the book because all proceeds from the sale will be donated for the Building Project of St. Mary’s Church. The book costs only $15.00/copy.
For copies, email the author at: email@example.com or St. Mary’s Parish at: firstname.lastname@example.org