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Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL

Margarita Ysabel A Case Study Project on Margarita Ysabel L. Muoz Biography

Submitted by Mary Jane B. de Guzman 201041022 III BA Psychology

To be submitted to Professor Christopher Carandang Psychology 155 Abnormal Psychology

March 22, 2013

Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL

Margarita Ysabel
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge -Maes motto in life :)

Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL Contents

Acknowledgments....4 Introduction..5 Mind, Heart and Body..6 Mirrors.. 18

Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL Acknowledgments

This project will not come into reality if not for these people who shared with me their time, stories and effort in order to get to know Mae a lot better. The whole interaction with these people had become so worthy that is why I would like to dedicate a page and because I promised to do so in recognition of their participation to my case study project. I would like to thank Bea Lee for not hesitating to be my interviewee in response to the requirement of interviewing a friend of Mae. Despite her busy schedule at home and in school, she did not decline my request and shes even more willing to share her wittiness about her friendship with Mae. Thank you so much! Another bountiful thank you to Maes mother, Mrs. Jocelyn Gina L. Muoz for the time allotted for the interview even though she has so many things to do. Maam, your dedication and support to your daughter reflect just how much you love Mae. Thank you. Of course, I would like to thank my partner herself, Mae, for the wonderful experience. We have known each other for quite a long time but this project has become such an opportunity that we are able to get to know each other way better than we, too, both expected. There is more that I have and want to say but for now, I just want to say that I am very grateful to be your partner. To my family, thank you for the love and financial support. Haha. :P To Sir Chris, this is our last project in our class so I would like to say thank you for this semester full of learning, music, arts and everything nice. I will never forget this experience, Sir. Thank you so much. Lastly, thanks to God for always listening to my prayers in the whole duration of time and process of this project. Thank you so much.

Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL

Introduction
Friendship is something that does not need to be overly analyzed, she humbly told me when I asked her how she defines friendship. For her, a friend knows all your flaws and still accepts you despite of all your imperfections. No wonder why we are friends because we made it simple but rich to define the kind of friendship that most genuine people have with other people. That is just one of the so many things that I like about Margarita Ysabel Lopez-Muoz. She is my partner in this case study. She is fondly called by many as Mae. In her family, she has this unique nickname, Bibay. Mae, just like everyone else in this world, is extraordinarily ordinary and through the following narratives, I will try to show what I truly mean by that.

Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL

Mind, Heart and Body


It was on the 28th day of July1993 when the second child of Mr. Florante MartinezMuoz and Mrs. Jocelyn Gina Lopez-Muoz was born. She was named Margarita Ysabel but people knew her as Mae and sometimes, as Bibay in the family. During Mrs. Muoz pregnancy of her, she chose not to work so she could take care of Mae, and her first child personally. All of her three children were cesarean babies. She was the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Muoz that is why the treatment and upbringing are somehow different compared to her two brothers namely Angelo Miguel, as the eldest and Luis Antonio, as the youngest. Their ages are 20, 19 and 15 respectively. Maes friend, Bea Lee would describe her physically as thin, with big eyes and has a beautiful hair. Mae walks and talks in a gentle manner, very prim and proper. Her family lives in a big, orange house located at Lot 3, Sparrow Street, Greenview Executive Village in Fairview, Quezon City. Mr. and Mrs. Muoz are both medical professionals and just about 90% of their family, siblings and cousins in both sides are into medical profession. As a family, what they always do is to go to mass every Sunday and pray the rosary at night. The latter is a tradition that Maes father has managed to incorporate to them. Sometimes, they would go out as a family, watch a movie, eat somewhere and bond with each other. That is one thing that Mae enjoys and likes most about her family, having their own quality time as a family, just them. She also enjoys spending every New Years Eve and Christmas Eve with them (from Kinetic Family Drawing). Even though their family seems to be high in religiosity, within their family, they do not actually talk about religion that much and according to her mother, they are not that religious. Particular to her mother, there are so many issues about re ligion. She thinks that ones belief should be within his/her capacities and decisions; it should be highly personalized, not forced,

Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL

not imposed. Mrs. Muoz is very understanding and accepting when it comes to this matter. For her, Mae can decide on her own on what to believe as long as she stays firm to her values. From that very instance, one could see how supporting she is to Mae. When asked what she would ask of Mae to do, she clearly answered the question by saying that you need your personal space and as a mother, she highly respects it. However, she would like to remind Mae not to forget the family, that she is a member of their family. Be responsible. She continued on saying that Mae has personal interests but if the family needs her then she should also participate with them like in family gatherings, celebrations, reunions etc. Although this perspective of her mother has good implications, Mae would openly say that what she likes least about her family was the routine of praying together every night and when shes forced to attend big family events like reunions. Mae said she does not like the feeling of being obliged to do these things especially on the part where their religion is the center of the topic. Mae has a lot of insights on this. In family events, she does not like attending to because she does not want to be forced to socialize with her cousins and be compared to them. Thats what she does like least, comparisons in the family. Mae attended both gradeschool and highschool at the the School of the Holy Spirit in Quezon City. It was an all-girls school. By sending Mae to an all-girls school, her parents did not worry much that Mae would behave inappropriately. Mrs. Muoz is very proud of Mae, describing her as the smartest among her three children in terms of academic achievements. However, if theres one thing she wishes Mae to be, it would be for her to be also street-smart. Mrs. Munoz said that maybe Mae can go alone by herself, but they havent tried letting her to. She would always be assisted and fetched from wherever place she went to. She was very sheltered. Sometimes, Mae would ask about the reason for things that she sees in the community

Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL

and what her mother would just respond is life is really like that. She told Mae that she has to dwell and live up with these things. But now that Mae is currently studying in the University of the Philippines, she is being exposed in situations she has never seen and known before. Her mother is proud of the increasing awareness that Mae is gaining from the everyday experiences that she goes through in the university. It may be political awareness, budget cut in different sectors and institutions etc. Everything is better in a way. Mae became more concerned about the issues in the society and her mother is very glad that Mae is trying to relate it to herself and she is becoming more and more opinionated. She always reminds Mae that revenge is a sin and that she should not go down to the level of those who harm her. Moreover, if Mae may want change, a piece of advice from her mother says that she can do it little by little because it is highly impossible to change everything instantly. It would not be that easy. Her mother said she can do her own little ways of helping other people. Mrs. Munoz revealed that Mae is closer and more open to her than to her father. She said that it is maybe they are both females. Mae could be feeling more relatable about personal matters to her than with her father, said her mother. For Mae, her attitudes towards her father and mother vary significantly. She seems to have a need and a want to be closer to her father and her father be closer to her and to her two brothers. It is not that Mae does not appreciate the efforts her father is giving to their family; its simply that shes after the genuine connection of a father to his children, the kind of relationship that is not bound with judgments and criticisms but instead, a connection enriched with more understanding and acceptance. Even on the way she manufactures thoughts in her head when presented with something like projective tests and the SSCT, one can observe Maes eagerness to have a better relationship with her father.

Case Study: MARGARITA YSABEL

Mrs. Muoz further described how different Mae from her older brother. They were very opposite such as Mae being so quiet and gentle while her brother as loud and gregarious. Mae would honestly say that it is her brother that she is least close in the family because of his attitudes. But for mother-daughter relationship, Mrs. Muoz shared just how much they are similar to each other. For an instance, they both like reading books. Sometimes, they would swap books to read. Moreover, they both dont like go ing out for the sake of going out unless it is really necessary. They are both not interested to attending parties and the like. Personally for Mae, she is really not interested in going to such events because it causes her migraine, a very good indicator of being an introvert. She said too much noise and stimulations give her a terrible migraine. Shed rather be home and read sci-fi novels. Mrs. Muoz said that they were both quite people. But when they are together, they could talk just about everything from funny youtube videos to serious news videos. She revealed that at home Mae is talkative. She even said that some people will realize that Mae has so much to share. Mrs. Muoz just hopes that Mae would always be honest and that if she has a problem, she should not hesitate to ask for help because as a family, they are in the position to help her. Mrs. Muoz shared several topics that she had talked over with Mae. They talked about almost everything. However, if theres one thing they do not usually discuss, its about Mae s personal lovelife or anything about her crushes. Mrs. Muoz said she does not initiate, she waits for Mae to open to her and if she keeps her silence about it, she respects it. Mrs. Muoz just always reminds Mae that she should always be careful. She makes her aware about all the possible consequences that could happen even though she knew Mae is not like any other people of her age. If Mrs. Muoz would be asked what kind of man her daughter can be with, she hopes

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that this man is kind, comes from a good family, not really traditional but would court her in their house and lastly, he could give Mae a comfortable life. Even though Mrs. Muoz said her relationship with Mae is like mother, like daughter, she still individuates Mae from her. There are times when their views would clash but according to her, thats fine as long as Mae would not lose her values. At times, Mae has the tendency to be uncertain and her mother wishes that soon shell get to know what she really wants to do in life. When I interviewed Mae, she also said that she was unsure of what to do in her life. For her the future looks vague and worrying. Moreover, her projections reveal that she is pressured by the achievement of her parents. Shes afraid that she would commit mistakes and fail them. Her mother is always supportive saying that they will always be at her back, supporting her all the time. From all of these stories, I affirm Maes attitude towards her mother. She feels most comfortable with her mother than with any other people. She seems very grateful for the safe environment that she and her mother have established because Mae knew that she can be what she really is whenever shes with her mother. She likes her mother so much even though she can be annoying sometimes. Mae is generally happy with her family even though she perceives her family as the kind of family with fewer open communications when compared with other families. She shared her wishes for her family. She hopes that her brother would change for the better and that any conflicts in their family would be approached gently, communicated well and be resolved to achieve harmony and goodness in family ties. She also wishes her family and their house to be livelier such that they communicate more. Recalling the past, Mae said that when she was still a

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child, their family used to live in a small, cozy and lively house. But now that they already live in a big house, they seldom see and talk to each other. But still, she is happy with them. Mae is currently taking Bachelor of Arts, Major in Psychology. She is now in her junior year. All of the students in the department are familiar with various tests measuring various constructs. One of these tests and one of the popular tests Psychology majors take is the Personality test, basically involving the five factors: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. The result of the Big Five Personality Test shows that Mae (O) enjoys having novel experiences and seeing things in new ways. Also, it includes a description of Mae being (C) neither organized nor disorganized. Mae may (E) probably enjoy spending some quiet time alone, affirming her being introvert and reserved. She also (A) tends to be considerate and sympathetic to the feelings of others. Lastly, (N) Mae tends to become anxious and nervous especially when stressed with activities. A friend of her, Bea Lee supported some of these findings. One is that she thinks Mae is a good student and very studious but not grade-conscious, reflecting Maes result in the factor, Conscientiousness. Emotionally, she said Mae is stable. Shes not over-emotional. She said Mae has a reserved personality, not aggressive. Mae, according to Bea, behaves very gently. In the Draw a Person test, Mae drew an image which she explained exactly all these attributes. Even though what she drew that she referred to be introvert, this person still has the abilities to do certain things that Mae thinks are good for a person to have like finding oneself reflecting about everything. The person she drew seizes every meaningful moment. As for Mae, she keeps diary or a journal where she writes the important happenings in her life, not really to vent out frustrations and problems but to simply recognize the fact that a particular event happened and is already now part of her life. That person she drew can also be very worrying about things

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suspended in vagueness. However, Bea perceives Mae to be calm and does not usually express panic in the middle of stressful events. When I presented this description to Mae, she said that it is one thing that she tries so hard not to express to other people. She keeps it by herself in order not to disturb others. As I have been with her for quite a long time and we have been groupmates in most of the projects, I have seen that side of her. She could really get neurotic and sometimes, her neuroticism is contagious that everybody in the group would already start panicking once Mae started to. Sometimes, it helps. Sometimes, it does not. But if theres one thing that Bea and I find very admirable about Mae, its her value of listening. Bea first met Mae during the Freshman Registration last May 2010. They were blockmates, Block 4, and became classmates in two subjects, Anthro 10 and Math 11. They did not become friends right away but Bea thought of Mae as her friend during the middle of the semester. Her most salient experience with Mae was during their sophomore year. They had the same schedule of break and during that year, Bea decided to apply for Buklod-Isip, a Psychbased organization. For her, it was fun but stressful. Mae became her sounding board for everything that she was going through during the application process. From that experience, Bea knew how sympathetic Mae was towards her problem. Mae would just listen very attentively to her ranting about stuffs in the org. Oftentimes, they talked about school works and the organization they were both in, the Buklod-Isip. Its more like updating and catching up with each other about anything related to their academic life, their subjects and problems in it or issues in the organization and stuff like that. Mae expressed her gratitude of being involved in this organization. The people in it gave her the opportunity to develop her well-being as a student, a member and as a person. Because of Buklod-Isip, she became more aware and she said that she really feels the big change in her

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because of this organization. She got more friends and was able to meet a lot of interesting people. Way back in high school, Mae belonged to a group of friends who more likely just like her, quiet and very reserved, but with Buklod-Isip, she realized that being an introvert is not a hindrance to get to know people especially if these people respects and acknowledges one s real personality. She became even more honest to herself and became more selfless because of the awareness it gave her. She recognized the fact that theres really more to being in school than just attending classes. She met people in this organization like Bea who shared with her the life of being a student in UP. Bea said that even though they talk about a lot of things, they do not discuss about love life. One reason that she said was because they were both singles. It seems that Mae is not really inclined in discussing any particular topic about love. Both her mother and her friend shared this thought. I got curious and so I started a general conversation about this with her. For Mae, getting into a romantic relationship should be reinforced with love and should result to happiness. It does not have to be sexual but if so, love should still be the core of it all. Mae said that she would always prioritize friendship over romantic relationship. She said that romantic relationship would prosper if two persons started as being really good friends. She is constant with this notion and also, she really thinks that being friends is the foundation of all good relationships, even when working with superiors. She approves the idea of building equity and friendship between her and the other person. Respect also is a key in this formation. She cleared a point that when dealing with other people, it has to be a two-way communication lined with respect and acceptance of imperfections. In Card #4 in the projective test where we were presented with an image of a woman reaching for a man and embracing him, Maes interpretations reveal just how shes

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always ready to listen to what other people would say especially if it would be in the case of her husband. Even though what her husband would tell her is something she would not want to hear, she would still give an ear on it. Mae thinks that she has the ability to put herself in others shoes, she could empathize and would really listen to whatever the other person is saying. She further said that she also wants to talk and share her thoughts; that is why she believes that it has to be two-way. The output would probably be of good influences inspiring one another to become a better person. Maybe thats what Mae and Bea found in each other thats why they become really good friends. They mutually share the avenue thats perfect for the actualization of their own potentials. Bea was very grateful to have Mae as a friend. As what she shared about Mae, her value of listening to what one person would say qualifies her to be a very good confidant. Bea was able to prove to herself that her friendship with Mae is not just for the good times but also for the bad, they would stick together. If theres one topic that became memorable for Bea when she once talked to Mae, it was about politics, particularly the political issues in the university. In their organization, Mae was offered to run during the election. She explained to Mae the pros and cons of running and she was glad to see how open-minded Mae was during that time. She was very participative despite the several issues that Bea presented to her. The plan did not push through because Mae declined to pursue even though initially, she was positive to it. Mae explained with all honesty why she chose not to and that honesty was one of the things that Bea admired about her. Her openness helped her to be more mindful of what she truly feels. According to Bea, Mae filters everything that people tell her. She remains extremely careful on creating decisions. She worries a lot about what other people might be thinking of her. She does not want to be judged, fears to take risks

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and sometimes, doubts her own capabilities. Nonetheless, she is hopeful that she will be able to push through by trying harder. When she recalled the way she had decided on the election, she would have some what-ifs in her mind but in the end, she would suppose that things like that are maybe not really for her. Seeing the results of the elections, Mae thinks that those who got elected are more efficient than her in the position they were elected to. In the introduction, I stated the way Mae framed friendship. I agree to her when she said that it should be spiced with acceptance for who you truly are, including your mistakes and weaknesses. She does not like people who are condescending, pretentious and liars. She shared a story of a person like that and I could see how she s really disappointed in the realization that some people can be really like that. For her, what matters is for a person to be true to oneself and by being true, one does not have to be rude. She explained that you can always state what is in your mind but in a manner that would help the situation, not in the way that would cause distress to other people. As much as she does not like to be judged, she also dislikes people who judge others without really getting to know them and then these judgmental people would spread fallacious logics that could destroy other people. Mae said that a lot of problem arises from this attitude and I highly agree to her. On a positive note, Mae really thinks that what makes friendship juicier is the bonding with food and stories. She just likes sitting in one corner eating with a friend and listening to each others amazing stories. That is why shes able to say that friendship is something you dont overanalyze. If the two of you share some interest, then you can be friends. Simplistic it is, but very meaningful, I guess. Friends, Mae noted, are one of the sets of people, next to her parents, who are very influential to her.

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Talking about influential people, Mae shared a vast information about how she was influenced by many particularly those from the academe like scientists and writers. When I said awhile ago that Mae has a lot of insights about religion, it is highly supported by the claims of these people. Being straight to the point, Mae is really inclined in explanations founded through scientific findings and empirical evidences. As of now, she courageously said that she does not believe in the existence of God, specifically she said that she is an agnostic atheist. Definitions of being an agnostic vary among people but she defined it through the help of a definition she found in the internet: being an agnostic, a person believes that there is no God but youre acknowledging the fact that you can never be sure if there is really one. Some of the influential people that she mentioned were Fred Rogers, Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bob Ross. She said that even without God, life can still be meaningful. Given all the constrictions in the religion, Mae was able to say to herself that people could be better off without it. That is why her motto is the quote I cited above and that is: The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. She further said that it would really be hard to prove the existence of God and just being honest to herself, she said that she never really felt that she had ever connected to a God in case there is one but she tried and attempted to. Before, she was in denial of this, she was still trying to believe in it but eventually when she entered UP, thats when she acknowledged the truth to herself. Entering UP and meeting professors, Maes trust in science increased. In case the existence of God would be proven scientifically, then it is okay, she will accept it. But as of now, all evidences that she know point that theres none. She also shared one of wallpapers in her computer that says, they promised us heaven to take away our lives. She explored this claim by discussing the situation of nuns who spent most of their lives inside the churches, prohibiting them from marrying and more that Mae thinks is a form of suppression. She thinks that these

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nuns could have maximized their lives in helping others if they are outside the church. They could have reached for more people and explained to them that the good life is not measured by ones claim that there is God but simply, by being a good person, doing things selflessly, not for selfish reasons and not because one if forced to do so by their belief in God. And as a person with this belief, Mae really sticks to the idea of love of people, recognitions of things that really matter and search for the truth and what is valuable for humankind. Generally, all of these stories are what makes Mae. From intrapersonal beliefs to interpersonal relationships, one would have a snapshot of the entire life that Mae is living. Without judgments, Mae is more than what eyes can see and what ears can hear. She is a person full of wisdom and substance within. She knows just what she says to people and is not afraid to be challenged every now and then. Even though she worries about some things, like those in the future or her decisions, she manages to go on living and find that there s more to life than just merely living it. I know the limitations of this narrative but I hope that what I have put in this paper is sufficient enough for people to know Mae a thousand miles better.

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Mirrors
Just like when you look in the mirror, you see your own reflection. After writing a 12page narrative about Maes life, I think it does not have to be very critical when reflecting to the things that Mae shared with me about herself. Honestly, I thought that I have written is still

short, I guess. I have so much to tell about her but I guess I want people to see for themselves who Mae really is. What I just did was a general application of the things Mae and I have talked over the past few weeks. The challenge of integrating all the information that I gathered from all the instruments I used, interviews, tests etc is really difficult. I want this paper to be as clear and concise as possible and not appear to be nonsensical with too much information unnecessary for others to know. However, I have come across the realization that no matter how long the paper I would write for someone, it would still be not enough to encapsulate the story of one person because there are things left unspoken and unexpressed. When I accepted this challenge, I knew for sure that I would lose. As what I have told Mae during the interview, I thought I knew much until she spoke. People should really engage in conversations and projects like this to get to know someone in a way that he/she would really be surprised. When I first Mae, I never really thought that we will have this kind of friendship given that we really have so many differences. Im loud, shes not. She does not believe in God and I do. Instead of debating which view is more relevant, what we found during the interview was a collaboration of thoughts that increases the knowledge of the person about the other. She gets to know me better by how I asked questions and I get to know her better by how she responds to it. There is just so much in my head that I want to say but Im just not sure if I would be able to deliver it correctly. What I just know is that, when I met Mae, when I talked to Bea and to her

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mother to know her better, I knew that a part of her would become a part of me as well. As much as we have so many differences, I also realized a side of me thats so similar with her. We both like to search for the truth and are both eager to do just everything to find it. We have endless questions about life. We have dreams for ourselves and for the people that we love. I am really happy and very thankful that Mae and I became partners for this project. I know that even if I would have another partner, it would still be worthwhile. But to get to know someone like Mae, who I initially thought was someone I could barely be comfortable with because shes so quiet, it was extraordinary. If theres one side of Mae that not all people are able to see, its her spontaneity. She likes taking chances in things that she knew could just pass by once in her life. She takes into account the possibility of things so long as there is reasonable and scientific claim on it. Just like me, Mae is just a typical girl living in this world that is full of trials and excitements. What makes Mae special is the way she lives her life because every path that each person takes will always remain unique and exceptional. What else could I say? I guess I just want to say that I love Mae. I love her for just being the person that she is. Maybe well get to know each other more in the years to come and I will always appreciate and welcome it with my open hands because I knew that Mae is a friend worth having and the stories well share with one another would be worth remembering forever.