THIS is the homestretch. This is when I breast the tape, finish the final lap, strike the last goal, and hear the final buzzer.

***

In behalf of the Varsitarian sports team (Icy, Llanesca, Don, and Bimbo), I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P., Felicitas Francisco, and Felix Michael Silbor. Time and again you helped us provide quality news and feature stories to recognize Thomasian sports excellence. I hope you all continue to support the University’s official paper.

My thanks to all the coaches and athletes who helped us this year. You made covering various games enjoyable. We will still be cheering you on even when we are no longer covering on the sidelines. Special thanks to all the coaches and athletes (the volleyball teams, among others) who truly put up with my kakulitan all these years.

Kudos to you all! Go USTe! Here’s to 33 more general championships.

***

To the ‘V’ sports team, my adopted family: It has been fun working with you all. Thanks for the time, dedication, and trust. Icy and Nascel, I don’t think I will ever “laugh like there is no tomorrow” the way I do with both of you. We made our mark (no matter how little) in the male-dominated world of sports and for that I am glad. Don, Bimbo, and Dino, I hope I did not disappoint you and I hope we cross paths in the future.

To my girlies Elaine, Glai, and Shar: thank you for all the wonderful memories. Thank you for all your help, guidance, and support. Promise me we will be first in line to catch The Order of the Phoenix in theatres next year. To my seatmates and thesis partners (in crime) Rcon and Rose: I already miss rubbing elbows—literally and figuratively—with you in class. Words are not enough to describe how grateful I am for the both of you.

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To my editors TL, Reagan, and Eldric: thank you for bearing with my editing boo-boos. I admire and appreciate your unwavering dedication to our beloved organization.

To the incumbent staff members (Nascel, Jason, Nick, Palo, Jeff, MJ, Edsel, Nat, Erick, Royce, Kris, Laurie, and Jordan): best of luck to you all. Remain committed and guide the newbies in their training. I know it is fun being part of the ‘V’, but always remember that you applied for work, not for anything else. Know that my support and prayers are with you all. Thank you and I will truly miss each one of you. And to Jason: here is that special mention you wanted. Seriously though, thank you for the friendship. Stay germ-free.

To the incoming staff: to be where you are now is not a privilege, but a responsibility. I wish you all the best. I am thankful that I made some new and hopefully lasting connections this summer.

To all outgoing staff members: I hope we find that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Thank you all for the memories.

To Sir Lito: I know you will continue to touch the lives of others just as you touched mine. Thank you.

To my family: thank you for your solid support. You make everything worth it.

***

At 19, it did not turn out to be so bad. My life, that is.

I met a couple of problems along the way, got hurt, rejected, and angered, but looking back at the decisions I made, problems hurdled, and lessons learned, I feel blessed. In this dog-eat-dog world, I learned to survive even if all hell seemed to have broken loose. God has been in every step of the way, pointing a rather large, glaring, neon arrow toward the right direction so I would not stray. Even if I’m not quite there yet, I know I will be in the right time.

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Now on to the “real world.” With crossed fingers, I will step out of my comfort zone (it’s a lovely place to be in, believe me), hoping that I hurdle challenges of unemployment, post-college nostalgia, and other financially-rooted stress.

As I close this chapter of my life with good memories and lessons in tow, I only wish that the next chapters will be just as awesome.

This is definitely the homestretch. But the next match is just about to begin. Ready when you are. To the next batch of challengers, I say, bring it on!

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