AS JOURNALISTS, we should always be in search of the truth. And in searching for it, we should know how to differentiate the truth from the reality. The truth varies; it depends on the source. What is unfortunate is that lies continue to be told; they also become truth. Be wary of false prophets claiming to be bearers of the truth. Be on your guard against wolves in sheepskin.

A simple note for a striving student journalist: Give voice to the voiceless; a shout or a whisper can impair a healthy ear. Lastly, be loyal to your craft and ideals first before any institution, company, or person. It will be hard, and you can get wounded in the fight, but it’s the ultimate fulfillment of the pen.

* * *

While I am writing this column, I am already a certified Amihan, a term we use in the Varsitarian to refer to alumni or the “outgones”. I have already bid goodbye to the Varsitarian office—a home I once occupied; to the chair I used to sit on; and to the people I used to laugh and argue with.

In my three-year stay in this publication, I would never have become a true fighter and I would never have learned to be brave and patient if there were no pain, misery, and conflict. The days of waiting for the paper to come out, the tireless nights of putting an issue to bed, the days and sometimes weeks of invisible wars were worth the sacrifice considering all the lessons I’ve learned, most of the time the hard way.

Words limit. But if I am going to put into words what I feel at this very moment, it is good to use Theodore Roosevelt’s words: “It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worse, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

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* * *

I have no regrets for sacrificing most of my precious time just to be in the “V”. I missed a lot. I missed most of my classes (Right, Ma’am Pepin?). I missed my friends in Sociology. Most of all, I missed my family.

But in feeling that sense of loss, no matter how little, I realized how important those things, moments, and persons were to me.

I have restored myself. I will walk anew with regained vigor and strength. Adieu, Mang Lino, the world is my stage now.

* * *

I will still be here in UST. Building a student network for the Asian Youth Forum and the World Youth Union, my two new Jansports. I will still be around doing both ordinary and extraordinary things. I will remain steadfast in pursuing my goals and in making into reality the vision that I have. I will remain…but I will grow and move on.

* * *

To the persons who never fail to amuse me; to all the people I’ve shared my life in all the places I’ve been to; to all the people who have always believed in me; and to all the “little” people who have high hopes for me, I will never fail you.


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