SOME few nights before our graduation day, a good friend from the University of the Philippines texted me, expressing his dilemma about graduating.

“I don’t want to rush it. I only have one shot in making my undergraduate thesis,” he said. “As what The Hunger Games said in its trailer, ‘make sure they remember you’.”

I pondered on what he said, asking myself: Will I be remembered by this University? Have I ever done anything that will leave a mark in UST?

I also wonder now if the other graduates are thinking the same way as he does.

Evaluating myself now as I leave the Pontifical and Royal UST, the Catholic University of the Philippines, I think I am not a totally exemplary student, but I believe I have fulfilled my different identities.

In UST I have shaped my alter-egos:

The journalism student, who believes that the best teacher in writing is practice.

The member of a class whose members shared room 203 of the St. Raymund de Peñafort building, and who have become a family as the final term ended.

I was also driven by my high school dreams. I owe so much from my former school, the Catanduanes State Colleges. It is responsible for leading me to this course.

Balancing with my academics, I was also the student-assistant.

Fortunately, I was able to sustain my scholarship up to the very end. In my first two years, I rendered my duty hours in the library, but because of conflicts with my class schedule, I was transferred to the Biochemistry department of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

I was also a proud Becarios de Santo Tomas member, but I regret not being active for the organization. And up to now, I still fret not having reached our maintaining grade, only to realize that I did not have to anymore because this semester was already the last stretch.

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Also, I am writer-editor.

Though it seems like this is something to be proud of, I humbly admit that I don’t call myself one.

Surprisingly, I managed to handle three student publications in my entire college life. The Flame of AB and the Journalese of the Journalism Society opened the opportunity for me take a chance again in campus writing after high school.

And of course, in my third year, the Varsitarian happened.

When I joined the “V,” there was a paradigm shift in my system. Everything changed in me. I met various people along the way and learned more intensively journalism. I also got the chance to organize the longest running annual inter-collegiate quiz contest in the country, the Pautakan.

For this, I thank the people who are behind all these identities I have been.

I will never forget the professors and my 4JRN2 blockmates, especially my closest friends, Ardigail, Alyza, Lou Mariz, Candisse, and Irish, for imparting knowledge and valuable experiences. Also, Sir Jeremaiah Opiniano, who was an inspiration, mentor, and a father-figure, helped us along the way

From high school, I would like to thank Ma’am Rosana Abundo and my best friend, Je, who greatly influenced me.

In Biochem, where I was christened by the students as “Ate Endance” (because I religiously checked their attendance) and “Carmi” by the staff, I was lucky to work with people from the medical field. It made me feel like I was taking a minor subject in biochemistry.

I thank Doctors Tiongson, Bautista, Macaranas, Dakis, Laygo, Yu-Laygo, Blas, Chiong, Matawaran, Ng, and Diaz, especially my “foster parents,” Ate Malou and Kuya Robert, for all the guidance you have given me for the past two years.

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To my roommates Neva, Mariz, Dhey, Tayn, Zheena, Lami, Apol, Ethelyn, Robelyn, Xena, and Eliza, with whom I constantly share my stories of how my day went.

In the Varsitarian, where I started out as a Science and Technology writer, my former editor Alena Bantolo taught me how to embrace the breadth and depth of the unfamiliar field. The rule was always to “write as if your reader was a fifth grader.”

When she left ‘V’, Ramon Royandoyan replaced her, continuing her legacy. Though he was a batchmate, I can still feel his superiority over me as a mentor.

As I approach fourth year, unexpectedly, I was placed in the News section as editor, the same way my colleagues were promoted to their respective sections.

We may had some shortcomings, but working with my co-editors Jilson, Isai, Brylle, Jenn, Azer, Alya, Cham, Paeng, Melai, Carla, and former editor, Ramon, we strived hard to produce every issue of the fortnightly paper. Most especially, under the guidance of our editorial board, Chief Ailex, Manager Ernest, and Assoc Rommel, and advisers Sir Lito, Sir Ipe, and Sir Ian.

The News section also welcomed me to a new family, giving me “kids” to tend to: Rafael, Diana, Daphne, Red, and Bernadette. Soon enough, they will become good writers who will help build and lead the Varsitarian.

And because there are the stressful circumstances in the publication, I lean on to my close friends, Marnee, Chenny, Nigel, Doms, Alexis, Sherwin, Ate Eva, Jaime, Erika, Gabby, and the other staff members as well.

Admittedly, I will miss those moments with my pals, Brylle and Marnee, who will remain in the “V.”. The times when I am with them in my Varsitarian stint are indeed, the most priceless.

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Perhaps my most important identity is as the daughter of Nelson and Nelia and the sister of Laurence Arvin. Whatever I have achieved up to this moment, I dedicate it to them in gratitude to their continuous support, love, and care.

These bits of pieces of what I am are the by-products of my whole four-year stay. The identities I have portrayed and the roles I have played in UST, are what I leave as a legacy.

I am God’s disciple. UST has taught me to live a life that is impelled by faith, propelled by hope, and compelled by love.

What really matters now is that we are leaving UST and carry the Thomasian identity with us. And wherever we go, we will be remembered.

1 COMMENT

  1. I simply love this piece of literature. It is something to which even adults can relate to as they ponder about what they are truly in this life and world. We all have different roles. We all have to struggle. We all have to continue doing what we do to the best of our abilities. The road towards our destination may be filled with plenty of challenges but, with good people around us we can overcome the challenges that lay ahead of us. Life becomes tolerable and even enjoyable because of true friends and good relatives who support us. We have differences yes, but may the differences only make us more tolerant of these rather than close minded. In the real world after school there will be more challenges, and even worse challenges than you have ever experienced during those school years but, nothing is impossible when one believes in himself, in the goodness of others, and in god most of all. He is just there to listen. You must also observe enough silence so that you can listen to him or allow others to hear him. Times now are different and continues to evolve and become more complex, one has to continue to update himself and upgrade his skills for this is the only way to survive. This could also be one of the reasons why people are not so conscious anymore about God because they are now more preoccupied with life than spending a little more time reflecting about God, life, and his surroundings. This in turn may also be the reason why here is now more problems than before. It would be nice to work hard but without losing our values so that we will be a positive force in the world of work rather than become another factor contributing chaos into its already complicated nature. Lastly, our environment outside the four walls of the classroom is vastly different. But like I have said before, may we be a positive force so that we become good models to our community by simply being concerned, hardworking, and even compassionate or understanding. Tolerance then follows out of knowing why people act this way. Good luck to you and to everyone else about to embark on your new journey- tot he real world out there where your mission is to make a difference and bring inspiration to your future colleagues in work and in your respective communities. And for those who would become parents someday, may your good values shine out so as your spouse and children will also derive inspiration and continue to become even much better persons than they are. Life is a constant stream of change. May it always be a change for the better for all of us both young and old.

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