Amihan, noun – (1) an annual seasonal pattern that is dominated by trade winds and characterized by dry and cool northeast wind, which ends some time in May or June; (2) refers to Varsitarian alumni.

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Disclaimer: I wasn’t a Journalism student. I majored in Legal Management.

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THREE years ago, I applied for the Varsitarian just to have “something to do.”

On March 30, 2009, after a rigid selection procedure, I was accepted to the world of the Varsitarian, which I had never imagined I would be attached and devoted to.

Thereafter, until the concluding days of my collegiate life, I’ve become besotted with this publication. I don’t miss a day without thinking about it; I invariably dream of it, sometimes perturbed by it. I am wakeful because of it, and I live (literally) with it.

To date, I have worked on 45 issues since I joined the paper (the last 15 as chief editor), whose cycles “killed” us every time. I have also worked on 18 extra-editorial activities, which put to the test our organizing skills.

The life of a Varsitarian staff member is never easy—nobody said it was. But to serve as its “chief” in the University’s yearlong Quadricentennial celebration, capped by the Neo-centennial, is a privilege. That is undeniable. But when work prevents you from enjoying an ordinary student life—due to the deadly fortnightly editorial cycle, perverse co-workers, and standoffish sources—it becomes a millstone that crushes one’s mental, emotional, and physical faculties.

But amid all the heartbreaks and woes, I have tried to remain calm and composed the entire publication year just to allow the environment of the Varsitarian to be light and beaming for everyone, for I believe that it’s only through it that the staff can survive the vicious demands of this 84-year-old student paper. After all, the Varsitarian couldn’t have endured if not for the perseverance and patience of the staff.

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Yet, I believe, there’s no completely comfortable and painless way to delivering the editions, and that hard work and commitment are the key to wrapping up a good issue.

To the incumbent staff, it is imperative that you step up because you are next in line. Unleash your potentials and grow up for, soon enough, and before you know it, you will face the toughest challenge of being role models to the new ones while running the Varsitarian on its 85th year.

For three years, the Varsitarian has been my refuge in the University. The white-walled office, which I’ve become too engrossed with, has seen the worst and best phases of my collegiate life. It has also been a witness to many personal firsts. But more important, it has become, and remains to be, my ultimate mentor on most aspects of life. The paper has taught me ideals I will definitely champion in my future endeavors.

But as the saying goes, “nothing lasts a lifetime.” One day, each of us needs to get out of our comfort zones and attempt to face the cruel world on our own. Lucky are all those whose lives were touched by the Varsitarian for they have been equipped with the weapons which they can use to combat the challenges of the world.

And now that I have finally breezed through the ‘V’ and directed the floating pollens—through my cool and dry winds—to the perfect kind of soil where they will eventually grow, I would like to thank those who I have stumbled across in this meaningful and one-of-a-kind wandering.

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To the publication’s mentors (Sir Lito, Sir Ipe, and Sir Ian), I wouldn’t have survived the “chaos” if not for your fatherly guidance and countless inputs. Your views have consistently helped me pilot the ship to a better course.

To 4LM1 that has been transformed into a “republic,” thank you for the undying support and understanding, I hope to see some, if not most, of you in law school (hopefully). I am impressed by the thought that despite our polarities, we definitely have each other’s backs.

To Hanna, Vea, Jan, Leigh, Metha, and Chot, the clique that became my “stress-relievers,” thank you for rescuing me in the most dreadful times of this journey. From time to time, you remind me to smile amid my strenuous work at the ‘V.’ I am looking forward to sharing more adventures with you, especially in Greece! Also, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation for the utmost understanding and consideration of my thesis-mates and “partners in crime,” Hanna and Vea. Everything has paid off, hasn’t it? Flat one!

To Kuya Eli and Alphonsus, my former editors and, incidentally, my predecessors in the Special Reports section, thank you for the labor of refining my fledgling writing aptitude and for believing that I may and can handle the unit that you have taken care of.

To Cha, Jilly, Rose-An, Aj, and Dana, the extension of my family at the “V,” who have earlier taken on the tasks of the ‘real’ world, thank you for the trust and faith that I can get through “this” alive. And yes, I did! All the happiest moments at the “V” were spent with you. I hope to see you soon.

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To the Varsitarian batch of 2009, Carla and Josa, it has been a long ride. Thank you for staying and although we have somewhat found ourselves in different circles, I am happy that we will be exiting the confines of the “V” together. Our triumvirate of a writer, artist, and photographer, has served the publication well. Let us pass on the lessons we’ve learned after three years to our respective tribes.

To the Neo-centennial editors, advanced congratulations! We are onto the final phase of our term. Thank you for bearing with my attitude.

To my parents, thank you for everything. You initially contested my joining the Varsitarian, but I turned you down. I have worked hard to graduate with a Latin honor to prove that my decision was right—that I could dutifully juggle and balance my tasks in school and at the ‘V.’ With that, along with my being the editor in chief, I hope I made you proud.

To God, I don’t know how I will be able to express my thanks to all the blessings and help you have showered upon me since then. Thank you, thank you.

To the next batch, always remember, “It is our character that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Take care of the Varsitarian.

Finally, thank you to those who remained loyal and truthful throughout the publication year. Your support has made me trust in myself during the toughest times. You know who you are.

In two months, I will be leaving this publication. Painful, yes, but I’m ready and happy. And like the trade winds of an amihan, I will soon be coming back. Yes, I will come back.

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For all that has been, all is well.

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