AS GRADUATES, we are about to start another journey in our lives.

We all dream of being successful one day, making plans for our future, and doing something for ourselves. We have heard countless advices and speeches and have read a lot of inspirational books about life to hopefully reinforce our confidence. But are we really prepared for what will happen? Will it not be futile to prepare for what is ahead?

If I did not push through to UST, I would have studied at De La Salle University, taking up civil engineering, or at San Beda College, taking up accountancy, because I failed in the UST entrance exam and was not even on the waiting list. In short, I applied for reconsideration.

At first, being a reconsidered student was very hard because I felt that I had to exceed the efforts exerted by other students in order to prove myself. Having minimal self-confidence, I felt insecure about my talents and was a frequent pessimist, always think of quitting. Then things changed when the Varsitarian happened.

Four years ago, during the exhibit of Paul Quiambao’s 400 Shots to Immortality, more than 120 photographers applied to join the “V,” while only half took the exam for the positions. I remember feeling hesitant to pass my application paper because there were many much more known Thomasian photographers applying for the same position. I eventually decided to pass my entries just for the sake of passing them. I never thought that there would be a chance that I would be accepted. When the results were announced, I was surprised to learn I made it.

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The pressure and expectation were high when I entered ‘V.’ For three consecutive issues, my editor always told me that my photos were subpar. I never took it negatively but instead as a driving force to do better, to do my best on every coverage assigned to me.

‘V’ taught me to not to be afraid of what would happen, to be strong, to observe your surroundings and to accept things the way it was meant to be.

I have covered many significant events like the recent papal visit, have won in different competitions, achieved high grades and a flat one for my thesis because of what ‘V’ has taught me.

I learned that it does not matter how good you are but how good you want to be.

If we look closely at our deepest aspirations and our dreams, people are not so different from one another. We all strive for something common and that is happiness. But we all have become too disconnected and distracted; we see extraordinary things on the internet but refuse to appreciate the beauty we see in the real world. We wait for someone to bring change without realizing that change begins with the self.

You should stop chasing success. It is better to do what you love rather than force yourself on a job that you do not really want.

There is a perfect timing for everything, you should not rush success. Take each step slowly and carefully. Your dreams may bring you to the top, but I have always believed that there is always something much better than that. I think our main goal is to inspire people and to contribute to the betterment of the society, which is much better than being at the top.

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Lessons learned

Do you know what the key to Walt Disney’s success was? It was not just dreaming but “imagineering.” It is a Disney word combining imagination and engineering. Those who are involved in it called “imagineers,” they create what they imagine, they are curious in everything, they keep on moving and looking for new possibilities. People nowadays are just dreaming but not moving. Do not be just dreamers, be “imagineers.”

Lastly, I would like to thank the Varsitarian for teaching me everything and for giving me a second family, a family that will never be broken. I owe to ‘V’ all the accomplishments I have attained. I could not imagine my college life without the ‘V.’ The ‘V’ has been a blessing in disguise and I believe that this is also my destiny, to serve and love ‘V’ with all the sweetness and bitterness that devotion entails.

‘Minsang V, Mananatiling V.’

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