A FEW months back, I learned of the Korean term “jung.”

“It is the connection between two people that cannot be severed, even when love turns to hate. You still have those old feelings for them; you cannot ever completely shake them loose of you. You will always have tenderness in your heart for them.” —P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.

The Varsitarian is my jung.

They say joining the ‘V’ is like having a boyfriend or a girlfriend—for it is demanding and attention-seeking.

The ‘V’ demands full time and attention from its staffers, much like a lover who would seek undivided commitment and would nag you and demand your attention.

It seems like a distant memory now but in 2012, my life once revolved around the ‘V.’ I was crazy, head over heels for it.

I do not think I will be who I am now if not for this publication and for that, I will forever be indebted.

But because commitments piled up one after another, there came a time when I started shoving the ‘V’ to the bottom of my priorities.

I admit, there came a time that I neglected it, took it for granted, and I had the urge to leave it.

For a while, I felt as if the ‘V’ does not want me anymore.

I tried rekindling the old spark, but I felt like fighting for a lost cause.

I am leaving the ‘V’ now, not in the peak of our love, But my heart will always pine for it. It will always have a part in me that I can never eradicate.

And just like a parting lover, I owe the ‘V’ my sincerest apologies for my disregard of it. I have so many “should have’s, could have’s, and would have’s” that I can now only lament on this brief space.

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The Varsitarian will always be my jung.

***

To my batch mates in 2012, thank you for giving me the best year of my life. We are all embarking toward different directions now but I hope, someday, our roads will converge again.

Poy, Mara, JC, and Ar, we have seen each other grow these past three years. Thank you for you sustained me when things just felt too tedious to continue.

Gelyn, I thank God for the “V” because it led me closer to you. You are a blessing to every person you meet and whose lives you touch.

Kuya Enzo and Andre, you are the brothers I never had. I will always be sentimental of the short stint we had together. Thank you for you shaped me into the kind of writer I am now.

MC, Jelina, Ely, Ally, and Ethan, you all fulfilled my purpose as a Special Reports and later on, as a Circle editor. Collectively, I learned bigger lessons from you than what I imparted as your editor.

Ate Patty and Jan B, I consider you two as my closest friends now. No matter what happens, I hope this piece reminds us of the special bond we had in time immemorial.

“So, why do you suffer so much when someone you love goes away? At least, you had your chance. Be grateful for it. You shared a moment, one night or a whole year, doesn’t matter. You. Were. Something. And it’s true what they say, everything we love we will leave behind.

But, what about all those friends & lovers we never met nor will ever meet? For them, I cry sometimes.”—Ines Kotarac

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