I CAN only think of one word to correlate my affection for my favorite football club, my alma mater, and my second family—history.

I have to admit that a month after I marched for graduation, I have yet to fully grasp that my undergraduate days are over. Either four years have gone by really fast or I am just unsure—or maybe scared—of how I am supposed to spend the coming years beyond the four corners of UST.

While some of my batch mates are already employed or preparing for their post-graduate studies, I am “busy” staying up all night to support and track the performance of my favorite Real Madrid players in the UEFA European Championship 2016.

Skills-wise, I could have supported the top German team Bayern Munich or the rival of my favorite Reak Madrid (RM)—Atletico Madrid. But for almost a decade, supporting RM has always brought me excitement, fear, joy and even sadness.

RM is not the oldest football club in Europe or even in Spain. Its classic rival, FC Barcelona, is older. But RM’s history is probably the richest.

RM’s run is decorated with 32 La Liga and 11 European championships. The latest was last May when it won its second UEFA title in the last three years.

Real Madrid values history as much as it takes efforts to keep it. While others criticize Madrid for spending a lot in order to pirate other players, I see it as a mechanism to continue and even surpass its rich history.

After all, history will never work on its own to prolong its glory. We work for history, but that does not mean that we should be confined in it. History builds us but it should never stop us from growing and welcoming new chapters.

This is why even if I would be given a chance to choose another university, I would still pick UST. We, Thomasians, are no strangers to criticism that it is a hoary institution that cannot keep up with the times.

What makes UST different from the rest is how it offers balance between the old and the new—its openness to change and its faithfulness to its traditional values: compassion, commitment and competence.

UST, which has produced national artists, heroes, presidents, martyrs, and saints, is now 405 years old.

Longevity, however, is just one of the things that the University can offer. More than presenting how many times UST has been declared a historical and cultural treasure, UST is arguably more proud of its alumni being recognized for their achievements. This is evident in how the Commission on Higher Education recognize UST as “top producer of Filipino professionals.”

My four years in this historic university is like enduring a football game. Just because I already have the ball, it does not mean that I should simply keep it to win the game.

Winning a football match requires nonstop passing of the ball until it reaches the best spot to score a goal. Just like how history should be passed.

Luckily, I have perfected the art of “passing history” in my second family—the Varsitarian.

For 88 years, the “V” has continuously passed on to the next generations its reputation for excellence as the oldest Catholic newspaper in the Philippines. Eyebrows may raise, but even non-Thomasian media practitioners have expressed their admiration of the V for keeping its relevance despite new media trends.

The V perfectly exhibits how history and new trends could mix well together. The V is often described as “very sensitive when it comes to tradition,” but the V was never afraid to open its well-kept traditions to changes and new opportunities for its betterment and the personal and professional growth of its staffers.

Before I entered the V in 2013, I was an empty cup waiting to be filled. The history of excellence fostered by the V’s alumni, or what we call Amihan, has filled the empty cup.

V’s Amihan or alumni are its history. Despite their own successes, they have made sure to pass their experiences to the new breed of budding student writers.

After a few more weeks, I will leave the V on a high note, not because I will leave as a member of its editorial board, but because I know that I have contributed to its rich history and made my own mark.

It is now the time for the new staffers to create their own story and continue the V’s culture of excellence.

Real Madrid, UST, and the V are all reminders that history may not be everything, but it is definitely something. Once history has been written, we will always come across its shadows. We can never overwrite history, but we can enhance it through our craft.

Eventually, we need to move on. However, moving on does not mean leaving everything behind, but moving forward with history and one’s Thomasian identity intact.

To my family, thank you for always being there from the beginning of my story and as it eventually progressed. To UST and to the V, thank you for choosing me to be a part of your history.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.