Commerce major—odd woman out

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COMMITTING to an institution for three years is no easy feat. It takes a lot of perseverance, courage, and dedication.

When I entered the Arch of the Centuries during the ritual freshman walk, I knew nothing about the Varsitarian. I just wanted to hone my creativity in writing and write in any publication on campus.

I came from the College of Commerce and Business Administration, a college that is quite irrelevant in journalism. We are more trained to face statistics and graphs than focus on societal issues.

It was just another day in summer ‘16 in UST at the Tan Yan Kee Student Center when I saw in a poster outside the Varsitarian office that the University’s official student paper was looking for applicant writers.

Angeli Cantillana, then managing editor of the ‘V,’ handed us application forms. Back then, I had no idea that I would one day succeed her after two years.

I was only equipped with my love for reading and a stint in feature and literary writing back in high school when I entered ‘V.’ I didn’t really expect to leave ‘V’ with such wisdom.

Being the only Commerce student in this prestigious publication. I was the odd woman out.
I was assigned to the Circle (Arts and Culture) section as a writer. I did not know what that meant at first.

But being a Circle writer for two years made me a more holistic person. I was fortunate to have my eyes opened to the beauty, importance and relevance of culture and the arts in the Philippines, something that many have yet to learn, much less appreciate.

Covering arts and culture events did not only feed my eyes with aesthetics; I also got a crash course on social issues such as corruption, poverty and inequality.

My second year in the V was a dilemma between commitment and practicality. I had to juggle being a University scholar, student and writer each day. But I prevailed somehow.

I became the managing editor of the Varsitarian on my third year. From being a writer to joining the editorial board, it was a big leap. Being in the editorial board tested; I had to be decisive, zealous, strategic, and resilient. There were hard decisions that may have seemed unfair for those who do not fully understand – but these things, we had to make in the best interests of the publication.

The ‘V’ is not a place for faint-hearted people. It is a lair of strong-willed ones who have the capability and dedication to keep on pursuing excellence. Those who truly love the V are those who do not merely complain about how he lacks in fulfilling the demands of the publication, but instead, finds a way to fill in those gaps.

In the ‘V,’ you have to grow every day just like how the publication evolved in 91 years.
As my term at the Varsitarian ends, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the people who helped me evolve in this publication year:

To “Sirs” Lito Zulueta, Felipe Salvosa II and Christian Esguerra, thank you for your patience and guidance in helping me become a student journalist and managing editor, the mother of the ‘V.’ My course may not be aligned in journalism but your expertise in the field made me reach horizons.

To my fellow editorial board members, Deips and Lexanne, you have become my strength in this challenging publication year. I would not have gotten through this year without your courage and amity.

To the section editors, we have endured all those sleepless nights and caffeine intake to put every issues to bed. Thank you for your perseverance and dedication you have invested in “V.”

To the staff, I hope you continue to have the same fire in your eyes like you had the first time you entered the publication. May you love ‘V’ in its good times but most especially in its challenging times. The country needs more people like you to unravel the truth even if it’s unpleasant and to be the voice of our country’s cries. It’s not an easy road but it is a road worth taking.

Being in the Varsitarian for three years has given me a clearer vision of the kind of society I am living. I am more than willing to share the values it instilled in me. Varsitarian did not change me but it led me to evolve.

Changing is enclosed in becoming different than your former state; Evolving is a gradual process that leads you to be more advanced than your current state.

As they say, not all change is growth. Hence, one must look if the change one is undergoing is either progress or regress. And to be a V staffer is to go through the former.

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