Untitled-6IT FEELS surreal to finally be writing a column for the Flame. And not just any column, but a farewell. It’s that moment that tells me: Yes! I’m finally leaving.

Don’t get me wrong. I love UST, and I love the Flame. But unlike most who become melancholic at the thought of leaving behind the alma mater, I look forward to the moment with joy. Surely, we must have known that our college life would eventually end somewhere. Mine must end here.

Four years ago, I would have never believed it if someone had told me that I would eventually become who I am today—Art Director, for one. When I first took the qualifying exams for the Flame, I was so nervous and disoriented that I woke up late and forgot to bring art materials—not even a pen! I ended up borrowing a pencil from the writer beside me, and took the exam with a heavy heart. How on earth was I supposed to get in with just pencil sketches? (Fortunately my portfolio caught the eye of the Art Director then. Thanks, Luis.)

So what’s the entire point of this? Here’s my advice: go for it. If it’s some- thing that’s not going to harm others and could potentially change your life, take it. Life’s too short, and college is even shorter. Four years is nothing but a piece of cake. College, even more so. Believe me when I say this: you’ll get there. Don’t doubt it.

There was also a reason why I never applied for a writing position in the Flame, and the reason is that I can never express myself in writing as I do with my art. So I’ll go ahead with giving my thanks to the following people who have made my stay here worthwhile.

To the person who I owe my entire Flame career to, who constantly encouraged me to become a better artist and not once disregarded my efforts: Luis, thank you for being there. I might not see you anymore (because LIFE) but you will al-ways be in my prayers. Keep in touch.

To Alyssa, my predecessor, thank you for all your support and for your eager-ness to share your knowledge with me. I would not have half of my skills now if it were not for you. Thanks for everything!

To my Assistant Art Director and self-proclaimed twin: Rachel, thank you for being there through thick and thin. I have been so blessed to have you by my side through it all. Thank you for the patience and the understanding, and for en-during the sleepless nights at my house. Take care of the kids! I’ll do my best to come back and visit you sometime. I love you to bits and I’ll miss you!

To the outgoing Letters editor, Arvee: thanks for keeping it real. I adore your honesty and your talent, and maybe that’s why we work well together. Sad to say there will be no more future projects for us to work on, but I am proud of what we have done this past year. Dapitan would have not been a success if it were not for your repeated viewing of that Bulalord Youtube video, and the moments where you’d say you would take a nap for two hours but ended up snoozing through the roof…and then proceeded to sleep for an entire week at my house. I’ll miss that. Take care always! I got you if you need me.

To my beloved Art Department babies—Au, Aj, Jaja, Guthrie, Maki, and Zacy—thanks for the patience and all the hard work! I love you all equally and I hope that you keep on expanding your horizons. Always keep working at your craft, and rest, but be relentless in your learning. Share your talents with one another. I’m always a text away if you need me.

And to the Big Guy Up There: thanks. I now know you were there all long. Sorry for doubting. I know that You will always provide, and Your timing is always right.

This is your Art Director for 2015- 2016, officially signing off. F

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