Reaching the end

Before thesis defense, I attended a recollection in Cubao with Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as the recollection master. There, he reminded us of many things but the two lessons I really remember are these: See the extraordinary in the ordinary and allow yourself to be surprised by God. Before, I was not that person who shares this kind of thoughts to people. For me, it was too serious when you get into a conversation about these things. But maybe thesis and other major things—which would include stress from academic workload, editor duties, family matters, constant hunger (for literal food and food for the mind), and endless doubt on yourself and everything you do—change how one thinks and now, I appreciate and hold on to these wise words.

Some see the Flame as a small entity because “it’s just a college-based student publication.” Well, the Flame’s scope and audience are mainly, but not only, the Faculty of Arts and Letters and its community. Compared to other college-based publications, the Flame may have lesser resources and a…smaller office, but despite these, staffers always (or most of the time) manage to deliver. The Flame may not also be recognized by most people at first mention compared to other publications in the University, but ask those who have known the Flame about our
brand of journalism, then you’ll know that it is always fearless.

I guess this is the part where I could insert that first lesson I mentioned earlier. As I’ve shown, the Flame has many aspects that will make you think twice before joining, things that will make you compare it to other student publications (and eventually decide that you don’t like being part of the Flamily). But with all these, what I saw even before were beautiful things, among which are the kind and excellent staffers of the publication, good working environment, and everyone’s passion and dedication to do something that would guarantee little to no return, but more than a hundred percent stress.

Truly, there is no need for big or extravagant things for you to be amazed or be happy, or for you to see something as beautiful. Small things do us the same, do they not? We just don’t see them immediately because we’re focused on seeing something big. When we set an eye on a thing, we decide if it is ordinary or extraordinary, and the happiest people would often see the latter in everything, Tagle said. Perhaps, joining the Flame and becoming its editor in chief made me realize this even more. There may be more opportunities in other publications but I do not give much attention to that anymore since the Flame is already the best, the extraordinary, in my eyes.

The second lesson I shared—allow yourself to be surprised by God—would best fit in my college life. Having dentistry as my preferred program since I was in grade two until in third year high school, who would have thought that I would end up being a Journalism major? To be fair, I joined our student publication back then in high school, but I did not know and feel that I would pursue that path in college. Not to mention, when I was in fourth year high school, I even considered becoming a marine engineer because my dad is one. I thought I was motivated to enter marine school, but I guess I was just interested.

I filled out my college application form in UST with Journalism as my preferred yet not so sure of program. I did not know anything else I could possibly survive. With all the uncertainties in my life—to add, I only applied in one university because that’s how planned my life is—I managed to finish my studies, and I think being someone who goes on with the flow, being welcoming of all possibilities, contributed to this part of my life.
To Star, my sizzums and my other half in the Flame, I am proud of the both of us for surviving as heads of this publication year. There were a lot of bumps in our road, but we managed to reach our destination—with sanity.

To Adam and Minka, my ka-session every Thursday, I will forever be grateful that we became friends. Know that I am here for your stories, and I hope you do not get tired of guiding me in my scattered life decisions, in return.

To my Flamily, I lobe you. You will always be in my heart no matter what.

To my family, thank you for constantly supporting me in my journey. I am lucky to have you.

To my jogas, bezes, and friends, you are all blessings to me.

To God, my biggest gratitude will always be to You.

Leaving the Flame is hard; leaving something you love is hard. Artlets, I hope the Flame has truly ignited your intellectual senses. F

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