Like a wrecking ball, the realization crashed as quickly as the Harlem Shake trend died, and as crippling as the US government shutdown. At the same time, like the new Pope, the realization gives hope. It gives a cause for celebration, like what the birth of the royal baby gave the British monarchs, or what Justin Bieber’s retirement gave the rest of the world.
The realization: The earth is another year older. It’s 2014.
As the candles of Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker, and Margaret Thatcher have extinguished, the flame gone but the light that touched so many ever to endure, so has another year eluded our temporal grasp. We say goodbye to 2013. It was a year that brought devastating blows to our beloved country; from the fury of Yolanda which ravaged our brethren in Tacloban and other parts of the Visayas region, to the literally groundbreaking earthquake in Cebu and Bohol and to the outrage over the PDAF scandal, the year was not wanting in action and the action did not end there. Relief goods from benevolent souls came pouring in, giving what comfort it could to those afflicted. There was a conglomeration of selfless deeds done by countless individuals.
A survey was taken, asking Lasallians about their participation.
This is their story, and possibly yours.
The year that was 2013
No good story ever told was in want of a struggle – a struggle of the clashing protagonist and antagonist. In reality, the antagonist takes many forms. One of its many embodiments last year was in the desolation wrought by the savagery of Yolanda. How was this antagonist dealt with?
Anna (I, AB-PSM) chose awareness and hope as her response towards the devastation of the aforementioned national calamity. “I watched the news regularly during the incident, and I voiced out my opinion on what I thought needed improvement in hope that the word would spread. This is how I believe I responded to it.” Denise (I, AB-OSDM) channels these reflections and gratefulness into lessons, “…by learning to accept and fully understand the concept and significance of change. Also, through seeing things with great optimism and knowing that no matter how hard the situation may be for us right now, there is always an end to suffering and everything will be okay eventually. We just have to trust God and His divine plan for us.”
The trend among the answers revealed to us that the Lasallian makes an effort to stay aware. The year has already gone by, but the actions contributed by Lasallians have made an impact that is not forgotten.
“[I prayed] for the victims of these natural calamities. [I also] helped in repacking goods and donations for the families that needed it,” a second year AB-PSM student shares that a simple act of prayer and silent devotion could be an act of concern and support. Meanwhile a number of people such as Chryssa (‘13 AB-LIM) prefer to devote their time and effort on the field, “[I] assisted in the relief operations, informed myself of these events by catching up on the news.” Po (I, AB-POM) takes it a step further; “I went to Villamor Air Base and welcomed the refugees from Tacloban. Most of the time I played with the kids and made paper airplanes. I also donated my stuffed toys.”
In recollection of other events that have happened in the previous year: “I’ve participated in relief good packing and also helped an NGO distribute lights to rural Mindoro during the summer,” shares Jose Medalla (II, AB-CAM) making sure that his awareness is matched with actions of support by being involved in various engagements that spread hope and for the many to whom 2013 was marked by suffering, the opening chords of 2014 herald the advent of hope.
Hope, a gift of the experiences last year – experiences that shaped us and changed us, so that the spiritual reflection looking back at the mirror this 2014 is not the same that looked back at us in 2013. Rose (I, AEF-BSA) shares, “I think I have grown more mature, confident and open minded over the year hence I will greet 2014 by being less judgmental. Also, I’ll try to live more through immersing myself with college experiences yet still stay grounded and to act like an adult. And of course, 2013 has been a great year for me hence I’ll carry the same enthusiasm and optimism into 2014.”
A lot has happened and changed from last year’s 365 days however, it is inevitable to pick up life lessons along the way and Timmy Henares (I, AB-ISE) says, “2013 taught me lessons valuable for my growth in college that I must adhere in order for me to mature to a proper Lasallian for both God and country.”
A proper Lasallian
From participating in the Million People march to the massive donations and packing of relief goods, the Lasallian community, in line with its mission, has always felt the need to pioneer social actions in keeping one with the nation.
As Alex (II, CAM) would say, “…much is expected from Lasallians,” believing that since the Lasallian education is among the cream of the crop, its students have a lot to offer. Jose (II, CAM) shares the same idea by saying “As Lasallians, we have to prove that [we’re] bred to become the future leaders and changers of the country’s current state and its future endeavors. ”
In proving such, “Imagine the Philippines as a big corporation wherein every Filipino is a shareholder. The actions of the country will reflect the decisions we make as its citizens. Every choice we’ll make is the future at stake.” Ayra (II, BSA), tries to look at the issue through the eyes of a corporate manager, a future frontrunner.
To further explain the importance of participating in the country’s present endeavours, a first year student from SOE believes that to keep the Lasallian brand enticing and looked up to, the Lasallian community should maintain constant interaction with society in the best light possible. She adds, “This would come to play for the Lasallian community in its mission’s effect as well as future job opportunities for the graduates.”
Looking at the bigger picture, Benj (II, IBS) says, “Lasallians need to be models not just for fellow Filipinos but for everyone that wishes to see a future filled with dreams, aspirations and goals to set mankind on a proper path.”, just as Chryssa (‘13 AB-LIM) would deem that “We’re the change we’d like to see in the world.”
And the story continues…
… because when something is worthwhile, there will always be a struggle. The struggle should not faze us, as we come armed to face them stronger and wiser from the struggles of the year previous.
Like the Green Archers who found victory last year in basketball after having suffered losses in the years previous to 2013, triumph does not come in an instant. With all that is offered at the dawn of a new year, Lasallians continue to keep faith, hope and courage of convictions. Before you are many new chapters, and you write your story one page at a time. What lies beyond the page you are currently writing, no one knows exactly, but take heart.
Defeat is not found in green blood.