From REKTIKANO 9’s upcoming Straight Up! Section:
We got a lot to learn from winning our first UAAP general championship.
One, that constant hardwork, even in the face of the elusiveness of the things we desire, is always worth it. It builds us strong – it steels us, until it becomes a habit, and it has for our dedicated athletes. Their bodies have acquired the language of hardwork to a point that what they do no longer is work. It has grown into passion. And when people are passionate, good things eventually, inevitably flower.
Second, how there can even be no such thing as elusiveness, just things unseen. Our athletes, I bet, did not nag themselves every training second with the thought that we have never been general champions. Athletes, when they are in the heat of their physical exertions, see only the moves they are making – the sharp spike that can cut through the opponent’s raised arms, the opening towards the goal, the finish line. Perhaps a few already hear the cheers, see the falling confetti, or the glitter of the golden trophy. Point is, the best athletes do not have their eyes set on what they do not have. They are too much in the moment, too strong that they can see glorious possibilities. Champions trust. Winners believe that more than being capable of winning, they are already winners, from the start. Their truth is this – victory is here, it’s happening.
And what does this first general championship further signify, apart from all of us being champions from the start? It stands for a beginning. If there’s a first, we can now begin counting. We are at the gateway of more, unimaginable good things to come. I see a long, infinite line of championships.
* * *
I beg for the indulgence of my fellow Lasallians as I take some space in thanking the DLSAA.
A few months ago, after a series of some major life-changing personal and professional decisions, and during a moment of realization yet again that in my life, my greatest gift is my writing, I sat down to work on four essays which I fielded under the creative non-fiction category of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop. The workshop is the country’s premier creative writing workshop, the oldest of its kind in Asia, and has produced a great number of the country’s leading poets, fictionists, essayists and playwrights which includes Lasallians. I have applied before and have been rejected, so the latest application felt casual. I was no longer giddy and excited, and all throughout my writing, I just felt a calm surrender. And without neediness and with just sheer joy that I was able to write, I actually recognized the possibility of earning the fellowship.
At the same time, I knew I had no immediate means of reaching Dumaguete. I did not even have anything to buy plane tickets. But it did not matter. I guess just as in the case of an athlete focused, what only mattered to me was I had to write. I knew that as long as I wrote, somehow, all the rest will fall into place.
And it did. I earned the fellowship. I am grateful. But I soon had to confront the question: how do I get there? I was advised to buy tickets right away to avail of lower rates, and to have just-in-case funds for food and extra transportation for three weeks, especially since fellows are only given a partial reimbursement of transportation expenses and a decent stipend. And because I had to do something fast, and since all I can really do is write, I wrote to my fellow officers and asked for quick-paying writing projects, so that I may raise the funds. In just a few hours, instead of the work I was asking for, my roundtrip ticket was sponsored, and I received pledges of an amount enough to feed me for a whole month. It was as if I earned a writing grant, a grant from people who trust me and who see the worth of what I was striving for. I felt overwhelmed. How can these people exist? And how can I even ask such a silly question? Perhaps it’s from my not being full-bred green – I have not been raised to trust and have only recently discovered it, trust, after having been immersed in the company of Lasallians.
In gratitude, I commit that we will have our first ever Rektikano writing workshop, for free, after I come from Silliman. I hope to share with my fellow Lasallians all that I can and which would be useful in our improvement of Rektikano. It will be open to all Rektikano writers who wish to improve their writing, may they be from our professional or volunteer pool. And our doors will be open to alumni who wish to sit-in, listen and learn.
I look at my gift of a ticket. In it I see not only the big heart of the man who gave it, but how life works for a Lasallian: giving begets giving. So as much as I am happy to have received the support of my fellow officers, I want to be giving too, in any form I can. It feels better to be giving, I guess. Recently, I even read our editorial board head Tony Atayde say something along the lines of no one has too little to not be able to give, as he was raising support for our dear basketball hero Lim Eng Beng. I can only hope that in my own little way, as your editor, I am able to give what I can, and I hope what I give enriches, especially as my being Lasallian has been a grace to me. Thank you.
In the meantime, I present to you Rektikano 9, the DLSAA’s offering to all Lasallians, and to our lives that infinitely give.
Yours in St. La Salle, in fierce and flowing animo,
Editor In Chief