An open letter to Lasallians: Graduating student leaders share stories and lessons from the org life
These five Lasallians balanced their duties as students and as leaders in their respective organizations throughout their college years. Now, as they graduate and their struggles finally pay off, each of them bears a legacy of their own—legacies which making has stories, and more importantly, lessons.
As the second part of The HERALDO FILIPINO’s round-table discussion with Nery Balatay, Angelique Ballesteros, Chris de Mesa, Bianca Isabelle Lariosa, and Samantha Alaba, they share stories and messages of motivation, purpose, and lessons learned the hard way in the org life—from their college journey to yours.
NOTHING IS DIFFICULT FOR A WILLING MIND.
“Very fulfilling talaga ‘yun para sa`kin noong naitayo ko ulit bilang president ‘yung United Patriots Football Club (UPFC). Nag-stick sa mind ko ‘yung sinabi ni Sir Roland Ruben sa logic class ko: “you have to remember that nothing is difficult for a willing mind.”
Nagte-training kami everyday, 5 to 8 PM. Tapos may gagawin pang academic works; may requirements pa na dapat i-accomplish as an officer of the UPFC. Jina-juggle ko ‘yung pagiging student, pagiging athlete, at pagiging leader. Wala talagang imposible; wala talagang mahirap kung alam mong nando’n ‘yung heart mo sa ginagawa mo. Magagawa mo talaga siya. Kaya kinaya kong maging athlete, maging student, at maging leader.
Member ako ng isa pang organization dati. Nung una, OK lang. Pero at the end, na-realize ko na wala ‘yung heart ko sa organization na ‘yun although in-line siya sa course ko. Sa totoo lang, mahihirapan ka talaga—mafi-feel mo ‘yung burden—kung wala ‘yung puso mo sa ginagawa mo, kung wala kang willingness. ‘Yung burning passion ko ay nasa paglalaro ng football. Bukod sa nagkaka-thrill ‘yung college life mo, nate-test at nade-develop din ‘yung patience mo; yung pakikisama mo sa iba’t ibang tao.”
REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED.
“Lahat ng best and worst memories ko sa loob ng La Salle ay nangyari hindi sa loob ng classroom kung ‘di sa loob ng organization na kinabibilangan ko. Lahat ng memories na maaalala mo kapag maglu-lookback ka ay hindi naman tungkol sa bagsak mong exam o sa prof mong nagalit sa ‘yo. Ang maiisip mo lang ay ‘yung mga sacrifices na binigay mo to be a better individual and to make other people better as well. Wala akong maibabahaging best o worst experience. But, what I can share is the most impactful thing that happened to me in this University—The HERALDO FILIPINO.
May certain moment talaga sa pagiging estudyante mo na napansin mo na ito ‘yung gusto mong gawin for the rest of your college life. And you just have to go back to that moment every time you want to quit, or you want to be a regular student again. You just have to keep that oath—that tiny moment in yourself na you will sacrifice so others won’t have to. Keep your oath. Remember why you started.
As a student journalist, it doesn’t end in HF, but it definitely starts here. You need to affect as many people as you can. It’s not about being at the right place at the right time. It’s about being at the right place all the time. Just be present all the time. There are things that seem so small for us, but for other people, it means the world. There will be people who will wait for your approval, who will wait for your answer. Remember how important you are in the grand scheme of things. It’s not about kung sinong may kaya, but kung sinong may vision to get it done.”
DON’T BE DISCOURAGED IF THEY BELITTLE YOU.
“Nagsisisi ako kasi ngayon ko pa lang nakilala ‘yung mga taong nakapaligid sa’kin ngayon. Mahirap talaga iwanan ‘yung organization ko. Sila talaga ‘yung maaalala ko kapag umalis na ako ng La Salle—‘yung mga taong nakasama ko at ‘yung org na meron ako ngayon. We have created events not for people to applaud us but because it’s for a cause. Hindi para lang magustuhan ng tao. May patutunguhan. Meron kaming advocacy. Meron kaming ipinaglalaban for the Lasallian community. Na-feel ko talaga na isa akong Lasallian no’ng naging student leader ako. Mas naging involved ako. Mas naging open-minded ako.
To the next generation of student leaders who will enter DLSU-D, influence not just the Lasallian community pero pati yung labas. Maganda na involved ka rin sa labas, na mas exposed ka sa mga bagay-bagay. Also, serve wholeheartedly. Hindi dapat labag sa loob mo ‘yung pagse-serve mo sa University na ‘to. Gusto kong sabihin na don’t be discouraged if other people belittle you. We’ve experienced that in our organization. They tell us: ‘interest organization lang naman kayo.’ I want to tell the next batch of Lasallians to have a strong heart for those kinds of situation.”
FIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE NEXT TO YOU
“In the past, the DLSU-D Chorale was aiming to have a tour overseas—in Singapore, in Malaysia. I am the external vice president. Ako ‘yung nakikipag-coordinate sa administration (DLSU-D). I shared with them the aim of the Chorale. But the first thing I heard from them: ‘may budget ba?’ Budget has always been a big issue. Truth is, we managed to go there without help from the school. But I don’t give them any disparity for not being there. They’re willing to help us. It was something new for them; it was something new for us. This is something new. We were learning the ropes kung paano siya nilalakad. We went to Singapore. We brought the name of our alumni group—the Minstrels of St. La Salle. We were very sad that we didn’t bring the name of the DLSU-D Chorale. Do you know that pride na ite-take mo when you bring the name of your university to other countries? That’s something na hindi namin naranasan.
At present, we managed to bring a huge amount of people in our recent event. That event was a statement that we have something to offer to the student body. Rooting from that event, Arch. Anthony Guiterrez went to us. He asked, ‘ano ‘yung tour niyo? Ano ‘yung gusto niyong planuhin? Pag-usapan natin.’ That’s a move na hindi natin madalas na makita sa admin. That’s something na hindi ko malilimutan—getting the support of the admin. Finally. This October, we will have the chance to bring the name of DLSU-D to South Korea—this time, with the support of the administration. We’ve always dreamed to have that kind of avenue to present what this University has to offer. It’s the statement of all the PAG that we have something to offer. We can do this and if you want to join us, come with us you have a voice.
This tour in Korea will not come during my time as a student. It will come after. We don’t fight for us to experience things; we fight for the people next to us. Think of the bigger picture, kailangan ‘tong maranasan ng mga susunod sa akin kasi ako hindi ko to naranasan. It’s something very few leaders think of nowadays. They only think of the now, but they should be looking for the next, not looking at the hardships now. They should be looking forward. Sobrang proud ako sa kanila na mararanasan nila ‘yun. I’m willing to give that mantle. Hindi ko ‘yan nilakad para sa’kin, sa inyo, para sa inyo ‘yan, not for us but for the next batch.”
CHARACTER ISN’T BUILT IN EASE AND QUIET.
“My worst experience deals with a closed-minded professor. Dahil sa prof na ‘yun, mintis ako ng isang semester as a scholar. Nawalan ako ng gana sa kanya. Nagpapabasa lang kasi siya sa class. Tapos, nagtatanong siya kung anong binasa namin. That’s the worst moment. Pero, ang best experience ko ay no’ng naging scholar ako. Very thankful ako to have that privilege. I became a jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none. Scholar ako, student, at leader. Four years akong nag-duty as a student assistant sa Sports Development Office (SDO). Iba-iba ‘yung nakasama kong tao. I get to experience each sport as well. Nakilala ko ‘yung mga coach kasi pumupunta sila sa office. Best experience ko rin yung na-build kong relationship with other people. Ang masasabi ko sa mga next scholars, character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. It’s always through suffering and trials. Mindset is important. Courage. And you must push if you want success.”
Read the first of this two-part series: heraldofilipino.com/studentleaders
Written by Jomar Villanueva and Marjorie Alanzalon (Contributors)