This is not the end, this is not the beginning
Just a voice like a riot rockin’ every revision
But you listen to the tone and the violent rhythm
Though the words sound steady something’s empty within them
We say yeah, with fists flying up in the air
Like we’re holding on to something that’s invisible there
Because we’re living at the mercy of the pain and the fear
Until we dead it, forget it, let it all disappear.
Waiting for the end to come… That’s right, the end is near: the end of our academic journey. It’s been a fruitful four years of college, and it has been one of the most joyous moments of my life. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy those years, which come to a close later at the PICC Plenary Hall when the graduates of the Faculty of Engineering receive their diplomas for their Bachelor of Science in (insert Engineering course here). It’s extra special because we are the Quadricentennial batch of the University of Santo Tomas, celebrating its 400th year of foundation. Add that to the fact that we are Engineering’s Centennial entrants, and yeah, we’re a different kind of special.
It’s funny how we all got to this point one way or another. I still remember bits and pieces of my first, second, and third year life, and more memories are coming to surface as I type this out. Who could forget Gonida vs. Afurong in ICS Lab 3? The ever famous “Are you just going to listen to your damn music all day?” Or DotA days at any and all computer shop around the campus with the then 1IT2 boys? (Yes, I play DotA. Hard to believe, no?) First year life was really the most lax of them all, not really having to worry about much, other than the dreaded Algebra and Trigonometry during the 1st Semester and Analytic Geometry and Physics in the 2nd. The then umbrella organization of ICS back then, ICOn, was a total mess. It disbanded at the end of the year, just when I had my first foray into student leadership when Edward recruited me to run for ICOn. That’s when I met the would be future leaders of the three orgs that would emerge from the disbandment of ICOn – SITE, CSS, and ISyS – and lead the IT, CS, and IS divisions: Arizia, Lei, Knic, Syd, Alex, to name a few. The seat of class presidency was mine too back then, when I would meet Kevin and Justine, who are my closest friends in the CS and IS divisions.
That was the start of the merging of SITE, the Society of Information Technology Enthusiasts, into my college life. I became SITE’s founding Secretary under the leadership of Ed as President, Syd and Knic as Internal and External VPs, Arlene as Assistant Secretary, Lei as Treasurer, Regine as Assistant Treasurer, Lisl as Auditor, and Alex as PRO. I was in the 2nd year then, and my Academics took a turn for the not so good (I failed AnalGeom in my 1-2 term I think that’s when it all started). The lowest grades I had ever gotten if I do say so myself. Physics 2 was a nightmare: I gave up Acads for my Org during this time, and that’s when I had to take it again in the 2nd semester. Amazing first year for a new organization; that’s when I knew where my life would go for the next two years. This was also the time I got split up from my beloved 1IT2, and when most of the major “factions” began to form. Groups of people from different sections bonded to form new friendships.
The 3rd year of college was pure torture. Academic requirements like no tomorrow as well as org work that wouldn’t stop piling up. I ran and won (against no one) for the position of SITE’s Vice President. I returned to 3ITB where most of my friends were and made new friends along the way. I got my first taste of getting flooded in at UST. The memories are both great and not so great, when I think about all the stress and hardship that we had to go through: OJT hunting, thesis topic formulation, projects galore, you name it; we went through it! I will never forget SAD with Ares, James, Teresa, Carol, and Brian, when the six of us split up to form our thesis groups. The pressure of finishing early and getting an OJT early was really on, and this is when we first met our would-be best friend for the next year, Cisco!
And just like that, time flies. Entering the 4th year would be one of the biggest challenges in my college life. I ran for and won the Presidency of SITE against Daryl Sapugay, leading a party of 6-3 in favor of ITLOG: Information Technology Leaders of Our Generation (thank you for the wonderful party name, James). I had the most memorable experiences here: Retreat at Caleruega, 4ITBullies moments, SITE events (which some failed to materialize; this has been a tough year), to name a few. I met the most amazing people, and shared in the joy and sorrow of being a graduating student and org president at the same time. Ed, Lei, I think I have a very good idea of how you guys felt during your times.
Words won’t do justice to everything that has happened in the past four years, and I don’t think I have all the words to say right now. Its 4:00 AM as I type this, graduation is but a few hours away. As we say good-bye to the school that has held us dear, we look back at all the memories that we’ve shared and say, “damn, what a ride.” Later, when things fall into place, I’ll be thinking about all the things that have happened and I’ll stand tall and be proud for I’ve made it through hell and high water, bruised but not beaten.
Congratulations to all the graduates of 2011, to the Quadricentennial batch of UST, and to my fellow BS IT batchmates!
Thank you for everything. You all have a special place in my heart.