Indeed, I accomplished some but at the expense of something more worthwhile. It was just recently when I decided to cut off that insanity and try to loosen up a bit. I then realized that slacking off at times can bring a great sense of freedom in an aspiring writer’s tired spirit.

Then the dilemma resurfaced as I was about to enter my senior year in college. The opportunity for great learning was at hand. Being the hard-headed masochist that I was, I decided to grab it without carefully analyzing the situation.

When the academic year (and the publication year as well) began, the consequences of my action started to haunt me. Fulfilling my responsibilities as a graduating student and a campus journalist (not to mention my role as a daughter) was quite stressing, especially when the responsibilities I juggled started to fall all at the same time. But every time I sulk into stress and pressure, I just try to remember what my former editor told me, and I eventually find my stubborn self not giving in to the comforts of quitting.

I guess, exhaustion may at times get the last remaining faith we have in ourselves. Despite this, life remains cruel for the fainthearted, so every inch of strength you can muster must be given off to win over the challenge and emerge victorious.

Perhaps, Herbert Spencer’s coined term “survival of the fittest” rings true for all of us. The world leaves no space for the weakling. Every time you fall as a victim of your soft heart, all you have to do is to mask the dilemma with indifference and decide to carry things on for everything “will soon pass.”

Now that our destined time to leave is nearing, I am again faced with a janus-faced dilemma—not knowing how to detach from the things I have clung on for the past four years and where to go after I leave the walls of Santo Tomas.

I must admit that the years I spent in this University prepared me well for the professional challenges ahead. But as I assess myself—both in terms of rationality and maturity in all aspects—I can hardly say that I am already prepared to face the ambiguous world that awaits me.

I would like to believe that maturity comes along with uncertainty. It is not like any other skill that is honed through constant practice, but is an art acquired through years and years of diverse experiences and lessons.

I always tend to compare this Faculty with the various affairs of the country for it has always been confounded by many issues, most  of which are political in nature.

Brought by this, controversies spread once in while, always placing my journalistic judgment to the test. It was not easy for I was always torn between fulfilling my responsibility to inform the Artlets community and risking myself to the publication of sensitive stories.

I must say that my short stint here at this publication taught me an important journalistic lesson I can apply wherever I go in the future: to bite off only what I can chew. Those with radical minds may brand this perception as a form of cowardice, but I see it as a smart move of knowing when to fight and when to put one’s guard down.

To the junior staff of this publication, may you ignite the
Flame even brighter, maximize every opportunity, and never forget to nurture healthy relationship with one another. Thank you for coping with my insanity.

To my co-editors, the working relationship we have established may have its flaws, but I would still like to express my gratitude for complying with all of my naggings and rantings. Thank you for making my stint here at the
Flame enjoyable and fun-filled. My deepest appreciation goes to Nickky, thank you for standing by me whenever I am confounded by difficult situations. I hope to keep our friendship alive even after graduation.

To our adviser, Sir Nestor Cuartero, thank you Sir for giving us healthy advices in handling the affairs of the 
Flame. Everything I have learned in this publication will be etched in my memory to aid me in my future endeavors.

To my former editors, Ate Quinia, Kuya Robin, Ate Iris, and Ate Rose-An, a great part of who I am now is because of the influences I gained from you. Thank you for teaching me journalistic lessons I never learned inside the classroom.

To those professors who left a mark in my college days, Ma’am Aurora Tuble and Sir Jeremaiah Opiniano, I will always be thankful for meeting great mentors like you. Thank you for believing in me even at times when I fail to meet your expectations.

To my favorite class, Jrn4, thank you for lighting up my days through the crazy jokes you spill during boring class hours. Thank you for keeping me sane and showing me that education is best acquired through friendship instead of competition.

To my “
Basag” people and all my other friends, I will never forget our nights of booze and party. Thank you for helping me balance my day-to-day endeavors and for making my days in the University unforgettable through our “basag” stories.

To my best buddies, Jhiz and Eli, who have both seen me at my best and worst state, my deepest gratitude goes to the both of you for letting me know myself more through the unique friendship we share. To Jhiz, who has been my greatest friend and critic, thank you for helping me sheer away from skepticism and for helping me improve my personality in all means possible. To Eli, who has been the greatest “
ate” I never had, thank you for bearing with all of my rants and for standing by me whenever I lose myself.

To my family, Papa, Mama, and Kuya, no words can suffice my gratitude for all your love and support. To Papa, thank you for being by my side in all of my endeavors and for never failing to teach me what is right and wrong. To Mama, thank you for being the proudest mother one can ever have and for filling our home with love and care. To Kuya, my one-and-only buddy in all sorts of trip, thank you for being ever supportive and fun-loving. I love all of you more than anything else in the world.

And of course to God, who has been the witness in all of my struggles, thank you for making the impossible possible. You have always reigned supreme over my fears and doubts and everything I have now will never be mine if not because of you.

No matter how sacrificial and tedious a writer’s job can be, passion will always reign supreme over any kind of exhaustion. The tip of my pen will continue to scribble whatever is in store for me ahead.

YR 47 Issue 1 2011
Catharsis       JENNIFER M.ORILLAZA, Editor in Chief
A FORMER editor of mine once told me that every little thing we experience in life is brought by “a combination of sheer coincidence and the choices that we make.” I used to share the same sentiments with her, but failed to admit it, probably because of being too afraid to stand by the choices that I made.

Facing this academic year was quite hard for me because of too much reluctance to accept the responsibility given to me. As I was appointed editor in chief of this publication, I expressed doubts over myself if I can really handle the task together with the demands of my studies and other affiliations. The decision to accept it took quite awhile to materialize as I became scared of the many things that I might sacrifice for its sake.

Back when I was still a college freshman, I instilled in my mind a goal that forced me to exceed my limits, probably caused by a frustration I experienced in high school. It was an aim almost close to sheer perfection as I allowed my mundane and naïve side take over my entire identity. 

I survived a couple of  years fo r the attainment of that goal, but to no avail.
Serendipity at its best
Year 47 |  Issue 3 |  2011
Year 47 |  Issue 4 |  2012