Joining school organizations is never a new thing to me. Back in college, I was short of being dubbed as a BS Org major, a student majoring in an organization’s works as opposed to actually doing academic schoolwork. I was a member of at least 5 organizations back then and I even thought of joining more. After obtaining my undergraduate degree, I thought that I also graduated from joining various school organizations. Be an active organization member in law school? That’s unheard of! Boy, was I so wrong.
Fast forward to law school and I found myself not only being a member of 5 organizations but 7! Seven organizations, in law school. Naysayers will always find a way to discourage you from being too active in law school, many will gossip, and many will wish to bring you down. Nevertheless, I found that being in various organizations and engaging in extra-curricular activities actually help me de-stress from the dull and repetitive reading of voluminous books and cases. It’s not just about the activities too. It’s mainly about the people I work with as well.
World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow
Being sent as a youth delegate under the banner of San Beda College (now San Beda University), Archdiocese of Manila, and ultimately representing the Philippines, was probably the most unforgettable experience in my life as a student. I vividly remember waiting to board the plane bound for Europe; the flight was delayed, we were rerouted from NAIA in Manila to Clark Airport in Pampanga due to the closure of the runway, we were tired and we were hungry, but my excitement never faded. It was my first international trip, after all.
I remember walking endlessly from one point to one point, joining vigils here and there, and communicating with the youths of every nation. I remember drowning in the sea of people, with flags of every color being waved in the air. I remember rushing to the barriers with my co-delegates, hoping to get a glimpse of the beloved Pope Francis only to realize that he’s inside the car, only his hand waving to grace the view of the public.
I remember our foster family in Wadowice, Poland. I remember having meals together with phones being passed around, relying on Google Translate to communicate. Despite the language barrier, we felt the love and care of our family. We never felt neglected, not even once. I remember receiving snacks carefully prepared for us as we embark on our trip to join the activities in Krakow. I remember feeling touched. Vividly, I remember.
I remember our last meal with our foster family. Some of my co-participants cooked Adobo for our sponsors. It was not easy to cook with limited and foreign ingredients but amazingly, they pulled it off. I remember them expressing their delight, looking to save some for later. It was a good meal.
It was not only the event itself which made everything memorable. Of course, all the preparations and the stressful meetings and coordination tasks will never be forgotten. But ultimately, it was mostly because of the company I was with which made everything worthwhile. With almost two weeks of being together day and night, we forged a bond so strong that even after the years go by, we will all remember the trip and say, “Oh, how I miss those days, let’s do it again!”. We were a group of 20 but at that time I knew we were not just individuals in our own selves. We were family. We are family.