Archive for March, 2009

16 March 2009

Once more, from ‘cher

by misslampa

It’s been years since they last crossed my mind, the questions I thought I already knew the answers to. But when an orgmate from UP wrote about taking up law because he lacks the guts to live the hard and fast life of a journalist, I suddenly find myself staring at the ceiling, the thoughts which had me restless back then creeping into my head once more.

When I chose to forget my dream of being an investigative journalist several years ago, I did so with a certainty which I thought won’t be shaken. The three weeks I spent as an editorial assistant for the Inquirer only strengthened my realization that that life wasn’t for me. I could sleep soundly even if I don’t know exactly how the decades-long conflict in Mindanao started. I could forgive myself for not knowing which publicly listed companies are making money for their stockholders. I didn’t want to interview the movers and shakers of this country and quote the PR-fed lines which get their names on the front page.

I got sad when I realized it, especially because the four years I spent obtaining my degree is time I’m never gonna get back. But it turns out that I didn’t want to make a living out of chronicling that which is important for everyone to know.

But five years down the road, do I still think I do not want that life? I fell in love with teaching and English before I gave working for the press a fighting chance, didn’t I? Sure, the life of an educator is just as selfless, but do I not regret giving up prestige and adventure for the sparkle in my students’ eyes and a more quiet existence? Once more, I dare ask myself: Did I really know what I was doing?

I try my hardest to rattle myself, really, but I can’t seem to shake my resolve – not exactly to stand my ground and continue teaching, but to live in the here and the now. I may end up changing my mind in the future, who knows? But in the mean time, I allow myself to be happy with who I am and where I’m at because I teach. Because if you’re the type who does everything in his or her power to make life and this world work, then you’ll agree with me when I say that the right choice is always the one we make.

And I choose to watch my students struggle and soar and laugh and lie and do just about anything to get an extension for a project or have a green slip* revoked even if they are guilty as hell. I choose to take part in the friendly banter and the overtime sessions with colleagues who are an honor to work with. And I choose to remember the stories which will never matter to the world – but which will always be newsworthy for me.

As the batch which fate compels me to hold dearest to my heart graduates on the 25th, I toast to the life they’ve had in Xavier and the fact that I’m privileged to have been a part of it. I remember the moments which assure me that yes, I’d still choose to be an overworked ‘cher than a renowned journalist. And as they move on to where life would take them next, I repeat the prayer I said for them three years ago, when I bid them goodbye for the first time.

“May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be ever at your back. May the sun rays gently stroke your face and the raindrops fall softly on your fields. Until we meet again, may God gently hold you in the palm of His hand.”

* a piece of paper given to students who violate school rules and regulations, and is more often than not equivalent to several hours in detention


16 Mar ’09, 5:04 a.m.

photo taken from