Write an essay about your Buklod unforgettable memories
( English / Tagalog ) and send it to:
New place. New people. New life.
by Genevieve Uy
New air to breathe. New faces to see. New phase to take.
That’s how it had been for me when I entered my freshmen year during college. I didn’t know anyone. I got no batch-mate from high school who took up the same course I did, nor the same college I’ve gone to. I felt like a stranger placed among the suburbs of Quiapo. Now I understood the concept of Savage Garden’s Santa Monica. Well, I shouldn’t have been here in the first place. What’s more, I wasn’t supposed to take up Fine Arts, and so what was I doing here? Seriously, I have no idea!
That question remained to this day. But then again, it had been worth it. The overhaul had been worth it. The experience had been overwhelming, but it sure did good…
To give it more light, here goes… My Mom was the one who decided on this. She told me to take up an entrance exam here in UE Caloocan, and enroll for Advertising Arts. Partly, I was guessing that it was her frustration, and so I git ushered to taking it. You see, I was supposed to take Theater Arts in UP. But my Mom wouldn’t let me. And so here I was.
My first day. I was walking outside the building of the College of Fine Arts. Looking around, and a part of me was still hoping to see any familiar face at all.
Any familiar face at all. Please?
The small prayer did not get answered. And so the first day dragged on with my classes. I remembered well, though. Anatomy was the first serving of the day, and the waiter who served the menu’s got gray hair, like a mop on his head. And he’s got a fat belly there, but he looked wholesome overall. He was strict, kept on mentioning how important attendance was to his class. Which made sense, of course. College was supposed to be our training ground. But you know young ones, they tend to be hellions, and could really pull in a headache.
Introductions were made. Attendance was checked. A bit of discussion about the coverage of the subject. Then adjourned.
As I checked on the time, I still got loads of hours before the next class. Where to sit? Where to spend? Where to go?
And so i decided to lurk around the building. There were artworks on the walls as I walk along. Again, my mind was wondering if I’d get to have an artwork that’d be posted along these walls. Do I really have the, err… touch? Then I heard a laughter. No, laughters, coming from outside. I peeked in one of the classrooms, through it’s window, and saw a bunch of students. Juniors? Seniors? Maybe. They seemed to know each other to be sharing a laugh or two.
I took my lunch at the cafeteria. Ugh, I ordered for Pork Adobo, but as I dug on the food, my tastebuds won’t acknowledge that it was indeed a Pork Adobo I ordered. I checked on the time, an hour more and I would be off to my next class. I was tempted to walk around the campus for more, but I wasn’t sure of the time that will be consumed, so I’d rather not. I did not bother to finish my food. I stood up and headed to the Fine Arts building again, which is very much near the cafeteria.
This time I furthered a bit to the gym’s direction, which was right along pass the building. There was a big lot beside the Fine Arts building, and it seemed like there were sort of divisions made from each side, and students were hanging out. From my guess, and from the looks of it, these were the organizations of the college. I checked out some of the signs they have installed in their designated spots. And I also noticed the area where I heard the earlier laughters came from.
The sight unveiled to me here made me wonder how far I’d endure my stay here in college. How does a college work for someone like me? Would I make friends? Or better yet, with what I’ve just seen, should I join any organization here in the college? And how does it work anyway? Was it all the same back in high school? Do I have to approach them? Or they pick you? The process…
Weeks passed to months, and I was still on my own. Not one to call a friend. Inside the class, I was more like hanging out with the guys. Laughing & cracking up jokes.. with the guys.
And seriously, I halfway made it through the first semester. I couldn’t put a definition to what I was feeling then. It was a total mixture. Yeah, I got to college, lucky me. But I couldn’t really say that I was enjoying my course at all. The feeling was so going down , and I simply got no direction for myself.
And so I started cutting classes. Often times I’d stay home while my parents were out tending to the family business. Just sulking there, and watched MTV and movies in the VHS. And if my Mom were to ask why I was home early, I would make up stories that the class ended earlier than the usual.
Mainly, the whole idea of going to college without having taken up the course that I wanted frustrated me. I felt helpless, dragged here without anything prepared for myself. And I really wondered how I would go on.
I didn’t tell my Mom about the possibility of failing my subjects. What probable cause? How about not going to class for the Prelim and the Mid-Term? Try working on that possibility. I would surely be raising hell. Partly, I didn’t want to disappoint her. But I didn’t want to disappoint myself as well. And so I got up on my feet, picked up where I left off. I had to literally drag myself. I had to.
I first talked to the gray-haired waiter who served the Anatomy. It was a torture begging him to take me back. He was being sarcastic with his remarks, in which I took in and swallowed. I very well understood that it was really too much to ask, but it was worth a shot of my pride for that case. Heaven opened it’s gates for me and I was allowed to go back. I passed his subject, a passing grade was given. Of course, the attendance sure did big back there, what else should I expect? It was all my doing anyway. I seriously had no right to ask for the highest of grades. For that case, getting a passing grade would surely be enough.
And so the first semester ended with a big whew! And coming in would be the second semester. Focus,focus, focus. I had to, just the thought of what my parents were raking to send me to college, I wouldn’t want it to go for a lost cause at all. And so I’d just take this to challenge myself.
I became friends with these two individuals. Individuals indeed. One loud, one confined. But opposites did jive, and that we did. We became classmates in major and some minor subjects. Finally, a troop to call friends. Real friends.
I got talked out to checking one of the organizations in the college. The professor’s an adviser there, that was why.
But first, what was the reason a student would actually join an organization? To have a group to call his own? A group to belong? A group who’s got an official spot where one could hang out? Wait, that was being a parasite. But one has got to survive, either way, right? The one I became friends with, the loud one, we registered ourselves as members.
Buklod Sining Art Organization. An extra-curricular organization in the College of Fine Arts, and the oldest organization in the college. It sure sounded blunt. But enter I did!
Introductions. Orientations. And the initiation.
Now, how far would I go with this? I was so blinded with the future I was about to have with this group.
The initiation was a laugh part. The initiation was a gooey, sticky one. I was filled with white. And as i looked around me, other shades were there. And after being filled up, we went to the field and performed. Yes, it was the yearly performance art, and they do it by body painting. Yeah, real paint on my skin!And boy, the feeling was somehow ecstatic. It was my first, so spare me. And I felt so free. And this was just the first step.
An overnight workshop was held in Bulacan. It was an overwhelming night of bonding. One activity that fully touched me was the Banig ng Buhay. I casted my hidden cards as i relayed my story. It was letting out a big hoof of air that has never gone out inside me. After the tears shed and shared, I felt a pat on my shoulder, and felt home. And that was where I took the group into my system, and into my heart.
No more a plain organization to my sight. They became my family, and we have a house with the name of Nilad. And I loved this family all the more. I may not totally have embraced and loved the course I’ve taken, but this family is where I sure would want to stay. And if there’d be a reason to stay, it would definitely be Buklod Sining.
I was awarded as one of the Top 20 members. And this sure triggered and fueled my drive to do more, for this family. I was appointed as a junior officer during my sophomore year. Finally, I was feeling a self-worth. Like I was here for a purpose of doing something good for this family, and for the members I’ve grown to love.
And just like any other family, we encountered a down path. I called it “The Dark Age of Buklod Sining.”
This Dark Age that has lurked and nearly banished our trust, we have surpassed. And just like Bukloy in our logo, we have withstood this one earthquake in our lives. It nearly took the roof of our shelter Nilad. It shook us and nearly parted us, and it was really scary, especially for someone who just found a family. I got so involved with it, and I did feel the heart of this people. And that experience brought me to a realization that this was not what a family, our family, deserve. We wouldn’t allow the waves to crush us and shatter us to pieces.
After the Dark Age, came the restoration. The restoration brought us closer together. We had our wheel back, and we would drive this. Pieces were returned. It was a drag, but you have to start somewhere. And start we did. And this experience made us stronger and all the more binded. And it remain to this day what has taken place.
I would isolate myself for a time and simple look at the picture. This family has accepted me despite my flaws. I may not have had the heart for the course, but my heart sure did belong to this. This that was right in front of me, this is where I want to be nestled. They made me a better one, and here’s where I found what I was capable of. They honed me, and made it all worthy.
What has transpired between me and this family may just be a commoner to an ordinary listener or reader. But touched I was when I entered it’s doorstep. Words wouldn’t be enough to give endless gratitude.
And so I invite you. Come into the doorstep and see what you would become.