The decision-making process was not easy at all. I remember bringing myself to prayer and just staring at the cross in the altar for a long time. I called for a family meeting. I talked and consulted the people who mattered. And in between prayers and talking to people, I looked for signs: in the streets, in my room, in the direction of the wind, in the way the Mercury Drug lady handed me my change, in just about anything. I only had little time to spend and so everything had to matter. It was crazy.
My family immediately gave their approval, much to my surprise. “Madali lang ang five years,” Babs said, “at saka parang di naman kami sanay na nagtitipid. Nung pumasok ka nga sa seminaryo kinaya naman namin. Parang dadaan ang yang five years tapos bawi ka na lang sa amin.” It felt good. And there was peace.
I took everything in and brought it to prayer. I made that life-changing call six hours before the deadline.
It is hard to say, especially at this point, that this is my destiny. Every morning has been a renewal of my commitment to this endeavor. Every chance I get has been a prayer to the Good Lord to make things alright.
Now that one semester is done and the next is about to begin in a few hours, I would like to take time to be grateful for all that has been and for all that will be.
: My sponsor to the law school was serious when he told me that I wouldn’t find any other scholarship like what he is ready to give me. His support, assurances, and appreciation even of my little successes in the recitations, exams, and just about anything is truly rare and extraordinary.
: My family is doing well. The resilience of Mama, Bebeth, and Babs is just admirable. They laugh at my bad recitations, they make fun of me when I get low exam scores, but they never complained about contributing more to the family to cover those that I could no longer provide. That is enough for me. I know and feel that they are with me in this journey.
: My bestest friends serve as my own pep squad and prayer warriors. They never fail to prop me up when I begin to show signs of slowing down. The lengths that they would go for financial support is incredible as well. In particular, one volunteered to pay for my monthly bills, one gives me extra for my allowance as frequently as she could, three of them bought me an iPad mini to help me in my research and writing, one who is abroad sends her support whenever she can, and they opened a Smart money card account for me so they could send me coffee-money or dinner-money whenever. The rest are just on stand by, ready to pitch in whenever we meet. I am sure that they would be embarrassed if I mention their names here but they know too well how much thankful I am for their friendship. They love hearing about my experiences and updates, they would joke about getting free legal services when I eventually become a lawyer, and their common refrain is “Pinasok mo ‘yan kaya panindigan mo yan!” but I know deep in my heart that they are just beside me no matter what happens. I wouldn’t trade any one of them for the world.
: The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines prepared me for this journey and gave me reasons to pursue this with more conviction. They were generous enough to let me go and yet they still treat me as one of their own. They wish me well and we all eagerly await for that day when I could go back to being of service to education and to the association.
: My friends from my previous workplaces, from high school, and from our parish community who “Like” and comment on my posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and those who send me text messages from time to time just to check on me, they are all part of the much bigger pep squad. They may not know it but they good vibes they send to me really helps a lot.
: My blockmates call me “Kuya Butch” and I’m not complaining. Law school is tough but the generosity and good will that pervades the block really helped me a lot. From notes to reviewers to tips to anything, almost everything is shared to the whole block. I also found new friends along the way. We are undergoing the same formation process in law school and I am happy to have these people to share it with.
Yes, I am making a big fuss out of this experience for there is a cause to celebrate after all! I got through an unbelievably demanding semester in law school and I have very dear people to celebrate it with. I believe that the community nurtures the vocation of each of its members and I am just really thankful for belonging in one that seeks out to nurture what I do and, at the same time, allows me to be part of theirs.
I always pray to the Good Lord to make everything alright. I am assured every time.