Posted by: mensab | April 10, 2008

A Year After and More: A Reflection

I am the sixth child in a family. For a Filipino family, it was the average size at that time (now it becomes a little less than that). As the sixth child, my family called me “bunso” which means the youngest or last child. I was comfortable and got used with the name. I liked the idea of having most of the attention and less responsibility.

Then after six years, she came. My family did not take away my title as “bunso.” For the 7th child, they named her “darling.” Truly she is the darling of the family.

I had mixed feelings when she came. Disturbed.. anxious.. worried.. excited.. happy..

A year after as I watched her sleeping, I saw a sister, my little sister, my family’s darling. I had a singular feeling of light-heartedness, joy and cheerfulness. It was overwhelming. I wanted to touch her for the first time. I moved closer. I tipped her hand with my point finger. She held my finger tightly. I felt my sister. Her fragile hand gripped me as if telling me to stay. I did. That day the warmth and fragility of her hand, the calmness of her face, I felt responsiblity to another human being.  

April 10, 2007… I joined 28 other Asians for the first batch of the Dual-Campus Intenational Peace Studies Program of the University for Peace and Ateneo de Manila University.

It only took a year that another batch came. I was simply glad to see another batch joining the program of Nippon Foundation. Classmate Y commented that the new batch looks “fresh.” Her comment made me wonder, what happened in a year to me? Have I become “old” or “matured” or “unfresh?”

Jack Maresca and Fr. Ben Nebres, S.J. highlighted my possible role as agents of change in the world. Indeed, my studies, lectures, discussions, readings at UPeace and Ateneo have provided a lens and mind to view the world. Somehow, I have come to make sense of the geohistorical contexts of the many conflicts and violence in the world. The expansion and deepening of my knowledge on these contextual factors corresponds to my growing desire to make a difference in the world. The world becomes my world, our world. It also becomes smaller, closer, and real, just like my sister.  It dawned on me this sense of responsibility to the world. It motivates me to understand more. And with understanding, it calls for my actions.

What I lack though is the heart. This can’t be provided by my studies. Openess and acceptance have led me to have a heart for my sister. I believe openess and acceptance of the mision and calling can be the key to awaken my heart to the reality of the mision and calling.

I think this makes me “unfresh.” A year after being in this program, I am disturbed.. anxious.. worried.. excited.. happy. Disturbed because new knowledge and insight everyday.. Anxious because of the unclear yearend ahead of me (what will I do and become).. Worried because of the challenge of the world possibly unmet.. Excited because of the clarity of our calling, mision.. Happy because of the coming of another batch in the program (which means I have companions).

I am part of the first batch of the program. A year after the opening of the program, I like the situation of seeing the second batch getting the most attention.  And I like too the feeling of having  responsibility, to the world including the next batch.



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