When I was still in my high school years, looking for ‘REAL’ friends was as hard as Mathematics for me. When my teacher requested me to introduce myself to my classmates, I really gave my best shot to positively blow them away with a self-introduction of mine. Fortunate enough, I was able to produce a warm round of applause from them and left a big ‘Wow!’ expression in their faces.
After that, a group of students came up to me. They greeted me and invited me to eat lunch with them. I did accept their invitation. But, when I was with them during lunch time, I felt a frigid wall between them and me. Their plastic-like attitude made me worry with the harmful effects it may bring to our Mother Earth. And it made me reject their meal-together invitations since then. My experience made my early high school life miserable until I joined and committed myself as a student-leader in the Supreme Student Government (SSG) and gained a vast number of REAL FRIENDS.
My toxic student-leadership journey started when the SSG Adviser invited me to run in the SSG’s Presidential Elections. At first, I was afraid to seize the opportunity. Even though, my desire to own the said position was as intense as a fire, my fear of being scrutinized and rejected defeated the optimism in me. But when all is said and done, I found myself dumbfounded with a deafening applause of the students and an uncountable number of butterflies fluttering inside my stomach. That was the time when the SSG COMELEC Chairperson pronounced me as the newly elected SSG President for the school year (S.Y.) 2011-2012. I was slapped in my face. My being elected as an SSG President made me able to build an exemplary familial relationship with the SSG Presidents of other schools (Janica, Cherry Jhane, Jessel, Silver, Reil, Kristian, Phaula, Darl, Jykka, Jeson, etc.).
The Division Leadership Training and Election of Officers (DLTEO) – an event that gathered us collectively and twisted our lives 360 degrees – was the starting point of our familial relationship. Considering that our relationship have its starting point, it will never ever reach to its terminal point.
The month of November (in the year 2011) came. The National Leadership Training for Student Government Officers (NLTSGO) brought us to Baguio City, Philippines. There, thousands of student-leaders in the Philippines were gathered to hone their leadership skills and to “MAKE THINGS HAPPEN”. During the NLTSGO’s National Federation of Supreme Student Governments (NFSSG) Elections, Janica Liz De Guzman was elected as NFSSG Vice President for Mindanao. The craziness we’ve tolerated at the duration of the NLTSGO – which strengthened our friendship – was just one of the things that caused our Baguio City experience a very big blast.
Fresh from Baguio City, we brought home the valuable insights and lessons we’ve got from the said training. It made us believe that life is a candle meant to burn even brighter; a fire meant to light other’s candle. Our common ideology was our inspiration to spearhead a series of leadership training in different secondary schools in Davao City and to conduct and support the mandated Projects, Programs, and Activities (PPA’s) of the Supreme Student Government (SSG) in our respective schools.
Clearly, our experiences and friendship molded and furnished our whole being. To lead and to inspire are some of the things we all have in common that we enjoy. But, much of the vitality in friendship lies in the honoring of differences, not just by enjoying the similarities. What a relief! We were able to honor our differences and it simply made us love each other. Truth be told, our friendship simply stretched our patience, broadened our minds, deepened our insights, boosted our confidence in seizing opportunities (mostly in applying for college scholarships) and strengthened our relationship to the supreme being (God) despite of the different traditions and ideologies we were used to live at.
Now that I left Davao City and decided to finish my college studies here in Cebu, I will always provide them a very special place in my heart. Knowing that my Presidential term in SSG has already ended, I will forever maintain an unbinding attachment to the SSG and DCFSSG, Incorporated. Now I realize that finding real friends is not as hard as Mathematics. It will become as easy as A-B-C if we will only try to look at the brighter side of life. Remember, “No one ever ruined his eyesight by looking at the bright side of life.”(RDAsia,2012).