While indulging on the feeling of being a new student on a new school – looking at everything, smiling at everyone, enjoying the first day symphony of laughs, shouts and whispers -, I was suddenly disturbed. I was disturbed by the sound of these bell that seems to be in control of everybody. At its sound everyone, including me, paused then, rapidly moved towards our designated places. An abrupt silence replaced the happy symphony the students made. A voice, coming from somewhere above, filled the silence. I looked towards its direction. A ray of bright light touched my face – I was amazed. My first-ever “Morning Assembly” in my dear Alma Mater, Don Bosco Technical College, Mandaluyong – June 1999 – definitely a day to remember.
A series of talks by the principal and the rector, followed by a number of reminders by the APSA was the focus of that day’s Morning Assembly. But my attention was not full caught by them, rather a young man in white polo with school patch, navy blue slacks and looking friendly with his smile caught my interest. This young man is Luis Jose Geronimo. Kuya Luis was, at that time, a senior high school student and the Student Council President of our department. I was amazed with the things that he does for us, students. As far as I can remember he danced, sang, gave morning talks and assisted us during breaks – just for us to feel his presence and concern. I can honestly say the I look-up to him. I even said to myslelf, “One day I can be like him (a servant-leader).”
A year after he graduated (mind you, he graduated with 14 medals including the Rector’s Award, he is also the batch valedictorian) our paths met. From being workmates to friends, we’ve known each other better. He freely shares his ideas, talents, words of wisdom, experiences with me, which contributed to my growth and formation. I admit that he has a part on who I am now. Kuya Luis was the one who taught me to continue on doing good and helping others even if the situation makes it difficult. He also trained me to be reponsible through the duties he has given to me (he is the OAC of the VESSEL Movement). He made me realized the greater things in life, opened my eyes to the real world, and tickled my critical mind.
Kuya luis reminds me of these two persons in my life who also taught me to be responsible and exposed me to the threats of this world. More than that, these two persons never lost patience, supported me in every way the can, inspired me to do things better, to aspire for the greater things in life, introduced me to prayer, and showed me how to care and love unconditionally.
Romeo and Juliet is a classic tragic play of the famous playwright, Shakespeare. Before I knew Shakespeare and his play, I already knew Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet are the greatest servant-leaders I could have and they are so close to my heart – they are my beloved parents. Mama and Papa, as I endearly call them, has never been tired of taking care of me. Sionce birth, they have been there for me, they never missed any important day in my life. They never fail to make me cry, thinking of all the sacrifices they have to make just for me. I can never deny that I am who I am mainly because of the firm foundation they have imbued in me. I also dream that someday I could emulate the goodness, care and love that they’ve freely and unconditionally given to me for I know what good it’ll produce.
Talking about love, care and sacrifice, there is this one character in my life has inspired me a lot – in fact, he still continues to inspire me. He is inspiring me to do good, value suffering, forgive and lead others through whole-hearted service.