04 November 2012
I'm back! I'm back! I'm back!
So much has happened since my last entry, a whole semester has passed since! A very busy one at that! Our college has a new set of officials (dean, assistant dean, and secretary), and since the past few months were the first for this new leadership, there's been a lot of adjustment and so many things to do. It has been great so far! I'm looking forward to greater times for our college, and most especially for our students. They are, after all, the most important people in the College if you ask me; thus they should be our top priority. Being the chairperson of the Committee on Student Affairs, I am tasked to make sure that is the case. Oh, well, anyway, I don't really want to talk about my job at the moment.
So, what's been going on with me lately? Well, lots of things have come and passed. Things, both good and bad! In fact, very recently, our university has been beset by things so dreadful and unimaginable that every MSUan is shaken to his/her core. One night last August (it was during Ramadhan), bad elements ambushed a group of Armed Forces soldiers inside the campus! There was an exchange of gunshots and some chasing around that took place. What happened scared the wits out of everyone in the campus at the time! Can you imagine something like this happening inside the university campus? And, it was extra traumatic for me and some friends and students because we were still out for coffee at the time the ambush took place! It was like being in the movies! It felt like we had to really run for our lives! And, the day that followed was just so depressing, especially for someone like me, who grew up inside the MSU Campus! The campus became some sort of ghost town. No one wanted to go out, not even to buy food, for fear of a repeat of what had happened the night before. It was the first time that MSU became that silent and empty. It was heart-breaking!
But, MSUans are survivors and happy people. After two or three days, things went back to normal and people were starting to joke around about what had happened that night of August 8. Life in the Campus went on as usual. We celebrated our Foundation Anniversary with the same zeal and gusto! Before we knew it, we were once again dancing, singing and performing! The Intramurals, the Literary, Musical, and Dance Contests, the Debate Competitions, and all the other activities were conducted as usual. It was a proof of the strength and resilience of MSUans.
Then again, came the series of fires that burned some buildings to the ground. First, it was the first floor of the Princess Lawanen Hall in June. It was caused by faulty wiring, but it shook the whole campus as this dormitory is one of the oldest buildings in the Campus and housed so many students and alumni, during their student years, and memories. Second was a residential cottage on MSU 5th Street. I don't exactly know what caused it; some say it was caused by a candle left lit during the night. All we could do was pray for the students who got injured during the PLH fire and for the family that owned that 5th Street cottage. In our case, the College tried to make sure that our student, who got injured in the PLH fire, was taken care of. Various student organizations helped out with the other victims, those who lost all their belongings in the fire.
We thought that the end of our dark times had come after that 5th Street fire. But, we were all so wrong! Early last month (October), another fire broke out. This time, the fire ravaged the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management (CHARM) Building along with the CHARM Pavilion (formerly known as the MSU Summit Inn). The cause of the fire is quite unclear up until today. Some people are saying it was done deliberately; still some say it was faulty wiring. We can only guess. And, again, it was very depressing to all MSUans because not only was the CHARM Building important as the building that housed one of our colleges, the building also was one of the favorite venues for all types of events. We had parties, academic fora, workshops, variety shows, speech festivals, pageants, competitions, and even weddings held at the CHARM Pavilion. Once again, it wasn't just the building. The fire also took away so many good memories.
|Prof. Othello D. Cobal|
|Mr. Erwin Diaz|
On our part, the CSSH Faculty and Staff had a dialogue with the MSU System President, Dr. Macapado Muslim. We let him know how we all felt. We expressed our demoralization, frustration and fears. We asked for him to at least try to make us feel a little secure because we were all paralyzed with vulnerability. He addressed the body and answered some questions. And, somehow, his words were a little reassuring. He, along with the other officials of the administration, is doing his utmost best in this time of terror and frustration. That somehow made us feel a little better.
He said, "You say you are demoralized, but, really, the most demoralized person in this university is me."
The way he said those words made us, or me at least, feel his own sadness and frustration over what's been going on. It sure is not easy to be the leader of a place being attacked left and right by all sorts of problems. And, it sure is not fair to always be pointing fingers at him or his administration whenever bad things happen. Though I cannot really blame nor stop the people from doing so, I, through the words and answers he gave, cannot help but see things from his perspective. I think what really matters is that every single one of us must do his/her part. This is a communal responsibility. Pointing fingers should be stopped. And, emotions must be controlled so that we can see more clearly and then we can really do something. It is now more than ever that we need to work together and show how much we love and care for MSU! MSU will always be MSU and it will remain so as long as not one of us will give up. I know in my heart that MSUans are resilient and strong, thus we will survive this. We can and we will remain to be! Whether we are faculty members, students, alumni, officials, residents or whatever, as long as we are MSUans, it is our responsibility to make sure MSU will still be, for the generations to come. We owe it to Sir Ot, Erwin and all the others like them.
There's one more thing that made me really want to go back to blogging. Back in 2005, I wrote about this little girl who was suffering from cancer. I felt, at that time, the need to help ask for prayers for such a sweet, cute little girl. And, just recently, I saw that she left a comment on that very entry. It was such a welcome surprise! She said that she'd recovered and that her cancer miraculously went away a few years back. It was overwhelming reading her comment. It made me very happy to know that she's living a normal life now. Especially after losing my father and some other very special people to cancer, it is good to know that there are people who win in the fight.
I didn't know Isabel Lynn Coupland, I just read about her in her aunt's blog, but it felt like the most natural thing for me (and many other bloggers, too) to do at that time was to share her story and pray for her. I probably will never meet her or get to know her, but to know that she continues to live is more than enough to make me very happy and thankful. This also made me realize how powerful prayers are. I pray and hope that not-so-little Isabel will continue to inspire people.
With that, I'd like to end this entry by asking you, dear reader, to say a prayer for someone who is suffering from cancer or any other disease. A little prayer goes a long way. Together, let us pray...