Looking Back: Service To Country

In less than a week I will leave my hometown to pursue a degree in Journalism at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. As a kind of countdown, I thought I’d take a look back at the past few years of my life throughout the week and connect them to what lies ahead for me. Specifically, I’ll be linking to blog posts or websites that I think are worth pondering on and discussing them briefly.

* * *

Moryo-Moryo: A Ray Of Hope“, a project I took on along with four of my Junior year classmates that focused on the plight of children who lived near our city’s dumpsite. Despite my deplorable HTML and CSS skills, the project won Best In Community Impact for Smart Schools’ first Doon Po Sa Amin Learning Challenge.

Perhaps the most iconic and enduring symbol of the University of the Philippines is the Oblation—a naked man with arms outstretched, offering himself in service to his country. No less than this attitude of self-sacrifice is expected of all UP students.

The Oblation made me think about when I decided to take on the Moryo-Moryo project. The prospect of winning a cash prize enticed me, of course, but much more than that I welcomed the opportunity to help a worthy cause. Every time we visited the school, we got to see the children whose eyes sparkled with hope despite their dire situation. That really hit me in two ways: it reminded me of how lucky I was to have food to eat, clothes to wear, and a house to come home to everyday, and inspired me to do everything I could to help. I cannot justify with words the fulfilling satisfaction I felt in telling the story of Moryo-Moryo, in working for a cause bigger than me.

It feels good to be part of a community that cares so much about service to country at a time when the Philippines is so overridden by greed and selfishness, in city streets and in corridors of power. I hope I prove myself worthy of the tradition of service to country that UP fosters.

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