It is amazing to think that no hardship, no matter how small it is, will be left unrewarded. In fact, positive values when maintained, have the power to take someone to golden opportunities. These things in life could be those that a person did not even have thought of even once. Life, as what they say is full of surprises. We don’t know what possibilities will unfold when we give our very best to everything we do.
Here is my own account of how opportunity knocked on my door as a former School Paper Adviser and made my dream to travel and compete in a National Competition come true.
The Unexpected News
It was one of those typical nights when I received a text message from our Supervisor telling me that I need to book a round trip ticket on Cebu Pacific or Zest Air to Tacloban. The traveling period would be from April 6, 2013, to April 11, 2013. Surprisingly, Enronel, my student, would be competing for the National Schools Press Conference. I was not expecting that we could still vie for the National Level but that year, another category for Journalism competition was added and it made the students who bagged the 4th place in the Regional Secondary Schools Press Conference (RSPC) Photojournalism Category to be qualified. I was overjoyed that I couldn’t believe it! Immediately, I informed my family and our school principal about the good news.
Reality started to bite the next day. I did not know how to book a flight. With zero knowledge on it, frustrations soared high. Everyone was busy giving me a hint that I should do my own research by myself.I searched for steps on how to book a flight. No idea yet that time about seat sale and with the scarcity of time, no chance for me to wait for a seat sale. Our supervisor needed our flight information soon. Finally, I made my first ever flight booking through the telephone. Having no credit card to use, I just paid for the plane ticket through cash within that day.
The weeks before the National Competition were filled with various activities for trainers and students.It was fascinating how our very own anecdotes will be included in the stories of others who also won in the Regional Competition. Through interactions on seminars and training, these different experiences, knowledge, and unique ideas were put up together to build a single story of inspiration in Journalism.
We were busy bees making honey for the upcoming competitions. I prayed hard that we would be in good health as I did not want our efforts to turn into a waste. My whole focus was on the competition and how to give the best of my knowledge to my student. We attended religiously all seminars, meetings, and training as part of the preparation for the contest. From there, new friendships, new knowledge, and new experiences were forged.
NAIA Terminal 4 Experience
The day we had been waiting for eventually arrived. Being inexperienced in the airport, I felt a bit fidgety going to all those security checks, getting the boarding pass and waiting for our flight schedule. It was really a daunting experience. My student undeniably would be under my care and supervision during our 5-day stay in the Visayas. I was like a strict older sister to a playful young boy who was at times, a bit difficult to discipline.
The NAIA terminal 4 where we were bounded looked old, small, congested, and lacks seats for passengers. When I told our school driver that we would be going to NAIA Terminal 4, he gave me a skeptic glance. This NAIA Terminal 4 was not popular and he even gave a doubt that it existed. Perhaps I was wrong? Or could the airline be wrong? I made a hasty research about it and found out that it was also known as the Manila Domestic Passenger Terminal. Despite the inconvenience we experienced in NAIA Terminal 4, the ventilation and wi-fi were satisfying. Enronel and I were able to check e-mails and update our Facebook status without hassle.
Boredom silently crept on me while watching the hands of the clock moving slowly. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. I was scared that we might miss the flight if I did. My imagination wandered back in our house. There I saw my unoccupied room. My warm blanket, my soft rectangular pillows, and my sleeping mat. All of them were seating motionless on the side of my bed. My parents were sleeping soundly together. My sister was dreaming already while hugging tightly her pillow. I heaved a sigh. I missed my bed.
After waiting for almost an eternity, a gate agent finally called for boarding. With our luggage and carriers, Enronel and I pushed our way through the tarmac where the aircraft was waiting for us.
The huge size of it made my heart beat fast. It was like I was about to ride a huge bird and this would make it possible for me to soar the sky. We were excited and at the same time agitated while we boarded the passenger stairs to the aircraft.
As we stepped inside Zest Air, I glanced down at the stubs in my hand where I and Enronel would be seated. A pre-flight announcement was done. We were asked to fasten our seatbelts and secure our baggage. As the plane started to take off, the buildings and houses looked tiny that they could be compared to children’s toys. When all found their seats already, a safety briefing was introduced in case of emergency. Enronel and I turned off our phone and I just hugged my handbag when the temperature turned colder. While in the sky, it felt like the airplane was not speeding at all. It The flight was very smooth unlike when it was beginning to take off. It made me entered in a trance and fell asleep.
The sudden and unexpected continuous turbulence of the aircraft woke me up. We were about to land soon. I gazed at the sea of clouds which seemed to be playing and dancing in the sky. Every inch of me was joyful and everything was spectacular especially when the sun was about to rise. The sun’s dazzling rays welcomed us as we were about to land at the airport.We arrived safely and that was the start of our another journey in Journalism. Another fight for the final level of competition.
The awarding of the winners was done on the 11th of April. Unfortunately, we were not able to make it in the Collaborative Publishing Competition. We just thought that there must be a good reason for that. Sometimes, we could not really have the best of both worlds in our hands. The experience of being a participant in this kind of competition was already a reward in itself. It was indeed a milestone for me. From winning in the School-Based Competition, Division Level, up to the Regional Level was already overwhelming. It was tough but Enronel was able to surpass all the challenges. Even though he did not win in the National Secondary Schools Press Conference, in my heart he would always be a great Photojournalist, a victorious winner.
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