Ending Impermanence

By: Nathaniel Mariano
April 10, 2018

“So, what position are you applying for?” they asked, giving me serious glares that terrorized every single cell in my body. Not minding the future of my thesis during those times, I replied, “EIC po.”

Was I nervous? Yes. Did I hesitate? Of course. Did I ever think I would make it this far? God, no. Not at all.

When I applied as the Editor-in-Chief of The LANCE almost a year ago, I was the very first person to doubt myself. Perhaps, I was too unwilling to take on a dutiful job, too weak to carry the heavy anvil of past irresponsibility, and too scared to embark on a challenge knowing there will be a difficult road ahead. I simply became the antagonist in my own self-titled story.

Worse, I was blinded by my own fears that I began to question myself: What if I became a failure? What if my term was not successful? What if the others, who swore to struggle with me on this venture, decided to leave me alone?

I know myself really well. But I, too, know what this publication needs, the things it lacks, and the things it excels. There is a broad line between aspiring for the position and doing it because you had no other choice. And as I sat down in that interview, I stick with the latter. I have become too attached with the publication that leaving it only to suffer would only take my peace of mind. 

Like everyone else, I had to suck it up. And up to this day, from producing our June issue down to this March, I am still sucking it up.

I literally have consumed sleepless nights and nightless sleeps just to edit hundreds of articles. The situation required me to seriously balance my time as I have to juggle my then-problematic thesis in one hand, together with a handful of demanding subjects (Hello, RTVP, Laws, Ethics, and a couple of writing classes), and do editorial and managerial tasks with the other. It was tiring, really. It can even drain the life out of you only if you will allow it to.

From start to finish, God knows how many times I told myself to give up. “Ayoko na” has always been the catchphrase, sometimes, with profanities included. And thank God, even with breakdowns, I made it to the end.

Life in The LANCE could be hard if you would label it just as that. I even thought of the publication as an organization consisting of talented yet very intimidating people – a common misconception, sometimes.

I first entered the LANCE like a 17-year-old Janina San Miguel, I barely had any experience. The fact that most of my writers were all a year older than me back then made me nervous that I had to swallow ounces of professionalism and objectivity every time I communicate with them.

Fast forward to now, I cannot think of anything but gratefulness.

I have got to be honest with you. Writing this down and knowing the fact that this will be the last time that I am going to write for The LANCE breaks the very core of my heart. The LANCE has been a home for introvert students who have a knack for writing, or just students who want fast internet connection, proper air-conditioning, and friends.

As what the emotional column below states, the publication is really full of passionate, creative, and interestingly humorous people. In LANCE, we help each other a lot and we take pride in being a part of it.

On this piece, allow me to be overly dramatic as I thank a number of people who all have a place in my heart.

To sirs Joselito “Joey” Garcia, Norberto “Jjun” Bana III, Erickson Beco, Louie Benedict Ignacio, thank you for putting your trust and faith in me when I was receptive to believe in my own.

To my predecessors, Anton Vincenz Tantoco, Ralphe Lawrenze Alarcon, Kim Daniel Rubinos, and Bryle Suralta, thank you for guiding me in any way possible. 

To my co-editors and news writers from the previous term, thank you as you have all shaped me to become the EIC that I am today.

To my strong editors this term, Joshua Fidel Feria, Shaira Bungcag, Francis Rafael Manzano, and Teejay Obsequio, who stayed with me on this venture even with missed deadlines and ignored messages, I love you all from the bottom of my heart. I was reluctant to receive resignations from you as your very presence is the reason why I stay.

To my friends who struggled with me through thick and thin and are all ears to my long list of rants, Martina Cabantog, Anthonette Capco, Kathlene Ann Go, Maria Cecilia Erl Labon, Klyde Vincent Manansala, Jovelyn Moya, John Ryan Padlan, and Luis Alfonso Tamondong, thank you for giving me a chance to be part of your lives. The moments that we shared together will forever be cherished. 

To the next EIC, do not be like me. I was weak so make yourself stronger. Do not give your all, save something for yourself. The conflict is not always Man vs. Man, but Man vs. Himself. However, do bear in mind that everything in The LANCE is a collaborative effort – it is not only you. There will be a time when you feel like giving up and there will be countless reasons to feel not good enough, but as what my adviser, who wishes to be a native of La Union, would often say, “We do not stop when we’re tired, we stop when we’re done.”

To myself, do not even bother lying – your last year of stay in the Colegio was the hardest of all, memorable, in many ways, yet the easiest to let go of.

You have unconsciously abused the passing of time. Little by little, you became too occupied on what you were having, lost track of the things you were losing, let your downs repel the ups, and you became too attached with what can only be tagged as temporary.

You became so dependent on impermanence, greeted anxiety as a friend, made overthinking a daily habit, and became a bit unwilling to take thoughts of optimism.

In your four years of stay, you have encountered new friends. Some you lost, some you kept, some you tried to keep but disappointingly failed.

Still, you should be thankful. You lost a little, but you gained a lot. You took the challenge and have done a wonderful job. When all of this is over, do yourself a favor and find that single thing you deprived yourself of: time.

Congratulations self, you have reached the end of impermanence.