Days rolled fast. It has been more than a couple of months now when we left the Barangay Sta. Cruz – one of the local communities of Buhi, Camarines Sur, to where we had spent much of our day for our tree planting activity, held on the 8th of December, of last year. With the length of our stay there, I think most of us, if not all, have had the same belief that we were ones of those heroic youth who, in at least, selflessly render heroic acts just for the cause of preventing the one of the most disheartening environmental situations that we face nowadays – the always-taken-for-granted and not much surprising widespread deforestations to elsewhere in the country, which is also to be found in most of the mountainous places throughout Bicol, which is most likely be found in Buhi, to be particular. Also on that day that we held considered ourselves as those of against ne er-do-well (good for nothing) loggers and as those against other political entities who never care for our environment.
Putting myself on the shoes of the others, even though we only had the chance of experiencing Buhi for just in a day, the fulfillment that we felt upon looking ourselves, in the presence of the number of trees we planted, was really exhilarating. But, so much more, that short history of our presence there seems like a hard to forget experience and, even more, considerably worth remembering. In the same feeling, our experience brought a greater significance to serving humanity – doing a big task in a simple and but little ways, like planting trees... It was also on that day when being Ateneans, as men and women for others, was manifested by putting God first through service to others. This is to realize how each and every Atenean cared about life. As a matter of fact we cared because we know what's life should be.
Also, taking a peek to the day of our arrival , there were cases when I did not manage myself of the jitters I have had in mind that very day. I was quite apprehensive of all the things I was observing and of the people I was passing by. However, anxieties as that never made me feel insecure of the goal that I was supposed to win on that day. I cannot helped but just go with the flow of the day's activity. Though we were just few in numbers, we still kept the pride and passion, and the commitment we embraced as Ateneans. At least we proved to everyone that we were not different and indifferent of the things we are concerned about, but we were proud that we made a difference as well as we got deeply involved to broadening our horizons.
After all, considering the invaluable efforts of everyone who took part in the activity, I can conclude that our activity was smoothly done and into a nice way, as obvious as it may seemed. I know that, as to what others do, through such endeavor, we have something positive hope to look forward to. I also have realized that in life, all those seemingly little things we wish to do are by no means easy if we would just let ourselves be doing tasks on or own. I believe that we need not be a popular of good will or a president of an entire nation to be able to lend services toward the safety and improvement of our environment. That is why the reason I have so much faith in my generation is because down through the years our student involvement has made a difference in social change; and there are those active yet typical involvement of the youth like mine in the acts of selflessness manifest that there are young people who are still witting and willing to tread the road less taken.
I know that all the learning I cultured from that exposure somewhat more than mere experience. It was already a very rewarding attempt and self-fulfilling service, and I really appreciated all that much. I want to share to you some of the thoughts that came out knocking to my mind during the time when we were about to drive off from the place. Here it is:
“Now that I have reached and attained my goal,
without noticing it because I did not mind the sacrifices
but valued the satisfaction I felt,
If given a chance to plant a new life once more,
without hesitation and regrets
I will come back to Buhi... to Sta. Cruz,
and plant there more trees :)
and inspire the whole community to do the same...
but for the meantime,
minding and taking time for the timely needs of our own community is a must, and be considered as my first priority;
because for me, things of positive outlook are done one step at a time.