Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Story

"CONGRATULATIONS! You are qualified for the panel interview on July 7 4pm at the heraldo filipino office. Pls be on time"

I received this text message on July 5, 2005. That text message changed my life.

I have been part of Heraldo Filipino for three years. Three nerve-wracking but wonderful years. There are so many things I have learned because of Heraldo Filipino.

This is my HF story.

How did it all started?

I wanted to join HF even when I was only a freshman. During the freshmen orientation, several school organizations were doing all sorts of gimmicks to lure to join their respective orgs but I was not interested because I was specifically looking for an organization, which was not as aggressive with their promotion as compared to the other organizations. I was looking for the student publication. After scanning the booths for like 15 minutes I finally found the booth of Heraldo Filipino and got an application form.

But I did not submit it.


I chickened out. I felt insecure because I don’t have the experience. I came from a highschool with no student publication. I know that I will face stiff competitions from students who were editors during their high school. I thought, I have no chance at all and junked the idea of applying at all. Why would I try if I know I will fail anyway?

But during my first year in college, I always regretted that decision especially when I read HF’s publications. Whenever I see a student holding a copy of HF, I would immediately run and get a copy myself. I would read every issue from cover to cover and sometimes email them if I have any comments or suggestions. Heck, my topic for my research paper in my Filipino subject that time was about the challenges faced by the Heraldo Filipino editors.

Reading HF opened my eyes on the controversies surrounding the campus like the infamous headline “CHEd declares DLSU-D not a university” and the intense rivalry between Sinag and Partido Independiente. Kampusapusapan manage to both make me laugh and think. HeralDoodles is such a good comic relief and I would always read the magbatian portion, felt envy wishing that I was part of the ones who were greeted. I look at the photo essay for a few minutes and analyze what it was saying. The feature articles gives me a whole a new perspective on various subject matters, the literary articles took me to a whole new world while the sports section gave me front row seats on the battles of our athletes

Yes, I was Heraldo Filipino’s number one fan.

But I said to myself, I am not contended being a fan. I want to be there. So as my first year comes to an end I made the decision to try joining Heraldo Filipino. I was still not that confident that I would make it but then I pursued this still because of the maxim that if ever I failed at least I tried and will not forever be burdened by “what ifs”.


It was the last day of the summer term of 2005 when I saw the poster screaming that HF is now open for applicants I immediately dragged one classmate to persuade to take the exam with me. When I already was able to convince someone we immediately went to the HF office and took the exam, but my classmate did not finish the exam because of some emergency. So I was left alone and , boy, the exam was hard it took me three hours to finish it. I only answered the features and literary exams since I've realized that the guy is just waiting for me to finish so he could go home, I did not answer the news exam anymore although I wanted it.

When I left, I was so sure I will not make it. The features exam was difficult, some questions were hard to understand while for the the literary I just dont have "it". After one month, I did not hear anything from HF so I just concluded that I failed. But on July 5, I received a text message telling me that I passed and is scheduled for interview. I could not believe it. For the whole day, I kept on re reading the message.

I was nervous on the day of the panel interview. When I was called I felt numb but when I was there in the HF room, I already felt comfortable and answered to my very best every question they threw.

After the interview, I waited for an hour to find out if I passed. I became nervous again. Then they called five of us who applied and they informed us we passed. I was smiling from ear to ear, I wanted to shout for joy but I was too shy to do that in front of the editors.

I was really happy when I made it even though I did not take the NEWS exam I was still accepted as a news staff. I did not complain because in the panel interview I did very well in news section-related questions rather than features and literary questions.

It was the start of the most memorable time of my life. Being a news writer, I experienced dealing with so many people with various personalities from regular students to student leaders to professors to administrators. Being a news writer, I was exposed to many DLSU-D stories. I discovered some problems that were not being noticed by the community. I found out some concerns from different people.

Especially, I learned through news writing I cultivated the value of service. I will admit that one of the reasons why I want to be part of the campus publication is because I want to see my name on print. But when I was already part of HF, my view changed. I learned that you are not part of the student publication just because you want to improve your writing skills, you are there for a greater and that is student service.

Being in the student publication, you will encounter stuff that an ordinary student does not know. And it is our duty to inform the students know that. I am one of their watchdogs after all.

HF helped me to care for others even some of those of others do not really care about you. Yes, it hurts whenever I see a copy of HF being neglected or treated like trash but poses an even greater challenge for me to motivate this people to care with what is happening in their surroundings.

I've learned a lot of things about HF like really discovering what my niche really is, before I just wanted to write but I don't know exactly what to write but when I became an HF staff I found out what it is. I am a news writer, my writing style suits it and importantly, the responsibility of being one is something that I enjoyed and find fulfilling. News writing is not just telling the 5Ws and 1H of a story, it goes beyond that. I enjoyed it because I liked the purpose and the responsibility of being a campus journalist.

With HF I met a lot of different people with contrasting personalities. I will say that if you will see the interaction in the HF office it is evident that we are a melting pot of different personalities and culture. But despite the differences, we still managed to work together successfully and harmoniously. Why? Because our diversity is united by one purpose: Student Service.


The next school year, I applied to become an editor but I failed. It was really a big blow to me since I was expecting that I will make it. I applied for two positions: News Editor and Office and Circulations Manager. I was sure that I will surely get one of the two positions. But I did not. It taught me a big lesson to never be that confident.

And well the next time I applied to be an editor, I made it and well I become the Editor-in-Chief. A dream come true for me. Who knew this will happen?

But to tell you honestly, I was miles better when I was just an ordinary staff rather than editor. I was an outstanding staff but a mediocre editor. But I love my team, they were very supportive and I really thank them a lot because without them I could have quit as EIC long time ago. They were not the problem why I feel this way as an editor, it is all me. I sometimes wish I became a section editor first before I jumped from being a senior staff to EIC. I could have perform better. But its futile for me to think that anymore. But I guess this part of God's plan for me. All setbacks I experience has a reason. I may not know them now but later in life I will understand it.

I have lots of HF stories to tell but the space is not enough because of the rich experience I had but I believe I already made my point.

Being with HF, is no walk in the park. If you want to join HF, you must remember that we does not just look with your skills on writing, art, photography and graphic design but what it is important is that you have the heart that will help you survive this life full of pressures.

Being with HF, I've learned a lot of stuff even more than what I could learn in school. It makes sense being with HF I continuously learned and what I learned was not confined by textbooks and classroom discussions. I learned through experience that I will bring along as I leave this publication and university.

Being part of a school publication has been a dream for me for such a long time and when I became a part of it I could not complain less.


Mr. E said...

go Kuya Jec. HF Rocks. and actually you did a nice job in nurturing us. ;-)

forg/jecoup said...

Thanks Eugene