By Robert Siy III (H3B), Stallion Features Writer
Posted Tuesday, 14-Dec-2004 10:08 AM
Shaking off the light hangover I had Saturday morning (It had been my father's birthday the night before) I couldn't have been less excited to get up and more slow to move my frame out of bed. Who gets worked up over volunteer work, anyway? The only reason, in fact, that I actually left my house on time was because I didn't want to disappoint a friend of mine I was supposed to pick up on the way to Robinson's Galleria, who was much more altruistically-minded than myself. I didn't see much of a good morning ahead.
From the car ride to the time my friend and I made our way to the employee's canteen area, I daydreamed of what I'd be doing once Sagip Pasko's hours were past. I thought of the debate tournament I had also volunteered to assist at in the afternoon at Ateneo, and of the way I'd use my newly-improved skills and sharpened wit to stake out my name among the college debaters who would no doubt end up acting as judges at high school tournaments, and no doubt to try and impress any particularly attractive female debaters who, perchance, with fate's blessing, I'd encounter at the tournament. Being a geek at heart, just watching debates would be more fun for me than a Salvation Army-type job where I'd bug ornery shoppers left and right to coax a few cans of corned beef to fill the donation boxes, and eventually some hungry typhoon victim's stomach.
So then, finally, came the part I so secretly dreaded – actually doing it, walking up to people I didn't know and probably will never see again, and “saving Christmas.” Again and again I rehearsed my lines in my head before the first person I approached. Stammering, I greeted a 70-something year old lady and her cart-pushing grandson, and asked if they would like to purchase some extra canned goods to donate to typhoon victims. Quite to my cynical mind's surprise, I was not spurned so easily as I would have myself, but instead walked away with P200 to purchase canned goods with, a Christmas greeting returned, and blessings upon me and my school for being so warm-hearted. Every succeeding shopping cart I came across in the supermarket pledged cans to the cause. After a while, the inside of the supermarket became saturated with shoppers, who'd already donated and thus could not be solicited any more, I found that the remaining Stallion volunteers had taken over quite nicely, just in time for me to end the shift. Then the rest of my day happened, but that's not the point.
Point is, I kind of felt lacking. The feeling went kind of like this: “Why the hell haven't I been doing this before?” and it didn't just refer to the way the people were dropping bag after can-filled bag into the cardboard boxes we hauled from Xavier empty and back there full, but also to the way I was actually doing, for once, something for the club instead of sitting on my ass waiting for an assignment from an editor, then later complaining about where all the other issues were going while bitching about how much the layout in the first one sucked. For once, though I was not writing, I felt like I was actually an active member of a club that had a purpose instead of a drifter on the ship whose name, “Stallion”, had degenerated to a mere punch line. I feel I had a sense of purpose again.
Leaving the activity, I promised myself that I'd have a ludicrously good run next year as a member of stallion, ed board or not. Something had to be done, and I figured, ‘twas about time I got my ass around to doing it.
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