Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I'm missin' my Pandayan 10 UNI-TRES group. sigh.

I am very lucky to have facilitated a group of talented and joyful student leaders in the recent Pandayan 10.

And i'm kinda missin' them a lot.


I took my two-day vacation leave from work not to rest, but to work again, even double time, as a facilitator in this student leaders' conference. Having joined Pandayan 1 to Pandayan 3 as a participant representing different organizations back when i was in college, i am deeply-rooted to the ideals of honing up a horde of student leaders geared towards their ability to motivate, influence, inspire and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they do belong. It was in Pandayan 4, when i was invited, trained and was given the chance to be a facilitator to the group where i once belonged. In Pandayan 5, i was able to attend the facilitator's training and simulation but wasn't able to get to the conference (which happened to be a camping activity at Kampo Arriba in Caleruega, and had an Extra-Challenge/Amazing Race sort of proceedings) because i had started my review for the board exam during the schedule dates.

"Pandayan" is a Filipino word for "foundry." The Letran-Calamba Office of the Student Affairs organizes annually a leadership and team building seminar which aims to train student leaders and equip them with necessary skills just like in a foundry that strengthens a metal. In its 10th year, Letran has also invited participants from different schools in the region.


Wokie. Back to my Uni-tres nostalgia.

The members named the group UNI-TRES: Unity for the Group 3. They are a bunch of buoyant, euphoric and elated individuals with a fire burning in their hearts that has been lit by their will to serve, their passion to lead, and their zeal to make a difference in each of their organizations. We were a small group of 18 members, but every single member was ready and cooperative enough to enable the group to rise to popularity and excellence. hehe.

Though i haven't had the luxury of knowing each of them deeper, (i haven't even memorized their names, just their faces and schools and their special "talents") i am very, very happy to have spent my days with them, and to have shared with them a few of my insights about what i have learned as a student leader.

The first day was indeed physically tiring for us. Jam-packed activities, structured learning experience galore, Arriba race to the maximum energy consumption. This is the getting-to-know stage for all the members of the group, and for me as well. I was surprised to see all of them clicked in an instant. I knew that this group will really leave a mark in each other's hearts as i have seen them sharing stories and smiles during the processing of each of our activity.

One of my favorite activities: Escape from war zone:
Aside from showcasing their unity in being at ease with each other, they have also showed their uncanny ability in cheating in this activity. hehe. (kala nyo nalimutan ko na ha!) I know i shouldn't have allowed them to push through the activity as they continue adjusting the knots in the straw webs to allow all the members to pass through it, but i see them all doin' it in the spirit of fun and enjoyment. Too bad for me i didn't punish them for their acts, because i was indeed amazed at how each of them celebrate the uniqueness of each other, how each of them fully entrusted their co-members as they allow themselves to be lifted in order for them to pass through the holes of the webs without touching it. This is where it all began. This is where their hearts started to beat as one: uno, dos, tres.... aaaaaaaaaa......UNITRES!

Come Arriba Race. Oh this is where I've seen all of them running to their hearts out. Solving the puzzles, the clues, scooting here and there and everywhere the colegio. hehehe. I wasn't fortunate enough to be with them, i tried to run after them after having the first clue, but to no avail, they were nowhere to be found. They must have dashed in full gears, beating each group, performing the tasks and consequences in each stations. I've seen one of my members stumble in her attempt to hurriedly reach a place where the puzzle could be solved by the group. I've seen one of them trip over a stone or something as she hurriedly race to a station to claim a clue. I've seen all them scorched under the burning heat of the sun and bathed in their own perspirations, and yet fueled by their eagerness to lead the race. I never saw any frustration in each of them. They were all driven by their desire to conquer the race to the best that they could, not individually, but as a united group beating as one. This is what unity is all about.

I haven't been with them come second day. Morning had plenary session with a very inspiring speaker, Prof. Connie Paloma-Labitan from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde discussing about Leaders as Learners. I went out in the afternoon to see one of the persons who inspired me to be better.. just like what his brother has been doin' to me, together with Ate Sheila and Lai and Jin. I was even happier that his wife knew me as well. Talk about real good friends and family. Thanks God.

Yeah. I missed my chance to experience what it was to do rappelling. There's always a second chance. I know.

Sunday morning, one of the group members informed me that the group received no award during the last night's ceremony. They haven't won any in the PandayanLympics (Palarong Pinoy) last Saturday afternoon, lost their candidates in the Mr and Mrs Pandayan, and was unsuccessful to defeat all the groups in the cheering competition. Though some of them had expressed tales of sour-graping, i was moved, lifted and inspired when one of them told me, "Mam, ok lang un kahit wala tayo nakuha kahit isang award, ang importante, masaya naman kami."

Yeah right. It is not always perfect. There's no such thing as a perfect system. Let not those failures consume all the energy that you have for serving the members of your organization. There may be times that we may have exerted all our best but failed to be recognized still. Fret not. At the end of the day, what matters most is how we have played our roles, the lessons we have learned and the things that we have to improve in order for us to conquer the titans.

Sunday had been memorable for us. Was kind of bein emotional, last day of the seminar. We had a meaningful time spendin' the mornin' in the Gawad Kalinga site. The group was even lucky enough to be assigned in painting a house. Though most of them had been stripped off with energy due to lack of sleep the night before, all of them had been enthusiastic in finishing the jobs assigned to them. They took turns in painting the walls, and exchanged stories that inspires each soul. There are no dull moments, only "kodak" moments! hehehe. Despite the heat and dusts and dirt, the house was painted. And not surprisingly, their energy was replenished while flashing smiles as i hit the shutter button. I knew then that their smiles reverberates from their hearts, as each of them lay their hands on these houses that would shelter the poor, and give them a whole new life to experience.

To my Uni-Tres group, i will surely miss all of you. Para sa inyong lahat 'to: CHEESEBURGER! CHEESEBURGER!

It was very worthwhile experience for me. It wasn't only the delegates who have learned a lot... but the facilitators as well. The three-day seminar has made me realize some snippets of life that i have failed to recognize most of the times. It brought me new friends that add to those who send me GMs, add to the list in my friendster and multiply network, and YM buddies..heheh..joke lang. Of course, i learned a lot about leadership, about team building and camaraderie, all of those i couldn't have learned and earned had i spent two days of my usual working days in the company. I was indeed thankful to have been invited again by the OSA, for believing that i have something to share and something to give, and for continuously believing that we, as products of Pandayan, have continuously lit the fires that they have tended, the skills that they have honed up, and the inspiration that they have instilled on us.

Blaise Pascal said, “Our achievements of today are but the sum total of our thoughts of yesterday. You are today where the thoughts of yesterday have brought you and you will be tomorrow where the thoughts of today take you.”



bluegrey said...

Hi lois! Thanks for dropping-by my blog(www.subtleoasis.com). I haven't done my post yet... been tooo busy... anyway, I happy to inform you that I've done uploading the video of yor group's cheer. :) you can find it here: http://www.subtleoasis.com/subtleoasis-tv/


Thanks for the visit. Please do frequent my blog. god bless!

fireball said...

you appeared to be the first to blog about pandayan. hehehe. hopefully, we will be invited for pandayan 11. = )



Anonymous said...

Hi Im trying to find a name of someone. the only thing that I have is a single pic and she is also part of pandayan 10 could you help me with this.? you can add me up on ym if thats ok...

LOIS said...

Hi anonymous :) you may want to add me up at ym: kerstinne25 :)