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BATANG MINDANAW: Before the dawn

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/07 March) — Dawn was a mystical time of day for, as the sun rose above the perfect line of the horizon, light breathed life into the world. The lost traces of day finally came back together, united, but even in the event of such a reunion the sky was inadvertently different than the day before because fragments of things can never form the things they once were.

Hues lit up the sky in a pastel haze as clouds ran through the sky in beautiful streams of dissipating smoke. Even for just a moment, the stillness in the air made everything seem like a painting. Yet, the dynamics of the sunrise were strange and unpredictable because the moment you thought you had a grasp of the pattern, it would change in the blink of an eye. Nature was as deceptive as it was beautiful and as familiar as it was mysterious.

That time of dawn—that momentary eternity of being enveloped in the spirits of a new beginning always gave way to the complete unveiling of light too soon and as the sun rose over the horizon completely, the mystic hues and broken promises disappeared altogether.

Sometimes, I wonder why the most beautiful things were always the most broken and why pain created such fascination.

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Perhaps it was empathy or perhaps it was just the thrill of encountering something profound and meaningful because I found as time raced on, people became more and more afraid of feelings. I was afraid of feelings because to me feelings always made me weak and weakness brought nothing good.

I convinced myself that my dawn and sunrise had passed and my sunset was just around the corner. I was contented with my position as Chairman on Documentation of our school’s Supreme Student Government. I knew that I had one more chance to run again; I might win this time. But the truth is, even if I was just an appointee, I was happy with what I’m doing. I was there in every program where the SSG was involved, documenting each scene, clicking the shutter continuously.

I admit that it gets exhausting over time especially when the program is for the whole day. I really didn’t mind it though. I enjoyed myself and I get to hone my photography skills too. I didn’t want to run anymore not because I was afraid I might lose again, but because I was already contented with my position even though it’s just as a member of a Committee.

Before, I was afraid of feeling like I’m a failure, like I wasn’t good enough because I lost. That was the past. Now I’m not afraid anymore. I have found my place. I don’t think of myself as weak now. I was actually proud of myself for my simple contributions to the school by being an SSG officer. It gave me a sense of fulfillment. Sure, I was just a part of the Committee but I realized what I’m worth.

But then our 4th year kuyas and ates in the SSG started to ask us what position we would run for in the 2014 election. Most of us said we wouldn’t run anymore or we’re not sure yet. I had long made my decision to not run anymore, but they kept urging us to run. They even held a meeting just to convince us. I started to question my choice then. Like the clouds in the sky, I thought I had figured it out but then you look away for a second and when you look up again it’s already different, distorted by the wind. I had to make a rushed contemplation since we were asked to write on a 1/8 piece of paper the position we had decided to run for. I wrote “4th year representative/secretary.”

I ran as Secretary.

What the hell was I thinking, right?

I don’t know, but a little voice inside my head told me that if I run again, then I should go for Secretary. I had evaluated myself and of all the major positions, the only job that I thought fitted me was being a Secretary. Writing, editing videos, making the lay-out for the tarpaulin and certificates, yadda yadda yadda. I knew this was perfect for me. So even if I was still a bit doubtful, I ran anyway.

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And even if I lost (again), I regret nothing. I thought it was all worth it.

I knew the moment I decided to run as Secretary that I would not win. My opponent is really popular and pretty (Of course my face isn’t that bad, too. HAHAHAHAHA. But she’s REALLY popular, okay?); I knew her chances of winning were higher than mine— we didn’t have to take up Probability during the first grading in Math for me to figure that out. Of course part of me wanted to win even though I knew I would lose. I wasn’t being pessimistic. I just knew and accepted that it was the reality. I’m not bitter about it or about her though. I still ran because I knew I’d gain more than what I’d lose; I gained more confidence, new friends, more people who trusted me and see what I’m worth.

My sunset was just around the corner, but now I realize that I’ve yet to see thousands of sunsets for it to be really over. Feelings weren’t weaknesses; they were what kept you from being human. I was afraid of feelings because I thought it would make me vulnerable. And sometimes it really did. But now I realize that without feelings, I’m never really complete.

I am proud of myself for feeling confident, even though I know I wouldn’t win. I may have lost the votes but I didn’t see myself as a loser. My loss in the election was another sunset, but it was a sunset that I’m happy about because I learned, I gained, and in a way that I can’t explain, I won.

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Now I’m looking forward to the dawn and the sunrise that follows. A different day, a different start. But until it comes, I’m just going to enjoy myself before the dawn. (Batang Mindanaw is the youth section of MindaNews. Alexandria M. Mordeno, 14, is a third year science curriculum student at Bukidnon National High School in Malaybalay City. She fantasizes being Katniss Everdeen of “The Hunger Games” trilogy.)

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