“What does Ateneo mean to you?”

This was the theme for my last photography assignment. The moment I heard this question, tears welled up in my eyes. Months ago, I was so sure of what Ateneo meant to me, but last week, a sad realization came to me:

I’m not so sure anymore.

And it’s my fault, really. For the past four years, I put my hope in people who, of course, disappointed me in one way or another. That’s not their fault. The blame is mine because I thought my value can be found with the relationships I have with others. If people stay, that means I’m valuable right?

But what if they leave (and they will, sooner or later)? Do I mean nothing, then?

Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever. (Psalms 146:3-6)

I submitted this photo because at the moment this is what Ateneo means to me. I have fought hard to keep what few relationships I have with people, but I rest my case. I will stop fighting now.

Ateneo gave me a headstart to what my world after graduation would be like. I will venture into the world alone and on my own. That’s okay. There’s nothing bad about being alone, anyway. The bigger world out there will be scary, but I know I will get by.

I will not put my hope in man anymore. God is the strength of my heart and portion forever (Psalm 73:26).

My achilles’ heel is rejection. Which makes sense, especially if my love language is quality time. But, screw all these fears and letdowns; I am my own woman. You know what they say: “I will survive!”

“Mahirap talagang ipilit ang sarili mo sa mga taong hindi para sayo” (Kris Aquino hahahah)

Thank you, Ateneo. You taught me one of life’s greatest lessons: Fear and trust in God can never go together. It’s either I trust Him completely, or I live in fear.

I choose to trust.

And for me you're prettier than UP Diliman, hands down

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