2006 – San Lorenzo Ruiz Academy of Polomolok (High School, Sophomore Year)
In one of those afternoons coming home from school (when I would usually head straight to my room and text people), I heard my mom calling my name in a “get-over-here-immediately” kind of tone. Irritated like any teenager who’s interrupted from her texting spree, I took a pause from the clickety clack of my Nokia 8850’s skinny keypad, and headed to the living room where she was currently watching the afternoon news.
“See that girl being interviewed? She’s a distant cousin of yours,” she said. “She’s leaving for the US soon to be an exchange student. You should do the same in the future, too.”
I listened to the interview for a bit longer and answered, “Sure. I just don’t know how to, though.” I remember doing my best to look cool and not care that much at that time; however, deep inside, I was bursting with so much interest for what seems like a one-in-a-million chance of getting this kind of opportunity. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I was too busy thinking about how I could get my hands on an international scholarship being someone so young and, well, average. So, I tried to brush the idea off my mind.
The next day, I went to school (late, as usual), last night’s thoughts came back and I felt so giddy about it that I knew I had to share this to my seatmate at that time. During one of our classes, I told her that I wanted to be an exchange student and I thought I definitely could be one. She chuckled, telling me it would really be difficult considering there are not a lot of opportunities out there and if one pops up, I’d be getting into a tough competition. Trying to feel unaffected by the remark, I agreed and went back to listening to the ongoing lecture.
For days, I couldn’t drive the thought out of my head, so I prayed hard (despite not really being that religious). I remember the prayer going like this, “Dear God, I know I don’t talk to you often and I apologize for that and all my other sins. But, You know deep in my heart I am so thankful for every blessing, big or small, that You shower upon me and my family. I’ve known You to be the most Generous and Merciful One, which is why I want to ask for Your help in being able to have the chance to land an international scholarship. I am aware that this is too much to ask, but all I’m requesting is an open door and I’ll do the rest of the work. I also promise to be a good child from now on. Amen.” In case you’ve noticed, I follow the ACTS pattern in prayer – something that has been taught to us by our Values Education teacher, Mrs. Perez.
So what happened after that? Well, nothing really. But, just when I eventually forgot about it and moved on with my hormonal adolescent life, then came junior year.