My final word

feu_advocateThe topic of this entry might have been completely different if not for the lengthy conversation I had with Edge. Since I got a copy of their issue yesterday, I was preparing to write an elegy of our batch. Of the things that we could have done differently or of the things that we could have otherwised achieved. Well it all started out with him needing to breath some air. As it turns out I also needed some panacea to sooth my ailing memories of our term in the Advocate.

When our term wrapped up, I pretty much saw the things we did as secondary achievements. For one our releases were a far cry from what we had envisioned as a monthly regular publication. We left with a problem that shall be recognized as our greatest decision pitfall. And last, (but certainly not the end of it) the people we have initially recruited tapered down to a handful. I remember Kuya Richmond asking me after the release of Tambayan, 'How proud are you with what you have achieved so far?' I answered, 'okay lang, but not so much'. He commented that what I felt was good since I was not being too proud. (Yes I remember the comment). That feeling stuck with me until we transferred the positions, and everything that goes with it to the next batch.

While I am playing no blame game, I believe that that remark has hit me more than I expected or believed. I think every batch or term that leaves the Advocate has some fair share of regret. But that feeling could either be overshadowed by its achievements, or be potentiated by its lack of quantifiable accomplishment. For me, it is probably the latter.

Our batch, I believe has been very lucky in terms of people. For one, we had Jane, who although was thrown in the fire of being the News Editor, stood up to the position and made the best of what her trainings offered her. We had Kenneth Javier, who had such a gifted eye for art and creativity, and who never backed down on late night layout sessions for the paper. We had Armani Garcia, who could whip up insaney comical and satyrical ideas in one sitting. We had Edgar Guevara, an obessesive compulsive who could construct 3 full length articles in a week. We had Irene Babon, an excellent News writer whose talent afforded us direction for the news section. We had Sheilla Gianan, who could practically cover three different events in a day. And we had Pia Dullavin, who constantly bugged her photographers for better photos and shots. We were blessed with great people. However, our progress was basically tied down with messes we had to deal with and clean up before we had the chance to peg any move forward.

I always describe our batch as having been bombarded with all sorts of problems, from being elected late, to former issues with the Admin, to the exodus of senior writers, to late fund transfer, to faulty financial systems and dealings, and even to conspiracies concocted by the SCs. As I write about it now, I realize how much our batch had to go through to come out in the end without squirming like a worm drenched in alcohol. Sure we only had five issues, and one has to be released online because of a problem which our batch knows so well of. But contemplating about it now, I really wouldn't regard our batch as a failure. We literally had to fix the gears of the Advocate, cut it off from its rusty and rotting reins, and cart it towards a better direction. Sure Kym and I hadn't been so popular with the decisions we made. We used to joke about it before, when bad rep about us came like successive bullets fired off from a machine gun. "Ano ba yan, napaka unpopular na natin!" But really, if I had to face the Advocate in such a grim state again, I would have probably done the same things I did.

All in all, I wouldn't claim to be the EIC of the best term in the Advocate. Another person deserves that title. But given what the circumstances offered us during that time, I think we did what we had to do. In the end, I believe we mounted a better, and more discerning organization.