The Path Less Traversed

It is indeed hard to decide on the career path that you want. Hesitation and doubts will just be around the corner. It may be because of not being able to pay the 6-digit tuition fee, being undecided on what your passion really is, being affected by your parent’s decision in sending you to the school that they want or leaving home and the people you grew up with. Many people’s childhood dream is to become a doctor, nurse, stewardess, teacher, actor, and engineer. However, the first step into becoming a bachelor is choosing what course to take and where will you take it. In reality, many preferred to be in a university and only a few have chosen to be in an academy.

Most high school graduates want to go to famous universities like UP, Ateneo, DLSU or UST for the reason that their students are assured to get a job after graduation. These people have experienced a more liberated kind of life compared to those who belong to the academy. Students from universities may possess Einstein’s intelligence or Plato’s wisdom but many of them lack to discipline themselves, manage their time and easily gives up when faced with a big problem. Since they have a lot of freedom within them they misunderstood its essence, it has its own limitations too. Freedom means more than just “ I am free to do whatever I want.” Taken literally, that approach would create anarchy. One’s freedom must not infringe on another person’s freedom. Defining freedom less humanely tends to make people lack respect, become irresponsible and make them complain a lot.

On the other hand, as I stepped on the sacred grounds of the academy, I could straightforwardly tell the difference. In a place where an authoritative insistence reigns, you will have no voice, you will have no choice. Whether you are good-looking or not, wealthy or underprivileged or smart or mediocre, no one would really care. Everybody will be treated equally. You all wear the same uniform, you live in the same quarters and undergo the same training. Your character and sense of honor are harnessed. When one of your comrades fails, all will suffer. This is where you will realize what camaraderie really is. You will also learn to care for one another and do what is right even if nobody is looking.
Everyone knows the difference between an academy and a university. Yet only a few have chosen to sacrifice their happiness in exchange for a better life. Multitudes of students have chosen to study in a university for a more relaxed and uncomplicated status. Being subjected to the pressure inside developed us to be better individuals. Boys became men and girls became ladies.

It is not a matter of how but a matter of when we can overcome our trials in life. Opportunities come in all sorts and sizes and it happens that I took the path less traveled. Not all may understand my situation right now, some might call me insane but I do believe that in every tunnel there is light in the end. It may not be now, but as it’s been said: no pain, no gain.

Snappiest Salute

By: Angelika C. Secretaria

Reception rites of Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP)

If you have plans in entering an academy, or even you’re already inside the academy, you might have heard of the “tactical officers ” and you might have wondered who they are and what they are.

This blog is about knowing deeper these tactical officers that you just judge according to how you see them, how they look like or how they have been described.

So, here’s my short story dedicated to them while I was still inside the academy.

Every hard shell has a soft core.

From the day I laid my eyes on my tactical officers, my first impression of them was that they were tough and vigorous. They were actually frightening and quite intimidating the way they act, stand and talk. Back then, during my underclass years, I could build bottles of thoughts inside my head. But what fleck me the most was they were the devils of this academy, as they utter a loud call or cry, typically as an expression of strong emotion to us like they are going to eat us alive. They have ordered us to jog as we raised our knees waist-high, perform squat-thrusts in an unpleasantly hot day; even sweating was not good. It trickled down on our faces and down to our knees like a bowl of warm soup. The blistering heat of the ground was enough to fry our delicate hands and melt the sole of our white chucks. It was high noon and the sun beat down with unrestrained brutality until many are about to die but still, the tactical officers chortled as they see us in melancholy.

Days have passed,

the fair skins turned into honeyed brown, the bald head produced eye catching patches, and the once delicate hands were in burns and scalds tortured due to the intense heat of sun. What didn’t change were the tactical officer’s unwavering spirits of regimentation. They were the reasons for homesickness, grief, and sorrow as we lay on our beds every night embracing our pillows like it was our mother comforting us and giving us strength. We were never given a chance to ask why we were treated like that. Everything was seemed to be unfair.
After a long tiring day, as I could feel my muscles in stress, the tactical officers indoctrinated us regarding the academy. They have talked to us like they were devils disguised in the form of angels. They’ve reached out to us and asked us the problems as we were enlightened by the thoughts that they really cared for us. We were so busy thinking of the struggles of the regimentation that we forgot that they have taught us to be strong and better individuals. From that point, I was able to understand that they only want us to gradually but firmly establish our attitude especially the most desirable ones inside our minds by teaching us in the way they were taught how to. They wanted us to appreciate all the little things and apply it holistically to develop a remarkable character.

I realized that the things that have been taught to us by the tactical officers in this semi- regimented training was not only for the development of our physical capacity but it was more than that, as I dug deeper it was more on building our integrity as a class by making every individual more of a person. Every action ordered has a corresponding character that has been built within us. Until I came up to the point where I could see them from devils into heroes, as they nurtured us to become better individuals by helping us build self-discipline, initiative, time management and instill to us that we need to be able to react quickly with good judgment, have stability under pressure, exemplary appearance and bearing, and develop our leadership traits.

The tactical officers are strong and manly as we see them, whom whole heartedly want to imply the rules and regulations inside the academy with strict authority – who is in control of us which makes midshipmen suffer.

At the brighter side,

they are just there to teach us how to develop the characters within us. For me, the tactical officers are our second father inside the academy. We may have met them not the way we have expected it, but if only we could see how thoughtful and sincere they really are to us, then we could generalize that they are more of a father to their sons and daughters. Without a second thought, they are the key for the success of the midshipmen fleet. We all know that in their hearts, they all want us to become successful in this game of life. For this, in behalf of the midshipmen fleet, I give them my snappiest salute.