The last time I entered a contest or a competition was way back in college. During my quiz bee stints inside the campus and inter-university competitions.
My last memory of losing was when I participated in a "Brain Twister" in Holy Trinity College in Quezon City wherein I just ranked 8 out of 33 participants. It's a brain drain though. Competing against the toughest kids from the likes of UP-D, UST, PUP, PLM, Ateneo and etc. brought me in awe. I just can't believe I'm among them. It was like "do I belong here" kind of feeling. LoL. Doubting as I was, I just concentrated and did my thing. In the end, I lost. Though, I would say it's a graceful loss. A real fighter never quits and despite on a losing end, still finishes the battle.
I guess I've had 5 quiz bees wherein I've participated way back in college. It's enjoyable yet brought high amount of pressure as you are prodded to review and review...again and again.
It had been my attitude ever since I joined in a contest to be hopeful yet expecting less. As I'm constantly reminded of the floods of disappointment if I set the bar one step higher.
|Another solid motivation to write & inspire more|
And this year, I feel like I'm a newbie once again in a competition. Well, for one, I didn't explore this kind of a battle--writing competition? Are you sure? that's what I pressed on myself. I'm not even a communication arts graduate neither had a degree in mass communication or journalism. Though that was my first choice before I ended my high school saga. But, triggered by my strong belief that "To be excellent is not confined only to those who had their expertise in their chosen field, but it also favors the heart of a determined Juan". And so I went in to join this year's Middle East Conference "Reflection Writing Contest".
My love for writing pushed me to participate, plus the support of those SFCs who believed in me boosted at par my confidence. The twist was this, "when I saw the email coming from our yahoo groups I got excited and murmured to myself saying "I'll join this one". Few days after, bro. Aris Espanola also told me to try joining and encourage other SFCs to participate as well. And so I did what was asked of me.
|The gift for a hopeful expecting less|
But, due to my usual pre-occupied schedule and with lots of things constantly running in my mind, I forgot to make my entry early as it could be. Later when I realized that it was the last day already when I saw I guess an email or a FB notifications from the head secretariat warning about that day's deadline. And so I crammed a bit. I was like, will I still make it? will I still compose a credible entry? Lots of questions were flowing in my neuron that put me a little uncomfy and unease.
I read once again the criteria. While reading I came across this statement: "Pray before you write so that you'll be guided by the Holy Spirit". And so I did just that.
|The fruit of my labor|
It was early in the afternoon on that deadline day when I finished a 200-words maximum requirements for my entry. Did few revisions and gotcha! I'm done. So, I immediately emailed it for submission in Riyadh for shortlisting. The idea of shortlisting gave me again the unusual "butterflies in my stomach". Questioning again my credibility and capacity. The dilemma was that, it took another week for the announcement of the final 3 entries for KSA. So the eager me patiently waited.
Then came the announcement after a week of waiting, I was on break when I received the SMS message from Sis. Jodie and she indirectly broke the good news to me by just saying "check you email". Seeing the words had put me in ecstatic mood. I knew that it was good news. And luckily, I made it as one of the top three contenders from KSA.
Moving ahead, now came the MEC proper. I just asked some SFC and CFC friends to hear over my entry during the announcement. Though I'm hopeful but I've already accepted the idea that "it's not all about winning but the sheer dedication of participating is what mattered to me". And led me to think that in case I win, it just a secondary thing for me. It's like a bonus. A topping in a cake.
Finally, our former CFC Parents Coordinator here in the East broke the news to me and my good friend Joevan Gertes of Riyadh. Though my entry didnt' bag the top prize, the thought of being given a special award was more than winning the whole thing. It's a gift for my fiancee who celebrated her birthday on the 29th. Intangible at it was, she was delighted of it.
This is the testament of my faith put in writing. A concrete memorabilia that propels my spirit to inspire others, to be of person to others. The willful spirit in me who is a hopeful expecting less.