It was 2:58 in the morning and the following names were called: Besares, Cruz, De Ocampo, Sumilang, Tan, and Nolasco. Coach Patrick asked us if anyone wants to go to the restroom, but none of us needed to. We entered the room and it was packed with pastors. On the left side, from furthest to nearest us, was Daddy, Coach Pat, and Coach Ina. On the right side, from furthest to nearest us was BLC, C. Jean, C. Sharoo, C. Ella, C. Dwight, and C. Edgar Coquia. From the very beginning it was cold and my legs were twitching and jerking because of the cold. Coach Patrick introduced all of us from left to right: Leora, Gia, Kenneth, Ezra, Abi, then me. When he introduced me he said “and lastly, Amara… She will be telling us later what she wants to be in the future.” I freaked out cuz he said it in such a way that it will be something amazing. Then BLC responded, “Wow! Im so excited. How old are you again, anak?” He asked me. “17 po.” I replied. “Grabe, baby ka pa noon…”
Dad had to leave the room when the interview started cuz… I was there. Leora’s took the longest. BLC asked her what she wants to become and she said she wanted to become an architect. BLC asked why and her reason was something that did not convince him. He then introduced Yuval Noah Harari and the future. He told us that in the next 20 years teachers, doctors, architects won’t have jobs… And that scared me cuz what will I say when I tell him I want to pursue medicine? So he talked a lot… He then asked Leora her top 3 heroes… Then it was Gia’s turn. Gia was like Jackie version two. She impressed BLC so much and it terrified me cuz I’m not good with… Talking with much sense. To my surprise, Kenneth impressed BLC too and he wants to take IT or engineering so definitely BLC said he has a future. When it was Ezra’s turn I couldn’t help but smile because his answers were very honest. BLC loved him too. Then it was Abi’s turn… BLC asked her what she wanted to take (Fine arts) and who her heroes are. She mentioned Walt Disney, (someone else that I forgot), and her mom. BLC laughed… Then he said, “your father’s work is hard… Being a missionary… You have your father’s sharp mind… You speak and may laman ka… Pero konting confidence pa.” Then I looked at Abi, then BLC, then Abi again, then BLC… then we locked eyes.
“Ito na,” he said, “I’m so excited.”
It shocked me cuz Abi’s took like five minutes or less when everyone took at least ten minutes.
“Is that how you really look?” He asked me. I didn’t know what to say cuz I didnt know how I looked. Haha. Sleepy? Scared? Shakey?
“Is that how you really look?” He asked me again, “or is that just an anglahi look?”
I didn’t know what to say so I shrugged and told him, “I feel very much myself right now…”
He nodded and said, “because the way you look,” he paused.
Everyone was anticipating.
He started again, “because, the way you look… Is the way you look.” Then everyone laughed.
When everyone started calming down again he said, “because more often than not, the way you carry yourself is the way you look.”
I honestly do not know what he saw that morning… And it’s still a mystery to me right now.
He then asked me, “what do you want to take up?”
“I plan to take Medical Technology,” I answered with little confidence knowing he might talk to me the way he talked to Leora.
“So you plan to be a doctor?” He asked.
“Yes…” I said with little confidence again.
“Wow,” he said, “saan ka nag-aaral?”
I felt lost, “Meridian po,” I couldn’t help but giggle.
“Oo nga pala,” he said. Then everyone laughed.
“Diba kasi si Kris, med tech din?” He asked C. Ina. She said yes. Then he asked C. Pat too what Ate Hannah took. Then he also said that C. Jean took up medtech, “at tignan niyo kung nasan siya ngayon. Naging pastor at nagamit niya ang pagmemedtech niya.”
Then everyone laughed again.
“Whats your second choice anak?”
“Environmental science po.”
Then he leaned forward, “wow, may tama ka ba?”
I was like… (What did he just say?) I looked around and all eyes were on me.
“Po?” I asked again.
“Matapang ka ba?” He asked again.
I laughed inside knowing I heard wrong. For a second I thought he was saying I was crazy HAHA. Then I answered, “yet to become…”
Then he nodded. “What are your three books?”
I said The Hobbit then BLC wowed again, then I quickly mentioned The Alchemist, then The Little Prince. They made me repeat because apparently I said them too fast. After repeating…
“Galing… My favorites too,” C. Pat said.
“Totoo ba yan?” BLC asked. “The Alchemist? Wala ka pa nung binabasa namin yan ah. The Alchemist?”
“Paulo Coelho?” C. Ina asked.
“Paulo Coelho ah… Grabe baby ka pa noon… Pero ngayon…. Tsk.” BLC said.
“Are those like your personal collection or is this a ‘Tan thing’?” C. Pat asked.
“Oh these are my personal collection,” I told him.
“Who introduced these books to you?” C. Pat asked again.
“Uhm… The Hobbit… Daddy hehe. The Little Prince… It was my brother’s requirement back in grade 7… So I tried reading it too but I couldn’t understand it—”
“Un na nga eh. Hindi ko rin maintindihan yun eh pero nung binasa ko ulit…” BLC interrupted
“Yeah,” C. Ina said, “maybe that’s what Amara experienced too… And The Alchemist… Pauline?”
“Actually… It’s been on the desk for a long time but I also think my sister read it na rin.”
(But in all honesty it was my best friend, Paolo, who introduced The Alchemist to me.)
“Who sister?” BLC asked.
“Why The Hobbit and not Lord of the Rings?” BLC asked.
“Eheh… I haven’t read the Lord of the Rings pa po.” I honestly replied.
“Ah…” BLC responded.
“But why The Hobbit?” C. Pat asked.
“Well honestly,” I started, “I watched it first before reading the book… And it’s been very personal to me. Recently I was able to watch it again and it spoke to me differently. It was in part one when Gandalf told Bilbo, ‘you’ve been sitting there for far too long…’—”
“Why that line?” C. Pat interrupted.
“Well…” I said slowly, “haha… Well. For the past two years I’ve been living a life of mediocrity and well now…” I started breaking down… “yeah,” I whispered.
“I’m satisfied.” BLC said.
There was a minute or two of silence then BLC started the lecture.
(It ended at 5:23 in the morning.)
June 22, 2017