(L-R) Mr Macanas, Juzel Ann Macanas, and Mrs Macanas on graduation day
Life is like a game… a Game of Chances. There are different challenges, levels of achievement, rewards, successes, failures, and even “draws” where you don’t win, don’t lose, but just break even, or move laterally.
The most scary part of this Game of Chances, I think, is the inevitable end when you see the “pop up” that says, “Game Over!” And you are left asking, “How did I do?”
Mr Macanas pinning high honors award on Juzel Ann’s lapel
I am finally finished and successfully done with the “Achievement Level 2” in my life, called high school or secondary education. “Level 1” for me, of course, was Elementary school.
In negotiating Level 2, I endured all the emotions – happiness, sadness, hurt feelings, disappointments, craziness, embarrassing moments, foolish pride, being sickly, stressful moments – even while recovering from sickness, and eventually feeling better. And many more.
Many challenges came and went. Some disguised like homework, pop quizzes, research activities, journalistic reporting and the like. Some involved my own personal problems, notions of inadequacy, and lack of sleep. Sometimes in level 2, the Game of Chances told me I failed, or I lacked something, or I needed more improvement. But even then I still played, and never gave up giving the game my best shot.
Classmates pose for a group photo
My allies and friends helped me get by – fortunately – and of course I speak of my parents, teachers, friends, SAS Ai, and God. SAS Ai rewarded me with awards, recognized my efforts, encouraged and inspired me to continue on. SAS Ai gave me strength, motivation, eagerness to improve, and the heart to courageously face and surmount obstacles.
Being a member of the first batch of graduating 12th grade Senior High School (new K-12 program) in our country makes me feel special. It makes me feel proud. Not getting the graduating class “GOLD” medal however, saddens me a bit because I feel I disappointed all of you. But I am happy to say that I received many “BEST” awards in different areas:
- Outstanding Student List – first and second semester (the entire school year)
- Parangal Awardee – Best Cartoonist and News Writer of our school paper “Aweng”
- Best in Mathematics
- Best in Accounting
- Best in Applied Economics
- Best in Organization and Management
- Best in Business Finance
- Best in Filipino
My parents and I went up the stage many times to receive the BEST awards
I feel that the BEST awards were declared spontaneously, unplanned, and not part of the main program. As the unexpected winners were announced, tension covered the floor. Each and every time my name was called out for a BEST award, my parents and I walked up the stage, received the award, and went back to our seats. We did this many times and each and every time my name was called, the audience, teachers, staff, and students erupted in uproarious applause. It was surreal. They clapped, screamed, screeched, yelled, beat their seats with blunt instruments to make noise.
For each of those fleeting moments, I owned the stage. I felt like I was the only star twinkling brightly in a starless sky. I will never forget the experience. And in the backdrop, all my hard work, the sweat, the tears, and sacrifices faded and vanished into thin air, like wisps of smoke, in light of the immensity of the awards.
My parents, not to be outdone, dubbed me “Class Valedictorian”. I had to laugh a little. I knew they were way too biased. But I love them both for their loving gesture and kindness.
Juzel Ann Macanas
Now, I face the next level of the Game of Chances. I expect this step up level to be more difficult, and riskier to negotiate. Where will I continue my studies? Are there college scholarships out there for which I can qualify and apply? Questions. This much I know. Saint Louis College looms largely in my sights as my next school. I want to pursue a BS degree in Accountancy.
I am faithfully hoping God will guide and help me through my search, and guide me through my next challenge level. He always has. I know he always will.
Thank you so much SAS Ai for investing in me and my high school education. Thank you to all our benefactors, donors, and supporters. I hope I will be able to pay it forward, just as you have exemplified with your financial aid program.
Juzel Ann B. Macanas
SAS Ai Batch 2018