By Cassandra Dawn Tuazon
“What’s Altitude and why did we hear about it just now?”
A student who, out of curiosity (if not out of mockery), asked me after he showed interest on applying for a position in the school paper.
There were many answers that popped out of my mind when this question was thrown during the announcement of application for students who want to become contributors of this year’s publication.
At first, I wanted to throw a question back to him: Why not, boy? or “Oh boy, that’s because this is your first semester in the college,” or maybe “You’ve never heard about it because you were absent in most of the school activities where we announced the organization’s whereabouts.”
But of course, I couldn’t answer him that way and not that time so I threw a smile at him- the safest answer I could give for a freshie like him.
Pondering on his question, I thought that it was sarcasm of sort for an outsider who did not have a single idea what each writer went through to publish an annual student paper. Yes, he was right. It wasn’t long enough since the official student paper of Asian International School of Aeronautics and Technology started its publication. It was so recent that this year is the 2nd issue of the school paper. But if I have to answer him, I would tell him that the organization does not write for mere urgency of public display. Altitude is more than that.
“Always remember writers that apart from writing for the deadlines, you’re writing with a purpose— to be the collective voice of the students and to leave a living legacy in your alma mater,” our moderator always reminds us that every single meeting.
“I choose you because I know you can write and you can write well,” Ma’am Aimee added as she gave this as a remark to us, the chosen few. With her standard, we knew that it would be difficult but thankfully, she had all the patience and wisdom to keep us through the pains of creating and writing a student paper for the first time in our five-year old school.
From there, we experienced the labor pains of a newly created organization. There were moments where some writers, if not all, had no idea what to write, didn’t feel like writing or simply preoccupied with studies, family issues, and missed deadlines. Yes, it had a rough start but amazingly it turned out to be inspiringly beautiful. It was the passion, perseverance, and good relationship which made Altitude complete- an organization of people with inspiring stories who helped out each other during writing and editing periods, during food trips, and during laughters amidst cracking jokes and committing a hodgepodge of mistakes.
We thank our moderators, Ms. Aimee Rosal and Ms. Mares Codog who never fail to guide and encourage us to believe in our capacities. They made a bond unbreakable under pressure, disbelief, busy schedule, and distance- a bond we call friendship rather than a mere organization, yes, a friendship that we will take with us far beyond publication. From here, we know that we build and continue to create moments where we cultivate unity and hope of soaring high at great altitude.
We are Altitude.