Coveted Honor

23rd of October 2014: Butterflies… I had a swarm of butterflies flutter in my stomach when I got a message from a familiar looking stranger. It started out, “CONGRATULATIONS! We are pleased to inform you that you are qualified to be a member of the Honor Society of Mapua. If interested…” My immediate response? Of course, I am interested! I swiftly gathered all the requirements and contacted the secretary of membership as soon as I completed the requirements. The excitement I had was similar to that of a kid who’s preparing for the first day in school! It was then when I started researching about this organization. As described by the institute, “Honor Society of Mapua (HSM) is the premiere student organization of Mapua Institute of Technology. The HSM was established to unite the honor students of Mapua Institute of Technology, with the desire for technological and scientific upliftment, and promote mutual help and cooperation among each other.” These words lured me into deciding that HSM must be the first organization I will be part of in Mapua.

Luckily, I was able to convince my friend, Ken Yamauchi, who was also qualified to join. I attended my first event as an applicant of the Batch 128 qualifiers. I saw unfamiliar faces. Seeing my friend made me sigh in relief. However, he had to leave since he had a prior commitment to attend to. I sat there thinking, “Why am I here?” I was a bit uncomfortable since I didn’t know anyone else. This went away when randomized groupings were made for a game. I was able to interact with other applicants and knew new people from my university. Students from the higher batch also chatted, I liked the small talks we had. I felt better. I told myself, “You’re definitely going to be part of this.”

A fast paced environment – that’s the best description I can give about Mapua Institute of Technology. With all the schoolwork piled up, I wasn’t able to pay much attention to my application as a member of the organization. I had to juggle a lot – academics, sports, and more. So, I brushed it off. I didn’t attend the seminars, quiz shows, sports festivals, parties, and other events that would have been a fun experience for me. But with all that was going on with me, I just couldn’t insert it as part of my university life. Eventually, I forgot about my application.

27th of April 2015: A long time passed by, even though it didn’t seem like that long or at least didn’t feel like. Once again, I made it to the official list of qualified applicants of the organization. I got a similar message from what I’ve read in the past year. I felt less thrilled than I was before. I thought of whether I should join or not since I was also pursuing to be a member of another organization. I didn’t attend the applicant’s orientation since I knew what would happen anyway. On the other hand, I attended the other organization’s event which was held just a wall away from HSM’s event. I submitted the necessary requirements to the secretary of membership and left for the other org.

To be honest, I didn’t know what happened, but something drove me to exert the best effort I can give in my application as a member of the Honor Society of Mapua. I started attending all of the events and helping out in successfully carrying out tasks. I made friends out of the officers since they were the ones who were always present during the events. It was still inevitable that my schedule was hectic, so the times I was able to make “tambay” in the HSM domicile were very few. Though in every stay I had, I made new friends and became closer to the officers. I felt like I was already a member. I belonged. They became my new family. Creating more connections with every Etan, I definitely made sure that I will successfully complete my application to become an official member. I wanted to be surrounded by people with the same ambitions, aspirations, and goals. This was the main reason why I have chosen to this organization.

As my application came to a close end, several events also went with that fact. We had our applicants’ interview. That morning, I was really nervous since I didn’t know what will happen. I went to school early and zoned myself. I didn’t realize we had to memorize or at least be familiarized with stuff. I was definitely shocked! When they asked me questions, I honestly admitted that I didn’t know. I even was not familiar with the positions of every officer. Though, I knew almost all of them since they became my friends along the way of my application process. For my talent, I did an impromptu of Taekwondo moves and it got me through well. I even had no idea that there was a talent portion. I would have figured it as a disaster, but their assurance made me feel better. I sighed in relief when they told me not to worry too much about not knowing every detail. Guess what, when asked the question, “If you were to be an officer of HSM in the future, what position would you want to take?” I confidently answered, “President.”

28th of September 2015: An unforgettable date. Officially, I became a member of the Honor Society of Mapua. As an applicant, I was chosen as the President’s Choice. I’d like to thank Ate Larriz for making me her choice. I had no idea about that, I didn’t even know of the award’s existence. It was the highest award given to the batch of applicants. It overwhelmed me and made me extremely happy to be the one selected. Though whether or not I was the President’s Choice, I will still be glad since I became an Etan. It was the icing on the cake, a real good quality of icing.

I was not that good as a member. I didn’t attend many events, but did attend to the events I could participate in. I was able to take part in the Etan Dash and also the Valentine’s Day event where the 65th year of the organization was celebrated. Definitely, these events were remarkable. In the Etan Dash, I was able to work with some of the other batches who were also Etans. Though the sun was heating us up, we still managed to have a lot fun running around Manila. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it till the end due to a prior commitment. For the Light Years: A Night of Light in 65 Years, I witnessed the celebration of the many years this organization excelled. It was a night to remember. What was also a fun part was when I participated in the Miss and Mister Etan portion which was a total surprise! Again, I had to leave early (which was such a shame, missing out on a lot) since it’s Valentine’s Day and I had a date!

The Talk: Kuya Dave, who was the Secretary on Membership, asked me if I could talk to him personally. I wondered what we were to talk about. I thought it was for the Teknorampa participation that I agreed on, but it was a different talk. He explained the situation of the organization to me and also opened up the topic that a new set of officers are about to be inducted. When he asked me, “If ever, would you like to be an officer?” I didn’t hesitate for a second and said, “Yes, it would be my pleasure.” He was kind of concerned if I would be able to play my role as an officer since he is well aware that I have a lot of things to juggle in Mapua. But, I assured him that I would be able to do so for my love for the Honor Society of Mapua. I was ready to make sacrifices in order to  help out the organization maintain being the best.

1st of April 2016: There I was, standing in front of the other Etans, being inducted as a new officer of the organization. The whole day was exhausting, but leading to this moment transformed the tiresome feeling into an overwhelming feeling of happiness. We had our team building at the Caliraya Lake in Laguna. All of the other incoming officers, except for me, Lei and Limher, facilitated the stations. I was glad and thankful that Kuya Dave didn’t deprive me of the experience of being in one of the teams that performed the activities. I became closer to all the other Etans through this two day event. As I stood there, being inducted as a new officer, my heart warmed inside. I knew, I was meant to be an Etan.

Today: I am proud to say that I am one of the … The Few. The Proud. The Select. (of the) The One. The Only. The Honor Society. I, Alenna Dawn Peradilla Magpantay, an Etan, hails “Viva Eta Sigma Mu!”

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