Thursday, November 23, 2006

What makes Recognition Day important

I am not yet in the mood to write the continuation to my series. My mind now is occupied with so many things: a major exam tomorrow and articles for the Corps Magazine that I have to follow-up. I am trying to be calm in lieu of the responsibilities that are now on my shoulders.

Anyway, I haven't really written anything about Recognition Day. Last night, I read a feature article about this year's Recognition Rites and I felt that I just have to write my insight about the event.

This year's recognition day was at the front page of national broadsheets. Although a storm was rampaging Baguio City, the ceremony pushed through while the rest of the world watch us as we insist on doing it despite of the heavy rain. There is something in the ceremony that is more than the eye could see.

To anyone who has been a plebe at one time in his life, Recognition Day is the finish line to everything that makes plebehood bad. In normal days, heavy rains on a saturday was somethign that we cadets celebrate and pray that it will go on the whole day or at least until the afternoon. The reason for that is because we want the parade cancelled. In the day of the Recognition however, all of us were praying that the rain would stop, not because we really wanted to go on parade but because we do not want the ceremony of Recognition for the plebes to lose its essence. For my part it wasn't just reminiscent of my own victory over plebehood, but it was also my victory as a squad leader to the plebes that were about to be recognized. I have had ten plebes under me since I became a second class and I am proud to say that all of them made it to Recognition Day. For me, to shake their hands on that glorious day was also my congratulations that my mission to them was accomplished.

Today, those ten plebes smile everytime they see me. If that was last month, they would have suffered my wrath. I would have asked them to double time and ruin their day. I was not the type of squad leader that the plebes would consider as kind. The fact that I have a history of a plebe having marks on her shin is not something that I am proud of but is a simple illustration that I am not exactly kind to plebes. I made them do exercises for infinite number of repetitions, gave them seemingly impossible orders, tested their physical stamina and endurance and gave them a very hard time even at the most little things. They know that they can not smile at me but now when they do smile, I smile back. I smile back because they have earned their right to smile. People may not be able to understand why something as simple as a smile is a good thing. the truth is in that smile lies the sense of achievement that only those who have been plebes can understand.

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