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What makes a Chronicler
January 26th, 2008 posted by DCT under Adamson Chronicle, Uncategorized

Between the twin worlds of detachment and fondness lies ambivalence. For several years now, I savored my existence within that limbo. So many things that belonged to the past just had to take the backseat as a series of new challenges eventually flooded the present. Life just had to go on.The Adamson Chronicle is a perfumed ghost—a sniff of her and you just know she has snatched you back to her fold. It is her essence to be omnipresent despite or maybe due to her blindfold. She is the fellow writer you’ve intellectually crossed spades and hedonistically shared rounds of beer with, and the reader with whom you sign a love-hate contract for a piece of paper. Heck, she is the entire university populace—the paying student-publishers, the sometimes adversarial administrators and to some extent the guilt-stricken faculty members, and all other sorts of characters in between.

Such is Lady Chronicler’s influence that leaving the university grounds does not guarantee getting rid of her entirely. Definitely not from a campus paper editor who literally saw blood spilled on his first few weeks of college life. That blood belonged to then-AUSG president Rolando dela Cruz with whom he struck a comradeship in iron will. Later, truncheons would blow the noses of the editor’s friends who just turned out to be fighting for students’ rights. Along with them, the writer was thrown by circumstances to lead a very radically different life very much apart from his otherwise scholarly or academic undertakings.

Yet that writer-editor succeeded years ago in dumping his memory of Adamson Chronicle like some gadget that has outlived its usefulness. It just happened, like some drug addict who threw all his guts out and finally achieved clarity. I was a success in betrayal. Familial responsibilities caught up with time. I was a kuya after all to six siblings and life wasn’t getting any rosier with a father who continued to defy career suppression of Marcosian proportion and a mother who could not withstand the rigors of rural life to which my family was forced to subsist.

There were other factors that came into play but I’m not going to belabor those points at the risk of sounding like a walking apologia for the unfolding events. Suffice it to say that the scholar in me took the driver’s seat this time and rode to the information superhighway like a madman deprived of fuel for a very long time. Life offered a different route. What KM = Kabataang Makabayan was to hardened activists now meant Knowledge Management, LFS became the theatrical Last Full Show, and a host of other mastered acronyms and jargons ended up as forgotten coffee, bitter to the taste and cold to the touch.

It would be easy to conclude that I became a sellout, especially finding out that I am writing this from New York as a communications consultant. And I hasten to defend that nothing is farther than the truth. I may have changed gear but it is mainly to allow other leaders to run the show this time. Reading now how they put up a good fight when the going got tough, I can only say that it was a decision well-invested.

Allow me to link you back to another time. Other leaders came before my term, who selflessly trained upcoming editors and writers of the paper. Rino Reginio first saw my potential from the results of the editorial exam that led to my first shot at the associate editorial position, right hand to then editor-in-chief Alwyn Vicente. Rino would later call me the “hara-kiri journalist” due to my confrontational write-ups. Alwyn has reserved for me the terms “licentious” and “uncharitable”. They are both heroes and amazing mentors to me, and I’m sure they always held my best interest at heart. The chain goes further back to previous editors like Dennis Solatan and the late Donnie Montalban who guided them in return.

Like today’s editors and writers, The Adamson Chronicle and its editors then lived up to their times’ different challenges and circumstances. Unfortunately, fate rendered for the Adamsonians of my time a more disquieting onslaught of both arrogant and subtle abuses. As the voice of the students, it was no time to wax poetic. Still, we had to strike a balance between literary creations and editorial engagements.

As in all marketplaces of ideas, what proves relevant to the time rules. At that time, the Adamsonians wanted their voices heard—from how they oppose the student magna carta ill-crafted by the then-ironically repressive Office of the Dean of Student Affairs (ODSA), the malignant yearly tuition hike, to abusive faculty instructors and stinking toilets. Ad nauseum. The Adamson Chronicle listened and became the freedom wall inscribed with the students’ sentiments and frustrations.

From what seemed like successful efforts by ODSA (previously named Office of Pastoral Affairs (OPA) to quell the student population into absolute submission, the university suddenly woke up to a startling first issue that laid bare the wounds inflicted by the previous years’ efforts at suppressing student rights, thought to be finalized by the banning and dismissal of several militant students and student-government (AUSG) leaders led by Rolando dela Cruz.

ODSA has never been so wrong. Where it thought it succeeded in crippling the student government, the upcoming events will prove otherwise. The reawakening militancy of the Adamsonians apparently threatened the ODSA leadership and in duplication of its past efforts at sowing fear and confusion, tried but failed to stop the rage and the terror it bred itself in the coming days.

The Adamson Chronicle, the only institution left with enough fight in its spirit at that time, took a stand and added its voice to the growing discontent. Some would argue the paper provoked the students to take to the streets, but all that argument is nonsense. The publication exists to tell the stories of its publishers, the students. After all, we are students ourselves. If The Adamson Chronicle members cannot live up to the students’ sometimes arduous demands, these members have the option to quit. If we cannot rise to our call of duty, our actions or inaction are accountable to the Adamsonians. We will be judged, and if found wanting, must give way to other writers who can take the mantle.

To sin by silence when we should protest disenfranchises our publishers, the students, who spent part of their tuition to give us that fateful chance of a lifetime to be their representative voice. That is the real challenge of the writing role all Chroniclers play, and to squander all that privilege would be a terrible waste. We are called campus journalists for no small measure. The demands are tough, and the stakes are high.

In the end, what being a Chronicler tells us is that we may try to evade responsibility and close our senses to the truths happening before us, but in the end the choices we make once we put on our Press badges will define the person that we become. The Adamsonians are our only judges and masters in determining whether or not we stink for the job at hand. But when we do a great job of it, the Adamson Chronicle to us becomes a perfumed ghost—indelible, perpetual, and resilient.

About the author:

DCT has blogged 1 posts

Read the Comments

[ # 1561 ] Comment from JB [January 30, 2008, 12:23 pm]

dennis, welcome back!

[ # 1562 ] Comment from DCT [January 31, 2008, 3:48 am]

dude, you truly are the man. your skirmisher site is
hilarious! and is such a noble effort.
asan ka ba ngayon? what’s keeping you busy?

medyo off to a different route ang writing career ko
here in NYC, medyo tekkie in nature. not that i’ve
totally forgotten my advocacies. they’re in the blood
kaya they have to squeeze the life out of me para
mawala ang radical strain hehe

NYC is just another project of projects. nagkataon
lang dito ang location ng project, but i doubt na i’ll
stick around. but who knows what’s ahead really,

anyways, check these out. isa sa mga growing hobbies ko (outlet or offshoot ng work travels) :

kung nasa pinas ka, leave your mobile number. uwi ako mid- or end-feb. for two weeks nga lang, dami work eh.

ano bang updates sa current batch ng chroniclers?
anyone guiding them along?

stay in touch!

[ # 1577 ] Comment from JB [February 3, 2008, 2:46 pm]

pare, wala akong masabi. NYC now isn’t as cool as it was in september 2001 — kidding. you should stay there and build an online empire or something. or maybe write a book. i bet you can squeeze a couple of great books out of that talent, di ba.

anyway. i still write. i edit stuff and write and make web sites. right now im making one for filipino entrepreneurs, but it wont be complete till mid year pa. if you’re wondering, earnings from skirmisher’s advertisements are what’s paying for the other websites i make, including adamsonian. no biggie, really. about time somebody made something.

i still haven’t heavily promoted adamsonian, though, but arlene paredes (the current chronicle’s guide) is publishing some sort of an advertorial promoting this site on the chronicle’s first issue. i just dont know if the issue’s out already.

the story about the chronicle in the past few years, it’s a long, muddled story. if you want, you can get a better sense of it by sloshing through previous posts and their quite lengthy commentaries. lots of teeth-gnashing. really crazy stuff. and im still waiting if the new chronicle will be able to vindicate itself with its first issue. wait and see.

cool flickr photos by the way. do you have more photos of your younger sister? okay, lousy joke. he he he. i recognize her from way back, di ko lang maalala kung naging classmate ko siya o ano.

hinahanap ko nga rin yung ibang old chroniclers e. pero siguro they’ll eventually find this when they tire of googling for their own names and actually search “adamson university” or “adamsonian.” i think that’s how some have found their way here. just hang on and i think everyone will be here. eventually.

[ # 1582 ] Comment from erwinilao [February 4, 2008, 8:33 pm]

Hi Dennis. Nice to know that you are here. Wonderful post. As always your writings inspire as well as move people to change.

What a life you lived back then! It’s what people should be reading more about.

Nga pala, kumusta daw.. from a girl named Bernadette Navato. Don’t know really what’s up with that. Anyway, goodluck and welcome too.

[ # 1584 ] Comment from DCT [February 5, 2008, 5:38 am]

haha nice one, jb, about NY 911. in this era of pre-recession america, obama is rocking the white house, but the billary tandem is definitely not giving him one inch hehe…ain’t it grand that an anti-bush republican (mccain), a woman, and an afro-am (muslim?) are leading the presidential race this time! still the yankees suck and i really don’t give a rat’s ass (pardon my french hehe)

i’m uncertain about staying here, i never really had that “greener pasture” dream/delusion. i’m only after the bohemian adventure, except the artists’ haunts here-soho and tribeca, they say-are friggin’ expensive. rather, i see myself in batanes, something i’m saving up for on my return.

but sorry dude, you’re seven years late with my sis elaine hehe of course she’s still as gorgeous as her kuya eherm but with a kid and a spouse in tow ako ang napag-iwanan, palipat-lipat kasi ng bansa.

oist mr. ilao, kumusta na? how’s bernadette? is she still very much around? ms. navato still? if you could ask her to email me at, that would be the greatest. or you can ask for her email and i’ll write her then kung okay lang? kayo rin , ano bang universal personal emails nyo? so we don’t get to hog this space hehe

so, erwin, what’s keeping you busy these days aside from your fiery article and sentiments about the dark forces that supposedly hounded your AUSG run then? hehehe sa isang inuman na lang natin pag-usapan yan (warning: i go for hard or wine, not much about beer but crazy for murphy’s irish stout)

you and jb in manila? might drop by for a short visit this march. small-but-terrible kite (christine ramos) sends her regards from alaska hehe…that is, if you still recall her. i’m also in touch with rod morfe, then AUSG prexy and one of those with good minds and hearts for adamson. all four of us could trade stories-that would be something.

so stay in touch, bros!

[ # 1589 ] Comment from erwin [February 6, 2008, 9:05 am]

send my regards to kite. have morfe drop in here too. kamo besides chroniclers telling their adventures, it would be nice to hear from an AUSG prexy as well.

hope you got my email. consider it. if the “American Dream” cannot motivate you, then maybe love of writing would.

[ # 1592 ] Comment from DCT [February 7, 2008, 3:01 am]

hey, jb (mas sanay pa rin ako sa joebert hehe)

was just passing by when i came across entries from familiar names like randy and greg (kumusta na kayo? email me at i also know that morfe reads passages here and may even be anonymously contributing (and he must!)

greg, randy: so far, i stumbled upon graphics artist dynamo erwin arrroza (now of antfarm), now-atty. joselito mendoza, elnora lucero, rino reginio and madman originale arbee balaba when i was working in makati, and joel bauzon while in singapore. alex andal is here in NY…and from what i learned, we’re all doing great.

we can rock this place, bros. not the juvenile kamao-samaka-siklab-arms variety (we’ve had our share of that already and reminiscing is good, but let’s take this further). i suggest one that really contributes to making all adamsonian’s lives much more meaningful and hopeful. let’s help make joebert’s efforts here pay off big time…email me your ideas, guys!

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