Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back from BUTIL

At last, I'm home. I've been in BUTIL Lasalyano, a one-time exceptional experience. Maybe you won't be able to relate, but I've learned a lot from this one. BUTIL, btw, means Basic University Training In Leadership, and the tail 'Lasalyano' means La Sallian Leadership or leadership in a La Sallian way. A very simple name to depict a desire to draw, call, and train prospective or potential student leaders. They've done very well on that one, regarding what it has done for me, and I believe, other participants too. BUTIL is not actually just a seminar, not just an activity. It is an EXPERIENCE. I wanna share that experience in this apparently new blog of mine after ages.

BUTIL has shaken and changed a lot in me. It has planted real 'seeds' in different areas of my life. It has challenged my whole being -- physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, in short, all of me.

In order to recieve something new and great, we have to be emptied first, so that we are able to recieve new 'seeds'. Replace the old ones with the new ones, in short term, and renew the old ones that are worth having.

BUTIL has challenged my body to become better. I adjusted to the new atmosphere, new set of activities, new and productive routine. In the morning, it has trained me to wake up early, and then exercise. I'm such a lazy person, and exercise is in my dictionary. Only that I don't read it. In BUTIL, I've learned to do what I was supposed to do. Things like exercise are good for the body, but if you don't do it, definitely there's no benefit from it.

Another physical struggle I've went through BUTIL is my eating habits. I virtually skip breakfast everyday. Due to waking up late, I lack enough time to eat right food. I rush myself and go to school with nothing to fill my tummy. I do that everyday. I've adjusted my body to bear the day without breakfast. Whenever there's no school, I exchange breakfast for a chance to use the computer. But this is not the case in Charles Huang Conference Center (CHCC), the venue of BUTIL '07. There was the absence of computers, and also, the absence of studies. Thus, no need to rush. And I've been waking up miraculously earlier than I normally do. During meal times in the morning, even at lunch, I had a hard-time eating, and finishing my plate. I always end up as the last one to finish my meal. I was literally 'struggling', struggling to finish my food, something that I don't usually do. I've been used to not eating, now I'm doing something 'forced'. But, this wasn't such a bad thing. Actually, this is happening (all the struggles), because I'm re-adjusting my body to a better, normal habit.

Thirdly, I had a day of productive activities in CHCC. At home, I used to just sit in front of the computer all day long, and ending the day, also in front of it. In contrast to BUTIL, I had a very fun day full of activities. And mind you, those activities are not just mere activities, I've learned a lot from them. I've learned a lot new things -- from socializing, opening up, sharing, and a whole lot stash of learnings. I've changed from an ordinary day computer person, into a dynamic day learner.

Also, I have learned to DISCIPLINE my sleeping habits. I've learned to weigh things that needs to be done, and so, manage my time more fruitfully and productively. Managing your time leads to more productivity in all aspects -- physically, emotionally, spiritually, and more. Unlike my everyday 'dusky' sleeping time, I've adjusted my body into sleeping when the need arises. I usually sleep beyond my need -- even when my body is angry telling me that I need to sleep. I do unimportant things. But, due to what I've learned from BUTIL, we should learn how to decide, to get things done. Now, I have more will-power to say 'no' to things that I shouldn't really do, and give way to things that I should. I've been more productive, too, in sleeping times. Rather than doing unimportant things, I've done important things, and have sacrificed lesser time of sleep to give way for necessary stuff.

Mentally, I've been trained. Unlike a regular day of mental focus on computer stuff and the net, I've been stretched to tolerate much diversity of thoughts. Before, I was limited to only things in the computer, and regular school days. But, BUTIL has added more. BUTIL is a treasure of thoughts and much learning.

Emotionally, I've felt much secure, and the much-needed rest I longed for in the past season, the stresses from the final term, the personal struggles, from all of them, I've been rescued. I had the NEEDED seclusion and reflection that I needed. Not just that, I had a lot more. What a very nice bonus. The blessings are overflowing.

I'm naturally a loner, aloof, secluded, isolated, whatever you may call it. But, right now, I want nothing more than to be with the guys/gals I've been with. I've achieved a lot with them, and SO appreciate how we got there by all the collaboration from everyone. I've really learned to appreciate the presence of everyone being there, because they make things happen. MAN IS REALLY NO ISLAND. It was like a slap to my face that I remember in my younger days, highschool days, that I used to escape class-meetings where you'll be with everyone to work for something. I used to say theyr'e just waste, they're not important and all, but now, I've really been opened up to new colors, new glimmers, new light, art that shows that I need them more, and that they're there for me. I can do nothing more but to be also there for them in return. This is a start of a new era for me, a new age of participation, an age of involvement.

Honestly, I really didn't think that I'd be able to get along good with the two of three sides of people there. All of us boys were put together in one room. If I were asked, I'd categorize us into three: 1. Angas-people or macho-men, 2. Femme-roomies, 3. Average Joes. Inside my head, we were grouped and there was division. I had a preset mind that we won't be able to jive together. I've also labeled myself to only be able with the 3rd group, the average, not-so-loud guys, and normal joes. I WAS WRONG. We turned out to be one. We enjoyed each other's company, and I can see no trace of hypocrisy in each face I know. We ENJOYED each moment we were there together. I learned to appreciate the 'femme' side of the boy's group, and discovered how much they wanted to socialize too with the other side and be given a chance to be one, and the macho-guys, the tough men in there also loosened up of their staunch image. They LEARNED to appreciate the softer side of the room. Actually, they weren't that offended by the so called 'ENERGY' of the femininity of men. They saw that they brought in life and warmth to the room. They've all adjusted. I, too, as an observer was fully fed with joy from the heart. My heart would blow from all the joy, all the goodness that I saw in every individual.

I didn't discover only the differences of guys in my stay at BUTIL. Actually, I was 'so-lucky' enough to be included in an almost girl-and-a-half group. Of 12 members, 9 were women, and 3 men. Two of us men were actually on the 'softer' side. When the group came together, I sat there struggling to be as far as possible. In my mind, I was underestimating the group I was in. I waS feeling so unlucky and think that we were so weak. Haha! I was again wrong! In the end of BUTIL, we actually landed next the SUPER ENERGETIC group in the event, landing only 10 points behind. I've discovered the uniqueness of each one, each girl, that they have something in store for the group. We did really great, in contrast to what I expected that we won't be able to do much good. Actually, we did really great in several activities and won several 1st places. Not to mention other individuals in the group obtaining namely or specific awards. Not so bad for the girliest group in the event. We were strong! But, what I enjoyed most is that in every activity, I learned more and more, from each one of the group, from the activity itself, and from how I performed in each of them.

I won't forget to mention the God-given men and women who guided us in our stay in BUTIL. Ma'am Arlene and other staff and lecturers were there, and also, my [our] FACIS!!! I really love them all and have learned a lot from them. They're individually different, but each of them have something to put in the table of learning. I love that they devoted themselves, even if they see that there is a possibility that they might not have given us MUCH. They're wrong IF they think that way!!! They've given much and I know that what they have sown will return to them bountifully. I thank them for sharing what they have for me, an average student who detest activities like this before.

There are a still lot more in BUTIL. It's crazy, I feel like I'm still in BUTIL even though I'm right here sitting in front of the computer. God really blessed me with BUTIL. I've been completely turned around. I owe this all to everyone who was there, and especially God. I also have a confession: I BADLY wanted to transfer to another school, and have tried to do so. Today, as I reflect, I realize that I wouldn't experience this all if I have gone to what I wanted. De La Salle - Dasmariñas is a gift of God to me. The Insitution and all there is.

Spiritually speaking, BUTIL isn't left out. In my stay in BUTIL, I've experienced a lot of God's grace. I have just been in the jungle, the wilderness, the desert of life before I got to BUTIL. My first morning in BUTIL and the day before, I've been really down and uninterested (in BUTIL). There are reasons for the 'down'. But, what I didn't expect is that God spoke to me, showed me signs, made Himself present in such an activity that I, honestly, might have underestimated. My whole time of being there was filled of prayers, and the prayers multiplied. I prayed more and more, and brought it more. The spirit I had before in prayer and closeness to God returned with BONUSES. I am now more prayerful today than I ever was. I always thank God because I know that whatever I achieve or do good, it is because of His providence. He's really good, and I see Him in everyone of the participants, the Facis, the Lecturers, everyone around the serene surroundings of CHCC. I saw Him in the face of everyone that I thought I wouldn't be able to talk with and have a connection with.

Everything that I've learned in BUTIL, I have definitely brought home. I remember one lecturer/speaker in our BUTIL sessions that Training is much lighter or easier than the real world. He cautioned us to be careful when we're out there, and keep the things that we've learned. I've definitely done it internally, without any struggle. It's like it was strongly instilled inside me by those who have gracefully given away these things. I've really learned.

There are a still lot more in BUTIL. It's crazy, I feel like I'm still in BUTIL even though I'm right here sitting in front of the computer. God really blessed me with BUTIL. I've been completely turned around. I owe this all to everyone who was there, and especially God. I also have a confession: I BADLY wanted to transfer to another school, and have tried to do so. Today, as I reflect, I realize that I wouldn't experience this all if I have gone to what I wanted. De La Salle - Dasmariñas is a gift of God to me. The Insitution and all there is.

God bless us all! I know that BUTIL today is very much empowered! Soar high! Soar with spirits!!! ENERGY!!! :) Ü

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