Circa 2001, I was the Battalion Commander of our batch back in high school. During the start of the school year, some of my officers are having misunderstandings over handling the students in the lower years. This misunderstandings brought conflicts not only among the officers involved but also to the rest of the officers.
Because of this, we decided to have an open forum. Everyone spoke about their feelings, their opinions, complains to anyone in the team. They offered suggestions and rooms for improvements. Most of the female officers are crying already. I waited for everyone to finish before I spoke up. When I uttered my first sentence, tears rushed down from my eyes. I told them about how it feels to be an only child in the family and then I told them how I treat each one of them as my sibling. I also wished that they also treat their fellow officers likewise because being an officer isn’t just fulfilling the duty because before we were brought together as a team before those duties are given to us. And above all, no one should let each other done but instead let each one be there to lend a hand to his or her fellow officer.
My head was bowed down with hands covering my face while I was saying those words. I can’t look into their eyes until I was done because I was crying the whole time. When I looked up, I saw everyone crying even the men.
A similar thing also happened during our retreat in 4th year college. We had our open forum, then after everyone spoke up, I had my turn. Then after I’m done with my speech, everyone was already crying. Lloyd Llesis (may he rest in peace) even cried because he remembered his brother because of what I said.
I never intended to make them cry and I don’t want to see people cry in the first place. I was only speaking about things that I think and feel everyone should recall or realize. Maybe they cry because the words hit them so hard even if they already know about. It’s not easy to say something that can really touch a person’s heart, much more people in gatherings like an open forum.