Catalyzer: A Success Story*
Then, it was just a dream… a mere conception… an unreachable star. It didn’t have to be but no one was willing to pay the price to bring the dream to fruition. Attempts there were not a few but they remained just that: attempts.
We made plans – grandiose plans guided only by our optimism and adventurous spirits. We were on fire! We were going to make a breakthrough!Then the challenge came. Fresh from the writers’ Seminar-Workshop (thanks to the Western Visayas Ecumenical Council), we were raring to go. Under the spreading mango tree outside the Executive House, we decided this time we would push the dream – we would put out a newsletter.
But reality has a way of pouring cold water on enthusiastic plans. And bit by bit, the fire began to flicker and go out. What with pressures from teachers and classes and field work! Not to mention the fact that we were “green horns”- inexperienced in the trade.
The theories and principles we learned from the Writers’ Workshop had to be tested in the crucible of praxis. But where should we begin? How does one dish out a feature article, a news item, a literary art work? Can creativity be programmed? To top it all, how were we to finance such an ambitious project? And supplies –where were we to find these? A typewriter from the junk yard was a luxurious necessity at that point. And where were we to work: under the spreading mango tree beside the Executive House?
Everything was going against us and it was next to impossible to maintain staff morale on a level that could keep us afloat. Slowly the vision of a newsletter dimmed. Then a twist in the circumstance: encouragement from our student adviser, contribution started coming in, articles were submitted- and he smiles returned to our faces. Sagging spirits went into high gear. Never mind that Christmas vacation meant working instead of celebrating with family and loved ones. Never mind that half of the staff “up and left” at a crucial time in the work process. Never mind that sleep had to be sacrificed for many nights in a row.
Amidst all these…against all odds… Catalyzer was born- to welcome the New Year. It is a joy – a dream come true- a testimony to the handful of students who decided to stick it out through thick and thin. The process was long, tedious, difficult but the lessons learned far outweighed the hardships.
Catalyzer is here – a medium for the students’ voices… a bridge between the academe and the real world where social workers live and move… a challenge to the hearts and minds of its readers. The birth of Catalyzer is a parable of life, too. It is a story of students who had a dream and set out to conquer that dream. It is a story of courageous young people who would not allow dreams to lay dormant, who did not believe that life is made up of wishful thinking, who believed that stars are reachable. Because of this, they realized the capacity to overcome that was in them…waiting to be tapped.
This realization will lead them on for this new found faith in themselves and in one another will tide them over through many more issues of Catalyzer. (DZQP)
*Editorial of the maiden issue of Catalyzer published on January 1988