The Truth About What It’s Like Being A Lasallian Legacy

My dad is Elmer Orbe, Batch ’82, took up Marketing Management at De La Salle University. Thesis Gold Medalist.

I am Rebecca Angeline Orbe, ID 112, took up Marketing Management at De La Salle University. Outstanding Thesis Awardee. And I am a Lasallian Legacy.

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Let me tell you the story of these pictures first. Obviously, these are the graduation pictures of my dad and I. If you pass by the main entrance/walkway of SJ Hall (the one in the middle), my dad is in one of those alumni graduation pictures. You are going to see that the only face in there who isn’t looking directly to the camera is my dad’s. He remembers that the photographer wanted it to look dramatic; ang dami daw arte. HAHA!

The first time we saw Dad’s picture hung upon the walls of DLSU was on May 3rd, 2011, when my older brother Raffy enrolled as a Frosh. Yes, I still know the exact date because you never forget the day you first set foot on the destination the universe has been leading you to. In other words, I will never forget that day when I just knew that all this time, it was apparently already written in my books that I was going to study in De La Salle University. That was also the day when kuya and I decided, “Gusto ko ganyan din itsura ng graduation picture ko.”

Lo and behold, when it was finally my time, I said to the photographer, “Kuya, pwedeng naka-look away?” And kuya said, “Hindi! Sa wacky na lang.” And deep inside, I thought,

“KUYA YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. MY PHOTO HAS TO LOOK LIKE MY DAD’S. I HAVE PLANNED THIS FOR 4 YEARS. THIS A LEGACY BEING MADE.”

So after about two shots, I REALLY REFUSED that I was going to walk away without that look-away shot. So I just sneaked it. When the photographer counted, “1, 2, 3…” I looked straight to the camera, then immediately looked away at the last second. (I think my eyes went too far than it should–as compared to Dad’s–but that’s CLOSE ENOUGH!) =))

*My picture here is not the official one that will show up in the yearbook =))

Now on to the real stuff of being a Lasallian Legacy.

It was in my father’s words: “Di pa kayo pinapanganak, alam ko na kung saan kayo papaaralin sa college.” He only said this last May. And all my life I thought I had the free will to choose whatever university my heart desired (even though it was still La Salle in the end). ❤

When I was in grade school and started thinking about college, I was open to options, specifically Ateneo. It was near our home, and having been a Knoller from nursery to fourth grade made me accustomed to the feeling that Katipunan was my second home. Believe me, the environment of the campus was what won me over; that I could imagine spending my college life in Ateneo.

It was the same thing for my kuya Raffy. I thought it was only a coincidence that he studied in La Salle Greenhills from kinder to high school. As my mom tells the story, he was supposed to study in Ateneo, but Ateneo said he was too young.

Something along the way happened to the both of us and it might have been caused by a thing called “Lasallian upbringing since birth”.

Being a “Legacy” means you are the epitome of the tagline “Born to be a Lasallian”. Legacies might not have felt it and might not have known it, but ever since the day they were born, their future was already waiting for them, as if it was already written in their books. The reason why they never really felt like their future was already set to stone is because it was never forced. It just so happens that as they grow up, they realize that their place is in La Salle. Really, it’s like some form of divine intervention will get in the way to take them to their destiny. In this case, I’d call it Lasallian Intervention.

Being a Legacy means having an INTENSIFIED Animo Spirit. Dad tells us stories of being a proud Lasallian during his time. He says that back then after basketball games (vs. Ateneo especially), students would just trash cars of the rival team. These days he gets all hyped up when old school cheers are heard in UAAP Games (i.e. Marching Song/When La Salle Goes Marching In) =)) There is no wonder why kuya is “The Walking Animo Squad” (who also taught me all the cheers of La Salle, if I may add)

PSBankable Fan of the Game

And I had enough guts and team spirit to make an effort to do this in my casual graduation photo:

But being a Legacy is not all about that pumped up Animo. Because being a Legacy means there are higher expectations and greater pressure. Lasallian Legacies aren’t just offsprings of La Salle alumni. They are students who have a lot of things to prove. For them, they have a great responsibility: to continue carrying La Salle’s name as well as their parent/s carried it.

Telling you that it was difficult to get that Outstanding Thesis award would be an understatement. Dad got a Gold medal for his Thesis. That means as a Legacy, I had footsteps to follow.

I am going to set it to you straight: It was either I bring home the bacon, or I disappoint not only my parents, but also myself for not living up to the expectations of being a Legacy. There was no in-between.

My group mates and I had to go the extra mile to get to where we are right now. Some of my batch mates even saw my parents with us in Henry Sy 7th Floor, as they stood as our mock panel in our mock defenses. This was 11 days before Thesis Defense Day. This dad really wanted his Legacy to get the gold for Thesis just like he did.

It’s not an entirely harsh thing. Legacies know better that they have to live up to these standards and are doing these things for themselves because NOW IT’S THEIR TURN TO CONTINUE THE LEGACY THAT WAS PASSED ON TO THEM. Or else the Lasallian Legacy dies.

How do you know that it dies? Let me be frank with the way I see it:

If you’re a Lasallian Legacy and you are always passive in your studies, do not practice CLAYGO (yes this is important because La Salle invented this), have very low Animo Spirit and do not even know the school’s cheers, do not ferociously defend La Salle’s name, and do not live the Lasallian values ESPECIALLY humility and silence, then those are signs you have let the legacy your father/mother has passed to you to die, and you have let La Salle down. Really, you don’t have to win awards and have the best grades. It’s the littlest things (like the values especially) that make up your Lasallian anatomy; how the legacy is kept alive.

Furthermore, the Legacy’s journey doesn’t end at graduation. I have not even marched yet, and the pressure is greater and heavier than ever. There is no such thing as “grad-waiting” for a Legacy. There is no room for relaxing and being a bum after accomplishing all units.

Imagine my case: By mid-August, I have already been nominated for Best Thesis. We’ve already made history by having our panel say our thesis was a “perfect paper” and we had NO REVISIONS. TOTALLY ZERO. I got a perfect 4.0 GPA for my last ever term in DLSU. That equates to a First Honor Dean’s List. For a Legacy, all of that looks like Gold to me, and I am proud of how far I’ve come. Actually it looks like Gold (in general), right?

Well it wasn’t enough for my parents.

Because to them, I haven’t proven myself yet.

Because to them, the real world is COMPLETELY different from college life and I am a total zero at this point.

Because to them, the world hasn’t seen me yet.

Because to them, they knew I was a lit up firework fuse just waiting to explode and surprise everyone.

And they just couldn’t wait to see that. 🙂

This is because a Lasallian alumnus like my dad REFUSES to let their Legacy make a future that doesn’t surprise people. They want to make sure that wherever life takes the Legacy, it proudly has “I am a product of De La Salle University” written all over, without being too showy. As my dad says, in the real world, Lasallians are very low-key. You never know who is one until they surprise you. So alumni push their Legacies to do even greater things, even after all the great things they’ve done inside La Salle. (Of course they do. I mean hello, “Lasallian Achievers For God And Country” is a constant reminder in our classrooms.)

Legacy confession: the pressure was a bit harsh and I cried myself to sleep at times. Not because I was mad at my parents for the pressure they’re making me feel. There was one night when I had a nightmare that I disappointed my mom. I woke up in the middle of the night and found myself unconsciously crying so hard, I could barely breathe. I’ve had dreams with ghosts, zombies, the end of the world, and even get “bangungot” at times. But that was the worst and most terrifying nightmare I’ve ever had. That was THE nightmare. Because the thing I fear the most in this world is LETTING MY PARENTS DOWN.

Being a Lasallian Legacy is tough.

But it is one of the greatest privileges anyone could ever have.

Being a Legacy means there are more expectations you have to fulfill, but it’s how I knew that there are actually more things I am capable of, that I have yet to develop.

Being a Legacy means there are standards you have to live up to, but it’s how I learned to never settle for mediocrity.

Being a Legacy means there’s always fear of letting people down stalking you from behind, just waiting for your vulnerability to crash, but it’s how I got the guts or “lakas ng loob” to step out of my comfort zone and face the most terrifying things.

Being a Legacy means there’s no time to waste and no time to be tired, but it taught me to be patient and to “Keep The Faith” that things will work out. It’s the reason why my optimism never dies. 😀

Being a Legacy means you are expected to be mature and ready for the real world, and it taught me the value of “diskarte“–you can’t just be book smart.

Being a Legacy means you have to leave your own mark in DLSU, and I learned how winning an award isn’t the only way to get there. Mr. Joel Legaspi, our Thesis Coordinator, once said in our thesis workshop, “Lahat kayo mag-rerevise. It has never happened na may sobrang perfect na paper na hindi dumaan sa revisions.” So now for the future batches, someone can actually say, “Only one group in history made a perfect paper with no revisions.” And that for me is better than getting the award for Best Thesis. 🙂

Being a Legacy means you can’t be too showy and brag about your glory, and it taught me the value of silence and humility. Knowing that whoever reads this has no idea what I’m up to these days is fascinating. It means I get to keep surprising people.

I learned all of these things from a Lasallian.

I may be officially leaving the halls of De La Salle University on October 3rd, 2015, but my legacy stays.

Just like how my dad’s legacy stays, in the entrance of SJ Hall.

And one day, I am going to pass my legacy just like he did. Because as my dad says,

“The Animo never dies.”

Thank you Dad, for passing on the legacy, giving me this kind of privilege, choosing DLSU as the institution for my education, and most of all…

For being a Lasallian.

ANIMO LA SALLE! 💚

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