by Anthony Capirayan, SSP
I was born to be a hard-nosed athlete. For most of my high school life, the volleyball court was my world and the place I was most respected. In my senior year, I became the team captain and was reputed to be a beastly ace spiker. Volleyball was the only thing I was really good at. And so I vowed to myself that if I won’t make it to the major leagues, I would a PE teacher and a coach rallying students to play their best.
So how did I end up here in the seminary and working in this magazine?
The closest thing I got to publishing was when I was a member of Rueda ni Sta. Catalina, our parish newsletter in Leon, Iloilo. Fr. John Tadifa, our assistant parish priest then, invited some of us altar servers to join the org. As high school students without any background whatsoever in print media, we only had two simple roles to fulfill: one, as distribution officers, and two, as “Tapal Boys.” Whenever copies of the newsletter arrived from the printer and the editorial staff found out some crucial blunders, bloopers, or boo-boos, we would print the right word or phrases, cut them to their exact size, and patch them over the mistakes. We had fun doing our job even as we would stay awake until the wee hours of the morning. Thus, we baptized our motley crew as “Tapal Boys.”
Several years later, I have become a professed member of the Society of St. Paul, and strangely enough, still doing the work of a “Tapal Boy.” For more than a year now, I have been filling up the blank pages of this magazine with stories, photographs, and graphic designs. Though sometimes I would stay up late in the office, I am so thrilled about my job the way I took delight pasting those cutout pieces on typographical errors.
In hindsight, it was during my stint as a “Tapal Boy” in our parish newsletter that God sowed the seed of Pauline vocation in me. Though I already had some carefully thought-out plans for my life then, I had no idea that God was preparing me for my true calling. And though I have not become the coach and PE teacher that I dreamt to be, I should say that through Youngster magazine I have become a guide and mentor rallying students to play their best in their journey of faith.
I know I still have a long, bumpy, and slippery road ahead of me. And while the future remains a little unclear, I can only trust in God that he would be with me every step of the way, forming me to be the best “Tapal Boy” I could be.