Michael jobert I. Navallo

This article was originally printed in REKAP, the official publication of Kapuluan Study Center, a supplementary education center for university students situated near U.P. Diliman. It encapsulates the Center’s role of bringing out what is best in each of the students who frequent it through means of formation. The realization of one’s need for formation is crucial to start one’s journey towards personal development. The author is the Editor-in-Chief of REKAP and the Chairman of Universitas.


There’s an oft-repeated tale about a stone taken from a mine site. Dark, rough and imperfect, the stone could pass off for any other stone, except that when you know it came from a mine site, you’d think twice before throwing it away. It could be a precious stone for all we know, but not after going through a thorough process where the ore is subjected to extreme pressure and, for lack of a better term, “torture.” Only then will you find out that the dark, rough, imperfect stone that you almost threw away, is a sparkling diamond, precious than all other stones.


Who would have thought?


If a miner had not noticed it, the stone could have remained there in the dark, in the depths of the mine site. Or it could have been eroded, taken somewhere else, but still that dark, rough, imperfect stone—just one among the others.


But because someone took time to look closer, a diamond was found.

Perhaps we are that stone that needs to be polished, waiting for the right person to take us out of the dark.


Like precious stones, there is always something in us that needs to be chipped off before we finally turn out to become better individuals. Yes, we are imperfect, given that we are human, but we can always strive to become closer to being perfect.


Hence, the need for formation- to train and educate ourselves all for the good of our future. It is an investment really, knowing that what we do today can affect us in the years to come. Any wrong move now could cost us a lot one day. But if we sow some good seeds now, we can hope to harvest better fruits tomorrow.


More important than securing a better future, formation gives us the chance to do something for our society. Imagine putting together all the little changes that we do in each of us. What a better world it would be!

Formation, however, is no easy thing. It requires and demands a lot—from the time we commit ourselves to every single moment we live up to that commitment.


Apart from that, it asks us to give up some good things so better things can come. We can’t expect to be formed and yet stay as we are, with the same undesirable habits and without the sense of serving others.

What’s more, formation is a never-ending process that does not stop after college; it lasts a lifetime. We can never be too old for formation. We can never outgrow formation. It is in this sense that humility matters—the ability to accept the fact that no matter how popular or successful we’ve become, we still have a lot of things to learn.

Kapuluan provides that venue to form young people. Perhaps not so much an apt metaphor but yes, it can be that miner on the lookout for stones with potential. Unlike the miner, however, Kapuluan recognizes that everyone has the potential to become the diamond that he can be.


But since the formation provided by the Center is one that is based on love and respect for freedom, Kapuluan can only help if the person is willing. The Center provides us with the means to make full use of that freedom, by helping us make the right choice.


Unlike stones, we have the capacity to choose. Unless we take our formation seriously, we won’t be able to truly say that we are free. The opportunity is at hand. Let’s not waste it.



Reprinted by permission from Kapuluan Study Center, Quezon City, Philippines , www.kapuluan.net.