I never expected to get so much out of being under Dr. Garcia for a semester in Philosophy 101. I thought this would be just another TTH class to sit through, answer tests and pass requirements. Never did I think that in this class I would give as much as I could while preparing for our oral exams. My expectations for the course were exceeded. I was immensely engrossed in the lectures. Although my only regret is that I did not recite as much as I’d like to (being in a class of 92 people was just terribly intimidating), I found the oral exams as an opportunity to try my hand at Philosophizing. After this whole semester, I came up with what Philosophy is to me.
Personally, Philosophy is no longer just the power that knowledge holds over discourse, or a higher level of thinking. I think that it’s all that and it’s also the constant effort to exist and the insatiable desire to be. The constant effort to exist points to the fact that being present physically is not the fullness of existing. Being present is merely half the task, but doing something with your presence to affect those around you is the epitome of existing. As always, this points towards being for others, which leads us to the latter part of the definition – the insatiable desire to be. Personally, I’ve always had that desire to want to be more. Perhaps after having been in this institution for as long as I can remember, the word MAGIS has just been engraved and hardwired into my brain that its automatic for me to desire to be more. Only in Philosophy 101 did I learn that the desire to be more is only truly fulfilled when you desire to be more for others – in the service of others. I remember one of the very first lectures of Doc Garcia. He told us that Philosophers were apostles of the obvious, because there is a need to make the obvious more obvious. I didn’t quite understand it until I realized I am like the Lawyer who never stopped to bother.
The answer to the question what it means to be human has been in front of me my whole life. Literally, the words “Man For Others” have been on every notebook, planner, folder id buy from the Ateneo. It couldn’t have been more obvious. However, I was too naïve then to realize that there is a deeper meaning behind those three words. Only in Philosophy 101 was I pointed towards the direction of what it means to live a life of reflection. This course has opened the door for me towards a new way of looking at things and I couldn’t be any more fulfilled.