Dreams do come true. Once we start believing in ourselves and working hard to achieve it, nothing will be impossible. I am Cadet Commander Beatrix Castillote and this is my story.
I started at the Reserve Officer Training Corps not knowing all the benefits and opportunities that will came along the way. Not everyone knows that and now is time for me to share it to all of you. I’d like to break the stigma and misconceptions regarding what others think of us. Yes, being in the ROTC is tough. You’ll endure a lot of physical trainings and you will be trained the military way thus changing your civilian attitudes but it will be worth it. ROTC is not only about the drills and the exercises that some people think but it is also about the building and the development of one’s character, personality and patriotism and I think that is the most beautiful benefit of it. ROTC also gives me a new family in the person of my batch mates, my seniors and my training staffs. We develop a certain bond in which we are able to help each other grow and learn. Others might say that ROTC is a distraction and will ruin my studies but they are wrong. This program helped me excel in my academic endeavor because it imparted me discipline, self confidence, time management, dedication and leadership that really helped me in my studies. Some may say that ROTC is useless and thus my time would be worthless because I will get nothing from it but my three years in ROTC will prove you wrong.
I was once a dreamer like anybody else is. I want to travel the world, explore the different cultures, experience and learn new things and ideas that I can conceptualize and hopefully share to other people. Then this one in a lifetime opportunity came. I was chosen as one of the contingents of the Philippines to the Cultural Understanding and Language Program held in Guam, USA. There were sixteen cadets chosen all over the country and luckily I was one of them and the only representative from Western Visayas. This training was one of the most memorable I had that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am more than blessed to be part of it that’s why I didn’t let go of the chance that was given to me. During our CULP that was held last April 7-14 2019 we had an interaction with the Guam ROTC Cadets and their cadres. This one week training provided us different learnings that helped us to grow more and change our perspectives in life. We got the chance to learn their culture, visited their tourist destinations, made new friends and most especially learn something from their ROTC Program that we can apply in ours too. What’s the best part of this trip? We got all these experiences for free. The travel, accommodation, food and clothing were paid by the US Government. I will not be able to experience this if I didn’t join the ROTC in the first place.
Once you start loving what you are doing, nothing would be difficult. We should not be afraid to step out of our comfort zone and see what more can we do. Start seeing the bigger picture and don’t limit yourselves to the things that you are getting used into. Start with discipline and end with honor. Experience the best and join ROTC.