Carmelo A. Caluag IIdate posted: 2006-12-05 16:49:04
GS 1972, HS 1976, AB IS 1980
“Set your life in the horizon of a dream larger than life.”
If there was one lesson Fr. Carmelo “Tito” Caluag II taught the 2002 Ateneo Blue Eagles, it would probably be this one. To align your life to a vision that encompasses both you and the people around you. The greater good. The fight for what was true, right and just. The good fight.
This was the lesson Father taught us to believe in, to work hard and even to die for. It started even before that fateful season, before coach Joel Banal and even coach Joe Lipa three years back, came on board to guide the team. Father Tito taught us that the quest for the championship to end Ateneo’s 14-year title drought was not just about coming out on top against 7 other teams in the UAAP. It was not just about the individual medals and awards each one of us would receive. Nor was it even just about beating our archrival in the finals.
Had we played simply for those reasons, we would not have had the strength or the grace to win. It may have taken several years, but in the end, we finally realized what he was trying to say. Winning that championship was greater than all of that and larger than each of our own lives. Winning the championship was about bringing together a community to cheer for a worthy cause and to pray for a common goal. It was about teaching the young men of the grade school and high school the value of doing what is right, true, and just, of not taking short cuts, and of fighting the good fight.
Fr. Tito, throughout his stint as chaplain of the Blue Eagles, but most especially in 2002, introduced the team to the Man of La Mancha, one Don Quixote… the man who dreamed of impossible dreams. His was the saying, “If you tilt at windmills, they will either crush you, or cast you to the stars.” It was this belief, this passion for the almost impossible mission, that fueled his every action; and which rubbed off on the members of the team.
The championship in 2002 would not have been possible if not for his efforts. It is but fitting that we pay tribute to our Man of La Mancha, our spiritual advisor, mentor, cheerleader, and most importantly, dear friend. Because of him, we continue to pursue our dreams.