Circle of Love

We are all joined in a circle of stories. —Linda Joy Myers

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Anthony (in black shirt) with the rest of the boys surrounding MindGym Ma/om, coach Alice

It’s been a year since I started my LET journey with MindGym Philippines. While I was writing this, I suddenly remembered it has been one year ago since we formed our first circle of love at MindGym. Ashamed to tell, this is also just the first time I wrote about my LET journey.

It was in November 2012 when I found MindGym’s website by the help of my resourceful friend named ‘google’. The first time I read its profile, I was indeed amazed by the enlightening and ennobling stories of topnotchers and passers whom I secretly dreamed to rub my shoulder with.

When I dialed its number to ask for schedule, the soft voice of a lady answered my call. The first time I heard her voice over the phone, I had the strong feeling of assurance I would pass. I never had any second thoughts; I told her I would like to register for LET review.

January 3, 2013

It was the first time I had experienced that I was like falling in line for a block buster game show. I found myself at PRC together with the thousand hopeful examinees for March 2013 LET. I arrived at 7:00 am but left PRC at 9:00 pm.

Yes, I skipped lunch, merienda and dinner just to register for this day. When I left the building and took the bus ride going back to my hometown, I promised to myself that this is the last time I would register. I never wanted to experience the strewed scenarios during my registration.

January 5, 2013

The first day I stepped my feet at MindGym’s floor where I met the owner of the golden voice together with the other coaches whose faces are bannered on website and book cover. Though it was just the first day, this was filled with full of activities and unforgettable lessons I kept in my heart.

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Actually, my aim is just to pass the LET by achieving the passing rate of 75%. However, I felt like bouncing off the walls due to unparalleled and inimitable motivation from the coaches. I had come to realization that it is possible to achieve high rates or even topping the LET.

We ended up the day by forming a circle of love. This activity pinched my heart. It paved the way for me to know that I am not alone, someone is also dreaming like me – dedicating this battle for his loved ones and friends.  I cried. I saw myself on my co-LETers’ end while we were singing, dancing and holding each others’ hands. Just like me, they were also dreaming. MindGym never forgot to do this even if it’s already late at night. They know how important it was for us this time.

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Brighter and colorful days came to me at MindGym. I agree, this is the best LET review center in the whole world! I LEARNED A LOT.

God has granted my wish to be shifted at morning. Thus, I had a lot of time to prepare and review.

When February came, I never wasted remaining days. I tried answering more drills and reading notes even when riding a public vehicle and taking calls. This time, I did multi tasks: work and study. I balanced limited time for myself, friends, work and study. I realized how shorter my 24 hours in a day and it drove me to write off my hours of sleeping.

My childhood days flashed back in my mind. When I was a child, sleeping had been my punishment from my mother… but now that I realized how shorter my time as a LETer, I value sleeping as my reward.  Moreover, I had to decline invitations for parties and gathering. I did not even attend church every Sunday. I had to focus by this time for few days to count and the real battle would begin…

During the LET majorship review, I had the chance to know deeper the people who have been always at my side since the review began. I became closer with them, participated in extra reviews and ate together.

I also celebrated my 24th birthday at MindGym together with them. It was a blast!

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March 3, 2013

I will never forget the last day of our coaching. This was the last time we did my favorite activity – forming a circle of love.

This was the biggest circle we created. Once again, I cried when I saw some tying a string around my arms. (We were asked to give this string to those who inspired us during the entire sessions). I was also shocked when someone recognized me as his best friend and dedicated a song.

Few days passed…

March 9, 2013

The day before or I call it as the ‘bisperas’ of my LET day. I prepared everything: calculator, pencil, eraser, pen, foods, candies, chocolates, white t-shirt, NOA and MindGym badge (I was wearing this during the entire exam day). I started receiving text messages from those I never expected. It fueled my strong inclination to succeed.

I went on my bed at 8:00 pm because I had to wake up at 3:00 am. The testing school was at Saint Paul and it takes one and a half hour travel from Laguna. However, I was still awake until 12:00 am. Strong emotions dwelt on me. I prayed to God. I told Him that I cannot win any battle without Him who has been my real defender, teacher and coach ever since I was a child. I asked for His embrace. I surrendered everything to God that night. My tears suddenly fell and I did not notice I fell asleep as well. But I will never forget the dream I had. A voice of someone whispered on me:

This is my fight, not yours. You did your part, I will do mine tomorrow.

March 10, 2013

LET the battle begin! I arrived as early as 5:15 am at the venue. I prayed again.

I claimed the victory; I said to myself that this would be my first and last take of LET. No second chance. During the examination, I followed all the advices of the coaches and recalled all the tips given during the coaching sessions.

There were 450 items to answer so I did 450 prayers as well. Whenever I answered an item, I kept on uttering this: “Lord, this is our final answer ha..”

Yes, I enjoined God in answering items. The messages sent to me by my friends and loved ones have something in common, they all greeted me of congratulatory words. This day has become lighter. I smiled after the examination. 🙂 We even went at MindGym for pre-celebration and had some chats.

One month later..

The days went by. The month of April hit the calendar. The lifestyle I put temporary on hold went back to normal.

I did not just only gain insights and lessons from MindGym but I also collected friends who shared their three days with me in Batangas. We did unwind. We swam and ate a lot. We did not deprive ourselves happiness. There were no dull moments. Days of pressure and anxieties are gone. It’s our time to enjoy!

The warm day of April 17, 2013 made my whole body frozen when I received a text message from my close friend informing me that I passed the LET!

At first, my hands were shaking as I searched the website of PRC to check the list of passers. I was actually taking calls when I received the messages of my friends who confirmed my success. My heart started to beat fast. Then, viola! I found my name listed as one of the successful examinees!

I started informing my friends and relatives. I also sent text message to someone whom I secretly dedicated my success. The greetings on my facebook flooded. From that day, I felt I was in the cloud. Passing the LET will make you feel more shuddered than having a boyfriend or girlfriend. I was so thankful. God has finally answered my prayer: to give my mother a reward for her undying and unconditional love for me. I made my mother smile that day.

MindGym also harvested the best crops during our batch. For the first time, English majors obtained 100% passing rate. 🙂 It made us all proud!

Toni at the March 2013 PRC LET Oath-taking

Toni with best friend Gav Fajardo at the March 2013 PRC LET Oath-taking

I thank also those who prayed and believed in me, the coaches from MindGym, the owner of the golden voice – our Mo/Ma Alice and Sir Albert. They have never been selfish in letting us experience how to succeed.

Indeed, it was not my own battle: it’s God’s. He just trained me how to fight a good fight. God has witnessed my seriousness, perseverance and sacrifices. He knows deeply the desires of my heart more than I. I only asked the passing rate but He gave me more than I never expected.

Linda Joy Myers once said,

We are all joined in a circle of stories.

You may not be an English major nor a call center agent like me. If you are a teacher, regardless of major, this might be one of your stories. Just like the circle of love we used to form at MindGym, together we sang, danced, held each others’ hands and dreamed— but we still share a circle of stories. That circle of love bore us a circle of friends now. 🙂

I personally dedicate this story to those teachers who have other jobs especially those who are working in a call center, who seemed to have forgotten taking the LET…

This is Anthony Dela Cruz Decena and this is the story of my LET journey.

About Anthony Decena

Anthony succeeded in the March 2013 LET as an English Major. He is currently a business analyst at Convergys Nuvali.

One Response to Circle of Love

  1. Dhenz ADV 2014/01/09 at 12:12 pm #

    Toni: It must be a very proud moment for you. Chasing a dream requires your efforts and passion. Hard work isn’t over when you passed LET. It’s just a break as you enter the new battlefields of life. Good luck and congratulations!:)