Looking Back: The Journey of Being a HAPI Scholar

As time passes quickly, reflecting decisively on past decisions certainly becomes a challenge; thoughts such as, “Was my choice back then truly worth it?” and “Did I embrace the challenge despite the uncertainties?” fills our minds. Three years have passed since I made “that” decision, and I can confidently say that I made the correct choice. I am Shawn, a scholar at Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI), who confidently says I embraced the right path.

I embraced the right path.

During the peak of the pandemic, I was introduced to HAPI’s initiatives. Initially, it was my mother’s suggestion to enroll me as one of HAPI’s scholars, given her role as one of the organization’s officers. However, as a teenager whose world primarily revolved around playing, studying, sleeping, and occasionally causing trouble, I swiftly dismissed this option. Despite my reluctance, my mother persisted, nailing its long-term benefits in my head, and the fact that I met the necessary requirements made her more eager to make me join. It took numerous rejections on my part before I finally embraced the path destined for me. At only 13 years old, I was the youngest out of all the scholars.

I distinctly remember completing my initial article, a task that demanded days of effort. Given my limited writing background, mastering the fundamentals proved to be quite challenging. Looking back, that marked the first step toward shaping the person I am today. Despite the hardship, I persevered. As months passed, numerous scholar meetings took place, and a plethora of articles were crafted, I gradually refined my skills. The pivotal moment came when one of my submitted articles found a place on HAPI’s website. The recognition it received from many brought me immense joy and motivated me to exceed my own limitations.

At only 13 years old, I was the youngest out of all the scholars.

Furthermore, constructive feedback from fellow scholars, such as Kuya Shane, inspired me to produce articles that were not only feasible but also of higher quality than my previous works. Perhaps, the realisation that others valued my contributions served as a heartfelt motivation, encouraging me to surpass my perceived capabilities.

One of our first HAPIsko meetings!

As I approach the end of my teenage years at 17, I’m thrilled that I accepted my mother’s suggestion to join HAPI Scholars. Looking back, my 13-year-old self made a wise decision. Interacting with individuals with diverse perspectives, participating in various events that broadened my outlook, and exploring different creative outlets have all contributed to shaping my current skills and personality. I’m deeply grateful to the scholars and HAPI for providing numerous opportunities for self-expression. While I may not be the same teenager I was at 13, if given the chance to speak to my past self, he certainly deserves a commendation.

The decision in question proved to be genuinely valuable. While the path through uncertainty may not be seen, the accompanying experiences will definitely smoothen the road you are destined to take in the future.


About the Author

Shawn Evans Quiming

Shawn Evans Quiming is one of the youngest, brightest HAPIskos!

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