We are all very sad. Mang Jack Pascual, our long time beloved Discipline Officer, is gone. For generations of Archers who entered in 1977 to his retirement in 2007, everyone knew this stable father-figure on campus. For rule breakers (there were some), Mang Jack was a very strict rules guy. You break them, he let’s you know the specific transgression, then implements the rules as necessary. For the rest of us, he was Father Animo.
I used to frequent the Discipline Office, not as transgressor, but as a friend. I was with the DLSU Chess Team and Vice president of the Chess Club, and on Saturdays, the Discipline Office was one of the few offices open on campus. For those who knew the old campus set up, the St. Athanasius gymnasium (where the Yuchengco building now stands), and the Discipline Office, were practically beside each other, while the Chess Plaza was right across, behind the tennis courts. So, all in-campus chess activities were held there. Our batch was the one who oversaw the construction of the Chess Plaza. This is the reason why I frequented the Discipline Office, and got close to Mang Jack and his team, because of this proximity. He frequently also watched our games and practices.
Well by now, there are a lot of articles, accolades, and thank you’s that have been written, accorded, or said to honor this man, and this is my small contribution. But I was requested to write about our basketball team this season. So why am I writing about Mang Jack? Well, because I knew the man more as a friend than a La Salle employee, Mang Jack symbolizes what is happening to us right now, and who we are, and more importantly, who we should be. Mang Jack went down. Taane is now down with injury. Mang Jack is an underdog. We are definite underdogs now. But more importantly Mang Jack LIVED the Animo spirit. NOW WE MUST LIVE IT.
During the times when our team was weakest basketball-wise, during the playing years of Tolentino, Malabes, Villanueva et. al., our fair weather fans and coach wannabes had a field day. Coach should have done this. Wrong strategy. Bad subsitution patterns. Bad free throw shooting. Short rotations. Then after adjustments, long rotations. We couldn’t even average 50 points per game. Everything that our team did was wrong. Because we were losing. Coaches resigned as an aftermath. I also find it ironic now that I was asked to write articles about our team at this time when we are again perceived to be weak. There are now two constants in my mind so far. My writing when we are perceived underdogs and…….. You guessed it. Mang Jack supporting our team, NO MATTER WHAT.
Years after his retirement up to last year (when he was probably ailing already), he watched our games and always greeted us when we saw each other. He was never a fair-weather fan. Neither am I. He did live what the Animo spirit should be. And there lies our rallying point for this season.
Archers, DON’T YOU DARE stain the memory of Mang Jack with defeatism. Negativity. Blaming. Armchair coaching. With Mang Jack guiding us from above now, we should enjoy what I think will be one of our finest seasons ever. We still have a very strong team. All the positions are well filled up. The coaching staff is very competent. Management is still in full support. And YES. There is Animo in Heaven now.
So, let us dedicate this season to our beloved Mang Jack Pascual, our father in campus, our friend, our rallying point. Animo my dear friend Jack. Let’s win this for him. We can’t do anything less!!!!’ ANIMO.