by KERRY TINGA
Images by NOEL PALABATE

Youth 1 - Living in the Moment

From high school standout to UAAP Rookie of the Year for Season 79, De La Salle University’s (DLSU) Aljun Melecio is ready to take on the responsibilities as one of the senior players and team leaders of the Green Archers going into the new year. Known for his high scoring potential with his persistent shooting, taking every shot and opportunity on the court, we were pleasantly surprised to be met with such earnestness and humility off the court.

His attitude toward life is straightforward, unpretentious, and deceptively simple: “I live in the moment. Whatever comes, comes. […]

One day at a time, one moment at a time. So just enjoy the moment.

For Aljun, enjoying the moment still involves a careful balance of priorities and passions. In his free time, when he is not training or studying for his business management degree, he calls up his family in Bukidnon, working remotely from the city with his father back in the province.

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New Friday, New Profile🥳1f389 - Living in the Moment It's #AljunMelecio (@aljunjaymelecio) 1f3c0 - Living in the Moment1f64c - Living in the Moment Read more about living in the moment with him by clicking the link 1f517 - Living in the Moment in our bio! . This January, we are all about the 20/20 Vision—all good vibes and full steam ahead. We talked to some college students (who just so happened to also be collegiate basketball stars), asking them to reflect on the past year while also thinking about what 2020 may have in store for them. #MBYouth

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“I don’t want to worry about the future naman,” he adds a slight disclaimer to his previous statement, “Pero you still have to face it.”

He has no New Year’s resolutions, or specific predictions for what the year holds, preferring to take in what is right in front of him at that exact moment.

And at that exact moment, what was right in front of him was us, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle: a couple of videographers, interviewers, and, in one of my small abuses of power, my 12-year-old brother who loves basketball. He listened intensely, and patiently waited till the end of the interview to ask something that had been on his mind: “What does it mean to be a team leader?”

“For me, being a team leader means you cannot be bossy, you have to lead by example. Hindi pwede na dahil leader ka, parang superior sa kanila. You have to let them feel kung anong ginagawa nila, ginagawa mo rin. Siguro yung hard work, effort na pinpakita mo by training and practice. (It is not okay to think that just because you are the leader, you are superior to them. You have to let them feel that whatever they do, you will do as well. They should see the hard work and the effort, through training and practice.)”

We can never know exactly what life has in store for us. One of the few things we can control in life is ourselves, how we act and react to the world around us. With everything that goes on, it is easy to forget how to live in the moment, how to take it one step at a time.

Thinking about a new year, a whole new decade, can be quite stressful. It can put a lot of pressure on us as we feel like we are meant to accomplish goals and resolutions set out at the beginning of the year. But the way Aljun approaches the role of a leader, focusing on what he can show and control through leading by example, is a gentle reminder to not overthink the situations we are put in. Who are we at that moment, what do we need to do, and what can we do? Now, go and do it.

This article is part of Youth’s Cover Profiles. In January, we are all about 20/20 Visionall good vibes and full steam ahead. We talked to some college students (who just so happened to be collegiate basketball stars), asking them to reflect on the past year while also thinking about what 2020 may have in store for them.

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