(SEPT. 23)—Life at UP Diliman can be overwhelming for most faculty, staff and students.
To help the UP community appreciate the value and beauty of life, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) through the Office of Counseling and Guidance (OCG), in partnership with the University Health Service (UHS), DZUP 1602 and Gold’s Gym, organized a forum called “Celebrate Life @ UP Diliman” (2nd Forum on Life: Flourishing in the UP Campus) held on Sept. 21.
Held at the School of Labor and Industrial Relations (SOLAIR) Auditorium, the forum was also in solidarity with the W orld Health Organization’s campaign for “Suicide Prevention Month.”
Dr. Neil Martial R. Santillan, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, in his opening remarks expressed his full support on the event and said under the direction of Dr. Violeta V. Bautista, OCG’s activities such as “Celebrate Life” is moving towards a broader aspect of counseling.
Among the guests speakers were Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, Coach Edsel Vengco and Reginald C. Cruz.
Laxa-Pangilinan is a multi awarded actress and award-winning author, manager of Team Pangilinan, a wife and a mother of five. She earned her BS Behavioral Science degree from UP Manila and her master’s degree in Family Life and Child Development at UP Diliman.
She discussed about “Caring for Mind and Emotions” where she emphasized the importance of caring for the mind because it affects the emotions. She noted that words have power and people should be careful on what they feed on their minds because it can affect the emotions as well as the body.
She advised, “If you have people around you that you have difficulty living with, you just have to tell your mind that this will pass. You cannot allow them na mapikon sa kanila kasi palagi kong sinasabi [halimbawa] sa mga anak ko at ipinapaalala ko sa sarili ko, pag pikon, talo.”
“Remember this, eto ‘yung natutunan ko sa Manila Zookeeper, wrestling a gorilla, any problem or any issue is not an easy task. It’s true. It’s not easy. But, if you remember this, you don’t rest when you’re tired. You’ll freak out. You’ll lose your temper and have a fit. You rest when the gorilla wants to rest. Kailangan, unahan mo siya. Pagurin mo siya. Hindi iyung ikaw ang mapapagod,” she added.
She also advised the participants to seek professional help from the OCG if they really need it.
“The way we think about counseling or mentoring is that we only ask people for help when there’s a problem. We have to prevent the problem from happening. That’s why there’s something like this (Celebrate Life forum),” she said.
Meanwhile, Vengco talked about “Physical Activity, Exercise, Nutrition and Sleep” (PENS) and the importance of having an active life to achieve the six dimensions of wellness which are occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional.
Vengco, who is the sports director of Gold’s Gym Philippines, earned his Bachelor of Physical Education from the UP College of Human Kinetics (CHK). He is currently finishing his Master’s degree in Human Movement Science from CHK. He was also a former Track and Field Varsity Team member of UP Diliman.
“Wellness is more than absence of disease. Wellness is about having all these things altogether. It’s good for the body to have some mobility and some flexibility movements every day,” he said.
Vengco said sitting for long hours can result to some health risks and advised the participants to “have some movement every 30 minutes, and walk for two to three minutes. You can set your phone in alarm so that for two to three minutes, you can do some movement patterns.”
He taught the participants some simple exercises they could do even at home such as squats, push-ups and lunges. He also discussed the food nutrition pyramid of Filipinos and the importance of having enough sleep.
The last speaker was Cruz, a second year Bachelor in Secondary Education Communications Arts in English and minor in Speech and Theater student of the UP College of Education. He shared his life story as well as the values he learned while studying at UP Diliman.
During the event, a video was presented featuring UP students who briefly shared their struggles academically, socially and emotionally, and coping mechanisms while studying in UP.
The event culminated with a one-hour community Zumba dancing at the Quezon Hall Oblation Plaza and ended with an inter-faith community prayer and lighting of candles.