(MAY 21)— UP Diliman (UPD) celebrated the achievements of outstanding students in the shortest program ever in the history of the Parangal sa Mag-aaral at the University Theater on May 8.
This year, UPD honored 3,748 University Scholars (US) in the undergraduate and graduate levels and students who distinguished themselves in various fields.
US are students who earned a General Weighted Average (GWA) of not lower than 1.25 in the second semester of Academic Year (AY) 2016-2017 and first semester of AY 2017-2018.
The five academic units with the most number of US are the College of Engineering (COE) with 674 awardees, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP/515), Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business (VSB/434), College of Science (CS/285) and College of Mass Communication (CMC/244).
In the undergraduate level, COE had the most number of US with 583 followed by CSSP (481), VSB (434), CMC (212) and CS (210).
In the graduate level, COE again topped the list with 91 followed by CS (75), College of Education (70), Technology Management Center (64) and School of Urban and Regional Planning (47).
UPD also recognized graduates who made it to the top 10 in the licensure examinations for social workers, interior designers, teachers, guidance counselors, accountants, chemists, geologists, electronics engineers, electrical engineers and librarians; along with those who have distinguished themselves in other fields; and winners in national and international competitions.
Paulyne Kate S. Genson topped the December 2017 Interior Designers Licensure Examination. Some students who won the grand prize in international competitions are: Hans Daniel De Castro (winner, Singapore Jewelry Design Awards 2017); Ryan Timothy Yu (2017 Sanger Institute Prize, Sanger Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom); Sheena Ann K. Lorenzo (champion [team], Maybank Go Ahead Challenge 2017-Global, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and HPAIR Business and World Economy Case Competition 2017, Cambridge, Massachusetts); Michelle T. Lao (overall memorial champion [Regional Rounds], Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition, Stetson University Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy], and Julia Alexandra D. Chu, Danielle Sophia B. Garduno and Sofronio C. Dulay II (overall champions, 2017 International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition).
Student volunteers for the Halalan 2017 (University Student Council Election) and the Diliman Learning Resource Center tutors were also given special awards.
UPD also awarded the Natatanging Samahang Mag-aaral to student organizations UP Namnama, UP Lipunang Pangkasaysayan, UP Chemical Engineering Society, UP Radio Circle and UP Junior Finance Association.
UP Namnama also received the 2018 Ignacio B. Jimenez Excellence Award for Student Organization Social Innovation Projects and a cash prize of P50,000 for their “SIRIB Quiz Show and Saririt Cultural Festival” project.
In addition to the certificate of recognition, the awardees also received a Parangal sa Mag-aaral pin designed by Kevin Brandon E. Saure, a CSSP graduate student and staff of the UP Diliman Information Office. Students who attended the awarding ceremony were given an additional USB card as a special token.
Enabling environment for the students. Chancellor Michael L. Tan in his welcome remarks said with the help of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA), the administration is working on further improving the certificates and special tokens given to the student achievers.
Tan also said “We want you to know we appreciate whatever achievements you have, academics wise as well as all forms of achievements. I also want you to remember the role of the faculty, administrators and staff in enabling you to be able to achieve.”
Meanwhile, the total number of US and awardees this year is slightly lower compared to last year based on the Parangal sa Mag-aaral’s souvenir program.
Tan explained that the number of outstanding students this year slightly decreased because of the stricter implementation and changes in the criteria to maintain the award’s high standards.
Although he said it is still a big number and he believes that it would continue to increase in the coming years “I think it’s also because we have tried to give you [the students] a more enabling environment, a place where you need not worry too much about small things and concentrate on your studies.”
The chancellor also announced that CSSP, one of the larger colleges at UPD, will have its own kapihan or a study area that is accessible 24/7 and will serve coffee and snacks to students while studying. He also hoped that some of the larger colleges will also extend these kind of services.
In addition, he said “We hope that we will be able to establish this tradition of thinking ahead, even the students, in terms of what we may be able to use so that we might have more outstanding achievers. Baka sa susunod na taon, lalong mapupuno itong theater natin.”
Shorter program. The Parangal this year is shorter compared to last year’s program. Instead of calling the student achievers on stage individually, they were called per category and were asked to stand up from their seats and attach their respective pins.
In addition, instead of having one student representative to speak on behalf of all the student achievers, three students delivered their messages and led the pinning per batch.
Arbeen R. Acuña from the College of Arts and Letters led the pinning and spoke on behalf of the licensure examinations topnotchers and students who won in the national competitions.
In his message, Acuña challenged his fellow awardees “At the very least, gusto kong iwan ang ideyang may mga nagsasariling eskwelahang binobomba—iyung sa mga lumad—at tungkulin ng pamantasang mayroong ipinapalagay na mayroong best and the brightest na mga iskolar ng bayan na tugunan ang pangangailangan, hindi lang ng university rankings, kundi ng lipunang Pilipino.”
Pio Niño Opinaldo, College of Human Kinetics graduate student and faculty, led the pinning and spoke on behalf of the student athletes and student volunteers.
He advised his fellow achievers that as a student and athlete at UPD, “Hindi madali ang pinili ninyong landas na tatahakin kung kaya’t huwag sana kayong tumigil na mangarap, paligiran ang inyong sarili ng mga taong makakapagbigay sa inyo ng inspirasyon at suporta sa mga bagay na gusto ninyong makamtan. At higit sa lahat, huwag nating kalimutang magsilbi sa ating bayan.”
Lastly, Sheena Lorenzo of VSB led the pinning of the Parangal sa Mag-aaral pin and spoke on behalf of the US.
Lorenzo reminded her fellow achievers “Sa pagpapatuloy ng ating paglagi sa UP at sa paglabas natin dito, nawa’y maalala natin na walang puwang ang bawat makamit na tagumpay kung hindi iniuukol sa isang layunin at hangarin. Nawa’y ang bawat nating hangarin ay hindi nalalayo sa ikabubuti ng bayan.”
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jerwin F. Agpaoa closed the ceremony. In his message he urged the awardees “Sana ay makita natin kung paanong ang mga natamo nating mga karangalan ay maipaparamdam natin sa ibang tao.”
The program was emceed by Prof. Manuel C. Manuel III of VSB while the intermission numbers were provided by Mandrake Ferrer of Impossibros, the UP Madrigal Singers, Rod Marmol’s spoken word poetry performed by Charmaine Aranton of Dulaang UP with interpretive dance by Jommelle Era, and the Legato Visual Performing Arts.
The event ended with the singing of UP Naming Mahal led by the UP Madrigal Singers.