(MAY 4) — UP Diliman’s (UPD) best and the brightest University Scholars (US) in the undergraduate and graduate level and those who distinguished themselves in various fields were recognized at the Parangal sa Mag-aaral 2017 in a ceremony held at the University Theater on Apr. 27.
The Office of the University Registrar shows that in the first semester of Academic Year (AY) 2016-2017, UPD had a student population of 25, 782. University Scholars (US) are students who have earned a General Weighted Average (GWA) of not lower than 1.25 in the second semester of Academic Year (AY) 2015-2016 and first semester of AY 2016-2017. This year, there were 4, 358 US awarded in the Parangal.
The five academic units with the most number of US are the College of Engineering (CoE) with 816 awardees, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP/620), Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business (VSB/464), College of Science (CS/318) and College of Arts and Letters (CAL/301).
In the undergraduate level, CoE had the most number of US with 733 followed by CSSP (578), VSB (464), CAL (274) and CS (266).
In the graduate level, CoE again topped the list with 83 followed by the Technology Management Center (61), College of Education (57), CS (52) and CSSP (42).
CoE and CSSP are units with the largest student population while CEd, the largest graduate enrollment.
UP also recognized graduates who made it to the top 10 in the bar and licensure examinations for architects, librarians, teachers, accountants, interior designers, psychometricians, civil engineers, electronics and communication engineers, electrical engineers, chemists and geologists; those who have distinguished themselves in other fields; and those who won in national and international competitions.
Among the students who topped the bar and board exams are: Rachel Angeli B. Miranda (November 15 Bar Examination), Johayra A. Datlan (April 2016 Special Shari’a Bar Examination), Kim Robert De Leon (September 2016 Environmental Planner Licensure Examination), Lady Princess S. Marcelo (September 2016 Licensure Examination for Teachers-Elementary), Vigel Demilio Ramirez (October 2016 Geodetic Engineering Licensure Examination) and Emmanuel A. Codillo (November 2016 Geologist Licensure Examination).
Some of the students who won the grand prize in international competitions are: Abigail Cutaran (winner, Singapore Jewelry Design Awards 2016, Singapore); Alfonso Roel D. Vargas, Joan Therese C. Medalla, Marijo Angela T. Conejero and Nathaniel Emil L. Legacion (national champions, Best Speaker and Best Defense Memorial, International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition 2016 at the University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur); Raya Grace C. Tan (Overall Best speaker for Asia Pacific Regional Rounds, Price Media Law Moot Court Competition 2016 at Renmin University of China, Beijing, China); Veronica Louise B. Jereza (1st place for student category, Religious Freedom in Southeast Asia and the West International Essay Contest 2016); Daniel Roi Agustin, James Renier Domingo, Dominic Aily Ecat and Arizza Ann Nocum (Champion, Industrial Engineering Competition 2016 at the Institut Teknologi, Bandung, Indonesia); Quirby Angelo Alberto, Ralston John Espiritu and Johntee Tantoco (champion, International Statistics Competition for Engineering Students, Bandung, Indonesia), and Celine Paula Y. Calma (champion, HPAIR Asia Conference Impact Challenge Entrepreneurship and Technology Track Harvard Project for Asian International Relaions).
Student volunteer tutors from the Diliman Learning Resource Center, the 2016 University Student Council Election volunteers, Corps of Cadets and Corps of Sponsors were given special awards.
Furthermore, UP Diliman awarded the Natatanging Samahang Mag-aaral to student organizations: the UP Chemical Engineering Society, UP Journalism Club, UP Economics Society, UP Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants, UP LAKAN, UP Academic League of Chemical Engineering Students and UP Circle of Entrepreneurs.
In addition to the usual 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 from the UP Diliman Information Office.
According to Saure, the design of the pin spells the letters UPD, taking inspiration from the Diliman fern which means “pagpupugay sa kagalingang nag-ugat at yumabong sa Unibersidad—pagpupugay sa kahusayang patuloy na nililinang at magbubunga para sa bayan.”
In his welcome remarks, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jerwin F. Agpaoa urged the awardees to “give back and be blessings to others and help out those who may or may not be similarly situated. Helping out doesn’t have to necessarily involve great efforts and resources right away. You can start with baby steps. In your own small ways, you can be a tutor to fellow students or help us identify people who need help and refer them to offices concerned.”
Agpaoa also encouraged the student achievers to remain humble and to “Give back by acknowledging the sources of your strengths and achievements as well as the people who have had significant influence over your lives. Don’t own your achievement as if you were the only one responsible for it.”
Meanwhile, Chancellor Michael L. Tan, who referred to the Parangal sa Mag-aaral as the highlight of the Linggo ng Parangal, reminded the student achievers “We will honor you today for academic excellence. But, I wanted to remind you that there’s more to UP than academic excellence. We also feel that part of the excellence of UP must be an ethos of service.”
The chancellor mentioned as an example students of the Music Education Department of the College of Music (CMu) who “have been working with communities in Angono, Payatas, helping young people there to gain access to music. This is so quiet but I was just so overwhelmed during the concert of the Music Education Department. The orchestras of Angono and Payatas were playing together with our UP students and the music ensemble is so much better.”
In addition, Tan said the victory of student achievers and athletes are important because “Ang tagumpay ng UP ay tagumpay ng bayan. Your excellence in every field you are is always a victory for the nation. So, I would like to remind you about that. The feelings of joy you will have today when you get your medals and other honorifics will pass. They are fleeting and will pass very quickly but when you engage yourselves in public service, you will find that years from now, as you see the fruits of your labor, you will be proud of it. You will continue to feel the pride pass the value of your medals.”
Like the DIWATA-I Microsatellite which celebrated its first anniversary of being launched into space on the same day as the Parangal sa Mag-aaral, the Chancellor said the student achievers “Just like DIWATA-I, you and the rest of UP will soar to greater heights and when you soar to those greater heights, together with the nation and not just with UP Diliman.”
CMu student Raoul Carlo F. Angangco delivered an inspirational message for this year’s Parangal.
He talked about the three important insights he gained while studying in UP which have molded his path and vocation: dare to dream, yearn to serve and live each day in gratitude.
Angangco said “Daring to dream opens up possibilities that we never conceived of; daring to dream invites us to take risks; daring to dream allows us to make a choice. At the end of the day, is it not our dreams that fuel us to step out and change the world?”
In changing the world, he encouraged his fellow achievers to serve. He said “When we yearn to serve, we desire for humanity a better life and a better future. Yearning to serve is what inspires Honor and Excellence. Find exactly what it is in your vocation that stirs your desire to serve.”
Lastly, Angangco advised his fellow achievers to live each day in gratitude since “Whatever the circumstances of how our community affects us, living each day with a grateful heart keeps our dreams alive and our hunger to serve insatiable. It is with a grateful heart that we truly learn to live, and it is with the same grateful heart that we embody what it means to pursue honor and excellence in service.”
The program was emceed by CSSP Professors Jairus D. Espiritu and Marielle Antoinette H. Zosa. UP Dancesport Society and UP Concert Chorus provided the intermission numbers.
The event ended with the singing of UP Naming Mahal with accompaniment from the UP ROTC Symphonic Band under the baton of College of Music professor Rodney Ambat.