Words by: Geraldine Wambangco
It is that time of the year where we welcome the arrival of the juniors at the midway point of their academic life. Last October 27, a new batch has gathered to cross the university equator for the 26th Equatorial Celebration — an annual rite of passage which marks the official entrance of the students to their respective fields of specialization. The Li Seng Giap Auditorium was brimming with enthusiastic energy as the program commenced with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and the Invocation led by Fr. Bermejo.
One of the momentous highlights of the rites was the Faculty Address given by the Batch Ninong and Ninang. They are two notable professors of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Faculty, whom the juniors believe have made a positive impact on the batch. First came the address of Ms. Sophia Martha Marco, the elected Batch Ninang, who named herself as the “godmother of the dragons”. Her message emphasized the responsibility of the students to apply the core of liberal education as they go through their professional endeavors. She also gave everyone the task to assess their performances for the last three years and urged them to work on the areas of improvement.
On the other hand, the chosen Batch Ninong was Dr. Alfonso Hiquiaña, who shared profound learnings from his recent Marian Pilgrimage in Europe. In his speech, he explained the preciousness of time and the process of making changes in this world. The students have to pause and reflect, execute their plans, and make the necessary calibrations to create the changes. Indeed, the juniors were happy and pleased to have received such inspiring words from their beloved teachers.
The eventful afternoon has finally come to the Imposition of the Beca. The colors of the academic sash symbolize the specific school a student is about to enter. In an orderly fashion, the candidates began to line-up to receive the becas from the Deans or school representatives on stage, starting from the College of Humanities up until the School of Sciences and Engineering. Right after everyone has worn the becas, the auditorium surprisingly became lively as all students bore their school colors, together with the University Seal.
As part of this academic function, the Equatorials also acknowledged the achievements of distinct students who have blazed an exemplary trail in the university. The first award was presented to Rose Anne Sison, who received the Civics Award. Sison is a candidate for the Master of Science in Management. Afterwards, Louie Cacho bagged the Dragon’s Award for showing athletic excellence. He is also currently a candidate for the Master of Arts in Communication, Major in Integrated Marketing Communications. Seleen Simora of the Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications then brought home the Kultura Award for her achievement in the arts. Bianca Lee, who holds a distinguished academic record and the highest General Weighted Average of 1.20, won the Academic Excellence Award. Lee is a candidate for the Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Management. The outstanding leadership qualities and outstanding spirit of service of Chelah June Corpus gained her the Leadership & Service Award. Corpus is a candidate for the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Management. Lastly, the Most Outstanding Student Award went to Michelle Aubrey Garcia, a candidate for the Bachelor of Science in Human Capital Development.
Garcia also delivered the student response wherein she imparted 4P’s to her fellow batch mates namely: philosophy, passion, people, and Provider. These were her guiding principles which she used in overcoming the obstacles both in her personal and academic life. She also believes that students must take the lead to make the world smaller by bridging the gaps through connections and relationships. Truly, the recipient of the awards are proof that it is possible to perfectly balance his or her studies and extra-curricular activities.
The celebration ended with a concluding remark delivered by Atty. Delia Tantuico, Vice Dean of the School of Law and Governance. She reminded the juniors of their duty and obligation to be aware of their personal freedom and responsibility. She encouraged the students to make good use of the quality education outside of the university. She advised everyone not to do anything that may hinder them from marching at PICC in two years’ time. Until then, students must continue studying well.
The program came to a close with the heartfelt singing of the University Hymn. The juniors departed the venue with an ardent and joyous spirit for they have successfully crossed the median of university life. They deserve to be commended for their accomplishments and perseverance in the previous years. However, the remaining path of their journey entails a greater challenge — it is to finish the latter half of their curriculum as they slowly approach the culmination of their academic career. Reaching the halfway point means reflecting on our experiences, accepting bigger responsibilities, and continue rediscovering greatness in the ordinary.