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TALUMPATI 2018: The President’s Speech

The USG mid-year Talumpati is a speech that is given by the current University Student Government (USG) president. For the  S.Y. 2017-2018 it was Mio Tuason, an Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) 4th year student and USG president, who delivered his remarks. Below is the transcript of his speech given on the 25th of January, 2018.

“To the Management Committee, our beloved President, Dr. Stan Padojinog and other members, Operations Committees, the CSA, the faculty, our SP’s, my fellow students and org leaders, and to everyone present here today, good afternoon!

I personally have some dreams. When I entered UA&P, my only dreams were to get a degree, land a good job and sana ma-meet ko dito si the one. That’s it. But you know, as time passes by, I’m slowly starting to realize that it’s not all about achieving my own dreams but hearing the unspoken dreams of others, as well. Now, my personal dreams are still to graduate, still land a good job and still find si the one but more than that, I dream of being able to end my term listening, at the very least, to the unspoken dreams of my friends, my colleagues and, my fellow dragons. Being elected in this humble position, I learned that really, people expect you to dream and do grand things, but then it is in the smaller dreams that we find more meaning.

My fellow dragons, we all have stories to tell, we all have dreams to share… especially as we enter UA&P:

For the freshmen, we dream of our sense of belonging and identity here in this University or maybe our dream can be as simple as sana dumami kaibigan ko dito kasama na dun si crushie.

For the second year, we dream of being like our seniors or even better; or maybe it can be as simple as sana makuha ko yung subjects ko sa enlistment.

For the third year, the ones who are next in line, we dream of being the true leaders we ought to be in the University, or maybe it can also be as simple as sana naman matapos ko na CAS subjects ko.

And for my beloved seniors, we dream of leaving a legacy and again, finding our sense of belonging… but this time, outside the walls of the University; or it can still be as simple as sana matapos ko na thesis ko.

In the same light, this University also started with a simple dream of a few and at the celebration of our golden jubilee of this year, we cannot help but marvel at what has been achieved. All this was possible because of their seemingly small dreams and here we are—still dreaming. We must, however, like those who have come before us, wake up and dare to act. Just as our seniors dreamt for us; we now dream of what’s to come, confident that we do not dream alone but together.

Your USG, like you, has a dream. We realized that our student-life dreams do not necessarily comprise of projects, projects and more projects. At the end of the day, these projects are meant to help people. So instead of focusing on the means, let us focus on you, you and you—focus on building sustainable and genuine relationships that would last. Kasi nga naman, ang isang pangarap pala ay hindi nagsisimula at nagtatapos sa isang proyekto, kung hindi, sa tao.

Having listened to your dreams, we have successfully executed some institutionalized projects and we are very confident that we will execute the remaining in our last stretch.

Allow me to cite a few of your USG’s notable contributions to this University for this golden jubilee year aligning them to your dreams of improving the UA&P student-life. This is what we have put on the table so far and we have more in store for all of you; but let us keep in mind that our not-so-big efforts are just part of a bigger dream; and the nature of our service should have more continuity. This administration is not really concerned with our legacy; rather, it is concerned with just simply fulfilling your dreams one at a time…

It is every student’s dream to have a good professor—some in the context of being very knowledgeable in the subject, while for others, in the context of proper guidance and mentoring or maybe even in the context of the ones who are “chill lang pero solid”. Regardless, UA&P continues to make this dream into reality. To show our gratitude, we have successfully executed the World Teacher’s Day in which we, in collaboration with the different orgs, were able to thank the 60 plus professors and mentors that attended; the highest active participation rate thus far. Now, to all our teachers and mentors that have been patiently helping us and touching our lives, on behalf of the student body po, thank you and continue staying gold!

For my fellow students, we have all dreamt of being able to actually have better communication with the USG. For this year, we are very happy to report to all of you about our 100% social media presence (which you probably know already hehe). We will continue to be a tweet or a personal message away. Remember that you have a voice here in this University and nobody can take it away from you.

That being said, we propose a new and more efficient system of hearing all your comments and suggestions—a new hashtag. We introduce to you #DragonsRoar. So if you have any concerns or suggestions, anything to do with the betterment of the school, feel free to use #DragonsRoar on your posts in order to reach us even faster.

It is also in every student’s dream to represent and be well-represented. Having understood this need, your USG is currently amending the constitution for the 6YP’s dream of active participation and well representation in the student body. Through this amendment, the 6YP will be able to exercise their right to vote during the USG elections. As for whether this will be implemented this year, let us wait for the COMELEC’s final announcement on this. Rest assured, we all are doing our best to give you this right.

Your USG is now also in close coordination with the 6YP moderator. Now, in partnership with SABIO, SEnS, AmSoc, ITeC, and SInE, we will be providing an avenue for 6YP dragons to continuously improve their academic experience through means of tutorials. Kaya sa ating mga bunso dito, don’t be afraid to approach us, mga Kuya’s at Ate’s ninyo. Nandito lang kami.

A few students once dreamt of UA&P being able to immediately lend a helping hand to those who are struck by unfortunate events and natural calamities. They dreamt of being able to help others through providing efficient service. Now, from being a reactionary committee in the previous years, your USG has finally institutionalized UA&P HOPES allowing them to be more proactive in partnership with Red Cross.

Aside from it being an outreach arm, currently, UA&P HOPES comprises of two subcommittees: Red Cross Youth Council or RCYC and ATMOS, an environmental organization. Last semester, we have responded immediately to the recent disaster in Brgy. Caniogan wherein all organizations and the two political parties participated in this initiative. We have also partnered with the different units in introducing Mental Health Awareness here in the University. Recently, RCYC has conducted a Basic Life Support workshop.

We will continue to do our best in improving the efficiency of service that USG and UA&P HOPES render. But for now, I highly encourage everyone to support the ongoing campaign of ATMOS: Ways to Zero Waste. Let’s make UA&P clean again, and help the environment.

Now for our very hardworking student athletes, your dream of finding a better class schedule for you to study and train harder is now possible. Your USG has recently implemented the Student Varsity Privilege wherein athletes are now able to enlist at an earlier time. It’s about time we give credit where credit is due. Sa ating mga atleta dito, kayo po ang tunay naming mga lodi! Your hard work, love for the sport and more importantly, love for the school are greatly appreciated.

We will continue to do our best in paving the way towards our DREAM CHAMPIONSHIPS may it be through proposing more policies and/or projects that would cater to the sports development of UA&P.

Your USG also understood the long, seemingly complicated processes we all had to undergo before coming up with our own project. Now, with the big help of our beloved CSA, we have already expedited such processes allowing these transactions to be processed online. Your dream projects are now at the touch of your fingertips.

Our dream of having a safe and theft-free environment is now in the works. Your USG acknowledges the fact that this has been an alarming issue which has yet to be addressed. Many questions and serious concerns have been raised. Frankly, we can only do so much as forwarding them to proper authorities and providing an avenue for students to be heard and be informed. Therefore, we really need your help.

For this semester, we will continue to hold our student congress hearings wherein all orgs will partake in the brainstorming of probable solutions to address this problem. Likewise, we will organize the second open forum in partnership with our University’s security office so as to serve as an avenue for all of your concerns to be heard. Theft should not be tolerated here in UA&P. This has to end immediately!

On the brighter side, with the dream of really putting UA&P in the map, last semester, your USG was able to create more external partnerships:

First will have to be the Project 2030 wherein we sent 11 student delegates to learn about sustainable development goals and more importantly encourage them to also dream for the society. Through this, we were able to tap Ms. Gina Lopez, your former DENR secretary, as we look forward to working with her alongside with UA&P HOPES in the near future.

Secondly, your USG has partnered with the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange, KASANGGA and our School of Economics. From this partnership, we were able to tap 16 UA&P delegates with a 50% discount providing more opportunities for more students to showcase their talents, develop their skills and build more relationships outside their classrooms.

Thirdly, your USG has also formed partnerships with the different universities like Enderun, Ateneo and Lyceum—wherein we recently had our leadership exchange.

It has also come to our attention that many high school students from different walks of life dream to study in UA&P. However, the notion of UA&P being an exclusive school has been intimidating them. To break the ice, your USG in partnership with the University Center Foundation, a non-profit organization, and SSE, will host an inter-club summer basketball invitational for 8 junior high schools on May. This will also consist of different talks about Christian formation and of course, UA&P.

From the outset, we have been talking about UNITAS or the UNITAS spirit… but the question is, have we really experienced it? Or is it still just dream? Well, I’m pretty sure somehow, in some little way, we all have dreamt of this. I guess, this year is the perfect time to act on it. Let’s put our UNITAS spirit into action. How? We have two proposals:

First is the Dragon’s Leadership Youth Camp. We are calling out all the upcoming leaders of all orgs, varsities, and clubs to join this special and hopefully institutionalized event towards the latter part of this semester. We believe each and every one of you has something to say and has something to contribute to the betterment of our student-life dreams through our own brands of leadership. Let’s hone it. Let’s own it. Let’s be one.

Second is the Dragon’s Flight, an UNITAS fun run. You know, it was the dream of last year’s administration to come up with a new and exciting project that would also engage our UA&P community and literally make UNITAS happen outside of our borders. Thanks to their efforts and the full support of the different units especially OAA and in the spirit of continuity, we are very very happy to INVITE ALL OF YOU TO THIS FIRST EVER FUN RUN ON APRIL. We will announce the details of this real soon. Get your running shoes ready as we run for UNITAS!

In the meantime, I would like to invite all of you to our upcoming University-wide events: The Eucharistic Procession on February 1, Magnificat, a Marian Concert on February 12, Unitas Games on February 23 and CivAsia on March 1-3. Isa rin po yan sa aming mga pangarap, makita po namin lahat kayo sa ating mga University-wide events.

Now, this last dream project that I am about to present is very close to our hearts as we have been really touched by the dreams of some of our fellow dragons. Some dreamt of being able to graduate on time in spite of their financial limitations.

We are happy to introduce to all of you Project Phoenix: the very first Jubilee-USG Scholarship Program.

Project Phoenix comprises of four (4) income generating projects:

Last November, we did USG’s very first ever golf tournament dubbed as Golf for a Cause, which garnered 160 participants. Double than what we initially expected. Because of this, we are humbled and pleased to let you know that for this semester, we already have 3 USG Phoenix Scholars.

The second project is an art auction that will be held on March 12-17 in partnership with Manila House and Leon Gallery. Our dream of widening UA&P’s awareness through tapping different markets and providing more creative opportunities for people to help is now in the works.

The third one would be our Financial Literacy Summit in partnership with BEA.

Last but not the least, the Phoenix Printer. If you have once dreamt of being able to print something in school at a cheaper price while at the same being able to help a fellow dragon in need, then now is your chance to do so. Your USG will be investing on a printer as we come up with our own printing system for all of you, our fellow students, to be able to print what you need and actually take part in our USG scholarship program initiative.

Whatever your dream is, let us dream together. We won’t reach 50 years if not for our founders who dreamt for us. Now, to pay it forward, let us dream for the next 50 years and beyond—still for others. After all, dreaming together and for each other is UNITAS!

One day, we will wake up and start achieving our own dreams and helping each other achieve theirs.

Guys, we’re halfway there, your USG is now ALL IN at sama-sama tayo dito.

When that day comes, I can finally say that we, your USG, have achieved our dream.

Kasi ang pangarap talaga namin ay sama-sama tayong mangarap para sa iba… dahil posible pala siya.

Thank you very much and may God bless all of us. Stay Gold!”

Mio Tuason ran for the University Student Government (USG) under the School of Communications (SCM) during the first semester of S.Y. 2017-2018 and won. He ran under KASANGGA —  a prominent political party in the university.  He was chosen to be the president of the current USG after deliberation with his fellow elected USG members from the different schools in the university.