University of Philippines Manila

28 UPM-SHS Palo graduates receive sablay at 41st Recognition Rites

Twenty-eight (28) graduates of the University of the Philippines Manila – School of Health Sciences (UPM-SHS) Palo, Leyte campus donned their sablay during the 41st Recognition Rites held on August 23, 2023 at Palo, Leyte.

The 28 newly-graduated students received their diplomas in the presence of the guest of honor, UPM Chancellor and National Scientist Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla and commencement speaker UP Faculty Regent Prof. Carl Marc L. Ramota. Also gracing the affair were Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development Dr. Michael L. Tee, University Registrar Dr. Tristan Nathaniel C. Ramos, Campus Planning and Development Office Chief Architect Rosalie Flores-Bernardo, and Office of Student Affairs Deputy Director Prof. Archie Lawrence P. Geneta.

In his opening remarks, UPM-SHS Dean Dr. Filedito D. Tandinco emphasized the relevance of the adage once said by national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan” to the spirit and goals of the SHS. According to Dean Tandinco, “lumilingon tayo sa ating pinanggalingan dahil ‘di natin kinakalimutan ang suliraning pangkomunidad at isyung pangkalusugan.”

He added that the graduates often looked back while they were studying, because they were looking for ways to use their learnings to help improve their communities. Near the end of his message, Dean Tandinco implored the students to continue looking for sustainable, long-term solutions to the problems of their respective local government units (LGUs).

Pusong may serbisyo, serbisyong may puso

Regent Ramota began his inspirational message by speaking in Waray and lauding the SHS graduates’ commitment to the UP motto of “honor and excellence.” He also gave credit to their passion in bringing health services to communities. According to him, “Ang pagkakaroon ng puso para sa serbisyo at serbisyong may puso ang tatak ng SHS…matagal nang nagtutungo sa mga kanayunan, sa mga komunidad ang SHS, upang makapagbigay ng serbisyo at tumulong na maiangat ang antas at kalidad ng pamumuhay ng ordinaryong mamamayan.”

Regent Ramota informed the assembly that even in the search for the next UPM Chancellor, SHS is being used as an example for “best practice” and as a showcase for the university’s public service. He ended his message by saying, “The university has to ‘walk the talk’ and provide the SHS not just the recognition it deserves, but the academic and resources its campuses need. Upang panatilihing nagniningas ang alab ng serbisyo at puso ng mga mag-aaral, guro, at kawani ng SHS, kinakailangan ang kalinga at aruga…the university must create a conducive and nurturing environment for its faculty, staff, and students, [for them to flourish] and realize their full potentials.”

“Kapuri-puri ang inyong katatagan”

Chancellor Padilla began her keynote speech by recalling her visit to Palo a few months after Typhoon Yolanda struck. “I saw the beauty of your city, and I saw it when it was in shambles. When we see the progress you’ve made, tunay ngang kapuri-puri ang inyong katatagan. Ipinamalas ninyo sa buong mundo na kaya ninyo ito, and if you were able to face the damage brought on by Typhoon Yolanda, you can face anything…because of your resiliency.”

Recalling parts of the message she delivered during the 114th UP Manila commencement ceremony, Chancellor Padilla mentioned the three (3) most significant events in her life and career: first, her shift to genetics; second, her entry into the lawmaking world in her pursuit to have the Newborn Screening Act passed; and third, the establishment of the Philippine Genome Center. All of these she did not originally plan to do or undertake.

She reiterated her “Ten Pieces of Advice” to the graduates, relating it to their work in their communities: entertain small ideas; share visions; collaborate, explore, accept, and embrace; listen to mentors; come up with good ideas; remember that challenges are actually ladders to success; be optimists; enjoy life; maintain values and principles; and pray. Ending her speech, Chancellor Padilla advised the graduates to pray and consult God in everything they do, as she did.

After the Chancellor’s speech, the special awards were handed to select graduates, and the retiring professors and administrative staff were recognized.

Ms. Romarie G. Tan, BS Nursing graduate and recipient of the academic excellence award, delivered a message on behalf of the graduating class. The ceremonies ended with the induction of the graduates to the SHS Alumni Association and the UP Manila Alumni Association.

(Martin R. Racza)

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