Dr. Jomel Garcia Lapides, a consistent scholar from elementary to high school and on to college at UP Manila, shared his heartwarming and moving story and gave life tips and lessons to the UP Manila University and College Scholars (US and CS) during a virtual convocation held on May 19, 2022.
Growing up from hardships and poverty, he needed more than one scholarship to finish his studies and studied with a gasera in his time. Later, he thought of how to progress his career in nursing. He eventually applied to medical school upon encouragement from others. Working while studying medicine, he finished it following a very orchestrated plan.
Three tips helped him walk his path. One: Know your role and which roles only you can play. This was done via delegation. Two: Know oneself and how you work best. Here, he combined the principles of a Work-Life Balance and a Work-Life Integration. Third: Know your priority. He believes that there can only be one priority and divided his tasks within four priority shifts.
Lapides was introduced by Office of Student Affairs Director Dr. Blesile Suzette S. Mantaring as a consistent scholastic achiever - Class Valedictorian in elementary and high school, cum laude for both his nursing and medicine degrees in UP Manila, and ranked number 1 in both his professional licensure examinations for the same degrees. He worked as a nurse at the Sentro Oftalmologo Jose Rizal while supporting his medical studies. Dr. Lapides currently serves as Medical Officer III at the PGH Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla in her message revisited what scholarship means when it comes to its value and role in society – that the tenet of scholarship lies in service and in providing solutions to the government. “What we experienced is a scholarship with success,” said Chancellor Padilla in her welcome message. She lauded their efforts to exemplify and live by the values and ideals of scholarship no matter the odds, possessing virtue and practice of discipline and relevant learning.
Chancellor Padilla also urged the scholars to continue to use and nurture their expertise for societal good because scholarship and service knows no time and no bounds. She firmly reminded everyone that Filipinos expect more from UP scholars amidst the COVID crisis and other challenges besetting the Philippines.
“The country expects that this UP education and preparation will transform you into the best and most socially-responsible leaders and change agents needed by our country especially in the future.” She ended strong with the expectation that UP scholars become valiant citizens, visionary leaders, and be the fulfillment of the country’s hopes.
Denice Millen C. Calinao, a College of Arts and Sciences BS Biology student, responded on behalf of the scholars. “We still have a nation to serve.” Given that two years into the online setup and remote learning have made many almost too exhausted to function, she reminded everyone to take care of their wellbeing because this will allow them to serve the Philippines in their best capabilities.
Finally, UP Manila Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan exhorted the scholars to be inspired to work harder in excelling in their respective fields. “Let this recognition be a constant reminder of your commitment to serve the Filipino people whose taxes have made it possible for you to receive one of the best education available in the country,” she said.
The UP Manila Chorale opened the ceremony with the doxology song, Shepherd of My Soul. Intermission numbers were performed by the UP Nursing Artists’ Corps and the UP CAMP Synergy.
Haziel May C. Natorilla | Published in UP Manila Healthscape No. 39 (May 2022)
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