UPLB on My Mind

Toga returned.

Caught up in the thick of everyday work, it almost escaped me that the rest of the world is actually enjoying summertime for many reasons. Were it not for a brief reminder from Mr. Rey Alo, I would have overlooked that graduating students are actually wearing toga and doing their graduation march this time of the year. The country’s state University of the Philippines at Los Baños will be having its 41st Commencement Exercises tomorrow, April 27, 2013.

Amid the hustle and bustle of preparations for graduation, most graduating students feel the significance of the moment only when the academic procession starts and members of their family cheer them on. 

Congratulations graduates! Here’s a sincere wish that you have chosen the course that you feel will bring out the best in you. When I took up AB Communication it was almost a blind choice. In hindsight there was a voiceless urge that I ignored, telling me to study a course in agriculture. Enrolling in MS DevCom at UPLB was a logical conclusion to my undergraduate degree.

I am of course thankful for the chance to study under ATI’s scholarship program in 2001 prior to the advent of EHRDP. (Now, EHRDP scholars, realize how lucky you are that our directorate found ways to upgrade the Institute’s staff development program!) A book allowance of P1,000, lodging allowance of P3,000, as well as reimbursement of tuition fees and transportation expenses per semester – it was not much, but it carried me on. 

What mattered was being able to study at UPLB – home to alumni whose work brings honor to their school and the country. Some of them are our own trailblazers at ATI – Ms. Niet Arceo, Ms. Pam Mappala, of course our e-Learning Process Advisor Mr. Rey Alo, our esteemed Director Dr. Asterio Saliot who completes his PhD this month, and our very own big bosses at ATI-Bicol, Mr. Efren Sabularse and Mr. Cirlo Nuyles who both took up Development Communication at UPLB.

Important things I learned at UPLB? Geez, may I just say that remembering data and details was never one of my strongest points. I did remember to keep some souvenirs of my days at UPLB (see photo above). It may be the school I thoughtlessly passed up for another “state U” when I took up my college degree, but it forever holds my esteem and appreciation for being a liberal, yet exacting, and fun place for students to learn.