The University of the Philippines Manila, the nation’s Health Sciences Center, held its 110th Commencement Exercises at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City, on June 26, 2019.
At the ceremonies, titles and degrees were conferred on a total of 1,134 graduates. 949 received their Bachelor’s degrees; 233, their Master’s degrees; and, 10, their doctorate. Batch 2019 has one graduated summa cum laude, 33, magna cum laude, and 207, cum laude; they come from UP Manila’s nine degree-granting units: the College of Allied Medical Professions (CAMP); the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); the College of Dentistry (CD); the College of Medicine (CM); the College of Nursing (CN); the College of Pharmacy (CP) the College of Public Health (CPH); the National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions (NTTC-HP); and, the School of Health Sciences (SHS).
Atty. Theodore O. Te, a professorial lecturer at the UP College of Law and a Legal Education specialist at the UP Law Center, delivered the commencement address at UP Manila’s graduation rites this year. Te is a prominent human rights lawyer and a former spokesperson and chief of the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court.
Iskolar para sa Bayan
In his message, Te urged the graduates to stand up for truth, justice, and human rights amidst “a war that is being waged on many fronts and in many forms.” He explained that every Iskolar ng Bayan must “remember always who we are” as scholars who “come from the people” and who are expected to “always put the people first.”
“Be good people. . . as Iskolar ng Bayan, Iskolar para sa Bayan,” Te advised. He also gave several examples on how UP graduates can help others, as innovators and leaders. “Find ways to help. . . . Be a counterculture,” added Te.
“Insist on what is true, what is just, and what is right. Do that through our scholarly research; through the use of science to find the truth; through multi-disciplinary engagements that allow us to see beyond where we find ourselves now,” Te advised.
Te also expressed confidence that UP has adequately trained its graduates “to be courageous and to be good.” He said further, “More than just allowing mastery of our respective fields, we must strive to inculcate not only knowledge but also to develop character—the conviction of what is good, right and just; to be able to do the right thing, and to resist compromising one’s ideals and values. This requires courage, perseverance, and fortitude; it also requires the strength to persist through challenges and struggles, and to choose what is right even when it is difficult, even when you stand alone and everyone else is against you.”
Iskolar ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban
Georgina B. Gato, BA Political Science, summa cum laude, delivered her valedictory address on behalf of the graduating class after each of the graduates and recipients of awards were called on stage. Dozens from the Class of 2019 rushed to the front of the Plenary Hall, unfurling streamers and placards for the lightning rally as a response to the challenges presented by Te and Gato.
After the graduates were inducted into the UP Alumni Association and the UP Manila Alumni Association, the SDE (same-day edit) video of the commencement exercises was played, showing the highlights of the event.