Written by MVP Migo-Sumagang
Edited by MCM Detras
Posted: August 18, 2020
The fifteenth of August year 2020 will be known in history as the date of the first UPLB “Virtual” Commencement Exercises. Sixty-one graduates for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering were announced during two events, 48th UPLB “Virtual” Commencement Exercises and the CEAT Virtual Testimonial Program 2020. Dr. Monet Concepcion Maguyon-Detras, department chair, delivered a short message to the graduates noting that this batch of graduates is unique, “this batch will always be remembered as the one who emerged victorious amidst the challenges to learning brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Out of the sixty-one graduates, eight graduated with honors and received the CEAT Alumni Association Academic Excellence Award:
- Richard Arga, Jr. (cum laude)
- Neil John Catapang (magna cum laude)
- Frances Elaisah De Salit (cum laude)
- Rome Krystel Hernandez (cum laude)
- Maricar Lagrada (cum laude)
- Angelo Jeorge Laguna (cum laude)
- Jeus Kim Mendoza (cum laude)
- Marlo Angelo Tito (magna cum laude)
Mr. Marlo Angelo Mones Tito also received the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence and the UPLB Alumni Association Medal for ranking first in GWA among the college graduates. Mr. Tito also delivered the response from the graduating class.
Several UPLB BS Chemical Engineering graduates also received special awards. Duty awards for serving in the college student council were given to Ronald Gem Celestial, Andre Yousef Kazan, and Kathleen Lou Tapang. The DOST Award for Academic Excellence in Science was also given to Richard Arga Jr., Neil John Catapang, Maricar Lagrada, and Jeus Kim Mendoza. Last but not least, the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod Pin for Public Service was presented to Romeo Lacro III, Jeric Quirona, John Joemmel Rodelas, and Neil Garret Sumagang.
Mr. Tito’s message to his fellow BS graduates was sincere and warm. He advised everyone to take care of their mental health, “I want to emphasize that overall wellbeing is just as important as our studies or any priorities in life. I feel that we sometimes take our health for granted, especially considering our age. We may have the skills, intelligence or the passion to move forward but they’d only end up useless if we are not functioning properly. How can we serve the people when we cannot even help ourselves? Considering the current situation, we need to be more aware of our physical and mental health more than ever.”
Mr. Tito also reminded his fellow graduates of their duty as Filipinos, especially during the time of pandemic, “even as we set foot in the university, we were already familiar with the phrase “Honor and Excellence.” But we should remind ourselves they are not only words to live by as UP students, we also need to live by them for the rest of our lives. This principle is something that UP has instilled in us. And I will be forever thankful for that. I believe UP has given us the opportunity to become better members in society. We are living in a very unique time right now. Other than the pandemic, we are experiencing a political climate that builds tension in our country as our democracy is being challenged. And it is in our core to protect and defend our rights, not only as UP graduates but as citizens of the Philippines.”
Meanwhile, the department also produced six MS Chemical Engineering graduates. Mr. Glenn Christian Acaso and the department’s aProf. Maria Victoria Migo-Sumagang were recipients of the UPLB Graduate School’s Academic Achievement Award. The department’s very own, Engr. Bea Tongko-Magadia, also received the SESAM Academic Excellence award for her MS Environmental Science degree. The graduate students were recognized during the UPLB Graduate School virtual program.
It was a joyous day both for the graduates and the Department of Chemical Engineering. A key message echoed throughout the different speeches delivered by the invited speakers and the officials, which is to serve the Filipino people. In her message during the CEAT Testimonial virtual program, Dr. Monet Detras ended with, “remember that you are the hope of this nation so we sincerely wish that the knowledge and skills you have gained from this institution will be dedicated to uplifting the lives of the Filipino people. Padayon mga Iskolar ng Bayan, Para sa Bayan!”