Speak It Out

Work is my commitment. Learning is my passion. Faith is my strength. Love is my life.

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Location: Manila, Philippines

The name Ardythe:good war (Anglo-saxon); flowering field (Hebrew); spiritual prosperity (Swedish); Norwegian goddess.

Friday, May 11, 2007

2007 Valedictory Address

One of the things that strike me as being very "UP Diliman" is the way UPD students can't seem to stay on the pavement. From every street corner thatbounds an unpaved piece of land, one will espy a narrow trail that cuts thecorner, or leads from it. Every lawn around the buildings sports at least one of these paths, starting from a point nearest to the IKOT stop andending at the nearest entry to the building. The trails are beaten on thegrass by many pairs of feet wanting to save a fraction of a meter of traveling, no matter that doing so will exact some cost to the shoes, or, tothe ubiquitous slippers, especially when the trails are new.

What do these paths say about us, UP students?

One could say that the UP student is enamored with Mathematics and Pythagoras, hence these triangles formed by the pavement and the path. Manyamong you would disagree.

Others could say that the UP student is naturally countercultural. And therefusal to use the pavement is just one of the myriads of ways to show his defiance of the order of things. This time, many would agree.

Still, others will say that the UP student is the model of today's youth:they want everything easier, faster, now. The walkable paths appeal to them because they get to their destination faster, and presumably, with lesseffort. Now that is only partly true, and totally unfair.

These trails weren't always walkable. No doubt they started as patches of grass, perhaps overgrown. Those who first walked them must have soiled theirshoes, stubbed their toes, or had insects biting their legs, all in theimmovable belief that the nearest distance between two points is a straight line. They might even have seen snakes cross their paths. But the soiledfootwear, sore toes, and itchy legs started to conquer the grass. Other people, seeing the yet faint trail, followed. And as more and more walked the path, the grass gave in and stopped growing altogether, making the pathmore and more visible, more and more walkable.

The persistence of the paths pays tribute to those UP students who walkedthem first ? the pioneers of the unbeaten tracks: the defiant and curious few who refuse the familiar and comfortable; the out-of-the-box thinkers whosolve problems instead of fretting about them; the brave who dare do things differently, and open new opportunities to those who follow.

They say how one behaved in the past would determine how he behaves in thefuture. And as we leave the University, temporarily or for good, let us callon the pioneering, defiant, and brave spirit that built the paths to guide us in this next phase of our life.

We have been warned time and again. Our new world that they call "adulthood"is one that's full of compromises, where success is determined more by theability to belong than by the ability to think, where it is much easier to do as everyone else does. Daily we are bombarded with so much news ofdespair about the state of our nation, and the apparent, perverse sense ofsatisfaction our politicians get from vilifying our state of affairs. It is fashionable to migrate to other countries to work in deceptively high-payingjobs like nursing and teaching, forgetting that even at their favored workdestinations, nurses and teachers are some ofthe lowest paid professionals. The lure of high and immediate monetary benefits in some low-end outsourcingjobs has drawn even some of the brightest UP students away from bothindustry and university teaching to which they would have been better suited.

Like the sidewalks and pavement, these paths are the easiest to take.

But, like the sidewalks and pavement, these paths take longer to traverse,just as individual successes do not always make for national progress. The unceasing critic could get elected, but not get the job done. The immigrantcould get his visa, but disappear from our brainpower pool. The highly paidemployee would be underutilized for his skills, and pine to get the job he truly wants, but is now out of his reach. And the country, and we, arepoorer because of these.Today, the nation needs brave, defiant pioneers to reverse our nation'sslide to despair.

Today, we must call upon the spirit that beat the tracks. Today, we must present an alternative way of doing things.

Do NOT just take courage, for courage is not enough. Instead, be BRAVE! Itwill take bravery to go against popular wisdom, against the clichédexpectations of family and friends. It will take bravery to gamble your future by staying in the country and try to make a prosperous life here. Itmight help if for a start, we try to see why our Korean friends are flockingto our country. Why, as many of us line up for immigrant visas in various embassies, they get themselves naturalized and settle here. Do they knowsomething we don't?

Do NOT just be strong in your convictions, for strength is not enough.Instead, DEFY the pressure to lead a comfortable, but middling life. Let us lead this country from the despair of mediocrity. Let us not seek to dowell, but strive to EXCEL in everything that we do. This, so others will seeus as a nation of brains of the highest quality, not just of brawn that could be had for cheap.

Take NOT the road less traveled. Rather, MAKE new roads, BLAZE new trails,FIND new routes to your dreams. Unlike the track-beaters in campus who seewhere they're going, we may not know how far we can go. But if we are brave, defiant searchers of excellence, we will go far. Explore possibilities, thatothers may get a similar chance. I have tried it myself. And I'm speaking toyou now.

But talk is cheap, they say. And so I put my money where my mouth is. Today, I place myself in the service of the University, if it will have me. I wouldlike to teach, to share knowledge, and perhaps to be an example to new UPstudents in thinking and striving beyond the limits of the possible. This may only be a small disturbance in the grass. But I hope you'll come withme, and trample a new path.

Good evening, everyone.

- Mikaela Irene Fudolig, B.S. Physics, 16 years old


I have been doing this cross-stitch for my loved one, since the Holy Week, and there were days that I would not be able to do it, because of the schedule. I do it only in the daytime, for my eyesight's sake. Ü

Doing it made me realize on a lot of things"
Paths to take
Cutting the thread
Changing the thread
Committing mistakes
Learning from mistakes
Starting again

I view it a lot like life.

The Warrior and the Shield

The warrior was strong. Everyone believed in him. He planned the fights, he lead them. His power was unfathomable and he believed in the greatest power of God.

One day, the warrior was given a shield. All his life he was using just his wits, and strength. He carried the shield with him and learned how to use it. He relied not just on his own prowess, but rather became knowledgeable on where and when to shield himself.

But then, there are times when the shield fell, got hit or scarred. In these times, the warrior knows he has to get up, fight, and pick up the shield. There were also instances when the shield's handle would be broken, and it was up to the warrior whether to weld the handle and make it better, for it to be used for another battle. All those times, he wished to the Lord that the shield and him would become better partners.

The warrior liked his shield, and never would he part with it, even if he would not use it.

Osmeña and the University of the Philippines

NOT LONG ENOUGH for UP to forget!!!

HIS ACTION continue to haunt UP.The "UP as a National University" Senate vote (SB2587) has been longingly awaited by the UP community to fast track rehab of the University,especially the College of Engineering, College of Sciences and the Collegeof Medicine. It would have significantly made it easier for the current students to have not gone through the P900/unit and P1,500/unit tuition ifthe vote was made in 2004. In fact, it got side tracked again this year asCongress and Senate went to a recess last February. The repercussion of the Osmeña act reverberates to this day. The College of Engineering had gottenby with its upgrades by reaching out to its Alumni. But what about the restof the University? As you are (or were one time) a beneficiary of the UP system, let your voice be heard against this man who has allowed personalgrudge cloud his better judgement. if he can do it to an Academic community,what more damage can be expected of him to inflict to on an already suffering country?


Spread the word.To the members of the UP COMMUNITY...These are two articles written after John Osmeña derailed SB 2587 in 2004.if you love UP, DO NOT VOTE for this man. Paki-pasa na lang!

by Jojo Robles, Manila Standard8 March 2004

IF I may add to the cacophony of voices raised against this or thatcandidate, please do not vote for one John Henry Renner Osmeña, reelectionist senator from Cebu . This suggestion was prompted, though leftunmentioned, by a recent letter I got from another prominent Cebuano,University of the Philippines president Francisco "Dodong" Nemenzo.

Nemenzo wrote an impassioned letter to the UP Community last week denouncing Osmeña for almost single-handedly jettisoning the 10-year legislative effortto save the country's premier state university.But can one senator, acting alone, really decide the future of an entireacademic community? Of course not. Osmeña was helped along, thoughnot actively, by the weak leadership of the Senate, personified by Ilonggoand fellow UP alumnus Franklin Drilon.

Yes, John O went to UP, where he studied engineering and according to stagedirector and actor Tony Mabesa, a contemporary of the senator discoveredthat he had a budding career in acting. Politics proved a headier brew for Osmeña, however, and he forsook "the roar of the greasepaint" for a lifetimeas an office-seeker.

All told, there are nine UP alumni in the 24-person Senate. So you'd thinkthey would be more sympathetic to Senate Bill 2587, which seeks to update the ancient 1908 university charter to make UP more financially viable. Butno. With the prominent exception of former UP student leader SenatorFrancis Pangilinan, Drilon and the rest of the ex-Diliman senators hushed up as John O lobbied to thwart Nemenzo and scuttle SB 2587, which never evengot voted upon before the Senate adjourned after the first week of this month.

For reasons put forth by Osmeña that Nemenzo described in his letter as "puerile." Which is really insulting to young boys. "Politicking of the mostdespicable type shelved what could have been the legislature' s singulargift to the University of the Philippines , Nemenzo wrote. "Malice triumphed over reason." Should we allow triumphant malice another victory at thepolls? I don't think so.

SB 2587 was first crafted 10 years ago, during the term of UP presidentNapoleon Abueva. Throughout the term of Abueva's successor, Emil Javier, UP carried on the fight to be designated a "national university," distinguishedby its scholarship and research from other state universities and exemptfrom the government's salary standardization law. The bill, certified as urgent by the administration passed unanimously by the Lower House, seeks tostem the faculty brain drain that has plagued UP for decades and would alsoallow the university to use its own savings and other monies directly to improve teaching and facilities.

The proposed law would grant tax exemptions for imports of materials neededfor teaching and research, and greater institutional autonomy to enhanceUP's ability to compete with the best universities in the region. Nemenzo, convinced of the importance of the bill, last year headed alast-ditch effort to have it passed before the end of the current Senate'sterm. It was a lobby campaign that would last for eight months but which would end in futility because of Osmeña's filibustering. This despite thefact that Nemenzo had already been assured by a clear majority of thesenators that they would vote for the bill, if it came on the floor. But because of Osmeña's efforts, of course, the vote never happened."

Senator Osmeña, who would either suddenly disappear when it was his turnto interpellate, or otherwise make demands and claims so outrageous that it took every ounce of forbearance on the part of our University officials tosuffer them in the hope that our bill would pass, regardless," Nemenzo said.

A "peevish" John O "blithely dismissed" any and all arguments presented by the UP officials to dispute his claims during the hearings, Nemenzo added.And as for Drilon (last year's "Outstanding UP Alumnus") and the rest, well,they stood idly by, not even calling for a vote that would surely have defeated Osmeña's objections. It soon became clear that Osmeña, accordingto Nemenzo, had his own reasons for objecting to the bill. "Osmeña reservedhis worst diatribes for me, privately calling me a communist, blaming my relatives in Cebu for his political misfortunes, and vowing to make UP payfor 'demonizing' him during the bases debate more than a decade ago.He informed UP officials that only my immediate resignation from the UP presidency could secure his support for the Charter bill. When herealized that I was resolved to serve UP to the end of my term, he proceededto do his best to achieve the same end and to maim SB 2587 in the process," a bitter Nemenzo recounted.

Rightly, Nemenzo has refused to be cowed by his powerful provincemate. "Irelish intellectual debate, and am used to the insults of the ignorant andthe desperate," he said. "But this is not an argument between John Osmeña and myself. I would have no hesitation leaving office for the right reasonsbut humoring John Osmeña is hardly one of them." For that matter, according to the UP president, "this is not even an argument, but petty tyranny at its worst, with brute political power prevailing over any possibility of reason.It is patently unjust to hold the future of the country's leading universityhostage over some personal differences, no matter how deep they may be."Is this the end, then, of the efforts to revive UP? Nemenzo doesn't thinkso. "We will fight again, and we will fight on," he promised. "We cannot yield to demagoguery and intimidation. As disappointing as the results of this struggle have been, we also learned many things, and will employ thoselessons in a fresh campaign to get a new Charter perhaps one even betterthan the current version drafted and passed."

Among those lessons "is my conviction that just as our legislators have always held UP accountable for its programs and its funds, so should UP holdthe legislature and its individual members accountable for their acts ofcommission and omission. We can only pray and mobilize for the emergence of more responsible lawmakers and leaders who can truly help UP and Philippinehigher education."

That's where my call not to return John Osmeña to the Senate comes in. If UP alumni everywhere (and we are many and supposedly influential) heed it, perhaps the old, dying school will have a fighting chance.

SENATOR JOHN OSMEñA KILLED UP DREAM, EXEC SAYSPosted: 1:14 AM (Manila Time) Mar. 21, 2004
By Tina Santos
Inquirer News Service

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo lambasted SenatorJohn Osmeña for blocking the passage of Senate Bill 2587, which would havegiven way to a more responsive state university. The Senate adjourned without passing the bill or even bringing to a vote the proposed measurethat would have led to the revision of the UP Charter for the first time since its founding in 1908.

Nemenzo expressed dismay over the manner by which it was doomed to die on the Senate floor, largely on the account of Osmena's objections anddemands. He said the shelving of the bill on the Senate's adjournment dashedall hopes of bringing the UP Charter into the 21st century. The UP president said the bill did not only seek to develop the institution asa state university but as a Philippine university with academic standardsof excellence competitive with those of national universities in the region.

The bill seeks, among other things, to empower the Board of Regents,UP's highest policy-making body, to enter into joint venture agreements withthe private sector in developing university property.The university's students and employees claimed the provision may lead tothe "commercialization of education," and eventually to the sale of the UP to private companies. In a letter to the Inquirer, Nemenzo, stressed that the bill would have allowed UP to pay realistic salaries, improve itssystem of overnance and generate more resources to augment its budget.

On March 4, Osmeña came out with a paid newspaper advertisement and said that the bill was not a "legislative gift to the university but merelyrepresents a juicy retirement check for the overstaying UP resident."

In his letter, Nemenzo retorted to the senator's statement saying, "There is nothing sinister about this bill. But his long immersion in trapo(traditional politics) culture -- in which he deserves an honorary doctorate-- has made him (Osmeña) thoroughly cynical, believing that everyone thinks like him."Source: http://www.inq7./ net/met/2004/ mar/21/met_3- 1.htm

Friday, May 04, 2007

I Want to Conquer Mountains with You

I used to. But I just can't. Not now. I need to improve a lot of things about me. My health (I have asthma, and recently my knee hurt and foot got blistered but they are okay now), my fear of your absence...

I need you. I want you to be always there for me, just like I have been always here for you.

I have to conquer all these things. I just need some time. And again, I need you.

Conversations with Bibi

Mama Bear: Naku Bibi iiwan na naman kita bukas...Tinotopak na naman Papa Bear mo. Alam mo bang may kapatid ka na? Little Bibi binigay niyang pangalan. Nagsasabi sya ng I love you pero ikaw nayayakap. Sana mahal pa rin nya ako bukas...

(Bibi is a big bear, thus the name.)