Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.
-Peter Parker (Spiderman)
We all love this time of the school year when new faces tirelessly flash their youthful smiles. In our University Town where everybody seems to know everyone, people-watch is a favorite pastime. The school opening is always the perfect time for this slow-paced city’s no. 1 entertainment which has an added venue, the Portal West corner. We hear ourselves or overhear someone ask, “Who is that pretty face?” or “Oh another hunk, from Manila? Fil-Am?” Up-close one gets to hear a foreign student whine. “It’s humid here… “ or “The pedicabs are noisy!” Then, an LTCFTC (looking Tirso Cruz, feeling Tom Cruise) with a British accent exclaims, “People here are always looking at me,… makes me feel paranoid.”
But beyond the face value – our everyday entertainment, we want you to know that some of the new members of our beloved community are bound to make a difference with their potentialities:
MARIA ELVIE ANN BARTE graduated valedictorian from Basay National High School. With this honor, she is presently enjoying two scholarships while pursuing a degree in Business Administration at Negros Oriental State University. She is confident that her being a Class Math wizard will help her achieve more in college.
She hopes to work in a famous bank someday somewhere in Taiwan or in Japan. The film "The Passion of the Christ" has been her inspiration. She shared, “The movie is really touching and it reminds me of who I really am! It's taught me to share unconditional love. It also helped me realize that I am very worthy because someone died for me to be saved. And with that, I must live my life by touching other lives for me to be very worthy in the eyes of God.”
Her big crush is the actor Wu Chun of Brunei who became a huge film star in Taiwan. “I love his sense of humility…,” Elvie was almost non-stop in introducing her film icon.
Lynn Francine Batalan is very proud to have spent “my high school years in the bosom of Foundation University.” It is the school where “I learned to experience life to the fullest and discovered a lot of myself.” She was president of the Ushers and Usherettes Club, an exposure that made her realize that at FU, they “open their arms as wide as they can for all the students to have fun and experience new things….”
The organizations like the Buglasayaw Dance Troupe, the Science Club, the Debating Club and Peer Counselors Club were important exposures that led her to achieve two honors: the Valedictorian of Class 2008 dubbed as the “The Visionaries” and a beauty title Miss Teen Dumaguete 2007. These two “are also my memorable moments and treasured experiences in my high school life.” The Accountancy student, still at FU, wants “to see myself as a banker working in offices either private or public firms.” But first, she knows that she will have to work hard to have excellent academic records to ensure a good performance in the CPA Board Examination.
Negros Oriental State University’s GLYSA JADUCANA graduated valedictorian from Santander National High School. This Education student who is majoring in Mathematics complained,” My generation is more complicated and is harder to understand.” She read and seriously followed the teachings of Jose Rizal and she wants all the other young people to know that “Life is sometimes cruel therefore we must be strong enough. We must choose wisely because it is our choices that tell us who we really are….”
When this Dallas-born chinito expressed he doesn’t like walking around the wide expanse of Silliman campus, I quoted Barack Obama to cheer him up, “If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.” BRYCE KING, a science quiz bee champ from Xavier School, is taking up Marine Biology. He said there’s just “…too much lawyers, too many businessmen, too many nurses….” The young environmentalist is hoping to make an Al Gore-kind of impact in his own humble way. The grandson of philanthropist Angelo King had sent college applications around the globe and was accepted by universities in the US, the UK… and in Manila but chose to study at Silliman, “I really think this is the best environment for Marine Biology.”
ELLEN MAE ELTANAL graduated from Sta. Catalina Community School as the Class Valedictorian. “The honor made my family happy and proud… because of it I was given the chance to study in this very wonderful university town.” A Bachelor in Secondary Education major at St. Paul University, Ellen wishes to help the less fortunate acquire a good education by becoming a teacher who is well-respected as a master of her field. She observed that “Living in a modernized world, our generation now is somehow a bit lazy. Doing things are done instantly, we are very much influenced by the westerns to the point that we don’t focus on our own values and culture.” But she believes that with “dreams to help the family and be able to help others,” the young generation can still make a difference. She loves Oprah Winfrey who as world icon, “influences us to learn living each day with hope and leaving the past behind.” She notes that Oprah has “really proven that there is always hope no matter how difficult the situation is.”
A talent search winner, an editorial writing finalist, a Christian Youth Fellowship president…. A long line of achievements for this Mass Communication freshman at Silliman University. ANTON EMILIO SANCHEZ belongs to the third generation of Sillimanians from the Sanchez family of the City of Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte. His father Marvin, a fraternity Grand Chancellor during his students days is the brother of 1980’s campus beauty Joy Sanchez-Bobon ( Miss Biz-Ad who won the Miss Silliman first runner-up title in 1981) and who is among Dumaguete’s most successful entrepreneurs with her Sta. Theresa fastfood and other enterprises. Anton, a son of Dumagueteña Anne Marie Arnaiz, recalled his first week here, “My first week was probably the worst.... I became very shy and so insecure. I have never been this far from my parents, and being deeply attached to my family I was really really homesick...” His Tita Joy came to the rescue and gave him survival tips that ended with: gain back your confidence!
JELA MAE TANILON is the Salutatorian of Foundation University High School Class of 2008. This Accountancy student who is loyal to her Alma Mater found her first week in college as “Bad! Everything is new to me. I’m having a hard time adjusting…. I’m not used to have different classmates in different subjects. But I hope I’ll be able to surmount these as soon as possible.” She shares an observation that “Our generation is into modern technologies that are perceptibly, making us lazy. From brooms to vacuum cleaners, from hand washing to washing machines, and from books to surfing the net. It’s not always bad doing research in the internet, but we also have to comprehend that computer information is revisable and can be changed from time to time. Sometimes, computer facts are even mocked by some experts.” She is worried about the tendency to simply “copy-paste” things in life for it takes people away from the value of reading and understanding the truth. The film “The Freedom Writers” has inspired her for “aside from being a true story, the movie depicts new generation teenagers who made an enormous change in their lives.” Jela would like to remind her fellow students that the opportunity to be in college is valuable: “never quit. Love what you are doing. Work with full dedication. Never be afraid of failures.” She shares wisdom from Charles Lamb, “Pain is life—the sharper, the more evidence of life” to stress the value of perseverance.