By: Neil John Beltran and Caryl Angeli Guinto
Ateneo Gabay once more highlighted how it is to be an Atenean scholar as it spearheaded the Scholars’ 101 in MVP Roofdeck last October 24, 5:00 to 6:30 PM.
Scholars’ Week (S’Week) 2019 distinguished itself from the S’Weeks of the past years by initiating a brand new program: Scholars’ 101 (S’101). The program aims to inspire Ateneans through talks from esteemed Atenean icons.
With the theme ‘Extending our Hands and Minds’, the event yearned to convey the concept of an Atenean scholar as being constituted both by academic and leadership excellence as part not only of an institution, but of a much bigger society.
Hosted by Noelle Anne Cubacub, the program started off with an opening prayer led by Darwin Tesion. Following it was the opening remarks of Jose Maria Edito K. Tirol, PhD; Director of the Office of Admission and Aid (OAA), where he discussed what it means for a scholar to extend beyond oneself, saying, “Learn what you can do with what you are.”
Giving the 33 attendees some words of inspiration on discernment and academic excellence was Maria Luz C. Vilches, PhD, Vice President for the Loyola Schools; who delivered her talk as the first of the two sessions of the program. She accentuated the need for discernment, especially in academics, to maintain a calm and healthy disposition amidst a plethora of workload.
Speaking about his takeaway, Jubert Calamba, Ateneo Gabay Finance Officer, said that the message imparted by Vice-President Vilches is important to students, especially for scholars who have a lot of things to think about, in order for them to preserve a peaceful mind.
Meanwhile, Project head Lynyrd Peras expressed his thankfulness for Vilches’ effort to attend the program despite her busy schedule and attributed this effort of VP Vilches to her passion of sharing her story as she also was once an Atenean scholar when she was pursuing her postgraduate degree.
The second session of the program commenced when former Atenean scholar Bro. Ronald Calderon, who is now a seminarian in St. John Etudes House of Jesus and Mary, took the stage as he talked about service and leadership.
Having told stories on his teaching, working, and interacting with the warm-hearted people of Bukidnon, where he taught, he emphasized that faced with such marginality, a person will be confronted by an uneasiness that can only be relieved through service. He also gave a message that humans have to live in service as they are social beings.
Next in line was the open forum involving the mentioned two speakers and the participants, followed by the closing remarks of Kyle Bigcas. Immediately after, the program organizers and attendees took a group photo to cap off the program.
In an interview with Yabag, Peras expressed the importance of the event as a refresher for students. He believes that Ateneo scholars are intelligent but will sometimes lose motivation to continue in their endeavors, therefore they need to take a step back and relax a bit.
Moreover, he stated that the primary objective of Ateneo scholars is to appreciate the scholarship they were given by striving for greatness and empowering other people.
“Use this to not only develop yourself but to be of service to others,” he said,
One of the participants of the program, Carmela Mungkal, said that Scholars’ 101 gave her a personal takeaway. She said that she previously did not have the drive to study but the event reminded her that she was granted a scholarship for a reason.
“Coming into Ateneo, I didn’t really know why I was granted a scholarship. […] Scholars’ 101 really just reminded me na ‘Hey, you were picked for a certain reason, [that] it’s not [really about] what you are right now, it could be about what [the OAA] thinks your potential is.’ And it just encouraged me to be at par with that [expectation],” she said.