In this era of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, disasters, and a disturbing leadership, Dr. Eddie G. Dorotan emphasized the power of a ‘caring environment’ to unite a community during his keynote speech at UP Manila’s 112th commencement rites held virtually on Aug. 29.
“Saludo ako sa sektor ng kalusugan, lalo na sa UP Community sa pagtulong sa paglaban sa COVID-19… Kailangan ang bawat isa sa atin ay tanggapin ang responsibilidad na matuto, umangkop, at gumawa ng mga malikhaing paraan at solusyon.”
The virtual commencements carried the theme “Sama-samang Pagbangon Tungo sa Makabuluhang Pagbabago” and was broadcasted via UP Manila Commencement 2021 website, Facebook and YouTube pages. Students were conferred their academic degrees at home, 452 of whom received baccalaureate degrees while 298 received master’s or doctoral degrees. 19 candidates received the Latin distinction magna cum laude and 105 cum laude. Together, they represent the 750-strong UP Manila Class of 2021.
Dr. Dorotan, a UP College of Medicine alumnus and former Galing Pook Foundation Executive Director for 14 years, recalled his activism when he entered UP during Martial Law. He narrated how his brother, Manuel Dorotan, was tortured, mutilated, and whose body was dumped in a dry well. Together with a few medical student classmates, they implemented health programs for the poor barangays of Tagaytay and Manila after forming the organization Lingap para sa Kalusugan ng Sambayanan or LIKAS. As a doctor, and later as the director, of the district hospital in Irosin, Sorsogon, he launched relevant and meaningful community-based health programs. Seeing the dire state of his town, he ran and became the mayor of Irosin for two terms and significantly uplifted the town’s situation through many successful projects and initiatives such as localized peace-zone initiatives for which he received distinctive awards. The Galing Pook stint was marked with his mantra, that of organizing the local citizens to take part in intensifying the health, education, livelihood, and environmental initiatives of their community.
“Sana ay maging makabagong pinuno kayong lahat—matatag, umaangkop, at lumilikha,” he implored. Accompanying this plea are 9 tips he shared with the graduates to become resilient, adaptive, and innovative leaders (watch the full speech here).
For her part, Chancellor Carmencita David-Padilla congratulated the graduates for being equipped with a high level of education. “Hindi lamang pinakamataas na edukasyon, kung hindi makabuluhan na tumutugon sa mga pangangailangan ng bansa lalo ngayong pandemiya. Naibahagi rin ng UP Manila ang pagkalinga na nawa’y naghubog sa inyo upang gamitin ang nakamtang kagalingan para makatulong sa kapwa lalo na sa mahihirap,” she said (full speech here).
Class Valedictorian and BA Organizational Communication magna cum laude from the College of Arts and Sciences, Ms. Allison Louise T. Salazar responded on behalf of the graduates. Quoting Douglas Horton: “Action cures fear, while inaction creates terror,” Ms. Salazar offered words of encouragement to her fellow graduates who doubt themselves and worry for their families, loved ones, frontliners who serve, and the citizens incapable of surviving in the present economy (watch her full speech here).
UP President Danilo Concepcion led the graduates in pledging their loyalty to their Alma Mater. UP Regents Atty. Reynaldo C. Laserna and Hon. Deogracias Victor "DV" B. Savellano led the oath as new members of the UP and UP Manila Alumni Association.
The UP Manila Chorale performed inspiring songs at different parts of the affair. In addition to the virtual program, the commencement website featured teasers, e-yearbooks, and interesting highlights from the colleges’ recognition ceremonies.
Anne Marie D. Alto