“PANAHON na,” UST Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. exclaimed, opening his homily for this year’s Baccalaureate Mass for the graduates. But more appealing to the crowd was his following catchphrase, “para magsaya!”

As one of the hopeful graduates seated on monobloc chairs at the main field, I admittedly could not deny the smile that everyone seemed to have shared on that night of March 20. However, the overly inquisitive side of me started to haunt me again.

With a very challenging future ahead of the 2009 graduates – considering the global economic meltdown with thousands of professionals losing their jobs and the consequent intensified job-searching competition, the fresh harvest may indeed need all the help they can get. So what enjoyment is this rector talking about? He explained: “for God is in control of us.” Posting a more exigent endeavor, he urged every graduate to succeed where most failed.

I would like to take his statements not in the context of fatalism, rather as an inkling of hope that shall initiate actions. In its simplest, if one is not yet rejoicing, then that person must do something to achieve that fulfillment. True enough, this reference to time, “panahon na,” has something in store for change – perhaps not of a revolutionary one but of a transitory period of reflections and actions.

Definitely, God is in control. However, that privilege must be reciprocated with due activity from an agent with proper motives. And that is much expected from the learned, especially from a graduate of a Catholic institution.

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War for peace

Much has been evident and still emerging as unimaginable brainchildren of the supposedly educated individuals of this country. With criticisms given for the longest time possible, some have already been cynical, who say that there is no other choice than to be succumbed by this seemingly eviternal system.

Appalling as the situation may be, it may be this point which the rector has referred to as the grey area where most of the seniors in the previous years have failed.

This pondering gained more gravity as I chanced upon a professor who asked me regarding what my plans are now that I have graduated. With a sigh, I answered: “further studies,” with a rising intonation as if I was also asking a question.

Finishing a liberal arts course may have affected the tone of my answer, considering that the youth nowadays prefer to engage more in financially rewarding endeavors. To be honest, no matter how my professors say that such a course will bring at least monetary stability, I cannot be convinced.

But still, I have graduated. And it was a little bit late for me to realize that this is the challenge that I must overcome – this demeanor believing that everything revolves around cash. This perhaps may be a very good thing to start with. Besides, the thought of it, as observed, brings the tendencies of greed – consequently, corruption.

Breaking free from a “misconception,” now I can join to say: “let the fun begin!”

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