Yesterday’s 84th Commencement Exercises of Central Philippine University marked the 10th year of the revival of our Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) program. It was in 2002 when we reactivated the program, a couple of years after I finished my Master of Social Work from the University of the Philippines- Diliman. An adventurous attempt, considering the odds, with a simple goal i.e. to have even just one graduate. By this, we can convince the apathetic targets including those who shifted to other courses that we mean business this time.
The goal was achieved during the University’s historic Centennial Year in 2005. Since then, we have produced 10 graduates including this year’s biggest figure, so far. There are four of them who made it. But this is not the sole reason that makes the event very significant. It is also because of the circumstances surrounding their graduation.
|The author, flanked by Kareen Jay (L) and Carol Kay (R).|
At extreme right is Carol's husband, Eleazar Blando
It was only when, by another circumstance, I was appointed as officer-in-charge of the Department for a year effective August last year that their studies were given a boost. Renewing our relationship, we committed to resume the interrupted partnership and development agenda for the Department including their MSSW degree. Thereafter, I served as their thesis adviser struggling with them through thick and thin until they were conferred with their hard earned degree yesterday.
The other two are personnel of the Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. The bonding we have may not be comparable to the previous ones. Yet, it is also interesting and equally significant. Adverse circumstances did not hinder their desire to finish studies according to their schedule. Even my serious sickness and subsequent health limitation could not withstand their earnestness to complete the course.
The devastating flash floods in Cagayan de Oro, triggered by Tropical Storm Sendong scrapped the scheduled December leave of Sr. Aubrey Casimiro, DC for data gathering and processing. The pressing need compelled her to volunteer there for about a month. Such situation, however, was just a spark of tougher times encountered by other advisees that made our schedule scramble. Like the storm, they brought dark clouds that could have marred the glimmer of hope to finish, had it not been for the team work we have established. A lesson from the flight of geese we learned in our classes.
(To be continued)