A two-day celebration of QCU Batch Natatangi conferral and recognition was held last June 23 and 24, 2022, officially graduating under the banner “Natatanging katatagan tungo sa matagumpay na kinabukasan.” Both events took place at the Quezon City Memorial Circle Covered Court.
It’s been two years since the start of online classes. Only virtual graduation ceremonies were held by the batch graduates from Manawari (2019–2020) and Padayon (2020–2021). Now that the situation is returning to normal, it is the first time Quezon City University has staged a face-to-face graduation rite again since the outbreak of COVID-19, while still adhering to bare minimum safety protocols.
All of the graduates received their degree titles during the conferral and recognition ceremony, which was presided over by Mayor Joy Belmonte and QCU President Dr. Theresita V. Atienza. Several students also received awards. The honors given to those students are “MLQ Youth Leadership Award”, “Academic Honors” which includes the Latin Honors, and “Academic Excellence Award” granted for the highest general weighted average overall.
Before the awarding, Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” Belmonte gave an inspiring message to all the graduates of Batch Natatangi. She encouraged all the students to follow God’s will for them, “Sometimes what we want is not what God wants for us. So just keep an open mind, continue to pray, and continue to put that God’s will is what we will follow”.
Mayor Joy ended her message by motivating them to make their life valuable, “Be productive. Do not waste the life that God gave you. You only have one life. Make it matter. Make it important. Make it a life that your parents will be proud”.
Additionally, Ms. Vanessa C. Ubaldo from the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy is the recipient of the Manuel Luis Quezon Youth Leadership Award. 181 Cum Laude Awardees and 14 Magna Cum Laude Awardees are among the 195 students that achieved Academic Honors. Pamella A. Ramos, a student in the Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship program, receives the Academic Excellence Award.
Ms. Ramos gave her valedictorian speech after receiving the Academic Excellence Award. She expressed her gratitude to those who became part of her life journey. And she also shared her struggles and experiences on how she overcome the challenges to motivate her fellow students, “Sa Batch Natatangi, umpisahan nating pagkatiwalaan ang ating mga sarili. Huwag nating lamunin ang ating sarili ng mga pangamba at takot. Ang mundo ay hindi limitado para sa mga naniniwala. Tandaan din nating kung may isang pintong nagsara, mayroon pang mga pinto na maaari nating buksan, o kusang magbubukas para sa atin.” she said.
Following Ms. Ramos’ address as valedictorian, Mr. Daryl Panganiban, the president of the QCU Alumni Association, led a pledge to close the recognition ceremony. Confirm that the Batch Natatangi graduates would be alumni of Quezon City University.
There are two (2) sessions for the graduation ceremony proper, which is held the day after. The morning session is attended by students from the College of Computer Studies and the College of Engineering. The second is the afternoon session for College of Business Administration and Accountancy graduates.
The morning session was participated by 1,141 Bachelor of Science in Information Technology students— including those from the old curriculum. The engineering students were also there consisting of 71 students from Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering and 257 students from Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, also including those from the old curriculum. With a total of 328 students from the College of Engineering.
It was preceded by the speech of Hon. Michael Kelly P. Tiu Lim, the representative of Business/Industry and a Member of QCU Board of Regents. He gave an inspiring message that graduates should never forget to serve others and use their talents for any good. Mr. Tiu Lim ended his message with a quote from Confucious, “A child without education is like a child without wings”. Then he further conveyed his message about the importance of education and continuing to fly high to reach their dreams.
Moreover, the awarding of diplomas have began and the commencement speech for the morning session follows. The speech was led by Ms. Elanie J. Quilang from the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. She shared all the related experiences of their batch and motivate them, “College life is like we stranded in the middle of the sea. Bakit? Kasi maaaring hayaan mo na lang ang iyong sarili na lumubog, sumuko, at tuluyan nang malunod, o tutulungan mo ang iyong sarili [na] lumangoy upang makaahon at makaligtas.” she said.
Ms. Quilang concluded her message with this, “Ipakita natin kung ano ang tatak QCians. Good luck sa journey na lalakbayin ng bawat isa sa’tin. The future is all yours now, go for it!”. The graduation for the College of Computer Studies and College of Engineering ended then took a break and was followed by the afternoon session.
After the graduation of BSIT and Engineering students in the morning, the last session was participated by 198 students from Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, and 1,183 students from Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship, including those from the old curriculum. They comprised 1,381 students from the College of Business Administration and Accountancy.
It was headed by the speech of Mr. Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II, the Director of Management, Strategic Communication and Advocacy of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. He emphasized how serious climate change is, and that everyone should be environmentally responsible in their households. He also stated that his friend, Climate Change Commission Chairperson, Carlos G. Dominguez said, “People do not realize it, but climate change will hit us like a tsunami if we continue to do nothing about this worsening crisis”. Mr. Lambini also explained his point that the call to action on climate should resonate more with young people— who will live beyond the next few decades. He finished his speech by reminding the students to never give up and to do their best in everything. With commitment and determination, get up when life knocks them down.
The awarding ceremony for their diploma follows, then Ms. Nicole P. Padre from BS Entrepreneurship started her commencement speech by thanking God and her mom. She also shared with everyone the key to her success. She said that there is no secret, but it depends on how a student will practice habits that will help them a lot in their studies. She also extended her congratulations to her batchmates— especially to working students for she experienced being one.
Ms. Padre said that BS Accountancy was initially her top option, but there weren’t any slots at that time. As a result, she was forced to enroll in her current course, which she eventually came to love and perform admirably in. She also thanked her mother, late father, her best friend— Mara Malapitan, her aunties, her friends, and the Megaworld Foundation— which is with her throughout her journey. She closed her speech by saying, “Beautiful things in life don’t come easily. I’m hoping and praying that no matter what life throws at us, may we all overcome”.
Therefore, the morning and afternoon graduation ceremonies culminated by singing of the graduation song “Liwanag sa Dilim” covered by Yeng Constantino and “Imno ng Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Quezon”.
The graduation was indeed memorable for all the graduates of Batch Natatangi because of the struggles they went through all their college years. Their efforts are worth the prize with face-to-face graduation from QCU after 2 years. Congratulations to the first batch of K to 12 graduates. All of them were indeed “natatangi”, unique, or distinct from others. They were the light amid their darkest times. This chapter may end for them, but a new page of reality will unfold ahead for another journey.
By Jericho Paqueo & Rozi Broqueza