Chemical Engineering and La Salle

Message during the Symposium for Incoming Freshmen 2009

Administrators, faculty members, parents and fellow students, good morning!

First of all, think of what comes first to your mind when you hear the phrase “La Salle”.  How many would say “Green Archers” or “UAAP Men’s Basketball”?  May I have a show of hands?  How many would say “high tuition” or something related to being rich?  How many would say “Lasallian Achievers for God and Country”?  Thank you for being honest.  Are there other answers?  Thank you.

To those who said something along the lines of the UAAP Men’s Basketball, well… you are not mistaken.  De La Salle University is actually known for its capacity to sell tickets, sometimes, even at exorbitant prices, when the game is against Ateneo de Manila University.  But De La Salle University also has other varsity teams which students from across the University join.  In fact, I have known some engineering students who are actually part of some of the University’s teams.

To those who said something about wealth, De La Salle University charges high tuition and fees in spite of the fact that the rate of tuition fee increase in the past years had been very low, but of course, there are scholarships and financial aid available for those who really need them.  Nevertheless, the generalization of some that Lasallians are apathetic elitists is just an unsubstantiated motherhood statement, kasi sabi ng iba, tingnan lang natin kung paano lumilipat ng klase o building ang mga mag-aaral.  Pag UP, nagje-jeep.  Pag Ateneo, nag-ta-trike, pero pag La Salle, naglalakad lang, so sino ang mas mayaman?  (because as others say, let’s just look at how students move from one class to another.  For UP students, they ride the jeepney.  Ateneans ride the tricycle while Lasallians just walk.  Who are richer?)  No, just kidding.  It is because when you look around, you will find students who would go outside the University to find cheaper food to eat.  You will also see student leaders who would commute to Divisoria to purchase things needed for an organization’s activity.  Most of all, you will see students who are willing to join the University’s Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) in order to help our unfortunate brothers and sisters outside the University.

And that is why the few who said “Christian Achievers for God and Country” and those who really thought of “Christian Achievers for God and Country” but did not want to raise their hands are correct in thinking that way, because here in De La Salle University, students are taught the Lasallian values of faith, zeal for service, and communion in mission.  And I can say that this University has not failed in its efforts to mold its students holistically.  With its 31 professional student organizations, four socio-civic student organizations, and five special interest organizations, the University is able to train students who choose to be active.  Those who choose to be active in student organizations such as the Chemical Engineering Society or ChEn, not only learns more because of the seminars and activities that ChEn offers, but also learns how to deal with people and how to do paper works necessary for the planning and implementation of the organization’s projects and activities.

But of course, these are in addition to the main reason why we are in the University and why you are joining the tertiary academic community:  Education.  Throughout my stay in the University, I can say that De La Salle University is one of the best educational institutions in the country.  These are backed by numerous recognitions that the University was able to receive from institutions inside and outside the country.  The Chemical Engineering Department, in particular, had been designated as the host institution for Chemical Engineering Education in Southeast Asia.  Moreover, graduates of the Chemical Engineering program in the University were known to perform well in the licensure examinations and get good jobs.  Biruin niyo, may nagpapracticum na five-digit ang sweldo per half month.  Bawas na ang income tax, SSS, PhilHealth at Pag-Ibig doon ha.  (Imagine, there are those who are just in having their practicum, yet they receive a five-digit salary per half-month.  That’s already net of income tax, social security and other deductions.)

Given that fact, perhaps some of you would think that Chemical Engineering is a highly-technical and very difficult course to take.  Yes, Chemical Engineering is a technical course that demands students to be highly-interested, take note interested hindi necessarily VERY skilled (take note:  interested, not necessarily very skilled), in mathematics, chemistry, engineering and other physical sciences.  While being intelligent is definitely an advantage, an interest that drives you to overcome the challenges that come with being a chemical engineering student will definitely bring you to your graduation less than five years from now, and if you are determined enough, you might graduate with Latin honors.  ‘Yung mga hindi naman, ipagdasal niyo na lang na manlibre ‘yung mga may Latin honors at sigurado akong masarap na masarap ang libre nila lalo na kung kasabay niyo sila grumaduate.  (For those who wouldn’t, just pray that those who graduate with Latin honors will treat you out, and I’m sure that you will enjoy their treat especially if you graduate at the same time with them.)

Chemical engineering isn’t a very difficult course to take, inaabot lang ako minsan nang 12 midnight (I just sleep at 12 midnight from time to time), but that is because of the time I spend checking my e-mails, chatting with people using YM and keeping myself aware of others’ recent activities and opinions, in short, nagbabasa ng blogs at tumitingin sa Friendster and Multiply.  Nababawi naman ang tulog kasi hindi naman sing aga ng high school ang pasok sa college (in short, reading blogs, looking at Friendster and Multiply.  I am still able to have enough sleep because classes start later in college than in high school.).

I believe that is all that matters for now.  I hope you were able to learn something from this, for lack of a better term, “testimony”.  Should you have any question, you may ask me later in the programme or even after the programme.  Thank you and God bless!

Live Jesus in our hearts forever!

 

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