DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 July) – Class 2022 of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao (UPMin) produced a summa cum laude and 80 other graduates with Latin honors as announced during its first face-to-face commencement ceremony since the pandemic on Tuesday morning.
The graduation ceremony at UPMin’s Mintal campus here was attended by three batches, including those from 2020 (88 graduates) and 2021 (38) when no gatherings were allowed. Class of 2022 has 143 graduates.
Class valedictorian is Klarisse A. Cruzado, summa cum laude, from the BS Food Technology program. She scored a cumulative weighted average of 1.0612, the highest ever in UPMin.
Class 2022 has 18 magna cum laudes and 62 cum laudes.
Cruzado said in her speech that her biggest challenge during the pandemic was the loss of boundaries, routines, and privacy as she was studying her courses. She added that she struggled with online classes, including deadlines, unstable internet connectivity, and the blurring of boundaries between school work and domestic situations.
Henri Robert Bungabong, cum laude and graduate of BA Communication and Media Arts, shares the same views.
“Everything academic related became exponentially more difficult not just because of the transition to an online setup, but because of the absence of a support system that helped keep all of us going. All the things we had to go through, we’ve gone through alone and I think that’s what’s most difficult of all,” he told MindaNews in an interview.
But Maya Miclat, magna cum laude from the same program, had a different experience, with friends helping out, albeit virtually. “Buti na lang my blockmates were there. Super solid support system kasi they won’t think twice to help you in any way they can,” she said.
But Bungabong said the face-to-face graduation ceremony changed everything. “To see all our struggles be validated and be concluded by a face-to-face graduation literally took all the weight of the struggles of online class away. We were comforted, and we finally saw the friends and classmates we were longing to be with in college, especially for those who come from faraway areas like me,” said the Manilenyo.
Cruzado was the second summa from the BS Food Technology program. Three years earlier, Pete Maverick Nicole Estudillo became UPMin’s first summa cum laude.
Cruzado was able to balance her academics with her extracurricular activities while in college. She served as an active member of the Philippine Association of Food Technologists (PAFT)-Lambda Chapter, UP Dance Ensemble, and The Smuggled Ones (SMUGS) and even assumed leadership roles. (Veda Sachi C. Daliling / MindaNews intern)