Saturday, April 16, 2016

Filipino Librarians: The BSE Library Science Majors of PNU Batch 1994 (Part 1)

I graduated with a bachelors degree in Secondary Education at the Philippine Normal University in 1994. I majored in Library Science and picked as many English courses as my electives. Thanks to the big change. 

It was in the first semester of my sophomore year when the big change happened. From a state college, PNC transformed into a state university. I didn't feel and witness any educational reform or changes within the university except for a slight increase in tuition and matriculation fees. I remember paying 500 Php for my tuition and matriculation fees during the second semester that year until the scholarship came in junior year. Other than this, it was the individual enlistment ala-UP that was the most memorable.  

We are missing nine classmates here: Andrea Arcilla De Guzman, Helen Aripol Advincula, Galddys Addatu Florendo, Rowena Domingo, Myraflor Mayo Velasquez, Elvira de Luna Regio, Abigail Calinisan, Lourdes Barros and Nelson Immaculata 

I had classes with my co-majors and got mixed with other education majors in my batch. Needless to say, the BSE Library Science majors of my batch remained a tight group and we got to know other education majors in the batch. Class discussions on the GE subjects were more exciting. Major subjects were intense and focused. I had time for curricular activities and college organizations. I had a love life.

What didn't change was the way our LS professors taught us. They were punctual and persevering; patient and committed. Despite budget cuts and limited resources, they tried and strived to give their best. 

Early on we all knew our LS group was a minority. But, we also knew that a job awaited us after graduation. I am proud to say that my batch had two honor students and all fifteen of us have kept jobs to this day.
May nagbago ba?
When six of us met for a mini-reunion, it was just like college. Some things never change. People don't really change. I have not seen my batch mates in years. But when we met last week, time and distance didn't matter. It was like we have seen each other the previous week!

Amabel Sibug is our moral compass. She is based in Jordan, working in the Pontifical Library there, and thanks to social media, she manages to keep in touch. As a Teresiana, we get to be prayed over by her every night. No wonder we all turned up well despite ourselves. Loy Danila, our class cum laude, has been steady and stable all these years. She is working in the records department of one of the top companies in Makati. Malou Banlaygas remains to be a student of life. After years of working in a university library, she is still learning so much about life and love. 

Maji Dizon Dalisay, after her stint as university librarian in one of the top universities in Pampanga decided to become a full time mom. She is raising three lovely daughters and keeping home with her husband. That's a full time job to reckon. The choice of family life is worth it. Mean Jimenez Salvador is now pursuing a PhD and is continuing what her artist husband, Lirio Salvador, has started, a museum and art center in Cavite.

A journey is more meaningful with friends whom you can walk beside with.
As for me, well, here I am. Still telling stories.

Our mini-reunion was punctuated with a trekking expedition to Banal na Bundok, near the foot of Mt. Arayat. I don't know about them, but to me, it was an experience of going full circle. Was it only yesterday when we journeyed together in PNU? What were our battles then? How did college change us? How has life treated us? How did we respond? What are we now? Who are we? Who am I among my peers and friends?

I am proud to have walked with these wonderful people in my younger years. Now that we have achieved a little bit of something for ourselves, not just the job or the degree, but the knowledge that there exists goodness in the universe, I can say that I have never been alone. I have always belonged.

I went home that night feeling so blessed. I have nothing else to give the profession who made me who I am today but myself.

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