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‘Huwag bibitiw’: UP professor emeritus urges new scientists to shape PHL’s future

Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu
UP Diliman Professor Emeritus Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu exhorted UPD-CS’ graduates to remain hopeful but vigilant of the future. (Photo credit: Garcia Photography Services)

In the face of a future yet to be written, beset by Promethean technologies and an Apolakian climate, one of the country’s foremost Filipino writers calls on a new generation of Filipino scientists to stay grounded—and stand their ground.

“Ihahabilin ko ito nang may pakiusap: huwag sanang magbago ang isip ninyo. Kailangan ng bansa natin ng higit pang maraming scientist,” distinguished writer Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu exhorted the University of the Philippines – Diliman College of Science (UPD-CS) graduating class of 2023, noted for having the most number of PhD graduates in the College’s 40-year history.

A professor emeritus and former dean of the College of Arts and Letters (UPD-CAL), Dr. Torres-Yu expressed cautious optimism for the future in her keynote address delivered at the UPD-CS Special Recognition Program last July 29. She also underscored the fundamental role of Filipino scientists in safeguarding the country’s future.

UPD-CS’s newly-minted graduates should never forget why they became scientists, Dr. Torres-Yu said, waxing poetic: “Ang kinang ay dapat timplahin ng kabuluhan para higit na maging kapakinabangan sa bayan at sambayanan. Samakatwid, hindi tayo nabubuhay para sa sariling kinang lamang.”

Hopeful vigilance for the future

Dr. Torres-Yu said she would be remiss as a professor and mentor if she did not urge vigilance and caution amid the celebration. She reminded UPD-CS’ new scientists that their lives and work are not isolated from the rest of the world:

“Anuman ang laboratoryong piliin, hindi ito maitatago sa nangyayari sa mundo. Kumbaga sa bagyo, literal at metaporikal, umaabot sa atin ang unos, baha, lindol, pagkawasak ng kapaligiran, kabuhayan at kapayapaan… Gusto ko mang iwasan ang pagbanggit tungkol dito, dahil ang pagtatapos ninyo ay dapat na maging masaya, magkukulang naman ako bilang guro kung hindi ko man lang mabanggit ang tungkol dito,” she told the gathered crowd of over 400 graduates.

“Ang mahalaga ay manatili ang ugaling mapagmatyag na taglay na ninyo dahil mga scientist kayo; maging mapanuri, makilahok at pumanig sa pagbabagong makabubuti sa ating bayan at sa sangkatauhan,” she added.

UP scientists
UP Diliman Professor Emeritus Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu exhorted UPD-CS’ graduates to remain hopeful but vigilant of the future (Photo credit: Shedy Masayon, UPD-CS SciComm)

She also touched on the need to inspire Filipino children to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through literature. Dr. Torres-Yu’s non-profit organization, Supling Sining, Inc. (SSI), collaborated with UPD-CS to create the Sulong-Agham multilingual children’s books series.

UPD-CS’s Class of 2023 produced a total of 454 graduates. This number consists of 19 PhD graduates, 108 MS graduates, seven MA graduates, three Professional Masters, five diploma recipients, and 312 BS graduates. The number of the College’s PhD graduates for 2023 is also almost double that of the previous year, the most number of PhD graduates UPD-CS has had in its 40 years of existence.

The full text of UP Diliman Professor Emeritus Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu’s keynote address to the UPD-CS Class of 2023 can be found here: https://science.upd.edu.ph/cs-2023-recognition-day-inspirational-message/

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