Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

A Blazing Foundry

Posted on | June 8, 2005 | No Comments

Welcome Remarks of Albert Francis E. Domingo, USC Chair 2005-2006
at the Welcome Ceremonies for UP Manila Freshmen (7 June 2005, Philamlife Auditorium, Manila)

Good morning to each and every fresh student here today. Welcome to the University of the Philippines Manila, the country’s premier Health Sciences Center! Together with our Chancellor Marita Reyes, University officials, and our Deans and their co-administrators, allow me to extend greetings from the University Student Council and your College Student Councils here before you today.

I am your Chairperson, Albert Francis E. Domingo from the College of Medicine. The USC Manila has several programs set for implementation this year, in accordance with our mission-vision to have a visible, systematic, and transparent administrative structure that recognizes UP Manila’s role as the Health Sciences Center. This would, in the process, acknowledge our social responsibility of service to the Filipino people. Your University Student Council shall be both truly responsive to student needs and alert to issues of national interest. Student welfare shall be addressed to highlight the fullness of a UP education, founded on academic excellence.

As a preview of things to come, the USC Manila Website is already being finished, scheduled for launch within this month of June. It shall have a domain name distinctly UP Manila, and will serve as an online communication channel by which we shall announce items of interest to you apart from serving as a rapid electronic grievance channel to reach the Gender and Grievance Desk. The website shall serve as a springboard to webpages of our University’s several student organizations, which I encourage you to join in accordance with your special needs and interests.

Standby also for the roll-out of UP Manila’s first ever texting service that shall allow even faster, on-the-run communication to and from your USC. We shall have a system that will accept text messages from all telecom providers, in addition to being a channel by which University administration may disseminate important academic announcements – like the suspension of classes, for example.

Moving on into this morning’s significance in your lives, I’d like you to recall a popular phrase written in Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, specifically the inscription on the Gate of Hell: Abandon All Hope, All Ye Who Enter.

Do not fear, for UP Manila is not hell. But it is hot, I guarantee you. As hot as a blazing furnace that shall serve as the foundry to melt and mold you into responsible Filipino professionals four to five years from now. With its seven colleges – Allied Medical Professions, Arts and Sciences, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and our School of Health Sciences in Palo, Leyte – UP Manila shall be developing in all of you your innate skills and talents.

With the exception perhaps of the medicine laterals who are already degree holders, everyone here must be excited and wide-eyed to have their first taste of the academically premier urban legend that is UP. It will be in the next few years of your lives that you shall discover things you’ve never done before. You could lose your virginity here in UP – your virginity to different schools of thought, to ideas that may have been hidden or ignored in your younger years. I encourage you as a benevolent senior to receive with an open mind the barrage of information that shall be coming your way, yet at the same time I am cautioning you to be wary of forces at work to dissuade you from chasing the truth. Do not let the dark side overpower you.

Listen to each statement with scrutiny; read with sound judgment. Learn the art of looking dignified and intelligent even if you find something to be vague and ambiguous. Do study the concept later on however, so that when it comes your way again, you’ll not just look smart but be smart in every sense of the word.

And before I turn you over to the tinsmiths that shall be repeatedly melting and hammering your minds to maximize your potential, allow me to emphasize to you this early that the education you are about to experience is the product of blood, sweat, and tears of our fellow countrymen. Even if you have no “scholarship” to avail of, you are still a scholar in your own right – because the Filipino people, by virtue of the taxes collected from them, are subsidizing your very existence in this University. Even if you are rich, you have no right to shun off the heavy responsibility that is to use our education for our country’s benefit, because you are still subsidized. If there is one thing that you should take home from this little program this morning, that is a sense of indebtedness to each and every Filipino who is working out there and expecting that by your training in UP, you shall help uplift the status of the Republic.

The USC Manila may be contacted through our telephone number 525-8459, e-mailed at, and may be visited at the fourth floor of the student center (the building to the left of the University Registrar). We shall be informing you of the website URL and the texting service as soon as they are fully functional within this month.

The Universal Emergency Number to call is 1 1 7 – be it for police, fire, or ambulance. Do not hesitate to call for help from your University and College Student Councils anytime; we were elected to be of service to you.

Thank you again, good morning, and welcome!

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