Last November 25, 2015, our block was required to attend a seminar of the Arts and Sciences Congress at 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. presented by the Manila Studies Program, Department of Behavioral Sciences, and the UP Behavioral Studies Society for a requirement on our NSTP. However, our NSTP adviser, Prof. Pulumbarit, only required for us to attend the first two speakers coming from the Department of Arts and Communication: Prof. Chadwick Sy Su and Prof. Rosemarie Roque. I arrived at the venue, Little Theater, at exactly 9:00 a.m., but the upperclassmen were just setting up the place. The program proper started at around 9:30 a.m., which I thought was going to happen because of our not-so-good value of “Pinoy Time”. The venue has a capacity of about 200 people, but it was just a quarter full at that time. Even then, I settled in my seat as the master of ceremony announced the line of speakers coming from different departments of the College of Arts and Sciences. Two of my professors, Sy Su from my Spanish I class and Baula from my Social Science I class would give a talk, so I was somewhat excited.
Prof. Sy Su was the first one to speak, and his presentation was entitled “Sacred Journeys 2: What is Pilgrimage? The Journeys of an Atheist”. I knew that he was an atheist because he said so in class, but sharing his insights on this subject matter also had captured my interest. I have learned from him that religion is a very personal subject to talk to. He also have this Statement of Inequality that showed the usual belief of pilgrimages being better than travelers, but he defended that they are just the same and the only difference is that pilgrimages travel to strengthen what he believes in while travelers have an open mind to see every culture. In his travels, he learned that religions are just products of human striving. I have my own belief, but of course I respect his opinions and I am well aware that there are many different versions of god in every culture. He said that to reach and surmount our limits and to move essentially is a great experience, and I agree with that. He might have inspired me to travel someday and look into different cultures, try new things and learn more about life.
The next speaker started at around 10:15 a.m., Prof. Rosemarie Roque and her presentation was entitled “Ang Tradisyon at Pulitika ng AsiaVisions bilang Kolektibong Pampelikula”. She discussed about indie films and AsiaVisions as a political group for films and they use the films as propaganda. Indie films should not be a tool for profit but should be a medium for the masses to understand what should be understood. She also showed us a video of the Mendiola Massacre, and it was gruesome and heart-wrenching to watch. She stressed that the massacre was not solely the history, but the ones who do the documentation is also a part of history, referring to the cameraman who got shot. What I liked about what she said was people need to counter collective amnesia with collective knowledge about history. Our distorted perceptions about what is good or bad is getting out of hand, and films are one of the propaganda tools for the people to be smart and not repeat the bad parts of history ever again.
The talk of the DAC speakers ended at 10:35 a.m. Once again, I have learned many things about their chosen topics and gained new insights and knowledge of the subject matter. At some point in time, I got a bit nervous and worried because of the thesis I would eventually do, but shrugged it off and thought that this was still the freshman life. I should enjoy it while it lasts.
Photo taken from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-silva/at-ted-active-2011-scienc_b_832677.html