CVM Virtual Convocation for New Students

On the afternoon of September 10th (Thursday), the College held its first virtual convocation for new students. Assistant to the Dean Jovencio Hubert A. Abalos led in the convocation. Dean Jezie A. Acorda shared a truly inspiring message to the new members of the CVM Family. He also acknowledged the Top Ten students for this Academic Year. College Secretary Benjamin Reuel G. Marte discussed the DVM Curriculum and Academic Policies. Incoming Senior Clouie Jeanne P. Dimutulac imparted valuable pointers to our new students while incoming Freshmen Hajimie V. Escamilla and Isabelle M. Abalos (Top One) also shared their thoughts and excitement on becoming a Vet Isko and Iska. Dr. Jesalyn L. Constante served as the host of the event. Truly the College wishes the best for all our new students as we together strive and thrive in this new normal. 

MESSAGE FROM CLOUIE JEANNE P. DIMATULAC (INCOMING SENIOR)

“Begin with the end in mind.” a beautiful quote by Stephen Covey.

To our Dean, Assistant to the Dean, College Secretary, Department Chairs, Faculty, Staff, and of course to our very dear freshies and everybody present, good afternoon. 

I am Clouie Jeanne P. Dimatulac, an incoming senior clinician, and I believe that as early as now, set your goals, study smart, and make it happen. 

To our freshies:

My start in college may not be the same as yours. Obviously, today’s time is really challenging. It would be a different experience to be learning through online platforms than having actual classes. But the question is, “What is your goal”? This is very important because setting goals helps you visualize and motivates you despite the challenges that you face because in reality this degree program is not easy. It takes a lot of courage, hard work and determination. But setting goals really worked for me, I must say. I write down my goals for the year, for the semester – a combination of short and long term goals. And at times that I find myself in difficult situations then I am reminded on who I wanted to be after many years and that keeps me going again. 

Study smart. I believe that excelling academically are just bonuses but what really matters is what you learned from everything that is taught. Every course/subject, every topic is very important. As you go along after so many years, as you take on higher courses you begin to integrate all of these and you’ll appreciate VetMed more. Remember, the skeleton of an animal’s body provides the framework of its body. So the basic courses are important because they’re like the skeleton which provides support. 

Third, Make it happen. Enjoy college. Make new friends. It’s really hard to survive college without friends because you are each other’s support- academically, physically, and emotionally. Open yourself to learn more and give your best always, but at the same time give yourself an allowance for mistakes, for failure because those things are really inevitable. It’s a matter of how you’ll deal, react and learn from it. When this whole pandemic is over and the college resumes [actual] classes, I encourage you, always choose to try. As what one of my friends told me years ago, “it’s better to fail when you’re still a student because your teacher is there to correct you and guide you rather than in failing when you are already in practice.” So always give it a try. Do not be afraid to fail because everybody does fail. And you’ll be surprised that after some time, after so many attempts you’ll perfect a skill or skills.

So as I end this video, probably most of you would forget whatever I’ve just said but I do hope you remember to begin this beautiful journey with the end in mind – set your goals, study smart and make it happen. Thank you so much and stay safe. 

MESSAGE FROM HAJIMIE V. ESCAMILLA (INCOMING FRESHMAN)

To our Dean Dr. Jezie A. Acorda, Assistant to the Dean Dr. Jovencio Abalos, College Secretary Dr. Benjamin Reul G. Marte, professors from different departments, colleagues, friends, and guests. Good morning! My name is Hajimie Escamilla, during this pandemic I am currently staying here at our home in Atimonan, Quezon, and today, I will be talking to you about my perspective on the path to becoming a veterinarian as a freshie during the time of this crisis.

But first, let me just briefly share with you my story on how I passed UPLB. Actually, I think it was fate that brought me here to UP, to DVM specifically. You can even call it dramatic, it felt like I was in some soap opera or something. You see, the very day before UPCAT, I was awoken by my mother, frantically screaming that my beloved dog was found dead. I just broke down upon hearing that news. His name was Clay, a little pup given to me by my older sister and he was my best friend in the whole world. I remember when I would come home from school, he would just jump at me just by hearing my footsteps. I really loved that dog, it always made me happy just by seeing him look so silly. And for him to be taken away from me on such a critical time was rather brutal. He was the cutest and feistiest little bundle of joy, and now he’s gone. Those were some very dark moments, which seems to be repeated right now. We have passed the dreaded UPCAT and yet, COVID-19 has pushed us back from enjoying this new chapter in our lives. I thought that was the final gallop to finally set foot in UP, I’ve endured so much, but then, the pandemic happened. To finally be able to study in this great institution but conduct it away from its physical surroundings is ironic. 

However, I believe in us. I believe in the spirit of an Iskolar ng Bayan. We are all here in UP for a reason. And that is to serve the people. Di ba nga? Iskolar ng bayan, para sa bayan. Amidst this pandemic, we need to have a sense of solidarity and empathy towards one another. That is why, a big thank you to all of our professors who are working tirelessly to create coursepacks for us students. Not all of us are privileged enough to study online, and what you are doing for us is truly admirable. Thank you for allowing each student to practice their right to quality education, it may not be like the quality we’d get in a traditional setting, but it’s still of great importance to us and is deeply appreciated. Right now, we all feel like we’re fishes out of water, but with your guidance, we hope to see the light from the other side of the pond. We cannot wait for you to nurture us, brood of aspiring veterinarian fledglings, and soon join the ranks of elite doctors in the field.

As the very first batch of freshies who will dive into this uncharted territory head on, expect that we will come out of this stronger than ever. From a distance, you can clearly see that these are some smart and fierce batch of DVM students, and I somehow feel at ease that I get to share this adventure with all of you. As the veterinary students of 2020, we promise to let our bites become stronger than our barks. We have entered this course because we have that common love for animals. Let us become the voice for the voiceless. We are here to make the promise of becoming advocates for animal welfare here in our country, because animals, like us humans, deserve all the love and care in the world. We will bear the torch and serve as the light that will lead these wonderful creatures towards their meaningful lives. We are not just mere sitting ducks, we are lions and we are ready to pounce.  Let it be known that we didn’t came here to play, we came here to slay. 

To all of us who are listening here today, just like my experience, despite losing something very important to you, we can eventually come through. If we really want to achieve something, no heartbreak too painful will hinder us. It will destroy us, yes, but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?  Let us do what we have to do and always think pawsitive.

Thank you at padayon sa ating mga bagong isko at iska! Lavarn!

MESSAGE FROM ISABELLE M. ABALOS (TOP ONE INCOMING FRESHMAN)

Hello to the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Acorda, to the Assistant to the Dean, to the College Secretary, to the faculty and staff, to my fellow students, and to everyone else who is here with us today, I’d like to greet you all a wonderful afternoon. On behalf of my batchmates, I would also like to thank all of you for welcoming us into the UPLB College of Veterinary Medicine.

As first year students, we are now taking our first steps towards becoming veterinarians. We may be taking this path for several different reasons. For me personally, I’ve always enjoyed the company of animals–even if sometimes the stray ones don’t exactly like my company. But I’ve also always been clueless on how to help whenever they’re injured or sick. I simply didn’t know what to do, and hopefully by being in VetMed I can finally learn how to truly help animals. Also, like many of my fellow freshmen, I would love to have a career that included animals on a daily basis, because lots of times they can be better than people. Still, I know my batchmates’ stories behind choosing VetMed may be different from mine, and as we go along this journey I hope to learn more about these stories and about my batchmates in general.

And as we continue to go through our chosen path, we hope to become not just excellent veterinarians but also ones with concern for the people and nation alongside its animals. I am confident that we will achieve this throughout our stay in UPLB under the guidance of the CVM faculty and staff, as well as with the new experiences that my batchmates and I will together share in this incoming chapter of our lives.  

And while this incoming chapter is technically just a continuation of our schooling, our first steps will already be quite different from the rest, especially since our first taste of college life will be through a screen in online classes. Admittedly, this will be a new challenge on top of our already existing one of simply surviving our freshman year, but hopefully we’ll not just survive our freshman year but also excel and do our best in this new normal. 

And it’s in this new normal that we are called to embody not just the University’s virtues of honor and excellence but also kindness and compassion towards one another during these new and sometimes unsure times. This is not just for our fellow students who will face a new style of learning and the old problems of bad Internet, but also for the teachers and staff who will also be struggling with these things while also striving to provide quality education amidst a less than ideal situation. Even before classes have started my batchmates and I have already experienced this sort of kindness from our upperclassmen, who’ve given us an early welcome and support which we’ll forever be grateful for. And we hope that the college and the university as a whole will also give this same understanding to us especially during these times, where the pandemic has had negative impacts on the finances and mental health of many people, and hopefully this understanding will continue even afterwards as we struggle in the coming years.

And ngayon pa lang I know we will struggle–with lessons, with online classes, with SAIS, with other people, or even with ourselves. But I also know we will prevail and emerge better than when we first started, and maybe we will even be completely different people at the end of it all. And I know I will enjoy struggling–I mean, studying if I am alongside all of my batchmates who are here right now. Batch 2020, I look forward to meeting and learning with all of you across hopefully 6 years lang, and I’m excited for us to assert dominance in our lessons like we have in our recent DP blasts. 

I’m also excited to finally be a part of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Based on all the wild messages in our group chat, I’m sure many in Batch 2020 are also excited. Thank you to everyone in CVM who welcomed me and my fellow batchmates into this new community, and thank you also for having me speak before all of you today. Again, good afternoon, and I hope we all have a great day!