UPD grad centers on theme of ‘tahanan’

| Written by Arlyn VCD Palisoc Romualdo

The Oblation dons the Sablay to celebrate the UP Diliman Class of 2019. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


Tahanan. Home. That was the theme of the UP Diliman (UPD) Commencement Exercises held on June 30 at the University Amphitheater.


Scenes before the UP Diliman graduation ceremony, clockwise from top: the stage, graduating students clad in raincoats, lining up to enter the University Amphitheater, and the venue quickly filling up (Top and middle right photos by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO, and bottom and middle left photos by Arlyn VCD P. Romualdo, UP MPRO)


Home is where you feel love and care, where you rest and get nourishment, where you are listened to, and where you dream and create. In times of turmoil, home is a place of refuge and renewal. This was how National Artist for Theater and University Professor Emeritus Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio described it in her commencement address. And she considered UP her “second home.” Her affinity with the University began when she entered as an English major in 1948.


National Artist for Theater and University Professor Emeritus Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio is UP Diliman’s commencement speaker this year. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


Lapeña-Bonifacio gave the UPD Class of 2019 three pieces of advice: ambition is important but it needs to be balanced by reality; failing is not the end of the world; it just means there was something lacking in what we did so we should persist until we succeed; and, serve with honor and excellence without asking for anything in return.


The graduating class and college marshals listen to the commencement address under the cover of umbrellas in the University Amphitheater. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


As with the commencement speaker, BA Philosophy summa cum laude graduate Joshua Emmanuel Ramos, who spoke on behalf of the graduating class, said that the capacity to love is rooted in the home. In UP, this capacity is strengthened when academic life is coupled with empathy and unity with the masses. As an example, he cited the many UP graduates who have turned their backs on lucrative careers to serve as teachers of Lumad children.


Joshua Emmanuel Ramos, BA Philosophy summa cum laude, delivers a message on behalf of the UP Diliman Class of 2019. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


Ramos, who graduated with a weighted average grade of 1.096, added that home is where inquiring minds are first developed; and, in the University, the inquiring mind is further encouraged and nurtured. When he is asked why people from UP always question the government that funds their education as though they are attacking their own parents, Ramos said he remembers how his father was at home. “He never told me to not answer. What he would always say is to not answer rudely. Which means as long as there is respect, there is nothing wrong with answering, reasoning out, or asking.”

At the end of his speech, Ramos told his fellow graduates, “Just as UP became our home and refuge, may we also be the refuge for those who long for freedom from their oppressive realities.”


The lightning rally toward the end of the UP Diliman graduation ceremony takes center stage (top photo) and the open space in front of the University Amphitheater (bottom photos). (Photos by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


Apart from Ramos, there were 53 other summa cum laude graduates. They are:

  • Jaron Nicolas Uy, BS Chemical Engineering, 1.019
  • Reine Jiana Reynoso, BS Electronics and Communications Engineering, 1.027
  • Samantha Amante, BS Business Administration, 1.071
  • Jamie Christine Lim, BS Mathematics, 1.073
  • Sethric Andre Mesoza, BS Mathematics, 1.078
  • Lea Andrei San Juan, Bachelor of Sports Science, 1.088
  • Bianca Isadora Germar, BA Anthropology, 1.089
  • Mariel Santos, BS Psychology, 1.110
  • Joshua Miguel Danac, BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, 1.113


A member of the UP Rayadillo, the Honor Guard Battalion, faces the Sablay-draped Oblation as he stands at attention in the Quezon Hall Lobby. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


  • Anna Michaella Dela Cruz, Bachelor of Sports Science, 1.116
  • Jody Kirsten Uy, Bachelor of Secondary Education, 1.118
  • Helli-Mar Trilles, BS Civil Engineering, 1.122
  • Jasper Jamir, BS Electronics and Communications Engineering, 1.127
  • Raphaelle Joshua Traballo, BS Business Administration, 1.130
  • Aleeza Dana Sy, BS Industrial Engineering, 1.131
  • Raphael Don Tantan, BS Business Administration and Accountancy, 1.133


“We take pride today in the 54 summa cum laudes, the highest in UP’s history,” says UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan in his opening remarks. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


  • Jerielle Malonzo, BS Mathematics, 1.134
  • Xaika Nadine Saldivar, BA Broadcast Communication, 1.135
  • Christian Fitzedward Tan, BS Economics, 1.142
  • Stanley Brian Sayson, BS Civil Engineering, 1.146
  • Ciana Lim, BS Computer Science, 1.154
  • Eloise Misa, BS Mathematics, 1.155
  • Ara Isobel Mercado, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), 1.156


Former College of Education Dean Marie Therese Bustos interprets the program in sign language—a first in the UP Diliman Commencement Exercises. (Photo by Abraham Arboleda, UP MPRO


  • Weand Ybañez, BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, 1.158
  • Erika Antonette Enriquez, BS Mathematics, 1.161
  • Isabella Mae Tan, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Industrial Design), 1.163
  • Wilbert Jacob Julio, BS Chemical Engineering, 1.165
  • Carlos Emmanuel Garcia, BS Mechanical Engineering, 1.166
  • Maru Feriel Del Carmen, BS Chemical Engineering, 1.167
  • Anderson Kirk Nigel Tan, BS Psychology, 1.168


The singing of the Philippine National Anthem starts off the UP Diliman graduation rites. (Photo by Misael Bacani)


  • Joseph Neos Cruz, BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, 1.168
  • Timothy Jason Simeon, BS Civil Engineering, 1.169
  • Ranier Biglang-awa, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), 1.173
  • Mikaela Maria Gomez, BS Business Administration, 1.180
  • Samantha Yzavelle Ceniza, BS Economics, 1.181
  • Jiwan Tai, BS Economics, 1.183
  • Ferdinand John Briones, BS Computer Engineering, 1.185


The graduating students from the College of Arts and Letters (left photo) and the College of Law (right photo) celebrated LGBTQ Pride by flashing rainbow-colored umbrellas and souvenir programs, respectively, as their academic units were called. The UP Diliman Commencement Exercises were held on the last day of LGBTQ Pride Month. (Left photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO and right photo by Abraham Arboleda, UP MPRO)


  • Karlo de Leon, BS Physics, 1.186
  • Charmaine Regina Yu, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Communication), 1.187
  • Sam Ezrael dela Cruz, BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, 1.187
  • Reina Nette Daguio, BS Civil Engineering, 1.188
  • Arvy Daniel Ngo, BS Electronics and Communications Engineering, 1.188
  • Lian Mae Tabien, BS Statistics, 1.190
  • Francis Zac dela Cruz, BS Computer Science, 1.191


UP President Danilo Concepcion (left photo) administers the Oath of Loyalty to the University to the UP Diliman Class of 2019 (right photo). (Photos by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


  • Kwen Kwen Cabalag, BA Philosophy, 1.193
  • Exequiel Kim Isaac Salvador, BS Mathematics, 1.193
  • Edrea Faustina Choa, BS Business Administration, 1.193
  • Emilio Paul Nogales, BS Chemical Engineering, 1.194
  • Aaron Cris Vega, Bachelor of Sports Science, 1.195
  • John Anthony Kho, BS Chemical Engineering, 1.196
  • Carissa Andrea Lim, BS Business Administration, 1.196
  • Dana Sison, BA European Languages, 1.197
  • Francesca Sy, BS Civil Engineering, 1.199


At last! The Class of 2019 celebrates after the shifting the UP Sablay from the right shoulder to the left—a symbolic act of shifting from being a graduating student to finally being a graduate. (Top photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO, bottom photo by Abraham Arboleda, UP MPRO)


The UPD Class of 2019 also had 437 magna cum laude and 1,173 cum laude graduates. Of the 5,049 graduating class, 3,980 earned baccalaureate degrees while 1,069 received graduate degrees.