Graduating: A Marawi City Context

Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2011 by deehan1914

Graduating: A Marawi City Context
*note: This was written years ago, when I was about to have that whimsical graduation march

One of the numerous mosque located at MSU Marawi City Campus

It has been four years of seemingly endless trudge and right at this very moment the Lanao lake looked more beautiful than when I first laid my very eyes on it.

The Administration Building which sports the historic Okir design

 It was on the month of  May years ago when due to the failure of a college assurance plan I was left with no choice but to try my luck here in Marawi City and was blessed to be in one of the premiere state university in Mindanao, the Mindanao State University. Honestly, I had no plans of being on this university because I am from Compostela Valley Province and this place is 16 hours away from home, not to mention the intriguing stories flying around the country and across decades about this province.

The covered walk where I usually bumped with some church mates 

 This place has been the training ground of most of the smartest and talented young Surigaonons (whose dialect always fascinates me), Butuanons, and those who hail from the distant Palawan, Tawi-tawi and Basilan. Equally, this province has been known as the training grounds of the country’s famous rebels and in its mountains where probably their sons and daughters who are my age dreaming of what other places look like. Our classroom, in most cases, was a pool of students having different dialects even though most of us were from Mindanao. Every day was a revelation of cultural differences and most significantly, another day towards cultural understanding.

This scenery is divine!

 I know it was not only by sheer luck that I was never one of those being reported as kidnapped (just like one of my favorite Biology teacher), mobbed, rampant hold-ups and the like. Being in this place requires higher dose of discipline and a sharp intuition for danger, things which I will be always thankful of practicing. One is supposed to be not roaming around too early nor too late. What   is early and late maybe relative but when I arrived here, I understood what is the strict definition of it. That means you have to get your share of the thing called dinner at 5th street by 6, have your photocopies by 7 and dormitories are closed by 8. In the morning, only P.E classes starts by 6 am and the climate was always conducive for learning (and sleeping). I was told not to go out too early nor too late because skilled hold-up enthusiasts are mostly roaming around that time. I guess they were wrong. I had more friends who were victims in broad daylight. Perhaps, the evil men changed schedules. One might wonder why plenty of us liked it here when we can insist of not staying here given the above stated challenging scenarios.

The MSU Grandstand stands as a silent witness to the scenery facing it 

I think I cannot represent the entire MSU populace but still, my answers are the following: first, there is no place as culturally and at the same time academically challenging as in this place here in the Philippines. The MSU system just produced the first female Meranao who topped in the Bar exam plus numerous engineering, fisheries, and social works folks who made to the top lists in their respective Board exams.  Second, the sceneries here are all appearing unique to me. The “Sleeping lady” across the Lake is a must see. Third, perhaps, just because I was left with no other choices, there is no other challenging place to me as this place. Looking back, it was just like yesterday that I was so curious about the amplified unfamiliar Islamic call for prayer, it was just like last week that I chilled and enjoyed the fog and it was just like last month that I met and bonded with the truthfully promising people from Mindanao’s cultural minority groups.

The MSU College of Law loves the color yellow very much

 I am writing because I am happy. I am happy because I know my parents will soon come here and wear those smiles that I have been longing to see. I am writing because I am hoping that my parents are proud of me even if I will not graduate cum laude (I will just graduate on time). I am writing because I am feeling so blessed about all I have been through and I am feeling so good about being that next successful entrepreneur. And to top it all, I am writing because this has always been my way of expressing me.

The Dimaporo Gymnasium was named after the popular clan Dimaporo

In plenty ways my classmates and I were different but it never meant that we never found common grounds or arrived at a mutually satisfactory resolution because I have just proven to myself that we could. I have high respects to my friends who are practicing Islam ways not only because they have given me respects when I practice my Christian ways but because I was taught that it was the right thing to do and hence, I will continue believing and practicing. Still, respect is different from tolerance.

The Peace Plaza who witnessed my efforts during our several Product Exhibits 

The exact feeling I am feeling now could not be contained within the framework of one word. The feeling is the summation of joy, pride, excitement, curiosity, eagerness and hopefulness. I had my share of carrying a typical state university student woes and I am finally done facing the ugly faces of confusing questionnaires.

This is where I was usually seated as I scribbled my thoughts in some parchments

I hope to see the fulfillment of my dreams in my “list of dreams” one by one as I continue to license myself to best attract opportunities. I will not cry because my stay here is about to end, I’d rather smile because all those things that happened shaped my heart and soul into becoming this optimistic risk-taker.

This is what you can see when you are seated at the second floor of the MSU Main Library,nostalgic beyond words


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