Online opening exercises ushers-in UPV AY 2020-2021

Online opening exercises ushers-in UPV AY 2020-2021

Because of the pandemic, the Opening Exercises of UP Visayas this year was without its usual fanfare of entrance of colors, chants and yells from various academic groups, the palpable excitement of the first-year students and the buzz of starting a new academic year.

Still, the ceremony went through online via Zoom on September 10, 2020, watched by almost 1,400 viewers as it was streamed live via YouTube and UPV official Facebook page. 

The speeches and words of welcome of UPV officials led by Chancellor Ricardo Babaran, the deans, and other officials were heard. 

Listening to the featured speaker, one cannot help but ask, “What is it about poverty-stricken students who beat the odds and make something of themselves? Such is the story of Ms. Marinelle Espino, BS Fisheries 2007.  

Espino is the current Program Director of the Philippine Association of Crab Producers, Inc. PACPI, according to its website, is a company that processes and exports crab meat products sourced from blue swimming crab in the Philippines. These products are then exported to the United States of America. 

She said she wanted to be a medical doctor but knew well enough that it was way beyond their means – living on the income of her carpenter father and her mother who vends “kakanin.”

“I often wait for my Nanay to be home so that she can give me fare in going to UPV Miagao out of the money she earned from vending native foods,” she recalled of her college days. 

She said that what her mother gave her was just enough to go the Miagao and back, no spare for food, and school needs. 

“Life is made of choices,” she said, as she chose to make something of herself despite overwhelming odds being stacked against her.  

A total of 1,259 first-year students gained admission to UPV this year. They are part of the fortunate 11K plus that qualified for admission in UP’s various campuses. There were about 150,000 applicants in the UPCAT last year.

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