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Outstanding Paulinians

Photo credits: PWCMPT

lea sicat reyesZEPHYR

Fifteen of the best and brightest Paulinian students from all over the Philippines converged in St. Paul University Surigao to celebrate and affirm what they have done and are challenged to continue as they strive to be the living examples of how it is to be “all to all with a special concern for the poor.”  Imbued with the five core values of St Paul — Christ-centeredness, Community, Commitment to Mission, Charity, and Charism — they are the epitome of what it is to be truly Paulinian so much so that they have been recognized as the Outstanding Paulinian Students of the Philippines of 2019.

This year’s group of fifteen young men and women comprise Batch Linog.  Chosen from among thousands of Paulinian students from all over the Philippines, they best represent the Pauline values worthy of emulation especially by their peers.

It does me honor to publish their batch response which they delivered during the awarding ceremony on February 9.  Here it is.

“The ground beneath us may not always remain intact, but it will always know the places we have reached and the paths we have walked on.”

We are fifteen Outstanding Paulinians from different places having different advocacies, but what threads us together is the realization of our shared role in nation-building through our Pauline core values. We are Batch Linog.

To the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartes, the Directors and/or Heads of Student Affairs, co-finalists, SOP formators and alumni, members of St. Paul University Surigao community, and to everyone gracing this occasion, good evening!

Linog is a Visayan term for earthquake. As to how we came up with this term as our batch name, indulge with me a bit in this narrative.

It was a long, tiring day of adventures. We were all seated in the dining hall, exchanging stories and sharing memories. Then all of a sudden, the grounds began trembling furiously. In a desperate situation of sheer helplessness, we found solace in the simplest act of holding hands and praying together at the hopeful illusion of a long table protecting us from a magnitude six earthquake. Amidst the disarray that the natural calamity brought upon the search, the Paulinian identity rose above the quake, hence such batch name that will surely elicit a common memory, especially among us, finalists. BATCH LINOG.

Linog symbolizes impact, which we wish to continuously deliver within our respective communities. An everlasting mark that will not only keep on making innovative changes to the society, but also dismantle the stereotypes and unequal norms that are present today. We are here to constantly deliver aftershocks that will mobilize efforts to help eradicate marginalization and create wonderful changes.

Linog also entails resilience. When burdened by the stark face of disasters and conflicts, we get through by cultivating a positive outlook in life. We derive something beautiful out of the rubbles, which is hope.

Finally, just like the earthquake that came as a surprise, the bond between this newfound family came very unexpectedly. The high walls we built to keep certain relationships at arm’s length were easily broken down at a split second of pure grace. We found ourselves in each other. We became outstanding Paulinians together. There can be no greater legacy we can establish in our student leadership journeys after this wonderful search than to continue cradling the future by living out Christ-centeredness, Community, Commitment to mission, Charity and Charism. The only prayer we can muster as of this moment is for us to be able to sustain our Paulinian identity through our zealous works.

At this saccharine moment, we can say with impregnable clarity that no matter where we are, we can always find home and take refuge in each other. With that in mind, we will never have to walk this path alone. Likened to earthquakes that heavily involve rocks, may we, in our own sense, become gazillion bricks that can surely build a cathedral of hope, of success, and of peace, which can influence the community, the country, and the world. We are Batch Linog 2019. Salamat karajaw and, once again, maayong gabie sa ijong hurot.