Dr. Lucio C. Tan, Chairman and President of Tan Yan Kee Foundation, Inc. (TYKFI), had a simple but very inspiring message to the incoming UE-TYKFI scholars for SY 2019-2020: “Remember that education is the most important tool towards the improvement of anyone,” during the annual Scholars’ Recognition Day at the Grand Ballroom of Century Park Hotel on August 20, 2019
Together with TYKFI Trustee Shirley T. Chua, Trustee Marixi R. Prieto, Trustee Tan Hui Bin, Trustee Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., Vice-President and Corporate Secretary Juanita Tan Lee, UE President and Chief Academic Officer Ester A. Garcia, UE Manila Chancellor Linda P. Santiago, UE Caloocan Zosimo M. Battad, Dr. Tan welcomed the 47 new UE-TYKFI scholars accompanied by their parents, including one from UERM, to the growing family of over 1,363 students, including 18 faculty members and 103 grantees who have benefitted from the scholarship program. Their respective college deans from various colleges and campuses presented the scholars and grantees: Dean Justina M. Evangelista, Arts and Sciences - Manila; Dean Crisol A. Bruza, Arts and Sciences - Caloocan; Dean Veronica N. Elizalde, Business Administration - Manila; Dean Louie A. Divinagracia, Business Administration - Caloocan; Dean Rodany A. Merida, Computer Studies and Systems; Dean Rhodora H. Luciano, Dentistry; Dean Evelina M. Vicencio, Education; Dean Dominador S. Pagbilao, Engineering - Manila; Dean Victor R. Macam, Jr., Engineering - Caloocan; and Dean Norbert Lingling D. Uy, UERMMMC College of Medicine. Also present were the 76 continuing scholars and grantees.
For the past 21 school years, TYKFI has spent no less than PhP127.44 million for the program, covering book, uniform, and transportation allowances, and monthly stipend while UE has spent PhP209.5 million on tuition and other school fees.
The responses were given by Erick L. Reambillo, 5th year BSME, on behalf of the scholars; Roderick C. Banaag, parent; Rodman F. Manalang, an alumnus.
“UE-TYKFI gave me an opportunity to fulfill not only my education, but also my dreams.”
Erick L. Reambillo, 5th year BSME Scholar
“Four years ago, I was one of the students who passed the UE-TYKFI scholarship qualifying examination and interview. The day that I found out that I passed was four months after I took the examination and I almost lost hope for the scholarship slot because two days from that day will be the first day of classes. Since I did not anymore consider that I would qualify for the scholarship, my mother and I went to different institutions and the city government to ask for financial assistance for my tertiary education. We were not entertained for the reason that I came from UE-Secondary Laboratory School, which is a private university, saying I did not need financial assistance. But little did they know that I survived my secondary education by an academic scholarship that was given to the first and second honors of our batch. So, for me to finish my high school, I strived and worked hard every school year to be one of the top two students. If I did not maintain my ranking, maybe there would be a significant change for my family’s finances since my mother, a brain aneurysm survivor, does not go to work anymore and the only source of our finances is the income of my father, who is a tricycle driver.
Today, I am speaking in front of you, a 5th year Mechanical Engineering student whom UE-TYKFI gave an opportunity to fulfill not only his education, but also his dreams. I would also take this chance to give my thanks to University of the East - Secondary Laboratory School for molding me into a brave red warrior who does not give up to the challenges of life and continue to live the banner of excellence.
To be honest, college life is not an easy ride. Sometimes, our expectations could not be met; Overthinking our projects, papers and examinations; Balancing our academics and extra-curriculars; Having an all-nighter; Conflict with our schedules; and many more struggles that most of us scholars are experiencing. With self-discipline and optimism, these will just be the bumps to our adventure. Let us also not forget to give time for ourselves; for us to vent out and enjoy every moment of our stay in the university. I am sure that we will all have the same finish line, which will make us feel the victory in going through those struggles, our success.
To the University of the East, Tan Yan Kee Foundation Inc., and our benefactor Dr. Lucio C. Tan, for making it possible for us to have this quality education; To our administrators, especially the Admissions Office, for their continuous efforts in making sure that we get the best education; To our family, especially our parents, who always show their endless support and love for us; To our friends and colleagues, who have continuously inspired us to be the best version of ourselves; To everyone in this room who have taken part in each of these scholars’ dream to become reality, on behalf of the scholars and grantees, maraming maraming salamat! May we also not forget to give praise and gratitude to our Almighty God, who always gives light to our glorious journey.
To my co-scholars and grantees, let us all bear in our hearts and minds that in this journey, “I” is not the only word that we should consider. We will graduate and continue to reach for our dreams, strive to be the better version of ourselves and live the life we envisioned. May we not forget to give gratitude to everyone who helped us throughout our journey and inspire others. We are in this position so that we can take part in what’s bigger than ourselves. May we all use our capabilities and wisdom to contribute to the betterment of this society, be an instrument of change and continue to live the values we learned in the university.”
“Having my daughter chosen as a UE-Tan Yan Kee scholar is both an honor and a privilege.”
Roderick C. Banaag, Parent
“Education is expensive. Anyone who does not like education may try ignorance but it is more costly. Having my daughter chosen as a UE-Tan Yan Kee scholar is both an honor and a privilege. It is an honor because it is the school where I myself has been through and the education that I was able to acquire really paid off in the real world. I am already a licensed and practicing Doctor of Dental Medicine and the tools of the trade are working their charm. It is also a privilege because not everyone can be in a prestigious university much more being a UE-Tan Yan Kee scholar. It is a tough selection process, yet my daughter is one of them by God’s grace.
The gesture of University of the East and Tan Yan Kee Foundation is like hitting a “relief button”. Parenting is not easy. It needs time and resources, a lot of resources. Time with the family can be put in jeopardy by time in making money. Even in the bible, money by itself is not evil though, but the love of money is. So that by having a scholarship served on a silver platter, it is a help from heaven as more quality time may be spent in nurturing the good character in children and creating long-lasting memories with them. One may become a husband or a wife, but not everyone can be a parent.
By educating our children, it gives them fighting chance in the survival of life. Out there, it is unforgiving. There may be some who have been succesful in life with out proper education, but having no education at all is a very risky business because regret comes late. By that time, the damage has already been inflicted. Lost time can no longer be retrieved. That is why it is said: “train up a child the way he should go and when he is old, he won’t depart from it.”
To the students, meeting the requirement to sustain the UE-TYKFI Scholarship is essential, but at the end of the day, it is the learning and application that matters.”
“With my ability and capacity as a teacher, I would inspire the scholars to be bearers of hope and assist them whenever I can.”
Rodman F. Manalang, Alumnus
“Sixteen years ago, I found myself in the middle of the crossroads. Uncertain of which path I would take as I was skeptical if I could still pursue the future that I have envisioned for myself. All I had in mind then was an empty torch of dreams and a vision. The road was tough but not until I saw the light and felt the generosity of the Tan Yan Kee Foundation Inc. and the University of the East. Together, they lit the torch in me and cleared the path towards the fulfilment of my dreams and living my vision. I was blessed to be given a generous scholarship twice—one for my bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and just a year ago, I completed my doctorate degree in Mathematics. No words can explain how grateful I am to Dr. Lucio C. Tan and all the amazing people who are part of this Foundation. I wouldn’t be where I am now if not because of you.
So on behalf of everyone whose lives were touched and moved by this scholarship program, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Tan Yan Kee Foundation Inc. and the University of the East. This opportunity made me realize the value of helping and supporting each other. I may not be able to support scholars financially yet for now, but with my ability and capacity as a teacher and an individual, I would inspire them to be bearers of hope and assist them whenever I can.
Now, to the new and continuing scholars and grantees, please don’t waste this opportunity that the Foundation has given you. The road to your dreams may not be easy to take. But I am confident that with determination, perseverance and fervent prayers, one day, like me, and all the others who are proud recipients of this scholarship program, you will harvest the fruits of your hard work and get the chance of lighting many others’ torch. The Foundation is not asking anything in return, but to pass on the light so that together we can keep the fire burning and encourage many to do the same.”