Present at the program were all the 58 new scholars and four grantees together with their parents and guardians, 62 continuing scholars and grantees. Their respective college deans from various colleges and campuses presented the scholars and grantees: Justina M. Evangelista, College of Arts and Sciences - Manila; Crisol A. Bruza, Arts and Sciences - Caloocan; Veronica N. Elizalde, Business Administration - Manila; Louie A. Divinagracia, Business Administration - Caloocan; Rodany A. Merida, Computer Studies and Systems; Rhodora H. Luciano, Dentistry; Evelina M. Vicencio, Education; Dominador S. Pagbilao, Engineering - Manila; and Victor R. Macam, Jr., Engineering - Caloocan. Dean Norbert Lingling D. Uy of College of Medicine of UERMMMCI also recognized the two UERMMMCI scholars.
After the presentation, the UE Silanganan Dance Troupe performed a lively set of cultural dances during intermission.
Dr. Lucio C. Tan congratulated all the scholars for their achievements so far and welcomed the new scholars and grantees to the growing UE-TYKFI family. In his speech, he reflected on his journey as a young working student, sharing his belief that obtaining good education will make the difference in the world we live in. Dr. Tan encouraged everyone to maximize the capacity and potentials to lead in faith, courage, wisdom, and compassion.
The responses were given by Christian Mark N. Macapagao, 5th year BSCE, on behalf of the scholars and grantees; Josenoel O. Agra, parent; and Mr. Richardson E. Navor, an alumnus.
Excerpts from message of Mr. Josenoel O. Agra, father of Gyra Marie Agra
Through the partnership of the University of the East and the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, walang mga scholars dito sa Century Park Hotel kung wala sila (UE-TYKFI).
I cannot deny the fact that quality education is quite a burden even if both parents are working very hard in this country where the necessities’ prices are continuously increasing. The UE-TYKFI scholarship is already a luxury for a simple family. Even before, the University of the East has been continuously producing excellent professionals in different fields of study. They have been very considerate in terms of tuition fees, because this is also where my eldest child is currently studying. I must say we have never been burdened about meeting the deadlines for payments. It is not expensive but rather very reasonable, ’yung masasabi mong tama lang para sa anak mo at tama lang din para sa budget ng isang simpleng pamilya. That is why we also let my youngest to finish her senior high school in UE and later on pursue a degree there.
Ang alam pa nga lang namin noon ay nakapasa siya sa Entrance Test for College Admission and bonus pa pala na naipasa niya ang UE-TYKFI Scholarship. Halo-halong emosyon ‘yung naramdaman namin pero syempre mas nangingibabaw yung saya. Kasi sa dinami-dami ng qualifiers, isa siya sa mga napiling bagong scholar ng UE-TYKFI. Isang big opportunity ito hindi lang para sa kanya, kundi sa aming pamilya rin. Nababawasan ng bahagya ‘yung gastusin namin dahil sa scholarship benefits na natatamasa niya ngayon. Muli, ako ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat bilang magulang ng isang University of the East-Tan Yan Kee Foundation, Inc. scholar.
overrated and it will never be.”
Excerpts from the message of Christian Mark N. Macapagao, 5th year, BSCE
To the UE-Tan Yan Kee Foundation, thank you for giving students like me an opportunity to receive quality education. You helped me evolve my perspective as a young student and have inspired me to work harder in all my endeavors. I hope one day I will help students to achieve their goals just as the Foundation has helped me.
To our professors and mentors, thank you for your patience and helpful advices. You groomed us to be thorough professionals and have always been tremendous guides leading us to the right path.
To my fellow students, scholars, and classmates, thank you for the companionship and diverse viewpoints regarding academic issues or typical campus topics.
And lastly to my parents, all I have is endless gratitude for your ceaseless support and dedication. For being considerate when I get home from school way past my curfew; for your hardwork so we could have a better and brighter future. Thank you.
Saying thank you is not overrated, and it will never be.
As Gladys B. Stern said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”
Hearing thank you gives the same feeling of pleasure given by music; given by books; given by art.
Hearing thank you is music.
It is like when you are anxious with home works and with the finals fast approaching. It is like when you are stressed in the middle of the week because you feel like you do not have the strength to continue but then you hear your favorite song, and suddenly, you can go on.
Go on until the end of the week.
Until the end of the month, and until the end of the year.
Hearing thank you is much like books.
With its serenity and genuineness that brings peace to troubled minds, to aching hearts, and to sleepless eyes.
Hearing thank you is art.
With how it always takes you by surprise because you rarely hear “Thank you” now.
Stop thinking if it is over the top or not. It will never be like that anyway.
Say the words; make someone’s day and be a happier person.
From the message of Prof. Richardson E. Navor, an alumnus
First of all, congratulations to all the scholarship recipients! It is always gratifying to be a part of a ceremony of this type. We are constantly bombarded with information about kids in trouble, but it is young men and women such as those I see here today who give all of us lasting hope for the future. UE-Tan Yan Kee Foundation Inc. scholarship program was established in 1998 and, over the past 20 years, has awarded over millions of pesos in scholarships to students all around the country. Helping these deserving young men and women may be one of the most important things that the Foundation does.
Dreams for me were always just that, dreams. My mother was only able to finish high school, and my father was a college undergraduate. Their dreams would stay just that: dreams. Uncles and aunts, cousins and grandparents were dreamers, but reality had a way of pushing dreams by the wayside. As I was about to finish high school, it was slowly setting in that I was about to join the bandwagon of dreamers… that college is just another dream… unless I am able to get a scholarship.
Lo and behold, UE-Tan Yan Kee Foundation turned my dreams into reality.
Fourteen years ago, I was sitting at the same spot where you are right now. I can still remember like it was just yesterday. I was a naïve young man, full of dreams and excited to enter a lavish hotel for the first time. I am eager to meet our benefactor, Dr. Lucio Tan, and other school officials. I was delighted at the taste of carbonara which was served on that day. I smiled from ear to ear as photographers took pictures of all scholars and grantees. I was on cloud nine.
The scholarship promises free tuition and other school fees, book allowance, uniform subsidy, transportation allowance and monthly stipend. The kind of financial help that any college student wishes for. However, the true value of the scholarship lies beyond the monetary assistance it provides its recipient. As for me, the true value of the scholarship lies in the way it changed my life forever.
It gave me confidence that I can achieve my dreams. For a person with disability, confidence is a rare quality. With the biases and stereotypes of society staring us at the face each day, getting this boost of confidence from a group of people who believes in my capacity and banks on my future, turned my disabilities to the greatest of abilities.
It gave me motivation during the toughest parts of my college life. During those sleepless nights and crunch times when I feel like the only option is to give up, remembering that I am among the few chosen recipients of the TYK scholarship gave me that inspiration to get back to work and be thankful that at least I can continue my studies unlike others who are not as blessed as I am.
It opened my doors to numerous opportunities as a college student. Aside from being able to pursue accountancy, I was also active in various student organizations which allowed me to hone my interpersonal and leadership skills. These opportunities, though a real challenge to juggle with maintaining scholarship academic standing, led the way for me to finish my studies with flying colors. I was able to finish as a Magna Cum Laude, the Leadership Awardee for Men and the Outstanding Graduate of Batch 2008. Eventually, I was also chosen as one of the Awardees of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines in the same year. All of these, thanks to UE-Tan Yan Kee Foundation, Inc.
Tan Yan Kee scholarship is far more than just the monetary assistance, and surely more than just one day of recognition such as this one.
Speaking of recognition day, let me go back to what I was sharing earlier – my first scholarship recognition day. So, the younger version of me was dressed in the best uniform and excited to personally meet and listen to Dr. Lucio Tan. I was not disappointed. As he delivered his speech that day, he shared his struggles and sacrifices as a young man. He shared how his perseverance and unwavering faith paved the way to his success. But you know what, there is one part in his speech that really struck me. It became an anchor statement of my life throughout these years. Dr. Lucio Tan said, “Do not let the blessing end on you.”
Silence. Goosebumps. It kept on resonating in my ears and in my heart, “Do not let the blessing end on you.”
I took it by heart and made it a personal mission to share myself to others.
In my second year, I initiated the Ate-Kuya Program in our local student organization of accountancy students. This program aims to allow upperclassmen students to tutor lowerclassmen during their free time. Knowing how hard accountancy is, this program continues to this day as a means of making college life a bit easier.
In my penultimate college years, when my mom was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer, I gave almost all my allowance to my father to help in covering family needs.
In the year 2013, five years after college, my friends and I decided to start a non-profit organization named People Uplifting the Students and the Handicapped (PUSH). The organization aims to provide aid materials and livelihood programs for persons with disability; as well as, financial aid to underprivilege but deserving students. Currently, our organization is supporting 10 Senior High School, 10 Junior High School and 10 Elementary students.
All of these because I was inspired by the words, “Do not let the blessing end on you.”
To the men and women behind UE-Tan Yan Kee Foundation, words are not enough to express our gratitude towards this life-changing scholarship. Please allow the stories of our successes serve as proof that you are doing something great and that we are truly grateful for what you have given us. We may not be able to pay you back; however, we are surely paying it forward.
To the new and continuing scholars and grantees, may this scholarship prove to be the start of your journey towards achieving your dreams. May it open countless of opportunities for you. May it serve as your inspiration during the tough times.
And at that moment when you realized how #BLESSED you are that you were able to achieve your #LIFEGOALS, may you never forget the words of Dr. Lucio C. Tan, “Do not let the blessing end on you.”