Friday, October 14, 2011

A Birth and A Death in U.P. Los Baños

Having spent almost six years in U.P. Los Baños, I could not help but scavenge for news every now and then about my alma mater. This present blog post was conceived after receiving some recent news about UPLB. The ‘birth’ part is somewhat metaphorical while the ‘death’ part is, sadly enough, quite literal.

A Birth: Rex Victor Cruz Carries the Torch of Chancellorship

A new chancellor for UPLB has been selected and officially declared by the UP Board of Regent on September 29, 2011. Dr. Rex Victor Cruz of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) will start to assume office on November 1, 2011. According to the UPLB website, Dr. Cruz carries with him his vision of “One University, One Goal, One Destiny for UPLB” directed by five-point thematic agenda. It is a fresh start for the UPLB constituents after a rather longish leadership of former Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco whose term was marred by various issues and controversies. How well will Dr. Cruz fare (not to mention the question of how well will the activists take his appointment) is yet to be seen. Perhaps after a year, we’ll be able to make a few assessments with regards to his performance. But such assessments, of course, would come from the rank and file and would not, in any way, prove to be encompassing. For now, we can only hope for the best for this coming administration.

A Death: Given Grace Cebanico and her Senseless Murder

Gloom now envelops the UPLB campus as the news of the senseless killing (and allegedly rape) of Given Grace Cebanico, a BS Computer Science student. It really ‘strikes home’ for me firstly because she was a UPLB student and second, she was an orgmate of one of my orgmates. I engaged this orgmate of mine in a conversation to flesh out information aside from the details publicized already by the sickening media.

“Kalog”, a Christian, a DOST scholar, and a rather attractive person. These are but some of the few descriptions which I am afraid would never be enough to fully describe the person. She was also appointed to be the promotion head of a fair that her org is organizing for next year. It turns out that she will never be able to attend it. “Sickening” I think would be an apt word for this tragedy. It makes me want to vomit, for a lowly way to satisfy one’s carnal cravings like this can only be described as belonging to the nature of beasts and animals. I cannot even imagine even in passing that gray area where rationality comes into contact with beastliness.

Mournings and tributes are only right to be done at these times but in the end, nothing, not even a very powerful person could bring back her life, much less his dignity which was unruly taken away from her by some beasts. The supreme retribution that all might be looking forward to is the imposition of justice and punishment – equally, if not more than enough – to all those who planned this barbaric act.

It is a bitter death, yes. But it resurrects again the age-old issue of security in and around the campus. UPLB may be notorious for being liberal in many aspects but that is not an excuse to be lenient in security especially amongst its prime constituent, the students.

My sincerest condolences to her family and to her second family at school.

*Photo credits: Rex Victor Cruz ( /
Given Grace Cebanico (Marlon Jaurigue, orgmate Young Software Engineers Society)


Anonymous said...

cebanico cis.

Pransism said...

Salamat sa correction. Na-edit ko na.