Monday, September 19, 2011

Ms. Universe 3rd Runner-up Shamcey Supsup: From U.P. Diliman to the People

Ms. Universe 3rd Runner-up Shamcey Supsup paid a courtesy call today to U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual and various U.P. officials in Quezon Hall, U.P. Diliman. Ms. Supsup graduated B.S. Architecture (magna cum laude) from U.P. Diliman and topped the architectural board exams.

Photo from U.P. System Information Office
Photo from U.P. System Information Office

From U.P. Diliman, Ms. Supsup proceeded to her high school alma mater, Makati High School, and then on to Ayala Avenue. Despite the fact that Ms. Supsup did not bag the Miss Universe crown, she emerged as a winner in the eyes of her countrymen and women who view her as, in the words of U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual, "a combination of brains and beauty." Equally important to those in U.P. Diliman was that she faced a critical board of judges in San Paolo, Brazil, and stood up for a principle she believed in, which was to proclaim strongly her faith as taking precedence over the choice of a significant other and that that significant other had to conform to the principles of her faith, if he truly loved her. But this answer also resonated outside U.P. Diliman, throughout the deeply Catholic Philippines where openly proclaiming faith in one's Lord is its own victory; a victory that is as old as Christianity itself.

In Ayala Avenue throngs of crowds waited to greet her with emotion and excitement - and pride - and joy.

Moreover, Ms. Supsup has declared that when her 18 month contract is over, she wants to return to the University of the Philippines at Diliman and teach, as her way of returning something back to the country that subsidized her U.P. education. This move strikes a deep chord among U.P. graduates, where a culture of service to the country is ingrained in its graduates. In so doing, Ms. Supsup follows in the footsteps of other academically accomplished U.P. graduates such as Mikaela Irene Fudolig, the youngest summa cum laude in U.P. Diliman's history who is now teaching at U.P. Diliman's Institute of Physics and John Gabriel Pelias, a summa cum laude from U.P. Diliman with the highest grade point average on record, who is now teaching at the Institute of Mathematics at U.P. Diliman.

Ms. Supsup's plans to teach at her alma mater, in an era of massive budget cuts to her alma mater from the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino would be unsettling, if it was not already established that she is motivated beyond mere financial considerations; as she could easily earn large amounts of money by devoting most of her time to the private sector. This is especially poignant, since the budget proposed by the U.P. System to the Aquino Adminsitration was PhP 17 billion, but it has now been reduced to PhP 5.1 billion by the Department of Budget and Management in its submission of the entire national budget to Congress.

U.P. President Alfredo Pascual has argued that U.P. should not be treated as a cost, but as an investment in the country's future, which along with other State Univesities and Colleges produces thousands of qualified and competent graduates who can help in the country's national development.

Picture of slogan taken at Shopping Center, U.P. Diliman protesting the 2011 U.P. budget cuts
(Remaining pictures and text by Chanda Shahani)

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