(I’m aware of how many times this topic has been brought up already but I just feel the need to voice out my opinion on this)
I drowned in disappointment and shame as I heard the news of a fellow Iskolar ng bayan who “won” a photo competition with a photo that is not even his. If you don’t know yet, his name is Mark Joseph Solis. And yes, he admitted to doing this very dishonorable action.
Throughout my whole stay in UP, if there’s one thing I was really taught to live by, it was to embody Honor and Excellence – the main ideals of the University of the Philippines. Every orientation, introduction to class, and also before quizzes and exams, I would hear my professors repeat this over and over again until it left a mark on us. And it truly did leave a mark on me. It inspires me every time I hear it and it makes me feel as if it’s the least bit that I owe to the University for being given the opportunity to study here. This is why I felt really disappointed and puzzled why it didn’t work out the same way for this man who not only put a shame to himself, the University and its students, but most importantly, the country which he represented in this competition.
There’s not much use in dwelling on the offense he committed anymore though because it already happened and he already did the only thing that’s needed for him to do which was to save us the least bit of honor and admit his mistake and apologize. However, I hope that this would serve as a lesson to all of the other students in UP (or students from other schools, for that matter) to take responsibility of all our actions before doing them. After all, honor comes first before excellence. No matter how excellent we seem to be in academics or achievements, it’s just as good as waste if we don’t take honor in doing it.