Honor comes first before Excellence

(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.


9 thoughts on “Honor comes first before Excellence

  1. I agree. He disappointed me because I thought every UP student (current/alumnus/alumna) embodies the value of honor before excellence. I hope that this will really serve as a lesson to everyone, and not an inspiration to do dishonorable actions. I also believe that one day, iskolars ng bayan will give justice not only to honor before excellence, but also honor WITH excellence.

  2. I was a bit disappointed in this as well, but I think there is a need to focus also on how the news on this was presented by the media. They just had to emphasize that this person came from UP. Let’s face it. Mark Solis is not the only UP alumni who did something disappointing for UP. There are a lot. Just look at government officials. LOL. But the thing with this issue is, it was just emphasized in every article coverage that he was from UP. I think people are just trying to find a way to bring down the University.

    That being said though, I 100% agree with what you said. I think the important thing now is he admitted his wrongdoing and is facing the consequences of his actions.

  3. Plagiarism will always be unacceptable. I’m glad he didn’t have the hubris to not own up to his actions. Media coverage of this issue was maybe a bit overblown, but I understand why there is so much commotion about this: because much is expected of a UP student.

  4. Honor and Excellence. These are the two words that a UP student must keep in his mind and heart before and after entering the university. Without honor, there’s no excellence. Without excellence, honor is nothing. It’s sad that Mark Solis failed to apply it in real life.

  5. I agree. What’s worse is that the perception of UP students are tainted by his actions, because as much as we’d hate to admit it, we as UP students are hastily generalized and wrongly stereotyped every so often. Even after this all blows over, we still would not escape the backlash.

  6. I don’t think this topic has been brought up too much or beaten to the ground at all. I think even if we all know it, it’s much harder to stick to in practice. People are always busy looking out for themselves and are aiming to excel, but it’s important to still put honor above all. Maybe this guy didn’t realize how bad an act he was doing at the time. Maybe all he could think about was the glory. It may be easier than we think to compromise honor, so it’s important to talk about such things. And we really should practice doing things the right way and not just for the sake of success.

  7. The temptation of always being the best, of excelling in everything you do is common to all of us. We are UP students; we have the drive and hunger for accomplishments but never should it be at the cost of honor.

  8. If there is any good to come out of this, I think it is that the whole UP student body has learned to value honor, above all. I hope that Solis’s mistake will serve as a lesson for everyone.

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