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Features: LTC: student leaders transcend expectations

For the past years, leadership training seminars were held annually in the UST College of Nursing. For the AY 2009-2010, the Nursing Central Board of Students (NCBS) prepared a more challenging and more motivating series of events for this year’s 3-day Leadership Training Camp (LTC) entitled “Transcend: Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty”.

Last August 7, 2009, the NCBS gathered all the participants for the seminar in the Nursing Auditorium and gave them a taste of what’s in store for them in the next few days as they were given a rundown of the activities and the speakers that will hopefully inspire them to be better leaders. To ensure an orderly and fruitful occasion, rules and agendas for the camp activities were also presented that afternoon. At the same time, the participants were already randomly divided into twelve teams with a team color assigned to each.

On the day of the departure, the student leaders gathered as early as 5 AM and arrived at Caliraya, Laguna by 10 AM. After everyone has settled down, Mr. Michael Angelo Malicsi, Executive Secretary to the Rector of the University of Santo Tomas, began the seminar with a speech on “Acceptance” wherein he focused on acceptance in love, death, failure and identity. According to him, everything begins with acceptance, especially before we begin to “believe”. Acceptance is the most important in love, death, failure and identity. He further added that we must refuse to measure ourselves to other people’s expectations in order for us to accept ourselves.

This was then followed by the lecture about “Believing” presented by Mr. John Vincent Ignacio, Chief Executive Officer of Alchemists, Inc., a group that aims to empower students through self-awareness by delivering an inspirational talk. Mr. Ignacio mentioned that since we can’t control our environment, it is important for us to assess our own behavior (which is the easiest to change since it only involves ourselves), attitudes and beliefs, which will eventually lead us to change ourselves.

After the talk, the Amazing Race took place. Focused on a moral about leadership, each station prepared for the participants had tasks to be carried out. They used the point system, wherein merits and demerits were given according to how well the tasks were performed. This was used to determine the winning team of the race and of the other camp activities.

According to Mr. Gian Carlo Sy Torres, RN, MAN, the adviser of the NCBS, teamwork was established throughout the activities. The proof, he said, was seen when the participants were grouped randomly. Most of them didn’t know one another; however, they bonded and they became very supportive of one another in every task they performed. He also emphasized that “every moment is a choice”, and this was the focus of the race because decision-making is an important skill that every student leader needs to develop.

Thereafter, a socialization party followed
A socialization party, where each team was given a chance to perform, capturing everyone’s attention, then took place that same night.

The following day, Mr. Torres discussed the significance of every station in the Amazing Race and how it represented the participants’ decision-making as a team and as leaders. Afterwards, a video presentation in honor of the late President Corazon Aquino was shown, followed by a moment of silence and prayer.

Assoc. Prof. Glenda Vargas, RN, MAN, the Dean of the UST College of Nursing, graced the event for the “Dialogue with the Dean,” where she had a forum with the well-represented student leaders to hear out their concerns. As student advocates, the student leaders of the UST College of Nursing were able to raise a number of subject matters, which Dean Vargas assured to evaluate and take action. One of these concerns was regarding the loyalty of the nursing students to the university. Mr. Torres commented that although they may launch projects to instill loyalty unto the students, the rest is still up to their willingness, dedication, passion and support.

Upon arriving at UST, the participants attended the Sunday mass at the Santissimo Rosario Parish.

But the activities didn’t end there. The last guest speaker was not able to attend the series of events in Laguna; however, it was arranged that on the afternoon of August 10, 2009, the third and last address will be presented. The Assistant to the Rector for Student Affairs, Assoc. Prof. Cristina Castro-Cabral, Ph.D., delivered an inspirational talk to the LTC participants who gathered at the Nursing Auditorium. She presented a lecture on the subject of “Dare”.  According to Dr. Cabral, we should dare to love because leadership is about life and molding it—and in life, we obtain wounds and these show that we love. “Mad generosity is what leaders must exemplify in order to express true love to those whom leaders serve,” says Dr. Cabral. She reminded us that since we are substantially vulnerable, then we can be courageous. Also, Dr. Cabral pointed out that Thomasians should be proud of their university; and, she observed that this is manifested in the UAAP games wherein whether win or lose, Thomasians stay until the end of the game to sing the university song.

At the end of the seminar, the Yellow team, composed of Jeremiah Chua, Kathleen Cruz, Lara Jane Ferrer, Paula Evangelista, Kiam Tadle, Philias Sajor, Joshua Nocom, Michael Cruz and Joseph Steven Macaraig, emerged as the overall champion.

As the LTC finally came to a close, a great credit was given to the NCBS, who had been very resourceful and flexible in delivering a successful event. It ended with a hope that all the students would put to heart the theme of the event: lead on and serve going above and beyond the call of duty.

Accept. Believe. Choose. Dare.

By: Zanria Harilen J. Cabreros


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