By Raïssa Robles
It is RARE for people to return awards. But when they do, they mean to send an important message.
In the case of Carmencita Reodica, a woman who has spent much of her life in public service, her gesture of physically giving back a cherished award to the alumni office sent shock waves in the academic community of the country’s oldest university.
The University of Santo Tomas is not new to controversies and has weathered them all in its four centuries of existence.
Still, Dr. Reodica’s gesture gave much food for thought. Considering that she is part of the “UST 400” or the 400 Outstanding Alumni in 400 years. You can read more about her here.
I met her Saturday night during a reunion of graduates from St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City. And so I decided to ask her if she had really done what she said she would do and why would she do such a thing.
In short, she told me that an award that was once “the highest” recognition of achievement for which a graduate had to work hard for had now become “very cheap”.
Here is my short video interview with her:
Dr. Reodica’s accomplishments are stupendous. She—and a handful of other females – overcame male prejudice and persevered to become outstanding medical doctors in their chosen fields of expertise.
In her case, she specializes in public health.
Her appointment to the helm of the Department of Health was serendipitous. The Health Secretary Hilario Ramiro had been implicated in a kickback scandal over medical supply kits and she was at that time a senior health department official.
Then President Fidel V. Ramos needed a fresh face to divert the public from the Ramiro scandal. Appointing Reodica scored double points for Ramos since she was the very first woman to be appointed Secretary of Health.
Following her appointment as Secretary of Health, her fellow UST alumni recognized her achievement by giving her the award as “overall” or top outstanding alumni.
By contrast, the UST alumni association’s giving of an “award” to Mocha Uson—an act which sparked a storm of protest—seemed to be based on nothing more than the fact that she was appointed assistant secretary. And one with zero experience in government service.
Let me point out that Dr. Reodica was also once an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Health but her work was solid. She handled the Maternal and Child Health Service, Nutrition, Family Planning, STD/AIDS, Women’s Health and Dental Health. At one point, she was doing all that while at the same time performing as Officer-in Charge for the health department in the National Region.
I recall interviewing her once when I was with Philippine Star.
No wonder Dr. Reodica felt miffed, gave back her award and called such alumni awards “very cheap”.
As for Mocha Uson, I keep wondering what her accomplishments are as a newbie public official. Being able to do exclusive interviews of President Rodrigo Duterte? Junketing around the world on the public tab?
The only accomplishment I can think of is that she has become a social media “influencer”. Right now, she has the ability to persuade thousands of Filipinos to continue supporting Duterte and to post murderous and vicious thoughts about those who are critical of Duterte. Another word for that would be “propagandist.” For students of UST and universities across the country, is that kind of accomplishment worth emulating and applauding?
Maybe UST should set up a Goebbels Award?
Johnny Lin says
WHERE ART THOU, MOCHA USON
in the infamous litany of Mocha in her live blog declaring that Mayon Volcano is in Naga, she claimed that FILIPINOS are more concerned in trivial things like her receiving an UNDESERVED UST alumni award. She shouted that FILIPINOS were ignoring the discussion of important national problems like Dengvaxia, Marawi and Mayon eruption. She mentioned crisis that were not generally natural in nature but more localized and isolated.
Yet, Mocha is SOOOOOOOOO SILENT on an issue which has more national and international implications for the country and its people. Recent news(Not fake news) by World Justice Project found out that the Philippines dropped 18 notch down among 133 countries to 88th in RULE OF LAW ADHERENCE category. It is 13th out of 15 Asian countries. It’s the lowest place under Duterte regime.
RULE OF LAW ADHERECE has national significance because it’s directly proportional to the
1. ECONOMIC GROwTH OF THE COUNTRY- poor adherence equals low economic growth.
2. DEARTH OF FOREIGN INVESTMENTS- poor adherence equals lack of interest of foreign investors.
It is also inversely proportional to poverty and rising crime.
Mocha, considering her claim to be nationalistic and patriotic should have been the first person in DUTERTE administration commenting on this matter in her live blog. Failure to do must be the proof that she is really dumb for not knowing that Mayon is NOT in Naga. Mocha lost her opportunity to display in social media her brainy capability.
So naive of me, I forgot that her brain is inside her boobs which she proudly displays the photos for followers of her blog
Permission granted to post this on FB and Twitter of Mocha girls.
He he he
mocha was most recently in italy, trying to dodge yata the senate hearing on fake news. baka magisa pa siya ng husto ni grace poe, kaya lumayas. sana mocha stays in italy for good and not come back.
Conchita Taylor says
What happened to Sto. Tomas? My father Gabriel la 0 was dean of law in that institution. I’m certain he would have been dismayed by the award given to Mocha Unson.
So would my father. He was for over three decades a professor who taught Summa Theologica in UST to seminarians and lay students.
times changed indeed, values as well….
begging your pardon po, times may changed, technologies as well, but there are age old values that dont change. I bet, the president of ust alum assoc found this out the hard way. his gamble did not pay off, and was canned himself.
a cheap way to goin’ senatorial
But verycheap to become a senator
16 Million votes is really very cheap
Sigue…there will no more bidding for big awards
kuripotin na lang CHEAPSKATE !
swiss challenge, no more bidding. I think, swiss challenge is silly. why be op, original proponent, when others will just use you as stepping stone and up the ante against you? maybe they’ll work on your bid, steal your ideas and innovations, cut corners here and there and make it their own.
to compete, you would have to recoup and up the ante against them as well, maybe cut corners too, or back down, or act as opening gambit so others can ply their challenge.
you get what you pay and if you pay peanuts, you’ll get monkeys!
pinoys will just make monkey business out of swiss challenge, he, he, he.
with swiss challenge, there will be no more delays kuno and speedier resolutions of projects is envisaged. just like the president’s drug war, speedy kuno yan and would only take 3 months to round up, 3months become 6 months, then a year, and now, two years on, still no speedy resolution of drug war. the efforts of those concern must be below par, half hearted at medyo pakitang tao lang. they already got triple pays whether they function or not.
speedier swiss challenge, quick, walang hadlang at walang sabwatan kuno, yeah right. parang jet ski baga ito ng mga cheesy proponents. court order tro’s can easily put hadlang to projects, legal squabbles as well, also in fighting among challengers.
hindi po ako naniwala na swiss challenge is going to be better, faster and speedier lalo na if those proposing cannot deliver previous forecasts and contracts. fix and decongest traffic 1st!
further po, anyone can concoct bogus unsolicited original proponents in swiss challenge, to test the water and to pave the way for friends to lunge for it! and get paid in return, not just with money but maybe recycled as consultant.
the ingenuity of pinoys can be endless!
Kindly read this article:
I wish the good father would cite which of St. Thomas’ writings he said that. For instance, which part of the Summa theologica, so I could look it up.
I fully concur with the words of our wise quadricentennial rector magnificus: honor est honorante. We, UST alumni, rose in protest because we felt that our honor was being thrown to the dogs. Conferring an award on a foul-mouthed propagandist was tantamount to losing our honor as Thomasians.
Your argument shows you have read even a bit of St. Thomas and is using the logical thinking that he has imparted.
edgar lores says
It is not enough to supply a link, and not present one’s own thoughts.
What is the issue here?
1. That Mocha cannot be given an award?
2. Or is it that Mocha is not deserving of an award?
Per the good father’s article, “As St. Thomas further writes: “Only a good person is deserving of honor, and yet it is possible even for the wicked to be honored.” [Bolding mine.]
Going by the adverbial clause, yes, Mocha can be given an award. (Surely, it is beyond question that Mocha is wicked.)
But going by the main clause, no, she is not deserving.
In honoring Mocha, the alumni association has dishonored itself. More importantly, it has dishonored the university.
There are two ways I wish to interpret this from the good father’s point of view. Before anything, is the award conferred by the body of the Alumni Association without any questions and conflict before it was awarded or rewarded? Award is made public while reward can be hidden on its own and can just be given by an individual. Like the bounty hunter, there is a reward for a work successfully done An award attaches itself to the reputation of the awarder/giver.
Virtue is its own reward or virtue is its own punishment? The good father has to elaborate which one he meant by saying “As St. Thomas further writes: “Only a good person is deserving of honor, and yet it is possible even for the wicked to be honored.”
In this time and age, virtuous persons are called crazy/foolish, imprisoned and even killed. What happened to society support of virtuous men and women? Society has become a dog eat dog world. Truthfulness, discipline , purity and innocence have all gone to the garbage bin. Nakedness is now seen as overdressed, fake news is the real news and those who are meek are the imbeciles, while the foul mouthed spewing lava and ash are the new heroes worthy of an award or a reward.Does the good father speak of awarding souls in the material worldly sense, isn’t it his goal to help the creatures to evolve into a higher value of being/living, to be more ethical and spiritually fulfilled?
Let me state, virtue helps one to grow, so virtue is its own reward. While staying wicked and awarding/rewarding it is letting oneself to stay in the dark animal level.
Bless me,(not) father for I digress!
“The mind is its own place,it can make a hell of heaven and a heaven of hell” John Milton
drill down says
majority of people will not understand this explanation and will be confused into thinking that it was right to make this award to mocha.
fact is you do not mix deserving and non-deserving in an award that was meant for the deservimg.
sorry po, my funny bone says, the ex president of ust alum assoc got twerked, elevating the undeserving to deserving, he, he, he. what the volcano was he thinking! twin peaks?