… after UP SIBOL

        What is the best thing about being an alumnus of UP SIBOL? This might be a question running along the minds of many.

And we will answer it as we try to see what our alumni have become and how they have come to face the so-called “real world” after years of embodying the organization’s values.

        When the organization started, it was Development Communication-based. All of its members were from the College of Development Communication (CDC).

        “The fact that I am an alumna and still a part of one of the best (I must say) organizations in UPLB is something to be proud of,” said Meggie Lachica, one of the founding members and former president of UP SIBOL. She is currently a marketing manager of American Technologies Inc.

        Looking at the other founding members, they seem to have found what they really wanted. Chivas Alejo started as a research assistant before working at ABS-CBN 2 as part of the creative communication management. He is now taking his master studies. Emerald Dimapilis used to be the science research specialist (SRS) at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD). He is now the public relations officer of Eon Inc. in Makati.

        Jennifer Picones used to be a researcher for Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), is now one of the project managers in Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Ruben Lagrimas is a training associate in MERALCO. Lourdes Margarita Caballero is a research associate for Isang Bagsak – South East Asia, an ongoing project of CDC.

        Some were exposed into broadcasting even during their undergraduate years. Sherwin Felicidario, Miko Mojica, Bryan Mojica, Carlo Balaquiot, Paul Jersey (PJ) Leron, and Joclarisse Albia were all part of the DZLB family before they finally stepped out of the university. Miko and PJ both worked as researcher/writer for the Philippine Army, Task Force Anti-Smuggling. Bryan worked as segment producer in ANC before settling in at the Department of Education (DepEd) as an audiovisual writer. Carlo is currently a researcher for QTV. Joclarisse and Sherwin work in the College of Development Communication. Joclarisse is an instructor while Sherwin is a systems administrator and a university research associate. Paul Jersey Leron worked as resource mobilization assistant in CARD but is now the SRS at PCAARD.

        As UP SIBOL grows, so does its members’ composition. Its first members outside CDC came from the College of Economy and Management (CEM). Lady Lynn Concio, Mira Corpuz, Mayrence Marquez, and Jayson Siocson were among them. Lady and Jayson are working at HSBC and BPI Makati, respectively. Abegail Gilo, a DevComm graduate also works at BPI. Mira is currently working at Glaxo-Smith Kline, a pharmaceutical firm. The first chemists of UP SIBOL, Rizzaliz Galgana and Yazmine Retiro have also plunged into the corporate world. Rizza is also in a pharmaceutical firm while Yaz is a high school teacher in San Pedro, Laguna.

        Many SIBOLites found themselves working on the four corners of the classroom. Among them are Evelie Serrano is now a high school teacher in South Hill; Leah Javier who used to be a volunteer in the United Nations when she was still a student is now a pre-school teacher. Rosiel Bathan also became a teacher in STI San Pablo.

        We cannot forget the newest addition to the list of alumni who dwell in research. Lorelyn Poblete is a research assistant in the Conservation and Development Specialists Foundation, Inc. Joan Reyes is a researcher in E-craft; Darleen Walangsumbat works as an HR in a recruitment firm while Claire Michelle Tecson works in a publishing company.

        PJ Leron, Batch FINAL First said that “the best thing about being an alumnus of SIBOL is the feeling that you’re more than just a UP graduate – di ka lang academically fulfilled but also the feeling that you somehow did what the Iskolar ng Bayan should be doing, to serve.”

        Some alumni have reached far places in search for a suitable career. Smiley Carol Julve, a founding member, is in Hong Kong working as a researcher-writer for a Hong Kong-based Filipino newspaper. Denny Acompañado worked as data engineer in Teledata Philippines before going to Singapore where she currently resides. Anna Cosio is in the United States after working at a call center here in the Philippines.

        Of course, the call center fever is also on in UP SIBOL. Soliven Ortega started as an agent in APAC Alabang a year ago. Now, he is a trainer of new agents. Gaddie Alfredo Gonzales and Ceejay Garcia are with People Support. Jeffrey Palma is now with Convergys Alabang. Maita Opeña and Rosmelia Raymundo also work in a call center as customer care representatives.

        Meanwhile, there are also alumni who opted to study again. Paula May Geronilla is currently taking up nursing. AJ Saul works as a project staff in De La Salle Lipa while taking master studies in development management in UPLB.

        “The experience and memories I had with SIBOL are the pieces that complete the jigsaw puzzle of my life. I’m proud to say that there is a SIBOL blood that runs within me, giving life and meaning to the UPian whom I’ve become,” AJ pointed out.

        No matter what career they pursue and no matter where the roads of life take them, the organization will always be proud of what they have become and what they will still be someday.

        This just proves that UP SIBOL continues to hone the potentials deep within each member. When you are a student, the “real world” may seem light years away. But when you finally step out, you will realize that there will always be something more you need to learn. (RM Dedicatoria)