Mindanao State U still No. 1 at 51

Mindanao State U still No. 1 at 51



If the criterion to measure where does a collegiate institution stands is to be based on the difficulty to run a university and achievements despite the circumstances, there is no doubt that Mindanao State University is still No. 1 at 51.

Today, September 1, 2012, the university that gave this author the degree in civil engineering in its Marawi campus through the maximum allowances it can give to its scholars celebrates its 51st birthday.

This author has no statistics to show but he dares say that MSU remains No. 1 if we look at the difficulty of the place and circumstance where it began and where it is running until now and compare the same to the achievements it registered.

See this.

This author is one of its tens of thousands of alumni.  The first day he set foot on the grounds of Mindanao State U in the sprawling 1,000-hectare campus, he was penniless.  The only basis of his high hope that time was that he was assured of free stipend for all expenses for the first semester and he was confident of keeping all the freebies the rest of the way until he finished his degree.

During that time, the author was one of the at least 2,000 freshmen-scholars enjoying the privilege of studying for free with monthly allowances for books, food, lodging, and transportation. All poor but highly-academically-inclined children of Mindanao's poorest citizens, Christians and Muslims, are the ones who have been the backbone of MSU.  The kids of the rich or those who can afford end up in Ateneo, La Salle, University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas and other "Ivy League Schools" of the country.

A famous golf course at MSU where this author used to study
Also during that time like in the past and the future from there, there has been no other school that has been placed in the most disadvantageous position like that of MSU that every now and then gunfight would erupt right inside its Marawi campus.  Its other campuses, the IIT in Iligan, the ones in General Santos City, Tawi-Tawi, Naawan are relatively in a much more peaceful situation.

MSU has been besieged by political forces unlike other schools.

So that one can easily see the extraordinary difficulty the students and the school would have to undergo.

Yet Mindanao State U has its share of national limelight in terms of the feats registered in board and bar exams and in the work ethics and performances of its products.  At least, this author does not know of any MSU alumni charged before the Ombudsman, does not know of any MSUan who became a local elected official or congressman or senator whose general impression is one associated with vote buying or election cheating and corruption in office.

One of its products is this author who the readers can judge by his writings, by his deeds, by his words, by his records.  The author is prevented by the rule of humility for him to list down what he has done and achieved but the most he can is that all readers who have no way of knowing who this author is search for his name in Google and read everything about him.  The most the author can say of him is he is a lawyer whose clients are not rich and mostly urban poor, that he was once a project engineer, that he left engineering works to become a sportswriter and editor of the most-read English tabloid People's Journal Tonight in the 1990s, that he was a scholar at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) College of Law where he graduated in 2005, and that he passed the Bar exams in the same year.

As a student at Mindanao State this author had endured the most difficult wrath of poverty, particularly during summers when scholars do not receive any.  Intermittently, he had experienced gun fighting occurring  inside the campus between the soldiers and Moro rebels. He mastered the skill of jumping off his bed at the first explosion of an M203 grenade and docking in the safest place during the sporadic exchange of bullets that would follow.
His parents cannot afford to send him in college.  His dad Remo was a mere farmer, carpenter, photographer and welder.  His mom Marianita Sr. was just a public high school teacher all her life except for the ten (10) years that she served as a councilor of the then municipality of Koronadal after winning the election as an independent candidate during the days when there were only two parties, Liberal and Nacionalista, the days when hardly one can hear vote buying.  She vowed out of office as a poor woman for having shunned offers from bidders for school buildings as she was the chair of the school board.

The author is only one of the more than 50,000 MSUans who share substantially similar stories of life. And certainly, there are thousands of alumni whose feats cannot even be surpassed by this writer although their feats are unwritten. 

To all MSUans, Happy Anniversary.  

You are proud to say Mindanao State is still No. 1 at 51.

NOTA BENE: WHAT A FITTING GIFT TO THE 51st BIRTHDAY OF MSU, TOPNOTCHERS IN METALLURGICAL ENGINEER LICENSURE EXAM.   Only MSU and UP occupied the Top Ten.  (This information came to the knowledge of the author after the article above was written and published.)  See the chart below:





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