Dr. Malayang to Students: Live a Life of Integrity, Meaning
Silliman President Dr. Ben S. Malayang III addressed two batches of students during the All-University Academic Convocation that marked the formal opening of the second semester of School Year 2014-2015, on November 17 at the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium.
The President started off with a joke on a teacher's question, “Who wrote the Noli Me Tangere?” to which one of her students replied: “No, it was not me!” This eventually came down to the teacher suggesting to her student and his father, whom she had summoned to school the next day, that next time a similar question is asked, the appropriate move is to admit to being behind it.
Dr. Malayang depicted in the humorous story the dilemma of going for what was right or succumbing to temptations that could have made things less complicated.
He highlighted the importance of education and the use of knowledge in purveying the truth and holding on to what is right. Absent knowledge, he said, one might struggle to promote integrity. On the reverse, absent integrity, mere knowledge can be dangerous as it could lead to twisting of the truth.
In the University, Dr. Malayang said, the challenge is to develop within students a strong set of Christian values and principles that will guide and inspire them to make use of their potential in the best way that they are able to live a life committed to serving the community, away from self-serving interests.
And this message delivered by Dr. Malayang resonated with his talk in the morning of the same day where he used the bahay kubo as a genuine representation of our core understanding of who we are as a person and as a people.
He said it is only when one is able to fully appreciate the bahay kubo, or the basics about life and one's surroundings, can one develop a fuller perspective of the world. He said unless we embrace the concept of a bahay kubo — what its characteristics are, what it is made of, what environment it finds itself in, what kind of community it thrives in — one can only accumulate knowledge about evolutions and transformations from it, but loses the meaning behind it.
Relating it with life, Dr. Malayang said, it is only when are able to establish the purpose of our existence, and not just possess knowledge for why and how we exist, can we achieve greater meanings in everything that we do. The challenge, he added, is to weave knowledge together in a way that we ultimate create not just facts but meanings in our life.