A Slice of Life in Asia

A Slice of Life in Asia

A Slice of Life in Asia: SL @ SU
By Dr. Betsy Joy B. Tan, Vice President for Academic Affairs

(Remarks delivered during the opening event for the service-learning program for Ferris University on September 7, 2015.)

For every service-learning exposure here at Silliman University, there is always another level of social expectations – for yourself, your university, and the community where you come from. Those expectations are at the core in our development as human beings.

But after SL at Silliman, what then?  What reinforcements do you need to develop character and become active participants in the greater world beyond your reciprocal relationships among your peers, among your fellow citizens across Asia and the rest of the global community?

Without a doubt, there are a number of intangibles that your immersion here with us will have developed and strengthened in each one of you:  your empathy across cultures, your personal beliefs and awareness about democracy and citizenship, and your selfesteem in a more self-confident you

Thus, if corporations have a Corporate Social Responsibility, their CSR; we, as individuals, also have our own PSR, our Personal Social Responsibility – to ourselves, to our fellow men and women.

Reflection  is basic in the SL experience where every journey you make in SL involves the recording of your thoughts, your actions, your decisions. As each of you reflect and record your experiences into your journals, what personal sense and awareness drive you to develop a more sensitive sense of caring for others less fortunate than you? What intangibles serve to guide you as you look into real life problems like the rising issues of inadequate nutrition, or living in slum conditions?

Here at Silliman University, our Silliman Song always reminds us of reality – the reality that fortune may send us joy or pain. But whatever that will be, each Sillimanian is also always reminded that when we leave the halls of Silliman to roam the world over near or far, the faith and truth that she has given us, will always remain our guiding star!

Today, as we at Silliman University welcome you to this SL Opening Program, we also welcome you to this gathering that gives me a strange feeling of learning and service . . . for  learning to say ‘hello’ amidst the pains in Asia also serves you with much insight into the peculiar level of poverty in this part of Asia. 

Both Ferris University and Silliman University share one thing in common:  our anchors beside the sea – Ferris University by the port of Yokohama; and Silliman University by the port of Dumaguete!