The Ateneo's Soaring Eagle Sculpture

My Sculpture; Soaring, has moved through an unexpected turn of events indeed. During these two past months, with the Ateneo graduation going on for sesqui-batch 2010, everybody was building up momentum for the notion of moving on to the next playing field; real life. Me and my friends were among those who had the butterflies for our upcoming futures, but aside from that, things were moderately relaxed around the house. It was during the month of March that the VP's office in the Ateneo, called me to create a representative piece to present to the commencement speaker for our graduation; Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, who himself was quite an excellent businessman and leader.

For this reason, I showed them "Soaring", a cast marble sculpture of the Ateneo Eagle. The piece, coated in bronze, was accompanied by a plaque, and given on March 27 with an honorary degree to our commencement speaker. That day was especially great for me, because I took much pride in being there on stage, presenting something I made to someone I looked up to. Those days meant a lot to my batch, because aside from being our last hang out all together in our big numbers, it was also a stepping stone to another world.

In later days, when I had received the news regarding Mr. Pangilinan's speech, I was a bit shocked, but not as surprised. I had a hunch that some words were taken from other sources, but altogether I still appreciated those words at a graduation like ours. They were inspiring nonetheless, and had a great effect on our take on the future and ourselves.

Last Saturday April 17, because of the issue on his graduation speeches, Mr. Manny V Pangilinan had decided to relinquish the honorary degrees that were given to him by the Ateneo, namely the honorary toga, the degree and my own sculpture of the Ateneo eagle. It's saddening that he did not reconsider staying with the school, however I understand his reasons for the decision. Being a part of the graduating batch of Ateneans who participated in the Official Exercises, I did notice the presence of other speeches in some of his words, particularly that of J.K. Rowling's, because I had listened to her Harvard Speech a few days ago using the website known as TED.

Mr. Pangilinan hopes that his relinquishing his position, as well as the symbols of his honorary degree from the Ateneo, will help in the healing process of the school community. I for one, admire him for his direct courage to come forward and apologize publicly. He is still a great leader to this newly graduated Atenean, and one speech should not change a lifetime of legacy.


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