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‘SAROK’ gathers former student leaders to inspire BUeños

March 5, 2024

To foster the student’s leadership skills while broadening their knowledge, Bicol University – University Student Council (BU-USC) conducted a student-leadership seminar dubbed “SAROK: An Pagtiripon para sa Padagos na Paguswag – An Pagtrayumpo kan Lider-estudyante nin Futuro,” participated by BUeño student-leaders from various organizations, held at the Bulwagang BUeño, Student Union Center on February 26, 2024. 

The event ‘Sarok’, a Bicol word that means to “fill-up,” discussed former student-leaders’ knowledge and wisdom based on their experiences, which were integrated in the inspirational messages, keynote addresses from prominent figures, and panel discussions between and among leaders and participants.

The program formally commenced with the opening remarks by BU President Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin D. Nebres III. 


Nebres accents role on student leadership, good governance

In his message, BU President Nebres mentioned that to become an effective and transformative leader, one must move forward toward progress.  

“But the only way to do that is to become good public servants and transformative leaders. What’s even better is, to start right now, on the road to becoming better leaders – while you are still young – trainable, and adaptable,” he added. 

He advised the student leaders to continue honing their leadership skills and build their “distinctive character as a BUeño leader and scholar,” before losing passion or one’s sense of idealism. 

The former USC-affiliated officer also reminded the students that leadership is not just the “quantity of extra and co-curricular” one participates in. 

“Know that your first duty is to be the best version of yourself as a student so that you can become a better person to others, and develop into a transformative leader in the service of humanity,” he concluded. 

Afterwards, the program continued with a keynote speech by Earl Vincent Vista, a former chairperson and student regent, who shared his experience as a former student-leader on the topic, Leadership Renaissance: Reigniting the Flame of Purpose and Influence in the Modern Era. 

It can be recalled that during Vista’s administration, he led the proposal for the unified uniform policy, which has since been implemented. 

The seminar continued with a panel discussion, “Empowering Tomorrow: Navigating Leadership across Student, University, and Community Spheres,” with panelists Irene Kayle Santillan, Usher Jade Azul, Leroz Atenante, and Joshua Carl Barcelon, who were all former student leaders of the university. They discussed the importance of strong leadership within and outside BU, and shared insights to effectively guide student leaders based on their roles. 

In the afternoon, Atty. Gio Bongao, Tabaco City Councilor, delivered his keynote message on “Charting the Course of Leadership in Public Service,” followed by Atty. Norly P. Reyes, VP for Administration and Finance, who also shared his experiences from being a student leader to a university administrator. 

The speakers gave encouraging messages to the participants, saying that anyone can be a good leader regardless of their status, and shared their tips on how to be an effective student leader.

The second panel tackled “Critiquing Leadership: Navigating Ethical Media Practices and Cultivating Ethical Responses in the Media Landscape,” where panelists Summer Jan Forrest Untalan, Reynald Sevillano, and Ralph Raven Tubice, who are all media-affiliated leaders, emphasized the significance of responsible media practices and the role of student leaders in shaping public perception.

The event concluded with a roundtable discussion among the student-leaders on addressing issues within the university and their solutions to the problem, followed by the signing of the board of commitment. | by Jamaica B. Divina, BUCPRO Student Intern & Arnold C. Noda, BUCPRO-MPS I