By: MARY ROSE C. AMPOON
The University of the Philippines – Cebu hosted the Socio-Caravan last February 3, 2017, 1:00-5:00 pm at the UP Cebu AVR. Meaningful lectures were delivered during the caravan with more than a hundred students from the fields of social and natural sciences. Dr. Zona Amper from the University of San Carlos shared her research on Island Sociology, Dr. Jayeel Cornelio of the Ateneo de Manila University discussed Sociology of Religion, Dr. Phoebe Sanchez, a professor from UP Cebu delivered her lecture on Political Sociology, and Dr. Clarence M. Batan from the University of Santo Tomas and the President of the Philippine Sociological Society (PSS) shared about the Sociology of Youth and PSS matters.
There is an urgent necessity to understand the society and its people – its fundamentals, methods, varieties, nuances, and most especially its diverse offering of unexplored knowledge that give us a better glimpse at how life works at the microcosm of human interaction. We have to come to terms with the very tangible environment that we have helped mold directly and in return, has molded us to become the people that we are now with the different social constructs we are exposed to and to the degree that we are exposed to it. The great wonder that Sociology offers is how it does not settle for one variety of truth, but that there are endless possibilities and perspectives to look at when it comes to explaining certain phenomena or areas of interest.
For an academe that is used to very definite terms and well-elaborated explanations by the book, the Philippine Sociological Caravan was the breather that UP Cebu has long needed. It has allowed us, the students, to take a step back and take different areas of concern (politics, religion, youth, etc.) in a different light without abandoning the academic and critical values the institution upholds. In fact, the PSS has made us students even more curious of how the society at the level of the different fields that we are involved in. UP Cebu is more than grateful to be chosen as the venue for its Visayas Leg and our only regret would have been to allot more avenues in promoting the event for more students to be able to enjoy that fruitful discourse with us.
Ultimately, we have become more appreciative and interested in this particular field of study which unfortunately does not get the attention and appreciation it highly deserves in the current status quo. With the high rising of neoliberal policies leading the way in the orientation of our educational system, our country has invested more in the fields of hard sciences and skilled labor courses. This is because it is what make our graduates more employable to the foreign investors and big-time businesses in need of solid semi-skilled manpower virtuously more than critical-minded decision makers. Our country has foregone the Liberal Arts (Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences), eventually becoming an area of interest only for those who have the privilege to go for courses whose employment rates are not well-established. As Iskolars ng Bayan who have been given the honor to be introduced to the wonders of Sociology by some of the greatest minds in the field of Sociology in the country today, it is an even more reason for us to fight for a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education that will change the way we look at how quality is defined in terms of its academic implications. This is one of the catalysts to drive a holistic change in the educational system of this country in order to give way to more choices of interests to the students by giving equal appreciation to all fields of study.
Once again, UP Cebu is greatly honored and immensely grateful to be the host of the Philippine Sociological Caravan and we are looking forward to the PSS National Conference on October.
MARY ROSE C. AMPOON is taking up BS Computer Science and the Student Council Vice Chairperson, AY 2016-2017 of the University of the Philippines – Cebu.