Faces of UB: Campus Backstories is a photoblog which features faces – familiar and unfamiliar – in UB and tells the story behind those faces. It highlights the wisdom born from everyday human experience – from random wise cracks to stories built on the most complicated of all human mysteries, the human emotion.


Arjill found a bag of cash amounting to 812, 000 and decided to return it.


“I just received this Certificate of Commendation from UB for returning the money. I could have taken it – it's the most convenient option. I don't know, but it never came to me to do so. When I saw the piles of cash, I knew I had to return it.”



“I’ve just been given the Dedicated Service award by the University of Baguio. Well there’s that little sadness now that I’m leaving, but there’s so much more to discover out there. And I want to continue exploring – I want to explore the world, see new places, meet new people and learn from them. There’s just so much to learn in life.”



“I’ve always been fascinated with history – with how things were before, how things worked centuries ago. Maybe I just want to understand how the past shaped the present. Or maybe I’m just an old soul, a reincarnation of someone from the old era.”




Chief Physical Therapist at the UB Physical Therapy and Training Center


This week, we give tribute to physical therapists and the work they do, helping transform lives by restoring and improving motion.


“I would like to believe healing is my calling. Even before I took physical therapy, I engaged on a missionary work. I sort of made it my mission to help people become well. I guess it’s my way of doing something for humanity.”


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Olivia has been a student assistant since her freshman year and is now in her fourth year. She hopes to graduate in May. 


“When I graduated from high school, I had no idea how I could go to college. I have four siblings, and we were all going to school at that time. It’s like life said, ‘If you want to go to college, make a way so you can – on your own.’ So here I am.”



Engr. Rod is an alumnus of UB. He took his engineering degree in the University. He was a working student and is now based in Canada.


“I worked as a cook while doing my [college] studies. You learn a lot when you’re in a situation like that. You learn how to deal with different people. You learn how to respect people. You learn that if you don’t ask a question, you don’t get an answer.” 



Chelsea is taking Bachelor of Elementary Education  Special Education in UB.


“I was inspired by my sister. She’s 12, and she was diagnosed last year. She has a learning disability. She has speech impairment. She wants to be a pre-school teacher or a nurse.” 


“I think when you have a member of the family that has special needs, you have this strength that just sort of re-charges itself whenever it fizzles out. It’s a special kind of strength, and it’s just amazing.” 



“I work as a secretary for the School of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Fresh off college, I didn’t know where to start. I guess that’s what every new graduate faces. The first step is always the hardest. But here I am, so I think I know where to go.”





You graduated magna cum laude. And you majored in math. How is that possible?

“It’s nuts, because I never really excelled in math back in high school and even in elementary grade. So it’s a bit overwhelming. Well I think you need a little bit of sacrifice. There was this one summer I didn’t spend going to the beach or climbing some wall or attending a music festival or simply not doing anything – I spent the time to read up on calculus. I had to read ahead before it literally blows my mind.”




Kimberle was Binibini No. 4 in the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 pageant. She finished as one of the Top 15 Semifinalists.


“My Dad is from Barlig, Mt. Province. My mom traces her ancestry to Benguet and Barlig. I have a heritage that’s definitely Cordilleran. A child of the mountains, if you will.”


Binibining Pilipinas made me realize I can be strong – I went there alone; I didn’t have my mom with me. When you’re there, you need a firing heart. When you’re there, you will learn patience and independence. When you’re there, you need to toughen up, fortify your faith. And people will always have something to say about you, so be prepared to handle the beating.






Kareel competed in the third stage of the World Cup held in Antalya, Turkey on June 12-19, 2016. She also participated in the Olympic qualifying tournament during the same event, ranking 12th. She holds the record for the highest score in archery (women) for the Philippines.



“I believe every sport teaches you self-discipline.”



“You play a new game every time you compete. A good shot during your last game does not mean a good shot in the next.”




“I started playing volleyball because of Alyssa Valdez. I was in high school then. I met her in person and it was such a jaw-dropping moment. And she’s super humble which made me adore her more.”



“Being part of the Lady Cardinals volleyball team of UB, I have found family in my team. Everyone of us finds family in someone, in a group of friends, in some random stranger. It’s amazing how it’s possible to find some real connection with someone not related to you by DNA.”




“My first salary – I gave it to my mom. And I felt it. Even if she didn’t say it. That she was happy, and it’s one of the best feelings in the world.”


“I serve as the secretary for the UB High School. It’s like you’re a mom. You have to be concerned about everything, about everyone – the classrooms, uniforms, leaking pipes, activities, everything. But I like it. It’s fun.”




“I was first focused on doing ballet before I decided to try wushu. I was 6 then (I’m 12 now). After my ballet class, I would watch my older sister wrap up her wushu session, and she would do some martial arts exhibition. I thought it seemed interesting. After a year doing ballet, I changed my class to wushu.”





“My mom is from Pangasinan; my dad is from Egypt. Mom traveled to Canada after graduating. For some twist of fate, she ended up settling in Saudi, where she first worked as a dental assistant and then as a dentist. That’s when she met my dad, who, for some weird thing called destiny, traveled to Saudi too.”



“When she was working as a dental assistant, Mom would notice this Muslim lady who would pray often, like five times a day. Mom, out of curiosity, opened a conversation with the lady about her religion and stuff. And then slowly, slowly Mom got hooked. A devoted Roman Catholic, Mom made a decision to convert to Islam.”




Can you walk us through some of the highlights from your college days in UB?

“Aaah, those days. One thing I remember is when I was part of almost every organization that existed during that time in UB. The only organization that did not accept me was Voices – you probably know why. Wink wink.”



“But what changed me the most was when I joined the Debate Society. It certainly helped me with my speaking, in a major way. It established my leadership potentials. It helped me become better. And it was through the Society that I met my future husband – I met him during the first debate tournament that I joined; he was from the debate team of PMA.”



“Also, one of the highlights was when I won as Miss UB. That was in 2003. It’s interesting because it wasn’t like me to be pageant-y, you know. I was bent more on the academic stuff. But it made me realize that you can be whatever you want. You can be a geek and a beauty queen at the same time.”




“You’ll see me cleaning around – in the restroom, in the hallway, in the classroom. I’ve been working as a janitor here in UB for 16 years now. In those 16 years, I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to send my children to school.”



“Our eldest is Joanne. She is a graduate of the UB School of Teacher Education. Our second is Kevin. He is a graduate of the UB School of Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Janray is the youngest; he is a third year tourism student here in the University.”



“I finished BS Criminology, and I wanted to be a police officer. But I was caught in a car accident and I broke my hips, making me permanently impaired. It limited my options in looking for a job. It limited me from dreaming bigger dreams, too. But that’s okay. I have my children – they’re my biggest success. Sometimes life has a weird way of surprising you, especially when you’re close to crashing down.”





“Let us speak about love. Let us talk about true love, the kind that is always growing and shaping the world and making mankind wiser.” – Paulo Coelho, “The Pilgrimage”



“I once gave her a bouquet of flowers worth P2,500 for Valentine’s. After handing her the bouquet, I waited for her to thank me and all that. But she sulked and said, ‘Ibinili mo na lang sana ng pagkain. Sayang ‘yung pera.’ I  was speechless. So now I’ll just give her red balloons. What's that expression they always say? – it's the thought that counts. I guess that's true.




“I’m a senior Law student. When I was 10, I had this condition called retinal detachment. It happens when your retina – a layer of tissue at the back of your eye that processes light – pulls away from the tissue around it. Since the retina can’t work properly when this happens, you could have permanent vision loss if you don’t get treated. I have undergone two surgeries, and then I was supposed to have another one, but we couldn’t afford it anymore.”


“I lost my eyes, but I didn’t lose my vision. I still dream. I still have my aspirations. There’s this line that stuck with me since reading it: ‘The most pathetic person in the world is the one who have their sight but have no vision.’”




This week, we share with you Mia’s story, one that revolves around resilience, strength, and hope. The story is part of the University’s IT GETS BETTER CAMPAIGN, an information, education and communication drive which seeks to raise awareness about teen depression and reduce the stigma that surrounds it by creating positive, fact-based and hopeful messages about teen depression for the school community.




“My dad hails from Bokod, Benguet and my mom is from Tabuk, Kalinga. Cultural heritage – it’s an interesting phenomenon I think. It defines you. It distinguishes you. It sets you apart. I have come to understand the story behind each native dance in Benguet, behind the intricate pattern embedded in the tapis, behind each of the rituals. It’s beautiful.”



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“I started working at 16 to send myself to school. My parents couldn’t afford to send me to school, so I have to find a way to go to school. Education is very important to me, so I’m doing whatever it takes to have one.”


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(Ronnel sells treats in the campus to support his financial needs. Here, he shares what he's learning.)


“We bake the products at home. I bring them to school in the morning and sell them around campus in between my classes during my free hours. During my classes, I leave the boxes at the lobby and my friends would sell them for me. I feel very grateful to have such amazing souls around me.”





Can you walk us through one of those profound moments in your career?

“We were assigned in Tacloban, Leyte when Yolanda tore into the country. You know what happened – houses were flattened, you couldn’t see any building standing, the airport was not spared. The city was in complete wreck, homes and lives lost. It was a ghost town. Since our car was washed away, we walked to wherever the rescuers could find us. We walked 30 kilometers. Finally, we found a spot where we could set up so we could air live (our equipment were soaked, we tried drying them and thankfully it worked). Atom Araullo (who was then with ABS-CBN), CNN's field reporter, and all the representatives of other networks who were sent to cover couldn’t go live; their stuff were all damaged. They were all looking to get located, so they gave us their names so we could broadcast they’re alive. (GMA was the only network to go live.)”


“One realization that came to me was that some of the most profound miracles happen in the most hopeless situations. I couldn’t forget the establishment where we checked in – it was the only structure that didn’t completely collapse. The original plan was to stay in a different hotel, but eventually we decided to change hotel. The hotel we first planned to stay at collapsed.”




“I’m from Jordan. Jordan is home to biblical sites like Mount Nebo, where Moses was said to have seen the ‘Promised Land.’ It is claimed to have been named after the Jordan River, where Jesus is said to have been baptized.”


“Jordan is essentially defined by historical monuments. It is home to the famed archaeological site of Petra, an iconic 2000-year-old city carved into the red mountain rock.”


“Amman, the capital of Jordan, houses ancient ruins. Atop Jabal al-Qala’a hill, the historic Citadel includes the pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules and the 8th-century Umayyad Palace complex, known for its grand dome.”


“The famous Dead Sea is also bordered by Jordan to the east. It is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water.  It is the deepest salt lake in the world.”




“I guess my story revolves around my battle with my condition. It’s called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP. It’s generally blood-related, characterized by excessive bleeding.”


“It started with a few bruises, and then blood started coming out of my nose. At first, I didn’t really pay attention. I was having my internship, and I was focused on completing the needed hours. Until the hematologist told me my platelet count was 4,000/uL. It was way below the normal platelet count, which is 150,000/uL – 400,000/uL.”




(Jomar finished as a silver medalist in the World Universiade 2017 – Wushu Sanda competition held in Taiwan.)


“This is my first competition outside of the country, and I consider myself lucky that I was able to finish strong. I was among the estimated 10,000 athletes from 183 countries who participated in the event. All glory to the One above.”


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