Faces of UB


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.


argel 1 v2


“I don’t want to be known as someone who looks a lot like Empress Schuck or Valerie Concepcion.”





“I’m an exchange student from Japan. I’ve been here for five months now. I’m a Buddhist, but I read the Bible.”




“I started playing chess when I was 4. My father taught me how to play. My first win was when I was 5. I’m 21 now, so I’ve been rolling for 17 years. Obviously my life revolves around chess.”





 “The one thing that bothers me right now is the knowledge that I can’t protect my son from the painful realities of this world.”





“I’m serving at the booth today. It’s my first major exposure – I’m a sophomore tourism student. I think I’ll learn something. I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun.” 



Arch Jovit


“He has three pins on him. The first one is for his eligibility as an M16 sharp shooter. The second is for academic achievement. The third one is for his aerial assault qualification.


Roxanne & Kurl

Roxanne Kurl


Kurl: “We played three games. The first two – they were played at the competing team’s home court. They were banging their drums. The cheers were loud. When you’re there, it can whack your self-confidence; it can ruin your game. But I guess we got in there prepared.”


Pamela & Patricia



“We were constantly moving. We would hop from one city to another, attend a school for just a year and then leave. It’s because of dad’s work – his job would require us to move frequently. Oh, and yes, we’re twins.” 




“I performed while doing school. I did it for two years – during my sophomore and junior years.




“This is for Mom and Dad. It sounds tired, but they have always been my rock.”




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 honestly didn’t think I could be on the Top 10. I even thought I wouldn’t cut it. But luck happens, so I guess I really got very lucky.




“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.”


Alianah, Miss UB 2015

Ali Web


“I double-major in accountancy and financial management. It’s strange because my highest grades have been in history, humanities, and natural sciences subjects.”



olivia faces copy


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.”



Danna Web


Danna was among the 712 UB graduates who marched during the December 2015 UB Commencement Exercises.


“I’m with my mom. This is for her. She singlehandedly raised me and my siblings. She’s a strong woman. I hope I can be as tough as she is when the time comes that I need to be.”


The Crew behind ‘Faces of UB’


This week, ‘Faces of UB: Campus Backstories’ marks a year of telling the UBian story. In this week’s post, the crew behind the series gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to be working on the project.




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 such a situation. You learn how to deal with different people. You learn respect. You learn that if you don’t ask, you won’t get an answer.” 




Chelsea is taking Bachelor of Elementary Education  Special Education in the University.


“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’m Daniel. That’s my English name. I suppose I don’t have to tell you my Korean name – it’s very Korean; I want to spare you the trouble of having to figure out how it’s spelled. Let’s leave it at that, so just put ‘Daniel.’”




“The first time I was diagnosed with cancer, it was thyroid. I fought it for five years. I was cleared. And then in 2014, they discovered a lump in my breast; it turned out I had breast cancer. Just like my first cancer, I didn’t undergo chemotherapy; I took medicines. It’s been two years since my doctor declared I’m cancer-free. But I would have to wait for three more years to be classified as a cancer survivor.”


Rosa, Jelian, John Paul & Daphne


In observance of the International Women’s Day, celebrated every 8th of March, we interviewed a group of students and asked them about their take on the issue on equal opportunities for men and women.




“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.”



Rhad Vic



“I’m into cars, specifically Volkswagens. I’m also into teaching – that one right there is the real deal.”


Leo Mar



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."


"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 reading up on calculus, like I had to read ahead before it would literally blow 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 that I can be strong. I went there alone. I didn’t have my mom with me. You need a firing heart when you're there. You will learn to toughen up, 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 in the same event, ranking 12th overall. She holds the record for the highest score in archery among women in the country.



“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. She’s such a humble person, which made me adore her more.”



“I have found family in my Cardinals 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 teaches me kindness and respect.”





“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 of doing ballet, I changed my class to wushu.”



Ayat Abdelaty

“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 where she met my dad.”



“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.”


Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN Reporter



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. 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.”


Mang Odet



“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.”


Erna & Jigz




“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. Instead, 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.


Anthony Mark



“I’m a senior Law student. I wasn't always blind. 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 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.



Rhyza Gayle Litaoen, Miss Benguet 2016


“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.”





“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.”





In this weeks feature, we give tribute to literature – its power and beauty. Pamela is currently working on her first book, which when published will be another addition to the list of books written by UB students.


Jeong Daeun


“My parents are missionaries. I was 3 when we moved to the country. We first settled here in Baguio, and then we moved to Bacolod, where I finished elementary. We came back here thereafter.”






(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 grateful to have such amazing souls around me.”


Jiggy Manicad, GMA News Anchor




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.”


Dr. Armando Castañeda




“The Halloween Parade was conceived with the idea of gathering the UB community, which will highlight the spirit of community and the culture of family in the University.” 





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.”





Ryan, together with his friends, makes funny videos and shares them online. 


“I wouldn’t say what I do is deeply important – like rocket science level – but I believe laughter is as important as breathing air. I believe the world needs those who make things a little lighter, more bearable.” 





Arvin finished as Top 10 nationwide in the September 2017 Licensure Examination for Teachers.


Joanne, Mac IV, Julius, Janiz, Joey & Donji




“We are six, and we all graduated from the University of Baguio.”





Ivan, who currently teaches in the University, has been categorized as a “gifted child.” Here, he shares his learning experiences and helps us understand the importance of being aware that people learn and perform in different ways, that we do not have the same capacity to process things, and that what’s needed is a welcoming disposition and a lenient perspective.





This is the first in a three-part series showcasing the stories of some of the graduates of May 2018. 


Chitrayuth Chutchaipholrat, or Leo, is from Thailand. He was among those who marched on May 26, 2018 during the graduation rites.





“‘Sa UB ka mag-aaral? Ni baon nga wala ka.’”  


“A classmate told me this when I was in my last year of high school. I was aware my parents couldn’t possibly send me to college. My dad works as a security guard. My mom takes care of everything at home. We didn’t have a lot. But I knew I had to go to college.”






“It took me longer than usual to finish college. But I guess it doesn’t matter how long it takes for someone to finish, does it?” 


“I’m from Iloilo. My schooling in there was like a long, slow pause. For a time, I put my studies off. It's one of those moments where you haven't yet caught the rhythm to do something fully. For one thing, I guess I have always been into other things.”






UB’s Chief Security Officer


This week, we honor the volunteers who demonstrated self-sacrifice and manifested the spirit of service, the first responders who were on the front lines in the relief and rescue efforts during the July 1990 7.7-magnitude Luzon earthquake. Sir Lardy was an ROTC cadet then at UB. In the first 48 hours, he and his co-cadets helped locate and transport bodies from the rubble of the earthquake. Here, 28 years after, he looks back on that day.


“It was past 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I was in a class. It started with a slow, long shake. And then it came faster, one shake after the other. I looked around. The whole building was shaking. I found my way out of the building and exited the perimeter. But then I had to go back and report to my commanding officer. As a member of the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), you have to extend all the services you can in moments like those.”  







“I grew up in Itogon lifting sacks of ‘naba’ (gold ore) from the mines. I was one of the boys (girls did the same, too) who would help transport hollow blocks by carrying them in our shoulders. We would get paid for that. It was there that I learned independence. It was there that I learned the value of hard work. And it was there that I learned how to dream.”  







“When I was little, I had the biggest fun singing familiar Christmas tunes. I’d get thrilled about what my Mama would prepare for Christmas Eve. I’d delight in watching her work on the Christmas decors and I’d fancy in anticipation the gifts I’d be getting.”





“I may be graduating now, but I have always believed that learning doesn’t stop after graduation. There’s always something new to learn everyday.”





Yani – photographed here with her mom and dad  graduated cum laude during the May 2019 graduation rites. She also received the University Leadership Award and the Rosa C. Bautista Journalism Award.


Heder, Lay Anne, Danielle Tamarah, Rhauzen Jean, Lei Sho, Joannie Rose, Kathleen Jane & Fevy Shane



 (From leftHeder, Lay Anne, Danielle Tamarah, Rhauzen Jean, Lei Sho, Joannie Rose, Kathleen Jane & Fevy Shane)



“Originally, we were around 60 to 80, and we formed two sections. Now there are just eight of us from the original batch who were able to luckily graduate. You can say it’s been a tough journey. The others either took a different degree instead or moved to other universities; some have to stay longer while some left school and didn’t continue.”







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