Editorial: Truth and Prophecies
Defining Socio-Civic by Paolo Tamase
The Econian Spirit By Kenneth Reyes
Ecosoc from the Outside by Ben Bismark
CDC Primer by Ralph Dantes
EJ and his Life Beyond Saturday by Jes Manipon
How Well Do You Know Socio-Civic Marian Trespeses
Measuring Success Mark Matibag CDC and Institutions David de Padua
Interview with the Past CDC Chairs Hannah Manalili and Faye Ferrer The Future of Socio-Civic Tolentino
The opinions expressed by the writers of this issue are their own and do not represent the sentiments of the Editorial Board and its members. The Editors wish to encourage a healthy discussion on our nature and mission and do not intend to put in a bad light and personalities or groups.
Cover Design by Paolo Tamase Photos used in Cover from various Ecosoc photographers
Paolo Emmanuel Tamase Editor-in-Chief Ma. Carmela Angeli Astudillo Associate Editor Benedict Bismark Managing Editor Jessica Manipon News Editor Kenneth Luigi Reyes Features & Art Editor Project Head Kevin Adrian Estopace Photo & Layout Editor Kristine Joy Cunanan Special Projects Editor Horace Cimafranca Webmaster Paolo Tamase Marian Trespeses Kenneth Reyes Ben Bismark Ralph Dantes Mark Matibag David de Padua Jes Manipon Hannah Manalili Faye Ferrer Jay Tolentino Writers
Socio-Civic: Our Nature and Mission
“Know thyself.” Many in our generation are probably unaware of this ancient inscription, but two millennia ago, it greeted travelers who trooped to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Ancient Greece’s most famous pilgrimage site. What separated Delphi from Greece’s other sanctuaries was it was the home of the Pythia, or the Delphic oracle. Apollo was the god of truth and prophecies, and the Greeks believed that he spoke these through his oracle. The Pythia’s prophecies, however, were not so much concerned with what was to happen; rather, they were about what one must do in the future. Pilgrims, then, made the long and arduous journey to Delphi to seek counsel before major undertakings, including wars and campaigns. But even before they proceeded with the oracular rites, the Temple would already impart divine advice: know thyself. This September, Ecosoc marks its 52nd year as an organization, and as in previous anniversaries, we celebrate how far we’ve come. Yet our celebrations have largely been constrained to relishing our recent past. While it is right for us to cherish our latest successes, there is a Delphic wisdom in learning from the past and looking to the future. Today, we Echoes editors invite Ecosoc’s members and alumni to dig deeper into our nature and mission. Who were we? Who have we become? Where are we going? Who were we? Who have we become? From a student group exclusive to honor students, our membership now includes those who excel in academics, in student involvement, and in both. Once one of many organizations in the College of Business Administration, we are today the largest student association in the School of Economics and one of the most well-known college-based orgs in the entire University. From a socio-civic org devoted to academic excellence and service to the community, we have evolved into a dynamic organization behind large-scale and wide-reaching projects. As an organization, we take pride in our sociocivic nature, yet five decades after our foundation, we are lost as to what “socio-civic” really means. The problem seems to lie on a weak understanding of our organization’s objectives and principles. Our vision and mission are clearly stated in our Constitution, but for many Ecosocers, these do not escape the realm of the final interview, when they
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should very well materialize during full membership. We envision ourselves as “stewards of societal advancement,” and in many respects, we have become so. We laud the long-standing cooperation between Ecosoc and Pook Ricarte and our recent partnership with Pook Palaris—in spite of many difficulties and complications, we encourage future members to be even more collaborative with the UP communities. We take pride in our National Youth Congress because it has promoted economics as a “vehicle for the development of society.” These organizational efforts are worth celebrating because they have allowed us to personally attend to the least of society while looking at the bigger picture. Societal advancement, however, is not attained by mere observation. For this semester, CDC attendance has dipped, and a large number of members, including some of the Society’s officers, are in danger of being put under probation. While there are many reasons behind this phenomenon, it is naïve to rationalize the factors as purely external. The NYC has successfully inspired its high school audience, but our members remain ignorant of campus and national developments with deeper roots and wider, longer-lasting implications than the Manila Hostage Crisis. In our vision, we commit ourselves to be “prime movers of youth dynamism.” When we consider our anniversary and fundraiser parties and our member-oriented activities, it is difficult to doubt the achievement of this goal. But because youth dynamism was written in the context of our socio-civic vision, it finds full meaning only in excellence in service. It is true that we have refocused our finances on our community development activities, but when we consider that Ecosoc is known more for the parties it has thrown than the CDC’s it has organized or the civic endeavors its earlier members have initiated, it is irresponsible to not ask ourselves if we really have become the dynamic and socio-civic organization we envisioned ourselves to be.
Anniversaries should allow us to reminisce as much as they should encourage us to reflect on the future. What has been consistent in the past planning seminars of the Executive Committee and the organization is the lack of a long-term direction for Ecosoc. As we reflect on where we are going, it is also important to think of how we intend to get there. Our mission compels us to “promote economic
Socio-Civic: Our Nature and Mission
understanding as a means toward change and development in Philippine society” and “mould the members into holistic individuals” who shall “mobilize the students of the University” to do the same, but is Ecosoc still on this track? As many of us know, Ecosoc predates the very School we are based in. When it was still composed of students who merely minored in Economics, Ecosoc was responsible for organizing discussions and symposia on the subject, highlighting the relevance of its real-life applications. Today, however, the only testament of our being an Economics Society is our collection of ancient textbooks. We do not expect everyone to value what we study, but if Ecosoc is to be successful in applying the four organizational principles contained in our Constitution, it must at least promote Economics as an important tool for understanding society and developing the nation. This lack of enthusiasm over Economics is reflected in the academic standing of our members. We are aware that many of those who have been put in academic probation or dismissed from the School did their best as far as studies were concerned, but the organization must really exert an effort to advance the holistic development of its members by encouraging balanced lifestyles and reconsidering the values it unwittingly promotes via its endeavors. Our organization today exists at a time of changed conditions. Ecosoc was, arguably, greatest during years of national distress, when the organization’s members responded to our country’s need for idealistic, empowered youth who would fight for those who suffered most. Today, however, our problems have ceased to disturb the young because our national headaches have been assimilated into everyday living. Worse, in places like U.P., the cradle of nation-builders, there is palpable apathy. If it intends to continue as a socio-civic organization, Ecosoc is mandated by a long-standing tradition of excellent service to reenergize thousands of U.P. students who have already given up on our country. This litany of concerns would make any organization listless—it is, after all, easier to just give up. But Ecosoc cannot just resort to resignation, simply because there is too much at stake. Our scholars rely on the ESSF; the Ricarte parents who struggle to make ends meet rely on us to give their children the most normal childhoods possible; our Monday tutees rely on our members to augment the insufficient education government provides them; and we, members, rely on Ecosoc to make college more meaningful. In this climate of confusion, we must remember that what makes Ecosoc special is it is an organization with a purpose, and that we cannot simply stay put and lose our relevance. Reformation starts with self-knowledge. This issue aims to expose the real state of our organization as far as its nature and mission are concerned, not for guilt mongering or self-righteousness, but to encourage a healthy discussion on the very fundamentals of Ecosoc. This month, we celebrate our 52nd anniversary; before the hype fizzes and we resume our regular existence, we invite Ecosoc to know itself. A knowledge of who we were, who we are, and who we want to be can summon all the truth and prophecies we need today and in the many more years ahead of us.
VERY OCTOBER, the outgoing Echoes Editor-in-Chief passes on to his successor a list of Ecosoc’s websites and passwords. The new EIC immediately finds himself in a position where he can change the layout and appearance, the content, and the administrators of the sites. But what he (or she) often checks first is the basic description of the organization. Each EIC adds and removes parts to approximate what he feels best encapsulates what Ecosoc is really.
By Paolo Tamase
Defining Socio-Civic Yet whoever the EIC, the basic description has always been: “The U.P. Economics Society is a…socio-civic organization.” I do not, in any way, contest this, but I do want to raise questions about socio-civic. No Ecosocer graduates from Ecosoc without having said out loud this basic fact at least once, but I am certain that many have left Econ and entered the “real world” without fully understanding this concept. And who can blame them? Sociocivic is not a word officially listed in dictionaries; it’s not even defined properly in the Internet. The word, in fact, seems to be a Philippine creation— Ecosoc is not the only organization that claims to be socio-civic, but every other org that calls itself the same is found in the Philippines, assuming Google’s search is correct and comprehensive (which it probably is). Moreover, socio-civic is not even found in our Constitution (Ecosoc’s three celebrated thrusts—service, excellence, and tradition—are also not in our basic document). Without a concrete definition of our organizational nature, one can only imagine how difficult it is to remain true to our “essence.” There have been attempts to define socio-civic. Most recently, some members of the Execom have indirectly forwarded a definition of sociocivic based on the compound word’s etymology or origin: a combination of socio and civic. According to this definition, socio refers to our efforts
that involve personal contact with our beneficiaries, as exemplified by events such as the CDC daycare and tutorial sessions, medical missions, caravans, and our ESSF-related activities; civic, on the other hand, is concerned with activities such as the NYC and the Green Campaign, and other activities that respond to national or political issues. While this definition has never been made public, it is the one promoted by the semestral theme (Blueprint), which actually aims to restore the civic aspect of Ecosoc. While the attempt to properly breakdown socio-civic is laudable (no other Execom in recent years seems to have explored the “civic” aspect of our organization), this definition, in my personal opinion, poses a number of difficulties. First, “civic” actually refers to the “administration of a city or town;” it is often used to describe projects such as road constructions, water works, and infrastructure. In this sense, treating “civic” in the manner described in the previous paragraph may render our work insufficient. Second, dichotomizing socio-civic may force us to categorize activities as strictly socio or purely civic, something which, (again) in my personal opinion, has been practiced this semester. Finally, defining socio separately from civic may blind us from the reality that previous Ecosocers have always seen the word as whole, where one half is functionally incomplete—in the context of Ecosoc— without the other. Still, the question of definition remains. The “ideological debate” behind
a written, formal definition is actually simple but difficult to settle. Those who support an official definition of sociocivic for Ecosoc say that it is important to verbalize our nature in order to give direction for the years to come and to ensure that future generations of Ecosocers will carry on the same vision and mission that our founding members conceived for our organization. On the other hand, those who object to a formal definition say that Ecosoc will continue to change in the next years, and a strict description of socio-civic may tie-down future members and make them unable to keep up with the times. This is where I strike middle ground. I do believe it is important for us to define socio-civic; we can do so by better understanding what our organization has done (see ‘The Econian Spirit’) decades ago, what we are doing today, and most importantly, the reason and spirit behind them. While I do not support a strict definition, it might be essential for us to give a broad, written meaning—if we are generally unsure of how to define socio-civic, certainly, future generations will have a different understanding of the nature of Ecosoc. But this issue will not be settled by this article. There is a need for the organization to get its stakeholders together in the future to craft this broad definition. In any case, what is important for now is to understand and live out the spirit of socio-civic, which is selfless service for Diyos, kapwa, at bayan.
How Well Do You Know
Socio-Civic By Marian Trespeses
f there is one thing you and everyone else is capable of, it is knowing socio-civic. Why? Because it’s simple! You don’t have to earn a college degree and graduate with honors to know socio-civic. It does not matter if you can’t compute nosebleed Calculus problems or grasp the logic behind the complicated Solow-Swan growth model or make your subject and verb agree. Along with that, you don’t even have to photocopy bundles of readings or buy expensive textbooks that rob your wallet of more than a thousand pesos. Knowing socio-civic is simple! It’s as easy as regularly getting hold of a recycled-looking broadsheet that contains news and information. It’s as undemanding as pressing the “On” button of your remote control every six-thirty or so in the evening and watching one of the two leading local television programs in the Philippines. Actually, you may even opt to get involved in any socio-civic organization (like Ecosoc)! Easy right? But the question is: have you been maximizing your capacity to know socio-civic? How well do you know socio-civic? Let’s test your knowledge with this short trivia quiz!
Who received the 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Award, which honors “greatness of spirit” in Asia? a. Husband and wife Christopher Bernido & Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido for introducing a revolutionary way of teaching, called Dynamic Learning Program (DLP), in Central Visayan Institute Foundation b. Efren Penaflorida for pioneering pushcart classes for his Dyanmic Teen Company in Cavite
Disclaimer: The creator of this quiz is not a sociocivic Einstein genius; hence, the following trivia quiz is not a 100% accurate measure of your socio-civic consciousness. However, the questions and answers in this quiz are correct to the best of knowledge of the creator and are designed for adequate testing, at least, and increase of knowledge.
World Vision Philippines is a well-known sociocivic Christian organization that helps improve the lives of thousands of Filipino children. Now, which of your celebrity crushes (admit it!) is not a World Child sponsor: Miriam Quiambao, Nikki Gil, Marc Nelson, or Sam Milby?
On the Philippines
At present, Ecosoc holds Saturday daycare sessions for how many kids of Pook Ricarte? (Interesting trivia: Did you know that some parents of current daycare kids were former Saturday CDC kids themselves? This goes to show that the organization has been involved in socio-civic activities for so many years already.)
There you have it. If you answered all the questions correctly, congratulations! If not, don’t fret. Remember, greatness is not necessarily measured by how much you know; what is more important is how you use your knowledge and intelligence to have an impact on society.
We know that Ecosoc also supports the education of six scholars through the scholarship fund. Now, to test your familiarity with the scholars, who is the youngest scholar of Ecosoc?
5 Answers: 1. B. 2. None. All of them are World Child sponsors! 3. B. 4. 36 5. Sean Vicente! (He’s 13 years old and his birth date is August 10, 1997)
The organization, which is committed to contributing to the alleviation of social problems, often holds various fundraisers for the benefit of the community. In fact, in 1989, Ecosoc sponsored a Freddie Aguilar concert in the hopes of doing what? a. Help build a house in Pook Ricarte b. Help build a school in Lagro
The Econian Spirit A look back at Ecosoc’s contributions to society
By Kenneth Reyes “COMPARE
now,” posed an Echoes writer in a 2007 interview with Dr. Emmanuel Esguerra. The answer of the School of Economics professor, an active Ecosocer between 1974-1976, was concise: “Ah. It is different.” How different? Very. A printed history of Ecosoc circa 1988 portrays a young, vibrant organization between the years 1966 and 1967. When it was still stationed in the College of Business Administration (CBA), the Society spearheaded fundraisers for two fellowship grants as well as book donation drives for the CBA library. It also organized studentteacher dialogues and a lecture series where local and foreign professors expounded on topics such as the economy, foreign trade, nationalism, and development. It
The UP Economics Society, pictured in 1967
was during this time that it founded the Formal Scholarship Fund for Economics, which would go on to evolve into the Economics Society Scholarship Fund (ESSF) that today sends seven scholars to high school. All this, and the Society was barely even ten years old.
of Economics (SE), when Econ students didn’t feel quite at home at either CBA or the College of Arts and Science. It’s unsurprising then that these students would try to unite themselves under a common ideal, the Econian ideal. The center of this movement was none other than the Economics Society. Over the next few years, Ecosoc EARLY EXCELLENCE would serve as the catalyst for two THERE WAS A TERM THE FIRST triumphs for Econians. Firstly, its Ecosocers used to describe their emancipation from CBA found its passion for excellence and pride fruition when they, with the help for their school. They called it the of Senators Ninoy Aquino and Econian spirit. This was a time Lorenzo Davis, successfully lobbied before the creation of the School for a new SE building. Secondly,
A glimpse at the outreach programs during the 70’s and 80’s
The Community Development Committee in 1988, headed by Albert Kahayon (bottom row, 4th from the right)
its active communication with various economics societies across Metro Manila culminated in its cofounding of the Junior Philippine Economics Society (JPES). Unfortunately, few records from this time period exist. In fact, only one document seems to be dated from this era—a 1967 publication by the Business Guild (the Sidhi of their time). POLITICAL TURMOIL THE NEXT OLDEST DOCUMENT
events like the tutorials of CDC, the Christmas caroling of Task Force, the field trip, and the Medical Mission—then known as Free Clinic and organized by the Special Events Committee. Those were just the tip of the iceberg, however, as the report goes on to mention projects alien to present-day Ecosoc. For instance, there was the daylong CDC Orientation, which explained to Ecosocers the goals and procedures of the Society’s
outreach programs—programs that extended beyond weekly tutorials to include a Christmas drive for the prisoners of Muntinlupa. Furthermore, mentions of trips to Bacoor, Bicutan, and the various housing areas on campus were present in other documents. The Community Development Committee, or CDC as it is often called, has been the heart of Ecosoc since its inception in 1976. Santi Dapul, Ecosoc president at the
in the Echoes archive was created in the late Eighties. This is the Annual Report of the Executive Committee 1987-1988. In it, the Execom outlined the activities they had undertaken during their year of incumbency, which also happens to be the year the Society won the (University of the Philippines) Presidential Award for Most Outstanding Organization. Various logos the Society sported. The current one was designed by then-Seccom These activities include familiar chair Cynthia Capule in 1976
time, jokingly implied that the committee was started to keep his Vice-President too busy to overthrow him. The achievements of the eight-member committee, however, were no joke—they reportedly built a service road connecting a small town in Cavite to their only water source. They also attempted to raise land property awareness among people squatting in areas surrounding the U.P. Campus. Furthermore, they also helped sell the handicrafts made by prisoners in Bicutan. Ecosoc was also quite renowned for the symposia, convocations, and sample exams it offered. In 1975, long before Economics Towards Consciousness (ETC) was founded, Ecosoc launched the Economics Consciousness Week, which sought to raise economic awareness among students of the university. Furthermore, Dr. Esguerra recounts that in 1974, Ecosoc was one of the first to hold a
symposium featuring Senator Jose Diokno after he was released from prison. In fact, it was during the height of Marcos’ martial law when Ecosocers displayed their inbred bravery—there was a time when the Christmas carolers were detained in a military camp for violating the 1 am curfew. After they were released at 12 noon, they would again go on caroling later that night. It seems nothing would deter them from their mission of raising funds for the scholars. What did these Ecosocers have that we don’t? Were they blessed with a little more courage? No, these were just students our own age—subject to our insecurities, our dilemmas, our penchant to dream that we would one day do something great. These teenagers weren’t smarter or better than us—they were just ordinary people living through an extraordinary moment in our country’s history. They felt the need to act, and they
A beneficial partnership (L-R): PSE President Jose Luis Yulo, PSEFI President Antonio Garcia, Ecosoc President Ani Almario and CDC Chair Sheila Mendoza
did. Ecosoc is all the greater thanks to them. MODERN TIMES THE NINETIES SAW THE CONTI-
nued dedication of Ecosoc to its socio-civic mission. It continued most of the projects it had, including the Medical Mission, which by now was managed by CDC. Apart from this, several other projects materialized in the new decade. Small Talks, a weekly discussion group started in 1988 by the Academic Affairs Committee, grew stronger. In 1995, it even featured then-senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In the same year, the Ecosoc choir won Carolfest for the third time. Also, testament to its support for critical thinking with respect to the relevant issues of society, the Ecosoc debate team was formalized. It went on to win the JPES Debate Tournament that year. On September 1997, the Philippine Stock Exchange Foundation, Inc. made a cash donation to the Society. This helped fund the ESSF, which at that time sponsored five scholars. At the end of the decade, several innovative fundraisers were undertaken by the Task Force committee, including Comic’s Trip, a stand up comedy competition open to everybody, and Groovy Moovy, a drive-in screening at a parking lot in Ortigas that was followed by an open party. These also helped the scholars. In Christmas 2000, the CDC organized Four Days of Christmas, wherein the Society participated in various acts of kindness for four days. The first day was a field trip for the Pook Ricarte kids to Enchanted Kingdom. The second day was the CDC Christmas Party for the
students at Balara High School. The third day was an outreach activity at Nazareth Growth Homes, which housed different women and children who had been victims of sexual and emotional abuse. The last day featured a visit to the sick kids at the pediatric ward of the East Avenue General Hospital. This event would be repeated again in the next few years. In 2003, it was upgraded into the Twelve Days of Christmas; in the years since then, only a CDC Christmas Party has been organized. In 2001, realizing their responsibility to society as bright student thinkers, Ecosocers shed the decades-long culture of apathy ingrained in Economics students and joined protest rallies against former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada for the widespread allegations of corruption that eventually culminated in his impeachment.
CDC kids from the early 2000s
Poverty, unemployment, a weak government, an inept national police—our enemies abound at all sides. But forget saving the Philippines. Amidst declining CDC attendance and a general nonchalant attitude towards our socio-civic creed, what about saving Ecosoc? Trazon Viader Lu, Jr., Ecosoc ON TO THE FUTURE Vice-President from 1985 to 1986, THERE IS NO MORE MARCOS— once wrote an address, which was NO all-encompassing evil—that reprinted in the oldest surviving the country, and Ecosoc, can issue of Echoes (October 1989). “If unite against. Don’t let it fool we stop to think and reflect on the you though: the problems still potential this organization has,” Lu persist, but now they are faceless. muses, “we would be astounded.
Ecosoc proudly waves its banner during an anti-Erap rally
There are 144 members in Ecosoc. [They] will be the oil that will lubricate the machinery which will bring Ecosoc to greater heights.” Ecosoc, when will this happen? When can we proudly say that the number of our members is equal to the number of full-blooded Ecosocers? The address was written when Ecosoc was 29 years old. We’re older now, but are we wiser too? In an Echoes editorial dated 1999, a plea to end apathy ended with this paragraph: “All you have to do is ask and people will show you that they already know, that they’re willing to work and that they do care. There is an aching feeling of desperation present in so many of us whenever we think of Ecosoc. There is so much fear present, hindering us from being who we truly are. Are we afraid to fail, to look bad, to be ‘un-cool’? Can we not try to put our own pride aside and work for something that is not self-serving or individualistic? You are Ecosoc, part of a long line of selfless individuals who’ve made a difference in a world of egotism and greed. Ecosocers, do not disappoint.” Indeed, we shouldn’t.
from the Outside When ‘know thyself’ is not enough
OCIO-CIVIC, NON-STOCK, NON-PROFIT, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT, STEWARD OF SOCIETAL ADVANCEMENT, SERVICE, EXCELLENCE, TRADITION—things that make Ecosoc what it is. Ask any member or applicant what our Society does and he’ll definitely mention one of these words. Even if he no longer remembers the constitution, he’ll remember that Ecosoc is primarily—ideally—socio-civic. Ask him to name events that make Ecosoc socio-civic and he would ramble on for hours. We evaluate our socio-civic nature every semester during the plansem. Though the meetings always recount our socio-civic endeavors, they often end with the conclusion that there’s still a lot that we can improve on. This is where we have to be more dynamic. We must ask ourselves: what is it that really makes Ecosoc what it is? Undoubtedly, we have plenty of socio-civic activities that keep our heart, CDC, pounding strong. Yes, Ecosoc is still Ecosoc, but are our Ecosocers still Ecosocers? We can have another semestral evaluation and we’ll definitely hear the exact same thing we heard last sem. Sometimes, self-diagnosis isn’t the only way to asses ourselves. There are some
things people outside know about us that we don’t. Echoes went outside SE 121 to interview non-Ecosocers and hear their opinions of what Ecosoc and an Ecosocer are. Here are the three most common answers, in no particular order:
Ma-Party This seems to be a result of the fact that our most publicized foroutsiders event every sem is the Ad Hoc party. There’s nothing wrong with the party—it has raised a lot of funds for the Society while giving members a night to remember. Considering its principal role as a celebratory event for Ecosoc’s anniversary, it is still more or less in line with our nature. What’s
troubling, though, is that people perceive that it is what defines Ecosoc. More troubling is that they probably have good reason to believe so. Mere publicity can’t be the sole reason for the number of times we heard the remark, “Ecosoc is the JMA of Econ.”
Bismark: Have you heard of my org? Ecosoc? (Economics Society?) ***: Uh huh. Ben Bismark: What’s your impression of it? ***: (shrug) You should ask ****, she hates your org. Ben Bismark: But why? She’s not the only one, though. ***: ‘Cause she’s JMA, I think.
We’re not JMA—far from it— but that’s what others think. Stepback and analyze yourself and the “why” becomes clear. It’s the event we always rave and talk to everyone else about. It’s the “cannot miss” event. When was the last time you
missed one of the CDC kids? How many times have you heard people saying that they’re really grateful for double-count CDCs simply because it lets them complete their quota? If there were no CDC requirement, how many people can we really expect to see every Saturday and Monday? Has this activity been reduced to a mere chore? There’s nothing wrong with enjoying events like parties. There’s nothing wrong with feeling too stressed out to be socio-civic all the time. There’s nothing wrong with raving about Vice Night or Ad Hoc. But once in a while, it would be nice to remember the reason behind it all.
The econ org to be in “If you want connections, join Ecosoc,” says one non-Ecosocer. People view Ecosoc as the org where they can create the network that they will need. Ecosoc is the largest organization in the School of Economics with over 150 members and a massive alumni pool. We have a lot of social activities that ensure that each member at least knows all the other members by face. Ben Bismark: By the way, how’re *** and ***? I haven’t heard much from them. Blockmates pa naman kami last year. ***: Same same. Hindi mo na raw sila pinapansin, eh. Ben Bismark: Huh? I do kaya. I say “hi” sa hallways. ***: “Hi,” na lang, ganun na lang. Sorry raw, hindi sila Ecosoc. Ben Bismark: Haha, very funny. ***: ELITIST!
Ecosoc is more than just a social gathering, but people reduce it to one. Hence, some apply just to belong. The seemingly most common reason for people joining Ecosoc is the bandwagon effect. People join because their friends are members. This is why when a number of people from one barkada become inactive in Ecosoc, the whole gang disappears. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the pack mentality. Sometimes, it’s the reason why members and apps stay very active in the organization. But there’s a problem if it becomes the primary reason why you are in Ecosoc. If you want to make friends, you can always just talk to your seatmate after class.
Elitist The reason for this response depends if you’re asking someone from inside or outside Econ. For the non-Ecosocer in Econ, they say it’s because the financial burdens of our application process are too heavy. They believe that the reason why we have a lot of fundraising activities is because most of our events are expensive to hold. Ayoko mag-Ecosoc. Feeling ko mauubusan ako ng pera sa app process pa lang. At pano na kapag lalabas? Baka ma-OP lang ako - A non-Ecosoccer
It is inevitable that Ecosoc will incur a lot of expenses; almost every organization does. However, if we’re spending too much, it’s an indication that we’ve gotten ourselves into too many activities that are only peripheral to our nature. For people outside of Econ, it seems to be the typical prejudice against people in Econ. “Ecosoc speaks like ‘Ecoh-sohc, Ermy Gah (Oh my god)’.” With or without Ecosoc, this perception will exist. The task that falls on Ecosoc is to correct this image. Other common responses were that Ecosoc is a tight-knit org: warm and friendly, with an inviting tambayan. And there were in fact people who think that Ecosoc is a socio-civic organization, though sadly, many more thought otherwise. They say that a lie said repeatedly becomes the truth. It applies to perception: people sometimes end up becoming what others believe they are. Change is inevitable—Ecosoc changes each time its members come and go. But as long as we can keep our principles intact—as long as we still uphold service, excellence and tradition—we’re still on the right track.
The heart of Ecosoc By Ralph Dantes
HE U.P. ECONOMICS SOCIETY distinguishes itself as a socio-civic organization propelled by its thrusts of service, excellence, and tradition. There is a considerable degree of reverence and pride associated with the socio-civic character of the organization, as it is one that’s traditionally and continually emphasized through many of the Society’s undertakings. The principle socio-civic arm of Ecosoc is the Communtiy Development Committee, or CDC. Affectionately acknowledged as the “Heart of Ecosoc,” the CDC is revered for its magnanimous endeavors that support several communities. For this reason, activities coordinated by the Community Development Committee are now interchangeably called by Ecosocers as CDC as well. There are a variety of activities organized by the CDC. Most prevalent among those are the two weekly CDC activities: the Monday tutorials for elementary students and the Saturday day-care sessions for young children. The Monday tutorials constitute grade three to six elementary students from Pook Palaris. These children are taught Math and English by the Ecosocers. Accompanying these regular Monday tutorials are the Saturday day-care sessions of young kids from Pook Ricarte. In these day-care sessions, the members of CDC arrange fun games, storytelling and other activities for the kids to allow them to frolic and enjoy the weekend while learning
virtues and values. To set-up these CDCs, the Community Development Committees correspond with contact persons from Pook Palaris and Pook Ricarte to invite children to participate in their activities. Besides these regular weekly activities are special variants of CDCs. These special CDCs include the Medical Mission, the CDC Caravan, and the CDC electives. The Medical Mission is held twice a year; it renders free general medical checkups and medicines to surrounding U.P. communities. Visited U.P. communities vary as there is a premeditated effort to distribute services evenly among them. The medicines provided are acquired through sponsorships and donation campaigns, while the doctors are usually sought through members with physician acquaintances or relatives. The CDC Caravans, held twice a year as well, conducts visits to different charitable institutions or facilities like homes for the aged and homes for special children that diligently provide care and support to certain communities in our society. In these visits, entertaining activities such as fun programs with games and talent performances are put on to
amuse the people; gifts and donations according to their needs are also given. Complementary community development ventures are accomplished in cooperation with other philanthropic organizations. The CDC associates with these organizations to accomplish projects with them for the purpose of supporting the causes they advocate and the communities they help. These intermittent collaborations with other organizations are collectively known as CDC electives. Previous organizations the CDC committee has tied-up with are I Am Hope, an organization that seeks to raise awareness for and aid cancer patients, and PAWS or Philippine Animal Welfare Society, which advocates animal rights. The CDC resolutely thrives through the benevolent spirit that impels the members. To keep this spirit alive, there’s always a conscious effort to rediscover and reinforce the sociocivic core of the U.P. Economics Society. By carrying on CDCs, Ecosoc is effectively contributing to the renewal of humanity and society. As such, the CDC truly is the heart of Ecosoc.
Measuring Effectiveness Important questions for CDC and the ESSF
DUCATION, AS THE OLD SAYING
is the only wealth a person can carry to the grave. It is important to everyone as it affirms the dignity of a person, despite the fact that poverty remains a major hindrance. What can good wealth bring to a person if he doesn’t know how to read, write, or do basic math—in fact, one wonders if without these, wealth can come at all?
By Mark Matibag and Contributors Additional Research by Bea Bayudan
Ecosoc’s programs mainly concerned with education are the CDC daycare and tutorial sessions and the Economics Society Scholarship Fund (ESSF). The CDC daycare is concerned with early childhood development of kids from Pook Ricarte, while the CDC tutorials are currently done to improve the academic performance of kids from Pook Palaris.
The ESSF, meanwhile, is known to give educational opportunities to its beneficiaries, all of whom are high school students today. According to the Ecosoc Constitution, its primary purpose is to “assist deserving students to continue their education up to the secondary level and deserving SE personnel to pursue a vocation of their choice, by providing
their tuition fee and allowances.” Through the years, the ESSF has been Ecosoc’s hallmark project; in booms and busts, Ecosocers have always found ways to raise funds for the ESSF via concerts, movie screenings, and today, our parties and Musikapellla. But are fundraisers enough to give our scholars what they need? Financially, yes. They help the scholars’ families to allocate money for other basic needs such as clothing, housing, food, etc. The small assistance (P 900 allowance per scholar per month) we provide them is actually a big help for the beneficiaries already. But are we actually done with our part after granting them the financial assistance? How do we measure our effectiveness as a scholarship-granting organization? Better lives enjoyed by our former scholars and CDC kids are probably the greatest accomplishments for Ecosoc and the ESSF. For the scholars, in particular, their achievements are not only the fruits of their hardwork to maintain their scholarship, but also partially the results of Ecosoc’s socio-civic programs for them. But do we really know what happens to them after high school? “’Di ko po makakalimutan ang Ecosoc family, kasi sobrang laki po ng naitulong niyo sa ‘kin.” says Verna Solangon, 18, a former ESSF scholar. Known probably only to the oldest current Ecosocers, she is now a 3rd Year BA Malikhaing Pagsulat student in the University of the Philippines Diliman. The case of Verna Solangon is a success story of our socio-civic programs. She is now a student, like us, in the premier university of our country. Being a college student
It’s startling how we do not have a database or record of Ecosoc’s past scholars, even though the ESSF has been around for decades. If we don’t know where our scholars are now, how can we expect to measure the effectiveness of all our fundraising efforts? — Contributor in a university of good reputation must be rewarding not only for her, but also for our organization. Yet the story of how we came in contact with Verna says much about our relationship with our former beneficiaries. Members became aware of Verna again after she ‘wrote on the wall’ of the Ecosoc Ad Hoc Facebook page. Since then, Echoes has done its best to get in touch with her and her fellow scholars, but to almost no avail (only Verna could be reached). There are difficulties in reconnecting with people after long periods of separation. Verna is already a success story simply because she has made it to and stayed in U.P., but what about our other scholars? Do we know where they are now? Are they still studying? It might be wrong for us to assume that our scholars live better lives after Ecosoc, especially since we have very little—negligible—information on where they are now. Are we still responsible for them after their Ecosoc experience? The assistance
ESSF gives the scholars is up to the secondary level, but I guess we must dedicate some effort in trying to check on them after high school. We may not give them the financial help they need in college, but at least we can sustain our ‘connection’ with them by giving them academic support and the like. Moreover, having a scholar database may actually allow us to keep in touch with the scholars and, many years later, measure the ESSF in relation to what it does for them. But how about CDCs and our other socio-civic endeavors? How do we measure the success of our socio-civic programs? Maribel Mesias-Nacional, 31, is probably a nameless face to many Ecosocers, but she is the photocopy lady in the 3rd floor of the Econ Library. She is also a former CDC kid from two decades ago. Maribel was a Grade Six student when she became part of the CDC tutorials in 1992. She did not provide information on her further education, but she gave a background of her work experience.
“Sa FC ako dati, sa Xerox, tapos nag-factory worker ako. Tapos dito rin pala ako sa Econ babagsak,” she said. Some alumni who have heard of Maribel’s story have actually lamented how Ecosoc has not done much for her. While her job is stable, it certainly is not the success story dreamed of by those who have devoted their college lives to CDC. But this forces us to rethink our objectives: after their Ecosoc experience, what do we want to happen to our CDC kids? For the ESSF, on the other hand, is it enough that our scholars finish high school? Should we be concerned if they went to college and finished with a degree, or if they found a good job and a good life after their studies? These, I guess, are measures of success because these correspond to opportunities for growth. It is possible for them to remain hard up after their Ecosoc experience since there are many factors that may
contribute to hardship; however, what is important is we gave them the opportunity to help themselves. Finally, Do our sociocivic programs really have objectives to follow? Why do we really do these things? It is in fact fulfilling to see that we are catering to less fortunate people; however we must have clear and concrete objectives so we know if our socio-civic programs are being effective and if they are worth continuing. If we do not have these explicit objectives, we will just tend to do these programs for tradition (‘past Ecosocers did it’), obligation (‘Ecosoc is a sociocivic organization’), or maybe even because we want to feel good about ourselves. The creation of these “clearer” objectives will make our programs indeed aimed towards helping our beneficiaries. To end, it is important for us to measure effectiveness—on the part of Ecosoc, it allows us to assess if our programs should be revamped.
But it’s also important for us to consider what our beneficiaries think of their Ecosoc experience. Seventeen years after being one of Ecosoc’s Grade Six tutees, Maribel still longs to reunite with her ates and kuyas in Ecosoc. “Sila Kuya Mark at Ate Candy yung may hawak sa amin nun, tapos tutor para sa karagdagang aral. Minsan, may nagyaya sa akin sa mga CDC ngayon, pero yung gusto ko talagang makita yung mga dating nagturo sa akin. Parang naging pamilya ko na rin kasi yung Ecosoc,” she admits. She ended her interview with only nice things about the organization. “Okay yung org na yan. Maraming natutulungan. Nade-develop yung talent ng mga bata. Siyempre pati yung mga tao, sobrang okay din,” she says about Ecosoc. Whether our programs are effective or not is something we will have to discuss for the years to come. As far as touching the lives of our beneficiaries are concerned, it is clear that we have done something for them.
CDC and Institutions
Insights on our Partnerships By David de Padua
OW IN ITS 52ND YEAR, ECOSOC
is looking back and finding its roots. We’re learning to appreciate once again what it means to be a socio-civic organization. It’s not that we’ve lost sight of our purpose as an organization, but focus can be lost with the passage of time. Reflecting on our goals and role in our community is necessary. It is a step towards a revitalized and more focused Ecosoc that is ready to serve the purpose and achieve the goals that
were established by its founders 52 years ago. Over the years, Ecosoc has reached out to a good number of people through its many community development programs. Various communities around campus like Pook Amorsolo have benefitted from our Medical Missions. Last semester, we taught Math, Science and English to students from Balara Elementary School on Mondays; today, we continue the tutoring program with kids from Pook Palaris. For at least two decades, we have been running a Saturday daycare program for kids
from Pook Ricarte. We’ve been doing it for so long in fact that some of the former kids who benefitted from the program already have their own kids who now also go to the daycare. Aside from helping communities that are close by, we have also reached out to various institutions that are not in the immediate vicinity of the Diliman campus through the CDC Caravan. In recent years, we have visited Kanlungan Ni Maria, a home for the aged in Antipolo where we spent some time with the residents, played some games, ate with them and donated stuff they could use. We have visited
and interacted with special children in Sacred Heart Center, an institution in Fairview run by the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. We’ve visited Children’s Joy, a shelter for kids where after some food, fun and games, they performed and sang a song for us. One line in the song was particularly memorable: “Milyong-milyong kabataan ay umaasa sa inyo”. I wondered why our organization chose to jump around from one small institution or community to the next. Why didn’t we just tie up with one big NGO like Gawad Kalinga and fulfill all our civic duties within their
be recognized. But the actual work involved in being an instrument of development and change is often tedious and sometimes dirty, far from glorious. It’s not enough to want to do something, you have to be willing to do what it takes and actually do it. Our organization understands this. Some might dismiss our community development efforts as shortsighted and narrow in scope because we help small communities and institutions. But what those people don’t understand is it’s not about doing work for the biggest NGOs or tying up with the most established institutions—it’s about the people you help. We appreciate the nobility of our purpose but are, at the same time, willing to power through even the most unglamorous work. 52 years later and a tradition of excellence in service lives on.
already well-established and farreaching model? It certainly would look better on paper, not to mention that it is very marketable. But then, I realized that those considerations should be the least of our concerns. Community development isn’t meant to be glamorous. It should be about helping people and nothing else. There are a lot of big organizations doing great things for the marginalized, but the fact remains that not all the poor, abused and disadvantaged benefit from those programs. And while these big institutions aim for sweeping and widespread change, our organization
promotes focused and incremental change. We reach out to those who do not receive a lot of help too often. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and trying to reinvent the Philippines, but we must not forget the little people. Broad strokes alone make a lousy painting; you need to fill in the details. Milyong milyong kabataan ay umaasa sa inyo.” These lyrics are very romantic but apt in that the prospect of social change and community development is a glorious one. To offer time and effort for others and expecting nothing in return is extraordinary and that deserves to
EJ and His Life Beyond Saturday Inside the life of a CDC kid by Jes IT’S SATURDAY ONCE AGAIN. THERE’S NO SCHOOL TODAY, BUT EJ AND HIS SIBLINGS GET READY TO LEAVE. They take a bath and put on casual clothes, and when it’s time, their parents give them permission to go. They meet up with the rest of the kids from their barangay, Pook Ricarte, and Kuya Jay is already waiting for them. They walk, treading the very familiar place of the UP School of Economics. They see their Ates and Kuyas waiting for them enthusiastically. They run towards them, and the fun begins.
For the Ates and Kuyas of UP Ecosoc, it is the time for them to complete their CDCs and enjoy the company of these children. For the kids of Pook Ricarte, it is a typical Saturday morning of fun and excitement. But for EJ Reyes, who grew up spending his Saturdays with Ecosoc, it is more than just a Saturday. Just like other kids, six-year-old EJ spends most of his weekdays studying in Balara Elementary School, together with his older brother, Eric, and sister, Erica. He describes life in school as “writing, naps, coloring, eating.” Erica would tell me how they could not buy schoolbooks
since they could not afford them, so they would only borrow from the school. EJ admits he’d rather sleep at home than study, as he is fond of dreams of driving and flying rockets. The best part about school for him is his classmates often treat him to a candy or two from the store down the street. When asked
why, EJ says they just do—he asks his friends to buy him some food, and they oblige. It seems EJ is quite the charmer. After school, EJ goes back home to his parents. His dad is currently unemployed and his mom works as a laundry maid. A two-story house mostly made of cement and hollow blocks is located right along the edge of a newly widened C5 road just a few paces outside UP. One could see how fortunate they were since their house was literally inches away from getting demolished during the road widening. At home, EJ likes to watch his favorite afternoon shows, Ben 10 and Hamtaro while Erica and his dad help their mother around the house. Soon, he is outside playing with his neighbors or at their grandmother’s house next to theirs. EJ tells of the time he last cried back at home. He was playing when his neighbor, Totoy, suddenly pushed their playmate and the both of them started fighting. Totoy also started fighting with him for no reason. He recalls how he and Totoy would always quarrel with each other. Nonetheless, there are more happy than sad moments in his life, according to EJ, especially come Saturday when he and his siblings go to the School of
field trip). Whenever he spends time with Ecosoc, he moves even deeper into our lives and hearts. One can see that EJ’s life is quite simple. He is not preoccupied with the same things we worry about, like academics, our love lives, or what to wear at Ad Hoc. He enjoys elementary things—those that we may have grown out of now that we’re older. But maybe in the midst of all our stress and anxieties, all we have to remember is this happygo-lucky kid who enjoys watching morning toons and has little squabbles with his playmates. It almost makes you wish that EJ would never grow-up to our problems. Certainly, this child is now more than the adorable, young boy we have come to love in his growth as a Saturday CDC kid. Ecosoc has been a part of his life and self-discovery throughout these with his unmistakable large, dark eyes years. Needless to say, EJ, together with and small frame. EJ still has these but, his fellow CDC kids, has been a huge now, a few of his teeth are missing. His part of our lives as well. smile, however, will still melt the hearts of those who see it. In fact, EJ may be one of the more popular Saturday CDC kids because of his charming and quirky personality. He was a bit shy before, but now he can speak very audibly to anyone who wants to be his friend. He would tell stories about his life at home, or he would simply play with us Ecosocers. His favorite Ate at the moment is Ate Car Sta. Maria, while his favorite Kuya is Kuya Paolo Tamase (mostly because he gave him cotton candy during the CDC Economics to spend some time with Ecosocers. For almost three years, he has spent his Saturday mornings with the Ates and Kuyas of Ecosoc. Some of us might recall how very shy and smaller he was years ago when we were still applicants attending CDC. Even then, EJ would catch your attention
URRENTLY, CDC IS KNOWN FOR ITS SEMESTRAL MONDAY TUTORIALS, SATURDAY DAY CARE, CARAVAN AND MEDICAL MISSION. LET US SEE HOW IT has evolved through time and still remained true to serving its purpose—the heart and socio-civic arm of the organization. Here are interviews of three pre-2007 chairpersons of the Community Development Committee, sharing what they learned and what kept them selflessly devoting their time and attention to make an impact on other peoples’ lives and exemplify our main thrust: service. How would you describe CDC? The committee is all about driving the main thrust of UP Ecosoc—community development—to its members, to the School of Economics, and to the other communities that it is a part of. It is the HEART of the organization—still is right? During your time, what were the activities and programs provided and organized by CDC? CDC was one of the busiest committees in the organization because of its bi-weekly staple activities: the Wednesday CDC Tutorials for the San Vicente Elementary School Grade 6 kids and the Saturday Daycare CDC of the Pook Ricarte kids. Aside from that, we also had other community development programs lined up: Medical Missions, Outreach Programs, Facilitator’s Workshops for the members, etc. CDC played its part as the HEART of the organization. Any message or advice for Ecosocers?
Kristine Elizabeth U. Enriquez Age: 25 App Batch: 1st Sem AY 20022003 Year of Service as CDC Chair: 2003-2004
Maximize your time in school. Study well (it may be irritating when parents say that you should study well while in school, but I recommend you take that advice because it’s a sound one) and devote time to things that would make you grow as an individual. What you do now has an effect on your future so always keep that in mind. As for Ecosoc, I can’t imagine college life without it. I learned a lot and grew as a person in my eight sems there (counting my sem as an pplicant). Make your membership count. Be involved, so that you may experience what it means to really be an Ecosocer enough for it to create an impact on your life.
Personally, what has CDC done to you? Looking back, being chairperson of the committee made me realize a lot of things. They may be simple, but let’s go through them. First, each of us can make a difference. Being in Ecosoc and participating in the CDCs, I realized the role that the government plays in providing basic education to children and how it doesn’t adequately fill that role. Thus, there is a social responsibility for those who have more access to education and educational resources to share that knowledge to those who deserve it yet do not have access to it. And collectively as an organization, we were mobilizing students who were willing to share, on a weekly basis, what they had to those who did not have any. That’s how we subtly but consistently made a dent on these children’s lives—through lessons shared, games played, values reinforced—in good hope that these moments may become happy childhood memories for them that they will remember in the future and draw wisdom from when important decisions in life need to be made. And, this may also serve to them as a good example of sharing, so they may also share what they have with others. Who knows? You may be the CDC ate or kuya that would inspire the next Arnel Pineda to hone his skill just because
you appreciated a certain CDC kid’s singing. Second, CDC made me stretch my limits. Your Execomers may appear to be having fun and lively all the time but being part of the UP Ecosoc Execom isn’t a walk in a park. I think this was the point of my life that I started to become a master at multi-tasking—too many things to be done, too little time to do them. I also found myself doing stuff that I normally wouldn’t do in order to get a sponsorship for an event or to have this activity take place. I found something very rewarding that was worth the extra effort, and it was a good feeling. All worth it. Third, CDC shaped my social consciousness. I think a big part of me wanting to give back through business is rooted in my CDC exposure in Ecosoc. I was able to stare reality at the face firsthand, especially the inadequateness of the Philippine educational system, so much so that the main thing I want to do when my business flourishes is to give back to something related to improving the quality of education in this country. CDC has made me become aware of the sad reality and has, in a way, instilled in me that I can do something to make (our country) better.
How would you describe CDC? Masayang magulo kasi andaming kids (laughs). Pero bottom line, super fun! During your time, what were the activities and programs provided and organized by CDC? Wednesday CDCs: tutorial sessions for Grade 6 students of San Vicente Elementary School, sports fest for the Grade 6 students, and CDC Graduation. For Saturday CDCs: Saturday daycare for the Pook Ricarte kids, field trip, gift-giving and Christmas party for the Kids, CDC with the alumni (tie-up with Liai), and CDC Culminating Activity (chance to showcase the kids’ talents). (Other than Wednesday and Monday CDCs) meron din Med Mission, Scholars’ Lunchout, GK Build, and Facilitators’ Workshop (especially for the new apps).
Catherine Joyce “Cathy Cor” Cordoba Age: 25 App Batch: AY 2002-2003, 2nd semester Year of Service as CDC chair: 20042005
Personally, what has CDC done to you? With CDC, I think I’ve found my real self. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” It made me love Ecosoc, the kids, and the mems more. It showed me the real meaning of service. I was able to appreciate every single experience that I’ve had with all the people I’ve worked and played with. Any message or advice for Ecosocers? Mag-attend parati ng CDC! I’ve seen how it changed a lot of people, nakakabata talaga mag-CDC. In addition, make the most out of your college life. Live, laugh, love and serve!
Interviews with Past CDC Chairs By Hannah Manalili and Faye Ferrer How would you describe CDC? A whole a lot of FUN. CDC is family! During your time, what were the activities and programs provided and organized by CDC? Wednesday CDCs: tutorials for the San Vicente kids. Saturday CDCs: art and acting workshop for the Pook Ricarte kids, CDC Field Trip, Caravan (whole day outreach activity with three different stops), CDC with Alumni, Medical Mission, etc. Personally, what has CDC done to you? CDC has done so much for me. I get a different kind of ‘high’ when I’m with the kids. Nothing compares to the feeling I get when I see the smiles on their faces. They have such simple joys that always remind me to appreciate life. Any message or advice for Ecosocers? Enjoy Ecosoc, there’s nothing else like it.
MYRELLA LAUREN “MY” GATCHALIAN Age: 24 App Batch: AY 2004-2005, 1st semester Year of Service as CDC chair: 20052006
Echoes would like to the thank the following for being our partners in the CDC Field Trip: