Two outstanding college students are about to be recognized for their outstanding performance in academic and co-curricular endeavors during the University Commencement Exercises on March 16 at the FU Green.
Romille Lijah N. Marquez, Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Rellian V. Garcia, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, clinched the top two spots of the 2019 graduating class as College Valedictorian and College Salutatorian, respectively.
Marquez and Garcia chose different fields of concentration but share the same level of perseverance and hard work in order to attain academic excellence, leadership skills and volunteerism during the years spent in their tertiary level studies. Both are also recipients of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholarships.
The individual experiences, in a way, transformed them as better learners and leaders who are now ready to contribute to the betterment of society especially in their place of origin, Bayawan City. Both Marquez and Garcia came from two different barangays of the said city located far south of Dumaguete City – Negros Oriental’s capital.
Marquez first dreamt of becoming an agriculturist but her late father, Romeo, encouraged her to become the third industrial engineer in their family to enroll at Foundation University.
Sad to note that during her sophomore year in college, her father passed on to the next life. It was a tough year for Marquez but she shared that her father inculcated the importance of being an independent and strong woman ready to face struggles and tribulations in the real world of life.
Not only in academics did Marquez excel, she won the crown as Hara sa FU 2015. For her, the crown was not just about beauty and brains but she tried to project a different facet of a “Hara” which was more of a calm and happy-go-lucky persona. For Marquez, the Hara sa FU Pageant was a truly memorable experience for her during her college years.
With her inspiration to carry on with pursuing her dreams, Marquez often asks herself, “Para kanino ka bumabangon?” And in the end, she thinks of her mother, Chonazon and the rest of her 5 girl siblings she has to support, in all aspects, in the coming years.
Marquez expressed her gratefulness to her mentors, during an interview, for pushing her to the limits and at the same time, letting her enjoy college. She wanted to thank her mentors for treating her as a family member and not just a mere college student.
Meanwhile, Garcia also wanted to pursue civil engineering but due to financial challenges, she opted to take up the AB Mathematics at Foundation University. She hails from Brgy. Dawis, still part of Bayawan City but situated in the uplands, closer to Mabinay town in the central part of Negros Oriental.
With the meager finances that they have as a family, Garcia took a leap of faith and availed of the the University’s scholarship as a high school valedictorian. Every single day, she thinks of her family as her source inspiration despite the fact her family is faced with financial difficulties most of the time.
At the start of her college journey, Garcia was about to halt her studies at Foundation University due to financial challenges. Teary-eyed, she shared of that memorable moment when her mentors comforted and motivated her through hugs and words of encouragement to carry on with her dream of completing her college studies through their support and assistance.
Garcia conveyed her utmost thanks to her mentors for molding her for who she is today. She encouraged them to continue with their mission of imparting knowledge and sharing their lives to those who are under their mentorship.
Withstanding all the winds and waves of challenges, Garcia feels proud to finish her college studies with flying colors. She draws inspiration and strength from her siblings and parents: Ricardo, a carpenter and Susana, who works daily as a store helper at a commercial establishment near their home.