Pines City Colleges (PCC) launched the academic year on August 30, 2023, with a convocation-themed “Paradigm Shift on Stress Management” at Pines City Doctors’ Hospital Amphitheatre.
The assembly opened with a prayer by Ms. Dianne D. Consolacion, Dean of the College of Pharmacy. To officially commence the event, Dr. Marian Grace Gascon, Vice President for Academic Affairs, welcomed the deans and heads of different colleges and departments, faculty members, non-teaching staff, and guests. “It’s good to be back again for all of us in school. We are here for one reason: to fulfill the dreams of more than 1650 eager students who want to learn and dream of becoming successful health professionals someday,” she said.
The energetic emcees, Ms. Virginia Helen A. Palome and Mr. Rudy L. Bunzo Jr., presented each guest speaker to the event with an engaging introduction.
The first guest speaker, Engr. Jessie D. Bumidang, Labor Officer of the Department of Labor and Employment-Cordillera, began his presentation by introducing Republic Act 11313, or the Safe Spaces Act, also known as the Bawal Bastos Law. He explicitly discussed the major points of the law in relation to the workplaces. His informative presentation ended by stressing the importance of the implementation of the said law to the public, including PCC students and employees.
The next guest and also last year’s honored speaker was Dr. Rolando D. Mamaat, Jr., a psychologist, professional educator, and motivational speaker. He enlivened the convocation with his entertaining and engaging remarks and illustrations. He encouraged the audience to challenge commonly held assumptions regarding stress. As he stated, stress is a form of pain that comes to alert a person that something needs to be altered and that any discomfort is a message hinting that one needs to learn. He went on to say that in order to manage stress, one must learn to shift our paradigm of stress management by taking action and making transformations. He proposed that eliminating one’s ego is one of the finest methods to deal with stress and that a new paradigm entails changing one’s mindset, which is the root reason.
Dr. Mamaat was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by PCC’s Vice President of Administration (VPA), Ms. Ma. Regina S. Prats, and Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA), Dr. Marian Grace A. Gascon.
The convocation continued with updates on academic matters. Dr. Gascon reported the status of the college’s accreditation by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA). She commended the innovations and upgrades of the PCC Library, which were highly regarded by the accreditors. She also mentioned the ongoing upgrades of the laboratory equipment and classrooms. Dr. Gascon emphasized that a laboratory is “the most important learning modality in the heart of any allied health course.” Instructor mentorship, curriculum training, and exploring new research are also conducted to enhance the competitiveness of the faculty members. She also disclosed the completion and publication of the new faculty manual.
Following the Academic Affairs update, the VPA continued to provide updates and announcements. Ms. Prats brought back the convocation to the last five years of PCC. She pointed out that the school’s student population has consistently expanded over the previous five years, from 916 in 2018 to 1653 this academic year. She also recounted PCC’s major activities and achievements. For some years, the pandemic pushed back changes in learning modalities, but the school is now gradually reverting to face-to-face instruction and embracing innovative ways to reach students. Through her presentation, Ms. Prats also recognized this academic year’s new set of employees.
Ms. Prats then revealed the much-anticipated word of the year: measure. As quoted, “Measure is not just an ordinary word. It is a powerful word that sums up the essence of growth and progress.” She also encouraged everyone to reflect on the word of the year and make it a motivation for moving forward. “If we don’t measure, how do we know we have arrived or we have achieved that goal? So we need to assess our strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “An act of measuring implies intention and accountability. It is a commitment to growth, an acknowledgment of the present, and a vision for the future.”
At the end of her talk, she left the audience with a song dedicated to the PCC employees entitled “At the Beginning.” #Adela Wayas