MANILA, Philippnes – He may have tasted success multiple times in college, but Raoul Danniel Manuel – the first summa cum laude of the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas – wants a simpler life after graduation.
"I am not really aiming to be rich or to use my talents to enrich myself materially. I have simple joys and I want to live a life of purpose," Manuel saidin a tribute written by the university for their history-maker.
The BS Applied Mathematics major finished his 4 years in UP with a general weighted average of 1.099 – the highest grade among UP Visayas' graduating class.
He was recipient of the UP Presidential Scholarship from 2012 up until graduation. He was also BPI Anak Expat awardee in 2013, Mga Bagong Rizal: Pag-asa ng Bayan national awardee in 2011, and second placer in the 2011 National Philippine Statistics Quiz.
Manuel said he wouldn't be summa cum laude in the Philippines' premier state university if not for his support system: family, friends, classmates, teachers and fellow members of student organizations.
For 4 years, he managed to balance his academics with his role as a student leader. He has a long list of student affiliations, including Youth Act Now and LENTE. He also spoke often to students about campus leadership.
In his graduating year, he served as student council chair of the university's College of Arts and Sciences. He also actively participated in student protests.
"As an Iskolar ng Bayan, I had to open my eyes to the realities around me and look for ways to become active in the affairs inside and outside of the university. My UP education instilled in me a desire to use my potentials to advance genuine social change," he explained.
Manuel said he will likely pursue a master's degree in Applied Mathematics after he graduates on Friday, June 26.
The graduation of UP students comes much later than the rest of Batch 2015 after the UP system adopted an August to July academic calendar for school year 2014-2015. – Rappler.com
This article originally appeared at Rappler.com. Photo from UP Visayas Webpage.