On Bugs and “Anus Lang”


[Fourth in a series: Valedictory addresses from the different colleges of the University of Northern Philippines are here featured as excellent graduates reflect on the journey behind them and as they forward to the next.]

Ma. Erica B. Rabe, magna cum laude graduate of the BS Computer Science program, likens her college journey to one riddled with bugs. But as her father always encourages her, “anus lang.”

Rabe’s path to this moment was not without its challenges. As a child, she fondly recounted her aspirations to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a teacher. However, upon witnessing the demands and sacrifices her father faced, she reconsidered her choices. “I saw the difficulty his work entailed as I assisted him when he was making modules, computing grades, and doing other computer-related work,” Rabe shares. “As an observer of my father’s sacrifices, I thought teaching was not for me.”

Yet, Rabe’s experiences with her father’s dedication and passion for education planted a seed within her. “I salute all the teachers, professors, and mentors for molding our future. We are here today because of your sacrifices, passion, and, most of all, your dedication to teaching,” she eloquently expresses.

As Rabe navigated the next chapter of her academic journey, she found herself drawn to the field of Computer Science, despite initial hesitation. “I enrolled in the Computer Science program – without any ICT background. And by God’s grace, I was one of those who qualified to take this program,” she recounts.

Rabe’s college experience was akin to a programming journey, complete with its own set of “bugs” and “challenges” that she had to overcome. “Like a computer program, our college journey has bugs – we had to fix them. We committed errors, which represented the challenges we faced. With countless hours of debugging codes, we further developed our skills and knowledge – our stepping stones toward success,” she explains.

Throughout this journey, Rabe found unwavering support and encouragement from her family. Her father’s two-word response, “Anus lang,” during a moment of fatigue, and her mother’s unwavering belief in her capabilities, became her guiding light. “When I felt doubtful, those words of encouragement gave me assurance and comfort that I was not alone,” Rabe reflects.

Alongside her family’s support, Rabe also acknowledges the invaluable contributions of the University of Northern Philippines administration, faculty, and staff. “To the UNP Registrar’s Office, headed by Ma’am Laura I. Azurin, where I completed my OJT, the experiences and skills I gained will surely help me in the field I will be choosing in the future,” she expresses with gratitude.

As Rabe looks back on her journey, she takes a moment to celebrate the milestones and the people who have shaped her path. “I cannot mention all the people who helped me, but you know who you are,” she humbly acknowledges, speaking directly to the individuals who have supported her along the way.


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