“Elapsing the flame, bearing the torch, eluminating the world”
By Roberto Klemente R. Timonera, Maya Angelique B. Jajalla, Danica Grace Gumahad
It started with a joke. It all started as a joke – an activity that was just intended to give audience a hearty laugh in a Hibalag night. And then it evolved into something meaningful…until it became an advocacy-driven pageant. Who will continue the legacy? Let’s get to know the candidates of this year’s Mr. Hibalag.
A sophomore at the Institute of Rehabilitative Sciences, Toby Jasper Enriquez represents ANG SANDIGAN. He joined Mr. Hibalag as he finds it “an effective means…to influence [his] fellow youth to initiate action for the benefit of the community.” He plans to use his knowledge of physical therapy to help persons with disabilities (PWDs). Originally from Zamboanga City, he enjoys reading Reader’s Digest and playing basketball. His motto is: “Winners never quit, quitters never win.”
Alexander Vidal II is a junior Physical Therapy student who represents the Silingan Zanorte Sillimanites. He auditioned last year but unfortunately wasn’t part of the top ten. This year, he is confident that it is his time to shine. He considers himself as a bubbly talkative person which usually gets him a lot of friends. He “studies smartly and not hard-ly” and strives to become a college honor this year. He says, “We should change the world with our God-given abilities and of course sharing these abilities with the people.” He was once an active member of Pilipinas Natin but laid low this year because he values his academics more.
From Los Angeles, Charles Deans from the Silliman University College of Nursing Association, came to the Philippines to embrace our culture. Being part of this competition gave him the chance to meet new friends. His ever supportive college is inspiring him to bring home the crown. He desires to uplift integrity within all of us. “I like to make a change for the better, for the world, for this university”, he says.
Representing the West Visayan Circle (WVC), Syd Yves Gasataya is a sophomore civil engineering student from Bacolod City. He advocates the forming of a home-away-from-home community within Silliman, especially for students from the Visayas. “We interact in school, find ways to give our time and try to catch up with their schedules so they won’t feel lonely,” he says, having experienced homesickness himself during his freshman year. He enjoys hanging out with his fellow Mr. Hibalag candidates and his friends from the College of Engineering and the WVC. Friendship and camaraderie are two things he values immensely as he says, “Being a friend is priceless.”
Daring as he is, Bryan Anthony Gamboa from the Philippine Institute of Computer Engineering, entered this competition out of curiosity, boredom and fun. He is from San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and now in his freshmen year. He is not really an outgoing person. He plays the guitar in his free time. He believes that there should be responsible usage of computers. He says, “We should initiate, we should carry the ideals, be the model” so that other people may follow.
Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia Reyhan Rahman has lived in Dumaguete since his high school days. He represents Barons, a Greek fraternity that focuses on friendship and community service. Alarmed by the dwindling number of trees in Negros Oriental, he pushes for a green environment for a green future, which he plans to effect through citywide cleaning programs. He likes jazz and alternative punk music and does drums and backing vocals for the band Moonlit Drive. He is currently a junior at the College of Mass Communication.
He is was a former host of Mr. Hibalag, and now, Khalil Fedmar Maranda from the Amihang Mindanao Sillimanians,wants to experience what it feels like being in the pageant. “I want to experience how it feels like to be played by the host.” Regarding the theme, he is certain that we should have the right thinking and we should be open-minded on the things that can benefit others well. He wants to be the catalyst of the Silliman University values and for change.
Hailing from Surigao del Sur, Jason Urquia Salibay of the Silliman University Medical Students Association (SUMSA) pushes for first aid training for students. He believes students should be able to help in emergencies. As such, he plans to enlist the aid of various medical groups in campus so students and faculty will be better equipped to give first aid. Aside from reading the Bible and playing soccer, he has taken a liking to books on morality, philosophy, and theology. He is set to finish his medical studies in 2015.
Hanz Villahermosa of the College of Education Student Organization (CESO) is one busy dude. He’s the current governor of the CoE and was active in a number of student productions, such as Kabsi and Silliman Idol. A third year BSEd-English major, he wishes to bring education to street children, which he plans to do through outreach programs with his off-campus org, the Gabaan Youth League (so named to help change the idea of “gaba”). When in Dumaguete, he likes hanging out with his friends; when in his hometown of Amlan, he enjoys watching TV shows like Glee and Got to Dance.
Freshman BBA-Management student Richyrd Dean Gaviola or “RD” says that he’s shy. But he tries to look straight at you in the eye when he makes a point. He may just be still 16 years old, but he is definitely beyond his years when it comes to vision. “I want to empower [persons with disabilities] through sports,” he said. RD believes that this advocacy is his way of living up to the theme of this year’s pageant. “Bearing the torch means holding what you learn…spreading what you learn,” he added. He plans to do just that through Mr. Hibalag and with the help of the organization that he represents, ZamboSur Sillimanites. In this pageant, RD also strives to overcome his shy nature. Will this year’s winner be a shy guy?.~