By Sittie Noffaisah Pasandalan / Contributor
ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 12 July) – Mubarak Macabanding Paingco, who hails from the Municipality of Pantao Ragat in Lanao del Norte, is this year’s class valedictorian of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).
He is the only graduate this year who earned the Latin honors of summa cum laude with his grade point average of 1.10268.
Mubarak has been earning 1.0s or flat ones during college and has made him a great catch for other degree programs.
He had been asked, invited, lured to transfer to other degree programs. But with his dream of becoming a doctor, Mubarak preferred a course that would prepare him for medical school – BS Biology.
He has a promise to his mother to fulfil. As a young boy he witnessed his mother’s illness and promised that he will find a cure for her.
During the graduation ceremonies last July 5, Mubarak praised and thanked the Almighty Allah in the opening of his valedictory speech. He shares that the success that he and the rest of graduates experience is “not exclusive to ourselves, rather this success is for all the people who have inspired us, who have contributed to the fulfilment of our humble dreams.”
In his speech, Mubarak referred to recent happenings, like the Marawi siege, and reminds his fellow graduates and everyone to “make today’s happenings as our motivation to rise up again and to rebuild our nation.”
Mubarak has so much hope for the youth that they will be future leaders of the nation. He is also optimistic that “Mindanao will get back on track and kickstart its growth.”
Mubarak hopes that he and his fellow graduates will be “instruments of improvement” and though they may differ in what they believe in, principles, values, and aspirations, “one thing is common: we are all Filipinos and that’s what we should keep in our minds.”
In an interview, Mubarak shares that one of the most unforgettable experiences that he values while in college is becoming a member of the MSU-IIT Muslim Students Association (MIMSA), a group devoted to guiding Muslim students and teaching them Islam as a religion and way of life. Being a MIMSA brother enabled him to learn to read and recite properly the Holy Qur-an.
Contrary to the idea that students who excel academically do not have a social life, Mubarak is a sports enthusiast since high school and joined a volleyball team on his third and fourth years to represent his college to the annual institute sportsfest, the Palakasan. In his speech, he acknowledged and thanked his volleyball team and playmates for teaching him the value of teamwork.
Mubarak – who has been a true-blue Iskolar ng Bayan since his elementary days at the Iligan City Central School and secondary at the Philippine Science High School-Central Mindanao Campus – got a general performance score of 788 (percentile rank 99+) in the 2017 National Medical Admission Test.
He plans to enrol at the Pamantansan ng Lungsod ng Manila to pursue a degree in medicine, a choice he acknowledges is heavily influenced by his family whom he believes only wants the best for him.
Muba, as he is fondly called by friends, is the son of Mangorsi (H. Yahya) Macadatar Paingco from Dimayon, Pantao Ragat and Minoky (H. Asyhya) Mautante Paingco from Poblacion, Pantao Ragat. He and his siblings were raised by his father after his mother’s death in 2005.
There were 26 other Moros from the 311 graduates with Latin honors – 5 magna cum laudes and 21 cum laudes). (Sittie Noffaisah Pasandalan is professor at MSU-IIT and assistant dean of its College of Arts and Social Sciences.)