Tag Archives: University of the Philippines-Diliman

On the bouts of depression

At certain points in his life, Miggy Bautista has battled with depression. He has envied his classmates “who enjoy certain activities such as tambay in organizations, bondings, competitions, as well as facilities for value adding talks and seminars.” He would eventually find himself “alone” most of the time, “wishing I can do what they do.”

“Amidst the positive achievements and personal experiences, I still feel unhappy from time to time. I know that we can all feel this but recognizing its life-threatening implications for prolonged period of times is something we should all be aware significant,” he has written in his own blog.

He has then thought “to examine ourselves today and recognize how dangerous we can become.” He has also called for civil and advocacy groups “to strengthen calls for proper implementation of laws as well as its compliance,” believing that each and every one must “uphold the rule of law.”

“Since we cannot do anything about the genetic makeup composing our body, we can only do something in controlling stress and associated factors leading it. It may be cliché to say but since ‘no man is an island’, being alone is, I believe, one of the major contributors of [depression] bringing loneliness or unhappiness. Being different or unique can be a source of aloneness or maybe isolation.”

Miggy has also proposed to “remember the people who are always there for us.” “Personally, my parents and siblings are my primary source of strength. I would be honest that I previously take for granted their efforts to help me pursue my goals because I am definitely a responsibility.”

“However, I was able to recognize moving forward that life is more than just a responsibility. It is sacrifice and love amidst all the trials, misunderstandings and challenges. Moreover, we can extend this perspective to the people who continuously come to assist us in this world. For my case, I like to include in it professors, security guards, utilities, fellow students and others who continue to become part of my journey and share in my aspirations.”

To date, the cum laude graduate of business administration from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman has conceptualized a ride sharing app that could cater to PWDs and non-PWDs alike with Ady Castueras, also a PWD who graduated from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos.

“Yung life natin ay hindi lang simpleng pananagutan sa kapwa. Ang pananagutang ito ay pagmamahal at sakripisyo sa kabila ng di pagkakaintindihan, pagsubok at hirap.” ~ Alexander Nicolabo Bautista

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of TED-Ed

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On Miggy

Amidst a genetic disease that affects the nervous system and controls voluntary muscle movement, Alexander Michael “Miggy” Bautista has still managed to graduate cum laude in business administration at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman.

He has not been alone anyway. His parents, Gabriel and Soledad, would wake up at five o’ clock in the morning to get their son from their home in Tanay, Rizal to the university in Quezon City. Together, they would carry Miggy to the car, transfer him to the wheelchair, and wheel him to his classes in different buildings inside the campus.

Security guards, utility and maintenance personnel, teachers and even a passing “sorbetero,” would help carry Miggy up and down the stairs. Nelia Hermogino, the security guard at Virata School of Business (VSB), would memorize Miggy’s class schedules so she can update the next guard where “their student” is.

Even the university chancellor, Michael Tan, would keep his eyes on Miggy. He has formally written to Dr. Ivy Suan, undergraduate program director of the UP Virata School of Business (VSP), when Miggy decided to shift to a business course from political science. In response, Dr. Suan has ensured that Miggy’s classes were located or transferred in the first floor of the building.

“His main challenge was his mobility,” Dr. Suan recalled. “[But] we did not see any issue in his classes, where he excelled as a group leader,” she added.

Miggy claimed to have learned patience and perseverance during his years in UP. He also realized then how privileged he is to continue his studies. Hopefully, the university’s plan to “build a campus that is highly sensitive to the needs of students with disabilities” would take fruition soon.

“I believe service is not a question of capability but of will, mind and heart.Even if my disability sometimes barred me from doing some things, it did not stop me from being the UP student that I want to be.” ~ Alexander Michael Bautista

Notes:

  1. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. Its primary effect is on muscles, which gets smaller day by day, and involves the loss of the motor neurons in a person’s spinal cord.
  2. Miggy has joined competitions and business ventures while being an “Iskolar ng Bayan.” He has even organized a financial literacy talk for PWDs in Cainta, Rizal.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Alexander Michael Bautista

*Miggy has his own blog you can read, too! He has recently written about depression, a mood disorder characterized by persistent sadness.