Pil Grad Program FINAL.pdf

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“Perlas ng Silanganan”
Since 1751, during the time of Spanish Colonization,
the Philippines has been given the sobriquet of Pearl
of the Orient Seas. Although the name connotes
the beauty of the islands and its people, the image
perpetuated hides a long and continuing tradition of
Peripheralization, Exoticism, and Neocolonialism.
These underlying currents continue on in the
experiences of many Pilipinx and Pilipinx American
students in Higher Education and here in
UC Berkeley.
A pearl begins to form when a unsolicited grain of
sand manages to slip into the shell of an oyster. In
response, the oyster gradually coats the grain of
sand in layers nacre, transforming it into a prized
gem through a slow and difficult process. As Pilipinx
and Pilipinx American students, we have asserted
ourselves past the shell of Higher Education and
have, over time and after layers of struggle, become
pearls of the oyster.
So is the beauty of our graduation not found simply
in its polished conclusion, but more powerfully in the
long, gradual and difficult process of our retention.