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Restoring the PLM’s seal to its original form

By Willie Jose
May 13, 2017


In this life, there are people who deserve our commendation or a pat on their back because, despite the fact that they are facing some insurmountable odds in their struggle to bring about changes in society, they still persist on—standing their ground, hoping against hope, doing all their darn best to win their cause.

Are they the modern-day Don Quixote who would fight a good cause, a righter of wrongs?

Let me tell you a story:

A few months ago, we- alumni friends and classmates at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila-- had a mini reunion at the Cabalen Restaurant at the Malls of Asia in the Philippines.

After our lunch, Felix, a good friend and batch mate, gave everyone copies of “The Correct PLM Seal: A Pioneer Student’s Perspective”. Actually, these pamphlets are about his opposition to the changes done to university seal.

Thinking that it was not the right time for me to read it, I simply put it in my pocket-- and sadly because of some senior’s moments I have forgotten about Felix’s pamphlet all these past weeks.

However, there was a recent post on my Facebook account about the PLM’s school organ “ Ang Hasik” being one of the 5 student publications given the 11th Hildegarde Award for 2017 for their continued production despite censorship during the Marcos regime.

And what caught my interest in this Facebook post were Felix’s comments there, saying,  Dear batch mates please preserve any Hasik copies you have. These copies which contain the original PLM seal printed on the top right-hand corner serve as proof that there was indeed a PLM seal in use during those initial years contrary to the claim of the PLM website: "To date, there is no record that the old incorrect seal was formally presented in public... [it] only emanated more than 12 years after the official blazon [Bd Res 39] was formally approved [on 17 June 1967]... The earliest available record of the first use of the old, incorrect seal... was on 8 Nov 1979". This preposterous historical claim was needed to prop up the theory that, on account of the long time lag, the creator of the first seal committed mistakes in interpreting what the pioneer Board was describing 12 years ago.”

Upon reading his comments, I hastily looked for some of my files specifically the tract that Felix had given me at Cabalen; finally, I had the chance to read it in toto.

In the position paper, Felix quoted the PLM website that says “ To date, there is no record that the old incorrect seal was formally presented in public…the incorrect emblazon [sic] only emanated more than 12 years after the official blazon {Board Resolution no.39} was formally approved by the Board of Regents”.

To debunk this claim, Felix said that the PLM website section quoted above titled Further research… would have avoided distortion of history had researchers consulted the following:

1.The pioneer batch of alumni. We were there. Two weeks after the opening of classes on 17 July 1967 Manila Mayor Antonio J. Villegas unveiled the Katibayan ng Pagkakatatag bronze marker at the left side of the ground floor entrance. The marker prominently displayed the PLM seal.

2. The PLM library resources. Mrs. Rebecca Jocson, the longest serving PLM librarian until her recent retirement, was there when PLM first opened its door. She maintained copies of the first school organs “Sunburst” and Hasik” which came out almost monthly during those initial years. The original PLM seal was prominently displayed on their top right corner of the front page.”

These are glaring pieces of evidence proving that the original seal had been in use publicly for many years before its revision.

Despite these proofs of evidence, I’m not sure how the alumni particularly those belonging to the First Batch would respond to Felix’s crusade to restore the honor of the original seal and give due recognition to the legacy of the school’s founding fathers.

Would Felix be like Don Quixote of old trying to right a wrong at all cost?

Taking into account his background— being one of the PLM Pioneer Students, an engineer by profession and a former dean of the school’s College of Engineering—Felix would move heaven and earth, so to speak, to let the people know the real story behind the PLM’s seal.

His dogged determination will surely prod him to take advantage of every forum, informal get-together, reunion or even just plain conversation with people, letting them know how the errors in changing the PLM’s seal would not speak well of the prestige of the university as a quality educational institution.

But the question is, would the PLM community hoot and holler their thoughts on these so-called questionable changes done in the school seal when in fact there are more pressing problems besetting the country now such as poverty, unemployment, violence and crimes?

Probably, most of our alumni today are busily working hard, making a living—and the issue about their school seal is something they could easily put aside.

And those alumni who have retired from their secular work, maybe they are now enjoying the fruits of their retirement: traveling to some exotic places, taking care of their grandchildren, enjoying some hobbies or maybe they have other priorities in life.

Well, I’m not really sure, I’m just writing here in generalities; there might be some alumni who would do something about the school seal with the aim of leaving some sort of a legacy—that somehow, they have done their part in fighting for the return of the PLM seal to its original form and shape.

At least for now, there’s a lone voice in the wilderness—the voice of Felix—asking all the PLM alumni worldwide to act in unity. Who knows through the concerted action of these alumni, the PLM administration would be convinced to listen to the voice of reason and correct the mistakes in revising the university seal.

Let’s wait and see what would happen in the coming days.

Who knows, we might be producing more Don Quixotes in our midst while waiting for these changes to come?

Only time will tell!

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