December 7, 2020 (2:31 PM)

5 min read


LIFE’S WORTH. Ateneo de Davao University’s Humanities and Letters host Ikigai 2020 in trying to link Mindanaoan students and helping them discover their purpose in life, December 4. Photo taken from @ADDU_HumLet Twitter pageT

Discussing the importance of knowing one’s purpose in an online convention, University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao Creative Writing and Literature teacher Jhoanna Lynn Cruz asserted that Ikigai is “realized” and not “found” due to the latter’s two implications.

The term “Ikigai” is a Japanese concept referring to “life’s worth” and is composed of the terms “iki” which means “life” and “gai”, meaning “worth”. This is also similar to the French term “raison d’etre” or “reason for being.”

“I don’t think ‘find’ is the appropriate word for Ikigai because ‘finding it’ suggests you lost it… You haven’t lost it,” Cruz said.

“The second implication if you say you find it, it is something that is outside of you… It is not outside you… For me, ‘realize’ is the correct term, for this means that it is already inside you and you just have to realize it in your own time,” she added.

In response to a participant who asked during the open forum session if it is possible to lose Ikigai once achieved, Cruz related Ikigai as an energy that cannot be lost.

“You must devote your energy to such Ikigai and it cannot be lost but rather, it can only be transformed.”

Cruz also shared that during her early years, she thought that teaching was her Ikigai but then realized it was healing through her articles and stories.

“I am not a doctor but I am a healer. I am the best kind of healer because I am a wounded healer just like everyone,” Cruz, author of the award-winning nonfiction essay “Sapay Koma” in Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature 2008, said.

Cruz was one of the speakers in Ikigai 2020: Mindanao Intercollegiate Convention via Zoom, hosted by the Ateneo de Davao University’s Humanities and Letters cluster which focuses towards connecting Mindanaoan students and helping them discover the purpose of their existence.

More than 60 students coming from University of Immaculate Concepcion (UIC), Cor Jesu College (CJC), Xavier University (XU), Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU), and AdDU participated in the said convention.

Humanities’ four disciplines and their interrelation

Meanwhile, noting the commonality of Jesuit education and four disciplines under humanities, HumLet’s Assistant Dean Jeremy Tuvida introduced each discipline and discussed their interrelation.

“The Theology department has no vision of its own but it shares the vision of the Ignatian Spirituality,” Tuvida said.

Tuvida also said that Philosophy, one of the disciplines under the HumLet cluster, focuses on the intellectual formation through developing students who possess a “thoughtful and discerning way of life by guiding them to reflect on the taken-for-granted assumptions.”

“The Department of Languages, Literature, and Arts aims to form individuals who can express themselves creatively in any chosen endeavor,” Tuvida said.

While Communication, the last discipline highlighted, focuses on equipping learners with knowledge and skills to apply in practice, Tuvida said that it also nurtures their integrity as good communicators.

Moreover, Tuvida said that the disciplines are interrelated as they are geared towards an individual’s betterment.

“All these disciplines are highly valuable as well as purposive. They are valuable because these disciplines adhere to the highest moral values, truth, and justice, among others. It is also purposive because they promote social cohesion and human development.”

Humanities matter

Complementing Tuvida’s talk, Campus Minister of La Salle Academy, Iligan City Christopher Murallon said that courses in Humanities are rooted in making a difference in people’s lives.

“The role of humanities is important because it aims to form individuals who have the ability and imagination to critically and creatively describe human conditions,” Murallon said.

In his discussion on the intrinsic human and artistic values in humanities and letters disciplines, Murallon noted that humanities matter because it aids people to understand them through languages, histories, and cultures.

“In addition, humanities matter because it fosters social justice and equality, and it reveals how people have tried to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of the world.”

Underscoring writing and critical reading as fundamental skills, and prudence as an important ability of humanities students, Murallon said that humanities teaches people to reason about being human, and to inquire about the world.

“The humanities develop informed and critical citizens. Without the humanities, democracy could not flourish.”

What to do amid the pandemic

Reminding the students that they can still do anything amid the new normal, ADDU Secretary to the Office of the Executive Vice President Tracy Villanueva shared essential actions towards having careers in the future.

Villanueva emphasized the importance of establishing connections with peers and colleagues in the new normal as writing already a brief, neat, and appealing curriculum vitae in preparation for job applications.

Villanueva, also the co-owner of Brownie Ace Pastries, advised the participants to inquire to experts about desired careers and at the same time, research about the company they are eyeing for.

“Just educate yourself sa kung ano ang gusto mong marating in life… ‘pag iinterview ka ng company, one of the common questions is ‘ano ang magiging contributions mo sa company years from now?’ So you have to know the nature and the culture of the company that you are applying for,” she said.

While advising the students to envision themselves five to ten years from now, Villanueva further stated that feeling lost and confused currently is normal as there is still something to come that will make them redirect their lives.

“We all have our time and we bloom in our own time. We don’t have to rush,” Villanueva said.

Meanwhile, Villanueva acknowledged humanities and letters students as ‘versatile and productive’ as she presented a list of career opportunities being in the cluster.

End the silence of the gagged!

© 2024 Atenews

Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy