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Misconceptions About Chinese-Filipino Student Orgs Like DLSU’s Englicom

As a culture-oriented org, it celebrates the Chinese heritage in the Philippines, but not without people having misconceptions about it. Read on to find out the myths about Englicom and what it's really all about.
IMAGE DLSU Englicom

Englicom (which stands for the colleges of engineering, liberal arts, and commerce) is one of DLSU’s oldest and largest orgs, and it caters to Chinese-Filipino and Filipino students. As a culture-oriented org, it celebrates Chinese heritage in the Philippines, but not without people having misconceptions about it. Read on to find out the myths about Englicom and what it’s really all about.

  1. It’s for Chinese Filipino students only.

Englicom may revolve around Chinese culture, but it’s open to all DLSU students—the same way a Korean or Japanese org is open to all students. Dorothy Jem Chen, who’s been a member for four years, says, “I have worked with great people in the organization, and it didn’t matter if they were Chinese or not. We always have non-Chinese members.”

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  1. It’s alienating or cliquish.

Some of Englicom’s university-wide events are more cultural, but these aren’t alienating since they’re celebratory and fun in nature. During the Chinese New Year festivities around February, students can enjoy Chinese food and lion and dragon dance performances. For the Mid-Autumn Festival around September, students can experience the thrill of winning prizes in Englicom’s dice game (you throw six dice into a bowl, and based on the number combination, you may win something big).

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  1. It’s a dating or matchmaking org.

Dorothy shares, “A lot of couples are created in the org, but we’re not a dating org. We don’t do anything to create these couples, as funny as it sounds. I would think that since most of us are Chinoys, we have the same culture; plus, we spend a lot of time in the tambayan, so good friendships are built. Maybe that’s what starts the ligawan stage.”

Apart from promoting Chinoy culture, Englicom also has socio-civic activities. It holds fundraisers for its beneficiaries and scholars. One of them is Transcend, an annual seminar on business and corporate social responsibility. It also has outreach programs and medical missions to Little Stars Daycare Center, its partner daycare center in Bulacan.

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“We want to integrate Filipino and Chinese cultures, as well as serve the community through our civic activities,” states Abbiegael Chu, the org’s documentations officer. “Through them, I feel that we are able to awaken people’s interest towards the Chinese culture and helping others.”

  1. It shelters students.

It’s easy to think that members of Englicom are sheltered if you think Englicom is a Chinoys-only org. But as a socio-civic org, Englicom has let its members meet different kinds of people on campus. And aside from welcoming people of different cultures and treating them equally, Englicom has helped students become strong leaders. Dorothy used to be the executive vice president for internal affairs, where she handled the finance, documentations, creatives, training and development, and membership committees. She was able to make the org’s systems more efficient, and she learned to be more adaptable, assertive, and considerate.

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Abbigael learned to leave her shell and be more vocal with her ideas, adding, “Englicom has also encouraged me to be more proactive and apply to numerous central committees in other orgs. It’s become a stepping stone to who I strive to be.”

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Francine Sia, the project head of Englicom’s cultural events, learned to organize activities and manage her time, and even listen better and accept constructive criticism. “Listening to other people’s opinions and getting their insights helped me make decisions that needed to be done.”

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Stephanie Shi
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The journey of how I won people’s hearts by having a winning heart

Whatever happens tonight, I am a winner. That was the last line I delivered in front of the roaring crowd. My knees were trembling and my smile was shaking. I wanted to radiate confidence but I knew inside me were whirling storms of uncertainty. I wasn’t sure how to carry on for the rest of the night, it was only the first hour and my soul was already exhausted. I stood in front of an unfamiliar sea of people, I felt uncomfortable as they fixed their glances on me. The stage was bright and flashy as my co-contestants glazed the platform with outstanding physique and beauty. I couldn’t look straight at them because every time I did, a bucketful of insecurity was being poured on me. The whole pageant took about a few hours but it felt like eternity to me. I repeatedly asked myself questions every single time I stood on that platform. My vision was impaired by the blinding spotlights and all I could hear were the deafening roar of the audience combined with the booming music of the event. My head was filled with questions like “why are you here?”, “Will you be okay?” What will others think of you?” “What if you fail?”. Every step was heavier as I continued to overthink.

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For a moment on stage, I felt like I was floating. I was staring blankly at the end of the gymnasium. I was awakened by the loud cheer from the front row, I fixed my glance and saw large letters A-B-Y. it was like a snap to reality, I realized that’s my name. This time I could hear the synchronized cheers of people screaming my name. I smiled, walked away from the spotlight as I whispered to myself “let’s do this”. As the curtains opened, I walked towards the stage I felt lighter and different from the person a while ago. Walking was much easier and my knees weren’t trembling any longer. I stood at the edge of the stage, wandered my glance, and smiled genuinely. Flashing those pearly whites took barrels of longtime stored courage from within me. I marveled at how I could see the rainbow in the lights, the spotlights weren’t blinding anymore.

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My feet started stomping to the music every time I pose and my hips would flawlessly sway to the music. The roar of the audience was overwhelming no more, it was like whispers lost in the beat of the music. I knew as I stood there, all I needed to do was smile and be myself. My name was called accompanied by the thunderous applause and booming cheers of the crowd. I stood there alongside with other contestants. I was holding a bouquet and a trophy. I could feel the heavy crown on top of my head. However, the trophy beside me was much bigger, the lady beside me wore an even flashier crown, it was the crown of the titleholder. That night I landed the first runner-up spot. My head was filled with “what ifs”. What if I did just a little better, what if I exerted more effort and so on.

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As I stepped down on stage, several people rushed to me. They were jumping, screaming and clapping. It was so chaotic that it took me a millennium to recognize them, it was my family. They were hugging me from all directions. When I saw their smiles I knew I did great. I realized that was what I meant when I said “whatever happens tonight I am a winner”. Their presence, genuine smiles, and warm hugs meant more than the trophy and sash that night. For them, I was a star who shined through the darkness of the night. Before leaving the venue, a hand tapped me from behind “Congrats,” she whispered I turned to see her, and to my surprise she was a schoolmate who used to tease me because of my chubby physique.

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