MANILA, Philippines?A lecture on honor and excellence, as well as the importance of trying to pay back, by economics professor Solita ?Winnie? Monsod has gone viral on the video-sharing website YouTube.
As of press time, the 10-minute video has reached over 210,000 views after it was posted last week.
Monsod, a professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines? School of Economics in Diliman, Quezon City, and a Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist, delivered her annual ?last lecture? in her Economics 100.1 class on Oct. 5, wearing high heels that, she said, were ?killing me.? The remark elicited laughter from some 350 students in attendance.
Then she imparted in 10 minutes what felt like ?an entire course plus grad school? in a university, according to one viewer?s comment.
?You?re going to be as good and as honorable as you should be. You are going to stay in the Philippines. And if you leave the Philippines, you are at least going to try to pay back,? Monsod said.
?Excellence is not the only important thing that matters,? she said.
Stressing that the premier state university?s motto is ?Honor and Excellence,? Monsod warned her students of the dangers of putting excellence before honor.
?[It?s] honor first before excellence ? And what is the fruit of honor and excellence? Is it not competence and integrity? In other words, if you have lived up to your promise and your potential as a university student, you are in a position to be part of the solution to this country?s problems, not part of the problem,? she said.
Monsod took a swipe at the UP alumni who have occupied or are occupying top positions in the government.
?If they were so good, why are we where we are now? And so you have to ask yourselves that. And part of the reason is because we have always looked at excellence, and not looked at honor and integrity,? she said.
The 70-year-old economist also said students would do well to stay in the country after graduating.
?If you are going to help this country, you?ve got to be in the country. If any of you have ambitions of going abroad so that you can earn more, please disabuse yourself, because by doing that, you are essentially betraying the people in the Philippines who trusted you and who invested their money in you,? she told her students, whose tuition at UP is subsidized by the government.
?And if you leave the Philippines, you are at least going to try to pay back,? she said.
The lecture, delivered at the school auditorium, found its way into cyberspace when Joe Drigo Enriquez, one of Monsod?s students, uploaded it on YouTube.
?This is no doubt one of the most moving [and entertaining] pieces of public lecture I?ve heard from a professor, and is definitely something that every Filipino must hear and watch,? Enriquez said, describing what he had done.
As of press time, the video of Monsod?s last lecture has stirred up nearly 800 comments on YouTube, most of them expressing appreciation. It has also been posted and shared over other social networking sites and blogs, creating discussions among web users.
Male22Maroon wrote: ?I am so glad and so blessed to have been mentored by Prof. Solita ?Winnie? Monsod during my days as an economics student in UP. She?s really a great economist, educator and leader of the intelligentsia in this country.?
Said Gabrield7: ?I?m not from UP, but this is one of the best speeches I?ve ever heard. And what she said is something that must hit everyone in this country. We definitely have to do something about the condition of this country.?
But not everyone agreed with Monsod?s views.
Commenting on Monsod?s Facebook fan page, Alex Timbol wrote: ?I disagree strongly with her views that to help the country, one needs to be in the country ? The return on work overseas, particularly for highly trained professionals, is significantly higher than it is in the Philippines at the moment, and working overseas may help individuals to accumulate human and financial capital to effect change.?