Democratic Independent Workers’ Association (DIWA) Party-list Representative and former DLSU Student Council President Emmeline Aglipay was one of seven individuals who received The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for 2012 last January 9, 2013. Aglipay was the only female TOYM awardee for the year.
Rep. Aglipay recalls DLSU’s invaluable contribution to her accomplishments and her plans for the future.
1.Why did you enter politics? When you were still in school and when you graduated?
It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part since I got involved in student politics at a very young age. As far as I can remember, I was always interested in spending time with the less fortunate and doing outreach work.
I often tagged along with my mom during her outreach activities even if she would rather not have me there. This prompted me to be involved in volunteering and eventually, head outreach and livelihood projects even when I was still in grade school and high school. My classmates started to take note of this. They nominated and eventually elected me as a class officer. Over time, I became a batch officer, and later, as an officer of the entire high school.
When I entered DLSU, many of my friends already knew me as their student council officer or the head of the high school outreach program. The political party Alyansang Tapat sa Lasalista took note of this. They invited me to attend a leadership training seminar and then asked me to run as a batch representative. I was elected as batch representative of FAST 98. Everything else progressed from that until I became the DLSU student council president.
My natural inclination to serve the less fortunate through my volunteer efforts in outreach projects when I was still in high school brought me to be elected as an officer of the student council and eventually to enter politics as the current representative of Democratic Independent Workers’ Association (DIWA) Party-list.
2. What are some of the things you learned in DLSU that helped you become a better leader?
DLSU has always stressed that students, even student leaders who have projects to run, should focus on academic excellence and social responsibility. This became my goal while I was in DLSU—to be excellent in my academics while devoting my free time and energy to uplift the lives of others. This made me a better leader because it allowed me to deepen my love for learning and passion for excellence. The best leaders are those who have a sharp mind and an honest heart.
I owe much of my leadership qualities to my political party, Alyansang Tapat sa Lasalista (Tapat). My progressive inclinations were ingrained in me through Tapat. The party has always challenged me to be a pioneer and to think of new ways to solve problems. Most of all, I have always kept in mind our logo—the salmon—a fish that swims upstream, a symbol that we should never fear to go against the odds and challenge norms to bring positive change. Tapat helped develop this kind of idealism in me.
3. How do you think have student activism and leadership changed since you graduated? Do you think Lasallians are ripe for responsible leadership?
A decade has passed since I graduated from DLSU. I’ve observed that students are more empowered and the leaders are getting more involved in the issues that shape our nation. I have no doubt that Lasallians are ripe for responsible leadership, one that is transformational and one that would harness positive change in Filipinos.
4. What should political parties in DLSU consider in fielding candidates?
They should consider looking for role models for the youth, those who embody both academic excellence and social responsibility. Most especially, the candidates should have a deep love for our country and the passion to serve.
TAPAT and Santugon shouldn’t consider popularity because we want to change this kind of mentality in politics. A candidate’s ideas should drive people to vote for them rather than their personalities, popularity or pretty faces. This is important so that our students would be trained to do the same in our national elections.