Prof. Winnie Monsod’s last lecture: Be part of the solution


A few reminders before you watch this video:

  • Please do not look at the personality of the speaker but rather the thoughts that she imparted.
  • Listen intently to the message.
  • The speaker’s opinions, as these are her personal views,  are not, in general, must be revered as absolute truth.
  • Please try to ponder on what she is trying to tell us.


This is a speech of Prof. Solita “Winnie” Monsod during her annual “last lecture” in her Economics 100.1 class on Oct. 5. I’ve read several reviews about her speech wherein you will find people with their clashing opinions.

Whichever university you graduated from, or whether you graduated or not,  this speech is for you. This goes out to every Filipino who should be part of the solution. And that means all of us.

My favorite quotes

You are in a position to be part of the solution of this country’s problems, not part of the problem.

Something that most of us take for granted. Who else is accountable?

If they were so good, why are we where we are now?

Exactly. Mrs. Monsod enumerated how many past presidents, chief justices, senators, public servants came from UP. But we’re still stuck here. Do we love being a third-world country so much we choose to stay like this?  Because a lot of the brilliant minds of this country (not just from UP) didn’t do their share.  Perhaps there’s a lot to exploit in this country. (That’s just my opinion.)

So if you insist on going abroad, at the very least will you pay back the entire cost of your education in UP, plus interest. I mean it.

Haha. That’s a hell lot of money we’re talking about. But that is beside the point. She mentioned in her speech that Filipinos should stay in order for the country to progress. That raised a lot of flaming discussions online. Some disagreed and they had arguments to prove their points. While some stood behind Mrs. Monsod’s statement. I think that, whether you choose to stay or leave, you have the obligation to pay back, with or without the interest.

And then they give mga donation, donation.. a thousand dollars dito, two thousand dollars doon. Slap! Slap! Slap! Do you know how much it cost? to educate you? to make you a doctor? And they will give one thousand dollars tapos may utang na loob pa ang university. Gago ba kayo?

Wala naman siguro siya galit sa UPM noh? Hehe. I am not sure how many of UP Med graduates practice abroad, at the average. Maybe an important consideration when it comes to colleges and universities is return of service. Sana wala ng special cases. Let return of service be mandatory, if possible. Lahat naman tayo makikinabang.

And if you leave the Philippines, you are at least going to try to pay back.

Again, it’s not all about financial assistance. Though it is an important factor to alleviate certain needs and to provide immediate services. Please try to pay back, in cash or in kind. 🙂

What is my last threat? If you do your own way, and add to the problems of the Philippines, Mrs. Monsod is going to haunt you! From the grave! … and i am going to confront you at the worst possible moments in your life.. You’re on your honeymoon.

This is a serious threat from our speaker. Who would want to be haunted and disturbed by the ghost of your professor? On your honeymoon? because you broke your deal?  Haha. Better stick to it or else..

The Philippines needs you more than you would ever think.

I hope this is what is posted on all footbridges, bulletin boards, public vehicles, malls, campaign materials – practically everywhere. So that every single one of us is reminded of our duty. A little concern and care for this country wouldn’t hurt.


I am not an activist when i was in college. (No negative meaning intended to that.) I am no expert when it comes to socio-political matters. And I can only say so much. We all have our personal views on these matters and we need to respect those views. With this speech, look at the speaker’s message on a bigger picture. Try to do something about it.



2 responses »

  1. “If you are going to help this country, then you have to be IN the country” – we don’t want to rely on foreign remittances from Filipinos abroad and foreign aide from international NGOs or other countries to develop this country. We have to do it here and by ourselves, with each other. We can help a lot more by staying here and being part of the solution rather than leaving..:)

    Hi love! didn’t know you had these thoughts in you..:)

    • Agree. Agree. Ideally speaking, remittances should support us for the short term only. But with the pattern that we have now, it would take a lifetime to make Filipinos realize the importance of staying, and another to convince them to stay.

      I have these thoughts, buried deep down, and were forced to crawl up. 🙂

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