By Farah G. Decano
I am grateful to the Lyceum-Northwestern University for entrusting to me the position of Dean of the College of Law. I also wish to express my kudos to Atty. Manuel Manuel, my predecessor, for a job well done. Under his able watch, he has produced several lawyers who are now famed abogados de campanillas in Pangasinan. He is indeed a tough act to follow.
Thank you to Mayor Belen Fernandez and Vice Mayor BK Kua for the warm greetings on their Facebook walls. I did not expect such kind gestures. Because of the posts, I was deluged with many well wishes from relatives and friends. I was so overwhelmed that I suddenly did not know how to handle momentary popularity. I felt like looking for a giant tortoise so I can borrow its shell and hide inside.
When friends heard of my appointment as Dean, most reactions were about me following the footsteps of my father – the original Dean Decano, Atty. Hermogenes S. Decano Sr. He was University of Pangasinan’s well-loved Dean of the College of Law for over three decades. I have reasons to be daunted by such high expectations. He was very scholarly and had an unparalleled love for teaching. I tell the greeters in my usual humor that I cannot follow his footsteps because I need to grow my feet bigger first.
My mother, the former RTC Judge Alicia Decano, simultaneously held top academic posts from two universities for more than a decade: as Head of the University of Sto. Tomas Graduate School (Law Discipline) and Dean of the College of Law of the Panpacific University in Urdaneta City. Like Papa, she was well-loved and was considered in both schools as a motherly institution, not only by the students but by the professors and school heads as well. She remains an incurable workaholic even in retirement. I cannot follow her footsteps too. Mama doesn’t seem to have only a pair of foot prints following linear path. I see two or three pairs moving forward in circular fashion. How complex is that?
What should I do as the third Decano to be a Dekano? I can only humbly offer a different spunk. I cannot be a mere copycat of my parents. While my father trained me to go against the grain, I still pray hard that the circumstances will allow me to play out my game fully. While there are perks of being the child of achiever parents, the greatest obstacle I have faced so far was the envy of others. When people covet what they think you have, they can perform all sorts of strategic manipulation, as well as create fabrications and obstacles. They will even foolishly form a team of haters against you. I hope I will face less of these in the coming days.
Becoming a Dean is sentimental to me. It is being able to continue a certain family brand. My parents have painstakingly turned their backs on illicit wealth and undeserved fame so that they may pass on to their children a name that we all will be proud of. My father had always imparted to me the value of integrity, reputation, self-respect and hard work. And because I honor my parents, their words to me are my bible. By the same yardstick, I measure and will continue to measure my actions and decisions.
I must not fail my parents in the performance of my duties as a Dean. I cannot fail the next generation of Decanos who may become Dekanos.
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