- Full Name: Luke Wicent Sy
- City in the Philippines: Quezon City, Metro Manila
- University in Australia: University of New South Wales
- Program in Australia: Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering
What made you decide to join FiloSoc?
I just want to connect with fellow Filipinos and FiloSoc is obviously the best way to do that!
How did FiloSoc contribute to your experience in Australia?
FiloSoc has definitely shaped my experience here in Australia.
Interacting with fellow Filipinos, both born here and those who came here to study, and leading FSC NSW have helped me not only better understand myself, but also to deepen my appreciation of my home culture. Kumbaga, malalaman mo lang gano kahalaga ang isang bagay kung wala na ito sa iyo. Though, I did not lose my ties to the Philippines, FiloSoc has highlighted to me of the importance of home not just to me, but also my fellow Filos.
What were the most unforgettable moments you had with FiloSoc?
- First boodle fight
- Palarong Pinoy
- Filo Got Talent NSW
- Too many to be honest :p
What is your motto in life?
Only one life will soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
How did FiloSoc or Australia influence that motto?
FiloSoc or Australia did not influence that credo (Or at least, I hope they didn’t). My way of life is simply “God first”, but with the caveat that serving God is serving wherever I am at with all I have.
Did FiloSoc or Australia change your perspective about life? How?
FiloSoc and Australia have given me the honour and opportunity to do things not just for the local community (Sydney and NSW), but also, indirectly, for the Filipino culture, the culture of the country I grew up from. And through that privilege of serving, I have learned (and had TONS of fun along the way) about myself and my culture a great deal. The phrase, “there's no place like home” just had a different meaning to me now. Along with musings of why is it important to keep and foster the Filipino identity when one is living abroad and with the continual rise of globalisation.
Did FiloSoc or Australia make you appreciate your Filipino roots? How?
Yes, by being separated from my Filipino roots on most days of my life, but with the occasional but constant (and high dose) exposure and sharing of that same Filipino roots. Kumbaga, malalaman mo lang gano kahalaga ang isang bagay kung wala na ito sa iyo.
Were there instances that you showed your Filipino culture to others? How?
Being the president of UNSW FiloSoc and the Filipino Student Council of NSW, a lot :p.
From giving out Halo-halo and Taho to students from all walks of life at a very international university, holding karaoke and Filo got talent (singing) events, to doing traditional Filipino games, we’ve (the organisation and me) shared the Filipino culture to Filipino students who grew here in Australia, to Filipino students who grew up in the Philippines, and to international students who probably heard of the Philippines for the first time.
If you sum up your experience with FiloSoc in 3 to 5 words, what would they be and why?
Fun, Bayanihan, Honour, Home
- Fun because you can truly and deeply connect with people. You’d definitely appreciate deep connections when you live abroad.
- Bayanihan because I could not have done anything without the help of the people around me. I admit that in some events, there were just not enough hands. However, at the same time, I have seen Filos who will offer their help in the midst intense busyness. Nakita ko yun simpleng kagustuhan tumulong ng ilang kababayan, na kahit gaano pa sila ka-busy sa buhay, binibigyan nila ng importansya ang ating kultura, at gumagawa ng iba’t ibang paraan para sa pagmamahal sa inang bayan.
- Honour because I was allowed the privilege to serve.
- Home, because there is no place like the Philippines. The time I spend with FiloSoc is like time spend at home (PH), even if I am currently living more than 6000 km away from home.