Being bookish, number-smart, introverted and kuripot are the primary qualities of an accountancy student—or so they say. Thanks to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Accountancy Student Council, such stereotyping may no longer apply.
LiterARTura 2017, the first-ever art and literary workshop in the UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy (UST-AMV), was held for accounting students to prove that they are just as capable and skilled in other disciplines.
LiterARTura offered a day of alternative classes in painting, illustration, spoken poetry, photography, public speaking and videography. It was part of the two-day celebration of the UST-AMV’s 13th founding anniversary.
For the workshops, experts were invited to mentor the students. They were Blew David (painting), Kim Baylon (illustration), Leandro Reyes (spoken poetry), Mark Angelo Roma (public speaking), Renz Ann Caguitla (photography) and Julius Renomeron Jr. (videography).
It was truly an out-of-the-box experience for students, as this kind of event inspires growth and learning outside the four walls of a classroom.
After dominating the 2017 Certified Public Accountant Licensure Exams with seven students in the top 10 (including first placer Alfonso Solomon Ramos Magno), the UST-AMV revealed another facet of its students.
“LiterARTura provided an avenue for students to find that talent, and a medium where they can hone that talent into something bigger,” says Mark Israel Marasigan, president, UST Accountancy Student Council. “Other than through academics, there will always be literature and the arts to help find the value and meaning of life in its deeper state, to help young people become braver and bolder.”
“It was LiterARTura’s aim from the start to give students an outlet to release academic stress, and an avenue not just to learn something new from their accounting subjects, but also to develop their thoughts, skills, imagination and ideas, to show that AMVians are really more than just about numbers,” adds Leeyann Gamez, assistant secretary, UST Accountancy Student Council.
Tool for expression
“I believe that art is a powerful tool for expression,” says Lorenzo Sibug, third year student and spoken poetry participant. “It can turn something negative into something beautiful. We can pour our hearts out and showcase our skills and talents for a higher purpose of conveying a message to the world.”
For Dwight Karlo Bleza, third year student and aspiring photographer, LiterARTura served as “my moment to enhance and express myself, especially through my photographs. Everyone has their own way of seeing things differently, and I think that’s the best thing about photography.”
For AMV students who regularly occupy a landscape filled with calculators, balance sheets, and a mountain of numbers, any contact with the arts is a chance to look at different facets of life, notes Tito Quiling Jr., UST Literature and Humanities professor. “Engaging in various forms of art also helps in paying close attention to detail, and looking at patterns in another light. This could help in creating a sense of balance between logic and romance, knowing when to be serious and when to be tender.
“For those who have participated in this year’s LiterARTura, the event allows one to view people not just as mere statistics, and realize that individual lives are more than just numbers. Our stories, in any art form that they are rendered, become records of our time.”
“When you think about it, accountants are no different from storytellers and poets,” says UST-AMV College of Accountancy faculty member Fermin Antonio Yabut. “We also tell stories of entities and organizations, a continuing biography of sorts. What is accounting but the art of counting, naming and telling stories more than numbers?”
The declining appreciation for arts and literature today benefits from such creative events. Despite the time constraints of having it all happen in just a day or less, the event delivered enough creative juices for everyone, especially students who focused on something unrelated to accounting quizzes. This time, they adjusted the verses of their poems, balanced their emotions, and made themselves heard through their art.
Before any titles and labels are attached to our names, we are, first and foremost, human beings who feed on our mistakes, dreams, heartbreaks and twisted stories of love. And it is through arts and literature that we endure and express them.
Here’s hoping that this is not the last of LiterARTura. The UST Accountancy Student Council started big, and has raised the bar for upcoming college week celebrations. This was a rare chance to set accounting books aside and prove to be #morethannumbers.