Middle Managers Class Batch 30 – Sillag ended their residential training phase last March 10, 2023, with a Closing Program themed “Sillag Masquerade Ball” in the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City. With the event’s motif, the scholars dressed in elegant attire accompanied with fancy masks. MMC 30 Sillag is the first class to have a face-to-face Opening Ceremony after the lockdown and the Closing Program was held to celebrate their triumph in completing their residential training under the program.

Managing Director Nanette C. Caparros opened the event by acknowledging the feats of the class thus far. She said the whole team was feeling victorious, especially because MMC 30 started with 45 scholars and was ending with 45 scholars still. She said that this is an affirmation for a big class as they allow scholars to gain a bigger family in the PMDP. MD Caparros further affirmed the class saying that the late Dr. Juan Kanapi mentioned to her that MMC 30 was a good class, and that he was glad that he had the opportunity to teach them face to face.

Class President Lawrence G. Agapito shared his message to the Sillag Class, saying that this celebration is both happy and gloomy, as they are both glad that their training phase is over, and sad that they will miss the company of one another. He said that “Sillag will never be outshined by other luminous trials, instead it will unceasingly bear the light”, and reminded the class to savor the victory for now, but to remember that this is just the beginning of a new journey.

Some selected scholars then took the podium to share their experiences in the program. A lot cited sleepless nights, their workload, and the difficulty of some of the modules, but a common theme among them is how these challenges and experiences enabled them to understand that public service is worth the sacrifice. To some of them, such as Mr. Christopher John L. Espiritu, joining the program may only have started as merely complying with orders, but it evolved into something he sees as necessary for the greater good of the public.

During the program, awards were also given out  by the Learning Management Team (LMT), and Class Director Viriginia C. Aldea. The night was also made lively by the many presentations from the Sillag Learning Teams and the LMT, which put a smile on everyone’s faces.

Class Director Aldea shared her message to the scholars, mimicking their journal entries. She said that she made a promise to them six months ago that they will be transformed under the PMDP, and as of date, there was definitely a transformation in both their professional and personal journeys. “You have reached a certain destination,” she said, “and I do want to congratulate you for that. May narating kayo, may natapos kayo.”

After a short speech talking about her memories with MMC 30, SVP Mendoza gave her habilin to the scholars which were to nurture the bond they have established, and to sustain their network starting with their batch; for the class to make them proud with MMC 30’s Capstone Projects; and to be their best in service of the Filipino. As a conclusion to her Keynote Speech, SVP Mendoza echoed a quote said by the late Dr. Dondon Paderanga: “Remember that you are doing this, not for yourself and not for the money. Ang trabaho natin ay magsilbi, hindi yumaman. (…) Remember that you are not working for the president, not for me, not for the division chief, nor the staff manager. You are working for your children. What you do determines the future of this country.” She said that the scholars can be catalysts for change from inside of the government.

The last speaker of the night, Sec. Fortunato “Boy” de la Peña, who is the class’s Capstone Project Faculty-in-Charge, called for the scholars to also mentor their younger staff members and share the knowledge and experience they gained in the PMDP, and to continue to serve the country with excellence in mind.

The night concluded with an AVP prepared by the Learning Management Team, showing various photos of the class’s past activities over the last 100 days of them being together, bringing everyone on a trip down memory lane. Finally, the last awards presented were the Class’s Choice of their Stars of the Night for their Male and Female Scholars, Mr. Datu Kalim and Ms. Jen Cordero.