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Filam Gets Georgetown Honors

around-filam-graduateWASHINGTON DC – Filipino-American Raymond Patrick Tolentino on May 16 graduated Summa Cum Laude from the prestigious Georgetown University here and was named salutatorian of the University’s Class of 2009.

Tolentino earned a degree in English with a minor in Government and Japanese. He wrote a thesis entitled, “Bulosan and Beyond: Theorizing the Filipina/o Body Across Time and Space.”

Tolentino obtained a Quality Point Index of 3.989. Based on Georgetown University’s academic regulations, a student must have attained a cumulative Quality Point Index of 3.9 or higher to graduate summa cum laude.
Explaining his choice to study the work of Filipino-American writer Carlos Bulosan for his thesis, Tolentino wrote, “In keeping with Bulosan’s critical move to reclaim and retell a lost American history, I, too, hope to uncover voices that have been silenced – to render audible the exiled narratives often erased from the American historical archive.”

“Taking seriously the demand to refuse the silence that grants injustices impunity, I explore Bulosan’s text as a site of explosive liberatory potential, a text that uncovers the contradictions in the dominant narratives of American history,” wrote Tolentino.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa congratulated Tolentino, saying his achievement was an inspiration to all youths regardless of their nationality and spoke very highly of Tolentino’s upbringing and background.

Tolentino’s parents – Raymundo and Eleanor – who are based in Dallas, Texas, say their son was brought up to be proud of his Filipino culture and heritage and was taught to value education.

“We kept telling him early on that the only legacy we can give him is the best education,” said Mrs. Tolentino, a registered nurse, in a telephone interview. “We told him to study well and keep your heritage,” added Mrs. Tolentino.

Tolentino also graduated valedictorian of his high school class at the Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, Texas.

A visibly proud Tolentino held the Philippine Flag high during the Seniors’ Convocation at Georgetown University.

Throughout his studies at Georgetown University, Tolentino was an active member of the University’s Club Filipino which aims to promote Filipino culture, diversity and understanding within the Georgetown community.
Tolentino interned with the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. and was described by Policy Analyst Atty. Laureen Laglagaron as an “exceptional intern whom the Filipino-American community could rightly be proud of.”

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