Architect Carlos A. Buendia, Jr., a graduate of UST College of Architecture, conducted a weekend personality development seminar-workshop at the George S.K. Ty Function Hall, Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building, University of Santo Tomas, Espana, Manila on September 7, 14, 21, and 28. The said activity is initiated and organized by the Office of Alumni Relations in their goal to continue nurturing and developing the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the Thomasian alumni community after their journey as a student in the university.

For 4 days, the 12 participants composed of Thomasian alumni, students and friends experienced a specially drafted workshop-seminar similar with Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray’s training under Architect Buendia. The Filipino culture-focused module used in the series was incorporated with the Thomasian core values.

The whole workshop-seminar aims to improve self by truly knowing its own strengths and working on with its weaknesses. “If you think you can’t speak English right, then take lessons and practice. If someone asked you about an issue and you don’t know what to answer, then read and be well-versed about anything to be ready,” says Architect Buendia during one of his sessions. His exercises were carefully designed to overcome inhibitions and break barriers.

“Our flaws make us different. Embrace it,” Architect Buendia instilled to them that their goal is to improve and not merely change one’s personality. They must be true and honest to themselves so they can emanate what they feel and what they think to the people around them, just like what Catriona Gray does. Her genuineness and sincerity brought her the Miss Universe crown and captured the hearts of millions of Filipinos around the world. This gave Miss Gray the avenue and the opportunity to voice out her advocacy to the world, and he hopes that the participants would be able to do the same in pursuing their passion and fulfilling their purpose as Thomasians.

To inspire the participants in their future endeavors, Architect Buendia invited 4 beauty queens to talk about their experiences. Miss Grand International 1st Runner Up Nicole Cordoves imparted her knowledge when expressing an unpopular opinion during a Question & Answer portion, while Binibining Pilipinas 2015 2nd Runner Up Kimverlyn Suiza shared her pageant journey and her current business venture. The participants were also graced by the presence of Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong who humbly told her story about losing her first pageant, regaining her confidence, and finally winning the Miss Earth crown. UST Medicine graduate and Miss Manila 2014 Dr. Krischelle Halili talked about how she overcome her insecurities and her hardships in juggling medicine school and pageant trainings.

On the last day of their session, Architect Buendia gave the floor to the participants to present their personal goals confidently to other people.

“Improving yourself won’t happen overnight. The Miss Universe prepared for 9 months to win that crown. It’s a step by step process so be patient with yourself,” said Architect Buendia before the workshop-seminar series concluded. He wished them good luck in their future endeavors and hope to continue learning and improving themselves.