MANILA - Best friends.
This was how the top two graduates of the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman's Class 2017 described their relationship on Sunday, belying media reports that they are a couple.
Class salutatorian Rangel Daroya said some people may have misinterpreted her friendship with valedictorian Willard Joshua Jose because they were always together.
"I guess some people misinterpret it kasi lagi kaming magkasama. I guess sini-ship nila kami," she said.
Jose, for his part, said he and Daroya drew support from each other while pursuing their degree in BS Electronics and Communications Engineering.
"Nag-aaral po kami nang sabay, kasama po ng friends namin," he said.
With a weighted average grade of 1.058, Jose led some 4,600 UP Diliman students, including 36 who finished summa cum laude, who graduated Sunday.
True to UP's Oblation icon of self-sacrifice, Jose and Darayo said they aim to give back to the country by contributing to the knowledge base and innovating technology.
Both also said they are open to idea of working in the government.
"Sabi nga po ni [guest speaker and] Budget Secretary Ben Diokno, technical people ang backbone ng government. At gusto po naming maging bahagi ng technical people para matulungan ang Pilipinas na mag-progress," Jose said.