As part of the College’s 47th founding anniversary celebration, UP Tacloban officials, faculty, and staff opened on Tuesday, 26 May, the College’s Kalungganayan Community Vegetable Garden with the planting of vegetable seedlings. This was followed by a short program to recognize personnel who have served a milestone number of years in the College.
In her message Dean Patricia Arinto said that the community garden project, which she requested the All UP Workers Union led by its president Rey Espanto to spearhead, “aim[s] to promote the health and well-being of community members by providing nutritious food, strengthening community ties, reducing environmental hazards, lowering food transportation costs, and creating a more sustainable system overall.”
The community garden is called Kalungganayan, a Waray word that means benefit, bringing in abundance, wealth, or livelihood to people, as well as blessing or grace. Dean Arinto noted that “[h]ere we are referring not only to the harvest of vegetables that we hope to have from this garden but also the blessing of working together, sowing seeds of hope, and reaping or gathering goodwill and the grace of community.”
The Dean pointed out that “[a] deeper appreciation for the grace of community is something that our two-month-long quarantine seems to have awakened in us, as evidenced by our insistence on reporting for work on campus despite the work-from-home option for those with greater vulnerabilities to COVID-19 as well as by our efforts to come together today while also trying to observe physical distancing and other public health protocols.”
The UP Tacloban community “is all of us here in the College — students, faculty, and staff” as well as “our surrounding local community or barangay and all who live and work here, the neighborhoods and towns that we and our families call home, and municipalities throughout the Eastern Visayas region that we aim to serve through our teaching, research, and public service programs. [It also] includes our more than 2,000 alumni from the pioneer class of 1973 to the graduating class of 2019 who are now scattered throughout the region, the country, and the world, doing their part as leaders and citizens with honor and excellence,” Dean Arinto said.
Dean Arinto concluded her message by noting the paradox of being “constrained to celebrate the College’s 47th anniversary by ourselves, without a grand party with many guests, but also being much more connected, through technology and especially through a renewed spirit of solidarity, with so many more of our alumni, our colleagues in UP Visayas and the rest of the UP System, and our local and international partners and collaborators.” Hence the theme of UP Tacloban’s 47th anniversary — “URUGUP para han kaupayan han katilingban ngan kalibutan” which is translated into English as “Solidarity for the well-being of the community and the world.”
In the short program after the community garden opening, 15 faculty and staff received certificates of recognition for serving a milestone number of years from Dean Arinto and UP Visayas Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Rolly Fuentes.
College Dentist Dr. Rulfin Macaya and System Administrator Asst. Prof. John Ultra were recognized for 10 years of service while Ms. Claire Babali of the Office of the College Secretary, Ms. Luz Garado of the Office of Student Affairs, Mr. Renato Lopez of the Campus Development and Maintenance Office, Mr. Antonio Erandio, Jr. of the College Library, Cash Office head Ms. Catherine Moreno, and Asst. Prof. Rosabella Montes of the Division of Natural Sciences and Management (DNSM) were recognized for 15 years of service.
The awardees for 20 years of service were Asst. Prof. Irene Tan of DNSM and Asst. Prof. Richard Cagara of the Division of Management (DM). Associate Dean Arvin De Veyra was recognized for 25 years of service and Asst. Prof. Jerome Cabansag of DNSM for 30 years of service. NSTP Coordinator Asst. Prof. Arseñito Colaba and Division of Humanities chair Assoc. Prof. Joycie Dorado Alegre were recognized for 35 years of service, and DM chair Asst. Prof. Amy Joan Exconde was recognized for 40 years of service.
In her brief response, Prof. Exconde recalled her early years in the College and encouraged the younger generation of UP Tacloban employees to do their best at all times. Associate Dean de Veyra in his closing remarks reiterated “the importance of pag-urugup not only in times of calamities and global pandemics but also in our day-to-day work to achieve the vision of UP Tacloban.”