Nap Concepcion is Gawad Oblation awardee, 2023

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

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File photo: The UPAA-Davao and UPMin Foundation awards UP President Danilo Concepcion with a Certificate of Appreciation in July 2022. In the photo are (left-right) UPAAD President Pedro "Bogs" Quitain III, UPAAD Chairperson Nap Concepcion, Pres. Concepcion, UPMin Foundation Inc. Chairperson Sebastian Angliongto, UPMFI President Atty. Dinah Tolentino-Fuentes     

Mr. Napoleon "Nap" E. Concepcion, Chairperson of the UP Alumni Association Davao, is a 2023 Gawad Oblation awardee and conferred a medal in ceremonies held on January 17, 2023, in Diliman, Quezon City. The UP President’s Oblation Medal is a special award given by the UP President to recognize UP alumni and friends (individuals, organizations, institutions) who have rendered significant support and service to the University of the Philippines. The criteria are: the awardee should have increased the institutional visibility, international prestige, and recognition of UP as a National University and helped UP undertake its mandates under RA 9500; the awardee must also personify UP’s leadership in higher education and/or national development as a research, teaching, and public service university, and as a regional and international university.

Napoleon E. Concepcion entered as a freshman in UP Diliman in 1968 under the BS General program. In 1970 he was appointed a cadet to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1974. After graduation he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Philippine Air Force, and initially flew as an instructor pilot prior to flying cargo aircrafts. Aside from flying logistics and mercy missions, he served as aircraft maintenance officer while completing his Master in Management-Public Management from the University of the Philippines campus in Cebu City.  He was then recruited as a Foreign Logistics Officer at General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines where he resigned as a Major in 1985 to join Philippine Airlines flying the AVRO748 turbo.

During the EDSA Revolution of 1986 however, he rejoined his former colleagues inside Camp Crame planning logistics support for rebel aircraft operations. At its culmination, he was tasked alongside Col. George Aquino to re-activate GHQ, AFP under the new government and receive the surrender of the last resisting stronghold. Returning to PAL, he flew various aircraft to include the BAC 1-11, B737-300, Airbus 300, and the Boeing 747-400. Despite his flying duties, Nap accepted an appointment as pastor to the All for Christ Church Outreach in Calaca, Batangas where he endeavored to re-unite and re-invigorate the Lemery-Calaca Ministerial Fellowship. His services with PAL was however suddenly ended as a member of the striking Airline Pilots Association of the Philippines in 1998. This opened an opportunity to fly for the Saudi Arabian Airline (Saudia) based in Jeddah, SA while the family moved to Davao City with the transfer of Dr. Sylvia Concepcion from UP Diliman to UP Mindanao. As fate would have it, because of the Twin Towers attack in 2002, Nap’s contract was unexpectedly terminated again as expats were sent home.

Nap started a home church and participated in local ministerial fellowships later becoming president of the Davao Christian Leaders Foundation. He later co-founded the All for Jesus Evangelistic and Revival Ministries to equip and capacitate floundering ministries in the hinterlands of Southeastern Mindanao. Nap was recruited by then Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte as Security Management Consultant for the new Davao International Airport. Concurrently he co-authored a research paper titled “Housing for the Poor: The SANPASADA Experience,’’ a two-year study. With this background, he was recruited by former UPMin Chancellor Gilda Rivero as consultant on informal settlers.

Philippine Airlines recalled him in 2008 to be a captain in the Airbus 320 fleet garnering almost 20,000 hours of incident/accident-free flight operations until retirement in 2017. Upon retirement, he was appointed one of the governors of the Philippine Board of Investments by Pres. Duterte, with the endorsement of Sec. Ramon Lopez.

Nap found ways to involve the University in research driven by market opportunities. As oversight governor for the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, the BOI requested the University of the Philippines Statistical Center Research Foundation, Inc. (UPSCRFI) to conduct a study on the Philippine Automotive Sector utilizing Big Data analytics to allow policymakers to view the economic landscape at the most disaggregated level. Additionally, the BOI contracted the National Engineering Center to conduct a technical audit of huge capital expenditures in auto manufacturing to justify investment support to the players. UP Diliman Engineering faculty involved in the study gained invaluable insights as they were mentored by Japanese technicians with extensive experience in car manufacturing. 

UP Mindanao had just about exhausted research funds to produce biodegradable plastic when Nap introduced them to a food manufacturer willing to infuse new funds and shoulder the research project until a new investor committed to continue the project to the next level. To date the collaboration of academe and industry for development of polymerized lactic acid (PLA) from starch using a novel process continues.

In February 2020, Nap was elected Chairman of the UP Alumni Association, Davao Chapter, composed of young, energetic, and dedicated officers. Under the slogan of Bayanihan, Balikatan, Barkadahan, the chapter found ways to solidify and strengthen the bonds of camaraderie. UPAA Davao raised support for students stranded in the campus during the initial lockdown. UPAAD actively supported fellow graduates who serve at the frontlines at the Southern Philippines Medical Center and the Philippine Genome Center Mindanao with PPEs. Despite of the bleak Christmas atmosphere UPAAD pushed through with Celebrations online. Isang Libong Alumni para kay Oble was launched to support the Legacy Tile project around the Oblation Circle in UP Mindanao which was led by the late Dr. Bo Puentespina during the lockdowns. As a Valentine’s Day affair, the UPAAD conducted an online forum entitled “To V or not to V,” to help the public make informed choices on vaccination.

At the start of Covid, Nap co-founded a civic volunteer movement called Data Science para sa Bayan and was able to get a grant for the BOI from DICT for Amazon Web Services. Through the concerted effort of, data scientists and analysts, from industry and the academe, volunteers built the Advanced Information Integration Platform (AIIP), a cloud computing platform using machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of Things, to capture and analyze real time data at the onslaught of the pandemic. The AIIP is now housed at the Computational Science Research Center and accessible to the academe through UP Mindanao. 

Recognizing the strategic location of UP Mindanao in support of development, the UPAAD secured locational clearance from President Danny Concepcion to develop 1.2 hectares which will ultimately be isolated from the rest of the campus with the construction of a national highway. UPAAD is currently drawing plans to build a Visitor / Alumni Center for the Campus. 

With the return of face-to-face classes UPAAD welcomed the freshmen with snacks during the freshmen convocation and more recently in collaboration with UP Mindanao Foundation was able to present PDLC’s pet project, the UP Symphony as a Christmas gift to the people of Davao City.

Nap has retired from the Philippines Board of Investments. He is currently also the Chairman of the Tribal Missions Foundation, International and is married to Dr. Sylvia Concepcion, PhD, with whom he has three children. He now devotes his time to his 4 grandchildren.

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 Nap Concepcion (right-most) beside next UP president Angelo Jimenez and (left-right) Alfonso Aliga Jr., Ronald Mascarinas, and incumbent UP president Danilo Concepcion
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 Left-Right: UPMin VCA Leo Manuel Estana, Dr. Sylvia Concepcion, Nap Concepcion, Ronald Mascarinas, UPMin Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao, UPMin VCAA Annabelle Novero   

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