Alumni News

UPMin Masjid Rededication Rites

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

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Grand Mufti of Davao City Aleem Mohammad Pasigan
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UPMin Chancellor Murao, University President Angelo Jimenez, Ustadh Eisa Javier 
UP Mindanao hosted the rededication of the renovated UPMin Masjid on September 14, 2023, with University President Angelo Jimenez and guests. Donors made this project possible after a six-week renovation period, aiming to promote the Masjid's use by Muslim students and community residents. Members of the UP Alumni Association Davao (UPAAD), UP Mindanao Association of Muslim Students (UPMAMS), the Grand Mufti of Davao City Aleem Mohammad Pasigan, UPAA Davao President Pedro Quitain III, UPAA Davao Auditor Dr. Khalil Guinomla, UPAA Chairperson Napoleon Concepcion, UP Mindanao Chancellor Lyre Murao, and other distinguished guests joined the rededication rites.

UPAAD's Masjid rehabilitation project

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

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To help UPMin in the holistic development of its students, the UP Alumni Association Davao has volunteered to rehabilitate the Masjid on the UPMin campus. Funds for the rehabilitation will be raised through donations. This initiative aims to promote its use by members of the UP Mindanao Association of Muslim Students (UPMAMS) and other Muslim students. Moreover, the Masjid contributes to UPMin's differentiation among UP campuses, Mindanao being the home of the Bangsamoro. The Masjid was constructed by elements of the Philippine Army during their tenure in the area before the site's conversion into the UPMin campus. The rehabilitation will place it among the prominent campus landmarks, alongside the Oblation, the Kublai sculptures, and the Sports Complex. For this, UPMin and the UPAAD held a ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Agreement for the rehabilitation of the UPMin Masjid in a board meeting on August 12, 2023. UPAAD President Pedro "Bogs" Quitain III (seated left in the above photo) and UPMin Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao (seated third from left) led the ceremonial signing witnessed by UPMAMS head Sittie Asia Marohom of BS Anthropology 2023 (seated second from left), and UPAAD Vice-President Bai Ashrafia Aymee Biruar-Mitmug. UPAAD directors who were present and witnesses to the ceremonial signing were (standing, left-right) Dr. Khalil Guinomla, UPAAD chairperson Nap Concepcion, Ana Gualberto, assistant secretary Rene Estremera, and (online) Marie Glenn Sorila, Krishna Balaga, and Brian Good. 

UPMFI celebrates scholar-graduates

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

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Standing (left-right) are UPMFI Trustees and graduates Anacleto & Elsa Guevarra, Erika Ocon (BS Agribusiness Economics [BSABE]), Alessa Keith Carbonnel
(magna cum laude, BSABE), Vannah Mae Rivera (BSB), Mark James Saguimpa (mcl, BSABE), Aliah Baito (mcl, BA Communication & Media Arts),
Nixie Serna (mcl, BA English), Corazon Reyes & Dr. Reyes, and John Gaisano Jr. at the UPMin 25th Commencement Exercises. 
Standing (left-right) are UPMFI Trustees UPMin Chancellor Lyre Murao, Dinah Fuentes, Celia Castillo, Charmaine Valentin, Anacleto Guevarra, Corazon Reyes,
John Gaisano, Marie Glenn Sorila, Sebastian Anglionto (back to the camera)   

The UP Mindanao Foundation Inc. held a celebration and thanksgiving dinner for their scholars who recently graduated. Six UPMFI scholars graduated in the 25th Commencement Exercises on 18 July 2023, namely Erika Ocon (BS Agribusiness Economics [BSABE]), Alessa Keith Carbonnel (magna cum laude, BSABE), Mark James Saguimpa (magna cum laude, BSABE), Vannah Mae Rivera (BS Biology), Aliah Baito (magna cum laude, BA Communication & Media Arts), and Nixie Serna (mcl, BA English). Five of the graduates were present at the dinner on August 5, 2023, at the Reyes' residence. UPMFI Trustees at the dinner were Sebastian "Anggi" Angliongto, John Gaisano Jr., Anacleto "Quitoy" Guevarra, Corazon "Zony" Reyes, Dinah Tolentino-Fuentes, Charmaine Valentin, Marie Glenn Sorila, Celia Castillo, and UPMin's Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao. At the dinner, the graduates shared their plans, and the trustees prayed for the graduates' well-being.  The UPMFI supported 15 scholars in Academic Year 2022-2023 and are looking to expand this number. The UPMFI is exploring new ways by which donors can support more scholarship packages.    

VIPs at the 25th Commencement Exercises

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

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In UP Mindanao for the 25th Commencement Exercises on July 18, 2023, are (seated, left-right) Professor Emeritus Eufemio  Rasco Jr., Regent Robert Lester Arenton, Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao, guest Speaker Mr. Ronald Daniel Mascariñas, and (standing) Prof. Larry Digal, EVP Jose Fernando Alcantara, VP Nestor Yunque, and Atty. Janis Louis Esparcia, Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s representative.  
Professor Emeritus Eufemio “Dong” T. Rasco Jr. is UPMin’s first and, as yet, only professor emeritus. The title is conferred by the UP Board of Regents to retired faculty members in recognition of their exceptional achievements and service to the University. They are accorded certain privileges and may continue to serve as they wish. As such, his name remains on the faculty roster of UPMin’s Department of Biological Science and Environmental Studies. HR Chief Lynda Buenaobra accompanied Prof. Rasco to interactions with CSM OIC-Dean Junaldo Mantiquilla, OR-OIC Asst. Prof. Cyrose Silvosa, Librarian Briccio Merced, and CARIM officers Mitchiko Lopez and Michael Bonghanoy. Prof. Rasco was pleased to learn that UPMin continues to pursue the botanical garden project. He pledged to continue supplying seeds for research, landscaping, and the botanical garden, and seeds for rare palms for undergraduate theses. In addition, access to student theses and the “FLEx PHD” (Food is Life Exemplified - Planetary Health Diet) app were discussed. Prof. Rasco is looking forward to more active participation in UPMin activities.
Newly installed Alumni Regent Robert Lester F. Aranton enjoined the members of the Class of 2023 to protect and strive for the welfare of the University and to be loyal University alumni. Regent Aranton is from Davao City and is a former trustee of the UP Mindanao Foundation Inc. and a former secretary/director of the UP Alumni Association Davao Chapter. He is a former Director of the UPAA National Chapter and co-Chair of its Membership Development Committee. He is a current Board Member of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, representing the Investors/Private Sector.
Mr. Ronald Mascariñas, the commencement guest speaker, is an awardee of the UP Gawad Oblation for “extraordinary service with or in the name of the university,” which was conferred in January 2023. Mr. Mascariñas earned his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB)  and his master’s degree in Management from the Asian Institute of Management. He is the President and General Manager of Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc., owners of the Uling Roasters and Chooks-To-Go take-out chicken brands. In this capacity, during the pandemic, Mr. Mascariñas effected the provision of food to frontliners and students stranded in dormitories on various UP campuses, including UPMin students in the EBL dorm, during the lockdown period. Mr. Mascariñas is also a sports enthusiast and supporter of the UP varsity. He helped create the memorable gathering of UP constituents in the Davao Region when the UP Fighting Maroons, carrying the Uling Roasters brand, competed and won the championship in the 2017 Araw ng Dabaw Commercial Basketball Tournament. He was the UPLB Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus for Entrepreneurship and UP Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus for Entrepreneurship and Employment Creation in 2019.
UP Executive Vice President Jose Fernando T. Alcantara led the members of the Class of 2023 through the pledge to be worthy of the honor, standard, and proficiency of the University through the Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Unbersidad. “At mamamalaging nasa panig ng batas, kalayaan, at katarungan alang-alang lahat sa paglilingkod sa bayan at sangkatauhan,” he read. EVP Alcantara was with a UPMin team in Cotabato City on June 1, 2023, where he held a consultation with the Bangsamoro agencies for UP’s possible areas of additional collaboration. EVP Alcantara is an expert in business management and operations with 32 years of experience as a chief executive and part of senior management of companies in the shipping and ship-building industries, insurance and finance, mining and energy, and diversified food. (
Vice President for Administration Nestor G. Yunque served in this capacity from 2017 to July 2023. The Office of the Vice President for Administration is directly responsible for the UP System’s Office of Administrative Personnel Services, the Physical Plant Office, the Security Division, the Property Division, the Cash Division, the Internal Audit Division, and the Accounting Division. VP Yunque also previously served as UP Visayas Vice Chancellor for Administration. He is a faculty member of the UP Visayas College of Arts and Sciences – Division of Biological Sciences. 
Atty. Janis Louis Esparcia represented Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte. She is a UPMin BA Social Science alumna and current Acting Assistant City Administrator.

Testimonial for Senator Rodolfo G. Biazon

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

Sen. Biazon et al in 1996

The UP Mindanao community issues this testimony in honor of former Senator Rodolfo G. Biazon on his passing on June 12. 2023. Senator Biazon is a "Prime Mover," one among those behind the creation of UP Mindanao.      

 As a member of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts, and Culture in 1994, Senator Rodolfo Biazon was a co-author of Senate Bill No. 2051, seeking the establishment of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao. His co-authors were senators Orly Mercado, Edgardo Angara, Leticia Shahani, Alberto Romulo, Joey Lina Jr., and Santanina Razul. Senate Bill 2051 was later consolidated with the House Bill to become Republic Act 7889. 

In appreciation, UP Mindanao constituents invited former Senator Rodolfo Biazon to the 1st Anniversary of UP Mindanao in 1996. In the photo above, Senator Biazon is seated on the right. Beside him is Chancellor Rogelio V. Cuyno and the late former Congressman and House Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr. Congressman Nograles was the author of House Bill 30358, the House version of the bill for the creation of UP Mindanao.     

Source: "The UP Mindanao Story," unpublished manuscript by Agnes. S. Togon.

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