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PGC Mindanao embarks on collaborative SARS-COV-2 study

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

by Janessa Villota (PGC Mindanao)

More than a year after the first reported case in Wuhan, People's Republic of China, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has created a pandemic across the globe that is unprecedented in human history. As a local response to the global pandemic, the Philippine Genome Center Mindanao (PGC Mindanao) has partnered with Accessible Genomics, the University of Glasgow, and COVID-19 laboratories in Mindanao to engage in a research project that will investigate the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 spread in selected hospitals and communities in the region. Viral RNA collected from COVID-19 patients in some laboratories and hospitals in Mindanao will be sequenced by PGC Mindanao using the MinION, a portable genetic sequencer donated by Accessible Genomics, which will also serve as a learning experience for the Center as it prepares to expand its omics facility and services. Results from the sequencing will be used solely for research to aid local hospitals and communities in COVID-19 prevention and control.

Accessiblegenomics.org is a volunteer, open science initiative formed by scientists from across the globe. It aims to use the recent advances in sequencing technology to capacitate laboratories in the developing world for genomic surveillance of pathogens and documenting the experience to develop a deployment manual for other laboratories. The organization has received funding and support from Just One Giant Lab, GISAID, and New England Biolabs, Inc.

Accessible Genomics has recently partnered with the University of Glasgow and PGC Mindanao for the pilot deployment of the handheld MinION sequencer by Oxford Nanopore Technologies in the southern Philippines. This handheld sequencing machine costs less than a premium smartphone, making it easily accessible to laboratories. The University of Glasgow will provide technical assistance to the team on the Minion sequence workflow, database management, and data analysis. The collaboration primarily aims to establish a learning experience on on-site next-generation sequencing, which can be transferred to other research initiatives in Mindanao such as in agriculture and biodiversity. It also provides additional training for PGC Mindanao personnel on next-generation sequencing workflows as the Center prepares to engage more partners and support for the establishment of its sequencing laboratory. 

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Oxford Nanopore MinION.

The Oxford Nanopore MinION is a portable sequencer and has the lowest instrument cost among all sequencing platforms with a 97.5 to >99.3% raw read accuracy (Oxford Nanopore Technologies, 2021). The technology has demonstrated its utility for sequencing biological entities, from the simple nano-sized viruses to complex plants and animals, generating sequence information that is sufficient to provide comprehensive insights into the underlying genome architecture. It has also been validated to produce SARS-CoV-2 consensus sequences with the same accuracy as other sequencing platforms (Bull et al., 2020 and Charre et al., 2020). Its low start-up cost is an advantage for research laboratories that are just establishing their own sequencing projects. 

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Actual sequencing in PGC Diliman using Illumina NextSeq 550

While this pilot project in sequencing takes off, the Department of Health (DOH), the University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines - National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) have an ongoing bio-surveillance program to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants in the Philippines. 

PGC Diliman uses Illumina NovaSeq 6000 for its 750 weekly sequencing output and  NextSeq550 for the 350 sample runs. These high throughput sequencing equipment capable of 3,000 Gb and 120 Gb sequencing outputs, respectively, require high capital expenditure for equipment acquisition and consequently high startup and annual maintenance costs.  They are suited for large-scale surveillance which is conducted by health agencies in order to inform and guide public health authorities. 

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Illumina NextSeq550 in PGC Diliman

Global genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 is used to monitor the characteristics and movements of the virus, including the emergence of new variants that may spread more easily, cause more severe disease, or may escape from immune recognition. Such information can help guide authorities and researchers to improve public health measures and medical interventions for COVID-19. The genomic surveillance in the Philippines has identified Variants of Concern (VOCs) in the country such as Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), and Delta (B.1.617.2). The Beta variant was the first reported in Mindanao and was detected in March of this year from one (1) patient in Northern Mindanao (DOH, 2021). A cluster of six (6) cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant was also reported in Northern Mindanao with all the specimens collected on June 28.

Currently, plans are underway to fast-track the expansion of genomic surveillance in the main regions of the country through the Department of Health and Department of Science and Technology, as well as other efforts by both the government and private sectors in the country.

PGC Mindanao was launched in 2019 as a satellite facility of PGC in Diliman and hosted by the University of the Philippines Mindanao to open the doors for Mindanaoans to explore opportunities, issues, and challenges relevant to the region. It was established through seed funding worth P40 million of state of the art equipment from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD). 

PGC Mindanao is a DOST-supported facility and is one of its major partners in forwarding omics research in Mindanao. The Center has been actively engaged with Mindanao-based agencies, institutions, and communities in its vision to deliver locally relevant solutions through science.

References:

Department of Health (2021, March 21). Continuing Biosurveillance detects additional B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 CASES and P.1 variant case [Press release]. Retrieved from https://doh.gov.ph/doh-press-release/CONTINUING-BIOSURVEILLANCE-DETECTS-ADDITIONAL-B-1-1-7-AND-B-1-351-CASES-AND-P-1-VARIANT-CASE

Charre, C., Ginevra, C., Sabatier, M., Regue, H., Destras, G., Brun, S., Burfin, G., Scholtes, C., Morfin, F., Valette, M., Lina, B., Bal, A., & Josette, L. (2020). Evaluation of NGS-based approaches for SARS-CoV2 whole genome characterisation. Virus Evolution, (6)2, 1-8. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5597-094X

Bull, R., Adikari, T., Ferguson, J., Hammond, J., Stevanovski, I., Beukers, A., Naing, Z., Yeang, M., Verich, A., Gamaarachchi, H., Wook Kim, K., Luciani, F., Stelzer-Braid, S., Eden, JS., Rawlinson, W., van Hal, S., & Deveson, I. (2020). Nature Communication, 11(6272), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20075-6

Oxford Nanopore Technologies. (2021 May). Accuracy. Retrieved from https://nanoporetech.com/accuracy?fbclid=IwAR13szqfEoN9zrAoxxiL_Syh4FuegnKlUXioP7cexoVKGRfDtyqvjYqbyW4

Commencement Message of Dr. Emil Q. Javier, 2021

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

Screenshot 2021-07-13-08-42-53-99

Dear Parents, Guardians, Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, the Graduates of 2020 and 2021, Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen

A pleasant morning to all of us.

It is my honor and privilege to be asked to deliver a parting message to the UP Mindanao graduates of 2020 and 2021.

As many of us know, UP Min was established 26 years ago during my term as university president. Seeing how far the university has progressed, I take a lot of pride and satisfaction with being associated with its founding.

I have always meant to but I never got around doing it — publicly recognizing and thanking the men and women who were responsible for its birth. But who regretfully had remained anonymous and largely unappreciated.

I hope you will not mind if I take this unique opportunity to make amends and name these generous men and women and share with you interesting vignettes of their contributions.

First, if there were a group of people who rightfully ought to be credited for the establishment of UP Min, these were the loyal UP alumni of the Davao City chapter led by its long-term President Sebastian Angliongto and his partner in crime, John Gaisano.

With him were other similarly very enthusiastic UP alumni like Sid Ungab, Sonny Puyod, Aida Reyes, Agnes Togon, Danny Guillen, Bobby Ramos, and Doris and Rico Villareal.

Second, very appropriately, we have named the men’s dormitory after the late congressman Elias Lopez who has the distinction of being the principal author of Republic Act 7889 establishing UP Mindanao and being referred to as Father of UP Mindanao.

However, Elias Lopez was not the first because in fairness to the late congressman Prospero Nograles Sr., the latter filed an earlier bill in the previous Congress which however lapsed.

Elias Lopez was an eloquent, forceful and colorful advocate and was a lot of fun to work with as we steered the UP Mindanao bill through Congress.

I have two interesting anecdotes about Elias Lopez:

First, the street-smart lawyer that he was, Elias Lopez filed the UP Min bill as a LEGISLATION OF LOCAL APPLICATiON. Congressional hearings of this kind of local bills are hardly noticed. The presence of the Committee Chairman, the principal author and one or two congressmen witnesses would suffice to constitute a quorum.

Thus, with Congressmen Salvador Escudero III, who was the Education Committee Chairman, Elias Lopez as proponent and Simeon Datumanong, the UP Min bill breezed through the required hearings.

When I asked Elias Lopez for his explanation why he filed the UP Min bill as a local bill, this was his smart reply: Mr. President, creating UP Min is no different from establishing a new high school in Davao City and therefore should not be of much concern to the other congressmen.

The second anecdote about Elias Lopez was at the Senate hearings, when opposition senator Ernesto Maceda asked me point-blank whether there were squatter families who will be displaced in the UP Min reservation at Bago Oshiro.

Before I could reply, Elias Lopez as a congressman who had no business being in the hearings, broke protocol, barged into the Senate floor, grabbed a microphone and declared there were no squatters.

Over lunch I chided Elias Lopez that we were not exactly truthful in the hearing because both of us knew there were at least 64 informal settler families we had to mollify, compensate and relocate.

Elias Lopezes’ explanation was as follows: Mr. President, a Filipino can not be a squatter in his own homeland. Ergo, there are no squatters in the UP Min reservation. 

The third person to whom UP Min owes a lot but who remains anonymous was the then Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and UP Mass Com alumnus, Victor Ramos. 

UP Min is very fortunate to be endowed with three land grants. I am not aware of any other SUC with as many properties.  In addition to the Bago Oshiro main campus, our fellow alumni from College of Forestry upon instruction of Victor Ramos set aside a 5,000-hectare secondary forest reservation at Marilog at the Davao-Bukidnon border, as well as a 3,000-hectare forest concession in Laak Town in Compostela Valley.

Secretary Victor Ramos drafted the three necessary presidential proclamations assigning them to the University of the Philippines and made sure President Fidel V. Ramos signed them before our terms of office were over.

Incidentally, we had no difficulty carving out the 204-hectare reservation out of the Bago Oshiro Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Experiment Station courtesy of the BPI director, Nereus Roperos, a UPLB graduate, who was only too happy to oblige.

The Laak land grant had a little story to it. The young mayor of Laak, whose name escapes me, took graduate studies at the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) in UP Diliman. He was only too happy to endorse to FVR that the forest be granted to UP instead of falling into the hands of loggers.

But the Laak mayor had one request: for UP to help him establish a high school, which we did. We fielded four courageous young women Gurong Pahinungods from UP Visayas under the tutelage of Prof. Ruben Gamala to constitute the pioneer faculty. UP contributed steel bars, nails, GI roofing, and bags of cement while the local government supplied lumber, sand, gravel, and labor to construct the high school buildings.

For continuity, I got the assurance of the then Department of Education Secretary Brother Andrew Gonzalez that the UP-Laak High School will be incorporated into the public school system in the following fiscal year.

There are accounts in the establishment of UP Mindanao that as president of UP I was summoned to Malacanan by President FVR and was given instructions to proceed with the establishment of UP Mindanao.

This narrative is not true. FVR was very proper in his dealings with the University and respected our academic autonomy. He was aware of the alumni initiative to establish UP Mindanao but FVR left it to the Board of Regents (BOR).

In fairness to the BOR, the Regents did not need any prompting from the President. If at all, it was the BOR who gave me the full authority to proceed.

In addition to BOR Chairman Armand Fabella, the two other principals were Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Congressman Sonny Escudero who were respective chairs of the education committees in Congress.

The other regents were as supportive among them: Regents Antonio Carpio, Oscar Alfonso, National Scientist Paulo Campos, Nelia T. Gonzalez, Emerenciana Arcellana, alumni regent Ed Espiritu and Student Regent Dennis Cunanan.

I will be remiss if I fail to recognize Fortunato de la Pena, now Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Prof. Boy de la Pena was UP Vice President for Planning and Development and he was in fact the point-man in orchestrating all the university efforts, including the preparation of the Bago Oshiro campus development plan with landscape specialist Fernando Sanchez, Jr., former UPLB Chancellor.

Finally and not by any means the least, we need to recognize the profound role of UP Min founding Dean, later Chancellor Roger Cuyno and the pioneering faculty. Roger Cuyno was there from the beginning in the conceptualization and planning stages, in organizing the programs and recruiting faculty and mobilizing national and local support to the institution.

Roger Cuyno came very well prepared for this role. As a native of Mindanao himself (from Surigao), his heart was in the right place. He has a doctoral degree in communications and development management from Michigan State University. Years before he played a key role in the training of thousands of rice extension technicians in Masagana 99 and the institution of research management as a discipline at UPLB, other state universities and colleges and at Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) of the DOST.

UP Min had a good running start, thanks to the excellent faculty which UP Los Banos and UP Diliman so generously shared with their young sibling university.

Among the pioneer faculty were: Academician Eufemio Rasco, Jr., Tony Moran, Dulce Flores, Ruth Gamboa, Leonardo Chua, Fedeserio Camarao, Nelson Natural, Erwin Protacio, Bert and Carol Santillana from UP Los Baños, and Marcy Dans, Tess Vivas-Guillen, Aniceto Poblador and Jose Garrido from UP Diliman.

Transcending the Pandemic: A Resilient Recovery towards the New Normal

Now let me proceed with my assignment. In the first place the COVID 19 epidemic is a novel experience for all of us. A lot are still unknown about this virus. We were fortunately spared from the two most recent global epidemics — SARS and MERSCOV — both of which like COVID 19 were zoonotic in origin, meaning they were pathogens which jumped from livestock and wildlife to humans.

For this reason, the UP College of Veterinary Medicine anticipating there will be more to come has proposed to the BOR a National Center for Zoonotic Diseases, to join the other National Institutes of Health in UP Manila.

The pandemic is far from over but at least for now the transmission rates in the centers of population — NCR, Regions III and IVA have moderated.

However, there are new threats from viral mutations among which the Delta variant from India has been identified as more virulent i.e. more quickly transmitted among the unvaccinated than the original pathogen. Another variant, designated Theta, originating from the Philippines was just recently reported. 

The good news is that although the available vaccines are slightly less effective in preventing transmission of the new variants, the vaccines were still very efficient in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death. 

Since the pandemic is far from over, it is difficult to be upbeat. However, the incorrigible optimist that I am, I am sanguine that as depressing as it might be now, COVID 19 just like all previous pandemics will too come to pass. 

Our immune systems will eventually reach an equilibrium with the pathogen. There will be herd immunity in the population and as before, the human race will go on.

It is not a matter of WHETHER, but WHEN will, nations or specific sectors of populations attain herd immunity both from natural infection and through artificial inoculation, i.e. by vaccination.

In theory, the expedient course is to just allow the contagion to go through the population quickly, attain herd immunity and get it over with.

However, this fatalistic but scientifically-based course will come at a cost. If left unchecked, the surge of patients will overwhelm the hospitals, leading to mortalities many of whom could have been saved with appropriate and timely medical interventions.

This therefore is not politically correct nor morally acceptable given the fact that many of the unnecessary mortalities could be prevented by vaccination.

Sweden initially took this natural infection course but had to relent after their fatalities per million inhabitants soared compared with their northern European neighbors.

Fortunately, with the advances in molecular biology and resolute actions of some governments and the global pharmaceutical industry, many candidate vaccines became available within 12–18 months, instead of the tens of years it previously took to develop and bring new vaccines to the market.

So, the race among nations is to acquire the needed number of doses of vaccines with which to inoculate about 70% of their respective populations to approach herd immunity as quicky as possible.

And so, this where the world is now. The developed nations with cash to spare and who had made advances in procurement are cornering the global supply of vaccines.

The rates of infections per million of inhabitants have begun to come down among these fortunate countries.

Our IATF assures us that we too would have 70% of Filipinos vaccinated by end of 2021.

However, at the rate we are going, more likely if ever, we may have sufficient vaccines only by mid-year 2022, in time for the national elections.

Therefore, in the meantime, the best that we can do is, even after being vaccinated, to continue wearing masks, avoiding crowds and washing our hands. We have to persevere in adopting these sanitary measures to slow down virus transmission so as not to overwhelm our national health service.

Of course, these means shutting down of factories, hotels, malls, curtailment of travel and transport of goods and services, causing massive unemployment and food insecurity. Our people are suffering and we have to raise ourselves out of this recession as soon as possible.

The challenge is carefully calibrating the deployment of vaccines as they become available, particularly for NCR and Regions III and IVA and other urban centers like Cebu, Davao and Baguio where rates of infections are highest and where most of factories and productive enterprises are located.

Of course, this is easier said than done although in fairness, the national and relevant local governments, are doing their best.

In fact, if we were to be hard-nosed about this, the quicker way to attain herd immunity is to open the schools. The young are not immune to COVID-19 but will also contract COVID-19 but most young people will be asymptomatic and display only mild symptoms. Hospitalizations and deaths will be rare compared with adults. 

Many of our school districts are not ready for remote learning and it is best we open the school as soon as possible. This means we should prioritize vaccination of teachers and employees in schools.

So, we go back to the theme as I premised sooner or later with more vaccinations we shall transcend, overcome and go past the pandemic. But how do we prepare as individuals, as communities and as a nation for the disruptions and aftershocks?

In the first place, all of us have to come around the realization that the pandemic undeniably has changed the way people live and work. The transformations are most pronounced in remote work, in e-commerce and automation. Most of the bureaucracy, teachers and office workers now work at home. There is more digital banking and e-commerce, leading to partial shutdowns (and bankruptcies) of brick-and mortar stores, restaurants, malls and banks. More and more medical consultations are being conducted by telephone and video conference.

But actually, these global trends had been going on in the developed economies for a few years now. The pandemic simply accelerated the roll-out of these modes of conducting businesses and transactions.

And for less developed countries like ourselves, the pandemic simply brought the future much earlier than expected, unfortunately way before we are ready.

So, what exactly are these global trends in technology and modes of conducting business that will define the years after the pandemic.

In a survey of 18,000 business executive and managers in 15 countries, the global consulting firm McKinsey came up with the following ten most important trends:

1.next generation computing

2.applied artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics

3.distributed infrastructure

4.trust architecture

5. future of programming

6.future of connectivity

7.bio-revolution

8.next level process automation and visualization

9.future of clean technologies, and 

10.nano technology and next generation materials.

I am afraid these are a mouthful of ideas to discuss at this time but the message I want to bring across to you graduates is that these are some of the global trends which you need to prepare and acquire skills for both from a personal career point of view as well as part of your obligation of mga ISKOLAR PARA SA BAYAN.

Our national capability to compete and take our rightful place among nations rest heavily on your shoulders. You, representing the crème de la crème of the next generation, must comprehend, acquire and master these modern technologies to advance our national purposes.

Better yet, many of you who are so inclined should consider engaging in research and generation of these technologies to enhance our national competitiveness.

And finally, sorry to cram all these at this late hour, but the work environment you will find yourselves will be very different from those our generation faced.

To thrive in the new normal, you must be prepared to operate remotely, to innovate and adapt.

But the new global workplace trends affect occupations and professions differently. McKinsey estimates that 14% of employees need to be fully re-skilled while 40% need to be partially re-skilled.

McKinsey identified four vitally important skill sets you need to master, as follows:

1.digital skills — ability to operate at pace in a fully digital environment,

2.cognitive skills — problem solving skills to redesign and innovate in an increasingly autonomous environment,

3.social and emotional skills — to ensure effective communication and collaboration and interpersonal skills to cultivate relationships which used to be nurtured in person, and

4.adaptability and resilience — ability to manage time boundaries and mental wellness.

As I close, let us acknowledge and thank the parents, guardians, and faculty for their efforts in helping our young graduates for the real world ahead of them.

To our dear graduates of 2020 and 2021, as alumni of UP, much more are expected of you to provide inspiration, direction and leadership not only in your places of work but also in your respective communities, and circles of family and friends. 

I trust that we have inculcated in your minds your special obligation to excel in the disciplines and professions but also serve as exemplars as selfless volunteers (Pahinungods) in society.

This COVID-19 pandemic realistically won’t be over soon and may take a year or two before economic and social activities settle down. COVID-19 will probably never go away but will stay around like a seasonal flu.

But the new normal will be heavily influenced by technological trends, like the ones I breezed through which our graduates need to prepare for and master themselves for our country’s future.

Mabuhay ang UP Mindanao graduates of 2020 and 2021. Mabuhay tayong lahat.

###

Emil Q. Javier

National Scientist and 

President, University of the Philippines (1993–1999)

July 13, 2021

UP Mindanao Holds its First Virtual Graduation Rites

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

06-07 PresentationRESIZE15DAVAO CITY — Wearing their Sablays and with diplomas in their hands, 126 graduates from UP Mindanao marched virtually on Tuesday, July 13.

The ceremony, formally titled “Paglatas: the 23rd Commencement Exercises”, was live-streamed via UP Mindanao’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel. Adopting the theme of the university’s 26th founding anniversary, “Transcending the Pandemic: A Resilient Recovery towards the New Normal,” the event resonates with the current situation –-- that despite the pandemic and the remote setup, the graduating classes still strive and persevere to stand and embody the university’s values of honor and excellence.

Usually held at the Atrium of the Administration Building in UP Mindanao, the ceremony was conducted online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, as Prof. Samuelle Marionne C. Sanchez, the virtual event’s production director, puts it, “Our goal for this virtual commencement production is to make our graduates ‘be there in UPMin without being there (physically)’ on this momentous occasion. We want to bring the Sablay moment into their homes for them to savor it with their family and friends.”

This year’s commencement exercises also merged two graduating batches. A total of 126 candidates for graduation took part in the ceremony (88 coming from Class 2020, and 38 from Class 2021); they were led by one magna cum laude graduate and 10 cum laude graduates from the BS Architecture and BA Anthropology programs. “It is unique because two batches of graduates will join in this commencement exercise. It is also the first time when all parts of the program are pre-recorded,” elaborated Prof. Nilo B. Oponda, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Commencement Exercises Committee Chair.

Dr. Emil Q. Javier, the 42nd National Scientist of the Philippines and 17th President of the UP System, graced the event as its commencement speaker. In his address, he encouraged the graduates, calling them the “crème de la crème of the next generation,” to acquire, comprehend, and master modern technologies to advance national purposes and enhance national competitiveness.

“To thrive in the new normal, you must be prepared to operate remotely, to innovate and adapt,” he added.

The ceremony commenced at 8:00 AM through a processional led by Prof. Maria Stella R. Salazar, Director of Student Affairs. She was followed by the candidates for graduation led by their respective College Secretaries, followed by the faculty members, department chairs, heads of offices, administrative officials of UP Mindanao and the UP System, the UP Board of Regents, and by National Scientist Javier.

Prof. Larry N. Digal, the current chancellor, delivered his opening remarks encouraging the candidates for graduation to work not just for the improvement of themselves and their families, but most importantly for the community. “As Iskolar ng Bayan, you are called on to serve our people, especially the poor, the marginalized, and ordinary taxpayers who have paid their taxes to enable you to acquire your much-coveted UP diploma. Pay back and pay it forward,” he said.

He also highlighted that this first-ever virtual graduation is a testament to UP Mindanao’s tenacity to transcend the current COVID-19 pandemic, which emphasizes the University’s mantra of honor and excellence amidst different circumstances.

 “You [graduates] have proven that the true mark of a UP education is one’s ability to rise above seemingly insurmountable circumstances and difficult times,” Chancellor Digal added.

The college deans, namely Prof. Raymundo R. Pavo (College of Humanities and Social Sciences), Prof. Dominica D. Dacera (College of Science and Mathematics), and Prof. Aurelia Luzviminda V. Gomez (School of Management) then presented their respective candidates for graduation to Chancellor Digal, who in turn presented them to UP President Danilo L. Concepcion for the official conferment of their degrees. The ceremonial shifting of the Sablay was done virtually, signaling the graduating class’ official status as graduates and alumni of UP.

After the presentation and virtual distribution of diplomas, titles, and special awards, a musical tribute for the graduates was rendered by selected faculty members from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Hazel U. Jumawan, who finished magna cum laude from the BS Architecture program, delivered her speech on behalf of the graduates. Jumawan, who bagged the highest General Weighted Average (GWA) among the graduates, stated that even though the ceremony was not the traditional ending they imagined for their university life, their journey in the university weighs more than their destination. “We may not be able to influence the world through a thousand following or a thousand views, but we can certainly be an inspiration to maybe even just one person, and that would mean the world to them,” she added.

The Pledge of Loyalty led by Chancellor Digal, as well as the induction of the new alumni into the UP Alumni Association (UPAA) by its president and  Alumni Regent Reynaldo C. Laserna, and the Induction into the UP Mindanao Alumni Association (UPMinAA) by Director Ma. Catherine B. Otero came after.

 The virtual graduation ceremony ended with the singing of the university hymn UP Naming Mahal, featuring the performance of the UP Symphony Orchestra.

 The entire production was carried out by the 23rd Commencement Exercises Committee in partnership with Micromedia Digital Video Productions, Inc. and BACMA Sibya (the in-house media production unit of the university’s BA Communication and Media Arts program).

 “Paglatas: the 23rd Commencement Exercises” is available for viewing on the official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/upmindanao) and YouTube Channel of UP Mindanao (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FTSHftJF-k).

 (Aliah Baito & Four Cagalitan, UP Mindanao – BACMA Sibya)

23rd Commencement Exercises

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

20210707 Graduation 2021 InviteRESIZE25

For more than a year, we still find ourselves struggling to adapt to the hurdles of a major global health crisis. However, these challenges have not hindered us from continuing to find the success we aim to achieve. They have taught us to persevere and become more resilient in the face of uncertainty. The pandemic pushed us to brave the new normal, and the time has come to reap the fruits of our efforts and sacrifices.

For the first time in its 26-year history, the University of the Philippines Mindanao will hold the 23rd Commencement Exercises entitled “Paglatas” as a virtual ceremony.

Join us as we celebrate this momentous occasion on July 13, 2021 at 8:00 AM on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. 

www.facebook.com/upmindanao

www.youtube.com/c/UniversityOfThePhilippinesMindanao

Follow us on our social media accounts (@upmindanao) for more updates.

Sabay-sabay sasablay sa 2021! ❤️

UP Alumni Association forums, June 2021

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

2021 062221 UPAA COMMUNITY PANTRYE-KAPIHAN NG BAYAN SA U.P. ON “COMMUNITY PANTRIES”

Dear Fellow Alumni:

I am pleased to invite you to the next session of “e-Kapihan ng Bayan sa U.P.” via Zoom on 22 June 2021, Tuesday, 10:00-11:00 a.m. (Manila time). The discussion will center on the popular community pantries, which started on Maginhawa Street in Diliman, Quezon City.

The resource speaker will be Ms. Ana Patricia Non (in photo, left) of the Maginhawa Community Pantry.

Those interested are invited to register with the UPAA Secretariat at Tels. 920-6868; 920-6871; Mobile 0917-8372098; or e-mail  to get the Zoom meeting ID and your personal participant’s password.

“E-Kapihan ng Bayan sa U.P.” is a public service project of the UPAA that aims to serve as a vehicle for intelligent and constructive discussion of issues relevant to the Filipino people’s advancement as a nation. In a democracy like the Philippines, such public discourse is a valuable tool for guiding the national leaders and all concerned citizens to collectively confront and attempt to resolve the challenges posed by current issues of general concern.

We look forward to your joining us at the e-Kapihan!

Sincerely yours,

REYNALDO C. LASERNA

President and Alumni Regent

###

 
2021 062621 GLOBAL-FORUMThe Global Network of the University of the Philippines Alumni Associations, in collaboration with a number of organizations, is organizing a "Global Forum on Racism, Discrimination, and Asian Hate" on 26-27 June 2021 [Philippine time: 11PM-2AM]. 
 
"Dear Fellow UP alumni,
I am sharing with you the flyer announcing the "Global Forum on Racism, Discrimination, and Asian Hate in support of the UNESCO Global Call Against Racism on June 26-27, 2021 [Philippine time: 11PM-2AM]. This is a UP alumni-led initiative by UPAA in America, Inc. and three European country organizations in Geneva, Germany and Netherlands in a collaborative endeavor to work together and focus on this issue that affects Filipinos who live and work in foreign countries especially in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
President Danilo Concepcion will be giving a video message during the opening ceremonies along with Vice President Leni Robredo who will also give a video message. This event will feature speakers from top-ranking diplomatic corps, UN, international advocacy groups, as well as other notable individuals from the U.S. and Europe.
I hope that you would make time to attend even a short portion of this event, especially a Fellowship gathering of UP alumni at the end of each day. Your participation will be most appreciated. The link to register is also attached.
 In U.P. spirit!
Daisy Rodriguez
National President, UPAA in America, Inc.
UPAA Global Network Organizing Committee"

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