Let me greet a pleasant evening to Dr. Joji Pinzon, Acting Dean of the College of Communication, Art and Design or CCAD,  JTJ Gallery Director Prof. Karl Roque, our Joya Award judges, faculty, parents of our students, our students who are here with us, guests, good evening.  I welcome you all to the 41st Jose T. Joya Award and 42nd Students’ Exhibit.

The Joya Award is an Annual Event  that we in UP Cebu, and I personally,  always look forward to every year.  I make it a point to attend your activity to see your output for the academic year.  And it gives me great satisfaction to see your paintings and finished products.  As some parents would say, makabayad na mu sa inyong parents for all their sacrifices in sending you to school upon seeing your wonderful output.

For those who had never been to my Office of the Chancellor, the main art piece in my office is a mosaic painting made by a Fine Arts student of titled Island Girl.  It is made of minute shells that stick to mangrove trees with its natural colors retained.  It depicts the face of a  smiling girl.  A lot of my guests mistake it to be me, maybe its because of the laughing eyes and enchanting smile in the painting, and the not so pointed noise, or in Bisaya, a little bit of piyanga nose or maybe pixie-like nose instead.

That is why, I am always proud to point it out to my guests  who would go to my office, that it was done by our Fine Arts student, who was also a finalist of the Jose Joya Award.

Before,  I can recall, whenever you would have your Annual Joya awards and Student Exhibit, the fine arts students are like in a frenzy, of course, to finish their art pieces, as well as on where to source the money to pay for the cost of  their venue and for the cocktails.  They are lucky if they get to have a sponsor.  But of course, the grant from Jose Joya was most of the time there, and with the guidance of Prof. Karl and the rest of Fine Arts faculty, the students then are always able to weather and successfully host the event.

But then later on, UP Cebu’s Arts and Culture committee funds supplemented the funding for this event.  Then came the annual funding support that UP Cebu provided for the FASO.  Then now,   finally, you have your own gallery, the Jose T. Joya Gallery which we just inaugurated less than a year ago.  So all these really helped in minimizing or practically removing all the expenses of our students in order for them to mount their exhibit.  And to top it all, they now have a professional gallery of  their own where they can exhibit their art works.

Always remember this, UP Cebu is here to support and turn you into real fine and excellent artists. We encourage and nurture your creativity and innovativeness, which are skills we believe will never go out of style, and hard to find,  and will always be sought after.  And it is this which will provide you leverage and help you out and us, UP Cebu and your community,  in making us globally competitive.

I believe that the creative community, like Cebu which is known to have a very rich copyright based industries, or creative industries, is contributing a lot to the Cebuano economy. So especially for us here in our region, the Creative Industry is one major pathway we can traverse for our economic development.

So, to our dear students,  we are helping you hone your skills for we believe  we are not just helping you, but through you, we are helping our region as well.  By this public service that we have done, we ourselves affirm the relevance of our academic programs, in particular, right now, through the UP Cebu Fine Arts program.

Again, my congratulations to CCAD, its students, exhibitors and winners on this occasion of the Jose Joya Award and Student Competition.