Van Owen Sesaldo

Disaster Risk Reduction, Innovation and Sustainability: Preparing Cebu for the “Big One

In behalf of UP Cebu, I would like to welcome you all, starting off with Her Excellency Marion Derckx and her Spouse Sjief Ijzermans, the Honorary Consul of Netherlands to Cebu, Consul Gordon Joseph, who we would like to greet at the same time today for his …:

Before, the Province of Cebu is one of the safest places to be, in terms of typhoons, earthquakes and flooding.  In fact, flooding was really unheard of here in Cebu, and rainy season is very predictable, which is beginning in June, when classes are about to start for the regular semester.

In 2014, the whole of the University of the Philippines system all over the country proposed to shift our academic calendar from June-March, to August-May.  At the start, part of the argument for those opposing the shift was that August was when it is the height of the rainy season.  However, this argument fell flat and could not persuade us anymore, especially here in Cebu, for it seemed like rainy season became the whole year round.

And yes, when it comes to typhoons, they used to be very far and few in between, and of such an intensity which we were used to already.  But this was changed in 2013.  It was the year when we had a double whammy.  We were hit in October 15, 2013  by an earthquake with a 6.4 intensity, which luckily, resulted only into minor damages to our buildings here in Cebu, though we cannot say the same thing for our neighboring province of Bohol which was devastated, including their heritage churches, thus greatly affecting their tourism based economy.

Without us having gotten over yet the paranoia due to all the earthquake aftershocks, in less than a month, on November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda, international code name Haiyan swept us here in Central and Eastern Visayas, leaving several towns here in Northern Cebu practically devastated.

One consolation we had then, was that the whole international community came to our rescue and contributed to our immediate recovery and rehabilitation.  Relief goods, housing materials and several other support for livelihood, came in droves, for which we are very grateful. And there even seemed to be a competition among the different international organizations in providing relief and rehabilitation support for us at that time, which became the subject of my research paper how important coordination is, in implementing relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Everyone is now very conscious that we can no longer take our climate and environment for granted.  But what was very timely then in 2013, without us foreseeing then the devastating earthquake and Supertyphoon Yolanda, it was the same year when we embarked in one of our biggest research projects in DRRM.  This was the Philippine Light Intensive Detection and Ranging projects, or Phil-LIDAR 1 and 2, where we do the hazard mapping and resource assessment of the Western Visayas region, with the support of the Department of Science and Technology.  To date, I believe, we had turned over around 30 resource maps both for agri and coastal to 30 cities and municipalities in the Western Visayas region.  Our project leaders will talk about this in a while.

In the whole of the University of the Philippines, as member of the Asian Pacific Rim Universities, we annually take part in the initiatives of the APRU-IRIDES Multi-Hazards Summer School in Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, of which I am an alumna of this summer program.  And just recently, UP’s Board of Regents established the Resilience Institute of the University of the Philippines for DRRM.  Faculty and staff in the whole UP System all over the Philippines, regardless of their fields of expertise,  are given additional assignments as research and extension fellows, with functions and programs relating to multi-hazard, multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral, comprehensive DRRM, to do the following:

(1) Research and Creative Works: by undertaking policy research, action research, and interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research or creative work; (2) Knowledge Sharing: disseminate research findings, creative works and innovations; (3) Education: establish non-degree educational programs and support degree programs within the UP System; (4) Institution Building: improve the capability of the UP System as an agent of change for  disaster resilience in the Philippines and the Pacific Rim region.

So by co-hosting this symposium this afternoon with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, we are very happy to perform our mandate for institution building to be an agent of change for disaster resilience.  But more than that, I am personally happy, that the help of the international community, through the Kingdom of Netherlands,  to make us here in Cebu and in the Philippines disaster resilient, does not start and end only when a calamity strikes us.  Through the innovations they are now going to generously share with us, we can look forward to a more sustainable disaster resiliency programs.
Thank you and let us all enjoy and learn from all our generous and distinguished speakers we have this afternoon.

Chancellor Corro’s MAAAD Launch Speech

I would like to greet and welcome our beloved Mayor of Cebu City, Mayor Tomas Osmena, our newly installed President Danilo Concepcion, Shu-Te’s Former President Chu who ably facilitated that STU’s program gets to be hosted here by us here in UP Cebu, UP’s Board of Regents Member, Staff Regent Alexis Mejia, Kenneth Cobonpue-RDC Region 7 Chair, UP VPs Dalisay and Yunque, STU Chair Prof. Eing Min Wu, Dr. Lu, Dean of College of Design of STU, Former Chancellor UP OU Gigi Alfonso, Colleagues in UP Cebu, faculty, staff and students, Representatives from the Creative Industry, Business Chambers, academe. I would like to welcome you all to this second campus of the University of the Philippines Cebu.

I would like to thank everyone who responded to our invitation to join us here today in the official launching of the newest addition to the roster of graduate programs of UP Cebu, the Master of Asss in Applied Arts and Design Program which we will host in behalf of the Shu-Te University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, of the Republic of China, a multi-awarded university in the field of design.

UP Cebu and Shu-Te are two universities bound to become sister universities, like we had been betrothed. In May 2016, UP System officials, led by our former president, went to Kaohsiung to visit different Southern Taiwan Universities and for the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement of UP with the SATU or Southern Alliance of Taiwanese Universities.

We send a lot of faculty for their graduate studies in different parts of the world, many of them are in Europe and US universities and Australia, with UP spending millions to support their tuition, transportation and accommodation, among others, in our pursuit to provide them excellent education. And in the process when they come back, they will return this service, through the excellent education they will provide to our very own students.

UP Officials say we send our faculty to far away countries in other continents, when within our own region, there are excellent universities which can serve the purpose as well. So that educational mission by UP to Southern Taiwan was born.

When presentations were made by the Chancellors of different UP units to officials of STU, then STU Pres. Chu only addressed questions to the presentation I did for UP Cebu, manifesting STU’s interest in us.

As it turns out, then Chancellor Gigi Alfonso of UP Open University had relayed ahead to STU officials that UP Cebu was on the lookout for a partner university for our planned offering of a masters degree in the field of arts and design. By the way, Chancellor Gigi is the one who did our Oblation Statue that you see outside of this building.

You see, as early as in 2014, we in UP Cebu had been wanting to provide a graduate program in the field of arts, particularly in applied arts and design. When I brought this up with Chancellor Gigi, she told me she has in mind just the right university for us, with a strong track record in design, then referring to STU.

After that May visit made by UP to Kaohsiung, everything followed so fast. STU officials reciprocated our visit. In fact, they made about 3 different visits to us here in UP Cebu last year, aside from the visit they did to UP System officials in Diliman.

Maybe, this seeming familiarity between us two universities, is due to the existing relationship of Cebu and Kaohsiung, which dates back to as early as 80’s the 2 cities being sister cities. For those who do not know, there is a road somewhere in the North Reclamation Area which is called Kaohsiung. I presume, this was a testament to the sister city relationship between the 2 cities. Of course, you are not a Cebuano, if you do not know of the Kaohsiung buses donated to Cebu City. These buses are of big help to my students who get to avail of them oftentimes.

So after the 2 cities had bound themselves together, now it’s their respective universities. Both cities have a commonality in the undeniably strong presence of a culture and creative economy.
I would therefore like to acknowledge and thank the efforts of all the stakeholders that contributed in making this program come into fruition, the City of Cebu, UP System, Shu-Te University

I thank Mayor Osmena, for facilitating this collaboration. We are holding this event as part of our joining the City Government of Cebu in its Charter Day Celebration.

What better way to have this program initiated and launched but here in UP’s second campus in the SRP, whose lot was donated by the Cebu City government around 8 years ago, under Mayor Osmena’s administration.

This program is borne out of the collaboration of multiple stakeholders, from the City Government, UP System, Shu-te University, our creative industry in Cebu, and UP Cebu’s constituents. UP Cebu is proud and honored to be the conduit of these various endeavors. Details of this program will be discussed by the Acting Dean of UP Cebu’s College of Communication and Design.

This program is a testament of UP Cebu’s commitment to be a center of excellence for research, creative design and information technology – especially in promoting education within an industry that distinguishes Cebu from the rest of the country. We are just aligning our program offering to the core-competence of our host city, Cebu. We are making the most of our city’s strengths and creative talents, by offering this program. This is to complement and to harness what Cebu is known for.

But beyond that, this program offering is borne out of the desire of UP as a national university to provide relevance to its region and community, and contribute to the sustainable development and inclusive growth which we all aspire. This is timely, since we are going to celebrate UP Cebu’s 100 years as a public institution.

Cebu is known to be home to 700 copyright based industries or simply put, creative industries. This I believe is even a 2015 statistics, and possibly just covers the formal sector and does not include the informal economy, outside of those regulated and accounted for. This program is our way of harnessing our advantage in this sector, by providing this local capacity building through this knowledge generation under this graduate program offering. Through this, we leverage on our advantage, and increase our global competitiveness.

Right in front of UP Cebu Lahug campus, who is not familiar with the bamboo furniture maker, who had been there longer than many of us? The Santo Niño carvings, our famous haute couture clothes designer. UP Cebu is just aligning its vision to the core-competence of our very own host city of Cebu. Who will deny it, Cebuanos are so artistic. Cebuanos’ creativity are so intertwined in our every day lives. Who will deny it, that at one point, many of us here had been touched by Cebuanos creativity. Do you recall in the 70s the craze for puka shells fashion accessories, and rattan furnitures, then later on stone furnitures? We have a very strong arts craft in Cebu and the region as well.

Creative Economy Report of 2013 Special Edition, Widening Local Development Pathways by UNESCO and UNDP states that “investing in culture and the creative sector as a driver of social development can also lead to results that contribute in the overall well being of communities. UNESCO’s work over the years has demonstrated that when the creative sector becomes part of an overall development and growth strategy, it can contribute to the revitalization of the national economy where hybrid and dynamic economic and cultural exchanges occur and innovation is nurtured.”

Investments in identity, innovation and creativity can help to build new development pathways for individuals, local communities and countries. These new pathways are constructed when they are nurtured within an enabling environment based on fundamental values, which include sustainability.

We recognize the importance and power of the cultural and creative sectors as engines of sustainable human development. That is why we are offering MAAAD.
It is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy, not just in terms of income generation but also for job creation and export earnings.

A much greater proportion of the world’s intellectual and creative resources is now being invested in the creative economy. And this is exactly what we, in UP Cebu, in collaboration with STU is doing. In partnership with Shu-Te University, UP Cebu envisions to be a primary figure in this field for the years to come.

Thank you.

THE ACADEME, THE GOVERNMENT AND THE INDUSTRY – Synergies for a Better Philippines

Let me greet and welcome the following speakers to this Academe, Government and Industry Forum, who graciously accepted our invitation:

For the Academe – USC President Fr. Dionisio Miranda and CHED Regional Director, Dr. Freddie T. Bernal; Local Government – DTI Reg. Dir. Asteria C. Caberte and Cebu Prov. Admin. Atty. Mark C. Tolentino; for the Industry – Cebu Business Chamber of Commerce Inc. Pres., Ms. Melanie T. Ng; and our Panel Reactors – USPF Dean of School of Business, Dr. Venus Empuerto & Mandaue Chamber of Commerce Inc. Pres., Mr. Glenn Anthony Soco, Colleagues, Faculty, Students and Staff, a pleasant afternoon.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the efforts of all those who contributed in making this forum possible, especially the students and faculty of the School of Management, one of the 4 recently created colleges of UP Cebu.

This event is in line with our 18 month run-up to UP Cebu’s 100 years of existence, since its founding on May 3, 2018, as a junior college of UP Diliman. Practically, UP Cebu is both the youngest and the oldest among UP units. Oldest, because UP Cebu is the oldest regional unit outside of UP Diliman. But youngest in the UP System at the same time, for we had just been granted our constituent university status last 27 October 2016, resulting into the conversion of 4 of our academic clusters into 4 colleges, one of which is the School of Management, the host college for this event.

We have chosen for the 18 month run-up various activities, with the uniting theme of: UP Cebu in its 100 Years of Public Service. This is just appropriate, as a national university, whose function is not solely on teaching and research, but likewise on public service and extension.

Right now, UP Cebu is home to various shared services facilities which do not only serve as research centers and laboratories for our students and faculty, but are likewise here to serve the public and the community as a whole. We have the DOST-UP Cebu Technology Business Incubation facility, which was just recently awarded by the UP President with the Gawad Pangulo Excellence in Public Service. We are host to the second ever here in the Visayas region, the Digital Fabrication Laboratory or FABLAB, thru the initial support of the Department of Trade and Industry, and which recently, got an approved funding support from the DOST. Likewise, DTI had located here inside UP Cebu its first academe based GNCPlus, which consists of its Go Negosyo Center with a co-working space. But aside from that, we are also home to the Digital Media Production Center, through the DTI’s grant to a cooperative called ARTISTKO, where musicians can find very affordable means of producing their musical compositions. We likewise have with us, the Innovation Technology Support Office or ITSO, which provides support to intellectual property right protection. Aside from the Shared Services Facilities I had mentioned, we have 2 LIDAR Centers awarded by the DOST, for hazard mapping and resource assessment in Western Visayas.

And this is not to mention the various support that the Commission on Higher Education consistently is providing us. By the way, just last Monday, we launched a new graduate program on Master of Arts in Applied Arts and Design, which we are hosting for Shu-Te University, of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as our way of supporting the creative economy of Cebu.

All those facilities and activities I just mentioned, are clear manifestations of academe, government and industry synergy. In those facilities and activities I just mentioned, these 3 pillars of academe, government and industry are in strong collaboration and cooperation. These support we in UP Cebu had been getting from these different government agencies, through this enabling ecosystem located in one place, like a one-stop shop, we know, is not just for us but in order for us to provide better service to the public.

Today’s forum gives the 3 pillars opportunity to converse on how to forge common beneficial direction for a better Philippines. But what will make us better? Is it a green Philippines, at the expense of the loss of livelihood of the workers in the mining industry? Can an economy anchored on its culture and creativity ever be scaled up? With the industry continuously growing, changing and ever more demanding, will our graduates be fully equipped to meet these demands? Is it equitable to provide free tuition across the board, regardless of their parents’ income? And how will this solution impact on private HEIs? How can the Philippines ever continue to be globally competitive and be at par with the current trends in the global market? Are we producing the right graduates, that will result into good jobs or better businesses, for strong and sustainable growth?

Stepping up our game, providing new pathways, be it in the academe, the industry or the government, and us working together and collaborating closely, is sure one way for us to reach our goal of a better Philippines. As we say in UP Cebu, let us CREATE, INNOVATE and SERVE.

And everything starts with a dialogue. Let us talk, which is what we will do today, in this Forum.

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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.

Mosaic on child labor wins Joya prize

PHOTO: HAT TRICK. Ferdinand Aragon offers words of gratitude after winning the Jose Joya art competition in 2017 as UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro, instructor Monica Alcudia and other winners look on. Aragon's work, "Beast of Burden" is his third Joya-winning creation./PHOTO BY MARIA ARNIE BENITO, UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE

PHOTO: HAT TRICK. Ferdinand Aragon offers words of gratitude after winning the Jose Joya art competition in 2017 as UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro, instructor Monica Alcudia and other winners look on. Aragon’s work, “Beast of Burden” is his third Joya-winning creation./PHOTO BY MARIA ARNIE BENITO, UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE

A depiction of the problem of child labor was adjudged the winner of the 41st annual Jose Joya art competition at the gallery named after the artist in the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu last Feb. 15.

Jurors chose senior fine arts major Ferdinand Aragon’s “Beast of Burden” for the top prize in the tilt that featured the best student works of the previous year.

The victory was Aragon’s third consecutive one. He bested second placer Cleanne Padilla with her work titled “It’s Too Early For You To Bloom, Rosie” — a piece that hints at teenage motherhood — and third placer Tyroon Mike Nuñez with his animated piece dubbed “Handumanan sa mga Batan-on (Souvenirs of the Youth).”

“It did not sink in immediately that I had won the Jose Joya Award for the third time,” Aragon said in a statement to the UP Cebu Public Information Office.

“I’m just thankful to God for bestowing upon me this gift of art that I can use for His glory.”

The works of seven other student artists were also rexognized as finalists. They are Ave Rothe Marie Mayol, Marriane Lourdez Abenoja, Daniele Astrid Nazareno, John Michael Pujante, Ninniane Sojor, Precille Love Terante, and Sitara Beatriz Enguerra.

This year’s top three artists received medals and certificates conferred by UP Cebu chancellor Liza Corro, professor J. Karl Roque — director of the Joya gallery, and juror Lucilo Sagayno of the University of San Carlos fine arts program.

Aragon’s entry, a paper mosaic is part of a series in his undergraduate thesis. Working with the medium has been difficult, he said, adding that he does not know anyone in the local art scene who specializes in the use of paper for mosaics.

For Aragon, previous triumphs did not diminish the pressure to produce excellent work.

“Even if I were not a previous awardee, being a senior means people always expect something great from me,” he added.

He feels that coming up with content cannot be done by force.

“I’d like to believe that the message of a painting is born rather than made,” he said.

Professor Roque congratulated the participants of the exhibit and the organizers — the Fine Arts Students’ Organization. He encouraged those who did not receive any citation to keep working and to vie for the prize again next year.

Chancellor Corro expressed pride in the fine arts majors and noted that the centerpiece of her office, “Island Girl” is a Joya award winner.

Dean Jocelyn Pinzon of the College of Communication, Art, and Design commended the fine arts students and paid tribute to art as a statement about the cultural and historical contexts of the artist and his or her creation.

The Joya contest is over but all entries are on exhibit at the eponymous gallery until March 10.

The late Jose Joya was conferred the title of National Artist in Visual Arts in 2003.

He served as UP College of Fine Arts dean from 1970 to 1978 and won several awards including the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award from the City of Manila in 1971.

According to the website of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Joya “distinguished himself by creating an authentic Filipino abstract idiom that transcended foreign influences… He espoused the value of kinetic energy and spontaneity in painting which became significant artistic values in Philippine art.”/MARIA ARNIE BENITO AND UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE

School of Management gathers leaders to open UP Cebu centennial

As the Philippines enters the 31st anniversary of the four-day 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, academic, government and industry leaders will gather at the premier state university to craft a roadmap for improved national conditions.

The School of Management of the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu will host the forum titled “The academe, government, and industry: Synergies for a better Philippines” on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, 1 p.m. at the school’s Performing Arts Hall.

The event is the opening salvo of UP Cebu’s countdown to its centenary in May 2018. It falls on the 31st year since events that led to the peaceful overthrow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos broke out.

UP Cebu was established on May 3, 1918, making it UP’s oldest regional unit. Its Board of Regents recently pronounced it the eighth constituent unit of the UP system along with UP Diliman, Manila, Baguio, Los Baños, Open University, Visayas and Mindanao.

In the forum, Fr. Dionisio Miranda, president of the University of San Carlos will speak on behalf of the academe.

Central Visayas directors Freddie Bernal of the Commission on Higher Education and Asteria Caberte of the Department of Trade and Industry will speak for the government together with lawyer Mark Tolentino, Cebu provincial administrator.

Melanie Ng, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry will represent industries.

Dean Venus Empuerto of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation’s School of Business and Management, Glenn Anthony Soco of the Mandaue Chamber of commerce and industry are among those who will deliver reactions.

Delegates from University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of Cebu, Cebu Institute of Technology-University, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, University of the Visayas, University of San Carlos and Southwestern University will be on hand.

The UP Cebu School of Management that organized the event is headed by acting dean Tiffany Tan./WAYNE MATTHEW MARTE AND UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE

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