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.