In its commitment to hold programs and activities responsive to the needs of national development and international cooperation, a joint celebration of the United Nations Association of the Philippines (UNAP) 75th Founding Anniversary was held on October 24 to 25, 2022 in partnership with Bicol University through a Conference with the theme, “Future-Proofing Human and Food Security.”
LGU Legazpi sponsors welcome program
To kick-off the celebration, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Legazpi, through the Mayor’s Office, sponsored a “Mayor’s Night” to formally welcome the participants and to offer the best Legazpeño experience through cultural performances at the Legazpi City Convention Center on October 23, 2022. Hon. Geraldine B. Rosal, Mayor of Legazpi City, said in her message that the university has been a strong partner of the LGU since the mayorship of her husband, former City Mayor and now Provincial Governor Hon. Noel E. Rosal.
She also assured the university that the LGU is open for projects and research as a result of the conference, which she believes can push for advocacies not only locally but also nationwide. The BU Magayon Dance Troupe gave cultural performances based on certain native dances as the event came to a conclusion, reflecting the rich culture and festivities of the city.
A fellowship night was also held in order to foster camaraderie among the attendees, guests, academicians, and LGU members. In attendance as special guests were also The PRO5 Combo, a cover band from the Philippine National Police (PNP) V. Julius Caesar Martinez, a faculty member from the College of Arts and Letters, served as the program host of the conference.
75th UNAP first day
The morning conference formally commenced with an overview and presentation of participants by Atty. Alex B. Nepomuceno, Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy and Overall Event Manager of UNAP 75th, held at The Pepperland Hotel, October 24, 2022.
This was followed by welcome remarks from Dr. Ramona Ines B. Rañeses, UNAP Vice President. Engr. Devar N. Robrigado, President of the BU General Alumni Association Inc. (BUGAAI) and Alumni Regent, who made the introduction of the keynote speaker, Hon. Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, Senate President of the House of Senate, who virtually delivered his keynote speech through a video message.
Roderick C. Cruz, UNAP President, delivered his welcome remarks, while acknowledging the participants, particularly the host school – BU, and the association for the conduct of the conference. Meanwhile, Hon. Francis Joseph G. Escudero was also virtually present through a video message, to deliver a special congratulatory greetings.
For the 1st Plenary Speaker, Dr. Clarita R. Carlos, the National Security Adviser and Director General of the National Security Council Secretariat, discussed Geopolitics, Human and Food Security. Her lecture engaged researchers from different fields of expertise to seek her wisdom on certain issues while focusing on the nation’s national security of the nation.
During lunch break, Dr. Cynthia O. Mendoza, a faculty member from the BU Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance and Development, serenaded the participants with her piano renditions.
The conference resumed after a cultural dance presentation performed by the BU Magayon Dance Troupe. Another special greeting was shown through a video message from Hon. Joseph Victor G. Ejercito, where he showed his support for the UNAP anniversary and conference.
For the 2nd Plenary Speaker, Nong C. Rangasa, Executive Director of the Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD), discussed the Mainstreaming Climate Risk and Disaster Resilience Framework to LGUs and Academic Institutions; followed by an open forum. Participants were able to ask Rangasa about timely issues and concerns, particularly those in Albay.
To recognize his outstanding contributions as a University President, akin to Gen. Carlos P. Romulo, BU President Mascariñas was awarded the UNAP Outstanding University President.
After a series of photo opportunities, UNAP President Cruz presented the Organizational Meeting of UNAP Luzon Chapter while engaging the participants in the essential causes and advocacies of UNAP internationally.
In the evening, a pre-birthday celebration of the Albay 2nd District Congressman, Hon. Joey Sarte Salceda, was held with a UNAP Fellowship Night at The Pepperland Hotel.
While the attendees dined, BU students from CAL, CSSP, and the Institute of Physical Education, Sports, and Recreation (IPESR) were showcased. Due to a conflict in his schedule, the congressman was unable to physically attend the celebration. Hence, the celebration continued, and messages of support and birthday greetings were delivered by the UNAP officers, committee, and guests.
The participants enjoyed the music festivities and performances. Some were also able to take the dancefloor while grooving to the loud 90s music. The presence of the good Hon. Congressman
UNAP closing: Tree planting, parallel sessions
To mark the occasion as well as advocate for mother nature, a Ceremonial Peace Tree Planting was held at IPESR the next day. Some UNAP officers, guests, and committee head led the tree planting and each sapling were named after them, to honor their contribution to the university. Meanwhile, a simultaneous presentation of six thematic areas were ongoing at the Pepperland Hotel. In the afternoon, the closing program began, hosted by Dr. Roldan Cabiles, faculty of the BU Open University.
First group tackled topics relevant to Climate Science, Monitoring, Assessment, and Early Warning. Second group was for researchers for Sustainable Development and Peace and Security, while third focused on Ecosystem Sustainability and Food Security. Infrastructure Development, Trade and Industry were the theme for the fourth group and Governance, Innovation, and Human Development for the fifth. Lastly, the thematic area for the sixth group was Climate Change, Engineering, and Technology. As the international conference comes to a conclusion, the closing program started with a congratulatory support from the LGU Legazpi, represented by Carlos A. Ante, Legazpi City Administrator.
To give knowledge on harnessing the power of functional food towards food security, BU’s very own Balik Scientist, Dr. Myra O. Villareal presented her ideas as an experienced scientist and as the third and final plenary speaker. Her talk involves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and the current reality people are facing.
She also shared how healthy a purple sweet tomato can be as an alternative food which can be considered to somehow address the problem in poverty. After an insightful lecture, the scientist was followed by the Regional Director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Dir. Agnes M. Espinas-Tolentino, to present the agency’s statement of commitment for human and food security. She also mentioned the eight-point agenda of NEDA and its continued support to the conference’s cause as well as realizing the purpose of international conferences and organization.
Gov. Rosal: BU is one of the best universities in the country; Atty. Nepomuceno is UNAP President – Luzon
To celebrate camaraderie and a successful conduct of the 75th UNAP and Conference, the Provincial Government of Albay, through Governor Noel E. Rosal, sponsored a “Governor’s Night” to also meet the people behind the international conference. Governor Rosal said in his message that for him, Bicol University is among the top universities in the Philippines.
He also assured the university of Albay’s continued support as the leading university in the region, declaring it as one of the best universities in the country To entertain the attendees, the BU Magayon Dance Troupe once again performed cultural dances from different regions in the country. The Reformer’s Band, a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) cover band, were also invited to render their song numbers.
UNAP President Cruz also took the opportunity to acknowledge every supporting body and department from the university as well as promoting UNAP’s continued progress towards a united nation. He said that he is looking forward for more partnership in expanding the international conference and promoting the hospitality and rich culture of the province of Albay.
On behalf of BU President Arnulfo M. Mascariñas, Atty. Joseph L. Bartolata, VP for Administration and Finance (VPAF), delivered his message thanks The VP mentioned a partnership that can bring manifold benefits to the university, such as the ongoing UNAP. He also mentioned the continued strong ties to the LGU and Province of Albay, that both can be considered as shared resources.
He added that this importance may also share knowledge, by offering free lectures to stakeholders and other agencies and institutions. A surprise recognition was given to Atty. Alex B. Nepomuceno, as the overall manager and organizer of the 75TH UNAP and Conference. He was invited onstage with his wife, Dr. Agnes Nepomuceno, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters to receive the recognition.
After another set of cultural performances and song numbers, a message of acknowledgment was made by Dr. Ramona Ines B. Rañeses. She further acknowledged everyone’s effort in the fruition of UNAP. Another surprise announcement was made where she declared, on behalf of the UNAP Board of Trustees, that Atty. Nepomuceno is appointed to be the UNAP President of the Luzon Chapter.
The CSSP Dean made his oath of office, with the presence and support of his wife, Dr. Agnes, and UNAP officers. The celebration continued as the attendees enjoyed the delicious food, good music, and rich cultural performances. The governor’s night was facilitated by Edgardo L. Besmonte, Head of the TIDS, BUEMD| by Arnold C. Noda, CPRO