Varsity teams and athletes in UP Diliman have a new way to get to and from games with the donation of a brand-new bus by former UP Regent and current Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Peru in the Philippines, Dr. Francis C. Chua, and the BA Foundation, Inc.
The turnover ceremony for the donated bus to UP was held in the afternoon of February 3 at the UP Oblation Plaza, with Fr. Ari C. Dy, SJ, president of Xavier School, performing the blessing. Special guests who also contributed to the donation of not only a bus but also 4,000 surgical masks to UP were some batchmates and friends of Amb. Chua from the UP College of Engineering and Xavier School, including Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and Undersecretary Rowell Barba, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCI) Agriculture Committee Chairman Roberto C. Amores.
Receiving the donation on behalf of UP were UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, UP Diliman Chancellor Michael L. Tan, and Dean Francis Carlos B. Diaz of the College of Human Kinetics. In attendance were former UP Presidents Emerlinda Roman and Alfredo Pascual; UP Regents Francis Laurel, Angelo Jimenez, Frederick Mikhail Farolan; Student Regent John Isaac Punzalan; incoming UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo; and, the members of the UP Men’s Basketball Team and the varsity teams for volleyball, swimming, table tennis and others.
In his welcome remarks, Concepcion marked the historical significance of the day, which was also the same day that the new chancellor of UP Diliman was selected by the Board of Regents. He thanked Amb. Chua for his donation, noting that UP’s new bus can compare with the buses of the athletes in other UAAP-member universities. “At may susunod pa. In-announce kaninang hapon ni Regent Laurel na kung may bus na kayo, baka kailangan ninyo ng coaster. Coaster naman. (In addition, Regent Laurel announced this afternoon that, since we already have a bus, what we need now is a coaster),” Concepcion added, referring to Regent Laurel’s own pledge to UP.
“Sa aking pagkakatanda, huli tayong nag-champion in 1986,” Concepcion went on. “Pero magcha-champion tayo during my term. At kapag ganito ang suporta na pinapakita sa atin ng ating mga alumni at mga kaibigan, sa palagay ko hindi na tatagal at magna-number one na tayo sa UAAP.” (From what I can remember, we won the championship back in 1986. But we will be champions again during my term. And if this is how our alumni and friends support us, I believe it won’t be long until we are number one in the UAAP.)
Chancellor Tan and CHK Dean Diaz also thanked Amb. Chua for his generous donation in support of the UP varsity athletes, as well as the coaches and managers of the various teams. For his part, DTI Sec. Lopez expressed his and fellow UP alumnus, DTI Usec. Barba’s hope that the new bus will motivate and inspire the athletes.
For his part, Amb. Chua expressed his own gratitude to the people who helped with the donation, including former UP President Pascual; Senior Executive Vice-President Johnny Sy of the Philippine Silk Road International Chamber of Commerce (PSRICC), who went all the way to China to purchase the bus from tourist bus manufacturer King Long; and, Mr. Roberto Amores, who helped coordinate the donation. Moreover, Amb. Chua also pledged to donate more surgical masks, and reported that he will soon be donating a 1-story building for cultural development to UP. He was given a token of appreciation from his alma mater, the UP College of Engineering.
Amb. Francis Chua graduated from the UP College of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1972. Aside from being a former member of the UP Board of Regents, he is also a member of the UP Engineering Research and Development Foundation, Inc. and a trustee of the UP Foundation. He is the Founding Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Philippines (ICCP), Chairman Emeritus of the PCCI, Founding Chairman of the PSRICC, and Honorary President of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII). He has served as President of the PCCI, the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands and FFCCCII. In 2007, he was appointed Special Envoy for Trade and Investments by the Philippine President, and has served as the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Peru in the Philippines since 2006.