Candidates for graduation from the Iloilo City and Miagao town campuses of UP Visayas had a glimpse of their possible future in the person of fishing industry leader, Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., who spoke before them during the constituent university’s 40th commencement exercises on June 27, 2019 in the UP Visayas Miagao campus.
Laurel is the president of Frabelle Fishing Corporation, a 100-percent Filipino-owned company which, according to him, has emerged as one of the top three fishing companies in the world from the last 20 years, and which has grown to a fleet of 150 fishing vessels from just two old ones purchased with borrowed money in the sixties.
UP Visayas is a center of fisheries and marine sciences education, research, and extension in the country. Laurel presented his corporation as an example of how these disciplines combined with knowledge in management and technology, which all happen to be pursued and delivered in the four colleges and one school of UP Visayas, could make an international success story out of a Philippine corporation that started humbly enough.
“I hope to make you realize that there is a future in fisheries and mariculture industry,” Laurel stressed.
“[With] the colleges [and school] that compose UP Visayas, [and] the seafood industry, I believe we can do much more if we all work together as one,” Laurel said, speaking before around 825 candidates for graduation from the Iloilo Province campuses of UP Visayas.
“Our country’s fisheries is a resilient, renewable resource but which is currently in an alarming situation, but if managed properly and sustainably, with a strong political will, can benefit many Filipinos for many generations to come,” he added.
The valedictorian of the graduating class was Amethyl Mardin Pernito, one of 14 magna cum laude graduates from UP Visayas. There were 175 cum laude graduates. They led around 1,100 UP Visayas candidates for graduation, including those from the UP Visayas Tacloban College, who graduated in a separate ceremony on June 20, 2019.
“We will never cease to learn and seek knowledge, and continue to take part in helping find solutions to our country’s problem, not to be hindrances but rather to be catalysts of change for the betterment of society,” Pernito, a graduate of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, said.
“As UP graduates, we are expected to contribute to our nation’s development, but we are also expected to safeguard our resources in the process. . . and our patrimony,” she added. “Let us resolve to be among the passionate builders of our nation.”
“Maraming salamat, UP. Handa na kaming maging iskolar para sa bayan” [Thank you very much, UP. We are now ready to become scholars serving the nation], Pernito concluded.
UP Visayas graduates students with degrees in fisheries, communication and media studies, political science, history, literature, psychology, sociology, community development, mathematics, sciences, economics, accountancy, management, marketing, food technology and chemical engineering.
Its colleges and school are located in Iloilo City and Miagao town in Iloilo Province, and in Tacloban City, with Miagao being the site of the main campus where the central administration offices are located. The constituent university aims to contribute to the development of the Visayas through instruction, research, and extension programs.