For UP Visayas, the celebration of its history is at the core of some of its most revered traditional events.
One of these is the week-long celebration of the Anniversary of the UP Presence in Iloilo. On December 18, 1947, responding to the desire of Ilonggos to have a UP education, the municipal board of Iloilo authorized a resolution for the opening of a branch of UP in Iloilo City on the site of what was then the Iloilo City Hall. In July 1947, the UP Iloilo College opened its doors, starting with a Lower Division for 3rd and 4th year high school students and an Upper Division for 1st and 2nd year college students. By 1954, the UP IloIlo College attained full-fledged college status and was renamed the UP College Iloilo, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a complete high school.
This year, 2017, is the 70th Anniversary of the UP Presence in Iloilo, with the celebration held on February 20 at the UP Visayas Iloilo Campus, in front of the main entrance of the historic building that nurtured the fledgling UP Iloilo College and witnessed its growth into the three-campus-strong UP Visayas of today. Also to commemorate the anniversary this year, the UP Alumni Association-Iloilo Chapter, in cooperation with the UP Silak and Silab alumni, held the biggest “Run UP” ever in August 2017—a “UP 2 UP” Marathon that ran from UP Visayas in Miagao, Iloilo, to UP Visayas’ Iloilo City campus.
The flagship campus of UP Visayas, a 1.294-hectare slice of verdant paradise with a spectacular view of the sea on one side and a majestic line of mountains on the other, is located in the 278-year-old municipality of Miagao, Iloilo. To celebrate the partnership and spirit of cooperation between UP and the local government of Miagao, the UPV and Miagao Friendship Day has been held at the end of May since 2011—May because the UP Board of Regents (BOR) during its 114th meeting approved the establishment of an autonomous UP in the Visayas on May 31, 1979.
The development of the UPV Miagao campus was made possible through the Sixth Educational Loan of the Philippine Government approved by the World Bank in January 1980, and on February 29 of that same year, the groundbreaking of the UPV Miagao campus was held. Executive Order No. 628 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos on October 30, 1980 operationalized UP Visayas, with its main campus in Miagao, and with the College of Fisheries as its flagship college. The UPV and Miagao Friendship Day has become an annual event during which the creativity and team-building of both institutions—UP Visayas and the Miagao local government—are showcased through ballgames, parlor games, dance performances, and so on.
Other traditional UP Visayas events center around sports, such as the Annual Pahampang or Sporstfest, which includes the popular and most anticipated Cheering Competition. The Cheering Competition shows off the diversity of UPV students’ lives, interests, and creativity as they make their own songs and yells as well as conceptualize their presentation and design their own costumes. Culture and the arts are also celebrated through various literary-musical contests and talent shows. And of course, beauty, good humor, and good sportsmanship are also highlighted through another much-anticipated event, HASA, an annual beauty pageant hosted and sponsored by the Validus Amicitia Brotherhood, and usually held before the Pahampang. The beauty pageant features straight men wearing gowns and skimpy bikinis in a comical fashion.
For the UP Visayas Tacloban College, the UPVTC Student Council and other student organizations hold an annual Organizations’ Fair at the UP Tacloban Arts and Sciences (AS) Grounds. The Organizations’ Fair serves as an avenue for the different student organizations, fraternities, and sororities in the UPV Tacloban College to showcase their traditions, activities, accomplishments, and fields of interest, among others. The fair aims to foster unity among the various organizations, fraternities, sororities, and institutions, to reach out to the general public to work together towards progressive societal change, and to embody the UPV Tacloban community’s vision to work as a strong united body in shaping the community and nation’s future.
To ensure the holistic development of the UPVTC’s students beyond the classroom and academia, the UPVTC Student Council also holds an annual sportsfest, and has also recently pioneered the UPVTC-wide Lantern Parade around downtown Tacloban, complete with a competition for Best Hand-held Lanterns, Best Float, and Liveliest Group Award, and Christmas party featuring different local bands, a choral competition, and fireworks display.
With inputs from Lyncen M. Fernandez, UP Visayas Information and Publications Office. Email the author at email@example.com.