Together with the Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (PSSP), the Division of Social Sciences (DSS) of the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UP Tacloban) organized the 45th Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino held on November 25-27, 2021 via Zoom.
“#TindogTayo: Pagbangon at Paninindigan para sa Sarili, Kapwa, at Bayan,” this year’s theme, was a nod to both the PSSP’s comeback after being unable to hold the annual conference last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and UP Tacloban’s commemoration of the eighth anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda which devastated the campus and much of Eastern Visayas in November 2013.
With almost 400 participants including psychology students, teachers, practitioners, and researchers, as well as licensed professional teachers, social workers, and guidance counselors, the conference aimed to: (a) discuss experiences of standing up for the self, others, and the nation; (b) examine the meaning of paninindigan in the Filipino experience; (c) feature new research on Filipino culture, society, and psychology; and, (d) share knowledge and skills in Filipino Psychology.
Fr. Flaviano Villanueva, Executive Director of the St. Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center, served as keynote speaker. He shared experiences and reflections on his advocacy work in uplifting the lives of homeless people and supporting the widowed and orphaned families of those killed in line with the current administration’s war on drugs.
The PSSP conference also featured various plenary sessions aside from parallel paper presentations. On the second day of the conference, the plenary session featured three speakers who discussed different ways of rising from life’s challenges. UP Diliman Associate Professor Anna Cristina A. Tuazon talked about the difficulties of long-distance relationships during the pandemic. Assistant Professor Pierce S. Docena shared some reflections and lessons learned from UP Tacloban’s mental health and psychosocial support initiatives in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Finally, Mr. Gerardo “Jun” V. Cabochan, Jr., Executive Director of the Pandayan Bookshop, highlighted their attempts to live up to the concept of kapwa in their business affairs.
The last day of the conference featured two plenary sessions. Drawing on his expertise in Philippine history, Assistant Professor Emmanuel Jeric A. Albela from the University of Santo Tomas traced the development of electoral practices in the Philippines to elucidate various electoral reform issues facing the country. Atty. Golda S. Benjamin, a Silliman University College of Law faculty member, discussed human rights and the environment. In particular, she tackled the controversial proposal for the 174-hectare Smart City reclamation project that would have severely impacted Dumaguete’s protected marine areas.
The conference ended with a cultural presentation featuring song performances from the Sinirangan Chamber Singers and UP Tacloban’s psychology students from Batch Limbasog.
The 45th PSSP conference was made possible through the efforts of the PSSP Board of Directors headed by its President, Dr. Jose Antonio R. Clemente, and Vice President and convention convenor, Darren E. Dumaop, in partnership with the psychology faculty of UP Tacloban DSS led by Assistant Professor Ruth Edisel Rylle B. Sadian-Cercado. The De La Salle University Department of Psychology, Good Shepherd Professional Training Services, and Center for Educational Measurement co-sponsored the conference.
Article contributed by UP Visayas Tacloban College Assistant Professor Pierce S. Docena.