UPSO, UP officials visit Southern Taiwan HEIs for arts and culture cooperation

| Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc


A top-level delegation from the University of the Philippines (UP) is meeting with counterparts from Southern Taiwan academe to formalize new academic cooperation and gain insight on “navigating and framing integrative university development and governance.”

UP officials, headed by President Danilo L. Concepcion, arrived in Kaohsiung City on January 6, 2023, to meet with Southern Taiwan, higher educational institution officials at National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST) in Nanzih and Jiangong.

On January 10, a memorandum of academic cooperation (MAC) will be signed between UP and Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association led by NKUST President Ching-Yu Yang. Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association, a non-government organization based in Kaohsiung City, is a university alliance that seeks linkages with Southeast Asian universities. The MAC signing precedes a conference on academic networking and partnership between UP and Southern Taiwan university officials and representatives.

UP and NKUST are members of the Southeast and South Asia and Taiwan Universities (SATU) network.

The UP Symphony Orchestra celebrates with music

The UP delegation will accompany the UP Symphony Orchestra, which will hold “Concerts of Goodwill” in the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts and the International Concert Hall of NKUST-Nanzih on January 8 and 9, respectively. The UP Symphony Orchestra (UPSO) is the official system-wide orchestra of the University. Created in 2018, the UPSO consists of 65 alumni, students, faculty, and administrative staff of the University of the Philippines, under the direction of Maestro Josefino “Chino” Toledo of the UP College of Music.

For its first international concerts, the UPSO is set to perform Western, Taiwanese, and Philippine folk and classical works, including Dvorak Symphony 9 or the “New World Symphony,” in celebration of a new era of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. According to the UPSO, their program for their concert performances in Taiwan “celebrates the sounds of both cultures, with ‘Chinese Festival’ by Hsu Tsang-Houei and Maestro Chino Toledo’s ‘Kantus: Tagabawa,’ which is inspired by the chanting tradition of the Bagobo-Tagabawa people of southern Philippines.”

For its concert in NKUST-Nanzih on January 9, the UPSO will perform ‘Festive Overture and Pomp and Circumstance’ to celebrate the hope and joy of the New Year. As a tribute to overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan, the UPSO will also play ‘Overture to Philippine Folksongs’ and ‘Lahing Kayumanggi,’ written by Philippine National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro, to honor the Filipino race.

UP officials said there had earlier been an initial understanding of art and cultural exchange between UPSO, established in 2018, and the Shu-Te University Chamber Ensemble.

The academic partnership between Taiwan universities and UP

In recent years, UP and Taiwan universities have been exchanging visits in active pursuit of cooperation. UP currently has active partnerships with the Chinese Cultural University, Taipei Medical University, National Central University, National Pingtung University, National Chung Cheng University, Kaohsiung Medical University, National Chung Hsing University, and the National University of Kaohsiung.

UP hopes to activate partnerships with: Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Open University of Kaohsiung, National University of Tainan, National Kaohsiung Marine University, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, National Kaohsiung Normal University, National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Hamastar Technology Co., Chung Hwa University of Medical Technology, and Academia Sinica.

The Philippines’ national university is also renewing or processing linkages and partnerships with the Southern Taiwan University Alliance, Shu-Te University, National Sun Yat-Sen University, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, National Kaohsiung Normal University, National Cheng Kung University, National Taiwan Ocean University, and the National Taiwan University System.