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Retirado rites celebrate service

Rosali                                Torres

(March 1)—One of the virtues being exalted during the annual Linggo ng Parangal is dedication, which is felt most during the Parangal sa mga Retirado at Gawad Paglilingkod, where entire lifetimes of work are celebrated in one afternoon.

A total of 105 faculty, staff and Research, Extension and Professional Staff (REPS) from 36 units, many of them having served the University for more than 40 years, were honored in a ceremony on February 21 at the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Development’s (NISMED) STTC Auditorium.

Fifty-six of the retirees were composed of administrative staff (AS), while 39 were composed of faculty. Ten came from the ranks of the REPS.

Vacancies created by the retirement was highest at the College of Science (CS) with 12 retirees (8 faculty, 4 AS), followed by the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) (4 faculty, 4 AS) and College of Arts and Letters (CAL) (7 faculty, 1 AS), followed by the Campus Maintenance Office (CMO) (7 AS) and the University Library (2 AS, 4 REPS).

Of the 56 faculty retirees, 21 were full professors with 12 carrying the rank of Professor 12 (the highest in the University).

They include such luminaries as former UPD Chancellor Claro T. Llaguno, former Vice President for Academic Affairs Amelia P. Guevara, former NEDA Director-General Dante B. Canlas, former Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Amaryllis T. Torres, former CAL College Secretary Naida U. Rivera, former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Ma. Teresa M. Jazmines and former NISMED Director Merle C. Tan.

The longest person in service among the retirees was Conrado L. Cruz, Cook II at the University Food Service, who has been with the University for 47 years.

Each retiree received a photo of him/her at the event, mounted on a triptych frame along with a certificate of appreciation, and a medal in the form of the University seal.

Two special awards that carry a cash incentive of P20,000 (doubled from last year’s P10,000) were granted that afternoon, both for at least 40 years of unbroken service to the University. They are the Natataging Gawad Paglilingkod Retirado for retirees and the Gawad Paglilingkod, which is given to employees still in active service who are without a single leave of absence without pay. This is the fourth year of the Gawad Paglilingkod.

This year’s Gawad Paglilingkod faculty recipients were Drs. Ma. Milagros C. Laurel (CAL), Emerlinda R. Román (College of Business Administration), Ma. Luisa T. Camagay (CSSP), Ma. Lourdes G. Rebullida (CSSP) and Clarissa A. Rubio (CSSP) while Reynaldo R. Fonseca (College of Music), Dorothy B. Faulan (UP Computer Center), Corazon R. Ortacio (UP Computer Center), Jesus M. Catahan (Department of Military Science and Tactics), Ramon M. Magdurulan (Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs), Elisa S. Ochoa (UP Law Complex), Narcisa P. Gandeza (NISMED), Soledad P. Sagun (NISMED) and Melinda F. Maranan (College of Architecture) are from the AS/REPS.

Eighty retirees were either present or represented at the ceremony, while six retirees have since passed, namely: Prof. Villy A. Buenaventura (CAL), Dr. Elma C. Llaguno (CS), Generoso U. Lopez (UP System Cash Office), Vicente L. Orqueta (UPIS), Crispin M. Pineda (CMO) and Dr. Rodolfo A. Tamayo, Jr. (CS).

Speaking in behalf of the faculty retirees was Torres, who expressed her gratitude at having served a university that values freedom and excellence, manifested in the UPD community’s collective actions during martial law as well as the University’s liberal policies on gender and the RH bill.

“[W]alang propesor na tinakot nitong nakaraang mga buwan na maaalis sa trabaho dahil pro-RH siya. Wala ring sinumang babae or lalaki na na-expel dahil sa pagiging bakla, lesbian, or mayroong iba pang gender identity. Kagalingan ng diskurso, pagkamalikhain, kahusayan ng solusyon, at katuwiran ng pag-iisip ang mahalaga sa atin.” [No professor was threatened with unemployment because s/he was pro-RH. No student, male or female, was expelled for being gay, lesbian or having any other gender identity. Excellence of discourse, creativity, effectiveness of solutions and critical thinking are what matters to us.]

Rosalie G. Rosali, former head of the SE library and speaking for the REPS/AS, echoed this pride in her speech, emphasizing the immaterial benefits of working for the University.

“[speaking about her first paycheck] It was not really much but its real worth was, it represented honest and best efforts for the University.…working here gave us the feeling of greatness too. It has always felt so reassuring to be in the midst of great minds and great traditions that, it inspired us to perform well and excel in our respective jobs.”

For his part, Saloma said that while working for UP can be stressful and very challenging, it develops and enhances many premium skills that have value well beyond retirement. He expressed hope that the retirees will continue to live very active, productive lives:

“I hope they are now pursuing new and exciting directions such as small business, travel, perhaps closer bonding with family and friends or even a new job with the private sector.”

The ceremony was made livelier with a performance by the UP Concert Chorus under the baton of Prof. Janet Sabas Aracama.—AKR