(May 18)—May 16 was a night of remembrance and beginnings at the Faculty Center (FC) as UP Diliman held the “Seremonya ng Pag-alaala at Parangal sa Lingkod Komunidad” to open Linggo ng Parangal 2016.
The first part of the ceremony commemorated the loss of the FC that was ravaged by a fire in the early morning of April 1, consuming the third and fourth floors of the building and destroying precious research, teaching materials and personal effects of many professors from the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) and College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP).
The first flight of steps leading to the FC entrance along Roxas Ave. served as stage for the evening, which began with with the UP Filipiniana Dance Group performing an “inim” or “pagdiwata,” a purification ritual of the Tagbanwa people of Palawan.
Next, CAL Dean Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete and CSSP Dean Grace Aguiling-Dalisay performed “Litanya ng Gunita,” where they ceremoniously recited the names of the various rooms and places inside the FC that were consumed by the fire.
The next part of the program focused on the “Puso-Pusoan,” Obra ng Pag-alaala, an art installation by artist and UPD alumnus Toym Imao. The work was inspired by the tradition of “Puso-Pusoan,” the Easter morning ritual where an angel descends from a makeshift tower and removes the veil of a mourning mother Mary.
In the installation work, a contemporary winged heart/phoenix takes the place of the angel that is suspended from an “open star” similar to the traditional papier mache’ “puso.” It is propped up from a steel and bamboo tower which has also a kind of “pabitin” structure where around 50 to 60 multi-colored tear drop flames illuminate the entire installation. It serves as both a visual metaphor of mourning and rebirth.
The unveiling of the artwork was highlighted by poetry reading by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera accompanied by College of Music professor Solaiman Jamisaolamin.
It was followed by Alay-Gunita, featuring performances by the UP Dance Company, Jamisolamin and CAL students Liana Ilka Chase Salazar and Marynor Madamesila to the music of Ryan Cayabyab’s “Minsan ang Minahal ay Ako.”
The second half of the evening began with the recognition of the units whose help and efforts were crucial during and after the FC fire: Barangay UP Campus, Barangay UP Campus Fire Brigade and the UPD Campus Maintenance Office (CMO). Each of the units were presented with a plaque of recognition.
This was followed by a number by violinist and UPD alumnus John Lesaca, who performed “This is the Moment” by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse from the musical “Jekyll and Hyde.”
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Benito M. Pacheco then officially introduced the awardees for Gawad Tsanselor 2016, who were present at the event.
They are Neil Patrick S. Ferrer, Arizza S. Nocum, Raymond S. Velasco and John Paul delas Nieves (Gawad Tsanselor sa Natatanging Mag-aaral); Cesaria D. Juanillo, Luis G. Olid, Jr. (Gawad Tsanselor sa Natatanging Kawani); Elinor May K. Cruz, Elvira B. Lapuz and Risa L. Reyes (Gawad Tsanselor sa Natatanging REPS); Dr. Ramon G. Guillermo (Gawad Tsanselor sa Natatanging Mananaliksik sa Filipino); Dr. Jose Maria P. Balmaceda (College of Science), Alonzo A. Gabriel (College of Home Economics), Eulalio R. Guieb III (College of Mass Communication) (Gawad Tsanselor sa Natatanging Guro).
The evening was concluded by UPD Chancellor Michael Tan, who commended support units and staff like the CMO and building administrators as well as Barangay UP Campus, who were of great help in quelling and watching over the FC in the days after April 1.