Happy Birthday UP!

By Anna Regidor, images by Leonardo A. Reyes


(JUN. 18)—The 7:15 a.m. call time and the early morning sun did not deter an estimated 1,000 faculty, staff, upd varsity teams and students who came to Quezon Hall and walked, cheered and grooved to celebrate UP’s 106th Foundation Day.

The festivities began with a warm-up activity led by the UP Varsity Pep Squad (UP Pep), who energized the crowd at Quezon Hall with their cheers. After a few minutes a parade comprising members of the UPD academic community began moving counter clockwise from the Oblation Plaza around the academic oval.

Returning to the oval, the parade was followed by a special flag-raising ceremony conducted by the UP Rayadillo.

The UP ROTC Symphonic Band under the baton of Prof. Rodney D.S. Ambat accompanied the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and UP Naming Mahal.

Following the special flag raising rites was a short program entitled “Sayaw-Galaw UP.” The UP Pep led the crowd—including the college deans and directors present—into singing and cheering.

The next performance was from Dulaang UP (DUP) whose members staged “Ritwal ng Pag-aalay,” an adaptation of a scene from their highly successful musical  “Ang Nawalang Kapatid.”

It was followed by a thrilling number by the UP Singing Ambassadors, who sang and danced to “Ay, Ay Pag-ibig!” and a medley of “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika,” “Salamat Musika,” and “Isang Mundo, Isang Awit,” much to the delight of the crowd.

Another concert is scheduled for Friday, June 20, 5 p.m. “Alay Sayaw” is a free dance concert to be held at the Oblation Plaza, featuring performances by leading dance groups, namely: the UP Dance Company, UP Filipiniana Dance Group, UP Pep and the UP StreetDance Club.

The groups will perform their award-winning dances as a symbolic offering for this year’s foundation day. The program will also feature a special performance by DUP.

For his part, UPD Chancellor Michael L. Tan said the theme and spirit of this year’s foundation day is one of boldly innovating while respecting the traditions  and goals of the university.

“Dito sa Diliman ang lahat ay young at heart. Malinaw pa ang isip, klaro ang pananaw. Itutuloy natin ang isang daan at anim na taon ng mga tradisyon, pero handa rin tayong baguhin ang kailangang baguhin. Mag-salamin at mag-hearing aid kung kinakailangan,” he explained.

According to the UP System website, the University of the Philippines was founded on June 18, 1908 through Act No. 1870 of the Philippine Assembly, authorizing the Governor General to establish the University of the Philippines in the “city of Manila, or at any point he may deem most convenient.” It was to give “advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and arts, and to give professional and technical training” to every qualified student regardless of “age, sex, nationality, religious belief and political affiliation.”

UP first began at Calle Isaac Peral (now United Nations Avenue) and Padre Faura in downtown Manila in 1909 with the School of Fine Arts; the College of Liberal Arts; the College of Medicine; the College of Veterinary Medicine; the College of Engineering; the College of Law; and the College of Agriculture in Los Baños, Laguna. Its first president was an American named Murray Bartlett.

UPD was established as a constituent university at its 976th meeting on April 23, 1985.

view photo gallery