“Isang karangalan ang maglingkod bilang dekano. Nais ko pong iparating sa lahat na narito po ako kasama ang buong AIT, mga kaguruan at mga kawani. Handa po kaming tumulong, magserbisyo ng tapat at ganap, may puso, may utak. Handang magserbisyo ng makatao para sa turismo.”
This was Giovanni Francis A. Legaspi’s promise as he was formally installed as the ninth dean of the UP Diliman (UPD) Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT) on Feb. 3 at the AIT Lounge.
An assistant professor of tourism, Legaspi succeeded Susan Lagmay-Solis, PhD and was appointed by the UP Board of Regents on Nov.10, 2022 at its 1375th meeting.
Legaspi’s executive committee is composed of Reil Cruz, PhD (institute secretary), Maria Criselda Badilla, PhD (Division of Academic Affairs director), Ivan Anthony Henares, PhD (Division of Tourism Research and Extension Services director), and Edieser Dela Santa, PhD (Graduate Program coordinator).
Meanwhile, UPD Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo underscored the role of AIT in the country’s tourism industry.
“The role of the Institute as a knowledge producer and as a hub of scholarship, and as training center for tourism planners and policy-makers is really central in our nation’s effort to rebuild the tourism industry, which is one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. I do hope to see the Institute at the forefront of promoting sustainable tourism,” Nemenzo said.
Witnessing the ceremonies were Legaspi’s family, relatives, and friends, including his wife, AIT alumna Bambi Legaspi; sons Jat Legaspi and Keo Legaspi; and parents, retired Sandigabayan judge, Godofredo Legaspi, and retired Regional Trial Court judge, Marie Claire Austria-Legaspi.
Also present were UPD and UP System officials, UPD’s international academic partners Jung Kyu Lee, PhD of the Shinhan University, Uijeobung-si, South Korea; Eing Ming-Wu, PhD executive director of Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association and chair professor of Shu-Te University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; former Batangas Governor Tony Leviste; and representatives from the Quezon City Tourism Department.
Serving as master of ceremonies were Badilla and AIT Student Council chair, Jan Kenneth Palomia. Jhyleanne B. Rington, a freshman at the AIT, sang the songs Salamat, Salamat Musika and Tagumapay Nating Lahat, while the Quezon City Symphonic Band led the singing of the national anthem and the UP Naming Mahal.