By Ms. Agnes Clarizza S. Enriquez, CAS OpCom Secretary

The University of Asia and the Pacific College of Arts and Sciences (UA&P CAS) commemorated its 35th anniversary on April 12, 2024, with a grand celebration highlighted by the 4th CAS Bahandi Awards. A celebration of CAS’s journey through the decades, the event brought together current members of the UA&P CAS community with former Deans, Operations Committee members, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Held at UA&P, the celebration featured a virtual art exhibit by Humanities Program alumna and renowned artist Ms. Maxine Syjuco, as well as musical performances by UA&P alumna and UA&P Corporate Communications Office and Public and International Affairs Office Managing Director Mrs. Beng Calma-Alcazaren with her son Leon, and the student organization Reverb.

Looking back on CAS’s beginnings, CAS Dean Dr. Ma. Asuncion L. Magsino recalled how, on August 15, 1968, Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas and Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao inaugurated the Center for Research and Communications (CRC), which offered the Masters in Industrial Economics (MSIE) program. The trailblazing project, as mentioned in Fr. Javier de Pedro’s book The Pearl of the Orient—a memoir of the early years of Opus Dei—was a stand-alone master’s program offered without a conventional educational institution backing it up. Back then, according to the author, when presented with very good reasons, flexibility triumphed over the law. And so, UA&P’s mother institution, CRC, was born.

Building upon this foundation, CAS was founded in 1989 and has been at the forefront of providing quality education anchored in the liberal arts tradition. Over the past three and a half decades, it has continually evolved, adapting to the changing landscape of education while staying true to its goals as encapsulated in its three pillars: wisdom, solidarity, and professional competence.



Dr. Magsino proudly shared that in 2017, UA&P was granted its autonomous status by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and in 2023, the Liberal Arts Program, also known as the CAS core curriculum, received its PACUCOA Level IV accreditation. All these were achieved within less than 35 years. 

Themed “Going Beyond Borders”, this year’s celebration highlights the direction the University in general, and CAS in particular, has been moving in the past years —actively seeking the establishment of partnerships and expanding its networks both locally and internationally. 

With a steadfast commitment to academic excellence and holistic development, CAS continues to nurture the next generation of leaders and innovators who will make a positive difference in the world. As CAS looks toward the future, it remains dedicated to upholding its values and fostering a culture of excellence, integrity, and service for generations to come.

The 2024 CAS Bahandi 

The highlight of the evening was the CAS Bahandi Awards, inaugurated in 2019 during CAS’s 30th anniversary. The award serves as a platform to honor the remarkable contributions of students, faculty, administrative staff, and alumni who have exemplified excellence in various fields. The term Bahandi encapsulates the legacy, wealth, and fortune that they bring to the college community and the University in general. From academic achievements to leadership initiatives, the awards showcase their diverse talents and accomplishments.

The 2024 CAS Bahandi Awards acknowledged the importance of holistic development beyond the classroom by honoring outstanding alumni from the different UA&P Schools, all of them CAS students in their undergraduate years, who exhibited exemplary leadership and service, making contributions to campus life and the wider community. From business leaders to social entrepreneurs, UA&P alumni continue to make a mark in various industries, embodying the University’s mission of producing principled and competent leaders.



The 2024 CAS Bahandi Awardees

  • Gladys Co-Chan — Regional Head of Marketing, VISA Southeast Asia   
  • Vanessa Valdez  — Producer and writer, ABS-CBN Film Productions Inc.
  • Nicolette Bambao  — Vice President for People Experience, Globe Telecom; Lawyer
  • Kinna Mae G. Kwan — Municipal Administrator at Guiuan, Samar; Board Member, Philippine National Historical Society, Inc.
  • Ronnie Balbieran — Vice President, Research, Education, and Institutional Development (REID) Foundation
  • John Brylle Bae — Research Director,  The Fourth Wall ; Part-time Instructor at UA&P School of Sciences and Engineering
  • Gov. Jose Enrique “Joet” S. Garcia III — Governor of Bataan
  • Brian Vincent L. Belen, Ph.D. — President, FAITH Colleges: First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities

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