To the university community of the University of Asia and the Pacific:

How I wish my communication with you could be made in a different time and under happier, brighter circumstances. But the recent events impelled me to reach out to you to let you know that I am one with you in facing this crisis.

The circumstances are unprecedented, and every one of us is affected: the students, the faculty, the staff, the outsourced service personnel, and all our families. We understand the difficulties that come with the uncertainties. But I believe we should not allow these dire circumstances to force us to abandon our dreams and aspirations. We choose to move forward despite the adversities before us. At times, when we have lost our bearings and feel lost, the only way is to move forward and, in the process, know where we are and reset our bearings. We will emerge from this crisis better rather than bitter persons. In fact, there are already manifestations of this betterness: the University community’s initiative to mobilize resources to assist our affected outsourced service personnel; the ready availability for video conference of everyone who wants to contribute to and address current and emerging issues, and the participants’ openly sincere and oftentimes frank responses; and the commendable sense of duty of those who have to report to work physically to secure and maintain our university facilities and key processes.

We have and will always continue to pursue university learning in a manner suitable to the special and difficult circumstances of everyone. How I wish I had all the ready protocols and off-the-shelf solutions to address the concerns facing us. But I am confident that with the spirit of unity, collaboration, and genuine concern for others, we will be able to find the best—though not necessarily the most convenient—path to take. I would like to thank everyone for all the support and understanding notwithstanding the difficulties facing all of you.

I most especially keep in mind those who are sick, are taking care of loved ones who are sick, have family members and close friends in the frontlines,  and have challenging circumstances that are too difficult to overcome.

I fervently pray with you that these trials will end soon.