The University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) concluded the year-long celebration of its 50th founding anniversary with a series of events that brought together peers from as early as 1967, when it started as Center for Research and Communication (CRC).
On August 15, a short program was held in Li Seng Giap Auditorium to officially close the festivities. Key individuals gave their messages. University Student Government (USG) Representative Maita Pelea lauded UA&P’s quality education and presented their organization’s plan to offer more scholarships. University President Dr. Winston Conrad Padojinog bared the vision for the Batangas campus and appealed to the alumni, students, and friends of UA&P to include UA&P’s dreams to their own dreams and prayers. UA&P co-founder Dr. Jesus Estanislao was steeped in gratitude.
“We bow in thanksgiving to God,” said the first University president on his culmination address. “Despite all the imperfections and imperatives for improvement on the part of our human condition, we give thanks, for that dream we had 50 years ago has taken on flesh and substance. It has been realized in what today is the University of Asia & the Pacific.”
Dr. Estanislao continued with his dreams for UA&P for the five decades ahead: that the University (1) trains a laser focus on securing full strength and efficacy for all its internal processes, (2) opens its horizons for wide collaboration with all sectors of society, and (3) builds effective bridges for collaborative endeavors promoting dialogue and cooperation between economies and polities in Asia as well as in the wider Asia Pacific region.
A message from Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, Prelate of Opus Dei and Grand Chancellor of UA&P, was read by Msgr. Carlos Estrada, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in the Philippines and Vice Grand Chancellor of UA&P, who also gave the invocation.
Following this program was the blessing of the birds sculpture marker at the Administration and Library Building, presided by His Excellency Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Pasig. UA&P co-founder Dr. Bernardo Villegas, in his remarks, likened the birds in flight to the call of St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei, for people not to fly like a barnyard when they can soar like an eagle. Present also in the event were the artist of the bird sculpture, Flora Pantaleon, and its sculptor, Manuel Salvador.
A thanksgiving Mass led by the Pasig bishop and concelebrated by Msgr. Estrada and Fr. Edgar Soria capped off the half-day program.
On August 18, on the other hand, close to 500 alumni trooped to the Parking and Sports Building to participate in “Bring Unitas Home,” an alumni homecoming. It was a night of rekindling ties, recalling names, and revisiting memories that have shaped the institution they call alma mater.
See more photos and videos from the celebrations here.