Athletes and sports enthusiasts are excited to see new facilities slowly shaping up in the University. Among these facilities are the Davao City-UP and UP Diliman sports complexes. With features at par with world-class standards, they are expected to boost sports not only in the University but in the entire country as well where there is a lack of sports venues available to the public.
The years began with a child in Argao town, Cebu, finding escape from life’s difficulties in cartoons, which he would himself draw with skills he derived from a self-taught father. His father’s realistic and pragmatic style must have left the young Wyndelle with the notion that his art was not as serious. It must have been a proud moment for him to be recognized in high school for his talent for cartooning, which found an outlet in the editorial page of the school paper.
The signs were up in Cebu: the site of the starry careers of design artists such as Kenneth Cobonpue and Monique Lhuillier; recognition from the British Council as a Philippine creative capital, and a local business community eager to adopt creativity as anthem. The University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) had responded to these signs as early as the first decade of the 21st century.
Which school should lead in integrating public service in its undergraduate courses but the public service university itself, UP? UP’s Interior Design program is a trailblazer. Since more than 15 years ago, it has left the studio for its application course in order to embrace public service, an initiative that has given its students an edge over others.
Seeing signs of diminishing social responsibility among students in the early 1990s, UP instituted a program to encourage volunteer service to underserved communities. The underlying belief was that UP’s soul resided in connecting to the people, i.e., public service that went beyond mere fulfillment of requirements to something more integral and committed.
In an era of soul-searching in UP in the early 1990s, the Interior Design (ID) program saw an opportunity to turn ID’s elitist image around. It started with an insight. To Interior Design Professor Adelaida Mayo, ID should be seen in the context of basic needs. “There’s food, clothing, and shelter. Architecture deals with shelter, but where is its soul? It’s in the space people use. It’s inside. The shelter will just be the shell of it,” Mayo concluded.
There’s a growing space in the world for a growing community of “makers.” Makers are those who transform the virtual into actual physical objects. They “make” in a network of laboratories specifically equipped for rapid fabrication, thus, “fablabs.”
A year after its founding in 1908, the University of the Philippines established its first campus outside Manila. At the foot of Mt. Makiling, on grounds freshly cleared of jungle, and near rice fields fringing Laguna de Bai, five professors and 12 students, led by a Thomasite dean, Edwin Copeland, pioneered an agricultural school. They were joined by their forestry counterparts the following year.
Trees are silent, and many, like hermits, are dying lonely and unseen. But their silence is deceptive, for they have stories to tell.
For an old campus such as UP Los Baños, established in 1909, an iconic tree could simply be any one of those trees that have survived the years since.