Most Filipinos can at least acknowledge the influence of UP as a producer of trailblazers. The University’s own institutional history has given us cursory knowledge of the great personages who were some of the “firsts”, “fathers”, or “mothers” of their colleges, areas of study, or other organizations of national importance.

Many traditions across the UP constituent universities started out as a form of protest, and the UP Cebu Cookout is one such tradition. In 1987, the students of the then UP Cebu College gathered together on the campus grounds to protest against a repressive dean, and they literally cooked food as they discussed the issues that affected the university and the country.

Compared to other UP constituent universities, UP Mindanao is relatively young, but the members of the UP Mindanao Community have already created their own traditions and events that blend elements of Mindanaoan culture. Many of the traditional annual events are organized by the UP Mindanao University Student Council (USC) and student organizations, with the support of the Office of Student Affairs.

Fertility tree at UPLB

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.

These days, a rock concert is considered a luxury a regular Isko would have to save up for. Even late-night gigs in the local music scene charge door fees for two to three musical acts plus a bottle of beer. This is why thousands of music lovers eagerly await the annual UP Fair in Diliman, the February Fair in Los Baños and their relatively younger cousin, the UP Manila (UPM) Fiesta in—you guessed it—Manila. For a small fee or even none, fairgoers are treated to local band performances in the comfort of UP campuses.