UP as National University


“Aumentar la calidad del discurso público sobre asuntos nacionales y globales”, fue una de las metas que, según la Presidenta Emerlinda Román, tenía que proponerse la University of the Philippines en los próximos cien años…

That’s one of the most touching points, to my mind, in the Professorial Chair Lecture delivered by President Emer Román on 18 August 2009 at the College of Business Administration, U.P. Diliman.  The topic was: “The University of the Philippines in the 21st Century: Facing the Future”.

The following were the important issues she discussed in her Paper:

(1) Balancing scholarship and relevance/responsiveness;

(2) Transforming UP into a research university;

(3) Ethics, morality, and values formation: the University’s role in their promotion;

(4) Increased productivity: Everyone’s challenge;

(5) The importance of Science and Technology;

(6) Coming to terms with global realities;

(7) The need for greater collaboration among scholars from various disciplines and fields of study.

En sus conversaciones con los líderes de los varios campus de la U.P., dice la Presidenta Román que han quedado en los siguientes puntos, para impulsar la acción de la Universidad en los futuros años:

(i) Asegurar que la U.P. consiga su posición como Universidad que se centre en la investigación;

(ii) Aumentar la calidad del discurso público sobre asuntos nacionales y globales;

(iii) Preparar los alumnos para que sean buenos líderes en la sociedad;

(iv) Crear un ambiente que haga que la U.P. consiga todas las metas arriba mencionadas…

A constant point of contention was the seeming conflicting cultures where, on the one hand, the University builds an environment of RESEARCH and, on the other hand, the focus is placed on paying attention to the needs of community and national development.  She said that the latter seems to be a natural demand or pressure on U.P., imposed upon it being the “National University”.  In principle, these two ends should not be dichotomous but rather should be met at the same time.  But this calls for self-discipline as well as a huge amount of resources, the effort toward which can turn out rather formidable.

I, therefore, ask you to PRAY a lot for this beloved University to be able to reach these twin goals sooner, more & better… 🙂


A friend of mine gave me a wonderful suggestion for this “Improved Public Intellectual Discourse”:

“This is a difficulty since most often the public prefers to take a “back seat” and feel they have no say in large scale matters.  Needless to say, they often do not have the time, offered at their own expense, to research the data on these complex issues.  As an attempt to get personal experience in some political matters on the local level, I spent a number of years learning and following the Saul Alinsky method of community organizing.  I think Saul Alinsky’s method is among those with the greatest credibility: it is a method available to the community when all the accepted political methods have failed and the local legislators have not properly fulfilled their responsibilitities.  It is a method in which community organizers interview members of the local community to find local leaders, who can enunciate important issues and suggest solutions.  The organizers then meet with local leaders and elected leaders to evaluate the issues and the solutions.  Finally they hold a public meeting attended by the local community with the elected leaders invited, so show support for the carefully evaluated issues and solutions.  The size of the local community attending the event emphasizes to the elected officials the public support activated to authorize the suggested solutions.”

[Dear friend: You don’t know how helpful these ideas are! 🙂 I shall look into this methodology further…]

Let’s start here:



University of the Philippines Official Website

“Siendo la universidad estatal [nacional] del país, el Sistema Universidad de Filipinas se enorgullece de ser pionero en los estudios superiores en las varias gamas del saber, mediante su excelencia académica, la investigación destacada y de alta calidad, servicio al público y a la sociedad, y sus facilidades modernas….”


U.P. Oblation History

La estatua de la ‘Oblación’ –perfecto ‘don de sí– es el emblema de la Universidad de Filipinas. Era obra maestra del escultor Guillermo Tolentino, que recibió el encargo de traducir, en un monumento físico, el segundo verso del poema “Mi Último Adiós” por José Rizal: “Otros te dan sus vidas, sin duda, sin pesar…”.