UPOU Celebrates 29 Years of Unity and Collaboration

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) marked its 29th anniversary with a day-long celebration filled with activities and reflections.  This was held on 23 February 2024, at the Multi-Purpose Hall in UPOU Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna. Themed “Unibersidad na Magkakakilala Para sa Pagkakaisa,” the anniversary program aimed to foster a sense of unity and camaraderie among the UPOU community.

The celebration kicked off with a warm welcome from Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, UPOU Chancellor. She expressed her gratitude to everyone for their continued support and dedication to UPOU, and reiterated the mandate of the university to democratize and universalize access to quality higher education. Following the welcome remarks, attendees enjoyed a series of fun activities, including the Sportsfest where faculty and staff members were teamed up in friendly competition. Teams enthusiastically performed their unique cheers, and representatives from each team competed at different stations to see which team could obtain the most flags. Ultimately, Team Orange emerged victorious but everyone had a great time.

The event continued with attendees gaining a deeper understanding of UPOU through the rich stories shared by  employees during the during the “KwentOUhan” sessions from different batches — 1995 to 1999, 2000 to 2004, 2005 to 2009, 2010 to 2014, 2015 to 2019, and 2020 to 2024. UPOU offices were also given time to share more about their roles and contributions to the university community, as well as their ongoing programs and activities. 

As the day came to a close, the outstanding contributions of faculty and staff members were recognized. Special recognition were given to Mr. Renato G. Ilagan(+) for 28 years of service, and Dr. Alexander G. Flor for 42 years of service to the University of the Philippines. Employees who also served for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years were also honored. The recipients of the Service Awards are as follows:

25-Year Awardees

  • Mr. Arnaldo S. Medialdea
  • Ms. Wyomia F. Pradas

20-Year Awardees

  • Atty. Rowena S. Disini
  • Dr. Jean A. Saludadez

15-Year Awardees

  • Mr. Dan T. Tayo
  • Ms. Myleen S. Argel
  • Ms. Glenda L. Del Socorro

10-Year Awardees

  • Asst. Prof. Ana Katrina T. Marcial
  • Asst. Prof. Queenie R. Ridulme
  • Dr. Charisse T. Reyes
  • Ms. Glenda P. Vereña
  • Ms. Anabel T. Chavez
  • Ms. Josephine M. Macale
  • Ms. Filipina G. Bautista-Pullian
  • Mr. Halbert Emmanuel B. Corpuz
  • Dr. Robderto B. Figueroa, Jr.
  • Asst. Prof. Roja L. Rivera

5-Year Awardees

  • Asst. Prof. Ma. Rowena DR. Raymundo
  • Mr. Aljay S. Buenviaje
  • Mr. Rodolfo T. Pullian
  • Mr. Hernani B. Pessimo, Jr.
  • Ms. Jazel R. Dueñas

2024 UPOU Gawad Chancellor Awardees

The UPOU Gawad Chancellor Awards 2024 recipients were also announced for their outstanding contributions and performance in their functions. Mr. Raymond Lapis was awarded the Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding Administrative Staff (Level I), Ms. Anna Ma. Elizabeth Cañas-Llamas was awarded the Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding Administrative Staff (Level II), Mr. Larry Cruz was given the Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding REPS, and Assoc. Prof. Ria Mae Borromeo received the Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding Faculty. 

The ceremony was followed by a Music Fest  —  a concert featuring homegrown artists and showcasing the diverse talents within the UPOU community. 

The evening concluded with closing remarks from Dr. Jean A. Saludadez, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. She expressed gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the 29th anniversary celebration of UPOU, with special recognition to the organizing committee, who spent time and effort in all the preparations.

Overall, the 29th anniversary program of UPOU was a testament to the university’s dedication to nurturing a vibrant and inclusive learning community that empowers learners to achieve their full potential. As UPOU looks forward to the future, it remains steadfast in its mission to continue serving as a beacon of education and innovation.

Written by Alexis Faith Gonzalez and Anna Cañas-Llamas  ♦ Edited by Myra C. Almodiel and Anna Cañas-Llamas 

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