22 years of service Ugnayan ng Pahinungod
22 years of service Ugnayan ng Pahinungod
22 years of service Ugnayan ng Pahinungod
Walking across rice fields at Padre Burgos, Quezon Province.
Senior volunteers in action.
Review for College Entrance Test and Career Orientation (RECET) at Cabanatuan Nueva Ecija.
Prof. Lubuguin teaching English at Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro.
Flying paper airplanes with FEU volunteers at Bitin elementary school.
Storytelling with props at Bangyas Elementary School.
Immersion Program: Mayoyao, Ifugao in partnership with UP Manila Pahinungod.

Ugnayan ng Pahinungod Holds Public Forum on Volunteerism

The UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod conducted a forum titled, “Volunteerism in History and Contemporary Social Issues,” on Sept. 27 at the NCAS Auditorium as part of its celebration of 20th inception anniversary.

The forum featured talks on volunteerism in different contexts. Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, former Pahinungod System director and current chair of the Department of Psychology in the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy in UP Diliman, spoke about the history of Pahinungod in her lecture titled, “Volunteerism in UP: The Ugnayan ng Pahinungod in Retrospect”.

According to her, the term ‘pahinungod’ was suggested by a Surigao Mayor who attended the meeting when the UP volunteer program was being conceptualized. She said that ‘pahinungod’ is a Visayan term usually used in mass, describing how Christ offered himself as savior of humanity. The oblation is the university’s symbol of offering one’s self, and with this similarity came the birth of the name, Ugnayan ng Pahinungod.

Dr. Aguiling-Dalisay also talked about the continuous efforts of the institution in reaching its objectives from 20 years back until now. The institution’s objectives include sharing the university’s discoveries with others, learning from people outside the university, and building human character through its values education program. She said that volunteerism has become an instrument of UP in its goal of molding responsible future leaders of the country.

Global Volunteerism

Volunteerism has brought international volunteer and member of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)-Bahaginan Philippines, Ms. Athena A. Custodio to touching lives in Laos, Ghana, and Indonesia. In her speech, “Filipino Experiences in Global Volunteerism,” she shared about her volunteer experiences and said that hosting the welcome dinner for President Benigno C. Aquino III in Mekong Restaurant, Vientiane City, Laos is one of the most unexpected happenings in her volunteer life. With all her experiences, Ms. Custodio said that it is always important to be rooted to one’s origin and quoted lines from UP Naming Mahal: “Malayong lupain/amin mang marating/ di rin magbabago ang damdamin.”

Another speaker was Mr. Dindo Rolando Melendrez, chapter service representative of the Community Health and Nursing Services of the Philippine Red Cross-Laguna Chapter. He discussed about “Strengthening the Capacities of the Communities in the Philippines (Disaster, Health and Volunteerism).” According to Mr. Melendrez, the Philippine Red Cross maintains the spirit of volunteerism in times of disaster with its mantra: “Always First, Always Ready, Always There”. He said that despite the many dangers people face during calamities, volunteers risk their own lives to save others.

Lastly, Mr. Roy Dabuit, president of the Balik Calawit Movement, gave a talk on their struggle in reclaiming their ancestral land. In his presentation titled, “AngPakikibaka ng Calawit at ang Bahagi ng Boluntarismo,” he spoke about the history of Calawit and major problems they experienced relating to land ownership, education, livelihood and agriculture, health and nutrition, and water supply and the environment.


Thankful for the Assistance

According to Mr. Dabuit, the Tagbanuas of Calawit are thankful for the assistance provided by the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod relating to enhancing agricultural productivity of their land and providing teachers through the Gurong Pahinungod program in their elementary school. These programs were conducted after they received the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title and returned to their island of birth.

Mr. Dabuit said that the school in their island is now recognized and funded by the Department of Education, with five regular teachers and a structure. Livelihood and agricultural training programs continue to provide a source of income for the citizens.

Mr. Dabuit also mentioned that Pahinungod also paved the way for more institutions to support the citizens’ health and nutrition needs, such as the six-month supplemental feeding program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), appointment of five Baranggay Health Workers (BHW) and one Baranggay Environment and Agriculture Nutrition Scholar (BEANS) for each area in the island.

Open Forum

In the open forum following the presentations, Dr. Aguiling-Dalisay, when asked about the hindrances people face when volunteering, said that there is a common notion that volunteering is now out of style and impractical, but such notions can never stop someone with a true intention to help the underserved.

Prof. Severino E. Cuevas, first director of the UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod graced the event and took the opportunity to thank the people in attendance that day. He also gave a follow up answer to the striking question and said that “volunteerism comes from the heart”.

Mr. Melendrez of Red Cross supported this idea with his answer on the most unforgettable experience in volunteering. “Yung pagodnapagodkana, walangtulog, walangkain, peromakitamolangngumitiangtaongnatulunganmo, mawawala [iyon] lahat.”

The forum was held in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod with the theme “Honoring Heritage, Building Legacies”.

Bahay ng Pahinungod

University of the Philippines Los Baños
College, Laguna 4031, Philippines
Tel. No. (049) 536-0505
Email: pahinungod@uplb.edu.ph