Pahinungod founder Dr. Emil Javier (left) and former UP Mindanao Chancellor Dr. Roger Cuyno (right) recall the beginnings of Ugnayan ng Pahinungod in public service in the University of the Philippines as they grace the 22nd anniversary celebration. (Photos by Ely Sumayod)
As part of its 22nd inception anniversary, Pahinungod held an open house in Bahay ng Pahinungod grounds on Sept 7.
The program began with a lunch buffet which was attended by student and faculty volunteers, members of partner organizations and communities and distinguished guests including former UP President Dr. Emil Javier, former UP Mindanao Chancellor Dr. Roger Cuyno, and UP Manila Pahinungod Director Dr. Eric Talens.
As the first speaker, UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod Founder Dr. Emil Javier shared that the inception of Pahinungod also came as a response to a magazine article published in 1991 titled, “Has UP Lost Its Soul?”
Dr. Javier recalled that instead of answering the criticism through debate, his administration decided to respond with action and initiate a formal and dedicated form of volunteerism. As a result, the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod was established as a proof that UP has not lost its soul. He also informed the audience that Pahinungod was intended to be an academic program, not an extension program. Its primary objective, besides public service, is to mold the quality of the students, alumni and faculty volunteers.
“Ang pinakamahalagang public service ng isang university ay instruction. Dagdag bonus na lang yung nakatulong tayo,” said Dr. Javier as he ended his speech.
On the other hand, Dr. Cuyno motivated students and staff to continue serving the people. He recalled his experiences as a member of Pahinungod and a past field volunteer. He emphasized that public service is the legacy of an iskolar ng bayan and is not just an 8 to 5 job and added that even if some core members that Dr. Javier had mentioned passed away, “Pahinungod will always be there [even if] it might have a different transformation, different name.”
Lastly, Dr. Eric Talens said that only two Pahinungod offices maintain a strong presence at the moment, the ones in UPLB and in Manila. He also mentioned a similar, newly founded volunteer corp in Siliman University in which he served as the consultant, “Siliman University has been watching Pahinungod from the start until now and with that, they established their own Pahinungod-like office already.”
Other activities of the 22nd inception anniversary included a merienda cena for all the volunteers at 4pm and a brownbag session at 6pm with the theme “Volunteerism in the Health Sector” with resource speakers from UP Manila Pahinungod (see related article). EJSumayod