BSU celebrates 104th Foundation Anniversary with continuing story of resilience

BSU has been through various adversities in its 104 years of existence. In this year’s Foundation Anniversary, BSU centered its celebration on its continuing stories of resilience in light of the present struggle with the CoVID-19 Pandemic. Activities were done virtually and through small gatherings strictly following health protocols.

The celebration kicked off with activities for students by the Office of Student Services-Guidance and Counseling Unit. First, the Tumulung Ken Tumarabay Kenyam Kabsat (Tutukk), a series of webinars focusing on mental health that aired its first series on September 3, 2020. OSS-Guidance and Counseling Unit also organized story writing and poster making contests.

Online flag ceremonies were held on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of September hosted by the four sectors of BSU symbolizing the employees’ patriotism and unwavering service despite the effects of CoVID-19 on their physical, mental, and spiritual state. The Supreme Student Government (SSG) also hosted a Virtual Film Festival showcasing student-made documentaries on September 14-16, 2020. The films can still be viewed on the BSU-SSG Facebook page.

On September 19 and 26, 2020, the HRDO went on with its annual Multi-Disciplinary Discourse by broadcasting prerecorded research presentations of BSU scholars at the BSU Facebook page and YouTube account.

The celebration was highlighted with the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service and Program for the 104th BSU Foundation Anniversary, 120th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary and Praise Everlasting Awards held on September 23, 2020 at the BSU Gymnasium. Participants of the program were limited to University officials, working committees, guests and awardees. The full video of the program was premiered on the BSU Facebook page on September 28, 2020, reaching 29,600 people.

The program was made more special with the message by a 97-year old alumna of the University, Mrs. Esther Botengan Sagalla. Through a video recording, she reminisced the beauty of the La Trinidad Agricultural High School where she attended classes in the 1930s.

“I pray that this school will continue to progress, to produce more graduates who will help in the progress of the nation. May the Lord continue to bless this school—our Alma Mater” she said.

In the same program, Dir. Cornelia S. Padinay and Mr. Rex A. Bate of the CSC-Benguet Field Office delivered the Certificate of Recognition for BSU meeting the PRIME-HRM Maturity Level II Indicators on both systems and competencies for rewards and recognitions. The certificate was received by BSU officials led by OIC President, Dir. Danilo B. Bose. The PRIME-HRM of CSC aims to transform agencies’ human resource management system competencies and practices to a level of excellence that fosters good governance.

In this year’s PRAISE EVERLASTING Awards, 61 individuals, four colleges, and one office were recognized. Former BSU President, Dr. Feliciano G. Calora Jr., Hon. Gabriel S. Tugbo, the late Marvin S. Chagyo, Dr. Louisa P. Pladio, Hon. Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero and Hon. Paolo Everardo S. Javier were given the Leadership in Action: Kayabang Award in recognition of their contributions as former members of the BSU Board of Regents.

Atty. Marco Cicero F. Domingo received the same award in recognition of his service as OIC President in June 2020. Mr. Antonio O. Binay-an, Dr. Feliciano G. Calora Jr., Ms. Corazon D. Sanwen, Ms. Bienvenida S. Caguiao, Dr. Ines C. Gonzales, Dr. Victoria C. Milo, Dr. Fernando R. Gonzales, Dr. Silvetsre K. Aben, Ms. Nelin W. Dulnuan and the late Ambo D. Kiswa received the Service at its Best Award for their more than 30 years of service to the University.

Ms. Nelin W. Dunuan rendered the most years in service totaling to 43 years. She is a faculty of the Biology Department, Buguias Campus.

“To be a public servant, that’s day and night… do not count the number of hours (of work), but the quality of work that you render,” Dunuan said.

The Office of Student Services (OSS) was recognized as Best Organizational Office while the Quality Assurance Recognition was given to the: College of Agriculture for attaining Center of Development for Agricultural Education, for having a student who topped (Rank 6) the Licensure Examination for Agriculturists, for achieving Level IV Accreditation for Master of Science in Animal Science; College of Teacher Education for attaining Center of Excellence for Teacher Education, for being Top 2 Best Performing School 2019 Licensure Examination for Librarians, for achieving Level IV Accreditation for Bachelor in Elementary Education, and for achieving Level IV Accreditation for Bachelor in Secondary Education; College of Home Economics and Technology for attaining Center of Development for Nutrition and Dietetics; and the College of Nursing for being among Top 3 Best Performing School during the 2019 Nursing Licensure Examination and for achieving Level IV Accreditation for Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Under Greatness in Achievements of the PRAISE-EVERLASTING, the following individuals were given Special Citation for their research achievements: Ms. Grace S. Backian, Ms. Ammie D. Ngaotoy, Ms. Dalen Meldoz, Mr. Jophr Galian, Dr. Jude L. Tayaben, Dr. Elizabeth T. Dom-ogen, Mr. Lesley Dale G. Umayat, Dr. Norma P. Banania, Dr. Ruth S. Batani, Dr. Romeo A. Gomez Jr., Dr. Cheryll C. Launio, Dr. Marietta Q. Amatorio, Dr. Criselda S. Battad, Dr. Edlyn Mae N. Ciano, Ms. Matyline A. Camfili-Talastas, Dr. Stanley F. Anongos, Dr. Apler J. Bansiong, Dr. Bretel B. Dolipas, Dr. Ederson G. Bawang, Dr. Serano L. Oryan, Ms. Freda Kate D. Samuel, Dr. Andres A. Basalong, Ms. Hazen Lyn Talbino, Mr. Von Y. Amado, Mr. Jaime B. Codio, Ms. Jocelyn C. Perez and Dr. Leonardo L. Samonte.

BSU officials join Operation Kape of the R&D Sector
BSU officials led by OIC of the Office of the President, Dr. Danilo B. Bose planted coffee trees around the premises of the Research and Extension Complex on September 24, 2020. The activity was titled “Operation ‘KAPE’: Laying the Foundation of Arabica Coffee in the Future R&E Science Complex”. This is in celebration of BSU’s 104th Foundation Anniversary and Civil Service Month and to build an Arabica Coffee collection. 

The coffee trees that were planted are symbolic of the University’s Research and Development Program on Arabica Coffee in the Cordillera Administrative Region in one of its projects titled, “Genetic Characterization through DNA Markers and Somatic Embryogenesis of Arabica Coffee (Coffea arabica L.) Germplasm in CAR” spearheaded by the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry (IFHSA) and the Higher Education Regional Research Center (HERRC). The program is funded by the Commission on Higher Education.

In a simple ceremony held before the coffee tree planting, VP for Research and Extension, Dr. Ruth S. Batani; IFHSA director, Prof. Andres A. Basalong and Office of Extension Services director, Dr. Stanley F. Anongos explained the significance of the activity.

“The coffee that we are going to plant today came all the way from Mountain Province. Our researchers had these seedlings taken to BSU and subjected to scientific processes such as DNA marking and tissue-culture until finally, we have them today to be planted,” said Dr. Anongos. There was a total of 298 coffee seedlings planted during the activity made possible with the involvement of 100 staff of various BSU research institutes and centers.

Twenty of these seedlings originated from Belis, Atok, Benguet; 130 are from the IHFSA collection and 148 are from Mountain Province. The varieties include Typica, Red Bourbon, Mundo Novo, San Ramon and Granica. Under the said BSU R&D program, coffee seedlings were turned over to beneficiaries and coffee production IEC materials containing information on traditional production practices, morphological characterization, disease management and technological innovations were distributed to the public.

“It’s an honor to be part of this noble activity. I learned that this is a transfer of technology program and I know that this is just the beginning. I hope that this technology will be transferred to other localities of Benguet and also other parts of the Cordillera,” said Dr. Bose who admitted that it was his first time to plant a coffee tree.

Trees planted in BSU reservations

After planting coffee, BSU Officials along with volunteer employees planted trees at Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet on September 25, 2020. The 54 employees who participated are from the Office of the President, CHED-CAR, CF, CHET, CN, Finance Management Office, GAD/HRMO, General Services Office/Landscaping, Land Reservation Office, Legal Affairs Office, Planning and Development Office, Security Services Office, Supply and Property Management Office and University Public Affairs Office. A total of 104 tree seedlings were planted.

Out of these, five are African Tulips, 20 are Alnus, 10 are Anchoandilau, 20 are Calliandra, 30 are Malatibig, 10 are Red Bottle Brush, four are Salisi and five are Tigdog. The activity aimed to instill environment protection and promote camaraderie among employees. It is also to contribute to the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) and to the University’s efforts to protect its landholdings.

The Security Services Office has reported various incidents of young trees uprooted or burnt and lately, a burnt guard house within University landholdings. Eventually, tree-planting and maintenance activities as regular wellness activities have been approved by Dr. Bose.

Lecture on BSU History

On September 30, 2020, lectures on BSU’s History of Resilience were premiered via the BSU-Center for Culture and the Art’s Facebook Page. The lectures by Dr. Tecah C. Sagandoy of the CAS-Department of Social Science and Dr. Stanley Anongos, director of the Office of Extension Services featured the resilience of BSU during the Pre-War and Post-War eras.

For the Pre-War era, Dr. Sagandoy highlighted the time when the La Trinidad Agricultural School (BSU’s name during the 1900s) operated on a tight budget and still managed to perform well. The school and students managed to gain income from crop production in parts of the 850-hectare land that TAS had back then. Another incident shared by Dr. Sagandoy happened in February 1927 when 205 TAS students, led by officers of the student body, forced a meeting with the principal of the school, Mr. James A. Wright, regarding policies.

According to the students, Mr. Wright compelled them to wear their G-string attire and perform Igorot dances in front of visitors at Camp John Hay to which the students did not favor. Another issue that led to the incident was the students being overworked and deprived of days to rest even on Sundays with no compensation.

In the Post-War era, Dr. Anongos talked about the dams, and swimming pools construction, reforestation, and various building repairs, rain or shine, wherein some students got sick in the process and also the insufficient food supply. Dr. Anongos highlighted the school’s history of land disputes which began in 1954 when president Ramon Magsaysay’s Proclamation No. 209 removed 800 hectares of land from the school and another 222.0688 hectares was reduced during the 1960s.

Dr. Anongos highlighted the school’s history of land disputes which began in 1954 when president Ramon Magsaysay’s Proclamation No. 209 removed 800 hectares of land from the school and another 222.0688 hectares was reduced during the 1960s. Various land claimants and the local governments of Benguet and La Trinidad also contributed to the continuous reduction of BSU land. With the ongoing issues of various land claimants, BSU resorted to solutions such as claimants would be offered to buy the land instead to settle the issues. Some negotiations according to Anongos was that some claimants were offered to transfer to another location for free or for a very minimal price. Another negotiation that BSU accommodated was to let the children of the claimants have their education at BSU for free and some parents to work in BSU as well.

HEAL Documentary

Many students, faculty and staff are struggling to adapt to educational conditions in the new normal. Because physical classes are prohibited for the protection of students and teachers. All were forced to learn and embrace the new learning system which was either online, modular, or blended. This is what the BSU-HRMO led by Raymundo H. Pawid Jr. documented in the HEAL Documentary.

The film showed the current situation of the students and faculty, how they work , study and cope with this pandemic. The film also showed how hopeful the students are. “Baken tako maawanan si namnama, amagek na para sin Namarsua, laton kaya tako na. (Let us not lose hope, I will keep on for God, we can get through this)” said one student. The HEAL Documentary is still available for viewing at the BSU Facebook Page.//KPagada&JSTabangcura