CEBU, Philippines — The University of the Visayas does not only intend to celebrate its feat of reaching 100 years, but also to commemorate the long years of living by the principle of its founder Don Vicente Gullas that is to offer love and service to people, especially the marginalized.
And former Cebu congresswoman Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz attested to it.
The politician, who is now a doctor by profession, recalled that while she was still taking up medicine during college, she used to seek the office of Vicente’s wife, Josefina “Inday Pining” Rivera, to excuse her in taking the examination even without paying her dues.
She said if not for the goodness and generosity of the late university executives, she could have not finished medical studies and become who she is right now.
In a media conference, she expressed heartfelt gratitude to brothers Jose and Eduardo, Vicente’s sons who are now managing the university – for the opportunity that their parents have given her to reach her dreams.
UV’s executives and faculty members introduced on December 5 the UV centennial program that includes the theme, series of activities and the official logo.
Ruiz said the College of Medicine dean asked her to lead her batch in 1984 for the university’s grandest alumni homecoming on July 26 and 27 – which is part of the yearlong celebration.
She added they have decided to hold medical missions, one of which is to participate with the free medical and non-medical services to be offered during the UV centennial fiesta of services on January 26 at the UV main campus.
“I am excited to help the school who has helped me reach my profession today,” Ruiz said
Lawyer Joseph Baduel, chair of the organizing committee of UV centennial celebration, believed that one of the reasons UV has survived over the years is because of Vicente’s main intention of founding the university – that is through love and service to the community.
“You will notice UV is always known to be very understanding, to be very perceptive, to be concerned of the needs of the students because it was founded on the basis of Don Vicente Gullas’ desire to provide opportunities for education to all especially to those at the lower level of society because he thought that education was a way out of poverty,” he said.
He shared one of the favorite quotes the late university head had stated.
“According to Vicente Gullas, UV was able to produce kings and queens who do not wear crowns but are royals just the same and this can be proven with the alumni of UV. We have one alumna, Soon-Ruiz, and there are many other alumni who are as successful as her,” he said.
And after the first 100 years of UV, Baduel said the university will reaffirm its commitment to love and serve the humanity for another century.
The university’s 100th anniversary carries the theme: “UV: A Century of Love and Service to Humanity.”
The theme reflects UV’s motto, “Amor, Servitium, Humanitas” or in English means “Love, Service to Humanity.”
Other than these noble causes, Vicente’s sons could retell many of the lessons their parents have shared to them which they continually apply in running the university.
UV President Atty. Eduardo “Eddiegul” Gullas told the guests and media that one thing his mother would always want to kick off an event is through a Eucharistic celebration.
“If mama were alive today, her first comment would be Eddie let’s start off with a Holy Mass,” said Gullas, also the mayor of Talisay City.
The grand opening of UV’s centennial celebration in 2019 falls on January 12, which is the birthdate of Vicente.
It will start with a run for a cause at 4 a.m. “to warm up and energize” the event, according to organizers.
A Holy Mass is set at 5:30 p.m. on that day that will be followed with the grand opening program at 7 p.m. Part of the program is the launching of the centennial theme song; the opening of the centennial exhibit; the launching of UV commemorative stamp; and a fireworks display and memorial torch lighting.
On January 14, the Vicente Gullas Inter-Collegiate oratorical contest, which is unique in Metro Cebu, is set to open for its 12th run.
On March 14 to 16, UV will host a job fair at its main campus that will be open to all even to outsiders.
The university also organizes its employees’ family day on May 18.
There are also series of learning sessions and conferences slated between August and September; and several community extension program and tree planting between August and December.
UV also seeks to revive its historic cultural show “Comparza” which was last held two decades ago. It is scheduled on the third week of October.
On November 23 is the centennial International Research Conference to be facilitated by UV.
And UV’s centennial celebration will end on December 22, which is Vicente’s death anniversary.
UV prepared the centennial celebration culminating program and grand Christmas party at Marco Polo Hotel.
Eddiegul congratulated his younger brother Dodong for preparing for the yearlong program and set of activities.
Dr. Jose “Dodong” Gullas, UV Executive Vice President, said he only wanted to make the celebration “simple but memorable” because from humble beginnings had the university started with only holding classes at a rented house in 1919.
And until the school population grew and the institution was elevated to a university status, he said UV thrived even amid criticisms and negative feedbacks.
But the university has proved that it does not only boast of its 100 years of existence, rather of its longest span of making poor students realize their dreams. (FREEMAN)