by Christian Rieza and Aira Edduba
In celebration and recognition of the achievements of outstanding and notable alumni, the University of the Philippines Los Baños celebrated its 95th Loyalty Day on October 9-10 with the theme “UPLB Alumni for Sustainable Community Transformation.” Among its activities was the parade at the Freedom Park on October 10.
The parade started with the recognition and awarding of medals to alumni who attended the program. It was followed by the presentations of various offices and units inside the University to represent their respective offices. Schools and colleges inside the University, student organizations as well as research extension agencies also joined the parade. Some prepared skits, dance or jingles for their performances.
Los Baños Mayor, Cesar Perez, emphasized that the Loyalty Day is a great venue for alumni to give back and rekindle ties. “Maganda yan, kasi alam mo, marami ring nakatapos, marami ring naging maayos ang buhay. At least once in a while, nakakabalik sila,” he added.
The parade was held following the alumni fellowship and awards night at the EB Copeland Gymnasium the night before the parade. The following Outstanding alumni who were awarded during the event included: Henry Burgos for Film making; Cesar M. Drilon for Good Governance; Benito O. De Lumen for Biotechnology Research Development; Dr. Joel L. Cuello for Global Biosystems Engineering Education and Research; Dr. William S. Gruezo for Natural Resources Conservation; Jesus V. Melgar for Food Technology and Manufacturing; John Augustus C. Mendoza for Public Service; Elma M. Neyra for Peace and Development; Annie Oro-Ty for Community Service; Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit for Regional Institutional Development; and Dr. Surapong Sarkarung for Rice Plant Breeding.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Rex Victor O. Cruz noted the difference of celebrating Loyalty Day today as compared before. “Nagumpisa ito as a tribute para sa mga lumaban ng giyera with the Americans. Parang it’s a loyalty to the American Government kasi under Commonwealth pa tayo nun. But naging tradition na at ngayon of course hindi na ito loyalty to the Americans. It’s now pledging the loyalty of UP, alumni, students and staff to the country,” he shared.
“Difference from last year and this year? The main difference is hapon na ngayon ang Loyalty Day, usually umaga yan at parang mas maganda nga pag hapon eh” the Chancellor added.