The “Los Baños Spirit” that the university immortalizes every Loyalty Day has once again proven its enduring character, this time amidst the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
At 9 AM of Oct. 10, UPLB opened the 2020 Loyalty Day and Alumni Homecoming through its first virtual edition that once again united the university workforce, students, and alumni as the event has been doing for the past 102 years.
The virtual homecoming, which was held via Zoom and was livestreamed on TVUP YouTube channel, is the first of the three-event celebration today.
“The spirit of volunteerism and courage of Loyalty Day lives on in the UPLB community, who have answered the call to serve during the pandemic,” said UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, one of the well-wishers during the opening program, as he reflected on the continuing relevance of the Loyalty Day spirit in the context of public service by the university and its alumni at these times.
Loyalty Day stemmed from the volunteerism of the UP College of Agriculture students and workforce to enlist in the Philippine National Guard during World War I in 1918. A year after that, the spirit of volunteerism became the centerpiece of the annual celebration that has evolved through time as UPLB’s alumni homecoming day.
Joining President Concepcion in the opening program were UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. and For. Leo R. Ballesfin, president of the UPLB Alumni Association (UPLBAA).
They lauded the alumni’s generosity and support, especially in recent times when they helped feed and ferry home the stranded students during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.
UPLB, UPLBAA, and the jubilarians led by Class 1970, the golden jubilarians, are the co-organizers of the virtual Loyalty Day.
In their messages, golden jubilarian, Dr. Cristino M. Collado, class president and over-all chair, and UP Regent Francis C. Laurel, emphasized the essence of alumni’s loyalty to the university at all times.
Different videos were shown to bring the alumni back to the campus for virtual campus tours. Alumni Crisbelle Dimapili-Quilao (Class 2007) and Ramon Bernardo (Class 1968) rendered their singing voices to add nostalgia to the visual presentation.
Videos that narrated the history and achievements of the university, as well as one that paid tribute to the recently departed alumni, were also presented to the online audience.
The deans of UPLB’s 11 colleges and schools were also featured in the online celebration. They thanked the alumni for their continuous support to their units.
They also expressed the current needs of their students and workforce that they hope the alumni could help address, including scholarships and financial assistance, job placements, equipment, and availability to serve as resource persons in learning events, to name a few.
The opening program ended with a musical retro performance from the golden jubilarians and their singing of Hail, College Dear, the college hymn of the College of Agriculture and Food Science.
Hosting the event were Dr. Jea Agnes Buera and Mark Lester Chico, assistant professors at the Department of Humanities and College of Development Communication, respectively. Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, former chancellor of UP Open University and a professor at the UP Film Institute, directed the virtual program.
Following the opening program are the virtual reunions of each jubilarian groups through Zoom, and the awarding of outstanding alumni that will be shown on Zoom, the Facebook page of the Office of Alumni Relations, and the YouTube channel of UPLB. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)