Photo by: LB Times
CFNR alumni touch base during their homecoming 2024

The College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) alumni gathered at the CFNR campus for the annual alumni homecoming on April 18-19, 2024, with the theme, ”From Roots to Canopy: Honoring our Legacy, Cultivating our Future–Commemorating 114 Years of Forestry Excellence at CFNR.” 

The event featured the following: Forester’s Day and Alumni Sportsfest, Fellowship Night, Technical Forum, Alumni Business Meeting, Alumni Concert, and Jubilarian’s Night. Aside from the alumni, CFNR pioneers, faculty and staff, students, alumni, retirees, and guests took part in the events. 

The celebration allowed former students and older generations of alumni to reconnect with the college and its constituents, reminiscing about their time spent in CFNR, visiting familiar places, and reuniting with previous professors and colleagues.

CFNR Dean Marlo D. Mendoza expressed his gratitude to all attendees during the welcome ceremony at the CFNR Covered Court, saying that the reunion was a great opportunity for student-alumni interactions. The CFNR-based organizations, fraternities, and sororities participated by displaying their vibrant and engaging booths. 

For. Leonardo T. Lapie and For. Sofronio C. Camacho, members of the Board of Trustees of the CFNR Alumni Association (CFNRAA-BOT), also guaranteed that everyone would have a fun experience at the events.

Game masters Dr. Rogelio T. Andrada II and Romnick S. Baliton led the Forester’s Day, where various competitions were held among three teams. With 109 points, Team Epiphytes triumphed over Team Buang, which took runner-up honors with 103 points, and Team Makiling with 81 points. The first day of the Alumni Homecoming concluded with the awarding ceremony and alumni concert.

Kickstarting the second day of the festivities, Dean Mendoza, who is also the vice president of CFNRAA, led the commemorative ceremony at the CFNR Marker. Dr. Florentino O. Tesoro, a jubilarian representing the Class of 1959, also delivered an inspirational message. 

The commemoration included a wreath-laying activity at the cenotaph, led by the CFNRAA BOT, which was followed by the ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open the CFNR Alumni Homecoming Exhibit. The wreath-laying ceremony during the alumni homecoming honored departed alumni as the college’s symbol of pride, giving respect and acknowledging their contributions, achievements, and impact on forestry and the institution.

The opening program continued at the Nicolas P. Lansigan auditorium, where Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. delivered a welcome message. He expressed appreciation for CFNR leading the way in excellence in forest management, forest and natural resources policy recommendations, and for its strong dedication to public service. 

In her keynote address, the Hon. Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, emphasized the importance of learning from past mistakes and mentioned the opportunities for the country to have collaborative efforts from government agencies, local communities, civil society and organizations, and academia. She suggested integrated approaches by means of seeing the forest as a national capital asset with immense ecological and economic value. This entails potential investment in conservation, positioning the Philippines at the forefront of providing nature-based solutions to the impacts of climate change. She also talked about enhancing capacity building of communities and promoting science-based governance. 

Part of the opening program was the recognition of jubilarians and outstanding CFNR alumni after which a sumptuous lunch was served while the alumni were electing their new CFNRAA BOT. The fiesta lunch represented a cultural celebration, providing a sense of community among the alumni.

During the Technical Forum, ideas and information about relevant forestry issues were discussed. It was also the time to consult the alumni on how to improve curricular offerings and services in the college. At the Alumni Business Meeting, the CFNR dean, CFNRAA president, and treasurer delivered their reports. 

In his report, Dean Mendoza highlighted the college’s achievements in forestry education and research, partnership expansion, revival of forest-based industry for nation-building, improvement of facilities, and capacity building of CFNR students/staff. Outgoing BOT members were also honored with plaques, followed by an open forum and announcement of the newly elected BOT members. Dean Mendoza adjourned the meeting, expressing gratitude to all attending alumni. 
To cap off the 2024 CFNR Alumni Homecoming, the Jubilarians Night and Alumni Fellowship was held. The evening was filled with camaraderie and fellowship, with old friends reunited and new connections forged. It also allowed the institution to recognize and honor the contributions and achievements of alumni who have reached significant milestones across their careers. Overall, the event served as a reminder of the lasting bonds that transcend time and distance and unite CFNR graduates. (For. Kristel S. Victoria)

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