by Rex Godinez Ortega, OC
MSU-IIT hoists today (August 5) the flag of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in a special ceremony held in conjunction with its weekly flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the regional intergovernmental organization.
Along with the ASEAN flag, the flags of the association’s 10 member-states are also raised during the ceremonies held in the morning at the Institute Gymnasium.
Several other activities like forums and lectures are also being organized in various locations in the campus on August 8, which is the 52nd Anniversary of the founding of the ASEAN.
Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol, Institute officials, and faculty and staff attend the ceremony wearing ASEAN-inspired costumes to highlight the important role the association plays in maintaining the good relations of the countries in the region.
He also leads Institute constituents in singing the ASEAN hymn.
“We need to pursue stronger collaboration, even partnership, with our ASEAN neighbors,” Tanggol tells the crowd at the Gymnasium, referencing this year’s ASEAN theme of “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”.
Tanggol, a former Philippine ambassador assigned to Kuwait, says that MSU-IIT should not stop after achieving its goals but should “have a continuous passion for growth”.
Serving as guest speaker for the opening of the ASEAN Month is Assoc. Prof. Auijit Pattanajak, a visiting professor from Thailand’s Khon Kaen University.
Pattanajak, whose month-long stay in the campus coincides with the ASEAN Month, thanks the Institute for inviting her to visit, and adds that she was very excited because it’s her “first time to talk to many people in the Philippines.”
Pattanajak is in MSU-IIT to share her expertise in the open-approach teaching method and to team-teach with CED faculty members on graduate courses, among other things.
The Institute holds the special ceremony in compliance with Presidential Proclamation No. 282, Series of 2017 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte that declared August as ASEAN Month, to be observed every year.
The Commission on Higher Education and the Civil Service Commission also have issuances directing other government agencies, like MSU-IIT, to observe the ASEAN Month and to participate in ASEAN commemoration-related activities.
The special ceremony is organized by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development (OVCPD).
It is conducted in cooperation with the College of Computer Studies (CCS), whose turn it is to host all the Monday morning flag-raising ceremonies of the Institute for the month of August.
Prof. Gaudencio Petalcorin, OIA Acting Director, gives the overview of the Institute’s ASEAN Month celebration.
Petalcorin says that the OIA, in collaboration with other cost centers, is organizing on August 8 the following activities:
- Forum on ASEAN Framework (with Cultural Presentations) to be held at the Bulwagang Filipino of the College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS). (OIA collaborators are CASS and the Department of Extension of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension.)
- Forum: Exchange Students (ASEAN Experiences) to be held at the Amphitheater of the College of Education (CED). (OIA collaborator here is CED.)
- The ASEAN Briefer. This lecture is to be delivered by Department of Political Science faculty member Yasmira Moner at the Conference Room of the Premier Research Institute for Science and Mathematics (PRISM). (OIA collaborator for this activity is the Department of Political Science.)
- MSU-IIT, Philippines and Khon Kaen University, Thailand: Perspectives in Teaching Mathematics. To be held at the PICC. (OIA collaborators are CED and the DOST-SEI.)
Petalcorin draws attention to the theme for the 52nd Anniversary of the founding of the ASEAN and says that if MSU-IIT would “prioritize this, it would lead to global visibility”.