It would seem now that University of the Philippines (UP) Professor Felipe Mendoza de Leon, Jr. is the best choice for a speaker during this year’s 5th Mid-Year Commencement Exercises which is hosted by the College of Arts & Social Sciences (CASS).
He delivers the commencement address to over 600 graduates at 9:00 AM at the Gymnasium on November 20, 2014.
De Leon graduated with an Electronics and Communications engineering degree from Feati University,but he has, since the late 1960s, turned to a lifelong study of the country’s music forms and has led in the promotion of the country’s culture and arts.
At present he is the Head of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) National Committee on Music and the Head of the Sub Commission on the Arts, at the same time, the Chairman and Commissioner of the NCCA. He is also Chairman of the NCCA’s Committee on Filipino Intangible Heritage. In this capacity, he led the process responsible for having the country’s two major epics, the Ifugao Hudhud and the Maranao Darangen proclaimed as UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage for Humanity.
He had previously headed many other posts at the NCCA since the 1990s for instance, as Chairman of the NCCA Sub Commission on the Arts from 2004-2007, and the Sub Commission for Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts from 1992-1998 during which period the Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs) were established all over the country.
He was Chair of the Humanities Division of the National Research Council of the Philippines; the Commissioner of UNESCO Philippines in 1999-2002; and, as Chairman of the Gawad Sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasures Awards) this award was institutionalized in recognition of the masters of traditional arts in the country towards the preservation and transmission of skills to the younger generation.
This passion for the country’s culture and arts is shown in his home where material and art objects showcasing Philippine arts and crafts become an integral part.
He is the son of the National Artist for Music Felipe Padilla de Leon, famous for translating the lyrics of the Philippine National Anthem into Tagalog from the original lyrics in Spanish. De Leon, Jr. who admires his father said that among his father’s famous compositions are “Noche Buena” which was composed in seven minutes and “Pasko na Naman” which was composed in five minutes.
He is father to the multi-awarded film music scorer Diwa de Leon and the multi-awarded triathlon athlete Ani de Leon.
De Leon, Jr. has held other administrative positions in UP Diliman — as Chairman of the Department of Humanities where he charted the shift from a Eurocentric to a World Art approach emphasizing Southeast Asian and Philippine arts; as President of the National Association for Philippine Psychology, elected as Vice President of the International Music Council (IMC) of the UNESCO in California, eventually becoming the only Asian member of IMC to represent the country in meetings in Malmo, Sweden, in Rome and in Brno, Czech Republic.
He was instrumental in bringing Philippine music not only around the country but in the US, Finland, Lithuania, Sweden and in Italy.
Among his numerous compositions are the music for various plays such as Yerma by Federico Garcia Lorca, Lysistrata by Aristophanes and Rizal’s Noli me tangere directed by Tony Mabesa; the official hymn, Diwang Pilipino commissioned by the National Centennial Commission which was launched at the Quirino Grandstand by then President Fidel V. Ramos; the Senate Hymn and the NCCA Hymn.
De Leon also finished an AB in Humanities, cum laude from UP; a Fine Arts degree in composition and music theory also at the UP; his musicological studies at the Madras Music Academy in India and Philippine Studies at the UP College of Arts & Letters.
His published works include Philippine Art and Literature, Volume III of the Filipino Nation Encyclopedia published by Grolier International in 1982; Art, Man and Nature: Selected Readings in the Humanities and numerous articles on cultural issues especially on cultural creativity and diversity, worldviews and values, and culture and development. He was the main author of the ASEAN Declaration for Cultural Heritage.
His many awards include the Gawad Chancellor Award by the UP Diliman; Achievement Awardee of the National Research Council of the Philippines; Bayani ng Alamat Awardee by the UP Manila; one of ten Outstanding Citizens of Quezon City; Outstanding Achievement Award by the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society; and, a Gawad Parangal by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for outstanding service to the DFA. — for OC OPI
A total of 340 honor graduates — 4 summa cum laude; 20 magna cum laude, 203 cum laude, and 13 with honors led 1,678 graduates from the Institute’s nine colleges and schools during its 44th Commencement Exercises held at the Gymnasium on April 10, 2014.
The four top graduates were: Jan Philippe B. Sambo, BS Physics with a grade of 1.1500; Denniarah Milcah A. Cabrera, BS Biology major in Zoology with a grade of 1.15789; Arjay E. Ambay, BS Biology General with a grade of 1.17308; and, Sheldon Mark Z. Albao, BS Accountancy with a grade of 1.19707 led the rest of this year’s graduates.
Jan Philippe B. Sambo
The School of Engineering Technology (SET) with 333 graduates from a total of 1,678 topped the list of the number of graduates this year followed by the College of Education with 284; the College of Arts & Social Sciences with 244; the College of Engineering with 208; the College of Science & Mathematics with 169; the College of Business Administration & Accountancy with 155; the College of Nursing with 120; the School of Computer Studies with 118; and, the School of Graduate Studies with 47.
The Commencement Speaker, City Mayor Celso G. Regencia, on the other hand, lauded the MSU-IIT in its commitment to quality education calling the Institute “an education landmark of Iligan City” that is a “vital infrastructure and facility that catalysed the city’s growth and development.”
He called the MSU-IIT an institution that has become a “pillar of socio-economic and political development of Iligan” and whatever the Institute’s achievements, he said, takes with it “the banner of the city”, and the city’s “source of pride.”
He challenged the Institute to “elevate and upgrade” itself to be at par with the leading universities in the country, and to focus on improving its quality of education, researches and extension work to be on equal footing with the rest of the world’s universities especially in the Southeast Asian region.
“Iligan City is now looking forward that MSU-IIT will be among the top ten universities in Asia, and perhaps top 20 in the world,” Regencia said. He likewise extolled the MSU-IIT for providing opportunities for the less privileged who want to avail of its affordable, quality education that is subsidized by government.
The brisk, two-ceremony at the Gymnasium on April 10, 2014 was preceded by Pre-Commencement Exercises of the various colleges and schools from April 7-9, 2014. –Christine Godinez Ortega, OPI
The Iligan City Mayor Celso G. Regencia is the 44th Commencement Speaker on April 10, 2014 at the MSU-IIT Gymnasium.
Regencia was elected City Mayor after his term as the City Director of the Iligan City Police Office in 2011-2012.
He took his Bachelor of Science in Public Safety, his Bachelor of Science in Criminology and his Masters in Public Administration at the Philippine National Police Academy.
The main special courses he had taken as part of his training as a Police Officer include: A Public Safety Officer’s Basic, Advance and Senior Executive Courses in various venues around the country; an Internal Security Operations Course; an International Human Rights Law Seminar; a Moral Recovery Program; an Anti-Human Smuggling Seminar, and an Anti-Drug Trafficking Seminar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Aside from his having served as the City Police Director, he has been assigned in various capacities as Chief Regional Logistics Division RIO; Battalion Commander of the 911 PNP Company; as Satellite Officer of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force; as Group Director of the Iligan City Mobile Group; as Chief of the City Intelligence Division and the Patrol Division; as Intelligence and Operations Division of Lanao del Norte and as Station Commander of Kauswagan and Maigo Police stations.
Among his awards are: Best Station Commander Region 12; Best Company Commander Nationwide in 2003 and in 2006; as Best City Director of the Region in 2011, and as Best Senior Police Commissioned Officer for Administration in 2011.
Along with these awards, he has received several medals of honor and distinction such 24 Medalya ngPapuri; 9 Medalya ng Paglilingkod; 18 Medalya ng Kasanayan; 6 Medalya ng Paglaban sa Manliligalig; 6 Medalya ng Paglilingkod sa Mindanao; 8 Medalya ng Kagalingan; the PNP Badge of Honor; and, the Long Service Medal for 30 Consecutive Years of Service with a Bronze Anahaw Leaf Medal.
Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez of the Second District of Cagayan de Oro City is the Guest of Honor and the Commencement Speaker in this year’s 44th Mid-Year Commencement Exercises on November 14, 2013 at the MSU-IIT Gymnasium.
Rodriguez holds an AB-Economics degree at De La Salle University, Manila where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1975, and a Law degree from the University of the Philippines in Diliman where he graduated among the top seven per cent of his class and among the top 20 in 1981. He also holds a Master’s degree in Economics with High Distinction from Xavier University.
As a Law student at UP, Rodriguez was elected the first and first Filipino President of the World Association of Law Students based in Washington, D.C. As such, he presided over the organization’s assemblies in Khartoum, Sudan; in Madrid, Spain; and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He also authored a book on the Law on Transportation published by Rex Bookstore, the youngest author of law books.
During his senior year at law school, he was elected the youngest senior board member of Misamis Oriental in 1980, and in 1984, he became the youngest Vice Governor of Misamis Oriental.
In 1990, he was appointed the youngest law dean of the San Sebastian College of Law, Manila and in five years, he graduated with Harlan Fiske Stone Honors (equivalent to Magna Cum Laude) Master of Laws at Columbia School of Law, New York City.
He was appointed in 1998 as the youngest Commissioner of Bureau of Immigration by President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
Several universities and organizations have likewise honored him: the degree of Doctorate of Humanities (Civil Law) Honoris Causa by the Central Mindanao University at Musuan, Bukidnon; “Most Outstanding Alumnus” by De La Salle University in 1999, and Xavier University in 2002. “Most Outstanding Alumnus Award for Public Service” during Xavier University’s 75th Anniversary in 2008; and, in 2012, a Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) degree by University of Negros Occidental Recoletos (UNO-R); as one of the Ten Outstanding Congressman of the Philippines by the Publishers Association of the Phils., Inc. (PAPI) in 2012; and, as one of Twenty Outstanding Congressmen Award for 2012 by Super brand Marketing International, Inc. for his achievements as Congressman of the 15th Congress.
He also received honors abroad: a Certificate, Leaders in Development from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 2009; and in 2011, a Certificate on Summer Courses on Public International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law in Netherlands.
In 2007, he was elected to the 14th Congress was re-elected in the May 10, 2010 elections. In the present 15th Congress, he ranks No. 1 among 285 Congressmen in the number of bills and resolutions filed.
He has authored singly or with others 1,090 house bills and resolutions, of which 31 had become Republic Acts, making him No. 1 of the 285 Congressmen with the most number of bills that have become law.
His more recent achievements are attending the 17th Session of the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy in Rhodes, Greece last year to know more on the validity of the Philippine claim to the West Philippine Sea under the 1982 United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea; and, being elected President of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines.
As in the 14th Congress, he also had a perfect attendance record. He is serving his third term in the 16th Congress. –Christine Godinez Ortega, OC-OPI