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Mapúa at 97: From Its Roots, Dreams Flourish

Article by: Alyanna Ysabelle A. Faustino and Sairine M. Salonga

Graphics by: Andreah Faye G. Lapinid and Ma. Alyssa Therese S. Manalang

Following the theme "Tracing the Roots and Building Upon the Foundation," Mapúa University (MU) set forth with integrity, resilience, and dignity with the celebration of the 97th Foundation Week last January 24 to 28, 2022

Nurturing the institution’s history and legacy

As MU  nears its centennial celebration, this year's Foundation Week looked back on its history and legacy and how the institution  built an empire of academic excellence from offering only architecture and civil engineering programs in 1925. 

Last January 24, the Office of International Linkages for Research and Development conducted a webinar entitled “Techniques in Research Paper Writing and Publishing”  where Dr. Melvin John Empizo from Osaka University gave his insights and experience in writing research papers. He also shared techniques on how to write a research paper.

Meanwhile, the Mapúa Central Student Council (CSC) hosted “The Cardinal Insider,” a podcast wherein the student council officers reminisced about the golden moments and unforgettable memories at the University.  The podcast also featured Ms. Eden Brasileno, an officer from the University’s Center for Scholarships and Financial Assistance; Mr . Jesusito Sulit, who has been with the institution for more than 40 years under the School of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering ; and Mr. Jun Ayran, Choir Director and Conductor of Mapúa Cardinal Singers. The guests talked about their time in the University and imparted some advice to the Mapúan community.

Always be honest in everything you do. You can face a lot of challenges in the future. Find your place and always be proud that you are Mapúan,” Ms. Brasileno said.

The following day, the University’s Center for Continuing Education and Special Competencies (CCESC) held an exhibit with partner companies CIM Technologies, CompTIA, Wissen International Pte Ltd, among others. The seminars covered topics in information technology, engineering, and management.  

On the same day, MU held a mass to commemorate the 97th founding anniversary of the University, then Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT). 

The University  also held the opening ceremony to officially launch the week-long event. During the kick-off celebration, MU President and CEO, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea told MU’s journey to achieve academic excellence and glorious history that the current and future students will inherit. Following Dr. Vea’s speech, Arch. Oscar B. Mapúa, Jr., the grandson of Don Tomas Mapúa, shared the story of the founder’s family as well as the humble beginnings of the institution. 

Then, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mapúa University Mrs. Helen Y. Dee imparted how the Yuchengco Group of Companies assumed responsibility of the school back in 2000 and that they celebrated the success of MIT for the past 75 years back then and “vowed to build upon them to take even greater heights.” She then recalled how they upheld and enriched the school’s tradition of excellence, citing MU’s academic programs, performance in the licensure examinations, accreditations, international rankings, contributions in digital education, research outputs, among others.

Moreover, Engr. Freddie P. Yumang, Senior Vice President – Refining Division of Petron Philippines, also one of the outstanding alumni and former President of National Association of Mapúa Alumni, conveyed the struggles he faced during his college journey at MIT and how he surpassed them. He mentioned the critical elements that were helpful in pursuing his career, namely self-discipline, patience, and perseverance, on top of his engineering foundation. 

As for the second part of the celebration, selected students and employees received raffle prizes ranging from cash to gadgets. They also enjoyed performances from Filipino bands Gracenote and Parokya ni Edgar.

Heeding the call for excellence

Last January 27, MU championed groundbreaking partnerships with national organizations to herald a new era of innovation, opportunity, and academic excellence. The fourth  day of the week-long festivities began with the launch of “STEM Teach Mapúa 2.0: A Free Online Training Program for Senior High School Teachers of STEM in the Greater Manila Area,” in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd). A total of 638 teachers delved into the foundational knowledge and skills needed in teaching the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines through a general orientation of the program, followed by a symbolic signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between Dr. Vea and DepEd Secretary Willie Cabral. The training program, which will run from January 28 to February 28, 2022, ushers in a strengthened quality of STEM education through the advancement of skills.

Later that day, the University, alongside the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST - PCIEERD) and Digital Pilipinas Academy, launched the “DOST Mapúa Think and Tinker Laboratory," a technology business incubator  that aims to develop digital tools, research and development projects, and micro-certification courses. This innovation hub, according to Dr. Vea, will allow students “to contribute more significantly to the country's efforts at trumping up technology commercialization.

Marching towards 100 years of greatness

To end the week-long celebration, last January 28, the Senior High School Department (SHS) pioneered the "Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Arts: Philippine Schools' Ultimate Achievers Challenge" (SHS Mapúa Challenge), which aimed to foster camaraderie and friendship among students through friendly competition, while also testing their knowledge in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, languages, humanities and arts, and social sciences. The Philippine Science High School - Ilocos Region Campus team were hailed champions, bringing home a trophy, medal, and a cash prize.

Finally, the University Student Government (USG), comprised of the Central Student Council, Council of Presidents, and Council of Organizations, organized a Voter Education Forum.  The forum discussed the importance of exercising a citizen’s right to vote and understanding social issues. The student-led election forum promoted youth participation as agents of positive change in the upcoming 2022 national elections. In his opening remarks, Dr. Vea highlighted the elections as a pillar of democracy, and that “clean and honest elections make for stable government.

Moreover, six of the ten presidential aspirants responded to the invitation from the USG to answer questions about pressing national issues. Former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, former Secretary of National Defense Norberto Gonzales, Dr. Jose Montemayor, Jr., Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., and labor leader Leodegario "Ka Leody" de Guzman were among the candidates who recorded their responses to the questions.

Later that day, MU  held its annual Outcomes-based Education Best Practices event wherein Dr. Jonathan Macayan, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Education (SSSE), was hailed as the champion of the event with his research entitled “SSSE’s Modular Accomplishment Report: An Outcome-Supportive Mechanism for Students’ Learning Success in the Remote and Online Modality of Education”. 

The University’s road to its centennial year is full steam ahead as it continues to strive to be leaders in the emerging fields of engineering, architecture, and technology. Dr. Vea reminded Mapúans to continue the legacy and harness the wisdom that the University nurtured for nearly ten decades. “Tracing our roots would hopefully give us insight and foresight and instill in us patience and fortitude so that we can do right by the precious legacy that has been handed down to us,” he stated. 

Mapúa University, then Mapúa Institute of Technology, was established in 1925 by Don Tomas Mapúa, the first Filipino registered architect. The University will celebrate its 100th founding anniversary in 2025.  

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