“I’m sure that we are lucky at the Urdaneta City University because of the quality education that was given to us by Dr. Orata.”
This statement was empathically said by Dr. Virgilio Manzano, the Dean of the Institute of Advanced and Graduate Studies, during the commemoration of the undying legacy of Dr. Pedro T. Orata, the founder of Urdaneta City University.
In his speech, Manzano recalled the humble beginnings of UCU when it was envisioned by Dr. Orata, “Every Monday, he comes over in Urdaneta in order to conduct experiments on the possibility of starting a barangay high school, included in every elementary school. Of course, Dr. Orata actually added to his research also the inclusion of community college in 1966. It was also in 1966 that Dr. Orata established the Urdaneta City University.”
Manzano further explains that Dr. Orata made these sacrifices “because his concept of self-help in order to provide quality education for all is an important function that Dr. Orata supported during the time he was in UNESCO Paris and then…the Philippine Normal University.”
As an alumnus of then Urdaneta Community College, Manzano also shared his experiences with the late Dr. Orata, which include his research proposal that received a “good indeed” remark from the great educator.
Moreover, he pointed out the importance of international integration in nation building. “I still remember the time when Mr. Rabago used to print to the mini graphic machine at the PACD building the report that will be presented by Dr. Orata in a UNESCO conference entitled, ‘What We Learned in Other Countries.’ Learning from other countries would be important for the development of our country,” he articulated.
Dr. Manzano also equated the university’s Four Core Values to the Four Pillars of Education. “The four pillars of education are actually the same as the core values that we are now using at the Urdaneta City University,” he said.
The academician served as the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the Wreath laying Ceremony during the celebration of the 55th Founding Anniversary on March 30, 2021 at the Orata Park.
COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the UCU community from having a toned down commemoration of its 55th founding anniversary as it broadcasted via Facebook its virtual celebration on March 30, 2021.
This 55th year founding anniversary is anchored on the theme “Elevating Perspectives” which is also the guiding principle of the university in various undertakings and events for the whole year.
In the message delivered by the Acting University President Atty. Dar Diga during the wreath-laying ceremony, he mentioned the essence of having renewed vision in relation to the theme.
“Having the right perspective, having an elevated perspective, will give us some crane, some foundation to move further, and of course, to move with more success and accomplishment,” Atty. Diga said.
The virtual celebration of the foundation featured the Wreath-Laying Ceremony and highlighted the notable contributions of Dr. Pedro T. Orata to the education system in the country.
It was capped by videos from Urdaneta City Mayor Julio “Rammy” Parayno, along with employees of various offices, colleges, and departments in the university, who extended their greetings to UCU for another year of milestone.#
Words: James Robert Canlas
Correspondents: Joanne Lorraine Puga and Mia Royulada