WPU personnel and students enjoy a water hose shower and are splashed with colored powder during a fun run activity on the WPU-PPC Campus grounds on March 3, 2023, leaving them pleasantly and colorfully muddy. | Photo by Vengie Ravelo

Under the theme “Matapat at Malikhain: Harapang Harapin ang Hinaharap,” Western Philippines University (WPU) commemorated its 113th founding anniversary and 19th university day in-person for the first time in almost two years, following a gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Atty. Joselito Alisuag, Regional Director of CHED-MIMAROPA and WPU Officer- In-Charge encouraged the students to enjoy the celebration and showcase their talents by taking part in different planned activities to meaningfully honor their university’s founding.

Dr. Maria Lourdes Marzo, Vice President for Academic Affairs, described the university’s humble beginnings from a farm settlement school for the Tagbanuas established in 1910 on its main site in Aborlan through its conversion to a university in 2004.

She reiterated WPU’s mission of being a center of knowledge and excellence in the west Philippines and beyond its borders.

The festival, which began on February 28 and will end on March 6, 2023, includes a variety of enjoyable events, including a color fun run, festival and hip-hop dance competitions, battle of the bands, and friendship games involving faculty, staff, alumni, and students. The week-long event takes place simultaneously on the main campus in Aborlan and at the Puerto Princesa campus.

According to WPU Faculty Regent Marlene Jagmis, this year’s celebration has become more significant since “it gives the chance to our university officials, faculty, students, alumni, and other stakeholders to enjoy together face-to-face after the Covid-19 pandemic hit us in 2020. We are bringing back the spirit of unity and teamwork among our colleagues through this celebration.”

“The color fun run activity spearheaded by our student leaders promotes wellness and unity not only among our students but also among the employees of our beloved university,” WPU Puerto Princesa Campus Student Supreme Council adviser Ma. Crisalve Fuertes said.

A fellowship night on March 6 at the main campus honoring the key officials, faculty and staff for their dedication and years of service to the university will conclude the celebration.