50 years of Values Education; People Development; Research and Communication

Winston Conrad B. Padojinog, President of the University of Asia and the Pacific, launched the countdown for the University's 50th Jubilee Year.

Opus Dei in the Philippines
Opus Dei - 50 years of Values Education; People Development; Research and Communication

Fr. Cayo Estrada – Vice Grand Chancellor of UA&P; Dr. Bernie Villegas and Dr. Jess Estanislao – Founders of our University; Dr. Josemaria Mariano – Past President of UA&P; Members of the Board of Trustees; members of the Management Committee and the Operations Committees; distinguished guests; fellow professors; colleagues; students; and staff of the University; Good morning!

In my speech during the opening of the school year last August 8, I mentioned that “the Golden Jubilee is not just a time to celebrate and give thanks for what our still very young institution has accomplished in the past 50 years; it is also a time to dream of what we can do in the next 50. All of us here in this auditorium are presented with a unique opportunity to lay the groundwork for what UA&P will be able to achieve in the next 50 years”.

Celebrating milestones like a jubilee is also the time to dream of the next 50. But before we can soar we also need to look back and be reminded to anchor our dreams on deeper roots.

And our ROOTS are indeed deep, going back to the late 1920s, when a young priest received the charism from Our Lord to found Opus Dei. Some 40 years later, he challenged a young Filipino passing by Rome from Harvard University to dream, “to bring Christ and Opus Dei … to the Philippines, and from the Philippines to the rest of Asia.”

In 1967 – the year I was born - this dream took shape when the Center for Research and Communication was established in Malate. CRC then moved to its present location in Ortigas Center in 1982. CRC’s 28 years, and now, UA&P’s about 22 years, has been years of blessings to thank for and occasions to ask for more. Later, our founders Dr. Bernardo Villegas and Dr. Jesus Estanislao will exchange stories with us the humble beginnings of CRC and how the institution has become what it is today.

Dr. Bernardo Villegas and Dr. Jesus Estanislao answer interview questions from PTV-4's Veronica Jimenez on the history and the vision of the University. They founded the Center for Research and Communication (CRC), the forerunner of the University of Asia and the Pacific, in August 1967

Two weeks ago, over a lunch meeting with executives, I was asked how UA&P is when benchmarked with other universities in the country. After considering the question, I said, "We do not benchmark ourselves with other universities in the country. Rather, we benchmark UA&P with its mission, how close or how far we are in fulfilling it."

Ever since it was founded, our institution believes in its mission of holistic education. Meaning that we are interested in transforming the whole person, not just the mind and the body, but the whole individual being. We aspire to mold everyone - including ourselves in UA&P - into competent professionals, capable of making free, morally upright decisions and become agents of positive change in society.

And all these have been and will be made possible because of the three pillars all of us have committed ourselves to professionally and competently undertake on a day-to-day basis inside the campus or outside of it: 1) Values education; 2) People development; and 3) Research and communication. With these three pillars we will “bring Christ and the spirit of Opus Dei to the Philippines, and from the Philippines to the rest of Asia.”

"UA&P Through the Years" Photo Exhibition

How far our dreams will take us depends on how deeply we nurture and faithfully live the mission entrusted to us by the founders, the mission inspired by the Christian spirit, particularly the spirit of Opus Dei.

Our institution has weathered a lot of storms. And I am sure many of you will agree with me when I say that we are still in one. As we start the joyous preparations for the 50th year thanking God for His blessings and everyone involved in this divine enterprise, I look with a lot of hope and eager anticipation for what we can do together in the next 50, when all of us, together lay the groundwork (as I have intimated with you 14 months ago) of “creating our future.”

Thank you.