Who can stir the change?
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - November 22, 2018 - 12:00am

It’s only a few years before I bid farewell to the institution that I have served for almost four decades. As I have perceived how pioneers esteem various disciplines, one might be one-sided relying upon one’s predilection while others have shown a generalist and equal handling of all disciplines in the campus. Furthermore, for culture and human expressions, which I have been occupied with, there is a lot to be wanted.

There is still a prevailing contention of the rightful place of the arts and culture as leaders would favor for tangible manifestation of progress, with infrastructure left and right, insensible of the repercussions to cultural heritage.

It begins with the natural estimation of culture, proceeds through all the social and instructive advantages and just closes with the monetary. Else we fall into Oscar Wilde’s praised meaning of a critic: Knowing the cost of everything and the benefit of nothing.

Envision society without the edifying impact of the expression of the human experience and you’ll need to strip out what is most pleasurable throughout everyday life – and much that is instructively crucial. Take the aggregate memory from our exhibition halls, lose the compassionate plays and move from our theaters or the books from our libraries, erase our celebrations, writing and painting, and you’re left with a general public deprived of a national discussion about its personality or whatever else.

There’s a solid connection among expressions and social commitment and instructive achievement. We see an enhancement in education when youngsters participate in shows and library exercises and better execution in math and dialects when they partake in organized music exercises.

The inherent estimation of culture, its commitment to society, its advantageous association with instruction and, indeed, its financial power, is the thing that we call the all-encompassing case for open help of expressions and culture.

And for UP Cebu to have a new chancellor, the academic leadership takes the role of one who can stir an environment of collegiality, taking pride in our own identity before the world arena. And who else can lead to that direction but someone whose impeccable academic background and authentic immersions like that of Dr. Rolando B. Tolentino who has a Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California, USA?

His works and engagements received many awards here and abroad, namely: Distinguished Visitor, UC-Berkeley and UCLA Southeast Asian Studies Consortium (2006); Visiting Fellow, Sociology Department, National University of Singapore (Jul 2005-Dec 2006); Obermann Summer Research Fellowship (2004); Best Arts Book, Gintong Aklat, (2002); Writer’s Prize, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (2001); Manila Critics Circle Award for Best Film Criticism Book (2001); Gawad Chancellor for Best Literary Work (2001); Lily Monteverde Professorial Chair (2000-2001); UP International Publication Award (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003); Henry Sy Professorial Chair (1998-1999); Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, 1998, 1994, 1991; Fulbright Grant to pursue Ph.D. in area of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, 1992-1996; Writing Grant, Cultural Center of the Philippines.

For the list of accolades, one can visit: https://panitikan.ph/2018/03/31/rolando-b-tolentino/.

We envision a UP Cebu that ignores dread of outcomes and cares for its soul, where it stands for.


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