N. Vizcaya’s 1st university turns 80

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–The province’s first university is celebrating its 80th anniversary on December 8, with activities lined up featuring its intensified thrust of expanding its global linkages, balanced with programs tending to preserve its cultural roots.

This year’s event seeks to highlight the milestones that Saint Mary’s University, a Catholic church-run institution here, has achieved both on the domestic and global front, said Fr. Manuel Valencia, university president.

“Our theme for this year, ‘Crossing Boundaries at 80’, stresses how SMU continues to endeavor to reach out to partners in other parts of the globe, and focus on efforts to bring the best quality of education for our students and for our community,” he said.

SMU was founded in 1928 by Catholic Msgr. Constant Jurgens, who had intended to give the children of his parish, Bayombong the benefit of a Christian education. From a small grade school, it has grown to be one of the country’s biggest tertiary schools, and the province’s first university.

The university has gained distinction as having been declared by the Commission on Higher Education as a center of excellence for education, business and engineering courses, as well as other recognition from various institutions.

It is also the only tertiary school that offers a course leading to a degree in Bachelor Of Laws.

According to Valencia, SMU has taken the lead among universities in Cagayan Valley on embarking on programs with schools and organizations in other Southeast Asian countries like China and Hongkong, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Resource-sharing with these institutions would help provincial universities and colleges in the country like SMU to be competitive with other schools not only in the cities but also internationally, he added.

SMU’s partnerships with these institutions involve joint studies in the graduate and post-graduate levels, exchange programs for teachers and students, information sharing, and collaborative researches with the selected schools.

Among the foreign schools with which SMU has inked partnership agreements is the Cavalry School of Management and Design in Singapore; the Kabayan Center of the Philippines (KCP) Holdings in Hong Kong and the Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing, both in China; and the University of Basque Country in the province of Biskaia in Spain.

But despite the university’s efforts to go global, the thrust must also be balanced with serious efforts to revive and preserve the region’s cultural heritage, especially among its indigenous peoples (IP), Valencia said.

“It is sad to note that the IP’s knowledge, systems and practices are on their way to extinction; elders are vanishing one by one; their young, in general, are not appreciative of their indigenous knowledge and traditions. It is high time therefore to rectify and reverse this trend,” he said.

Such a program came to the fore with the recent launching of the Indigenous Knowledge and Traditions (Ikat) institute, which is seen as an educational and research center specially created to focus on the concerns of the 16 tribal groups of northern Luzon.#


7 thoughts on “Boundless

  1. Happy Anniversary, SMU! With so much happening on our community, we look forward to a prosperous year for all.
    As this new year begins, SMU shoud work to create a campus even more conducive to Indigenous Peoples learning and success by inviting the indigenous peoples elders and youth to multicultural classes or events. Diversity awareness is the key here. This will be a good mission for the university to bring the youth and the community working together to preserve the cultural heritage of our indigenous people.
    SMU, thank you for your continued dedication to meet the educational needs of your students and the community.

    Gaddang Native

  2. hey gaddang can you tell us what your beloved indigenous people are doing for your province and your country? im am listening for this will be facinating!! your explanation will be enlightening to many!! my relatives tell me your mob does nothing but cry poor and expect hand outs and think everyone owes you THIS YEAR IS 2008 IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD wake up grow up !! for you do your cause no favours !! keep your culture keep your traditions but move on into the future or perish!! ganyan and buhay

  3. I am so glad that you asked about the important role of our indigenous peoples here in our province and our country. We are the backbone of our province. Our efforts as farmers and bread winners can guarantee the welfare of our families and the success of our youth. With basic necessities, education, resources, and opportunities, we will impact our future generations. To fight poverty, mining company is not the answer. We need strong leadership to invest in our people for a better life. And yes, we will keep our traditions and culture forever because we are proud to be called indigenous people with our own good “village” values. At least, we are aware of our roots, and are very proud of who we are.
    How about you, Eaglelover, do you know who you are? I don’t think so.

  4. i also am indigenous yes mate i was born in australia, that makes me native of oz hey hey hey!! you say you will impact your future to fight poverty!! why wait do it now! build the hospitals the roads the schools the shops and businesses with your knowledge and your bread winners go on show us!!, we do have all these things as our right in oz,that is, free education, free hospitals for those who cannot afford, a pension for those who do not have superannuation, a democratic goverment and a way of western life that my many filipino friends just love!!, you should come here for a visit and see for yourself!! im enjoying the holy season with my family and filipino mates who just love it here, so dear old gaddang, merry christmas and a happy new year!! may the new year bring you and your people prosperity,good health and long life!! mabuhay ang kalayaan regards eaglelover

  5. Thank you, Eaglelover, for the warm seasons greetings! We are blessed as we received the greatest Christmas gift for us here in Nueva Vizcaya, the closing of the mining activity. It is truly a Christ’s gift for all of us.
    Be grateful for your blessings in Australia. We, as a people here, are working to improve our lives, by ensuring the basic necessities of our families. And if our government will help us with education and opportunities, we will secure our future generations. Our provincial leadership must also invest in our women, an untapped resource. Together, we can help improve our province to better serve our people.
    To you and your family and to all our Kababayans in Australia, may you have the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest 2009. Cheers to Joy, Cheers to Peace! From Gaddang Native

  6. the problemo is that the mine will go ahead in the future , and if and when you can get the corruption out of your country then you will do very well and be once again the tigers of the orient!! those of us here in oz who love the philippines hope and pray you get the leaders you deserve , for when that day comes all filipinos can stand strong and say mabuhay ang kalayaan

  7. happy new year to those who love freedom and may those who love their country see the light for if you live in the past then you will stay there

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