Historical play, exhibits and street art mark BSU 34th Charter Anniversary

The 34th Charter Anniversary of Benguet  State University was commemorated in a series of activities held from January 13-30, 2020. The activities sponsored by the various University sectors remembered January 12, 1986- the day when Presidential Decree 2010 was signed elevating Mountain State Agricultural College (MSAC) into  Benguet State University.

The celebration kicked off on January 13, 2020 during the regular Monday Flag Raising Ceremony with a thanksgiving service followed by a talk about BSU history by Dr. Stanley F. Anongos, Department of Social Sciences faculty and OES Director. Other activities followed such as the Employee Sports Fest and Charter Fair on January 22, street art competition on January 25, Mini Bamboo Festival and Research and Extension’s Sho-pet on January 27-31. The activities were highlighted by the Charter Anniversary Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service, Program and Service Awards on January 28, 2020.

BSU History in the eyes of BSU employees and students

During the Charter Anniversary Opening Program, a five-minute production of the CCA-Dramatics Club titled “Ang Kapanganakan ni EbeEsyo” attempted to portray the moment of MSAC’s transformation into a University. A part that gained a loud reaction was when the characters included “College of Bokod and College of Buguias” as among those established upon MSAC’s elevation.  “Ano ba iyan, hanggang ngayon hindi niyo pa alam eh kasaysayan niyo ito!” exclaimed one of the characters and another promptly replied, “Eh hindi naman namin ito inaral sa klase!”

CCA-Dramatics Club adviser, Matyline Camfili-Talastas who wrote the script explained that the lines were the expression of her hopes that BSU history would be disseminated in alternative forms.

“Not so many students are aware of BSU history. Sana magkaroon pa ng maraming venue para pag-usapan ang BSU history para ma-design natin ang future, kailangan nating malaman ang ating kasaysayan,” she said. Camfili-Talastas shared that some has approached her to suggest that more productions should be done to portray relevant stories and situations about BSU and life in general.  

The other details of the history that were not accommodated in the production were provided by another presentation on BSU’s history by Dr. Anongos. 

“BSU was created during a period of political uncertainties. At the turn of 80s, then President Marcos faced political and economic crisis. If we locate January 12 of 1986, it was within the heat of an election campaign. While the situation was politically volatile, proponents of MSAC conversion into a University seized the situation and convinced Marcos to sign the conversion into law.” 

Dr. Anongos added that the desire to become a University was expressed as early as 1975 under the administration of Bruno Santos and in 1983 under the administration of Fortunato Battad. The conversion was attributed not only to school officials and assembly members but to alumni, employees, local government officials and the community as a whole who reinforced the Dangwa bill with petitions for support. These petitions were delivered to Malacañang by a combined team of provincial politicians, headed by Governor Ben Palispis and Samuel Dangwa. 

Sho-pet and Bamboo Forum: Giving back to the community as a celebration

The Research and Extension sector held the Sho-pet which was opened to the public at the BSU R&E Building. The Sho-pet consisted of a three-day exhibit of BSU technologies and products and free soil and plant pest analysis. Sho-pet is an Ibaloi term originating from Bokod which means to confirm something from someone in person. An RDE Seminar Series was also held on January 30, 2020 featuring the lectures of Dr. Aurora F. Pinon on Strawberry Necrotic Shock Virus and of Dr. Esther Josephine Sagalla on the cultivation of corn in Benguet.

Meanwhile, the Mini-Bamboo Festival spearheaded by BSU’s Bamboo Development Program showcased exhibits, demonstrations and lectures at the Anthurium Hall on January 27-31, 2020. A range of bamboo varieties from the College of Forestry nursery was put on display to educate the public on bamboo and its benefits.  Dante S. Chichioco, who heads the Technical Working Group of the revived Bamboo Development Program shared that the said collection was from a donation by the Rotary Club of Makati in 2015 part of which were distributed to beneficiaries in Kapangan, Kibungan and La Trinidad. Some were also turned over to the Provincial Government of  Benguet.//JSTabangcura