The UP community is one in contemplating with deep sadness the losses brought about by the fire in the Faculty Center of UP Diliman last 1 April 2016. The Faculty Center, formally named as Bulwagang Rizal or Rizal Hall, is not just a physical structure but an institution of historical and cultural significance to our University.
For many of us in the UP community, particularly those who spent years in Diliman, the Faculty Center holds a special place in our hearts. It is where we visited our most admired professors, to be mentored by them and be imbued with the love for learning. It is where many of us found enlightenment.
The Faculty Center was a place of discourse, reflection, and creation. And every room of this edifice was a repository of books, artworks, archival materials, and rare memorabilia. It was home to performing groups who have brought pride to the University and enriched our culture and traditions as a people. In its every corner are memories we treasure.
We commiserate with those who suffered losses. We express our full support for the efforts of Chancellor Michael Tan and his team in addressing the displacement of the affected CAL and CSSP faculty, staff, and students. This can be a time for us to show solidarity in the face of adversity.
Restoring normalcy is an overwhelming task. Thus, we in the UP System took the initiative to consult with the Deans of CAL and CSSP so we can direct our immediate assistance to the most urgent needs of the two colleges. As requested, we were able to provide CAL some computers and LCD projectors right away. We are now undertaking an emergency procurement for more computers and projectors, plus printers, other office machines, and air conditioning units, to be supplied to CAL and the four (4) CSSP departments hit by the fire (namely, Anthropology, Linguistics, History, and Philosophy). We hope our initial response will be of help in enabling classes and offices to resume. We will continue to coordinate our further assistance with the two Deans and the Chancellor.
The flames may have consumed the rooms and material collections at the Faculty Center, but the legacy of generations of our faculty endures.
Now, let a different flame be kindled—one which lights up ever so brightly in our hearts— in this, our dark moment. And let the light spread among us and guide our way, united in spirit and action as One UP.
Alfredo E. Pascual