By Arlyn VCD Palisoc Romualdo
The presentation of Mais na Pinagbuti Alay sa Ekonomiyang Pangkanayunan or Mais PAEP, picking up the abbreviated reference within the University to UP President Alfredo E. Pascual’s , was the highlight of UP Los Baños’s (UPLB) tribute to the outgoing leader on January 24 at the Dioscoro L. Umali Hall.
In his welcome message, UPLB Chancellor Fernando Sanchez thanked Pascual for his “unwavering support in making UPLB’s vision and goals into reality.” As the center of education and research in agriculture and related fields within the UP System, UPLB appropriately honored Pascual by naming a corn variety after him, a variety that was harnessed by its own researchers at the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) of the College of Agriculture.
Formerly referred to as UPLBNC48 or Abra Glutinous, the corn variety was a native cultivar from Abra which was almost wiped out by the introduction of other high-yield varieties into the province. IPB described it as easy to harvest, not prone to disease, and requiring very little fertilizer. With the help of the Department of Agriculture, the IPB was able to acquire original stock of Abra Glutinous, study its nutritional values, and improve its yield and sturdiness without the use of other corn varieties.
In the video presentation during the program, UPLB announced that the variety, now formally registered as Mais PAEP and which may alternatively be called PAEP Corn, is ready to be reintroduced to its place of origin to help boost local farming. To help improve the livelihood of Abra farmers, stock of Mais PAEP can only be availed through them. Mais PAEP, according to the video, was UPLB’s simple response to Pascual’s challenge of serving the country—to achieve inclusive growth by strengthening the Philippine countryside and empowering Filipino farmers.
In his speech, Pascual said he was “elated at having a corn variety associated with his name” and expressed gratitude to the UPLB community. “You are the living embodiments of honor and excellence in the service of the Filipino people and humanity, in general. And I am grateful and proud to have served as your president for the past six years.”
The tribute program was praised by Pascual, highlighting, in particular, the performances representing the eight constituent universities of the UP System as “the most creative way of depicting OneUP”, his administration’s guiding principle.
On UPLB’s achievements, Pascual said that he has only been doing what he could to “lend a hand” and that the credit goes to UPLB for its “hard work, diligence, and persistence in seeing [its] initiatives through.” He also urged the UPLB community to support the next UP administration and to continue working together and with each other “not only for the good of UPLB, but for the whole UP System; and as we do that, we serve the Filipino nation we love.”
Pascual ended by saying that after the presidency, he is still willing to serve UP in “whatever capacity he can as a UP alumnus and Filipino citizen.”
- Originally posted on UP website. Photo by Misael Bacani, UPSIO.