NO LESS than the First University President of Iloilo State University of Fisheries, Science, and Technology (ISUFST), Dr. Nordy Siason Jr., emphasized the utmost commitment to the development of all campuses, challenging each to perform well in board exams and their mission for nation building and global competitiveness. He categorically urged the community to “break the culture of mediocrity.”
Dr. Siason pledged this Monday morning, January 8, at San Enrique (E) campus, right in front of the thousands of participants in the kick-off rites of the first-ever University Week of the first and only fisheries university in the Philippines.
Reflecting upon the challenges he and his admin team endured to achieve the University’s status, he asked the community to support and pray for him. The steep road to being a premier university for ISUFST is a collective effort that needs Divine Providence. “No campus will be left behind,” Siason stressed, adding more is yet to come for the University.
For his part, Cong. Ferjenel Biron, the author of the law that converted the school from a college into a university, shared a deeply personal reflection read by Board of Trustee member Lemuel Fernandez.
“The ISUFST is a dream for a dream….I hope and pray that through the portals of ISUFST, we could carve out a better future for ourselves and create paths and opportunities previously unavailable.”
Through Mr. Fernandez, it was also confirmed that USWAG Iloilo Cong. James Ang, another staunch supporter of the University’s vision and mission, has pledged to install a rubberized track and field of ISUFST in its Tiwi site.
Meanwhile, CHED Regional Director Dr. Raul Alvarez focused his message on the University’s new core guiding principles—ISDA: integrity, social justice, discipline, and academic excellence. He urged the students to pursue their goals relentlessly, emphasizing the importance of gratefullness, duty, and agency for personal and collective growth.
Dr. Alvarez also called upon the faculty, administration, and staff to be relentless in quality assurance in research, extension, instruction, and administration while encouraging openness to the outside world beyond Iloilo and the school. He also congratulated the school for having the first topnotcher in education and consistently producing topnotchers in fisheries. He further challenged the ISUFST community to develop programs to achieve centers of development and excellence.
San Enrique Mayor Trixie Fernandez likewise expressed her unwavering support for ISUFST, stating, “ISUFST has the full support of the San Enrique LGU,” urging all stakeholders to “be courageous and focused, be determined with resilience and grit, and success will surely be a realization.”
The event was attended by members of the Board of Trustees, administrators, directors, deans, faculty, staff, parents, students, alumni, and esteemed guests from its Dingle, Dumangas, San Enrique (SE), Barotac Nuevo-Ilaya Poblacion, and Barotac Nuevo-Tiwi campuses.
The day started early with a Holy Mass at the Parish of Mary, Help of Christians. This was followed by a foot parade from the Municipal Plaza to the ISUFST SE Campus.
The opening program kicked off at the ISUFST-SEC University Grounds, followed by the cheer dance competition, food fest, and exhibits. The afternoon was filled with a range of sports activities, which included volleyball at the University Grounds, basketball at the San Enrique Municipal Gym, badminton at the ISUFST Civic and Cultural Center, and chess at the ISUFST Library Audio-Visual Room.
On January 9, the Dingle Campus will host Literary and Arts Contests, Musical Contests, Dance Contests, and continue with athletic events. The Main Campus at Tiwi, Barotac Nuevo, takes center stage on January 10 with a Thanksgiving Mass and Convocation, followed by a series of Academic and Skills Contests, including the Innovation Expo 2024 and the continuation of sports events.
January 11 sees the Dumangas Campus bustling with Academic Contests, Hotel Management (HM) skills contests, Information Technology (IT) Skills contests, Laro ng Lahi, and ongoing sports events. Aside from awarding the Great Men and Women of ISUFST, the First University Velada shall also be conducted at the Tamasak Arena in Barotac Nuevo on the same day, showcasing the talents and gifts of the administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
The week concludes on January 12 at the Main Campus Poblacion Site in Ilaya Poblacion, Barotac Nuevo, with the continuation of sports events and the much-anticipated Mr. and Ms. ISUFST 2024 pageant. The day ends with an Awarding Ceremony for the Sports and Cultural Arts Festival 2024 winners.
This first-ever University Week—themed “ISUFST @ ONE: Building Bridges, Breaking Waves; Signifying the university’s role in bridging academic excellence with the dynamic challenges and opportunities of the Blue Economy”—is more than a series of events, it is a manifestation of ISUFST’s ethos of community, excellence, and holistic education. It is a testament to the University’s growth journey and commitment to nurturing future fisheries science and technology leaders. (Text by Herman Lagon; photos by Ricky Ramos and Edmer Bernardo)