by Cecile M. Genove
Victor Vicente “Dean” G. Sinco, president of Foundation University, was conferred Profesor Ad Honorem Vitasta Ambassador Distinction Honoris Causa by the Universite’ Henry Dunant, Abidjan, Ivory Coast for his “professional excellence and ability, inspiring and outstanding professional career, services to humankind, and international achievements.” The conferral was done in time for the academic opening rites of Foundation University on September 9 and administered by Dr. Dave G. Saceda of Saceda Youth Lead in Dumaguete City. In his message to the students, faculty, and staff, Sinco reminded them what their sense of purpose is. “When you’ve become very responsible persons in our society – not just in the Philippines, but somewhere in the world – one day you will, hopefully, remember us,” he said.
Inspiring the audience, as well, was Vanessa Victoria Gaston-Copeland, faculty of the Department of Architecture and Fine Arts, where Sinco is chairperson. “Don’t be afraid to fail. As the philosopher Confucius said, ‘Knowing what you don’t know is the beginning of knowledge,” she intoned, adding that “Success is a product of your daily tasks even on ordinary days.” The deans, directors, and department heads were also introduced at the ceremony.
Later in the afternoon, Foundationites converged at the Pantawan, Rizal Blvd. for the Dal-uy Festival, an annual tradition of the university since 2005, adapted from Shinto-Buddhist countries. According to Sinco, in certain Southeast Asian countries, one’s ancestors come back to visit every August, and floating lanterns are launched to honor them. “In Hawaii, the festival is held on Labor Day where soldiers who died are honored,” Sinco added. “We used to hold the Dal-uy on campus until we thought of bringing it to the Rizal Blvd. This is for our students to feel good about the coming academic year. They write down their hopes and wishes on recyclable, environment-friendly material and let them go afloat,” shared Sinco.
In a related development, a new supplemental collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Foundation University and the Association of Teachers of Foundation University (ATFU) was signed Friday, September 16. The CBA, which is in effect until 2024, provides a sizeable salary increase, among other benefits. “We have been through hard times and it is just appropriate to reward everyone for their service and loyalty. So long as we base our actions on truth, honesty, and sincerity, we can have quick resolutions,” Sinco related. Atty. Samsodin Tahir, university legal counel, informed that the process was unprecedented as it was the fastest negotiation ever. “In fact, there was no negotiation, but an announcement from the university president. As I told the union, you just have to trust administration in this process because Dean Sinco cares,” Tahir commented. Aside from the university administration and officers of ATFU led by Chiryl Aragona, also present were Atty. Nora Analyn Demeterio-Diego, regional vice-president of the Associated Labor Union (ALU), Region 7; Felizardo Calimpong, district officer of ALU-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP); and, Edmar Patangui, ALU-TUCP. Joining Sinco as university president and chairman of the Board of Trustees are the following members: Christopher Isamu G. Sinco, Doram T. Dumalagan, J.R. Nereus O. Acosta, Luis Leandro G. Sinco with Jose Riodil D. Montebon as corporate secretary.