“We are proud of our craziness,” says Tan at Parangal opening

Members of the University of the Philippines (UP) community have been taught to always strive for honor and excellence in all that they do. In UP Diliman, though, its constituents are also encouraged, in the words of Chancellor Michael Tan, to have “boldness of vision” and “craziness.”

In a speech during the opening ceremony for this year’s Linggo ng Parangal, June 18, Tan explained that “boldness” and “craziness,” which may be interchanged, allow people to thrive. “We are proud of our craziness. And I use it in a different sense of the word—we are proud of our craziness. Maybe, that was the spirit that made us establish UP Diliman—the boldness again of vision. Craziness, here, is the ability to think beyond borders,” Tan said.

A CRAZY BUNCH. For UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan, "craziness" is something UP Diliman can and should be proud of. (Photo taken by Krystelle Vergara)

A CRAZY BUNCH. For UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan, “craziness” is something UP Diliman can and should be proud of. (Photo taken by Krystelle Vergara)

UP Diliman’s Linggo ng Parangal is an annual week-long event that aims to recognize and honor students, faculty members, staff, organizations, and offices in the campus. More than 4,000 individuals, organizations, and offices were acknowledged throughout the week, including five UP Diliman alumni who were appointed National Artists in 2018.

The Linggo kicked off with an opening ceremony that put the spotlight on UP Diliman’s latest National Artists. They are Lauro Zarate “Larry” Alcala (Fine Arts, UPD CFA, BFA 1950, d. 2002), Raymundo Cipriano Pujante “Ryan” Cayabyab (Music, UPD CMusic, BM 1983), Eric Oteyza “Kidlat Tahimik” de Guia (Film, UPD CLA, AB 1963), Amelia Lirag “Amel” Lapeña-Bonifacio (Theater, UPD CLA, AB 1953), and Resil B. Mojares (Literature, UPD CAS, PhD 1979). Ramon L. Muzones (Literature, FEU/CPU LlB 1952, d. 1992) and Francisco T. Mañosa (Architecture, UST, BS 1953) were also recognized in 2018.

Tan believes that the many National Artists who hail from UP Diliman is a manifestation of how the campus has become an ideal home for creativity to flourish, which he attributes still to “craziness.” “Kayo po ang magbibigay inspirasyon sa UP Diliman at sa UP System. You continue to challenge us with the things that you see and which we don’t, and the things that you hear and which we don’t. And I expect that in the years ahead, as we move forward… we will continue to honor the people who are not honored in other ways by other eyes and ears,” Tan explained.

According to the UP Media and Public Relations Office and the UP Diliman Information Office, Alcala, Cayabyab, Tahimik, Lapeña-Bonifacio, and Mojares join 17 other UP Diliman alumni who had been conferred the prestigious recognition. Of the 73 National Artists that have been appointed since 1972, 22 come from UP Diliman.

Mojares was first to be recognized during the event. He is known for his work in literary criticism, history, and political biography. His literary works in the event were performed by Teroy Guzman, Ricardo Juanito Balledos, and Marynor Madamesila.

Alcala’s comic book, “Congressman Kalog,” was presented in a combination of theater and dance performances and screen projection. He was said to have “created over 500 characters, 20 comic strips, six movies, two murals, and 15,000 published pages.” He died in 2002.

Filmmaker Tahimik’s life and works were shown in a documentary-style video and performance. It highlighted how Tahimik used film to feature the many issues confronted by indigenous peoples in the country. Tahimik is known for his works that critiqued the society. 

Lapeña-Bonifacio’s “Saan Nagmula Ang Araw at Ang Buwan” was performed during the ceremony. She is widely known for her works and contributions in Philippine puppetry. She also founded Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas

Cayabyab’s songs, which were performed by the UP College of Music Student Ensemble in Krina Cayabyab’s arrangement, was the finale to the series of performances held in honor of UP Diliman’s most recently appointed National Artists. Cayabyab may be considered as one of the most successful, if not the most, music composers in the country. His notable songs include “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika,” “Kailan,” “Can This Be Love,” and “Limang Dipang Tao.”

After the opening ceremony, the Chancellor held a reception in celebration of UP’s 111th founding anniversary.