CNU educators show care through psychosocial support webinar

Cebu Normal University (CNU) educators conducted a webinar series to promote psychosocial awareness and to alleviate the University stakeholders in light of the current health crisis brought by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

A webinar on Psychosocial Support Sessions for College Faculty was held on August 19, 2020. The same webinar was also given to CNU Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) mentors and parents on August 26, 2020. 

The speakers of the webinar are the experts in the field of children, adolescent, and adult behavior from the CNU Psychology Department.

Psychological first aid, coping mechanism, therapeutic communication, and support resiliency were among the topics discussed in the webinar. 

“The pandemic has had an effect on one’s well-being, so the Psychology Department is taking an initiative to give faculty, ILS mentors and parents a holistic psychosocial webinar,” CNU Psychology Department Faculty and CNU ILS/College of Nursing Guidance Counselor Bernadette Bigcas said.

She said that the purpose of the webinar was to educate the participants on the basic principles of psychosocial support and mental health concepts. She also said the webinar aims to reinforce participants’ well-being, dignity, and resiliency.

Dr. Chery Bercede, College of Teacher Education (CTE) Guidance Counselor and teaching faculty also said that the webinar aims to build support to CNU stakeholders to cope with adversity, promote well-being, prevent distress and suffering, and for the stakeholders to be able to function in this time called ‘new normal’.

The webinar was proposed by Dr. Emmanuel Hernani, CNU Psychology Department Faculty, and a Board Member of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP). He said that he has been invited to numerous speaking engagements in different schools and institutions and has thought of conducting the webinar in CNU as well.

Together with Bigcas, Bercede, and Hernani as speakers of the webinar are Dr. Gwendelina Villarante, Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Dean and Guidance and Counseling Chair; Dr. Eva Marie Gacasan, Psychology Department Chair; and Dr. Ma. Rosita Ampoyas-Hernani, Kinesthetics Department Chair, and Quality Assurance Officer.

Hernani said that the Psychosocial Support Session provided a holistic approach that included intervention and prevention for teachers, children, and adults.

He expressed how grateful the Normalite community should be to have experts and resources to share their knowledge.

He said that the same webinar is being planned for the administrative personnel under the Mental Health in the Workplace program of the University. An outreach program in the form of the said webinar is also planned for teachers and students outside the University to aid them during this health crisis. (JDF)

CNU nails first virtual commencement rites, graduates called to be globally competitive

All graduation ceremonies of the three colleges of Cebu Normal University (CNU) Main Campus were merged and celebrated virtually for the first time this year as the University braces the new normal brought by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis. 

The 91st College of Teacher Education (CTE), 39th College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), and 35th College of Nursing (CN) Commencement Rites with the theme, Living, Thriving, and Serving in the New Normal was live-streamed last Friday, August 28, formally ending the AY 2019-2020.

There are 143 graduates from CTE, 176 graduates from CAS, and 8 graduates from CN.
“In the face of the so many challenges confronting our nation, you, dear graduates, have a vital role to play. The choices you will take will make a difference to society.”

This is what Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) Director Dr. Josette Talamera-Biyo said as the Commencement Speaker of the CNU Commencement Rites 2020.  

Biyo is the first Asian teacher to win the Intel International Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002 for her innovations in teaching science research since the contest started in 1997. 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory in the United States named a minor planet that was discovered in May 1998 (formerly known as Planet 12341) to Planet Biyo in her honor. 

She encouraged and inspired the graduates to be committed to their goals, to love their work, to not be afraid of committing mistakes, to work on improving one’s inner self, and to have a deep relationship with God.  

She also motivated the graduates to continue to learn because they are created for a purpose, to believe that they can make a difference, and to recognize that all their talents, skills, and opportunities come only from God and should be used for His Glory. 

Biyo also shared that she has received several offers to work abroad after winning in that international teaching competition in the United States but has decided to return and continue teaching in the Philippines, believing that she is making a difference in the lives of the Filipino children and the larger community, and for seeing hope for the Philippines. 

“Despite our country’s limited resources, Filipinos can compete globally given the proper training, support, and exposure,” Biyo said.

“My winning at the international scene may not reflect the general condition of education in this country, but with our concerted efforts my dear fellowmen, we can move this country forward and show the world that we can be a globally competitive race,” she added.        

Biyo said that being world class does not necessarily mean going out internationally. She said that being world-class is having the passion and commitment to one’s profession. She said that being world-class starts from within ourselves.

“Your commitment to serve to the best of your abilities will be a source of hope and strength for our countrymen. Let not this pandemic paralyze you. Instead, let this be an opportunity for you to be more creative, resourceful, and to use your ingenuity to the fullest,” Biyo said.

“Continue to thrive, serve, and lead in the new normal. Carry on the power within you. Go and help build this nation. You can do it even if you must do it one step at a time – one Filipino at a time. Congratulations at mabuhay kayong lahat!” she said, concluding her speech. 

The pronouncement was declared by University and Board Secretary Dr. Michelle Olvido and the graduates of the three colleges were presented by CTE Dean Dr. Ethel Abao, CAS Dean Dr. Milagros Greif, and CN Officer-in-Charge Mrs. Ma. Mayla Imelda Lapa. The degrees were then conferred by CNU President Dr. Filomena Dayagbil. 
The University pledge was led by Chief Administrative Officer for Finance Dr. Evelyn Tradio and the Alumni Oath was led by the Federation of Cebu Normal University Alumni Associations, Inc. (FCNUAAI) President Dr. Ramir Uytico.
The first virtual graduation of the different colleges of the University ended with the singing of the CNU hymn.  
A full copy of the CNU Commencement Rites 2020 can also be viewed at the official YouTube channel of the University. (JDF)

HEdConnect Session 2 reflects on pandemic and society

Multiple ideas ranging from societal, psychological, and cultural dimensions in connection to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic were highlighted during the conduct of Cebu Normal University (CNU)’s Higher Education Connect (HEdConnect) Session 2.

Read related article: [HEdConnect gathers education leaders to discuss the ‘new normal’ in higher ed]

The discussion of the said international webinar dwelt on the Perspective and Implications of COVID-19 in Higher Education Amidst and Beyond. It was held via Zoom last August 14.

The HEdConnect Session 2 was organized by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Social Science Department (SSD).

CNU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Daisy Palompon, said the HEdConnect version 2.0 is a sharing of great minds in addressing social, psychological, and cultural implications of COVID-19 in a multi-sectoral perspective. 

Four speakers graced the webinar including Dr. Nicole Curato, University of Canberra, Australia Center for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance Associate Professor; Prof. Randy Pederi, CNU SSD Former Chairperson and current faculty; Dr. Emmanuel Hernani, CNU SSD faculty and CNU Ethics Review Board Chairperson; and Dr. Reynaldo Inocian, CNU SSD faculty and Culture, Arts, and Design Association of the Philippines (CADA-PHI), Inc. Founding President. 

Curato shared about Sociological Perspective and Implications of COVID-19; Pederi on Understanding COVID-19 through the Theory of Suicide: A Social Implication; Hernani on Psychological Perspective and Implications of COVID-19, and Inocian on Cultural Perspective and Implications of COVID-19.

Curato argued that the experience of the new normal depends on who we ask. She also argued if the new normal is indeed new.

She conveyed that the new normal is still under construction and expressed that people should refuse to accept the concept of normal as given.

“When someone says this is typical, we have to be skeptical. We have to ask questions. Who says it’s normal? Who benefits from what’s normal? And who is disadvantaged when we talk about this kind of normal?” Curato said.

“We can think or construct the normal as a time of creativity. The new normal can be a time of solidarity. It can be a time for innovation…I think we can do better if we start thinking about the pandemic from the perspective of the most vulnerable sectors of society,” she said.

“We know what the new normal is now, but we can still make a case for what the new normal should be,” she added.  

Pederi shared his studies on suicide and Emile Durkheim and related it to the situations brought by COVID-19. 

He said that COVID-19 is controlling the tempo of our current situation and many people now encounter the same psychological or emotional conditions with that of the suicide-lost loved ones.

“COVID-19 is no longer a health issue, not even a psychological or mental issue alone. It triggers the whole social system,” he said. 

Pederi said that for him, psychological considerations – emotional, social, mental, spiritual health – must be in place to address COVID-19. 

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic sparks all Filipinos to be reactive and this could be a manifestation of psychological or emotional distress or simply the issue of egoism and altruism or normlessness or anomie and fatalism. 

Hernani talked on mental health amid the pandemic and as a psychologist, he said that he is a proponent of gestalt therapy wherein he would always emphasize holistic, integrated, multifaceted components of dealing with some situations.

He emphasized that people should make use of their resources at home, environment, and community as an asset in coping. 

He also recommends each person to focus on one’s self or being in relation to his or her family, society, school, workplace, and the community to stay grounded as a person.

“In a form of reflection, try to look at it squarely…the positive and the negative side,” he said.

He concluded his discussion by saying that people should look at COVID-19 pandemic from two sides – the crisis, and the opportunities. 

Inocian focused his sharing on culture and cited different studies on how the Filipino culture has developed or evolved through time.

He said that amid this pandemic, culture is always there. 

“It can never be forgotten, so in every aspect of our life at home, while we are experiencing the lockdown, culture will always be part of that experience,” he said

He also shared two perspectives of culture which are the essentialist and progressivist perspectives and said that in practice it will always be a dialectical process in constant dialogue.

He also shared a study that compares how Filipino culture evolved through time and how people weigh its significance.

He also shared a study that ranks existence across different generations and also divulged how the culture of “bayanihan” and “panambal” or healing is relevant in this time of the pandemic.

“Truly, there are many thinkers, philosophers, teachers, experts among us, but let us not forget that after the rigor of accumulation of knowing, follows the mission to challenge and tackle down conditions and stature which are detrimental to human growth and development. After all, our aim to learn is not to simply interpret the world but to change it,” Prof. Jose Fermin Crave, CNU SSD Faculty said as part of his message.

Prof. Mervin Reyes, CNU SSD Chairperson moderated the webinar. A full copy of HEdConnect Session 2 can be viewed at the official YouTube account of the University. (JDF)

CNU alumni share insights on navigating the new normal

Insights on how to address uncharted challenges brought by the new normal were discussed by three Cebu Normal University (CNU) alumni in North America through a webinar on three distinct topics of their expertise. 

The session was called Navigating the New Normal (3Ns): A Virtual Colloquium which was live-streamed in the CNU Facebook page last Saturday, August 15.  

These CNU alumni are Dr. Rhigel Jay Tan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of iCarePsychiatry; Atty. Alberto Montefalcon Jr., Immigration Attorney of Montefalcon Law Offices in the USA and the Philippines; and Dr. Nerissa Linell Joie Calub, Founder and CEO of Pathways Education Consultancy. 

Tan talked about Emotional Resilience and Mental Wellness in a Global Pandemic, Montefalcon discussed on Real or Really Fake News: Navigating through the Social Media Pandemic, while Calub shared insights on The 21st Century Professionals in Extraordinary Disruptions. 

The webinar was brought by the Federation of Cebu Normal University Alumni Associations, Inc. (FCNUAAI) in collaboration with CNU and the CNU Alumni in North America.

FCNUAAI President Dr. Ramir Uytico said that CNU has produced brilliant individuals who are doing great in their respective fields of endeavor and the virtual colloquium emphasizes how the alumni care for the Normalite community as one big family. 

CNU President Dr. Filomena Dayagbil said that the University is faced with a great challenge on work-from-home and learning continuity, but what is so motivating in these not so ordinary times is the extraordinary responses in the academic community. 

“With the work combined forces, we are able to bring normalcy in all our operations,” she said.

Dayagbil said that although the alumni have gone their separate ways to pursue their dreams, their roots in this institution are deeply seated and entangled that is why they still connect, help, and serve the alma mater in any way they can.

Tan who shared about mental health stressed that depression is a real illness and it is not about lack of strength, lack of faith, or perhaps just a weak personality.

He said that people who undergo crisis have to undergo the different stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression or sadness, and acceptance to facilitate optimism.

He added that it is common during crises that a person’s emotion, behavior, way of thinking, and activities of daily living change. 

“These are normal reactions that normal people will experience in an abnormal event such as the pandemic,” Tan said. 

He said that people have the power and ability to be mentally resilient. People just have to practice and acknowledge it.

“We just don’t allow our crisis to cover us up and then forget what we can do.” he said. 

Montefalcon who discussed fake news distinguished it from opinion. He said that fake news can easily fall into the Revised Penal Code definition of a crime.

He shared that the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 expanded how libel may be committed by defining cyber libel as one done by way of a computer system.

Montefalcon said that checking faulty spelling, grammar, and punctuation; identifying the news organization; looking for visual clues; identifying and knowing the reputation of the author are some ways to detect fake news. 

“Fake news encourages hatred, hatred breeds division,” he said.

Montefalcon advises verifying sources by searching other articles containing the subject matter. 

He also shared a bonus video afterward on virtual meeting etiquette. 

Calub, the last of the three presenters compiled uplifting words and videos stating that the 21st-century professionals are not on their own in dealing with the extraordinary disruptions.

“There is no way to escape the shift in perspective that the life-changing disruptions have brought in our midst. Let’s take advantage of what the crossroads can offer to us,” she said. 

“Do not doubt yourself. It is only you who can put premium in the value of your life in spite of the uncertainties,” she added.  

She encourages all to put meaning in what we do for ourselves, our families, friends, colleagues, communities, and the world.

She ended her presentation honoring all frontliners for their courage and will to serve their respective communities. 

“CNU leads and cultivates significance in the community that we serve and CNU remains steadfast in our commitment to quality, excellence, and relevance. Indeed, we have countless reasons to be proud of the University,” Dayagbil said.

“Human and community interaction is essential to one’s quality of life even if it is in the middle of the global pandemic. For this reason, I believe we’re all extremely blessed and grateful to have this virtual colloquium,” CNU Presidential Assistant for Alumni Affairs Dr. Glen Pesole said.

Dayagbil calls all CNU alumni to continue helping the mandate of the institution through their expertise and good work. She also asks for their support by helping the University connect with stakeholders, protecting the integrity of their alma mater, and by maintaining an attitude of gratitude. 

“In these volatile and uncertain times, we become stronger because we know that you are there to support our alma mater,” Dayagbil said to all CNU alumni. (JDF)

CNU’s instructional delivery mode is evidence-informed

The decision of Cebu Normal University (CNU) to adopt the Flexible Teaching and Learning Delivery as its instructional delivery mode this upcoming opening of classes is evidence-informed.  

This is what Vice-President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Dr. Daisy Palompon said.

Read related article: [CNU adopts flexible teaching and learning delivery]

She said that the decision came out from the surveys and series of consultations with student leaders, faculty, parents, alumni, and partner agencies which the University conducted last April to May 2020 as part of the scenario analysis that led to the reframing of the University’s teaching and learning.   

Palompon also said that the decision was not solely decided upon by the Administrative Council but also by the Academic Council of the University and approved by the CNU Board of Regents. 

The undergraduates are given online and offline distance learning options, while the Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) and Graduate School (GS) will be using online distance learning for the upcoming school year.

“However, the ILS is not purely online as there are more sessions on asynchronous learning,” Palompon said referring to the textbooks that are available also as reference for learning. 

She said that for ILS, a consultation with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) through Mr. Renan Elcullada, ILS Supervisor was conducted. A proposal on the mode of learning the parents wish to have for their children was then submitted to the University through the Administrative Council. 

She said that as for GS, the online mode was already implemented starting March 2020 when classes were suspended due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). 

“Most of the GS students are part-time students since their mainline is their respective work and most of the students are also outside Cebu City,” she said. 

“The online learning will address their needs to continue advanced education while on their current location and travel would not be needed,” Palompon added.

Palompon also confirmed that the GS is also open to students across the country since the classes will be conducted online.

“The online mode of learning is implemented while the circumstances will not allow us to have face-to-face classes especially in the ILS. For the GS, our long-term plan is to really offer purely online programs so that students will still have options whether they will go for synchronous or asynchronous learning platforms,” she said.

“There is what we call as finding the silver lining despite all the chaos we are in. It has been our plan in the University to institutionalize the blended and pure online learning platform to cater to the current learning needs and styles of our new generation of learners. We have started doing it, but we were cautious in fully implementing it,” Palompon said.

She said that the crisis we are in provides the urgency to put these plans in place for actual implementation. (JDF)

CNU adopts flexible teaching and learning delivery

Cebu Normal University (CNU) has decided to adopt the Flexible Teaching and Learning Delivery as its instructional delivery mode for the upcoming academic year which starts this September.

The announcement was made last Tuesday, July 21, through a post on the CNU official Facebook page.

The Flexible Teaching and Learning Delivery makes use of online distance learning with the practice of synchronous and asynchronous types of learning.

Synchronous learning makes use of software platforms or video-communication services such as Zoom and Google Meet to conduct ‘real-time’ virtual classes, while asynchronous learning makes use of web services like Google classroom and emails to provide modules and assignments to students and the classes are not real-time.

The CNU faculty members have equipped themselves with these types of learning as the challenge of the new normal in education has arisen.

Read related article: [CNU holds its first webinar series in preparation for the ‘new normal’]

CNU Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Dr. Daisy Palompon confirmed that students would not have to report physically in school during the start of the upcoming academic year as the threat of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues.

The Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) will conduct online distance learning utilizing both synchronous and asynchronous means. Work-text books will still be used so that learning would not be purely conducted online. Parents and guardians are advised to supervise the students to ensure learning.    

The undergraduate students are given two options – online and offline distance learning.

The online distance learning is intended for those students who have stable internet connection to practice synchronous and asynchronous learning, and virtual classes will only be conducted if necessary.

Offline distance learning is an option for students with unstable or no internet connection. Students can communicate with their teachers through messenger and text and submit their tasks/assignments through email.

Self-learning modules will be provided for those students who would go for offline distance learning. A system on the delivery of modules and submission of outputs is still being finalized and will be announced later on.

The Graduate School will purely practice online distance learning which can be synchronous, asynchronous, or both.

Palompon said that the online mode for graduate studies was implemented starting last March 2020 when classes were suspended due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). She said that online distance learning shall be continued as part of the University’s long-term plan for graduate students. (JDF)

#ThankyouCNU: A tapestry of blissful memories

Cebu Normal University (CNU) celebrated its 118th founding anniversary and 22nd anniversary as a University, and as a way for its stakeholders to express their gratitude, they participated in the photo-posting activity dubbed as, #ThankyouCNU

#ThankyouCNU was launched during the opening salvo of the two-week foundation anniversary celebration last June 15. CNU alumni, students, teachers, employees, and other stakeholders were encouraged to post on their Facebook account their unforgettable memories of/in/about CNU using the said hashtag.  

Read related article: [CNU opens 118th foundation celebration]

These posts were then compiled and presented during the 118th Foundation Celebration Closing Program that was live-streamed through the CNU Public Information Office (PIO) Facebook account last Saturday, June 27.

Read related article: [CNU nails its virtual foundation celebration closing]

Overflowing gratitude

Quality education and excellence-cultivation, made colorful by each stakeholder’s distinct experiences, were the general themes of #ThankyouCNU.

Alumni, former educators, and employees have grown and are now practicing in different fields. Their time spent with the University has also built lasting love and friendship among others. 

“I will never become who I am today if it is not for all the opportunities that CNU has provided me from the very beginning,” Joselito Tumulak Jr., CNU BS Chemistry-Physics alumnus (Batch 2017) said in his post. 

He said that it was in CNU that he met a lot of inspiring mentors that have changed his life for the better and where he met his lifelong friends. He also said that CNU has taught him the value of work and to be resourceful and creative.

Tumulak was a topnotcher (6th placer) in the October 2017 Chemical Technician Licensure Examination. He is now a practicing educator in a private institution. 

Julie May Maribojo-Gesta, CNU BSEd-Mathematics alumna (Batch 2009) said that she has a lot of memories in CNU for having studied 16 years in the institution since elementary.

She said that she has joined different extracurricular organizations including the Drums and Lyre Corps when she was in elementary. She also became a CAT officer in high school and a member and soloist of the CNU Chorale in college.

But she said that the most memorable memory she has with CNU is when she met her classmate, who became her boyfriend and now her husband.  

“I could never thank CNU enough for honing me to what I have become now… I am continually indebted for all the life lessons you have taught me,” Mary Grace Luna, CNU BSEd-English alumna (Batch 2007) said. 

Luna was the first Normalite who qualified for the Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC) and became one of the 80 participants who made it to the final congress in 2006.

She was also the first Normalite chosen to become part of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) in Region 7 in 2007.

Mechelle Canoy, CNU Psychology alumna (Batch 2018) said that she considers herself blessed, thankful, and grateful for having served as a public servant through CNU. She is currently working at the Public Information Office of the University.

She said that she became a person who thrives hard to accomplish her deliverables, who takes the lead in upholding quality in whatever she does, and who always has the heart to serve her clients and colleagues. 

“As a teacher in Cebu Normal University for 15 years, I draw inspiration and strength from my students,” Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Dr. Daisy Palompon said.

She said that she learns from her students and strives to become a better person every single step of her journey. She said that she is grateful that CNU has provided her a home, a family with her students, colleagues, and friends.

A recording of all the events that took place during the 118th Foundation Celebration of CNU can be viewed at the CNU PIO official YouTube channel(JDF)

CNU nails its virtual foundation celebration closing

Cebu Normal University (CNU) culminated remotely its 118th foundation celebration and 22nd anniversary as a University upholding that it continues to thrive, lead, and serve despite the ongoing health crisis brought by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

The Culminating Program of the 118th founding anniversary of CNU with the theme, Thriving, Leading, and Serving in the New Normal was held last Saturday, June 27 through a live-stream in the CNU Public Information Office (PIO) official Facebook account.

Messages from different stakeholders and presentations from the Normalite community made the customary annual celebration more meaningful.    

“This year’s foundation celebration is made more meaningful as it strives to establish its resiliency in education amidst the health crisis we are in. As we come to the culmination of this two-week celebration, CNU has shown how it thrives, leads, and serves in this new normal,” CNU Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPPA) Dr. Daisy Palompon said.

“CNU thrives in a century and 18 years and overcame all challenges it went through, and more importantly it will not only thrive in this new normal but it will also continue to flourish as centers of excellence in education… and is taking the lead in a resilient, flexible, [and] inclusive quality education,” she said.

“As a state-funded University, service with quality and integrity is our brand as public servants,” Palompon added.

Cebu 1st District congressman, Atty. Eduardo Gullas – the Father of CNU Charter – said that his efforts in debating in congress then “was truly worth it as I see through the years that CNU has produced leaders, educators, and professionals who have excelled in their field of specialty and put the institution’s name as one of the prestigious universities in the country today.” 

Gullas is the principal author of the house of bill that enacted Republic Act 8688 which converted Cebu State College (CSC) into Cebu Normal University in 1998.

“May we continue to thrive, lead, and serve in the new normal amid the pandemic. Most importantly, may we continue to stay healthy and humble, and trust God to protect us and our families,” he added.

“To thrive in difficult times requires not only a strong visionary leadership but a collective effort of every member of the educational community towards the direction of excellence. It is important then for all of us to support each other in this shared vision. Rest assured that your board is supportive of the University’s plans and projects as it reframes the delivery of its services in the new normal.” Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner and CNU Board of Regents (BOR) Chair, Dr. Perfecto Alibin, said.

“The changes in the educational landscape brought about by the pandemic and unprecedented leadership amid the global health crisis requires [sic] the courage to be trailblazers and to take roads that have literally been never traveled before and to create the path that has never been discovered,” he said.

“We hope that your history of 118 years of overcoming one challenge after another will inspire all of you to continue leading in this challenging journey ahead. Lastly, and the most important challenge of all especially for State Colleges and Universities is the call to serve. I congratulate CNU for recognizing the crucial role of Higher Education Institutions in these trying times. Indeed, the true measure of excellence is the significance and relevance the institution brings to the communities it partners with,” he added.

After the messages, CNU alumna and former faculty member, Dr. Marita Omega-Nalam, who is now teaching in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, rendered her version of Lea Salonga’s The Journey on guitar to start the series of performances to complete the celebration.

A dance presentation to the beat of Disney’s We’re All in This Together from the CNU Administrative Council headed by CNU President, Dr. Filomena Dayagbil, followed afterwards.

The CNU Chorale then performed Ron Hamilton’s Servant’s Heart as a tribute to all frontliners of the pandemic exhibiting photos of the Innovative CNU Assistance and Relief Effort (iCARE) program of the University. 

A photo compilation of the #ThankyouCNU Facebook posts by the different stakeholders of CNU was also presented highlighting their memorable experiences in the University. 

CNU Chief Administrative Officer for Finance Dr. Evelyn Tradio gave the parting message and recalled all the events that took place within the two-week celebration stating that the first-ever online or virtual commemoration of the University’s founding anniversary is a testament that nothing can dampen CNU’s celebration of its success.  

The celebration ended with the signing of the CNU hymn.

A recording of the CNU 118th Foundation Celebration Closing Program can also be viewed at the CNU PIO official YouTube channel(JDF)

Former CNU educators embody the ‘Normalite’ excellence

Former Cebu Normal University (CNU) faculty members from across the globe shared their experiences and how they adapted to the new normal as they gathered virtually (for the first time in so many years) to commemorate the 118th founding anniversary of the institution.

A session called CNU Family Interaction featuring the former educators of CNU who are now based in different counties across three continents was live-streamed last Saturday, June 27 at the CNU Public Information Office (PIO) Facebook account.

The session was facilitated by Dr. Marita Nalam and Dr. Raul Rossell, and was participated in by Dr. Nancy Villanueva, Mrs. Elena Dumangas, Mr. Nixon Go, Mrs. Maria Lilibeth Abaquita, Dr. Rico Paja, Dr. Arlene Bachinela, Dr. Ernest Yu, Dr. Fides Ybanez, Dr. Amelianita Jugasan, Mr. Ramil Orbita, Dr. Patrocinio Malazarte Jr., Dr. Gil Baguio, Dr. Pops Singson, Dr. Gina Lopez, Dr. Editha Obejero, Mrs. Marivic Quiachon, and Mr. Arcelieto Quiachon.

“Cebu Normal University is a home for successful educators, a home for topnotchers, and it offers high-quality education that prepares students to be globally competent,” Villanueva said as something she will always remember about CNU.

She said that she is thankful to have worked with competent teachers who prepared her to be successful in her teaching career abroad. 

“I was very happy when I got the chance to become part of the faculty which is a way for me to give back to how CNU has shaped and molded me as a professional,” Nalam said. 

Nalam is also an alumna of the University where she finished her elementary, high school, and graduate studies. She is currently teaching in Manitoba, Canada. 

Lopez said that it was tenacity that made her survive for 15 years now in a foreign land. She said that she would have succumbed to pressure and would have easily gone back home had it not been because of her experiences in CNU. 

Lopez admitted feeling guilty for leaving the University and shared that she would join programs that are still connected to the country. She has now considered herself as part of those who helped float the economy of the Philippines. 

Dr. Bibiana Isok, CNU Faculty Association Incorporated (FAI) President, who convened the session said that had she been the administrator back then, she would have stopped the teachers from leaving. But she also said that it was also a way of giving chance to others which the former teachers agreed.

Adjustment to the ‘new normal’

Dumangas, who is a teacher now in South Korea said she does a lot of activities, homework, and assignments now that everybody has entered this ‘new normal’. She also shared that what is nice is that they have a system where they could just upload their lessons in video format for the students to watch.

Abaquita, who now teaches in Australia said they make use of web-based software also but are already back to the face-to-face mode of instructional delivery. 

Nalam said that it was not a difficult transition for them in Canada because they have already been practicing blended learning. She said that they have a portal where teachers can input their exams in different types.


Nalam said that CNU has exemplified “the real essence of brilliance, significance to community, and excellence” and for that she will remain proud as a Normalite.

Bachinela congratulates the University for keeping stronger each year through the numerous accomplishments it has achieved locally, regionally, and nationally. She said it looks like CNU is going international also. 

Gil said that everything he is right now – as an educator and as a person – he owes it to CNU. He said that it is a great pleasure to be a Normalite and to be a professor of CNU.

“You are indeed a capability-builder and all those times that we were there, you built us up. People all over the world always remember CNU and what we got from there,” Lopez said.

A recording of the CNU Family Interaction can also be viewed at the CNU PIO official YouTube channel(JDF)