The College  of Arts and Sciences bested 14 other entries to clinch a historic victory in the float competition during the 100th UPLB Loyalty Day Parade.

The CAS train float with the theme “Katapatan, karangalan, at kagitingan ng mga iskolar ng bayan para sa bayan” served as a fitting tribute to the men and women who volunteered to join the Philippine National Guard bound for Europe in 1918.

Paying homage to the iconic 1918 photo: The volunteers, side by side with the National Guards in khaki uniform, were photographed as they boarded the Philippine National Railways train, the primary mode of transportation for college officials and students travelling to and from the campus in Laguna. Today’s CAS students, faculty and staff paraded in American era-inspired costume to celebrate 100 years of Loyalty Day.

A memorable photo, taken at the College Train Station located in Barangay Mayondon, captured the scene of UPLB faculty members, administrative staff and student volunteers being sent to Camp Tomas Claudio in Paranaque to prepare for their heroic role in World War I.  One hundred years later, CAS paid homage to this iconic photo of voluntarism.

The slowly moving train approached the DL Umali Hall, parading in front of the jubilarians and other guests during the Loyalty Day event held October 10, 2018. Along with it came the volunteers from among the current CAS officials, faculty members, administrative staff, and students.

They showed up wearing the all-white ensemble of trousers and shirts with slim ties for men, accented by old-fashioned suspenders, and crisp white maxi dresses for women, similar their counterparts from 1918. With a singular placard announcing “UPLB-CAS ‘Volunteers’ of the National Guard,” the CAS contingent projected the iconic pose of the volunteers.

The sound system, carefully designed inside the float, made possible the realistic 1918 ambient noise of a train matched by the uncanny smoke emission. The short yet powerful spectacle was choreographed by Prof. Jeremy Dela Cruz, head of the committee that prepared the CAS entry.

A month before the annual event, Dean Felino Lansigan organized a Float Committee to take charge of this year’s Loyalty Day Parade. Alongside the committee chair, Humanities Department’s Professor Dela Cruz, who graduated from the Theater Arts program in UP Diliman, were two colleagues from the Social Sciences Department, both graduates from the College of Fine Arts in UP Diliman. History instructor Eugene Crudo broached this initial concept of Retrospective 1918. Prof. Fred Prescillas presented the final design to the rest of the committee members who unanimously accepted it.

The staff representatives from the various CAS units were fully onboard in executing the float’s concept. As one of the members noted, all shared their thoughts about on which construction materials and method to use. Everyone agreed on recycling and, from there, building on last year’s float. “It was an unpretentious float design, practically thought out with the time and materials in mind,” he added.

CAS faculty, staff, and students came in full force to recreate the past

Through the various phases from planning –identifying and gathering materials– to executing and dividing the work up to the technical on-site assistance, the CAS win was made possible with the efforts of the following staff: Enrique D. Talag, Isagani O. Catelo,  Rodolfo C. Gomez, Jr. and Rodolfo M. Claro Jr. from IBS; Jonathan A. Lanto and Manuel Marza from IC; Rommel Lawas and Mark Efraim M. Gironella from ICS; Florentino T. Torres and Numeriano E. Llamas from IMSP; Sancho E. Nerpio from INSTAT; Emiliano M. Tapangco and Pepito G. Torino from DHK; Ra-Yann D. Aquino and Adrian D. Aquino from DHUM; Ronaldo M. Vibal from DSS; Roberto N. Cahine and Romeo I. Tamares from UPRHS;  and Celestino M. Parducho, Erwin I. Balatian, Allan H. Tandang, Jason V. Argañosa, Michael V. Celis,  William D. Cañasares and Mr. Jayson DR. Valencia from the CAS Dean’s Office.

The other winners during the Loyalty Day Festivities included: College of Agriculture and Food Science  awarded as Second Place; College of Veterinary Medicine as Third Place; College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology as Most Symbolic and College of Forestry and Natural Resources as Most Creative. ∎

— ERP Crudo