The Father Rector and General Vice –Rector of Universitaria Agustiniana in Bogota, Colombia visited the University of Negros Occidental –Recoletos, Bacolod City, February 8 -10, 2017. Rev. Fr. Carlos Alberto Villabona Vargas, OAR and Dr. Ricardo Rojas Lopez, MSc inked a Memorandum of Understanding with UNO-R for possible partnerships in the area of student and faculty mobility, short-term and degree programs, international joint academic meetings, and conferences and collaborative research. The MOU was signed by Fr. Villabona; Dr. Rojas; UNO-R President Fr. Eduardo S. Celiz, Jr., OAR and VP-Administration, Fr. Enrico Peter Silab, OAR
Fr. Villabona and Dr. Rojas arrived in Bacolod, February 8 and were accompanied by San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Cavite President, Fr. Cristituto Palomar, OAR. They were received at the airport by UNO-R College of Engineering Dean Christopher Taclobos and Secretary of the President, Mrs. Ma. Judy B. Legaspi. The visit started with a reception rite with the lay and religious administrators, faculty, and students at the university Main lobby. A tour around the campus led by Engr. Taclobos; CAS Dean, Dr. Annabee Claur; and Director for External Affairs, Dr. Carlos Legaspi, Jr., followed after the welcome formalities. The tour of the campus ended with the meeting with the Fr. President.
A conference was held at the President’s Hall where the Religious and lay administrators formally welcomed the Uniagustiniana officials. Fr. Perzius Joseph Decena, OAR gave the invocation and Fr. President gave the opening message and officially welcomed the guests. Mrs. Legaspi introduced the Religious and Lay Administrators while Fr. Silab and UNO-R VP-Student Welfare, Fr. Louie Gabinete, OAR introduced the guests.
Fr. Carlos shared to the community that UNO-R and Uniagustiniana are similar in many ways. He also said that the Recoletos is very glad that we have people who have the passion for serving and collaborating with the Order in the propagation of “love” through education. He also shared that his school adopts the slogan “I believe in You”. On the other hand, Dr. Rojas talked more about the programs of Uniagustiniana. Rev. Fr. Albert Pellazar, OAR, UNO-R VP-Academics, gave the closing remarks. Rev. Fr. Ronel Gealon, OAR, House Vice-Prior, led the prayer before meal. In the afternoon, a conference with the students opened with Fray Robin Plata, OAR leading the invocation. Dean Taclobos gave the rationale of the affair and introduced the participants. Dr. Legaspi and Dr. Claur introduced the guests while Dr. Gelyn Gaspillo gave the closing remarks and closing prayer by Dr. Carmenda Leonoras, University Registrar. Fr. Villabona introduced Uniagustiniana to the students and faculty and discussed the essential element in the Augustinian education which is “love” (amore or caritas). The conference was attended by representatives from Junior and Senior High School, Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Accountancy and Engineering.
The next day, Fr. Pellazar accompanied the guests to the St. Ezekiel Monastery in Tangub, Bacolod City and afterwards they were accompanied by Dean Taclobos to the Recoletos Social Outreach Center in Handumanan, Bacolod City. The group then proceeded to Colegio de San Nicolas de Tolentino in Talisay City. They were welcomed with a program and lunch with the Religious community at the convent.
They left Bacolod for Cebu after a short meeting with Talisay Parish Priest Fr. Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa, OAR, Dean Taclobos, Dr. Carlos and Ma. Judy Legaspi.