President Palomo's Thanksgiving Speech
News and Current Events
Posted on 2010-06-24 • By Pres. Manuel G. Palomo
On the occasion of the first anniversary of the official takeover of WUP by the new Board of Trustees and the present Management, April 27.
As we gather this morning to offer our praises, prayers and thanks to God Almighty for hurdling one year of difficult transition from the past to the present, let us call to mind that eventful day in 2009, April 27, to be exact, when by force of circumstances and by virtue of an official order from the reverend bishops of the UMC, your President, together with the now sitting BOT, had no choice but to take over the University and start a new page in the very colorful history of our dear institution, Wesleyan.
It was an act that we do not apologize for, for when we come to reminisce the meaning and consequence of such exploit, it was meant to be and meant to take place. Shall we say, April 27 was not accidental, it was destined to happen.
What happened on that day, would be easily now dismissed as moot and academic, something we all believed we have to accept as inevitable, “nariyan na ‘yan, kaya tanggapin na natin.”
However, my dear fellow workers at Wesleyan, we could not simply put out of our mind the events which unfolded before our very eyes, which to many of you were either too dramatic or too upsetting. The feelings were mixed, something that excited and may have frightened many of you for quite some time. It was a time of frenzy and uneasiness, of unrelenting questioning and awe. In short, most of you, including us, especially us, were treading on some volatile ground.
But that was a time of reckoning, and our resolve to accomplish what has been given us to do was so strong, we did what needed to be done.
It was not a forceful entry as many thought it was, nor was it unscrupulously undertaken. Previously, we have taken steps to ensure that the “change” of management was done in the most professional, legal and respectable manner. We sought the help of emissaries whom we believed were honorable men, and as such will earn courtesy and civility from equally honorable gentlemen. They all came back disappointed. We lengthen our patience and consideration, widen our understanding and broaden our viewpoint while graciously waiting for them to step down in their own accord, but to no avail.
There were exchanges of letters as the former BOT and the president were asking for extension, a clear manifestation of their admittance that their term of office was over. The first was granted, the second was granted but with certain limitations, and the others following were denied explicitly.
The Board appointed me as OIC president and concurrently chairman of the Board.
At three o’clock on April 27, 2009, I was already functioning as OIC-President and at the same time, chairman of the Board having been officially authorized by the bishops. As the man at the helm, I had to execute orders with firmness and decisiveness, took actions to secure the premises and immediately sought allegiance from people who believed we can make a difference.
On the second day, I had to face a sea of faces unmistakably perplexed, disturbed, agitated and euphoric. The difficult task of explaining the situation fell on my shoulder. I felt it was my sacred duty to fill you in on the sequence of events and prepare you for what is to come. It didn’t feel like doomsday, though. On the contrary, it was a feeling of freedom and security for many that pervaded that morning.
The rest is history.
Today, one year after that fateful day, let us honestly assess what have become of you as its personnel. You cannot deny that we have done something to at least improve your plight. You enjoyed the expected and the unexpected blessings that came to you. We honestly believed you deserved to have them, so we granted them sincerely. If the efforts we have exerted do not seem good enough, we’re sorry that there was less appreciation. Yet we’re also glad that many, still happier.
Twelve months seemed to pass so swiftly and in those days of transition, change, reprogramming and shifting of orientation and of the ways things are done, my administration has earned ire, praises, commentaries both pleasant and unpleasant, a boxful of very unjust and undeserved poison letters and everything nice. These were expected in any work environment. Being a leader has its prize and this is one of those. But I would rather have them than not being trusted to lead an Institution like Wesleyan.
On May 26, 2009, the BOT elected me to the presidency and gave me the mandate to take the lead in moving Wesleyan forward for the next five years. The job is huge, especially so that I face the challenge of keeping the autonomous status it enjoys at the moment. To aid me in carrying on the task, I enlisted the help of men and women who I trust, can move in sync with my plans and programs, thus facilitating accomplishments and improvements I have always wanted to happen. More importantly, I put my trust on every member of the rank and file that you shall be cooperating and supporting every undertaking I have mapped out because ensuring the stability and performance of our beloved university is ensuring your future.
So my dear faculty, staff and Management Team, as we commemorate the significance of this day, let us not forget that as faithful stewards of God, we were called to render Christian service to fellowmen especially to the students whom we vow to serve. Likewise, we are expected to uphold the vision and the mission for which our dear Wesleyan University –Philippines was founded – a Christian institution of learning which is instrumental in the transformation of society.
In closing, may I ask you to pray solemnly for a successful initial CBA negotiation meeting this morning and further ask our Great Father to equip every person sitting in both panels with clarity of mind, purity of hearts and the facility of language to launch a mutually gratifying union for every one’s sake and for the glory of God.
Thank you and good morning.