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Save UP College of Arts and Letters (UP CAL)
faculty members from poverty!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The University of the Philippines College of Arts and Letters (CAL) was founded in 1983 after the UP College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) was reorganized. Previously, UP CAL was an integral component of the UP College of Philosophy , Science and Letters (1910). On 30 June 1911, the College was renamed the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The CAS offered the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences as fields of specialization. On 30 September 1976, the Reorganization Plan of the College of Arts and Sciences resulted in the creation of three divisions, namely: the Division of Humanities, the Division of Science, and the Division of Social Sciences and Philosophy. The Division of Humanities consisted of five Departments : the Department of Humanities (now Art Studies), the Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Department of Spanish (now European Languages), the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature and the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts. These departments are now connected with UP CAL.

UP CAL is currently the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) Center of Excellence in English, Filipino, Literature/Creative Writing and Foreign Languages. It also has the largest assemblage of Philippine National Artists (e.g. Francisco Arcellana, Virgilio S. Almario, N.V.M. Gonzalez, Amado V. Hernandez, Bienvenido Lumbera, Carlos P. Romulo and Jose Garcia Villa for Literature; Wilfrido Maria Guerrero for Theater; Ishmael Bernal, Lino Brocka and Eddie Romero for Film, Rolando Tinio for Theater and Literature, etc.) and recipients of many important national and international prizes, including winners of Ramon Magsaysay (e.g., Lumbera), Southeast Asia (SEA) Write (e.g., Virginia Moreno, Ricaredo Demetillo, Jose Maria Sison, Bienvenido Santos, Almario, Isagani R. Cruz, Alfred Yuson, Domingo Landicho); TOYM (Almario, Dalisay, Nadera); Fulbright, British Council, Monbusho, the Carlos Palanca, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Premio Zobel, Metrobank Outstanding Teacher and Philippine National Book awards, scholarships and fellowships, in its past and present student, faculty and alumni roster.

Most importantly, all UP students attend UP CAL's iconic general education and specialized courses in Creative Writing, English Language, Communication, Anglo-American literature, Comparative Literature, Filipino, Philippine Studies, Philippine Literatures and Cultures, European Languages, Speech Communication, Theater Arts, Art Studies, Philippine Institutions (Jose Rizal) and Humanities.

Unfortunately, many UP CAL faculty members continue to suffer from poverty. The Philippine government's Salary Standardization Law (SSL) does not allow UP (despite its stature as the country's national university) to promote properly its prizewinning faculty members. Considering UP CAL's impact locally and internationally, its faculty members are earning just about PHP10,000-PHP 30,000 (US$ 200-600) per month. Many UP CAL faculty members moved to other national and international institutions, companies and corporations because they could not support their families with their UP salaries. Many of those who were sent to study in foreign universities did not return to UP because of opportunities to earn more elsewhere. Some UP CAL faculty members are now teaching part-time in Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Miriam College and University of Asia and the Pacific to pay their monthly bills. Those who stay behind are teaching because of their unwavering commitment to UP, UP students and the teaching profession.

But these faculty members can only take in so much. Unlike UP alumni in Engineering, Business Administration, Medicine, Law, the Sciences and Economics, UP CAL alumni are mostly artists, teachers, scholars and NGO workers. These graduates are unable generally to help UP CAL in terms of material support.

UP CAL is requesting UP alumni, alumni groups and their friends to help save UP CAL faculty members from poverty. UP CAL needs permanent professorial chairs to ensure that UP and UP CAL gets to retain its best faculty members, especially those who teach general education courses to all UP students.

Otherwise, UP will slip further down the drain and lose its academic leadership to its rival universities in the Philippines and elsewhere.

For further details, drop by, call or send an email to Philippine National Artist and UP CAL Dean Virgilio S. Almario or UP CAL Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jose Wendell Capili.

College of Arts and Letters
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1101

CAL Website

CAL-related websites

CAL Webmail or

Telephone Number
(+63)(2) 9818500, extension 2101 / 2102 / 2104 / 2105 or 2106
Direct Line/Fax Number
(+63)(2) 4344686 or 9294508

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