MMSU @ Ruby: Fortified at 40!
Themed “Fortified at 40: Together we ACHIEVE!”, Mariano Marcos State University celebrates its 40th birthday for the whole month of January at the MMSU High School grounds in Batac City. Reaching its ruby year of distinguished excellence, MMSU kicks off with foods for the soul, body, eyes, and mind in recognition of its fruitful and blazing desire in the service to God and nation.
It can be recalled that in January 6, 1978, Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1279 merging seven learning institutions (Dingras National Agricultural College, Ilocos Norte School for Craftsmen, Ilocos Norte Agricultural College, Mariano Marcos Memorial College of Science and Technology, Northern Luzon State College, Currimao School of Fisheries, and Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trades) into a comprehensive university. With all its academic achievements, research and extension recognitions, and other national and international distinctions for its 40 years of excellence as a higher education learning institution, MMSU celebrates its continuing excellence in light of the new President’s seven-point agenda dubbed as ACHIEVE: Academic excellence, Creative, relevant, and innovative research programs, High impact and transformative extension and outreach programs, Improved revenue generation and resource management, External linkages and partnerships, Vibrant and nurturing learning environment, and Effective and efficient management system.
This month-long celebration of MMSU’s birthday with the official opening of the Garden Show and Trade Fair on January 6, according to Dr. Shirley C. Agrupis, the new President of the University, is a much-awaited event, not only to the people of Batac and Ilocos Norte, but also enthusiasts from nearby provinces such as Nueva Vizcaya, Baguio City, and Cagayan. It is a convergence of kin and friends in their search for fun and food, laughter and color, and ideas and innovation while celebrating and cerebrating.
“We look ahead to a life fortified by excellence, propelled by our zeal to make a significant and lasting difference in the life of our people. Together as one MMSU community, we continue to realize the vision of our founder and the father of Ilocandia and the Philippines, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, for MMSU to become a beacon of enlightenment and a hub for innovation in Ilocos Norte and in the whole Philippines. And so together, we take stride, big and small, toward a greater place of honor and distinction that is the rightful destiny of our university. Together, we achieve”, Dr. Agrupis said in her message during the opening of the Garden Show and Trade Fair. Truly an inspiration to keep working for excellence.
The Food for the Soul: A Service of Thanksgiving
Saturday, January 6. The month-long celebrations of the University started with an ecumenical service attended by MMSU employees, agency heads and representatives, LGU partners, and students at the Teatro Ilocandia. A message on thanksgiving was shared by Mr. Art Balisacan emphasizing that giving thanks to the Lord is a lifestyle celebrated throughout all seasons in life.
The verse in Romans 8:28 that says “… all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” opened his message, emphasizing the individual purposes handed by the Lord to all workers for the purpose He has set for MMSU to accomplish as an institution. In the end, he shared the message of I Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will in Christ Jesus”. Truly an encouragement to give thanks and trust God’s plan in us.
The Food for the Eyes: Wandering Around, Painting the Ground!
The Garden Show and Trade Fair that showcases ornamental plants and fruit-bearing trees from different exhibitors served as eye-catchers in the area as they are situated around the stage. With different varieties of flowering plants, color of all hues decorate the brown and green ground of MMSU. Vegetables and fruits likewise decorate the sides of the trade fair.
Colors of various products such as ceramic vases, abaca products, wooden furniture, clothes and shoes, curtains and drapes, and blankets and pillows decorate the whole area in their more colorful and eye-catching arrangements.
Eyes are said to be windows to the soul, hence, it is joy that is evident among the visitors of the trade for the flowers and pots and food and goods they have bought plus the fun in their talking sessions.
The Food for the Mind: Stirring Imagination, Working Innovation
MMSU Booth showcases significant accomplishments of the Research and Extension Directorates in their mandate of extension research results to agricultural communities to improve production amidst vulnerability to climate change.
Machine prototypes of the Bioethanol Project were installed near the gate of the booth along with sample products from nipa extracts such as Nipahol, Nipa Vodka, and azeotrope. A poster detailing the project also dangles as the machine’s background.
Vermicomposts can also be seen in the booth complete with display of a vermicompost.
The Philippine Carabao Center likewise showcases Carabao milk, bottled and processed into ice cream, that lures visitors of all ages. Chicha-rabao also serves as an attraction.
Products of the different beneficiaries assisted by the Extension Directorate are also available in the booth. To all corners of Ilocandia, the office reaches communities to help them build their enterprise and be productive with the resources available and excessive in their respective areas.
Among the products available are bracelets, necklaces and key chains made from seashells and peals by the Saud Shellcraft Association in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte; banana, camote, and taro chips of Lucky Theo in Banna, Ilocos Norte along with their new products chichacorn, sweetened and roasted peanut, and garlic chips; SCUFYND rice coffee in Lagui-Sail, Laoag City with their new releases, rice coffee 3-in-1 and rice turmeric; Agnes Dragon Fruit wine and soap of Currimao, Ilocos Norte; Dragon Fruit wine of REFMAD Farm of Burgos, I.N; Ginger wine of SLP beneficiaries in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Yam Products such as lengua, cookies, and pacencia made from camangeg; kawayan handicrafts by the Asosasion ti Partuat ti Kawayan in Bangui, I.N; Dupitac peanut butter, Bugnay wine from Adams, I.N; and MMSU Engineered Kawayan along with its produce of different bamboo varieties. Beneficiaries are invited in exhibits and trade fairs as part of the assistance package provided by the Office to its partner-beneficiaries that is from processing to packaging and labelling, and commercialization of their products.
The Bonsai School of the University also showcases the many bonsai available along with many other grafted and seed-grown fruit-bearing trees, non-flowering plants for landscaping purposes, and herbal plants.
The Food for the Body: Nourishing and Fitting
Various foods and fruits are also installed in the western part of the grounds. Housing local and international tastes, the area is a venue to food enthusiasts. From fried foods to grilled ones, to meals and buns, and shakes and teas, and solos and combos, the site caters to solo hoppers and group trippers.
The Foodarama of the University is likewise a much-awaited event plus the skills demonstration in processing crops scheduled on January 24, 2018.
Passion and Enthusiasm: The Foods for Enterprise
To build an enterprise out of passion is a story of sweet success and encouraging challenges to which listeners can really connect and be inspired. With love for plants as the cornerstone of the business, Elan’s Garden rocked the landscaping industry with the colors of its many flowers and plants in different hues and tints.
A Horticulture graduate of MMSU, Ms. John Agbigay, served as the guest speaker in the opening of the 2018 Garden Show and Trade Fair of the University. He shared his life story and humble beginnings as an employee eventually emerging as an employer in Elan’s Garden in Batac City, Ilocos Norte that caters to ornamental needs and landscaping works in many areas in the province and in the region.
As an entrepreneur for two decades already, his message highlighted the perks and perils of being in the business. The three major factors that affected his enterprise are limited working capital, manpower, and competitors in the market. He said that maintaining a business is difficult because of payment delays and capital shortages, relating to most stories of garden exhibitors who have loaned just to share and sell their plants. Manpower also comes handful because of the difficulty in managing them as well as a difficulty in looking for workers because of many other job opportunities. Competitors in the market also poses risk because of mushrooming plant propagators and tenders and even freelance landscapers.
With all colors of difficulties in the business, it is, nonetheless, worthwhile to be in it seeing both the plants and the people bloom and become the artist they wish to be. Hence, the qualities that makes entrepreneurship a rewarding journey includes love for work and enough knowledge about it, creativity, resourcefulness, focus and clear sense of direction, and integrity. Love of work and having sufficient knowledge about it marked the top to highlight passion in whatever is the work to be done, and that as a horticulture graduate, he had the basic knowledge in managing plants. And knowing the booming business flocked by many freelancers, making the business shine above others and being innovative while keeping things environment-friendly is a plus-point in all color. Focus and clear sense of direction also mean the priority and goal of Elan’s Garden as an enterprise and artist hub of involving and helping people in landscaping. And finally, integrity, that is the key ingredient to gain goodwill and trust among clients and partners.
Love your work and work will become play. Truly, his story is a mirror of how plants have decorated his dreams and passion into a colorful business now known throughout Ilocandia and in many other places in the region. As an entrepreneur, he is the bud that blossomed alongside strong winds he has grown to dance with and storms he has found to swing with. As an artist, he is th tender who crafted a garden of flowers that adorned his love story and draped his family.
Many other activities awaits visitors and employees in this 40th birthday of the University. From physical activities to mental jousts, all is engaged and enjoined to participate. And yes, together, we accomplish more, do more, and achieve more!