On the morning of August 9, 2021, the Commission on Higher Education – Caraga Regional Office (CHED Caraga) kickstarted the month-long celebration of the 54th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Founding Anniversary by virtually conducting an official launching event attended by all CHED Caraga personnel, heads of Caraga Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and heads of partner government agencies via ZOOM Teleconferencing and Facebook Live. The given theme for the year was “PADYAK! Moving forward, claiming victory for Philippine Higher Education (PHE) in the ASEAN Community.”

Immediately following the end of the live broadcasting of the nationwide launching by the CHED Central Office, the launch at CHED Caraga began with an opening prayer and the singing of the Philippine national anthem performed by the CHED Caraga Chorale.

Regional Director Dr. Leonida Calagui then led the way to the opening of festivities with a resounding declaration, “…it is with gratitude and honor that I welcome you all in joining us as I officially declare the month-long celebration of the 54th ASEAN Founding Anniversary, which is hosted by the Commission on Higher Education Caraga Regional Office, now open!”

The CHED Caraga Chorale then performed the ASEAN Hymn featuring selected office personnel who represented the ten ASEAN member states by wearing their colorful and authentic costumes as well as hoisting their respective flags. This was immediately followed by a special cultural dance performance also given by selected CHED Caraga personnel.

Dr. Calagui returned to the virtual stage to welcome the participating Caraga HEI representatives and gave her opening message.

“CHED Caraga commends all of your initiatives and efforts to support us in all of our activities that emphasize the importance of celebrating this ASEAN founding anniversary,” she said.

Following Dr. Calagui’s speech were other special messages delivered by the representatives and heads of various partner agencies, namely: Dr. Aldrin Darilag, CHED Commissioner; Hon. Dale Corvera, Governor of Agusan Del Norte; Hon. Ronnie Vicente Lagnada, Mayor of Butuan City; and Dr. Anthony Penaso, President of the Caraga HEIs Association of Presidents and Heads (CHEIAPH).

The Caraga HEIs in attendance gave more than just their virtual presence for the launch. Representatives of HEIs were given the spotlight to showcase their ASEAN costumes and to deliver their special declarations of unity in prevailing against COVID-19, speaking in the language of the nation they represented.

To continue the spirit of moving forward in unity, a recorded performance of “Let Us Move Ahead” by CHED Caraga personnel was showcased. This was followed by another video presentation of short ASEAN-related clips.

Part of the many highlights that participants can look forward to are the series of competitions organized by CHED Caraga that will span the whole month of August. The five Education Supervisors II, as focal persons for each competition, gave briefings on the mechanics, guidelines, schedules, and prizes for the reference of interested participants. The five competitions to be conducted throughout the month are: Essay Writing, Digital Poster Making, Digital Infographics Making, Spoken Word Poetry, and Online Teaching Demonstration.

Finally, to close the official launching of the 54th ASEAN Founding Anniversary, Chief Administrative Officer Ms. Alma Sy Patron gave a short message.

The month-long activities for the 54th ASEAN Founding Anniversary ran from August 9 to 27, 2021. See the recorded virtual events at our official website, www.chedcaraga.ph, or at our official Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/CHEDCaragaPH.