lucena as a learning city

today i talked to the deans and department heads of enverga university in lucena. the lead convenor, dr. atienza wanted to know more how to make lucena the first learning city in the philippines. i prepared a powerpoint presentation for 10 minutes, and i aroused their interest first. lucena has 7 colleges and one university . enverga university has thousands of graduates since the 1950’s and the current student population is 16,000 from southern tagalog towns. i told the deans and faculty that enverga can lead the discussion from their vantage point of having been a pillar of the city and province.

i shared my ongoing study of emigrants and transnationals from lucena – many came from the colleges and schools of lucena and have a vast reserve of knowledge and skills. lucena is a glocal city and that its overseas citizenry are keen on engaging the local citizens. their eyes began to smile (ahh their amygdala is turning on, i said ). the project of learning cities is a way to realize education for all (EFA) and with lucena as an education hub in Southern Luzon, EFA is doable. i described snapshots of lucena in the 1900’s when lucena people hosted Harrison (US governor general when the US was the colonizing power in the country) in the manner that the Malolos Congress did when the Philippine Republic had its first congress. Lucena prepared a cultural program of Italian opera arias and served a menu with French cuisine. many people in Lucena went on to achieve in several fields, nationally and internationally but we do not honor nor engage them as social development partners them because they are citizens already of other countries. using the glocal learning project, we can refresh the links and be in communication with this vast pool of learning citizens.

after several vignettes on excellence in education , they were sufficingly aroused. dr. rago, the dean of engineering department, said that 400 graduating students from region IV will have a forum in enverga and they will want to hear what i said. i offered ed and i will do a conjugal presentation. i told the deans that ed has been working on alternative learning systems and he is one of the passionate advocates of lifelong learning.

the talk yielded prompt response to form a task group with dr. atienza, dr. mercado, benilda villenas, carmina tolentino and other deans who want to volunteer their time. my father, dr. cesar villariba offered himself as adviser. i suggested they start first with working on an inventory of learning legacies and resources, in engaging the city government towards proclaiming lucena as the first learning city and then linking up with universities in learning cities. now the hard work begins with experimenting on systems and on a genetic code for a great learning city. our amygdala and neurotransmitters will surely be firing.

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