LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – A grand SEARCA alumni homecoming today will cap the celebration of the 50th anniversary of a Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian center based here.
To commemorate its golden year is the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) based in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
Theme of the center's big day is "Celebrating the Golden Years of Advancing Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia through Science and Education."
Another highlight of the 50th anniversary affair is the conferment of the Outstanding SEARCA Scholarship Alumni (OSSA) award on 11 top graduates of the center's graduate (doctoral and masteral) degree program.
Currently headed by Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., SEARCA was established in 1966 to provide capacity-building interventions to promote agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia through its scholarship, research, knowledge management, and expert training programs.
Expected to attend the SEARCA Golden Year celebration are many of the about 1,400 nationals of the 11 SEAMEO countries who have earned their PhD and MS degrees in prestigious universities in the region as SEAMEO SEARCA scholars.
Since last July, SEARCA has been conducting activities in commemoration of its 50th foundation day, among them the launch of a School Gardens program together with DepEd, UPLB, and cooperating entities; international and regional science conferences; launch of the center's 10th Southeast Asia-wide photography contest; and opening of the "SEARCA Through the Years" exhibit.