June 7, 2021
“Today is significant because HAU faculty, administrators, and students find it in their hearts to really serve and share the best that they have because we want our Aeta brothers and sisters to succeed, and once they succeed, in their hearts, coming home to their communities is what they have." Such were the inspiring words delivered by Ms. Edna Marriza C. Santos, HAU Assistant to the President and concurrently Vice President for Academic Affairs, as she welcomed the signatories, witnesses, and guests representing the HAU and the Archdiocesan Desk for Indigenous Peoples (ADIP) of the Archdiocese of Pampanga to the Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and Launching of the Pamimilamu Aeta Youth Outreach Project held virtually on May 27, 2021 via Zoom.
Rev. Fr. Regnel “Ching” C. Fuertez, the Director of the ADIP, expressed his gratitude to God for His infinite love and to the HAU for its sustained community extension programs and projects aimed at uplifting the lives of the Aeta communities of Pampanga. “Kapag ang pag-ibig ng Diyos ang nag-uudyok sa ating gawain, sa ating mga ginagawa sa buhay," Fr. Ching emphasized in his Commitment Message during the MOA signing, “kahit pandemya pa 'yan, kahit bagyo 'yan, kahit lindol 'yan, walang makakapigil sa pag-ibig ng Diyos sa ating mga ginagawa sa buhay.”
Representing HAU in the MOA Signing was Dr. Janette R. Rodriguez, the Dean of the HAU School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). Dean Rodriguez believes that the HAU faculty and students are empowered to commit themselves in supporting the aspirations of the Aeta youth through the Pamimilamu Aeta Youth Outreach Project. In her Closing Message, Dean Rodriguez, quoting UK Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, said that, “Everything that is great has been done by the youth,” suggesting the crucial role of the Aeta youth in making a difference in the lives of their indigenous communities and the positive impact this will have upon the nation.
Messages of Commitment were also delivered by Dr. Alma M. Natividad, Dean of the School of Education (SED), Dr. Nino Kabiling, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice Education and Forensics (CCJEF), and Mrs. Norilyn M. Pineda, the Director of the Institute for Christian Formation and Social Integration (ICFSI).
The MOA signifies the willingness of HAU, through SAS in collaboration with SED, CCJEF, ICFSI-OCES, and ADIP, to implement academic and non-academic support activities that will benefit the 18 identified Aeta students and 26 Aeta college graduates of Pampanga. Among these activities are the implementation of a free online tutoring program, provision of free enrichment webinar-workshops, and offering of a free online board review for Aeta graduates of teacher education and criminology degrees.
The virtual Launching of Pamimilamu and Ceremonial MOA Signing concluded with a surprise song number from Fr. Ching Fuertez who serenaded the guests with the song “Let It Be” as an expression of gratitude to the HAU.