Local Knowledge in the Face of the ASEAN Integration 2015           Asian University Digital Resource Network 3rd Conference

Good morning everyone!

In behalf of our academic community here at La Salle Bacolod, I welcome one and all to the city and to the heart of our educational institution! Malipayon nga pag-abot sa tanan!

Let me tell you a story. Some time ago, a University student went on a hike to do an animal population study in a forest. The team had a local guide - a member of the indigenous people familiar with the area. It so happens that the trail was not easy, the hike was long, and soon, the student went hungry. The guide located a wild guava tree laden with fruit, and after having eaten their fill, and some rest, they prepared to move on. The university student then opened his backpack and loaded up on more guavas from the tree. The local guide just watched. Suddenly feeling uncomfortable, the university student asked, "What about you? Aren't you taling more for the journey up ahead?" The guide simply nodded his head and said, "No, because others might still pass this way, and they might also be hungry." The guavas in the student's backpack suddenly felt heavy like lead rocks. He learned something that day that he never forgot.

This is what I think local knowledge is all about. And that is what the AUDRN is all about. Learning from the historical, cultural, spiritual genius of various peoples and sharing that knowledge at the university and its universe through digital tools and applications. And if only for that lofty and noble goal, we are honored to be hosting AUDRN's third conference here at La Salle Bacolod.

As universities, we accompany young people towards an optimum quality of life, and towards total wholeness and integration as persons. And as we say among the La Salle schools, we not only have the mission of teaching minds, but also touching hearts and transforming lives.

As learning institutions, respect for various cultures, and the cultural-intellectual-spiritual genius of various peoples is built into our educational and missionary DNA. Working with local knowledge should be probably our greatest strength, especially after the phenomenal post-colonial growth in global historical consciousness, and in the increased awareness and respect of the power of cultural resilience and resistance to all forms of domination.

After globalization and internationalization of the last two decades, the buzzword today is regional integration. ASEAN has set December 2015 as its first target date for partial integration. The move towards full ASEAN integration is going to be irreversible.

Meanwhile, the DepEd has set June 2016 as its target for an integrated basic education program called K-12.

As a people, and as universities, we will be hung on these two horns of a dilemma, or we will be propelled forward by these two engines into development.

That is what this conference will attempt to look into.

With that in mind, this conference bears much promise and excitement indeed, since it will look at ways and means to push the agenda farther down the road.

I know how challenging, but also how exciting and spiritual that road up ahead of us can be. Good luck to all of us then on these next two days!

Sa liwat, malipayon nga pag-abot kag kabay pa nga madamo gid kamo matun-an sa isa kag isa, kag maka tyansa nga makabisita sa lain lain nga lugar diri sa Bacolod! Maayong adlaw sa tanan. Madamo gid nga salamat!