In line with UPV Tacloban College’s 48th Founding Anniversary, the UPVTC Division of Social Sciences and UPVTC Psych Circle organized the 4th Eastern Visayas Psychology Conference with the theme “Psychology, Social Justice, and Collective Action in the Time of COVID-19” last 27-28 May 2021 via Zoom.
The one-and-a-half-day virtual conference featured top-notch speakers, which attracted more than 200 attendees from all over the Philippines and a few international participants.
On the morning of May 27, Dr. James H. Liu from Massey University in New Zealand served as the keynote speaker and talked about how future generations might collectively remember the COVID-19 pandemic scourging the world today.
This was followed by the first plenary speaker, Dr. Marc Eric S. Reyes, who is currently the President of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP). Aside from highlighting PAP initiatives related to social justice, Dr. Reyes also emphasized that psychological science can and should be used to address issues not only in times of crisis.
The plenary speaker for the afternoon session of May 27 was no less than Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Justice Leonen delivered a thought-provoking talk on the pandemic and humanity’s ethical failures and engaged the mostly young audience in an insightful conversation through the open forum.
After recorded performances from the U.P. An Balangaw Performing Arts Group, the first day of the conference concluded with the Lightning Talk segment, which featured six pre-recorded research presentations by psychology students.
The second day of the conference started with the Eastern Visayas Cultural Showcase through recorded songs from the Sinirangan Chamber Singers and virtual poetry performances organized by the UPVTC Division of Humanities. Afterward, two esteemed psychologists shared their thoughts about the conference theme through their respective research and advocacy work.
Dr. Violeta V. Bautista, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychology in UP Diliman (UPD), talked about the challenge of bringing “ginhawa” to campuses and the general public during the pandemic. Drawing on her experience as founding and current director of the UPD PsycServ, she emphasized the need for universities and other institutions to become more caring and nurture their constituents' well-being.
The last plenary speaker was Dr. Ma. Regina M. Hechanova, Professor at the Department of Psychology in the Ateneo de Manila University. In her talk, Dr. Hechanova underscored the importance of developing resilience amidst the pandemic and shared selected results from their work on the Katatagan Project.
This year’s Eastern Visayas Psychology Conference was led by DSS Chairperson Asst. Prof. Ruth Edisel Rylle B. Sadian-Cercado, with the help of the rest of the psychology faculty members: Asst. Prof. Pierce S. Docena, Assoc. Prof. Ervina A. Espina, Asst. Prof. Rowena S. Guiang, Asst. Prof. Querima Jopson, and Asst. Prof. Michael C. Pan. Aside from the UPVTC Psych Circle members, the conference was ably assisted by Mr. Jisaiah Enoch Alban as event host and Mr. Christian Paolo Santos and Ms. Marvie Villones as technical secretariat.