Yup! How eUP can run past the alumbayad

WORM pkMANILA: Speed thrills! Speed kills, if low. Modern metaphor.

The image you see is that of an alumbayad, Ilocano for earthworm. The metaphor is perfect even if I'm talking here of the whole UP System and not just my alma mater, the College of Agriculture of UP Los Baños. I'm talking here of electronic speed, Internet, WiFi.

As I write this, about an hour ago (it's 0500 hr Tuesday, 04 June 2013), for the first time I learned about eUP, the flagship program of UP President Alfredo E Pascual, and which has a dedicated website at e.up.edu.ph. I chanced upon eUP while googling for "Rex Victor Cruz" for more information about his UPLB Chancellorship, as I'm writing a profile of his for the book on UPLB Alumni that I had the grand idea of producing for Loyalty Day 2013. (If you visit my dedicated website Alumni in Villages, blogspot.com, you will now see CV stories of 54 Alumni, and counting. If you're ElBi Alumni, submit your profiles now!)

Pascual's bright idea of eUP has me quite intrigued because it promises the sky by and by while down below, through no fault of his, the websites of the component universities of the UP System like UP Baguio and UP Los Baños must crawl like alumbayads. Like, for as far as I can remember, and I'm 73, every time I visit http://uplb.edu.ph, either there is an error message (like "unable to open") or it takes forever to open. And I thought UP Los Baños is on fiber optics?!

If the rest of the UP System is slow, eUP is the horse before the cart running away from it!

Or maybe not. Considering that part of what the eUP is planning to do is this:

Benchmarking for hardware, software, manpower, data, connectivity will be performed as our team will visit selected top universities around the world. The project team will also conduct university-wide ICT inventory survey including IT systems audit. Part of this component is the identification of best practices and best implementation models among constituent universities for the identification of systems to be standardized, systems to be developed, and systems to be procured.

How long do you think it will take them to finish that benchmarking, inventory survey, systems audit and so on and so forth? I expect as long as it takes them to decipher all those long words in that heavy, 69-word paragraph that I simply copy-&-pasted from the website.

Notwithstanding, I note with gladness that the eUP will be setting up, among other things, WiFi hotspots around UP campuses. Promise? As of now, the buses have beaten you UP to it, like Solid North managers have installed WiFi Onboard that I enjoy going to and coming from Asingan, Pangasinan so early in the morning. Their WiFi is faster than my home-based SmartBro, I wonder why. I hope the eUP WiFi will be faster than the alumbayad.

Yet, I suspect that eUP will take a very long time coming to full bloom, if it were a mango tree. Even if at the right time you spray potassium nitrate (KNO3), which by the way is the discovery of UPLB Professor (Retired) Ramon Barba, I suspect the KNO3 will take a very long time to work on the mango because, in the first place, before the sprayer (the man, not the machine) can reach the mango and spray, he has to pass through a gauntlet of approving hands for the contract to be finally signed by Pascual! Would you believe 70 signatures? So, in a bureaucracy like UP has been for a hundred years, the signing will take forever, or require your infinite patience.

If you don't believe me, visit now eUP (eUP Project Teams, e.up.edu.ph), and count how many members there are of the Project Teams (plural); I already told you, 70, in the website list from Alfredo E Pascual (Project Sponsor) down to Dittas Formoso (Team Leader for Key Performance Indices). Just to give you an idea, in that long list, by titles, there are 21 PhDs, 12 Professors, and 2 Attorneys. The PhDs will give you dissertations to submit; the Professors will give you lectures to listen to; and the Attorneys will give you headaches.

1. Alfredo E Pascual
2. Antonio R Obsioma
3. Ariel S Betan
4. Aris Dacanay
5. Buenalyn Ramos-Mortel
6. Caesar A Saloma
7. Carlos Forteza
8. Cherie Anne R Pasco
9. Christian S Libunao
10. Christine Joyce Salvatierra
11. Crisanto A Dorado
12. Dante K Vergara
13. Dittas Formoso
14. Elvira A Zamora
15. Elvira Zamora
16. Emma Ruth V Bayogan
17. Encarnacion Emilia Santos-Yap
18. Evangeline C Amor
19. Gerald P Franco
20. Gisela P Concepcion
21. Gisela P Concepcion
22. Grace J Alfonso
23. Hector Danny D Uy
24. Hernando Siy Salapare III
25. Hernando Siy Salapare III
26. Hernando Siy Salapare III
27. J Prospero E De Vera III
28. Jaime Caro
29. Jaime DL Caro
30. Jason Balais
31. Jean A Saludadez
32. Jessica K Cariño
33. Jhie Respino
34. Jocelyn Rafanan
35. Jose Go
36. Jose Wendell P Capili
37. Jose Wendell P Capili
38. Joselito C Jamir
39. Juvy Camua
40. Karen Joyce Cayamanda
41. Lisa Grace S Bersales
42. Liza D Corro
43. Lorina T Alcid
44. Ma Rowena C Solamo
45. Manuel B Agulto
46. Maragtas SV Amante
47. Marie Josephine M de Luna
48. Melinda F Lumanta
49. Myrna Carandang
50. Nadira Abubakar
51. Nestor G Yunque
52. Noreen P Escultura
53. Oscar B Zamora
54. Patricia Anne Nazareno
55. Paulo Noel G Paje
56. Raymundo D Rovillos
57. Rex Victor Cruz
58. Ricardo Bagarinao
59. Richmon Pancho
60. Rina Alcid
61. Ritchelita P Galapate
62. Rommel A Espinosa
63. Rommel Feria
64. Ronald S Banzon
65. Rowena C Solamo
66. Sylvia B Concepcion
67. Vernon Velasco
68. Vincent Teodosio
69. Virginia C Yap
70. Wilfredo V Alangui

I hope I didn't leave out anyone.

That's a very, very long alumbayad. If I had a Team as long as that, I'll scream!

If you notice, in my list sorted by first name, there are 4 individuals who have 2 or more roles to play: Elvira Zamora (2), Gisela Concepcion (2), Jose Wendell Capili (2), and Hernando Siy Salapare III (3). Did they email everybody and find out who else was available?

What I'm thinking of is that The eTeam (my term) must be lean and mean, like NBC's The A-Team of legend, 1983-1987, starring George Peppard and Mr T (Wikipedia), where the chatter is short; the movements are fast; there is violence but no one gets hurt seriously; and there is joy in the morning or in the journey, which is the reward. The group is small, the plan is light and bright, after which The eTeam's Hannibal Smith can smile and say, "I love it when the plan comes together!"

And I'm thinking they should give the eUP to the young staff, because they are the only ones who can learn fast, think fast - and move fast. Or contract it out to a hotshot with young hotshots; there are plenty around - the Filipino is worth paying for! Unless of course the not-so-young UP staff are like an alumnus I know, now 73, slow to anger and quick to rise, self-taught in everything, and has mastered Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 8 all by himself. But be warned: He's an original aboriginal.

So, here's to the youth! You are, still, the fair hope of the fatherland.

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