The Mist Blanketed University
MSU Main Campus, My Home
The mist starts in November and continues until mid-March. It also appears any month of the year whenever it feels like appearing. There is no stopping the mist. It is most beautiful when it is unaccompanied with rain. That will allow people to stroll and wander around the campus without the inconvenience of their feet getting wet. The golf course, where there is a breathtaking view of the Lake Lanao at the foot of the sleeping lady mountains, is the nicest place to stroll when there is a mist. The university oval is the next attraction when it mists because it will be crowded joggers, strollers, lovers dating, and P.E. students that paints a picture of a motley crew very beautiful to look at from the vantage point high above the steps leading to the Princess Lawanen Hall.
The mist, or more popularly called by the locals as “fogs”, is what gives Mindanao State University Main Campus (MSU-MC) a touch of mystery. Perched high above the mountains of Lanao del Sur, Philippines, MSU-MC is the melting pot of the South (Mindanao). It is host to numerous families and students originating from the far Luzon regions as Bicol and Palawan. There are also students coming from the Visayas regions such as Cebu, Bacolod and Negros. Then there are a lot coming from the nearby places like Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City and the Zamboanga regions to name a few. Parents and students are attracted to MSU-MC because of its low tuition fee as it is heavily subsidized by the government being a state university. The low tuition fee comes with low cost of living expenses. But these do not make the standard of education low; on the contrary, the MSU-MC is one of the country’s top producers of quality performing engineers, nurses, teachers, doctors, chemists and many other professionals. It is Mindanao’s answer to Luzon’s University of the Philippines Diliman Campus. It is not only a campus but a community within a campus. There are not only faculty, staff and students living in it, but also families and businessmen who have roots connected to the university.
The MSU-MC was created in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur on September 1, 1961 under Republic Act 1387 as amended through the authorship of Senator Domocao A. Alonto. Dr. Antonio Isidro, former Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of the Philippines, was the founder and first president of the university. The official classes debuted in June 1962 with 282 students, 19 faculty members and staff, and three primary colleges: Community Development, Liberal Arts and Education.Today, MSU-MC has greatly expanded to more than 15,000 students, more than five hundred faculty members and staff, and 16 independent colleges. In fact, through the years it has given birth to six other autonomous campuses belonging to the now MSU System. The others are MSU Iligan Institute of Technology, MSU General Santos, MSU Sulu, MSU Maguindanao, MSU Naawan and MSU Tawi-Tawi scattered in strategic locations throughout Mindanao.
MSU’s philosophy is commitment to the total development of man and to the search for truth, virtue and academic excellence. For its vision, MSU aspires to be the Premier Supra-Regional University in the MINSUPALA (Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan) region. And for its mission, MSU is committed to the attainment of peace and sustainable development in the MINSUPALA region, the MSUS will set the standard of excellence in Science, Arts, Technology and other fields; accelerate the economic, cultural, socio-political and agro-industrial development of the Muslim and other cultural groups, thereby facilitating their integration into the national community; preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the region and conserve its rich natural resources; and infuse moral and spiritual values. For collaborative efforts, for diplomatic relations and for international recognition as a leading institution of higher learning, the MSUS will pursue vigorously linkages with foreign agencies.
The MSU Main Campus is my home, my community, and my refuge. From the bustling and hectic metropolis of Manila, I eagerly await December to come home to MSU where there is tranquility and simplicity. I fervently pray that with the advent of technology and the dynamism of society, the campus I so love will not turn into a bustling and worldly metropolis. I pray that the mist and fogs I so behold will not become the smog of a polluted city.