In 1912, the same year that Military Training, the precursor of the present ROTC program, was incepted in the University of the Philippines, female students of the University were selected and recruited to serve as the Muses of the regiments, battalions and companies of the UP Corps of Cadets.
When Military Training had been re designated as the Philippine ROTC Program, the ladies organized as Muses of the Corps were re designated as the UP ROTC Corps of Sponsors (UPCoS). By that time, they had become a social adjunct of the Corps of Cadets in various areas.
As history marched on with the Pre-War, World War and Post-War eras, so did the legacy of the UPCoS flourish. With the establishment of the Commonwealth, the UPCoS trained as part of the Women’s Auxiliary Service. In 1949, the Corps of Sponsors was established in different U.P. units like Los Baños and Baguio.
In 1968, the Sponsors went through special warfare training via the Rainbow Rangerettes, a brainchild of former Sponsors Lorna Verano-Yap and Tina Escueta. From the sixties onwards, the special military training of Sponsors continued, as did their participation and involvement in civic and social action. They have come up with various cultural activities, fund-raising campaigns, and socio-civic projects, all geared to the benefit of the young, the aged, the infirm, and other disadvantaged sectors of society. Since then, they have responded to the call of National Service, in various ways demanded by their particular times.
Simultaneous with these activities was their participation in, and support of, University activities and affairs. They have always rendered ushering services at the Lantern Parade and University Commencement Exercises, to name a few.
The U.P. Corps of Sponsors began mainly as a group of muses of the Corps but through the years, it has continued to strive, mature and evolve. It is proud to number among its alumnae many illustrious names in various fields of Philippine society.
Honor. Service. Excellence.
These are the three words which the UP Corps of Sponsors live by. Common terms, may be, but only few, if not all, bring these words into life. And we, who came in the Corps with different fields of experiences and unique capabilities, do our best to belong to the few who are called and chosen.
Each of us started with different stories. Some of us considered joining the Corps as soon as they began their college life in the University. Some had decided to try just because of curiosity. And there were a lot of random reasons. But in the end, we believe that deep in our hearts each of us has heard the call of service to our community and the entire nation. We just paid attention and took the action.
The most significant part in joining the UP Corps of Sponsors is the experience that brought us all kinds of emotions: it makes you feel busted when your feet already hurt during ushering details, yet the happiness is fulfilling when you have done your duty despite inconvenient circumstances.
In life, we tend to follow a path which we go through one step at a time. A Sponsor life also has its step one, two, and three. In the process, you will learn to take each step slowly but surely.
You are surely taking the first step the moment you have received the nomination form of the UP Corps of Sponsors. It is actually an invitation to bigger and wider opportunities. By this time, you may know very little about the Corps but you will learn everything by heart and by spirit in a while.
This step is yet to be accomplished until you have faced a series of interviews. This is a procedure that each Sponsor has to go through before entering the Corps. This is quite a challenge because from the interviews you will meet the “big” people of the Department. They will definitely bring out the best in you.
After a series of deliberations and seminars, you will be given the pass to join the organization.
This is all about meeting your new colleagues who definitely become your best friends later on because your fellow beautiful women will help you both in your personal and Corps lives. And these people, with all efforts united, would make you feel that things will go better as long as you are there for each other. Building an intimate and harmonious relationship with your co-Sponsors is the key to accomplishing your tasks and projects easier and lighter, no matter how things seem to be difficult and unattainable.
Finally, the real challenge begins. After knowing the Corps and how its system works and after finding your new best buddies, it is your time to show off what you’ve got to be a real Sponsor. Being a real Sponsor means to be an all-around human being; you must be able to perform well in academics and must live out the essence of service and commitment at the same time. Planning and implementing your projects would require you to give your time when there is none. Performing extra duties make you realize that there is something you really can do.
These three steps summarize how we live in the UP Corps of Sponsors. By the grace of God we have survived and we are still surviving.
Everything in the Corps is not easy, but everything is possible. That is why we continue to lead the example by sharing one passion with the rest of the Iskolars ng Bayan and our one nation.
Being part of the Department of Military Science and Tactics, the UP Corps of Sponsors are given free instruction and hands-on experience in such special training as first-aid, marksmanship, water training, rappelling, self-defense and martial arts under the supervision of the Department of Military Science and Tactics.
Sponsors act as mediators between the cadets/ cadettes and cadet/ cadette officers, ensuring that a healthy and professional relationship is maintained. As the sounding board of the cadets/ cadettes for whatever problems they may face during their ROTC training, they play a unique role in ensuring morale. They also support activities of the UP Corps of Cadets.
The Corps of Sponsors is the only student organization regularly requested by the University to usher at various campus activities and events; thus giving Sponsors a glamorous chance to gain polish and poise as they interact with well-known figures in Philippine business, politics and civilian society.
As a socio-civic organization with projects geared toward community service, Sponsors work together in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing projects that benefit worthwhile charitable institutions and causes. Each Sponsor gets the chance to spearhead at least one project during her term, bringing out her capabilities to effectively manage time, resources, and personnel.
If you are invited to be a Sponsor, you are being given an opportunity to discover new things, undergo exciting activities, make new friends, and be part of an honored tradition that goes back over 80 years…..are YOU ready to meet the challenge?
If you want to learn more about the UP Corps of Sponsors (UPCoS), drop by at the Sponsors’ Room inside the DMST Complex, or approach any Sponsor, anytime.