Prof. Joseph B. Basa
Years ago, a young boy from Buenavista, Guimaras answered “No” when he was asked by his school’s director if he will continue with college studies. Moved by the boy’s candidness, the school’s director offered him a college scholarship at Silliman University. One condition was given: He pursues music so that he returns to the same school and eventually become its music director.
And return Prof. Joseph B. Basa did after completing his degree in Music major in Composition and Arranging from Silliman in 1973. He taught for two years at Good Shepherd's Fold Academy in Guimaras.
Later, he moved back to Dumaguete and decided to teach at a nearby university. Sometime in 1985, an opportunity came for him to join Silliman at the School of Music and Fine Arts (now College of Performing and Visual Arts). Within the same year, he was appointed director of the Silliman University Band.
“It feels so satisfying when I am able to train raw talents and become part of their growth in the field of music,” says Joseph when asked about the rewards of being a mentor.
Describing music as his way of life and his passion, he considers the Silliman University Band at present as a product of his labor of love. He unselfishly gave his time to training many students in mastering their assigned musical instruments and in inspiring them to perform not for themselves but for the group as a whole. A few years ago, he also organized the Silliman Concert Band, with most of its members coming from the existing marching band.
Joseph shares that discipline is a very important trait. And this trait is often developed while learning music. He then connects this to the realities of an organization where one needs discipline in achieving harmony in the midst of differences in personalities.
Recently, the Silliman University Band organized a benefit concert. Its members felt it best to honor him as its longtime director, as someone who has steered the group to greater heights. Far more than the recognition was the purpose behind the concert: to eventually establish scholarship that will benefit members of the Band who are in need to financial assistance in order to finish schooling.
Joseph attributes his great love for band music to his high school mentor back in Guimaras. It was his mentor who taught him how to play the trombone, what he would consider today his favorite musical instrument.
In 1996, Joseph obtained his Master in Music – major in instrumental conducting from the University of Philippines -Diliman. This added credential also helped him head the School of Music (now College of Performing and Visual Arts) as its Director.
As Joseph's fascination with music grew in Silliman, so was his love for a fellow Sillimanian. While still in his second year in college, he met a batchmate who would later become his wife. They would eventually find themselves serving the same university where their love blossomed. Joseph is married to Dr. Gloria Perez-Basa, who is currently Assistant Director of the School of Basic Education. They are blessed with three children: Johanna Edith, a Psychology graduate now working at the Guidance and Testing Center; Jocelyn Elise, a Biology graduate and now secretary at the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences and part-time instructor of the Biology Department; and Joseph Albert, who, like his father, holds a degree in Music and now serves the band as its conductor.
Joseph looks forward to his retirement. To him, apart from having more time with his family, he can now focus more on taking care of his garden where he grows vegetables and ornamental plants.
Let's get to know Joseph more:
Describe yourself in three words.
Loving. Caring. Patient.
What is your mantra in life?
“Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.”
What makes you laugh/cry?
I cry when I talk about my life story. I laugh due to simple jokes.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
Weekends — I treasure silent moments.
What do you love doing when not working?
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
What makes you blush?
I blush when students convey compliments in a vocal manner.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself?
I love to read books.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Reclining on my bed while watching TV, or simply by going to the beach.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
That I am a patient but a firm teacher.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Say a short prayer of thanksgiving for another day.
What’s your idea of a family?
A family is living together and sharing blessings, pains, sorrows and joys with each other.