It may be small but it is nevertheless tough, ready to go to battle to protect its territory, even against bigger rivals. Such is the character of the endangered and elusive tamaraw or the dwarf forest buffalo, the largest mammal endemic to the Philippines that makes its home in the Mt. Iglit-Baco protected area in Mindoro.

For Aurelio Montinola III, chair of Far Eastern University, the same traits can also be used to describe the 88-year-old school established by his maternal grandfather, Nicanor Reyes, who thought of adopting the tamaraw as the symbol of the university and the team mascot in 1938.

Thus it was but logical for the growing university system to participate in efforts to protect and increase the population of the tamaraw, which is given special attention in October, declared the Special Month for the Tamaraw in 2002.