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Official Newsletter of St. Mary’s College Alumni Foundation, Inc.

July 2013

Our world was simpler twenty-five years ago Sarah Lumba-Tajonera, ‘88 We sat under the Amadeus tree or along the second floor corridor to share gossip and green mangoes with bagoong among friends or to read Sweet Dreams or simply to comb our hair until it shone. We played sipa at the quadrangle all afternoon. We had no fear, save for being called by Mrs. Padua to recite in Physics class. Aqua Net was our solution to everything. CARP, the US bases, the coup d’état attempts against the Cory administration were the burning issues then, but it was Sr. Connie, the intrams practices, and the cute guys we met during soirees that occupied our thoughts more. Back then, we thought we knew the kind of life ahead for all of us, that after high school, everyone would get a college degree, start a career, get married, raise kids. We were quite sure everyone would live happily ever after. We were that innocente; life seemed simple then. But the world has changed drastically since we all last saw each other. Everything can now be googled, instagram-ed, and FB-ed. Coffee is no longer just black; it can be brewed, spiked, frappéed, or sachet-ed.

Eyebrows can now be plucked, shaved off, threaded, dyed, or tattooed on. After twentyfive years, we now know how much we really didn’t know when we were sixteen. A few of us did manage to get a happilyever-after ending. But for most, there had been more choices available, more detours, and perhaps, more (mis)adventures. Nothing could have prepared us for the uncertainties of life. And so we come home to SMC after twenty-five years to listen to each one’s unique story and to embrace what each one has become, whether it be a homemaker or a

Grand Alumni Homecoming Risse Aquino Jose ‘76

Extra. Extra. Read all about it. This year’s grand alumni homecoming theme goes beyond the ordinary, above ordinary, or in plain English, extraordinary. Why? This year’s show is entitled Marian Ako . With Ako to mean Angat at Kakaiba sa Ordinaryo. And because our jubilarians’ accomplishments speak volumes of being able to make a difference, this calls for a celebration. A big extraordinary celebration. Headlined by

High School Batch ’88, the Silver jubilarians, the grand party also brings together graduates from as long ago as forty years (High school Batch ’73 called Ruby jubilarians). Coming close in their heels are the coral jubilarians of High School Batch ’78 and the shimmering Pearl jubilarians of High School batch ’83. Not to be outdone, the Golden ladies of High School Batch ’63 will grace the occasion and make their mark. (Continued on page 4)

career woman, a franchise owner or a socialite, an OFW or an NGO worker, a forever-party girl, a charismatic leader, keeper of the family secrets, a philosopher, or a Disney princess. We come home, too to celebrate something we share in common: we all have become strong women, women of substance. For despite the different paths we took, all of us have battled demons of one form or another—maybe a childhood trauma, a horrible boss or an MMDA traffic enforcer, loneliness, or even just our creeping body fats. We all have picked ourselves up from a failed relationship, a broken heart, a terrible fall. We all have experienced some form of personal triumph like the birth of a child or a business or a project, a promotion, a debt paid, a renewed faith in the universe. All of us know what despair feels like. And all of us have had glimpses of heaven on earth. More than anything, though, we come home to SMC to touch base. Twenty-five years is a long time to be away from a place we considered our second home during our seemingly halcyon teen years. In those twenty-five years, we have wondered and wandered. This homecoming is a journey back to our roots. Surrounded by familiar places and faces even for just a night, we expect to reminisce about the good ol’ days and to laugh at pictures of our bird’s nest hairstyle and those horrible shoulder pads. But more than that, we are hoping that this homecoming will be a source of comfort—that in spite of how much our world has changed, the values we held dear when we were young remain at our very core.


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013 depressed areas of Quezon City (Payatas and San Francisco Del Monte) and Pampanga (Aeta Community of Porac) where patients received free medical and optical consultations, dental treatment, medicines, eyeglasses and medical services including mobile x-ray, ECG and blood tests. (2008, 2010 &2013)

President’s Report Lulu R. Robles, Batch ’79 President, SMCAFI (2007-2013)

• Relief Operations for the victims of typhoon “Ondoy” at Nangka, Marikina and Napindan Taguig and for residents of Hagonoy, Bulacan, Obando, Bulacan after the onslaught of typhoons “Pedring”, Quiel and Habagat. (2009, 2011) • Annual Christmas caroling for 5 years which had aimed to raise funds for the foundation’s scholarship program and which to date had already reached a total of a little less than P400,000.00 (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2012)

Over the years, the SMCQC Alumni foundation has engaged itself in a host of activities and projects mostly in the realm of charity, service, free education, and social events such as the annual homecoming. It has continuously widened its endeavors to extend its assistance to as many economically challenged families as possible, including those who were unfortunate victims of calamities. Expanding its reach also took the form of SMCAF effectively bridging distance and reconnecting Marian alumni from all four parts of the world. The Foundation had indeed achieved remarkable accomplishments through the years, especially under the tutelage of its past distinguished presidents, and I am more than privileged and extremely thankful to have had my share of six meaningful years. It is with a rush of emotions that I finally relinquish my position as President of the Foundation. I am leaving my post with profound gratitude for having been conferred with such an honorable responsibility and having the alumni at large trust in my competence to lead. Just as I feel a quiet sense of self- fulfillment , I am saddened as well that my stepping down will mean seeing and working less with colleagues who I now consider as one of my best circle of friends. Nevertheless, I will adhere to my commitment to support the foundation, not considering post and title, because in my mantra, I am a Marian and forever will be a Marian. And before I take my final bow, allow me to present to our dear alumni for the last time in my capacity as president the events that took place and the projects accomplished by the foundation from 2007 to 2013.

• Career Talks to fourth year students with distinguished guest speakers Alumni past president Corina Parungao-Isaguirre and Director Mayang Sison-Pascual. (2008) • Attendance at General Assembly meetings of the Federation of Alumni Association of RVM Schools Inc. (FAARSI) in Iligan, Betania, QC, Bulacan and Davao (2008, 2010, 2012 & 2013) • A Marian Pilgrimage to the different churches in the Rizal province (2012) • A tribute to Dean Gloria Santos in appreciation of her dedication and commitment to the foundation which coincided with her 88th birthday (2009) • Full high school scholarship for intellectually deserving but financially challenged students. For the last six years, the foundation already has (3) scholar graduates and is presently funding the tuition fees of four (4) students. (Full scholarship entailed full payment of tuition fee inclusive of miscellaneous fees plus a book allowance of 3,000/scholar) (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and continuing..)

On this note, allow me to bestow due commendation to my esteemed alumni colleagues who worked collaboratively and with utmost selflessness to ensure that every project of the Foundation was finely planned and carried out. I pay glowing tribute as well to our beloved RVM sisters and mentors for their unrelenting support of all of the Foundation’s undertakings. My six years of being at the helm of the Alumni Foundation had been doubly rewarding. It gave me that rare opportunity to share and serve while gaining so much wisdom from all of life’s experiences being the Foundation’s President taught me. Somehow, I feel a sense of reassurance that I was able to “pay it forward”, though it may never be enough, I was able to give back to the institution and to my mentors the fruits of their toil and sacrifices which they can only reap from the triumphs of their own students. In the same way, I am truly blessed for having gained valuable friendships that blossomed through the years of working with my Marian colleagues. Their support to my stewardship and their priceless contributions to the Foundation are beyond recompense, but on a more personal note, I put greater worth to the pureness of their gift of friendship and the very precious memories we made together. And as I bow out from my presidency of the Foundation,I will take with me and forever treasure these memories and strive to even make stronger the bond that kept us together for the last six years. As for my final message to our dear Marian alumni, I sincerely thank you on behalf of the Board officers and members of the foun-

• Refurbishing and blessing of the Alumni Room which coincided with the induction of the new set of officers. (2007) • Launching of the Alumni website (www.stmarysqcalumni.com) (2008) • Annual visits to our beloved RVM sisters at the St. Joseph Infirmary RVM Mother House. Sponsored by the different batches, our dear sisters were delighted with simple gifts in gratitude to their mentoring and guidance. (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) • “Pamaskong Handog kay Lolo at Lola” for the senior residents of the Golden Acres Home and senior citizens of Tondo, Manila (2007) • Visit and donation of wheelchairs, LCD TV and other goodies for the elderlys at the EMMAUS House of Apostolate in Malolos Bulacan (2011) • Visit orphans of Meritxelle, House of Refuge Orphanages, Home of Joy and Gentle Hands QC (2009, 2011) • Mom-Me Outreach (in a tie-up with generous donors from New York USA headed by Marian alumna Jingle Tuason’79 and Tammy Manaloto): Visit at the Pediatric Ward of the Quirino General Hospital and Pediatric Cancer department of Philippine Children’s Medical Center. Children were treated with gift bags, food and entertainment. (2011, 2013) • Medical Missions were held in

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Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

Madayaw FAARSI!

Message

By Arlene Untalan-Sarmiento ‘86 It was the day before Pentecost Sunday, May 18, 2103, when delegates from 51 RVM Schools, all throughout Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao gathered for the 5th General Assembly of the Federation of the Alumni Associations of RVM Schools, Inc. (FAARSI). The University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) Bajada Campus in Southern Mindanao, was our munificent host for this annual event, which was of course, spearheaded by FAARSI’s vigorous President, Grace Camacho-De Jesus. This year’s theme, “MADAYAW FAARSI: A Celebration of Togetherness in the Year of Faith” emphasizes how we, as Ignacian men and women, should emulate Mother Ignacia’s faith, which she has beautifully expressed in her trust in God and her trust in Divine Providence. The Program started with a prayer, followed by the singing of the National Anthem, and the Presentation of Delegates, which was presided by S. Ma. Preciosa M. Rusiana, RVM, Superintendent of RVM Schools in Southern Mindanao Province, and the President of St. Mary’s College of Tagum. St. Mary’s College, Quezon City (SMCQC) was the first among the 51 FAARSI member schools, and the first among the 13 schools in Luzon, called on to be presented. We, five fiery ladies all geared up for the event, and who really meant serious business representing their Alma Mater, proudly stood as we waved and donned “Loida Blue” alumni shirts accentuated (Continued on page 11)

S. Maria Rosabella R. Gallo, RVM President, SMC, QC My dear Marian Alumni, Praised be Jesus and Mary! St. Mary’s College of Quezon City has been advocating the promotion of commitment to life, Christian values and mission propagation. It has been a goal then to sustain this thrust in every Marian/SMCian, especially in making them better equipped in their life beyond SMC-QC. It is with much gratitude to God to note that you, our Alumni, are closely working with us in sustaining the thrust that makes a Marian. This year’s thrust of “Deepening Faith Commitment to Life’s Value, Human Dignity and Mission Responsiveness” clearly manifests its rootedness to the Ignacian Marian Core Values of Faith, Excellence and Service. These values, which our Mother Foundress, the Venerable Ignacia del Espiritu had humbly witnessed to, are hoped to be instilled in every young Marian we presently journey with, that like you, they may grow with hearts always open to the needs of the Church and the society. It is thus fitting to underscore and warmly thank you dear Alumni, for the admirable example you set, and for the constancy of your support to St. Mary’s College. The projects and advocacies that you have implemented and boldly undertaken have been beneficial to so many student-scholars, to the elderly RVM Sisters, and to those who are marginalized. You have moved the hearts of the recipients and those who have witnessed your kindness. Your projects vividly correspond to your dynamic responsiveness in the call to mission. May I take this opportunity to convey my sincere congratulations to the Jubilarians and all those who have committed themselves to work for a fruitful Alumni Homecoming. With much appreciation, I pray that the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo guide you always in your endeavors. May Christ our Lord reward you with abundant blessings. Sincerely in Our Lady and Mother Ignacia, S. Maria Rosabella R. Gallo, RVM dation for your generous contributions and prayers that made possible the fulfillment of all our endeavors. Your response to our calls for support and assistance, be in any form, has been truly amazing. Time and again you validated that the Marian spirit will never falter inspite of years and miles of physical separation. And though the effectivity of social media has influenced everybody, your active presence in homecomings and reunions is proof that you value friendship and all the unfading memories shared together during the more youthful days. Indeed, there can never be any greater warmth than personal face to face interactions and feeling of “going home” again after many life-changing years. It would be homecomings such as this that we will all affectionately remember and the recollection of new memories formed that will cheer us up as we continue on our separate journeys. Our school may have to go through countless structural changes and faces may come and go, yet there will always be that certain fascination that lures us into coming back because this is where most of our fondest memories were built and where our characters

were nurtured. In as much as the Foundation strives to make the past live on and the spirit of camaraderie among Marians thrive, we owe it to the future generations to sustain this effort. Through the years, the Foundation has been instrumental in reconnecting Marians and in providing a venue for philanthropic missions. And it is on this principle that I encourage Marian alumni to get actively involved, for along with the foundation’s progress comes the fostering of the Marian Spirit. As one, let us continue nurturing this Marian spirit, spreading good deeds, and bringing honor to our Alma Mater.

EDITORIAL BOARD Dr. Priscelina Patajo-Legasto ‘68 Lulu R. Robles ‘79 Risse Aquino-Jose ‘76

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Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

Arriba@30 Batch ’83!

“Thirtieth na?” It’s hard to believe that it has already been five years since Batch ’83 hosted SMCQC’s homecoming in July 2008 as the Silver Jubilarians. And yes, we named ourselves the Silver Bellas – over sixty beautiful women celebrating renewed friendships over potluck gatherings, meetings, rehearsals, and a heart-tugging outreach activity. Since then, we’ve remained closer than ever and have gotten to know each other much better. That’s why meetings to brainstorm for this year’s presentation were a lot shorter (buti naman) but the chikahan became much, much longer. It was easy to decide on the concept that was masayang-masaya which everyone instantly agreed to. For our pearl anniversary (oh, and we’re not the Pearly Shells this year), we decided to do away with the usual 80’s song and dance medley and play games instead – chinese garter, sipa, patintero, and other games we used to play during our younger years on the SMC school grounds, during break time or dismissal, and in our blue and white uniforms. We just wanted to have FUN. “Music video na lang para madali” or so

we thought. Little did we know that producing a music video for the homecoming would mean: coordinating with batch mates from all over the world for their photo contributions; painstakingly recording a 4-minute cover of our chosen song for 3 hours; shooting from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm for a 4-minute video; playing foot jump and sipa for 20 minutes for a scene that would be trimmed down to 5 seconds; shooting under the heat of the sun, shooting even while it was drizzling, and forcing our 40-something year old bodies to act young(er). “Foot jump? Ano yun?” Apparently, today’s generations do not even know how to play some of these games. Our children were all wondering what (a) foot jump was. Even the stalls in Divisoria did not sell the toy anymore. But members of the batch just had to play it once more. So what did we do? We improvised of course! After all, we belong to a generation where a shoe box can be anything from a house, to a car, to a space ship. An extinct toy was not a hindrance for us to fulfil what we wanted to do. So after

30 years, we still managed to improvise, went out and played hard, and laughed even harder. We did not mind the burning sun, the non-stop sweating from the humid weather, the shortness of breath from all the running and jumping, and the quizzical look of people around who were probably asking “Anong kaguluhan ito? Sino sila? Anong meron?” “Nakakapagod pero masaya.” Our individual journey is like the games we play – tiring, makes you think long and hard, makes you pause to catch your breath, measures your capability and endurance, brings out your strengths and makes you realize your limitations too. But if we choose to take this journey with people who reciprocate the love and respect we give, with people who matter most, then the journey becomes less stressful, more meaningful, and undeniably FUN! “I’m walking on sunshine, wo-ooh.” Sing with us, dance with us, play with us, and reminisce with us, as we bring sunshine through thirty years of friendship and beyond! Trenta na ba? Kayang-kaya pang umarriba!

Marian Ako Grand Alumni Homecoming (Continued from page 1) This Saturday, July 20, the homecoming starts with Part 1 at the SMC Auditorium for registration at 1pm and a Mass celebration sponsored by the HS batch 88 at the Anunciation Hall. Mass presider is Fr. Arnold Abelardo, CFM. Part 2 at 3:15 pm , is throwback Saturday, with a program bursting at the seams

of valedictory address set into music and video .The movers and shakers (literally earthshakers, LOL), known as the Board of directors will likewise be acknowledged . It’s always a feel-good moment when we pay forward by giving back . We give back, dear sisters by sponsoring deserving high school scholars, our alumni babies. They will be

with musical numbers that spell nostalgia, from the jubilarian ladies. Even the RVM sisters and the graduating high school batch 2014 will showcase their wares.S. Ma. Rosabella Gallo, school president will give her message and third termer Alumni Foundation President Lulu Robles will present her report, some sort

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presented as the Scholarship program is unveiled for new school year 2013-2014. Out to make a difference, the silver jubilarians will introduce a new Marian song composed by one of their members, and shine in their dance numbers. Lined up are the presentation of gifts to the school and the alumni >>>


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

Ebol Parungao-Adorable ‘73 The Retro Batch, that is what we call ourselves, and today we reveal that we are Batch 73! We owe so much to St. Mary’s College, our dear Alma Mater. Not only for the values and knowledge inculcated during our formative years but also for bringing us together, 40 years after high school graduation. The Ruby Jubilarians are the quintessential retro batch. We embody all that is of the 70s. In style, fashion, music, and ideology, we have managed to infuse the vibe of the times while staying close to what we have loved from our heydays. Batch 73 suffered setbacks imposed by the onset of Martial Law and because of this we graduated without seeing our poignant memories in print. We were not allowed to produce a yearbook as print media was totally controlled if not banned. Yet, we managed to save a few sepia prints which we put together in a video disc to preserve the joys and pranks of our youth. We went our separate ways after school, finding our niche, building our careers, and caring for our families. Some of us would encounter each other in odd places and try to reconnect. Some, we have totally not seen since. However, after our Silver Jubilee 15 years ago, when we were able to muster a good number of attendees for the homecoming (thereby setting a trend for the next

foundation and turnover of the jubilarian symbols to the incoming batch. An extraordinary segment in the show will surely catch fire and literally rock you out of your seats. This is the flash mob who will dance to a mixed version of several hits from the 60’s to the present. Reminiscent of shindigs and soirees and now gigs and gimmicks

batches), Batch 73 just picked up from our high school days and made up for lost time. Today, we regularly get together for even only the slightest excuse. We have since celebrated our birthdays, anniversaries, weddings of children, bienvenidas and despedidas for balikbayan classmates, lunches, dinners, ballroom dancing, drinking, and even for games of mahjong. Some of us even went on a cruise together and it was one of our most enjoyable travel experiences! Now that we are in our golden years, we have managed to spend precious moments together. Age and wisdom have allowed us to be a tightly-knit group, sharing our wonderful memories, supporting each other through health and family crises, condoling with those whose loved ones had left them, never allowing ourselves to be alienated from

Flash mob, one of the latest words added to the Oxford English Dictionary is a group of people who assemble in public to perform an pre- arranged action together. The flash mob includes all of us ladies… and some gentlemen. Not to mind the missed steps. We’re here to have fun. So let’s move it and groove it. For quite a number of

each other even by distance. Even technology has brought us closer! We have discovered long lost classmates through social media and it has now become one of our sources of updates and information about members of our batch. There are also a few of us who have gone ahead and we sorely miss them. Cyd Latuño, Heidi Reyes, Luz Tabayoyong, Evangeline Quiambao, Angelu Agoncillo, May Mandac, Leni Manlicmot, Veronica Viña, and Tess Teaño, to name some. To them we dedicate this milestone, a celebration of friendship that has withstood the passing of years. Cheers to the St. Mary’s College Retro Batch, this year’s Ruby Jubilee celebrators! May we forever remain friends, growing up as sisters in the School we love.

years now, yours truly have been scriptwriter for the program. Well, am still at it , as we work our butts off improve the show as the years go by. Production is headed by Rhea Gega-Relos and her new team Arlene Untalan-Sarmiento and Loida Geniblazo-Secillano. The fun continues with Part 3 at the Immaculate

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Concepcion Hall for dinner , election of officers and raffle draw. Don’t forget to buy your tickets. Who knows? You may get to win a lot of prizes. Moi will there to host the program. Extraordinary fun and extraordinary excitement is on the house. And the house will be on fire . It will definitely rock. Extraordinarily. Let’s rock it, Marians!


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

GOLDEN JUBILARIANS HS Class ’63

Celebrate 50 Years By Sessie Tible-Caoyonan, Ph.D, SMCQC HS ‘63

St. Mary’s College Quezon City High School Class ’63 marked its Golden Jubilee Celebration with a reunion at St. Joseph’s Hall in the presence of School President Bella Gallo and former teachers; a Holy Retreat and Thanksgiving Mass at the Betania Retreat House in Tagaytay; a Fellowship at Taal Vista Hotel; and a jam session/party at Rustica with family members. The celebration was preceded by a massive manhunt of classmates as early as 2010 through the internet, texting, and even home visitation just to find out that a classmate had passed on. We owe it to Menchu Guzman-Manera from Madrid, Spain; Gigi Cruz-Cervero from San Francisco; and Gigi San Juan-Rijk from the Netherlands who started the ball rolling. The first two were our Class Valedictorians (the first time it happened in the history of St. Mary’s College QC) while the latter was our First Honorable Mention. In the home front, the High School Salutatorian for Class ’63 which happens to be this writer, took care of coordinating with Madam Cecile Temporal for the reunion of faculty and alumni at St. Mary’s on February 20, 2013, hosted the merienda, and made arrangements for a tour of the campus which included the visit to the Venerable Ignacia del Espiritu Santo Shrine. I also touched based with S Teresa Valdez regarding the Holy Retreat at the Betania Retreat House in

Tagaytay from February 20-21. Gigi San Juan-Rijk hosted a lunch at her residence in Pasig City, handled the transportation and hotel reservations at Taal Vista Hotel; while Mildred Vivero Cruz and Citadel Pablo took charge of the party/jam session with family members at Rustica on February 24. A surprise lunch was hosted by pianist Ms. Resurreccion Morillo on February 23 that necessarily formed part of the Golden Jubilee celebration. During the St. Mary’s College reunion of the Golden Jubilarians, S Ma. Rosabella R. Gallo, R.V. M., School President, gave an inspirational talk; while Lulu Robles, President of the SMCQC Alumni Foundation, Inc. gave the welcome remarks. We were also honoured by the presence of our former teachers S Luz F. Segundo, Mrs. Edna Amor-Bello, and Ms. Resurreccion Morillo. A Roll Call of HS Class ’63 and Former Teachers based in the Philippines, Europe and the United States counting 22 all in all was led by Gigi San Juan-Rijk. The emcees of the program were Gigi Cruz-Cervero and Sessie TibleCaoyonan, Ph.D. A collage of old photos of Class ’63 edited by Pie Lintag was the star of the show. Exchanges of giveaways include, among others, recycled bags with 2 DVDs of songs and music of the ’60 arranged by my daughter, Rica Tible-Caoyonan and a nice bag with St. Mary’s logo made in USA given by Gigi Cervero-Cruz.

S Teresa Valdez volunteered to take the lead in Meditation at Betania in Tagaytay , a task that she fully deserves having had extensive study and experience here and abroad on retreat and meditation. She started by saying that “life is a blessing”. The roundtable allowed each of us to give an overview of our respective memoir. In short, S Teresa called our attention to the need to pray that we will “live the faith that God wants it to be”. The retreat was capped with a Thanksgiving Mass and photo opportunity with S Teresa at the beautiful garden of Betania. There is no doubt that classmates enjoyed the amenities at Taal Vista Hotel where we were able to get more updates about each other on February 21 and 22. We had after dinner cocktails at the lobby where we listened to a singer who sang our requested songs during our time. On February 23, the Golden Jubilarians were given a warm welcome by the pianist of our Choral Concert, Ms. Morillo. The long table was filled with spectacular dishes and a variety of local fruits and desserts. Thanks to Gigi Cruz-Cervero, a good friend of Ms. Morillo, for bringing all of us to that memorable luncheon. We

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recalled the never ending practices during the Choral Concerts where at one time, we put on our heads aluminum tumblers decorated with multi-colored paper. We also recalled our play which I thought could compare with broadway hits in terms of quality. “Reap the Wild Wind” included students from Class ’63, namely, Angela Johnson, Menchu Guzman-Manera and Sessie Tible Caoyonan, Ph.D. We will never forget the talent, skills and discipline in acting that our beloved S Isabelita Riego de Dios imparted to us. Finally, the party held at Rustica across St. Mary’s on February 24 together with our family members was the dancing part of the Golden Jubilee celebration. Citadel’s son who brought all his sound system equipment and speakers from Philadelphia made the appropriate mix of music of the ‘60s and served as the DJ and lead dancer all in one during the line dancing. Our prayer is to thank the Lord for this wonderful gift of LIFE and this rare opportunity to be with our long lost classmates and teachers. We look forward to the hardest and brightest diamond ten years from now. Mabuhay ang St. Mary’s College Quezon City!!!


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

Soul Sistahs... Rockin’ and Crossin’ Boundaries @35! by Jean de Lara,’78 Batch '78 is turning 35 and we're just about ready to paint the town Red! In celebration of this momentous event, batchmates from all over the Philippines and from abroad will be coming home to St. Mary’s College, Quezon City to attend this grand reunion of a lifetime. Many of them will be attending our batch’s reunion for the first time, since graduating from high school, to reestablish old friendships and form new ones. Thanks, in part, to the Internet and the facility of Facebook, we were able to trace the whereabouts of longlost classmates. Two years of intensive preparations went into the mounting of the grand reunion of the Sisterhood of the Blue Jumper. It all began in 2011 when a couple of Manila-based batch members started discussing the 35th year grand homecoming. Excited at the idea of having another grand reunion after our Silver Jubilee in 2003, Joji Lim-Tanjaiphen, Bett TySalvador, Anne Jimenez signified their interest to make plans for the homecoming. It may interest the readers to know that the idea to plan for this event was based on a research done by Joji on “Plan-

ning the Perfect Class Reunion”. Talk about perfect timing! To put ideas into action, a meeting was convened at Anali Garcia-Arcinas’ house, attended by several batchmates for a brainstorming session. This group became the nucleus, the “Core Group”, of dedicated and enthusiastic batchmates who volunteered to take on the herculean task of mounting a grand reunion event. Taking its cue from the Manila-based Core Group, batchmates from North America likewise banded together, effectively serving as our overseas counterpart. The Manila Core Group members are Bett Ty-Salvador (Chair), Dahra Villanueva-Mendoza (Co-Chair), Joji Lim Tanjaiphen, Ranee Alcasid and Jean de Lara. The North America Core Group members are Nitz Bernardez, Grace Keyser-Talarico, Gie-I Tan, June Lim, Eloisa Villanueva and Lourdes Mendoza-Witty. Preparing for the homecoming was no easy task. For two years, we regularly held monthly meetings to propose and discuss ideas for the reunion, and to ensure that progress was being made on certain reunion tasks assigned to the various Committees. Little by little, we saw

the fruits of our labor, as plans started to materialize. These monthly meetings, however tedious these were also became venues to strengthen our camaraderie and sisterhood. Under the able leadership of Bett Ty-Salvador, the Core Group was able to organize successful fund-raising projects such as the sponsorship of the Movie Premiere of “Breaking Dawn Part 1” at SM North, selling of bag tags, commemorative umbrellas, garage sale, ticket sales for Ms. Louie Reyes’ concert with the New Minstrels. The proceeds of these projects is intended to fund Batch 78’s Homecoming activities, as well as pre-homecoming activities. In keeping with the SMC vision of being witnesses to the loving compassion of Jesus, and as part of the pre-Homecoming activities lined up by Batch ’78, we held outreach activities such as the visit to young cancer patients at the East Avenue Medical Center in 2012 and a dental outreach for resi-

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dent children of the Anawim Orphanage in Pasig City on April 10, 2013. Our batch was also represented in the SMC Alumni Foundation Medical and Dental Mission to the Aetas held this year. On the eve of our 35th grand Homecoming on July 19, 2013 we shall hold yet another outreach activity, this time for elderly residents of Anawim, House of God’s Poor at Rodriguez, Rizal. As we are now nearing the homestretch, we look forward, with much anticipation and excitement, to July 20, 2013, when Batch ’78 celebrates yet another milestone as high school “playmates”, coming together again as SOUL SISTAHS…ROCKIN’ AND CROSSIN’ BOUNDARIES @ 35!


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

Angat at Kakaiba sa Ordinaryo Nikki Torres Madrid-Soriano ‘88 It’s been running in everybody’s mind for quite some time. The SMCQC Class of 1988 was going to host the 2013 Grand Alumni Homecoming and as tradition dictates, there were many expectations from the incoming Silver Jubilarians. The Class of 1988 is a hodgepodge of personalities coming from different backgrounds. However, there is one thing in common among the members of this class; we all love to get together to have a good time and we all have fond memories of our beloved Alma Mater. Banking on that commonality, a bunch of ladies decided to organize a mini-reunion to launch our silver year and to discuss the 2013 grand alumni homecoming. As the rest of the world celebrated International Labor Day, May 1, 2012 marked the day when a good number of class 1988 alumna gathered at Napa Restaurant in Scout Borromeo QC to renew and reinforce not only school ties but the bonds of friendship as well. Aside from the call for some members to lead the homecoming preparations, some of the issues discussed also included the need for our silver year to be more than just another reason to party. The gathering also addressed the compulsion for us to give back to the community that nurtured us to what we are today. Led

by the spirit of charity and selflessness, inspired by Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo and our holy Mother Mary, the lovely ladies of 1988 agreed to exhaust all efforts to raise funds primarily to help uplift the less privileged members of the community by sending at least one academically gifted child to school. As the saying goes: it takes a village to raise a child. With God’s blessing, we are inching our way to meeting that goal. Some of the fundraising activities included a special block screening of “Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2” held last November 15 and a Zumba class held this July 6 at the SMC grounds in cooperation with the Class of 1984. Though we still have a long way to go until we reach our goal, we are confident that the class of 1988 will see this through. On July 20, 2013 we all go home to where it all started. For the Class of 1988, we celebrate not only our silver jubilee but we also aim to lead the cry to remind all Marians everywhere in the world what it means to be an alumna and member of St Mary’s College and the bigger RVM community. A Marian not only takes pride in her education but a Marian also cares for and gives back to the community. The SMCQC alumna/alumnus lifts up her or his head to proudly say: Marian AKO: Angat at Kakaiba sa Ordinaryo.

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Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

Hataw na at magZUMBA!

by Nikki Madrid-Soriano ‘88 Whether you’re a full-time worker or a full-time home maker, the few extra hours of sleep you get on weekends is quite precious. After all, the weekend is the time when you relax and take it easy. But on July 6, 2013, a handful of Marian alumni broke routine and gladly gave up their precious Saturday morning to participate and show their support for “Zumba with the Marians”, held at the Immaculate Conception Bldg, SMCQC, a project of the class of 1988 in cooperation with the class of 1984, . Led by US Certified Zumba Instructor, Tibat Dacasin from the class of 1984, these 80’s ladies had a blast as they grooved to the beat for close to a couple of hours. In attendance was a healthy mix of Zumba newbies and veterans. More than the health benefits of this uber-fun fitness craze, Marians of different batches coming together is always a reason to be celebrated and be thankful be-

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cause this reinforces the true spirit of Marian unity. Inspite of what’s supposed to be an energy-zapping Zumba class, spirits were quite high after the event. There was even talk of holding succeeding classes, optimistic that more ladies from other batches would join the activity. The class of 1988 is so very thankful to the class of 1984 for their participation while both batches have vowed support for each other’s projects and activities that give back to the school and community that has molded all SMCQC alumna of all batches. It’s all-systems-go for the Grand Alumni Homecoming on July 20. The Silver Jubilarians are not only pumped up for their special number but are also quite excited to join alumni of different batches, faculty, staff and administrators of SMCQC raise our voices and say “Marian AKO: Angat at Kakaiba sa Ordinaryo”!


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

An Outreach…

“C” is for Children and Jollibee… and that’s good enough for Mom and Me ♥ Rhea Gega-Relos ‘79 For the second time, supporters of MoM ♥ Me joined hands with the SMCQC Alumni Foundation in sponsoring a fantastic “time out” to 90 children of the Lungsod ng Kabataan’s Cancer Out Patient Department in Quezon City. While waiting for their turn in the radiology room, or after their painful chemotherapy, these fearless little cancer warriors wearing plastered needles, gauzes, IVs in their bodies and sterile masks for their protection, courageously assembled and gathered around the activity center for a dose of childhood bliss and merriment. Doing the front act of the 2-hour party was Kuya Clown who entertained, warmed up and amazed the lovely kids with balloon twisting skills, parlor games and dances. Pumping up everybody’s adrenaline was the appearance of good old JOLLIBEE, who, together with his crew, provided additional jollity to the children, and to the once young

at heart. Everybody, including me, was so excited to be by his side – this lovable wide-eyed big red and yellow bumble bee in a velvet red suit ☺ You just couldn’t stop pinching his rosy porcelain cheek, or twitch his red pointed tail, or tug his red suit, or catch a glimpse of his big warm smile, or simply get squeezed in his big tight hug ! Throwing in a Jolly kiddie party at Lungsod ng Kabataan was so close to home. Sharing with these kids langhap-sarap goodness of ultimate burger steaks, rice and fruit juices to nurture their craving tummy was a joy! We gave away character toy balloons, pillows and blankets to comfort and ease their pain, loot bags filled with toothbrushes, water bottles, toys, face towels, pencils, drawing notebooks with stickers, pencils and crayons to elate their kindred spirits. Our Marian volunteers also assisted in spreading the revelry and gift giving by visiting the 2 charity wards adjacent to the activity

center with the ever bubbly mascot of Jollibee escorting them. Together, savoring the increasing levels of excitement and exhilaration, the warm summer heat of March 1, 2013, the pure adrenaline rush, the rising thrill and shrill of the day…. we couldn’t help but smile with the children because deep in our hearts we felt their pain and we had helped eased this pain and suffering even for a while. The big “C” may have deprived these beautiful children the chance to live normally, grow normally, study, play, laugh, and experience the joys of childhood

far from dangers or threats. But every child we’re able to help “cure” even for a moment is a very emotional experience. And it isn’t just seeing “life” coming back to the eyes of these wonderful children that makes the experience profound, but we have been witnesses to a change and renewed hope in every child’s face. With God’s grace, we pray for their recovery. The work was challenging, exciting, occasionally surreal, yet intensely gratifying in reaching the most vulnerable Filipino children. We will cherish their smiles. Joie de Vivere!

MARIAN OUTREACH FOR “HABAGAT” VICTIMS:

“Tulong-tulong sa Pagsulong” Mariles Abacan-Ibarra ‘76

In the true Marian spirit of responding to those in need, civic-minded Marians visited Obando, Bulacan, one of the areas badly hit by the 2012 “Habagat,” which inundated a large swath of NCR and nearby provinces on the first week of August. Through coordination with Mayor Orencio E. Gabriel of

Obando, relief goods consisting of foodstuffs, blankets, medicines and toiletries, were distributed to 500 Obando residents, some of whom were still wading in knee-deep water, weeks after the monsoon rains flooded their town. Our thanks go to those who contributed the funds and relief items, and to those who

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helped in packing the goods in bags. Special thanks also go to the Philippine Coast Guard, which provided the transportation and some personnel, whose valuable assistance came in handy during the relief distribution to Obando folks. It is during these times that MARIANS UNITE FOR A CAUSE.


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

SMCQC Alumni Medical-Dental-Optical Mission Mel Macalintal-Rada ‘72 The SMCQC Foundation once again undertook an outreach mission last April 21, 2013. With 25 Marian volunteers representing different HS batches, together with 13 medical doctors, 11 dentists, 3 optometrists and 2 registered nurses, they provided medical, dental and optical services to almost 500 residents (both Aetas and non-Aetas) of Katutubo Village in Porac, Pampanga. Aside from free medical check-ups, tooth extraction and eye refraction, they were also given free medicines and vitamins, mobile x-ray, CBC and urinalysis laboratory services. The children were treated to a feeding program, given lectures and demonstrations on proper hygiene and oral care. Loot

bags were also distributed to these children which consisted of toothbrush, toothpaste, alcohol, bath soap, face towel and various snack items. Despite the scorching humid weather of 35C, everyone seemed to be in high spirits, obviously enjoying and loving every minute of this endeavour. After a few weeks, the optical team headed by Dr. Leonor M. Almoro (Marian Batch’75) went back to Porac, Pampanga for distribution of the eyeglasses of the 50 patients. It was indeed a very rewarding experience to see the joy in their faces while fitting their eyeglasses and for most of them, their first pair of eyeglasses. The patients were very thankful that they could

now see clearly with their new spectacles. One old lady even went to the extent of hugging each member of the optical team and continuously thanking them for her eyeglasses. Of course, the Alumni Foundation wishes to extend its

Venerable Ignacia’s Vibrant Faith

Madayaw FAARSI! (Continued from page 3) by the Tausug-made necklace trimmings of colorful beads and small gongs, which we bought from the Davao Museum the day before the event. The delegates from SMCQC were: Nini Tan ’78, Rhea Gega-Relos ’79, Candy Ocampo ’82, Loida Geniblazo-Secillano ’86 and Arlene Untalan-Sarmiento ’86. The Program went on as talented students from UIC Dance Troupe showcased the rich and colorful cultural heritage of Southern Philippines, with their music and dance of the Pangalay, Tauti and Dayang-Dayang. S. Ma. Jacinta S. De Belen, RVM, gave a brief history of the FAARSI, and this was followed by S. Ma. Anicia B. Co’s talk on “Venerable Ignacia’s Vibrant Faith”, which was the highlight of this year’s General Assembly. We indulged and forgot about Zumba sessions and strict dieting, as we were treated with sumptuous lunch, several plates of crunchy lechon skin, and sweet desserts. Along with the other delegates, we did our shopping for pasalubongs as there were stalls for various Davao goodies and products from Aldevinco Shopping Mall owners who got invited for the event. As we all settled down for the afternoon session, we were once more wowed by the stunning performances and musical numbers presented by the Alumni of HCT – St. Mary’s College of Tagum, St. Mary’s Academy of Sta. Cruz and Holy Cross Academy of Digos, Holy Cross of Bansalan, and St. Mary’s Academy of Kidapawan.

heartfelt and sincerest gratitude to all the participants and volunteers who have given their time and resources to support and ensure the success of this outreach program. It was truly a privilege, not just a service to get involved in this noble mission.

By Arlene Untalan-Sarmiento ‘86

S. Ma. Marissa R. Viri, RVM, President of the University of the Immaculate Conception gave the closing remarks, after which she called on all the RVM nuns present for an impromptu song number of “ULIRAN.” For a true-blue Ignacian Marian who would ever forget the song lines…”Isang munting binhing sa Binondo sumibol, dinilig ng biyaya, lumaki yumabong…Madre Ignacia, uliran ng kagitingan, sa pakikilaban, kami ay patnubayan.” The energy emanating from the RVM Nuns was so contagious that they brought the entire gymnasium to sing along with them. Thunders of loud applause resounded, as we readied for the singing of the FAARSI Hymn, “Together” to wrap up the event. The fun continued on until the following day at the Eden Nature Park, where we met the other delegates again for a less-serious, fun, fun, fun business this time. We toured the entire park gazing at mangosteen trees, the beautiful flowers, wild deers, ethnic houses , the view of the city atop the Sky Rider Zipline. For each stop, everyone gamely posed for endless “say cheese”, wacky and jump shots to get a souvenir of the Park’s beautiful spots. Definitely, the QC delegates had their own share of the great pictures captured on the lenses, as we savored this once-a- year opportunity to be with other Marian alumni. After a mouth-watering lunch buffet at the Vista Restaurant, we bade goodbye to everyone, with high hopes to see them again in next year’s FAARSI General Assembly at Cagayan De Oro in Northern Mindanao.

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S. Ma. Anicia B. Co’s talk on “Venerable Ignacia’s Vibrant Faith” , which was the highlight of this year’s General Assembly emphasized the great role of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo’s (MIDES) unwavering faith which made her deserving to earn for her, the Promulgation of the Decree of Virtues of MIDES, the Servant of God, which was signed on July 6, 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. The DECRETUM SUPER VIRTUTIBUS states: “Servant of God, Ignacia Del Espiritu Santo, foundress of the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary is found to possess to a heroic degree the theological virtues of FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY toward God and neighbor, as well as cardinal virtues of PRUDENCE, JUSTICE, TEMPERANCE and FORTITUDE.” S. Annie stressed throughout her talk the following remarkable things, which MIDES was able to do because of her great faith in God. It was by faith that… • MIDES decided to follow the inner stirrings of her heart toward an unknown future against her parents’ will and expectations; • Ignacia accepted and contributed to the process of gradual institutionalization of the RVM ever remaining as a charismatic community; • Ignacia opened her community to apostolic service, and • Ignacia decided to step down from office to allow to renew leadership in the community. We are all being called, as Ignacian men and women, specially in this Year of Faith to rediscover the joy of believing and enthusiasm to communicate the faith, just as Mother Ignacia did, through her heroic virtues of faith, hope and charity.


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

marians go on a pilgrimage Mayang S. Pascual ‘76 There is a unique thing about us Marian’s when we deal with problems, or issues we don’t quite know how to handle. Oftentimes, life hands us too many balls to keep up in the air that we get overwhelmed. Sometimes too, we get hit by a curve ball that is totally unexpected, like a critical illness, and we have minimal control of it. Our first impulse, like gasping for air, is to pray. Not that we do not pray when we’re floating on calm waters and we pull out our rosaries only when the waves start to lash out on us. But let’s admit it, we do look for extraordinary spiritual measures and call on our friends and family to gather together and pray. When word got to the Alumni Board that a dear Past President & Adviser is undergoing medical intervention, we felt that aside from giving our moral support, the best way to do this

is to storm the heavens with our sacrifices and supplications. We likewise placed our other group and personal concerns at the feet of our Mother Mary and Mother Ignacia for our family’s health and wellbeing, and that of the Marian Community. We also asked that The Lord bless our Alumni projects, our benefactors and friends, especially the people that we serve. Last October 21, 2012, seventeen Marians woke up early and excitedly boarded the bus that would bring us to a tour of Rizal via the churches we would visit and pray in. Thanks

to the excellent organization and seamless execution of Director Rhea Relos & her cohorts, we were able to enjoy the Marian Pilgrimage visited 6 churches in Rizal: Christ the King in Muzon, Our Lady of Good Voyage in Antipolo, St. Jerome in Morong, St. Joseph in Baras, San Idelfonso and Regina Rica which were both in Tanay. The 17 Marians were escorted by two coastguards courtesy of Director Nini Tan and Admiral Edmund Tan, and started with a 9am Mass in Muzon. The group prayed a decade of the Holy Rosary in each of the 5 churches we visited. Our Marian

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Pilgrimage also coincided with the canonization of our second saint, Pedro Calungsod, so we witnessed the church celebrate with festivities in recognizing our very own Filipino brother into the esteemed community of Saints! We capped our spiritual journey in Regina Rica, a relatively new place where we beheld the gigantic image of our Mother Mary and prayed inside the hollow space of the statue. This prayer site is being cared for by Domincan Sisters. It was getting dark and we ended up again in Antipolo for some chicken inasal dinner before we headed back to our own homes. We were tired and renewed, glad and relieved that we went the extra mile to walk with Mama Mary for the healing of our families, our dear friends and our precious nation.


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

Visit to the Sisters 2013:

Nuns Just Wanna Have Fun Loida Geniblazo-Secillano ‘86 The month of LOVE, LOVE, LOVE once again became a month of FUN, FUN, FUN!!! Visiting the RVM Sisters at least once a year has become a tradition and a much anticipated occasion for the SMC-QC Alumni Board and a loving treat for our dear RVM Sisters at the RVM House’s St. Joseph Infirmary. But, the Board’s anticipation and excitement were nothing compared to the bright and sunshiny aura of the RVM Sisters. The occasion on 23 February 2013 was an event much like a birthday or Christmas where everybody prepared to have fun and laughter galore. It was also an event of making the sisters feel the love, gratefulness and undivided attention of the Marian Alumni who grew up and became truly cultured Christian Marians and models of womanhood under their tutelage and mentoring. The fun began as the Sisters and guests entered the hall and were donned with cute and colorful headbands by the Board and the Marian alumni to make the mood lively and festive. The faces of the sisters illumined the hall as they slowly took their seats while showing amazement at the headbands that they dutifully wore all throughout the program. It was a wonderful sight to behold as the colorful headbands was in stark contrast to their black and white/gray habits. The SMCQC Alumni Chorale started off the program with an intense acapella rendition of the National Anthem which further heightened the anticipation of the audience. To give praise to our Lord for making the event possible, Mrs. Cecilia Temporal led the opening prayer. Ms. Lulu Robles ’79 cordially welcomed

our beloved sister and the guests who took time to be with us that afternoon. The program was ably hosted by our perennial emcee, Ms. Risse Aquino-Jose’76. Setting the mood of the afternoon was a well-applauded dance number from the Shy Girls headed by Marian Alumna, Mayeen Cristobal. A special guest from the MVP Group of Companies, Mr. Christian Villa captured the attention of the audience with his resonating voice which warranted an encore in the latter part of the program. The program was made more interesting and mind-boggling by the special performance from Mr. Justin Pinion, a mind reader/mentalist and also a Marian alumnus from Batch 2003. His special skill and talent to read the minds of the participants through gestures, eye movement and voice tone, left everyone in a state of wonder and amazement on how he was able to perfectly guess the words and numbers. Justin is a promising TV personality and has often been invited to grace talk shows to demonstrate his talent. Justin returned on stage, this time around with the formidable duo of past presidents, Ms. Fe Silica- Arellano ’69 and Atty. Lorna Patajo-Kapunan ‘69, to further challenge his extraordinary talent. After the act, once again he proved that he was extremely good at what he does. An alumni gathering will never be complete without a stellar performance from the SMCQC Alumni Chorale. The nuns and guests were in awe after the captivating and heartwarming serenade of a medley of English and Tagalog songs like “Tomorrow”, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Mahal na Mahal

Kita Panginoon” among others. The almost perfect afternoon could not have been without the much-awaited games and prizes lovingly prepared by the Alumni Board. For this year, we decided to do two rounds of Bingo which is a favorite game of the sisters. Even without bets at stake, the sisters earnestly waited for their numbers as they slowly filled up their cards by following the pattern given by the game hostess, Ms. Meiose Tan- Cristobal ‘84. With all the folded numbers in their card, some sisters already looked confused, wondering if they had already won. Marians delightfully assisted the sisters and were even more excited to shout Bingo when the sisters completed the pattern. Still in high spirits after their mind-blowing number with Justin, Fe and Lorna conveyed their message of thanks to the RVM nuns and the Congregation for the latter’s invaluable role in honing the women and persons we are now. Whatever we have achieved, it was all because of the Ignacian values and virtues which the nuns along with our teachers had inculcated in us. According to Lorna, she always makes it a point to make herself present during the annual visit to the nuns because they will always have a special place in her heart. Lorna and Fe have likewise asked for prayers that we, at the Alumni Board, continue to do service to

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the Marian community. In response to Fe and Lorna’s messages, Sister Ma. Lilia Tocardon, RVM delivered the closing remarks by expressing her profound gratitude to Ms. Lulu Robles ’79 and the Alumni Board on behalf of the RVM sisters for the yearly treat and for continuously recognizing the RVM’s special role in our education and development as individuals. Her assurance that we will be included in their daily prayers was a true inspiration for us to carry on with our mission as Ignacian women. Before everyone proceeded to the dining hall to partake of a special merienda cena of local dishes, bags of goodies containing pillows, foot stockings (a request from the sisters), towels, toiletries (powder and soap), and a multi-purpose sling bag were distributed to the sisters. Some of the gifts mentioned were generously donated by Batch ’87. It was undeniably another fulfilling moment for the Alumni Board to see the genuine happiness and appreciation on the faces of our dearly beloved sisters for the entertainment and humble gifts that we offered. As always and what we have meant for this occasion to be, everyone went back home with hearts overflowing with thankfulness, treasurable memories and uplifted spirits that would inspire us through the rest of the year.


SCHOLARSHIP

Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

Bright Stars of St. Mary’s College Alumni

Why should Marians all over the world support the Scholarship Program

From the Scholars Gwen Pimentel-Gana ‘77 For the school year 20122013, scholar Joeben Guevarra graduated with a General Excellence award with high honors and with Subject Excellence awards in Math, English and Araling Panlipunan. He is now currently enrolled at the University of the Philippines. Scholars, like Joeben Guevarra are the reasons why the Alumni Foundation is passionate about strengthening its scholarship program. Giving hope and a bright future to Marians who wish to succeed in life not only for themselves, their families but for others less fortunate than them inspire not only alumni here in the Philippines but also in other parts of the globe. Recently, the SMC QC, North America Alumni Association represented by Norma EsperidaCummins of batch ‘67 and her batch mates Gene Aguilar and Evelyn Madulid visited the QC campus and were welcomed by the Alumni Board headed by its President, Lulu Robles. A highlight of their visit was handing over a check donation of US 500 dollars signifying the support of Marians in North America for the scholarship program. This was an unexpected blessing since an earlier was likewise made by the North America Alumni Association through QC Board Members Vangie Andrada-Palilleo and Risse Aquino-Jose during a recent visit to the group. Continuing support for the scholars is evidenced by a recent donation made by batch ‘72 through its representative and likewise member of the current board, Mel M. Rada. The amount of P70,000.00 will surely go a long way in building the scholarship Trust Fund. Beneficiaries of the scholarship program for the school year 2013-2014, are two (2) full scholars, namely: Giana Hari and Dianne Segunial, who are both in third year high school; and two (2) partial scholars, Angelica Rivera and Rob-

ert Ortiz, who are both in second year high school. The Alumni is therefore currently supporting four (4) deserving students. High scholastic standards are required to be met by the scholars. A General Weighted Average of 88% with no grade lower than 85% in all subjects, including Conduct for every grading period must be maintained for the duration of the school year. A scholar automatically ceases to be one for the succeeding school year if the student fails to meet the required grade criterion during any of the grading periods. This requirement is strictly enforced by the scholarship committee to ensure that only scholars who are committed to uphold their end of the bargain will be deserving of the Alumni’s continuing support and trust. By sheer determination of Alumni President Lulu Robles to build the Scholarship Trust Fund, the fund has grown. The Trust Fund is still not enough to sustain a minimum of four (4) scholars per year for four (4) years. And, with the new curriculum, the K-12 program recently adopted by the government, with two (2) more years added to high school, the Alumni needs to continuously tap its graduates to ensure the sustainability of the Scholarship Program. It is only by building the Trust Fund to a level where the principal amount is secure and where the interest can cover the cost of the scholarships can the Alumni rest easy. The Scholarship Program of the Alumni Foundation is a testament to Mother Ignacia’s legacy of educating the youth the Marian way. It is therefore every Marian’s responsibility to respond to the call of ensuring that Mother Ignacia lives in the hearts of generations to come by contributing to the Scholarship Trust Fund. And, likewise being a part of shaping a Marian’s life for the better.

Let me thank the alumni foundation of Saint Mary’s College Quezon City for having supported me for three consecutive years now. The cost of education is steadily rising these days, so is the number of the under privileged young people who desire and deserve quality education. Not all students in Saint Mary’s College belong to well off families. Some, like me, comes from below the mid income class. This is reason enough to urge Marians all over the world to band together to support the scholarship program. I know that the foundation is really having a hard time making both ends meet which motivates me all the more to excel, for I realize that I’m being sent to school by benevolent individuals through their hard earned money. —Dianne D. Segunial, IIIMapagpatawad

****** The importance of the Alumni Scholarship Program to a student like me is that it helps the student financially, so that he/she will finish their own studies. It gives the opportunity to have a better education, to attain the knowledge a person needs in life. It gives encouragement to a student that they could finish their studies in school, because they have gained the financial help from the program. The program does not only help the student, but also their parents. It helps them by giving out a hand when it comes to the financial responsibilities the parents for the continuation for the student’s studies. It also helps the parents not to worry about the fees that need to be paid, for it will be handled by the Alumni Scholarship Program. The Scholarship Program also helps the society. One way is that the program helps create a Marian student to become a Marian leader. When that happens, he/she can help the society in becoming a better place for the future generations. —Maria Angelica T. Rivera

****** Scholarship means a lot to me, and probably to a lot of people out there too. It is a way of giving hope to intellectually capable but financially unable students to fulfill their dreams. It also helps us, students, to be more inspired to study well, knowing that our family depends on us, and that our future is lying within us. I think people should acknowledge these kinds of things and support them. I also think that not only Marians but people from all over the world

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should support scholarship programs, especially wealthy people, so that their money would be put to good use. Their kind consideration would be greatly appreciated by us who wants nothing but to finish school and have a future and to share to others what we have achieved and for them to experience what we have experienced too. We just want to have good grades, do better in school, have good jobs, serve our countries well—we can’t do these things if there’s no one to help us. But I believe that with the help of God the Almighty, we’ll be able to solve our problems in the end. —Giana Muriel Hari

******

Life After High School High School was the happiest part of my education. Why? It is because we meet our real friends, experience almost everything for the first time. It will also prepare oneself for college life. You should take High School seriously. Even though it is fun, every action you’ll make will have an effect in your future. So study hard and live your life with right decisions you will make. I am a former Marian student. Through the help of St. Mary’s Alumni Foundation, I still able to continue my High School. They helped me a lot in supporting my school fees. Without them, i will be a Marian no more. This served as my inspiration during my High School days. I did everything to finish my studies and still be a proud Alumni Foundation Scholar. Now that I’m already a graduate, I’ll still pursue in achieving my dreams. With all the blessings that I got, it must serve as another challenge for me and must surpass all the hindrances that will block me in achieving my goal. As a new Iskolar ng Bayan, I’ll continue to live my life with all the lessons I learned as a Marian. All the teachings I learned will serve as a guide in conquering everything that will hinder in accomplishing my mission. A new chapter in life means new place, new persons but the heart will still the same. No one can ever remove a Marian in me. After I finish college and have a job, I promise to continue living the ways of being a Marian Almuni. I’ll participate in every program and seminars. By this way, I’ll be able to thanks everyone who help me especially the SMC Alumni Foundation. Like they say, A marian is always an Marian. Thank you St. Mary’s College Q.C. and God Bless to all. –Joben Guevarra, Class 2013


Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

An Update

St. Mary’s College North America Alumnae Assocition (SMCNAAA) by Norma Esperida-Cummins ‘67

In July 2002, a dozen or so fellow Marians launched the very first Saint Mary’s College Northern America Alumnae Association (SMCNAAA) reunion, and organized a permanent committee to keep the group connected with one another. There we were, a decade younger, a few pounds lighter, and enthusiastically hopeful that we would continue to aim for our goals. One of the major goals is to extend financial assistance to our beloved alma mater’s scholarship program; and, over the years, we have been achieving that in our own humble way!

In September 2012, SMCNAAA decided to surprise visiting SMCQCAFI board members Vangee Andrada Palileo and Risse Aquino-Jose with a check and yummy food of course! BTW, Fe “Bambi” Fernandez Tamayo was also present earlier on before the foto op.

Last year’s Christmas get-together was held at Bambi’s Santa Claus town like home and again, we were able to replenish our fund with the never ending generosity of our members. Not to forget were younger batch members Miriam Paner Nebres and Jocel Labao’s adorable giveaways.

On August 2nd, we will hold our very first “SMCNAAA Summer Socialan” in San Jose CA to be hosted by batch ‘66 Virginia “Gie” Tuason, the same generous Marian who initially financed our official sweatshirts and tee shirts (and was only paid back a year later,

Because we are also basically a fun loving group, every now and then, we would see each other on special occasions such as birthdays/mini reunions like the one we had in Temecula last May for Divina (Bing) Antonio Johnson and Imelda Papa-Cunniff. BTW, batch mate Evelyn Miravite would join us the following day for brunch.

Thanks to Lulu Robles, (as arranged by Vangee A.P.), my long time dream came into fruition when last June 8th, I was able to meet with the SMCQCAFI board members and presented another SMCNAAA check for its scholarship program. A special bonus for me personally was a mini reunion with fellow batch mates Evelyn Madulid and Gener Aguilar (thanks to Lynn Aguilar Umali’s coordination).

With co-chairperson Tina Veridiano Small, we are also into tracking down our Class ‘67 batch mates in preparation for our golden (OMG!) anniversary in 2017. Here I am with Bing A. J. just this afternoon with our latest “find”, Adoracion “Chiby” Bartolome Lavaro and Leticia Villarica (who, due to medical condition graduated the following year) enjoying a yummy early dinner. We are lucky to have found Rovi Juan Marquez, Mary Anne Domingo Santo Domingo, Jessica Zabala Estrella, Evelyn Madulid, and Gene Aguilar; however, we have yet to find others like Mariza Frias, Geline Zabarte, Josefina Jose, Bernadette Caguiat, Evelyn Bernal, Linda Lou Yngente et al. We will persevere!

no interest demanded),LOL! Of course we will include that foto op with our next year’s update. So, from us across the pond, God bless fellow Marians!

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Marian Alumni Newsletter • July 2013

It’s a K-Popping Christmas

SMCAF Board of Directors 2011-2013 Paraluman R. Robles ’79 President Eileen Tawatao-Garcia ’74 Ma. Rosario Ribaya-Bumatay ‘74 Director for Alumni Affairs

Risse Aquino- Jose ’76

Psy, the Korean world phenomenon who gang-nammed his way around the globe with his horsey dance surely caught fire here .The alumni foundation crazies, ..i mean ladies ,were not caught so far behind.K-pop is Korean musicality in song dance . Imagine the chinky-eyed look and the costumes that went from anime colored wigs to eye-popping colored leggings and skirts. All for the sake of fun. I tell you, between us girls, it’s a darned exciting and “in” way to spend an alumni christmas… still in the mold of, what else, but costumey fun. The ladies who donned the wigs and the voluminous skirts got the judges’ nod. Rhea,Mel, Candy, Gwen, Meiose, and Mariles. School girls in pink and yellow plaid skirts and the large frame won second place.Lulu, Dahra, Amy, Loida, Vangee an moi. Mayang, Arlene and Peachy’s group rounded up the fun on third. The most Korean-looking, Amy Tengco, ran away with best costume seconded by Dahra Mendoza. Former Alumni presidents Lorna Kapunan(who came as an anime character), Fe Arellano (a.k.a. Psy), Cesy Caoyonan and Grace De Jesus chuckled,danced and gamely participated in the games, as well. For a while there, I thought that the costumed Arlene, would literally translate what I would say… in Korean…but it was joke time...because she only knew a few words. LOL. But the K-popping fun made us enjoy the party to the hilt. While we are at it, say hello (annyeonghaseyo) and thank you (kamsamneda) How to pronounce them? Go figure.

Meiose Tan-Cristobal ‘82 Director for Finance Amelita G. Tengco ‘77 Director for Documentation Aurea Gega-Relos ‘79 Estela Marie VillanuevaMendoza ‘78 Ma. Theresa Samson ‘79 Directors for Community Dev’t. and Special Projects Nerisse Aquino-Jose ‘76 Maria Elvira Sison-Pascual ‘76 Directors for Programs and Communications Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana ‘77 Director for Scholarship Evangeline Andrada-Palileo ‘71 Ma. Theresa Mercado-Tan ‘78 Directors for Publicity and Promotions Arlene Untalan-Sarmiento ‘86 Loida Geniblazo-Secillano ‘76 Director for Membership Mariles Abacan-Ibarra ‘83 Candida Ocampo ‘83 Directors for Information Technology Melinda Macalintal-Rada ‘72 Lynn Aguilar-Umali ‘70 Directors for Corporate Affairs Ma. Luisa Pablo Honorary Member BOARD OF ADVISERS Cecille N. Temporal ‘66 Fe Silica Serquina-Arellano ‘69 Preachy Patajo-Legasto ‘68 Lorna Patajo- Kapunan ‘69 Corinna Parungao-Isaguirre ‘75 Gracia Camacho-De Jesus ‘74 Sessie Caoyonan-Tible ‘63

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Marian Alumni Newsletter 2013