CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
THE AUGUSTEENER ALUMNI MAGAZINE
Message from Sr Jean Victoria Cadena SPC | Then & Now | SAS Tree Planting | History of SAS | SAS Medical and Dental Mission | From Augusteener to Martyrdom | Message from Monsignor Crisostomo A. Cacho | Message from Sr. Mary Glyceria Navarro, SPC | The Way we Were | Tribute to SAS | Biography of Francisco Villanueva
Editor’s Note Welcome to the maiden issue of the first ever St. Augustine’s School Alumni Association’s E-magazine project. The year 2012 marked the golden jubilee celebration of our dear alma mater, St. Augustine’s School in Iba, Zambales that paved the way to the birth of this virtual magazine destined to become the bridge of all alumni members globally and locally to the school and to each and every alumnus. It shall also serve as a reference that will document important activities and events not only of the school but also of the alumni organization as well. Being an alumna myself makes me feel proud that I have earned my secondary education from this prestigious school 34 years ago and celebrating its 50 fruitful years is really worthwhile considering the school’s excellence in the field of education proven by the quality of the alumni in the different kinds of endeavor that it has produced over the past five decades. Why do we need to celebrate SAS jubilee year? Simply because SAS has succeeded in its goal and mission of giving quality education through academic, spiritual and moral edification to us alumni and will still continue to do so to those who shall pass the same walls of the school like us in the future. And most of all it has produced a would-be saint, a martyr who gave his own life for the sake of our Christian faith in the person of Fr. Roel Gallardo. What else do we need to write about and be thankful for? A lot of alumni life stories who have made names in the global scenes whose names have become a part of history when they handled key positions in the United Nations. We still have other alumni who hold respectable seats worldwide like those who work as consuls and immigration officers in the different parts of the world. We also have successful career people and lawyers here and abroad. We also have heroes within the ranks of the alumni, those soldiers who died in the call of duty saving our country from communist rebels. The school also produced priests and nuns who have joined the workers in the vineyards of the Lord Jesus Christ. For me, my personal reason for thanking my school is the spiritual and moral edification it has instilled in me which I carry wherever I go. It is my Christian faith that has strengthened me whenever I feel disheartened and discouraged at times. It is my undying ember within me to rise whenever I fall because I believe that for every obstacle I overcome, I develop strength and maturity as a new person. And that was what I learned in SAS. Now I pass it also to my children as a legacy of my own. Each and every alumnus has his own story to tell about his life within the walls and portals of SAS, whether sad or happy memories they may be, certainly they are undeniably unforgettable because they are childhood mementoes that linger forever. I hope that this e-magazine will really serve its purpose as a binding factor in reaching out to all alumni all over the world and to those who will become future alumni someday. This is a challenge for us to go back and give back whatever we can. I encourage everyone to be a part of this e-magazine project. Regards and may God be with us all.
GRACE L. ILUSTRISIMO
CONTENTS 04 08 14 18 20 24 26 34 36
Message from Sr. Jean Cadena SPC
History of SAS A Tribute to SAS Seeds of Hope Biography of Francisco Villanueva
Kwelyo at Rosaryo SAS and its impact on me Roberto De La Rea Class of 1976
Board of Directors 1. Edgar Yap (72) 2. Sr. Amelia Baluyot (72) 3. Nocilito Sepulvida (82) 4. Re. Gen. Ralph villanueva (GS 69) 5. Leo Montefalcon (73) 6. Letty Aledo (76) 7. Grace Maniquis Tan (79) 8. Armando Robles (86) 9. Robert Alvin Yap (97) 10. Jesus Villamin (82) 11. Cecile Leyco (84) 12. Amado Paneda (98) 13. Pearl Marie Zaragoza (86) 14. George Manzano (83) 15. Lyndon Rosete (80) Photo cover by:
Greetings in our Lord! I heartily congratulate the 1970 to 1973 Classes on the occasion of your Jubilee. I feel very happy to have been a part of your lives, for the many memories of the successful activities and the very close cooperation among the members of your class. I am even happier that you have kept in touch through the many years since you left your Alma Mater St Augustineâ€™s School. I am sure you continue to cherish the Paulinian spirit of charity in your hearts. I pray that you will all always be successful in your endeavours as you remain close to the Lord and our Mother Mary. Congratulations! Sr. Jean Victoria Cadena, SPC
The Augusteener | December 2012
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 05
MESSAGE Founded For a Divine Purpose Sister recalls the significance of St. Augustine’s School With lively sentiments and solidarity, I greet the School Administration, Officers and Members of SAS Alumni Association, Parents, Faculty and Students of St. Augustine’s School as we celebrate its Golden Jubilee. As we look back, we have many things to thank God. We recall with gratitude many Church and lay people, who worked in concerted effort to establish this institution of Catholic learning. With great pride, I wish to mention the late Bishop Henry Byrne of happy memory, and all the Columban Fathers in partnership with the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres assigned in this school for their zeal and selfless toils in serving those entrusted to their care in varied capacities as directors, administrators and teachers of faith. However, time came when our Columban Missionary Fathers have to turn over the ministry to our diocesan Fathers in order to respond to the urgency of missionary expansions in other countries of the world. Thus, we thank our diocesan bishops and priests who took over, for their interest and enthusiasm not only to keep the school’s operation, but also to upgrade, strengthen and professionalize everything especially its Catholic identity and academic excellence as an institution of learning. At present, there is an urgent and felt need to work together among Administrators, Faculty and Staff, parents and students in all levels, in order to face the challenges of the times in this Year of Faith as proclaimed by no other than our Holy Father, Benedict XVI. Then the Curriculum change, the so called K+12 pauses enormous challenges not only among school administrators, but likewise to all sectors of education. We cannot be complesant, but instead meet these challenges with faith, hope and confidence in God’s love, that the best will happen according to His Holy will. As an educator and someone involved in the formation of the young, everyone is asked to be responsible and wise steward. Everybody should be generous to share his talents and resources, if this institution has to continue its noble purpose: to transform the lives of the young learners, to spread the Kingdom of God, and to be of service to all, most especially the least, the last and the lost. At fifty, St. Augustine’s School has still much to do. With the Holy Father’s proclamation of 2013 as the year of FAITH; and the K+12 Curriculum reform becoming a law, the complexity of life, technology invading home, schools, and all parts of society, there is a need to explore and discover where faith and Gospel values can be disseminated, and the kingdom be made present. We have varieties of educational system, yet we all move towards the same direction. We serve one Lord and one people of God as it was envisioned by those who were blessed to establish St. Augustine’s School. We look forward to a brighter future as we live our vision and mission, our Commitment to Catholic Education. May the Lord bless, guide and keep us in His love. May we walk in His ways always knowing what is right and good until we reach our heavenly home. And may we always keep in mind that St. Augustine’s School is FOUNDED for a DIVINE PURPOSE. Congratulations to all Augustineers! God bless us all, now and forever!
Very sincerely yours, SR. MARY GLYCERIA NAVARRO, SPC Principal St. Gabriel Academy Caloocan City
The Augusteener | December 2012
Message from Sr. Mary Agnes To my dear St. Augustine's Golden Jubilarian celebrants, Days and years have passed so fast that we could hardly believe that your golden anniversary has dawned at last. You are most welcome to St. Augustine once again with open hearts. This is your school and it will be yours for time. We haven't forgotten you. You are all in our hearts now and for always. What you are and what you will be again is what you have made of yourselves when you were once upon a time a growing future professional not only for St. Augustine but for the world. Your stay in St. Augustine was not in vain. We are proud of you and will always be. Thank you very much for all those days and years we have been together not only as our students but our friends who worked and learned together to build not only ourselves but to build a better society, a better Christian and children of God. You have not imparted in us the knowledge we needed in life in vain. Thank you once again. Here we present ourselves, to you our teachers, as the fruit of the labor you have sacrificed for us. As they are ours forever, we salute you all with a gentle wave of our hearts. We shall keep them for life, they will be our guide and strength as we, too, will start our life as the future calls us to build our own. Then and only then can we realize that those were golden days because they were beautiful days for us and for you. May God be gracious to you now and in the future!
Sr. Mary Agnes, SPC
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 07
T. AUGUSTINE (Augustine Aurelius in real life; 354-430), Bishop of Hippo, was born in Tagaste, North Africa on 13 November 354. His father, Patricius, was a pagan, and his mother, Monica, was Christian. At the age of 11, he was sent to school at Madaurus, a small Numidian city about 19 miles south of Thagaste, where he became familiar with Latin literature, as well as pagan beliefs and practices. Despite being raised in Christianity and the corresponding prayers of his mother, Monica, Augustine left the church to follow the Manichaean religion, to his mother’s despair. As a youth, Augustine lived a hedonistic (a school of thought that believes in pleasure being the only intrinsic good or the highest form of goodness) lifestyle for a time. Being so, he lived a life in the company of young men who took pride in their sexual exploits with women, while urging other inexperienced boys to follow a similar lifestyle to serve the end of acceptance, as well as, to avoid ridicule by peers. It was during this period that he uttered his famous prayer, “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet” (Latin: da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo). At a young age, he began an affair with a young woman in Carthage, where he was pursuing an education in rhetorics. She was his lover for over thirteen years and gave birth to his son Adeodatus, who was said to have been extremely intelligent. In the year 384, Augustine moved to Milan to take-up on a job as professor in Rhetorics. At the age of thirty, he had won the most visible academic position in the Latin world. While in Milan, Augustine’s life changed. While still in Carthage, his interests in the Manichean religion started to fade away, and in Rome, he has completely dissociated and turned-away from the same. In Milan, his mother pressured him to become a Christian. It was, however, the Bishop of Milan, Ambrose (later to become St. Ambrose), who had the most influence over Augustine. 08 |
The Augusteener | December 2012
Ambrose was a master of rhetoric like Augustine himself, but older and more experienced. Monica followed Augustine to Milan, where the latter was persuaded by her to agree to a societal marriage, and to which supplications of the former, Augustine readily agreed to let her arrange one. As a consequence of such compromise, Augustine abandoned his concubine, whom he truly loved and with whom he had stayed with for so long. The separation and termination of such love relationship left Augustine deeply hurt and had a consequential effect of eventually producing a decreased sensitivity to pain. On account of Augustine’s having to wait for an additional two more years till his fiancée reached marriageable age – as she was only eleven years old at the time they got engaged – and compounded by the grief over the loss of the first, he took on another concubine in the interim. Finally, Augustine’s love life came to a halt upon by breaking-off his engagement to his elevenyear-old fiancée and his second concubine.
In the summer of 386, Augustine was led to convert to Christianity, abandon his career in rhetoric, quit his teaching position in Milan, give up any ideas of marriage, and devote himself entirely to serving God and to the practices of priesthood, which included celibacy. According to Augustine his conversion was prompted by a childlike voice he heard telling him in a sing-song voice, “Take up and read” (Latin: tolle, lege). He opened a copy of the bible nearby and read a passage of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the desires of the flesh (Romans 14:14). This marked his final conversion to Jesus Christ. He was baptized by St. Ambrose on the Paschal Vigil in 387, at the age of 32, and thereafter resolved to consecrate his life to the Lord. In 391 he was ordained as a priest of Hippo Regius and became a famous preacher, thus gaining the title “Augustine of Hippo”.
HISTORY OF SAS
Appointed Bishop of Hippo in 395, which position he held until the time of his death in the year 430, Augustine proved himself to be an excellent shepherd and a brilliant writer. He organized the clergy in a common life, and wrote a famous rule for religious women. To the people he said: “For you I am bishop. With you I am a Christian
BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. AUGUSTINE’S SCHOOL
St. Augustine’s School is an educational institution administered by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, which is of French origin, in the Philippines. During the latter half of 1961, Fr. Denis Egan of the Society of St. Columban, then Parish Priest of Iba, in consultation with Bishop Henry Byrne, D.D., decided to open a Catholic School in Iba, Zambales. It was decided to initially commence from the levels of Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2 and 3, with an additional grade level being incorporated for each succeeding school year until the completion of both Elementary and High School. There being two existing public high schools and several public elementary schools in Iba, it was felt that the only hope of success was to give quality education, and Bishop Byrne brought all the pressure he could on the Mother Superior of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres. Mother Superior Charles de Jesus, heeded Bishop Byrne’s concerns and opened their foundation in Iba, Zambales.
May 23, 1962:
Four sisters arrived. They were Sr. Clemencia Dimalibot (the first Superior and Principal), Sister Mary Thomas Fadera, Sister Mil dred Pimentel and Sister Marieta Pimentero.
St. Augustine’s School was opened with around one hundred students from Kindergarten to Grade 3. First Grade School Commencement Exercises. First Grade School Commencement Exercises. The High School Department was opened by the late Bishop Byrne through the desirous PTA, under the leadership of Dr. Florentino Pastores. Rev. Fr. Joseph Conneely became the second Director; Sister Esperanza Fadera became the second Grade School Principal; Sister Agnes Pauig became the first High School Principal. Sister Glyceria Navarro became the third High School Principal. First High School Commencement Exercises. Sr. Victoria Cadena became the second High School Principal. Fr. Donald O’ Dea became the third Director. Sr. Milagros Amos became the fourth H.S. Principal. Sr. Marcelle Navarro became the fourth H.S. Principal. Fr. Paul McGee became the fourth Director. Sr. Ignatius Tal Placido became the fifth H.S. Principal. Fr. Donald O’Dea became the fifth Director. Sr. Carmela Paglomotan became the fourth Grade.School Principal. Sr. Visitacion Rosario became the fifth Grade School Principal. Sr. Lolita Francisco became the kindergarten-in-charge. Sr. Adeline Calderon became the sixth Grade School Principal. Arrival of Archbishop Paciano Aniceto; Fr. Richard Cannon became the sixth Director; Sr. Presentacion Baquiran became the seventh Grade School Principal; Sr. Macrina Gresos became the kinder-in-charge. The adjacent lot (now occupied by the High School Building) was bought through the efforts and persuasion of Mr. and Mrs. Atilano Ortega and Atty. and Mrs. Mario Leyco from the family of Pedro Garcia. The PAC headed by Mrs. Adelaida Gozon staged “Cinderella’s Daughter” to help solicit funds for the new High School Building. The great bulk of the construction expenses, however, was financed by donations from abroad acquired by Fr. Richard Cannon and Fr. Silverio Deltour. Sr. Severiana Pascual, SPC, was installed as Superior and Treasurer; Sr. Mechtilde Seva, SPC, became the sixth High School Principal; Sr. Norma Bedaña, SPC, became the Kindergarten-in-charge; The construction of the new building started. Msgr. Crisostomo Cacho became the seventh Director; The new building was blessed; The PAC headed by Mrs. Fe Cayabyab helped finish the floor and ceiling of the third floor. Sr. Ancilla Garcia, SPC became the seventh High School eighth Grade School Principal; The school celebrated its 25th Foundation year. One of its main activities was the Popularity contest sponsored by the PAC, with Mrs. Fe Cayabyab, Dr. Paz Arellano and Mrs. Purita Sarmiento spearheading. Sr. Marina Calderon, SPC, became the ninth Grade School Principal; Sr. Felicitas Bernardo, SPC, became the eighth High School Principal; The School Organ was revived and High School organizations for students were organized. Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez Jr., D.D. was installed as the third Bishop of the Diocese of Iba. Through the efforts of Sr. Felicitas Bernardo, SPC and the PAC, headed by Dr.Paz Arellano, the school staged the musical play, “Joseph the Dreamer”. The stage was renovated and the new volleyball court was constructed The improvement of the school fence was done. The Grand Alumni Homecoming (1970-1990) was held.
March 1966: March 1966: June 1966: June 1969: March 1970: 1971: 1973: 1976: 1977: 1978: 1979: 1980: 1981: 1982: Dec. 13, 1983: 1984: 985: 1986: 1987: 1988: June 1989: August 1989: March 1990: April 14,1990:
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 09
HISTORY OF SAS June 3,1990: June 1991: March 1991: June 1992: June 1993: June 1994: Dec. 1994: April 1995: June 1995: Feb. 1996: June 1996: Dec. 1996: Feb. 1997: April 1997: June 1997: Oct. 1997: Feb. 1998: June 1998:
Rev. Fr. Simplicio Esteban was installed as the eighth School Director. Sr. Amparo Portugez, SPC, became the Kindergarten-in-charge. SAS quadrangle was constructed through the efforts of the PAC and CT officers. Sr. Maria Magdalena Goretti Mawili, SPC became the tenth Grade School Principal; Sr. Emma Perez, SPC was installed as School Treasurer; Sr. Mary Jovita Pe Benito, SPC became the Superior and the ninth High School Principal. Electric fans were installed in the High School classrooms through the efforts of the PAC, headed by Mrs. Felicitas Ferrer. Most Reverend Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr., D.D. became the ninth S.A.S. Director; A new generator and power house servicing both Grade School and High School Departments was installed; More computer units and printers were acquired. Sr. Mary Clarence Catabui, SPC became the School Treasurer. “The Madonna’s Choice” was staged under the auspices of Sr. Maria Magdalena Goretti Mawili, SPC. Construction of the S.A.S. three-storey building for High School Library, computer room and laboratory. The roofing of the High School building was completed. Rev. Fr. Apolinario V. Lezada became the tenth School Director; Sr. Mary Edith Lapid, SPC became the tenth High School Principal and Superior; Sr. Rosario Piguing, SPC became the eleventh Grade School Principal; Sr. Luz Ilagan, SPC became the H.S.C.T. Moderator; Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. blessed and inaugurated the three-storey building. YCLC sponsored the raffle draw for the furnishing of the Computer Room, under the leadership of Sr. Luz Ilagan, SPC. Sr. Mary Edith Lapid, SPC became the twelfth Grade School Principal. “Night before Christmas” was staged under the leadership of Sr. Amparo Portuguez, SPC; “Pista sa Nayon” was held under the supervision of Sr. Luz Ilagan, SPC and Sr. Amparo Portuguez, SPC. Renovation/Repainting of the Grade School building. Sr. Alicia Leuterio, SPC became the School Treasurer; Sr. Aquilina Quismorio, SPC became the Kindergarten-in-Charge. Grand Fair was held, as sponsored by CT officers for the renovation of the High School restroom. “Circa 98” was presented, sponsored by H.S.C.T. for the renovation of the restroom. Sr. Sosima V. Ramos, SPC became the thirteenth Grade School Principal and eleventh High School Principal; Sr. Jean Manlangit, SPC became the Superior and Christian Formation Chairman; Renovation of the High School comfort room, a joint project of the CT and PAC. May 1999: Construction of the Multi-Purpose Gym by Engr. Eduardo Aguilar of Daraga, Bicol. July 1999: Renovation of the Director’s Office and High School Principal’s Office. Oct. 1999: Grade School comfort room was improved. Dec. 1999: “Christmas Carol”, a one-act play, was staged by the Grade School and High School for the on-going project on the gym. June 2000: Rev. Fr. Amado S. Cenzon became the eleventh School director. June 2001: Rev. Fr. Ian Maniago became the twelfth School Director; Rev. Fr. Dennis Astor became the Spiritual Director; Sr. Amelia Baluyot, SPC became the Finance Officer. October 2001: Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. Blessed & Inaugurated the Saint Augustine’s School Stage. March 25,2002: Sr. Sosima V. Ramos, SPC became the Superior/Principal. April 1, 2002: Construction of the 1st phase of the Grade School Building by Engr. Eduardo Aguilar of Daraga, Albay. June 2002: Rev. Fr. Dennis Astor became thirteenth School Director; Rev. Fr. Arnel Serafica became the Spiritual Director; Sr. Mary Andrew Bartolome, SPC became the High School Christian Living Teacher and Library Coordinator. April 1, 2003: Construction of the second phase of the Grade School Building by. Engr. Eduardo Aguilar of Daraga Albay. June 2003: Rev. Fr. Felix Labios became the Spiritual Director; Sr. Fidelia Villa, SPC became the Finance Officer. June 2004: Sr. Marissa Tumbali, SPC became the Finance Officer. June 2005: Rev. Fr. Danny Lopez became the fourteenth Director; Sr. Maria Remedios R. Cayetano, SPC became the fourteenth Grade School and the twelfth High School Principal and Local Superior; Sr. Maria Nora Loreno, SPC became the Finance Officer; Completion of the third phase of the grade school building, including the ramp and grade school comfort rooms; Installation of the sound system. January 2006: Rev. Fr. Daniel O. Presto became the fifteenth School Director; Construction of School Clinic; Construction and blessing of Our Lady’s Grotto in front of the School Clinic; SAS became the Center of Mathematics Trainers’ Guild of the Philippines (MTG) in Zambales. May 2007: Re-wiring of electrical connections in the H.S. Library and High School building; Licensing of computers; De-greening of the campus; Purchase of 18 Computer units (Grade School & High School Computer Laboratories and High School Library); Purchase of Band instruments; Installation of air-conditioning units at the High School Library and Faculty Rooms. December 2007: 45th Foundation Day of SAS and the Grand Alumni Homecoming; Renovation of the High School Science Laboratories. June, 2009: Sr. Mediatrix delos Santos, SPC appointed in-charge of the Campus Ministry Program. June, 2010: Installation of Rev. Fr. Marciano S. Sandoval, Jr. as the sixteenth School Director.
Edited by: Diosdado V. Pastores Diosdado V. Pastores, B.S. Pharm., Ll.B., B.S.N., RPh., CPhT. (California) 10 |
The Augusteener | December 2012
By Leodigard M. Montefalcon Class of Grade School 1969 Almost noon sometime in late 1962 at the cathedral grounds, my sisters, Armin and Rosemarlene (Beybi) were preparing our packed lunch when suddenly the food spilled, scattered and got soiled. I didn’t know how and why it happened. But all that I was able to utter at that time was, “Patay! Wala kaming lunch!” Luckily the priest who saw us picking up our scattered food that day invited us to have lunch with him at the Fathers’ convent. Kaya siguro ako nag-sakristan, mababait talaga sila! Many stories have been said and written about the premier year of St. Augustine’s School. Reading my sisters’ reflections of that year and the years after, gives me that feeling of excitement as I recollect memories of my ten years of stay at the St. Augustine’s School (SAS) as a student which started in 1962 as a 5½ year old kindergarten pupil. As the school building was still being constructed, we, the pioneer 4, initially held classes at the Knights of Columbus Hall. I remember the boys wearing short khaki pants and white polo shirts while the girls wearing their black & white checkered skirts and bowtied white blouses with navy collars. We had these as uniforms up to Grade 6. We had classes from morning until mid-afternoon from Mondays to Fridays. On Sundays, everyone was required to attend the 8 o’clock mass in gala uniform for girls and in white long sleeves shirts with tie for boys. Right before the Mass, we marched down the aisle in pairs, occupying the right front pews near the pulpit. Bishop Henry Byrne and Father Connelly even asked us questions in their homilies every time they do the celebration. Pati sa misa mayroon recitation! Aside from classroom studies, we had the usual school activities like recitals, declamations, field demonstrations, stage plays, sports activities, excursions (not very often) plus performing our church obligations as altar boys and choir members. Unmindful that we have been growing into fine young boys, we indulge into basketball games, bike riding, playing chess & guitars that filled our free time. Compared to when we were younger, we played with marbles, rubber bands, texts (with superhero cards), cashew, and sumpit when we were younger. Other extra-school activities then were swimming with classmates at beaches in Iba and at the Bucao River, and attending fiestas at nearby barrios and towns. Looking back, despite a rather carefree life during those years, we still did well in the academics, and recognitions were received at every school year end – the best memories I had at SAS, for these were our gifts for our parents. I remember Sr. Thomas reminding us then – “Don’t let your parents down – they brought you up.” Fast Forward Thank you cell phones, emails, face book, our batch mates, many are now netizens have conducted pocket get-togethers in Manila and in the US about 3 years ago. Celebrating our golden year, 1962-2012, we had a reunion in Iba in April last year at the very place where many of us first met 50 years ago, at the building once occupied by the Knights of Columbus Hall. What could be more fitting than that!
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 11
The Way We Were A pioneer graduate Armin Maribelle Montefalcon-Vera Cruz (1970) tells us a detailed account of her experience at SAS.
xcept for a few remarkable inci dents, my memories of high school are not that vivid. But that is not at all surprising because those years happened 46 years ago. Academics and school-related extra-curricular activities exclusively occupied my high school years and not much of gallivanting. Helen Theater, the only cinema and entertainment center operating in Iba during those days was the only place where we could unwind and deviate from the routinely home-school-church-home schedule. No truancy at all, not because we were little saints but because we were happy and contented with what were available in our little world. I sure had my share of little mischief but not grievous enough to require a visit to the principal’s office or a demerit in my deportment grade.
I’ve heard the saying that high school is the rite of passage from adolescence to early adulthood. Very true indeed! The growingup pains, adventurism and frustrations of adolescence bring unique experiences that inspire and sometimes disappoint. But when one is able to overcome these seemingly endless frustrations with the right values learned and Christian virtues lived, a strong character is formed. This, in my view, was exactly how we were taught and
“Being pre Vatican II babies, we were trained to sing the Gregorian chants, the psalms, church songs and say the liturgical responses in Latin.”
The Augusteener | December 2012
Nothing much changed from elementary graduation to my first months of high school. I was the same tiny girl in braided hair who used to jump over the fence behind the school to avoid the few meters of walk around the block from our house in Sagapan. I had the same set of classmates. This time we were no longer treated like children but as young adults. Sister Mary Gertrude was the first high school principal and concurrently the Sister Superior. I remember her as the soft-spoken nun who had incredible patience with restless teenagers. Sister Mary Agnes Pauig, the disciplinarian but loving principal with a powerful and beautiful singing voice succeeded Sister Gertrude. She saw us through high school and understandably she was the teacher who influenced us the most. Her close guarding especially over the young ladies paid off and she made sure everyone kept up with the rules of the school.
It was under her ward and tutelage that we honed our talents, whether in singing or acting in stage plays. Early this year, I visited her at the St. Paul Vigil House in Tanay. Although already advanced in age, she is still the charming Sister Agnes that I used to know. It was really touching that she This brief narrative will be incomplete without mentioning a few experiences we had in both elementary and high school. In grade school, all pupils were directed to speak the English language while inside the campus. No one was exempt; the rule applied to everyone from kindergarten to the higher grades. There were patrollers who monitored the violators and those caught were made to face every class to admit they broke the rule. It was more fun than punishment for us. English was not only to be spoken but also to be written in the correct grammar. In one spelling quiz in our 5th grade, one classmate spelled xylophone correctly and wrote, “The xylophone went to Manila.” He also wrote, “I left my larynx at home.” Our teacher could only exclaim while shaking her head, “Your sentence is grammatically correct but semantically wrong.” Being pre Vatican II babies, we were trained to sing the Gregorian chants, the psalms, the church songs and to say the liturgical responses in Latin. It seemed easy and natural for us because our parents and grandparents prayed in the same manner. Also, very clear to my memory were the sleeps over at the Sisters’ Convent during the Holy Week, particularly for the midnight Easter Vigil Mass when we have to sing for the celebration. In whispers, we were curious about how the nuns live but we never uncovered much of the mystery; and to this day I still wonder if the nuns then used mirrors when combing their hair. I also remember my first taste of teaching when I was assigned as a catechist at the Palanginan Elementary School, a prelude to my future career. We would take the tricycle to our assigned school and on our way back, we would drop by A6&R cafe owned by the Ladrillono family for thirst-quenching drinks of ice-cold Coca Cola. www.sas-alumni.com
These friendly ties get stronger and continue through the years as they are sealed with being “kumares” and “kumpares” when we stood as sponsors for our children’s baptisms and weddings.
Every time we get together, we are reminded of how we were in high school. We enjoy recalling those days of childhood innocence. They are precious, unforgettable, and irreplaceable memories. We may not have laptops, ipads and iphones then, but we communicated well. We listened and took to heart the advices of our teachers. We learned to take our responsibilities seriously.
Highlights of our junior and senior years were the declamation contests, the stage plays and the glee club performances. All of these required a lot of patience and endurance for long hours of coaching and practice, just so we can deliver our parts well or learn and master new songs. SAS then, was well known in the entire province of Zambales for students who excel in these areas. The school thespians who regularly acted for major roles in our annual school plays were Lynn de la Rea, Jean Escusa, Cecilia Achacoso, Lourdes Orge , Raymundo Blanco Jr., and Manuel Farrales
The value of academic excellence was always impressed on us by the school. And those in the honor roll easily qualified entrance to prestigious schools for college. From our ranks have risen a prominent and respected UN-IFAD official, an Agricultural Attaché, an Assistant Vice President at the Philippine Airlines, certified public accountants, entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses, lay Church workers and homemakers. Each one has his/her version of success. Some were career-driven while some preferred to live simple and peaceful lives but nonetheless happy and fulfilled.
My high school years are memorable because of the friendships I have developed with classmates and school mates. These friendly ties get stronger and continue through the years as they are sealed with being “kumares” and “kumpares” when we stood as sponsors for our children’s baptisms and weddings. Every time we get together, we are reminded of how we were in high school. We always enjoy recalling those days of childhood innocence. They are precious, unforgettable, and irreplaceable memories. We may not have laptops, iPads and iPhones then, but we communicated well. We listened and took to heart the advices of our teachers. We learned to take our responsibilities seriously. I would like to end this short trip down memory lane with greetings of goodwill to all members of SAS Class 1970. We have gone a long way, from the youthful optimistic teens of the 60’s to the accomplished and confident soon-to-be “senior citizens” of the cyber age. What we have become, we owe significantly from our alma mater and teachers, who in partnership with our parents taught us how to live meaningful lives, not only for ourselves but also for others.
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 13
A Tribute to St. Augustine’s School:
years of Golden Harvests
Rosemarlene Montefalcon (Class of 1972)
uring the decade 60’s, the Diocese of Iba was called Prelature Nulius, only because it was just a small community of Catholic faithfuls in the entire province of Zambales, from Olongapo City down to the last town which is Sta. Cruz. In 1961, the late Bishop Henry Byrne, an Irish national, was then the head of our Vicariate, the Prelature Nullius of Iba. He loved the Zambaleños. Thus he decided to put up the very first Catholic learning institution in the capital town.
It was in 1962 that our Alma Mater, the St. Augustine’s School (SAS) was officially opened and received government recognition as a private sectarian school established by the Missionaries of St. Columban led by Bishop Henry Byrne. This parochial school was delegated to the St. Paul of Chartres (SPC) Sisters for management. And this was the reason how it came about that SAS is a St. Paul Parochial School. According to the pioneer graduates, their very first school was the Knights of Columbus building beside the St. Augustine Cathedral where the Diocesan Pastoral Center now stands.
Their classrooms were make-shift ones with blackboards as their dividers. They had only one section for each grade level. And that time, teachers who were nuns were able to teach their pupils one on one because of their small number. They only transferred after construction of the original school building made of wood was finished. It was the first Filipina Sister Provincial Superior of the Sisters of the St. Paul Congregation in the Philippines, Sr. Madeleine Denaga who assigned four of her nuns to start managing the St. Augustine’s School in Iba.
“These Sisters tried their best to give the first pupils quality education that pleased Bishop Byrne and the Columban priests” Sr. Clemencia Dimalibot SPC, was the First Local Superior. She taught kindergarten, Sr. Mary Thomas Fadera, SPC Assistant Superior taught Grade I. Sr. Mary Mildred Pimentel handled grade II and Sr. Mariette Pimentero, SPC handled grade III. They were the first SPC sisters who were dressed like flying nuns during that time.
The Augusteener | December 2012
These Sisters tried their best to give the first pupils quality education that pleased Bishop Byrne and the Columban priests. They also got the full support of the pupils’ parents. The students were trained to speak English within the school campus. The commuting pupils, who were only grade 2 and 3, prayed the rosary in the jeeps on their way to and from school. Every morning the sisters brought the children to church for a visit to the Blessed Sacrament while Bishop Byrne used to be in the cathedral going up and down the middle aisle praying the rosary. The pupils who were formed in lines getting out would be greeted one by one by Bishop Byrne standing at the door way who surprisingly knew everyone by name.
St. Augustine’s School started with just one section in each grade. Even then, SAS students were coming from nearby towns like Palauig and Botolan The first pupils impressed their teachers very well because they showed intelligence and innate talents. This was observed by Sr. Mildred who was herself a gold medalist in dramatics during her high school years at the St. Paul College of Quezon City. www.sas-alumni.com
She staged the play, “Our Lady’s slippers” with Josefina Garcia as the mother Mary and Rosemarlene Montefalcon who played the lead role in the play. Sr. Mary Mildred was also a musician. She developed the singing talents of the pupils to the surprise and admiration of the Columban fathers. The grade II and III pupils then could already sing beautifully the requiem mass in Latin.
Now the mustard seed that has been planted by the SPC nuns especially the pioneer ones, Sr. Agnes, Sr. Clemencia, Sr. Mildred and Sr. Mariette together with the late Bishop Byrne, Rev. Fr. Dennis Egan, Fr. Malcolm McKeating and Fr. Thomas Faye has now become a very big tree, sturdy and still going stronger at 50 years of existence.
Sister Maria Pura Ramos SPC then came, another nun who was well known for her ability in dramatics. She staged, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, with Ma. Cristina Pastores in the lead role. “Our Father” is one of the really great plays ever produced by then SPC sisters. On the other hand, Edgar Yap and Manuel Farrales did well in declamation. St. Augustine’s School started with just one section in each grade. Even then, SAS students were coming from nearby towns like Palauig and Botolan. The school canteen was just a small table with a few bottles of soft drinks, a box of candies, a two or three boxes of biscuits or sandwiches with margarine, just for some pupils who did not bring their packed snacks for recess prepared by their parents. Sr. Clemencia was in charge of the little canteen and then came Sr. Lydia who took over her. The school had programs from time to time, so the students had to bring the chairs down from the classrooms for the audience. Gardening was a subject in the curriculum for the boys. It was a problem, though, because the school grounds have no enough space for planting.
The nuns and priests who continued to develop and to nurture this “mustard seed” all these years are worthy of praises and emulation. Luckily, we have that vacant space in front of the sisters’ convent. The land was believed to be a former cemetery a long time ago, the reason why the soil was not suited for a vegetable garden because it was full of cement and stones. So instead, the boys planted papayas since it needed small space only for the seedlings with two yards apart and just two papayas for each boy. Now the mustard seed that has been planted by the SPC nuns especially the pioneer ones, Sr. Agnes, Sr. Clemencia, Sr. Mildred and Sr. Mariette together with the late Bishop Byrne, Rev. Fr. Dennis Egan, Fr. Malcolm McKeating and Fr. Thomas Faye has now become a very big tree, sturdy and still going stronger at 50 years of existence. The nuns and priests who continued to develop and to nurture this “mustard seed” all these years are worthy of praises and emulation.
When Sr. Mildred was transferred, Sr. Marie Lawrence Español SPC took her place. She was a classmate of Sr. Mildred at St. Paul’s Quezon City also a silver medalist in dramatics and a musician too. It was this time when she staged the plays, ‘The Ladies Retirement”, and “The Bamboo Cross” with Mary Jean Escusa, who was really gifted with a golden voice as a singer vocalist and Raymundo Blanco in the lead roles. Both plays were staged for high school students.
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 15
From Schoolmates to Housemates
A Journey To a Lifetime: The Junnie and Juvy Love Chronicle By Juvy Miclat Pastores Class 1981 Valedictorian This lovely couple, Jovito “Junnie” Pastores and Juvy Miclat Pastores were not childhood sweethearts. They grew up in the same neighborhood, walked the same streets, and attended the same school. They were partners in one of the most memorable plays at St. Augustine’s School in the 1970’s. Ironically, they hardly interacted with each other. Junnie and Juvy were schoolmates who can be considered as one of the most unexpected couples from St. Augustine’s School. Their families were close, their friends were common but both of them were simply shy and engrossed in their own respective worlds. Juvy, however, considered Junnie as her high school “crush” but she found him quite a snob. Junnie, two years older than Juvy, left SAS after his elementary years to finish high school and college at The University of Santo Tomas. Juvy, left for the United States after graduation from SAS high school with flying colors as class valedictorian.
It took 8 years before they met again, as if by fate, when Juvy went back to the Philippines to pursue Medicine at UST. That meeting occurred in late 1989 while Juvy was borrowing medical reference books from her childhood friend Geraldine who happened to be Junnie’s sister. Junnie was home for a break before his Medical Board Exams. Upon opening Geraldine’s room to retrieve something, he was surprised to see Juvy, all grown up, in a complete white UST uniform.
They were partners in one of the most memorable plays at St. Augustine's School in the 1970's. Ironically, they hardly interacted with each other.
The Augusteener | December 2012
Juvy was caught off-guard and she, too, can’t believe how handsome Junnie turned out to be. It was like “love at first sight”. Unfortunately, Junnie had a steady girlfriend at that time while Juvy had just broken up with her boyfriend before going back to the Philippines and was not ready for any new relationship. Seeing Juvy again after so many years left Junnie love struck and sleepless. Juvy felt the same way. To have a reason to see Juvy, Junnie offered to bring her more reference books to help her in school. It was a chance Juvy could not pass in order to get to know Junnie better. In the days that followed, they exchanged cards and letters. Junnie patiently waited and picked Juvy up after school at every chance he got. He tried to visit her daily, helped her with research reports and homework even if it entailed him to stay until midnight. www.sas-alumni.com
By that time, Junnie had passed his Medical Board Exams and had broken up with his girlfriend. The couple grew closer all the more as weeks and months passed by. There were endless phone calls and more exchanges of cards and letters.
Seeing Juvy again after so many years left Junnie love struck and sleepless. There were endless McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Jollibee, and mall food court dates as well as movie rendezvous. When their allowances ran out, they stayed at Juvy's place to enjoy each other's jokes with something as simple as Chippy and Coke.
During vacation breaks, they usu-
ally go back and forth to Iba to have picnics as they watched the sun go down at the Sand Valley Beach Resort. They also visited SAS and the Cathedral, took pictures, walked along the narrow streets of Iba, and enjoyed crates of the famous Zambales mangoes. Everyone in Iba did not expect to even see them together. They had fun and were simply inseparable. Juvy realized how shy but sweet, humorous, and loving Junnie was. She realized he was not snobbish after all. It was difficult not to fall in love with him considering he was her high school crush, a secret she was able to keep all throughout the years after their stints at SAS.W
When their allowances ran out, they stayed at Juvy's place to enjoy each other's jokes with something as simple as Chippy and Coke. www.sas-alumni.com
This wonderful couple shall be celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary next year with a fervent desire to visit St. Augustine’s School to look back once more to a love story that probably began on that humble stage of their alma mater one Christmas night in 1971. This stage play was entitled “A night before Christmas”.
They had fun and were simply inseparable. Junnie's parents were pleased to find out he was courting Juvy. His mother especially favored Juvy and wrote her letters from time to time. It was not the case with Juvy's parents at first. Junnie was persistent though and tried to "court" them particularly Juvy's strict father. It was Junnie's sincerity and love of music and history especially his World War II stories that helped him win the approval of Juvy's father. With that, Juvy finally accepted Junnie as her new found love. There was no turning back from then on. Their romance blossomed and the rest was history.
This story is a proof that these two people are really meant for each other which we can call destiny.
Junnie and Juvy left for the U.S. in 1994 after Juvy passed her Medicine Board Exams. They got married the same year in Rancho Palos Verdes, California and they now reside in Hercules, California with their 17-year-old daughter, Meg.
It was Junnie's sincerity and love of music and history especially his World War II stories that helped him win the approval of Juvy's father. As a start, they too, have had their shares of ups and downs just like any other couple. Though, opposite in many ways the two have always managed to compromise at the end of each passing day. As years go by, their love for each other has gone stronger than ever as it has passed the test of time.
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 17
SEEDS OF HOPE: TREE PLANTING MARKS START OF SAS 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION By Cecile Leyco In an effort to give back to Mother Nature, St. Augustineâ€™s School (SAS) kicked off its Golden Jubilee Celebration this year with a tree planting activity at the Baquilan Resettlement Centerâ€™s farmlots, in barangay San Juan, Botolan, Zambales last April 25.
In cooperation with TREES Philippines, a nongovernment organization (NGO), the SAS Alumni Association has joined hands with SAS administration and the combined junior and senior students who did not mind getting drenched and muddied, as they scaled the steep slopes going to the planting sites to plant a total of 650 assorted seedlings of acacia, casuarinas, and other tree species. This tree planting project was an initiative of the school as it partnered with the said NGO, to bring back the green forests of the province that has been greatly denuded ever since the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. SAS has been a regular partner of the NGO and the government in saving the environment. TREES Philippines donated the 650 seedlings to this tree planting project. Led by SAS Principal, Sr. Norma Que, this community service was great success as it saw every participant carry six to ten seedlings amidst heavy downpour trekking mountain trails to plant them. The staff and crew of TREES Philippines offered hands-on assistance to the SAS family.
The Augusteener | December 2012
Cecil Leyco, the SAS Alumni coordinator on this project at the same time a staff of TREES Philippines, thanked other alumni members who volunteered to join this undertaking. She also thanked the Samahang Katutubong Magsasaka ng Quitomboc (SKMQ) and the Philippine Army 24th Infantry Batallion for supporting this worthwhile endeavor.
TREES Philippines has been partnering with various organizations to restore the forest covers in Zamables especially on denuded lands. This reforestation activity covered only about two hectares while there are many more lands that need to be reforested. Although tree planting seemed to look like an easy task, it actually involves laborious preparations like brushing, holing and staking that incur expenses. In this regard, TREES Philippines, together with SAS, is calling on more supporters and advocates to be responsive and partakers.
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 19
Biography of Francisco A. Villanueva by: Uknown
Francisco A. Villanueva was born on October 14, 1965 to Juan B. Villanueva, a Philippine Air Force Military Officer and Resurreccion Aguilar Villanueva, a schoolteacher. He grew up in Botolan, Zambales and took up his elementary and high school education at the St. Augustineâ€™s School. As a young boy, he dreamed of becoming a military pilot. In 1983, after spending a year at the Mapua Intstitute of Technology as an engineering student, he entered the Philippine Military Academy as a cadet. Francis graduated in 1987 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Philippine Air Force. Shortly thereafter, he entered the Philippine Air Force Flying School in Lipa City as an aviation cadet and finished his flight training in 1989. After earning his wings, he served with the 205th Helicopter Wing of the Philippine Air force which brought him to different parts of the country performing close air support, air transport, air evacuation and search and rescue missions for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ground troops . He received several commendations for his heroic actions and meritorious services as a military pilot including one when he was wounded while performing an air evacuation of military casualties in Samar in November 1989. 20 |
The Augusteener | December 2012
On May 23, 1992, Francis died in a helicopter crash in Barangay Salegseg, Balbalan, Kalinga Apayao while performing air resupply mission to Army troops under inclement weather and difficult terrain. For his bravery, he was awarded posthumously the Gold Cross (third highest AFP award for combat). In addition, a street in Camp Servillano Aquino in Tarlac, Tarlac (headquarters of the AFP Northern Luzon Command) was named in his honor.
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 21
Robert De la Rea
The Augusteener | December 2012
My Life at SAMS and at SAS: The Memories That Are Worth Reliving
By Fr. Ian Maniago Class of 1988 What makes my high school life in St. Augustine’s School very memorable? A lot of reasons, I should say, because I was a minor seminarian then and at the same time a regular high school student. Now here is my story why our alma mater will always be in my heart. In behalf of the Priests and Lay Alumni of St. Augustine’s Minor Seminary (SAMS), I thank our Alma Mater St. Augustine School (SAS) for being a great part of our religious formation. Ours is a unique experience and situation during our formation years. The SAS minor seminary was the only one of its kind in our country allowing its seminarians to attend their academic classes outside its premises. While we attended our Latin, music and theology classes inside the seminary under the tutelage of priests who were then managing SAMS. Inside SAMS, we developed a different kind of friendship and camaraderie among fellow seminarians. We sung together, we prayed together, we praised God together and we even cried and laughed together because we lived in one house.
Our bond of friendship transcended into a higher level of brotherhood. And for four years, we have developed that kind of relationship. Friendships developed not only among us seminarians but also among students at SAS. We became one family then, and as it was, our life was not always smooth sailing. There arose also some disagreements among our seminary rector and the school principal regarding conflicts involving seminarians and students over petty issues like rivalry on crushes (Magkaribal), rivalry in class standing (Pagalingan), and rivalry in sports competition (Gulangan sa basketball) that at times resulted to brawls and misunderstandings. But at the end of each day, more lessons have been learned and more bonds of friendship have been formed and strengthened. Even up to now, I still recall the happy memories of spending the night together with our crushes during our Junior and Seniors Prom. Aside from this, my memories on scouts camping, school intramurals and field demonstrations, field trips, and provincial meets are still very vivid up to now.
I also remember how our mentors exerted much of their efforts to review all of us, senior students to be ready for the annual National College Entrance Examination. And who will forget our excitement as we waited for our graduation day. Each passing day that we practiced our formation to the tune of the graduation march song was a real joy and gladness for all of us. And finally, as I remember our graduation ball, many heart-warming memories are relived. But most of all, SAS has formed our morals at the same time it also strengthened our faith all the more. Some of us became priests while others followed a different path. Now as we come closer to go back once again to our alma mater and meet our school mates again, we feel overwhelmed and indebted forever to St. Augustine’s School. I know I can never bring those days again but for sure the memories instilled in my hearts and minds shall always linger forever. Long live my dear Alma Mater, St Augustine’s School, may you last forever more!
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 23
KWELYO at ROSARYO Yves Clark Fabrigas Batch 1995 Hindi ko pinangarap mag aral sa St. Augustine’s School. Una, maliban sa talbos ng kamote, bagok lang ang kaya naming bilhin. Iisipin ko pa lang, mas nahihilo ako sa gagastusing pamasahe kesa sa pagsakay sa Victory bus. Malayo ang Panan sa Iba sabi ko sa lola (mama) kong nagalaga sa akin kaya mas pipiliin ko na lang magaral sa barangay high school. Sabi ni mama, “Mas malayo yata ang mararating mo kung sa Saint ka magaaral. Hayaan mo na lang, igagapang ka ng maliit nating tindahan.” Nag enroll ako. “Read this article,” sabi ng madreng kaharap ko. Binasa ko. Sabi niya, “Galing ka sa public school pero mukhang magaling ka sa English. Ganyan ba ang turo nila?” “Hindi po. Natutunan ko lang yan sa pagbabasa ng nakasulat sa sachet ng shampoo at pagbabasa ng newspaper.” Sagot ko. Ang unang araw ko ay nabalutan ng maliit na pagtingin sa sarili. Ang uniform ko ay pinaglumaan ng uncle kong 4th year sa parehong paaralan. May bonus pang punit sa may kwelyo. Ang sapatos ko ay pudpod at may nakabaong thumb tack na mahirap tanggalin. Ngunit masaya ako dahil bago lahat ng aklat ko na wala sa pampublikong paaralan. First year na ako. At kasama ng pagputol sa dulong balat ko ay ang pagputol sa mga hindi magagandang nakagawian ko, alam kong huhubugin ako ng institusyong kinabibilangan ko. Naiinggit ako sa uncle kong magaling magdasal. English version. Sa SAS nagsimula ako sa “Morning and weeping in this ballet of tears…” Akala ko kasi dati ballet dancer si Mama Mary at umiyak siya ng mamatay si Hesus. Kasalanan ko dahil ang alam ko ay bersiyong Aba Ginoong Maria. Ang pagdarasal sa wikang Ingles ang unang naging proud ako bilang Augusteener at higit sa lahat, ang sabayang pagbigkas nito papuntang langit. Dito binuklod ang pinagsama samang pananampalatayang walang bahid malisya. Dito pa lang magsisimula ang kwento ko.
The Augusteener | December 2012
Batch 1995. Hindi ko sasabihing pinakamagaling ang batch namin at lalong malayo naman sa pinakamahina. Madami lang sa amin ang hindi competitive. Kung ang karamihan ay umaani ng medalya, kami ay umaani ng sermon. Kung ang karamihan ay nanliligaw na, kami ay naglilimahid ang leeg kalalaro. Iba iba ang grupo namin. Pero iisa ang hulma ng aming patutunguhan bilang mga anak ng Diyos na naglalakbay, nabubuwal, bumabangon at patuloy na naglalakad. May grupo ng pasosyal na mga purdoy na ngayon. May mga grupo ng mahihirap at ngayon ay tumutulong na sa mga dating mapepera. May mga feeling magaganda at gwapo at nangangamoy ang mga kilikili dati at ngayon ay number one marketing specialist (ahente kung medyo mahirap) ng mga pampaputi ng kilikili. May mga heartthrobs dating mga tinitilian pero ngayon ay siya ng mga tumitili. May mga ugly ducklings pero mga beautiful swans na ngayon at iyong mga iba naging adult ducks lang. May mga siga noon pero nakapalda na ngayon. May mga laging infatuated dati at ngayon ay nagsisilbi sa Panginoon at naging matapat na mangingibig. May mga manang manang dati pero sunod sunod ang mga anak ngayon.
Marami pa. Maaaring tama. Maaaring mali. Sila lang ang makapagsasabi ngayon kung sino sila sa mga nabanggit ko. Kawing kawing ang bawat araw na inilagi na min sa ating paaralan. Madalas nga paglipas ng panahon, nagkakaroon na ng direktang koneksiyon ang bawat isa. Iyong iba na lalaman nila. Iyong iba, hindi nila namamal ayan. Iyong iba, patuloy na i sinabuhay kung ano ang natutu nan nila sa paaralan. At iyong iba, ibang landas ang piniling lakbayin. Hindi naman sagradong maitutur ing ang paaralang ito. Hindi rin kabanalan ang mahabang litanya at dasaling itinuro dito. Wala rin katunayan na ang mga magaaral na nagkasala ay hindi na muling makakabalik sa mga bisig ng Diyos. Sabi nga ng dakilang San Agustin,
FEATURES “My heart is restless, until it rests in God.” Ibig sabihin, tanging sa Diyos lang mahihimlay ang mga pagod na puso ng tao at hindi sa pader ng paaralan na minsan kong inihian.
Batch 1995. Medyo matagal na. Malamang hindi na ako makikilala ng aking mga naging guro. Lalo na at hindi naman ako nag excel sa anumang bagay maliban siguro sa magbigay ng mga nakakatawang palayaw ng mga kaklase ko, i-impersonate ng palihim ang ibang teachers, magdala ng makapal na encyclopedia at kunyaring binabasa para kunyari mukhang matalino, pisain ang pimples, magdrawing ng bundok na may bahay sa tuktok, mag lead ng prayer, (madalas nasa last part na) lagyan ng bunot ang mga bag ng classmates ko, gumawa ng mga kwento at tula na ako lang ang nagbabasa, kumain sa karinderya na sabaw ang ulam, mainggit sa magagandang damit ng mga kaklase ko at mang agaw ng crush ng iba para masabing binata na rin ako at maglaro ng volleyball hanggang ma-office ako dahil natamaan ang balakang ni sister dahil kinailangan niyang gumastos ng manghihilot.
Ngunit higit sa mga nakakatawa at nakakatuwang mga bagay at alaala, may natutunan ako sa naging buhay ko sa SAS na hindi ko makakalimutan. Sa kabila ng pagkaagnas ng kwelyo ko, napalitan rin iyon ng bago. Hindi habang buhay ay nakasadlak ang isang buhay sa putik. Dahil sa tiyaga at pananampalataya, nagkakaroon ng tunay na langit. Kung dati, ni rerecite ko lang ang rosary kasama ng mga ka klase ko, ngayon ito ay sumisimbolo sa isang paikot na daan na ng mga marubdob ang mga puso at pananampalataya. Na ang lahat ay nagsimula sa Diyos at sa Diyos din babalik. Sa ngayon, hindi ko alam kung may lihim na nanlait sa kwelyo kong punit o may nagtangkang nagtanong kung naiintindihan ko ba talaga ang mga dasal ko. Batch 1995. Patuloy kaming naglalakad.
Realidad. Siya nga pala, mahirap pa rin ako. Hindi rin ako tumalino. Hindi rin ako naging heartthrob. Pero dahil sa SAS, nalaman kong kaya hindi daw natin naririnig ang Diyos ay sa kadahilanang maingay tayo.
A TRIBUTE TO SR.ESPERANZA FADERA, SPC.
Gary Yap, SAS Elementary 1968/ High School 1972
Education is obviously one of the greatest charisms of the St. Paul Sisters. What sets them apart from other educators is that a Paulinian school is not just a system or an edifice – it is a place where every student is important because each St. Paul Sister knows her student personally. To a Paulinian student, the fondest memories from school always include the personal attention and nurturing care received from a particular or several St. Paul Sisters. Sister Esperanza “Mary Thomas” Fadera epitomizes this great charism of the St. Paul Sisters. She is God’s great gift to school children because of her extraordinary talent for storytelling, using it as her personal way to evangelize and “plant the seeds of Christian faith” in our young minds and hearts. For us students who have later on “rediscovered” the eternal treasure from God’s word. We now joyfully realize that our good Lord has truly blessed her efforts and looks upon her with favor as we now see the fruits in our adult lives. But the even greater joy we feel is that when we meet her again long after we have left school, she still remembers each one of us by name and our personal character! It is with great consolation to feel assured that if indeed our names are indelibly written in the palms of her hands, then she has been faithfully praying for us all these years! Praise and thanks be to God for Sister Esperanza Fadera!
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 25
SAS and Its Impact on Me
By Noel De Luna Class of 1963 Elementary
1963 was a mixed year. The Beatles began their own music publishing company (Northern Songs) and released their 1st single in the US "Please Please Me”. On the negative side, President John F. Kennedy of the United States got assassinated. At the local side, the Agricultural Land Reform Code (RA 3844) was enacted under President Diosdado Macapagal. This was also the year I got enrolled in St. Augustine’s School (SAS) Grade 3. When this great school started, all it could offer was Kindergarten up to Grade 3. There was an expectation that the guys in Grade 3 were to continue up to Grade 6. At that time, high school was not within my mindset.
This was really a big deal for me because my handwriting looks more like chicken scratches than any semblance of written communication. Hell, I can pass for a doctor with my kind of handwriting. But after three years at St. Augustine, my handwriting improved massively, except that after five minutes, even I cannot read it anymore. I had always asked, “Why the Paulinian writing?” If you dig deeper, this is more complicated than we think.
Let me give you a brief history in case you did not attend the briefing as you entered the halls of this august school. Who are the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres? The Sisters of St. Paul was founded in 1696, by Fr. Louis Chauvet, parish priest of Levesville-la-Chenard, a little village in the region of Beauce, some 80 kilometers southeast of Paris – not by the apostle St. Paul.
Moving in to St. Augustine’ School was a big jump for me since I come from another town in Botolan, transferring from a public school (Botolan North Central elementary School) to a Catholic school run by the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres - with uniforms at that. I was really awed by that transformation, and the uncertainties facing me as a pioneering student, was a cause for concern. I will be meeting new faces – both teachers and students alike. And I guess, in hindsight that was pretty tough for any young kid from out of town. When we started in Grade III, there were 15 of us – 5 boys and 10 girls. By the time we finished Grade VI, our tribe increased to 22 - 7 boys and 15 girls.
I had been asked what the impact of SAS on me was. Immediately, my answer was on the way I write. They have what they call the Paulinian way of writing. 26 |
The Augusteener | December 2012
FEATURES He set out a program to uplift the human and spiritual condition of the villagers who were really miserable at that time. This was the time of the French revolution and the guillotine. He did this through education and this was made possible through the help of Marie Anne de Tilly; the first teacher of the school, Marie Michaeu, and the first superior Barbe Foucault. Since their first mission was education, and since this was the Renaissance period, it will only be natural that their style of writing will be Baroque. I find this rather amusing because the Cathedral of Chartres, which made them famous, is really Gothic in style – rather than Baroque. The Bishop of Chartres, Msgr, Paul Godet de Marais, approved and recognized the Community. The Sisters were later on given a house in the suburb of St. Maurice. And so, the St. Paul of Chartres may refer to Msgr. Paul Godet, who is not a Saint. It can also refer to the apostle St. Paul because the Sisters of St. Paul lived their lives according to the gospel of St. Paul. However, St. Paul is not from Chartres. He is from Turkey and died around 65 AD) The French medieval Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres is a Latin Rite Catholic cathedral located in Chartres, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) southwest of Paris. It is considered one of the finest examples of the French High Gothic style. The current cathedral, most likely constructed between 1193 and 1250, is one of at least five which has occupied the site since the town became a bishopric in the 4th century. What makes the cathedral special from an artistic viewpoint is its exceptional state of preservation. The majority of the original stained glass windows have survived and they are still intact, while its architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century. The building's exterior is dominated by heavy flying buttresses which allowed the architects to increase the window size significantly, while two contrasting spires dominate the west end. As a result of these influences, the Paulinian writing style is very French of the old school. I have vague memories of our teacher in Writing but I do remember the twirls she made when writing capital letters.
To this very day, somehow I still manage to write that way. Our class though small in size, led to better socialization and we knew what everyone was doing. It seemed like a second family for me and it was fun just being with your classmates. You have to remember that there were only 15 of us. In hindsight, I believe that the small class size made us more cooperative rather than competitive. We were helping each other rather than compete with each other. Still, there were natural geniuses who eventually stood out. I must admit, I was not one of them. Somehow I preferred goofing around than studying my lessons. The small library was a favourite hangout of mine. There, I read books - of places I dreamed of visiting one day, of people I would emulate, and of ideas that would mold my attitude. I must have read more books that were not part of the curriculum than the recommended ones. I guess reading is another one of those impacts St. Augustine had on me. I was reading any book I could lay my hands on. Reading was a big pleasure for me because my imagination soared without any boundaries. I am still convinced that reading presents a more vivid picture than, let us say – listening to audio books or watching DVDs. Of course, if the library was closed, I always look forward to reading comics at Francis Yap’s place for free and, I guess, abusing their hospitality. I have always remembered them despite not getting the chance to thank them for their kindness.
In this age of the internet, I hope we do not lose that pleasure of reading.
In some ways, the field demonstration may be considered as the forerunner of today’s flash mob. These were big production numbers and they involved wholesale practise on a daily basis. If somebody has to be credited for this major production, credit will certainly go to Ms. Polanco. It could have been our fear of her that motivated us to synchronize our moves. Drama was likewise a big deal for us because the Paulinian Sisters somehow were heavily influenced by Fr. James Reuters, a Jesuit priest of Ateneo De Manila University. As I have mentioned earlier, we had a small class and therefore, all of us were involved in these activities, no exceptions. The only question was – who was going to get the lead role? I somehow, and with some unabashed bragging rights, was regularly chosen to play some lead roles. (I was a matador in a bullfighting field demonstration. I was also a lead actor in one stage play which seemed to me like a horror drama.) Lynn Dela Rea and/or Armin Montefalcon were natural lead actresses in most of the stage plays who acted naturally giving justice to their roles. Our formative years did not end up being thespians. We also developed our vocal cords as we formed the first glee club of the school. Somehow, while Gregorian chants may sound sublime from the choir attic of the Iba Basilica, I prefer our version of the Sound of Music at the meeting place of the Knights of Columbus, to the enjoyment of our parents and relatives and friends. I never realized we will sound so cool. In retrospect, St. Augustine’s School made me a well rounded man - not an academic nerd nor a flamboyant culturati, nor a religious zealot – but a balanced human being. I do believe that this is not only true to me but also to all the pioneers of St. Augustine’s School. And while I did not attend high school at SAS, my heart belongs to this school where I had so much fun and great time.
In this age of the internet, I hope we do not lose that pleasure of reading. The annual field demonstrations as well as the drama productions were big events that were considered as major extracurricular activities.
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 27
2LT Roberto G. de la Rea O-8685 PC Born on 24 March 1960 at the Sta Teresita Hospital at Quezon City to Col. Marcelino R. de la Rea PC (Ret)(deceased) of Silang, Cavite and Zenaida A. Garcia of Iba, Zambales. Considers himself a Zambaleno as he grew up at Iba, Zambales where his parents made home. He had his early schooling (primary, intermediate and high school) at the Saint Augustine’s School of Iba (ran by the Saint Paul’s sisters of Manila). A consistent honor student from his grade school, he graduated salutatorian from high school – winning several awards, notably the Leadership Award and the Gerry Roxas Scholarship Award, among others. He represented his school in oratorical competitions and won province wide. Corp Commander of the Saint Augustine’s School corp of cadets Citizen Military Training. Obtained one of the highest NCEE scores in the province of Zambales. He passed all entrance examinations for all name universities, likeW the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, La Salle (where he passed among the top 10% percentile of the examinees.) and the UST. Entered the UST for convenience principally – the school being nearest home. At the insistence of his family he enrolled in a Pre-Med course. An inkling perhaps as to his choice of career was that he managed to get himself a commission as a cadet officer of the UST ROTC – while pursuing his pre-med course – the only science student at that time who was a cadet officer. Took an entrance examination for the PMA at the first opportunity and passed it – at the same time that he passed his pre-med course and met all school pre-requisites for admission to the UST School of Medicine. He chose to enter the Academy instead. His entire family (father, mother, sisters and only brother) was opposed to the idea. His father, however, seeing the disappointment of his son due to the objection of his family to Bob’s entering the Academy, reluctantly set aside his own objection and overruled the other members of the family and gave his son his blessing and permission to enter the PMA.At the PMA he was a member of various committees, like the Honor Code Committee. As a firstie, he represented the Academy in various track and field competitions and oratorical contests participated in by the Academy. He was Corp Executive Officer when he graduated and was among the upper third of his class in scholastic standing. And like his classmates who were assigned in the Constabulary ( he drew the Constabulary when his class drew lots for service assignments.) and the Army, he took the six months ranger course (SR 52-83) at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal. Reassigned to Recom 1, he, together with two other officer classmates under two of the training of new PC enlistees of Recom 1 – abbreviated ranger course – which men later on composed the Special Action Company of Recom 1 and to which company he was later on assigned a junior officer. a. In one of his patrols, instinct and probably good luck saved him and his troops from a possible ambush by subversive terrorists at one hinderland village. Passing through said village, he refused an invitation to take supper and stay overnight there at – and even light refreshments and a little rest. He decided to push on through and camped instead for the night in the foothills outside of and overlooking the village. Later intelligence disclosed that at the same time that the villagers were enticing them to spend some time within the village an enemy group was at the outskirts of the village and which group could have inflicted heavy casualties of his patrol – had the enemy group been able to position themselves by the hanging bridge on the route his patrol took on the way out of the village.
The Augusteener | December 2012
b. He was deeply affected by the poverty and misery of the poor people of the hinderlands. He gave away his personal medicines he brought for his own use, to seek villagers. Perhaps even at the outset he was never meant to be a doctor of medicine – for had he not chosen the military as a career – he could have been a priest. From his boyhood, he has manifested a special closeness to the church. Whenever he was at Iba he never failed to serve mass and visit the parish priest, the Bishop of Zambales and the sisters of St. Augustine School. He could have been a good priest too. It is likely, that his choice of the military as a carrier was influenced by his exposure to military life during his youth and early formative years. He spent his school vacations in PC camps and stations where his father was assigned and was thus exposed to the company of soldiers and young lieutenants. He could have been a good lawyer and a successful politician as he was articulate and friendly to everyone and exhibited no airs. According to one of his foster mothers – he had a way of endearing himself with people. He had several foster parents who adopted him and whom he adopted. He had three at Baguio City, one at Lingayen, Pangasinan, and even one as far as Tacloban City (who acquired during his tour in the south as a cadet). He exudes friendliness: feeling of liking people and wanting to be liked. He was foremost of all – thoughtful. On the fateful day 13 May 1984, he was, together with his ranger team on board a Land Rover about 300 meters behind a lead vehicle on the way to Bontoc from Besao when they were ambushed at Sitio Banga-an, Sagada, Mountain Province by subversive terrorists on or about 1215 hours. The lead vehicle was fired upon by the enemy hitting and wounding one officer and the driver of the vehicle – and thus immobilizing the vehicle. He had his team detrack, maneuvered his troops, returned the enemy fire, clear the area of the enemy and extricated the troops that were pinned down by enemy fire. He then made available his vehicle and driver to evacuate the wounded officer and driver to Bontoc; and personally operated the immobilized lead vehicle and maneuvered same from where it was ditched onto the road. With him at the wheels, he had his troops and others board the vehicle and continued and proceeded with their interrupted trip to Bontoc. Met on the way by the Actg Provincial Commander of Mt. Province who came from Bontoc with reinforcements, they returned to the ambush site as ordered. For the second time that fateful afternoon, he and his troops once more scoured and searched the area for the enemy. It turned out the enemy had returned to the area and a firefight ensued. Sometime during this firefight/encounter two of his men were killed – one of whom was his buddy. Dusk was sitting in, and unmindful of his personal safety he aggressively maneuvered and redeployed his troops and continuously directed the movements of his men forward by voice and hand signals – moving ahead of the other elements with them, to dislodge the enemy from their entrenched position thereby exposing himself to enemy fire and leading by example until he was felled by an enemy shot on the forehead: his blood splattered over in the scene of encounter in mute testimony to his courage and gallantry in action. A senior officer of his commented that with that fatal shot the enemy killed a potential general.His body was flown home, by helicopter, to his parents at Iba, Zambales arriving before noon at the Iba Airstrip 15 May 1984 where he was met by his parents, relatives and other town mates. Families/individuals whom he had come to know and befriended came over to Iba to pay their respects, attend his wake and/or funeral. He was buried at high noon on 17 May 1984. His funeral mass was concelebrated by seven priests. Bob was awarded the Gold Cross Medal (Posthumous) for gallantry in action, and which medal was presented to his father in appropriate ceremonies at Camp Crame, Quezon City on 8 August 1984. Whereas, for this singular action of Bob, the de la Rea’s have their family residence at Tavera Street renamed to Lt. Roberto G. de la Rea Street. www.sas-alumni.com
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 35
CLASS OF 1976 The class of 1976 is special in itself. I t was not until September of 2012 that we realized how we have been part of each others’ lives. All you could hear was “parang nasa high school pa rin tayo”., after not seeing each other for 36 years. We were always looking for a way to have fun. We spent a lot of our weekends at our classmates’ houses especially the ones who lived close to the beach. We frequently found every small reason to be together .We were freshmen during the declaration of Martial law, too young to be really worried about late parties and stay-ins then. We had our own home curfews , so midnight curfews did not really bother us. We were sophomores when the SAS minor seminary opened. We had 5 minor seminarians to start with in our class. It was an adjustment for all of us. We had young boys who were away from their families.. They came from all over Zambales. We learned mutually immediately how to make good friends, especially we had more boys added to our class. I am proud to be a graduate of SAS. I have spent 10 years of my life in its walls. It has slowly and gradually molded us morally and religiously. We were such a small school then and the nuns and priests around us have definitely affected our lives. SAS has given me the chance to learn and live my faith up to this day. Back then, we took everything for granted somehow, not realizing how it would affect us now. I do greatly commend our mentors for emphasizing the use of written and spoken English in the campus. I remember trying to translate sentences or maybe just “forget about it” if I could find the right words since I did not want to be fined and lose my recess money. We ran out of ideas to use words in sentences such as “curiosity”. The sentence given was “Curiosity killed a cat”. All of these little things that have gladly paid off now as adults. Each class change always started and ended with a prayer. Sometimes it would be hard to stay serious when the then Sr. Edward would pray “Bless those who are tempting the seminarians”. It was precious to recall the presence of Msgr. Byrne sitting at the particular spot at the church. We would go and visit and be blessed. Whoever he remembers to be mischievous would get a knock on the forehead with his ring. During breaks or recess as we called it, we played “touch ball”. We competed against boys and girls. If it was the game is not finished through the break, rest assured we will continue the competition until the next break. On rainy days, we stayed indoors and played “truth or consequence” using an empty coke bottle to spin. Most of us would rather get punished than reveal the truth. This is how you find out who likes who and all the teasing during and out of the classes would start. Some of us would use recess to play “Dama” (checkers). We played on the few concrete benches by the bougainvillea bushes. Chalks were not used but we used folded up bougainvillea leaves to scroll on concrete. The version of eco-friendly during that time. After storms, we would convince the teachers to take a long walk to the beach, just to be able to collect sea shells but really mostly to get out of the campus with their consent. Adolescence would not be normal without peer pressure. It was a positive influence in our class. You were” not in “if you did not at least know how to strum the guitar in
The Augusteener | December 2012
simplest sense of the word. We had a lot of musically talented classmates and the guitar was at the center of it all. Most of us looked forward to the glee club and enjoyed the class musical competitions particularly the one under the supervision of Mr. Tumbali. We recall the daily Flag ceremony and the chance for each class to lead /conduct the national anthem and pointing pictures (you mean fingers?) at who should do it since only a handful liked doing it. We had a lot of talented classmates. In our younger years, we loved competing against the upper classmen. We competed in oratorical contest,spelling, singing, dancing and sports. Whether we won or not, it was always fun rooting for our class. We loved our mentors as manifested in the fact that we still keep in touch with them. We had Mr. Gomer Tumbali, Mr. Simeon dela Rosa, Ms. Calpatura and Ms. Otero. During our Senior year, Sr. Carmen Cua was our religion and Spanish teacher. We used to call her “pretty Sister”. For us girls, it was special to have younger nuns then that we could comfortably ask silly and relevant questions. Sister Victoria was our high school principal and music teacher. We had a lot of classmates that came and went through the years. There were 33 of us in our Senior year, 19 girls and 14 boys. Three of them have passed on (away): Bobby de la Rea, Evelyn Deguidoy and recently Danny Mora. We miss them. Surprisingly, there are 14 of us based in the US. Two of us are in Australia and the rest are in the Philippines. We have become nurses, physical therapist, engineers, teachers, US navy officer, parents and other degrees that each of us have achieved. in our right(can we just delete this?). All of us are happy in our own ways. We are proud to have a priest in our class, Fr. Steve de Leon. He is currently in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I am proud to be an “Augustinian”. I do not think any other school would have molded us to be what we are now. Big thanks and gratitude to each and everyone that has been a major part of our lives. Happy 50th anniversary! By: Arnie Miclat Class Valedictorian 1976
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 37
Change My Love
For You The Albert Uy and Carmen Millado Uy Love Story) By Dr. Carmen Millado Uy Class of 1981
Albert and I have been classmates since kindergarten in our beloved alma mater, St. Augustine’s School. Though we spent our childhood together, we never expected that we would fall for each other in the end. The courting started out as a crush then into puppy love during our secondary years. Those significant moments are still vividly imprinted in my memory as I recall how Albert would do something to make our teachers allow him to sit beside me always. Inside the classroom and inside the campus he was always tagging along. My stalker inside and outside the school! At that time, our parents were against our relationship not because they didn’t like Albert but because they were against a serious relationship during our tender age. At that moment of our lives, Albert and I knew then that ours is a mutual feeling of genuine love for each other but we were also aware that it has its limits not until we finish college. We made a vow that no matter what happens, our priority goal was still to finish our studies. Parents were more conservative then compared to now. After our high school graduation, I entered Pre-dent freshman at the University of the East and as usual he followed me and enrolled in BS Accounting at the same school making sure he kept his eye on me. And maybe to become closer to watch over me, he shifted his course into Dentistry. Ours was just another on and off relationship just like any other couples. But we survived the roller coaster ride of love-hate-love relationship for six years until we graduated from college. There was even a time when we nearly gave up thinking that the rift was apparently irreparable. After graduation, I took the Dentistry licensure examination which I luckily passed on my first try. At that moment I decided to go back home to Iba, Zambales to practice my profession. As usual, Albert followed me on my way back home. 38 |
The Augusteener | December 2012
Eventually, we decided to tie the knot in 1989. Our first baby boy unfortunately died of aspiration pneumonia and lived only for nine days after birth because he was a premature baby. After years of waiting, we nearly gave up. We thought God will never again bless us with a child. In 1992 we migrated to the United States. And the first years were very difficult for us. During those trying times, we hurdled much obstacles as starters and strangers in a foreign land. We lived a life of ups and downs facing odd challenges for survival in the land of Uncle Sam. But God is really good, we were able to overcome those challenges. Amids these crises, however, we kept on praying to God to bless us even with only one child. All those years I thought I was not meant to become a mom. But God is so unimaginably great. Guess what? God gave me a miracle because I got pregnant at the age of 40. We named our miracle baby, Justine after the combined name of my father-in-law and my dad. She was a miracle baby. She is a blessing directly from God, our most loved and cherished gift from the Almighty. We never succumbed to any vitro approach or artificial insemination. Now she is eight years old, a very sweet and smart girl. God really knows what is best for us. God will give you the favor you ask in His perfect time. He gave Justine to us when everything was all in place like passing the board licensure examination, a green card and my own clinic. Now we are now on our 23rd year of happy and blissful married life.
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 39
The Augusteener | December 2012
The Augusteener | December 2012 | 41