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The Bosun November-December 2011 Issue

Fewer Units Lesser Burden? 27 Units:

Parallel Views

Liberal education inspired by a saint

An endangered identity? The CHED-K12 Issue:

decreasing CAS units


David Leechiu & Madelaine Acuesta

‘ Tis the season

for the Christmas trend

The OďŹƒcial Publication of the CAS-SEB

November-December 2011 Issue


The Crew: Project Directors: Anthony Lumicao Gill Altuna Editorial Board: Editor-in-Chief: Ysabel Camus Associate Editor: Marcella Karaan Features Editor: Isabel Agoncillo News Editor: Kharl Michael Manlutac Literary Editor: Ivy Zuniga Creatives Head: Kim Cajucom Illustrator: Summer Manzano Layout Team: Chuckie Campos Juan (Head) Ina Capulong Lexi Chingcuangco Mimille Guzman Bianca Tongco Photography Committee: Dale Garcia (Head) Aaron Articulo


Communications Committee: Managing Director: Erica Ng


Marketing Committee: Marketing Head: Mark Jimenez Contributing Writers: Mari Barretto Nicollo OrdoĂąez Karina Rivera Manfred Salandanan Eribelle Tapalia Contributing Illustrators: Therese Domondon Louie De Leon

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You Giving You!

An Endangered Identity?

[page 6] How can you give yourself this Christmas season? Find out through different testimonies by students on how they find Christmas meaningful.

[page 8] Find out what’s behind the CHED-K-12 issue regarding CAS units and its direct consequences.

EDUCATION education philosophy


Parallel Views on 27 units [page 4] How did St. Escriva inspire the education we have now in the university? In this article, you will discover a saint’s past in relation to his push for education.

[page 11] Understand the bigger perspective of the CHED-K12 issue by looking into its pros and cons through UA&P students’ perspective.

Fashion [page 12] Know what’s “in” this Christmas season!

Liberal education: according to Alumni

[page 7] David Leechiu and Madelaine Acuesta tells The Bosun on how the liberal education in UA&P helped them in many ways.

Spotlight: Angelo Racelis [page 14] Angelo narrates his colorful life in CAS and his passion for cooking. The Bosun --03

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The Bosun --07


Chela Karaan and Ivy Zuniga

It is a university’s aim to educate men better way to accomplish this than by What's past is past. True. When a couple engage in a very sentimental fight over a missed date or a forgotten anniversary, usually both of them would resolve to end the tension by completely forgetting that such a quarrel ever existed. They would go on together, carry on with their “cheezy” exchange of affectionate expressions, and just pretend that nothing happened. “Let’s move on” would be the common decision. Familiar, is it not?


Situations like these, however, are just too petty for one to disregard the worth of what’s in the past. We might even get into a brawl with history experts if we say that events and people in the olden times are just useless and aged facts of time. This should not be one’s course of thinking. Every little event at any point in time more or less influences any succeeding affair. The past has too much to provide; so much that it could even explain why things occur in the present and what might happen in the future. Being in the university for some time now, have you ever asked yourselves what was UA&P before you got in, or even backtracked and asked how it was doing before you were born? How did the pioneers envision the school before spending cash for its first truckload of cement? Of course, the school did not just pop out of nowhere. Certainly, there are answers to these enquiries. It’s a fact that its foundations adopted a notable scheme of ideals and standards deeply rooted from the true essence of a “university.” The word, “university,” is a shortened term for Universitas Studiorum, or Universitas Magistrorum et Alumnorum (Community of Masters and Scholars), it contains the commitment to search for truth, a love for freedom, and the defense of justice. These words resonate those of St. Josemaria Escriva’s from where the school’s mission was likely extracted. Apart from this, St. Escriva (from Chapter 6 of “The University at the Service of Contemporary Society: In Conversations with Monsignor Escriva de Balaguer”) also emphasized that a person’s “sense of service to society” must be established in a university. Taken from the words of St. Escriva, the complementation of both professional or technical education and the spiritual and personal cultivation of a university student is highly recommended.

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“There is no university properly speaking if the transmission of knowledge is not joined to the complete formation of the personalities of young people.” (Formación enteriza de las personalidades jóvenes; in Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer y la Universidad, p. 77). It is a university’s aim to educate men and women in the

society, and what better way to accomplish this than by targeting a person’s primary facets (i.e. heart and intellect). From this point, the idea of liberal education now enters the picture. Liberal education equips an individual through growth of knowledge, which “liberates the mind” and grooms a person to take on “social responsibility” (Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College). Fittingly, this reflects what an ideal university must adopt (as proposed by St. Escriva); mainly the symbiotic relationship of personal and professional cultivation. For this to happen, particular subjects, such as History, Philosophy, and Theology, are taught for the cultivation of wisdom, and the Liberal Arts (Math, Science, Language) for professional preparation. These topics do not outdo one another for they work hand-in-hand to further nurture the development of a person as he stays in a university. As one goes through a university with a high regard for liberal education, one is thus expected to be a “liberally educated” person; that is, he/she must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, to gain understanding of oneself, the society, and the universe, to make decisions from wider perspectives, to think with moral and ethical prudence, and to achieve a “depth of knowledge” (Higher Education in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise, 2000). All of these should prepare us for the world where we choose to work; not only to train us for externalities but to hone the inner depths of an individual’s personhood. There are hundreds of universities in the Philippines and others may have the same principles, but what sets apart a typical university from the rest is its unique educational curriculum. Everyone else may be heading in the same destination, but the varying circumstances in the course of the journey can change one’s degree of fulfilment. There is no sure and easy path to fully accomplishing a community with highly-cultured individuals who will achieve the mission of the university, but there are ways an institution can come close to that point.

and women in the society, and what targeting a person’s primary facets. Imagine a baby cradled in the hospital nursery for a few days after being born. Family and friends huddle around the nursery window as they mouth ooh’s and aah’s as they recognize the baby’s resemblance with his parents – maybe the soft-arched eyebrows from the mom or the puffy cheeks from the dad.


Whatever facial feature it may be, it surely is something that marks a distinct identity. On the surface, recognizing that identity may only mean associating the baby with where he came from. However, as he ages and develops, each characteristic becomes the basis on how he would be known and remembered by the world, not to mention how he could change it. At present, our university may be likened to that baby – surfacing an unmistakable identity, striving (and succeeding) to make a difference. Before taking up professional training, we undergo the three hallmarks of the College of Arts and Sciences: Wisdom (under which are Theology, Philosophy, History, Literature, Arts), Citizenship (Philippine Studies and Asia-Pacific Studies) and Preparation for Professional Competency or Liberal Arts (Languages, Sciences, Physical Education). True, some students may grumble about having the burden of being required more units than usual, but those extra hours of study are for profound training in expressing thoughts, analytical thinking, making critical judgements and solving issues. Other universities may boast of their specialization courses, gearing man to the peak of his career while giving little emphasis on their General Education. While specialized education highlights man’s uniqueness and trains him vocationally for division of labor in the society, the efforts of general education are directed toward the liberal training of man as man. That makes us cutting edge: what we have in UA&P is not simply General Education, but a strong Liberal Education, a focus on the thorough development of the entire person. We are meant not just to be distinguished professionals earning to the nth figures in the future but we are expected to be humans in its very sense, feeling for ourselves, our fellows, our society. For a number of young years that our university has been standing, this has been our indelible mark, our unique identity. Sadly, with recent events our school’s identity is facing the challenge of being endangered.


For us, an interview with Dr. Antonio Torralba of CAS, member of the Board of Trustees, cracked the rather peaceful façade of our young school. The current government’s K to 12 program is set to bring about changes to basic and higher education. K to 12 involves the universal mandatory Kindergarten, six years of Elementary education, four years of Junior High School (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of Senior High School (Grades 11 to 12), the last being the massive addition to what we already have today. K to 12 is scheduled to effectively begin by 2012-2013, which would mean that the seniors by school year 2016-2017, who are now in grade 6, are bound to be the first batch to enter grade 11. The last two years of basic education, Grades 11 to 12, are seen as preparation for careers that would help students planning to take up college education sustain their studies. It consists of 5 hours of core curriculum subjects: English, Math, Science, Filipino and Social Studies and 2 hours of a specialization curriculum which consists of various electives to choose from. While it may sound innovative at first, the proposed implementation of Senior High School comes with a number of complications. The focus would be shifted solely to professional training since general education would already be reinforced in the last two years of high school. One possibility would be reduced years in college, except in select courses like Engineering, Medicine and Law. However, the bigger question lies in where those last two years will be held: in universities, presumably as pre-college modules; or in high schools, as a bridge program before choosing whether to enter the university or head straight to the labor force. But then again, both options are obscured by more queries. First, if the additional two years would serve as an extension to high school, current resources would never suffice: lack of classrooms, textbooks, equipment for technical-vocational classes, and most especially competent teachers are undeniable.

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We must continue being a “university” – a university in its truest sense and purpose. We have to keep on and keep it real. Second, If held in the universities, how different could Senior High School possibly be if currently, universities all over the country are already offering General Education subjects in its first years? The other option is deemed more viable but is quite illusionary as it defeats the purpose of the proposal. On one end it may seem redundant; from another view it is simply contradictory. The probability of not having college freshmen by 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 is also quite a horror, but CHED has suggested that the Senior High School be held in the colleges and universities only during the transition period of 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. But whatever the case may be, this would only lead to the inevitable conclusion that general education units taken in college would certainly be reduced. “Reduction of units in college is a threat but nobody said that that would be it,” said Dr. Toralba. Although this fiasco is still obviously subject to murky waters, we in UA&P have every right to be alarmed in the meantime. The question now is, so what? So what if K to 12 program is implemented? With the government’s program, people are presented with the choice of pursuing college or not. One’s options are therefore hindered and limited by a seemingly doubtful system. If fewer people would be catered by its aims and objectives, even a fewer percentage might live up to be liberally educated individuals. One may not realize and see its prospective consequences, but we cannot eliminate the ultimate possibility of the degradation of university education. In the end, the experience of a university life, which is directly intended for seeking a higher sense of purpose, could actually disintegrate bit by bit and eventually disappear like dust. What can we do, then, with this current educational crisis? For the meantime, as university students it will suffice for us to keep watchful of the developments of such issues. A bank of information will be a great help by the time action is already needed.

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Secondly, there is a need for us to be prepared at all times. It is still uncertain when and how the K to 12 program will be strongly implemented to educational institutions, but this should not make us laze about. Who knows, it might already be creeping its way into our university system, which can manifest through the gradual reduction of units or under the liberal education. If we are to diagnose the insidious changes earlier, then prevention and cure are most likely to be applied. Ultimately, the best way to counter the issue would be to “keep on” and improve what we have now. We must continue living up to the ideals, mission, and vision of our university. We may not have a strong say in the political arena but if the university is really determined to preserve its culture, then flexibility will be enough. It is a privilege for us to be presented with a unique curriculum that’s patterned after the ideal sets of educational programs, and so if each one of us believes that people with a liberally educated foundation is what’s best for our society, then we should carry on with our affairs. When an earthquake strikes, one can only hold on to the pillars of a structure. The safest and strongest support for us now would be the roots of our university’s identity. With the present controversies upon our facade, an iron grip on the past will be asked from us, for everything that we do now will most likely paint our image in the future. With this, one proposal rests: We must continue being a “university” – a university in its truest sense and purpose.

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INDEX 2011 Dale Garcia (fashion and Escriva shots) Aaron Articulo (fashion shots) Summer Manzano (You-letide illustration)

for 1st issue We apologize for not acknowledging the ff: Caloy Creencia for graduation pictures Iya Forbes for pictures Summer Manzano for illustrations Lesley Choa for “Inst. of Style” pictures


Merry Christmas!

The Bosun December 2011  

How liberating is liberal education?