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AuguStiniAn the


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the oFFiciAl Student newSpAper oF the univerSity oF SAn AguStin

Volume lVIII • Number 2

iloilo city, Philippines




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AprIl 1, 2013

by jeremiAh john P. VArDeLeon

hough many claims and lack of verifiable documents have obscured the truth behind the birthplace of San Pedro Calungsod, the Ilonggos need not dismay as the canonization process for Mother Sayong (Mother Rosario De La Visitacion Arroyo), a certified Ilongga servant of God, is finally on its way towards the beatification process. Four years after Most Rev. Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D. issued an edict to facilitate the canonization process of Mother Sayong, the Mother Rosario Arroyo Commission (MRAC) has confirmed receiving the official validation notice - ratifying the Diocesan process – from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican last November 4, 2012. “With the recent canonization of San Pedro Calungsod and the rate of response from the Vatican, we have high hopes that sooner or later, Mother Sayong will be raised to

the altar of God as the first Filipina saint coming from Molo, Iloilo City,” Sister Ma. Modesta F. Sucaldito, OP, a member of MRAC, jubilantly said. Though Mother Sayong could have chosen to live a very wealthy life, she opted to serve God by becoming a nun; she even donated all her inheritance to the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines. “Aside from maintaining a modest amount of clothes, Mother Sayong was also known for emphasizing that material things are just temporary, but heaven is eternity,” Sucaldito added. When asked about

what the faithful can learn from the life of Mother Sayong, Sucaldito cited her generosity of time, effort, and resources in the service of the poor; faithfulness to the commandments of God; daily recitation of the holy rosary; devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary; and love for the Holy Eucharist. Sucaldito concluded that Mother Sayong would always urge the faithful to be sensitive to their moral life, and to know what is good and what is bad because it is “a reflection of our faith.” To date, numerous inexplicable miracles have been attributed to Mother Sayong’s intercession. usA puB ArtWorK / aNNE catHEriNE D. maLaZartE


“Are you mad? Haven’t you realized that the water they use during baptism is poisonous? It is the reason why many infants have died… If I were you, I would get rid of Pedro and Padre Diego or your newborn child would be the next victim.”


hese were probably the words that c o n v i n c e d Matapang, a former convert, to develop hatred for the Catholic faith and his former missionary friends. At the insistence of Choco, an envious Chinese quack doctor who wanted the respect of the Chamoro people, Matapang and Hirao brutally ended the life of Padre Diego and young Pedro on the Island of Ladrones (now called the Marianas Island). Thee hundred forty years later, who would have thought that the 17-year-old missionary assistant from the Visayas

would become the 2 nd Filipino saint on this Year of Faith? Although it took more than three centuries for the formal recognition to take place, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints technically completed the investigation in only 18 years. Among the evidences gathered were old manuscripts found in the archives of the Archdiocese of Cebu that contained testimonies of fellow missionaries who personally knew San Pedro. They said that as a young catechist, he was noted for his purity of thoughts, words, and actions. Not only did he love to pray daily in front of the Blessed Sacrament; his life was also nourished by the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As a missionary assistant, he was seen as a good and faithful Marian devotee who always undertook the demanding work asked of him – even

usA puB ArtWorK / aNNE catHEriNE D. maLaZartE

if it meant facing a lot of obstacles and difficulties. As an expression of their admiration, two Holy Fathers generously lauded the life of the young Filipino saint. The first was Blessed Pope John Paul II who, at the beatification ceremony last March 5, 2000, urged the young people to draw encouragement and strength from the examples of Pedro Calungsod, whose love for Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years in teaching the faith as a lay catechist. The second was Pope Benedict XVI who, not so long ago, implored the faithful to consider reflecting on how the saint practiced and valued his faith even unto death. In support, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) released an official statement written by Rev. Eutiquio  Belizar, Jr., SThD, which said, “the Holy Fathers’ call for courage

and San Pedro Calungsod’s sacrifice should not go unheeded… We need his courage to shine through our efforts to face up to the spears of secularism, materialism, and hedonism that put our young and adult Filipinos under constant attack.” Fr. Hermes Fabio, a priest-friend and a canon lawyer incardinated under the Prelature of Opus Dei said that, “...there is a new form of bloodless martyrdom which all of us are called for. This modern martyrdom is the challenge of sanctifying all of our daily activities like studies, extra-curricular activities, family, work, etc. by doing it well for the love of God and at the same time using it as an opportunity to imitate Jesus Christ while practicing charity, patience, humility, diligence, integrity, cheerfulness and all the other human and Christian virtues”. But just how exactly

can we have more faith? The Catechism of the Catholic Church Explained by Spirago and Clarke answered this by specifying that God bestows the knowledge of the truth and the gift of faith chiefly on those who (1) strive after it with earnestness and perseverance; (2) live a Godfearing life; and (3) pray that they may find the truth. As a parting advice, Fr. Fabio gave some practical tips to help improve one’s faith more. First and foremost, to have regular confessions; second, to engage in a daily 10 to 15-minute readings of authorized books about the Catholic Faith (e.g. the Catechism of the Catholic Church); third, to pray for at least five minutes every day; and fourth, to take by heart the powerful words of the apostle John: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).



April 1, 2013

USA BAND nothing but good music



maKE WaY FOr tHE BaND. Members of the usA Band strike a pose with the friar administrators. (PHOTO COURTESY OF usA BAnD)


ibrations in the atmosphere create sound waves. When sound waves are even and smooth with a regular pattern to its rise and fall, it’s called music. And when it is excellent music, it is called the University of San Agustin Band. Just like the rising and falling pattern of sound waves, the USA Band played its way through decades of both discordant and harmonious times, providing music for the Augustinian community at every activity, especially during Velada presentations. The USA Band started

playing music in 1935 under the rectorship of Rev. Fr. Dolse Garcia, OSA, but its official date of foundation was in 1953, the year when Colegio de San Agustin became a university. On its first year, under the directorship of Mr. Ignacio Altura, the band started to build an excellent reputation as one of the best school bands in the region; it had a pioneer membership of thirtysix instrumentalists back then. After Altura’s retirement in 1954, the band continued producing beautiful music under the dedicated mentoring of Mr. Jose Alquisada who served as

by FeBrieLyn s. tumines

director for the next twentyfive years. During his directorship, the band family grew from the original 36 members to more than 60. The year 1979 posed a challenge for its new director, Mr. Nelson Checa, in preparing a grand presentation for the diamond jubilee celebration of the University. The Band was up to the challenge and impressed the Augustinian community with its musical repertoire of contemporary songs with delightful interpretations and innovative arrangements. Checa, who served the longest as director for thirty-

two years, took the Band to new heights of musical excellence and solidified its reputation as the premier organized school-based band in the entire region. Checa’s retirement in May 2011 ushered in a new era in the history of the USA Band as it welcomed its firstever female director in the person of Ms. Ma. Edqueenie Altar. Faced with the tough challenge of maintaining, or even enhancing, the excellent reputation of the band, she took on the responsibility. Unfazed and undaunted by the big shoes she had to fill, she rolled up her sleeves and made plans

for a series of high-profile promotional activities for the Band, which include doing a school concert, going on a musical tour of Panay island and later, taking the Band on a national tour. The lady director hopes that with the support and magnanimity of music-lovers all over the region, the country, and the world, Augustinian or not, all these plans could be realized. On its 60th year of playing excellent music, and despite the tight constraint as mentioned above, that is, the lack of funds to finance its activities and projects, the USA Band continues to march on, inspired and

uplifted by its anniversary theme, “Let’s Play and Pray the Music.” Being the cradle of talented musicians, it nurtures their talents, not only in creating delightful harmonies that please the ear, but also in spreading the Augustinian goodwill that soothes the soul. rEFErENcEs:

Arreza, rodolfo M., o.s.A. The University of San Agustin through the Years. Iloilo city: university of san Agustin, 1994. funtecha, henry f. ph. D. Universidad de San Agustin in 100 Years (1904-2004): a Historical Review, 2009.


April 1, 2013

FILMrevIew Breaking Dawn: part 2

photo courtesy of sUmmit ENtErtaiNmENt

by AyAh DAnicA V. GrAnADA

“The Volturi, they’re coming for us.”


here were some who watched it because they were fans, a.k.a the “Twihards”; a few boys were most likely dragged along by their girlfriends; others simply watched out of curiosity. But there is no doubt that after four years, Breaking Dawn: Part 2, the final chapter in Stephenie Meyers’ vampire saga, went out in style. Starting off immediately after the events of “Breaking Dawn Part 1,” Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) must dare to raise their newborn child Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), and protect her from the Volturi, in a world where vampire children are forbidden.

The first quarter of the movie starts off slow and tests the patience of viewers as they witness Bella’s transformation from human to vampire after her new husband saves her from near-death when she gives birth to their half-vampire/ half-human hybrid daughter. Other than that, hardly anything happens apart from the trademark Edward and Bella moments and a little bit of shirtless Jacob. The unforgettable younicknamed-my-daughterafter-the-Loch Ness-monster line drew applause from the audience. Finally, some new vampire-blood (excuse the pun) was injected into the mysterious Cullen caboodle.

The baby Renesmee is everything the book describes her to be, thanks to digital enhancements. Bella Swan looks quite lovely as her vampire self, compared to her human form. It was amusing to see the muchawaited termination of the Volturi’s mercilessness and the Cullen’s protective righteousness. If there is anything that stands out most, it is the intense a nd e pi c ba t t l e sc e ne towards the end of the movie. Never have neckbreaking, jaw-splitting, or head-ripping looked so gory and entertaining at the same time. It is understandable that the Twihards who devoured all the books would be upset that it wasn’t dead-on to the


novel, but the effects and projection made up for it. For some casual non-fans like myself, this movie was pretty much bearable. And honestly, the movies have gradually gotten better along the way. The third and last installment of the film is indeed the finest of all in the trilogy and the most fitting tribute to its fans. Moviegoers have surely left the theaters feeling that they have gotten their money’s worth. Another saga has reached its completion; it has come to an end better than it started. “Thank God it’s over,” or “THAT WAS THE BEST FINALE EVER!” For those who have read the books and seen the movie, which line would you have most likely said?






When red curtains turn green By joyce gem m. Cañete


ith the trees cut down, the rays of the sun strike not only the façade of the Administration Building but also the windows of the Auditorium, highlighting the Little Theater’s eco-friendly show, Basura Busters, staged on November 27, 2012, in cooperation with the University’s Committee on Waste Management Program. Basura Busters is set in a typical rural barangay called Halabuyan Norte. Bamboo poles stuck haphazardly in the ground create a skeletal division between this community and the gray-hued mountains in the distance. Just seeing piles of empty food wrappers and crumpled pieces of paper in every nook and cranny of this tiny community, one would be led into thinking that this place is the ultimate example of neglect and irresponsibility. The screenplay is in poetry form, and bringing it to life is a talented cast of performers. The dialogue is in sync, making the



conversation understandable although it obviously needs a more audible and high quality sound. Fortunately, the small audience also contributed to the audibility of the show. The cast members were a joy to watch as they continued to keep up their own dialogue even though the spotlight was not on them. Lola Lalay, an STL corridore, is remarkably humorous and her character, an old woman, is quite natural in a real Pinoy situation, especially in a barangay setting. Tumandok, a woman clothed in a shabby sack and who seemingly has never seen a comb in her entire life, limps into the scene and gives an apocalyptic warning about a forthcoming enemy. “Mag andam sa aswang, di tamawo, di tikbalang,” she shouts, her eyes burning with omen. Instead of sensing fear, her fellow ka-barangays laugh at her and accuses her of being crazy; while three kids, namely Tony, Leah and Gino help her. The scene where a commotion happens, done in slow motion and performed by the actors

with exaggerated mien, was particularly entertaining. Another scene that has high entertainment value is when a resonant voice suddenly comes on and rattles the stage with a dark threat. “Nagapuyo ako sa inyo basura, ginatuga sang inyo pagpabaya, ginadabukan sang inyo nga kadalok. Kampon sang kadulom, mahigko ang tagipusuon, basura ang pamatasan, magbangon sa akon panawagan,” Buyong Basura intones repeatedly as the residents turn into zombies and walk out of the scene. Despite being awakened with questions about the whereabouts of their parents, Tony, Leah and Gino get up and go out to play piko. Then they end up dancing Gangnam Style at different speeds which was thigh-slapping and foot-stomping hilarious. At this point, the play gets interactive. The actors asked the audience funny questions, talking to them and engaging them as if they were part of the scene. With zombies, monsters,

giants, demons, bacteria, super heroes, human and inhuman villains, talismans, and human underdogs, the play is a sure hit, not only with the young, but also with the young-at-heart. Dressing up the characters in actual rubbish and making them portray roles for or against trash and dirt, does a lot more of effectively educating the audience on the proper way of managing garbage than all the expensive advertising campaigns on the media do. The audience get instant but lasting lessons on the three R’s- Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Greater number means greater power. This was put to the test when the hero characters, together with the audience, helped one another conquer the Head of Junk by picking up the actual garbage on the stage and in the auditorium and by using the University’s new yellow and red trash bins, segregating the trash properly. What made it more fun was when members of the audience were given the chance to slam down and

break down the mountain of dirt in the background, thereby vanquishing the character Buyong Basura, representing the actual garbage and saving the people through their (the audience’s) own efforts. Barangay Tinluanay. This new name of the barangay in focus is but fitting to the change that has taken place. Although the character Buyong Basura warns he will be back again to spread his brand of darkness once more, the community residents give their solemn oath to observe proper waste disposal and, together with the Basura Busters, will lead a crusade against the garbage gringo by promoting and practicing the 3 R’s. In the end, what is really most fascinating about the play is the innovative technique - audience interaction - that it uses to convey its message. This technique not only adds a sizeable entertainment dimension to the play but also engages the audience to be active participants in

the change, not merely as fencesitters who wait for change to happen, or watch change passing them by. In other words, the play teaches the audience to be part of the solution to the problem on garbage, not to be the problems themselves. The USA Little Theater has done it again, that is, staging a high quality play that has a soul. It is both educational and entertaining - a classic example of edutainment presented in an innovative way and hitting the audience right where it matters most - in their hearts and minds. Having been a longtime fan of the USALT, I can’t wait for their next productions. To the artistic director, Mr. Eric Divinagaracia and the extremely talented members of the production staff, kudos for an excellent job! To those who have not seen Basura Busters, catch it next time. You don’t want to miss it.


FILMreview 24/7 in Love by Ayah Danica V. Granada

“Ano ang gagawin mo bago magunaw ang mundo?”


or the first time, Star Cinema released an anthology of love stories by directors Mae Czarina Cruz, Dado Lumibao, John-D Lazatin and Frasco Santos-Mortiz. This star-studded blockbuster features not only 15 of the most popular, but also the best, actors and actresses. It is basically the Philippines’ own take on Hollywood’s “Love Actually”, “New Year’s Eve” and “Valentine’s Day”-

end-of-the-world edition. The movie begins with a die-hard fan girl, Jane (played by Kathryn Bernardo), who wants to win a VIP pass to Billy’s concert (portrayed by Daniel Padilla). But in order to acquire that golden ticket, Jane has to go on a quest to make a video documentary that answers the question: “What would you do if today was the end of the world?”. And from her video-making efforts and interviews which

photo courtesy of star magic

interconnect the stories, the movie follows each love team from there. The first story starts off with Virginia (Pokwang), a 40-something female yearning to experience love before the world ends and hoping her desires will come true through Charles (Sam Milby), a Fil-Am. Barbara (Maja Salvador) has been crushing on her promiscuous boss Ken (Diether Ocampo) and finally expresses her true feelings when one of his exes leaves him with both a burden and a blessing

in disguise. Isabelle (Bea Alonzo) secretly longs for her gay bff Butch (ZanjoeMarudo) and tries everything she can to convince him to stay with her before he leaves the country for greener pastures.  Verna (Angelica Panganiban) goes to Vietnam to escape from a troubled marriage and meets bartender Elvis (John Lloyd Cruz), who serves as a distraction for her dilemma. Gifted and childlike, Pipoy, (Piolo Pascual) tries to help his orphan pal

Jomar (Zaijan Jaranilla) win the heart of his crush Ayee (Xyriel Manabat). Finally, ad agency staff, Patty (Kim Chiu), is ordered to find the hero who has saved people from a fire, and who happens to be her high school sweetheart Alvin (Gerald Anderson), the guy whose heart she has broken.  There are parts that seem “bitin” because of the episodic presentation of the story, but each episode is given sufficient emphasis. Each of them has a distinct

and significant plot that makes one care about the characters’ experiences until the credits roll. While still working within a romantic framework, it avoids the dullness of a “boy meets girl”medley and tells simple stories of people who already share something significanta factor that surely makes its viewers relate to it. 24/7 In Love is also a story about life and getting by. After all, at the end of the day, apocalypse or not, we still go back to the people we love most.

Augustinian the

Volume LVIII • Number 2


the official student newspaper of the university of san agustin

KaSanAg sang Paskua

Iloilo City, Philippines

April 1, 2013

University-wide Christmas Celebration December 2012

photos by Thongenn Lanz B. Patiam, Daniel p. Abutas, Jerson E. Elmido, and ray adrian c. macalalag

Earth Day Environmental Consciousness Celebration November 2012

photos by Thongenn Lanz B. Patiam

The Augustinian, April 2013 (Features Fold)  

The Official Student Newspaper of the University of San Agustin