SICO at 30

The launching of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (or simply, the Arrupe Office), the new name of the Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO), gathered together alumni of the Ateneo Student Exposure Program (ASEP) and the corps of SICO Volunteers spanning its thirty-year history. The Arrupe Office was launched during the kickoff on 26th September at F-213, commemorating SICO’s 30 years of social involvement work.

Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, the first appointed Program Coordinator of SICO in 1982 and a member of ASEP Batch 3, opened the testimonial sharing by recalling the early beginnings of SICO when it was founded by Fr. George Esquerra, SJ, the then dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His animated recollection of SICO’s birthing was followed by the sharings of Mr. Alfredo Alpas, Dr. Lourdes Simpol, Dr. Gina Lapaza-Montalan, Atty. Rene Alexis Villarente and Dr. Renante Pilapil, all representing different batches of the ASEP. Their testimonies paid tribute to SICO’s work in social involvement, how their experience as volunteers moulded them in their formation as students, and how such formation influenced their professional life. Representatives from SICO’s external network, such as the Hon. Ramon Bargamento II, the Punong Barangay of Mintal, and Mr. Ricky Villanueva of Gawad Kalinga, were also asked to share their experience of partnership with SICO in the field of social action.

The event was attended by no less than the University President himself, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, who provided the opening and inspirational remarks on the theme “Leadership and the Formation of Social Conscience.” Fr. Tabora underscored the contribution of social formation offices, such as SICO, in promoting the university’s thrust of forming ADDU leaders sui generis. In his speech, Fr. Tabora reiterated the greater challenge facing the university in integrating the work of social justice and the common good in the formation of leaders who will serve the church and society.

Current Arrupe director, Ms. Lilibeth Leh-Arcena, took the occasion to articulate to those who attended the kickoff the rationale behind the change of name, highlighting not only Arrupe’s reassertion and reaffirmation of its mandate on social formation in view of the university’s vision and mission but also paying tribute to Pedro Arrupe, the late Superior General of the Society of Jesus who was largely credited for mainstreaming the service of the faith and the promotion of justice as the major apostolic focus among Jesuit institutions around the world.

The kickoff also featured the ceremonial turnover of books donated by the Ateneo de Davao Grade School to the Department of Education, Region XI. The turnover was facilitated by the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC), headed by its chair, Atty. Romeo Cabarde, Jr., and attended by ten principals representing ten public schools that were identified as recipients.

Emceed by Ms. Theresa S. Eliab, Arrupe’s Student Servant Leadership (SSLP) Program Coordinator and Mr. Brent Jimenez of ASEP Batch 40, the ceremonial launching was attended by school administrators in all units, faculty and staff, Arrupe’s external partners in social involvement, SICO-Arrupe personnel, both past and present, and a phalanx of former and current ASEP and SICO volunteers representing different batches. Mr. Elvi C. Tamayo, the director of the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office, formally closed the program. A merienda cena capped the celebration.

via AdDU InSite