The Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) held a groundbreaking ceremony of the proposed high school building project in Brgy. Ngan in the Municipality of Compostela Valley, Province of Compostela Valley (ComVal) on 17th January 2014. This ADDU-funded construction project is the rebuilding of the Consuelo M. Valderrama High School. This project, together with the proposed construction of an elementary school building in Brgy. Dapnan in the Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental (DavOr), was earlier approved by university president, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, in late December 2013. Both projects were proposed by the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, with the endorsement of the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC).
The groundbreaking was attended by Atty. Romeo Cabarde, chair of UCEAC; Ms. Lilibeth Arcena, director of the Arrupe Office; Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol, community engagement officer (CEO) of the Arrupe Office who is also the project manager; Engr. Jonas Gallego, construction supervisor; Engr. Richard Manapol, project engineer; and Ms. Elcy Debildos, Arrupe’s field officer. Ms. Perlita Villegas and Ms. Edna Sisbreño, principal and president of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of Valderrama High School (HS), respectively, as well as Hon. Margarito Alcos, brgy. captain of Ngan, were also on hand to grace the occasion.
A post-Christmas Day trip to Pablo-stricken areas is being charted out on 28th-30th December 2013 by the Arrupe team in order to do initial spadework in preparation for the start of the second reconstruction projects which will begin in the first week of January 2014. The trips are scheduled for Brgy. Ngan in Compostela Valley (ComVal) on 28th December, as well as in Brgy. Dapnan in Baganga, Davao Oriental (DavOr) on 29th-30th December. Early this month, the Office of the President approved a proposal by the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, as endorsed by the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC), for the second reconstruction projects in areas that were largely affected by Typhoon Pablo in 2012.
Headed by Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol, RSW, the Community Engagement Officer (CEO) of the Arrupe Office and the designated Project Manager, the team’s planned trip is intended to meet the following objectives: Firstly, with the assistance of Field Officer Ms. Elcy Debildos, to facilitate a community assembly among teachers, parents, students and community leaders in order to do an orientation on the importance of project ownership through community collaboration and cooperation; secondly, with the assistance of the School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA) through Engr. Richard Manapol (who is the Project Engineer), as well as Engr. Jonas Gallego (Construction Supervisor), to survey and prepare the construction sites where the proposed structures are going to be erected; and thirdly, with Ms. Sheena Cachuela (Project Finance & Budget Officer) and Mr. Mark Anthony Dinoy (Field Officer of the first reconstruction project), to meet with suppliers of construction materials to ensure standard quality, and proper and timely delivery. M. Isabel S. Actub of Arrupe’s Communications and Advocacy will also join the team to do interviews for the planned book on the Baganga-Ateneo Student Exposure Program (ASEP). Continue reading
On the eve of celebrating the 200th year anniversary (1814-2014) marking the restoration of the Jesuits as a religious order in the Catholic Church, several events are separately being launched around the world to commemorate this special milestone. These two centuries of restoration after forty-one (41) years of suspended animation (1773-1814), through a papal bull, ushered in a new era in the history of one of the church’s most influential religious institutions that built a distinctively unique and unparalled school system present in six continents.
In the context of the Philippines, among the many events being cooked up is a gathering of Jesuits in Mindanao, in the company of a select group of lay people representing various sectors in Philippine society. Toward this end, the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), under the leadership of University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, will host this one-of-a-kind event simply entitled Jesuits in Mindanao Conversations.
Jesuit and Lay Participants
Preparations for the Jesuits in Mindanao Conversations on 26th-28th December 2013 are now in full swing, spearheaded by the Assistant to the President, Mr. Jeremy Eliab and Mr. Vinci Romulo Bueza, Technical Assistant to the President for External Affairs. This gathering of Jesuits in Mindanao (those who are assigned in Jesuit ministries and missions on this island, current or previous) is a special convocation of Jesuits and some lay partners/collaborators the purpose of which is to provide a wider platform for discussion on what the Society of Jesus and its phalanx of external partners and advocates have been doing and are actively engaged in, in support of their social and educational apostolate. This post-Christmas gathering is expected to be attended by some seventy-five (75) to eighty (80) participants (including twenty-five  active Jesuit priests who currently head several Jesuit centers and institutions in Mindanao). Generally, the participants represent not just those missioned in academic and social institutions but also in government, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), media, civil society groups, peace centers, military, church, among others – especially those whose work revolves around the promotion of peace, indigenous cultures, wealth creation and equitable distribution, environment, spirituality and leadership.
Round Table Discussions
The format of this conversation is a round-table discussion (RTD) where some participants are requested to lead the discussion in a panel. There are four (4) major panel discussions, all conducted in a plenary. Key discussants are already tapped (in advance) to constitute each panel. A plenary discussion immediately proceeds from the panel discussion, where the other participants are given the opportunity to interact with the panellists and the rest of the people in the audience. These RTDs are also moderated, following a flow and a process that are strictly under time wraps (with one running for four  hours, and the rest for two  hours). Some faculty members from ADDU have been requested to act as moderators for a total of four (4) RTDs spread in two (2) days.
On the afternoon of 26th December, the kickoff of the conversations, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ will welcome the participants, to be followed by the current Provincial of the Jesuits in the Philippines, Fr. Antonio Moreno, SJ, who will render his address and provide the rationale of this special gathering. Likewise, the first day provides an introductory overview of what to expect in the course of the three-day assembly. Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ, newly installed President of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU), will render a talk on the current situation of the Jesuits in Mindanao, following a Mindanao situationer to be given by Mindanews editor, Ms. Carolyn Arguillas. The evening will wind down with a cultural presentation by Davao’s very own Kaliwat Theatre Collective.
Panel and Plenary Sessions
Three RTDs are scheduled on the second day, 27th December, to wit: “Jesuits in Pursuit of Peace in Mindanao” to be headed by Datu Mussolini Lidasan of ADDU’s Al Qalam Institute for Muslim Identities in Southeast Asia, Fr. Albert E. Alejo, SJ of ADZU, Atty. Johaira Wahab and Atty. Raisa Jajurie, both of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, Ms. Mucha Shim Quiling of Lumah ma Dilaut, Prof. Roque Yusuf Morales of the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos, Br. Karl Gaspar, CSsR of the St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute (SATMI), Maj. Gen. Natalio Ecarma of the Department of National Defense (DND), and Ms. Starjoan Villanueva of the Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM).
The second RTD is entitled “Jesuits in Support of Wealth Creation and Its Equitable Distribution” to be presented by Prof. Germelino Bautista of Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Economic Department, Fr. Robert Yap, SJ and Fr. Rene Tacastacas, SJ of Xavier University (XU), Dr. Nene Guevarra of Synergeia, Ms. Jainab Abdulmajid of Gawad Kalinga and Arch. Daniel Lim of the Davao Chamber of Commerce.
Capping the second day’s schedule is the third RTD focusing on “Jesuits and the Mindanao Environment” with Fr. Pedro Walpole, SJ of the Institute of Environmental Science for Social Change, Fr. Joy Pelino, SJ of the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Marbel, Mr. Jaybee Garganera of Alyansa Tigil Mina, Mr. Toni Loyzaga of the Manila Observatory, Dr. Leah Vidal of ADDU’s Institute of Anthropology, and Fr. Mars Tan, SJ of XU.
On 28th December, the RTD “Jesuits Promoting Spirituality and Leadership in Mindanao” is the last panel discussion of the three-day conversations. The lead discussants are Hon. Toto Mangudadatu of the Provincial Government of Maguindanao, Dr. Tony La Vina of ADMU’s School of Governance, Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ and Fr. Wilfredo Samson, SJ of ADZU, Fr. Celerino Reyes, SJ of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary and Atty. Laisa Alamia Masuhud of the Regional Office of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Critical on the third day is a series of resolutions which will be presented to the plenary before the formal end of the convocation. These articulated resolutions are, therefore, the fruits of the discussions of the past three (3) days which will then form part of the output (from Mindanao) to be presented to the national gathering of Jesuit heads in Manila in early January of 2014. Fr. Provincial Tony Moreno will immediately render his response upon the presentation of the collated resolutions.
A tour of Samal Islands, specifically the spread of property where a newly constructed retreat and spirituality center of ADDU now stands, caps the three-day event, following the mass and lunch.
Attendance by Invitation
Attendance to the Jesuits in Mindanao Conversations is strictly by invitation only. It will be held at the Finster Auditorium on the afternoon of 26th December until lunchtime of 28th December. Assisting Mr. Eliab and Mr. Bueza in the preparation are a select group of faculty, staff, personnel, and some students who are requested to assist in the conduct of the conversations from logistical preparations all the way down to liturgical services, RTD moderatorship, documentation, food and accommodation, among other things, including the Samal trek. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy, for the Office of the President)