NSTP Culminates School Year 2014-15 during Graduation Ceremony

IMG_2612IMG_2594IMG_2422IMG_2456IMG_2459IMG_2535The National Service Training Program (NSTP) under the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF) of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) held its graduation ceremony on Saturday, 21 March 2015, at Martinez Sport Complex in the Matina Campus.  The program graduated a total of 1,972 students who fulfilled the requirements of the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS), one NSTP component implemented by ADDU, for the school year 2014-2015.

This year’s NSTP commencement exercise carried the theme “NSTP-CWTS: Renewing its Commitment to Respond to the Needs of Communities in the Peripheries” and was graced by no less than ADDU Academic Vice President, Fr. Jose Gabriel T. Gonzalez, SJ, accompanied by the Director of the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO) which directly governs Arrupe-NSTP, Mr. Elvi C. Tamayo; the Director of Arrupe-NSTP herself, Ms. Lilibeth L. Arcena; and, the director of the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC), Atty. Romeo T. Cabarde.  Aside from the students and formators, the NSTP partner communities-institutions also attended the special event.

This is the third “formal” graduation ceremony conducted under AOSF (as compared to the previous year’s conduct of an “informal” culminating activity).  This is also the third year that the NSTP-CWTS conferred graduation awards to exemplary class team leaders, student volunteers, NSTP formators, partner communities-institutions, and community projects.

IMG_2506IMG_2516IMG_2549For this school year, the program recognized and conferred the Blue Knight Sui Generis Award to 3 (out of 208) team leaders, in a total 52 NSTP classes. The Blue Knight Sui Generis Award, also called the Outstanding NSTP-CWTS Team Leader Award, is a special award named as such to help promote the ideals of the Ateneo de Davao University leader sui generis, a leadership principle based on the characteristics of Ignatian leadership and spirituality.  The recipients of this award are Mary Rose E. Catalbas of Section Bio 2A under the class of Annabel Bauzon, Mariel Mae E. Maculbe of Section Che/COE, under the class of Julius Placer, and to Louis F. Palma Gil of Section AMS 2/ASS2, under the class of Gina Villagonzalo. Ms. Palma Gil delivered a response on behalf of the awardees and the NSTP graduates.

The program also conferred the Richie Fernando Award (so named in honor of one of the Jesuits’ 20th century young heroes: Richie Fernando) to an outstanding NSTP-CWTS volunteer who approximates the dedication and service of Bro. Richie to the marginalized sector.  He was a young Filipino Jesuit missionary in Buddhist Cambodia where he worked as a teacher in a Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) technical school for the handicapped. He died while preventing a student from throwing a hand grenade to a room full of students.  In his life and unto his death, Richie Fernando has exemplified how it is to live a person for and with others, a life of selfless commitment to those whose lives are being rehabilitated after a prolonged period of war and violence. The recipients of this award for this school year are Jesse M. Alcaraz under the class of Elvira Tabamo, and Ashreabai K. Sinarimbo under the class of Mailah Demonteverde. Both are also members of the roster of Arrupe volunteers.

Likewise, the Bishop Francisco Claver Award is conferred to an outstanding NSTP-CWTS formator who approximates the attributes of the late Bishop Francisco Claver, SJ—whose legacy includes the empowerment of the laity through the spirit of participation, dialogue and co-responsibility as can be gleaned from his book “The Making of the Local Church.” This particular award, therefore, pays special tribute to one of the gems of the Society of Jesus: A pastor, an agent of social change, an educator and a formator.  This school year’s Bishop Francisco Claver awardee is NSTP-CWTS formator Lunar T. Fayloga of MC2A.

Another major recognition given during the graduation ceremony is the Exemplary Community Partner Award—a special award conferred to community partner that exemplifies an active well-functioning community/organization, showing active involvement through the concrete projects being implemented in the community itself, and through the active participation of its community leaders and members for the entire duration of the fieldwork. Purok 5 in Brgy. Tacunan in Davao City, assigned under the class (Che/COE) of Mr. Julius Placer, is conferred this award.

Moreover, the Outstanding Community Project Award (based on last school year’s projects [2013-2014]) is a special award presented to an NSTP-CWTS class whose actual project has exemplified excellence and substance in terms of concept, relevance and viability, as well as addressed medium-term to long-term needs of the community.  Also, the implemented project has provided a good and appropriate venue for active involvement of both students and community members. It has shown to have incurred minimal cost without sacrificing quality output and has been responsive to the felt-needs of the community. The implemented project, therefore, has not only served but has also been beneficial to the needs of the greater community while realizing the goals of student social formation. The Outstanding Community Project Award is conferred to the following namely: first, “Tukod Kapilya: Pagpalig-on sa Espirituhanong Pagtuo” of Team Faith that Does Justice (under Gina Villagonzalo) with project partner, San Isidro Labrador Chapel, Purok 18, Upper Mintal; second, “First Aid & Disaster Risk Reduction Mgt. Training” of Team Angel Bugels (under Jorge Yap), with project partner Brgy. 31-D; third, “Proper Hygiene IEC & Distribution of Hygiene Kits” of Team Justice League & Libera (under Ryan Rolf Fuentes), with project partner San Isidro Labrador Chapel, DFL Village, Dumoy, Toril.

Ms. Arcena delivered the annual Director’s Report, covering the entire achievements of NSTP-CWTS program for this school year. She highlighted in her report that the total costs of the projects implemented by NSTP students amounted to PhP 814,710.75 which benefitted nineteen (19) barangays, five (5) institutions and five (5) parishes. Whereas, the total costs of project counterparts shared by partner communities-institutions amounted to PhP 59,557.46.

An audio visual presentation (to the tune of the popular song “We Can Be Heroes” of Alesso) documenting the duration of the 9-week fieldwork was shown immediately thereafter for the audience’s appreciation.

IMG_2481IMG_2682The certificates of completion was systematically distributed to the graduates representing the different schools: For the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), Zoie Acasio from SECTION ASS2B; School of Business and Governance (SBG), Pocholo Quidangen of BSACT 2D; School of Nursing (BSN), Danielle Marie V. Samblaceña of BSN2A; School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA), Gerald Belvis of ME/IE 2; and School of Education (SOE), Camille Gianne Pasco of BEED/BSED- Math. The NSTP/Arrupe volunteers who are graduating this school year were also given special recognition for having served the program for the duration of their volunteering work as students in ADDU.

Immediately thereafter, Fr. Gonzalez delivered his message to the graduates.

Michael Zachary Leyson, incoming SAMAHAN president for school year 2015-2016 and an NSTP-Arrupe volunteer himself, led the recitation of the National Service Reserve Corps (NSRC) Pledge (based on the provisions found in Sec. 11 of the Republic Act [RA] 9163 or the NSTP law and Sec. 13 of RA 10121, also known as the Philippine Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010).

NSTP-CWTS program coordinator Ms. Agnes Sagaral was the master of ceremonies. The graduation ceremony commenced from 8:00 until 11:00 o’clock in the morning. It was preceded by a celebration of a Holy Mass presided by Fr. David John delos Reyes, SJ, the executive secretary of the University Research Council (URC) and part of the roster of Guides of the First Year Development Program (FYDP).

After the luncheon immediately following the graduation ceremony, a program evaluation with NSTP partner communities-institutions took place, facilitated by NSTP formator Ms. Sheila Jaso, and attended by Ms. Sagaral, Ms. Arcena and AOSF Community Engagement Officer (CEO), Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol.  The program evaluation, which lasted until 3:30 o’clock in the afternoon, was attended by 168 partner communities-institutions and their representatives. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)

FYDP Reintroduces Exposure in Its Day of Engagement

IMG_0786 IMG_0866 IMG_0886 IMG_0977 IMG_0995 IMG_0967 IMG_1114In the current module of the First Year Development Program (FYDP), it reintroduces exposure as an integral component of social formation especially that the program is now lodged under the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF).  It may well be remembered that this external engagement component (i.e., exposure and outreach) was removed at a certain point in the program’s evolution (i.e., the program undergoing different name changes from Behavioural Development [BD], to Freshman Christian Formation [FCF], to First Year Christian Formation [FYCF], then to its current name, the FYDP).

Thus, on 28 February 2015, the FYDP under the coordinatorship of Ms. Gina Villagonzalo conducted an Exposure Day/Day of Engagement in several marginalized areas in the city.  The module for the half-day exposure was designed to emphasize the use of the five senses by seeing, noticing, smelling, hearing, tasting and feeling concrete life situations/realities as application of  the topics/themes which the students learned in FYDP sessions, as well as to awaken social consciousness by way of exposing them  to the multiple realities of life.

IMG_1024 IMG_1040 IMG_0984The conduct of this simple half-day exposure, in a way, serves as the culminating activity of students’ learnings in their FYDP classes during the second semester. Through this initial contact with identified communities—the university’s external partners in its various outreach and engagement programs—it is hoped that the students will be better prepared in their formation when they take the National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS) class on their second year.

Using the spiral Pastoral Cycle of See-Judge-Act (i.e., experience, analysis, reflection and praxis), the student who participated in the exposure then went through processing and reflection sessions in the classroom through the assistance of their FYDP guides.

IMG_1038 IMG_0939 IMG_1033 IMG_1041The communities in Davao where the exposure took place are the following: GK Samahan ng may Iba’t Ibang Kakayahan sa Dabaw (SAKADAB) in Los Amigos, Tugbok District, as well as in Barangay Mintal proper.  The conduct of the exposure was through the assistance and coordination of Mintal’s Punong Barangay, the Hon. Ramon Bargamento. Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol, AOSF’s Community Engagement Office (CEO), facilitated the preparation for the conduct of the exposure. (By Arrupe Communications and First Year Development Program)

Turnover of Computer Units to GK Sibol Schools

On 15th June 2014, the Service-Learning Program (SLP) of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, in collaboration with the Computer Engineering (CoE) Department of the School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA), and the University Information Technology Office (UITO), turned over two sets of five computer units, equipped with computer-aided software, to the Gawad Kalinga (GK)-Sibol schools in Gravahan, Matina, as well as in San Nicolas, Matina Aplaya. The computers were donated by the UITO headed by its director, Fr. Ramon Prudencio “Denny” Toledo, SJ.

The turnover is the final phase of the SLP partnership between the Arrupe Office and the CoE department of School Year (SY) 2013-2014.  The software installed in these computers is an interactive program developed by the CoE students who underwent service-learning through the Arrupe Office.  This software is designed as a tool to be used in the teaching materials for the GK-Sibol schools.

The turnover ceremony was attended by Ms. Femie Faller and Mr. Marcelino Severino III of SLP, and Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol, the Community Engagement Office (CEO), all from the Arrupe Office, as well as Engr. Ed Faller and Engr. Ed Descalsota of CoE. (by Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)

ADDU Assists IP Communities in Bukidnon

          The Lumad communities covered under the Jesuit mission center in the Municipality of Cabanglasan in Bukidnon received assistance from the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) in the form of canned goods and other food stuffs, courtesy of the students of the National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS) who already completed the course requirements in March of 2014.

          The food stuffs, including about 900 canned goods, were packed and divided among five indigenous people’s (IPs) communities that inhabit the hills and mountain areas of Cabanglasan in northeastern part of the Bukidnon, namely the Matigsulit and Ummajamñen (those living near the Ummayan and Sulit rivers), Tapayañen, Tigwahanon and Pulangihon (those living along the serpentine areas of the Pulangi River). They were delivered at Binhi Te Peglaum Lumad Scholars Dormitory of the Kahungyaman Cultural Center for Peace and Development in the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Parish in Cabanglasan, a mission center administered by the Society of Jesus.  The provisions will be delivered to these far-flung communities where the families of the majority of the Lumad scholars lived. 

            Fr. David John delos Reyes, SJ, the executive secretary of the University Research Council (URC) headed the team that delivered these goods, assisted by Ms. Gina Villagonzalo, the new First Year Development Program (FYDP) coordinator and M. Isabel S. Actub of the Communications & Advocacy Program (CAP) of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, and Gerard Tinampay a student-volunteer from the Campus Lay Ministers. Continue reading