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)

K-12 and Social Formation

               The K-12 law, known as the Republic Act 10533 (The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013), the university’s initiatives in response to this law, its many simultaneous and ongoing preparations impacting on the curriculum, programs and faculty loading, as well as some emerging concerns cutting across the overall formation programs of the university were presented to the personnel and staff of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation by Dr. Gina Lapaza-Montalan, dean of the School of Education (SOE) of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU).  In a special meeting called for by the Arrupe Office on 10th February 2014, Dr. Montalan was invited to give an update on where the university is at present in view of its K-12 preparations. 

         Dr. Montalan, chair of the overall committee tasked to see through the implementation of ADDU’s K-12, gave a general presentation of RA 10533, and then zeroed in on the university’s move that laid the groundwork for the creation of structures providing for better coordination in charting the course of the university’s concrete response to this law. The university is committed to take an active engagement in educational reform in this region, as codified in its vision-mission (VM) and as widely articulated in the various political commitments made by University President, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ. And through its K-12 initiatives, it actively lobbies for the crafting and implementation of changes in the educational system that promotes transformative education. Continue reading

FYDP Guides Engage in Community Exposure

IMG_5531 IMG_5551 IMG_5620      As a fitting move to fully embrace the process of integrating social engagement in its formation track, the First Year Development Program (FYDP), now aligned under the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, initiated two days of community exposure for its guides in the different areas in the city.  This new development is part of the rethinking and restructuring on how best the FYDP as a program, under the Arrupe Office, could integrate social formation in its module, in accordance with the key result areas (KRAs) embraced by the entire formation cluster of the university, headed by the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO).  The two-day exposure covered several communities in Davao City.  On 11th January 2014,  the guides visited the community at the Correctional Facility for Women under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, as well as the Ray of Hope (a Gawad Kalinga [GK] community), all in barangay Ma-a.  They also stopped by barangay Mintal inorder to meet with its local government officials, then proceeded to the Home for Persons with Disabilities, in the GK of Los Amigos in Tugbok District.  The following Saturday, 18th January, the guides were engaged in the community at GK Pueblo Antonio in barangay Catigan in Toril District.  Following this two-day community engagement period was a group processing activity held at La Storta Retreat House in Shrine Hills in Matina.

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Pope Francis’ Document Up for Discussion at Today’s Pakighinabi

         The Ateneo Leadership Center (ALC), in coordination with the Office of the President, will tackle Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation entitled Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) through the monthly series of conversations called the Pakighinabi.  At four o’clock in the afternoon today, 19th December, at F-705A, Fr. Archimedes “Kim” Lachica, SJ, Campus Minister for Faculty and Staff and a member of ALC, will lead the discussion on this Jesuit pope’s most extensive piece of writing since his elevation to the papacy.  Expected to join the conversation are the members of the ALC, the Office of the President, the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO), faculty of the Theology and Philosophy departments, staff and personnel of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, members of the Formation Cluster in the Grade School and High School units, and other invited guests. University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ is expected to grace this occasion. Fr. Joel has always been a regular attendee of Pakighinabi – a specific venue where important and relevant issues concerning the church and society, as articulated in the university’s vision-mission statement, are brought to the fore for academic/intellectual discourse among experts, people-in-the-know and those who would like to be abreast of the current reading of the different signs of the times.

         Earlier in the week, 17th December at F-213, Fr. Kim has given a briefer on Evangelii Gaudium during the Advent Recollection of the members of the university’s Formation Cluster headed by the ISFO. 

  Today’s Pakighinabi promises to provide another interesting atmosphere for discourse as the members of the university community spend a good two hours of conversation and discussion over cups of coffee and some sweets.  (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy, for the Ateneo Leadership Center)