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)

Arrupe Finalizes Plans for this Summer’s ASEP

Preparations for this year’s Ateneo Student Exposure Program (ASEP), an annual summer exposure conducted by the Student Servant Leadership Program (SSLP) of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF), are well under way. The Arrupe team, headed by its Community Engagement Officer (CEO) Karl Anthony Ebol and SSLP coordinator Noriel Rogon, started the spadework as early as January 2015 to prepare for the implementation of this summer’s ASEP.

On 29-30 January, the team travelled to Cabanglasan, Zamboanguita and Bendum for an area scanning. They did a courtesy call and close coordination with the local Jesuit priests who are assigned in the parishes of Cabanglasan and Zamboanguita. Another trip to Bukidnon (this time including Miarayon) on 26-27 February was also conducted inorder to do a community profiling of the possible areas where the ASEP participants will be deployed. The team then interviewed probable foster families who consented to participate in the program by agreeing to house ASEP participants for the whole duration of the implementation.

The Arrupe team will again travel to Bukidnon on 18-19 March 2015 to facilitate the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) and Fr. Francisco “Koko” Parilla, SJ, the parish priest of Our Lady of Mediatrix of All Graces in Zamboanguita, and Fr. Jomari Manzano, SJ, the parish priest of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Cabanglasan.  Both Jesuit priests act as ADDU’s primary partners in this year’s ASEP implementation to be done in Sitio San Vicente of Brgy. Poblacion in Cabanglasan, Brgy. Zamboanguita proper, Brgy. St. Peter, as well as Sitio Bendum in Brgy. Busdi, areas which formed part of the Jesuit mission stations in the Province of Bukidnon. These locations are specifically chosen inorder to align the program’s thrust in observance of the bicentenary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus (1814-2014).  Aside from the MOA signing, the team will also meet with local stakeholders to provide briefing and orientation regarding ASEP, such as the City Mayor of Malaybalay, the Municipal Mayor of Cabanglasan, the local government units (LGUs) of Zamboanguita, St. Peter and Cabanglasan, the 403rd Infantry Battalion of Philippine Army (PA), and the Malaybalay City Police Office.

Prior to the actual deployment of ASEP participants in Bukidnon, the team will head back to the abovementioned identified areas on 26-27 March to conduct an orientation among participating families.  Two to three participants will stay in the house of foster families (some of whom are Lumad) for the whole duration of their exposure

Earlier this month, the AOSF conducted a well-attended Parent’s Meeting on 1 March 2015.  In that meeting, the office headed by its director Lilibeth L. Arcena explained to the parents (of those who have expressed interest to join ASEP) the nature of the program, its history, its design for this year’s implementation, as well as its objectives, by way of locating them to ADDU’s overall social formation thrust.

This summer program is designed to provide the new corps of Arrupe volunteers and other invited student leaders an experience of immersion by staying with some Lumad families for a period of ten (10) days between 30 March until 8 April.  So far, around thirty (30) Arrupe volunteers constituting batches 43 and 44, and invited student leaders from different student organizations, have expressed interest in joining the program. The final clearance of their participation will depend on their procurement of parents’ consent and medical clearance. (By 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)

Arrupe Vols Facilitate Anticorruption Sessions in Theo Classes

In observance of the Atenista Ako! Maligdong month, a program under the Arrupe Office of Social Formation’s Communications & Advocacy Program (CAP), a select group of Arrupe volunteers facilitated the Ehem! Anticorruption Sensitivity Orientation Workshops to participating Theo 131 class (Christian Morality and Spirituality) commencing 23rd February until 3rd March. For this year’s conduct of the month-long Maligdong campaign, a total of 9 (nine) Theology classes under Mr. Lunar Fayloga, Mr. Ted Paredes and M. Isabel S. Actub participated in Arrupe’s campaign to promote the culture of integrity and good governance through the rollout of the Ehem! modules as presented in the Ehem! A Self-Check Manual for Combating Corruption published by the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus.

The Ehem! modules use the web chart as a tool for analyzing corruption, within the pedagogical paradigm of the Pastoral Cycle (i.e., experience, analysis, reflection and action). In facilitating the workshops in these participating Theology classes, the Arrupe vols (who themselves went through workshop as part and parcel of their formation) underscored how corruption can be imbedded in a given culture, including the university environment as a learning center.  At the end of the three-hour workshop, the Theology students were then given a simple exercise by way of proposing personal measures on how to regain a life of integrity, as students, starting with the self—which then ultimately leads to greater social consciousness to combat corruption in a larger society.

For this year, the following Arrupe vols participated as part of the pool of Ehem! student facilitators, namely: Michelle Marie Ungab, Erika De Peralta, Lyneth Egonio, Jhana Lynne Ligue, Jennilyn Nacorda, Lorelee Anne Dahan, Kahlil Denise Alcomendras, Jesse Roy Alcaraz, Christylbert Neri, Reevens Aster Rizada, Elizah Adalin, Julie Ann Gawat, Brent Jimenez, Antoinette Limen, Jonamae Eusebio, Tryyam Rusiana, Sigrid Cubil, Johnmar Monato, Regina Guino, and Erika Pearl Java, coming from batches 40, 41, 42 and 43, respectively. (by Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)