Last May 14-16, 2010, a group of 40 Xavier School faculty and staff attended a three-day silent retreat at St. Scholastica Retreat House in Tagaytay City. Dubbed as “3-Day Vacation with the Lord”, the group was accompanied by seven retreat directors: Fr. Art Borja SJ, Fr. Guy Guibelondo SJ, Fr. Rudy Fernandez SJ, Sr. Mel Benedictos RC, Sr. Sheila Jaso RC, Sr. Yna Onate RC, Ms. Aida Endaya and Ms. Rory Valdellon. Read the rest of this entry »
by Patrick Wee, Beijing Summer Program participant
Normally, Xaverians spend their summer playing their PS3s, Wiis and DSs, apart from updating their Facebook accounts daily. Well, I, for the past three years went to Xiamen to try out something new. I had fun, but comparing the three summers to the one now, I’ll have to say that this year is the summer well above the rest.
Believe it or not, I was planning to go to Xiamen, again, for the fourth and final time, until I heard from our Chinese teacher that Xavier is offering a special summer program. At first, I didn’t want to go, but, in the end, after I heard that we were going to Beijing, I finally decided to cancel my Xiamen Tour and try this new thing out. Who said I wasn’t adventurous?
The activity was set from April 1 to the 30th. Packing was quite hard for me, considering that only 19 kilograms was allowed for us to carry going to China. Wherever go, my family and I, for that matter always have overweight baggage. One friend speculated why this was so. He told me that since we were physically challenged in size, our clothes and other things will ultimately be bigger, and since on earth, mass is equal to weight, so, you get the equation.
But luckily, on the day we were going to fly to Beijing, all went well, and my baggage was 19.0 exactly. Our accompanying teacher or laoshi as we call her, had a baggage three times the allowed weight. When I looked around, I found that she had to bring with her two extra boxes of Dried Mangos to bring for the school authorities in Beijing. When one of my friends asked, why Dried Mangos? My laoshi paused for a second, and finally answered: “Basta, gusto nila ‘yan!”
We got to Beijing successfully and after an hour’s ride, got to our school. The college we were in was one of the better colleges in the city. In fact, when we got there, we were welcomed into a hotel-like dormitory already filled with our South-east Asian soon-to-be-friends from Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia and Thailand. The dormitories were very comfortable with hotel-like standards. Our rooms have a TV set, a refrigerator, but best of all, a beautiful view of the city skyline outside our windows. It became the home we knew for the month we were going to stay in Beijing.
Classes started as soon as we got there. In Day 2, we had our diagnostic test, and true enough, all Xaverians became part of the intermediate and advanced classes. See, Xaverian’s Chinese isn’t too bad after all. For the next month, we had intensive Chinese Language Training, Chinese Painting, Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Arts and Crafts, not to mention, special computer classes and sports periods.
Sean Su’s Valedictory Address, UP College of Architecture Graduation 2010
Once upon a time, this building was but a spark of an idea. Pieces of papers with scribbly lines somewhere in an office. Working Drawings on 20 x 30 Tracing Paper. Once upon a time, it was just a HAND DRAWN sketch perspective, as you may see on screen. Read the rest of this entry »
This homily was delivered by Fr. Johnny Go, SJ on 24 April 2010, at the wake of Fr. Santiago Leon, SJ, at the Andechaga Hall, Mary the Queen Parish. The funeral Mass is scheduled on Tuesday, April 27, 8:00 a.m.
I remember the very first time I met Fr. Leon. I was still in first year high school when after school dismissal one day, I was as usual waiting in Mary the Queen for my sister to come out of ICA. Suddenly out of nowhere appeared this Spanish priest who beamed at me, and inhis thick Spanish accent, invited me along with a classmate, an FCCY member, into his office for a chat. Read the rest of this entry »
(Acceptance speech of Dr. Kelly Salvador, Exemplary Alumni Awardee from the Class of 1978, delivered on March 13, 2010.)
Good Evening, I want to start by thanking our Good Lord for giving me the opportunity to serve his people, people who are lost, people who see no future, people who see no hope. It’s not that I can perform miracles; but rather I can walk and stand with them, hand in hand, to lead them to a future where they can be loving and caring Christians who will receive their rewards from our Heavenly Father. All these in God’s time. Read the rest of this entry »
(Acceptance speech of Col. Ernesto V. Ravina, Exemplary Alumni Awardee from the Class of 1979, delivered March 13, 2010.)
It is indeed the greatest honor to be chosen as one of this year’s exemplary alumni. Despite the military medals, awards and decorations that I wear on my chest, this award gives me the greatest pride. Why? Because it is closest to the heart. I say this, plainly and simply, because the award came from Xavier School. It is an honor, not given by the Armed Forces; a medal, not bestowed by an awards board who read a write-up of my deeds, and objectively approved the citation. But on a truly personal note, this award is a recognition that came from home. For indeed, Xavier is my home; it is our home; it is where we were shaped and nurtured to what all of us graduates have become today. Read the rest of this entry »
by Carlos Locsin (05)
Xavier Award Launching to the Students
You probably are wondering right now what it really takes to become to become a Xavier awardee. I mean, should you be the most creative in your batch? The most athletic? Or the most intelligent? This morning, as you launch the search for the next Xavier awardees, I would like to ask some friends to help me answer this questions through a countdown with lines from songs that tell us who can be a Xavier awardee.
Look into your heart and you’ll find love, love, love..
As Jason Mraz says, look into your heart and you’ll find love. Love. Are there any of you here who are in love? A Xavier Awardee is someone who finds love inside himself in the form of the many talents and gifts that he has, but what exactly does the awardee do with these gifts and talents he has?
I won’t hesitate no more, it cannot wait
The Xavier awardee does not let opportunity pass him. As a student, I was a class officer in Grade 4 and Grade 5. At the end of Grade 5, one of my teachers challenged me to run for a higher position because he said that there was much I could share, I listened to him and so when I got to grade 7, I ran for Grade 7 batch representative and won. By this I got to share my gift of friendship. My mother challenged me to share my skills in swimming by joining the varsity and competing. There was also a teacher who invited me to serve Christ as a Eucharistic Crusader and so I joined the Crusaders, and shared my gift of service.
This continued all the way until high school and college. I still made sure I found time to share what I could, and here you can see me teaching a class of honor students from public school students in Marikina and Quezon City, whom we would give Enrichment classes to during the summer when I was in college. There are many gifts, and many ways Xavier awardees have been sharing gifts. It is not automatic that you are in the council, varsity and you are an honor student, the award will be given to you. I know awardees who were part of the school paper, who were part of service organizations.
In college and the real world, awardees share their talents differently. Some do so as doctors, photographers, teachers, and priests. Many ways, but one thing that binds them is they all share these gifts and talents with all their heart, they all share these talents with love.
These struggles I’m facing, these chances I’m taking, sometimes might knock me down, but no, I’m not breaking.
But this does not mean that the path to becoming an awardee is easy, the next song will tell us what kind of person an awardee is in times of trouble. An awardee is someone who never give up. Who keeps holding on. Before I became a batch representatives, there were some mistakes. I remember during my first year as a class officer, my co-officers and I could not contain our class during Appreciation day, as paper plates were flying all over the place. Time management is no joke.
Before we do the top one song in the countdown, let us do a little recap. An awardee, in the words of Jason Mraz, looks into his heart, can find love and the many gifts and talents he possesses. HE then is one who does not hesitate to share these gifts. The awardee is one who keeps going on even though there are failures and struggles. In doing so, the awardee let’s his light shine. So who is capable of being an awardee?
Nobody, nobody but you
So remember that all of you are capable of becoming a Xavier Awardee. Believe in this. As we begin the search for the next Xavier awardees, I challenge you not only to look around and see who of your classmates and friends are deserving of being given this award. But look inside yourselves and see how you can be a Xavier awardee in your own way. Be aware of your gifts, your talents and find out how you can share this with others. More than a time to look for awardees, the Xavier award search is a celebration of how gifted, how talented and how COOL Xaverians can be. So stay COOL here in Xavier School! Good morning!
Xavier Award Launching to Faculty and Staff
Good afternoon Chers! I miss addressing my teachers this way and it took me awhile to get used to being addressed this way when I was invited to supervise for XCE last October – December.
This afternoon, I am here to talk to you about my own XCE. But this XCE that I am part of is not the Xavier China Experience that I was part of just last month, but a different kind of XCE, an XCE that every Xaverian goes through and continues to go through even today. And I would like to say that this XCE played a big role in developing me into a Xavier Awardee. What is this XCE I am talking about?….You will find out in the end of this talk.
I’d like to start by sharing that this Lecture hall is very memorable to me because this is where we used to have our student council meetings. Every Wednesday we used to come here. I would be excited every single meeting, but there were two particular meetings. I was not looking forward to…The first one was regarding the cake raffle we used to have. This one would run for around three weeks. At the end of every week, there would be a draw. As class treasurer then, I would be in charge of collecting the tickets, but for the first week, the collection was an epic fail. And so, my adviser gave me a little sermon about how to collect the tickets properly. So come meeting day, I was worried that my adviser would report it to the student council moderator and I would be reprimanded for it. It was just such a relief that come meeting day, instead of a reprimand, we got the next set of tickets, and of course, learning from my mistakes, I did not let the first week blooper happen again.
The second was regarding the class banner. During that time, we had to make class banners at the start of the year, and these banners were used every time there was an event. The sad thing was none of the five class officers could even facilitate and get our class together to make a banner. Our adviser had to mediate. We were able to make a banner, but of course, our adviser gave me and the other four officers a little talk about how to improve our leadership skills. I never took these talks of my adviser for granted. I really listened every time she would speak to me. I became a class officer in Grade five, and was invited to run for a position in the ExeCom. And so, when I was grade seven, I ran for Batch Representative and by then, I was able to help in coordinating and organizing with the high school for the booths. And by the time I got to fourth year, I was helping out in the fair as the student volunteer assisting the fair head. This would not have been possible if not for my grade 4 adviser who was very patient despite my bloopers and my moderator who saw the gift of leadership in me and did not give up helping me develop this. More than developing this gift, these teachers helped me share this gift with others.
The lecture hall is also memorable for me because this was where we would meet for Crusaders occasionally when I was in Grade 7. At that time, I was the president of the org. But before I became President of the Crusaders, I was simply a grade three student who was entered in the storytelling contest. I was chosen by my class to represent them for the English week storytelling contest. Prior to that, I had never read or spoken in public. I was really shy so there was a lot of work to do. So, my reading teacher worked hard with me. Every afternoon, she would practice with me and train me so that I could give out the best performance in telling the story of The Funny Little Woman. The hard work paid off and I won first place.
I thought that was it, that was the last time I would be performing or speaking in public. Little did I know that it was only the beginning because next year, my CLE teacher, impressed with my performance, assigned me to read for the grade school mass. My CLE teachers continued to develop my skill by continuously exposing me and by the time I was grade 6, invited me to join the Crusaders.
As I mentioned, when I got to Grade 7, I was president of the org and one of my duties was to take care of the morning mass. My teacher knew that I just live across the street and that I was an altar server, and because of this, assigned me to take care of the readers and servers. So every week, I would come up with a list of servers and readers. I wasn’t assigned to serve but as President, I always had to be present so that if one of the assigned readers or servers did not make it, I could cover for them.
Serving in the mass though, was not the only way of being of service through the Eucharist. When I was a grade 4 and 5 student, my CLE teachers would ask me to read for the mass once in awhile. Of course, I would be nervous each time I would go up the stage to read, but I would always be fulfilled because I got to share this gift of reading the word of God. In the same way, I would also be silently nervous each time I had to read but at the end of every mass, I would always smile to myself and be grateful that I was given the opportunity to serve. All these were because I had teachers who saw that because I had the gift of living near Xavier and that I had the gift of reading, I could share this gift by being of service to the masses here in Xavier.
This lecture hall is also memorable because this is where we had our band fest during our junior year. But before my batch mates discovered that I could play the violin, my grade seven music teacher already knew about it, and he invited us to perform for the Christmas concert. I was really nervous that time because it was my first time to perform in a concert for a big crowd. The MPC was packed. Prior to that, I was just used to my recitals where the crowd was one fourth of the Christmas concert crowd. But I got through the concert, and some of the people in the audience even praised us.
Looking back, what was able to help me get through was not this, but it was my music teacher. You see, it was my music teacher who gave me the confidence to perform in front of the crowd. I almost did not perform. I was taking violin lessons, and was still a beginner. When I showed the pieces we were performing to my violin teacher, he said that it was too complicated and told me not to push through with the performance. When I told this to my music teacher, I was told to continue with the performance. And so to prepare for that, my Xavier music teacher, who also knew how to play the violin, spent extra time after class teaching me the pieces. My Xavier music teacher believed in me even though my own violin teacher was doubting me.
My music teacher found out from my mother during one of the PTCs, that I play the violin, and so one day, my teacher approached me in the corridor and was talking to me about it. How long I had been playing, what pieces I could play, how often I practice. Before I knew it, my teacher invited me to share this gift I had by inviting me to play for the concert.
But what was also memorable that year was when we were also invited to play for the child cancer patients in the Charity ward of PGH. That was the last place I thought I would feel the spirit of Christmas, but now that I look back, I see that experience as one of the purest experiences of Emmanuel. All these I was able to experience because of my music teacher who got to know that I play the violin and gave me the opportunity to share this gift.
I was a Xavier Awardee but that did not mean I was perfect I had my share of bad days in Xavier. This lecture hall is memorable because back when I was in Prep, we had to watch a program here. After the program, on our way back, our class was very noisy, my class adviser gave the whole class a sad mark. When I was in Nursery, I remember that my teacher asked me to face the wall because I was not paying attention in class. Yes these experiences happened but my teachers then processed very well. I remember my Nursery teacher asking me to stay after class so she could talk to me about what happened. And the next day, our Prep teacher talked to us about the sad mark she gave the class.
These experiences really taught me a lesson and because of that, I never got a green slip in my entire Xavier life. And by the time I got to Grade 7, my adviser knew me to be one of the students who would pay attention in class and she would put me beside students who had difficulty with the lesson. I was not the type of student you could send to MTAP competitions but my teachers gave me the opportunity to share my gift of competence by helping those who had difficulty with the lesson.
Whenever I would play the violin for family and friends, they would jokingly ask if I was a Promil child. I would say yes, because my mom did require me to take a glass of Promil a day when I was young. But more than a Promil child, I am a Xavier child, a gifted child who had teachers who formed me in such a way that I got to share my gifts with others. This afternoon though, I’d like to show you a video that shows what you teachers should continue to practice with your students.
Looking back at all of these, my teachers helped me become fully alive by developing my public speaking skills and giving me the opportunity to share my gift of playing the violin. They endowed me with a passion for justice and the skills for development by never giving up on me as a leader and never giving up on me as that very energetic noisy student in the EED. Remember, as teachers, the little conversations you have with students, the simple affirmations and positive reinforcement you give help a lot. Do not give up on the students who make mistakes. You never know that the student you are asking to face the wall today or giving sad marks to will be someone facing an audience, speaking during graduation and putting smiles on the faces of many others.
Being on the other side for the six weeks in China during the Guangzhou XCE, I got to chat with some of the students, and saw that even today, Xaverians are very gifted. Every night, I would talk to the students in my group individually and each conversation would reveal something new to me.
So what is this XCE that has played a big role into shaping me into a Xavier awardee? Of course, it is the Xavier CHER experience.
A few days ago, when I was sharing with my mother that I was going to be speaking to all of you, she told me to make sure to remind you all never to take for granted the things you tell your students. What you tell your students really makes a great impact on their lives, sometimes even more than the parents.
So continue to get to know your students and as the Promil ad goes, observe and talent will reveal itself. In a similar way, observe and listen, because the Xavier awardees will reveal themselves. Thank you and may you all continue to give the students the best Xavier Cher Experience!
by Michelle Dayrit-Soliven (The Philippine Star)
February 21, 2010 12:00 AM
It’s not easy being a basketball mom. There are days when I just want to scoop my only son Vincent into my arms out of that rigorous game to protect him from the anguish of defeat, nerve-wracking tension and excruciating injury. Read the rest of this entry »