Alumni Letter June 2011

Alumni Letter June 2011


The Silliman Spirit-filled TIPON in FAIRBANKS, Alaska

“I still haven’t come out of my euphoria with regard to this Tipon.  It was wonderful!  The ambience was that of warmth, friendship, a lot of respect for one another, and joyful commitment to achieve success for this 10th anniversary celebration of SUACONA.”Ruby O. Agnir

Alaska Alumni chapter President Betsy Engle worked hard to ensure that Fairbanks deserved the honor of hosting the 10th year anniversary celebration of the Silliman University Alumni Council of North America (SUACONA) and Tipon Silliman 2011, the gathering of Silliman alumni and friends from all over the world.  She flew twice to the Philippines and back to Alaska before the event to make sure that preparations were done well.  Betsy’s tireless work was worth it all….those who were at Fairbanks were generous in their praise and appreciation, giving such comments as “We felt the Silliman Spirit every second of our fellowship,” and “It was coming home to my Silliman family.”

Among the Dumaguete delegates who were there were President Ben S. Malayang III; First Lady Gladys Rio Malayang; BOT Roselyn G. Delloso; BOT Grace A. Sumalpong; Judge Rafael Crescencio C. Tan, Jr. , National President of SAAI;  and SAAI Executive Secretary Mrs.Yolanda “Inday” Valente-Maxino.  They reported that already closeness was felt during the welcome night when a variety of talents was shared from music to poetry.  The worship service was well-attended as the aura of little-town-Fairbanks made Sillimanians feel it was like “being in Dumaguete.”

Dr. Elizabeth Susan Dimaya Vista Suarez, director of SUGGA (Silliman University Gratitude and Goodwill Ambassadors, the group of performing artists from home), who is a regular in TIPON took note of the wonderful hosting and well-attended events. “We felt so at home, and Betsy’s family was there for all of us. Fairbanks has the character of the old Dumaguete, helping to make everyone feel close to each other as there was no other destination that would divert the alumni from participating in the TIPON schedule. The “little town” feeling led everyone to be in-sync with the Silliman family.

It was also a TIPON of Music:  the Tipon Chorale led by Mrs. Ruby Agnir, with the singing participation of University president Ben S. Malayang III; the generous celebration of her birthday in Alaska by Silliman’s music icon Jenny Lind A. Delorino of the Aldecoa Family singers who brought warm nostalgia through her music; the family talents of the Pals and that of Faith Manigsaca Duran, and from Silliman’s valuable gift, SUGGA.
The idea of this unique gift came from Dr. Ben S. Malayang III.

Those who attended the Tipon and heard them , realized it was not “just another expense” to send 26 performing artists all the way to Alaska because their heartwarming musical sharing  measured beyond the money actually spent. They represented Silliman’s “gift” to the alumni in North America, priceless as it was a “gift of faith”.

Our congratulations to the force behind TIPON Alaska, especially SUACONA Chair, Zeny Duran Bennett, and other members of the Executive Committee: Betsy A. Jackson, Josephine J. Jalandoni, Faith M. Duran, Betsy M. Engle, Joel P. Pal, Jocelyn G. Pajares, Sylvester B. Almiron, Jr., Renato D. Querubin and the newly elected Chairman, Gideon Alegado – the much appreciated emcee of the event as he is always everyone’s Kuya Box, with the Mister Silliman Spirit.  Other loyal Sillimanians who hosted were  Adlai J. Amor, Tonette G. Geary and Daday K. Millman.

There are now 8,921 students enrolled in Silliman for the first semester of school year 2011-2012. The comparative enrollment report shows an increase in the population as last year’s total enrollment was 8,882. The colleges and graduate school combined have 6,640, and the remaining 2,281 are enrolled in pre-school, elementary and high school. The College of Business Administration is the largest college, with 1,652 students, followed by the College of Nursing – 827 enrollees, and the College of Arts and Sciences with 726 students.

Among the features of the Freshman Orientation at the Luce Auditorium on June 21 as organized by the Guidance and Testing Division of the Office of Student Affairs was [email protected] Project.  As explained by Ms. Florence Benlota, a Computer Science instructor and the project’s main anchor, the [email protected] is part of Microsoft’s corporate social responsibility which offers educational institutions worldwide free hosted and co-branded communication and collaboration services for students, faculty and alumni. She made the new students understand that the is actually an email address provided by Microsoft to Silliman University as part of their [email protected] project. With this email address, students can work  with each other through the services provided, including a 25 GB files storage, downloadables, and messaging.

The first academic convocation was held on June 7 at the  Luce Auditorium during the first week of classes.  His Excellency Thierry Borja de Mozota, Ambassador of France to the Philippines, was the speaker.  The students enjoyed his speech which showed the personality of a hardworking government representative.  He pointed out that the job of a French Ambassador is not to party in social events but more importantly,  to be with communities to work on possible projects to help empower them.  Silliman University Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Betsy Joy B. Tan, who has been serving as Acting President while President Dr. Ben S. Malayang III is still on leave, led the welcome party for the French Ambassador whose down-to-earth charm endeared him to his young audience at Silliman.

Silliman University is proud of  alumnus Bentham de la Cruz, Mayor of the Municipality of Amlan, who recently received  a national recognition, The Orchid, for the successful implementation of the ordinance which bans smoking in public places. The Amlan-lead anti-smoking in public advocacy has caught fire. Other local governments are now implementing the same.  Dumaguete will soon implement a similar ordinance. Assistant provincial health officer Dr. Edgardo Barredo reported that Ayungon is now becoming like Amlan as it also takes pride in being a smoke-free town. Getting ready to implement is the town of Jimalalud which had a successful launching of the anti-smoking campaign.
In response to the international call for environmentalism, a proposed ordinance prohibiting the use of plastic in the City of Dumaguete was discussed in public at the Moot Court, College of Law, Silliman University on June 23. This has been echoed by different environmental advocacy groups in the province whose prime movers visited store owners to convince them that aiming for a plastic-free Dumaguete is doable. So far, only Fortune Mart, the pioneering grocery store in Dumaguete owned by alumni Ernesto and Evansuenda Quiamco, has responded positively.

IN MEMORIAM: Joselyn R. Anfone-Palacious (BS Nursing 1978) on June 19; Rodrigo C. Quiamco (SUHS 1948, BBA Accounting 1952, Law 1957) on June 22 ; Milagros Antonia Pastrano-Larena (wife of Demetrio Larena II) on June 22;  former Silliman First Lady Pearl Gamboa Doromal (MA Creative Writing 1982) on June 26.  If you know of any Sillimanian who is not in our memorial list, please inform us.

Thank you for always being there for dear old Silliman.    
President Ben Malayang has requested this office to update you regularly about happenings on campus. We are also interested in knowing what you and your alumni chapters are doing.
Please keep in touch and update your file with our office if you have not done so. We would truly appreciate it. You may reach the President’s Office through this email address: [email protected] You may also contact the Alumni Affairs Office through this address: [email protected]




Jocelyn “JONG” Somoza de la Cruz
Director of Alumni and External Affairs


cc: Dr. Ben S. Malayang III