Alumni Letter March 2012

Alumni Letter March 2012

Dear Fellow Sillimanian:

“…a whole new world is waiting, it's mine for the taking, I know I can make it, today my life begins….”

A line from the song “Today, My Life Begins” composed and popularized by Filipino-American Imageinternational pop star Bruno Mars captures the optimism of Silliman University graduates.  This was chosen as the theme song of Class of 2012 on Seniors Day. (In photo: Yeshua Quizo of the QFQ serenading his fellow High School graduates.)

Among this year’s magna cum laude graduates is  2012 Most Outstanding Student awardee Mark Anthony P. Amparado who graduated with a degree in Mathematics. Amparado was recently chosen as among the Top 10 Students of Region 7, together with Athena Gene E. Duran who graduated cum laude in Information Technology. The line of magna cum laude honor graduates also includes: Alyssa Camille C. Ablaza, Bayani Pocholo T. Maglinte and Tulip Jan T. Micarandayo (Medical Technology); Reynil C. Arcide, J Marie R. Maxino  and Riza Mae G. Omega with degrees in Arts; Aldrin B. Cabrera (Mathematics), Kia Angela B. Gargantiel (Biology), Maria Sharona M. Romero (Theology), and, from the pioneering batch of Office Management degree, Jean Jessel P. Davis.

One of the highlights of this year’s college graduation exercises was the conferral of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on former Chief Justice Reynato Serrano Puno, who also served as the Commencement Speaker. Puno was honored for “his sterling life as a legal professional and a person of law.”

In this year’s High School graduation, multi-awarded public speaker  Amyrrha M. Estolloso was awarded Valedictorian. Best in Science awardee Schenitte Mharie R. Tingas was the Class Salutatorian, and the most bemedalled Monroe D. Orlina was First Honorable Mention. Orlina received a national gold medal for Character from the Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation and a medal for Excellence in Mathematics from Mercury Drug.

March, the hottest time of the year, is Fire Prevention Month in the Philippines. The Silliman University Volunteer Fire and Rescue Unit (SUVFRU) won second place in the 1st Regional Fire Olympics on March 29 held in Cebu City. Our SUVFRU was the only group from an educational institution and Imagecompeted  with seven  other teams from Cebu, Bohol and Siqujor. Most of these teams were composed of volunteers from the barangays of local government units. The contest was based on speed and technique in the following events: hose relay, busted hose, ladder revolution and rescue.  We are proud of our volunteers who showed heroism in the recent disasters that hit Dumaguete: team leaders Princeton Apura and Wilfredo Amor with John Bagtindon, Joemar Bandoquillo, Marlon Baligasa, Ronie Baligasa, Roldan Bantog, Bruce Lagarde, Harold Sesante, Jake Villavicencio and Romeo Mercado.

Prof. Hatsuhisa Takashima, former Chief Commentator and Director-General of NHK News and former Press Secretary of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a lecture on Disaster Management: Japan’s Quick and Efficient Recovery”on March 16 at the World Bank (WB) Knowledge for Development Center (KDC) at the Robert B. and Metta J. Silliman Library. The timely program was a joint project of Silliman University and the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Participants from Local Government Units learned much about developing disaster prevention measures.

Silliman University Research Director Dr. Enrique G. Oracion, now a United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA) fellow at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, USA was presentor during the Global Health Lecture Series of the Health Sciences Center of Texas Tech University on March 28 in Lubbock.  He spoke on the topic “Towards an Integrative and Collaborative Research Program: Responding to the Complex Challenges and Potentials in the Tropics.” The presentation showed that the Philippine research environment is a fertile ground for projects geared towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Dr. Oracion experienced the Silliman Spirit – best welcome from  alumna Dr. Christina Roble-Esperat of the School of Nursing of Texas Tech, which co-hosted the lecture series.

Also in the United States, Silliman University President Dr. Ben S. Malayang III spoke at the 9th Annual National Conference of the Asian American Pacific Island Nurses Association (AAPINA) on March 22 to 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among the organizers of the 2012 AAPINA conference was the Silliman University College of Nursing Alumni Association International. Dr. Malayang  sharpened an awareness on the abundance of nurses in the Philippines and the lack of opportunities for them to “practice professionally and be compensated appropriately.”

Silliman’s new Officer-in-Charge of Student Organizations and Activities Division (SOAD), Mr. Abe Cadeliña, presented Project Agape,  a socio-civic program aimed at helping poor communities, on March 28 at the Seoul Women’s University in Korea. Mr. Cadeliña is assistant director of Project Agape. Founded in 1998, Project Agape has donated computers and other learning materials to identified poor communities.

Among the popular Philippine destinations for foreign and local tourists is Oslob, south of Cebu City, the main gateway to a whale shark sanctuary in the Bohol Sea.  A review conducted by marine scientist Moonyeen Alava, a Sillimanian, showed that there was an increasing trend in the catch landings of whale sharks in the area, particularly in the late 1990s. Her study led to the vigilance of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on the killing of whale sharks.  Because of this, the Local ImageGovernment of Oslob decided that promoting whale sharks as a tourist attraction, and thus a source of income for coastal communities, was much better than hunting them for food. Alava’s research became the reference in teaching the tourism operators the nature of whale sharks as migratory species and recommended the preservation of the whale sanctuary. The current activities in Oslobof feeding the sharks may, however, disturb the life cycle of these gentle friends of the sea. They may become conditioned to humans feeding them.  Dr. Angel C. Alcala, in a recent interview with Cebu Daily News, commented that “the regular feeding of whale sharks off the seas of Oslob is altering their behavior.”  They get scratches on their heads from hitting the boat and the outriggers during feeding and tourist viewing.  Scuba-diver Patrick Chua who visited the Oslob sanctuary this summer shared an observation that the animals actually look tired from being conditioned to follow the tourism boats for food.  Studying the effects of feeding on the behavior and ecology of whale sharks has to be made the priority of government authorities.

Communication lines are now burning to invite classmates and friends to the different reunions in August 2012.   Among the busiest is Mr. Rod Sevilla of BBA Class of 1962.  Please help him gather his classmates for their golden year fellowship.

IN MEMORIAM: Jeorge L Satorre Jr. (Business Adm. 1953) on March 11, Laguna Sillimanians prexy Mauro C. Blauta (AB Socio 1966) on March 29; and 1971 Outstanding Sillimanian in the Field of Performing Arts  Constantino Bernardez  (SUHS 1946, Civil Engineering 1950) on March 27..  If you know of any Sillimanian who is not on 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]


The Officers and Staff of the Alumni and External Affairs


cc: Dr. Ben S. Malayang III