Alumni Letter June 2012

Alumni Letter June 2012

Dear Fellow Sillimanian:

Silliman University enjoys a 3.67% increase in its overall enrollment this school year 2012-2013. At the end of June, the total University student population was 9,259, with the Graduate School still registering students.

The Early Childhood, Elementary and High School under the School of Basic Education’s 2,320 total enrollment covered 1.7 per cent of the overall increase. Last school year’s SBE population was 2,281.

The comparative enrollment report of the Office of the Registrar and Admission as of June 15, showed nine academic units achieving increases in their total student population: College of Arts and Sciences (858), College of Education (557), College of Engineering (907), College of Law (117), College of Mass Communication (168), Institute of Rehabilitative Sciences (272), School of Public Affairs and Governance (26), School of Medicine (151), and the Intensive English Program for special students (25).

ImageThe University opened the school year with major challenges to face, one of which is the government’s adding K and 2 more years of secondary education. According to the K to 12 Department of Education Primer (2011), “K-12 means “Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondary education.” Kindergarten points to the 5-year old child who undertakes the standardized curriculum for preschoolers. Elementary education refers to 6 years of primary school (Grades 1-6) while secondary education means four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10 or HS Year 1-4). In addition to this, two years are now allotted for senior high school (Grades 11-12 or HS Year 5-6).”

Before this change, the Philippines was the only country in Asia and among the three remaining countries in the world that uses a 10-year basic education cycle.

The introduction of new curricula in every level kept the academia in extensive pre-enrollment preparation  to ensure the proper implementations of the change as mandated by the DeptEd. The K-plus-12 challenge includes the introduction of new pedagogies, new requirements on teachers’ qualifications and redeployments. With all of these, Silliman faced the school year’s opening with a welcome streamer that said, “ Welcome to Kto12-ready Silliman University School of Basic Education!”

ImageThe beautification of the campus today is being noticed by alumni and visitors.  Alumni parents who were enrolling their children have expressed, “Pagka-guapa ba gyud sa Silliman karon!.” June visitors from Hanshin University in Korea and from George Mason University in US also remarked, “You have a beautiful campus.”  This school year, construction of a future landmark began on June 10, the Medical School. The Medical School building near Vernon Hall and Pulido Hall , with the other landmarks already in place (SUMC and Angelo King Hall, home of the Allied Health programs) increases the campus area designated for promoting good health and educating health professionals. In the middle of this area is the gift of our beloved Dr. Jose “Tatang” Garcia, the Queen of the Forest tree(Saraca cauliflora) still surviving as the centerpiece of the landscape. Many visitors have asked for the name of this tree with golden blooms. Now you can help by sharing this information.   

Image114th Independence Day celebration in Dumaguete had a balikbayan as guest speaker, Jenny Lind Elmaco (graduated Magna cum Laude in Political Science and awarded one of the Ten Oustanding Students of the Philippines in 2002). The Barcelona-based Peace Studies scholar spoke, “Gi halad sa atong mga bayani ang ilang kinabuhi aron mapanalipdan ang atong demokrasya. Gipuhunan nila ang ilang dugo, singot ug luha. We commemorate this event today not only to showcase the bravery and wisdom of our forefathers and foremothers who died for our country but also to reaffirm our love for freedom and democracy…. Rizal our hero was five feet two inches high. His waistline, based on the extant pair of pants on exhibit at Fort Santiago, measured 26 inches.  His left shoulder was lower than his right and his voice was soft and he spoke with a slight lisp.  But his accomplishments made him immortal and his courage inspires our nation even to this day.

Today is crucial because it is important for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! Benjamin Disraeli wrote that “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” We are heirs of a great fortune of heroism and sheroism. I believe firmly that the character and capacities that made our heroes and sheroes great reside in all of us. We too despite our imperfections can and are heroes in our own right.

So today, we celebrate.  Today, we remember. Today, we are inspired. And today, we work for a better and brighter Philippines.  Mag usa ta, para matagamtaman nato ang nasud na patas ang kahigayunan. Usa ka Pilipinas na puno ug paglaum. Usa ka Pilipinas na tinuod gyud na kawasnon.”

ImageThe opening of the 50th year of Silliman University Cultural Affairs season had two of the best culture ambassadors of the Philippines in one concert, the Philippine Opera Company and the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group on June 29 at the Luce Auditorium. “Ang Bagong Harana” featured Filipino classical songs and dances. From tribal Philippines to the era of Philippine movies, popular songs through the years charmed an appreciative audience. The concert ended with an unusual interpretation of Fredie Aguilar’s “Anak” with representations of street children as part of the stage design.

Upon the request of a regular reader, Mr. Rod Sevilla of the City of Cabadbaran, we are printing here two of his comments through e-mail on the May 2012 Alumni update letter:

Received on June 28, addressed to the Secretary of the President (message intended for VPAA TAN):


It’s now June 28 and I haven’t heard from the VPAA on the e-mail below which I sent on June 22, despite the follow up you made.

Kindly convey my sincerest apologies to her for bringing up a subject as trivial as correct grammar in the University’s communications with its alumni.

Also, please tell her I am sorry that I, a graduate of a lowly 4-year course at Silliman and who accidentally served in its Board of Trustees for 10 years, should expect to be given the courtesy of an acknowledgment, much reply, from a more educated management employee in the University.

Please have this published in the monthly alumni update and other University publications so that other alumni are warned that it is very dangerous to apply what they learned from Silliman University.

Received on June 22, addressed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Betsy Joy B. Tan:

“I am very concerned that English in Silliman has deteriorated much.

In the May 2012 alumni update, it says ‘A total of… were….

I was taught that total is a collective word and is considered singular, therefore instead of were, the writer should have said was.

Or am I out of date?”

Editor’s Note: We concede that we do make grammatical errors at Silliman. We thank Mr. Sevilla for the continued vigilance. 

IN MEMORIAM: Jimmy C. Baldado of SU Church maintenance on June 17, Wilfredo N. Lazola of Silliman Library maintenance on June 19, Laudemer Caballero Yap (BBA Management/Accounting 1988) on June 22,  Romeo M. Catacutan(AA Pre-Law 1958) on June 26, Ve Enojo Ochoco(Social Work  1978) on June 26, and Robert T. Chuang (SUHS 1963) on June 29.  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].


The Officers and Staff of the Alumni and External Affairs

cc: Dr. Ben S. Malayang III

P.S.  The initial entries of the 111th Founders Day Calendar of Activities is already available in the Silliman website: The 2012 FD theme is “Empower me–Spirit of the LIVING GOD!” with Atty. Tabitha Espinosa-Tinagan as Founders Day Chairperson. Email:  [email protected]