Alumni Letter March 2013

Alumni Letter March 2013

Dear Fellow Sillimanian:

ImageThe painting by our fellow Sillimanian Kitty Taniguchi captures the spirit of summer! With the summer sun, runners are everywhere.  The fitness fever has become an everyday passion to many and a dream to others who are still “downloading” possibilities. Haruki Murakami shares some wisdom on endurance: “…if you don’t keep repeating a mantra of some sort to yourself, you’ll never survive…. Here it is: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore.  The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself….”

 Wishing everyone good health and the passion for fitness this summer and beyond!





NOW, to the news from home:


  • The senior pastor of Silliman University Church  Rev. Jonathan R. Pia gave the 2013 Baccalaureate Sermon on March 24  entitled “WHEN THE CELEBRATION STOPS.”

It was based on Luke 19: 28-40.  Here are some parts of the sermon which was delivered on Palm Sunday: “Today is a big day for you,graduates and your family.  Congratulations on a job WELL… DONE, with the emphasis on DONE.   For the parents it would seem that you are now done paying the school fees and giving allowance to your child.  But let me warn you, this is not the end…..”  

“This is the way of Palm Sunday. That is the Way of Jesus. That is the Way of Life. God calls us to make music with all that we have for we know that God continues to be with us, to strengthen and to sustain us.  When you are out there roaming around the world and you face temptations, remember the convocations that you attended, where the speakers talked about integrity; when you are afraid, remember the Galilean Fellowship where we learned that God is a “Mighty Fortress that never fails.”  And in times when you are discouraged for it seems that evil is winning, remember that we can be victors with Christ.  This is the Good News that you can bring with you.  Go and live the Good News. “


  •  One thousand and one hundred fifty four college students received their respective bachelor’s and graduated degrees, officially becoming members of class 2013, during the 100th Commencement Exercises on March 24 at the Gymnasium. This year’s figures is higher than last school year’s 974. Sixteen graduated magna cum laude honors and 61, cum laude. Among the graduates was former Secretary of Finance and former Chairperson of the SU Board of Trustees Mrs. Juanita Dy-Amatong who obtained her degree of PhD in Social Science. She inspired so many professionals with her successful back-to-school harvest.
  • The 2013 Bar Exams results was tagged by Manila media as a “massacre,” since it registered among the lowest national passing percentages in the history of the exams, with only17.76.  Silliman University did well with a 50% passing rate; – we have five new lawyers. Among the 946 new lawyers in the country, out of 5,343 bar takers, are: Donna Ametyst Bernardo, Richard Catacutan, Gazzelenne Corsame-Fuentes,  Doyle Ex and James Michael Vincent Tinagan.  
  • Twenty-four members of the Silliman University College of Computer Studies (SUCCS) Class of 2013 passed the Philippine Information Technology General Certification Exam which was administered last March 15.  This good number of successful examinees strengthened Silliman’s distinction as Center of Development in Information Technology given by the Commission on Higher Education for SUCCS’ competitiveness in the field in the areas of instruction, curriculum, research and facilities.
  • A total of thirteen short films by Silliman students were showcased at the Fourth 61 Short Film Festival held on March 11 at the Cyber Lecture Hall of the Instructional Media and Technology Center.  The Festival directed by film appreciation teacher Ian Casocot is an annual program of the College of Mass Communication and was presented by the Societé des Cinephiles and Cultural Affairs Committee. 
  • His Excellency Harry K. Thomas, Jr., this year's graduation speaker, had a unique start to his speech. The United States Ambassador to the Philippines asked the graduates to stand, face the audience and express to their loved ones, “Salamat, mama ug papa! Salamat, nanay ug tatay!” The expression of gratitude orchestrated by the American speaker in the dialect was received with a thunderous applause as it was indeed a very meaningful gesture. Click to view on YouTube of the Ambassador’s message:


  •  On March 23, Silliman University was one with the world in the global Earth Hour campaign; the entire campus shut-down its power supply for an hour.
  • The Public Affairs Officer of the United States Embassy graced the Women's Month Celebration of the American Studies Resource Center (ASRC) of the Robert B. and Metta J. Silliman Library on March 11. Facilitating the training on bag weaving out of recycled and indigenous materials was Mrs. Merlinda Limbaga, a livelihood instructor at the Department of Social Welfare and Development who is also connected with the non-government organization KALIPI (Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipino).


  • ImageSillimanian lawyer Maria Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon is the new Commissioner of the Commission on Audit (COA), following her appointment on March 8. Atty. Guanzon took her oath of office before Supreme Court Chief Justice Hon. Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno.
  • Silliman University Board of Trustees Chairperson Leonor Magtolis Briones is the first nominee of the Kaakbay, the no. 62  party-list  in the 2013 Philippine Elections.  This one-sure-way to put another Sillimanian in Congress is considered by many as a worthy cause since all Sillimanians know that this well-loved alumna who became national treasurer had been consistent in giving the country sound points of departure in the financial decisions made by the Philippine government. A partial list of the Sillimanians running for office this coming national elections is one of the attachments in this circulation from the Alumni and External Affairs Office.


  • Silliman University Nutrition and Dietetics Department Chairperson Prof. Ana Vee Riconalla and Prof. Michelle Naranjo had been the local organizers of food production and safety events. They had also participated in training programs administered in the country and abroad. With their inspiration, Silliman entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.(NOCCI) on the establishment of the Negros Oriental Food Safety Team (NOFST).  Vice President for Development Prof. Jane Annette Belarmino signed the MoU with NOCCI president Mr. Eduard Du on March 13. The partnership formalizes the inclusion of experts from Silliman into the NOFST.
  • Silliman received a total of $30,500 worth of grants from the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA).  This is to fund the following projects: the “Indigenization of Formal Education for the Lumads in Mindanao” ($10,000); the “Orkestra Sin Arko” ($7,200) – a three-year project aimed at raising the performing level of an indigenous, traditional plectrum instrument ensemble; “Dapogan: An Online Database with indigeous Ingredients of Food Recipes” ($3,400) – a patnership between the Nutrition and Dietetics Department and the College of Computer Studies with the objective of developing a web-based interactive repository of food dishes from indigenous ingredients  and the “The Asianization of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop” ($5,000) – an initiative driven at developing an “Asian consciousness” into the program and expanding its participation to include writers from the Asian region. All five will be implemented by School Year 2013-2014.
  • ImageSillimanians in Mindanao will gather for SADYA MINDANAO 2013, the Tipon-inspired fellowship on April 27-28 in Cagayan de Oro. Please check this Facebook account for you are all welcome to join the white river rafting and more in this fun fellowship to celebrate The Silliman Spirit:

IN MEMORIAM: Party-list Congressman Hon. Sunny Rose A. Madamba (SUHS 1963) on March 1, Sandra Jane Chua Cuasito (Business with Computer Applications) on March 6, former Silliman Trustee and National Alumni President Hon. Congressman Edelmiro A. Amante (AA 1954, Law 1958) on March 10, Apollo Diao (Agriculture 1981) on March 19,  Silliman Registrar staff member Lannie Lim (BBA 1990) on March 20,  and Melchor R. Guerrero (SUHS 1951) on March 18. We also remember through prayers of peace two members of SUHS Class of 1964: Joel P. Macahig and Nostradamus A. Villanueva.  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 the 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