2013 onto 2014 | Inquirer News

2013 onto 2014

/ 06:48 AM January 05, 2014

When 2013 opened I started to concretely prepare for retirement from UP Cebu. Lita Grava of the UP Cebu personnel office was very kind and gave me  a list of requirements. I had received both negative and positive anecdotes about retiring from the government. In my case, the positive anecdotes were predominant. In fact, most of the UP staff were helpful. I am very grateful first of all to the personnel office staff led by Becca, Fe and Lita who promptly worked on my papers. Jenny Bastinen helped me with my clearance. The library staff Christy, Flor and Myla assisted me with the many books I had to return or replace. Viking looked for the materials I needed from Manila.

Aileen, Rita and Teresa of the Cash Office were very helpful, immediately calling the house for the checks I had to claim.  Nene Montano helped me with my Pag-Ibig claim. Lissa Lapa helped me with my GSIS claim. I actually benefited from the streamlining of procedures and the use of electronic equipment.

The clean-up of my things and the turnover of materials was lightened with the helpfulness of Jever.


Leaving UP Cebu did not require much adjustment because Mary Rose Villacastin-Maghuyop invited me to join Our Lady of Joy Learning Center. While the private school is quite different from UP Cebu, many of my experiences here are quite similar to those in UPHS. I am still among high school students in a co-educational academic institution and I continue to teach social studies subjects. Trees are a beautiful part of the UP campus and Our Lady of Joy Learning Center, but the trees are younger in the new school. Most of the staff here are refreshingly young, enthusiastic, eager, earnest, very open to requesting for and receiving untried ideas.


But while in UP there is always the reminder about  the separation of church and state, Our Lady of Joy asserts that it is a Catholic school. The staff and students are very prayerful here, even the pupils in the elementary grades have their turn to lead the prayers.

I was thrilled to find out that the vice mayor of Consolacion is UP High  alumnus Rey Damole and that Arnulfo Abinales sits in the municipal council.

The pupils and students are used to the warmth and gentleness of Mary Rose, so they do not hesitate to come to the administrative office to make inquiries or ask for help or healing of minor pains. When I am there I try my best to sensitively listen to their calls for help, so I can creatively respond to them, starting with a kind look and gentle massage.

Because of the challenges facing our localities and the entire country, remnants of small-mindedness and parochialism have to be broken.

In heart and mind, but mostly in prayer, we were with Beng Climaco and a wide alliance of diverse supporters as they struggled through a sudden intrusion which disrupted their lives.

Bohol has been a favorite place, because all my experiences there had been very affirmative. We have been there many times for a variety of reasons, mostly for mutual knowledge sharing. The UPHS had been there to re-energize and were in Sagbayan for a view of the Chocolate Hills as well as take the special cruise along the Loboc River. With Sidlak Gender Resource Center and the UP GAD office we have been through most of Bohol for the gender assessment of its poverty reduction program. So we do not only have fond memories but also warm ties with Bohol. Imagine how we felt when devastation and death occurred. Some degree of relief came with the outpouring of assistance from all sides.


The staff and the families of the Legal Alternatives for Women Center Inc. was able to link and send assistance to Barangay Magtungtung in the island of Panggangan, Calape through its parish priest, Fr. Joselito Masula. When they moved to rebuilding, he called for assistance in the search of a chain saw which was not overpriced.

LAW Center, Inc. has been orienting women regarding gender as well socio-economic enterprises. In DaanBantayan, it is Nagkahi-usang Kababayn-an sa Paypay ug Bakhawan alang sa Kalambuan. In San Remigio, in Busugon a women’s association had been formed, Hini-usang Kusog sa Kababayn-an. With the linkage and organization LAW Center, Inc. could promptly bring needed assistance to victims of  supertyphoon, Yolanda. Now the Women in Socio-Economic (WISE) project will include rehabilitation as well as disaster risk reduction management. These groups joined the Christmas fellowship of LAW Center Inc. together with evacuees from Eastern Visayas at the Tinago Sports Complex.

The members of Alay Kapwa in their Christmas Agape had love offerings for the typhoon victims of Bogo, which they actually brought there.

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Thanks be to God for the many challenges and opportunities that emerged from the calamities. I learned a lot from all these: the value of solidarity especially in organization, the importance of the truly Christian spirit of generosity beyond one’s loved ones. From the difficulties in reaching all the victims of the calamities we realize the limitations of our social and political development. With the magnanimity of our foreign donors there is mutual inspiration: while we moved the world to help, they encourage us to raise our level of physical and cultural development so we can have more timely and appropriate responses to the challenges of a changing earth.


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