Philippines

2020 March 19
Solemn Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

Dear Lasallians in the Frontlines,

Greetings of peace and well-being! We salute and support your gallant efforts to quell COVID-19 as you perform your responsibilities beyond the call of duty while putting yourselves at great risk. We stand in solidarity with you as part of the health and medical team directly assisting the sick and infected, or as researchers and scientists pressed to review test results or find effective antidotes to the virus, or as round-the-clock logistics and security forces, public servants and volunteers doing your share to reassure the public, restore and maintain order and provide much needed services to everyone.

We are one with you during this very challenging time and assure you of our fervent prayers as your fellow Lasallians in East Asia. We will especially remember you as we pause for a few minutes of quiet prayer daily to remember all Lasallians in the frontlines and to intercede for all those who are working earnestly in many different ways to provide solutions and address the challenges we face.

For you, all Lasallians in East Asia will gather together and by association in their respective homes and communities at around 5:00 p.m. beginning today March 19, feast of St. Joseph, Protector of our Lasallian Institute, and ending on May 15, feast of our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. May the good Lord ever keep you in the palm of His hand. Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

Fraternally yours,

Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC

lasallians-gather-in-prayer

Loving Father, our Lasallian Family draws near to you in fervent prayer for all those affected by COVID-19. 

In FAITH, we lift up to you our fears and anxieties and the sufferings of those who have been infected always remembering that even in our darkest hours we are in your most holy presence. 

In SERVICE, we beg you for strength and wisdom to do all that needs to be done knowing that we can be channels of your healing grace when we do all our actions for the love of you. 

In COMMUNION, we stand in solidarity with all the frontliners who risk their lives for others and pray for all medical teams and support personnel who earnestly seek its cure and provide remedy and comfort to those who are sick and most vulnerable. Most Loving Father we entrust our lives and the health and well-being of our families and communities to your care and protection for with you we will be safe and secure.

Amen.

lasallians-gather-in-prayer

lasallians-gather-in-prayer

330-lasallian-prayer-covid-19-thai-1

331-lasallian-prayer-covid-19-es

331-lasallian-prayer-covid-19-jp

PHILIPPINES - On 21 October 2020, the De La Salle Brothers conferred on Mrs. Lourdes Hiponia the Letter of Affiliation signed by Br. Robert Schieler FSC, Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

The Letter and title of AFSC are given to Mrs. Hiponia in recognition of her unfailing devotion and support for the Brothers and for the educational work in the Philippine Lasallian family that she has manifested for so many years.

The De La Salle Brothers of Bacolod and the wider Lasallian community of Negros Occidental would not be the same without the dedication of Mrs. Hiponia. She is a living legacy, and without doubt, has become our Brother/Sister in the Lasallian Mission.

Congratulations to our very dear Brother, Br. Lourdes Hiponia AFSC! (Text & Photos: Br. Mico de Leon FSC)

 

From the Special Resolution for Mrs. Lourdes Hiponia for Affiliation to the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools:

Last December 2019 at the annual St. Joseph High School La Salle Alumni Homecoming, two retired faculty members gave their messages, Mrs. Lourdes Hiponia and Mr. Noel Lariza. Both held their ground before many alumni who have by this time become more interested in their reunion rather than what these two teachers could share. Lourdes, true to her training as a Lasallian teacher, went down the stage and shared her reflections on the occasion, highlighting her deep concern for the alumni as well as the joy in seeing them again. Her spontaneous and deep connection with the alumni of St. Joseph School – La Salle while speaking was observed.

Lourdes is the epitome of a Lasallian educator, at her age her words were well articulated, sensible, and clear despite the large audience gathered to celebrate that night. Her message to the alumni that night reflected what she always spoke about and lived for in her active days as teacher and later administrator: Faith, Service and Communion in Mission. This message of hers that night definitely stood out and was louder than the noise of the celebration. It is indeed clear that in whatever situation Lourdes finds herself in, with confidence and conviction, she is able to share the Lasallian spirit and values in a way that does not impose on nor reject local culture but respects and accommodates without compromising the said spirituality and values.

Lourdes had been most loyal to St. Joseph High School-La Salle most of her life, dedicating her energies beyond retirement to work for the alumni and advancement offices with a heart for the poor and underprivileged students, teachers and staff of St. Joseph High School-La Salle. It would not be a surprise for the Lasallian family, especially the Brothers, if she would willingly have volunteered to help out in other schools if she would have been given the opportunity to do so.

Lourdes, being a mother, her language and manner of relating with everyone clearly expresses a nurturing, caring, and compassionate heart even when at times they are challenged by long established policies.

Lourdes’ devotion to Mother Mary is well known through her strong support for the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross which has many local chapters in the entire Metro Bacolod, promoting Marian devotion to both private and public schools.

 

With faith in the resurrection, the Lasallian Family of the Philippines and the Lasallian East Asia District announce the passing of Sr. Marie Antoine Villanueva, SPC, AFSC on 2020 June 25 at St. Paul’s Hospital Iloilo, Iloilo City. She was 90 years old, on her 61st year as an SPC Sister and 20th year as an Affiliated Member of the Institute.

She has worked with the Lasallian Family in various capacities spanning 20 years at the DLS-University Medical Center and the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) in Dasmariñas, Cavite most notably as the Dean of the College of Nursing, Hospital Administrator and Vice President for Administration.

May Sr. Antoine be welcomed in God’s loving embrace and take her rightful place in heaven where “those who teach many unto justice will shine like stars forever” (Daniel 12:3).

sr-marie-diamond-jubilee.jpg
Sr. Antoine Marie Villanueva SPC, AFSC, together with Brothers and Lasallian Partners, celebrated her Diamond Jubillee as SPC on 2017 July 22 at the Mere Monique Home St. Paul's Monastery Retreat Center in Ticud, Lapaz, Iloilo City, Philippines.

Eternal rest grant unto Sr. Antoine, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon her.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

By: Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC

Lasallian Partners and Brothers from different regions of the Philippines gathered on February 9, 2020, feast day of Saint Brother Miguel Febres Cordero FSC, to witness and celebrate the profession of Final Vows of Br. Dan Sanding FSC. The celebration began with a mass at 10:00 am and was held at the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary Chapel, De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI), Dasmariñas City, Cavite, Philippines.

326-br-dan-2

The mass was presided by Fr. Ramon Bautista SJ and was co-celebrated by Fr. Daniel Polzer. Family and friends of Br. Dan were also there to witness this significant milestone in his life as a De La Salle Brother. Present also during the event were Br. Armin Luistro FSC, LEAD Visitor, Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC and Br. Felipe Belleza FSC, Auxiliary Visitors.

Br. Dan decided to join the congregation as a Postulant way back in 2010 and received his Holy Habit in 2012. After his initial formation years, He was then assigned to La Salle Academy in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines where he started the Sunday Apostolate of Volunteers called "Saint Brother Miguel Academy". Through this program, many students internalized the value of service as they taught and served the kids from public schools. He also taught Christian Living Classes in the High School Department.

326-br-dan-3

The mission continues and after his assignment at La Salle Academy - Iligan, he was invited to serve at De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI), Dasmarinas City, Cavite up until today. As a young Brother assigned at DLSMHSI, he is teaching Health Care and Foundation to Anatomy and Physiology in the Senior High School Department. He also helped out in establishing the partnership between Centro Universitario La Salle in Madrid, Spain and De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute for the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programs. Br. Dan is the first graduate of DLSMHSI to become a De La Salle Brother. 

After seven years in temporary vows, Br. Dan, who is known to all as a caring Brother, decided to say "yes" to God who first loved him and called him in this shared mission of educating the young, especially the poor. In his response during the ceremony, he thanked all the people who accompanied and journeyed with him.

326-br-dan-4

326-br-dan-5

326-br-dan-6
 

From the beginning of her career, Dr. Anita L. Lim has been living her advocacy to bringing quality education to those who need it most. Her office staff and household employees could attest to this as she stood as their sponsor for the fulfillment of their educational development. Like St. John Baptist de La Salle, Dra. Anita sees education as the key to transform the lives of people. Dra. Anita was known for her meaningful insights and detailed brilliance in her field of expertise. But unknown to many, Dra. Anita has profoundly touched many lives including the most ordinary people she had met along her journey despite her numerous achievements and responsibilities. In 2007, she was invited to become one of the Trustees of La Salle University (LSU) Ozamiz. Since then, Dra. Anita has been sharing valuable contributions for the improvement of infrastructure, scholarships and organizational system of LSU. As a devout Catholic, Dra. Anita strongly promoted the spiritual and religious life in the University. Aside from attending LSU-sponsored masses, she also helped develop the Our Lady of the Star Chapel even when her youngest son, Mr. Alex Lim, took over her position in the Board of Trustees in 2013. As the renovation of the University chapel continues, the legacy of Dra. Anita and her entire family lives on.

325-dr-anita-l-lim-award-2.jpg

As we celebrate Dra. Anita Lim’s life, La Salle University is proud to give honor to her and her wonderful contributions to La Salle. Br. Jaime Dalumpines FSC, University President, handed the Indivisa Manent Award to Dra. Anita Lim (posthumous). The award was received by the entire Lim Family on February 7, 2020.

“Indivisa Manent”, the Latin phrase found in the family Crest of St. John Baptist de La Salle and it best translates into English as “Forever United.” In line with this award, La Salle University Ozamiz Community shall be forever united with Dra. Anita. (Text: Ms. Mary Grace Luna; Photos: LSU Communications Team)

The Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) Visitor, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, had his canonical visit to the Brothers of 1911 and House of Studies (HOST) Community last January 16- 19, 2020. For a series of days, he met the Brothers individually, asked how they were, and updated them about the movements of the institute, the district, and the sector.

In his community dialogue with the Brothers of the House of Studies, Br. Armin presented to the community the current state and the possible future of the Institute. He also shared his vision of the Brothers of the district to be “Brothers beyond borders.”

Br. Armin invites the LEAD Brothers to recognize the seven sectors as one unit rather than individual sectors. "We have to move into witnessing the fact that we are not Brothers of one culture. We are Brothers that share various cultures and languages, and that would be the essence of our fraternity." He further adds, "If we want the Institute to respond to the merging need and the call of a globalizing world, we need to recognize that vocations are not for one sector alone." He also encourages the Brothers to promote vocations and open their doors, and not to limit themselves to the traditional schools within our sector alone. Rather, the Brothers are urged to be open to areas where possible vocations can emerge. One of the targets of LEAD is to encourage Brothers and Lasallian partners to be volunteers for the mission of the Institute, a program for “Brothers without borders." In the end, Br. Armin, invites the Brothers to keep thinking “LEAD” and be open towards becoming a "Brother of the World."

Taal Volcano, an active volcano in the province of Batangas around 60 kilometres south of Manila, released a phreatic explosion on 12 January, Sunday. This prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to raise Alert Level 2 (Increasing Unrest) for Taal Volcano at 2:30 pm, which quickly went to Alert Level 4 (Hazardous Eruption Imminent) at 7:30 pm. Mandatory evacuation, flights cancelled, and other disaster risk reduction measures were set in motion to ensure public safety and security.

La Salle schools all over the country quickly responded by calling for donations and organising relief operations. The La Salle school in the province, De La Salle Lipa (DLSL), acted as the central coordinator. With the leadership of Br. Dante Amisola FSC, DLSL President, the school adopted Sto Toribio Elementary School, a public school that turned into an evacuation center. DLSL committed to provide 3 full meals for the evacuees, as well as come up with uplifting activities, such as games, zumba, story telling, and prayer services.

321-taal-eruption-01

321-taal-eruption-02

321-taal-eruption-03

321-taal-eruption-04

On 18 January, DLSL welcomed 80 families to stay inside the campus, not as evacuees, but considered as guests. Called the ‘Welcome Shelters’, the facility provides individual tents per family, shower amenities, entertainment area, play center, and more. When the guests arrive, they undergo medical check-up and a 4- step registration process.

Click on the link to read more about the ‘Welcome Shelters’: Lipa school aims to provide sense of normalcy, dignity to Taal evacuees by Ms. Tina Ganzon-Ozaeta

321-taal-eruption-05

321-taal-eruption-06

321-taal-eruption-13

321-taal-eruption-07

321-taal-eruption-08

321-taal-eruption-09

321-taal-eruption-10

321-taal-eruption-11

PARC General Councilor, Br. Ricky Laguda FSC, and LEAD Brother Visitor, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, visited a lady at the Welcome Shelters who needs to undergo surgery.

(Photos: Br. Dante Amisola FSC, Ms. Diane Pardo-Aguilar, Mrs. ES Medialdea, Mr. Dennis Roxas Dimaala, Ms. Ana Ria Aguilar, Mr. Zak Castil)

321-taal-eruption-12

Photo from newsinfo.inquirer.net

“While the school academic administrators will be making official announcements regarding these matters, I would like to personally take this opportunity to appeal, in these very trying times, to our dear parents, students, faculty, and personnel to bear with understanding the very dire situation many of our 'kababayans' are currently experiencing and to seize this crisis and convert it into a valuable "teaching-moment" for ourselves and our children---about what is really most important in life, particularly now; what it means to be Filipino; and, what it means to be a human being, especially in the face of extreme adversity and untold suffering.

The next few days and weeks are opportunities for us as individuals, and with our families, to show our humanity and what it is that makes us truly human, made in God's own image and likeness----our Compassion, our Mercy, our Kindness. It is no longer enough to just feel pity but do nothing. Each act of kindness to others in most need leads us to our own salvation. And like the best of the Filipinos-of-old, practicing "bayanihan" is not old fashioned, but rather cool.” - Br. Dante Amisola FSC (DLSL President)

Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable and there is no assurance when this calamity will end. In line with this, we are calling on the Lasallian Family of LEAD and beyond to help in the relief operations. For donations, kindly check the details below:

Cash Donations

 

by Br. John David M. Ong FSC

(text taken from the Community Letter of the Brother Visitor)

The Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) Visitor, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, had his canonical visit to the Brothers’ Community in Ozamiz on December 5 - 7.

“Bright and airy, white and homey” - these were the initial feelings evoked in Br. Armin as he was welcomed in the Brothers’ residence. He expressed his gratitude to the Lord for the architect’s modern design, the hard work of all the laborers, the thinking and haggling, dreaming and funding from among the Brothers of the sector and of the community, both past and present.  

He reminded the Brothers not to be distracted with the long punch list of items that would need to be completed, corrected or cleaned soonest from the more important task of building community and making the residence a real home where Brothers and  guests may relax, rejuvenate and recenter so that together they may seek God and have the joy of together finding Him.    

Br. Armin put high premium on the aspiration of the Brothers in Ozamiz to strengthen the fraternal bond that unites them as one community of Brothers witnessing to the good news that God desires for all to be saved. He also affirmed what the Brothers shared on fraternal bond as an essential component in vocations promotions as it is a most efficacious instrument in pursuing the Lasallian Mission. 

The LEAD Visitor commended also the Brothers’ efforts to work closely with the local Church. He noted that it is impossible to carve out the Brothers’ ministry independent of the Church’s mission of evangelization.  

He urged also the Brothers of Ozamiz to develop and invest in an effective formation program for the Lasallian Associates that would lead to sharing responsibility, accompanying leaders and authentically working together and by association for the mission. 

Br. Armin requested the Brothers of Ozamiz to join him in prayer for the special intentions of the people of Hong Kong and for an awakening among the Brothers and the Lasallian Associates the missionary calling of going beyond the borders of their comfort zones.  

It has been an annual tradition to have a special Easter Issue featuring photos, both serious and not so serious, of the annual Holy Week retreat held in Malaysia (Hotel Equatorial, Malacca), Philippines (Benilde Retreat and Conference Center), and Thailand (Redemptorist Center, Pattaya).

Special thanks to the retreat facilitators this year: Br. Aidan Kilty, Br. Jorge Gallardo, and Br. Vincent Pelletier. Kudos also to the retreat coordinators: Brs. Andrew, Alex, and Francisco. Thanks to Br. Ranier for collecting these photos and posting them online. Happy Easter and enjoy the photos! (More photos in this link: https:// bit.ly/2XLfYR5)

With faith in the resurrection, the Lasallian Family in the sector of the Philippines and in the Lasallian East Asia District [LEAD] announce the passing of Sr. Corazon Manalo DC, AFSC at 3:11 am today. For more than two decades, Sr. Cora served as a dedicated faculty member at De La Salle University, trustee of several Lasallian school boards and the National Mission Council of De La Salle Philippines, Spiritual Director, mentor and dear friend of many Brothers and Lasallian Partners in the Philippines and in LEAD. She was presented the Institute Letters of Affiliation on 28 June 2013 and continued to be actively engaged in the reorganization and renewal of the Lasallian Mission.

Her remains will lie in state at the Daughters of Charity Provincial House in Parañaque starting at 8:00 a.m. on 28 May. Interment will be on 31 May at 10:00 a.m. in the same DC compound.

302-corazon-manalo-asfc-2.jpg

The Brothers’ Communities are requested to offer masses for the intentions of a beloved FSC Affiliate. We enjoin our Lasallian Partners to remember her in your intentions and prayers. May Sr. Cora find much comfort and peace in the boundless charity that flows from the heart of Christ.

Fraternally yours,

Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC
Brother Visitor

On 23-27 May 2019, 67 Aspirants and Contacts gathered at the University of St. La Salle (USLS)-Bacolod City for the annual Vocations Summer Camp (VSC) 2019. The National Vocations Directors, namely Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC and Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC, organized the annual event. Br. Irwin Climaco FSC and the Aspirants and Contacts of the Bacolod Community, who were the hosts for this year’s event, also assisted them in preparing the event. The participants came from 13 Communities and 15 schools around the Philippines, which is most likely the largest number of participants in the history of VSC. Present during the event were Br. Abet Pia FSC, Br. Cliff Sy FSC, Br. Marvin Sipin FSC, Br. Eugene De Luna FSC and Br. Vince Paildan FSC who assisted and also accompanied their respective participants from the schools that they are assigned in.

This year’s hosts Br. Irwin and the Aspirants and Contacts of the Bacolod Community organized the opening ceremonies. The event started with a short but very meditative prayer. After the prayer, a very festive and joyful atmosphere welcomed the participants.The USLS Drumbeaters sounded their drums as the participants were led to the venue for the opening dinner. Br. Sockie De La Rosa FSC, the Community Director of the Bacolod Community, gave the welcoming remarks. After which, Br. Kenneth Martinez FSC the President of USLS shared his inspirational message. During the dinner the A7 Band, composed of high school students from USLS, serenaded the students.

303-vocations-summer-camp-2019-2.jpg

The themes of the 3-Day event were based on Faith, Service and Communion. In the morning of the official first day of the event, exploring and deepening the value of “faith”, the group started with a recollection facilitated by Br. Kenneth Martinez FSC. And in the afternoon Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC gave a Workshop on Visioning and Planning for Vocation Promotion. And the last activity to cap off Day 1 was the Orientation session for their Community Exposure for the next day. This session was facilitated by Ms. Terai Barcoma, the Program Director of BALAYAN Social Development Center. After the sessions, they headed to Diotay’s Restaurant and tasted the different variety of seafood, which is one of the specialties of Bacolod when it comes food. 

303-vocations-summer-camp-2019-3.jpg

303-vocations-summer-camp-2019-4.jpg

The 2nd Day of the event is their Community Exposure in Gawad Kalinga (GK) Lopue Legacy Village in Dulao, Bago City. GK Dulao is about 30-40 minutes away from Bacolod City. It is a farming community being taken care of by the BALAYAN Social Development Center of USLS. The Community Exposure started with a getting to know activity where both Aspirants/Contacts and Residents gave different presentations. The VSC participants were then separated into different groups for interaction with Kids, Youth, Mothers and Fathers. Time was spent engaging in different sessions like faith sharing and recollections. They also went around the village as the residents shared with our participants how a regular day is spent. After the activity they were also divided into the different houses of the residents. Our participants joined them for lunch thus allowing them more time for immersion and interaction.

The activity concluded with the Aspirants, Contacts and the Brothers giving school supplies to the children of the residents as form of thanking them for warmly accommodating the participants in their community. In the evening the participants joined the USLS Community for the Mass. They were also introduced to the community as a way to also encourage more young men to join Contact/ Aspirancy Program. After the mass, they went to Aida’s Chicken for dinner where they enjoyed the famous Bacolod Chicken Inasal. The group returned to USLS after dinner and the evening continued with a session that processed their experiences of their Cultural Exposure. Br. Irwin facilitated the session and sharing of each group.

303-vocations-summer-camp-2019-5.jpg

On the last leg of the event, the participants were again divided into new groups for their Cultural Exposure. The goal of the Cultural Exposure is to allow each participant to explore and have a taste of the culture of Bacolod City and the Negrense people. Their goal is to be able to integrate their own experiences the past few days to the culture of Bacolod. They have to visit places and discover something new and unique about Bacolod and the people. Bacolod is known as the City of Smiles, and their output is to create a VLOG that exhibits Brotherhood and Happiness which is connected to the current Vocation Campaign “Happiness Is a Habit”. The participants should be able to finish and submit their VLOG before the start of the Culmination Night, where these will be judged and awarded.

Br. Abet and the Discerners organized and hosted the Culmination Night for this year. The hosts were able to draw attention and excitement in organizing different games and presentations. After all the VLOGS were presented and awarded, they had a Closing Prayer to officially end the Camp. To end on a happy note and before all the Aspirants and Contacts bid their farewells, all participated in a Community Dance to the beat of the Tercentenary Song.

303-vocations-summer-camp-2019-6.jpg

The event was really a blast and left an impact to the participants. It was truly a celebration of our Lasallian Vocation and Brotherhood with all the festive and positive vibe that was shared by the Aspirants, Contacts and the Brothers.

With a large number of participants and a very successful event, we felt that our Founder St. La Salle and God is truly celebrating with us as we also currently commemorate our Tercentenary Celebrations and the Year of Lasallian Vocations. Thank God for more Vocations, Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever!

Acknowledgement. The organizers of VSC 2019 would like to thank Br. Kenneth Martinez FSC and the USLS Community, Br. Sockie de la Rosa FSC and the Bacolod Brothers Community and Br. Irwin Climaco FSC and the Bacolod Aspirants and Contacts for warmly accommodating us and providing us with all our needs during the whole duration of the event. Madamo Guid Nga Salamat! (Text & Photos: Br. Ranier R. Guillergan FSC)

About the Official Logo of the Vocations Summer Camp 2019

303-vocations-summer-camp-2019-7.jpg

This year’s Vocation Summer Camp is happening in Bacolod City, “Home of the Masskara Festival”. The logo takes cue from this fun and festive celebration. The image on the left is a deconstructed face of St. La Salle, forming a figure of a Brother enjoying the festival’s revelry. Inspired by Electric Masskara, the vibrant colors of the logo exhibits the continued vitality of vocations in the Philippines.

The FSC’s Internat ional St rategy Committee (ISC) had its quarterly meeting at Hotel Benilde, Manila, Philippines on 13-14 July 2019. The ISC is the committee commissioned in 2017 by the Superior General to develop strategies to achieve optimal financial management of the Institute and the sustainability and vitality of the mission. Below are the members of the committee:

Br. Ambrose Payne FSC (AU)
Mr Nestor Tan (PH)
Br Armin Luistro FSC (PH)
Br Michael Quirk FSC (US)
Br Martin Rocha FSC (MX)
Mr Julio Gordillo FSC (MX)
Mr Pierre Damiba (BF)
Mr Alessandro Lombardi (IT)

This is the second time that the Philippine Sector has hosted the meeting. The last one was in January 2018. (Text & Photos: Mr. Ian Saulog)

308-isc-mtg-2.jpg

308-isc-mtg-3.jpg

The LEAD Team 2019-2023: 1st Row (seated from left to right): The District Council members - Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC, Br. Andrew Loke FSC, Br. Nicholas Seet FSC, Br. Joseph Klong FSC, Br. Lucas Thein FSC, Br. Michael Broughton FSC

2nd Row (standing from left to right): Mr. Jyron Raz, Br. Francisco Chadang FSC, Br. Mikey Cua FSC, Mr. Jay Gervasio, Br. Patrick Tierney FSC, Br. Ricky Laguda FSC, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Br. Gus Boquer FSC, Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC, Br. Felipe Belleza FSC, Br. Sockie de la Rosa FSC, Atty. Carlu Fernandez, Mr. Ferdie Fernandez

21 July 2019 was an auspicious day. Salle de Toulouse Function Room in Hotel Benilde, Manila, became the venue of the first District Council meeting (DC 31) of the new LEAD administration headed by Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Visitor of East Asia. This was also the first time that the whole 18-member LEAD Team was complete.

The morning was optimally utilized by discussing the LEAD Map 2019-2023 - the plans for the District for the next 4 years. The Map consisted of 7 LEAD Goals (Mission, Formation, Vocation, Leadership, Sustainability, Linkages, and Organization) and its corresponding Key Priority Programs (KPP).

There was also a soft launching of the LEAD Mobile App, which the District Council used for voting on the 33 KPPs and other Resolutions. A simulated e-meeting was conducted via video-conference in the afternoon. These technological tools will hopefully shape how the future meetings of the District happen.

After the meeting, the team had a sumptuous dinner at Barbara’s in Intramuros. (Photos: Mr. Andrew Pamorada)

309-council-mtg-2.jpg

309-council-mtg-3.jpg

309-council-mtg-4.jpg

Br. Antolin “Butch” Alcudia III FSC professed his final vows on August 10 at the newly-built Holy Infancy Chapel of La Salle Academy, Iligan City.

The celebration commenced with the blessing of the chapel by the celebrant Most Rev. Severo C. Caermare, D.D., Bishop of Dipolog and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Iligan and concelebrated by guest priests.

Br. Armin A. Luisto FSC, Visitor of East Asia, in his reflection shared “...this is a unique gathering - almost unrepeatable - where we interweave the blessing of a school chapel, the rites of final profession of vows for a La Salle Brother, the feast of the martyr St. Lawrence, the Muslim feast of Eidul Adha and the visit of our Brother  uperior General. It’s La Salle Iligan’s version of halo-halo or palapa - take your pick. It could be a veritable nightmare for the liturgist (as well as for the homilist).

Luistro attempted to capture the seemingly divergent threads into one yarn that could all hold on to for coherence and meaning by proposing to simply remember three B’s: Bethel, Butch, and Bethsaida. He expounded “Bethel awakens us to the awesome presence of God. Butch inspires us to live in God’s presence - pound for pound - all the days of our life. Bethsaida beckons us to gather in church as a community.”

310-br-butch-2.jpg

LEAD Visitor recalled that Br. Butch texted him two week ago with a shout out “How awesome is this time! When Br. Mario celebrated his 25th year as a Brother, I became a Postulant. He is also 25 years ahead sa ako sa LSA. Batch sila ni Papa... When I moved to Sabah, nag-celebrate ng 25th ang Asrama Butitin Nabawan... When I moved to Ozamiz, 25 years celebration ng LSU...” Luistro added that when he received the approval from Brother Superior for Br. Butch to take final profession, it was on the day of Br. Butch’s 39th birthday - on July 10.

310-br-butch-3.jpg

Luistro added how two young Brothers, who lived with Br. Butch in community, described God’s temple embodied in him: Brother A says: “Big Brother to his Brothers in community whom he will defend against online bashers, unfair comments and fake news. Big Brother to the people whom he works with and to his colleagues who would confide with him on personal problems and other work- or love-related matters. Big Brother to his students especially to the most memorable 4A and 4B [sections of USLS]. Big Brother to his family who consults him on all major decisions.”

On the other hand, Brother B says: “Big Heart for the poor as he was a CFC missionary to the different communities particularly in India. Big Heart for Lasallian Partners whom he inspires. Big Heart for God’s creation as he often takes time off for day trips to the beach, mountains, and hot springs. Big Heart for the country and its citizens, for integrity, justice and good governance.”

Luistro, the former Secretary of the Department of Education, added “Kung sa DepED pa: MakaDiyos, Makatao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa. Tiunay, si Butch usa ka masaligang Daku nga Kuya natong tanan! (Truly, Butch is a Big Brother for all!)

Br. Robert “Bob” Schieler FSC, whom Luistro described as “the first Filipino Superior General” accepted the profession of final vows of Br. Butch.

310-br-butch-4.jpg

The Holy Infancy Chapel was designed by Architect Jojo Gutierrez, a Lasallian who is behind De La Salle Lipa’s Capilla De La Salle. The pews in the chapel are made of wood harvested from Mt. AgadAgad, planted by Br. Jaime “Jimmy” Dalumpines FSC 20 years ago. The central figure in the sanctuary is the captivating image of the resurrected Christ - a metal sculpture by another Lasallian alumnus, Daniel de la Cruz.

Br. Butch is current assigned in Ozamiz Brothers’ Community as Brother Director and at La Salle University as college instructor and Director of Lasallian Animation in charge of adult formation. (Text: Br. John David Ong FSC; Photos: Mr. Marc Reil Gepaya)

Acceptance to the Postulancy, Profession of First Vows, Silver and Golden Jubilee Celebrations

On 17 August 2019 at the St. Benilde Gym in La Salle Green Hills, the Lasallian community witnessed God’s love and generosity with gift of vocations through four events: the Acceptance to the Postulancy of 10 Postulants from the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) and 3 from the District of Vietnam, the Profession of First Vows of Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC and Br. Raphael Miguel Crisostomo FSC, the Silver Jubilee of Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC, and the Golden Jubilee of Br. Narciso Erguiza, Jr. FSC.

In his shared reflection, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Visitor of East Asia, reminded us that there is but one true Archer that not only asks us to follow in His footsteps, but, most importantly, calls us unto Himself. Br. Armin invited Br. Carlo, Br. Miggy, and the 13 Postulants to surrender themselves to the Divine Archer, whereas Br. JJ was asked to “take a break” after thriving afire without being consumed. Meanwhile, Br. Armin recalled the flourishing moments of Br. Jun in the most challenging environments, especially when he would erect school buildings and facilities, and open seven programs at the same time, to name a few.

These men have witnessed, first-hand, the Divine Archer’s Love in their daily lives. Now, as they continue their journey in seeking the Divine Archer, we pray for our Brothers and our Postulants that they may remain to be authentic and genuine witnesses of the Divine Archer’s Love to the people they will be encountering.

The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, D.D., together with three priest-concelebrants. The altar servers were the Aspirants from the Dasmariñas Community. (Text: Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC; Photos: Mr. Marc Gepaya)

311-witnessing-2.jpg

311-witnessing-3.jpg

311-witnessing-4.jpg

311-witnessing-5.jpg

311-witnessing-6.jpg

311-witnessing-7.jpg

311-witnessing-8.jpg

 

MANILA, Philippines — Rights watchdog Amnesty International Philippines has recognized the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Br. Armin Luistro for exposing inequalities and standing up for the vulnerable sectors of the society.

PCIJ—an independent, non-profit media agency—was named as the Ignite Awards’ most distinguished human rights defender for group category. It produced investigative reports on President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, election spending of senatorial candidates, the government’s brutal drug war, the country’s congested jails, among others.

Luistro, a former Department of Education, was conferred the most distinguished human rights defender for individual category.

Aside from PCIJ and Luistro, Lorenzo Miguel Relente and Michael David Tan were the recipients of Young Outstanding Human Rights Defender and Art that Matters for Literature, respectively.

“This season’s recipients come from varying rights backgrounds, from press freedom and right to education to gender equality and SOGIESC rights but they share one dedication, that is to the fight for basic rights of Filipinos,” Butch Olano, Amnesty International Philippines section director, said.

“They truly ignite the human rights cause, speaking up against injustices and exposing inequalities on behalf of those who, otherwise, will not be heard,” he added.

The rights watchdog stressed that taking action to safeguard human rights has become more important now more than ever as the country battles a coronavirus pandemic.

“When people lead in taking a stand for human rights especially in difficult situations, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice… Throughout and certainly beyond the immediate crisis, these human rights defenders will continue to stand up on behalf of the move vulnerable in our society,” Olano said.

Launched in 2018, Ignite Awards for Human Rights recognizes the impact of rights defenders’ works  in changing peoples’ lives through mobilization, activism and rights-based policy advocacy.

Source: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/05/28/2017111/pcij-luistro-named-most-distinguished-filipino-human-rights-defenders

Br. Armin Luistro FSC had his canonical visit at St. Jaime Hilario Brothers’ Community in Bagac, Bataan, Philippines on January 31-February 2, 2020. Aside from redditions and community dialogue on the second day of the visit, he also accompanied the Bagac Brothers during welcome Mass in honor of St. La Salle’s relic at Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Morong, Bataan. (Text & Photos: Br. Iñigo Riola FSC)

325-bagac-canonical-visit-2

The LEAD PDT met for the second time on 17th January 2020 at the Hotel Benilde, in Manila. Br. Sockie de la Rosa, Director of Professional Development, presided and in attendance were Mr Jay Gervasio (Chair of the Mission Council), Br Gus Boquer (LEAD Bursar ) , Br Mikey Cua (LEAD Chief Information Officer), Mr Jyron Raz (LEAD Youth Coordinator). Br. Francisco Chadang (District Secretary) gave advanced input because he could not make it to the meeting.

Dr. Ramon Segismundo with many years of experience as President of Meralco Power Academy and currently working as President and COO, Hijo Group of Companies and CEO, 1-HR.X Pte. Ltd., gave input to the team.

The PDT looked at a long term goal which ensures there is proper leadership succession and a pool of leaders, both lay and Brothers to sustain the Lasallian Mission. The team also talked about their short term task of supporting Brothers who plan to go on postgraduate studies. The team’s ambition is for all Brothers to have a Master’s degree before the end of Brother Visitor’s term.

The task of leadership succession may seem challenging but by careful planning, collection and analysis of data, financial support, and finding a good balance between the short term needs of ministry vis-a-vis the need for a Brother to have time and space for studies, it can be done.

324-2nd-meeting-of-the-lead-prof-dev-2

The team would like to thank Ms. Alou Anteneo and Mr. Jyron Raz for making arrangements at Hotel Benilde. (Text & Photos: Br. Sockie de la Rosa FSC)

06-20 July 2019 @ Krisalis-Benilde Retreat and Conference Complex

Excerpts from the Article:

Coming together and by association on a common threshold It was July 7, Sunday when the program officially welcomed the coming together of Brothers and an affiliate member who are participating in the two-week program entitled, “Life Transitions”. The participants numbered 28 coming from the different countries belonging to the Pacific Asia Regional Conference namely, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

View from the common threshold The first week’s theme was “Human Development and Consecrated Life” with guest lecturers coming from Southdown Institute in the persons of Sr. Dorothy Heidershceit and Dr. Michael Sy. The sessions during the week were on Aging Gracefully, Fostering Resiliency and Creativity, Dealing/Struggling with Midlife and Facing Retirement Issues, Cultivating Curiosity and Paying Attention to the Gifts of Mid-life and Aging, Journey of Integration in the 2nd Half of Life and Healthy Sexuality and Well-being.

The second week’s theme was “Lasallian Spirituality and Integration” with Brothers Felix and Chuy as the main facilitators. The sessions include Transitions in the life of St. John Baptist de La Salle, The Fragile Hope of a Witness – The evolution of the Institute and its impact on the holistic development of the Brother, Community Living and Consecration and Creativity to the Mission. The last two days of the second week was a Retreat facilitated still by Brothers Felix and Chuy reflecting on the journey of transitions as a Pilgrimage where all of us are Pilgrims. (Text: Br. Vince Fernandez FSC; Photos: Mr. Andrew Pamorada)

309-parc-2.jpg

309-parc-3.jpg

309-parc-4.jpg

309-parc-5.jpg

309-parc-6.jpg

309-parc-7.jpg

309-parc-8.jpg

The PARC Educational Mission Assembly was held on 5th and 6th August 2019 at Hotel Benilde, Manila, Philippines. This was attended by the Superior General, Br. Bob Schieler FSC, the Preparatory Committee for the 3rd International Assembly of the Lasallian Educational Mission (AIMEL 2020), the PARC Delegation for AIMEL 2020, and other Brothers and Partners. The delegates were happy to share their views on the theme “IDENTITY-VITALITY-TRANSFORMATION” in the context of PARC’s realities. Evaluation of AIMEL 2013 and the review of PARC proposals for AIMEL 2020 were also discussed. The delegates, which is composed of 12 members from 10 countries, will work on the finalization of PARC proposals. (Text: Mr. Paul Tam; Photo: Mr. Andrew Pamorada)

The De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines had its Annual Corporation Meeting at Horacio Cebrero Hall, Central House, La Salle Green Hills last 17 August 2019.

The meeting started with the presentation of the amended articles of incorporation and by-laws, which were approved and seconded by the Brothers. It was then followed by the reports on the Philippine sector presented by Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Visitor of East Asia. He presented the Filipino Brothers’ Statistics (i.e. number of Brothers in the Philippines, status of FSC in studies, health of Brothers, vocations, and age group statistics). The new Age Group Moderators were also announced; Br. Mark Salvan FSC, Br. Kenneth Martinez FSC and Br. Vic Franco FSC for the Young Brothers, Middle Age Brothers, and Senior Brothers respectively.

Furthermore, included on the report were the affiliation of Dr. Romeo Ariniego FSC, the Legacy building of Sr. Corazon Manalo DC, AFSC and Br. Benildo Feliciano FSC, the Tercentenary Celebration updates, the reconstruction of St. La Salle Kalinga Chapel, the ZEP Program, Paghilom, and the Lasallian Mission Services (LMS) Programs (i.e. Youth, Lasallian Education Commission, Indigenous Peoples Education Initiatives, Lasallian Animation and Formation, Lasallian Justice and Peace Commission, Education in Emergencies, Lasallian Volunteer Program, and La Salle Botanical Garden).

Br. Alex Diaz FSC, DLSP Chief Operating Officer and DLSBI Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer, presented the Balance Sheet of DLSBI Finances and updates on the different funds that are lodged with DLSBI (i.e. Patrimony, Mission Capital Development, and DLSBI Employee Retirement). The current status of the Pooling Fund was also shown. (Text: Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC; Photo: Mr. Marc Gepaya)

PHILIPPINES, July 15 - the De La Salle Brothers of Ozamiz, together with the members of the La Salle University community witnessed the blessing of the newly renovated Our Lady of the Star Chapel. After the blessing of the chapel, Fr. Ed Tabada, the University Chaplain, led the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Br. Butch Alcudia FSC, in his thanksgiving message, wished that the chapel be the guiding star for the members of the school community as they strive to respond to the Lasallian mission especially in this trying time. He took the opportunity as well to acknowledge the generosity of the family of the late +Dr. Anita Lim represented by her son Mr. Alexander Lim that made the renovation possible.” (Text & Photos: Br. Jeano Endaya FSC)

Last February 19, the members of our English Debate Club in La Salle Gakuen had an online interaction with the members of the Zobel Parliament Debate Society. They were able to exchange stories related to the practice of English debate and ask questions about each other’s culture. Special thanks to Ms. Addie Zaballero and Mrs. Nette Torrato of De La Salle Santiago Zobel School!

Here are some of the comments of the students from Kagoshima:

“It was fun but I was very nervous.” “They were friendly and kind so I hope that the interaction will continue. We hope to visit the Philippines or that they visit Kagoshima whenever possible.”

“I felt the Lasallian family spirit. There are many schools in La Salle worldwide and we hope we could have more opportunities to interact with students from different countries.”

(Text & Photos: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

330-kagoshima-manila-online-interaction

330-kagoshima-manila-online-interaction

I spent the last few days of January 2020 visiting the Community of Brothers at Lipa. First, I was fortunate to be able to go together with the Community to DLSU for DLS Philippines Management Board annual meeting where they welcomed new Board members, reported on the year’s work and interacted with a keynote speaker.

I appreciated a tour of the integrated schools and university which are all geared towards sustainable development and all parts WiFi-ed.

Celine was the tour guide, Dfezie was the overview presenter, and Haidee, principal of the integrated school, presented the school highlights. Haidee also called parent representatives for sharing. Their online interaction with the school is impressive.

325-lipa-pastoral-visit-2

A major highlight was a visit to the ‘Welcome Shelters’ on the campus for those families who had been evacuated after the Taal volcano eruption. This decision by the school authorities was a leap of faith and love, for they could not foresee all the implications and could not be sure of raising enough funds. Their faith was rewarded and donations in cash and kind and service poured in. It was also a marvelous opportunity for the stakeholders, including students, to serve on their doorstep.

The day I visited was departure day for most of the families, a day of happiness tinged with sadness at leaving a place that had welcomed them so generously.

Well done, the Brothers of Lipa. (Text: Br. Pat Tierney FSC; Photos: Ms. Celine Francisco)

Mandaluyong City, Philippines – the Lasallian Formation Center* welcomed 16 postulants for this formation year that began 17 July 2019.

The community is quite diverse as it weaves together various experiences, age groups and backgrounds. The formands are united in their aspiration to live and be exposed to the life of the Brothers as they journey through personal and communal discernment. LFC brings together the following Brothers and postulants:

Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC
Br. Rafael Reyes FSC
Br. Kelvin Tan FSC
Nabeel Pius, PK
Claysius Kongoi, MY
Joshua Aaron Miranda, MY
Benjamin Naw Ring, MM
Martin La San Aung, MM
Anthony Nguyen Ngoc Thuyen, VN
J.B Bui Van Duc, VN
Joseph Pham Van Anh, VN
Mark Francis S. Basan II, PH
Julius Christian B. Calingasan, PH
King Jarod I. Cruz, PH
John Myron A. Duque, PH
John Paulo Ferrer, PH
Milton Christopher B. Merto, PH
Lester John Nombrefia, PH
Reigner Dawn M. Sanchez, PH

Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC, their formator, led the community in prayer inspired by the encounter of Moses with God in the burning bush. As part of the prayer service, a ritual took place. The postulants were given a holding cross which they placed inside their rooms after the blessings were given by other community members. They were also asked to reflect on their personal sacred grounds and the things they need to “take off” as they start their postulancy program.

After dinner, the postulants gathered for a short getting-to-know activity where they enjoyed singing karaoke songs over chips and drinks.

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." Corinthians 1:26-27 (Text: Mr. Paulo Ferrer; Photo: Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC)

The De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) College of Medicine (CM) celebrated its 40th Founding Anniversary with the theme “RUBY: Revisiting the Past, Understanding the Present, and Building More Years of Excellence” at Okada Grand Ballroom Pasay City, Philippines last February 23, 2020.

330-dlsmhsi-grand-medicine-ball

After forty years of excellence in service and in the academe, molding individuals to become highly respected medical pract i t ioners, researchers, innovators, policy makers and educators, it was a night of renewing friendship, rekindling memories, and celebrating the success and commitment to service. The event was attended by 900 alumni, from its pioneering Batch 1983 up to the most recent batch of 2019. Moreover, The DLSMHSI-CM and DLSHSI Alumni Association - CM Chapter conferred awards to the outstanding alumni in their respective fields.

  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Community Service (Batch 1983) - Dr. Jasmine Mercene Eugenio, MD
  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Health Professions Education (Batch 1984) - Dr. Hilda Dina Gonzales, MD
  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Health Care Management (Batch 1983) - Dr. Madeleine De Rosas-Valera, MD
  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Clinical Health Professions (Batch 1992) - Dr. Nannette Ramos Rey, MD
  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Research (Batch 1996) - Dr. Raul V. Destura, MD

The dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Madeleine Grace M. Sosa, MD, led the anniversary celebration program with sumptuous food, a dance number from the students and special guest performers Mr. Dindong Avanzado and Ms. Jessa Zaragoza.

We are all looking forward to forty years and beyond of excellent Lasallian healthcare service.

Animo La Salle! (Text & Photos: Br. Dan Sanding FSC)

330-dlsmhsi-grand-medicine-ball

330-dlsmhsi-grand-medicine-ball

St. Jaime Hilario School - De La Salle Bataan inaugurated the Security Bank Hall, a 6-classroom building donated by Security Bank Foundation, on November 20, 2019. Brothers, guests from Security Bank and the local government of Bataan, and members of De La Salle College (DLSC-Taft) high school batch 1961 came to witness the blessing and inauguration of the new building, which will be used by the senior high school department. Members of DLSC-Taft batch '61 also donated 27 brand new laptops during the said event. Mr. Rafael Simpao, Jr., Security Bank Foundation president, and Br. Victor Franco FSC are members of batch ’61. (Text & Photos: Br. Iñigo Riola FSC)

318-dls-bataan-2

318-dls-bataan-3

The Young Brothers of the Philippine Sector gathered together on 2019 October 27-30 for the Young Brothers Conference 2019.

Read more about the Young Brothers Conference 2019 with Br. Kino Escolano’s Reflection:

New Calls and New Responses

Young Brothers Conference 2019

Written by: Br. Kino Escolano FSC
Photos taken by: Br. Alex Diaz FSC, Br. Mark Salvan FSC

As a response “to throw ourselves into the void of uncertainty and to open our ideas to new borders, new challenges, new calls ,” the young brothers of the Philippine sector gathered together in the recently concluded Young Brothers Conference 2019. Held from October 27 to 30, 2019 and spearheaded by Br. Mark Salvan, the YBC2019 was divided into two parts.

“I promise and vow… to go wherever I may be sent and to do whatever I shall be assigned, either by the Body of the Society, or by its Superiors. ” Guided by this line for the formula of vows, it is our responsibility to keep ourselves ready for any assignment that the Institute will ask us to do. In line with this, the first part of YBC2019 was dedicated to learning. Hence, the October 27 was called Education Day. On this day, the young Brothers gathered together in Horacio Cebrero Hall in the Central House of De La Salle Philippines. The sessions prepared on this day were responses to the call for the young Brothers to step up and take on the responsibility of setting directions for our school through membership in the Board of Trustees. While others are still looking ahead into this responsibility, being part of the BOT has already been a reality for some young Brothers.

How is one expected to conduct one’s self in a board meeting? This is the first question that this day sought to answer. With the help of Atty. Cirilo Tolosa and Atty. Isabel Tolosa-Datu, the young Brothers were oriented with the what’s and how’s of a board meeting. Parliamentary procedure was very interesting. At least by theory, we were able to understand the basic things that we ought to know. The BOT is the governing body that guides the schools towards the realizations of their mission and vision. The Tolosa lawyers explained the procedure as well as the roles of the members of the board during the meeting. Specifically, they highlighted the responsibility of the chairman, school president and corporate secretary. At the end of their session, they demonstrated to the young Brothers a role-play of a board meeting. The simulation was participated by Br. Alex Diaz, one of the young Brothers who are on the board of some of the schools. The young Brothers were fascinated by this session. They asked some questions relevant to the topic.

Mr. Ed Chua, DLSP Chief Executive Officer, also gave a session on the difference between Board of Directors and Board of Trustees. He made his session very interesting by giving some anecdotes from his rich experience as a member of several corporate organization. He challenged the young Brothers to speak up their minds most especially during a meeting. On hindsight, it was him encouraging the Brothers to be critical thinkers. The advisory and oversight roles of the board were given careful attention. Immediately after lunch, Mr. Mon Tolosa, Chief Finance Officer of DLSP gave a session on some accounting jargons used in financial reports. His session served as a review for Brothers with a background in finance and accounting. While for those who came from different academic background, the session became a crash course on the finance side of the school.

The insightful education day opened the YBC2019 strong. After which, the young Brothers travelled to Bohol to strengthen fraternal bonds through recreation. The days from October 27 to 30 were spent in blissful experience of the natural beauty of the island. The chocolate hills, Loboc river cruise, colonial churches, tarsier sanctuary and the crystal water of Bohol have been witnesses to the youthful vigor of our brotherhood. Our meals have been made more special by our lively conversations. In the second part of the gathering, the young Brothers gained energy from being together in rest and recreation. The 4-day stay on the island of Bohol, Philippines helped us create our shared memory.

New challenges call for informed and energized responses. YBC2019 provided us with new knowledge for which we are called to use and enrich for the advancement of our mission. Also, it gave us the canvas where we have rewritten our stories of fraternity anew. These stories energize us to make bolder responses to new calls that the signs of the time bring about.

 

The Lasallian Justice and Peace Commission (LJPC) of the Philippine Sector held its 2019 Annual Assembly last 2-6 June 2019 at De La Salle – John Bosco College in Bislig City. Attended by the heads of the Social Action Offices of La Salle Schools, the Annual Assembly set the issue advocacies for the next school year. The LJPC identified advocacy issues on four themes which include Good Governance, Poverty Alleviation, Youth at Risk and Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM).

Through different activities organized by the Social Action Offices students from La Salle schools are made aware of important governance and development issues. (Text & Photos: Mr. Gladstone Cuarteros)

 

The House of Studies (HOST) Community in the Philippines had its soft opening on 27 May 2019, when the second-year scholastic Brothers – Br. Mico de Leon FSC, Br. Kino Escolano FSC, Br. Jeano Endaya FSC, and Br. Ivan Umali FSC – arrived in the house located in the Brothers’ residence in De La Salle University. The formation staff, headed by Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC, the formator, with the staff members, Br. Moris Tang FSC and Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC, welcomed the second-year scholastics with a feast to celebrate their coming. The succeeding months became an orientation and onboarding for the second-year scholastics of the new community environment and their school exposure, which began in June, in De La Salle Santiago Zobel School.

After more than two months, HOST Community finally was completed and had its full opening on 17 August 2019, when the first-year scholastic Brothers – Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC, Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC, and Br. Zafar Dogra FSC – arrived after their Novitiate program. On this day, Br. Miggy and Br. Carlo also had their first profession of vows. These events together truly made the day extra special and worthy of celebration for a wonderful year ahead of the community. Changes also continue to happen in its structure as Br. Aikee left the HOST for his new assignment in Kagoshima, Japan towards the end of August. With his departure comes the arrival of Br. Dan Sanding FSC to the community for his Parmenie program in preparation for his profession of perpetual vows. Despite the changes in the structure of the community, and in the spirit of openness to the graces of the God of surprises, HOST community remained hopeful and committed to achieve its goal of nurturing the young Brothers with temporary vows who just got out of the Novitiate of their apostolic identity by preparing them for the exercise of their ministry. (Text: Br. Ivan Umali FSC; Photos: Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC)

312-house-of-communities-2.jpg

PHILIPPINES - On July 18, 2020, the Brothers of the new Holy Infancy Community welcomed the upcoming school year by having a meet and greet with the contacts and aspirants. Br. Chuck Magno FSC, together with Brs. Ivan Umali FSC and Henry FSC, organized the online meeting despite the extraordinary times. Accompaniment doesn’t stop because of this challenging time, rather it transforms into a more creative way of fraternal support to the young. The community is looking forward to attracting more young men to consider the life and spirituality of the De La Salle Brothers. (Text & Photos: Br. Dan Sanding FSC)

ol-vocation-meet-greet

ol-vocation-meet-greet

“Vocation is always a personal response to the call of God. It is He who takes the initiative. One of the key elements of a “culture of vocation” is the recognition that God calls everyone and calls continually. A response to this call requires an open, dynamic Lasallian vocation ministry that helps “to discover the concrete way to carry out the project of life to which God calls

During the National Assembly of Religious Brothers in Tagbilaran, Bohol on 24-27 October, the Luzon Brothers elected Br. Ruben Caluyong FSC as the new chairman of the Luzon Association of Religious Brothers (LARB). He has been working with LARB for quite some time now, and was strongly endorsed by two of his close OSJ Brothers. In three years’ time, the LARB chairman automatically becomes the National Federation of Religious Brothers in the Philippines (NFRBP) president.

Congratulations, Br. Ruben!

PHILIPPINES - Committed to provide assistance to our local partners, the Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community and the administrators of La Salle Academy - Iligan zealously donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face shields to the Local Government Unit (LGU) and Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Iligan City last 2020 July 15. Mayor Celso G. Regencia received the donations that were distributed to the LGU, City Hospital, and the Isolation Facility of National Steel Corporation, while Superintendent Roy Angelo Gazo of DepEd-Iligan warmly accepted the donations for his constituents. (Text & Photos: Br. Ivan Umali FSC)

LSA-Iligan Donate PPEs

One night after dinner, I received a message that there would be a Zoom meeting of former Student Council Presidents to discuss possible ways to help in the Kada-Uno Project of De La Salle Philippines. While I was not a President, I joined anyway since most of them are friends from college. We talked about how we could help the campaign to feed more than 1000 families by asking people to donate at least Php 1000 which would be enough to buy food for one week.

The energy of the group was amazing! Right after the meeting there were already committees – Finance, Strategic Marketing, Social Media, Logistics. Soon enough, the campaign had a name, ‘Isang Libo, Kada-Uno’, and a strategy – the #KadaUnoChallenge, to encourage 10 friends to donate Php 1000 and pass the challenge around. From the initial distribution, the target number of families has increased to at least 2400. There was also a weekly plan to sustain interest online. A Facebook group was created and has at least 2,800 members today.

334-kada-uno-lasalyano

334-kada-uno-lasalyano

Not only were the funds increasing, the efficiency was also inspiring. A member of the Logistics team opened her family’s factory operations as a warehouse and assembly line for the relief bags. She also personally called and reached out to farmers, who supplied most of the vegetables. The other members kept exchanging corporate contacts and looked for more organizations to help. All these became possible, despite the limitations of movement caused by the lockdown.

Since the target of the group was to raise at least enough money to feed families for a month, we thought of other ways to generate interest and support so we thought of organizing a small online concert. We remembered that there was a planned concert across LS schools in January to celebrate #300LaSalle. We thought that it would be a good idea to celebrate our stories of hope and generosity in the time of COVID-19 and involve the whole Lasallian Family.

‘Kada-Uno, Lasalyano!’, the online fundraising event was planned. Coordinating through online messengers, we reached out to the schools’ staff-in-charge of student activities and performing groups. After 2-3 weeks, we already had 13 hours’ worth of performances and events! We also were able to invite young Brothers and alumni to host the segments. The best blessing was to have a reliable tech team on D-Day. Despite some setbacks, the event ran smoothly from 9am and was watched by at least 180-300 people on the average. We were not able to count the total number of performers involved but the response of the viewers was overwhelming. An hour before the event ended, the finance team sent a report that we have already reached our month-long goal of Php 4 million. This, on top of being able to showcase talents from LS schools and animate the Lasallian spirit at the same time.

In spite of the crisis, it’s amazing how God’s presence and grace sustained everything. Even with limitations, we had a great time working with each other (again) for a good cause. We are thankful to all those who helped and supported the event. I’m sure that years later, when we look back at this time, we will not forget that the spirit of our Lasallian family is stronger than any crisis! (Text & Photos: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

PS: You may still watch it by clicking on these links: [Part 1: tinyurl.com/Part1-KUL Part 2: tinyurl.com/KUL-Part2]

334-kada-uno-lasalyano

334-kada-uno-lasalyano

Five women from Singapore who are discerning for the religious life visited the Brothers and the Postulants of the Lasallian Formation Center and the St. Benilde Brothers Community last February 3, 2020. Jane, Maria, Melissa, Kareen and Jace joined the come and see experience to the Philippines which aims to give them the opportunity to visit and see the life of the different religious congregations in the Philippines to give them a wider perspective of the vocation on the religious life.

325-come-and-see-experience-2

325-come-and-see-experience-3

325-come-and-see-experience-4

Their visit with the De La Salle Brothers started out with a tour around La Salle Green Hills led by Br. Kelvin Tan FSC. Afterwards, the Postulants prepared a prayer service for the visitors and had a quick small group sharing to get to know each other’s vocation background answering the questions: Where is God calling me today? and How do I respond to His call? After the small gathering, the group joined the Brothers of the St. Benilde Brothers' Community for a dinner filled with meaningful conversations. In this way, the visitors would be able to get to know more about the vocation and life of a De La Salle Brother and also express their own stories of faith towards answering God's call. The evening ended on a positive note with the visitors asking for prayers from the Brothers on the path that they will take. (Text: Postulants Milton Merto & Julius Calingasan; Photos: Lasallian Formation Center FB Page)

"The aim is to help us discern, become a better gentleman in the future, and recognize what we want to be and what mission we are going to take up in the future."

That was how the Brothers explained what the Visayas-Mindanao Aspirants and Contacts Conference (VMACC) was all about. All participants expressed how excited they were to be part of the gathering and take the opportunity to know other aspirants.

The Aspirants and Contacts were all determined to participate because they all agree that the weekend was their opportunity to bond with each other and unfold a new chapter in their lives.

On a personal note, the journey began in Ozamiz on the evening of November 15, 2019, traveling with delegates from De La Salle Andres Soriano Memorial College and University of Saint La Salle. The travel gave the participants the chance to be connected in spite of the challenges of culture and dialect. The newfound friendship and brotherhood were even strengthened during the actual gathering in La Salle Academy in Iligan City.

During the VMACC proper, the first-morning activity done was about self-awareness facilitated by Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC. The session highlighted its importance and what one can gain when one is aware of what is happening within the self. For most participants, the session was the most memorable. One "take-away" from the session would be the Filipino quote, "Mahal ka dahil mahal ka." It was used as a reinforcement to the idea that indeed "we are priceless because we are loved."

As a follow-through to the session, the participants were tasked to take a photo that would represent them. All participants were given the chance to share their photos and insights.

318-vmacc-2

Br. Irwin Climaco FSC gave the afternoon session on the significant moments in the life of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. He was able to draw from the participants what they thought of the life of the Founder and what they can learn from him. The participants were given the chance to connect their lives to the experiences and reflections of De La Salle. It allowed them to realize that to connect within, recognizing both failures and achievements or ups and downs of life, would be the measurement of self-awareness.

The day culminated with the holy eucharist which also included the Rites of Acceptance and Renewal to the Aspirancy Program.

When in Iligan, a gathering is always celebrated with good food and conversations. So the participants continued to take the opportunity to get to know the Brothers present. The Brothers shared their vocation stories and engaged with the participants by answering their questions convincingly. Games and intermission numbers showcased the best in each of the Aspirants and Contacts.

The final day of the gathering was about touring the famous spots in Iligan City: the Maria Cristina Falls and Mimbalot Falls. They were also given the chance to shop at the City's famous landmark, Cheding's.

The whole conference ended with a surprise farewell program from the Brothers which made participants express their gratitude for the amazing weekend.

-Chris Dominic Tapitan and Aaron Josh Reyes

Aspirants of the De La Salle Brothers Ozamiz Community

"In this conference, I was able to find the path that I know will make me happy and contented in the future. I also found a goal that I want to pursue in my life. I would never have concluded to this point in my life if it wasn't for the guidance of the Brothers and the motivation my fellow aspirants, the contacts and the people around us!" - Chris Dominic Tapitan (Aspirant, La Salle University Ozamiz)

"In the end, this memorable conference was my means to discover more about the Brother's life, their vocation, the stages of formation, and even the ups and downs of their life being stewards of Faith, Service, and Communion. To also look into my self and awaken to discover myself. Even to know the path where God would direct me in the future. Truly I can say that God works in mysterious ways. ANIMO!"

- Aaron Josh Reyes (Aspirant, La Salle University Ozamiz)

318-vmacc-3

318-vmacc-4

PHILIPPINES - On 29–30 August, the 1911 Community in Manila enjoyed a double celebration for their Director, Br. Martin Sellner FSC. Br. Marty turned 83 years old on Saturday and the party featured his favorite Filipino dishes such as soup number five, lechon, crispy pata, and pansit. Lechon was also the theme of his birthday cake and the community gifted him with a cap that had a lechon image embroidered on it. During the communion service, Br. Marty renewed his religious vows as he also commemorated his 65th Jubilee Anniversary as a De La Salle Brother. Sunday lunch was paella and lengua prepared two ways. Desert was a special rum cake baked by Br. Marty himself. You can actually watch him making the cake in his Facebook video, “Kitchen Chemistry.” Even during this pandemic, Br. Marty keeps himself active and busy. Early before dawn, he exercises by stair climbing and greets the sunrise on the roof deck of one of the buildings of DLSU. As of this writing, he manages to climb 90 floors three times a week and continues to increase it by two more every week. Aside from his cross stitch and chemistry classes for the Brothers, he has become increasingly popular in social media for his TikTok videos and for completing his two-decade project, which is a cross stitch of the Periodic Table o f Elements. Many local and international news organization srecently featured Br. Marty because o f his inspiring accomplishments. (Text & Photos: Br. Richie Yap FSC, Br. Martin Sellner FSC)

Br. Marty

Br. Marty

De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) has made it to the finals of this year’s International Green Gown Awards and is the only higher educational institution named Finalist in all three categories: Sustainability Institution of the Year, Student Engagement, and Benefitting Society.

The International Green Gown Awards (IGGA) is open to colleges and universities across the globe that commemorate landmark sustainability programs and initiatives.

DLSL is a staunch advocate of environmental and sustainability efforts as well as pioneered programs that should be emulated by other educational institutions in the country. It is a styro-free and plastic-free campus, banning the use of Styrofoam and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, both of which do not decompose and thus can damage our ecosystem. Also, part of DLSL’s advocacy is to minimize the use of greenhouse gases.

The 2020 International Green Gown Awards is under the auspices and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with the UK-based EAUC Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education and the Paris-based International Association of Universities (IAU).  De La Salle Lipa is an active institutional member of both organizations.

Backed by the UNEP, the International Green Gown Awards continues to search for inspirational sustainability prime movers and leaders. Acknowledging exceptional sustainability initiatives being carried out by the world’s universities and colleges, the International Green Gown Awards established the desired standards of quality and put every learning institution at the core of delivering the UN Global Goals.

Organizers collaborate with The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), L’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), International Association of Universities (IAU), and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. The International Green Gown Awards is administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

Source:
https://www.dlsl.edu.ph/de-la-salle-lipa-among-finalists-in-2020-international-green-gown-awards/

La Salle Academy (LSA) and University of St. La Salle (USLS), two La Salle schools from the Philippines, reached highest accreditation levels for their Basic Education Programs and eight College Degree Programs.

On 24 January 2020, the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) officially delivered the good news to LSA - Iligan and USLS - Bacolod.

In a letter addressed to Br. Antonio Cesar J. Servando FSC, LSA President, PAASCU granted Level III Status to the school valid until May 2023.

Similarly, Br. Joaquin Severino S. Martinez FSC, D.Min., USLS President and Chancellor received PAASCU's Level III status grant for Basic Education and Level IV status grant to eight College Degree Programs of the university; all valid until November 2023.

325-lsa-usls-paascu-2

325-lsa-usls-paascu-3

This is truly a moment of celebration for both the schools who have worked together in attaining this achievement and merit. Congratulations to the LSA and USLS administrators, faculty and staff, students, alumni and parents, and all members of the school community. (Photos: LSA - Lasallian Media FB page, USLS FB page)

La Salle Green Hills (LSGH), an exclusive all-boys school will go coeducational in the Senior High School. This development marks the end of an era since 1959 as the institution transitions to an integrated school this coming school year 2020-2021. The first 20 female applicants will be offered tuition subsidy. (Text: Br. Alex Diaz FSC)

Article by: Josh Aldrich P. De Villa (De La Salle Lipa)

Edited By: Sofia Denisse M. Lucido (De La Salle Lipa)

 

In response to the emerging social problems in the country brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, various Search-In communities in the Philippines partnered and had recently conducted an online fundraiser entitled “Bungad ng Pag-Asa: An Online Mission” last May 15, 2020.

Search-In is an inclusive religious and foundational organization composed of students from different La Salle Schools all over the Philippines. It is a group that helps students in recognizing their own identity and assisting them in living a life inspired by our Lasallian core values of faith, service and communion. Search-In also serves as an incubatory organization to prepare aspiring brothers in their future vocations in mission.

Fulfilling its goal of being of service to others, especially in this time of need, six (6) different Search-In La Salle Communities in the Philippines namely: De La Salle College of Antipolo, La Salle Academy Iligan, De La Salle University – Laguna campus, University of St. La Salle – Bacolod, St. Joseph School – La Salle and headed by De La Salle Lipa have partnered up to conceptualize and deliver “Bungad ng Pag-Asa: An Online Mission” (BNP).

            “Bungad ng Pag-Asa: An Online Mission” is a fundraiser that aims to fund the KadaUno Challenge initiative by the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines. It offers a wide variety of dialogues between student leaders and members of the partnership amongst various Search-In communities in the Philippines. BNP also showcases the innate talents of some of the members of this organization.

With the goal of alleviating the grievances of the people and raising funds for the benefit of the marginalized, Bungad ng Pag-Asa stays true to its title of serving as a gateway to spread hope in this age of despair.

“I’ve always had a passion for leading, especially in situations where a group could help for a cause like Bungad,” says Tori Lualhati, the Head Producer of the fundraiser from De La Salle Lipa (DLSL).

The Head Producer also added that the whole team was nervous during the preparations as they were given merely 3 weeks to prepare a livestream which they haven’t done before.

During the Live event, various people from different La Salle Schools have offered their time and talents to attract donors and sponsors for Bungad ng Pag-Asa.  It started with the greetings of the hosts, Clarisse Avila and Jhustin Dipasupil, and then followed by some welcoming remarks by Br. Marvin Sipin FSC, DLSL VMO Head. 

“I think that it is in our nature to be of service to others as Lasallians. As I came to be aware of the difficulties of other people during this pandemic, I was moved to respond in whatever way I can,” said the DLSL VMO Head.

It was succeeded by brief interviews with student leaders: Bea Luna and Abby Caig from DLSL, Samantha Ubiadas and Angelica Aquino from La Salle College of Antipolo, and a dialogue with former Idol Philippines Contestant, Vanya Castor from the University of St. La Salle Bacolod.

Right after that, the audience were serenaded by the beautiful voices of the guests performers; Yaeli Quijano from La Salle Academy - Iligan, Marc Mayuga, Allaine Samarita, Ella Fortu, James Ramirez, Marielle Alcantara and Singko Sentimos from De La Salle Lipa, Raphael Sunga from La Salle College Antipolo, and USLS singers, in collaboration with Center for Lasallian Ministries from University of St. La Salle - Bacolod and SJS-LS Circle 1 from St. Joseph School - La Salle.

Star Performers such as Miguel Traspe and Angel Secillano from DLSU - Laguna, Marianne Osabel of La Salle Academy - Iligan and Vanya Castor and Ysanygo from University of St. La Salle - Bacolod were also present in the show.

“I was stunned by the performances as they are really good and the interviews were also very informative” says Richard Punongbayan of La Salle Academy Iligan.

Aside from the interviews and performances, “Bungad ng Pag-Asa” also had several challenges such as Translation Challenge, Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts Challenge, Smile for A Mile and Laws of Quarantine which made the live stream fun and engaging. While the hosts: Sophia Durana and Beatrice Recidoro from De La Salle University Laguna headed the shoutouts segment of the show.

Before reaching the conclusion of the show, the Head Producer, Tori Lualhati gave her closing remarks where she thanked the people who supported the project and the faces behind it.

“The project started small, but as time passed by, we saw the increasing number of members and volunteers from various La Salle Communities, which inspired us to work even harder. It was a good thing that the members of the Bungad Team had each other’s backs,” says the Head Producer.

Lualhati also expressed how the journey was a challenge but is fulfilling, knowing that they are able to help the Lasallian and Filipino communities. She also stressed that Bungad ng Pag-Asa didn’t only help thousands of families, but also created a new one – a unified family of Search-In Communities.

“It was difficult to pull off this kind of event given the short amount of time and the limitations, but I am thankful to God for giving me students who are committed and passionate to say ‘yes to life’ by saying ‘yes to serve’,” added Br. Marvin Sipin FSC.

The Head of the Vocations Ministry Office of DLSL also expressed that all praises are given to God who enabled them to build a stronger community with the common purpose to serve.

As of May 20, 2020, the fundraiser had collected 110,050 Pesos in donations and pledges through online bank transfers and has directed them to the KadaUno Initiatives of the DLSP.

The whole team behind Bungad ng Pag-Asa is expressing its gratitude to the people who have supported this noble cause and is hoping that this amount will create a big impact towards helping families who were negatively affected by the pandemic to get through their everyday needs.

 

DLSL Search-In Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SearchInDLSL/

A Lasallian brother finished his cross-stitch piece of the periodic table of elements after two decades — a feat he made while on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brother Martin Sellner FSC revealed his embroidering accomplishment via Facebook on Friday, July 17.

“Finally after two decades, the cross-stitch of the Periodic Table is complete,” he said, posting photos and a video of the last five stitches he made “out of over one million.”

Finally after two decades, the cross-stitch of the Periodic Table is complete. Posted is a short video of the final five…

Posted by Martin Sellner on Friday, July 17, 2020

“The table and border actually took six years,” he said. “Finally the last nine elements were named by the IUPAC and I was able to complete it during this prolonged lockdown.”

Sellner has been a De La Salle brother for over 60 years and has a passion for chemistry, having taught the subject in schools in the United States and in La Salle campuses in the Philippines.

He is laboratory services head in De La Salle Araneta University in Malabon and Lasallian animator at De La Salle Santiago Zobel School in Muntinlupa City.

Sellner has also been teaching other Lasallian brothers to cross-stitch, as per his Facebook post on July 5.

He also has a social media presence on the video app TikTok, where he shares optimistic messages to the Lasallian community, such as being open to distance learning during the pandemic.

Distant learning, on-line learning. Looks like fun. It will be fun. Was I born too soon??? Even a young man like me can learn. I am enjoying it and I am ready. Are you? All you LaSallians, hop on board. This will be a fun year. Keep climbing towards your dreams. All you my LaSallian colleagues, a challenge? I know your talents and dedication. Just like the students, you will have fun. Even my hugs will be on-line and distant!! UGH on-line only??? No. Hugs to all of you now.

Posted by Martin Sellner on Sunday, June 21, 2020

“Distant learning, on-line learning. Looks like fun. It will be fun,” he said in a video on June 22. “All you LaSallians, hop on board. This will be a fun year. Keep climbing towards your dreams.” JB

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1309415/look-lasallian-brother-completes-cross-stitch-of-periodic-table-after-two-decades

PHILIPPINES - A group of Senior High School students from University of St. La Salle - Bacolod - John Christian Kho, Don Santillan, Jaren Kilayko, and Justin Villanueva - who are members of the BAYOnihan Project who sold printed shirts to raise funds turned over P20,000 in cash to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson for Negrense frontliners. (Text & Photo: The Visayan Daily Star Facebook Page)

We wish Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC the very best as he pursues his Graduate Certificate in ASEAN Studies in the University of the Philippines - Open University! #TakeTheLEAD

br. miggy