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Letran acts on High School Frat Case
Letran recently issued a decision on the involvement of twenty nine
(29) high school students in fraternities.
An agreement was signed by the students and parents that the
former will be subjected to suspension until February 18, 2002.
A schedule of make-up classes was designed by the High School
department for the suspended students.
Of the 29 students, Emerson Chester Kim Go, represented by
his parents and lawyers, filed a P3-M damage suit against the
Colegio and some key persons led by Fr. Lao, Fr. Rhommel Hernandez,
Prefect of Discipline; Albert Rosarda, Asst. Prefect of Discipline;
Ma. Teresa Suratos, High School Principal; Victoria Ramos, class
adviser; and Vilma
Lizada, Rector’s Secretary for allegedly dismissing him from the
In his appeal, Go claimed that he was never a fraternity
member and he was dismissed by the school without due process.
In mid-October, Mr. George Isleta, the head of the
Auxiliary Department (which handles among others Security Services)
received a note informing him of a mass recruitment of TAU GAMMA and
SRB in the High School Department plus a list of names of students
in the high school allegedly involved. Mr. Isleta recommended that
these boys undergo physical examination in the school clinic. The
boys voluntarily submitted themselves to the physical examination
and some of them were found to have discolorations in the thigh area
indicative of physical trauma probably experienced some three weeks
The list was turned-over to the High School Department and
investigations were conducted by Mr. Albert Rosarda, assistant
prefect and Fr. Rhommel Hernandez, O.P., prefect
of discipline. The students were asked to submit written statements
regarding their alleged fraternity membership so that their side may
be heard in the spirit of fairness and due process. From their
written statements more names came up. More investigations took
place and the parents of each of the involved students were called
for individual conferences. During the conferences the parents were
informed of the extent of involvement of their sons and of the
possible sanctions that the school would make.
After much deliberation and consideration of the evidence
on hand, the decision of the Prefect of Discipline, which is
recommendatory in nature, was to dismiss the students who were
proven to be involved but with the advice that individually they can
appeal the case to the Father Rector.
The Father Rector then convened his Rector’s Council
which is composed of the Vice-Rector, the Vice-Rector for Academic
Affairs, the Vice-Rector for Financial Affairs and the Vice-Rector
for Religious Affairs and came up with a decision to reduce the
students’ dismissal (as stipulated in the students’ handbook) to
suspension until the end of the third grading period.
They will be allowed to attend make-up classes to cope with
the lessons missed due to suspension.
Last February 5, Caloocan City trial court Judge Antonio
Fineza Jr. issued an order to grant Go’s appeal for preliminary
mandatory injunction, immediately
reinstating him to his classes since barely two months are
left for school year 2001-2002.
In his message to the community on the February
convocation, Fr. Lao said, “Fraternities with their violent hazing
practices are contrary to the Letran ideals.
Acts of violence do not make a man much more a gentleman out
of him.” He
emphasized that the school has prevented untoward accidents from
happening because of its policy of giving recognition to
fraternities so that their activities are monitored and supervised. Fr.
Rector ended his speech with “….that is why violent hazing in
fraternities and Letran ideals, like oil and water, do not mix..”
Intramuros Consortium Formed
Mr. Rey Reyes
Last November 20,
2001, the heads of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Lyceum of the
Philippines, Mapua Institute of Technology and the Pamantasan ng
Lungsod ng Maynila, along with their various department heads, sat
down over lunch and signed an agreement of academic cooperation
among the four schools. On that day, the Intramuros Consortium
formally came into existence. The luncheon meeting was held at
Barbara’s Restaurant just across San Agustin Church.
The idea of forming
a consortium of the different schools in Intramuros was sounded off
during an earlier meeting last September 14 at Casino Español
hosted by Lyceum.Present during the initial meeting were Atty.
Roberto P. Laurel and Prof. Leonida T. Africa of Lyceum, Dr.
Benjamin G. Tayabas of PLM, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea of Mapua and Mr. Rey
Reyes representing Fr. Edwin A. Lao, O.P. for Letran. The meeting
was held to simply identify areas where cooperation would be
mutually beneficial to all schools involved. Among the issues
already identified at that stage were the possibility of a common
advocacy towards the limits imposed by the Intramuros Administration
on the construction of buildings. Areas of cooperation in common
concerns such as security, cross-enrollment and the sharing of
library resources were also explored. Another meeting was held a
month later at the office of Dr. Tayabas of PLM where the contents
of the draft agreement was discussed.
Finally, the Agreement of Academic
Cooperation was signed on November 20. In particular, the members of
the Consortium agreed to pursue the following forms of cooperation:
1. Cooperation and sharing of
information on concerns such as institutional, academic and
administrative development including matters relating to faculty
loading, procurement, taxes, advocacy and the like.
2. Possible sharing of materials
and methods for degree program development and evaluation.
3. Cooperative development of
instructional and library facilities, research and publications.
4. Coordination in measures
involving security, outreach and environmental concerns, student
development and welfare.
5. Coordination on such other
concerns that may arise from time to time.
Since the agreement
was signed, the various committees made up of department heads from
the member schools have already been meeting. The library group is
working on terms that will enable students from the member schools
to make use of library resources. The group made up of the different
vice presidents for academic affairs is spelling out working
agreements on the sharing of information about faculty loading while
taking precautions against the possible invasion of privacy of the
faculty member concerned. The group made up of the heads of the
different research offices is identifying the level of research
capabilities of the various member schools. The group made up of the
different registrars is working on areas of cooperation in the
implementation of the newly enacted National Service Training Law,
and measures that will allow students to easily cross enroll from
one school to another. In addition, there is also a group made up of
people in charge of the various schools’ extension services.
The various groups
will be presenting their reports to the central committee made up of
school heads during its next meeting this month to be held here at
Letran received a
certificate of Appreciation from the National Commission for Culture
and the Arts (NCCA) for its participation in the activities of the
National Atrs Month 2002. The awarding was held during the cocktails
on February 12, 2002 at the NCCA Auditorium.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
Letran is sending Fr.
Orlando Aceron, O.P, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, Mr. Rey
Reyes, Executive Assistant and Registrar, Ms. Eloisa Labrador, Head
R & D, Mr. Ronald Dugang, Acting Head Extension Services, Mrs.
Ofelia Legaspi, Acting Head, External Affairs, Dean Myrna Torreliza
of CLAS and Dean Nancy Eleria of CBAA and the Graduate School to the
4th DOMNET National Congress to be held at UST on February 22 and
23, 2002. The gathering is dubbed "DOMNET after September 11:
Impact on Education."
* * * * * * *
* * * * * *
In a unanimous show of
solidarity the Letran Alumni Association Inc. during its regular
monthly meeting held last February 12, 2002, drafted a resolution
supporting the school’s stand on fraternities.
Two Big Collegiate Fraternities
Fraternal Order of Knights (FROKS) and Triskelion Grand Fraternity (TAU
GAMMA PHI) have recently launched their newly formed alliance to
champion the cause of Letranites.
It was a
welcome surprise for the entire Letran community. February 11 - 12
marked the official birth of the Tau Gamma Phi - Froks brotherhood
via KAPWA LETRANISTA: FROKS AT TAU GAMMA,
a two-day affair, which was staged at the St. Thomas Building
and Letran Grounds of the Colegio.
joint project was ushered in by a seminar workshop on “Commitment
of Change -- Oriented Fraternities” with Psychologist Ricardo
Garcia, an alumnus of Letran, as key resource person. Day 2 of the
celebration was even more exciting with the opening of the
friendship games, the basketball and volleyball for men and women,
respectively. These games were participated in by the members of the
two recognized fraternities of the Colegio. The ceremonial toss was
done by the Head of the Student Services Office, Mr. Isagani Lazaro
and the Administrative Assistant of the College of Business
Administration and Accountancy (CBAA), Mr. Remigio Tiambeng, together with the organizations’
presidents, Mr. Cesar Paulo Zagala of TAU GAMM PHI and Mr. Mark
Crisostomo of FROKS.
joint project is being viewed as a vehicle that will open up the
minds and hearts of the members of FROKS and TAU GAMMA PHI to a
deeper meaning of brotherhood. Community members have been very
hopeful that this joint project of the two fraternity groups will
mark the end of hostilities between FROKS and TAU GAMMA PHI, leaving
the not so good memories of the previous encounters as remnants of
has been a recognized student organization in Letran for some years
already, while TAU GAMMA PHI earned recognition just recently. The
plan to bring together the two fraternities was initiated by
TAU GAMMA PHI adviser, Mr. Arnel Villamin and
FROKS adviser, Mr. Melvin Lebria.
. . . if it would mean this much to prove to them that we are not
enemies but friends, then we will spend this much. After all, we are
one in blood, DUGONG ARRIBA, committed to a quality formation of an
integral human person and become dynamic builders and leaders of
communities.”, says Mr. Villamin in his opening remarks during the
two-day festivities. KJH
Grade School Intramurals 2002
By Estelita Vinluan
The 2001-2002 Intramural Opening Ceremonies was
set off last February 5 to mark the start of the intramural
festivities among the different class teams and grade levels. Classes have formed themselves into teams with their class
advisers as the head coaches. The different grade level teams showed
their cheering exhibitions and field demonstrations which
highlighted the ceremonies. The parade of participating teams with
their muses and coaches added glitter to the activity. The opening
ceremonies displayed the students’ talent in cheering exhibitions
performed by each grade level with their signature yells, cheers,
and field demonstrations. Master James Kenneth B. Giron lighted the
symbolic torch and the recitation of the Oath of sportsmanship was
led by Master Ronald G. Cuerdo. Reverend Fr. Edgardo Alaurin, O.P.
Athletics Moderator of the Colegio delivered the inspirational talk
and led the ceremonial toss assisted by Ms. Angelita M. de los
Reyes, Principal and Mr. Mansueto Elopre, Administrative Assistant.
The ceremonial toss formally opened the Intramural Season,
which emphasized maximum participation of the pupils and provided a
healthy competition among team members themselves.
Yabut Made it to the LG Monthly
Mrs. Ma. Victoria S. Tolero
Jed Yabut, a junior
high school student of class 319, joined the LG Weekly Quiz contest
and made it in the monthly finals.
The taping of the
contest was held last January 9, 2002 at La Salle Zobel in Alabang.
Mrs. Cecille Sanidad, the High School Guidance Counselor, selected
friends of Jed, and 319 students went with Jed to his match. Mrs.
Ma. Victoria Tolero, a High School teacher, was the coach of Jed.
It was a tough yet
challenging day for Yabut because he competed against the Novaliches
High School, Stella Maris School and Paranaque National High School.
After a long struggle, Yabut garnered a total of 400 points, a
second to a perfect score, and was finally declared the winner.
A prize money worth P 12,000 and a 21-inch T.V. for Letran were awarded
By Ma. Ruth S. Que
February 22, 2002, the Colegio will honor the employees who have
rendered at least five years of service to the school. The awarding
ceremony will be held at the Patio Victoria, Intramuros. This is the
Colegios’ way of honoring and appreciating the invaluable support
of its employees, who in one way or another have helped achieve the
goals, the mission and vision of Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Each
of them will receive a plaque, gift and cash.
Suarez, Sarah Cordero
Aserios, Jocelyn Delgado
Mercado, Mhyla Santulan
Enriquez, Rebecca Quiambao
Maduli, Nympha Cancino
Labrador, Eloisa Rosario
Beronio, Michelle James
Roxas, Richard Ampil
Umali, Andrew Bruce Kamatoy
Alecha, Romeo Manalo
Mercado, Jessie Mendoza
Gallo, Jimmy Jomento
Vargas, Irene May Javier
Obed, Julita Pascua
Abardo, Prescilia Casido
Baring, Rito Villora
Diaz, Rhodora Reyes
Epoc, Ferdinand Jasareno
Glifonea, Ronald Regencia
Legaspi, Larry Cruz
Asuncion, Dr. Emmanuel Cortes
Marcelo, Sheila Marie Manuel
Chioa, Davy Tan
Cuenca, Albeth Bautista
Perez, Norelyn Cajayon
Tanutan, Leda Reyes
Ramos, Marilen Mintu
Dalde, Felipe Baldomar
Egaña, Gemma Pascasio
Torres, Enrico Villanueva
Torres, Jay Albert Epistola
Sanidad, Ma. Cecilia Ortega
Tabing, Ameliza Flores
Rotaquio, Ruben Jr. Dagondon
Catalig, Marionne Palad
Landicho, Ester Castromero
Garino, Edgar Ignacio
Arguelles, Lucena Azucena
Cabrera, Pablo Amonoy
Tabinas, Elvira Molo
Basaysay, Nestor Dizon
Eco, Celestino Cabarse
Bieren, Jenny de la Cruz
Baldevia, Gladys Tayo
Lorenzo, Agnes Pasusani
Talavera, Marilou Golpe
Valero, Armando Sr. Bergino
Morados, Judito Momo
Recillo, Romeo Medalla
Lechuga, Feliciana Santiago
Laisa, Corazon Bautista
Suratos, Cesar Peralta
Suratos, Ma. Teresa Reyes
Pamintuan, Ofelia Leuterio
Alias, Edna Catindig
Lizada, Vilma Ladines
Lim, Veronica Carino
Orientation On Community Development Held
By Ramon M. Marticio
Orientation on Community Development, organized by The Office of
Extension Services, was held last January 29, 2002 at the Student
Center Auditorium, SC Building.
The meeting was
attended by faculty members both of the CBAA and CLASE. The
orientation aims to make the faculty members aware that the Colegio
is serious in its commitment to community development.
Fr. Hermel Pama, O.P.,
the Colegio’s Vice-Rector delivered the welcome remarks while Mr.
Ronald Dugang, Acting Head of the Extension Services Office talked
about the Colegio’s program on community development. Likewise,
Mr. Dugang invited and encouraged the Collegiate Faculty to support
and be involved with these endeavor founded on the Colegio’s
Mr. Ron Angeles, a theology instructor presented a profile on one of the
adopted communities of the Colegio which is the Barangay 399, Zone
4, District 4 in Sampaloc, Manila. Dr. Myrna Torreliza, dean of the
CLAS delivered the closing remarks in behalf of the Father Rector.
Mathematics Area Conducts Math
By Ma. Ruth S. Que
the recently concluded Math Quiz Bee held last Jan. 25, at the
Mabini Hall, the Accountancy students took the center stage. The
first place went to Arlene Jocson of ACIA under Mr. Enrico Torres.
competition was participated in by more than 30 students from
different courses. It was by far the biggest in terms of the number
of contestants registered.
such as this aimed to promote academic excellence among the
Palanca Awardee Lectures
on Teaching Strategies
By Ma. Ruth S. Que
Natural Sciences and the Mathematics Area spearheaded a
lecture-forum last January 31 at the Mabini Hall. The participants
of the said activity were the faculty members of the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Lakangiting Garcia, a prolific writer
and an outstanding professor from De La Salle University shared his
thoughts and principles in teaching. His achievements as a professor
and writer inspired the CLAS faculty once more to assess and enhance
their practices and strategies in the classroom.
shared that teachers must be able to carry themselves well in the
classroom, be careful with their words and be able to listen and
feel what the students want to say or need.
the areas he mastered, he was able to come up with principles on
Motivation, Interest, Individuality,
Direct Exposure, Activity, Socialization, Integration and
Letran Bags 2nd
Place in BMAP National Quiz Bee
makes another win in the recently concluded 2nd BMAP (Business
Management Association of the Philippines) National Quiz Bee bagging
the 2nd Place award. The contest was held last February 9,2002 at
St. Paul’s College, Manila represented by Michael A. Rosario, Earl
James C. Aquino and Christian Roi Enares (alternate), all senior
management students (MG4C). Our representatives competed against
other 13 colleges and universities among which are Far Eastern
University (FEU), St. Scholastica’s College,St. Paul’s College,
QC, Adamson University, University of the East (UE), Dominican
College, Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila (PLM), Centro Escolar
University (CEU) and La Consolacion. The team was coached by
Managementfaculty members Menandro Espiritu and Alminda Dacoco.
By. Alminda A. Dacoco
The match consisted of
two rounds with easy, average and difficult categories in the
elimination round while the final round went to the top five (5)
teams hurdling 25 questions from the following subjects: Principles
of Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing Management,
Financial Management and Strategic Management.
The initial round was
a stiff start for Letran with the competing schools while our
contestant made a swooping recovery finishing in the final round
with a total of 85 points after FEU with 125 points at the 1st
Place. Other finalists were College of the Holy Spirit (3rd Place)
Adamson University, and St. Paul’s College, Manila.
The winning contestant were
awarded with trophies for their respective schools and a medal for
New Curriculum for
Elementary and High School Students
By Mr. Ramon Marticio
Effective school year
2002-2003, a new basic curriculum for both the elementary and high
school students will be implemented according to Secretary Raul Roco
of the Department of Education, Culture andSports (DECS).
Elementary and high
School students will no longer take the following subjects such as
Social Studies Home Economics and Practical Arts. Instead these
subjects will be integrated in just one discipline called "MAKABAYAN".
Although this move by
the DECS faced with some resistance from the teachers, school
officials, parents, students and concerned groups, Sec Roco
disclosed that the change in the system of teachings already
incorporated into the New 2002 Basic Education Curriculum (BEC)
ready to be implemented this coming June. He also added that the new
course has already been implemented by some private schools
He further explained
that under the new curriculum, "basic tool" subjects like
English, Mathematics, Science and Filipino would be given one (1)
hour in every 7-hour school days. The human development courses
under "MAKABAYAN would be given three hours daily.
Among the subjects
that will be scrapped from the elementary school curriculum and
integrated into the new field of study are Social Studies,
Technology, Home Economics and Practical Arts; Music, Arts, Physical
Education and Health; Geography, history , Civics, Culture and
Thus, under the new
system, there will be five (5) learning disciplines namely; English,
Mathematics, Science, Filipino and MAKABAYAN.
Ma. Nancy T. Balasan
graduating students, as well as undergraduates and graduates
students graced this year’s Job Fair which was held at St. Thomas
Building last February 7 - 8, 2002. This affair is one of the
activities spearheaded by the Office of the Student Services headed
by Mr. Isagani Lazaro. The Job Fair is in compliance to the main
objective of preparing a decent employment to the Colegio’s
According to Ms.
Naizel Tamayo, OSS staff, compared to last year, there was a
decrease of fifty percent (50%) in the number of companies that
participated in the affair. This year, only thirty six firms were
enlisted. Furthermore, she stated that the number of participating
companies is an indication of the economic problems besetting the
country as a whole. Cost cutting, freeze hiring, restructuring are
just some of the measures that companies are implementing in order
to somehow cipe with the situation.
Among the companies participated in
this year’s Job Fair are Asia Brewery, Megaworld Corporation and
Robinson’s Land Corporation.
Memory of BARON CERVANTES
26,2002 a requiem mass was held in memory of Alumnus Baron
Alexander Cervantes in the Colegio’s Chapel. Rev. Fr. Edwin A.
Lao, O.P., Rector and President celebrated the mass. The late
Baron belonged to High School Class ’82 and College Batch ’86.
In attendance were Pastor Boy Saycon of COPA, Mr. Dante Jimenez of
VACC, Mary "Rosebud" Ong, Atty. Leonard de Vera of Equal
Justice, Col. Julian Malonso, Mr. Charlie Yu, Mr. William Uy, Mr.
Armin Sarthou, LAA President, Mr. Mario Alberto Aligada, LAA
Secretary, Lt. Col. Rodolfo Canu, faculty members, ROTC Cadets and
the Cervantes family headed by Mr. And Mrs. Rac Cervantes. Former
Vice-President Salvador Lurel sent a tribute which was read during
the sharing. Others who paid tribute to Baron were Mr. Saycon,
Atty. De Vera, Ms. Ong and Mr. Jimenez. A reception hosted by Mr.
William Uy and Mr. Charlie Yu was held at the Student Center.
Email me here:
DECS Order No. 20
s. 1991 bans fraternities and sororities, especially in the
elementary and high school levels. Yet despite all these, we have
the celebrated cases of Lenny Villa of Ateneo, Vicente Cirio of
PMI, Mark Roland Martin of UP and Seth Lopez of De la Salle. What
do they have in common? They are all victims of violent fraternity
hazing. It is as if the schools become a venue of promoting a
culture of violence.
This is today’s
dilemma for all schools. Fraternities and sororities are the
"in" thing. Hazing, as their rite of initiation,
sometimes becomes violent resulting in death.
Colegio de San Juan de Letran, in
its four centuries of existence is now faced with the same problem
of fraternities. The more you suppress them, the more they go
underground. Recognition of their status as a student organization
seems the only way so that their activities can be scrutinized and
has proven to be a boon for Letran. Unusual happenings are
monitored so that the students’ safety is assured.
prevented many untoward accidents from happening because of this
policy. Suspected hazings are investigated, apparent neophytes are
given medical check-ups to find out if violence was committed on
their person, parents are notified in writing, individual
conferences are held and the students are given a chance to
explain their side, also in writing.
Most times in the
secondary level, the Prefect of Discipline and his assistant would
the sanction of dismissal only rather than expulsion which is more
harsh as it bans students from admission in other schools thus
destroying their future.
The right to
appeal is inherent in the whole process of disciplinary action in
Letran. The court of last resort in the Colegio, the Father Rector
and President is foremost a priest and only secondary a school
administrator. His pastoral orientation gives him the shepherding
instinct so that a boy’s future has more weight for him than the
burden of sanctions for infraction of regulations. Thus, justice
and equity is practiced and compassion becomes a hallmark of the
Dominican brand of discipline.
Letran is a
Dominican school where Dominican spirituality prevails. Its symbol
is the knight who reaches his goal because of discipline and a
strict training in the refinements of gallantry and brotherhood.
their violent hazing practices are contrary to the Letran ideals
of DEUS, PATRIA, LETRAN—God, Country and Letran. Acts of
violence do not make a man, much more create a gentleman out of
him. The bond that gives rise to real brotherhood is not achieved
through how much physical pain the neophyte can endure but through
a culture of love and respect and self-sacrifice so that others
may live and grow.
This is the Letran "animo"—the
spirit that gave our country four presidents: Aguinaldo, Quezon,
Laurel and 80% of the heroes of the Philippine Revolution:
Apolinario Mabini, Gregorio del Pilar, Artemio Ricarte and many
others. Today the Letran "animo" lives on in EDSA
II in the likes of Chavit Singson, Leonard de Vera and Pastor
Saycon. It animates leaders in business and industry like
Francisco Eizmendi, Jr. and Vicente Ayllon, and big names in the
arts like the late Rolando Tinio. Letran even has a saint among
its graduates, St. Vicente Liem de la Paz.
Letran is proud
of them. They typify the kind of Letranite that is formed to be
leaders of tomorrow. They are products of Dominican spirituality
That is why
violent hazing in fraternities and Letran ideals, like oil and
water, do not mix.
was published in Manila Bulletin on February 7, 2002 and in
Philippine Daily Inquirer on February 10, 2002.)
By Jing Mable
comes late and restless these days to the rectory of Letran. And no
less than Fr. Edwin Lao, Rector & President of the Colegio de
San Juan de Letran, one of the oldest and the most distinguished of
all prestigious Catholic schools in the country, is being victimized
by this nocturnal malaise.
Who wouldn’t be
with a sword of Damocles hanging precariously over his head and
those of his staff, all charged by one high school senior student,
suspended for alleged violation of a DECS order declaring membership
of elementary and high school students as subject to dismissal from
the rolls, with grave abuse of authority.
Going by Fr. Edwin’s
record of controversial encounters since he took over the reigns of
the school, it would seem as if the old dragon at Letran is finally
losing his iron grip on things. Why else would Fr. Lao, a veteran of
school intramurals, succumb to such nocturnal turmoil over another
lawsuit? Fr. Edwin, many Letranites would fondly recall, has gone
through, undaunted although admittedly greatly mellowed down, a
gamut of student protests, hate mail from parents and employees,
vituperation, and faculty mutiny from the time he sat on the
treasurer’s chair in 1989 until recently when he finally succeeded
in restoring the shine on the Letranite’s armor.
in the Seventies
Letran, it can be
recalled, was submerged in a financial morass in the late sixties
when the administration of the school was turned over by the Spanish
Dominicans to their Filipino counterparts. Without the vast assets
that used to shore up the traditional mandate of the school, that is
to send to school as many poor and deserving students as it can
muster, the Filipino Dominicans were then hard put to keep alive the
spirit of charity.
To make matters
worse, Letran Manila had to subsidize the newly opened campus in
Laguna. That the Laguna campus eventually became self-sufficient
proves the wisdom of the early Filipino Dominican administrators in
subsidizing it against all odds. Today, Letran Laguna Campus enjoys
the unquestionable distinction of having pioneered Catholic
education in Southern Tagalog, thus providing the Southern Tagalogs
with quality education and its burgeoning industrial sector a
constant supply of competent professionals. That Letran - Laguna
Campus has contributed greatly to the phenomenal and sustainable
growth of the CALABARZON industrial corridor cannot be contested.
problems that hounded the newly emancipated Filipino Dominicans were
by no means only financial in nature. The late sixties and seventies
were characterized by a rebellious and restive studentry and a
highly charged political and social atmosphere. While the phenomenon
was global, the Filipino youth of the seventies was further
challenged and threatened by the imposition of martial law,
resulting in the general decline in respect for the establishment.
Things started to deteriorate at a faster rate, and schools like
Letran were not exempt, when the national economy started its slide
into a depression.
It was in the
aftermath of such social, political, and economic upheaval,
reflected in a microcosm in Letran, that Fr. Edwin took over. A
Chinoy, Fr. Edwin was thought of by colleagues as the man of the
moment. The expectations were great that Fr. Edwin, having been
brought up in the Chinese way of conducting family business, would
have the acumen to hurdle Letran over the financial straits.
That the choice is
providential has been proven by the slow but steady transformation
of Letran-Manila from a hobbled old man entering the Age of Aquarius
to a revitalized Knight clad in an armor shining like new.
Manila has grown into a complex of buildings that houses an all-time
high of 5,000 students from elementary up to graduate school level.
While it continues to hold on to the old values of truth,
patriotism, and spirituality, its curriculum offers a wider range of
courses that can well equip today’s Filipino youth to excel in a
career of his choice. From the traditional business courses that put
many alumni in a good stead, today’s Letranite can now compete in
the newer fields of mass communications and information technology.
But glorious as his laurels may
seem now over the decade, Fr. Edwin, to his chargin, is not to be
allowed to rest on them. Confronting him now in court is a split
image of himself. A Chinoy, who, like him, is a scion of Chinese
businessmen; yet, who, to a disturbing degree, is quite unlike him.
The tenacity, ruthlessness, and racial pride typical of the Chinese
are there. But argues Fr. Edwin, "not withstanding the
reputation for cleverness in business the Chinese in this country
may have, I was brought up to tell the truth and nothing but the
truth, especially in front of my parents." That Fr. Edwin’s
in the high school department, more sure of his place in society
being well funded and now influential, could deny before his parents
what he has admitted to be true to teachers and what his classmates
know to be true, is something that has been keeping Fr. Edwin from
How Chinoy values
have changed with changed circumstances is foremost in Fr. Edwin’s
mind. Over the past few decades, more and more Chinoy’s,
particularly those from the more affluent families, are getting out
their ghettos and getting themselves enrolled in many of the
prestigious Catholic School in the country favored by the Malay and
Can one child,
cloaked in the riches and power of his parents, totally upset the
carefully upheld values for which Letranites are known to have
fought for even in the face of death? Can Fr. Edwin, having put
back, slowly and painfully, Letranite education at par with any
school in the country, allow one child to make a mockery of his
lifetime accomplishments? Will the word of one child as against the
admission and testimony of absence of legally acceptable evidences
of complicity? Can a lie send to death a 381- year old knight that
is the Colegio de San Juan de Letran?
When the fight is the word of a
child against those of school administrators, the chance of victory
for schools crusading against the pernicious influence of
fraternities and cliques before the bar of man’s court seem to be
very dim indeed. And this is Fr. Edwin’s lament. But his fear is
more real. With most of the tormentors of Lenny Villa, the murdered
victim of the Aquila Legis fraternity of another prestigous Catholic
school, off the hook as recently pronounced in court, the chance of
fraternities evading society’s sanctions get brighter. To what
great heights of tragedy for unknowing
parents, and the country as a whole this immoral turn of events will
lead to should be keeping not only Fr. Edwin from sleep but also all
educators and school administrators. Fr. Edwin’s dilemma is every
After all, the only
difference between Letran’s having a lawsuit and the other school’s
relative innocence in the many past cases of tragic initiations is
the abscence of a dead body. Without a dead body, Letran cannot
prove that there really is a danger of underground fraternities in
its campus. But should’nt Letran parents instead be thankful that
there is no dead body for now? In the loneliness of the dark night,
this is Fr. Edwin’s question, " Do we have to wait for a
victim to really crack down on unrecognized fraternities in the high
from the Alumni
At this time of
deep soul searching, Fr. Edwin is looking into the immediate and
remote past of Letran for comfort and strength. In times of deep
moral crises, Letranities, in the remote and recent past, have stood
up against all odds upheld the truth. During the Philippine
Revolution of 1986, a majority of the revolutionary leaders cited in
the textbooks on Philippine History were Letranities. While, in the
light of present scholarly scrutiny, many of these so-called
revolutionary leaders have been shown up as mere oppurtunities and
even landgrabbers, most of the handful of those during the Katipunan
era who have passed even today’s standard of heroism were
Apolinario Mabini, Emilio Aguinaldo and Emilio Jacinto.
In the very recent
past, a handful of Letranites have again surfaced to help rescue a
nation outraged by blatant corruption and disregard for the law and
institutions by those who occupied the highest positions in
government. Foremost among these modern knights in shining armor,
now acclaimed as EDSA heroes, are Chavit Singson, Jose Luis Yulo,
and Leonard de Vera and Pastor Saycon, front runners of the
formidable organizations that figured in the miraculous ouster of a
popularly elected, but commonly perceived as corrupt president. A
handful of Letranites have made EDSA 2 possible.
Perhaps, Fr. Edwin
wonders, a handful of Letranites will again surface, this time, to
help the school triumph over an evil so pernicious it may taint the
character of the next generation of Letranites - the acceptance of
willful violence as part and, even a desirable, parcel of life. How
else can hazing among persons who intend to be brothers or sisters
be anything but willful violence?
this thought, Fr. Edwin can catch up on lost sleep.
thrust of the present administration is slowly materializing in the
consciousness of the Letran community. We have seen consistent
improvements in terms of facilities and integrating systems in the
overall operation of the Colegio. The constant evolution of
development was focused largely on these 4 major objectives of the
Colegio’s 4 year development plan:
1. Raising the
Academic Standards of its faculty;
2. Professionalizing further the administrative and support staff;
3. Continuing the physical improvements that have a direct bearing
on instruction and learning and
4. Accreditation of the different programs of the study.
With these medium
term vision, the present administration believes that even the
decline on enrollment will be arrested once academic excellence is
achieved. But in order to do this we must scan our internal and
external environments. Turn threats to opportunities and weaknesses
to strengths without sacrificing objectivity and social
In order to address
and apply synergism in key result areas, specific strategies were
campaign on the awareness of the Colegio’s guiding principles;
b. identification and strengthening of flagship courses in the
c. identification of core competencies in the primary and
d. development of new courses in line with the needs of the
industry (i.e. Human Resources Mgt. And Education);
e. gradual standardization of seminars and research methodology;
f. improvement in the admission process;
g. standardization of General Education in the collegiate level;
h. adoption of English as language of instruction;
i. professionalize the employees using Job Evaluation and
Performance Management and Appraisal Systems;
j. establishment of committees in relation to Labor and Management
k. reduce personnel cost;
l. increase number of full-time faculty members;
m. increase number of faculty who have masteral and doctoral
degree (its raining masters and doctors!)
n. enhance classroom management;
o. enhance research skills of faculties;
p. encouragement on scholarly publications;
q. intensification of IT and multimedia;
r. increase number of industry practitioners;
s. increase usage of the library;
t. more focused extension services;
u. closer ties with the alumni;
v. availability of the dormitory and the;
w. development of the Vicente Liem de la Paz Foundation.
With the presence
of these approaches, the Colegio has been reinvigorated despite the
slowdown in our external environment.
January 2001 was a
month of surprises. There was a rumbling in the streets and a wave
of uneasiness sweeping the nation. The greatest drama of post WWII
history was unfolding in the living-room of homes nationwide,
courtesy of high technology.
The eye of the TV,
the hero of the decade, has a way of focusing on faces and
gestures, on the rise of an eyebrow or the twist of a finger, or
the nasal twang of the speaker or the obscene jig of a person --
and it tells stories, more definitive stories that mere words
And so it raised the
hackles of the spectators. And a nation who felt degraded by lies,
lies and more lies rose up with one voice and shouted:
corruptor of our nation’s soul. Begone to the bower of Hades!”
The resounding cry
reverberated in the halls of power and a fear and trembling took
hold of those for whom it was intended.
A quiet change of
government took place and hope lifted the nation’s soul to a
moral and economic recovery that would have spelled the
One year later.
Today, where are we?
As a people we have
progressed but little on moral issues. We are still very much a
divided nation. Our loyalties
are to persons not to principles which can go hang if it is on a collision
course with our political and financial future.
After all, like
water and oil, money and principles do not really mix. Either you
serve God or you serve mamon. There is no middle ground. No
compromises. God with his unconditional love simply forgives. No
questions, no nothing. The Devil knows not love or forgiveness. It
lies down on a bed of compromises. And
there goes the story of The Fall.
Look around you and
what do we have today?
Everywhere it is
money that gets the upper hand. To be poor is a sin. “Bawal ang
magkasakit. Ano ka mayaman?” So goes one TV ad. The rich and
mighty count not anymore by the millions but by the billions and
trillions. So they now buy even justice by the “barya” of
millions. How can virtue and principles win?
worldwide is in recession. The Philippines is not an exception.
But it is so nice to blame the government for an economic sin that
is not of its own making. It is even quick to use poverty for its
And there goes the Tale of Two Cities. Read your classical stories again!
It carries the seed truth.