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Happy Birthday Dr. Juanito M. Acanto

Dr. Juanito M. Acanto CPU President

Let us celebrate and take time to remember Dr. Juanito M. Acanto on his birthday, 5 April 2013. He was CPU’s former president. He continues to help CPU as board of trustees. Who could ever forget his leadership, Christian ministry, friendship, wit, humor, and most of all, his passion for beautiful CPU.


Rinand Escuban

From Rinand Escuban and family:

Whenever the name Dr. Juanito Maca Acanto is mentioned several things come to my mind:

Central Philippine University, which he led with competence, respect and distinction for 12 years, as Acting President, 1996-1998, and as University President, 1998-2008; a public servant, whose unsullied integrity made him one of the most respected and trusted elected official in the Province of Iloilo; a trial lawyer, whose courtroom savvy and intellect were admired by the bench and the bar, and by his clients, many of whom are the poorest of the poor.

Beyond these, I know Dr. Acanto as the one who opened me the opportunity to serve CPU. He gave me his trust that motivated me to be excellent in my responsibilities.

He rewarded me with his confidence that allowed me to pursue programs for the good of the University. He taught me what it means to be a Centralian. He exemplified to me what service to Central Philippine University is all about.

Happy birthday Sir Juaning. My mentor. My friend. God bless you.


Central Philippine University

From Carmelle Frances Romero:

Ang indi ko gid malipatan abut Sir Juaning or Sir JMA is his way of making things light or mamag-an. While he is meticulous, he does not burden you with his presence.

Amo ina ang akon na appreciate sa iya; because of that mas na-challenge pa kami sa office to work harder and make sure that the trust he has given us is not in vain. And of course, who could forget his legendary humor? Incomparable!

Sir Juaning, you are a blessing. God bless you more.


Ps Charity Esmaya Alibogha

From Ps Charity Esmaya Alibogha:

Dr. Acanto has great influence in my career and I’m thankful to God for his life!

He has a positive attitude that motivated me to work harder. He reminded me to always wear a smile even if my heart is aching.

As a leader, he set the best example to put a smile on your face which brightens everyone he meets. You can always approach him without hesitations. He is a good listener and willing to help and give his full support. Everyone is important to him.

I didn’t expect that my professional growth and life’s journey would come this far after he said to me “Charity, you have to get out of your box!” I will never forget those words.. Those words that encouraged me to embrace and explore the world with dignity and responsibility. Every time he gives his advice he would tell me to look up to God and that he will also pray for me.

He is not only my great mentor but a great friend whom I can count on even if I don’t work for him anymore. Happy birthday my former boss, Sir Acanto!


CPU work student

From Sandy Lim:

During my first year sa CPU, permi ko na Makita si Sir Acanto nagalibot sa campus. Students greeted him with such a big smile. Nabatian ko permi sa ila, “Uy si Tay Juaning nag agi” and they will greet him “Good morning Sir”. And with a smile, mamangkot sya na “kamusta kamu?”.

That’s how he is, very approachable sa tanan.

For 4 years as a work student sa President office, nahibal-an ko na the reason ngaa damu gid nga tawu gapalangga sa iya, it is because Sir Acanto has a huge heart.

Kung pwede nya lang buligan ang tanan, giubra ya na. Personally, Sir, damu gid nga salamat sa tanan. You may not know it pero kung hindi dahil sa imu I won’t be able to reach my dreams.

Sir, as you celebrate your birthday today. I always wish you good health for you, Ma’am Ruth and your family.

You are always blessing and inspiration to us. May you continue to inspire other people Sir. Again, happy birthday!


Happy Birthday Sir!

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“Nanding” – Your Life Inspires Me

The Escuban Family

Your life inspires me. Your story of despair and hope; of struggle for a living and freedom from poverty; of lack of a school education and a wealth of life’s education – they nourished me; they educated me, and; they brought me to where I am now.

I am Rinand because of you and Nanay. God used both of you to give me a life with so much confidence looking to the future with limitless possibilities.

You are a man of ambition. That is the reason why for many a times those who do not know your heart and mind, laughed at and ridiculed you, for how can a man so downtrodden and downcast and without an iota of academic learning dream so big to reach for his impossible stars.

But deep in your heart, you know that God created you to live a life of meaning and purpose. And so, smiling at those who gave you up for nothing, you and God walked together through tough and hopeless times, slowly and with agony, until you reached and took hold of your stars.

Your beginnings were miserable and undesirable. You stared poverty right on her face. You ate not on a table with a silver spoon and a plate but, sat on your buttocks and devoured your food from a banana leaf with your bare calloused hands. You slept not in a bed of comfort but stretched your battered body on a cold surface of clay. “This man has no future in him”, they said and judged you then.

But you are a dreamer. Gifted by God with a discerning mind; an articulate tongue, and; a heart brimming with courage and hope, you dreamed to fight and slay the demons of your poverty.

Blessed with a body toughened by years of hardship and endowed with a strength honed through life’s daily grind, you picked-up yourself to explore the world.

Hardened by the sugarcane fields of La Carlota, you crossed the seas to Iloilo and later to Zamboanga, to become an experienced and a tough stevedore hand; a highway construction worker; politicians bodyguard, and a church building caretaker. You went where the wind took you for a chance at a better life.

Without a formal education, you daringly entered the gates of a University, joined the Gospel Team and courted a lady of simplicity and dignity and respect who became your wife and taught you your “A,B,Cs” and she I now call, my “Nanay”.

Without access to books penned by scholars and the learned, you read and meditated on the Holy Bible which became your source of wisdom and enlightenment, satisfied your intellectual curiosity and fed your soul.

Without a degree to embellish your name, you worked night and day and offered your body to be scorched by the sun and drenched by the rain just to feed your family and send Nanay and your four growing children to one of the finest universities.

That was then.

Now, you smile at your detractors and testify in your words, “Dalayawon guid ang Gino-o. Indi ini iya tikal. Wala ako sang tinun-an apang naka-tapos ang akon pinalangga nga asawa kag apat ka mga kabataan, sa CPU pa! Wala ako gina-kaptan nga titulo apang sa grasya sang Diyos ang akon asawa kag mga kabataan puro may mga kurso kag, may doctor, engineer, pastor, kag nurse ako nga mga umagad. Ano pa nga titulo ang pangita-on ko?”

When I read the story of your life, I still wonder, “How can a man of the earth, encircled by overwhelming obstacles fought through the maze and came out a victor?”

Given what you have experienced, even a day of it, I wonder how I could survive. You amaze me Tatay as much as you bless me.

You have finally slain the demons of your poverty, together with Nanay’s help. And, we your children, Inday Rina Joy, Boboy Andrew, Nonoy Harold, and myself have tasted the sweetness of the fruit of your conquest

Tatay, today you turn 80 and you are healthy, prays and reads your Bible everyday. You are not perfect like everyone. You have your weaknesses and limitations.

But you are a hard and a rough stone smoothened and fashioned by the hands of God to become a precious shining gem.

Thank you Tatay. I love you so much. God bless you.

HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY.

Your son,

Toto Rinand, with Inday Lory Joy, Toto Brahms, Nonoy Strauss and Tata Handel

NOTE: This letter is published with permission from Mr. Rinand Escuban.

Experiencing the Big Kawa Hot Spa at Katahum Tibiao

The trek up and down the mountains to visit Tibiao’s popular Bugtong-Bato Falls and the muscular effort spent paddling the Kayak exhausted the G-Force.

Flord, General Manager of Tibiao Fish Spa and Katahum Tours had told the G-Force that the Big Kawa Hot Spa is designed to sooth the aching muscles and joints of the Katahum Tibiao revelers from Central Philippine University.

Central Philippine University

Trying to look confident that the firewood won't boil the water and cook May alive.

May, Joan, and Jonan who immersed themselves into the Big Kawa confirmed that Flord was right. The Big Kawa Hot Spa simmered down the tension that wrapped their being when they climbed the steep way to Bugtong-Bato and negotiated the foaming and gorging rapids of Tibiao.

Central Philippine University

Two heads are better than one...

Central Philippine University

Together we stand, divided we fall!

Central Philippine University











If not for the fact that the G-Force had to go home that afternoon to CPU, Iloilo City, they could have stayed longer and savor every bit of Katahum Tibiao.

Even if the G-Force’s visit to Tibiao was short, the trip was indeed great time for refreshing, bonding, and most of all, in awesome wonder of God’s creation.































Thank you Mayor Walden Lim and Flord for your hospitality.

Crista, Nica, Che, and the rest of the tour guides gang, blessings and more power to you all!

More photos…


Central Philippine University Central Philippine University

Kayaking at the Katahum Tibiao River Rapids

Central Philippine University

Cyrus at Kayak Inn

The G-Force, compose of some staff members of Central Philippine University, went on a two-day discovery 2011 at Tibiao, Antique on May 26 to 27.

Central Philippine University

Resting a bit before leaving Bugtong-Bato Falls to go back to Brgy. Tuno. The G-Force appreciates the presence of Flord (red shirt) and Krista (yellow shirt) who guided their trek.

Their second day at Tibiao was an intensive adventure day for them. Early morning, the G-Force went to witness the fisher folks bring in their catch from their Lambaklad nets. They had fun at Bugtong-Bato Falls. Read previous post, “Katahum Tibiao Tours – Lambaklad Fishing, Bugtong-Bato Falls, Kayak Adventures & Hot Bath

It was already noon time when the G-Force finished their trip from Bugtong-Bato. They proceeded to Kayak Inn, the venue for their next activity… Kayaking.

After a hearty lunch, three G-Force members don the kayaking attire. Cyrus decided to rest, while Jonan soothed his tired body at the Kawa hot bath.

Central Philippine University

Beneath the smiles of the G-Force Kayakers, a mix of excitement and eagerness pervaded their spirit. The walk to the training site added to the suspense.

Central Philippine University

Jones, Joan, and May were the three G-Force who went Kayaking.

Central Philippine University

The Kayak neophytes were brought to Grade 1 (still waters) for orientation and quick training.

Central Philippine University

Kayaking is a mix of paddling and balance, which May finally mastered.

Central Philippine University

It's easy to build confidence in the smooth water, what do you think Jones?

Central Philippine University

With great determination despite falling into the water once, Joan finally overcame her fear.

After the crash course, Jones shot the Tibiao River Rapids…finishing 12 Kayaking stations.

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Watch out for more G-Force’s Katahum Tibaio Adventures…next post!

Katahum Tibiao Tours – Lambaklad Fishing, Bugtong-Bato Falls, Kayak Adventures & Hot Bath

Central Philippine University

It looks like the sea would not favor our chance to witness the Lambaklad fish haul.

Central Philippine University

Later, Flord sent Joan a message that they will proceed as planned. The G-Force cheered.

Sporadic heavy rains marked the whole night until early morning, which dampened the G-Force’s schedule to move out at 5:00 in the morning.

Central Philippine University

The G-Force was supposed to ride the bamboo raft with the fishermen but the big waves were too much for them.

They were set to go to Brgy. Malabor, two kilometers from Tibiao town, to witness the fishermen bring in their fish harvest.

About 12 fishermen riding on a wide bamboo raft braved the heavy waves, pulled the nets, and gathered the catch. Despite stormy weather, the Lambaklad nets yield 44 kilos of Bayang and several kilos of Bulaw.

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

G-Force bought two Bayangs; Flord gifted them with one. Each Bayang weighs 2.5 Kgm.

Central Philippine University

Proudly, showing their spoils. The banana is courtesy of Flord, a token from their family orchard. G-Force gave Flord some CPU tokens, their way of promoting CPU wherever they go.

Central Philippine University

The G-Force just marveled at Tibiao's verdant hills and vales. They had no idea what surprises awaited them at Bugtong Bato.

Bugtong-Bato Falls

From Brgy. Malabor, G-Force went back to town to have breakfast. They ate at Vbot’s Restaurant where they enjoyed sinabawan nga Tangigue, among other food.

They also requested Nang Vbot to fry the Bulaw that they bought from Malabor fisher folks. The G-Force brought packed lunch to Bugtong-Bato.

Central Philippine University

Taking a brief pause after climbing the first slope. The site is way up the mountains with Che (rightmost) and Crista (taking the photo) as their local guides.

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Enjoying the best of times at Bugtong-Bato Falls.

Next…G-Force’s Kayak Adventure…hang on!

Katahum Tibiao Experience – Surf Watching, Spelunking & Tibiao Fish Spa

Central Philippine University

Taking a pose with the Tibiao Mayor, Hon. Walden M. Lim (center) during the G-Force's courtesy call.

The rain had stopped but the skies remained cloudy. It was already past 3:00 in the afternoon of May 26, 2011. Being Centralians, the G-Force took time to visit Mayor Walden Lim in his office upon arrival at Tibiao town.

Besides doing the customary courtesy call to the town leader of every place that the G-Force visits, it is also their pride and honor to meet a fellow-Centralian who is leading the progressive town of Tibiao.

Centrral Philippine University

We are here! Taking a photo with GM Flord at his Tibiao Fish Spa sign.

For them, it is great opportunity to hear and learn from Mayor Lim his vision and plans for his constituents. Thus, when Jones asked him what his priority project for the Tibiao people is, Mayor Lim replied quickly and without hesitation, “farm-to-market roads”.

Tiguis Beach

They thought their day tour would start the following day but Flord lost no time in inviting the group to visit some sites nearby. Thus, Flord guided the G-Force to Tiguis Beach.

Central Philippine University

Appreciating the panorama that Tiguis Beach gives

Central Philippine University

We negotiated steep slopes to reach Tibiao's popular seaside scene.

Central Philippine University

Tiguis Beach is not your typical swim and dive beach.

Central Philippine University

Tiguis Beach is one place to find peace by listening to the surf and learning from it.

Tibiao is definitely on her way to progress because Mayor Lim, Flord, and her constituents are listening and learning from nature. Thus, they reap nature’s bountiful gifts.

It is quite sad that there are leaders who neglect to listen to what nature and society are crying out because they are immersed with their pride and pretensions; leading themselves and their constituents towards self-destruction and hubris.

Central Philippine University

Don't leave Tiguis Beach without getting a picture with the 100-year-old Balete Tree.

Let’s go to Tiguis Beach and listen to the surf and get the message!

Spelunking at Manlamon Cave

Although it’s only about 5:00 PM, the dark cloudy sky and the scattered rain showers made it look like it was already dusk. This did not deter the G-Force to follow Flord to Manlamon Cave for some short spelunking adventure.

Flord shared that according to folklore, one could travel through Manlamon cave and be transported to a nearby island by saying a magic word. Along the way, the traveler will be served with good food, fruits, and everything that would make your travel so memorable and comfortable. What the magic word is, no one knows nor not one of the G-Force would like to know.

Central Philippine University

Life's challenges become light when we carry one another's burden.

Central Philippine University

Doing a pose that is fitted for billboard promotion at the mouth of Manlamon Cave.

Central Philippine University

Inside Manlamon's cavern

Central Philippine University

Jonan was glad to exit without a hitch.

The Taste of Tibiao Fish Spa

No, the G-Force did not eat fish but instead they let those special kind of fishes eat their dead skin, leaving the soft and smooth dermis of their feet. At the Tibiao Fish Spa, the client undergoes three stages of treatment. You start with stage one with those little fish doing some kind of “micro-ex-foliation” of your skin.

Central Philippine University

The G-Force at the Tibiao Fish SPA

Then you progress to stages 2 and 3 with the spa being managed by medium to large fishes. Oh boy, the G-Force cannot give an exact description of what they went through at the fish spa. You better come to Tibiao Fish Spa and experience it yourself.

Flord invited the G-Force to try the total Roman bath, a full-body fish treatment but nobody dared. For now, foot treatment was just enough.

Cenetral Philippine University

The G-Force at Stage 1

Central Philippine University

Getting used to the fish nibbles, the G-Force relaxed a bit at Stage 2.

Central Philippine University

Stage 3 gives a smooth finishing 'touch' to our skin.

Watch out for more Katahum Tibiao adventures…next blog post!

Central Philippine University G-FORCE DISCOVERY 2011

Central Philippine University

A pose after a walk along the beaches of Tibiao

Central Philippine University‘s summer seasons (April to May) is a time for employees to spend great vacation time bonding with family and friends.

While there are university funded trips for some selected offices, the rest of the employees are just grouping themselves, planning and spending on their own for their regular summer (or semester break) getaways. G-Force is one of these employee groups at CPU that had been staging successfully several trips in many local places to unwind, enjoy, and take time off from the rigors and pressures of office life.

Central Philippine University

With no one around, Jones took the shot this time with Cyrus (left) in the photo

On May 26-27, the G-Force went to Tibiao, Antique for yet another summer getaway trip. Their theme, “G-Force Discovery 2011”, was just appropriate for the many things that they discovered and experienced in Tibiao.

Besides knowing that the mayor of Tibiao is a Centralian, Hon. Walden M. Lim (HS ’83), what attracted the G-Force to Tibiao was the Katahum Tibiao video about the many adventures that Tibiao is offering that the G-Force watched via Internet.

Katahum Tibiao boasts of “the perfect mix of nature and adventure to get your adrenaline pumping and take your breath away with awe-inspiring sites.” G-Force gives a “triple A” or “XX” (extra-excellent) rating for all the activities that they went through. Among the many treks that they made, they all see the trip to the falls and kayaking adventure as the most adrenalin pumping adventure that they had.

To arrange the trip, they contacted Flord Nicson J. Calawag who is the 23-year-old General Manager of Katahum Tours and the now famous, Tibiao Fish Spa



For the G-Force, it is not just the opportunity for adventure and fun that they are aiming at. They see their trip as a way of meeting Centralians and promoting Central Philippine University to whomever they meet along the way.

Thus on their way to Tibiao, they met the Rev. Matias Arib, pastor of San Jose Evangelical Church, as they stopped at the parsonage for some necessities. A brief acquaintance and Cyrus and Pastor Matias recalled that they were classmates in one or two subjects during college. Pastor Matias was also May Guillem’s “kasimanwa” (townmate) in Sagay, Negros Occidental.

Jonan, owner and founder of Online Writing Niche, led them there because he once stayed at Antique Christian Center for eight months while working as process documentation researcher of the Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila in 1992. Together with several research assistants, he was documenting the implementation of the agrarian reform program in remote villages of Sibalom, Patnongon, Valderrama, Bugasong and Hamtic at that time.

Their next stopover was at Laua-an, Antique the town that Mayor Aser Baladjay, a graduate of CPU Civil Engineering in 1987 leads. Before going to Mayor Baladjay’s office, the G-Force met former CBYFP President, Ms. Mayden Acero. She is the Municipal COMELEC Head of Laua-an.

After having snacks courtesy of Nang Mayden and several songs at the videoke, the G-Force proceeded to Tibiao amidst heavy rains along the way. It was already 3:00 PM of May 26, when the group arrived at Tibiao town.

Learn more of the G-FORCE’s great Tibiao discoveries on the next post…

Central Philippine University

Saying his prayers before the cooking began

Central Philippine University

Jonan is being cooked in his own fat

Central Philippine University

Giving dead skin treat to our fish spa friends

Central Philippine University

Beholding the majestic Bugtong Bato Falls

More G-Force Discovery 2011 photos coming your way next time…

Central Philippine University G-FORCE DISCOVERY 2011 at Tibiao, Antique

Central Philippine University
Central Philippine University

A pose after a walk along the beaches of Tibiao

Central Philippine University‘s summer seasons (April to May) is a time for employees to spend great vacation time bonding with family and friends.

While there are university funded trips for some selected offices, the rest of the employees are just grouping themselves, planning and spending on their own for their regular summer (or semester break) getaways. G-Force is one of these employee groups at CPU that had been staging successfully several trips in many local places to unwind, enjoy, and take time off from the rigors and pressures of office life.

Central Philippine University

With no one around, Jones took the shot this time with Cyrus (left) in the photo

On May 26-27, the G-Force went to Tibiao, Antique for yet another summer getaway trip. Their theme, “G-Force Discovery 2011”, was just appropriate for the many things that they discovered and experienced in Tibiao.

Besides knowing that the mayor of Tibiao is a Centralian, Hon. Walden M. Lim (HS ’83), what attracted the G-Force to Tibiao was the Katahum Tibiao video about the many adventures that Tibiao is offering that the G-Force watched via Internet.

Katahum Tibiao boasts of “the perfect mix of nature and adventure to get your adrenaline pumping and take your breath away with awe-inspiring sites.” G-Force gives a “triple A” or “XX” (extra-excellent) rating for all the activities that they went through. Among the many treks that they made, they all see the trip to the falls and kayaking adventure as the most adrenalin pumping adventure that they had.

To arrange the trip, they contacted Flord Nicson J. Calawag who is the 23-year-old General Manager of Katahum Tours and the now famous, Tibiao Fish Spa



For the G-Force, it is not just the opportunity for adventure and fun that they are aiming at. They see their trip as a way of meeting Centralians and promoting Central Philippine University to whomever they meet along the way.

Thus on their way to Tibiao, they met the Rev. Matias Arib, pastor of San Jose Evangelical Church, as they stopped at the parsonage for some necessities. A brief acquaintance and Cyrus and Pastor Matias recalled that they were classmates in one or two subjects during college. Pastor Matias was also May Guillem’s “kasimanwa” (townmate) in Sagay, Negros Occidental.

Jonan, owner and founder of Online Writing Niche, led them there because he once stayed at Antique Christian Center for eight months while working as process documentation researcher of the Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila in 1992. Together with several research assistants, he was documenting the implementation of the agrarian reform program in remote villages of Sibalom, Patnongon, Valderrama, Bugasong and Hamtic at that time.

Their next stopover was at Laua-an, Antique the town that Mayor Aser Baladjay, a graduate of CPU Civil Engineering in 1987 leads. Before going to Mayor Baladjay’s office, the G-Force met former CBYFP President, Ms. Mayden Acero. She is the Municipal COMELEC Head of Laua-an.

After having snacks courtesy of Nang Mayden and several songs at the videoke, the G-Force proceeded to Tibiao amidst heavy rains along the way. It was already 3:00 PM of May 26, when the group arrived at Tibiao town.

Learn more of the G-FORCE’s great Tibiao discoveries on the next post…

Central Philippine University

Saying his prayers before the cooking began

Central Philippine University

Jonan is being cooked in his own fat

Central Philippine University

Giving dead skin treat to our fish spa friends

Central Philippine University

Beholding the majestic Bugtong Bato Falls

More G-Force Discovery 2011 photos coming your way next time…