CPUFOAAI End of Term Report 2012-2014 by May Vail Lee

In response to the request of the immediate past CPUFOAAI president May Vail Lee that these documents be circulated among alumni, we have published these reports.

official website of cpu alumni

Revised Final 12-31-2014 End of Term Report 2013-2014

Below is the image of the first page of the report.

CLICK on the image to read the FULL REPORT in PDF Version.

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Revised Final 12-31-2014 End of Term Report 2013-2014

CPUFOAAI President and Treasurer’s Report Sept 2012 – Dec 2014

Supporting Documents 2013-2014 P1-16

CLICK on the image below to read the report.

official website central philippine university


Who Would You Invite to Your Banquet?

Message of Dr. Lester Edwin J. Ruiz at the Christmas Alumni/ae gathering hosted by CPUAA of the Northeast, Calvary Baptist Church, Clifton, New Jersey, December 6, 2014

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Banquets are critical part of culture and the building of community

For many, if not most, of the cultures and peoples of the world, eating together—sharing meals—having banquets, are an important part of the creation and nurture of community, of “life-together.”

In the Philippine context, there are at least three practices that are a crucial part of “life together:” eating, singing, and storytelling; and, maybe dancing and praying—these activities are what make up Filipino “fiestas.” To my mind, your regular gatherings in this place are part of what “fiestas” are about.

So let me invite all of us to reflect briefly together about banquets and fiestas; and perhaps, afterwards we can talk about what banquets have to do with us Centralians and life together, especially of living together well, finally.

Images of Banquets in the Bible

There are many images of banquets or shared meals in the Bible. Today I would like to draw our attention to at least four.

The Banquet of King Xerxes

First, there is the banquet of King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) recorded in the Book of Esther. In that powerful, moving text, the author describes in the greatest of detail what kind of banquet King Xerxes held. While everyone was invited, it is very clear that this banquet was only for the important men of the empire.

The King even wanted the Queen to offer herself for the pleasure of these important men. And when she refused, he divorced her.

I suspect this story is strangely familiar to us. So familiar, that it deserves no further elaboration, except to say, How many times have we felt that only the most powerful, the most important, the most “beautiful people” deserve to sit at the “head table” of our banquets?

Or worst, how many of us are convinced, in our hearts, at least, that power and privilege—whether it comes from tradition, or wealth, or knowledge—are the primary criteria for honor and respect, instead, perhaps, of the simple reality that we are all human beings loved by God—this creator and ruler of the universe, who arrives among us in a dirty, stinky stable, of an unwed teenage girl, and whose first visitors were probably uneducated sheep herders?

The Banquet of Queen Vashti

Second, there is the banquet given by Queen Vashti. In contrast to the way King Xerxes’ banquet was described, the author of the Book of Esther has only one line for Queen Vashti’s banquet: “Meanwhile, Queen Vashti gave a drinking party for the women in the palace where King Artaxerxes was…”

I have often wondered why the storyteller had only one line for Queen Vashti’s banquet, while he had at least 25 lines for King Xerxes’ banquet. One interpretation with which I am familiar suggests that Queen Vashti invited all the women who were not invited to the party of King Xerxes—in other words, all the women who were excluded from the centers of the power and privilege of the military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces.

I have to tell this story. I am told that my mother and father had a “grand wedding;” that her veil trailed behind her at least thirty feet; and that at their reception, all the honored guests, many of whom were dressed in their Sunday best, including for the men, those black and white wing-tip patent leather shoes, were served on the lawn in front of my grandfather’s house—but, that all of my grandmother’s family and friends, many naka tsinelas lang, the men wearing T-shirts, the women naga mamâ, were gathered at the back of the house close to what today would be called a “dirty kitchen” and were practically invisible to the guests at the front.

Mea culpa. Mea culpa.

The story in the Book of Esther also has a very contemporary “ring” to it. How often does the work of wives, daughters, and sisters, gotten only a small acknowledgement, if at all, even though, we know that it was because of their work that made an event successful, for example, a church dinner, or an alumni/ae “potluck,” or, even, keeping the house clean, the meals cooked, the clothes ironed—in addition to taking care of the children… and taking care of the men in the public square? Some of my friends have called this the invisibility of the women of our time.

The Banquet on the Mountainside

Third, there is the banquet of the “feeding of the five thousand.” The story, with which we are all familiar that it does not need re-telling, is profound in its simplicity. In a world of scarcity, a world of selfishness, one boy, with a simple baon—not at all a banquet by most standards—in his willingness to share what he had, through the power of Jesus, was not only able to feed five thousand, but had plenty left over.

What is interesting to me is that nowhere in the story are we told that if we share, we should be rewarded with God’s blessing. No prosperity gospel here. The boy gave, without the expectation of any future reward. He gave because it was in his heart to share. Judging from what he had, he probably was not a boy from a wealthy family—but he opened his heart and his hands—and the world was blessed.

The Eucharistic Meal

Finally, there is the banquet we call the Lord’s Supper. And even though this is familiar to most of us, this one deserves re-telling. The author of the Gospel of John tells this story:

“… Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean…”

And the author of the Gospel of Matthew continues…

“…While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives…”

Three things touch my heart in this story.

First, Jesus knew beforehand that someone in his inner circle would betray him. Yet, that betrayal was not enough to exclude Judas from being invited to the table of the Lord. Jesus also knew that Peter would deny him; and yet, that denial was not enough to exclude him from being invited to the table of the Lord.

Second, the Eucharist was a simple meal of remembrance. The disciples gathered for the traditional Jewish Passover meal, which Jesus turned into a time of remembrance, not only of his life, death, and resurrection—his sacrifice—but also, of what God was going to do in the world.

And, third, and for me, the most moving, the meal was preceded by Jesus washing the feet of his disciples… an act of humility and service; a reminder for us of what true leadership and greatness involve.

[button url=”https://centralphilippineuniversity.org/2014/12/14/what-kind-of-banquet-will-you-have-who-will-you-invite/” target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#0000FF” color=”#ffd700″ size=”5″ wide=”yes”] CLICK TO READ THE CONTINUATION OF THE MESSAGE[/button]

PHOTO CREDIT: Dondon Gonzaga Faldas

What Kind of Banquet Will You Have? Who Will You Invite?

This is the continuation of Dr. Lester Edwin J. Ruiz’s message at the Christmas Alumni/ae gathering hosted by CPUAA of the Northeast, Calvary Baptist Church, Clifton, New Jersey, December 6, 2014

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Hapag ng Pag-asa (Table of Hope) by Joey Velasco

What kind of banquet will you have? Who will you invite?

These four images tell us something about life and about ourselves. Indeed, these banquets are metaphors for the creation and nurture of “life together”—this life together that always, at least in the biblical tradition, as in Acts, Romans, Corinthians, and the other Pauline epistles, combines worship with “fellowship meals.”

Every banquet poses for each of us a question, not only of whom we invite to our banquets, but also, what kind of banquet we must have—and therefore, whether our lives are worthy to be called worshipful. In this specific context, if life can be understood as a banquet of sorts, then, the question of whom we invite to our banquets is also a question of whom we invite to participate in this thing we call “the Central Spirit;” and, what this Central Spirit is about.

Will our banquets (our alumni/ae associations), be like the one which King Xerxes hosted—where everyone is invited, but only the important people are honored, and where others are sacrificed for the pleasure of those who are considered important?

Or will our banquets be like the one that Queen Vashti hosted, where there is no record of who was invited. But, extrapolating from the character of Queen Vashti, we might surmise that those who were invited were those who were not only excluded from the centers of power and privilege, but also were those who were courageous, like Queen Vashti herself, to stand up to these centers of power and privilege and who refuse to submit to the unjust and arbitrary exercise of power and privilege? What does it mean to invite these people into our midst?

Or will our banquets be like the one on the mountainside, made possible by the graciousness of a young boy, who was willing to freely and unconditionally share what he had, especially without the promise of reward for being generous or obedient? Will ours be a banquet of divine excess; of unconditional regard—sharing both with the deserving and the undeserving; the just and the unjust; sharing like the rain that falls on everyone; like the sun that rises and sets for the whole world; like Jesus giving his life for the whole of creation?

Or will our banquets be like the Lord’s Supper, where everyone is invited—even those who would betray or deny us? Those who would challenge tradition? Those who would ignore life itself? Can we invite into our potlucks those who are not like us, those who have hurt us? Those whom we have hurt? And if we do, how do we ensure that they are fed just as we feed our friends and family? Or, to put the matter more theologically, how do we ensure that justice does not surrender to compassion; and compassion is not overwhelmed by justice? In other words, that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven?

One more banquet

There is one other banquet that I want to mention this afternoon. And I mention it with some trepidation because it is not easy for me—or for many of us, to talk about it. I refer, here to the Florida Global Reunion as a banquet.

Please do not misunderstand. I do not mean that the Florida Global Reunion was not pleasant. Please do not construe my comments as a lament about CPU, its alumni/ae, and the Global Federation—flawed as it may be in its organizational and administrative leadership. Au contraire. The Florida Global Reunion, by all accounts was a wonderful celebration of our beloved Central—and its Spirit. Indeed, it was, as I understand it, a success. And I regret I was not able to attend it.

That being said, some of us have been somewhat pre-occupied with the events around the Florida Global Reunion, particularly the painful controversy around the “Global Queen Contest.” I suspect many more have been watching quietly from the sidelines of cyberspace—some taking sides, some quietly trying to figure things out, some just curious or amused. Others horrified and disgusted; still others apathetic even uncaring.

But as Koheleth (in Ecclesiastes) says, there is a time and purpose for everything under heaven. And if one takes a long view, as I do, what this GQ “debacle” has done is bring to the surface so many deep generational-, class-, gender-, religio-moral-based differences among alumni/ae regarding the meaning, purpose, and function of being alums of CPU; it has re-opened old wounds, and inflicted new ones; it has brought to the surface the flawed monetized strategies of institutional development and advancement adopted by the leadership of our beloved CPU; it has underscored the deep violations of trust, transparency, accountability that many rightly feel; it has revealed the many agendas—both hidden and not so hidden—of different alums, some for the good of CPU, or the alumni/ae organizations, some for personal, even self-serving gain.

Viewed from this vantage point, it is not a very pleasant or pretty banquet. Not a fellowship of which we can be proud. Still, it is our banquet.

At the same time, the events surrounding the GQ contest even to this day has also disclosed a deep yearning for connection and re-connection—in other words, a deep desire for genuine community around personal, professional, institutional, and spiritual commitments and passions; a dream for living together well finally.

Sadly, it may be too early to ask of the violated to forget and move on; or too late to ask the self-interested to give up on their self-centered aspirations. It may be humanly impossible, at this time to ask of all of us—in our differences, incommensurable as they might appear—to return to a time of shared innocence so that we can all begin again.

Maybe, we are living in a time like Lot’s Sodom and Gomorrah, or of Noah’s flood—those times that require that what we have built needs to be destroyed, or be allowed to die—in order for something genuinely new to come into being. Then, again, we may be living in a time when the old Central is dying, but the new Central cannot as yet be born. I don’t really know; sometimes, I wish I had a crystal ball.

But what I do know, in my heart of hearts, is that all of God’s people are called to be “born again” and yet again—not just in some spiritual or religious re-birth important as that may be; but be truly “born anew”—which means, we all must be prepared to die to ourselves, and be resurrected in the name of what is good, and true, and beautiful which we do not possess or control, but which, ought to possess us.

Whether we like it or not, in other words, we have got to eat—sometime. And the question is, do we have nourishing food to eat? Do we have good food to share with others? Or is our food stale, pan-os, even poison?

A banquet for everyone—unconditionally:

Living together well, finally

And so, I ask again: what kind of banquet will we have? Who are we prepared to invite to our banquets?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, those of you whom, I know in my heart stand at the frontlines of struggles for justice, for peace, for transformation whether big or small, whether related to CPU and its alumni/ae federation or to local chapters or churches or places of work and play—those of you who have mounted crosses, carried crosses, taken others off of crosses—what kind of banquet will you have? Who would you invite to your banquet?

In other words, whom would you invite to share in your inherent truth, goodness, and beauty; your blessings; your most cherished values?

Who would you welcome into your most intimate convictions; your deepest vulnerabilities; your darkest secrets?

To whom would you entrust your faith; your understanding of “the Central Spirit;” your exclusive idea of Central?

My prayer is that God will grant us the wisdom and the courage to invite to our banquets all those whom God has loved and created. And may all our banquets, our communities, our lives, be about the gathering of people together to share freely, joyfully, hopefully, unconditionally in order to transform our world—tempered by the recognition that we may not get there save through the cost of discipleship that may eventuate in “the cross” even as we look to the resurrection of God and of God’s creation, and of God’s ultimate judgment and excessive grace, who, even now, comes to us again in this season, not only through the defiant innocence of a baby in the midst of a painful, ugly, disappointing world, but also, a baby whose lineage is explicitly linked to both “the prophets of old, who demanded to be heard, who dared to speak of a child to come, unexpected liberator of the people, vulnerable incarnation of the Holiest of Holies, a new name for God,” and also “the prophets among us today, who bring to us surprising new visions of hope, who challenge us to think outside the box, who show us a future we never anticipated.”

When Louise Vail and I were exchanging emails about the topic for this celebration, she first suggested “How can we, as Centralians, make a difference in our society or country or the world?” to which I responded that it was a broad topic. “If the topic is too broad,” she wrote back, “since its Christmas time, how about “God with us or the meaning of Emmanuel”?

So let me conclude by noting that we are gathered here to celebrate the season of the coming of Emmanuel; tomorrow is the second Sunday of Advent, which in the Christian calendar is a time of “waiting” for the coming of our Lord and Savior—God with us.

So what has banquets got to do with the holiday season; with Advent; with waiting for the coming of “God with us”?

This season of preparation for the coming of “the fundamentally new that is also fundamentally better;” and which includes, if we follow church history and tradition, confession, seeking forgiveness, and being pronounced holy and forgiven; a remembering of who we are, from whence we came, what we hope for. Well, maybe nothing, maybe everything.

But if banquets are about sharing, about “being together,” about “living well together finally,” then Emmanuel, God with us, is about the gathering of God and God’s people. It is even more than that, for in the Incarnation, God joins permanently with humanity in order that humanity may find its fulfillment in divinity.

Perhaps, after we have meditated on the questions what kind of banquet do we want and need? And whom do we want or need at the banquet? After we have agreed that it is important to learn how to live well together finally, perhaps, then, and maybe only then, can we ask, what kind of banquet are we waiting for? And who are the people we are waiting for to join our banquets?

I believe in my heart of hearts, that if we get to these questions, then we can get to Louise’s very important question about how we can, as Centralians, make a difference in our society, our country, our the world.

But the answers to her important questions, sisters and brothers in Christ, can only come from each one of you–individually and collectively.
May God give us the hearts, minds, and spirits, to answer her questions.


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PHOTO CREDIT: Image of ‘Hapag ng Pag-asa painting of Joey Velasco’ courtesy of Google Images; CPUAA Northeastern USA photos by Felix B. Colinco Jr.

Remembering Ruth Ciriaco Corvera

The Centralian community is saddened by the passing of one of Centralian greats, Ruth Ciriaco Corvera.

Ruth C. Corvera, a graduate of the College of Theology with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Religious Education, cum laude, in 1954. She finished her Bachelor of Science in Social Work in 1977 and served as part-time faculty of the College of Theology.

She also taught in the Department of Social Work, and was field instructor and acting chairperson up to her retirement. She simultaneously served as director of the Katin-aran Center for 20 years. The Katin-aran Center is CPU’s outreach program serving 70 barangays in Iloilo and Antique.

In 1997, she initiated the Family Wellness Center of the College of Theology, and served as its consultant. She was a member of the CPU Board of Trustees from 1958 to 1968 and a recipient of the CPU Alumni Association Distinguished Centralian Award in Social Work and in Christian Ministry in 2003. (EXCERPTED FROM: CFLA: Peter Ardeño Corvera)

Through social media and blogs, we collated messages and thoughts about her, her memories and legacies from close friends, former students and colleagues in CPU and CPBC. Please read and be inspired of Ruth C. Corvera’s life.

Ruth Ciriaco Corvera

NANI ARANETA DE LEON shares on her FB:

During her last visit to Iloilo, she called me up and requested me to visit her at Roselund where she stayed. In the span of my 2 hours visit, we talked about a lot of things but this story really stood out.

She told me that life wasn’t always that easy for her but that she is so thankful she is blessed with a son, a daughter-in-law and family who love her so much and who have provided every comfort for her aside from the medical aspect of life.

I will forever remember how her eyes lit up as she told me with great delight about her room. “I wish you and your Mom could visit & see it…”

She could not get over how blessed she is to have this beautiful room now that she is in her 80s. In their new home which she lovingly referred to as “Higher Ground,” she said that she could see the mountains & a beautiful sunrise each new day from her bedroom. One just marvels at a dazzling blend of oranges & pinks.

The perfect setting for one’s morning prayer or meditation. “It’s like a little glimpse of Heaven!” she exclaimed. “I am so looking forward to Heaven which I know will be more beautiful than this!”

Well Auntie Ruth…you closed your eyes and opened them to the loveliest sunrise of all. You have beauty all around you and celestial music for eternity. We bid not goodbye but we say “See you in the morning…”

EDWIN I. LARIZA writes in his 17 April 2014 blog post “Is suffering a virtue?

For I know very well Prof. Ruth Ciriaco Corvera. How she spent the best years of life on her passion for service as pastor and social worker. Either in church or community, she consistently espouses her development slogan- empower people to reach their full potential before God. I have been a witness to her irresistible commitment.

Nothing can stop her, not even problems, difficulties, illness, pains and sufferings. She has given all with seemingly nothing for her old age. Yet, at the age of 82, she was stricken with cancer. Now on the eighth year, six years of which were in stage-4, she continues to think of ways how she could be useful to others.

… Now, I realized my experience pales in comparison to hers. Her condition is even worse than mine. Yet, she still has the time to periodically call me and inspire me to hold on and go on with life and service.



Video: CPU Morning After Typhoon Frank 22 June 2008 #ThrowbackThursday

I found this video taken the morning after Typhoon Frank hit Iloilo, flooding CPU with storm water, mud and debris.

I was using the camera of my Nokia 2210 so my apologies for the poor resolution.

Notice the ankle-deep silt blanketing the area around the elementary, Johnson Hall and towards Gate 6.

Pete and Judy Obregon – Medical Mission Hall of Fame Awardees

Pete and Judy

Pete and Judy were inducted to the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ Medical Mission Hall of Fame on 22 March 2014 at UT Health Science Campus.

Pete Obregon is graduate of CPU High School. He is 1960 graduate of FEU Medicine School. He and wife, Judy are active missionaries of Medical Ministry International.

Source: CPU Blog

Dr. Pete Obregon is the product of an American medical mission in the Philippines. His parents were the first converts to the Christian faith in Hollo in the early 1900s.

After graduating from a Baptist university in the Philippines, he had a private practice in Point Pleasant, W.Va., and later in Columbus, Ohio.

While Pete and Judith started two homeless clinics in Columbus, they were dedicated to care for the underserved medical and surgical needs of the poor in the Third World. Their medical mission work included the Philippines, El Salvador, Africa, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

In 1993, Pete was appointed medical director for the Medical Ministry International for Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. He left private practice to work full time for the organization.

Since making that life-transforming decision, Pete and Judith have taken 134 medical and surgical teams to 39 countries. Judith has served as project director for many of the missions, and she has taught respiratory therapy techniques to nurses.

Source: UT News

From email of Pete and Judy

Judy and I had a wonderful and humbling weekend when we were inducted into the Medical Mission Hall of Fame at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. God used us as His vessels for His work and we thank Him for this honor.

Below are three pictures from the ceremony. First is Judy and I accepting the award, the second is the wall plaque at the Hall of Fame and the third is a picture of the 2014 inductees, Dr. and Mrs Bransford, Judy and I, Dr. Conway, the President of the Hall of Fame, Dr. Marchbein of the Doctors without Borders and Dr. McGinnes, Dean of UT College of Medicine. Professionally taken pictures will follow.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Love, Pete and Judy

Judy and I accepting the award

Judy and I accepting the award

The wall plaque at the Hall of Fame

The wall plaque at the Hall of Fame

The 2014 inductees, Dr. and Mrs. Bransford, Judy and I, Dr. Conway, the President of the Hall of Fame, Dr. Marchbein of the Doctors without Borders and Dr. McGinnes, Dean of UT College of Medicine.

The 2014 inductees, Dr. and Mrs. Bransford, Judy and I, Dr. Conway, the President of the Hall of Fame, Dr. Marchbein of the Doctors without Borders and Dr. McGinnes, Dean of UT College of Medicine.

Read more about Pete Obregon by clicking this –>OBREGON FAMILY


The Work-Study Service Program – Centennial Legacy of Central Philippine University

By Juanito M. Acanto, Ph.D.

This article was published in Panay News, 27 September 2006 issue; Manila Bulletin and Manila Times, 2 October 2006 editions, in celebration of CPU’s Centennial and 101st foundation day.

The Work-Study Service Program has been innate in the establishment of Jaro Industrial School, the forerunner of Central Philippine University or CPU. It is one program that has existed since 1905 and is still very extant and progressive today. The very character of the school is to have students who work for their studies. The school desires to give opportunity for poor Filipino boys to receive a good Christian industrial education by working their way through school. The pupils are exposed to actual work experience and earnest study of the Bible.

In 1905, this work-study educational concept was very vital in awakening the Filipino consciousness towards self-determination, especially in this part of the country. The more than three centuries of Spanish colonization had driven the Filipinos deep into the gully of ignorance and loss of confidence. Education was confined to the rich few families, especially those with Spanish descent and its purpose was social refinement and distinction rather than preparation for a trade or profession. With the total liberation from Spanish rule, the Filipinos saw the dawning of educational opportunities through the American missionaries.

The establishment of Jaro Industrial School placed the Baptist Missionaries in a holistic stance of developing the body, mind and spirit. Before 1913, all students of the Jaro Industrial School were work students. The American missionaries inculcated in the hearts and minds of the work students the value that “labor is honor”. This is a far contrast from what had been the Filipino-Spanish culture that was: labor is menial and undignified. The students worked for four hours on the farm, in the shop, or in construction, and four hours a day in the classroom. Saturday afternoons and Sundays were free from work or classes. Sundays were spent in the church and in religious or quiet recreational activities.

With the establishment of the junior college, Jaro Industrial School became Central Philippine College in 1923. The primary aim of the college was to train Christian workers and teachers. The teachers were expected to immerse into the public-school system, aspire for improvement, and lead the way to educational progress. Central Philippine College imposed stringent requirements for admission and selection, such as accepting only students with the ability to do high-quality work. With this requirement, Central Philippine University institutionalized total quality work among her students and graduates and at the same time provided a venue for the Christian renewal experience.

The tradition of giving “work scholarships” through which students could earn enough to cover their tuition costs continues until now. Apparently, the Work-Study Program intends to help deserving young people achieve education in spite of their inability to pay for it. As years passed and more students enrolled at Central, the Work Study Program became the opportunity avenue for poor and needy students to gain college education.

New applicants are screened by means of tests, interviews, school records and recommendations. They must maintain a general average of at least 2.5 or C+. Their work is supervised by the staff member in charge of the area to which the student is assigned. Successful applicants according to their measured capacity and ability are assigned to different work areas in the university, such as office and laboratory assistants, library assistants, and janitorial services. The Work-Student Service Program committee conducts a regular semester evaluation on the work performance of each work student. The evaluation result is used as basis for a possible promotion to other assignments or termination of contract if the student unsatisfactorily performed his/her duties.

In a real sense, the work students are a part of the work force of the university because they serve as additional personnel for some of the necessary services to faculty, staff, and students. They serve as assistants in the maintenance and upkeep program for the buildings and grounds; as library assistants, office clerks, laboratory assistants, assistants in the school stores, canteens and enterprises; as farm workers and caretakers of livestock in the College of Agriculture. Their remuneration is in the form of remission of tuition and other fees.

Some of the work-students who received their basic education at Central later became part of the administrative staff. CPU became the beneficiary of her own investment because work-students who graduated preferred to serve their Alma Mater and in them was bred the concept of diligence and faithfulness to their work and a special appreciation of what their Alma Mater had sown. There are work-student alumni who excelled in their respective fields and express their love to CPU through donations in the form of endowments for scholarships, professorial chairs and faculty and staff incentives, and all out support in any fund raising programs of the university.

Allow me to mention two alumni who worked their way through college; became successful in their respective careers. Sharing their success to CPU, each of them financed the construction of buildings at CPU. Dr. Alfonso Uy gave for the construction of the four-story Student Union Building and the two-story Excel Center. The Student Union Building is the “mall and food court” of the University as the first and second floors are occupied by food and dry goods stores. Offices related to direct student services, such as the Guidance Service Center, Office for Student Affairs and the Chaplain’s office occupy the third floor. Meanwhile, the fourth floor is a multi-function room for seminars and conferences.

Rev. Johnny Ancheta provided for the construction of the College of Theology Building and provided additional endowment for its maintenance. Dr. Uy and Rev. Ancheta testify that their Alma Mater had given much for their success, among others, the opportunity to study at CPU and their personal encounter with their savior, Jesus Christ.

My predecessor, Dr. Agustin Pulido supported the sustainability of the work-study philosophy of the Central Philippine University. I have also pledged to make the work-study program as the centerpiece of my administration starting this year and in the years to follow because I believe that by uplifting their state through skills and values training, developing their work ethics and values, CPU would be able to graduate students who are professionals through and true.

Presently, the Work-Study Service Program of CPU operates on the vision to provide a path for quality college education for the less privileged but highly motivated and deserving high school graduate students. It commits to assist the University in attaining her goal of exemplary Christian education for life among less privileged high school graduate students.
At present, CPU has 735 work students; 401 work in special offices and laboratories; 187 man the janitorial services; 147 work in the libraries. The program is equipped with support services for the students whenever circumstances or financial problems may hinder their study at CPU. The work student could apply for emergency or medical loan once every semester in case he or she is sick or in urgent need of money. A work student could also procure school supplies every 1st semester at the Student Service Enterprise, the university’s canteen and grocery store, whenever he/she had accumulated credits in his/her account for overtime or extra work.

In a baseline data gathered in 2003, of the 634 work students, 80 percent belong to a family whose parents earn less than P5,000.00 or $90 (P1=$55.50) per month. Their fathers are working as farmers (24.25%); drivers (8.25%); entrepreneurs (4.25); government or private employees (4.5%); laborers (23.75%); the rest are unemployed. Fifty-four percent of mothers are housewives; the rest work as housemaid (8.75%); government or private employees (8.25); vendors and storekeepers (12%); farmer/laborers (6%). Interestingly, 25.25 percent of mothers are working as teachers. Apart from their work load in school, 33 percent of work students have odd jobs. They work as waiters, household help, gas station attendants, tutors and others.

In late 2003, a unit supervisor found out that the reason her work students were not responsive to instructions was because they report for work without eating breakfast. It was also learned that some work students who had no money to buy lunch would just hang out at the Half-moon Drive Shed (a hang out area in the campus) while waiting for their classes. This learning led the mobilization of the program “rice for work students” but was later renamed as “God’s G.R.A.C.E. (Gospel Relived to Appreciate Christ’s Example) Feeding Program” when the committee in-charge decided to provide meals instead of merely giving rice to work students. The Work Student Supervisor revealed that 100 more work students could qualify in the God’s Grace Feeding Program but the budget is only enough to feed 45 persons for the school year.

For over two years now, CPU has been implementing the God’s G.R.A.C.E. (Gospel Relived to Appreciate Christ’s Example) Feeding Program to the most needy work students. This school year, the program provides lunch to 45 (as the budget would suffice) selected most needy work students. The program was triggered by the astounding discovery that lots of work students go to their work assignments and classes on empty stomachs for lack of money.

This was Ben’s (not his real name) case, a work-student who is in 2nd year BS Math now. Encouraged by his teachers in a rural high school in Iloilo province, he went to CPU to enroll but without assurance of full support. Losing his father at 13, the eldest of six siblings and her mother earning from farm chores, Ben has only his determination to study at CPU. While processing his work-study application, he had to sleep in the hallway of one of CPU’s buildings for he had no place to stay. In the first month of school, Ben would sleep and eat with work student friends for the support he gets from his high school teachers was not enough. There were days when his friends were not around; he would just sleep off his hunger. Upon knowing of Ben’s predicament, the work student supervisor, with the help of the University Church deacons recommended that he be enlisted in the God’s GRACE Feeding Program. Then the University Church decided to provide shelter and work for him.

The University Church is the program carrier of the project with the help of the Social Work Department, Office for Student Affairs, and President’s Office. CPU is generating financial support for the sustainability of the project. Recently, through the campaign of former work student Mr. Mauro Somodio, an alumnus who is now living in Australia, a very concerned individual committed to give CPU annual support for ten years.

During the CPU Centennial Week on 31 July to 6 August, while the rest of the CPU community was celebrating, alumni who were work students met and organized the Work Students Alumni Association, Inc.. The association aims to support the work-study service program of CPU by establishing a resource center for work students. The resource center would provide holistic training and development to work students, such as practical vocational skills, personality and Christian values development and honing their entrepreneurial abilities.

When CPU celebrated her foundation on October 1, the entire special thanksgiving worship offering gathered during the worship services, except those that were specified otherwise, was given to the Work-Study Service Program. A portion of the amount went directly to the God’s GRACE Feeding program. Indeed, God’s greatest glory is seen through the Work-Study Service Program, CPU’s centennial legacy of helping the least of our brethren.


Nelson, Linnea A. and Herradura, Elma S.. Scientia et Fides The Story of Central Philippine University. Iloilo City: Central Philippine University, 1981.

Valentine, William O.. “Moral and Religious Values of Industrial Education.” MA dissertation, University of Chicago, 1916.

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Let’s Sing “CPU Forever” – Centennial Hymn of Central Philippine University

Who knows how to sing the Centennial Hymn of Central Philippine University, “CPU Forever”?

Composed by the late Mrs. Eleanor Ruth Buensuceso Fabula, “CPU Forever” should have been institutionalized as one of the Centralian songs that students and alumni all over the world must sing.

Do you know why?

The “Central, My Central” melody is an adaptation of the Thuringian folk song, “How Can I Leave Thee”

“CPU Forever” is fully a CENTRALIAN ORIGINAL that Centralians, Eleanor and her daughter, Roselyn Hope composed.

So let us celebrate and honor our uniqueness and originality through singing and living the song’s message.

It’s about time we value the foreign American Baptist missionaries who gifted us with self-determination.

Isn’t establishing ‘CPU Forever’ as a CPU song one proof of honoring the CPU forebears who desire to see Centralians manifesting their ingenuity?

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NOTE: Please CLICK the white box at the center to vote! Thank you.


Composer/Arranger: Mrs. Eleanor Ruth B. Fabula
Lyricist: Roselyn Hope B. Fabula-Cabanos & Eleanor Ruth B. Fabula

Boundless is God’s grace on CPU forever.
You’ve soared high, reached far and wide to all the lands and seas;
May your name be revered by them who pass your gates,
‘Tis God’s anointing blessings that crown you with success.

Honored we shall be to bear the gold and blue,
To lift the standard, live our faith that all the world may see
God’s works through you, and all alumni true
Faithfully be spreading the truth that sets us free.

We thank the Lord for you, our Alma Mater true,
We learn to labor, seek God’s will His purpose to fulfill;
For God’s greatest glory, for God’s greatest glory,
Central Spirit share to EXCEL we dare
For God’s greatest glory!

PHOTO CREDIT: CPU by Jaiden Castillon Peñascosa

Centralian Dr. Rosanna Belo Reveals Secrets to 100% Passing NLE

She looks back to her Alma Mater with gratitude.

Centralian achiever

Dr. Rosanna Belo

In the previous blog post we learned that the Dean of WVSU College of Nursing, the top Nursing school of the Philippines, Dr. Rosanna Belo is a Centralian.

Her heart beating the blue and the gold, Dean Belo expresses her desire to help CPU. Talking with friends on Facebook, she shared how the college she leads achieve top performance in the Nursing Licensure Exam.

We collated Dean Rosanna Belo’s conversation with Centralians on the “The Good Old Days at CPU FB Page” where she revealed how West Visayas State University College of Nursing attains 100% passing of NLE.

How does WVSU achieve 100% success?

Our students take the board in May or June. We believe that if the foundation of the students is strong from first year to fourth year, there is no reason why they have to postpone taking the NLE in December when they can do that in May/June.

We allow the students to decide when to take the exam, based on their perceived preparedness.

When they have decided, that’s when we come in to support them until the last day of the exam… even if I have to sleep with them just to see to it that they are studying.

I personally give the orientation in the NLE framework and test taking strategies on the first day of intensive review. Then I give the final briefing two days day before the exam…In between, the faculty would come in.

If my Alma Mater would invite me to do the same, I am very much willing to give my time.

Are WVSU Nursing students honor students in High School, in other words, maalam kag driven gid, plus that they are thoroughly screened and the slots limited?

That’s not the picture now. We do not have as many honor students (as before) anymore.

IT is not the honor one gets from high school, but the aptitude for nursing that matters most.

Before we would have more than a thousand applicants in the first year but at this time of nursing glut, happy na kami kon may 300-400.

But systems theory lang na…what outcome would you like to achieve?

Know your inputs (the students you are taking in) so you can put in place strong, efficient and effective processes (thruputs) to achieve the desired outcome.

At present, Centralians nga CIs include Janet Marie Zamar Gequillana, Donabelle Sison, Sheila Salazar Sison, Cerlie Venturanza. Five na lang kami da nga graduates sang CPUCN out of the 44 faculty members.

On being a nurse and becoming dean

I did not dream to become Dean. In the first place, I wanted to be a teacher, not a nurse. But my mother wanted me to be a nurse just like my aunts Nilda Sazon Belo and Lilia Sazon Belo…all CPU grads.

Dean Belo acknowledges her mentors and Alma Mater

I was inspired by Dean Natividad Caipang to specialize in Community Health Nursing…. I had the best teachers – Lily lynn Velasco Somo, Rapunzel Edrosolano, Lilith Plagata, Florence May Rico, Wilna Solomon, Jocelyn Javelosa Bitoonon, Nora Carnaje, Mrs. Depakakibo… many more I can’t recall (senior moments) IMH offered varied clinical experiences…

I will always look back to my Alma Mater with gratitude.