By Juanito M. Acanto, Ph.D.
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.
Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38)
It is hard to comprehend and to some this is not acceptable but I believe that giving attracts generosity. This is not to run in contrary to another virtue that says, “Give and expect nothing in return” because the gifts would still come anyway even if with all candor and purity you are not expecting something in return.
You see, this is law of attraction at work, especially in gifts and giving.
First and foremost, the prevailing spirit here is generosity and not greed.
Generosity is the honest expression of giving favors in the form of talents, availability and financial help to others without looking forward to anything in return.
It is giving at its best because it is spontaneous and not coerced. It is freely and heartily given.
In this period of global financial crisis the most common phrase that we hear from many people, leaders of corporations, religious and humanitarian organizations, is “We don’t have money”.
May I ask, is the phrase “we don’t have money” borne out of honest evaluation of the real financial status? Or is it being used as a safety measure, a phrase that will dissuade spending despite the availability of money?
If this is the case, is this not dishonesty? And when you are not honest with your real financial situation how can you expect generosity to thrive in your areas of influence?
Where generosity is stunted, gifts are scarce, and it is likely that greed will breed and soon take over. It is my prayer that the current “no money”, “no budget” mantra that has been popular at the biggest university in Iloilo City would not attract poverty and greed.
Sowing the seeds of generosity begins with your genuine concern for your fellow person. When you do something to realize your concern through giving, then this act and substance of your giving becomes the gift to the person of your concern. Your deed of kindness, which has become a habit will attract gifts to come your way.
There are quality academic institutions that have cultivated excellently the culture of generosity. They nurture generosity among their students by giving scholarships, grant-in-aids, and support for extra-curricular activities.
Believing in the principle that giving attracts gifts, there are school leaders who commit sincerely to offer the best facilities, equipment, and services for their students. Beyond graduation, there are Iloilo City universities that continue to really be their students’ Alma Mater (nurturing mother) because they have built that true “mother-son” caring relationship.
Would you believe that there are churches and non-profit institutions who take pride in harboring large sum of money in the bank? They would declare that they are progressing because their “savings” have grown through the years.
Are churches and non-profit institutions not supposed to spend all their so-called “riches” for the poor and needy as Jesus Christ has commanded?
Quite contrary, the most progressive and fast growing churches and non-profit institutions are those that are sincerely all out in harnessing and using their resources to do for their worthy vision and mission.
Their members and alumni are giving cheerfully because they can see life and vitality in their total institutional existence. They won’t hesitate to give sacrificial to support a very worthwhile ministry projects for they see that their donations are used extensively and the results are tremendous.
Well, it is not yet too late to start giving generously. And when you see how your act of benevolence had lifted somebody’s spirit, giving a brighter day to him or her, you have just attracted the priceless gift of love.
Getting the opportunity to study abroad
In 1961, Juan became the Director for Mission and Evangelism of the Convention Baptists. Through the help of Rev. Jesus Vaflor, CPBC General Secretary (1954 – 1964), Juan got the chance to study Master of Divinity in Berkeley Baptist Divinity School, Berkeley, California.
When he went to Divinity School, he found out that his studies wasn’t a full scholarship. He had to work for his board and lodging. The work he experienced in the US school was worse than in CPU for he had to wash plenty of dishes, big stew pots, toilets and scrub floors. Receiving nothing from the Philippines, he found extra income by working in a Dog and Cat Hospital.
In 1964, Juan got a job in a Methodist church. This paved way for the United Methodist denomination to call him to pastor a church in 1965. While working as pastor, Juan did extra job as a house parent. He needed income to finance his wife’s travel to the states.
Venturing into real estate
In 1973, their neighbor’s house was up for sale at a low price. Having the amount, the Anchetas bought the property. Then prices of real estate properties went up because of inflation in the US. It provided the Anchetas the opportunity to resell the property at a much higher price. Thus, began the real estate business of Juan and Nellie Ancheta.
The business did not deter them from God’s work. Juan remained as a full time pastor while Nelly busied herself with the church’s women organization and US-wide ministry involvement. Their faithfulness to God and the Christian ministry provided more business opportunities for them.
The apartment business grew and it provided Juan and Nellie the means to extend the blessings that God endowed them through financial donations. CPU has been the recipient of the generosity of the Anchetas.
The annual Celis-Ancheta Seminar for pastors of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches is one of the continuing education programs that the Ancheta family is supporting through their endowment fund donations at Central Philippine University.
Further educational advancement
Juan finished his Doctor of Ministry at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, California in 1984. A humanist by heart, he translated every opportunity to serve his fellowmen as his spiritual fulfillment.
His passion for service is given life both in the Philippines and the United States. As pastor, he zealously devoted himself to evangelism work with the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches. Proving himself to be a genuine servant of God, he was given the honor as Pastor Emeritus of Melrose Methodist Church, Oakland, California.
CPU Alumni Involvements
Imbued with true Central Spirit, Rev. Dr. Ancheta has kept the high ideals of CPU by tendering selfless service, invaluable assistance, and financial help to further the religious, educational, and humanitarian causes of the University. Indeed, his unconditional generosity, social consciousness, humanitarian concerns are Christian acts worth remembering and emulating.
He is active in the CPU Alumni Chapter of Northern California, which he and Nellie were pioneer members. Both Dr. Ancheta and Nellie were among the first five persons who started the CPU Alumni Chapter of Northern California in 1969. They both had served as either president or treasurer of the CPUNorCal.
When Nellie had a stroke in 1995, he was chosen by the group to take her place and continue to lead the group until 2009 when the Chapter accepted to host the 2010 Global reunion in San Francisco.
When the Chapter finally accepted to host the gathering, Dr. Ancheta asked to be replaced by a younger leader. He found joy in being one of those who started the CPU Alumni Chapter of Northern California.
Devotion to CPU’s welfare
For his lifetime commitment and Christian achievement as minister of the Gospel and humanitarian leader, Central Philippine University takes pride and pleasure in giving Rev. Dr. Ancheta due recognition and honor.
The Anchetas have been known for their passion for service and generosity in helping church related institutions in the Philippines , and Central Philippine University is a recipient. The Celis-Ancheta Hall for the College of Theology dedicated and inaugurated on June 25, 1997 is concrete evidence.
When Nelly joined her creator in 1998, Juan at 70 years old spend his life fulfilling Nellie’s unfinished dreams of helping those who are in need and developing the work of God both here and abroad. For his benevolent work, Rev. Ancheta received the Honorary Doctorate Degree from Central Philippine University on 3 September 1998.
Juan’s later successes
At age 83, Dr. Johnny Ancheta is still strong and busy in their business and in the work of the Lord. He testifies how the Lord is gracious to him and the members of his family. When Nellie passed away, Junell quit his teaching job and his graduate studies to take care of their business. He is blessed with three grand daughters.
On January 25, 1999, Juan married Aurora Carnaje, a US-based nurse and graduate of CPU.
His son, Jorge is working in the Alameda County and living alone.
His eldest, Junell and his wife, Ritsuko have three children, namely: Joan, 13; Jane, 10; and Ellena, 8.
In November 2010, Dr. Johnny Ancheta and wife, Aurora Carnaje Ancheta visited their Alma Mater, especially the College of Theology
Juan Ancheta’s story remains as one example of a man’s successful search for better life, which he achieved through hard work, determination, and most of all, his faith in God.
Indeed, the “greener pasture” is always waiting for those who are willing to commit their lives to diligently work for it, not only for personal welfare but for the greater purpose of helping humanity.
Photo credits: Engr. Pio Go, College of Theology, and Link
This is not the typical “Juan tamad” story we might have heard from our parents or yayas. The common Juan story relates to the Filipino’s laziness and usually ends in tragedy or humiliation of poor Juan.
The story of Juan F. Ancheta typifies the industrious and diligent Filipino who is hard working, God fearing and successful.
Juan F. Ancheta grew up in San Andres, a remote coastal town in Tablas Island, Romblon. Born on May 19, 1928 to a very poor family of eleven siblings, Juan struggled to live a hard life in their barrio.
Traditional farming and fishing were the town’s livelihood because machines were still unavailable and a luxury during those times. The way of life in the barrio raised him to develop a strong body structure and determined spirit.
He was graduating high school when he passed the test to be one of their town’s sanitary inspector. However, his conversion to Christ through an evangelization team from CPU changed everything. His commitment to follow Christ was so intense that after his baptism on April 2, 1950 he decided to go to CPU in May and took up the Theology course.
Work student days at CPU
During his beginning months at Central Philippine University, Juan recalled being rough in ways, clumsy and his physique gave the CPU community the impression of a rural boy. He had the feeling that he is not fit to work in a city church. However, his unorthodox qualities proved to be an asset because it helped him survived and overcome the difficulties of college life.
He was about to quit school after two to three months for lack of financial support. Determined to finish his schooling, he approached Dr. Joseph Howard, the dean of the seminary. He begged for any kind of work.
Juan’s first job was to varnish the newly acquired chairs in Johnson Hall. Next he was assigned the janitorial jobs in the elementary building, which was then made of lumber.
As a work student, he polished the floor, cleaned the toilets and mowed the lawn. In order to mow the lawn of Elementary School, he had to borrow the lawn mower of Rev. Ralph George, who lived in one of the mission houses. He did not mind being seen by the throng of students as he pushed the lawn mower. A town mate of his recalled that many times he heard Juan singing while scrubbing the floor. That town mate remembered sharing pandesal with Juan for some short respite.
Weekend pastoral work at Ito Baptist Church
After two months in school, he was given a weekend assignment in Ito Baptist Church, Cabatuan as part of seminary training. The place was a Huk area. (Huk is the short term for HukBaLaHap which stands for Hukbo ng Bayan laban sa mga Hapon, a guerilla group which fought the Japanese army but its ultra nationalist stand after the Liberation made it an anti-government group similar to the NPA of today.) The Huk was so strong in Ito but he managed to establish the presence of Christian ministry in that area.
Juan was assigned as weekend pastor but was not intimidated by rich people because he strongly believes that he is a minister of God. Juan shares, “I may be clumsy but it is the work of God and not mine. Why should I be ashamed?” Apprehensive of his safety, CPU decided to pull Juan out of the area. Shortly after, the Huk rebels overran Ito.
Finding a partner in life
He believes that to avoid any idea of misconduct you have to woe somebody outside of your parish. He was looking for a person who can help in the ministry, one who loves serving God and has a strong Christian character.
He found these qualities with Nellie a dedicated person, honest and very independent. She got the qualities that would enhance the ministry. Nellie also studied Theology. Juan and Nellie’s calling into the ministry runs parallel. Both of them were faced with good opportunities when they decided to enter the seminary.
Juan and Nellie got married on May 23, 1958 in a simple wedding at the Johnson Chapel. He was so poor that after the wedding, he could only afford ice cream for his guests.
He intended to bring his wife to his boarding house after the wedding but a fellow pastor secretly gave him P10.00 to spend for a night in a downtown hotel. At that time, a night’s lodge was only six pesos.
Juan and Nelly are blest with two son’s, Junell and Jorge.