Thursday, July 5, 2012

University of San Agustin Should be Proud

THE College of Law of the University of San Agustin (USA) in Iloilo City is one of the best law schools in the country.
This prestigious learning institution has produced many Ilonggo law students who topped the Philippine Bar Exams and who became pillars of the country’s progress.
The following became San Agustin University – College of Law’s Bar topnotchers:
Carolina Griño – No. 1; Cornelio Gison – No. 1; Wenceslao de la Paz – No. 2; Mario Guarinia – No. 3; Carmelo Betita – No. 7; Elena Gallinero-Opinion – No. 9; Cyril Regalado – No. 6; Dolores Abad-Alinio – No. 3; and Rodolfo Taasan – No. 8.
Perhaps there were other topnotchers, from this university but we can’t chronicle them anymore due to mental wear and tear brought about by human frailty.
This only proves to all and sundry that law professors in USA are legally well-equipped, bright and quite intelligent, not to mention the fact that the school’s teaching standard is admirable and can equal those of the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, San Beda and a few other big schools in the country.
This reality can further be gleaned from the high ratings of Bar examinees from the Catholic university every year.
As Ilonggos, we are both proud and happy for this laudable achievement, and we hope that other law schools in Western Visayas will likewise aim for excellence, not only in the law profession but also in other educational fields.


University of San Agustin safeguards Filipino heritage in Western Visayas

OLD PHOTO of Urdaneta Hall, named after
Fray Andres de Urdaneta, the great
Augustinian missionary
With a sturdy commitment of preserving Filipino culture in the island of Panay in Western Visayas, the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City has become a proponent of heritage conservation, fostering appreciation of historical landmarks and the rich Ilonggo literary and performance arts. It has also led in conserving various repositories and archives of important historical and cultural records.
The university hosted the lecture series of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ (NCCA) Angat Kabataan Camp, a major cultural event during the Heritage Month of May. The youth camp drew almost a hundred youth delegates from regions across the country.
Andrew de Guzman, a member of the NCCA National Committee on Visual Arts and the president of the Jefarca Arts and Historical Society, stressed the necessity of molding the cultural consciousness of the people.
“The positive attitude toward our heritage starts with education,” De Guzman said.
Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA, former NCCA commissioner and 2012 camp director, agreed. He said that an educational institution bears “the social responsibility to transcend its walls and share its resources with the larger community.”
Provincial efforts
During the fellowship night held after the lecture series, Raul Banias, Iloilo provincial administrator, informed the delegates of the restoration efforts being undertaken by the Iloilo government under Gov. Arthur Defensor.
Banias said Casa Real, the old provincial capitol of Iloilo, was undergoing restoration work.
Another project in line for “adaptive reuse” is the restoration of the old Iloilo Provincial Jail. “The plan is to preserve most of the old structure, including the façade and exteriors, and convert its interior into a museum,” Banias added.
Raising level of discourse
ILOILO provincial administrator Raul Banias and Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA, former NCCA commissioner for cultural heritage and now University of San Agustin VP for academic affairs.
For Augustinian priest Father Rentoria, who has recently been appointed as vice president for academic affairs of the University of San Agustin, the primary role of academic institutions is “to raise the level of discourse and to contribute their intellectual resources and expertise toward the accomplishment of (conservation) projects.”
He further explained: “For example, when we want our principles and laws to inform policies and programs on heritage conservation, we bring to the table the expertise of our faculty and researchers, as well as the informed opinions of our students.”
At present, the university’s Architecture and Civil Engineering faculties have been appointed to the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council to protect the old buildings along Iloilo City’s Calle Real (now J.M. Basa Street), as well as the old mansions in the districts of Molo, Jaro, Arevalo and La Paz.
Publications, repositories
Iloilo has for its languages Hiligaynon, Akeanon and Kinaray-a, among which the various exemplary literary works of Magdalena Jalandoni, Agustin Misola, Quin Baterna and Ma. Luisa Gibraltar have been written.
Translations in both English and Tagalog of the literary creations carry the “Libro Agustino” label of the university publication.
Also, the Spanish Embassy’s Office for Cultural Cooperation endowed the university for the publication of a translation of the Spanish manuscript “Monografias de los Pueblos de la Isla de Panay,” which was written by Fray Juan Fernandez, OSA, in the early decade of the 20th century.
This seminal work has now become the most valuable reference regarding the beginnings of the towns in Panay.
Another important material in the archives of the University of San Agustin is the first book on grammar of the Hiligaynon language, written by Fr. Alonso de Mentrida, OSA, in 1628.
In 2001, the Genealogical Society of Utah and the Archdiocese of Jaro donated to the university the microfilmed baptismal records from the Spanish era up to 1946. This priceless collection has utmost significance, especially in genealogical research.
Meanwhile, the fully-equipped University Museum houses artifacts, such as old wooden religious icons, earthen glass and chinawares, and crafts that trace back to pre-Hispanic times.
Century-old university
Having been established in 1904 by the Augustinians, the first missionary order in the Philippines, the university cannot disregard historical and cultural concerns in its mission.
“We owe it to our founding fathers to go on pioneering in cultural heritage preservation efforts,” Rentoria said. “It’s like treasuring the priceless inheritance bequeathed upon our generation by our forebears and their cooperators.”
This year, the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu-Philippines has appointed former Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod president Fr. Frederick Comendador, OSA, as the 22nd president of the University of San Agustin.

University of San Agustin installs 22nd president

FATHER Frederick C. Comendador, O.S.A., was officially installed as the 22nd president of the University of San Agustin (USA) on June 20.  He begins his term this year and will act as head of the 108-year academic institution for the period 2012-16.  The installation was administered by Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon, O.S.A., Prior Provincial and Chair of the Board of Trustees, and, witnessed by Ched Regional Director Virginia Resurreccion and DepEd Regional Director Mildred Garay.
Prior to his assignment at USA, Fr. Comendador served as president of Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod (2008-12) and as Provincial Secretary of the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu (2004-08).  He earned his MA in Educational Administration from Ateneo de Manila University and his MA in Theology from Villanova University, Pennsylvania, USA.
Though the 22nd friar to head the University, Fr. Comendador is technically the 7th president of this institution. The first 15 heads were formerly referred to as “Rector”.  The first to be addressed “President” was Fr. Bernardino R. Ricafrente, O.S.A.  His presidency was followed by five more friars, namely: Fathers Mamerto A. Alfeche, O.S.A. (1989-92 and 1996-2000); Eusebio B. Berdon, O.S.A. (1992-96); Rodolfo M. Arreza, O.S.A. (2000-02); Manuel M. Vergara, O.S.A. (2002-08); and Raul M. Marchan, O.S.A. (2008-12).
Together with Father President Comendador, the following eight friars are also assigned at the University for the next four years: Fathers Harold Ll. Rentoria, O.S.A., VP for Academic Affairs; Roy D. Aspera, O.S.A., VP for Administration/ Finance; Donato E. Ellezar, O.S.A., VP for Student Affairs; Czar Emmanuel Alvarez, O.S.A., Dean of Theology and Religious Education; Basilio S. Sugata-on, O.S.A., Campus Minister; Ian V. Ragodon, O.S.A., Director of General Services; Jessie T. Tabobo, O.S.A., Director of Community Service Center; and, Noli P. Detoyato, O.S.A., Assistant Campus Minister.
The University of San Agustin is managed by the friars of the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu-Philippines, one of the provinces of the Order of Saint Augustine (O.S.A.) which is one of the oldest religious orders in the world.  The In 1904, it opened as an exclusive school for boys as the Colegio de San Agustin de Iloilo.  In 1953, the colegio was elevated to university status, thereby earning the singular distinction as the first university in Western Visayas.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

San Agustin writers workshop fellow wins Palanca gold

ILOILO City – The Fray Luis De Leon Creative Writing Desk of the University of San Agustin Coordinating Center for Research and Publications (UCRP) congratulates Marcel Lim Milliam for winning in the 61st Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, first prize in the Poetry for Children, Filipino category.

His entry is a collection entitled Ako ang Bida.

Milliam relates that the persona in each poem is that of a child of an overseas Filipino worker, filled with longing for the absent parent.

Milliam was a pioneer fellow for poetry during the 1st SanAg Regional Writers Workshop sponsored by the Fray Luis De Leon Creative Writing Institute at the UCRP.

He is a prolific and multi-awarded writer, winning fellowships from the University of the Philippines, La Salle, and the Mindanao State University.

His works have been published in the official literary folio of the USA writing desk SanAg, as well as in the 33rd ANI of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

He has also won awards in the Gawad Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino, as well as an international prize for poetry in the Meritage Press Global Poetry Prize.

This is his second award for the Palanca, winning third prize in the Hiligaynon Short story category during the 58th Palanca Awards in 2008.

He is scheduled to fly to Manila for the awards ceremony at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Manila Peninsula Hotel on September 1.

Source: Panay News - August 11, 2011 issue
            Iloilo City