HNU Alumni: The future begins with the past

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HNU Alumni: The future begins with the past

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The Holy Name University will pause once again to celebrate its rich past and look towards the future with the holding of its 2016 university days on February 17 to 21 – the past as the institution remembers the leaders who dared to dream of a Catholic school that started at a small building at Libertad Street, Tagbilaran City and the students who gathered at the school’s early fold and onwards; the future as the university continues its flight to erudition and scholarship at the huge Janssen Campus in Dampas District. The observance aptly opens on the 17th of February which is the birthday of the late Rev. Fr. Alphonse Gerard Lesage, SVD, who founded Holy Name College in the year 1947.

February 21, which is a Sunday, is the homecoming of all HNU alumni, as  decided by the Board of Trustees of the Holy Name University Alumni Association- Tagbilaran, Inc. (HNUAA-TI), head by its president,  Engr. Tibbs Bullecer, Jr. The whole day is scheduled for all alumni activities, the primary formal activity being the general assembly proper wherein annual reports will be rendered and the presentation of candidates  and the subsequent election of  the new members of the board of trustees of the HNUAA-TI will be conducted.

The alumni day will be ushered in with a motorcade at eight o’clock in the morning with its starting point at Lesage Street, near the old college building.  The motorcade will go around the city’s main streets and end up at the Janssen Campus.  There will be balloons and band marching music.  Registration of participating alumni can be done now, and the registration will continue at the Janssen Gym after the motorcade.  The celebration of the holy mass at Janssen will be at nine-thirty the same morning.

The occasion will once again give the opportunity to true blue Holynamians to meet and greet each other and share, regardless of age and year of class, what transpired in the past, what is happening now, and what to expect of the future.  The not so  young generation will be held in awe talkingagain about how Fr. Lesage took possession of the Msgr. Ramirez building at the corner of Libertad-Lopez Jaena Streets in 1947 to start Holy Name College with 919 students, high school and college; how Fr. Joseph Bates, SVD, acquired adjacent lots during his term; how Fr. Parick Barder, SVD, undertook the construction of the gym and stage; and how, seventeen years from the founding of of HNU, Fr. Charles Scanlon undertook in 1963 the construction of a four- story concrete building at  Zamora and Veteranos de la Revolucion Streets in the then overwhelming amount of Php850,000.00.

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When Fr. Teodoro Gapuz made the decision to buy the property  now known as the Janssen Campus for additional school facilities, almost everybody shook their heads in common disagreement. That far? In the wooded hinterlands of Dampas? Enrolment will fall. The project will be a failure.

It was the high school department that was first transferred to Janssen Campus in 1982 and parents had the first experience of their high school children coming home very late  on the excuse of getting no rides, or the kids were simply wandering about the “longest shortcuts” from school to home.  Ms. Ma. Theresa Dohig-Baquial, one of  Janssen Campus first batch of high school graduates in 1983, recalls: “Being a transferree to an a pioneer at Janssen Heights … was  a mix of feelings of excitement, fear of what‘s ahead of us, and discomfort like some of the facilities were not yet in place, the grounds not yet well kept, the availability of transportation.  But as a whole my high school life in Janssen Heights was a very memorable one and will last a lifetime.”  Ms. Baquial is now a distributor of Prycegas.

In the meanwhile, at certain points of Tagbilaran City’s progression, Libertad earlier metamorphosed into Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, thenLopez Jaena to Grupo Street, Veteranos into Lesage Street, and Zamora into Gallares Street.  The old original schoolbuilding at CPG Avenue could no longer be used for classrooms and more departments were transferred to the Janssen Campus.  Soon enough, private business developed in the vicinity of the Dampas section of J. A. Clarin Street. Then  there were constructed the Integrated Bus Terminal and the Island City Mall at Dampas a little farther than the Janssen Campus, reckoned from km. 1.  And then the new city hall building.When the killer earthquake struck in October, 2013 and the HNU  buildings at CPG Avenue were heavily damaged,  it was only a logical, and a not-so-difficult, step to move all departments and offices of the university to the Janssen Heights Campus in Dampas.  What was much earlier considered as a doubtful undertaking  had become a hundredfold blessing.

And there at the Janssen Gym the alumni will gather to share joys, blessings, stories, feelings, fun and everything else on February 21.  The business aspect of the gathering will take place after the mass, with the general assembly being called to order at 10:30.  The president’s and treasurer’s reports will follow.  Judge Raul Barbarona, Chairperson of the Election Committee, will present the guildelines and also the nominees for the election of new members of the HNUAA-TI board of trustees.

Oldtimers will miss the embrace of the old campus at CPG Avenue – the college building that seemed destined to stand forever, the old gym where grand and simple parties and exciting ball games were held, the classrooms that became like second homes. So many memories. Time moves on and there are always changes. It is only fitting that  alumni from all over the years mix it up at Janssen Campus where there will be  the blending of the old and the new, the students from the time of Frs. Lesage, Bates, Barder, Scanlon, and so on, down to those of the time of Fr. Francisco Estepa, SVD. And the university can speak of alumni like lawyer-spouses Paulino G. Clarin and Maria Cleofe Laguitao-Clarin who graduated their law course in Holy Name and passed the bar examinations given in 1957.  Down the years,there are BoholProvincial Governor Edgar Chatto who  finished high school  in 1977 and graduated Law in 1988, and City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap II  who graduated with high school batch 1993.  In the private sector, there are enterpreneurs such as Raymond Roldan, batch 1983, who owns Save ‘n Earn which, among many endeavors, is a telecom distribution chain; then Jerome Auza who is the proprietor of auza.net; and E. Santino G. Paredes who operates a call center and construction company. The latter two belong to high school batch 1991. And many others more in various fields.

The images of the old campus will now shift to the open skies of Dampas, the football field, the wider spaces, the newer edifices – but there will be the same sounds and voices of “loyal sons so bold” of dear old Holy Name all reaching out for an academically well-founded future.

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The lechon parade and lunch will be at noon, after which there will be the dancercise, parlor games and presentation of candidates for the Ms. HNU Alumni Homecoming 2016.  Casting of votes for the board election will also commence at noon and continue while the fun events are going on. A fifty-peso admission/participation ticket will entitle an alumnus to join the grand raffle to be drawn in the course of the affair. HNUAA-TI  Treasurer Pedro “Boboy” Doroy announced that big home-use prizes are prepared for lucky ticket holders.  Prizes will also be awarded to special categories such as Alumni Dancing King & Dancing Queen, Most Participative Batch/Group, Best in Attendance, the Oldest & Youngest Alumni Attendee and the Most Outstanding Batch of 2015-2016.Results of the election of the new members of the board will be announced in the afternoon.

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It is expected that the usual groupings of alumni attendees will be by batches of the year of high school graduation as this is the common binding tie.  There are also those who come as groups  from different schoolyears or different departments as experienced in the previous years.  An alumnus may come individually and he/she is most welcome.  All HNC/DWC-T/HNU alumni, alumni batches and groups are enjoined to attendand are invited to this annual gathering.

Those who wish to nominate candidates for the HNUAA-TI board of trustees election can procure the official nomination forms at the Alumni Affairs and Job Placement Office (AAJPO) and submit the filled-up forms on or before February 20.  For further inquiries, please contact the AAJPO via alumni_office@hnu.edu.ph or through 501.7331, local 214.

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