Saturday, 03 January 2015 14:21
More than sixty alumni – graduates and former students – of the Notre Dame of Jolo College (NDJC) celebrated the Diamond Jubilee (60th Founding Year) of their alma mater last December 19th, at the new Celebrity Hall, Grand Astoria Hotel, this City.
The NDJC was founded by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) on June 14, 1954.
Whereas most of them are now Zambo City residents, at least five came from their home town of Jolo, Sulu, and one came from Makati City. The highlights of the program were as follows: Singing of the “Notre Dame Hymn,” Acknowledgement of Alumni and Friends, “NDJC in My Life” (during which three former professors and two alumni shared their fond memories and the influences of NDJC in their lives), Introduction of the Guest Speaker, Message of the Guest Speaker, and Singing of the “Notre Dame March.”
The former professors concerned were the following: (1) Perla de Castro – an NDJC English and Social Science major, she later joined government service and retired as a Bureau Chief of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Office of the President. At present, she is the Dean of the Immaculate Conception Archdiocesan School (ICAS) College Department in Tetuan, this City; (2) Geraldine Valbuena – a Social Work graduate of the Centro Escolar University (CEU) in Mendiola, Manila, she also later joined government service and retired as Regional Director of the Department of Social Work and Development, Region IX (DSWD IX); (3) Edward Lim - an Economics graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) in Quezon City, he likewise joined public service later and was appointed Executive Director of the SZOPAD Social Fund then Chairman of the ARMM Board of Investments (BOI); he had also served as Regional Coordinator of the USA-funded ECOGOV. The founder of the Sarang Bangun Learning Center, this City, he is presently a Consultant on some Islamic Development Bank (IDB) projects.
The two alumni who gave similar talks were the following: (1) Corazon Cabajon-Viray – an Education alumna, she served the government after graduation as a High School then College Instructor at the Hadji Butu School of Arts and Trades (HBSAT) in Jolo, Sulu. She later retired as a Guidance Counselor of the same school;
(2) Gregorio Concepcion – an English major, he actually also taught at NDJC where he was later appointed Chairman of Languages. Upon his transfer to the Sulu State College (SSC), he was given a similar task and was later named Dean of Arts and Sciences then Dean of Education. From the year 2000 until the present, he has served SSC as Secretary of the Board of Trustees (BOT).
The Guest Speaker was the 15th President of NDJC, Fr. Romeo Saniel, OMI, DBM (Doctor of Business Management). Feeling highly honored by his presence, the alumni were very grateful for the updated information he had shared with them about their alma mater. Fr. Saniel had prepared an audiovisual presentation on NDJC’s present status – physical plant, academic courses, student performance, passing rate of certain graduates in board and licensure exams, etc. – and his plans for the college’s further development. He also emphasized the vital role of the alumni in the growth of their alma mater.
The reunion ended after the formation of two ad hoc committees – one to draw up a plan for the establishment of an NDJC alumni organization, and the other to formulate a plan for the formal discussion and eventual dissemination of Fr. Saniel’s concept of an Endowment Fund. Such Fund is envisioned to provide scholarship grants to deserving children of poor Sulu families as its main program. (NDJC Alumni Press Release)
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