Provincial Curia, QUEZON CITY – To build and strengthen a structure and organization that help institutionalize the co-responsibility and coordination of social actions in the Augustinian Recollect communities, high-ranking representatives of the ARCORES International visited and assessed those areas directly under the Recoletos management and covered by the project portfolio of the said international NGO.
ARCORES which stands for “Augustinian Recollect International Solidarity Network” is a group of non-profit entities of diverse legal nature, dedicated to international cooperation and social action. It is currently present in 22 countries, including the Philippines.
Fray Simón Puertas, OAR, Board of Directors Vice President, and Mr. Javier Sánchez, Executive Director, made an ocular visit to major target areas such as Cebu, Casian in Palawan, and Laoang in Northern Samar.
The ARCORES in Palawan. Middle picture (L-R: Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay, Fray Simon Puertas, Fray Louie Gabinete, Mr. Javier Sanchez, Fray Jorr Rabacal, and Fray Raul Buhay)
Fray Raul Buhay, OAR, who accompanied the two Spaniards to those places, said that they made an area and activity assessment in Casian Island and followed up the two projects with the AR Sisters particularly the scholarship programs for students in Alang-alang, Leyte and Liminangcong in Palawan.
“The latter was included in the report of projects for review by the Prior Provincial, while the former needs yet to be concretized for presentation,” Fray Buhay said.
But the visit to Colegio de Sta. Teresita run by the AR Sisters in the island of Laoang in Northern Samar was another possible area to roll out an extension program.
The ARCORES in Tacloban and in Laoang, Northern Samar
The visiting ARCORES authorities based in Madrid started their “tour of duty” on February 11 in Palawan, especially in the Recollect communities in the Apostolic Vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay. On February 13, they flew to Tacloban in the Eastern Visayas and took a land trip towards the northernmost tip of Northern Samar where they crossed by boat to Laoang.
After the visit in Laoang, Sr. Juliet Natinga, AR, superior of the convent and school principal, reported that the ARCORES administrators expressed their support for the construction of a new two-storey school building. This, she said, could help solve their increasing enrollment in their school and the transfer of classrooms from the second floor of the old building which is in dire need of rehabilitation.
The ARCORES gentlemen made their “semifinal touches” on their Philippine meeting at the University of San Jose-Recoletos in Cebu City where they met the people behind INFECOP (Institute of Non-Formal Education and Community Outreach Program). The latter introduced to them the university’s continuing extension program namely, but not limited to, outreach planning and implementation, community organizing, project development, networking and linkages for extension programs, people and community empowerment, and prison ministry.
As their last activity, the ARCORES personnel accompanied by other visiting Recollect friars from other Provinces of the Order, made their courtesy call on Mo. Lucena Antipala, AR, Superior of the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters in Quiapo, Manila.
The visit was a consolidation of the linkages and support system pledged by ARCORES International to the social involvements of the Augustinian Recollect Family in the Philippines, in particular, and in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, in general.