Observations of a Thomasian who watched the Homecoming happen: A Feature Story

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By: Georgene Quilaton Tambiga
Photos By: Ma. Nita Bolo 

San Carlos City, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL–“CST-R, we are home for love of you.” 

So apt, so poignant is this line from the unforgettable “CST-R Alma Mater Hymn.” Thus, the living Thomasian legend himself chose the line as a jump off point for his homily during the Grand Alumni Homecoming Mass last October 31, 2019. Fray Rafael E. Cabarles, OAR (CST-R Batch 1961), who came home to serve CST-R again in his seventies, was the best person to tell the Thomasian alumni community, “Welcome home!” 

As he called us as “the prodigal sons and daughters of Sto. Tomas,” my heartstring was immediately pulled. I have never thought myself to be a prodigal Thomasian, but I just realized that in many ways I am. 

The 2019 CST-R Homecoming allowed me to view the event and the being of a Thomasian from outside the box of a Thomasian who is now a CST-R faculty member. 

Recollect. Coming back to CST-R for many Thomasians, who are now based in different parts of the world, was replete with recollections. The homecoming was a venue for telling old secrets that could not be forgotten, for re-telling anecdotes that are now part of the Thomasian lore. 

Last October 30, 2019, the gathering of Former Seminarians of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (ForSOAR) became proof of how the Thomasian experience honed men, who despite not becoming priests, are successful in their chosen vocations. Several ForSOARs have not been back home since their high school graduation. How their Alma Mater has both transformed yet remained beautifully preserved painted amazement on their faces. This amazement brought back their boyishness, that charm that once made them CST-R’s “crush ng bayan.” And, what a merry recollection session it was that went on even as they joined the Grand Alumni Homecoming parade that traversed the poblacion of San Carlos.

Reflect. After two months of renovations and careful interior designing, the Junior High School Girls’ Comfort Room was finally opened. It’s a project of CST-R Batch 1995 with the collaboration of the PTA S.Y. 2019-2020. When Fray Vicente Ramon, Jr., OAR (CST-R Batch 1987) finally opened the newly painted door, the comfort room, with its newly painted walls, repaired cubicles and all new athlete’s shower room, was beyond recognition. 

In principle, it’s the same comfort room that I used in all of my four years as an undergraduate yet it’s become totally new, totally different. It’s an evidence of how the old can give way to the new yet essentially preserving the advantages of the old. The comfort room is still in the carefully preserved St. Monica (Junior High School) Building yet its vibe is not just modern but suited to the needs of the growing community of Thomasian athletes. 

Talking of Thomasian athletes, that Golden Eagles are now soaring high in various sports is undeniable. Several Thomasians have become part of the national football team in the 90s, but now Thomasians are the leaders in different university varsity teams in the Visayas and even Manila in a wide variety of sports—football, lawn tennis, badminton, volleyball, among others. 

Batch 1995, who hosted this year’s homecoming, particularly created their program to include sports. The Volleyball Invitational featured the girls teams of University of San Jose-Recoletos, Bacolod Tay Tung High School, Inc., and San Carlos City Selection (which also included at least two Thomasians). The short tournament featured high quality exchanges of jump serves, digs, offensive blocks and booming attacks from all participating teams. The Golden Eagles volleyball players were at the sidelines cheering their idols and picking up valuable game tips the whole time. It is this manner of bringing in the best practices from other schools and communities that will help CST-R, Alma Mater dear, to improve, to develop and even to exceed its targets. 

Respond. CST-R, after making an incredible 79th year run, is now on the road to its Ruby Anniversary in 2020.
What’s next for San Carlos City’s iconic educational institution? 

During the Grand Alumni Homecoming evening, in the midst of partying, glowing lights and blaring disco music, the world stood still to watch the launching video of CST-R’s #Roadto80. A contagious string of reaction and excitement filled every batch as Fray Dioniso Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial of St. Ezekiel Moreno Province, declared that CST-R’s application to open a college department has finally been approved. 
The college department shall be the fulfilment of “Scientia” or knowledge, the other half of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva’s epithet. It will be, in Fray Selma’s words, the true test of the Thomasian community’s unity and grit as the climb to the opening of a college will be everything but easy.  This journey, that in Fray Cabarles’ words has been a dream since the 1970s, will be CST-R’s response to the current needs of the Negrense society. 

As I watched the parade of Thomasian faces filled with nostalgia and amazement, the riot of laughter in the gathering of friends and classmates, the presentation of sepia and faded photographs, and the CST-R campus all decked in festive colors and canopies, I knew I have come home. I am home for the love of CST-R. Here is the repository of my recollections and reflections. Here is the beginning of my response to the changing needs of this community that I serve.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colegio de Santo Tomas-Recoletos

CST-R Correspondent

Correspondent, Colegio de Sto. Tomas-Recoletos

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< 2020 >
October
SMTuWThFS
    1
  • All day
    October 1, 2020

    LAUNCHING OF ROSARY MONTH

    Note to all Local Priors [for the Book of Masses]: After the feast of the Archangels (Sept. 29), “a Mass is to be offered for the living relatives, friends, and benefactors of the Order” (cf. Add. Code 70d)

2
  • All day
    October 2, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Sr. Leah Lachica, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2004-2020)
    Fray Leo Alaras

3
  • All day
    October 3, 2020

    START OF THE NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED (Valencia) / OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR (Baguio)

    POPE FRANCIS’ PASTORAL VISIT TO ASSISI

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Teresita Baco, AR
    Sr. Elyn Joy Olmedo, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1987-2020)
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Jorge Peligro

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ramona Plaza, AR

4
  • All day
    October 4, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Roberto Gaa (Diocese of Novaliches)
    Fray Joffrey Casusa (novice)
    Sr. Manuela Mandia, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2003-2020)
    Fray Celestino Cachapero, OAR

5
  • All day
    October 5, 2020

    WORLD TEACHER’S DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Miguela Obera, AR

6
  • All day
    October 6, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Primitiva Berdejo, AR
    Sr. Noemi Mapa, AR
    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR

7
  • All day
    October 7, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mc Ariel Capinpin (simply prof.)
    Sr. Juliet Natinga, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2006-2020)
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Fray Russell Lapidez
    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita Miranda de Santa Monica, AR

8
  • All day
    October 8, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Neil Ryan Jarumay
    Ms. Nestoria “Inday” Bad-an (Sister General of the Order)

9
  • All day
    October 9, 2020

    3rd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMMUNITY OF RECOLETOS DE URBIZTONDO (Pangasinan)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mark Angelo Diaz (novice)
    John Leonard Cabling (RAY-Canlubang)
    Glorie Lynn Sorgon (RAY-Bacolod)

10
  • All day
    October 10, 2020

    ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA,
    Bishop and Patron of Studies

    PRIOR GENERAL LAUNCHES THE BOOK:
    “VIVIR LA POBREZA: GRACIA Y RETO”
    (Note: Title and cover are not yet finalized)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Raul Dael, DD [Bishop of Tandag]
    Sr. Ofelia Laspobres, AR

11
  • All day
    October 11, 2020

    ST. POPE JOHN XIII

    PARISH FIESTA OF NSTRA. SNRA. BIRHEN DE LOS REMEDIOS PARISH (Tanapag Village, Saipan)
    Time: 9:00 A.M. (Saipan Time)
    Presider: Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Samuel Eyas

12
  • All day
    October 12, 2020

    BLD. MARIA THERESA FASCE, Virgin

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
    TOMA DE HÁBITO
    Time: 9:00 A.M. / CARES, Baguio City
    Presider & Homilist: Fray Edgar Tubio, OAR (Provincial Councilor)

    PATRONAL FIESTA: PARISH OF OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED
    Valencia, Negros Oriental
    Time: 10:00 A.M. (cf. FB Live Streaming)
    Fiesta Mass Presider: Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Bishop of Dumaguete)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Seiji Ishii (novice)
    Sr. Shirley Nonato, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    Sr. Marilyn Gustilo, AR
    Sr. Bernarditha Barnido, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Dionisia Mitas de Santa Maria Talangpaz

13
  • All day
    October 13, 2020

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED BENEFACTORS OF OAR

14
  • All day
    October 14, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Laura Cabanacan, AR
    Sr. Rhena Sherra Caranzo, AR

15
  • All day
    October 15, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Renz Calex Soriano (simply prof.)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2020)
    Fray Vincent Cadeliña

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Monica de Espiritu Santo, AR

16
  • All day
    October 16, 2020

    WORLD FOOD DAY 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Pia Pineda, AR
    Sr. Ma. Linda Peña, AR
    Jhon Paul Dag-um (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1988-2020)
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga, Jr.
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita de Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

17
  • All day
    October 17, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. [Bishop of Cubao]
    Sr. Ma. Cirila Uy, AR
    Shiela Mae Labadia (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Visitacion de San Miguel, AR
    Sr. Gabriela Garcines, AR
    Sr. Jacinta Mandia Robin, AR

18
  • All day
    October 18, 2020

    WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
    (Pope Francis’ Message:http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/missions /documents/papa-francesco_20200531_giornata-missionaria2020.html

    25th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1995-2020) SARF- VALENCIA CHAPTER

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Arnel Diaz
    Jonel Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

19
  • All day
    October 19, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Arlyn Sarmiento, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Virginia Acha, AR

20
  • All day
    October 20, 2020

    ST. MAGDALENE OF NAGASAKI,
    Patroness of the Secular Augustinian Recollects

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao

21
  • All day
    October 21, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ursulina Balading, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lutgarda Cañete, AR

22
  • All day
    October 22, 2020

    ST. POPE JOHN PAUL II

    BIRTHDAY
    Archbp. Agustinus Agus, DD (Archdiocese of Pontianak, Indonesia)
    Fray Edgar Tubio
    Sr. Teresita Diana, AR

23
  • All day
    October 23, 2020

    ST. WILLIAM THE HERMIT & BLD. JOHN THE GOOD, Religious

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Hernando Coja
    Sr. Herminia Catindig, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1967-2020)
    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena

24
  • All day
    October 24, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rafael Cabarles
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1996-2020)
    Fray Glynn Ortega

25
  • All day
    October 25, 2020

    ST. JOHN STONE, Priest & Martyr

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Veronica Purto, AR
    Simon Kurt Casupanan (RAY-Cavite)
    Nestor Tala (RAY-Miranila)

    25th ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1995-2020)
    Fray Joel Dequilla

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1983-2020)
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

26
  • All day
    October 26, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Dionisio Selma
    Fray Renie Villalino
    Sr. Rosalie Ubo, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Leonora Mercado, AR

27
  • All day
    October 27, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Antonio Limchaypo

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Presentacion de San Jose, AR
    Sr. Martina Labao, AR

28
  • All day
    October 28, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Jeana Abejuela, AR

29
  • All day
    October 29, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Catherine Ildefonso (RAY-Urbiztondo)
    Kristine Ruelo (RAY-Provincialate)

30
  • All day
    October 30, 2020

    ANNIVERSARY
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    MOST. REV. NATALE PAGANELLI, SX, Bishop of Makeni, Sierra Leone

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Dominador Mercado Jr.
    Sr. Lorlie Decir, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1999-2020)
    Fray Joel Alve

31
  • All day
    October 31, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nemesio Tolentin

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Albina de la Virgen de Soledad, AR

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