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

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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< 2019 >
December
SMTuWThFS
1
  • All day
    December 1, 2019

    1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    40th INTRAMUROS GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION
    Start of the Procession: 4:00 P.M.
    Carroza #67: Nuestra Sra. de la Salud

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1984-2019)
    Fray Constantino Real

    (2007-2019)
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2014-2019)
    Fray Cornelio Moral

23
  • All day
    December 3, 2019

    ENCOUNTER OF NATIONAL SARF PRESIDENTS
    General Curia, Rome December 3-6, 3019

    SILVER PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1994-2019)
    Fray Rouel Sia
    Fray Joel Villaruel
    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2011-2019)
    Fray Crisostomo Garnica

4
  • All day
    December 4, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray John Paul Tanquis
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Sr. Noemi Manzo, AR

5
  • All day
    December 5, 2019

    431ST ANNIVERSARY (1588-2019) OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTION

    28th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF SEMoNoRe, Antipolo

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1995-2019)
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.

    (2003-2019)
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.

    (2009-2019)
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Dominador Mercado, Jr.
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Christopher Gaspar

    (2018-2019)
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Fray Paul Demillones
    Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay
    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr.

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Ma. Grace Gicos, OAR (2014-2019)

    ANNIVERSARY (2006-2019) OF ACCEPTANCE AS SISTERS-GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
    Ms. Brenda Saliendra
    Ms. Nestoria Bad-an

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Granada

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Juana de Sta. Rita

6
  • All day
    December 6, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Paciencia Orsolino, AR

7
  • All day
    December 7, 2019

    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    OLCP Church, Miranila, QC / Time: 9:00 AM
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Roberto Gaa, D.D.
    Ordinandi:
    Fray Jorr S. Rabacal
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
    Fray Jovy A. Gallego
    Fray Andrie S. Pugate
    Fray Tomokatsu N. Yamaguchi
    Fray Jessriel L. Marcha

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Sr. Teodora Gentapa, AR
    Sr. Marlyn Escalante, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Andrea Martinez, AR

8
  • All day
    December 8, 2019

    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    ROME: Act of Veneration to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Spanish Steps (1600H, Rome Time)

    150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE OPENING OF THE FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL (1869)

    JUBILEE YEAR (Dec. 8, 2019 – Dec. 10, 2020): Marking the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Our Lady of Loreto as the patron saint

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Sr. Concepcion Anadon, AR
    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1967-2019)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (1972-2019)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    (2000-2019)
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Fray Don Besana
    Fray James Bumangabang
    Fray Arnel Diaz
    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio

    (2006-2019)
    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

    (2015-2019)
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Lounal Jarumay

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

9
  • All day
    December 9, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    December 9-13, 2019 / Rome

    40TH DEATH ANIIVERSARY (1979-2019) OF ARCHBP. FULTON SHEEN

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2002-2019)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria
    Sr. Potenciana de la Encarnacion

1011
  • All day
    December 11, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Amada de Ramos, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2010-2019)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

12
  • All day
    December 12, 2019

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION ANNIVERSARY
    (2001-2019)
    Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT JOSE ALLAN DIALOGO (Diocese of Sorsogon)

    SPECIAL BOT MEETING – UNO-R, BACOLOD
    Venue: UNO-R Bacolod / 9:00 AM

    23rd PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

13
  • All day
    December 13, 2019

    GOLDEN PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1969-2019)
    Pope Francis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmen de Sto. Niño, AR

14
  • All day
    December 14, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP JOSE ALLAN DIALOGO (Diocese of Sorsogon)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Charlito Orobia

15
  • All day
    December 15, 2019

    3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Florinda Gonzales, AR

16
  • All day
    December 16, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL COMMISSION ON COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS December 16-18, 2019 / Rome

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    Sr. Ma. Milgaros Lucero, AR

17
  • All day
    December 17, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
    Fray Nestor Raras

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Generosa Dimapilis, AR

18
  • All day
    December 18, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)

19
  • All day
    December 19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Sr. Modesta San Jose, AR

20
  • All day
    December 20, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Albert Pellazar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Soledad Samonte, AR

21
  • All day
    December 21, 2019

    BEATIFICATION OF VEN. FULTON SHEEN (1895-1979)
    10:00 a.m. / Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Peoria, IL., USA

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1965-2019)
    Most Rev. Antonio Tobias, D.D. (Diocese of Novaliches)

22
  • All day
    December 22, 2019

    4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Emma Navea, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1986-2019)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    (1989-2019)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Mercedes Jayme, AR
    Sr. Felicidad Pangilinan, AR

23
  • All day
    December 23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ricky John Austria (simply prof.)

24
  • All day
    December 24, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Allan Jacinto
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

25
  • All day
    December 25, 2019

    CHRISTMAS DAY
    Urbi et Orbi / 12:00 NN (Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mary Lou Duhino, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1980-2019)
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

26
  • All day
    December 26, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Maria Gavino, AR

27
  • All day
    December 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Editha Escalania, AR
    Sr. Filomena Atun, AR

28
  • All day
    December 28, 2019

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF AUXILIARY BISHOP- ELECT DARÍO RUBÉN QUINTANA MUÑIZ, OAR (Diocese of Mar del Plata, Argentina)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joel Naranja
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz
    Fray Jessriel Marcha

29
  • All day
    December 29, 2019

    FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT JESÚS MARÍA LÓPEZ MAULEÓN, OAR (Territorial Prelature of Alto Xingu-Tucumã, Para, Brazil)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Justa de Jesus, AR

30
  • All day
    December 30, 2019

    [Rizal Day: Regular Holiday]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Maria Viñon, AR

31
  • All day
    December 31, 2019

    ROME: Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (1700H, Rome Time)

    PRIOR GENERAL’S RENEWAL VISIT TO BRAZIL

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Sr. Potenciana Azurin, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Benigna de la Purisima Concepcion, AR

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!

    

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