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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

‘Joyful celebration’

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“The love of Christ impels Paulinians driven by love, their hearts going out to others, revealing themselves in service”

Two hours after the Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by Rev. Alejandro Alia, SSA, on Jan 13 for the Alumni Homecoming of the Saint Paul University of Quezon City and sunset at 5.44, the jubilarians, alumni and their guests made the slow shuffle to the university auditorium for dinner and the program.

It was for us, as the theme suggested, a travel back in time, remembering we were there last 34 years ago when our second born finished her secondary education.

Apt was the theme “Take Me Back In Time, Take Me To ‘99” – a reference to the high school batch who finished secondary education in 1999, the host and silver jubilarians.

The event, thanks to technology, was streamed live on the official Facebook page of the Alumni Association, with participating batches 1969 (emerald, 55 years); 1974 (golden, 50 years); 1979 (sapphire, 45 years); 1984 (ruby, 40 years); 1989 (coral, 35 years); 1994 (pearl, 30 years).

GRATEFUL PARENTS. The parents of TOPAS awardee Harmony Francisca Cabie-Quinto, Prof. Honor Blanco Cabie and retired guidance counselor Maria Rosa Cabie, receive the Certificate of Recognition from Sister Ma. Nilda Masirag, spc.

It was 16 years after we were last at the Saint Paul College grounds when the institution, established in the former capital in 1946 as the Quezon City branch, became a university and opened its doors to young men.

It was for us historic as it came 12 days to the celebration of the feast day of the conversion of Saint Paul, patron of the university.

Paul, whose Hebrew name was Saul, died a martyr by being beheaded c. 65 in Rome, Italy. His feast day is June 29 and the feast day of his conversion is celebrated on Jan. 25, believed around 33-36 AD.

We felt at home as Sister Ma. Nilda Masirag, spc, welcomed the jubilarians, the alumni board led by Ray-Ann Pronstoller-Manalo, former faulty members and and their guests in what she described as “a journey of nostalgia and connection.”

TOPAS AWARDEES. The awardees are joined by officers of the SPUQC Alumni Association led by Ray-an Pronstroller-Manalo (3rd from left).

She sketched each alumna as “a vital thread in the rich tapestry of our shared history” and asked each “to delve into the past, embrace the present, and envision a future strengthened by the bonds we re-enforce here.”

We heard her loud and clear when she proclaimed “This gathering is more than just an event; it is a joyful celebration of the enduring spirit that binds every Paulinian together, transcending time, status,achievement, and distance.

“We are here tonight to hone the genuine Paulinian traits of being gleaners, self-effacing, tranquil, daring, all to all, and most of all-prayerful.”

We take this space to congratulate too the seven 2024 The Outstanding Paulinian Alumni Series (TOPAS) awardees, one of whom was reason why we were invited to the event: to receive the award for and on her behalf because she could not make it then, although her sister, also a Paulinian and a year younger than she is, accompanied us.

HARMONY IN THREE. The parents of Harmony Francisca and her younger sister (right), Dr. Hermione Mary Anne Cabie-Santos, also a Paulinian and a family medicine doctor based in Canada.

Timing was just perfect as the younger sibling is in the Philippines for recency of medical practice she needs when she goes back to her base in Canada where she has been these 20 years.

It was also coincidental the younger sister had come home for the silver jubilee of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and launching of their coffee table book titled “Imbued With Unending Grace” where she was the editor in chief.

Once more, we clap for and honor this year’s SPUQC TOPAS awardees:

1)HS89 Harmony Francisca Cabie-Quinto — President/CEO of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce in Southern Colorado (Filipino Advocate);

2)HS89 Natalie Uy Lim — GM Richmonde Hotel Iloilo (Filipiniana Advocate);

3)College89, BS Bio, Dr. Lariza Bautista-Luna (Obstetrician/Gynecologist);

4)HS94, Dr. Sarah Ilio Jayme, DVM, MVPHMgt (Veterinarian specializing in African Swine Fever);

5)HS99. Johanna Mariflor Laguimon Añes-dela Cruz (writer, journalist, editor, teacher, Assistant Features Editor of The Philippine Star);

6)HS99, Dr. Valerie Visitacion Mayuga MD (Family Medicine Doctor, diver, mermaid);

7)HS99, Julie Anne Ner Abalos (started as a banker, now, Head of International Business for GCash [ease of remittances from overseas by our OFWs]).

We heard the Paulinians murmur their motto that night “Caritas Christi Urget Nos.”

The love of Christ impels Paulinians driven by love, their hearts going out to others, revealing themselves in service.

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