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Fiel Angeli AraoaraoGabin

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HOLY NAME UNIVERSITY: 60 Years of Witnessing the WORD
by Fiel Angeli Espejo Araoarao - Gabin

As a college freshman in 1987, this writer was a staff of “The WORD,” the student publication of the school… I also recall that my first “official” emceeing stint was at the Divine Word College of Tagbilaran Gymnasium during the Miss College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) beauty pageant in September 1989. In 1990, I was part of the “Golden Harvest” yearbook staff…

What exactly did I learn as a graduate of DWC-T that until now I am so proud of? As assistant local executive of the CAS Department (1989), it has instilled in me the sense of leadership, of working with different people. As a student of Humanities under Atty. Roselima Cuyno-Abapo (who is now president of the Holy Spirit School Alumni Association), I have learned how to appreciate what is true, good and beautiful.

It was 1946, the end of the Second World War and Tagbilaran was about to recover from the ravages of war. There was a two-story building, erected in 1939, which was used as garrison during the Japanese occupation. Its future was yet to be determined. Msgr. Gelacio T. Ramirez, the philanthropic former vicar general of the secular clergy in Bohol, the owner (in 1926, he donated a piece of lot to the Holy Spirit Sisters so they could open the first Catholic girls’ school – Saint Joseph Academy – now known as Holy Spirit School which celebrated its 80th anniversary in October 2006), had half of the lower portion rented, while the other half was occupied by relatives. After the war, the first floor was converted to some sort of a department store. Then came the time when the aging Msgr. Ramirez donated the property to the newly-created Diocese of Tagbilaran through its first bishop, Msgr. Julio R. Rosales – that paved the way to its noble destiny.

“…Msgr. Rosales surveyed the social and religious scene of the period…He then set on a mission to look for a religious congregation to manage the institution he had in mind…He approached two groups, but his offer was declined. He then broached the idea to the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) who at that time had already established the Tubigon Catholic High School (now Holy Cross Academy). This time, the response was positive.” (May Amparo Blanco, from “Jubilation, HNC-DWCT Golden Jubilee Album). The moment Msgr. Rosales got the approval of the SVD Priests, negotiations started. Acting as first director of the new college was Fr. Alphonse Lesage, then director of Tubigon Catholic High School.

Why the name “Holy Name?” Msgr. Rosales gave the school its name. It was probably because of his strong personal devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. Years passed, he was elevated to the position of Archbishop, later Cardinal, of Cebu (christened “Villa del Santissimo Nombre de Jesus” or settlement of the Most Holy Name of Jesus by the Spaniards). In simple rites, Holy Name College was formally inaugurated on July 14, 1947 at the Plaza Rizal Kiosk.

From Holy Name College, it became Divine Word College in 1964 when Fr. Charles Scanlon (HNC director starting June 1963), went on study leave. In November 19, 2001, the learning institution has finally achieved its long-cherished, much-deserved university status. Through its portals passed the many graduates molded into the image of Jesus Christ, the WORD-made-flesh, who have proven themselves in various fields of endeavor, helping create self-reliant communities and keeping on with their contribution to society.

Among its fruits is the establishment of a solid Holy Name University Alumni Association (HNUAA) led by conscientious citizens who have continuously lived by the ideals of the school. A crucial step initiated by the its present leadership composed of Reynald T. Gatal (president); Gilberto R. Lumayag (vice-president for internal affairs), Jose Antonio S. Veloso (vice-president for external affairs), Idmila C. Borja (secretary), Lito G. Sarmiento (treasurer), Constancio H. Bumaat, Jr. (auditor), Cruz C. Salgados (press relations officer), Primitive  S. Veloso, Samuel S. Belderol, Gilberto Jonas S. Inting, Leonides L. Borja, Rodolfo B. Madanguit, and Jose C. Pamaong (members of the board) is the approval of the SEC registration No. CN200629624 by the Securities and Exchange Commission – Cebu Extension Office on November 15, 2006. The alumni board regularly meets at the HNU Alumni Office manned by Eurea F. Gutierrez, alumni coordinator.

Through the years, Holy Name University has vowed to produce professionals who have equipped themselves with skills, making them ready to assume their responsibilities as worthwhile members of society, upholding the admirable values taught by the institution, and dedicating their lives for the more noble ends of their respective professions.

In celebration of its 60 years of bountiful harvest, the school will have its grand alumni homecoming on February 17, 2007 starting at 7:30 in the morning at the HNU-Main Gymnasium. To drumbeat the occasion, a province-wide caravan is scheduled on February 10, Saturday, starting at 5:00 in the morning from the Tagbilaran City Tourist Port. (FAEAG)


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