by Mrs. Arlene Tordecilla-Ferrolino
Successful doctors, pastors, teachers, businessmen and other professionals from all corners of the globe gathered at AUP on Thursday, February 28 through Sunday, March 3, 2019. Greeted by banners heralding their grand reunion, it was a special time set aside to remember, to reconnect and to revisit a time in their past, to experience again their years on this campus where they came together 40 years before to begin their college years.
Members of the first freshman class of then Philippine Union College descended on the campus for a weekend of reunion activities which included a Thursday evening banquet, a health and wellness seminar on Friday and full Sabbath services from Vespers through Sabbath School and the Hour of Worship, The group of nearly 60 alumni from the Pioneers Class participated in a special luncheon followed by a baptism of 4 precious souls which was the result of an evangelistic crusade also sponsored by the Pioneers. They spent the afternoon touring the campus which afforded them special photo opportunities as they were able to see the results of 40 years of progress. A solemn sundown service was then capped with a dinner and social time for this group of enthusiastic classmates now in their late 50’s and early 60’s.
Flashback to 40 years ago when this same set of young high school graduates arrived at the new, nearly desolate campus of PUC Silang, then a distant and provincial location. A bumpy jeepney ride on the narrow, dusty pothole-ridden main road to Santa Rosa or up the hill to Tagaytay were the only links to the civilization of a city. Only a few buildings existed in strategic points of the campus of this budding college—just a couple of classrooms, dormitories, the cafeteria and the graduate school, the motorpool and a few faculty homes. Sugarcane fields and pineapple plantations marked the rolling landscape with a few lush mango and coconut trees when a total of 110 students from educational institutions near and far came to the school to seek higher education.
They were bright-eyed and eager to begin their classes as new college students and little did they know that their existence would carry such great significance in the amazing history of this school. It was this group of young men and women who were the first occupants of the new Modulars and the newly erected and freshly painted Sampaguita Hall, the first to dine in the new cafeteria. Their feet were the first to traverse the sidewalks and, yes, even the unpaved trails that connected the motor pool to the cafeteria, the dorms to the gym and PIC which were both still under construction at the time.
What are now stately and mature ipil-ipil and acacia trees were mere saplings planted by the caring hands of the Pioneers who participated in two hours of work education every day before they began their classes. The work-study program yielded countless hours of valuable manpower which helped shape and construct the sprawling campus into what it is today. Where there are now concrete and asphalt roads were once dusty paths on sunny days or muddy dirt roads on rainy days for these Pioneers to plod. There were not many vehicles on campus 40 years ago. The modes of transportation back then were just a few cars and mopeds whose engines would break the stillness of the then quiet and tranquil rural atmosphere.
Undoubtedly, this unique, adventurous, trailblazing and historically special pioneering class was divinely placed at this specific time in PUC/AUP’s timeline. As young college freshman then and now, 40 years later, as leaders and solid workers in their chosen fields of ministry, medicine, education, business, nursing and allied health among others, it is clearly evident that the years they spent as Pioneers has contributed greatly to the solid foundation of character building, the tenacity to become high-achievers and the desire to be of greater service. On ever onward, the Pioneers have gloriously gone, as they have truly and most certainly exemplified the school’s motto.
Gratefully blessed, proudly inspired by their history and enthusiastically eager to continue their legacy, the Pioneers Class was responsible for the construction of Pioneers Hall and will soon announce their next project for the continuing advancement of their alma mater.
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila held the 51st Annual Convention for the APMC or the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges on February 7-9, 2018. With the theme “Medical Education in Challenging Times”, certain awards were given to those who represented and made their school proud. Serge Aclan, Pioneer Batch 2019 Class President, was Awardee #1 for “Project Gifted”. Dr. Doris A. Mendoza, our very own COM Dean, was elected to the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges, Inc (APMC) as member of the Board of Trustees. The induction ceremony was done on February 9, 2018 with the Inducting Officer , Ireneo Bernardo, President of the Philippine Medicals Association.
Dr. Doris Mendoza and Serge Aclan carried the AUPCOM banner as well as the University’s name in the processional of college Deans.
AUP participated in the Information and Education Exchange (iEDEX) 2018 on January 26-28, 2018 at Ayala Malls, Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The event was organized by the South Trade Caravan and presented by the Voice of the South Newsletter. Major schools in the Philippines such as FEU and De La Salle also joined in this event. AUP displayed and showed the university programs through brochures, book, flyers, bags and other materials that were freely given to the community.
Performances from different educational institutions were highlighted in the event. AUP representatives showcased their God-given talents, which left the organizers and the crowd stunned and blessed. The performers that represented AUP were the AUPA Senior High Chorale conducted by Mr. Cyril Punay, the Soli Deo Gloria conducted by Mr. Ramon Lijauco Sr., the AUP Gymnairs for Christ headed by Mr. Ian Cervantes and Mrs. Amelina Fabroa, the AUPE Little Singers conducted by Mrs. Melody Abacan, and the “Spyros” brothers, Marc and Marco Betito.
AUP certainly left a mark to the nearby community, for it accomplished its purpose of participating in the iEDEX 2018. The University continues to shine as it primarily aims to bring people closer to God by acquiring a quality and Bible-based Christian education, once an individual is given the chance to enroll at Adventist University of the Philippines
A new addition to the building community is at 48% complete! As of July 14, 2017, the Apartment F is now on its way up as one of the University’s housing for students. The said apartment is located near the AUP Elementary school and is right beside the Apartment E building.
This past school year, the University was blessed to have an increasing number of enrollees for the College of Medicine. This year, we are expecting even more students and the need for additional housing was addressed. The Administration decided on building a new apartment to accommodate the incoming COM students. Engineer Jessrel Lagariza shares that the location of this apartment was once supposed to be where another apartment would have been put up. But then, it never took place. Where the apartment stands now, according to AUP’s development plan, is within the area of where the Graduate housings are to be put up as well.
The building’s permit was issued on February 5 of this year. With the leadership of Architect Lelanie M. Malala and our constructors, Belcons Project Consultancy Planner/Builder, the building process has been showing a lot of progress. We are targeting that by August of this year, the first floor will be furnished as a model unit and will be open for the public to see.
We are praying that God would continually bless the development of the University. College of Medicine students will soon be allowed to reserve rooms and we are hoping that this new apartment will be a blessing to those who will be residing in it.
Alumni Hall, AUP – The College of Medicine (COM) held its 3rd White Coat Ceremony for the newly accepted medical students last August 6, 2017. It was organized by the classes of 2019 and 2020, to welcome the third pioneering batch. The event carried the theme, “Called for the Vision”. It served not only to welcome the upcoming class but also served as a symbol of their increased responsibilities as future physician missionaries. The freshmen were presented to the faculty, their families and colleagues. They stood atop the impeccably decorated staircase and were then robed with the white coat, the iconic clothing of the physician. The students were then made to promise that they uphold the standards of the university and most of all, to be the best physicians for the service of our Lord
The morning was blessed and inspired by the aura and speech of our honored guest speaker Dr. Tamara L. Thomas, Vice Dean, Academic Affairs, Loma Linda University School of Medicine. The theme of the inspirational speech was based on the motto: “Through Christ healing and wholeness”. She enlightened the audience through the philosophy of William Osler who proclaimed that the profession of a physician is a calling and not a trade; an art and not a business. That it was also metaphysical philosophy where we look beyond the mere objectivity of status quo. Hence, it promotes a sense of meaning and purpose in our actions that contributes and gives rise to our spiritual identity. Thus, the perspective is set to more on “being” than mere “doing”. Treating it as a profession rather than a mere occupation. It was emphasized that a physician’s perspective should be well-balanced with empirical judgement, absence of bias and no discrimination. The physician should be an advocate of the community, an everlasting seeker of truth and a servant of God.
The event featured a number of important guests as well. These included respected President Dr. Fransisco D. Gayoba, beloved Dean of Medicine Dr. Doris D. Mendoza and admired VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Miriam P. Narbarte were present to lead and support the occasion. Many of the faculty members of the College were also present. Among them were, Dr. Bibly L. Macaya, Chair of Clinical Sciences and President of Adventist Medical Center-Manila, who led the opening prayer. Dr. Bienvenido R. Tamano, Chair of Admissions Committee and chair of Family, Community, Preventive Medicine and Research, who introduced the class of 2021. Whereas, Dr. Linda L. Varona, Clinical Coordinator of Adventist Medical Center-Manila, led the students’ promise.
The 3rd White Coat Ceremony, is an essential program that elevates the spirit of the student to be focused and steadfast through the taxing semesters. The program helps the students to remember the purpose of their existence as physician missionaries. As a result, it motivates them to strive harder and go beyond what we have ever imagined of achieving. To go on and be five-star plus physicians.