Philippines

2020 March 19
Solemn Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

Dear Lasallians in the Frontlines,

Greetings of peace and well-being! We salute and support your gallant efforts to quell COVID-19 as you perform your responsibilities beyond the call of duty while putting yourselves at great risk. We stand in solidarity with you as part of the health and medical team directly assisting the sick and infected, or as researchers and scientists pressed to review test results or find effective antidotes to the virus, or as round-the-clock logistics and security forces, public servants and volunteers doing your share to reassure the public, restore and maintain order and provide much needed services to everyone.

We are one with you during this very challenging time and assure you of our fervent prayers as your fellow Lasallians in East Asia. We will especially remember you as we pause for a few minutes of quiet prayer daily to remember all Lasallians in the frontlines and to intercede for all those who are working earnestly in many different ways to provide solutions and address the challenges we face.

For you, all Lasallians in East Asia will gather together and by association in their respective homes and communities at around 5:00 p.m. beginning today March 19, feast of St. Joseph, Protector of our Lasallian Institute, and ending on May 15, feast of our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. May the good Lord ever keep you in the palm of His hand. Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

Fraternally yours,

Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC

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Loving Father, our Lasallian Family draws near to you in fervent prayer for all those affected by COVID-19. 

In FAITH, we lift up to you our fears and anxieties and the sufferings of those who have been infected always remembering that even in our darkest hours we are in your most holy presence. 

In SERVICE, we beg you for strength and wisdom to do all that needs to be done knowing that we can be channels of your healing grace when we do all our actions for the love of you. 

In COMMUNION, we stand in solidarity with all the frontliners who risk their lives for others and pray for all medical teams and support personnel who earnestly seek its cure and provide remedy and comfort to those who are sick and most vulnerable. Most Loving Father we entrust our lives and the health and well-being of our families and communities to your care and protection for with you we will be safe and secure.

Amen.

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PHILIPPINES - For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the De La Salle Brothers Philippines welcomed three new Postulants from a community of Young Professional Aspirants.

The Rites of Acceptance to the Postulancy for Zennel Sy, Jose Ruben Garcia, and Lemuel Asunción was held last August 27, 2022 at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Chapel inside De La Salle University Dasmariñas (Cavite, Philippines). The Eucharistic Celebration, coinciding with the Feast of Saint Monica, was presided by University Chaplain Rev. Fr. Reinier Dumaop, together with concelebrating priests Rev. Fr. Reginald Malicdem and Rev. Fr. Kali Pietre Llamado from The Manila Cathedral. The Rite of Acceptance was officiated by LEAD Auxiliary Visitor Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC. Filipino Brothers, as well as the families and friends of the Postulants, attended the ceremony. A small reception followed, held at the Senior High School Building of the university.

The three new Postulants come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Zennel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from De La Salle University Manila and has been involved in mission work with the Apostolate for Family Consecration in Ohio for 25 years. Prior to that, he worked at the Bank of the Philippine Islands and was also an entrepreneur and certified public accountant. Zennel is currently enrolled in the Certificate in Teaching Program at the De La Salle University in Dasmariñas, Cavite. Ruben on the other hand holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Philosophy from the St. Thomas of Villanova Institute (College Seminary of the Order of St. Augustine) and the Ateneo De Manila University and has worked as a philosophy and theology teacher at Manresa School in Paranaque from 2019 to 2022. Lastly, Lemuel, who has a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy and a master’s degree in Health Professions Education from the University of the Philippines Manila, has taught occupational therapy, neuroscience, and research at the same university and at the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute in the past eight years.

The Postulancy Program for 2022-2023 has been adapted to match the unique contexts of the Postulants as well as the pandemic situation. The program, for example, will not be held at the Lasallian Formation Center in La Salle Greenhills, but rather in active Brothers’ communities such as in Dasmariñas City (Cavite, Luzon) and in Ozamiz City (Misamis Occidental, Mindanao). The Postulants look forward to the blended nature of their program which includes in-house and online sessions as well as local and international exposures.

Zennel, Ruben, and Lemuel would like to extend their appreciation to all the people involved in organizing the rites of acceptance, most especially to Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC, Br. Butch Alcudia FSC, and Br. Victor Franco FSC of the Lasallian Formation Center; Brother President Sockie de la Rosa FSC, Vice Chancellor Ritche Bongcaron, Rev. Fr. Reinier Dumaop, Mr. Ron Angeles, Mr. Leo Manansala, and Mr. Nathaniel Golla from De La Salle University Dasmariñas; Ms. Nancy Go Martin, Mr. Richard Alina, Mr. Randy Casayuran, Mr. Dexter Doria, and Mr. Gelo Pempengco from De La Salle Philippines, and Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC for being the commentator during the Holy Mass. (Text: Postulant Lee Asuncion; Photos: DLSP-CORE)

PHILIPPINES - An Aspirant of the De La Salle Brothers is someone who is considering that the life of the Brothers is a possible option in their lives. They aspire to mature as a human, as a spiritual person, and as a Christian.

On May 26-29, 2022, La Salle Academy, Iligan City, held the Visayas-Mindanao Aspirants’ Conference: A Nyel Experience. This was the first time in 2 years since the pandemic, that the Vocations Ministry Office organized the first in-person gathering of Aspirants. The conference invited the young Aspirants from La Salle Academy, La Salle University - Ozamiz, and University of Saint La Salle - Bacolod to ignite the flame within their journey to discernment. The conference was named after Adrian Nyel, a French Educator, who played a big role for our founder, Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s first step into being an educator. Adrian recruited the young priest to assist him in opening a parish school for the poverty-stricken boys.

The conference focused around this idea with different sessions and prayer services that guided the Aspirants. Taking a look back at their small yesses that led them to where they currently are, how Adrian Nyel’s invitation to our founder, reflects those invitations that the Aspirants experienced, and how they responded to those invitations. There were also sessions about the gifts each aspirant has and how they can use these gifts to help others. Just as Saint John Baptist De La Salle did when he used his gift which is teaching to help others.

The Aspirants from the different La Salle schools came together in La Salle Academy, Iligan City to settle down and prepare themselves for the conference. This is marked as the Day Zero of the program where the participants had an orientation for the rules, assigned rooms, responsibilities and duties, followed by a dinner at the Retreat House. They also had their community gathering that night where they got to know each other and to create that relationship that they currently have.

The conference officially started on May 27. During that day, aside from the prayers and sessions, the Brothers and Aspirants took the official photo of the conference. They did sports after, such as Frisbee and Volleyball where the Aspirants got into their competitive side and did friendly banter with each other. After the games, they were almost as if they had been together for years. On May 28, they celebrated God’s gifts in creation. The participants went to a beach where they could appreciate God’s creation and continue to establish the relationship that they had. Finally, on May 29, the participants both renewed or signed their Aspirancy contracts. The mass was held in the Holy Infancy Chapel in La Salle Academy.

Not only did the Aspirants learn more about their discernment, they also learned about how they can be helpful to others just as St. La Salle was. That the ultimate goal in each and everybody's life is to be a loving person as what Jesus had also taught. Nothing is more important than to love what we love and do everything that we do out of love.

Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever! (Text: Jeff Aldrin Tabita - LSA-Iligan Aspirant; Photos: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)

PHILIPPINES – Last January 30, on the Feast Day of St. Mutien Marie-Wiaux, Br. Abet King Pia FSC professed his final vows as a De La Salle Brother at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Chapel in De La Salle University – Dasmariñas (DLSUD). Br. Abet, who took his undergraduate degree in Education at DLSUD, is the first among its alumni to be a perpetually professed Brother.

The Celebration of the Holy Eucharist was presided by Fr. Reinier Dumaop, the University Chaplain of DLSUD and Fr. Daniel Polzer, the Chaplain of De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute. The event was also livestreamed through the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines Facebook page.

Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Brother Visitor, accepted Br. Abet’s final vows and was witnessed by his religious sponsors, Brothers Victor Franco and Vince Fernandez.

In his Shared Reflection, Br. Armin said, “Not everyone in your generation can choose forever. Some respectfully decline Christ’s offer, to give up all that they possess. But for those of you who choose forever, the portal to a new world is opened, beyond one’s obsession to know oneself is the mission to be a person for others.

Abet, today, you have chosen to join, Generation We. For the past 8 years, you have shared in our Lasallian vocation, in our identity and lived our Brotherhood and you have seen the best of us and the worst in us. You have given yourself as best you could even if it was hurting deep down. You persevered with the thought that this is where you are called even if there was very little proof to support your gut feel. Today you are ready to embrace for the rest of your life the totality of your commitment to the Lord and the community of our fragile brotherhood.“

Br. Abet said in his response, “As I was rereading all my letters for renewal of vows I realized that amidst all the fears brought by different circumstances, I see courage in one common decision that is made out of love. That is to say YES to God’s invitation for me to continue as a Brother in the form of those requests. I am always free not to choose this life, but deep in my heart this is where I know I can share my gifts more, how I can share myself more with others. This is the way of life where I can better serve God.”

Before the end of the mass, a special prayer and a plaque of appreciation for Br. Abet’s parents were offered in recognition of their family’s generosity. The celebrant was also thankful to the administration of De La Salle University – Dasmariñas, especially to Br. Marvin Sipin for overseeing the preparations for the event, and the Central House Administration. (Text: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC; Photos: DLSP CORE)

PHILIPPINES - A total of 26 Maranaw women, in 5 batches, underwent the 8-week Sewing Training Program held in Iligan City from 16 June to 5 August 2021. Education in Emergencies (EIE) partnered with La Salle Green Hills Alternative Education, and was supported by the La Salle Academy and Holy Infancy Brother’s Community. Duyog Marawi, a partner of EIE in the Marawi-Lanao Consortium, chose the recipients for the program based on the needs of the communities they work with. Most of the Maranaws are still coping from the impact of the 2017 Marawi siege.

The trainees were taught practical skills in sewing bedsheets, curtains, abayas, and hijabs to augment their livelihood. Mr. Christian Dacoron, the very dedicated volunteer trainer from LSGH led the Graduation of the trainees held last 6 August at Butig, Lanao Del Sur. Duyog Marawi, as a partner in the Marawi-Lanao Consortium will carry on with the next step of livelihood development by organizing the sewers into a cooperative.

The training program was a “One La Salle” experience with various Lasallian schools and communities taking part. EIE wishes to acknowledge the valuable support of the LSGH Community: Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC, Br. Normandy Dujunco FSC, Ms. Maria Carmela Bongcaron, Mr. Rey Ducay, and Ms. Marie Katipunan. La Salle Academy, Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community, and LSA Alumni Association also made valuable contributions by providing security, transportation, administrative services, lodging, and inspirational support.

Special acknowledgment also goes to the local government of Butig, Lanao Del Sur through Vice Mayor Sittie Aisah Pansar, who happens to be an LSA alumna. EIE expresses its sincerest gratitude to Mr. Jay A. Velez, Br. Dan Sanding FSC, Br. Ivan Carlo Umali FSC, Br. Henry Gyi, Ms. Beverly Widmaeir, Ms. Bev Tuba, Mr. Edgar Chua, Br, Felipe Belleza FSC and Br. Armin Luistro FSC. The Lasallian Animo is so alive!

W e a l s o e x t e n d o u r sincerest appreciation to the young, vibrant and committed staff of Duyog M a r a w i f o r t h e i r unconditional love and dedication to the work that they do.

After the graduation in B u t i g , t h e w h o l e contingent paid a quick visit to Ground Zero in M a r a w i , a w a y t o remember Marawi, and re-commit not to give up in spite of the challenges.

Truly, this is God’s work. (Text: Ms. Evangeline de Peralta; Photos: Br. Dan Sanding FSC)

 

"Salamat sa inyo dahil nakita nyo ang kakayahan ng bawat isa sa amin. Ang mga tinuro ay napakalaking tulong dahil pwede itong magamit sa aming kabuhayan. Ilan sa aming nag-training ang nagpaplanong bumili ng sariling makina para sa pangkabuhayan. InshaAllah (Kung nais ni Allah). Isa din si Janna na nagpaplano para makatulong sa kanyang pamilya. Nagpapasalamat kami Sir sa lahat ng tinuro mo. Magsisikap kami na mas madagdagan pa ang kaalaman namin sa pananahi. Ipagpapatuloy naming maging modelo at mahikayat ang iba na magsikap din sila. (Thank you also (referring to Christian) for affirming our capacities and talents. The input you taught is of great help to each of us, since we can use this for our livelihoods.” I’ve heard, some of my batch mates in this training are planning to purchase their own sewing machines for their livelihood. God willing, I will also do that to add sustenance for our family. I am thankful to all the learnings, I will persevere to increase my knowledge in sewing, and will continue doing that to be a model for others and to encourage others to also be industrious.)

Nong unang araw sa training, natatakot ako dahil first time kong makahawak ng makina. Sa tuwing may iuutos si Sir, lalo na sa pagpuputol ng tela, natatakot ako baka masira ito, pero si Sir, lagi niyang sinasabi na ok lang magkamali ang importante ay natututo ka. Alhamdulillah (Sa ngalan ni Allah) dahil sa loob ng 2 weeks, natuto kaming gumawa ng Bed Sheets, Kumbong, Kurtina at Abaya.” (On the first day of the training, I was frightened because it is the first time I’ll be using a sewing machine. Whenever there are directions, for instance, cutting the fabric and sewing, I was afraid that I will ruin my work. But our instructor is always understanding, he always encourages us, saying, that we learn when we make mistakes. Praise the Lord, since within the two weeks training, we learned how to manufacture bed sheets, head scarves, curtains, and Muslim dress (abaya).)

- Excerpt from Ms. Norjanna S. Ismael’s (one of the trainees from Butig, Lanao Del Sur) graduation speech. Translated by Mr. Godfrey Mordeno

CHALLENGE, 100% ACCEPTED!
Christian D. Dacoron
Volunteer Trainer / Faculty
La Salle Green Hills Alternative Education

The Sewing Training Program is an 8 - week session organized by De La Salle Philippines Education In Emergencies in partnership with La Salle Green Hills and supported by La Salle Academy and Holy Infancy Brother’s Community

Looking back that afternoon when Miss Marie called me and asked, “Sir Chris, are you willing to do the Mission?” and with God’s grace I said, “Yes Miss! More than willing for the love of training!”. Though it was still on the initial stage, no concrete plans and clear view yet, but I knew that St. La Salle will help us pave the way and through him, something great will happen with this mission.

I also thought of saying no, because of some considerations; first, the security in Marawi City, second, the danger of pandemic, and the availability of the vaccine and lastly, my mother’s condition, since she was still recovering from her recent health misfortune, but my eagerness to do the mission burns these thoughts.

It is hard to hold an all-Muslim class due to the unique culture and language. It was all new to me! But thanks to their warm acceptance, I never felt that I'm different. Our 8-week training became easy because of their perseverance and willingness to learn. It is true “no poverty can hinder if the student is willing to learn”, that’s why I pushed myself to become more determined to be the best for them. Some days are focused and serious, but more often they would tease and make fun just to break the ice. At the end of the two-week training, they would cry and bid emotional goodbyes.

To my 22 students and 4 DM staff who joined the training, Congratulations! Face life with new hope. Use all that I have taught you correctly and PAY IT FORWARD. (Mabrouk! Pakabolosn tano so pakatalingoma a gawii a adn a panginam tanu ron. Osar anga sa mapya langon o myaswa ka a kamapiyaan ago ogopn ka ko kikinanglan ron.) To Lynette, Omilhayah, Janimah and Jamina, Thank you for all the help, for all the early time and overtime, and for all the memories along the way. May you use the acquired knowledge and skills for good and help others who are in need.

I am HOME AWAY FROM HOME! Many thanks to the kindness and generosity of the people around me while doing the mission. I never felt that I was alone and away from my home. “Maraming Salamat po sa maalab na pagtanggap sa akin, sa mga cheer na “kaya mo yan” at “laban lang”, sa bawat good morning at good night at sa bawat hello and goodbyes”. (Thank you for the warm welcome, the “you can do it” and “keep on fighting” cheers, the good morning, good night, hello, and goodbye greetings)

Thank you for all the love and care that you all showed me for the past two months that I stayed in Iligan City. I found a new HOME, a new FAMILY, and new FRIENDS for keeps.

Thanks to La Salle Academy President Sir Jay Velez who is always there for us, taking care and providing our needs especially during the training. To the LSA staff, Ms. Bev (for taking care of me during the quarantine days), Sir Castor (for helping us with the purchasing) , Kuya Arnold (for the flash service), Kuya Jobert (for helping us in our daily needs), Kuya Nestor (the reason why we always have delicious meals in our plate) and Nanay Inday (my second mother who has never failed to take care of me during my stay).

I’ll be forever grateful to The Holy Infancy Brothers Community thru Brother Director Br. Dan Sanding FSC, and Brs. Ivan Karlo Umali FSC and Henry Gyi FSC. I am one of the few lucky Lasallian educators who has been given the chance to live with you and share great memories for the past two months. I will surely miss our dinner together, the socials, and movie nights! I will never forget the kindness, generosity, love, care and concern you showed me and the best treatment as if I am one of the brothers. Br. Dan, Br. Ivan and Br. Henry - maraming salamat po sa inyo! Mamimiss ko and Brothers House kasama kayo. (Thank you very much! I’ll miss living in the Brothers House with you)

To Duyog Marawi Director Bro. Rey Barnido, maraming salamat po! To Duyog Marawi Admin, Heads and Staff, Drivers and Cooks, maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tulong at serbisyo. (Thank you very much for all the assistance and service) May God bless you all!

And lastly, thanks to La Salle Green Hills and D e L a S a l l e P h i l i p p i n e s E d u c a t i o n I n Emergencies thru Miss Rosemarie Katipunan and Miss Evangeline De Peralta for entrusting me with the mission.

The bond and all the great memories will be engraved in my mind.

This wonderful journey, my Lasallian Mission with St. La Salle will live forever in my heart.

Animo La Salle!!!

PHILIPPINES - Each year, on the first Sunday of October, the Brothers in the Philippines celebrate the life and legacy of our Brothers and Lasallians who have gone before us. This year, due to the pandemic, only a limited number of Brothers and Partners were physically together at the La Salle Novitiate in Lipa, Batangas. Br. Armin Luistro FSC, our Visitor, was in attendance together with our Brothers in Lipa and some Brothers from the Residencia and 1911 communities. The rest were in attendance through Zoom.

The celebration began with the Holy Eucharist with Fr. Nonie Dolor as presider. After the homily, the names of our deceased Lasallians were shown through a video presentation. After the Eucharist, the congregation proceeded with the Rite of Blessing in the Memorial Cloister where our Brothers have been laid to rest.

Many thanks to our Partners from De La Salle Philippines and De La Salle Lipa for organizing the celebration and maintaining proper health and safety protocols throughout the gathering. (Text: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC; Photos: Br. Carlo Rementilla & Mr. Marc Gepaya)

PHILIPPINES - On 21 October 2020, the De La Salle Brothers conferred on Mrs. Lourdes Hiponia the Letter of Affiliation signed by Br. Robert Schieler FSC, Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

The Letter and title of AFSC are given to Mrs. Hiponia in recognition of her unfailing devotion and support for the Brothers and for the educational work in the Philippine Lasallian family that she has manifested for so many years.

The De La Salle Brothers of Bacolod and the wider Lasallian community of Negros Occidental would not be the same without the dedication of Mrs. Hiponia. She is a living legacy, and without doubt, has become our Brother/Sister in the Lasallian Mission.

Congratulations to our very dear Brother, Br. Lourdes Hiponia AFSC! (Text & Photos: Br. Mico de Leon FSC)

 

From the Special Resolution for Mrs. Lourdes Hiponia for Affiliation to the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools:

Last December 2019 at the annual St. Joseph High School La Salle Alumni Homecoming, two retired faculty members gave their messages, Mrs. Lourdes Hiponia and Mr. Noel Lariza. Both held their ground before many alumni who have by this time become more interested in their reunion rather than what these two teachers could share. Lourdes, true to her training as a Lasallian teacher, went down the stage and shared her reflections on the occasion, highlighting her deep concern for the alumni as well as the joy in seeing them again. Her spontaneous and deep connection with the alumni of St. Joseph School – La Salle while speaking was observed.

Lourdes is the epitome of a Lasallian educator, at her age her words were well articulated, sensible, and clear despite the large audience gathered to celebrate that night. Her message to the alumni that night reflected what she always spoke about and lived for in her active days as teacher and later administrator: Faith, Service and Communion in Mission. This message of hers that night definitely stood out and was louder than the noise of the celebration. It is indeed clear that in whatever situation Lourdes finds herself in, with confidence and conviction, she is able to share the Lasallian spirit and values in a way that does not impose on nor reject local culture but respects and accommodates without compromising the said spirituality and values.

Lourdes had been most loyal to St. Joseph High School-La Salle most of her life, dedicating her energies beyond retirement to work for the alumni and advancement offices with a heart for the poor and underprivileged students, teachers and staff of St. Joseph High School-La Salle. It would not be a surprise for the Lasallian family, especially the Brothers, if she would willingly have volunteered to help out in other schools if she would have been given the opportunity to do so.

Lourdes, being a mother, her language and manner of relating with everyone clearly expresses a nurturing, caring, and compassionate heart even when at times they are challenged by long established policies.

Lourdes’ devotion to Mother Mary is well known through her strong support for the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross which has many local chapters in the entire Metro Bacolod, promoting Marian devotion to both private and public schools.

 

With faith in the resurrection, the Lasallian Family of the Philippines and the Lasallian East Asia District announce the passing of Sr. Marie Antoine Villanueva, SPC, AFSC on 2020 June 25 at St. Paul’s Hospital Iloilo, Iloilo City. She was 90 years old, on her 61st year as an SPC Sister and 20th year as an Affiliated Member of the Institute.

She has worked with the Lasallian Family in various capacities spanning 20 years at the DLS-University Medical Center and the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) in Dasmariñas, Cavite most notably as the Dean of the College of Nursing, Hospital Administrator and Vice President for Administration.

May Sr. Antoine be welcomed in God’s loving embrace and take her rightful place in heaven where “those who teach many unto justice will shine like stars forever” (Daniel 12:3).

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Sr. Antoine Marie Villanueva SPC, AFSC, together with Brothers and Lasallian Partners, celebrated her Diamond Jubillee as SPC on 2017 July 22 at the Mere Monique Home St. Paul's Monastery Retreat Center in Ticud, Lapaz, Iloilo City, Philippines.

Eternal rest grant unto Sr. Antoine, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon her.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

By: Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC

Lasallian Partners and Brothers from different regions of the Philippines gathered on February 9, 2020, feast day of Saint Brother Miguel Febres Cordero FSC, to witness and celebrate the profession of Final Vows of Br. Dan Sanding FSC. The celebration began with a mass at 10:00 am and was held at the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary Chapel, De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI), Dasmariñas City, Cavite, Philippines.

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The mass was presided by Fr. Ramon Bautista SJ and was co-celebrated by Fr. Daniel Polzer. Family and friends of Br. Dan were also there to witness this significant milestone in his life as a De La Salle Brother. Present also during the event were Br. Armin Luistro FSC, LEAD Visitor, Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC and Br. Felipe Belleza FSC, Auxiliary Visitors.

Br. Dan decided to join the congregation as a Postulant way back in 2010 and received his Holy Habit in 2012. After his initial formation years, He was then assigned to La Salle Academy in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines where he started the Sunday Apostolate of Volunteers called "Saint Brother Miguel Academy". Through this program, many students internalized the value of service as they taught and served the kids from public schools. He also taught Christian Living Classes in the High School Department.

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The mission continues and after his assignment at La Salle Academy - Iligan, he was invited to serve at De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI), Dasmarinas City, Cavite up until today. As a young Brother assigned at DLSMHSI, he is teaching Health Care and Foundation to Anatomy and Physiology in the Senior High School Department. He also helped out in establishing the partnership between Centro Universitario La Salle in Madrid, Spain and De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute for the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programs. Br. Dan is the first graduate of DLSMHSI to become a De La Salle Brother. 

After seven years in temporary vows, Br. Dan, who is known to all as a caring Brother, decided to say "yes" to God who first loved him and called him in this shared mission of educating the young, especially the poor. In his response during the ceremony, he thanked all the people who accompanied and journeyed with him.

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From the beginning of her career, Dr. Anita L. Lim has been living her advocacy to bringing quality education to those who need it most. Her office staff and household employees could attest to this as she stood as their sponsor for the fulfillment of their educational development. Like St. John Baptist de La Salle, Dra. Anita sees education as the key to transform the lives of people. Dra. Anita was known for her meaningful insights and detailed brilliance in her field of expertise. But unknown to many, Dra. Anita has profoundly touched many lives including the most ordinary people she had met along her journey despite her numerous achievements and responsibilities. In 2007, she was invited to become one of the Trustees of La Salle University (LSU) Ozamiz. Since then, Dra. Anita has been sharing valuable contributions for the improvement of infrastructure, scholarships and organizational system of LSU. As a devout Catholic, Dra. Anita strongly promoted the spiritual and religious life in the University. Aside from attending LSU-sponsored masses, she also helped develop the Our Lady of the Star Chapel even when her youngest son, Mr. Alex Lim, took over her position in the Board of Trustees in 2013. As the renovation of the University chapel continues, the legacy of Dra. Anita and her entire family lives on.

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As we celebrate Dra. Anita Lim’s life, La Salle University is proud to give honor to her and her wonderful contributions to La Salle. Br. Jaime Dalumpines FSC, University President, handed the Indivisa Manent Award to Dra. Anita Lim (posthumous). The award was received by the entire Lim Family on February 7, 2020.

“Indivisa Manent”, the Latin phrase found in the family Crest of St. John Baptist de La Salle and it best translates into English as “Forever United.” In line with this award, La Salle University Ozamiz Community shall be forever united with Dra. Anita. (Text: Ms. Mary Grace Luna; Photos: LSU Communications Team)

The Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) Visitor, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, had his canonical visit to the Brothers of 1911 and House of Studies (HOST) Community last January 16- 19, 2020. For a series of days, he met the Brothers individually, asked how they were, and updated them about the movements of the institute, the district, and the sector.

In his community dialogue with the Brothers of the House of Studies, Br. Armin presented to the community the current state and the possible future of the Institute. He also shared his vision of the Brothers of the district to be “Brothers beyond borders.”

Br. Armin invites the LEAD Brothers to recognize the seven sectors as one unit rather than individual sectors. "We have to move into witnessing the fact that we are not Brothers of one culture. We are Brothers that share various cultures and languages, and that would be the essence of our fraternity." He further adds, "If we want the Institute to respond to the merging need and the call of a globalizing world, we need to recognize that vocations are not for one sector alone." He also encourages the Brothers to promote vocations and open their doors, and not to limit themselves to the traditional schools within our sector alone. Rather, the Brothers are urged to be open to areas where possible vocations can emerge. One of the targets of LEAD is to encourage Brothers and Lasallian partners to be volunteers for the mission of the Institute, a program for “Brothers without borders." In the end, Br. Armin, invites the Brothers to keep thinking “LEAD” and be open towards becoming a "Brother of the World."

Taal Volcano, an active volcano in the province of Batangas around 60 kilometres south of Manila, released a phreatic explosion on 12 January, Sunday. This prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to raise Alert Level 2 (Increasing Unrest) for Taal Volcano at 2:30 pm, which quickly went to Alert Level 4 (Hazardous Eruption Imminent) at 7:30 pm. Mandatory evacuation, flights cancelled, and other disaster risk reduction measures were set in motion to ensure public safety and security.

La Salle schools all over the country quickly responded by calling for donations and organising relief operations. The La Salle school in the province, De La Salle Lipa (DLSL), acted as the central coordinator. With the leadership of Br. Dante Amisola FSC, DLSL President, the school adopted Sto Toribio Elementary School, a public school that turned into an evacuation center. DLSL committed to provide 3 full meals for the evacuees, as well as come up with uplifting activities, such as games, zumba, story telling, and prayer services.

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On 18 January, DLSL welcomed 80 families to stay inside the campus, not as evacuees, but considered as guests. Called the ‘Welcome Shelters’, the facility provides individual tents per family, shower amenities, entertainment area, play center, and more. When the guests arrive, they undergo medical check-up and a 4- step registration process.

Click on the link to read more about the ‘Welcome Shelters’: Lipa school aims to provide sense of normalcy, dignity to Taal evacuees by Ms. Tina Ganzon-Ozaeta

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PARC General Councilor, Br. Ricky Laguda FSC, and LEAD Brother Visitor, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, visited a lady at the Welcome Shelters who needs to undergo surgery.

(Photos: Br. Dante Amisola FSC, Ms. Diane Pardo-Aguilar, Mrs. ES Medialdea, Mr. Dennis Roxas Dimaala, Ms. Ana Ria Aguilar, Mr. Zak Castil)

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Photo from newsinfo.inquirer.net

“While the school academic administrators will be making official announcements regarding these matters, I would like to personally take this opportunity to appeal, in these very trying times, to our dear parents, students, faculty, and personnel to bear with understanding the very dire situation many of our 'kababayans' are currently experiencing and to seize this crisis and convert it into a valuable "teaching-moment" for ourselves and our children---about what is really most important in life, particularly now; what it means to be Filipino; and, what it means to be a human being, especially in the face of extreme adversity and untold suffering.

The next few days and weeks are opportunities for us as individuals, and with our families, to show our humanity and what it is that makes us truly human, made in God's own image and likeness----our Compassion, our Mercy, our Kindness. It is no longer enough to just feel pity but do nothing. Each act of kindness to others in most need leads us to our own salvation. And like the best of the Filipinos-of-old, practicing "bayanihan" is not old fashioned, but rather cool.” - Br. Dante Amisola FSC (DLSL President)

Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable and there is no assurance when this calamity will end. In line with this, we are calling on the Lasallian Family of LEAD and beyond to help in the relief operations. For donations, kindly check the details below:

Cash Donations

 

by Br. John David M. Ong FSC

(text taken from the Community Letter of the Brother Visitor)

The Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) Visitor, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, had his canonical visit to the Brothers’ Community in Ozamiz on December 5 - 7.

“Bright and airy, white and homey” - these were the initial feelings evoked in Br. Armin as he was welcomed in the Brothers’ residence. He expressed his gratitude to the Lord for the architect’s modern design, the hard work of all the laborers, the thinking and haggling, dreaming and funding from among the Brothers of the sector and of the community, both past and present.  

He reminded the Brothers not to be distracted with the long punch list of items that would need to be completed, corrected or cleaned soonest from the more important task of building community and making the residence a real home where Brothers and  guests may relax, rejuvenate and recenter so that together they may seek God and have the joy of together finding Him.    

Br. Armin put high premium on the aspiration of the Brothers in Ozamiz to strengthen the fraternal bond that unites them as one community of Brothers witnessing to the good news that God desires for all to be saved. He also affirmed what the Brothers shared on fraternal bond as an essential component in vocations promotions as it is a most efficacious instrument in pursuing the Lasallian Mission. 

The LEAD Visitor commended also the Brothers’ efforts to work closely with the local Church. He noted that it is impossible to carve out the Brothers’ ministry independent of the Church’s mission of evangelization.  

He urged also the Brothers of Ozamiz to develop and invest in an effective formation program for the Lasallian Associates that would lead to sharing responsibility, accompanying leaders and authentically working together and by association for the mission. 

Br. Armin requested the Brothers of Ozamiz to join him in prayer for the special intentions of the people of Hong Kong and for an awakening among the Brothers and the Lasallian Associates the missionary calling of going beyond the borders of their comfort zones.  

It has been an annual tradition to have a special Easter Issue featuring photos, both serious and not so serious, of the annual Holy Week retreat held in Malaysia (Hotel Equatorial, Malacca), Philippines (Benilde Retreat and Conference Center), and Thailand (Redemptorist Center, Pattaya).

Special thanks to the retreat facilitators this year: Br. Aidan Kilty, Br. Jorge Gallardo, and Br. Vincent Pelletier. Kudos also to the retreat coordinators: Brs. Andrew, Alex, and Francisco. Thanks to Br. Ranier for collecting these photos and posting them online. Happy Easter and enjoy the photos! (More photos in this link: https:// bit.ly/2XLfYR5)

With faith in the resurrection, the Lasallian Family in the sector of the Philippines and in the Lasallian East Asia District [LEAD] announce the passing of Sr. Corazon Manalo DC, AFSC at 3:11 am today. For more than two decades, Sr. Cora served as a dedicated faculty member at De La Salle University, trustee of several Lasallian school boards and the National Mission Council of De La Salle Philippines, Spiritual Director, mentor and dear friend of many Brothers and Lasallian Partners in the Philippines and in LEAD. She was presented the Institute Letters of Affiliation on 28 June 2013 and continued to be actively engaged in the reorganization and renewal of the Lasallian Mission.

Her remains will lie in state at the Daughters of Charity Provincial House in Parañaque starting at 8:00 a.m. on 28 May. Interment will be on 31 May at 10:00 a.m. in the same DC compound.

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The Brothers’ Communities are requested to offer masses for the intentions of a beloved FSC Affiliate. We enjoin our Lasallian Partners to remember her in your intentions and prayers. May Sr. Cora find much comfort and peace in the boundless charity that flows from the heart of Christ.

Fraternally yours,

Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC
Brother Visitor

On 23-27 May 2019, 67 Aspirants and Contacts gathered at the University of St. La Salle (USLS)-Bacolod City for the annual Vocations Summer Camp (VSC) 2019. The National Vocations Directors, namely Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC and Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC, organized the annual event. Br. Irwin Climaco FSC and the Aspirants and Contacts of the Bacolod Community, who were the hosts for this year’s event, also assisted them in preparing the event. The participants came from 13 Communities and 15 schools around the Philippines, which is most likely the largest number of participants in the history of VSC. Present during the event were Br. Abet Pia FSC, Br. Cliff Sy FSC, Br. Marvin Sipin FSC, Br. Eugene De Luna FSC and Br. Vince Paildan FSC who assisted and also accompanied their respective participants from the schools that they are assigned in.

This year’s hosts Br. Irwin and the Aspirants and Contacts of the Bacolod Community organized the opening ceremonies. The event started with a short but very meditative prayer. After the prayer, a very festive and joyful atmosphere welcomed the participants.The USLS Drumbeaters sounded their drums as the participants were led to the venue for the opening dinner. Br. Sockie De La Rosa FSC, the Community Director of the Bacolod Community, gave the welcoming remarks. After which, Br. Kenneth Martinez FSC the President of USLS shared his inspirational message. During the dinner the A7 Band, composed of high school students from USLS, serenaded the students.

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The themes of the 3-Day event were based on Faith, Service and Communion. In the morning of the official first day of the event, exploring and deepening the value of “faith”, the group started with a recollection facilitated by Br. Kenneth Martinez FSC. And in the afternoon Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC gave a Workshop on Visioning and Planning for Vocation Promotion. And the last activity to cap off Day 1 was the Orientation session for their Community Exposure for the next day. This session was facilitated by Ms. Terai Barcoma, the Program Director of BALAYAN Social Development Center. After the sessions, they headed to Diotay’s Restaurant and tasted the different variety of seafood, which is one of the specialties of Bacolod when it comes food. 

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The 2nd Day of the event is their Community Exposure in Gawad Kalinga (GK) Lopue Legacy Village in Dulao, Bago City. GK Dulao is about 30-40 minutes away from Bacolod City. It is a farming community being taken care of by the BALAYAN Social Development Center of USLS. The Community Exposure started with a getting to know activity where both Aspirants/Contacts and Residents gave different presentations. The VSC participants were then separated into different groups for interaction with Kids, Youth, Mothers and Fathers. Time was spent engaging in different sessions like faith sharing and recollections. They also went around the village as the residents shared with our participants how a regular day is spent. After the activity they were also divided into the different houses of the residents. Our participants joined them for lunch thus allowing them more time for immersion and interaction.

The activity concluded with the Aspirants, Contacts and the Brothers giving school supplies to the children of the residents as form of thanking them for warmly accommodating the participants in their community. In the evening the participants joined the USLS Community for the Mass. They were also introduced to the community as a way to also encourage more young men to join Contact/ Aspirancy Program. After the mass, they went to Aida’s Chicken for dinner where they enjoyed the famous Bacolod Chicken Inasal. The group returned to USLS after dinner and the evening continued with a session that processed their experiences of their Cultural Exposure. Br. Irwin facilitated the session and sharing of each group.

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On the last leg of the event, the participants were again divided into new groups for their Cultural Exposure. The goal of the Cultural Exposure is to allow each participant to explore and have a taste of the culture of Bacolod City and the Negrense people. Their goal is to be able to integrate their own experiences the past few days to the culture of Bacolod. They have to visit places and discover something new and unique about Bacolod and the people. Bacolod is known as the City of Smiles, and their output is to create a VLOG that exhibits Brotherhood and Happiness which is connected to the current Vocation Campaign “Happiness Is a Habit”. The participants should be able to finish and submit their VLOG before the start of the Culmination Night, where these will be judged and awarded.

Br. Abet and the Discerners organized and hosted the Culmination Night for this year. The hosts were able to draw attention and excitement in organizing different games and presentations. After all the VLOGS were presented and awarded, they had a Closing Prayer to officially end the Camp. To end on a happy note and before all the Aspirants and Contacts bid their farewells, all participated in a Community Dance to the beat of the Tercentenary Song.

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The event was really a blast and left an impact to the participants. It was truly a celebration of our Lasallian Vocation and Brotherhood with all the festive and positive vibe that was shared by the Aspirants, Contacts and the Brothers.

With a large number of participants and a very successful event, we felt that our Founder St. La Salle and God is truly celebrating with us as we also currently commemorate our Tercentenary Celebrations and the Year of Lasallian Vocations. Thank God for more Vocations, Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever!

Acknowledgement. The organizers of VSC 2019 would like to thank Br. Kenneth Martinez FSC and the USLS Community, Br. Sockie de la Rosa FSC and the Bacolod Brothers Community and Br. Irwin Climaco FSC and the Bacolod Aspirants and Contacts for warmly accommodating us and providing us with all our needs during the whole duration of the event. Madamo Guid Nga Salamat! (Text & Photos: Br. Ranier R. Guillergan FSC)

About the Official Logo of the Vocations Summer Camp 2019

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This year’s Vocation Summer Camp is happening in Bacolod City, “Home of the Masskara Festival”. The logo takes cue from this fun and festive celebration. The image on the left is a deconstructed face of St. La Salle, forming a figure of a Brother enjoying the festival’s revelry. Inspired by Electric Masskara, the vibrant colors of the logo exhibits the continued vitality of vocations in the Philippines.

The FSC’s Internat ional St rategy Committee (ISC) had its quarterly meeting at Hotel Benilde, Manila, Philippines on 13-14 July 2019. The ISC is the committee commissioned in 2017 by the Superior General to develop strategies to achieve optimal financial management of the Institute and the sustainability and vitality of the mission. Below are the members of the committee:

Br. Ambrose Payne FSC (AU)
Mr Nestor Tan (PH)
Br Armin Luistro FSC (PH)
Br Michael Quirk FSC (US)
Br Martin Rocha FSC (MX)
Mr Julio Gordillo FSC (MX)
Mr Pierre Damiba (BF)
Mr Alessandro Lombardi (IT)

This is the second time that the Philippine Sector has hosted the meeting. The last one was in January 2018. (Text & Photos: Mr. Ian Saulog)

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The LEAD Team 2019-2023: 1st Row (seated from left to right): The District Council members - Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC, Br. Andrew Loke FSC, Br. Nicholas Seet FSC, Br. Joseph Klong FSC, Br. Lucas Thein FSC, Br. Michael Broughton FSC

2nd Row (standing from left to right): Mr. Jyron Raz, Br. Francisco Chadang FSC, Br. Mikey Cua FSC, Mr. Jay Gervasio, Br. Patrick Tierney FSC, Br. Ricky Laguda FSC, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Br. Gus Boquer FSC, Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC, Br. Felipe Belleza FSC, Br. Sockie de la Rosa FSC, Atty. Carlu Fernandez, Mr. Ferdie Fernandez

21 July 2019 was an auspicious day. Salle de Toulouse Function Room in Hotel Benilde, Manila, became the venue of the first District Council meeting (DC 31) of the new LEAD administration headed by Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Visitor of East Asia. This was also the first time that the whole 18-member LEAD Team was complete.

The morning was optimally utilized by discussing the LEAD Map 2019-2023 - the plans for the District for the next 4 years. The Map consisted of 7 LEAD Goals (Mission, Formation, Vocation, Leadership, Sustainability, Linkages, and Organization) and its corresponding Key Priority Programs (KPP).

There was also a soft launching of the LEAD Mobile App, which the District Council used for voting on the 33 KPPs and other Resolutions. A simulated e-meeting was conducted via video-conference in the afternoon. These technological tools will hopefully shape how the future meetings of the District happen.

After the meeting, the team had a sumptuous dinner at Barbara’s in Intramuros. (Photos: Mr. Andrew Pamorada)

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Br. Antolin “Butch” Alcudia III FSC professed his final vows on August 10 at the newly-built Holy Infancy Chapel of La Salle Academy, Iligan City.

The celebration commenced with the blessing of the chapel by the celebrant Most Rev. Severo C. Caermare, D.D., Bishop of Dipolog and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Iligan and concelebrated by guest priests.

Br. Armin A. Luisto FSC, Visitor of East Asia, in his reflection shared “...this is a unique gathering - almost unrepeatable - where we interweave the blessing of a school chapel, the rites of final profession of vows for a La Salle Brother, the feast of the martyr St. Lawrence, the Muslim feast of Eidul Adha and the visit of our Brother  uperior General. It’s La Salle Iligan’s version of halo-halo or palapa - take your pick. It could be a veritable nightmare for the liturgist (as well as for the homilist).

Luistro attempted to capture the seemingly divergent threads into one yarn that could all hold on to for coherence and meaning by proposing to simply remember three B’s: Bethel, Butch, and Bethsaida. He expounded “Bethel awakens us to the awesome presence of God. Butch inspires us to live in God’s presence - pound for pound - all the days of our life. Bethsaida beckons us to gather in church as a community.”

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LEAD Visitor recalled that Br. Butch texted him two week ago with a shout out “How awesome is this time! When Br. Mario celebrated his 25th year as a Brother, I became a Postulant. He is also 25 years ahead sa ako sa LSA. Batch sila ni Papa... When I moved to Sabah, nag-celebrate ng 25th ang Asrama Butitin Nabawan... When I moved to Ozamiz, 25 years celebration ng LSU...” Luistro added that when he received the approval from Brother Superior for Br. Butch to take final profession, it was on the day of Br. Butch’s 39th birthday - on July 10.

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Luistro added how two young Brothers, who lived with Br. Butch in community, described God’s temple embodied in him: Brother A says: “Big Brother to his Brothers in community whom he will defend against online bashers, unfair comments and fake news. Big Brother to the people whom he works with and to his colleagues who would confide with him on personal problems and other work- or love-related matters. Big Brother to his students especially to the most memorable 4A and 4B [sections of USLS]. Big Brother to his family who consults him on all major decisions.”

On the other hand, Brother B says: “Big Heart for the poor as he was a CFC missionary to the different communities particularly in India. Big Heart for Lasallian Partners whom he inspires. Big Heart for God’s creation as he often takes time off for day trips to the beach, mountains, and hot springs. Big Heart for the country and its citizens, for integrity, justice and good governance.”

Luistro, the former Secretary of the Department of Education, added “Kung sa DepED pa: MakaDiyos, Makatao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa. Tiunay, si Butch usa ka masaligang Daku nga Kuya natong tanan! (Truly, Butch is a Big Brother for all!)

Br. Robert “Bob” Schieler FSC, whom Luistro described as “the first Filipino Superior General” accepted the profession of final vows of Br. Butch.

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The Holy Infancy Chapel was designed by Architect Jojo Gutierrez, a Lasallian who is behind De La Salle Lipa’s Capilla De La Salle. The pews in the chapel are made of wood harvested from Mt. AgadAgad, planted by Br. Jaime “Jimmy” Dalumpines FSC 20 years ago. The central figure in the sanctuary is the captivating image of the resurrected Christ - a metal sculpture by another Lasallian alumnus, Daniel de la Cruz.

Br. Butch is current assigned in Ozamiz Brothers’ Community as Brother Director and at La Salle University as college instructor and Director of Lasallian Animation in charge of adult formation. (Text: Br. John David Ong FSC; Photos: Mr. Marc Reil Gepaya)

Acceptance to the Postulancy, Profession of First Vows, Silver and Golden Jubilee Celebrations

On 17 August 2019 at the St. Benilde Gym in La Salle Green Hills, the Lasallian community witnessed God’s love and generosity with gift of vocations through four events: the Acceptance to the Postulancy of 10 Postulants from the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) and 3 from the District of Vietnam, the Profession of First Vows of Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC and Br. Raphael Miguel Crisostomo FSC, the Silver Jubilee of Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC, and the Golden Jubilee of Br. Narciso Erguiza, Jr. FSC.

In his shared reflection, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Visitor of East Asia, reminded us that there is but one true Archer that not only asks us to follow in His footsteps, but, most importantly, calls us unto Himself. Br. Armin invited Br. Carlo, Br. Miggy, and the 13 Postulants to surrender themselves to the Divine Archer, whereas Br. JJ was asked to “take a break” after thriving afire without being consumed. Meanwhile, Br. Armin recalled the flourishing moments of Br. Jun in the most challenging environments, especially when he would erect school buildings and facilities, and open seven programs at the same time, to name a few.

These men have witnessed, first-hand, the Divine Archer’s Love in their daily lives. Now, as they continue their journey in seeking the Divine Archer, we pray for our Brothers and our Postulants that they may remain to be authentic and genuine witnesses of the Divine Archer’s Love to the people they will be encountering.

The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, D.D., together with three priest-concelebrants. The altar servers were the Aspirants from the Dasmariñas Community. (Text: Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC; Photos: Mr. Marc Gepaya)

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PHILIPPINES - Anchored to the theme from the General Chapter of the Brothers of the Christian Schools “To Dream is Our Way Forward: Building New Paths to Transform Lives", the University of St. La Salle (USLS) celebrated the 70th Handumanan Week (Founding Anniversary) with the theme: DREAM FORWARD: BUILD NEW PATHS. TRANSFORM LIVES on June 27 to July 1, 2022.

The term Handumanan means remembrance in the local language – Hiligaynon.

Day 1: The week-long celebration started with the Handumanan Mass at the USLS Main Chapel followed by the Handumanan Week Opening Salvo with performances from the Ritmo Verde Drumbeaters and The Musikat at the Coliseum Lobby. After which was the Earth Keeper Activity, an annual tradition of planting a tree on the campus. The 68th, 69th, and 70th Tree were planted at the college plaza by members of the USLS Administration. Members of the USLS community walked down memory lane at the Museo De La Salle – Bacolod featuring a Lasallian Exhibit on the 70-year history and heritage of the university. The new university logo, institutional annual theme, style guide, and communications kit were also launched. Men’s and Women’s Volleyball, and Men’s Basketball Exhibition games with our La Salle Stingers Team were also held at the coliseum.

Day 2: A fun run and fun walk was held at the Dizon Sports Complex, a fitting warm-up activity for the Bayle de La Salle where members of the community grooved their hearts out headed by the Physical Education, Sports, and Recreation (PESAR) Office at the Coliseum. This was followed by volleyball and basketball exhibition games for the employees. Later in the day, a thanksgiving mass and a donors’ night was held in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the USLS Bahay Pag-Asa Youth Center (BPYC) at the Granada Campus.

Day 3: The third day began early as Lasallian biking enthusiasts joined "Charge of the Green Brigade" This is also in support of the 30th Provincial Environment Month. A chill ride around Circumferential Road was followed by the planting of Batwan wildlings at the Agribusiness Farm and Bahay Pag-Asa Youth Center and the oath-taking of the La Salle Green Brigade Officers for the next school year. Later in the afternoon, to recognize the hard work and dedication of our Lasallian Partners, the Human Resource and Development Services (HRDS) office held the Service Awards Ceremony. This covers awardees from AY 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022. Lasallian Partners in 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service were recognized. The Juan Medrano award was also given to deserving faculty and staff who have served Lasallian schools for at least 25 years. Those who have served for more than 40 years include Ms. Ma. Jesusa Cuaycong, Ms. Ma. Teresa Golez, Ms. Ma. Socorro Faminialagao, PhD., and Ms. Lolita Quillano +. Awards were also given to the Lasallian Pa rtn e rs w h o e xh i b i te d me ri to ri o u s performance of their duties for the abovementioned school years.

Day 4: Fun and games filled the coliseum lobby for the Higher Education Unit (HEU) day in the morning and the Organization of Non-Teaching Office Personnel (ONTOP) day.

Day 5: In the spirit of joy and camaraderie, the Golden Jubilarians of Class ‘72 celebrated their 50th anniversary through the honoring rites after the Mass of the Holy Spirit and Thanksgiving mass held at the Coliseum. The alumni continued their fellowship with a lunch reception at the Miguel Lobby, reminiscing their Lasallian years and recalling how the university became their second home. Meanwhile, Lasallians in their respective offices celebrated the 70th Anniversary with the campus-wide Agape Lunch.

To mark its platinum year and capping off the week-long celebration of the 70th Handumanan Week, the university ended the festivities with a high note through the 70th Birthday Bash dubbed “USLS TURNS PLATINUM: Padayon sa Damgo.” (Continue to Dream) For the first time since 2019, live performances from the USLS Artists' Hub - Musikat, Maskara Theatre Ensemble, Vivace Strings, Ritmo Verde, De La Salle Chorale, Santermo, and Production Support Group - Basic Education Faculty, PESAR, and CELAM filled the Coliseum.The College of Nursing, College of Business and Accountancy, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and Cast of Animo: One Man and A Dream - The Musical also joined the celebration with their own performances.

Br. Normandy Dujunco FSC, Vice Chancellor for Mission and Development and Chair of the Institutional Events Committee in his message said that our Lasallian story did not begin in 1952 in Bacolod and Negros Occidental nor in 1911 in Manila but in 1680 in France when De La Salle and the early Brothers began this educational ministry. and as current bearers of the torch it is our duty to keep the fire alive by dreaming forward, building new paths to transform the lives of those entrusted to us. (Text: Br. Irwin Climaco FSC; Photos: University of St. La Salle Official Facebook Page)

Click the link to view all photos: https://www.facebook.com/lasallebcd/

Watch Highlights of the USLS 70th Handumanan Week Celebration here: https://youtu.be/zCgoaGBAPps

PHILIPPINES - The House of Hope looked back on its journey of giving hope to the hopeless.

Last June 28, the Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center (BPYC) celebrated its 20th Anniversary with joy and gratefulness. They were joined by people who share the same heart of helping young men rejoin society with confidence.

It was a day of thanksgiving for the donors' and benefactors' support and God's blessing to the BPYC and its residents. As a sign of gratitude, the BPYC displayed donor walls to remind them of the help received, which sparked hope in the residents. Also, mosaic artworks created by the residents in a workshop of Ms. Ihvonie Sevilleno, USLS-IS Batch '96, on June 26 at BPYC were displayed and given as tokens to the donors and benefactors. With the assistance of the College of Education, the residents showcased their talent for singing and dancing as they rendered a special presentation to show that they were ever grateful for the support they had received.

A Mass presided by Fr. Chris Gonzales officially started the foundation day celebration. Some BPYC residents, along with the help of the USLS Center for Lasallian Ministries Team, sang praises to the Lord through a choir presentation.

Afterwards, the main program opened with an invocation led by a BPYC resident, followed by welcome remarks of Br. Joaquin Severino Martinez, FSC, USLS President and Chancellor. Furthermore, Br. Dan Fenton, FSC, BPYC Animator, told the story of BPYC--its beginnings and how it became as is it today. Moreover, the Founding Brother of BPYC, Br. Gus Boquer FSC, spoke of how the BPYC ignited the dimmed hope of the young men and opened a brighter future for them. A former resident had proven the goodness of BPYC as he shared how he was once a boy with no hope and future into a man of a promising future. He expressed his gratitude and will give back and share the hope he once received with the BPYC and its residents

A group of artists had also become part of sharing hope with the BPYC. During the foundation day, artworks from different artists across Bacolod were displayed and marketed. A portion of the proceeds from selling their artworks will be given to the BPYC.

It was the people behind it who made the celebration successful. The BPYC residents and staff worked hard to make the event memorable to the donors, benefactors, and friends. They were assisted by the College of Education faculty and volunteers, who gave their time and effort to teach the presentation's choreography to the residents, help with the decoration and exhibit, and usher in the event.

The celebration ended with smiles on the residents' faces and hopefulness in their eyes. It will be kept close in their hearts as it was a day of expressing thanks, giving back, reliving hope, and sharing hope. (Text: Jerah Elijan (USLS student) & Jaycee Seran (USLS teacher); Photos: The Spectrum - USLS & University of St. La Salle Official Facebook Pages)

PHILIPPINES - De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) received the internationally-renowned STARS Silver Rating for its continuous efforts in practicing sustainability on many fronts, the first academic institution in the Philippines to earn this accolade.

STARS means Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. It is a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), which measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

Read more: https://bit.ly/DLSLSilverSTARS (De La Salle Lipa Facebook Page)

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PHILIPPINES - Br. Armin Luistro FSC, the Brother Visitor of the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD), graced the La Salle Bacolod Brothers Community (LSBBC) with his online presence during his virtual canonical visit held last March 1 - March 5, 2021.

Aside from his interviews with each Brother of the LSBBC, the Brother Visitor also facilitated a community dialogue where he focused mainly on the innovative and creative responses made by the Brothers and Lasallian Partners during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The live stream of the community prayers and masses, the launch of Sentrál (LSBBC’s digital newsletter), and the creation of different prayer groups led by Brothers, among others, were highlighted.

Further, recommendations were made on the varying aspects of the Brother’s vocation - from the spiritual and community life of the Brothers, ministry, and vocation promotion down to the practical concerns of the Brothers related to utilities (the necessity of high-speed internet connection), health and wellness, and further studies.

At the end of his virtual canonical visit, Br. Armin challenged the Brothers to continue reimagining the Lasallian mission and discerning new forms of its expression today.

May the Lord, especially during this Lenten season, give us the grace “to open our minds and our hearts to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, [the] One who leads us always to fuller life and deeper love.” (Text & Photo: Br. Mico de Leon FSC)

MANILA, Philippines — Rights watchdog Amnesty International Philippines has recognized the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Br. Armin Luistro for exposing inequalities and standing up for the vulnerable sectors of the society.

PCIJ—an independent, non-profit media agency—was named as the Ignite Awards’ most distinguished human rights defender for group category. It produced investigative reports on President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, election spending of senatorial candidates, the government’s brutal drug war, the country’s congested jails, among others.

Luistro, a former Department of Education, was conferred the most distinguished human rights defender for individual category.

Aside from PCIJ and Luistro, Lorenzo Miguel Relente and Michael David Tan were the recipients of Young Outstanding Human Rights Defender and Art that Matters for Literature, respectively.

“This season’s recipients come from varying rights backgrounds, from press freedom and right to education to gender equality and SOGIESC rights but they share one dedication, that is to the fight for basic rights of Filipinos,” Butch Olano, Amnesty International Philippines section director, said.

“They truly ignite the human rights cause, speaking up against injustices and exposing inequalities on behalf of those who, otherwise, will not be heard,” he added.

The rights watchdog stressed that taking action to safeguard human rights has become more important now more than ever as the country battles a coronavirus pandemic.

“When people lead in taking a stand for human rights especially in difficult situations, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice… Throughout and certainly beyond the immediate crisis, these human rights defenders will continue to stand up on behalf of the move vulnerable in our society,” Olano said.

Launched in 2018, Ignite Awards for Human Rights recognizes the impact of rights defenders’ works  in changing peoples’ lives through mobilization, activism and rights-based policy advocacy.

Source: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/05/28/2017111/pcij-luistro-named-most-distinguished-filipino-human-rights-defenders

Br. Armin Luistro FSC had his canonical visit at St. Jaime Hilario Brothers’ Community in Bagac, Bataan, Philippines on January 31-February 2, 2020. Aside from redditions and community dialogue on the second day of the visit, he also accompanied the Bagac Brothers during welcome Mass in honor of St. La Salle’s relic at Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Morong, Bataan. (Text & Photos: Br. Iñigo Riola FSC)

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The LEAD PDT met for the second time on 17th January 2020 at the Hotel Benilde, in Manila. Br. Sockie de la Rosa, Director of Professional Development, presided and in attendance were Mr Jay Gervasio (Chair of the Mission Council), Br Gus Boquer (LEAD Bursar ) , Br Mikey Cua (LEAD Chief Information Officer), Mr Jyron Raz (LEAD Youth Coordinator). Br. Francisco Chadang (District Secretary) gave advanced input because he could not make it to the meeting.

Dr. Ramon Segismundo with many years of experience as President of Meralco Power Academy and currently working as President and COO, Hijo Group of Companies and CEO, 1-HR.X Pte. Ltd., gave input to the team.

The PDT looked at a long term goal which ensures there is proper leadership succession and a pool of leaders, both lay and Brothers to sustain the Lasallian Mission. The team also talked about their short term task of supporting Brothers who plan to go on postgraduate studies. The team’s ambition is for all Brothers to have a Master’s degree before the end of Brother Visitor’s term.

The task of leadership succession may seem challenging but by careful planning, collection and analysis of data, financial support, and finding a good balance between the short term needs of ministry vis-a-vis the need for a Brother to have time and space for studies, it can be done.

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The team would like to thank Ms. Alou Anteneo and Mr. Jyron Raz for making arrangements at Hotel Benilde. (Text & Photos: Br. Sockie de la Rosa FSC)

06-20 July 2019 @ Krisalis-Benilde Retreat and Conference Complex

Excerpts from the Article:

Coming together and by association on a common threshold It was July 7, Sunday when the program officially welcomed the coming together of Brothers and an affiliate member who are participating in the two-week program entitled, “Life Transitions”. The participants numbered 28 coming from the different countries belonging to the Pacific Asia Regional Conference namely, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

View from the common threshold The first week’s theme was “Human Development and Consecrated Life” with guest lecturers coming from Southdown Institute in the persons of Sr. Dorothy Heidershceit and Dr. Michael Sy. The sessions during the week were on Aging Gracefully, Fostering Resiliency and Creativity, Dealing/Struggling with Midlife and Facing Retirement Issues, Cultivating Curiosity and Paying Attention to the Gifts of Mid-life and Aging, Journey of Integration in the 2nd Half of Life and Healthy Sexuality and Well-being.

The second week’s theme was “Lasallian Spirituality and Integration” with Brothers Felix and Chuy as the main facilitators. The sessions include Transitions in the life of St. John Baptist de La Salle, The Fragile Hope of a Witness – The evolution of the Institute and its impact on the holistic development of the Brother, Community Living and Consecration and Creativity to the Mission. The last two days of the second week was a Retreat facilitated still by Brothers Felix and Chuy reflecting on the journey of transitions as a Pilgrimage where all of us are Pilgrims. (Text: Br. Vince Fernandez FSC; Photos: Mr. Andrew Pamorada)

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The PARC Educational Mission Assembly was held on 5th and 6th August 2019 at Hotel Benilde, Manila, Philippines. This was attended by the Superior General, Br. Bob Schieler FSC, the Preparatory Committee for the 3rd International Assembly of the Lasallian Educational Mission (AIMEL 2020), the PARC Delegation for AIMEL 2020, and other Brothers and Partners. The delegates were happy to share their views on the theme “IDENTITY-VITALITY-TRANSFORMATION” in the context of PARC’s realities. Evaluation of AIMEL 2013 and the review of PARC proposals for AIMEL 2020 were also discussed. The delegates, which is composed of 12 members from 10 countries, will work on the finalization of PARC proposals. (Text: Mr. Paul Tam; Photo: Mr. Andrew Pamorada)

The De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines had its Annual Corporation Meeting at Horacio Cebrero Hall, Central House, La Salle Green Hills last 17 August 2019.

The meeting started with the presentation of the amended articles of incorporation and by-laws, which were approved and seconded by the Brothers. It was then followed by the reports on the Philippine sector presented by Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Visitor of East Asia. He presented the Filipino Brothers’ Statistics (i.e. number of Brothers in the Philippines, status of FSC in studies, health of Brothers, vocations, and age group statistics). The new Age Group Moderators were also announced; Br. Mark Salvan FSC, Br. Kenneth Martinez FSC and Br. Vic Franco FSC for the Young Brothers, Middle Age Brothers, and Senior Brothers respectively.

Furthermore, included on the report were the affiliation of Dr. Romeo Ariniego FSC, the Legacy building of Sr. Corazon Manalo DC, AFSC and Br. Benildo Feliciano FSC, the Tercentenary Celebration updates, the reconstruction of St. La Salle Kalinga Chapel, the ZEP Program, Paghilom, and the Lasallian Mission Services (LMS) Programs (i.e. Youth, Lasallian Education Commission, Indigenous Peoples Education Initiatives, Lasallian Animation and Formation, Lasallian Justice and Peace Commission, Education in Emergencies, Lasallian Volunteer Program, and La Salle Botanical Garden).

Br. Alex Diaz FSC, DLSP Chief Operating Officer and DLSBI Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer, presented the Balance Sheet of DLSBI Finances and updates on the different funds that are lodged with DLSBI (i.e. Patrimony, Mission Capital Development, and DLSBI Employee Retirement). The current status of the Pooling Fund was also shown. (Text: Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC; Photo: Mr. Marc Gepaya)

The Philippine Lasallian family again is on a new road as it enters the year 2023 with the need to respond significantly to the new normal opportunities and the new government leadership. After more than 100 years, the Philippine Lasallian family is undaunted in charting new directions to ensure the vitality of educational ministries in the sector. In the document, Lasallian Mission Moving Forward Plan, the Superior General, together with his Council, states:

"As the Institute navigates its way through this difficult crisis in the hope of building a better future, we invite each one to be part of the solution since every Lasallian has a vital role to play in the vitality of the mission. We encourage all to work, together and by association, to bring this hope to fruition.”

After the Philippine Lasallian Family Convocation in 2015, the Lasallian community is now setting new paths for new directions and vision for the next seven years in May 2023. The Philippine Lasallian Family Convocation 2023 (PLFC23) will serve as a lamp post. It brings new light and direction to new goals and vision for the Lasallian family, focusing on the Lasallian mission’s identity, vitality, and transformation.

Find out more: https://lasallianpartnerscouncil.org/plfc2023

PHILIPPINES - The De La Salle University Dasmarinas (DLSU-D) Community celebrated Lasallian Mission Festival and Students’ Week last April 1 8 - 2 3 , 2022 , with the theme : “Lasalyano: T.A.Y.O. NA! - Transforming Lives in Celebrating Achievements and Yielding Opportunities for the Mission”. It was meant to celebrate God’s gifts, blessings and opportunities that allowed us to survive, thrive and rise above the challenges that the global health pandemic has brought forth for the past two years. We continue to “dream our way froward” by using our gifts and abilities in becoming visible witnesses of God’s mercy, healing and compassion.

The highlight of the week-long festivities was the Visit of the Relic of St. John Baptist de La Salle. In the morning of April 18th, the Relic of the Founder was welcomed at the Senior High School Chapel, followed by the praying of the Lasallian Rosary. A solemn procession followed, leading to the Chapel of the Lady of the Most Holy Rosary where his relic was solemnly enthroned. The Eucharistic Celebration was then presided over by the Bishop of Imus, His Excellency Reynaldo Evangelista, DD. The University President, Br. Augustine Boquer FSC, delivered his message. The Holy Mass and opening celebration was participated in by the Brother Chancellor, Br. Francisco Dela Rosa FSC, De La Salle Brothers from the Residencia Community, Administrators, Faculty, Staff, representatives from the parents and alumni, and selected student leaders and senior high school students.

“This year's celebration of the Lasallian Festival is truly special and symbolic. Two years ago, we were in the midst of St. John Baptist de La Salle's Relic (bone) Tour in the different Parishes of the Diocese of Imus, as part of the commemoration of the death tercentenary of our Founder. However, this was disrupted due to the global health pandemic. But by the grace of God, we are given the chance to be visited once again by the Holy Relic, which is at the heart of this year's celebration of the Lasallian Festival and Student's Week. This is symbolic of the Founder “welcoming back the members of the community onsite, especially our Young Lasallians, as we intend to have the Veneration and other activities done onsite (with all safety protocols in place)” (DLSU-D Campus Ministry FB Page).

It was truly a great blessing that we have had in our midst a visible and powerful reminder of the life of our St. John Baptist de La Salle. With the visit of the relic of our holy founder, we celebrate the gift of our Lasallian identity and mission as we are challenged to be “Lasallian” in the truest sense of the word. May our personal encounter with De La Salle impel us to be living images of his love and compassion, especially to the youth that has been entrusted to our care. May each one of us become builders of a community of faith and zeal, united in the mission of teaching minds, touching hearts and transforming lives, after the life and example of our Father Founder. (Text: Dr. Maria Gracia “Ate Grace” Olorga; Photos: Mr. Jose Ritche Bongcaron)

PHILIPPINES - We are now AUN-QA certified

We are proud to announce that three of our programs, BS Nursing, BS Pharmacy and BS Radiologic Technology programs of the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute have satisfactorily fulfilled the requirements and successfully passed the assessment conducted by the ASEAN University Network- Quality Assurance.

Animo La Salle (De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - Who are the prime movers of our Lasallian educational mission today? How do we ensure its continuity and sustainability? How do we make sure that it is alive and dynamic? Where does it get its vitality? Will the educational mission be relevant to the world today? What makes schools Lasallian? What are the key components that make up the Lasallian educational mission? These were the essential questions raised for the Lasallian Visions 2021 – Part 2.

Toast for Mission Partners: A Talk Show was held on February 26 to celebrate the Lasallians’ Communion in Mission. Three ( 3 ) distinguished guests representing the people involved in the Lasallian educational mission – the Brothers, the lay partners, and the students – namely: Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC, Mrs. Dfezie Tipan and Nimrod Diaz graced the online gathering.

Dr. Nelda Mina, a parent of two De La Salle – Zobel and D e L a S a l l e U n i v e r s i t y alumni, officially kicked off the program with an opening prayer. Ms. Cheri Miranda, St. Joseph School – La Salle Director of Coordinating Council of Student Activities, shared with the participants her takeaways from the LS Visions 2021 – Part 1 when Our Living Lasallian Heritage was unveiled.

ISSUE No. 356 • of 511“Community: The Core of the Lasallian Educational Mission” served as the point of discussion of the talk show. A video - We Are La Salle Today, prepared by the Young Brothers Creative Team of the Lasallian Visions 2021 featured the participants who are playing different roles in the Lasallian educational mission.

How can Lasallians today live-out the invitation of the Declaration? – was the point of sharing during the breakout. To lighten up the mood and to energize the participants, ice breakers, games and fast talk were also facilitated.

Mr. Larry Estalane, La Salle Academy – Principal, led the Closing Prayer. The Lasallian Visions 2021 – Part 2 was hosted by Br. Abet Pia FSC, Ms. Mariz del Rio and JC Chris Niño G. Sabellano.

The Lasallian Visions 2021 Facebook Group is now composed of 1,500+ members coming from across the country. The LS Visions 2021 Online Gathering is held every last Friday of the month until April where the two institute documents – Declaration on the Lasallian Educational Mission and Identity Criteria for the Vitality of the Lasallian Educational Ministries – are being popularized to ignite and enrich discussion on how and why we are doing the Lasallian educational Mission today. (Text & Photos: Br. John David Ong FSC)

OZAMIZ CITY, PHILIPPINES – LEAD Visitor Brother Armin Luistro FSC affirmed the chemistry of the Brothers of Ozamiz Community after he asked them to rate their community life during his virtual canonical visit on October 9.

During the community dialogue after all the scheduled individual interviews, the Brothers of Ozamiz Community gave an average rating of 8.8 in their community life and shared events, which they considered blessings. The quality conversation during meals and the musical jamming during socials were identified by the Brothers as their blessings where they could just be comfortable, at ease and be themselves after a busy day’s work.

The Brother Visitor invited the Brothers to bring this gift of community life to a prayer of gratitude and encouraged them to share this gift of fraternal community to the bigger school community and to inspire young men to consider the Brothers’ life.

Br. Armin further invited the community to reflect on the latest Institute document - Reimagining Our Life as Brothers. He encouraged the community to look at the innovations done during this pandemic, to think of new ways of doing things, and to experiment with new ideas of being borderless.

In response to this invitation, the Brothers of Ozamiz Community and the Holy Infancy Brothers Community gathered virtually for socials and watch party on October 17. After some exchanges of “kumustahan”, the two communities, “together and by association”, watched a movie.

The Brothers Community of Ozamiz is committed to share the gift of fraternal community and to continuously reimagine on being a Brother today.” (Text: Br. John David Ong FSC; Photos: Br. Jeano Endaya FSC)

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PHILIPPINES, July 15 - the De La Salle Brothers of Ozamiz, together with the members of the La Salle University community witnessed the blessing of the newly renovated Our Lady of the Star Chapel. After the blessing of the chapel, Fr. Ed Tabada, the University Chaplain, led the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Br. Butch Alcudia FSC, in his thanksgiving message, wished that the chapel be the guiding star for the members of the school community as they strive to respond to the Lasallian mission especially in this trying time. He took the opportunity as well to acknowledge the generosity of the family of the late +Dr. Anita Lim represented by her son Mr. Alexander Lim that made the renovation possible.” (Text & Photos: Br. Jeano Endaya FSC)

Last February 19, the members of our English Debate Club in La Salle Gakuen had an online interaction with the members of the Zobel Parliament Debate Society. They were able to exchange stories related to the practice of English debate and ask questions about each other’s culture. Special thanks to Ms. Addie Zaballero and Mrs. Nette Torrato of De La Salle Santiago Zobel School!

Here are some of the comments of the students from Kagoshima:

“It was fun but I was very nervous.” “They were friendly and kind so I hope that the interaction will continue. We hope to visit the Philippines or that they visit Kagoshima whenever possible.”

“I felt the Lasallian family spirit. There are many schools in La Salle worldwide and we hope we could have more opportunities to interact with students from different countries.”

(Text & Photos: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

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I spent the last few days of January 2020 visiting the Community of Brothers at Lipa. First, I was fortunate to be able to go together with the Community to DLSU for DLS Philippines Management Board annual meeting where they welcomed new Board members, reported on the year’s work and interacted with a keynote speaker.

I appreciated a tour of the integrated schools and university which are all geared towards sustainable development and all parts WiFi-ed.

Celine was the tour guide, Dfezie was the overview presenter, and Haidee, principal of the integrated school, presented the school highlights. Haidee also called parent representatives for sharing. Their online interaction with the school is impressive.

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A major highlight was a visit to the ‘Welcome Shelters’ on the campus for those families who had been evacuated after the Taal volcano eruption. This decision by the school authorities was a leap of faith and love, for they could not foresee all the implications and could not be sure of raising enough funds. Their faith was rewarded and donations in cash and kind and service poured in. It was also a marvelous opportunity for the stakeholders, including students, to serve on their doorstep.

The day I visited was departure day for most of the families, a day of happiness tinged with sadness at leaving a place that had welcomed them so generously.

Well done, the Brothers of Lipa. (Text: Br. Pat Tierney FSC; Photos: Ms. Celine Francisco)

Mandaluyong City, Philippines – the Lasallian Formation Center* welcomed 16 postulants for this formation year that began 17 July 2019.

The community is quite diverse as it weaves together various experiences, age groups and backgrounds. The formands are united in their aspiration to live and be exposed to the life of the Brothers as they journey through personal and communal discernment. LFC brings together the following Brothers and postulants:

Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC
Br. Rafael Reyes FSC
Br. Kelvin Tan FSC
Nabeel Pius, PK
Claysius Kongoi, MY
Joshua Aaron Miranda, MY
Benjamin Naw Ring, MM
Martin La San Aung, MM
Anthony Nguyen Ngoc Thuyen, VN
J.B Bui Van Duc, VN
Joseph Pham Van Anh, VN
Mark Francis S. Basan II, PH
Julius Christian B. Calingasan, PH
King Jarod I. Cruz, PH
John Myron A. Duque, PH
John Paulo Ferrer, PH
Milton Christopher B. Merto, PH
Lester John Nombrefia, PH
Reigner Dawn M. Sanchez, PH

Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC, their formator, led the community in prayer inspired by the encounter of Moses with God in the burning bush. As part of the prayer service, a ritual took place. The postulants were given a holding cross which they placed inside their rooms after the blessings were given by other community members. They were also asked to reflect on their personal sacred grounds and the things they need to “take off” as they start their postulancy program.

After dinner, the postulants gathered for a short getting-to-know activity where they enjoyed singing karaoke songs over chips and drinks.

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." Corinthians 1:26-27 (Text: Mr. Paulo Ferrer; Photo: Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Anchored on the Maori concept of “Turangawaewae” or “My Standing Place”, this year’s Young Brothers Gathering began with a Recollection facilitated by Sr. Cecille Tuble RC at De La Salle University - Dasmariñas Retreat and Conference Center on June 28, 2022. (Text & Photos: Br. Irwin Climaco FSC)

PHILIPPINES - DLSU-D’s third-year Broadcast Journalism students met with officials from Gravissimum Educationis Foundation to discuss a two-year project entitled "Good Makes Headlines.”

The educational project, spearheaded by the foundation and the Dicastery for Communication in Vatican City, aims to upgrade a network of Catholic universities that "understands, explores, and promotes the universality of the church" through the integration of young students' voices that direct toward the common good.

“In a nutshell, we want to bring the Filipino Christian culture in Rome and through the Vatican Communication Media System to the rest of the world,” Thivierge said

Full Article: https://tinyurl.com/DLSUDGoodMakes.

PHILIPPINES - Eleven members from the Philippine Sector of the Midlife Brothers Conference (MBC) gathered in Dauin, Dumaguete last April 6-10. The event was organized by Br. Kenneth Martinez who was the moderator for many years. Attendees were Brothers Felipe, Bong, Ruben, Vince, Manny, Mandy, Richie, Arian, Sockie and Aikee. The gathering was a mix of spiritual and recreation activities. Aside from attending evening masses, the Brothers enjoyed playing mahjong, singing karaoke and sightseeing. Special thanks goes to the Yanson Family of Bacolod City for their generosity. (Text & Photos: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Holy Week Retreat is one of the most important events of the Brothers in the Philippines. Normally, the Brothers in the sector or district would gather together at a specified location for days of sessions, reflections, prayers, and liturgical celebrations. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Holy Week Retreat in the Lasallian East Asia District was held by clusters this year with a common theme of “Building New Paths to Transform Lives.” In the Philippines, the Holy Week Retreat was divided into three clusters, based on geographical respective locations.

The Visayas and Mindanao cluster comprised of the Bacolod Brothers’ Community, the Ozamiz Brothers’ Community, and the Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community (Iligan), together with Br. Mikey Cua FSC, held its Holy Week Retreat at Chali Beach Resort and Conference Center in Cugman, Cagayan De Oro City, Misamis Oriental, from April 10 to April 17, 2022. The majority of the Brothers arrived on Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022, at the venue, but the entire group was completed on Holy Tuesday, a day before the official commencement of the retreat sessions.

Each day from Holy Wednesday until Black Saturday, a prayer service prepared by the Lasallian Formation Center began the session. On Holy Wednesday, a short sharing of experiences and reflections based on the Gospel was followed by the Brothers, while for Maundy Thursday until Black Saturday, the Brothers were divided into three groups based on the age group for the sessions. Each group was given a modular style of video-recorded sessions and reflective activities facilitated by a speaker. The Senior Brothers listened to the session of Br. Bernard LoCoco FSC of SFNO. The Middle-Aged Brothers’ session was facilitated by Br. Ernest Miller FSC of DENA. The Young Brothers had Br. Peter Ryan FSC of ANZPPNG as their speaker.

As members of the Catholic Church commemorating the Paschal Mysteries, the Brothers participated in the usual liturgical services. On Holy Wednesday, a simple Mass was celebrated in the chapel of the resort, with an invited local priest as the presider. On Maundy Thursday, the Brothers attended the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the San Vicente Ferrer Parish near the venue. On Good Friday, while some Brothers visited the Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy at El Salvador, Misamis Oriental for the Veneration of the Cross and Communion, other Brothers stayed and celebrated the same liturgies at the San Vicente Ferrer Parish. Finally, the Brothers welcomed the Risen Christ during the Easter Vigil, still at the San Vicente Ferrer Parish together with the rest of the parishioners. Brothers Irwin Anthony Climaco FSC, Michael Vincent Roli Paildan FSC, Henry Gyi FSC, Ivan Karlo Umali FSC, Jeanoel Endaya FSC, and Abram Michael De Leon FSC renewed their vows thereafter in the chapel of the Chali Beach Resort and Conference Center in the presence of the rest of the Brothers. The Young Brothers’ renewal of vows was accepted by Br. Mandy Dujunco FSC on behalf of the community directors.

While the Holy Week Retreat of the Brothers ended on Easter Sunday, the Good News of the Risen Lord remains in each Brother’s spirit as the Brothers continue to be renewed in building paths of transformation for the sake of the mission. (Text: Br. Ivan Umali FSC; Photos: De La Salle Brothers - Bacolod Official Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - Our Brothers in the Philippines, through the Vocations Ministry Office of the Philippine Sector, organized the 2nd Brother-Mentor’s Gathering focused on learning more about the basics of Spiritual Direction. Br. Mike Valenzuela facilitated the session which featured a concise input on the essential definitions, skills, and tools needed in spiritual accompaniment.

Nineteen (19) Brothers from LEAD joined the session which aims to create a space for Brothers to learn more about accompanying the youth today, specifically those who are interested in the life of the Brothers. We continue to hope that our efforts in the ministry of vocations will bear fruit in God’s time. (Text & Photo: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)

PHILIPPINES - The Brothers in the Philippines organized a vocation gathering entitled “Becoming Brothers”, which is a vocation promotion campaign which directly promotes the vocation of the De La Salle Brothers. The event is the culmination of an attempt to promote the Brothers’ vocation through online advertisement. The goal was to gather men who are already curious about the life, and who are already discerning their call in life. Twenty-three (23) young men, mostly young professionals unaffiliated with the La Salle network, joined the event. The first session, facilitated by Br. Mark Basan FSC, was a detailed presentation of the life of the Founder and how he also said “YES” in his life. The second session had a breakout format where the participants joined the Brothers in sharing their own story of saying “Yes, Bro!” too. The second Becoming Brothers vocation gathering is in March 2022. (Text: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC; Photo: Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC)

PHILIPPINES - The Vocations Ministry Office of the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines organized the first Brother Mentors’ Gathering for vocations year 2021-2022. The session focused on the essential skills in accompanying Aspirants as they discern their vocation in life. It was facilitated by Br. Rey Mejias FSC, the Institute’s current Secretary for Formation. In attendance were Brothers from the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan. The session is the first of a three-part series, with the second session scheduled in January 2022, open to all Brothers in LEAD. (Text & Photo: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC; Design & Layout: Ms. Thea Santiago)

PHILIPPINES - We had a cordial meeting with his excellency, Archbishop Charles J. Brown, who recently arrived in the Philippines in November 2020. He is the new Papal Nuncio to the Philippines appointed by Pope Francis.

He joyfully shared with us his first volunteer year with the De La Salle Brothers in New York. He was very generous in offering his help and services in the Lasallian Mission including being invited to events hosted by De La Salle Philippines.

Interestingly though, the good Archbishop noted that he is looking forward to running and there was an instant connection with Br. Dodo Fernandez who is fond of running as well. We were also surprised that he is excited to learn Filipino so he can celebrate the Holy Eucharist using the local language. (Text & Photo: Br. Armin Luistro FSC)

The De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) College of Medicine (CM) celebrated its 40th Founding Anniversary with the theme “RUBY: Revisiting the Past, Understanding the Present, and Building More Years of Excellence” at Okada Grand Ballroom Pasay City, Philippines last February 23, 2020.

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After forty years of excellence in service and in the academe, molding individuals to become highly respected medical pract i t ioners, researchers, innovators, policy makers and educators, it was a night of renewing friendship, rekindling memories, and celebrating the success and commitment to service. The event was attended by 900 alumni, from its pioneering Batch 1983 up to the most recent batch of 2019. Moreover, The DLSMHSI-CM and DLSHSI Alumni Association - CM Chapter conferred awards to the outstanding alumni in their respective fields.

  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Community Service (Batch 1983) - Dr. Jasmine Mercene Eugenio, MD
  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Health Professions Education (Batch 1984) - Dr. Hilda Dina Gonzales, MD
  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Health Care Management (Batch 1983) - Dr. Madeleine De Rosas-Valera, MD
  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Clinical Health Professions (Batch 1992) - Dr. Nannette Ramos Rey, MD
  • Most Outstanding Alumni-Research (Batch 1996) - Dr. Raul V. Destura, MD

The dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Madeleine Grace M. Sosa, MD, led the anniversary celebration program with sumptuous food, a dance number from the students and special guest performers Mr. Dindong Avanzado and Ms. Jessa Zaragoza.

We are all looking forward to forty years and beyond of excellent Lasallian healthcare service.

Animo La Salle! (Text & Photos: Br. Dan Sanding FSC)

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St. Jaime Hilario School - De La Salle Bataan inaugurated the Security Bank Hall, a 6-classroom building donated by Security Bank Foundation, on November 20, 2019. Brothers, guests from Security Bank and the local government of Bataan, and members of De La Salle College (DLSC-Taft) high school batch 1961 came to witness the blessing and inauguration of the new building, which will be used by the senior high school department. Members of DLSC-Taft batch '61 also donated 27 brand new laptops during the said event. Mr. Rafael Simpao, Jr., Security Bank Foundation president, and Br. Victor Franco FSC are members of batch ’61. (Text & Photos: Br. Iñigo Riola FSC)

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The Young Brothers of the Philippine Sector gathered together on 2019 October 27-30 for the Young Brothers Conference 2019.

Read more about the Young Brothers Conference 2019 with Br. Kino Escolano’s Reflection:

New Calls and New Responses

Young Brothers Conference 2019

Written by: Br. Kino Escolano FSC
Photos taken by: Br. Alex Diaz FSC, Br. Mark Salvan FSC

As a response “to throw ourselves into the void of uncertainty and to open our ideas to new borders, new challenges, new calls ,” the young brothers of the Philippine sector gathered together in the recently concluded Young Brothers Conference 2019. Held from October 27 to 30, 2019 and spearheaded by Br. Mark Salvan, the YBC2019 was divided into two parts.

“I promise and vow… to go wherever I may be sent and to do whatever I shall be assigned, either by the Body of the Society, or by its Superiors. ” Guided by this line for the formula of vows, it is our responsibility to keep ourselves ready for any assignment that the Institute will ask us to do. In line with this, the first part of YBC2019 was dedicated to learning. Hence, the October 27 was called Education Day. On this day, the young Brothers gathered together in Horacio Cebrero Hall in the Central House of De La Salle Philippines. The sessions prepared on this day were responses to the call for the young Brothers to step up and take on the responsibility of setting directions for our school through membership in the Board of Trustees. While others are still looking ahead into this responsibility, being part of the BOT has already been a reality for some young Brothers.

How is one expected to conduct one’s self in a board meeting? This is the first question that this day sought to answer. With the help of Atty. Cirilo Tolosa and Atty. Isabel Tolosa-Datu, the young Brothers were oriented with the what’s and how’s of a board meeting. Parliamentary procedure was very interesting. At least by theory, we were able to understand the basic things that we ought to know. The BOT is the governing body that guides the schools towards the realizations of their mission and vision. The Tolosa lawyers explained the procedure as well as the roles of the members of the board during the meeting. Specifically, they highlighted the responsibility of the chairman, school president and corporate secretary. At the end of their session, they demonstrated to the young Brothers a role-play of a board meeting. The simulation was participated by Br. Alex Diaz, one of the young Brothers who are on the board of some of the schools. The young Brothers were fascinated by this session. They asked some questions relevant to the topic.

Mr. Ed Chua, DLSP Chief Executive Officer, also gave a session on the difference between Board of Directors and Board of Trustees. He made his session very interesting by giving some anecdotes from his rich experience as a member of several corporate organization. He challenged the young Brothers to speak up their minds most especially during a meeting. On hindsight, it was him encouraging the Brothers to be critical thinkers. The advisory and oversight roles of the board were given careful attention. Immediately after lunch, Mr. Mon Tolosa, Chief Finance Officer of DLSP gave a session on some accounting jargons used in financial reports. His session served as a review for Brothers with a background in finance and accounting. While for those who came from different academic background, the session became a crash course on the finance side of the school.

The insightful education day opened the YBC2019 strong. After which, the young Brothers travelled to Bohol to strengthen fraternal bonds through recreation. The days from October 27 to 30 were spent in blissful experience of the natural beauty of the island. The chocolate hills, Loboc river cruise, colonial churches, tarsier sanctuary and the crystal water of Bohol have been witnesses to the youthful vigor of our brotherhood. Our meals have been made more special by our lively conversations. In the second part of the gathering, the young Brothers gained energy from being together in rest and recreation. The 4-day stay on the island of Bohol, Philippines helped us create our shared memory.

New challenges call for informed and energized responses. YBC2019 provided us with new knowledge for which we are called to use and enrich for the advancement of our mission. Also, it gave us the canvas where we have rewritten our stories of fraternity anew. These stories energize us to make bolder responses to new calls that the signs of the time bring about.

 

The Lasallian Justice and Peace Commission (LJPC) of the Philippine Sector held its 2019 Annual Assembly last 2-6 June 2019 at De La Salle – John Bosco College in Bislig City. Attended by the heads of the Social Action Offices of La Salle Schools, the Annual Assembly set the issue advocacies for the next school year. The LJPC identified advocacy issues on four themes which include Good Governance, Poverty Alleviation, Youth at Risk and Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM).

Through different activities organized by the Social Action Offices students from La Salle schools are made aware of important governance and development issues. (Text & Photos: Mr. Gladstone Cuarteros)

 

The House of Studies (HOST) Community in the Philippines had its soft opening on 27 May 2019, when the second-year scholastic Brothers – Br. Mico de Leon FSC, Br. Kino Escolano FSC, Br. Jeano Endaya FSC, and Br. Ivan Umali FSC – arrived in the house located in the Brothers’ residence in De La Salle University. The formation staff, headed by Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC, the formator, with the staff members, Br. Moris Tang FSC and Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC, welcomed the second-year scholastics with a feast to celebrate their coming. The succeeding months became an orientation and onboarding for the second-year scholastics of the new community environment and their school exposure, which began in June, in De La Salle Santiago Zobel School.

After more than two months, HOST Community finally was completed and had its full opening on 17 August 2019, when the first-year scholastic Brothers – Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC, Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC, and Br. Zafar Dogra FSC – arrived after their Novitiate program. On this day, Br. Miggy and Br. Carlo also had their first profession of vows. These events together truly made the day extra special and worthy of celebration for a wonderful year ahead of the community. Changes also continue to happen in its structure as Br. Aikee left the HOST for his new assignment in Kagoshima, Japan towards the end of August. With his departure comes the arrival of Br. Dan Sanding FSC to the community for his Parmenie program in preparation for his profession of perpetual vows. Despite the changes in the structure of the community, and in the spirit of openness to the graces of the God of surprises, HOST community remained hopeful and committed to achieve its goal of nurturing the young Brothers with temporary vows who just got out of the Novitiate of their apostolic identity by preparing them for the exercise of their ministry. (Text: Br. Ivan Umali FSC; Photos: Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC)

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PHILIPPINES - It has been an extraordinary vibrant week with our live inners. We thank Diego, Enzo, and Louis for spending the past 5 days with us in the community

Check out some of the snaps taken during Brothers Live In Program (BLIP). (De La Salle Brothers - Manila Official Facebook Page)

The Brothers Live-In Program (BLIP) is the flagship vocations ministry initiative of the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines. It has been present for many decades and has been a crucial program in the lives of many Brothers. Today, young people are invited to spend several days in the Brothers’ Community to experience the day-to-day life of the Brothers. During their stay, learning sessions are conducted, which cover the life of the Founder, Lasallian values, vocation stories and the like. The Brothers hope that their openness to welcome young people in the house will continue to inspire them to discover how they can contribute to God’s dream of attaining fullness of life for all. (Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Eleven senior Brothers from Luzon gathered for lunch last April 23, 2022. Br. Victor Franco planned the activity at Da Gianni Cucina Italiana in West Grove, Alabang.

Brs. Andre LaBelle, Ray Suplido, Victor Franco, Gus Boquer, Bernie Oca, Armin Luistro, Jun Estrellas, Bong Servando, Mawel Pajarillo, Jimmy Dalumpines, Martin Sellner and Bobby Casingal enjoyed Italian food and sharing it for the food ordered were big portions for a senior Brother.

The gathering was filled with smiles, stories, laughter and just enjoying each others’ company. Most of us have not seen each other for quite some time due to the pandemic lockdown in the Philippines.

‘May the Lord bless the work we have begun, make good its defects and allow us to finish it in a way that would please Him’ (Liturgy of the Hours). (Text & Photos: Br. Bong Servando FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Finally after years of hiatus, the Brothers Live-In Program (BLIP) resumed at the Residencia De La Salle last March 20–26. The program had four participants, AJ Remorosa and Reine Cruz from De La Salle University – Dasmariñas and Karlo Dayawon and Lee Asuncion from De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute. Not only was it an activity to facilitate vocation discernment, it was also a project where the members of the community contributed and worked together.

After the participants cleared the safety thresholds, their sessions began right away. Their first session was with Br. Jun Estrellas on the basics of prayer. The next session was a walk with Br. Gus at the Annex Property of DLSMHSI where he shared his experiences and reflections on the Lasallian Mission. The dining area (lobby) was inspiringly noisy and the community chapel was full again.

During the day, the Brothers and the participants went on with their usual grind of work and studies but after dinner there were sessions as well. Br. Sockie facilitated a discussion on the basics of discernment. Br. André was also very present and engaged the participants during meal times. The BLIP staff – Br. Arian, Br. Marvin and Br. Aikee shared their personal stories. Br. Weegee from the De La Salle Lipa Brothers Community also joined and presented the formation journey of a Brother. There was a province- wide holiday within the BLIP week so we took the chance to have a peek into the Shrine of St. John Baptist de La Salle at the Laguna Campus of De La Salle University. (Text & Photos: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

Here are some of the messages of the participants to the Brothers community:

“I would like to thank you, the Brothers, for sharing your stories to me. Your stories were full of reflection, a lot of learnings and it touched my heart.”

“I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to remember God’s presence in my heart. This program opened my eyes once again that I am worthy to feel his love and compassion.”

PHILIPPINES – On 01 April 2022, St. Joseph School La Salle (SJS-LS) united itself with educational institutions, parishes, and ecclesial communities in the Diocese of Bacolod and around the world by participating in the synodal process called by Pope Francis. Guided by the Diocese of Bacolod, the school held its synodal consultation meeting among its administrators, faculty and staff. The seventy-six participants reflected on and shared about their respective journeys in and aspirations for the Church as well as on suggestions on how the Church can live communion, achieve participation, and open Herself to mission.

The consultation meeting opened with a prayer service to invoke the Holy Spirit's presence and guidance. After the opening remarks of Ms. Analie Lomocso, Director and Principal, small group sharing on the reflection questions provided by the Diocese of Bacolod followed while conscientiously observing health protocols. The participants then collaborated on a digital word cloud of their personal dreams and hopes for the Church and their assessment of the consultation meeting. It was quite the spectacle to see the word cloud form on the big screen and highlight commonalities and unique impressions. Select groups were then requested to present to the wider audience a summary of their aspirations for the Church. After which, Br. Mico De Leon FSC summarized the takeaways from the event and its implications for the participants and St. Joseph School La Salle. The consultation meeting concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in thanksgiving. Truly, the experience of synodality was very much alive and palpable as the participants prayed together, empathically listened to one another, actively shared with each other, and celebrated together. (Text: Mr. Zennel Sy - Synodal Process Lead; Photos: SJS- LS Official Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES – Brother André Labelle FSC celebrated his 92nd birthday at the Residencia De La Salle last March 19, making him the strongest Brother in the Lasallian East Asia District. Br. André enjoyed and shared his favorite baked salmon and fruit salad.

In his short message to the community he said, “I am very grateful to all of you for taking care of me. I am very happy to be here. Don’t be afraid to tell me what I can still do to be better.” Before retiring at Residencia De La Salle, Br. André served in Japan for 63 years. (Text & Photo: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

PHILIPPINES – The participants of the Brothers Live-In Program (BLIP) from La Salle Academy - Iligan visited their neighbor, La Salle University - Ozamiz, as part of their five- day program where they learned more about the De La Salle Brothers. The two Lasallian communities stopped by a few scenic spots near Ozamiz including a visit to LSU’s farm, La Ferme de La Salle. After hearty meals and scenic tours around the university and the city, the BLIPers, aspirants, and Brothers partook in several games of badminton. In one day, the Lasallians took part in companionship, immersion, and learning with their neighboring school. Also, the Brothers surely had a lot of fun as Brothers Ivan and Henry from Iligan reunited with Brothers Butch, Jeano, JJ, Mario, and Vince.

To get a deeper look at the experiences of the live-inners, let’s hear from each one of them:

Ethan, 19, said that his most memorable moment was beating Br. Jeano in badminton. This was for sure the most memorable to him because from the start of the BLIP, Ethan also promised that he would beat Br. Henry in soccer!

Al, 18, a photography and videography enthusiast, surely had a lot of fun capturing the scenic spots around the city. In his letter to the Brothers, he thanks the ‘charming gardeners who made my soul blossom.’

RL, a 19-year-old student athlete, also commented that he enjoyed the trip because he felt welcomed and “that was very fun and memorable for me.” He sums his experience up in this statement: “My experience in joining BLIP was very memorable and enjoyable because the Brothers are so very approachable and kind.”

Nate, 19, and the only college student from the four, found that being back in a Lasallian community was most memorable for him. He is now in university, so going back to his roots was special for him. Truly, there is nothing like the Lasallian culture and community.

One day wasn’t enough for these Lasallians to get to know each other. One day wasn’t enough for sports and memorable conversations. But one day– nay, one moment– was enough to sense that we all share one Lasallian spirit. (Text: Nathaniel Capistrano - Live-Inner; Photos: Br. Butch Alcudia FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Last Dec 4, 2021, our aspirants from Iligan and Lipa had their second online apostolic engagement with the residents of Kuya Center. The first picture shows the main theme of the engagement. A catechism class on Advent prepared by our aspirants with one invited contact as an observer. The second picture showcases the different drawing outputs of the residents to express how they can prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ.

"Maging mapagbigay at mapagmahal kasi tayo ang regalo." (To be generous and loving because we are the gift) - Reflection of one of the residents of Kuya Center- (Text & Photos: Br. Chuck Magno FSC)

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PHILIPPINES - The contacts and aspirants of Iligan had their gathering on August 21-22, 2021 at the Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community (HIBC) in La Salle Academy. The event was filled with activities, including the aspirants’ commitment to the Aspirancy Program and their Community Annual Planning

Day 1 On the 21st of August upon arrival, the contacts and aspirants were greeted by the heat during their head-on game of frisbee and football facilitated by Br. Henry. The first game of frisbee was already intense with a score of 4-3 in favor of team A (Franky Alejo, Geoffrey Baloloy, and Martin Padilla). In the second game of football, the team of Br. Henry along with Franky and Martin won with a score of 5-4. It was undoubtedly a tight game between both teams nevertheless, the spirit of kinship and camaraderie prevailed.

After the strenuous yet exciting games, the contacts and aspirants, together with the Brothers, gathered and joined in a solemn virtual mass, which was followed by the Renewal of Aspirancy. They had the time to contemplate on the gospel reading that was taken from the Gospel of John 6: 60-69 which says “… no one can come to me unless it is granted by the father… many of his disciples turned back and no longer went with him. Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God”.

The Gospel was indeed very timely, as the Renewal of Aspirancy symbolized the aspirants’ response to God’s calling. They said “Yes” once more and continued the journey towards following and learning God’s words and works through the Brothers. Among all the aspirants of Iligan, Franky Alejo, Jian Escanilla, Neil Suarez, and Pafsy Mejia had the opportunity to have the renewal face-to-face in the chapel of HIBC, while Louie Edrozo and Omer Pacilan joined them virtually via video conferencing. A welcome dinner was prepared after, followed by a night of laughter as the Brothers and aspirants bonded by means of exciting games, stories, and extra gimmicks throughout the night.

Day 2 The second day started with an early breakfast to prepare for the activities of the day. The aspirants were gathered for their first session of prayer service and Personal Annual Planning. They took the time to reflect as they made their Personal Pilgrimage Plan; this allowed the aspirants to ponder on their journey towards the discovery of one’s innermost meaning and purpose as an aspirant. Moreover, this also helped the aspirants determine and evaluate themselves in terms of Faith, Service, and Communion.

In the second session, the Community Annual Planning began, guided by Br, Ivan Umali FSC as the Brother Vocations Coordinator in Iligan. The aspirants were tasked to come up with a statement that constitutes their Vision and Mission as Aspirants. They also planned and prepared for this years’ upcoming programs and activities as an aspirants and contacts community. The event ended with a closing prayer and a quote “Light has dawned” as this marks the start of new beginnings filled with God’s guidance and His bountiful graces. (Text: Neil Michael Suarez, aspirant of Iligan; Photos: Br. Dan Sanding FSC)

PHILIPPINES - To continue the Lasallian formation of the aspirants of the Brothers in the Philippines, the Vocations Ministry Office launched Çerve, an online apostolate that would be facilitated primarily by the aspirants for a chosen beneficiary. This online apostolate will remain to be educational in nature. The different aspirancy communities are grouped into two clusters for more efficient operations of the program, with each cluster having its own beneficiary of the apostolate. Last November 3, 2021, our Aspirants from Lipa and Iligan had their Çerve engagement that catered to 7 residents of Kuya Center, an institution in Quezon City that provides different programs and services to meet the various needs of street children. The first engagement was a recollection with the theme "Ang Ating Paglago sa Sarili" that focuses on knowing oneself to be a better person as we recognize God's love in us and in other people.

The first part was an ice breaker led by Omer, one of the aspirants from Iligan. Through this activity, our Brothers, aspirants, and the Kuya Center residents got the chance to know each other while having fun. The second part of the engagement was the recollection proper. It started with an opening prayer led by Pafsy (Iligan). It was a quiet moment for the residents to reflect on God's words. It was then processed by Dale (Lipa) by asking reflection questions. The third part was the main meat of the recollection as Louie (Iligan) introduced an art activity. With this, the residents were able to express a much deeper re flection as they shared the different aspects about themselves and the areas of growth for them to experience God's love even more which Ed (Lipa) handled. To process the whole engagement, Jian and Franky (Iligan), gave inputs on self-growth grounding on God's loving presence. Afterwards, Karl (Lipa) capped it off with a closing prayer.

“You can perform miracles by touching the hearts of those entrusted to your care.” (Med 180.3 - St. John Baptist De La Salle) (Text & Photos: Br. Chuck Magno FSC & Br. Ivan Umali FSC)

“The Brothers live out their ministry in communion with the Church...” - Rule 11

In communion with the Archdiocese of Ozamis as it celebrated its Golden Jubilee of elevation to a diocese, the Brothers of Ozamiz and Iligan joined the local church in the Eucharistic celebration held on February 13 at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral.

The Most Reverend Martin Jumoad, D.D., Archbishop of Ozamis, celebrated the mass with the clergy of the archdiocese as co-celebrants. Other religious communities together with the representatives from different parishes and government officials were also present.

Guided by the celebration's theme - “Paghandum, Pagpasalamat ug Pagpadayon sa Kalig-on sa Pagtoo” (“Remembering, Thanking & Continuing to Strengthen the Faith”), Archbishop Jumoad thanked the different missionaries and religious communities who planted and cultivated the Christian faith in the archdiocese.

The Brothers of the Christian Schools, more commonly known as De La Salle Brothers, became involved upon the request of the Columban Sisters in the archdiocese as early as 1990 when Br. Martin Simpson FSC served as Supervisor and later the President of the then Immaculate Conception College (ICC). The De La Salle Brothers formally took over the ownership and management of ICC on May 17, 1994.

The Brothers of the Holy Infancy Community (Iligan) stayed in the Ozamiz Brothers Community for a few more days for rest, relaxation, and recreation.

The Brothers of Ozamiz Community will join the Brothers of Holy Infancy Community for this year’s Holy Week Retreat. (Text: Br. John David Ong FSC; Photos: Rev. Fr. Fernando Aguilar, Jr.)

PHILIPPINES -The coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the way we live our lives. It has hindered us from meeting physically with our students, partners, family and friends, and even our Brothers. However, this does not and cannot stop us from continuing our growth as Brothers. One venue where we can continue our growth is through the annual Young Brothers Conference (YBC). This year was different as this was done virtually through Zoom. The conference was held last 28 October 2020, and it was headed by the coordinator of the Young Brothers, Br. Mark Salvan FSC.

As Brothers, we have adjusted the way we go about our ministry in these changing times. We learn to innovate to ensure that our educational mission can move forward and continue to shape the lives of people entrusted to our care. As taught during our formative years: learning does not stop, formation does not stop. It simply goes on because it is a lifelong journey and commitment. As we engage in a ministry that continues to evolve, we also adapt to the new circumstances it brings. YBC2020 was a venue to learn more about how to adapt and to respond to this new normal. We may be distant from each other, but our response and our commitment to this journey and this mission goes on, together and by association.

Our speakers for this conference are experts in their respective fields: Atty. Joseph Noel Estrada talked about education and its legal aspects, Dr. Gia Sison is a mental health advocate who talked about education and its impact on mental health, and finally, Mr. Mark Averilla, commonly known for his stage name: Macoy Dubs, is a social media influencer, content creator, and a fellow educator.

In terms of the legal aspects of education, privacy was seen as one of the key issues because of the use of online modalities in teaching and the exposure of the students. Atty Erap was able to address this by emphasizing our role as parents ‘in loco parentis’. It was an invitation for all to be prudent to protect the name of the school, the Brothers, our partners, and our students.

Dr. Gia advocated responses on how to ensure that students’ well-being is also a focus in online learning. This is a mutual responsibility that both the students and the school need to work together to ensure the protection of both parties. The parents should disclose to the school the situation of their child so that the school can have the appropriate response. At the same time, the school must ensure that students have an avenue to express their thoughts and have people trained to address these issues. The school must also promote a work-life balance and advocate mental health to the entire school community. In the end, Dr. Gia acknowledged that every day will be a challenging day and that this pandemic, although it has greatly affected our lives, is but temporary.

Macoy on his part proposed that we use the content we create as our outlet. Similarly, he suggested that the students also use whatever task is given to them as their outlet to express how they feel. Also, he shared with us his experience of being an educator and how to touch ground with the students through different themes such as comedy, sports, pets, fashion, travel, dance, food, and music. This was to ensure that the content is engaging and that the topic is relatable to them. Moreover, a simple follow-up such as ‘How are you’ would go a long way for students and for them to know that there are those that are concerned about their well-being. At the end of his session, he reminded us to remember who we are as a way to ground ourselves to our identity.

Indeed, these sessions on the different aspects of education and how it affects our ministry was helpful for each one of us to navigate our response in this new normal. Until the day we return to our campuses, our classrooms, we have to adapt to these circumstances and to learn about the trends that affect education to ensure our relevance in this ministry. In closing, Br. Robert Schieler FSC reminded us during his 2020 Trinity Sunday message: to always be attentive to the emerging educational dynamics and to seize this moment and make the Gospel as the touchstone for all of our decisions. (Text: Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC; Photos: Br. Irwin Climaco FSC & Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)

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PHILIPPINES - On July 18, 2020, the Brothers of the new Holy Infancy Community welcomed the upcoming school year by having a meet and greet with the contacts and aspirants. Br. Chuck Magno FSC, together with Brs. Ivan Umali FSC and Henry FSC, organized the online meeting despite the extraordinary times. Accompaniment doesn’t stop because of this challenging time, rather it transforms into a more creative way of fraternal support to the young. The community is looking forward to attracting more young men to consider the life and spirituality of the De La Salle Brothers. (Text & Photos: Br. Dan Sanding FSC)

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“Vocation is always a personal response to the call of God. It is He who takes the initiative. One of the key elements of a “culture of vocation” is the recognition that God calls everyone and calls continually. A response to this call requires an open, dynamic Lasallian vocation ministry that helps “to discover the concrete way to carry out the project of life to which God calls

During the National Assembly of Religious Brothers in Tagbilaran, Bohol on 24-27 October, the Luzon Brothers elected Br. Ruben Caluyong FSC as the new chairman of the Luzon Association of Religious Brothers (LARB). He has been working with LARB for quite some time now, and was strongly endorsed by two of his close OSJ Brothers. In three years’ time, the LARB chairman automatically becomes the National Federation of Religious Brothers in the Philippines (NFRBP) president.

Congratulations, Br. Ruben!

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De La Salle Lipa welcomes its 6th Brother President, Br. Edmundo "Dodo" L. Fernandez FSC! We are one with you in fulfilling the Lasallian mission of teaching minds, touching hearts, and transforming lives. Together and by association, we continue to reimagine education. Animo La Salle! (De La Salle Lipa)

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A warm welcome to DLSU-D's 9th President, Br. Francisco "Sockie" de la Rosa VI FSC! We look forward to more exciting years with you as we continue to create possibilities. (De La Salle University - Dasmariñas)

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The DLSMHSI community welcomes our 9th PRESIDENT, Dr. Antonio B. Ramos. Thank you Dr. Tony for accepting the challenge and for taking this journey with us. We are praying for a grace-filled ministry for you as our President. ANIMO! (De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute)

PHILIPPINES - Indeed, poverty is not a hindrance to success.

This, once again, was proven by 22-year-old Joshua Mahilum, of Barangay Vista Alegre in Bacolod City.

Raised by his sidewalk vendor mother and tricycle driver father, Mahilum finished his four-year Chemical Engineering course at the University of Saint La Salle (USLS) - Bacolod as an academic and DOST scholar.

He was among the 1,319 graduates of the university who marched in a face-to-face ceremony held at the USLS-Bacolod Coliseum yesterday, May 29.

"Para gid ni sa akon ginikanan nga grabe ang pag-agwanta, ulan kag init, para lang masupurtahan ang akon pag-iskwela," he told SunStar Bacolod News.

Mahilum's post about his college journey is now making rounds on social media and is receiving good comment from the netizens. (SunStar Bacolod News Official Facebook Page)

Full Article: https://www.facebook.com/SunStarBacolodNews/posts/2108344469335378

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PHILIPPINES – Last March 14 to 19, the Brothers of Residencia De La Salle participated in the weeklong Lasallian Mission Celebration of De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI). While the activities were primarily online, the Brothers made sure that their presence were warmly felt and received.

Residencia De La Salle Online Open House

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The Brothers welcomed 350 senior high school students and staff from DLSMHSI to the Residencia De La Salle and gave them virtual tour of the house through the Zoom platform. Brothers Arian, Marvin and Aikee featured the important areas of the Brothers Community and shared its relevance to the Brothers’ way of life. They also had a meaningful exchange with the students after the tour.

Rediscovering the Lasallian Interior Prayer

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Br. Jun Estrellas gave a short preview of his unreleased book, ‘Zen and the Lasallian Interior Prayer’ for three days to the DLSMHSI community. Livestreamed through Facebook, Br. Jun shared his reflections to students and staff on the three movements of the Lasallian Interior Prayer how it could be related to the practice of Zen meditation. After his 20-minute talk, the viewers were invited to virtually join the evening Mass with the Brothers of Residencia De La Salle, where the largest relic of St. John Baptist de La Salle in the Philippines is temporarily enshrined.

Brothers with the ‘gamechangers’

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Br. Arian represented the De La Salle Brothers in an online voters education forum organized by DLSMHSI, De La Salle University – Dasmariñas and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting – Cavite. Speaking to mainly young voters from colleges and schools in the Diocese of Imus, Br. Arian presented the public statement of the Brothers, ‘Discerning our Future: The 2022 Elections’ and shared points of reflection in choosing the right leaders through the principles of Catholic Social Teachings. The forum emphasized the role of the young electorate in ‘changing the game’ of traditional politics in the Philippines. The forum was attended by at least 1000 participants.

Different calls, one answer – Yes Bro!

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Celebrating the various ways of following St. John Baptist de La Salle today, Lingkod Lasalyano, the student volunteers of the Lasallian Formation and Social Action, organized the Yes Bro! Lasallian Vocations Online Forum. The speakers shared to 170 students how their lives and associations are inspired today by our Founder - Br. Marvin Sipin FSC for the De La Salle Brothers, Ms. Myra Patambang for Signum Fidei, Mr. Ximon Doceo for Lasallian Youth Corps and Mr. Carlo delos Santos for Lingkod Lasalyano (formerly Hermano San Miguel / DLSMHSI Volunteers). (Text & Photos: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

PHILIPPINES - In partnership with DLSU's Archers Network, we're glad to give you a glimpse of how the Brothers live their day to day life and how they continue to find life meaningful in many different ways.

Join Br. Iñigo Riola FSC from the District of San Francisco New Orleans as he shares how he continues to say #YesBro to our life today!

#YesBro #TheBroDiaries #DeLaSallePH #DLSBrothersPH (De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines Official YouTube Page)

PHILIPPINES - The Signum Fidei Association (SFA) La Salle Academy chapter and De La Salle - John Bosco College (DLS-JBC) chapter had a significant event last February 25 and 26, 2021. The first event was the Signum Fidei recollection facilitated by Br. Angelo Paolo S. Mata FSC with the theme “See Where Faith Can Go.” This recollection focuses on the faith commitment of the members as they continue to follow the values and example shown by our founder St. John Baptist de La Salle.

This recollection is in preparation for the renewal of consecration held on Saturday at the Holy Infancy Chapel, La Salle Academy, Iligan City. It was a solemn celebration as the community witnessed Mr. Floro Lachica commit himself as a new aspirant, while Mr. Jay Velez, Mr. Larry Estalane, Ms. Cherry Balanay and Ms. Florave Rico had their first consecration. It was also a joyous event as 12 members renewed their consecration physically while 29 did it virtually.

Afterwards, each chapter had their small celebration as they shared meals, laughter, and encounters with God in their life journey as members of the Signum Fidei. (Text: Br. Henry FSC & Br. Chuck Magno FSC; Photos: Mr. Larry Estalane)

PHILIPPINES - Committed to provide assistance to our local partners, the Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community and the administrators of La Salle Academy - Iligan zealously donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face shields to the Local Government Unit (LGU) and Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Iligan City last 2020 July 15. Mayor Celso G. Regencia received the donations that were distributed to the LGU, City Hospital, and the Isolation Facility of National Steel Corporation, while Superintendent Roy Angelo Gazo of DepEd-Iligan warmly accepted the donations for his constituents. (Text & Photos: Br. Ivan Umali FSC)

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One night after dinner, I received a message that there would be a Zoom meeting of former Student Council Presidents to discuss possible ways to help in the Kada-Uno Project of De La Salle Philippines. While I was not a President, I joined anyway since most of them are friends from college. We talked about how we could help the campaign to feed more than 1000 families by asking people to donate at least Php 1000 which would be enough to buy food for one week.

The energy of the group was amazing! Right after the meeting there were already committees – Finance, Strategic Marketing, Social Media, Logistics. Soon enough, the campaign had a name, ‘Isang Libo, Kada-Uno’, and a strategy – the #KadaUnoChallenge, to encourage 10 friends to donate Php 1000 and pass the challenge around. From the initial distribution, the target number of families has increased to at least 2400. There was also a weekly plan to sustain interest online. A Facebook group was created and has at least 2,800 members today.

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Not only were the funds increasing, the efficiency was also inspiring. A member of the Logistics team opened her family’s factory operations as a warehouse and assembly line for the relief bags. She also personally called and reached out to farmers, who supplied most of the vegetables. The other members kept exchanging corporate contacts and looked for more organizations to help. All these became possible, despite the limitations of movement caused by the lockdown.

Since the target of the group was to raise at least enough money to feed families for a month, we thought of other ways to generate interest and support so we thought of organizing a small online concert. We remembered that there was a planned concert across LS schools in January to celebrate #300LaSalle. We thought that it would be a good idea to celebrate our stories of hope and generosity in the time of COVID-19 and involve the whole Lasallian Family.

‘Kada-Uno, Lasalyano!’, the online fundraising event was planned. Coordinating through online messengers, we reached out to the schools’ staff-in-charge of student activities and performing groups. After 2-3 weeks, we already had 13 hours’ worth of performances and events! We also were able to invite young Brothers and alumni to host the segments. The best blessing was to have a reliable tech team on D-Day. Despite some setbacks, the event ran smoothly from 9am and was watched by at least 180-300 people on the average. We were not able to count the total number of performers involved but the response of the viewers was overwhelming. An hour before the event ended, the finance team sent a report that we have already reached our month-long goal of Php 4 million. This, on top of being able to showcase talents from LS schools and animate the Lasallian spirit at the same time.

In spite of the crisis, it’s amazing how God’s presence and grace sustained everything. Even with limitations, we had a great time working with each other (again) for a good cause. We are thankful to all those who helped and supported the event. I’m sure that years later, when we look back at this time, we will not forget that the spirit of our Lasallian family is stronger than any crisis! (Text & Photos: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

PS: You may still watch it by clicking on these links: [Part 1: tinyurl.com/Part1-KUL Part 2: tinyurl.com/KUL-Part2]

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Five women from Singapore who are discerning for the religious life visited the Brothers and the Postulants of the Lasallian Formation Center and the St. Benilde Brothers Community last February 3, 2020. Jane, Maria, Melissa, Kareen and Jace joined the come and see experience to the Philippines which aims to give them the opportunity to visit and see the life of the different religious congregations in the Philippines to give them a wider perspective of the vocation on the religious life.

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Their visit with the De La Salle Brothers started out with a tour around La Salle Green Hills led by Br. Kelvin Tan FSC. Afterwards, the Postulants prepared a prayer service for the visitors and had a quick small group sharing to get to know each other’s vocation background answering the questions: Where is God calling me today? and How do I respond to His call? After the small gathering, the group joined the Brothers of the St. Benilde Brothers' Community for a dinner filled with meaningful conversations. In this way, the visitors would be able to get to know more about the vocation and life of a De La Salle Brother and also express their own stories of faith towards answering God's call. The evening ended on a positive note with the visitors asking for prayers from the Brothers on the path that they will take. (Text: Postulants Milton Merto & Julius Calingasan; Photos: Lasallian Formation Center FB Page)

"The aim is to help us discern, become a better gentleman in the future, and recognize what we want to be and what mission we are going to take up in the future."

That was how the Brothers explained what the Visayas-Mindanao Aspirants and Contacts Conference (VMACC) was all about. All participants expressed how excited they were to be part of the gathering and take the opportunity to know other aspirants.

The Aspirants and Contacts were all determined to participate because they all agree that the weekend was their opportunity to bond with each other and unfold a new chapter in their lives.

On a personal note, the journey began in Ozamiz on the evening of November 15, 2019, traveling with delegates from De La Salle Andres Soriano Memorial College and University of Saint La Salle. The travel gave the participants the chance to be connected in spite of the challenges of culture and dialect. The newfound friendship and brotherhood were even strengthened during the actual gathering in La Salle Academy in Iligan City.

During the VMACC proper, the first-morning activity done was about self-awareness facilitated by Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC. The session highlighted its importance and what one can gain when one is aware of what is happening within the self. For most participants, the session was the most memorable. One "take-away" from the session would be the Filipino quote, "Mahal ka dahil mahal ka." It was used as a reinforcement to the idea that indeed "we are priceless because we are loved."

As a follow-through to the session, the participants were tasked to take a photo that would represent them. All participants were given the chance to share their photos and insights.

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Br. Irwin Climaco FSC gave the afternoon session on the significant moments in the life of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. He was able to draw from the participants what they thought of the life of the Founder and what they can learn from him. The participants were given the chance to connect their lives to the experiences and reflections of De La Salle. It allowed them to realize that to connect within, recognizing both failures and achievements or ups and downs of life, would be the measurement of self-awareness.

The day culminated with the holy eucharist which also included the Rites of Acceptance and Renewal to the Aspirancy Program.

When in Iligan, a gathering is always celebrated with good food and conversations. So the participants continued to take the opportunity to get to know the Brothers present. The Brothers shared their vocation stories and engaged with the participants by answering their questions convincingly. Games and intermission numbers showcased the best in each of the Aspirants and Contacts.

The final day of the gathering was about touring the famous spots in Iligan City: the Maria Cristina Falls and Mimbalot Falls. They were also given the chance to shop at the City's famous landmark, Cheding's.

The whole conference ended with a surprise farewell program from the Brothers which made participants express their gratitude for the amazing weekend.

-Chris Dominic Tapitan and Aaron Josh Reyes

Aspirants of the De La Salle Brothers Ozamiz Community

"In this conference, I was able to find the path that I know will make me happy and contented in the future. I also found a goal that I want to pursue in my life. I would never have concluded to this point in my life if it wasn't for the guidance of the Brothers and the motivation my fellow aspirants, the contacts and the people around us!" - Chris Dominic Tapitan (Aspirant, La Salle University Ozamiz)

"In the end, this memorable conference was my means to discover more about the Brother's life, their vocation, the stages of formation, and even the ups and downs of their life being stewards of Faith, Service, and Communion. To also look into my self and awaken to discover myself. Even to know the path where God would direct me in the future. Truly I can say that God works in mysterious ways. ANIMO!"

- Aaron Josh Reyes (Aspirant, La Salle University Ozamiz)

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PHILIPPINES - The De La Salle Brothers of the Lasallian East Asia District, through the Vocations Ministry Office of the Philippines, organized a vocation discernment seminar on August 26, 2022.

The gathering was an opportunity for young men to discover more about the Brothers' life and ministry, particularly the basics of the Lasallian story and the phases in the life of the De La Salle Brothers.

The event aims to be a starting point for the participants' vocation journey, which hopefully leads to more personal engagements with the Brothers in our communities.

We entrust all our efforts to St. Benilde, our Lasallian Apostle for Vocations, as we continue to labor for God's dream in our lives today.

MORE: https://vmoconnect.carrd.co/

#YesBro #DeLaSalleBrothersPH #FSCvocations (De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines OfficialFacebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - Congratulations to our Vice Chancellor for Mission and Development, Br. Normandy C. Dujunco FSC, DTheol!

Fellow, United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (2022-2023)

“The United Board Fellows Program prepares talented mid-career faculty and administrators for leadership in universities and colleges in Asia through exposure to leadership ideas and practices in diverse university settings. The goal of the United Board Fellows Program is to build strong leadership for higher education institutions in Asia. Seeking to strengthen networks of young leaders in teaching, research, and service and promote understanding and commitment to wholeperson education in Asian colleges and universities.”

#AnimoLaSalle #AnimoUSLS (University of St. La Salle Official Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - The first week of our in-person vocations ministry programs comes to an end, after conducting various sessions to discuss about the Institute’s effort to continuously build a culture of vocations.

On Tuesday, we had a session with Lasallian Partners entitled “The School as a seedbed of vocations”. It focused on Circular 475 by encouraging our Lasallian Partners to spearhead the school’s campaign to nurture all Lasallian vocations. To empower them in this mission, the vocations ministry framework of the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines was shared with them.

On Wednesday, the Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community began their 3rd Brothers’ Live-In Program for LSA students. The Brothers in community conducted sessions about the life of the Founder, Discernment, and the Lasallian Core Values. The BLIP participants visited our Brothers in Ozamiz to expand their understanding of the Lasallian Mission in Mindanao.

On Friday, Lasallian Leaders and Volunteers flocked to the LSA Retreat Complex to gather for a session entitled “Brothers and Beyond”. The session was an opportunity for them to learn more about their personal leadership characteristics, the leadership experiences that make them feel most alive, their on-going discovery of their life purpose, and the vocation that they seem to be inclined to take in response to the call to go beyond themselves and into the service of a wider community.

The week ended with a visit from Most Reverend Joey Rapadas, D.D., the Bishop of Iligan, and Rev. Fr. Carmelo Pocdol.

We ask for your prayers as we continue to seek creative ways of building new paths to transform lives. (Text & Photos: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)

#YesBro #FSCvocations #DLSBrothersPH

PHILIPPINES - Tulong Lasalyano, the social action and development unit of the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines, has been assisting areas badly affected by Super Typhoon Odette since December 2021.

From March 27 to April 1, 2022, through the help of Philippine Airlines and Shang Properties Inc., a team composed of the Tulong Lasalyano staff and volunteers from De La Salle University (Manila), La Salle University - Ozamiz conducted relief distribution and psychological first aid sessions in the Municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte. They came at the request of Vice Mayor Alfred Matugas Coro II.

A total of 1,500 food packs and 180 sets of building materials were distributed in the course of the visit.

The DLSU/LSU team served 273 participants (students, teachers and parents) at the Del Carmen National High School. (De La Salle Philippines Official Facebook Page)

View the photo album here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10158314431386073&type=3

PHILIPPINES - La Salle Academy (LSA) located in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao celebrated the 23rd Mindanao Week of Peace (MWOP) last November 25 to December 01, 2021.

In celebration of this momentous event, La Salle Academy in collaboration with the Office of the Vice-Principal for Student Management, Night High School and Lasallian Ministry Office, had a Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony (PPDC) witnessed by school community members through Zoom and Lasallian Media Facebook Live last November 26, 2021.

La Salle Academy has the 12th Peace Pole dedicated in Mindanao since the last dedication ten years ago. Also, LSA is the third La Salle School in the Philippines to have a Peace Pole, following De La Salle Lipa in 2010 and De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute in the Philippines in 2019. (La Salle Academy- Office of the Vice Principal for Student Management Official Facebook Page)

Full Article: https://www.pressenza.com/2021/12/la-salle-academy-celebrates-mindanao-week-of-peace-with-a-peace-pole-dedication-ceremony/

PHILIPPINES - On 29–30 August, the 1911 Community in Manila enjoyed a double celebration for their Director, Br. Martin Sellner FSC. Br. Marty turned 83 years old on Saturday and the party featured his favorite Filipino dishes such as soup number five, lechon, crispy pata, and pansit. Lechon was also the theme of his birthday cake and the community gifted him with a cap that had a lechon image embroidered on it. During the communion service, Br. Marty renewed his religious vows as he also commemorated his 65th Jubilee Anniversary as a De La Salle Brother. Sunday lunch was paella and lengua prepared two ways. Desert was a special rum cake baked by Br. Marty himself. You can actually watch him making the cake in his Facebook video, “Kitchen Chemistry.” Even during this pandemic, Br. Marty keeps himself active and busy. Early before dawn, he exercises by stair climbing and greets the sunrise on the roof deck of one of the buildings of DLSU. As of this writing, he manages to climb 90 floors three times a week and continues to increase it by two more every week. Aside from his cross stitch and chemistry classes for the Brothers, he has become increasingly popular in social media for his TikTok videos and for completing his two-decade project, which is a cross stitch of the Periodic Table o f Elements. Many local and international news organization srecently featured Br. Marty because o f his inspiring accomplishments. (Text & Photos: Br. Richie Yap FSC, Br. Martin Sellner FSC)

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De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) has made it to the finals of this year’s International Green Gown Awards and is the only higher educational institution named Finalist in all three categories: Sustainability Institution of the Year, Student Engagement, and Benefitting Society.

The International Green Gown Awards (IGGA) is open to colleges and universities across the globe that commemorate landmark sustainability programs and initiatives.

DLSL is a staunch advocate of environmental and sustainability efforts as well as pioneered programs that should be emulated by other educational institutions in the country. It is a styro-free and plastic-free campus, banning the use of Styrofoam and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, both of which do not decompose and thus can damage our ecosystem. Also, part of DLSL’s advocacy is to minimize the use of greenhouse gases.

The 2020 International Green Gown Awards is under the auspices and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with the UK-based EAUC Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education and the Paris-based International Association of Universities (IAU).  De La Salle Lipa is an active institutional member of both organizations.

Backed by the UNEP, the International Green Gown Awards continues to search for inspirational sustainability prime movers and leaders. Acknowledging exceptional sustainability initiatives being carried out by the world’s universities and colleges, the International Green Gown Awards established the desired standards of quality and put every learning institution at the core of delivering the UN Global Goals.

Organizers collaborate with The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), L’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), International Association of Universities (IAU), and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. The International Green Gown Awards is administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

Source:
https://www.dlsl.edu.ph/de-la-salle-lipa-among-finalists-in-2020-international-green-gown-awards/

La Salle Academy (LSA) and University of St. La Salle (USLS), two La Salle schools from the Philippines, reached highest accreditation levels for their Basic Education Programs and eight College Degree Programs.

On 24 January 2020, the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) officially delivered the good news to LSA - Iligan and USLS - Bacolod.

In a letter addressed to Br. Antonio Cesar J. Servando FSC, LSA President, PAASCU granted Level III Status to the school valid until May 2023.

Similarly, Br. Joaquin Severino S. Martinez FSC, D.Min., USLS President and Chancellor received PAASCU's Level III status grant for Basic Education and Level IV status grant to eight College Degree Programs of the university; all valid until November 2023.

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This is truly a moment of celebration for both the schools who have worked together in attaining this achievement and merit. Congratulations to the LSA and USLS administrators, faculty and staff, students, alumni and parents, and all members of the school community. (Photos: LSA - Lasallian Media FB page, USLS FB page)

La Salle Green Hills (LSGH), an exclusive all-boys school will go coeducational in the Senior High School. This development marks the end of an era since 1959 as the institution transitions to an integrated school this coming school year 2020-2021. The first 20 female applicants will be offered tuition subsidy. (Text: Br. Alex Diaz FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Br Andre Labelle FSC, the oldest Brother in the District, joined many Filipinos in their yearly tradition of the Simbang Gabi (Dawn/Night Masses) at De La Salle University-Dasmariñas.

He is committed to complete the “novena” leading up to Christmas. This was also his first outing from the confines of the community for many months. Community transmission is low, he has received his booster shot, and the venue is not crowded and has good ventilation. (Text: Br. Sockie de la Rosa; Photo: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Congratulations to Alessandra Isabelle S. Gazo, Gr. 11-H, for winning at the 2021 Harvard GlobalWE Essay Contest, with her entry, “Teenage Pregnancy; The Downfall of the Youth.

”From among a worldwide roster of participants, essays were submitted on the theme, “What is the biggest challenge facing women and girls in your country today?” For her win, she received a certificate, a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “We Should All Be Feminists,” and an invitation to serve as a judge for similar contests in other countries. (La Salle Green Hills Facebook Page)

Article by: Josh Aldrich P. De Villa (De La Salle Lipa)

Edited By: Sofia Denisse M. Lucido (De La Salle Lipa)

 

In response to the emerging social problems in the country brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, various Search-In communities in the Philippines partnered and had recently conducted an online fundraiser entitled “Bungad ng Pag-Asa: An Online Mission” last May 15, 2020.

Search-In is an inclusive religious and foundational organization composed of students from different La Salle Schools all over the Philippines. It is a group that helps students in recognizing their own identity and assisting them in living a life inspired by our Lasallian core values of faith, service and communion. Search-In also serves as an incubatory organization to prepare aspiring brothers in their future vocations in mission.

Fulfilling its goal of being of service to others, especially in this time of need, six (6) different Search-In La Salle Communities in the Philippines namely: De La Salle College of Antipolo, La Salle Academy Iligan, De La Salle University – Laguna campus, University of St. La Salle – Bacolod, St. Joseph School – La Salle and headed by De La Salle Lipa have partnered up to conceptualize and deliver “Bungad ng Pag-Asa: An Online Mission” (BNP).

            “Bungad ng Pag-Asa: An Online Mission” is a fundraiser that aims to fund the KadaUno Challenge initiative by the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines. It offers a wide variety of dialogues between student leaders and members of the partnership amongst various Search-In communities in the Philippines. BNP also showcases the innate talents of some of the members of this organization.

With the goal of alleviating the grievances of the people and raising funds for the benefit of the marginalized, Bungad ng Pag-Asa stays true to its title of serving as a gateway to spread hope in this age of despair.

“I’ve always had a passion for leading, especially in situations where a group could help for a cause like Bungad,” says Tori Lualhati, the Head Producer of the fundraiser from De La Salle Lipa (DLSL).

The Head Producer also added that the whole team was nervous during the preparations as they were given merely 3 weeks to prepare a livestream which they haven’t done before.

During the Live event, various people from different La Salle Schools have offered their time and talents to attract donors and sponsors for Bungad ng Pag-Asa.  It started with the greetings of the hosts, Clarisse Avila and Jhustin Dipasupil, and then followed by some welcoming remarks by Br. Marvin Sipin FSC, DLSL VMO Head. 

“I think that it is in our nature to be of service to others as Lasallians. As I came to be aware of the difficulties of other people during this pandemic, I was moved to respond in whatever way I can,” said the DLSL VMO Head.

It was succeeded by brief interviews with student leaders: Bea Luna and Abby Caig from DLSL, Samantha Ubiadas and Angelica Aquino from La Salle College of Antipolo, and a dialogue with former Idol Philippines Contestant, Vanya Castor from the University of St. La Salle Bacolod.

Right after that, the audience were serenaded by the beautiful voices of the guests performers; Yaeli Quijano from La Salle Academy - Iligan, Marc Mayuga, Allaine Samarita, Ella Fortu, James Ramirez, Marielle Alcantara and Singko Sentimos from De La Salle Lipa, Raphael Sunga from La Salle College Antipolo, and USLS singers, in collaboration with Center for Lasallian Ministries from University of St. La Salle - Bacolod and SJS-LS Circle 1 from St. Joseph School - La Salle.

Star Performers such as Miguel Traspe and Angel Secillano from DLSU - Laguna, Marianne Osabel of La Salle Academy - Iligan and Vanya Castor and Ysanygo from University of St. La Salle - Bacolod were also present in the show.

“I was stunned by the performances as they are really good and the interviews were also very informative” says Richard Punongbayan of La Salle Academy Iligan.

Aside from the interviews and performances, “Bungad ng Pag-Asa” also had several challenges such as Translation Challenge, Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts Challenge, Smile for A Mile and Laws of Quarantine which made the live stream fun and engaging. While the hosts: Sophia Durana and Beatrice Recidoro from De La Salle University Laguna headed the shoutouts segment of the show.

Before reaching the conclusion of the show, the Head Producer, Tori Lualhati gave her closing remarks where she thanked the people who supported the project and the faces behind it.

“The project started small, but as time passed by, we saw the increasing number of members and volunteers from various La Salle Communities, which inspired us to work even harder. It was a good thing that the members of the Bungad Team had each other’s backs,” says the Head Producer.

Lualhati also expressed how the journey was a challenge but is fulfilling, knowing that they are able to help the Lasallian and Filipino communities. She also stressed that Bungad ng Pag-Asa didn’t only help thousands of families, but also created a new one – a unified family of Search-In Communities.

“It was difficult to pull off this kind of event given the short amount of time and the limitations, but I am thankful to God for giving me students who are committed and passionate to say ‘yes to life’ by saying ‘yes to serve’,” added Br. Marvin Sipin FSC.

The Head of the Vocations Ministry Office of DLSL also expressed that all praises are given to God who enabled them to build a stronger community with the common purpose to serve.

As of May 20, 2020, the fundraiser had collected 110,050 Pesos in donations and pledges through online bank transfers and has directed them to the KadaUno Initiatives of the DLSP.

The whole team behind Bungad ng Pag-Asa is expressing its gratitude to the people who have supported this noble cause and is hoping that this amount will create a big impact towards helping families who were negatively affected by the pandemic to get through their everyday needs.

 

DLSL Search-In Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SearchInDLSL/

PHILIPPINES - It's been a while!

After a 2-year hiatus, we are happy to announce that St. Brother Miguel Academy (SBMA) - Bacolod is finally back!

Last September 10, 2022, inspired by St. La Salle and St. Brother Miguel, and grounded on the Lasallian core values of faith, service, and communion, SBMA finally had the opportunity to continue its mission to provide catechism classes.

The Brothers, aspirants, and volunteers had a wonderful time accompanying the Bahay Pag-asa residents to grow in faith, fraternity, and service as they strive their best to live as authentic Christians and disciples of Christ.

Thank you to everyone who made this first engagement successful.

We are looking forward to the next! (SBMA Bacolod 2022-2023 Official Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - After years of placing as the first runner-up, the College dominated the competition and took its place as the “School of the Year” in IABC Philippines’ renowned #9thPHStudentQuills.

View the full article.

PHILIPPINES - “Live, La Salle!" seeks to highlight the limitless ways of living out our Lasallian Vocation in our schools and communities. For this month, we interviewed Br. Mark Basan II FSC from the Lasallian Formation Center, Mr. Cyril Lituañas from De La Salle University, and Mr. Enzo Ferraris, our Aspirant from the University of St. La Salle. Let us listen to their stories as they share with us how they live their Lasallian Vocation.

#YesBro #LiveLaSalle #DLSBrothersPH #DeLaSallePH

Video by Jeanne Tan (De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines Official Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - As a student of La Salle Academy for 12 years, it has always been a mystery to me who those men dressed in black and white are. Like most of us, we have come across these men once or twice, or maybe a few times in our school life. They were maybe our teachers, advisers, or just people we pass by at school. These men go by different names depending on who you ask but most of us call and address them as “Ber,” a nickname short for Brother.

One may draw comparisons to a priest or a nun on who these men are, which is somewhat true in a sense that they live a sacred life, devoted to God. But what makes them different from the former is that they promote and spread awareness of the teachings of our founder, Saint John Baptist De La Salle. Yet they still live a life similar to ours in many ways. They wake up in the morning like all of us do, they go to class like us students do, but they serve as teachers in subjects such as Christian living or other subjects they specialize in.

I knew all of these things because I lived with them for 5 days when I was still a student back in my senior high school days. This program is called the “Brothers Live-In Program” or BLIP, which is an opportunity for young men to live in the Brothers’ community with the Brothers for four to five days. I was shocked at how simple their lives are unbeknownst to students. In my 5 days of staying at the Brother’s house, it prompted me to join the Aspirancy program to discover more about who the Brothers are and how they answered the vocation.

Last October 21-24, 2021, I volunteered, upon the request of Brother Ivan, to supervise the Brothers’ Live-in program (BLIP) as an Aspirant facilitator. I was tasked to help the Brothers in handling the programs and supervise Michael Piansay, Joshua Aban, and Neil Suarez, who were curious, just like myself back then, about the life of the Brothers. This BLIP was the first for this year. I was accompanied by my fellow Aspirants who later caught up and also shared experiences with the live-inners on how and why we chose to be in this program.

During the BLIP, the Grade 11 live-inners experienced various activities such as sessions about the core values of Faith, Service, and Communion, playing sports, community Mass, community meals with aspirants and contacts, games, and faith sharing.

The BLIP not only focuses on the life of the Brothers but also the vocation in which they were called upon, the reason why they choose to be Brothers. It opens oneself to different opportunities and enlightens one’s heart and mind to the different paths they may take. For myself, it forged new friendships in a very fun and exciting community filled with young people, it helped me understand myself and in which paths I may take in the future, and most importantly, it helped me realize that the heart of all of this, is Jesus.

Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever! (Text: Omer Pacilan - Aspirant; Photos: Br. Ivan Umali FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Brothers and Lasallians from five (5) different countries got together for 2 days to share conversations on their experiences in the Lasallian Mission and discover what it means to live the values of faith, service, and communion in mission in the world today.

We hope and pray that we will continue to discover what life has in store for us, and to respond to what life calls us to do.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever! (Text & Photos: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)

#FSCvocations#LasallianVocations

Vocations Gathering

Vocations Gathering

A Lasallian brother finished his cross-stitch piece of the periodic table of elements after two decades — a feat he made while on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brother Martin Sellner FSC revealed his embroidering accomplishment via Facebook on Friday, July 17.

“Finally after two decades, the cross-stitch of the Periodic Table is complete,” he said, posting photos and a video of the last five stitches he made “out of over one million.”

Finally after two decades, the cross-stitch of the Periodic Table is complete. Posted is a short video of the final five…

Posted by Martin Sellner on Friday, July 17, 2020

“The table and border actually took six years,” he said. “Finally the last nine elements were named by the IUPAC and I was able to complete it during this prolonged lockdown.”

Sellner has been a De La Salle brother for over 60 years and has a passion for chemistry, having taught the subject in schools in the United States and in La Salle campuses in the Philippines.

He is laboratory services head in De La Salle Araneta University in Malabon and Lasallian animator at De La Salle Santiago Zobel School in Muntinlupa City.

Sellner has also been teaching other Lasallian brothers to cross-stitch, as per his Facebook post on July 5.

He also has a social media presence on the video app TikTok, where he shares optimistic messages to the Lasallian community, such as being open to distance learning during the pandemic.

Distant learning, on-line learning. Looks like fun. It will be fun. Was I born too soon??? Even a young man like me can learn. I am enjoying it and I am ready. Are you? All you LaSallians, hop on board. This will be a fun year. Keep climbing towards your dreams. All you my LaSallian colleagues, a challenge? I know your talents and dedication. Just like the students, you will have fun. Even my hugs will be on-line and distant!! UGH on-line only??? No. Hugs to all of you now.

Posted by Martin Sellner on Sunday, June 21, 2020

“Distant learning, on-line learning. Looks like fun. It will be fun,” he said in a video on June 22. “All you LaSallians, hop on board. This will be a fun year. Keep climbing towards your dreams.” JB

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1309415/look-lasallian-brother-completes-cross-stitch-of-periodic-table-after-two-decades

Excerpt from the article:

PHILIPPINES - “The play “Waiting for Godot” written by French-Irish playwright Samuel Becket in 1953 was performed by the Masskara T h e a t e r E n s e m b l e a t t h e University of St. La Salle Saturday….

...It is for this reason that Negros Occidental is privileged to have the performance of Waiting for Godot by the Masskara Theatre Ensemble of the University of St. La Salle, as their entry to the Teatro Europa theater festival, here in the province, Lacson said.”

Full article and photo courtesy of The Visayan Daily Star: https://tinyurl.com/4t3pd55r

Source: De La Salle Philippines Official Facebook Page

PHILIPPINES - De La Salle University- Dasmarinas (DLSU-D) is still the most sustainable Philippine university for the ninth year in a row, based on Universitas Indonesia Greenmetric World University Ranking for 2021.

Read more: https://www.dlsud.edu.ph/news/2021/green.htm(DLSU-D Official Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - On October 31, Young Brothers (YBs) from communities in the Philippines, and even Filipino Brothers assigned in Singapore and the United States, gathered to pray and to dialogue about the needs of the YBs at this time. It was a meaningful and fruitful way of listening and sharing their unique experiences in the mission.

The general assembly was the avenue for all YBs to know the results of the needs assessment survey and the proposed plans of actions. Moving forward together, the YBs look to have more formal and informal engagements throughout the rest of the school year. (Text: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC & Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC; Photo: Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC)

PHILIPPINES - A group of Senior High School students from University of St. La Salle - Bacolod - John Christian Kho, Don Santillan, Jaren Kilayko, and Justin Villanueva - who are members of the BAYOnihan Project who sold printed shirts to raise funds turned over P20,000 in cash to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson for Negrense frontliners. (Text & Photo: The Visayan Daily Star Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - Hey, Lasallians! Ready yourselves for this BREAKING NEWS!

The Daily Signum Viridis - our first ever newsletter from the newly founded Lasallian Youth Media Ministry has been finally released!

Signum [noun] and Viridis [noun] are both derived from Latin words, which then translate to sign and green, respectively.

With the intent of imparting the life and stories of Young Lasallians together with the ventures spearheaded by the Lasallian Youth Ministry Office, the columns on each page are for yours to look into and read so that you can establish daily what it also means to be a bearer of the Lasallian color.

The LYMO and all its ministries will now have the spotlight as they answer De La Salle Lipa’s burning questions about…

WHO is LYMO?
WHAT do they do?
WHEN during the school year did they start initiating their activities?
WHERE do they implement all of their projects and programs?
WHY were they inspired to start their ministries?
HOW did LYMO start?

Looking to find where you can access our newsletter? We’ve got you covered on this. We give you the The Daily Signum Viridis realness!

https://bit.ly/TheDailySignumVeridisMayIssueCanva
https://bit.ly/SignumVeridisGDrive

The LYMO is one with its ministries in hoping that these articles could help you (yes, you, our fellow Young Lasallians) to discover the faith in God and the need for service!

We are so grateful to have you here. You’re more than welcome to join us once again for our next newsletter publishing!

Follow our official LYMO social media accounts to keep up with the latest updates:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dlsl.lymo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dlsl_lymo

Animo La Salle!

#DLSLipaLasallianYouthMinistryOffice #YesBro #TheDailySignumViridis #TheDailySignofGreen

(DLSL - Lasallian Youth Ministry Office Official Facebook Page)

We wish Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC the very best as he pursues his Graduate Certificate in ASEAN Studies in the University of the Philippines - Open University! #TakeTheLEAD

br. miggy