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The only school that spells “sesquicen PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 15 December 2009 07:00
The only school that spells “sesquicentennial” correctly is the Ateneo which celebrates its 150th year. Below the Line Super-cali-fragilistic… Sesquicentennial By AMBASSADOR JOSE A. ZAIDE December 13, 2009, 5:13pm The only school that spells “sesquicentennial” correctly is the Ateneo which celebrates its 150th year. The year-long celebration culminated in One Big Nite homecoming at the Ateneo High School Covered Courts on 12 December, the Saturday closest to December 8 Immaculate Conception. Ateneo President Fr. Bienvenido Nebres’, SJ, goal for the sesquicentennial is a fund to have 25% of the student population as scholars. Since the Ateneo became co-ed, most scholarships went to girls. Oh, they have men scholars, too, for the UAAP basketball. After dropping Latin from the curriculum, Ateneans think Mens sano, In corpore sana means Sano ako, pero basketbol star sana. Perennial cheerleader Jess Paredes led ageing and balding Eagles in hoarse “Fabilioh!” Missing in action was Dick Gordon HS ’62/Col ’66 who was cheerleading his presidential campaign elsewhere. Everyone shook hands with Noynoy Aquino GS '73/HS '77/AB '81 and Mar Roxas GS'70/HS '74, claiming to be their classmates and hoping to be remembered when the two enter Paradise… Erap wasn’t there. He’s the only Atenean to be expelled twice by the noble institution… the first time, for fighting in the 1950’s… the second time for being kicked out as RP President in 2001. During his presidency, he retained his classmate Domingo June Siazon as secretary of foreign affairs - the only one who could vouch that Erap was expelled for fighting… not for academics. My next-door neighbor columnist, then Muntinlupa Mayor Toting Bunye, was distributing anti-Erap T-shirts at Ateneo homecoming at our December 2000 reunion, “Sinipa natin noon, sipain natin uli ngayon!” Alumnus Mr. Shooli decried that in his time Philippines was number 1 in sports and No. 2 only to Japan… but we seem to be walking backwards into the future. Ateneans produced the best and the brightest. But enough rotten apples are seduced by pelf and power. Mr. Shooli said because of good Christian education, the worst of Ateneans say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory… before taking the money. After all the gag lines, Mr. Shooli took off his hat and appealed as Jun Urbano to fellow Ateneans to think of their role in life and the country they would bequeath the next generation. We can’t blame the 150 years of Jesuit education for the troubled state of affairs some Ateneans may have caused this country and its economy. After all, the Jesuits are only their mentors, not their guardian angels. Eki Cardenas, Xavier Loinaz, Ding Pascual, George Barrios, Archbishop Tony Ledesma, and the Who’s Who of High School Centennial Graduating Class ’59 raised P15,000,000 to help high school principal Fr. Raymond Benedict Hizon, SJ, renovate St. Kostka chapel. In Europe they restore, not renovate. In America, they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But Class ’59 must have added up their combined pocketbooks and their combined IQs, and finding they had more decimals than quotients, decided to renovate the high school chapel by expanding it forward and adding a mezzanine to accommodate more students. Architect Felino Palafox Jr. could have pointed out that the Emperor did not need new clothes… sliding open the back of the chapel to open to the covered basketball court would accommodate a multitude. The covered courts reverberated with the introduction of the Ateneo Senior and Junior 2009 UAAP basketball champions. MVP wasn‘t there…probably still licking wounds after his other alma mater Red Lions were bested by his alma mater Blue Eagles.…. Coach Norman Black turned in early his First Five and Ateneo team to prepare for Sunday’s Philippine Collegiate Champions’ League cup vs the FEU Tamaraws. But the Blue Eagles will have to do the job without the devastating Hussain and Nonoy Baclao. Maybe the team can count on a SALVAtion. At such events BPI President Aurelio Montinola III, as FEU vice chairman and Ateneo alumnus, is torn who to root for at the bleachers. The Dominicans will revenge on the Jesuits and the Growling Tigers get back at Eagles in 2011 when UST celebrates its 400th anniversary. Feedback: jaz@mb.com.ph
 

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