Outstanding Assumptionista, outstanding Catholic Filipina-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Thursday, August 23, 2012
DURING the Assumption Day celebration when recognitions were given to the “old girls” who graduated from 1936 to 1954, a high school graduate of 1949 gave the response; she was Tita Betty de la Rama. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Science diploma from Assumption Herran, with a major in Education. Not content with that, she took her Master’s Degree in Child Psychology in Fordham University in New York City.
Tita Betty embodies the true Assumption commitment to God and Man. As a testimony to this, she received 2 outstanding awards: The Assumption Centennial Award and the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice or Papal Award.
Tita Betty’s work and countless services especially to street children are noteworthy. One of which is the Halad Kay Maria Foundation, a subsidiary of which is the Balay Puluy-an, which focuses on street children. These are children who are drawn to a wayward and vagabond life, sometimes rugby kids, carwash boys or plainly as beggars.
Balay Puluy-an through the efforts of Tita Betty and her coworkers send out social workers to the more depressed barangays of the city and investigate if these children receive any education. They choose a child per family and start them off from grade 4 and onto college if they are deserving and truly interested in learning. The latest recipient of this assistance graduated Summa Cum Laude. Indeed, this endeavor reaps great rewards and as of last count 50 children have availed of this outreach project.
Over the years, Tita Betty has devoted her energies to the Negros Church. When something is needed by the Diocese, the name to call is Tita Betty.
Her work in the Cursillo, Halad kay Maria Foundation, Diocesan Catechetical Institute, Conorra Prayer Group is a testimony to her commitment. For all of these and more, she received the Assumption Centennial Award in 1994. The Assumption award is presented to an individual who lives a Christ Centered life, one who is sensitive and responsive to the needs of her fellowmen, constantly seeking ways to be of better and greater service to others just like St. Marie Eugenie, our Mother Foundress of the Assumption.
This fidelity to duty likewise prompted Bishop Camillo Gregorio to nominate her for a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal. It is an award given by the Roman Catholic Church to lay people and the clergy established by Pope Leo XII. In 1987, she received the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Papacy for distinguished service to the Church.
Tita Betty told us that when she received these awards, she did not think of herself but shared and honored her fellow workers for these recognitions. Alone, she could never have accomplished anything. With GOD as her guide to do whatever is HIS will for her, then she was able to sow the many undertakings she has reaped.
Tita Betty says she always has a full schedule daily. But before she goes into the service of her apostolates, foremost, she attends to her husband and children. She is there to prepare the kids before they go off to school and before Tito Rolly goes to work. And she is home from her many duties before they are back. To Tita Betty, family comes first as the family is the very nucleus of society, especially a Catholic one.
In the distant past, I had worked with Tita Betty not only in some projects of the Assumption but also volunteered a few times during the October 1 Proteges of St. Therese of the Child Jesus at the Carmel Chapel. You can see the dedication of Tita Betty in all her activities and there is always a calm around her.
As we listened to Tita Betty giving her response, we paused to assess our lives as well. Have we done much or anything at all for our Church or our community? Have we been faithful to our duty to Christ and fellowman?
There is never a limit to how much we can do for others especially if we do them out of love and for the greater honor and glory of our Lord! And He gave us Tita Betty dela Rama to be a shining example to emulate.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 23, 2012.