Rebuild to relive memories

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014


THE iconic gymnasium of the Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod (CSA-B) was destroyed by fire last April 7.

Barely three months after, last June 26, the CSA-B academic community gathered at another iconic facility, the auditorium, to relive their memories of the gymnasium that had become a part of the identity and culture of the Augustinians.

The gathering was also the official launch of the project to rebuild the gymnasium, dubbed “Rebuild to Relive the Memories.” The launch was attended by the friars, academic and administrative officers, the alumni, the officers of the parents-teachers association and the student government officers of CSA-B.

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During the program, I, as director of the CSA-B Performing Arts, vividly recalled to the academic community in attendance, that fateful day of April 7, 2014.

On that day, there was general audition for incoming Performing Arts members at the gym stage while the college varsity basketball team was holding their try-out practice game at the court.

Around 5 p.m., when almost all the students and personnel had left, a fire broke inside the gym that started at the quarters of the college basketball team.

The aftermath: the entire brass and pop band instruments, a set of drumbeating instruments, hundreds of dance troupe costumes and props, sports equipment, the gym stage and its lights and sound system were razed.

The irony of it all is that the school’s Performing Arts is preparing for its Silver Anniversary come 2015, with some big events such as a grand velada and an alumni homecoming, being lined up to be held in the gym that had became the breeding ground of budding Negrense artists.

Built in 1975 and inaugurated in 1977, the gym was the venue of several top-rated musical and dance concerts as well as theater productions performed by CSA-B alumni Kuh Ledesma, Gary Valenciano, Joey Ayala, Ballet Philippines, Bulwagang Gantimpala, Sining Kambayoka, Sayaw Pinoy and Tanghal University Theater Festival of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, among others.

Those performances inspired the student-artists of the school to pursue their passion for the arts and hone their skills in the stage, in the court and in the performing art studios inside the gym.

Among them are film director Erick Matti, Moy Ortiz of the singing group The Company, Pilipinas Got Talent finalists and National PRISAA Latin Dance Sports champions Nielbeth (Leoniel Enopia and Elizabeth Dazo), TV station manager Leilani Salem-Alba, dance sports and fitness instructress Ching Temporosa-Alcala, Lin-ay sang Negros chairman Ian de Ramos, Panaad sa Negros Music Festival Hall of Fame awardee and PAGCOR National OPM first runner-up Charles Kevin Tan, award-winning hiphop crew Critical Breakdown, theater actresses and beauty queens Jelianne Dinorog-Villacuatro and Joy Magielen Jontilano, to name a few.

The gym was also the training ground of national league basketball legends Noli Locsin and Boyet Fernandez and several champions in the provincial, regional and national sports competitions.

Two months after the fire, a core group was organized by the school administrators to map out the fund-raising activities to help rebuild the gymnasium.

The official launch of the project dubbed as “Re-build To Re-live the Memories”, was set on June 26 in time for the 1st Institutional Mass and General Orientation of CSA-B for School Year 2014-2015.

The first part, which was attended by the students, the faculty and personnel, was held at the nearby parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, popularly known as the Redemptorist Church. The second was held at the auditorium.

CSA-B president Fr. Pederito Aparece, OSA, in his message, spoke that the gymnasium was a venue of dialogue and friendship, of self-discovery and of nurturing the students’ talents, and of solidarity and communion.

He appealed to the benefactors, alumni, parents, students, faculty and personnel of the school to take part and unite in rebuilding the gymnasium.

The first in the series of fund-raising activities is the Red and Gold Zumba Run initiated by the Red and Gold Alumni Association, Inc., headed by its president, Agustin Estanol Jr. in partnership with I Run-Bacolod.

It will be held on Saturday, July 5, with CSA-B as the starting point. There will be a 1K, 3K, 5K, and 10K run. The 1K and 3K run will start at 5 a.m., with a registration fee of P250 and P300, respectively. The 5K run will assemble at 4 a.m. and will start at 6 a.m., with a registration fee of P350.

The 10K run will assemble at 4 a.m. and gun starts at 5:30 a.m. with registration fee of P500. Medals await the top 100 finishers of the 10K run.

Registration for the 6:30 a.m. Zumba at the CSA-B open court is P50. Interested parties may contact CSA-B through telephone number 434-2471; Run Club-Bacolod, telephone number 709-1957 or Sander’s , Lacson Street branch, telephone number 709-1594 and its North Drive branch, 708-8289; log on at #redandgoldzumrun7.5.14.

Another fund-raising activity on July 5 is an indie film entitled “A Passion of Journey” that will be shown at Robinsons Place Bacolod Cinema at 9:30 a.m. Produced by Claire de la Fuente and directed by Anthony Hernandez, the film features Matteo Guidicelli, Vivian Velez, Jay Manalo, Snooky Serna, Richard Quan and Bacolodnon actress Odette Khan. Tickets at P180 are available at the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and External Relations of CSA-B and at the entrance of Robinsons cinema.

Red and gold Bangon San Ag shirts at P250 are on sale at the CSA-B VPSAER Office.

Meanwhile, the CSA-B Performing Arts will launch its 2015 Silver Anniversary on August 27 at 5 p.m., with a Velada at the fountain area of Robinsons Place.

One of the activities for the whole-yearcelebration is the reunion of former members of the Kanlaon Theater Guild, the Kagayon Dance Troupe, the Kalinaw Chorale and the KamiGhon Brass and Pop Band next year and to solicit pledges and donations from them for the musical instruments and costumes that were razed by the fire.

The Augustinian community looks forward to a better, bigger and modern gymnasium to rise, upon which future Augustinians can build new and lasting memories.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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