Espina: Religious milestones

In my diary

THE University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) celebrated two milestones: Fr. Raul Buhay‘s presbyteral ordination (1988-2019) and Fr. Hernando D. Coja’s 50 years of religious life.

Fr. Buhay, OAR, propelled the upgrading of USJ-R faculty and community linkages, institutionalized the PR and information department, and appointed me as consultant. It was also during his term when I was conferred Hermana General, the highest honor given to the lay apostolate of the OAR community. Fr. Coja, OAR was the president when Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos applied for the University status in tandem with Fr. Rafael Cabarles, OAR. All these accomplishments were continued by the succeeding presidents.

The current university president, Fr. Cristopher Maspara, OAR, has successfully expanded the academic and religious mileage of USJ-R, and infused the Augustinian mission in all the school’s programs. I thank him for his continuous confidence in me as cultural and community consultant.

Very much part of the OAR religious community is Hermana General and executive secretary Brenda Saliendra, who recently celebrated her birthday. Greetings to family friend Dodong Gawchua, who gathered his family and friends for his birthday.


The 888 News Forum celebrated its 13th anniversary with its partner Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. The event invited Cebu City Police Chief Gemma Cruz Vinluan as resource person for the first part of the program.

Former Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Mina Gabor was the guest speaker who discussed ecotourism, in response to Consul Bobby Joseph’s long-term program on farm tourism. Bobby has been an active proponent of the basic project of clean surroundings, and farm preservation and production. Cebu City Vice Mayor Mike Rama urged the audience to “Gising Bayan;” in crusading for leadership in environmental balance, inclusion of character and conduct in the school curriculum, among other community reforms.

The 888 Annual Awards went to the following for their tourism initiatives: Cebu Safari and Adventure Park vice president and chief operating officer Eduard Jarque Loop; DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano, represented by Gelena Asis-Dimpas; and Louie Alvarez of Montebello Villa Hotel, represented by Eve Marie Grace Kintanar.

Present were 888 pioneer trustees Dawnie Roa, Honey Loop and other guests.


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