SAINT John's Institute of Bacolod City, with its strong affiliation with its Chinese-Filipino benefactors, broadens its foothold in continuously carrying out its mission to educate the younger generation of Chinese-Filipino learners with the ground breaking of the new SJI North Point Academic Building and providing them with a better opportunity to engage in sports with the newly-inaugurated Luis T. Ong Sports Pavilion and SJI Swimming Center located at its North Point campus in Talisay City on October 20, 2019.
SJI's partners and benefactors in pursuit of excellence include Mrs. Lina Go Ong and family, Benjamin, Sr. and Soledad Lopue, Benjamin Jr. and Julia Lopue, Benjamin III and Miren Lopue, Mary Chris Lopue, Mary Grace Lopue Chua and Aldwin Chua, John Vincent and Cynddee Lopue, Rosita Uy Bico, Billy and Arabelle Lopue, Dennis and Irene Coo, Teofilo Ponce, Sr., Lucy Ponce, Kerwin John, and Lilibeth Lo and several kind-hearted individuals who collaborated with the school to make this goal feasible.
Mr. Alfredo G. Barcelona, chairman of SJI Board of Trustees said, "SJI marks another milestone in her journey. We thank from the bottom of our hearts, the donors, the family of well-respected Luis T. Ong, the Lopue family and the prominent leaders of the SJI community for making this dream a reality.
Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares, who is a Johnian belonging to Batch 1993, appreciated the initiative of putting together this sports and educational facilities that will enhance the Johnian's core values, discipline and sports exposure among its students.
Negros Occidental Third District Representative Jose Francisco "Kiko" Benitez said, "Sports is actually a major component of holistic education. Fr. Joel pointed out during the mass about the healthy mind in healthy bodies. Within the context of our contemporary society, there is no healthy mind without a healthy body. The attention to sports and your community, coming together to put together facilities like this is a testament to how important educational experience of St. John is beyond just the academics. Sports, as Mayor Lizares, said provides moral character, resiliency, teaches leadership, teamwork, collaboration in competition. But I would propose that it does three more things. One, it provides us with natural highs that in the context of the outgoing drug war is quite crucial for our youth. The second is it is a low cost for a community to form collective experiences as a community. As we sit here today, this space in the next year to come will be the site where St. John's Institute in Talisay will gather and feel the spirit of what is meant to be Johnians together in Talisay. And third, in today's world quick, shallow likes and dislikes where the digital world's generation of apathy, things like sports remind us what it’s like to be embodied and to relate to other people in a real physical way. There are no shortcuts, no quick fixes but a slow resilient and day by day practice to make our bodies move, make us do the best that we can and always do it in communities and teams. Congratulations to SJI family and community."
“What you have done today is in accordance with Mayor Lizares vision of converting Talisay into a hub of education not only for the district but for our province as a whole and therefore congratulations again. This is a source of pride for the generations to come,” he added.
Meanwhile, SJI Board of Trustees chaired by Mr. Barcelona, president Benjamin Lopue, Jr., vice president Andre Palanca, secretary Arabelle Lopue, treasurer Eduardo Go and members Dennis Coo, Nestor Jalandoni III, Lucy Ponce, Nelson Senoron and Donita Uybico extended their gratitude to everyone who took part in the realization of their dream to intensify SJI's mission of educating the young generation and further enhance their sense of community through sports.
SJI Board of Trustees recognized the benefactors including Architect Andrei Denzel Chiu Lim who is an SJI alumnus and architect of SJI North Point Sports Pavilion with Mr. Alex Lim as the contractor. Ms. Mary Chris Lopue is the benefactor of SJI North Point Campus. Dennis Ong is the contractor of the Olympic-sized SJI swimming pool.