The dynamics of religion, education and history are timeless. “Wars, epidemics and calamities,” one sociologist observes, “would not hinder the commemoration of religious, educational and cultural events already intact in history.”
So, Cebu launched the celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines and the historic Battle of Mactan.
Online masses and health updates are held daily. Home-based learning is progressing. Teachers are kept busy conceptualizing learning modules, in coordination with the Department of Education - Region 7.
The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) had the Unveiling of the Marker of the 400 Years of Recoletos Presence in Cebu. It was followed by the Eucharistic Celebration with His Excellency Archbishop Jose Palma as main celebrant, with the Recoletos priests of the various parishes led by the Prior of the USJ-R religious community, Fr. Leopoldo Estioko, OAR. The events were held at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.
USJ-R president Fr. Christopher Maspara, OAR, and the school’s Campus Ministry, managed the entire event assisted by the religious, academic and non-academic teams of the University.
The event was excellently translated into one historic religious milestone of the Recoletos. Fr. Maspara read the decree announcing that the years from 2021 to 2022 will be a “Year of Grace and Pilgrimage”!
In a separate occasion, USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble and the Amparito L. Lhuillier Educational Foundational alumni, led by Giovanni and Giselle Almazan, greeted their alma mater with some selected alumni from Canada, Australia, Dubai, US and the Philippines with a song relevant to the Augustinian advocacy and values, inspiring mankind and asking the Lord Almighty to “Heal the World” in the face of crises and challenges. The Josenian Alumni carry on the chain of the Augustinian legacy.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Normal University continues to make its courses responsive to the current thrusts of the nation, specifically in teacher education. The University of Southern Philippines has been upscaling its facilities in business and management courses. The Benedicto College, University of the Visayas and the University of Cebu explore vast online learning.
More on the academic pursuits of the academe during this pandemic crisis in my next articles. All these reinforce the productive efforts of education in Cebu in spite of Covid-threats.