Incoming SAS Ai Students for School Year 2018-19 Announcement


JuneVisitCandidatesGaretLeonardCRPblogpost

(L-R) Mrs Miranda (Dylan’s Mom), Mrs Costales (Kyla’s Mom), Kyla Costales (9th grade), Mr Sables (Hazeldee’s Dad), Hazeldee Sables (11th grade), Mrs Sables (Hazeldee’s Mom), Esther Anne Sarmiento (7th grade), Mrs Sarmiento (Esther Anne’s Mom), Dylan Rodge Miranda (7th grade), Ms Margarita “Garet” Bayan (SAS Ai Student Activities & Affairs Coordinator), and Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, (Member, SAS Ai Board of Trustees) – Venue Photo taken at the Buenavista Family Inn (BFI), courtesy of Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, President of BFI

We welcome our new students participating in the SAS Ai financial aid program, starting this school year 2018-19.

DylanRodgeMirandaID2

Dylan Miranda

Mr Dylan Rodge Y Miranda – moving up to 7th grade (SAS) (far left)

Esther Anne SarmientoID

Esther Anne Sarmiento

Ms Esther Anne N Sarmiento – moving up to 7th grade (Tagudin Central School) (far right)

KylaCostales9ID

Kyla Costales

Ms Kyla Alexis Costales – moving up to 9th grade (SAS) (left)

HazeldeeGraduating10thgradeID2

Hazeldee Sables

Ms Hazeldee Sables – moving up to 11th grade (SAS) (right)

 

 

Today, June 24, 2018, Ms Garet Bayan, (SAAC), met with the students and their families to discuss the particulars of the SAS Ai Financial Aid program:

  • Family financial (annual gross income) requirements.
  • Applicant’s grade point average (GPA) requirements.
  • Articles of Faith and Understanding covering the responsibilities and expectations of all parties involved:  (1) SAS Ai, (2) the student’s family, and (3) the student.
  • General Guidelines – SAS Ai expectations from its students participating in the program.
  • Academic, Social, Spiritual, Personal leadership development while in the program.
  • Q & A

Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, a member of the SAS Ai Board of Trustees, and one of the original drivers of the program since its inception, was present at the meeting. He freely shared his knowledge and expertise about the financial aid program. He covered SAS Ai history and its program success record to date, and answered most of the questions, as he helped Ms Bayan facilitate the meeting.

Join us in welcoming all our new students to the SAS Ai program! “Education is Freedom”

Advertisements

SAS Ai’s Christmas Angel


ImeldaPresidenciacrpd

Imelda visiting the Tagudin Plaza and Municipal Hall

Ms Imelda Villanueva attended Saint Augustine School (SAS), graduated (Batch 81) and went on out into the world of work to make a name for herself. She and her family currently live in New York where she works.

She is one, among the many friends of SAS Alumni International, who takes quite seriously, our mission of outreach to bright kids from poor families in their quest to finish high school at SAS.

DaklisTampugo2crpd

“Daklis” or dragnet fishing involves the entire community. Imelda joined the fishing effort.

Currently vacationing in the Philippines, she’s enjoying the company of family and friends from the old country in Tampugo, while taking care of personal business in metro Manila and Makati city.

Home in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, she’s seen participating in the community tradition of “dragnet” fishing, or daklis in the Ilocano vernacular. At Tampugo Beach, Imelda tasted fresh “Aryaw-yaw” – or silverfish fry caught by the daklis and salloy.

AlbertImeldaChristmas2015acrpd

Albert receiving the Christmas gifts for the students from Imelda

More importantly – and this is what Imelda takes the most pride – she brought home Christmas presents for the kids in the financial aid program. She did this act of kindness in addition to financially supporting the cause.

Now, how thoughtful and kind is that?

She got together with Mr Albert Bunoan, our SAS Ai VP of Field Operations and presented the gifts for the kids before leaving for Manila. Time constraints prevented her from personally meeting with the kids. Maybe next time.

Indeed we are grateful and deeply touched by Ms Imelda’s generosity to the kids. In turn, the kids will treasure their presents and thank Ms Imelda Villanueva by successfully graduating high school!

Fellow Augustinians Living in Canada


tagcanada00

Tagudinians Association of Canada held their annual reunion

SAS Alumni International (SAS Ai) gives a warm shout-out to our fellow Augustinians living in Canada for their support and commitment to our mission of helping bright kids from poor families finish high school. Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the New Year bring you prosperity, happiness and good health.

We have members of SAS Batches 1980 and 1981 living in Canada who have generously given to the school fund. Thank you. So too with Batches 1958, 1959 and 1966. At the last grand reunion in 2012, we heard some folks have retired and others soon to be retiring. Most of them belong to the earlier batches who have recently celebrated their silver jubilees, or golden jubilees.

Funny how jubilee celebrations always bring out into the limelight (some though reluctantly) those among us who like to lie low in the grass. Perhaps because they are finally reaching retirement age, they have more time for leisure. Whereas before they were hustling, working two or three jobs to raise their families.

Listen. There’s talk on the grapevine about some very nice retirement living facilities there in Canada. Okay. Give me a break. Canada is big country. We know but hey, such as, there are places like Wallace Living, (http://wallaceliving.ca/) that offer assisted living for seniors, apartment living for folks looking for a place to rent, etc. Have you heard about them? That’s in Nova Scotia though. But more importantly, their company website is accessible and user-friendly so you can browse it at your own leisure. As a side note, we heard members of the Manzano family from Bangar just arrived and may need housing assistance. Let us know if you need some contact information. We can put you in touch with some of our fellow Augustinians living there, near the area.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

SAS Batch 80 and Batch 81


Our VP of Sales & Marketing, Melanie P Florentino filed this report:

SAS Batch 80 and SAS Batch 81

SAS Batch 80 and SAS Batch 81

Dear SAS Ai Family,

Here’s hoping all is well with you.
Please be informed that the campaign for Batch ’80 to support the “$10 dollar allotment per month for scholarship funding” is ongoing since its launch last summer (May 2014). The response is kinda slow but it’s moving nonetheless and gaining momentum.Smile
As of yesterday, Elizabeth dela Cruz (based in Winnipeg Canada) remitted PhP 4,000 pesos to my bank account which I have withdrawn and deposited to Albert’s PNB account earlier today. The amount represents her first initial support to the campaign.
Ramon Octavo (also in Canada) informed me a few days ago that he will send his donation at the end of this month. He also mentioned that he started talking to other batch-mates in Canada and hopes are high that they will join the fray. God willing.
Just for accounting purposes of remittances to Albert’s PNB account between May and July 2014.
Annie (80) and Joey (81) – PhP 4300
Digno Follosco (81) – PhP 6,000
Elizabeth dela Cruz (80) – PhP 4,000
Not much really so we need to work harder.
Thanks and warmest regards,
Melanie

Baby’s Breath


Plain and uncomplicated but stunning in their lace-like simplicity

Plain and uncomplicated but stunning in their lace-like simplicity

In the field grew all kinds of plants – no particular organization, just plants randomly taking root and thriving, reaching for the sky. Some more established plants stood tall above the tangle of weeds and grass, their flowers dominant under the bright sunlight. How beautiful a sight to behold. Purple, orange, pumpkin, bright yellows, oyster shell white, hot white, even lavender and of course red – myriad of colors. I stood there transfixed soaking in the view, breathing in the subtle perfume and sweet scents wafting all around me.

Cropping up in bulges like a rooster’s comb, out to my far right at the edge of an irrigation ditch or water splash culvert, several layers of tiny flowering plants grew in profusion. The plants themselves were not showy at all. They looked rather plain and common – much like weeds, saw grass and dandelion. In the breeze their spindly branches danced. Their tiny flowers sprouting at the end of long stems looked like tiny popcorn bursts, or white buttons and even tiny white daisies. But upon closer scrutiny the flowers were actually very dainty and fragile like snowflakes.

What’s so special about Baby’s Breath? These plants are definitely related to the dandelions and buttercups – lowly ground creepers largely ignored by nursery growers. Bunched up in a bouquet by themselves, they would look like some white duster contraption – or even maybe a witches’ fly swatter. Yet when tiny Baby’s Breath blossoms surround long-stemmed red roses, the roses seem more prominent – almost ostentatious in their red velvety petals becoming deeper red still.

Such is the way our organization works. We are a non-profit manned and operated by unpaid volunteers – each doing their specialty, keeping the organization humming like a well oiled engine. We have our executive officers – I suppose they would be the long-stemmed regal roses, or exotic blossoms and orchids. And all around them are the support folks – the baby’s breath blossoms in a bouquet, simple, uncomplicated – or the many volunteer workers in the background dedicated to making things work. Ultimately all members of the organization as in a bouquet – be they roses, orchids, ferns, baby’s breath, squash flowers or plain ever green leaves – help our group achieve its mission and vision.

A Determined Spirit


Rose Ann's family kitchen

Rose Ann’s family kitchen

“Mom, can I stay home today and work on my math assignment? I am behind.” Rose Ann sounded worried. As a family they planned to harvest the corn the whole day. It was just her and her parents.

“Rose sweetheart,” her mother softly replied, “you have to do what you have to do. School’s very important and your father and I will manage.”

Rose’s parents, Mr and Mrs Fajardo want Rose Ann to keep up her good grades so that she can keep her scholarship. Like most folks in the village, the Fajardo’s live by the “scratch and peck,” system of daily survival. Their field’s planted all year round with cash crops like corn, mung beans, sugar beets, and rice. Tenant farming puts food on the table but not much else. The Fajardo ladies don’t buy fabric from which to sew dresses; they use softened flour sackcloth or empty rice sacks. The little money saved from produce sales goes to the livestock feed and fertilizer. For this reason Rose Ann applied for financial aid to finish high school.

Mature for her age, Rose Ann performed well in elementary school maintaining a grade point average of 89%. Shy, introverted and demure, her classmates make fun of her timidity – all in jest – no malice. Members of our Field Team counsel and coach her to open up, be vocal specially during classroom discussions. “Ask the teacher questions. Don’t be afraid of ridicule,” they strongly suggest. “Class participation is critical, and if you don’t speak up, you won’t get any answers,” they would continue. For her part, Rose Ann gave opening up a good try. She is getting better each day and the Field Team makes it a point to recognize her improvement during scheduled meetings.

Rose Ann wants to finish high school and go on to higher learning. With her indomitable spirit and self-confidence we are hopeful of her future. We are proud to help her attend high school. On behalf of Rose Ann and on behalf of all our scholars, we thank you our benefactors. Without your generous help and donations, we would not be able to conduct our mission.

 

Become Involved; Join the Mission


Bo-te-te - toxic but good eating

Bo-te-te – toxic but good eating

The Good Book describes the Kingdom of Heaven as like a fisherman, who throws his net into the waters and catches all kinds of fish. He goes through his catch, separating the good eating fish to one side, while setting the not-so-good for eating fish on the other side. And so it shall be on judgment day. I paraphrase of course.

Reading these stories about the Kingdom-of-Heaven-being-at-hand in the Good Book and reflecting on it, I am thinking that yes, the Kingdom of Heaven is here and now. The master fisherman throws his net in the waters catching all kinds of People. Well, people come with different characteristics and make up. For example, some people can feel the need to support a cause while others cannot and won’t. Some remain unmoved and sit on the fence. Still, some people are so turned on they will go the extra mile and begin to promote the cause bringing in more support. These advocates would be like the yeast, in another Kingdom of Heaven story – the change agent the woman added and mixed with the dough making the dough rise and double in size.

And it touches me so deeply to see our supporters and volunteers in action. Friends who donate to the program, complete strangers who sponsor these bright kids through high school, and those who champion our mission. I am speechless; how do they do it? What moves them? I take a deep breath, inhale the spirit and think. Indeed the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.