Typhoon “Lawin” Damage

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Convent Roof Compromised

If my memory serves me right, the last typhoon that flooded Tagudin and outlying areas, tore up buildings and homes happened earlier this year or sometime late last year. That storm brought rains that made the river waters rise, overflowing its banks, inundating its tributaries with tons of water-borne mud, rocks, and debris that came raging downstream. Barangays like Sawat were cut off and the emergency response units had to ferry folks and their livestock to higher ground on make shift rubber rafts and other motorized water craft.

Another typhoon came by recently, only this time it didn’t spare the town proper. It directly hit the Sister’s convent. The hurricane-force winds tore up the convent roof made up largely of nailed corrugated tin sheets. Once the tiny swirls of dervishes (tornadoes) whirling along the fringes


Ceiling slats couldn’t keep the rain off of convent furnishings

of the major gusts found the exposed seams of the corrugated tin sheets, it was only a matter of time until the entire roof was ripped off of its sub-roof foundations and underlayment.

With the roof compromised, the convent became a veritable open vessel for the torrential downpour. You can just imagine the devastating effect of the unchecked water pouring freely on exposed furniture, books, filing cabinets, chapel statuary, beds, linens, and other household items.


Mayor Jun Verzosa inspecting the damage to the Sisters Convent

Headed by Mayor Jun Verzosa, local government officials inspected the damage to assess the repair costs. The ICM Sisters sent out requests for financial help to the alumni at large. SAS Batch 1958, headed by Mr & Mrs Niceto and Delia Batac of San Diego, CA., along with Engr Apolonio and Emilie Villanueva, Mr & Mrs Sam and Lolita Hassan, Mr & Mrs Fred and Margarita Lasmarias to name a few, immediately collected contributions and sent the amount to Sr. Nida


SAS Class 1958 at the SAS Centennial

Buyuccan, ICM and Sr. Connie Gacutan, ICM.

We ask all fellow Augustinians to please take a few moments to make a generous donation toward the repair of the badly damaged Sister’s Convent. Thank you.


SAS 2010 Centennial – SAS Ai KIOSK

Presidential Move

The President makes a move on the crowd massing at the SAS Ai KIOSK during the Centennial

The whole thing morphed into something funny. At the 2010 SAS Centennial celebration, SAS Ai fully participated in the festivities by providing three (3) venues to engage the attending public. First came the KIOSK, the operations nerve center for the entire SAS Ai team, then the Community Picnic held in Dardarat Beach, and of course we had the Centennial Ball complete with a live band, entertainment, raffles and prizes awarded.

The KIOSK opened for three consecutive days. On opening day, SAS Ai President and CEO, Atty Romeo J Somera, CPA took the lead. The team opened the day with public announcements and general information about SAS Ai and its mission, followed by sign-ups for the daily raffle. Melanie Florentino, our Sales and Mktg Director designed the KIOSK and furnished it with the needed counters and temporary cabinetry. On the main counter rested four jelly bean jars with the sign “Guess the correct number of jelly beans for a prize”. The people went wild over those jars.

As word got out about the KIOSK, its activities, promotional items, and goodies, a crowd of curiosity seekers formed three long lines and massed on all three open sides of the KIOSK. In the above photo, the President makes a quick get-away from the advancing horde. “Don’t you just love it?” he quipped as he hurried towards the awaiting vehicle.

SAS Ai Centennial Ball

Leonard and Melanie

Leonard and Melanie MC’eed at the SAS Ai hosted Centennial Ball

SAS Ai’s active participation in the 2010 SAS Centennial celebration included a Centennial Ball that invited all attendees to the festivities. The President and CEO, Atty Romeo J Somera, CPA, headed this event. Visiting members of the Board, the Field Team and all SAS Ai scholars and their parents also helped.

The dance band “Plectrum,” an entertainment group highly recommended by SAS Ai supporter Jose Pepito Sison of Michigan played and provided the evening’s choreographed dances with their troupe and acrobats.

Handling the MC and co-MC duties, Leonardjon Buenavista and Melanie P Florentino ably provided program coverage and continuity. Their main gig included calling the raffles, awarding prizes to the winners, and casting the spotlight on attending personalities from the different SAS class batches. They also arbitrated and took care of the prize disposal, as in the case of two winners claiming the same prize.

While many prizes went to the raffle winners, of note were Mr & Mrs Peter and Nora Sprenger from Canada, Board members and backers of SAS Ai, giving prizes and awards to the SAS Ai scholars for: (1) excellent school work, (2) good citizenship, and (3) Centennial Spirit, and (4) Most exemplary scholar. President Romeo J Somera liaisoned with the municipal and school dignitaries. Albert D Bunoan, other Board members, the Field Team took care of the logistics with the scholars and their parents.

All who attended enjoyed the Centennial Ball, rewarding SAS Ai for its sustained community outreach.

SAS Ai at the 2010 Centennial

Scholars and Parents

SAS Ai scholars and their parents attend briefing before the community picnic

SAS Ai participated in the 2010 SAS Centennial celebration in a major way, offering three venues and activities for all those attending and members of the community at large. The community picnic, headed by Tina Laycano and Andring Ladi involved all the scholars and their parents, members of the Field Team, members of the Board of Trustees who were visiting from abroad, and the SAS Ai President and CEO, Atty Romeo J Somera, CPA.

In the above photo we see the scholars seated in front with their parents seated directly in back of them. Scholars from left to right, Cristina Javier, Mirasol Literato, Ina Gabaldon, Michelle Pera and Jessa Lastimosa (who has since graduated) listen to the briefing. Members of the Field Team also sat at the back.

The community picnic proved successful serving close to 1750 people.

Hello to SAS alumni all over the world!

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CICM Nun, Rev Mother DeMeester founded St Augustine’s School in 1910.

In 2010, Saint Augustine School (SAS) celebrated its first centennial anniversary: 100 years of service. It was a grand celebration.

Many former students, graduates and SAS alumni from all over the world came home to celebrate. Did you attend the festivities?


These CICM nuns from Europe (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany) were the first teachers at SAS. They accompanied Mother DeMeester.

The ICM sisters who run the school celebrated the occasion by retelling the school’s founding and honoring the memory of the missionary nuns and priests who brought education to the town of Tagudin and to the provinces of Ilocos Sur and La Union.

SAS Ai, Inc.

“Education is Freedom” is the rallying cry of SAS Alumni International.

St Augustine School Alumni International (SAS Ai, Inc.), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to help young, bright, promising students who come from poor families get a good high school education at SAS through financial assistance also participated in the centennial celebration providing:


SAS Ai Information Center

The KIOSK – This SAS Ai booth, manned bymembers of the SAS Ai Field Team headed by Albert Bunoan, other members of the Board of Trustees (BOT), and the President and CEO of SAS Ai, Atty Romeo J Somera, served as the information and operations center. From here we informed the public on our financial assistance program, how to apply, and what is involved in the process of applying for assistance. From this booth we also distributed promotional items, such as, pens, mugs, tote bags, baseball caps, and t-shirts. This kiosk created a lot of excitement among the crowds.


SAS Ai President and CEO, Atty Romeo J Somera in the middle of the KIOSK crowd activity.


(L-R) Tina Laycano, Atty Romeo J Somera, and Andring Ladi take a break from the picnic action.

The Community PICNIC –  Held at Dardarat Beach and ably headed by Andring Ladi and Tina Laycano, both members of the BOT, this picnic served 1600 to 1750 people who came to partake in the great food and get together. The entire town of Tagudin and Barangays were invited and they came. Our SAS Ai scholars and their parents assisted in the serving of the food and beverages. To say it was a huge success would be an understatement.


Dardarat Beach where SAS Ai held the community picnic served anywhere from 1600 to 1780 people.


(L-R) Mrs Lastimosa, Jessa Lastimosa receive the Centennial Spirit award from Peter and Nora Sprenger as the President and CEO, Atty Romeo J Somera looks on.

The Centennial BALL & RAFFLE – While the program MCs, Melanie P Florentino and Leonardjon Buenavista worked the crowd into a dancing frenzy, Nora and her husband Peter Sprenger readied the prizes for the raffle, and the gifts they have prepared for the scholars. The entire town and all centennial-attending alumni were invited. Many came to enjoy the sounds and dance to the tunes of the live band. Pepito Sison, an ardent supporter of SAS Ai and a fellow Augustinian recommended this band. The dancing was great and many of those who won raffle prizes went home very happy.


“Oooo-weee” – dancers lined up and ready to execute the Electric Slide. That dance floor was hot!

SAS Ai, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Mission:  To help young, bright, and promising students who come from poor families get a good high school education at SAS through financial assistance. All donations to the scholarship fund are tax deductible. We accept major credit cards (VISA, MC, and DISC). Use our secure online acceptance portal. Save your receipts.