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

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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.

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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

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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.

“You must believe…

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Scholars having lunch in San Fernando

“You must believe in a cause to support it.” James Rebosado Olvidares, SAS Class 1951

The conversation went round and round. “All I am asking is for you to help us out,” Jing said.

“Help you with what? I still can’t see why you are helping these kids!” James Olvidares, Class 1951, a retired baker was getting weary, tired and irritable. He believes in self-sufficiency. “You know what you are doing? Handicapping these kids.” He answered his own question. “Listen, if they want to attend SAS high school bad enough they should do something to help themselves. Simple as that,” he continued.

Jing was speechless – but only momentarily. “Mr Olvidares, have you ever been helped by another person in your life? Are you handicapped as a result of the help you received? Please give to the scholarship fund. Help us send these kids to high school at SAS. These kids have nothing. Any amount you wish to give helps.”

Mr Olvidares replied. “Look, I don’t believe in scholarships and all that goody-goody stuff. I attended SAS on my own. Nobody paid for my tuition. My family was poor; we had nothing. I was shoeless until my senior year. I missed meals and I walked to school. I worked for everything I own. Go ask somebody else to help you… somebody who believes in your cause. And oh by the way, what are their parents doing for them?”

Jing knew when to end the conversation. “Well Sir, I tried. Thanks so much for hearing us out and if you ever change your mind, here’s my card. Please give me a call.” She waved goodbye, politely leaving Mr Olvidares.

Her heart throbbed with the hurt caused by the unequivocal rejection. She thought of the scholars. Jing felt Mr Olvidares delivered his frank pronouncements harshly.

In hindsight, not all folks believe in helping others specially those who are in need. These same folks who don’t have charity toward others believe that people are poor because they are lazy and too incompetent to help themselves. They work in absolutes and are hard to convince.

On the other hand there are folks who are decent, caring, and generous. They share with others whatever they have. These folks understand that no one wants poverty as a way of life. Not a single person would miss a meal if they have food to eat. They also believe that it is terrible to waste a brilliant mind. Finally, these generous people believe that Education is Freedom. They believe in SAS Ai’s cause and mission. They support SAS Ai.