My Top 5 Happiest Happenings in 2011

The 31st of December. It’s the day when we revisit all the previous days of the year. In this blog I revisit the top 5 happiest things that happened to me in 2011 as a way to thank God for all good things.

My Top 5 Happiest Happenings in 2011:

1. Strategic Management

In one of my PhD in Education (Major in Educational Leadership and Management) courses, I reviewed the literature on strategic planning and management and realized the desperate need for today’s strategy processes to be collaborative, integrative, transformative, incremental, and iterative — characteristics which I sought to embody in a framework for the strategy process which I have begun to use for FORMDEV and for the DLSU S&T Complex in Laguna.

First I asked the facis to pray for, think of, and then write or draw their own vision for FORMDEV. They then shared these with their Bible study groups, and then with the entire group. The BS leaders consolidated the various elements into a single sentence, which the entire group refined into the vision’s current form.  Thanks to Carlo Aragoncillo and Jannah del Barrio for the photo.

I think that one of the reasons that FORMDEV’s vision was never articulated until now (though its mission was clear from the beginning) was that it needed to be crafted collaboratively, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, for it to have transformative power. So, on 18 DEC 2011, the second day of the second-trimester FORMDEV recollection, the facis and I collaboratively envisioned ourselves to be: A growing community of Lasallian ambassadors for Christ who are on fire for the spiritual salvation and formation of their handles. I look forward to determining, again collaboratively, how we can attain this vision, the most challenging aspect of which is keeping our hearts on fire for Christ and His great commission and commandment.

I’m also involved in strategic planning for the DLSU S&T Complex in DLSU’s 50-hectare campus in Laguna. During the first and second trimesters, I pored over the literature on the four aspects of the newly rearticulated vision of DLSU, held several discussions with various stakeholders, and wrote a paper describing the need for and challenges of a Catholic and Lasallian S&T university, outlining a strategic architecture for achieving the DLSU vision, and sketching a preliminary plan. This coming trimeser, I look forward to conducting comprehensive interviews with S&T faculty members, administrators, students, parents, industrial locators, and government units, in order to detail the strategic architecture.

2. Outreach/study trips to Northern Luzon and Singapore

With fellow members of the Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators (NOTED) in NCR, and teachers from San Vicente Elementary School in Minuri, Jones, Isabela.

On 25-29 APR 2011, a small group of Metrobank Oustanding Teachers from NCR went on on a road trip around Northern Luzon (Manila – Bulacan – Nueva Ecija – Nueva Vizcaya – Isabela – Cagayan – Ilocos Norte – Ilocos Sur – La Union – Pangasinan – Tarlac – Bulacan – Manila). The trip had two objectives: outreach and fellowship. I wrote a four-part blog about this road trip, so I won’t talk about it here anymore other than to say that I was amazed at how the Lord gave us the strength and openmindedness to enjoy the trip while blessing others.

With a couple of PhD batchmates and four very cool students of St. Joseph’s Institute International

On 16-22 OCT 2011, my PhD Ed batch went to Singapore to visit a variety of world-class educational institutions to learn how they were addressing the challenges of 21st century education. I wrote a two-part blog on this, so I won’t elucidate on it here other than to say how I enjoyed interacting with students, learning strategies of highly effective institutions, discussing these things with my professor (Sr. Joy Luz) and classmates, meeting with former students and FORMDEV facis now based in Singapore, and browsing at Kinokuniya for new fantasy novels to read. As with the Northern Luzon road trip, I was also amazed at the physical strength that the Lord gave me during the Singapore study trip, and the spiritual strength, too, to be able to read God’s word daily!

3. DLSU’s Centennial Celebration

At the DLSU Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament. At this very moment, I was probably listening to P-Noy’s speech, which came after a wonderful mass, officiated by then Bishop (now Cardinal) Luis Tagle. Thanks to RJ Anonuevo for this TV screenshot.

16 JUL 2011 marked the first day of DLSU’s yearlong celebration of the 100th year of the Lasallian schools in the Philippines. There were many activities but for me the most joyful and memorable were: (1) the Centennial Opening Mass on 16 JUL, officiated by then Bishop (now Cardinal) Luis Tagle, who reminded us of the mark of Lasallian and Catholic education’s being the loving, living contact between teacher and student; and (2) the daylong prayers of thanksgiving offered to God (from 15 JUL 8:00AM to 16 JUL 5:00AM!). I wrote a two-part blog on the centennial, so I won’t elaborate on it here other than to say how happy I believe St. La Salle and all Lasallians in heaven were on those two days.

4. Church Growth

Baptizing a sister in Christ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Many wonderful things happened this year at church, by the grace of God, who gave us a loving pastor and a challenging calling in the midst of an urban poor community. But I would like to focus on two things that gave me great joy. First was the formation of small groups. The Lord led me to teach our local congregation about the importance of small groups and how to establish them and keep them vibrant, and it was a great joy for me to receive news of small groups being established in several households, especially among those in very poor areas! Second was the baptism of close to 50 new (and not-so-new) Christians. May we all remain faithful to Christ until His return!

5. Celebrations with families and friends

Thank God for my natural family (Mom, Dad, Penan, Tetet, Karl, Pao, Josh, and Tea-pooh) as well as my spiritual families (my spiritual parents in Japan; FORMDEV; my local church) and several groups of friends. Christ’s love for me through them sustains my faith, zeal, love, and joy.

With Mom, Dad, Penan, Tetet, Karl, Paolo, Josh, Tea-pooh, and Cousins Mau, Tess, and Charm and their families.
Waiting for post-Christmas merienda with my favorite high school science and math teachers, Ms. Jarumayan and Ms. Cordero, resp., and very good friends Carlo and Tookie.

I thank the Lord for an amazing 2011 and another amazing year in 2012!

A blessed New Year in Christ!

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4 thoughts on “My Top 5 Happiest Happenings in 2011

  1. Hello, sir! I just happened to stumble upon your blog and I would like to ask what your religion is. I’m very much puzzled about yours since you go to Catholic masses, but at the same time, you know so many pastors and some the practices of Christians. I thought Catholics and Christians are a bit contrasting, and I would just like to clarify. Thank you for creating a beautiful blog.

    1. Thanks, Alice!

      Apologies for the late reply. I’m a Christian who appreciates the traditions of all the three major branches of Christianity (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant) as well as its many denominations. I subscribe to the maxim “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” (The essential doctrines are those found in what we call the Apostle’s Creed. Non-Catholic Christians can simply take the word “catholic” to refer to the universal Christian church (see Merriam-Webster’s definition)).

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