“Preferring” in Universal Apostolic Preferences

uap_collage_800

[A contribution to the conversation on the Universal Apostolic Priorities of the Society of Jesus]

Recently the Society of Jesus articulated four universal apostolic preferences (UAPs):

  1. To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment;
  2. To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice;
  3. To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future;
  4. To collaborate in the care our Common Home.

[visit:  https://www.educatemagis.org/documents/universal-apostolic-preferences-of-the-society-of-jesus-2019-2029/]

Webster defines preference as a priority.

But the Society of Jesus does not want preferences to be confused with priorities.

Priorities have to do with agenda:  the choice of these over those.  Prioritization belongs to a plan, where the human planner is in control.  It belongs to the realm of human rationality.

DSC05901The preferences of the UAP are not used in this sense.

They do not place walking with the poor over accompanying students who pay tuition in our schools to succeed in their preparation for life.

They are, I think, more profound than that.

Sometimes, “preference” is a weak word – close to the expression of an arbitrary choice.  One can prefer chocolate over strawberry; but the preference is not of great consequence.  One prefers a Nissan over a Toyota.  But a Suzuki would have done just as well.

But “preference” in the UAPs is a strong word, expressing a deep discerned personal desire in communion with the body of the Society of Jesus, as soon as one allows the Spirit to lead oneself to “prefer” in this way.

This is, indeed, a bit tricky, because my spirit, my rationality, my wisdom, my defenses, my smugness and self-satisfaction tend to resist the urgings of the Spirit towards this way of “preferring.”

The latter is a preferring against what I unguardedly prefer, an “agere contra” in the range of possible preferences.  In unguarded moments I prefer to lead people to the wisdom of a worldliness insulated against a God and the promptings of His Spirit;  I prefer to walk in the company of the wealthy, the decision makers, the honored and admired, even should they be compromised by their inhumanity;  I prefer to be in the company of the adult, sophisticated, important people of this world who create the despair of the present;  I prefer the consumption and the wastefulness of a comfortable life.  Even as a Jesuit.  I prefer it even against intrusions of guilt and shame.

Preferring “to show the way to God through the spiritual exercises” is not an arbitrary choice over “showing the way to God through prayer and meditation over scriptural passages.”  It is an active desire in grace led by the Spirit, as long as one allows the Spirit to lead.

It is in this personal preferring in the communion of the Society of Jesus that one discerns the Jesuit mission within, not without.

It is not therefore an external, rational, appreciation of mission and its many strategic aspects that precedes my “preferring.”

But it is in my free “preferring” any of the UAPs that I am led to the “necessities” and “commitments” and “resolutions” described in each of the UAPs,

Already in Preference 1, “To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment,” the whole mission of the SJ is discerned in the Contemplation on the Incarnation through the Spiritual Exercises.  It is the same with “preferring” to walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated in a mission of reconciliation and justice.”  Here, the preference explicitly mentions the mission.

Therefore, not preference between faith, justice, cultures, inter-religious dialogue, and the environment arbitrarily, but an active preferring… desiring…with the communion of the SJ…which discerns in the Spirit the Jesuit mission within.  The preference is the manner in which an individual, a Jesuit or a partner in mission, appropriates an external mission in interiority.

It is only in this context that one “implements the preference,” which is at first glance a jarring agendum, since one intuitively implements a mission.   But one does not implement an arbitrary or indifferent preference of an aspect of our mission against its other aspects.  In preferring… one implements the exigencies of mission freely appropriated in preferring.    It is, surprisingly, not a sobering proposition in its demands, but empowering in its freedom and joyful in its possibilities.

This said, it may be helpful to note the explicitated context of Fr. Sosa’s letter (June, 2019) in “secular society” and the challenges coming from “new secularisms” and from “mature secularised society.”  Fr. Sosa also points out that the UAPs “are in agreement with the current priorities of the Church as expressed through the ordinary magisterium of the Pope, the Synods, and the Episcopal Conferences, esp. since Evangelii Gaudium.

In an apostolic context such as Mindanao were the concerns of diversity of religions, faiths, and cultures are of greater urgency than of secularism and secularization, even while the latter cannot be discounted, it would have been good if the communion of Jesuits had also “preferred” inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, as had been explicitated as a dimension of the mission of the Society of Jesus in GC 36.  Indeed, the context here is not only Mindanao, but Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Indonesia, Malaysia, in interaction, too often with extreme violence and war, with such as Israel, the US, France, and China.  This would also have been congruent with the ordinary teachings of the magisterium in such documents as the Document on Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together (Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed Al Tayyeb, Feb 2019), Nostra Aetate of Vatican II, Redemptoris Missio of Pope Paul VI, and Dignitatis Humanae (Vat II).

In “preferring” inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue one certainly might have appropriated the mission of the service of the faith, showing people the way to God through the SpEX and discernment, but in the context  of diverse religions, some of which contradict religion in extreme and violent convictions.  It would have led to walking with the poor, the outcasts, those whose dignity had been violated because their religions had been “othered”.  It would have led to accompanying the youth of these religions to reconciliation not only between different religions but among receptions of the same religion, and to the building of a common home in fragmented worlds hostile to othered religions.

Nevertheless, the apostolic concerns of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue are expressed in Fr. Sosa’s letter under the first priority.  Leading people to God through strengthened faith involves “a dialogue with other religions and with all cultures.”  What appears overlooked or understated comes to light in praying to prefer “to show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and Discernment.”

Finally, even as we can better appreciate the special Jesuit nuance in the “preferences” of the UAPs as expressed by Fr. Sosa, it is empty without arriving at a fresh appropriation in freedom of the Society’s profound mission of participating with the Father in his work of reconciling humanity with himself, human beings with other human beings, and humanity with creation, and understanding the consequent exigencies of this mission. Here the initiative is not with the apostolic zeal and power of the individual Jesuit nor of the Society of Jesus but in the compassion of the Father who “prefers” over condemnation dialogue and reconciliation with humankind through love, walking with sinners and failures and even Jesuits who’ve sinned messed up, walking with the old as well as with the young, and restoring a destroyed earth to a common home.  Here the surprise is the awesome vocation gifted to each of us to be a part of this work of reconciliation, despite our unexamined preferences.

But its joy may be revealed in what the Spirit leads the communion of Jesuits to prefer.

Advertisements
Posted in Personal Views | Leave a comment

Come, follow me.

7-1-19 feed my sheep

[Homily, ADDU Assumption Chapel,  July 1, 2019]

Those of you who were at Sunday Mass yesterday, may probably be saying, “I heard that yesterday!”  Yesterday, the reading from Luke related how someone from the crowd shouted out, “I will follow you.”  Today it is Matthew relating the same of a scribe:  “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go!” (Mt. 8:19).  Both Luke and Matthew record the same response of Jesus, “Foxes have dens and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head” (Mt. 8:20).    It is as if Jesus were saying:  “Are you sure you want to follow me wherever I go?  In doing what I do, I have no house, I have no home, I have no where to rest my head.”   To the young man who said, “I will follow you.  But let me go first and bury my father”, Jesus says, “Follow me, and let the dead bury the dead” (Mt. 8:221-22).

I wonder if Jesus were to run one of our vocation seminars, how much resonance he would get.  The seminar would not be about joining the Society of Jesus, nor about joining the Religious of the Virgin Mary.  It would not be about joining a seminary, nor about entering a convent.  The vocation seminar would be open to all people, young and old, male, female or LGBT, married or non married.  It would simply be about following Jesus, who introduces himself to us by saying:

“I have come to bring life, life to the full.” (Jn 10:10)

I am the Good Shepherd. I give my life for my sheep. (Jn 10:11)

I am the way, the truth and the life. (Jn 14:6)

First, the Kingdom of God (Mt, 6:33). Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well.

To the paralytic at Bethesda, Jesus said, “Arise, take up your bed, and walk” (Jn 5:8)

“I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst” (Jn 6: 35). Take me.  Eat me.

The Father and I are One. (Jn 10:30).  He I am

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a slave, being  made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by being obedient to death – even death on a cross!”  (Phil 2:6-8)

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and give him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”   (Phil 2:9-11)

“It is good for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you. (Jn 16: 7). When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things so ever he shall hear. He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine and declare it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father has are mine: therefore I said that he takes of mine and shall declare it unto you” (Jn 16: 13-15). …

“You shall weep and lament, but your sorrow will be turned into joy (Jn 16:20). … for now you will be sorrowful; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you (Jn 16:22)

The Spirit calls us together. Even at this Mass .. . As we take bread and wine… in memory of him. (Lk 22:19)

I come to bring you the fullness of life, and this is what I teach:

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit…

“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter all manner of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great..

“You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.

“I have come not to abolish the law but to fulfill it…

“If you bring your gift to the altar and recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar and be reconciled first with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

“If they strike you, turn the other cheek

“Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.

“When you pray, pray in secret. Do not babble. Pray, “Our Father…hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done…

“You cannot serve God and money.

“Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter into the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”  (cf Mt. 5-7).

“Whatever you have done for one of these the least of my sisters and brothers, that you have done to me” (Mt. 25: 40).

Back to our vocation seminar:

Jesus invites, “Come, follow me.”

“I will follow you wherever you go.”

But Jesus says:   “Foxes have dens and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

To the young man who said, “I will follow you.  But let me go first and bury my father,”  Jesus says, “Follow me, and let the dead bury the dead.”

Peter: “Lord, why  can’t we follow you. I would lay down my life for you…” (Jn 13:37)

Jesus said to Peter:  “Do you love me?  Feed my sheep.”

In our world… of the Philippines, of Mindanao, Jesus gives us our vocation:  “Come, follow me.”

Posted in Homily | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Come Holy Spirit…

IMG_1760[Mass of the Holy Spirit, ADDU, SY 2019-20, Martin Hall, June 25, 2019]

We begin this academic year with fresh insight into our University Vision.

We know we are a university.  And as a university, we are dedicated to instruction, formation, research, and service to our community.  But as a university, we are Catholic, Jesuit, and Filipino.  We are Catholic because we proceed from the heart of the Church.  We are Jesuit because we appropriate the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of its founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola.  But we are also Filipino.  Today, we understand ourselves to be Filipino emphatically in our love for and service of Mindanao.  We open ourselves to the knowledge and skills of our contemporary world.  But as a Filipino university community, we wish to dedicate that knowledge and those skills to the service of Mindanao.

In the context of this vision, we have a new understanding of our University Mission.

IMG_1779

We appropriate the mission of the Society of Jesus.  That mission today is that we participate in the Father’s work of reconciling humanity with himself, of reconciling human beings with one another, and of reconciling humanity with Creation.

This is not a new mission, but as old as our understanding of the Father looking compassionately onto us and our world estranged from him through our sin, and acting to reconcile us with himself by sending to us his only begotten Son as our redeemer.  He effects this reconciliation through Jesus’ death on a Cross.  Lifted up on this Cross, Jesus lifts us to himself, that we may be uplifted with him in reconciliation with the Father.  To us, the Father and the Son send us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who teaches us about all that Jesus has taught us – that we are to love one another, that we are to put first the Kingdom of God, that we are to share His truth and life with all others, that we are to discover that what we do to the least of our sisters and brothers that we do to him – so that believing in Jesus we might be one with him and the Father and participate in his work of reconciliation.

IMG_1580Our participation in the Father’s work of reconciliation is possible only through the Spirit.  Included here, is our openness to be continually strengthened in our faith by the Spirit so that we might grow in a profound love for the Father who creates and loves humanity so faithfully that when it alienates itself from him through sin, the Father undertakes to reconcile it to himself.  In the Spirit, we gain profound insight into the value and dignity of humanity the Father loves.

In a world where humanity is estranged from itself, dehumanized through sin, we work in God’s Spirit to restore humanity to itself, reconciling estranged humanity with itself and with God.

IMG_1130In the context of Mindanao, we consider ourselves specially missioned to inter-cultural, inter-religious and inter-ideological dialogue, to respond to the needs of the Bangsamoro People, the newly-formed political entity, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the needs of the Lumad communities, as well as to the concerns of rebels moved to extremes by the lack of social justice on this island.  In response to widespread poverty in Mindanao, we are missioned to use our learning and savvy to create wealth, yet see to its equitable distribution.  In this context, we are missioned to strengthen our instruction and research in science and technology and exploit this through technopreneurship.  For the benefit of Mindanao, we are missioned to promote cultural understanding and friendship with our neighbors like China, Japan, and the ASEAN countries, many of whose peoples have yet to encounter the message and person of Jesus Christ.  We understand that for this mission today, learning cannot be confined to basic education and a first academic degree, but that learning must be lifelong, and that the world of academe must interact more intimately with the world of work.  Beyond this mission to the humanization of humanity, we are also missioned to participate in God’s reconciliation of Creation with himself by reconciling humanity with creation.  We are thereby missioned to continue to protect and promote the environment, our common home.  In pursuing this entire mission we are missioned to form ADDU sui generis leaders for life who throughout their lives would serve Mindanao; these graduates would be our most precious contribution to Mindanao.  Because they would serve Mindanao for life, we are missioned to treasure and work with them in a shared mission.

IMG_1124It is in the context not only of a new academic year but of a deepened understanding of our Vision and a fresh understanding of our Mission that we come together at this Mass and pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful servants.”

Today, in Mindanao, teach us about all that Jesus taught us, about what Jesus said about his oneness with his Father who had sent Him into our world.  Teach us how, in Mindanao, we must be of the same mind of Jesus:

6Who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
something to be grasped,

7but emptied Himself,
taking the form of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

8And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross.

9Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place
and gave Him the name above all names,

10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:6-11)

IMG_1840In this context, Holy Spirit, teach us how to be a Catholic and Jesuit University in Mindanao:

where on the one hand we know the source of all truth, yet, on the other hand, we must unceasingly search for truth concealed in darkness, in fake news, in propaganda, in false promises, in legal prevarication, in misleading ideologies, in monied messianism and mendacious hypocrisy;

where on the one hand we know the creative source of all abundance and wealth, yet on the other hand must confront the most abject of poverty cruelly imposed by human beings on other human beings in the poorest of our nation’s regions:  in XI, Zamboanga; X, Northern Mindanao; XII, SOCCKSARGEN; XIII, CARAGA, and in the BARMM;

where on the one hand we know in faith why we have hope undeniably, yet, on the other hand, must confront the most profound depths of despair sometimes in others, sometimes in the poorest of the poor, sometimes in the wealthiest of students, but sometimes even in ourselves;

where on the one hand we bow before our God all-powerful, yet on the other hand are so apparently powerless against personal and institutional and political and international abuses of power, like when a superior wounds an inferior for life, or a President decides against the financial interests of citizens, or when a country disrupts the world order to advance its own selfish interests;

where on the one hand we believe in your goodness and compassion, and yet on the other hand in the hardness of life beg for help in our disbelief;

In these tensions that we experience in being a Catholic and Jesuit University in the service of Mindanao let us recall Jesus’ words when he promised us the Holy Spirit:

 20Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. …Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16: 20. 24)

Later Jesus said:…“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 31-33).

Come, Holy Spirit.  Drive us to truth.  In seeking truth, give us passion, give us perseverance, give us grit. In faith, give us purpose, give us clarity, give us wisdom.  In darkness, give us light.  In confusion give us discernment. In sin, give us remorse;  reconcile us to the Father, to his Goodness, to his Peace…  In this world, give us the fruits of his work of reconciliation in his Son. Come, Holy Spirit:  only in you can our University vision and mission be comprehended.  Only in you can this Mission and Vision be fulfilled.

IMG_1796

IMG_1874

 

 

Posted in Homily | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Context of Higher Education in Mindanao:  Peace and Justice

[Presentation to the UNITED BOARD for CHRISTIAN HIGHER EDUCATION IN ASIA, ADDU Calungsod-San Vitores Center,  JUNE 10, 2019]

Ateneo-0999

The topic that was suggested for me was: the “Context of Higher Education in Mindanao:  Peace and Justice”.

In the context of the conversation that we had with UNITED BOARD President, Nancy Chapman, Vice President, Wai Ching Wong, Louisa So and Hope Antone prior to this meeting, I thought that would mean how we at Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) are trying to do higher education in the context of Mindanao’s aspirations towards peace and justice.

Screen Shot 2019-06-10 at 11.44.52 PMLAY MAY 15-17, JUST 3-weeks ago, we initiated a strategic planning process for Ateneo de Davao University towards a new strategic plan, “One Ateneo, One Plan”, to cover the next decade, but especially the next five years.

I believe it is very much an expression of how this university is trying to respond to the challenge of peace and justice in Mindanao.

Last week I presented this to our Faculty General Assembly.
https://taborasj.wordpress.com/2019/06/03/a-challenge-to-one-ateneo-one-plan/

I wish to share some of it with you.

But just a word about our previous strategic plan, “AFIRE for the Common Good”, which we issued shortly after I took office as ADDU President in 2011:

Strategic Planning and Passion

  • Warnings before I came about how difficult it would be to lead ADDU.
  • 2011:  The Shared Passion, Shared Vision Workshop.  5 days in Eden.

We gathered some 60 individuals who were passionate about something. They represented faculty, staff, students, administration, alumni.

“Are you able to express your passion at ADDU.  If so, how?  If not, why not?”  The experience was one:

Of listening…..
Cathartic….

From a “teaching university” to a “UNIVERSITY: AFIRE”

The previous administration had belabored that this was a “teaching university”, not an NGO.  No Vision and Mission statement had been approved

But beyond instruction, the faculty wanted to do research

They wanted to “get involved with Mindanao”

The SMI Open Pit Mine:

Threatened the water system of Mindanao, the old-growth forests, the biodiversity in the area

Divided the Blaans

Poverty

17% under the poverty line in the MetroManila Area; 30% in the Visayas; 40% in Mindanao, but 60-65% in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

The poorest regions of the country in Mindanao

IX, Zamboanga
X, Northern Mindanao
XII, Soccsksargen
XIII, Caraga
BARMM

Education:  Worst literacy levels in the Philippines

ARMM – 71.6% (vs. 86.4 nationwide)

Educational Policy Debates

Quality and Quality Assurance
Pre-K-12
Pre-RA 10931

Social Dynamics:  Indigenous Peoples, Islamized Indigenous people  (both Lumad),  Christian settlers

Struggle of Muslim Filipinos to Retain their faith in Islam and freely live their traditions.

Vs. a dominant Christian majority who felt they had the right religion

Vs. an American government that saw the Christian Filipino as the real Filipino.

Vs. Acts of government which caused the loss of the Muslims of their lands, power, and hegemony in the areas,

MNLF, MILF, Abu Sayaf, BIFF, Maute

“Historical Injustice”

Struggle of the Lumads to retain their cultural identity and their ancestral lands

Caught between military forces and revolutionary groups

Struggle of Christians to settle in and prosper in Mindanao

ADDU stratplanners wanted a Mission statement that was appropriate to this situation

From this experience, we formulated the Vision and Mission of 2012.

The VISION Statement:  Fundamental self-understanding

The Ateneo de Davao University is a Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino University.

As a university it is a community engaged in excellent instruction and formation, robust research, and vibrant community service.

As Catholic, it proceeds ex corde ecclesiae, from the heart of the Church.

As Jesuit, it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

As Filipino, it prepares students to benefit from, contribute to and engage the global world.

University first*

Instruction/formation; research; outreach

(academic freedom)

critical
innovation

Then

Catholic

From the heart of the Church: “Ex Corde Ecclesiae”
“privileged position”*

Jesuit

Appropriates the Jesuit Mission
Ignatian Spiritualty

Filipino

Profits from and contributes to the global world

Challenging Mission***

The Ateneo de Davao excels in the formation of leaders for the Philippine Church and society, especially for Mindanao.

It excels further in the promotion of the faith that does justice, in cultural sensitivity and transformation, and in inter-religious dialogue, particularly with the Muslim and Lumad communities of Mindanao.

It promotes communities touched and transformed by the faith, communities of peace and human well-being, culturally resilient yet able to adapt to the modern world.

It promotes social justice, gender equality, good governance, the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution.

It engages vigorously in environmental protection, the preservation of bio-diversity, and the promotion of renewable energy.

It leads in Philippine educational reform, especially for the peoples of Southern Philippines.

The Consequent Strategic Plan:  “AFIRE for the Common Good”.

Some of the ADDU INITIATIVES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE PAST 5 YEARS in the context of this Mission

EXTENTION

Strong position against open-pit mining

Strong support for the Bangsamoro

For fulfillment of government promises in Peace Talks such as the Comprehensive Agreement Bangsamoro (including the Tripoli Agreement)

For the passage of legislation creating a political entity which would be autonomous and self-determining

For the Passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law

Environmental Science: Disaster Risk Reduction in the context of Climate Change

Heavy contribution to the “Jesuit Roadmap to Mindanao”

Election of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) from Davao.  Critical Collaborations his Administration.

Anti-Mining Position

China:  Discussion of the Pivot to China and the West Philippine Sea.

Support for K-12, Unifast Law, a modified RA 10931,

The War Against Drugs is warranted

EJK is immoral
Center Against Illegal Drugs

24-hour hotline
community rehabilitation in 29 barangays
human rights based policing/security services
research in the drug trade in Mindanao

INSTRUCTION

Development of a Multi- and Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum Based on VM

Faith-based commitment to the common good.

Establishment of the SHS in a stand-alone campus in Bangkal

Vertical alignment of courses from GS to HE

Extraordinary Energy in Engineering

Renewable energy

Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technologies
Mindanao Renewable Energy Center

Ignatian Spirituality Formation Office (ISMO)

Retreat Program (SISC)
Ignatian Spirituality Program

RESEARCH:  University Research Council

University Funded Research to jumpstart research
Founding of the Al Qalam Institute
Tropical Institute for Climate Studies (TropICS)
Regular City-Wide Social Surveys (CWSS)

Screen Shot 2019-06-10 at 11.45.19 PMThe Newly Formulated Vision and Mission Statement

Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino.  However, with reference to the urgent challenges that face the University from Mindanao, and in the context of the Philippine Province’s “Roadmap to Mindanao,” the members of the Stategic Planning Workshop  decided to STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF MINDANAO in the Vision Statement by altering its last sentence.

OLD VISION NEW VISION
The Ateneo de Davao University is a Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino University.

As a university it is a community engaged in excellent instruction and formation, robust research, and vibrant community service.

As Catholic, it proceeds ex corde ecclesiae, from the heart of the Church.

As Jesuit, it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

As Filipino, it prepares students to benefit from, contribute to and engage the global world.

The Ateneo de Davao University is a Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino University.

As a university it is a community engaged in excellent instruction and formation, robust research, and vibrant community service.

As Catholic, it proceeds ex corde ecclesiae, from the heart of the Church.

As Jesuit, it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

As Filipino, IT CONTRIBUTES TO AND SERVES MINDANAO.

THE MISSION STATEMENT STRESSES that the ADDU as Filipino serves Mindanao.  It does not mean that ADDU does not form globally capable students.  But in that the formation of this capability is ultimately for Mindanao.

NEW MISSION STATEMENT [Proposed]

It participates in the reconciliation by the Father
of humanity with Himself,
of human beings with one another, and
of humanity with the environment.
It strengthens faith. It promotes humane humanity.
It engages in inter-cultural, inter-religious,
and inter-ideological dialogue especially in Mindanao.
It responds to the needs of the Bangsamoro, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao,  as well as the needs of Lumad communities.
It promotes the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution.
It strengthens its science and technology instruction, research,
and technopreneurship  in Mindanao.
It promotes cultural understanding and friendship with its Asian neighbours.
It promotes lifelong learning and the dialogue between academe and the world of work.
It protects and promotes of the environment as “our common home.”
It develops ADDU sui generis leaders who appropriate this mission for life.
It treasures and works with its alumni/ae.

BRIEF EXPLANATORY COMMENTS TO THE PROPOSED NEW VISION STATEMENT:

It participates in the reconciliation by the Father of humanity with Himself, of human beings with one another, and of humanity with the environment.

As a Jesuit University, ADDU in academic freedom appropriates the Jesuit Mission as its own mission.  It preserves the previous Mission statements of the Society of Jesus (Faith, Justice, Cultures, Dialogue, Envoronment), but it stresses the initiative of the Father in this three fold reconciliation and undertakes through Jesus and in the Spirit to participate in this reconciliation.

It strengthens the faith.

Fortes in fide.  It recognizes that all begins and ends in faith, and in being strong in faith.  In a Catholic university this is clearly through the Catholic faith and in strengthening Catholic believers in this faith through appropriate instruction and formation.

But in today’s world, it is through strength in the Catholic faith that one accepts the diversity of faiths and confessions and enters into dialogue with different faiths and confessions, hoping that through this dialogue the faith of the participants in this dialogue is strengthened.

It is in strength of faith, that one can hope to be strengthened by the witness of persons and peoples of other faiths.

HE agenda :  Development of strong theology instructors/formators in contextualized Mindanao theology.  Strengthen collaboration with the Redemptorists’ St. Alfonsus Theological and Mission Institute (SATMI) Imperative.  We are not outputting enough.

It promotes humane humanity.

It recognizes that the value of humanity in the initiative of the Father to reconcile it to himself, i.e., to draw it away from sin, corruption, violence, and alienation of humanity from the Father and from humanity itself.  It undertakes to labor for the humanization of humanity in grace.

HE agenda:  cultivation of insight into humanity (and consequent need for social justice) through liberal arts (literature, social and natural sciences, arts, history, philosophy and theology).

On this depends the formation of conscience, sensitivity to social injustice and the life-long commitment of students to work for social justice.

It engages in inter-cultural , inter-religious dialogue and inter-ideological dialogue especially in Mindanao.

This inter-cultural, inter-religious and inter-ideological dialogue is an imperative of human fraternity and peace in living together in Mindanao.

Inter-cultural dialogue:  Mindanao is rich in cultures.  Yet the domineering global culture threatens to kill many of these cultures.  The peoples of varying Mindanao cultures  are caught between needing to preserve their cultures and values and needing to adapt to the ways,  lifestyles  and demands of the global world.

Meanwhile, the quest for the common good in the Philippines, or of Mindanao, or of the BARMM, is stymied by people who cannot think and act outside of their local cultures.  The integration of the common good of peoples of diverse cultures requires dialogue.

HE Intervention.  From the Department of Anthropology: studies of Lumad communities.  Inter-cultural dialogue on the ground through immersion.

Inter-religious dialogue.  The religious claim that one’s faith/religion has exclusive access to all truth is belied by the religious extreme violence that has clouded human history. Dialogue among peoples of diverse faiths is necessary to prevent violent extremism.  Dialogue among peoples of diverse faiths is necessary to purify and strengthen the faith of a people.

HE Intervention:  Dialogue of Life, dialogue of shared common causes, dialogue of theologies (not yet) with benefits in instrucion, research and outreach.

Inter-ideological dialogue.  Despite the failure of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA-NDFP, peacemakers representing NGOs and religious organizations, believe that dialogue with these groups must be continued.  Even in using a whole-of nation approach to attaining peace, dialogue with adversarial groups in necessary.

HE Intervention.  We host the dialogues between Government and the CPP/NPA.  We participate in the “whole of nation” approach spearheded by Irene Santiago in the City of Davao beginning with the Pakibato district.

It responds to the needs of the Bangsamoro, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, as well as the needs of Lumad communities.

Out of its commitment to social justice, ADDU needs to continue responding to the need of the Bangsamoro for recognition as Filipino Muslims whose Islamic faith is legitimate in the Philippines and who have the right to live and protect their Islamic traditions and values in a plural Philippines.

HE Intervention:  ADDU needs to explain this need to any and all parties who do not understand or accept it. ADDU re-writing, “re-righting” Philippine History from the viewpooint of Mindanao, from the viewpoint of documenting actual historical injustices.

Out of its commitment to reconciliation and peace, ADDU needs to partner with the BARMM, as the political entity emerging from the peace talk and willed by the majority of Muslim Filipinos, to make sure that it functions properly and fruitfully towards peace and prosperity in the Bangsamoro and in Mindanao.

HE Intervention:  continue to develop its Islamic Studies program, including Islamic Finance, Sharia Law.  Develop short- and longterm programs in preparing Muslims to be better teachers in Madaris and public schools of BARM and for the civil service.

Out of its commitment to social justice, the ADDU must learn to partner more with Lumad communities to protect Lumad culture and values from onslaughts coming from the NPA, the Military, or from development aggression.  It must mediate between the cultures of the Lumad and the cultures of the lowlands, including the global culture.   It must learn to contribute to Lumad education so that their educated leaders are not alienated from their ethnic cultures.  It must learn to contribute to the development of Lumad leaders for the common good.

HE Intervention:  Continue to host dialogues with the IPs concerning their plight, improve scholarship commitment to IPs (through Mindanawon)

It promotes the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution. 

This is our response to widespread poverty in Mindanao:  not encouraging students to hand-out wealth in pity, but to create wealth in entrepreneurship and technopreneurship.  Yet, not just to create wealth to amass personal wealth, but to create wealth and see that it is equitably distributed.

More than ever before, we know we must respond in inter- and multi-disciplinarity to pressing human needs in society in Mindanao in order to generate this wealth and insist on its equitable distribution.

HE Interventions:  Understand where the pressing human needs are, e.g.  access to quality education, secure and sustainable access to fresh water, food security, universal access to electricity, access to telecomunications, need to process data, efficient transporttions systems, etc.

Relevant research and responsive technopreneurship

It strengthens its science and technology instruction, research, and technopreneurship in Mindanao.

This is the development need in Mindanao.  Other private schools in Mindanao are not focusing on this as we wish to, while public education has MSU-IIT and USTSP.  Other Ateneos in the Philippines have not focused on science and technology.  We desire to excel here, but we must begin by strengthening our capabilities here.  We have much promise in these areas, as in our School of Engineering and Architecture, but we still have many weaknesses.  Our learning outcomes from various courses and units in science and technology is not where we want them to be.  We must make significant investments in improving or creating laboratories and spaces for creative learning.

Technopreneurship at ADDU must combine technology and multi-disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity to respond to real human problems in society.  Though it will work with government, it will not be dependent on government to work out solutions.  It must be directed not towards private profit, but must allow private profit to enable contribution to the common good.

HE Interventions:  improve academic delivery on mathematics and science from the GS through HS and SH to higher education.  Make sure expected learning outcomes for higher education are achieved.

Work to upgrade current faculty skills (e.g., university-wide science and tech organization, formal studies)

Recruit competent facult from academe and industry.

Promote visits of professional experts for talks, pakighinabi, worships.

Partner further with professional associations like  and with PICIERRD of DOST

It promotes cultural understanding and friendship with its Asian neighbors.

Originally I would have liked this to have simply stated China.  China is the second largest economic power in the world;  it is flexing its muscles, testing the waters, wanting to deal with us.  We need to be prepared for this.  We need to engage China, e.g. in its Belt and Road Initiative. With the help of Consul General Li Lin, we will be establishing a Confucius Institute.   With the help of Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, ADDU may become a partner University of the Chinese embassy outside of MetroManila.  This will give our faculty scholars access to any of the specialized Universities of China.

There was however a queasiness among some in the Upper Room to include China exclusively in our Mission statement.  Such inclusion could lead to the impression that we approve of China’s behavior in the West Philippine Sea or its economic aggressiveness.

While it was clarified that studying and dealing with China would not mean acceptance of all its policies but the formation of future generations of graduates who could better deal with China, it was pointed out in the Upper Room that we have significant historical ties with Japan, which ought to be maintained.  Japan is also a major player in the international peace initiatives in Mindanao.

Furthermore, for a University as our focused on Mindanao, it would be mandatory to increase our knowledge of and capability of dealing with our ASEAN neighbors, especially Indonesia.  Partnering with Indonesia and Indonesian universities would help us in disciplines related to Islamic Studies, the Sharia, Islamic Finance and how to deal with religion-based violent extremism.

HE Inteventions:  Language, history and culture studies on China, Japan and ASEAN nations, esp. Indonesia.  Establishment of a Confucius Institue in ADDU in cooperation with Huaqiao Univeristy.

Take advantage of offers for scholarhsips in China through Amb. Zhao Jiaming.

More public discussion on the BRI of China as it impacts on Mondanan, the JAIKA programs as they mpact on Mindanao, etc.i

It promotes lifelong learning and the dialogue between academe and the world of work. 

Learning does not stop with the acquisition of a tertiary-level degree.

Rapid changes in technology demand continuing retooling both for students and teachers.

As the permeability between the academe and the world of work increases, the pursuit of an academic degree may no longer be allowed to stand in the way of students contributing immediately to the world of work.

HE Interventions: ADDU must adapt its academic structures to be more responsive to this rapidly changing world of work.

This is beginning with the further institutionalization of the Ateneo de Davao-Academy of Lifelong Learning (ADD-ALL) into the mainstream of the ADDU.  ADDU prgrams respond more to actual learning gaps in society and in developing qualifications to respond to these, rather than to the achievement of academic degrees – without diminishing the importance of academic degrees.

They are fun (at least initially), but they can lead to second academic degrees by stacking units and contribute to continuing professional development (CPD).

Need to restructure academic offerings to allow greater permeability between academe and the world of work.

It protects and promotes the environment as “our common home.”

We have distinguished ourselves in this advocacy through Ecoteneo and UCEAC, esp. in our opposition of large-scale open-pit mining, or advocacy for green spaces in davao, for the protection of Shrine Hills, and our work in making our campus green (e.g. our extensive use of solar energy and ban on single-use plastics).

We must keep this up.

Especially in Davao.

HE Inrervention:  But we must focus to further develop and consolidate our expertise here, eg, in envi science, urban planning

It develops ADDU sui generis leaders who appropriate this mission for life. 

By ADDU sui generis leaders we understand leaders formed as a result of the ADDU vision and mission  – with its stress on its values and mission commitments, especially to Mindanao and the common good.

We have done well here.  But we have only just begun.  Many still do not really understand what it means.  They talk of “sui generis” without “ADDU”.

Many still do not commit themselves to it for life.

The ADDU sui generis leader commitment to the common good must be formed well before graduation.  It must be the product of integrated instruction, formation and outreach.

It treasures and works with its alumni/ae.

If the ADDU sui generis leader is “for life”, ADDU must undertake to support those whom it has trained both through programs of lifelong learning and through formation programs that welcome and involve the alumni/ae.

The Ateneo Blue Knight Association (ABKA) through its Board has been trying to integrate the alumni/ae in the implementation of the ADDU Vision and Mission.  We must welcome its collaboration in mission.

HE Intervention:  create programs for the ongoing formation of the alumni in order to integrate them into implementing the strategic plan of the University

 

 

——————

*GC 34, Decree 17.  Jesuits and University Life

**John Paul II.  Ex corde ecclesiae:  apostolic constitution on

Catholic Universities:  “A Catholic University’s privileged task is to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical:  the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the font of truth” (No. 1)

***GC 34. Decrees 1-5.  This includes “Servants of Christ’s Mission”. “Our Mission and Culture” and “Our Mission and Inter-religious Dialogue

Ateneo-1090

 

Posted in Address | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Transformative Education Program founded on JEEPGY – Justice and Peace, Ecological Integrity, Engaged Citizenship, Poverty Alleviation, Gender Sensitivity and Youth Empowerment

62261297_10156760866519051_6665585618992496640_n

[Contribution to Lab 2 on the Identity of Christian Schools during the World Convention of the International Organization of Catholic Education (OIEC) in Fordham University, New York, June 6, 2017] 

It is a privilege for me to stand here before you representing the 1,500 member schools of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).   I wish to contribute to this Lab from the experience of Catholic education in the Philippines.

61902661_10156760866479051_675046594097184768_nThis is Lab 2, which focuses on the Christian Identity of our schools and their evangelical roots.  The relevance of this focus is presumably that there are many Christian schools, or better Catholic schools, in name, but often unrecognizable as Catholic in practice.  We have had our share of that in the Philippines.  With the onset of secularism, the Catholic identity and mission of our schools have been put on the back burner.  What is on the front burner is the performance and prestige of the school in its rankings, levels of accreditation, its ability to draw paying students, compliance with increasing government regulations – and in many cases – simple economic survival.  In the Philippines survival has recently become a major concern of many of our Catholic schools, especially of our small mission schools, because of dramatically increased public funding for public education.  In basic education, this has close to trebled the salaries that private schools can normally pay.  In higher education, free public education in State universities has drawn paying students away from our Catholic schools.

Also in the Philippines, as the number of vocations to religious orders and congregations diminished, the participation in Catholic schools of religious personnel also dramatically diminished, leaving administration and instruction in the hands of lay teachers, and in many cases forcing religious congregations to turn over their schools to the Bishop, who in turn would turn them over to the leadership of a diocesan priest; this priest typically would have had no training in the administration of a school, much less a Catholic school.  For that diocesan priest, it became a major challenge to understand what is required to maintain the Catholic identity of his school.

From this context of the weakened Catholic identity of schools in a secular environment, but also of the need of school administrators to understand what the characteristics, standards and benchmarks of a genuinely Catholic school are, the CEAP in the past three or four years has in partnership with Phoenix Educational Foundation articulated the Philippine Catholic School Standards for Basic Education (PCSS-BE) and has adopted it for use and implementation in all Catholic schools of the Philippines, especially as an instrument for the internal quality assurance of its schools.  Meanwhile, the more challenging Philippine Catholic School Standards for Higher Education (PCSS-HE) have been articulated and are now being prepared for presentation and approval in the General Assembly of the CEAP this September.

In both the PCSS for Basic Education and the PCSS for Higher Education it is clear that an excellent Catholic school is characterized by such as being centered in the person and message of Jesus Christ, participation in the evangelizing mission of the Church, commitment to integral human formation, engagement in the service of the Church and society with a preferential option for the poor, and promoting a dialogue on faith and life and culture.

From these essential characteristics of our schools, the Catholic schools in the Philippines know that as Catholic schools they are not abstractions isolated from a world in need of the transforming power of the Gospel.  As Catholic, our schools know that, touched themselves and transformed by the Gospel, they must in turn as whole schools touch and transform their stakeholder communities – some of them neighborhood communities, others regional, others global.  Impelled by this mission, CEAP schools undertake to transform themselves and transform their communities in “JEEPGY” – Justice and Peace, Ecological Integrity, Engaged Citizenship, Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment.

Because of the time constraints of this presentation, I cannot go into detail on what this encounters.  CEAP has however published a “JEEPGY Manual, 2018” to help guide the schools in living out its commitment to transformative education.  In this extremely useful manual, the context and challenge of each of the JEEPGY areas is presented, the biblical and doctrinal foundations elucidated, the JEEPGY area’s relationship to the PCSS articulated, the attributes of a teacher in the area provided, the civil mandates for interventions in the area listed, and pedagogical helps, including sample lesson plans, provided.

Let me simply end by saying, because our schools are Catholic, we saw our students and teachers last year organizing themselves to stop corruption in the Philippines, protesting against extrajudicial killings in the Philippine Government’s war on drugs, working to right historical injustices committed against Filipino Muslims by supporting the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, volunteering to keep the recent local elections free and safe, building houses to help victims of natural calamity, and going to the streets to keep open-pit mining in the Philippines proscribed.  We even saw graduates of our CEAP schools volunteer to live for ten months in the villages of culturally-other Muslim Communities to teach secular subjects in their Islamic schools (madaris) in a spirit of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.  They involved themselves in these JEEPGY activities even when it embroiled the Catholic school in public controversy or cost the school its friends or its benefactors.  Why? In their Catholic school, they had encountered Jesus who had preached the Kingdom of God and gave up his life that we might experience the reign of God not only in the next life but already in this life.  The reign of God, they knew, was incompatible with corruption, social injustice, religious intolerance, violent extremism and war.  This, they knew, they needed to transform.  The JEEPGY program has guided them in personal and social transformation.

[Photographs compliments of Ms Mary Ann Cruz of CEAP.]

61880440_10156760866584051_8662378569885810688_n

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Challenge to “One Ateneo, One Plan”

Ateneo-9804

[Address to the ADDU General Faculty Assembly, Martin Hall, June 1, 2019.]

Welcome back to our new School Year, 2019-20!

The Context

Yesterday the earth quaked in preparation for this day!  Today, MyLai Santos reminds us that today is World Environment Day!

Otherwise, we return to this new academic year with the Midterm Elections just concluded.  They served as a confirmation of the electorate’s satisfaction with the performance of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte.  In some quarters, these elections have been controversial.  But the electorate has its own wisdom and message.  Even from our perspective as academicians, we must continue to discern what that is.

As the 17th Congress of the Philippines winds down to its closure, there is still much legislative activity.  It already passed the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (RA  10931), the Magna Carta for the Poor (RA 11291), and the Expanded Maternity Law (11210).   The Space Agency Act has meanwhile passed both Houses of Congress and is now on the table of the President for his signature.  That is the law that will catapult the Philippines into space;  we are happy that we can contribute to this effort through our Aerospace Engineering Program.  Meanwhile, there is much legislative activity to pass the End of Contractualization law and even Mandatory ROTC in Senior High School before the end of the 17th Congress.  Hopefully, concerning the latter, it will be considered that lasting peace in the Philippines depends not only on preparedness for war but more so on preparedness for knowledgeable international negotiations and a matured culture of peace.  Last February 5th in Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azahar, Ahmad Al Tayyeb, jointly declared, “the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard.”[1]

The new legislature, the 18th Congress of the Philippines,  will probably be heavily influenced by the current Administration.  The newly elected senators have vowed not to be rubber stamps of Malacañang, yet the influence of the Palace on legislation will be inevitable.  There will be fresh legislative support for the Build! Build! Build! Program and the hefty taxes that entails.  There will be fresh discussion of a new Constitution.  Hopefully, concerning the latter, self-serving version passed by the House under Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might yield to a version that better represents the common good.   Both in the discussions evaluating our economy and of the new Constitution, academe is challenged to play a significant role.

As academic must play in contributing to the success of the political entity, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).  ADDU has worked hard in the past to support the Bangsamoro in its commitment to contribute to righting historical injustices.  In this context, it supported the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, and it wishes to do what it can by way of instruction, research and outreach to make the BARMM work.

Meanwhile, we must continue to work against the problems that bedevil Mindanao.  Poverty is still severe with some 40% of Mindanaoans and over 60% of the Bangsamoro still under the poverty line.  It can be expected that the government and the private sector will be moving more aggressively to combat poverty and underdevelopment, but this may exacerbate the gap between the haves and the have-nots.  Despite the BARRM, peace has not been achieved in Mindanao.  There are still encounters between the military and ISIS-oriented groups like the Abu Sayyaf, and efforts to achieve peace through negotiation with the CPP-NPA-NDFP groups have failed.  Some continue to push that talks between the government and the communist-oriented rebels be resumed, even as the successful whole-of-nation approach[2] to peacebuilding in Davao led by Mrs. Irene Santiago with the full backing of Mayor Inday Sara be expanded.

Reformulation of the Jesuit Mission and Universal Apostolic Preferences. 

Ateneo de Davao is a Jesuit school because it appropriates in academic freedom the Jesuit mission.

In founding the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola formulated the Jesuit mission in terms of the Service and the Propagation of the Faith.  This mission has remained constant in the Society of Jesus, but in the past 60 or so years its formulation has evolved to reflect the Society’s insight into its apostolic implications in the contemporary world.  With Father Pedro Arrupe, the service of the faith was essentially linked with the promotion of the faith.  In General Congregation 34, the service of the faith and promotion of justice was dynamically interlocked with sensitivity to cultures and inter-religious dialogue.  In General Congregation 35 and 36 the inseparability of the Jesuit mission from the protection and promotion of the environment in today’s world, underscored by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, was articulated.

In the context, based on the pivotal Meditation on the Incarnation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the mission of the Society of Jesus has been reformulated in terms of participation in the Father’s work of reconciliation of humanity with himself, of human beings with other human beings, and of humanity with Creation.

The substance of the previous mission formulations is preserved, but the attitude less activistic and more humble:  the initiative belongs to the Father who responds to humanity’s dehumanization through the Incarnation of his Son; he re-affirms the value of humanity in his becoming part of it, and in history restores humanity to His Father through the Pascal Mystery, the formation of the Church in the Spirit, and in the establishment of the Kingdom of His Father.  Walking with Jesus entails belief in him as the sole way to the Father, service with him of the Kingdom in pursuit of “life, life to the full.”  That is a fullness that is incompatible with dehumanization, lack of faith, idolatry, ignorance, moral decay, child abuse, and the destruction of our common home,   Missioned, the Jesuits and their partners and friends in the Spirit, but participate in the Father’s work of reconciliation.

Recently, after an elaborate process of global discernment led by Fr. General Arturo Sosa the Society of Jesus articulate four universal apostolic preferences.  The mission is preserved.  But former “priorities” such as China, Africa and the Roman Houses have been replaced by four “preferences”:  (1) prayer and discernment through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; (2) walking with the excluded; (3) journeying with the youth and (4) care for the environment.

The Universal Apostolic Preferences do not prevent ADDU, in responding to the urgent challenges of Mindanao, to prefer, or even to prioritize, inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.  Dialogue belongs to the mission of the Society of Jesus.

Strategic Planning:  Towards “One Ateneo, One Plan”

It was in this context that some seventy representatives of all the units of the Ateneo de Davao University, including its students, its alumni/ae, and the Board of Trustees, met last May 15-17 for a workshop in the Calungsod-San Vitores Center for Jesuit-Lay Dialogue (the “upper room”) to initiate a strategic planning process that would articulate where the University would be going in the next ten to fifteen years.  It was led by the Vice President for Planning and Quality Assurance, Mrs. Suzette Aliño, and a God-sent, homegrown, facilitation team lead by Dr. Melba Manapol and Fr. Ulysses “Ogie” Cabayao.  The experience was extraordinary because it incorporated not only serious experience-based thinking and reasoning, but also periods of silence and recollection in order to discern not just our off-the-cuff, will but God’s.  There was deep appreciation of this from among the participants.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 2.01.51 PM

Today, I would like to introduce our strategic planning process to you and get you involved.

In broad strokes, this involves understanding:  where we are now; who we are; where we want to go; how we intend to get there, and how we are to make sure we have gotten there.

Where we are now

Before the strategic planning workshop, Suzette Aliño, assisted by a documents-verification team, listed the achievements of the University based on the last strategic plan.  This was made available to the participants prior as a way of responding to the question, “Where we are now.”  A large majority of the planned actions towards the goals of the Strategic Plan of 2015 had been documented as accomplished, even though the team noticed uneven metrics and ambiguous language used in the previous strategic plan.

Who We Are 

At ADDU, who we are is expressed by our Vision Statement.  The Upper Room (for brevity, I will refer to the 70 gathered in the Calungso-San Vitores Center for our Strategic Planning Workshop as the ‘Upper Room’ parallel to the 70 gathered in the Upper Room after the Resurrection of the Lord!) decided for the most part to retain the Vision Statement.  We are a university.  But as a university, we are inextricably

Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino.  However, with reference to the urgent challenges that face the University from Mindanao, and in the context of the Philippine Province’s “Roadmap to Mindanao,” the Upper Room decided to stress the importance of Mindanao in the Vision Statement by altering its last sentence.

OLD VISION NEW VISION
The Ateneo de Davao University is a Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino University.

As a university it is a community engaged in excellent instruction and formation, robust research, and vibrant community service.

As Catholic, it proceeds ex corde ecclesiae, from the heart of the Church.

As Jesuit, it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

As Filipino, it prepares students to benefit from, contribute to and engage the global world.

 

The Ateneo de Davao University is a Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino University.

As a university it is a community engaged in excellent instruction and formation, robust research, and vibrant community service.

As Catholic, it proceeds ex corde ecclesiae, from the heart of the Church.

As Jesuit, it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

As Filipino, it contributes to and serves Mindanao.

 

The Upper Room decided to stress that the ADDU as Filipino is not in its responsiveness to global challenges but emphatically in its responsiveness to the challenges of Mindanao.  It does not deny that it is responsive to global challenges, but it seeks even in being responsive to global challenges to respond to Mindanao.

The Values of Jesuit Universities in the Philippines and our Core Values.  

With the discussion of our Identity, we considered the values of the Jesuit University in the Philippines in an attempt to articulate our institutional core values.

I discussed the following values and counter-values in the world:

Values of Jesuit Universities in the Philippines Counter-values in the world.
*1.  Strong in the faith – Fortes in Fidethe motto of the Ateneo de Davao University.

Essential for navigating religious diversity.

Cf. I Peter 5:9ds

Weak in the faith
No real relationship with God
No knowledge of the real faith
No religious convictions, no convictions.
“Faith,” but no practice of it.
Wishy-washiness in dealing with religious diversity.
Faith is irrelevant to peace.
2.  Love for God.  And therefore: Ad majorem Dei Gloriam – all unto the greater glory of God.  This is the Jesuit motto:  Out of love for God, you do all unto the greater glory of God. And Primum Regnum Dei – First the Kingdom of God – the motto of the Ateneo de Naga.

Cf:  Mt. 6:33

God is irrelevant, doesn’t matter.
No love of God
No communication with God, prayer.
No prayer life.
God is dead.
Nothing for the glory of God.
Glory.  AMDG not even considered.
First the Kingdom of Money, Honor, Glory
First my will
First the will of my mommy.
God is irrelevant to making peace.
3, Intimacy with the person of Jesus Christ.  This is a great grace we pray for in Ignatian Spirituality: to know Jesus, the Lord, intimately, to know how he thinks and how he feels, and in life to be able to walk with him as a friend.

Cf. Mk 8: 27-29; Lk 10: 40-41

Jesus as a distant historical figure
Jesus whom I’ve never met, encountered.
Jesus as a concept
Jesus as a distant, exacting Lord
Jesus as
Jesus as opaque
4.  Moved by the Spirit and therefore devoted to doing God’s will.  This means, habitually discerning God’s will.  Seeking God’s light: Lux in Domino – Light in the Lord.  This is the motto of the Ateneo de Manila.

Cf. Eph 5:8-9

Spiritualitywhat makes you tick?
Self glory
Money
Comfort
Reason
Power from the barrel of a gun.
Love.
Lux (light) in science, reason, ideology, philosophy.
*5.  Magis.  “More!”  This is not a quantitative “more”.  But it is a commitment to ever more union with the will of God, even more, union with the Cross of Jesus Christ, in the Love of the Spirit.

Cf:  Mt 12:46-48; Mt. 16:24

Quantitative more…
Get by.  Palusot.
More of my will
More, but in my way, on my conditions.
More, just not of the Cross
More, without love .
*6.  Devoted to the pursuit of and transmission of truth.  Why?  Veritas liberavit vos” – “the Truth will make you free.”  – this is the motto of Xavier University.

Cf: John 8:32, Jn 14:6

Fake news
Untruth
Self-deceit

Imprisoned in non-truths:  money makes you happy, power is in force, the most important thing is honor.
Money is the way.
The majority opinion is true.
Power is everything.
Corruption is expedient

*7.  Insight into and love for humanity created in the image of God (Gen 1:26).  Convinced of the dignity of the human person.  Therefore, given to the care for the individual, cura personalis.  But convinced also of the dignity of humanity.  Therefore, committed to care for the common good. Humans as ciphers, statistics.

Lack of insight into the dignity of the person as intelligent, loving, free, relating to God.

No insight into the person as sacred source and center of free activity.

No insight into the dignity of human society (family, communities, ethnicities, nations, humanity)

*8.  Therefore,   being women and men for others.  Service. Women and men for themselves.
9.  Therefore, committed to justice, esp. social justice.

Cf. John 10:10; Mt 25:31-46

Private good.
Social inequity.
10.  Therefore, sensitive to cultures Cultural supremacist
11.  Therefore, committed to inter-religious dialogue.

Respects and promotes religious freedom.

Intolerant of other religions
Condemns participants in other religions as heretics
12.  Therefore, committed to the protection and promotion of the environment. The environment can’t be destroyed.
Destruction of the environment ok,
as long as I or we benefit.
Words, words, words.
Consumption above all.
What I can do for the environment doesn’t matter.
*13  Generosity.  Gives in freedom and love.  This comes from St. Ignatius’ Prayer for Generosity.   And the offering at the highpoint of the Spiritual Exercises, Suscipe:  Take and Receive… Nothing without pay!

Selfishness, stinginess

14. Committed to the service of God and the Filipino People.  Pro Deo et Patria”–  This is the motto of the Ateneo de Zamboanga. I am God’s greatest gift to humanity.  The world serves me.
God needs no service.
My ambition is to get to the US.
The Philippines is a rathole.
15.  Therefore, eloquentia et sapientia. Words, words, words.
Superficial , internet knowledge.
16.  Excellence  –  amdg! Get by.  Palusot.
Survive
Optimum performance —
All for my glory, or the glory of my company.

The discussion of these values and flowing from our identity but also contributing from this identity was appreciated.  Some of these values, marked by (*), can be said to imply others.  This may lead us to an articulation of our core values:

  • Faith
  • Magis
  • Humanity
  • Men and Women for Others
  • Generosity

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 2.00.57 PM.png

In Mindanao, however, but also in the light of the University Apostolic Preferences, we may wish to specially stress:

Dialogue

Where Are We Going?

Where we are going is answered by the Mission statement.

In the past five years we have been guided fruitfully by this Mission statement.

OLD MISSION STATEMENT

The Ateneo de Davao excels in the formation of leaders for the Philippine Church and society, especially for Mindanao.

It excels further in the promotion of the faith that does justice, in cultural sensitivity and transformation, and in inter-religious dialogue, particularly with the Muslim and Lumad communities of Mindanao.

It promotes communities touched and transformed by the faith, communities of peace and human well-being, culturally resilient yet able to adapt to the modern world.

It promotes social justice, gender equality, good governance, the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution.

It engages vigorously in environmental protection, the preservation of bio-diversity, and the promotion of renewable energy.

It leads in Philippine educational reform, especially for the peoples of Southern Philippines.

But in aligning itself with the new mission formulation of the Society of Jesus and in response to urgent challenges facing the university especially from Mindanao, the Upper Room was moved to unanimously approve the following mission statement:

NEW MISSION STATEMENT

It participates in the reconciliation by the Father of humanity with Himself,
of human beings with one another, and of humanity with the environment.

It strengthens faith. It promotes humane humanity.

It engages in inter-cultural, inter-religious and inter-ideological dialogue especially in Mindanao.

It responds to the needs of the Bangsamoro, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao,  as well as the needs of lumad communities.

It promotes the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution.

It strengthens its science and technology instruction, research, and technopreneurship  in Mindanao.

It promotes cultural understanding and friendship with its Asian neighbours.

It promotes lifelong learning and the dialogue
between academe and the world of work.

It protects and promotes  of the environment as “our common home.”

It develops ADDU sui generis leaders who appropriate this mission for life.

It treasures and works with its alumni/ae.

I will just comment briefly on each of the statements one by one:

It participates in the reconciliation by the Father of humanity with Himself, of human beings with one another, and of humanity with the environment.

As a Jesuit University, ADDU in academic freedom appropriates the Jesuit Mission as its own mission.  As explained above, it preserves the previous Mission statements of the Society of Jesus, but it stresses the initiative of the Father in this three fold reconciliation and undertakes through Jesus and in the Spirit to participate in this reconciliation.

It strengthens the faith.

Fortes in fide.  It recognizes that all begins and ends in faith, and in being strong in faith.  In a Catholic university this is emphatically through the Catholic faith and in strengthening Catholic believers in this faith through appropriate instruction and formation.  But in today’s world, it is through strength in the Catholic faith that one accepts the diversity of faiths and enters into dialogue with different faiths, hoping that through this dialogue the faith of the participants in this dialogue is strengthened.  It is in strength of faith, that one can hope to be strengthened by the witness of persons and peoples of other faiths.

It promotes humane humanity.

It recognizes that the value of humanity in the initiative of the Father to reconcile it to himself, i.e., to draw it away from sin, corruption, violence, and alienation of humanity from the Father and from humanity itself.  It undertakes to labor for the humanization of humanity in grace.

It engages in inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue and inter-ideological dialogue especially in Mindanao.

This inter-cultural, inter-religious and inter-ideological dialogue is an imperative of human fraternity and peace in living together in Mindanao.

Inter-cultural dialogue:  Mindanao is rich in cultures.  Yet the domineering global culture threatens to kill many of these cultures.  The peoples of varying Mindanao cultures  are caught between needing to preserve their cultures and values and needing to adapt to the ways and lifestyles of the global world.

The quest for the common good in the Philippines, or of Mindanao, or of the BARMM, is stymied by people who cannot think and act outside of their local cultures.  The integration of the common good of peoples of diverse cultures requires dialogue.

Inter-religious dialogue.  The religious claim that one’s faith/religion has exclusive access to all truth is belied by the religious extreme violence that has clouded human history. Dialogue among peoples of diverse faiths is necessary to prevent violent extremism.  Dialogue among peoples of diverse faiths is necessary to purify and strengthen the faith of a people.

Inter-ideological dialogue.  Despite the failure of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA-NDFP, peacemakers representing NGOs and religious organizations, believe that dialogue with these groups must be continued.  Even in using a whole-of nation approach to attaining peace, dialogue with adversarial groups in necessary.

It responds to the needs of the Bangsamoro, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, as well as the needs of Lumad communities.

Out of its commitment to social justice, ADDU needs to continue responding to the need of the Bangsamoro for recognition as Filipino Muslims whose Islamic faith is legitimate in the Philippines and who have the right to live and protect their Islamic traditions and values in a plural Philippines.   ADDU needs to explain this need to any and all parties who do not understand or accept it.

Out of its commitment to reconciliation and peace, ADDU needs to partner with the BARMM, as the political entity emerging from the peace talk and willed by the majority of Muslim Filipinos, to make sure that it functions properly and fruitfully towards peace and prosperity in the Bangsamoro and in Mindanao.

Out of its commitment to social justice, the ADDU must learn to partner more with Lumad communities to protect Lumad culture and values from onslaughts coming from the NPA, the Military, or from development aggression.  It must mediate between the cultures of the Lumad and the cultures of the lowlands, including the global culture.   It must learn to contribute to Lumad education so that their educated leaders are not alienated from their ethnic cultures.  It must learn to contribute to the development of Lumad leaders for the common good.

It promotes the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution. 

This is our response to widespread poverty in Mindanao:  not teaching students to hand-out wealth in pity, but to create wealth in entrepreneurship and technopreneurship.  Yet, not just to create wealth to amass personal wealth, but to create wealth and see that it is equitably distributed.

More than ever before, we know we must respond to pressing human needs in society in Mindanao in order to generate this wealth and insist on its equitable distribution.

It strengthens its science and technology instruction, research, and technopreneurship in Mindanao.

This is the development need in Mindanao.  Other private schools in Mindanao are not focusing on this as we wish to, while public education has MSU-IIT and USTSP.  Other Ateneos in the Philippines have not taken this position.  We desire to excel here, but we must begin by strengthening our capabilities here.  We have much promise in these areas, as in our School of Engineering and Architecture, but we still have many weaknesses.  Our learning outcomes from various courses and units in science and technology is not where we want them to be.  We must make significant investments in improving or creating laboratories and spaces for creative learning.

Technopreneurship at ADDU must combine technology and multi-disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity to respond to real human problems in society.  Though it will work with government, it will not be dependent on government to work out solutions.  It must be directed not towards private profit, but must allow private profit to enable contribution to the common good.

It promotes cultural understanding and friendship with its Asian neighbors.

Originally I would have liked this to have simply stated China.  China is the second largest economic power  in the world;  it is flexing its muscles, testing the waters, wanting to deal with us.  We need to be prepared for this.  We need to engage China, e.g. in its Belt and Road Initiative. With the help of Consul General Li Lin, we will be establishing a Confucius Institute.   With the help of Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, ADDU may become a partner University of the Chinese embassy outside of MetroManila.  This will give our faculty scholars access to any of the specialized Universities of China.

There was however a queasiness among some in the Upper Room to include China exclusively in our Mission statement.  Such inclusion could lead to the impression that we approve of China’s behavior in the West Philippine Sea or its economic aggressiveness.

While it was clarified that studying and dealing with China would not mean acceptance of all its policies but the formation of future generations of graduates who could better deal with China, it was pointed out in the Upper Room that we have significant historical ties with Japan, which ought to be maintained.  Japan is also a major player in the international peace initiatives in Mindanao.

Furthermore, for a University as our focused on Mindanao, it would be mandatory to increase our knowledge of and capability of dealing with our ASEAN neighbors, especially Indonesia.  Partnering with Indonesia and Indonesian universities would help us in disciplines related to Islamic Studies, the Sharia, Islamic Finance and how to deal with religion-based violent extremism.

It promotes lifelong learning and the dialogue between academe and the world of work. 

Learning does not stop with the acquisition of a tertiary-level degree.

Rapid changes in technology demand continuing retooling both for students and teachers.

As the permeability between the academe and the world of work increases, the pursuit of an academic degree may no longer be allowed to stand in the way of students contributing immediately to the world of work.

To enable this, ADDU must adapt its academic structures to be more responsive to this rapidly changing world of work.

This is beginning with the Ateneo de Davao-Academy of Lifelong Learning (ADD-ALL).  They respond more to actual learning gaps in society and in developing qualifications to respond to these, rather than to the achievement of academic degrees – without diminishing the importance of academic degrees.

They are fun (at least initially), but they can lead to second academic degrees by stacking units and contribute to continuing professional development (CPD).

It protects and promotes the environment as “our common home.”

We have distinguished ourselves in this advocacy, esp. in our opposition of large-scale open-pit mining, or advocacy for green spaces in davao, for the protection of Shrine Hills, and our work in making our campus green (e.g. our extensive use of solar energy and ban on single-use plastics).

We must keep this up.

Especially in Davao.

But we must focus to further develop and consolidate our expertise here.

It develops ADDU sui generis leaders who appropriate this mission for life. 

By ADDU sui generis leaders we understand leaders formed as a result of the ADDU vision and mission  – with its stress on its values and mission commitments, especially to Mindanao and the common good.

We have done well here.  But we have only just begun.  Many still do not really understand what it means.  They talk of “sui generis” without “ADDU”.

Many still do not commit themselves to it for life.

The ADDU sui generis leader commitment to the common good must be formed well before graduation.  It must be the product of integrated instruction, formation and outreach.

It treasures and works with its alumni/ae.

If the ADDU sui generis leader is “for life”, ADDU must undertake to support those whom it has trained both through programs of lifelong learning and through formation programs that welcome and involve the alumni/ae.

The Ateneo Blue Knight Association (ABKA) through its Board has been trying to integrate the alumni/ae in the implementation of the ADDU Vision and Mission.  We must welcome its collaboration in mission.

The reformulation of the Mission and Vision was the major contribution of the Strategic Planning Workshop from May 15-17 to the generation of the new strategic plan, “One Ateneo, One Plan” (1A1P).

Where we are going is answered by the Mission Statement, which I have explained above.  But it is further answered in breaking it down into goals and sub-goals. 

  • If we ask the strategic question, where are we going, the goals state where. I took the liberty of breaking down the Vision Statement in to Goals and Sub-Goals.  Six main goals are broken down into sub goals.

 

G1.  The University has participated in reconciliation by the Father of humanity with Himself.

G1.1  The University has strengthened the faith within the university

G1.2  The University has strengthened faith beyond the university.

G1.3  In God’s name, the university has been administered well.

G2  The University has participated in reconciliation by the Father of human beings with one another, ie., humane humanity.

G2.1  The university has promoted social justice

G2.1.1  The university has responded to the social justice needs of the Bangsamoro

G2.1.2  The university has responded to the social justice needs of the Lumad

G2.1.3  The university has responded to the social justice needs of the farmers

G2.1.4  The university has responded to the social justice needs of the urban poor

Etc.

G2.2   The university has promoted inter-cultural dialogue

G2.2.1  The university has promoted inter-cultural dialogue with the Bangsamoro

G2.2.2  The university has promoted inter-cultural dialogue with the  Lumad

G2.3   The university has promoted inter-religious dialogue

G2.3.1  The university has promoted inter-religious dialogue with the Bangsamoro

G2.3.2  The university has promoted inter-religious dialogue with the  Lumad

G2.4   The university has promoted inter-ideological dialogue

G2.5    The University has promoted the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution.

G2.6    The University has strengthened its science and technology

G2.6.1    The University has strengthened its science and technology instruction

G2.6.2    The University has strengthened its science and technology research

G2.7    The University has engaged in and promoted technopreneurship

G2.8  The University has promoted cultural understanding and friendship with its Asian neighbors.

G2.8.1  The University has grown in its appreciation of and celebration of its own Mindanao culture and arts.

G2.8.2  The University as grown in its appreciation of and cultivation of Mindanao languages, esp. “Davao Bisaya”

G2.8.3  The University as grown in its appreciation of and cultivation of the languages of its Asian neighbors

G2.9   The University has promoted a humane culture of learning.

G2.9.1.  The University has promoted joy and pride in learning

G2.9.2.  The University has promoted grit and resilience in learning

G2.10   The University has promoted a culture of safety of children and vulnerable adults

G3  The University has participated in reconciliation by the Father of humanity with the environment as “our common home”

G3.1   The university has become exemplary in its environmental responsibility

G.3.1.1  In the instruction of its students

G.3.1.2  In its practice

G3.2    The university has protected and promoted the environment in the City of Davao

G3.3.    The university has protected and promoted the environment especially in Mindanao

G4  The University has promoted lifelong learning and the dialogue between academe and the world of work

G4.1  The University has promoted lifelong learning

G4.2  The University has promoted the dialogue between academe and the world of work

G5  Inspired by this mission, the University has developed sui generis leaders for life.

G6.  In fulfilling this mission, the University has worked fruitfully with its alumni /ae. 

  • If Goals tell us where we are going, “Interventions” tell us how we are going to get there.
    • On the last afternoon of the strategic planning activity, many suggested interventions already came from the participants, even though the goals had not been clarified.
    • The Stratplanning Worship ended without having been able to properly process the interventions.
  • To bring the strategic planning process forward, we defined thiese goals and sub-goals as presented above, and we clarified “
    • While interventions tell us how to achieve the goals, we needed to distinguish between
      • Continuous Interventions. Their objective are never achieved, but only approached.  g. “Promote Ignatian spirituality in all units.”
      • Project interventions. They have clear objectives, time limits, and indicators of success.  “Improve the teaching of caluculus in the Senior High School by SY 2021-22)
    • We also needed an instrument which the participants could use to propose interventions in an orderly way. Bernie Jereza created the Google Form, “Bringing our Strategic Plan, “One Ateneo, One Plan”, Forward.  The Form would ask participants to suggest interventions to achieve a particular goal, state whether it was continuous or project, internal or external, whether it involved primarily A of F or I or R or E.
    • The participants were asked to submit more carefully thought-out interventions using this form. Deadline was in 4 days: May 22.
    • Meanwhile, I appointed a processing team chaired by Vinci Bueza to process the interventions, ie, eliminate interventions and edit them to harmonize terminology
      • Vinci Bueza, chair
      • Melba Manapol
      • Mae Fernandez
      • Meong Cabarde
      • San San Fernandez
      • Jennae Jereza, Technical Assistant
    • Close to 500 proposed interventions were received and processed.
    • By May 28, I was sent a draft of the 1st
    • 3 revisions made.
    • By May 31, it was made accessible to the University Community
    • Later, Vinci Bueza and Bernie Jereza will
      • introduce you to the First Iteration.
      • Show you how to contribute to it

Ateneo-9824

  • I ask you all to contribute to IAIP, 2nd Iteration
    • Study the 1st
    • Ideally, in your working units.
    • Discern and pray over:
      • General approval or rejection
      • Working from area of your passion(s)
        • Propose modifications (add…, remove…, delete)
        • Propose new interventions
      • Input them to our One Ateneo, One Plan (2nd Iteration) by using the Google Form “Interventions for 1A1P, 2nd Iteration” that Bernie will present.

Closing Remarks

Thank you for your attention and patience! I have sought to introduce you to our shared strategic planning effort at evolving, “One Ateneo, One Plan.” In this process we asked: 

  • Where we are.
  • Who we are
  • Where we are going
  • How we are going to get there

We have formulated the First Iteration of 1A1P.  We ask you to contribute to the second –

Fortes in fide
AMDG

 


 

[1] Pope Francis and Grand Imam Al Tayyeb, “A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” of Feb 5, 2019. Vatican: Vatican Press, 2019.
[2] Cf.: E.O. 70 s. 2018 “Instituting the Whole-of-Nation Approach in Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace, Creating a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, and Directing the Adoption of a National Peace Framework.”
Posted in Address, Ateneo de Davao University | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Twelve Thank Yous on the Birthday of CHED Chairman Popoy de Vera

IMG_3891

Happy birthday, Chair Popoy!

I’m happy to be here
to celebrate your birthday!
As a voice from the private sector
As a voice coming from Mindanao
Thank you for inviting me!

There is that beautiful poem, “How do I love you: Let me count the ways.”  Today, “How can we thank you? Let me count the ways…?  Let me mention twelve.

Thank you…

  1. FOR TAKING ON THE CHALLENGES OF THE CHED CHAIRMANSHIP in genuine service to the development of HEIs where they are, and not with a blanket attitude that there are too many HEIs in the PH!
  2. For understanding we must all contribute to the “ONE SYSTEM OF PHILIPPINE EDUCATION where public education and private education come together in complementarity”;
  3. FOR BEING GRATEFUL FOR THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE PRIVATE EDUCTION and for being sensitive to its needs;
  4. RECOMMENDING THE APPOINTMENT OF A PRIVATE SECTOR REPRESENTATIVE in CHED en banc;
  5. FOR RESPECTING  ACADEMIC FREEDOM, the driving force of higher education, not compliance, not profit, not funding…
  6. FOR BEING A CHAIRMAN WILLING TO LISTEN…;
  7. FOR BEING WILLING TO AWAKEN AND  EMPOWER HEIs TO THEIR ACADEMIC FREEDOM, INNOVATIVENESS and CREATIVITY.  For a policy atmosphere in CHED of less regulation and more encouragement towards quality assurance;
  8. FOR BEING WILLING TO ALLOW CMO 46 s. 2012 TO BE CHALLENGED THROUGH CRITICAL DISCUSSION AND  CONSENSUS BUILDING;
  9. For being willing to take on the challenges of QUALITY ASSURANCE by allowing HEIs to develop in a culture of QA INTEGRALLY, and not by imposing on them a typology choice a priori;
  10. For TAKING ON ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES  OF HIGHER EDUCATION QUALITY BY RECONSTITUTING THE “COORDINATING COUNCIL OF ACCREDITORS” to address the uneven standards and procedures of accreditation today;
  11. FOR PROMOTING LIFELONG LEARNING THROUGH HEI EXERCISE OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM and a more vibrant dialogue between the world of academe and the world of work;
  12. FOR CHALLENGING HEIS in their academic freedom TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE NEEDS OF THE BARMM (HED-BOL) IN COORDINATION WITH THE BARMM MINISTRY OF EDUCATION LED BY THE HON. MOHAGUER IQBAL.  Crucial for rectifying historical injustices.  For lasting peace not only in Mindanao but in the Philippines.  My University is more than willing to partner with you on this!
Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 11.00.41 AM

With Dr. Carol Enriquez, the birthday celebrant, Chair Popoy de Vera, Dr. Lulu Sese, and Dr. Vince Fabella.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHAIR POPOY!

We are happy to be working not under you but with you!

Posted in Address | Tagged , , | Leave a comment