Thursday, April 22, 2010

St Anthony Boys Village

St Anthony Boys Village (SABV) is a home for indigent students, located inside the 7 hectares compound of the Rogationist College (RC) in Km 52 Aguinaldo Highway, Brgy Lalaan 2nd, Silang, Cavite 4118. Fr. Herman Abcede, RCJ, is the Superior of SABV, a member of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus.

My contact with SABV is Mr. Venancio De Los Reyes, a SABV supporter, who used to be with the Scholarship Department of the De La Salle University (DLSU) in Dasmarinas, Cavite where the Philippine Association of Metropolitan Washington Engineers (PAMWE) have a scholarship when Pablito was the head of the Scholarship Committee of PAMWE. Ven is no longer with DLSU but was able to re-establish our contact through the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). Ven invited me to visit the SABV and promised to treat me to an Italian lunch or dinner, if I should come. Last month, coming from a trip to Tagaytay, Tess and Pablito dropped unannounced to visit SABV but there was no Ven and no Fr. Herman at the RC. Persistence and patience ruled and FtH with CFO finally made it to SABV today.

Fr. Herman and Ven were on hand to welcome the FtH volunteers Fely and Manny D. from Las Vegas and Pablito and CFO staff Eve, Marie and Angie. Fr. Herman gave us an introduction to SABV and RC and then a walking tour of their facilities. The campus is not designed for physically challenged persons and/or students; no escalators and elevators; Manny noticed no provisions for emergency or security lighting or public address system. But RC is like UP Diliman and Don Bosco School, combined, in a smaller scale. Besides high school, RC has many different colleges and trade schools. RC accepts students from outside and the residents of the SABV, called interns, are integrated in the school.

Starting with the Administration Building, we then climb up to the 3rd or 4th floor Library, then down to the trade building of welding, automotive, electronics, physics and chemistry laboratories, etc., a complete, commercial-quality printing press; an amphitheater; a huge, well ventilated, insulated gymnasium where they held the graduation exercise for about 500 high school and college graduates a year, a cafeteria with complete institutional kitchen facilities; the boys home and finally, to their dining room where we were served, among other Pinoy foods, the delicious Italian spaghetti and pizza promised to me by Ven and topped with fruit salad and espresso coffee made from a big, commercial coffee machine.

We said TY and goodbye to the interns and other fathers and went back to discuss “business” with Fr. Herman in his air conditioned office, a welcome respite from the tropical heat outside. Being an educational facility, Fr. Herman is seeking assistance to be able to accept more indigent students to the school and to be able to build more rooms to house the interns. Pablito suggested to Fr. Herman to prepare a ‘wish list’, with estimated cost and number of beneficiaries; submit the proposal to CFO for evaluation and recommendation to FtH and other associations who might be able to help them. We were thankful to Ven and Fr. Herman for the tour of the SABV and RC, which you will not be able to appreciate just looking from the outside.

April 21, 2010

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