By Keziah G. Huelar

Dr. Lily F. Apura, alumna, CPU College of Theology and faculty, Siliman University talked about the importance of contextualizing our social engagement. 

Celebrating the life, love, and works of Rev. Genaro “Totik” D. Diesto, Jr., Central Philippine University held the 11th Rev. Dr. Diesto Genaro “Totik” D. Diesto, Jr. Memorial Lecture at the Celis-Ancheta Chapel, CPU College of Theology on September 21, 2018.

The invocation was led by Prof. Excelyn C. Landero, Chair, Religion and Ethics Department of the CPU College of Theology. It was then followed by the words of welcome by CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles. In his message, Dr. Robles emphasized the importance of remembering the legacy of Rev. Dr. Diesto in order to emulate and to preserve his legacy.

Rev. Dr. Bernabe C. Pagara, Dean, College of Theology, in his message, encouraged the participants to learn from the testimony of Rev. Dr. Diesto whose life sought to glorify God first and foremost.

Prof. Evangelica D. Padernilla, on behalf of the Diesto family, thanked CPU for their continuing support to the memorial lecture. She shared the meaning of the word “Totik,” Rev. Diesto’s nickname, which is a combination of toto, a Hiligaynon term of endearment for a son, and diutik, which means “small.” Mrs. Padernilla also hopes that beyond the lectures, participants would be able to translate into action all that they have learned.

As a tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Diesto Diesto, Lean Hope D. Atanoso, faculty, College of Theology, read a poem written by Omega Diesto-Moore, sister of Rev. Diesto. The poem was written when Dr. Diesto was in poor health. It tells a story of a younger Diesto who was full of life and talked about the love of a sister for her brother. It can be recalled that “Totik” was actively involved in the CPU Republic and became an activist during the Martial Law years while enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts major in Political Science. He was imprisoned for his activism and this imprisonment opened his eyes and eventually led him to commit his life to full-time ministry. He enrolled at the CPU College of Theology and finished his Bachelor of Divinity degree, cum laude.

Dr. Margen A. Java, Director of the CPU Student Development and Programs, performed a binalaybay, an ode to Rev. Diesto Sr. and written by Rev.  Elias Arandela, a friend of Rev.  Diesto.

Prof. Rea Angelica F. Villeza, faculty, CPU College of Theology, introduced the seminar lecturer, Dr. Lily F. Apura, CPU alumna and faculty, Siliman University. Rev. Dr. Apura, in her lecture entitled “Contextualizing our Social Engagement,” talked about the importance of understanding ourselves and understanding others through love, faith, and practice in order to improve our social engagements.

After the lecture, an open forum moderated by Pastor Elizer G. Geromiano, President, Convention Baptist Ministers Association, was held. The declaration of commitment and the hymn of declaration then followed. Lastly, the closing prayer and benediction was led by Pastor Joshua Z. Zonita, Faculty, College of Theology.

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