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Weekly Centralian Link (February 16, 2018)

Dr. Aaron Alfred Lee holds concert at CPU

Dr. Alfred Aaron Lee, world-renowned musician shares his testimony during his concert at the Rose Memorial Auditorium.

Dr. Aaron Alfred Lee during his piano concert at the Central Philippine University Rose Memorial on February 8, 2018 shared the message that the symphony of life is composed of diverse melodies of highs and lows that intertwine our hearts to the choices that lead us to our purpose. Life is therefore a song—a duet with our Creator, an infinite harmony of grace and thanksgiving.

A pre-CEW event—For the words of welcome, CPU President Dr. Teodoro C. Robles thanked Dr. Lee for sharing his time and talent to the university. “This is indeed a rare opportunity for us to listen to a great performance from a world-renowned artist. We’re happy that Dr. Lee, who is an honorary Centralian, will perform for our entertainment. We decided that since our Christ Emphasis Week is in the last week of February, we will call this a pre-CEW event. I thank the students and guests for joining us tonight.”

CPU President Dr. Teodoro C. Robles thanked Dr. Aaron Alfred Lee for once again sharing his talent to CPU.

Christ Emphasis Event will be held on February 26 to March 2, 2018.

Rev. Cris Amorsolo V. Sian, in his message, talked about this year’s CEW theme entitled “With You Always.” He shared that the theme is a response to the growing percentage of youth who experience depression. “This coming February 26 to March 2, we will again celebrate the Christ Emphasis Week. Our theme for semester highlights the text in Psalm 23:4, which says, ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ We are cognizant of the fact that behind the façade of great technological and scientific innovation that grant us remarkable capacity to travel, communicate, and explore the world, a lot of people are still lonely.”

According to him, this year’s CEW is about reaching out to those who are experiencing depression and anxiety. “We are aiming to minister to those who are undergoing tough times by tapping into our spiritual resource in the Scriptures. We are also aiming to increase the awareness of the Centralian community on this topic of loneliness and to encourage the hearers that there is a need for us to create a safe haven, caring and compassionate, where our uniqueness is honored and respected, our gifts are celebrated, and our brokenness is restored by the power of God.”

Rev. Cris Amorsolo V. Sian, Senior Pastor, University Church talked this year’s CEW theme “With You Always”.

CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles and Ma’am Angel Robles with world-renowned musician, Dr. Aaron Alfred Lee.

Music and testimony—Before the performance proper, Dr. Lee shared his love for CPU and his devotion to Christ. “My first trip in the Philippines was to visit CPU. I consider this university my home away from home. The focus of my life, if you know me well, is Jesus. When you hear Christ Emphasis Week, you need to know who that Christ is—and that Christ is Jesus. The most important person of tonight’s program is Jesus.”

The two-hour concert showcased Dr. Lee’s musical prowess and his commitment to share the love of Jesus to others. In the middle of his performance, Dr. Lee talked about the importance of knowing the purpose of one’s gift. “It’s good to know what talent you have. Every one of us has been given a talent but it is better to know why the talent is given—to know the purpose. Having the talent is no good if you don’t know the purpose; knowing the purpose is greater. How you use your talent is very important.”

Dr. Lee performed classic Christian hymns, a couple of his compositions, and for his finale song, he played John William’s “Across the Stars” from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Humorously, before playing, Dr. Lee remarked, “I will play Star Wars but let us not go to the dark side but to the side of the light.”

To the delight of Centralians, Dr. Lee’s concert was a testimony of encouragement and grace. His musical talent has inspired a generation of dreamers and his love for Christ has helped others pursue Christ and His purpose. An adopted son of Iloilo City and an honorary Centralian, Dr. Lee will always find a home at Central and a stage for his testimony to be shared.

The following article about Dr. Lee appears in the Ministry of Grace Notes (

“Dr. Aaron Alfred Lee hails from Malaysia, but has been residing in the United States of America since 1991. He received his degree in music composition from the University of North Texas of Denton, Texas, USA and an honorary Doctorate of Music from the Central Philippine University of Iloilo, Philippines. His success as a composer, arranger, performer, and vocalist has earned him many awards and accolades, plus an extensive experience of traveling around the world as a renowned musician. However, he considers being known as the ambassador of the Gospel of Christ the most thrilling, and the highest position in life.

“For Dr. Lee, his conversion to Christianity at the age of 17 remains his best experience of all. His supernatural encounter with the Lord Jesus appearing to him has caused him to forever consecrate his life to God, and dedicate all his talents to serving Him. Sharing his testimonies of God’s grace working in his life constantly makes it real for the world to see the existence of the one true God who still communicates and is present in the lives of the faithful today.”

To know more about Dr. Lee, his albums and performances and testimony, please visit: and

75 student orgs participate in CPU’s Annual Evaluation and Exhibits

The Annual Evaluation and Exhibits of Student Campus Organizations aims to showcase CPU’s unity in diversity through the different advocacies. They were awarded as the best organization, special category.

A total of 75 student organizations from CPU participated in the Annual Evaluation and Exhibits of Student Campus Organizations 2018 held last February 8-9 at the Alumni Promenade Concert Park. The student organizations were classified into Academics, Special, Sports, Religious, Cultural and Arts, Municipal/Regional and Fraternity. Each group installed and decorated their kiosks for the judges and bystanders. They displayed admirable cooperation, talent, and determination for their work to be judged as this year’s “best of the best.”

The awards included “Best Student Organization” and “Best Adviser.” An Essay Writing Contest was also included in the events.

The CPU Gospel Team booth at the Half-Moon. They were awarded as the best religious organization.

The opening celebration started at 2 pm on the first day and was attended by Rev. Joniel Howard H. Gico, Vice President for Student Affairs and Co-Chair of Student Organizations Committee and Dr. Florence P. Bogacia, Vice President, Finance and Administration. Other attendees included Dr. Margen A. Java, Director, Student Development Programs and Chair, Student Organizations Committee; Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on, Director, Office of Communications and Member, Student Organizations Committee; Ms. Crista S. Huyong, Coordinator, Cultural Affairs Office; and. Ms. Rouella Cheyenne C. Aberia, Placement Coordinator.

In their booth, the Institute of Packaging Professionals showcased their awards and student outputs.

Rev. Gico delivered the inspirational message to the participants while Rev. Jalando-on led the invocation and closing prayers.

Dr. Bogacia and Rev. Gico cut the ceremonial ribbon at the exhibit venue. The rationale of activity, criteria, and judges were read by Dr. Java. The judging started on the first day and continued onto the second day.

With a ranking of 95.07, in the Academic classification, the Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines, Inc. was awarded the overall Best Organization. Their organization got a prize of P10,000.00.

The Library Student Assistants was the best among the Special organizations category with a total ranking percentage of 92.27. The top rank among the Sports organizations category is the Central Philippine University Mountaineering Society from with a ranking 90.9 %. CPU Gospel Team led the religious organization with a rating of 93.47%. CPU Teatro, Sining, Atbp. was best in Cultural and Arts category. The best Municipal/Regional Organization was claimed by Leon Centralians, and the Best Fraternity is Phi Beta Epsilon Fraternity.

The following are the Best Advisers in their categories: Mr. Ron Adrian Dionaldo of the Institute of Packaging Professionals CPU-Student Chapter (Academics Category), Mr. Jojee Roy T. Juarez of CPU Emergency Response Team (Red Cross Youth Council) (Special Category), Ms. Grace Ann C. Jardenil of CPU Teatro, Sining, Atbp. (Cultural and Arts Category), Mr. James Peter Trasporto of Central Philippine University Mountaineering Society (Sports Category), and Dr. Florentino Alerta II of Every Nation Campus (Religious Category).

In the Essay Writing Contest, the following are the winners: 1st Place, Niegil E. Libo-on, Work Students Organization; 2nd Place, Denise Marie Aldea, CPU Biological Society; 3rd Place: Nestle G. Taala, CPU Gospel Team.

Vice President Gico congratulated the participants and appreciated the event for promoting student-university relations. He also pointed, among other benefits of the activity, the students’ holistic development in their academic and social disciplines.

CPU student organizations: One at heart for a stronger Central

By Niegil E. Libo-on, Work Students Organization

(1st Place, Essay Writing Contest, 2018 Annual Evaluation and Exhibits of Student Campus Organizations)

Niegil E. Libo-on (in blue) representing the Work Students Organization won as Champion in the essay writing competition.

Central Philippine University has evolved through the years from a humble institution of learning into a community composed of diverse organizations fuelled by science and faith. These organizations have long been hardworking, committed, and Christ-centered as they bind their hearts for a stronger and unified Central, just as it stands today.

The dynamic and versatile student organizations have been the foundation of the bolder, firmer, and more united CPU community we are in. They have organized various programs and activities which enrich that Central Spirit in us little by little. All have been consistent in giving their time and showcasing their talent, not to compete with each other, but to muster everyone’s potential, to lend a hand to those who need it, and, most importantly, to live by the university’s legacy of excellence.

These organizations have never allowed their diversity to hold themselves away from being united as they seek a common end. They have never perceived their differences as deficiencies but, rather, looked at them as blessings as they aim for the same objective. They have never considered each other as competitors but as partners as they toil for the same purpose. The common end they seek, the same objective they aim for, and the same purpose they toil for has propelled them to treasure Central in their hearts.

The CPU organizations have treasured and will always treasure a unified and stronger Central as they continue to cling to the Word of the Lord which reminds them, “for where [their] treasure is, there [their] heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

CPU student organizations sharing time, talent and treasure for one CPU

By Denise Marie Aldea, CPU Biological Society

(2nd Place, Essay Writing Contest, 2018 Annual Evaluation and Exhibits of Student Campus Organizations)

The CPU Biological Society booth with members. Photo Credit: Kerr Hechanova.

The annual migration of the monarch butterfly is a unique and amazing phenomenon. The monarch is the only butterfly specie known for two-way migration just like birds. They travel for miles as a group, just to reach that specific place where they can reproduce. They travel for days—oblivious of hunger and exhaustion, heedless of whatever that might come their way, just to reach their destination. Despite this, we see the Great Migration as marvelous event of nature. It’s a spectacle that anyone wouldn’t dare to miss.

Just like monarch butterflies, every student organization has its own journey. They have their own stories to tell and destination to reach. Each one of them has their own goals and mission to accomplish. As a group, they share their time—making sacrifices and committing themselves to the success of every event and for the achievement of every task. They share their talent—showing everyone what they have to offer; that they’re not just a name but a collective with substance and action. And lastly, treasure—the essence of what their fraternity and organization is all about—why it has been created and what more it could offer.

Amidst the divergence in beliefs and aims to pursue, every organization share the same goal: to put into action whatever they stand for and leave a legacy. This is what makes us whole. This is what makes CPU one—the diversity and uniqueness of every fraternity and organization strives for the betterment of all.

When the monarch butterflies are finished reproducing, they go back to the place where they were born. That is why it is called a two-way migration. Someday, when everything is said and done, when every shared time, talent, and treasure is used well for the triumph of each fraternity and organization, we will all look back to where we all started and to the one who nurtured our time, talent, and treasure, to the one who set our little fire ablaze, our Central, dear Central, Central Philippine University.

Unity in diversity for one university

By Nestle G. Taala, CPU Gospel Team

(3rd Place, Essay Writing Contest, 2018 Annual Evaluation and Exhibits of Student Campus Organizations)

Nestle Taala from the CPU Gospel Team placed second in the essay writing competition.

The uniqueness of an individual makes him/her different from others. Indeed, God has given each one of us various gifts ranging from talent, time, and/or treasure. Everyone is best at something but no one is best at everything. He/She maybe blessed with talent which can contribute to the betterment of a community but he/she will need time and treasure to progress and these may be found in other people.

CPU Student Organizations are indeed diverse. There are fields which specialize in academics, culture, religion, etc. These organizations are best in what they have to offer and they fill the needs of this university and its student body. Sharing time, talent, and treasure, these organizations should be different to achieve one goal for the beloved Central Philippine University. After all, God has commanded us to be the stewards of this earth He created.

If student organizations function in the same way, other aspects wouldn’t be touched. If all these groups are academically inclined, where would those who long to express themselves through art go? If all these organizations are the same, where would other talent, time, and treasure be honed and shared? Undeniably, diversity is necessary to have balance.

To widely contribute to this alma mater, the diversity among CPU student organizations is a great help. In the end, it doesn’t matter who the best is or who could share the most time or the most talent or the most treasure. What’s important is that an organization is filling in the lack of one organization for the good and betterment of Central.

Fernandez is new BIOTA-WV president

Dr. Fernandez ( second from the left) with the other BIOTA –WV officers and convention lecturers.

The 18th Annual Regional Convention and Scientific Session of Biology Teachers Association of the Philippines, Inc., Western Visayas (BIOTA-WV) was held at Tierra Verde Farm Resort, Damires Hills, Brgy. Damires, Janiuay, Iloilo on February 9-10, 2018. In this convention, a Centralian was chosen to head their organization. Dr. Stella G. Fernandez, Chairperson of the Life Sciences Department, was elected as President for the term of 2018-2020.

In cooperation with the Commission of Higher Education and the Department of Education, Biology/Science teachers and secondary and tertiary students both from public and private institutions participated in the said event. This year’s theme, “Uncovering Critical Content in Biology in the Context of K-12,” was substantially tackled by regional and national experts through plenary lectures, scientific sessions, teaching Biology content through student activities and lectures.

The participants.

As part of the plan of the new president, BIOTA WV will hold a Quiz Bowl competition on March 9, 2018 for both secondary (at 8:00 am-12:00 pm) and tertiary levels (at 1:00 to 5:00 pm) at the CPU Alumni Promenade Park, Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City. Furthermore, on March 10, 2018, the Research and Poster Competitions will be conducted at Educational Media Center (EMC) and CPU Half-moon Drive.

BIOTA-WV Chapter is a professional organization of Biology Teachers in Western Visayas and has been active in promoting Biology in the Region.

CPU RCECC, DLMCH, UBCHEA hold seminar on Values Education

Participant listening to Prof. Sharlene G. Gotico.

With the aim of transforming lives and producing exemplary Christian learners for life, the Central Philippine University Review, Continuing Education and Consultancy Center and the Department of Languages, Mass Communications and Humanities in partnership with the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA) held a seminar on “Youth Empowerment through Values Education” at the Conference Room 1, 4th Floor Henry Luce III Library on February 8, 2018.

The seminar is part of the UBCHEA approved project grant, “Values Education Module for Teaching and Conduct of Service Learning Seminars,” of Prof. Sharlene G. Gotico, Chairman, Department of Languages, Mass Communications and Humanities and Prof. Anna Mae Zerrudo, OIC, Office of International Relations and Cooperation.

The participants together with the organizers.

The project aims to produce values education learning modules to help teachers become more effective in their teaching of Values Education and/or Religious Education and contribute to the production of modules for the classroom and the wider community. When completed, the module will be distributed to select elementary schools, high schools, rehabilitation centers, and other organizations that accommodate displaced children, teens, and the like.

On April 12, 2017, UBCHEA has approved institutional grants for three projects proposed by CPU for the academic year 2017-2018. The grant agreement was signed by CPU President Dr. Teodoro C. Robles on April 12, 2017 at the CPU Administration Conference Room.

University Research Center advocates food security

The CPU faculty and staff at Kasetsart University.

Doing its part in achieving food safety and security in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, the Central Philippine University Research Center focused their thrust in developing research programs that provide solutions to the growing urgency of providing opportunities and breakthroughs to the declining food economy.

True to its commitment, 18 faculty and staff, led by Dr. Mary O’ T. Penetrante, Director of the CPU Research Center attended the KU Presidents Forum: In Celebration of 75th Anniversary of Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand on January 31 to February 2, 2018.

Joining Dr. Penetrante is Trip Coordinator and Officer-In-Charge, Office of International Relations and Cooperation, Prof. Anna May A. Yap-Zerrudo; Director of the CPU Office of Institutional Advancement, Engr. Dimpna C. Castigador; from the College of Hospitality Management, Prof. Emma T. Gico and Prof. Evelyn R. Ybarzabal; from the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Dr. Ananias C. Sabijon, Jr.; from the Packaging Department, College of Engineering, Engr. Bernie C. Cangrejo; from the College of Education, Dr. Maredil R. Ambos and Prof. Eden Gomez; from the CPU Junior High School, Prof. Marigold E. Jutare; from the College of Pharmacy, Prof. Darlene Joy J. Marañon, Prof. Mylyn L. Poral, and Prof. Analie Selgira Serafino; and from the College of Business and Management, Prof. Vincent Anthony V. Militante, Prof. Russali S. Baldevarona, Prof. April Ann B. De La Gente and Prof. Nelia G. Bonete.

Their visit included a tour of the university’s Institute of Food Research and Product Development, a meeting with the institute head, and an observation of the processes of the food processing plants. According to Dr. Penetrante, their visit aims to benchmark researches on functional food from conceptualization to commercialization. “We have nine research teams. Two from each team came to Kasetsart University to observe the best practices of other research centers on product conceptualization up to commercialization, and to use those experiences and learning in developing research proposals that address local situations such as food security and safety.”

Since 2017, the CPU Research Center has provided assistance to local famers and in establishing international and external linkages to promote a more sustainable food production in the province. “We are partnering with various agencies such as the US AID, the German International Cooperation, and other agencies to capacitate our local farmers in various municipalities like Pototan, Oton, Zarraga, Badiangan, and Leganes in managing their farm business and their income through sustainable production systems and better market linkages.”

The center’s research agenda which include food safety and security is a response to the global trends issue on poverty and malnutrition especially among women and youth. “Our university is aggressively responding to the needs of our communities, particularly in addressing poverty, unemployment, and malnutrition among marginalized people by improving the income of small farm holders through sustainable farm production and better market linkages. We are in the process of developing high value products and functional food sourced from local materials to provide more business and employment opportunities for our farmers.”

The university is very thankful to the officers of CPU Alumni Association Inc. in Thailand for facilitating the accommodation and other needs of the team who visited Kasetsart University:   Mr. Joseph S. Beloria, President of the CPUAAI in Thailand, BS Commerce, Major in Marketing (1999), and a teacher at RC International School Ploenchit Road, Bangkok; Sandy Legita Reyes, Vice President, BS Nursing (2010), and an English academic teacher at Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chang Wat Nonthaburi; Jezreel Tan, Secretary, CPU High School (1997) and a teacher at Saint Gabriel’s College; Lilibeth Azucena Tanada, Assistant Secretary, CPU BSEd (2009), a teacher at Suankularb Wittayalai Nonthaburi School; Ailene Joan Beloria, Treasurer, CPU High School (1991), a teacher at RC International School; Jhon Fritz, Auditor, CPU High School, a gym instructor at Training Ground Bangkok; Alan Dale Gonzales, BS Civil Engineering (1983), executive director at Full Advantage Co., Ltd. in

Panthumthani Thailand; and Joefrey B. Geroche, BS Commerce, Major in Management (1998), and an academic specialist, Faculty of Business Administration at Kasetsart University, Bangkok.

College of Engineering celebrates Dr. Lejo C. Braña’s Birthday

80 years of amazing grace—The Central Philippine University College of Engineering, Packaging Engineering Department celebrated Engr. Lejo “Pack Leader” C. Braña’s 80th birthday at the Packaging Engineering Laboratory on February 8, 2018.

The event gathered friends and family from the Centralian community; also present is Ma’am Angel Robles and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Irving Domingo Rio, students, faculty and staff from the Packaging Engineering Department. Showcased in the venue are Engr. Braña’s works, patents, and packaging designs.

In his speech, Dr. Braña thanked the College of Engineering, his friends and family, and, most of all, God Almighty for the 80 years of grace and faith. He also encouraged the “young blood” of the college to pursue greater heights in their career and to strengthen their faith in God.

Engr. Lejo C. Braña thanks the CPU community, his friends and family for the joy and support.

A portrait of Dr. Braña was presented by Mr. Efraim Alfaras, senior graphics artist of the CPU Press and a professor of Packaging Graphics and Design and Packaging Printing in the College of Engineering. “As he celebrates his 80th birthday, I wish him to enjoy his life—it is God’s extension. He can look back to all his achievements and build upon it. As the founder and alpha wolf of the pack, Dr. Braña inspired me to be here in the college. I saw his dream and for so long a time, he was doing it alone. We believe in the Packaging Department that the strength of the wolf is the pack so we embraced the idea that we are part of his strength. We are here to help him achieve turning CPU into the birthing center of Packaging Engineering, not only in Iloilo but the whole ASEAN.”

Mrs. Charlett Dianala, faculty of the CPU Junior High School and a niece of Engr. Braña, wished him good health. “I thank the Lord for your life. Truly God is so good and faithful to you as you celebrate your 80th birthday. My birthday prayer is that the Lord will continue to bless you with long life, good health, and more blessings as you are one of God’s channels of blessings. You are an inspiration to us; you are a great example for us to emulate in living a godly life.”

Engr. Braña, who obtained his high school education at Central Philippine University, is the first Filipino Certified Professional in Packaging (CP-P-P) in the United States, and a member of the Institute of Packaging of the United Kingdom. He is also a Registered Chemical Engineer.

An exhibit of Engr. Lejo C. Braña’s works throughout his career.

Mr. Efraim Alfaras presents a portrait of Engr. Lejo C. Braña.

He has more than thirty years in professional packaging practice, successfully serving in several companies. Now he is the packaging Director of Riviana Foods and of RVR Package Testing Center in Houston, Texas.

His competence and expertise has been recognized by his having been admitted as a member of such scientific and professional bodies as the American Society of Testing and Materials, Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, National Institute of Packaging and Logistics Engineers, Modern Plastics Magazine Advisory Panel, and Food Engineering Executive Advisory Panel. He is the founding President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Institute of Packaging Professionals.

Engr. Braña holds a U.S. Patent for a package sizing device. He has participated as a speaker at many seminars and conferences and traveled to countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia in connection with his professional practice.

At present, the Packaging Department of the College of Engineering is working on a book, The Wheel to Pack, in honor of Engr. Braña.

CPUR: Wear your feelings

Wear your heart on your sleeve—On February 14, 2018, Central Philippine University Republic encouraged Centralians to wear their feelings. With ten colors to choose from, there is an option for every emotion and a hugot for every Centralian. Red is worn by those happily in-love while black signifies heartache. The trend is an annual tradition for Centralians.

Stalls filled with chocolate and flowers welcome the students as they walk through the half-moon on Valentine’s Day. A dominant white fills the university, expressing the opinion on love of the majority of the students.

As the celebration of Valentine’s Day comes to another close, may Centralians be reminded of the greatest love of all—the love of Christ.

“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

“Two people are better than one, because they can reap more benefit from their labor. For if they fall, one will help his companion up, but pity the person who falls down and has no one to help him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm, but how can one person keep warm by himself? Although an assailant may overpower one person, two can withstand him. Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

May our relationships be centered on Christ, the Author and Creator of love.

God is Love

CPUR President Jan Christian Española holds a heart-shaped coin bank personally molded by  Eduardo Llanera whose son, Allen, has Tetralogy of Fallot. For inquiries on how to purchase the coin bank please contact any officer of the CPUR.

In the Bible there was a man who was afflicted with leprosy. He kneeled before Jesus and begged Jesus to “clean him.”

“If you want you can make me clean,” the man said to Jesus. The man meant for Jesus to clean him not only physically, but also spiritually. At those times spiritual cleanliness and holiness were considered the same by the Jews.

There are various commentaries in the Old Testament with regarding leprosy. The Jews considered leprosy a punishment from God because the person has committed sin. Lepers were considered dirty and in the realm of religion, they were considered “spiritually unclean.” They were also outcasts of society.

The lepers were regulated by the Jews to stay at least fifteen feet away from “clean people.” They and their families were not allowed to work. So the only choice they can have was to become beggars.

The man begged for Jesus to clean him both spiritually and physically so he can live and work among men. The Lord Jesus pitted him so much that he held his hands and told him, “I want you to be clean.”

The inequity against the poor and the needy could have changed when Jesus came into the world. But even at present, there are still people who are afraid to mingle with the poor and the needy. They look down on them and consider them sick, dirty, and the “garbage of society.” They distance themselves from these people or they send them away.

Because Jesus loves his people equally, he didn’t care about touching the leper. He cured and cleaned them. Jesus also visited the sick and cast out demons from the possessed.

Amidst all the pain and injustice we experience, we must remember that Jesus loves and blesses everyone who believes in him. Above all else, in this season of love we must not forget that God is Love.

The Valentine of Central Philippine University

Rev. William Orison Brown Valentine,the first principal of Jaro Industrial School.

More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ challenged and commissioned his disciples to “go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Rev. William Orison Valentine, the first principal of Jaro Industrial School, was one of the many who answered the call of God to go to the whole world and bring the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Rev. Valentine was born in Spencer, New York, in 1862, to a family of farmers and horse breeders. After taking up Normal Course at Mansfield Normal School in Pennsylvania, he taught for four years and then enrolled at the Colgate Theological Seminary.

After completing his studies, he joined the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society and was sent to Burma, first to Rangoon in 1895, then to Mandalay where he became principal of the Baptist Mission High School for Boys. In his eighth year in Burma he suffered from severe sunstroke and returned to America for treatment. It was during his treatment that he met his wife, nurse Ina Jane Van Allen.

The couple was married in 1903 and soon left for their new appointment in Iloilo City.

The Valentine Hall named after Rev. William Valentine

Before the Valentines arrived in the Philippines, the Baptist mission had already started. In May 1900, Rev. Dr. Eric Lund, a Swedish Baptist missionary, and his newly baptized convert, Braulio Manikan, a native of Aklan, arrived from Barcelona, Spain. The two soon started the ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing while continuing to translate the whole Bible into Hiligaynon.

The preaching ministry resulted to organizing churches in Iloilo, Negros, and Capiz. For instance, Jaro Evangelical Church was organized in September 1900[a], Bacolod Evangelical Church in 1902, and Capiz Evangelical Church in 1908[b]. As to the healing ministry, the Philippine Baptist mission established two hospitals in Panay Island, the Iloilo Mission Hospital in 1901, and the Capiz Emmanuel Hospital in 1908. The teaching ministry resulted to the establishment of a Baptist Home School in Capiz in 1904, now known as the Filamer Christian College. In Iloilo, Anna V. Johnson also opened the Baptist Missionary Training School. The following year, in 1905, Rev. William O. Valentine, became the principal of two newly-opened schools, the Bible School for men, and the Jaro Industrial School.

Jaro Industrial School started as an Elementary Vocational School for boys who worked for their board and tuition. The first batch consisted of 20 boys. It was the first school in the Philippines to teach that labor is honor. Rev. Valentine recounted that, “it was decided that in this new school, no boy, no matter how rich, should be admitted who was not willing to work for his food… All must work for their food.”[c]

“The original purpose of the school was to provide opportunity for poor Filipino boys to receive a good Christian, industrial education by working their way through school. Actual work experience and earnest study of the Bible were the core of the curriculum.”[d]

The school also had the distinction of having organized the first student government in the country—the Jaro Industrial School Republic now, the CPU Republic. Rev. Valentine modeled the student republic on the American civil government. In the words of one of the first graduates, “The Jaro Industrial School Republic takes a boy, nurture him in the atmosphere of genuineness, originality and individuality, until he discovers his real self; leads and encourages him in his struggle for existence—in his struggle against poverty, the seemingly insurmountable barrier to get an education; trains him for citizenship; lets him taste the joys of Christian life by having him live that way for years; and then turns him loose into the world, a Christian man.”[e] CPUR and campus politics have honed many leaders. These student leaders eventually became successful leaders in society.

By 1907, the enrolment of the school grew. There were now 300 boys working in the farm and in various trades. Rev. and Mrs. Valentine by this time were very busy in school affairs. Mrs. Ina Jane Valentine taught some subjects and at the same time cared for the three Valentine children born in Iloilo between 1904 and 1913.

Rev. Valentine worked hard to have the school incorporated and recognized by the government. His objectives were reached in 1913, the year when the school began to admit female students. In 1915, the first two years of high school were opened and by 1921, the first batch co-ed high school graduated.

In 1914, Valentine returned to America with his family to further his studies. He studied at Valparaiso University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree, and at the University of Chicago, where he presented a master’s thesis in the department of practical theology. His thesis entitled “Moral and Religious Values of Industrial Education,” recounted the success of work-study schooling at Jaro and other schools in Burma, South Africa, and India which had developed a similar philosophy of institutional self-support through the work of students. He earned his Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Arts from the University of Chicago.

With the completion of his studies in 1916, Valentine received a new appointment as Provincial Missionary for Negros Occidental, Philippines. He and his family went to Bacolod and became the pastor of Bacolod Evangelical Church.

He was instrumental in building a new mission house to replace the smaller chapel and encouraged Filipino Baptist pastors to preach at Sunday services. He also established dormitories for boys and girls who attended public schools. These students received a Christian education at the mission house.

Because of his passion for Christian education, Rev. Valentine set about not only to establish new churches but also private schools in Bacolod and throughout the province like the Ilog Private Academy in the southern part of Negros Occidental. Mrs. Valentine taught kindergarten in the Bacolod school. The school and the church grew in quality and quantity during the 11 years that Rev. Valentine served there.

In February 1928, tragedy struck not only the Valentines but also the blossoming mission work. Rev. Valentine died in Bacolod of malaria complicated by a heart disease. He was buried at the American Cemetery in Jaro, Iloilo City. Mrs. Valentine returned to America, and bought a home offered by the Baptist Mission Society in Granville, Ohio, across the street from Denison University where all three Valentine children studied. She died in 1979 in the age of 100.

Soon after Rev. Valentine died, the Negros Kasapulanan of Baptist Churches and the Bacolod Evangelical Church renamed the mission house in Bacolod as the Valentine Hall. In this Valentine Hall, two Baptist institutions were born. In 1948, Baptist leaders in Negros met and decided to establish a college to be housed in the Valentine Hall. This college was named as the West Negros College, now West Negros University. In 1950, the Bible Institute under Department of Christian Education of the West Negros College became a separate institution and was renamed as the Valentine Memorial Academy. This Bible School is now known as the Convention Baptist Bible College.

The Lord indeed works in mysterious ways. Even though Rev. Valentine died, his legacy lives on and gave birth to two successful learning institutions in Bacolod City.

Back in Iloilo, the Central Philippine College also decided to rename the then Administration Building as Valentine Hall, in honor of its first principal. Later, when the annex building was completed near the Valentine Hall, it was appropriately called the New Valentine Building. Soon after, a new tradition was started. Every Foundation Day in October, University officials come to the American Cemetery to lay a wreath of flowers on the tomb of Rev. Valentine and other American missionaries.

In 1969 CPU conferred a posthumous doctoral degree upon Rev. Valentine. He was accorded a Doctor of Pedagogy, Honoris Causa.

When CPU celebrated its 100 years on Oct. 1, 2005, a Bronze bust of Rev. Dr. William O. Valentine was unveiled during the Foundation Day ceremony to honor the life and ministry of the first principal of CPU.

More than a hundred years ago, Rev. Valentine witnessed how God was faithful in the humble beginning of Central Philippine University. With just 20 boys working for their tuition and food, Rev. Valentine gave his full commitment. Now, we are witnesses to the legacy of Rev. Valentine and other American Baptist missionaries. God was faithful then and God continues to be faithful until now. CPU is now home to more than 12,000 students, and more than 700 faculty and staff. CPU has also maintained the coveted Autonomous Status granted by the Commission on Higher Education since October 2001.

Thank you, Rev. Dr. William Orison Valentine, for giving your whole life to the Filipinos and to the Centralians. May we continue your legacy of sacrificial commitment in serving God and his people. To God be the glory!

[a] Nestor D. Bunda, A Mission History of the Philippine Baptist Churches 1898-1998, (1999) p. 164

[b] Henry W. Munger, “Baptists in the Philippines” in The Chronicle, Vol. 1 No. 4, (October 1938) p. 171

[c] William O. Valentine (1916) p.22

[d] Linnea A. Nelson and Elma S. Herradura (1981) p. 8

[e] The Hoe(December, 1913)

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