CONGRATULATIONS! Efren Penaflorida - CNN Hero of the Year 2009!


Efren Penaflorida - CNN Hero of the Year 2009!

Peñaflorida was awarded during the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. He received his award from American actress Eva Mendes. He bested nine other nominees from different countries for the Hero of the Year award. The nominees were initially selected by a panel of 14 “Blue Panel” luminaries but the Hero of the Year award is given to the one with the most number of online votes in the CNN Heroes website.


Read full article here:

Filipino declared “Hero of the Year” by CNN

Mabuhay ka Efren! May you be an inspiration to all of us in serving well and serving our fellow brothers and sisters. God bless you & your DTC volunteers!

Thank God! It's my Birthday!

Today is my 28th birthday! (I stated it already for you not to ask me how old I am.)

Thank you very much to all who remembered this special day when I was brought into this world. Whew! I've got a busy day answering text, call, e-mails and even facebook and friendster greetings as well as those who greet me thru ASMSI forum.

It feels great to learn that a lot of you (my friends and family members) remember me and throw every kind of messages and wishes for me. My only wish is that may all your wishes for me do come true. =).

I ended the day by attending mass at The Philippine Centre for St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Inc. in Libis, Quezon City and THANK the LORD for a busy and fruitful year that was.

It's great to know also that today is the feast day of one of the great pope in history, St. Leo the Great .

Thank you Lord! God Bless us all!


Batch '95 (6th Batch) BATAAN Invasion '09

The above pics are taken during the Batch '95 (6th Batch) BATAAN Invasion '09 - wherein I'm one of the guests or 'sabit' of the group.

Wow...I really enjoyed the BI of Batch '95! Thanks for inviting me. Thanks Kuya Aries for the sponsorship. Salamat din kay Ate Mines and Ate Zen for the personal invitation. Mwah!

Hope to join you again in your next destination! Salamat po!

View complete pics here! Enjoy & Happy viewing.

ASMSI Updates: For the past few weeks

Been busy for a few weeks since Typhoon 'Ondoy' flooded 80% of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. Visit this site to learn more about 'Ondoy' - the Worst Tropical Depression that struck Manila.

Just take a look at these photo links for some ASMSI / SMS past events:
Thank you very much and God Bless! ASMSI!

World Teachers' Day 2009

To all TEACHERS out there - WE SALUTE you!

Thank you very much for the sacrifices, the love and knowledge you've shared to all your students.

Mabuhay ang mga Dakilang Gurong Pilipino!

To my two beautiful Ate - I love you! Continue being an inspiration your students.


5 October is a day to celebrate teachers and the central role they play in guiding children, youths & adults through the life-long learning process. This year, World Teachers’ Day will focus on the role of teachers within the context of the global financial and economic crisis and the need to invest in teachers now as a means to secure post-crisis regeneration.

It is critical, during these difficult times, to seek mechanisms that protect the teaching profession. It is also crucial, despite the crisis, to ensure that investment in teachers is sufficient and proportionate to the demands made upon them. It is the teaching force with its knowledge, experience and foresight which can bring new insights to global solutions. Join us in celebrating this!


The Wrath of "Ondoy"

These were the scenes last Sunday at the Floodway - Manggahan Pasig City (the flood waters already subsided a bit but still the Ortigas Avenue Extension going to Ever Gotesco - Cainta is not passable even to big buses) .

I cannot imagine how it happened and where the flood waters come from.

View more pictures here! Most of the pictures here were taken by my Sony Ericsson phone (Thanks God I was able to charge it before the electricity was cut-off).

As of posting time there are already 374,890 people in the evacuation centers—NDCC and the death toll reached 293 (only those recognized and accounted for but how about the 100+ missing?) and badly needed medical assistance and reliefs.

Our place has no electricity yet since Saturday. (Buti ngayon meron na!)

Classes at all levels are suspended from Monday - Tuesday and till Wednesday for elementary and high school levels as announced today by DepEd Sec. Jesli Lapus.

I am urging everyone especially those who are not affected and capable of doing their share to help alleviate the suffering of our brothers and sisters greatly affected by this flood and in dire need of support especially food, water, clothing and medicines.

There are already a lot of relief drive being undertaken by different groups and individuals. Let's try our best to help. Thanks a lot!

This is the right time to show our 'bayanihan'.
God Bless the Philippines!

To all ASMSI members: Click here!

View ASMSI's Relief Operation here. Thanks to all who supported the cause.

2009 Concert for a Cause: A Success!

Thank you very much to all who watched the Concert for Cause. Thank you for supporting this noble project of ASMSI for the benefit of Fr. Al's Children Foundation, Inc. (FACFI) & ASMSI.

Our gratitude goes the Boystown & Girlstown Chorale, Mr. Dingson Balajadia, our guest artists and performers: MYMP, Mr. Jed Madela & Mr. Nyoy Volante and some surprise guests.

Some initial picture compilation: 2009 Concert for a Cause

Thank you very much for coming! See you next year for a bigger celebration!
The Sisters of Mary Philippines SILVER ANNIVERSARY!


Happy Birthday! Our Dear Fr. Al

Happy Birthday! Our Dear Papa! The Servant of God, Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz.
We love you!

Thank you very much for the unconditional love you have given to thousands of poor children
around the world.

Watch this video to get to know Fr. Al.

You may visit also the ff: websites:

3$ for Daniel Project

George Daniel Arevalo Samson, 5 months old son of my high school friend Clarissa has biliary atresia with cirrhosis and is in immediate need of liver transplant. The operation has never been done in the Philippines and the doctor’s advice is to go to Taiwan for the cheapest operation of which will cost roughly 3 Million Pesos ($60,000).

Visit Niko's Blog for the complete info on this project. Please help us raise funds for his operation.

Thank you very much!

Dolores "Tita Dolly" Cruz Birthday Bash @ STI Shaw (09.15.09)

Tita Dolly,

Thank you very much! Thank you for giving me the opportunity of knowing you. Thank you for believing in me. I really appreciate the genuine love and concern you have for me and for all the people dear to you.

Thank you for the 26 years of serving STI! especially STI Shaw (formerly STI Edsa-Crossing)

Happy 65th Birthday! You really deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labour!
Enjoy the company of your cute 'apos'.

More blessings & Good health. God Bless you!

We love you!

- Al San Buenaventura
STI Edsa-Crossing Batch '08

My Brother's Wedding (2009.09.05)

San Buenaventura & Pupa Wedding @ St. Joseph Parish - Milaor, Camarines Sur (2009.09.05). Reception follows at Jardin del Rio - Dayangdang, Naga City.

View wedding pics here: San Buenaventura * Pupa Wedding

Good luck, Kuya Bimbo & Ate Ning-Ning to your future family.

Naga celebrates feast of Peñafrancia '09

Excerpt from an article on!

Purely Personal
Naga celebrates feast of Peñafrancia
By Josephine Darang
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:57:00 08/29/2009

Filed Under: Religion & Belief, Religions, Customs & Traditions

THE FEAST of our Lady of Peñafrancia, patroness of Bicol, is celebrated on the third Sunday of September (September 20 this year). This is a great feast among Bicolanos and devotees from all over the Philippines who fly to Naga for the fluvial procession on the third Saturday, September 19.

The Novena of Masses is preceded by the translacion on September 11 at 1:30 p.m., which is the transfer of the image of “Ina” from the Peñafrancia Shrine to the Metropolitan Cathedral. Included in the procession is the “Divino Rostro.”

By tradition, only men are allowed to follow the line holding on to the rope attached to the carroza. The men come in fulfillment of a panata to thank the Virgen de Peñafrancia for favors received or to ask for a favor. People line up the streets waiting for the image to pass by and whisper their petitions.

Fiesta theme

“Sharing the future in hope” is this year’s fiesta theme. The Archdiocese of Nueva Caceres marks the Tricentennial of the devotion in September, 2010. Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi, OP, will open the Novena of Masses on September 11, 6 p.m., at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The fluvial procession begins at 3 p.m. on September 19, from the Naga Cathedral going to the bridge where the flower-bedecked barge awaits the Virgen de Peñafrancia.

Only men can climb the barge that would bring the image to the Basilica de Peñafrancia shrine. At least 200 voyadores or boatmen pull the barge down the river. People wait along the riverbank with lighted candles. When the Virgin passes them, they wave their handkerchiefs in welcome.

I have participated in the parade for the past years and my prayers have always been answered. A friend of mine who was with me one time was able to get a US visa that same year.

When the image will reach the Basilica, Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera will officiate the Concelebrated Mass in English at the Basilica Golden Pavilion. Monsignor Romulo Vergara is Rector and parish priest. The Caceres Chorale will sing.

‘Ina’ in Macau

The Bicolanos in Macau will also hold Novena Masses for Our Lady of Peñafrancia on September 11, at 7:30 p.m., at the Catholic Pastoral Center. Father Alex Barnedo, Father Pedro Balde and Father Jun Tagaytay who belong to the Society of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity (SOLT) which was founded in Bicol will say the Novena Masses. Attending are Macau Labor office staff Jingky Bayog, Tonette Harris and Tita Gille who help in the center.


Visit : for more information.

Light a Candle for Raul S. Roco (1941 - 2005)

On this website he is honored not only by his wife Sonia and their six children -- Robbie Pierre, Raul Jr., Sophia, Sareena, Rex and Synara -- but also by everyone whose hearts were touched by the senator.

Let us remember Raul S. Roco not just as a public servant, but also as a good family man. A husband. A son. A father. A man. An honorary woman.

Light a candle for Roco now.

Thank you for making us proud to be Bikolanos!
May you always be remembered.

SMS 24th Foundation Day & Children's Birthday

Thank you very much to all Alumni, guests & friends for the successful celebration of The Sisters of Mary School's - 24th Foundation Day and Children's Birthday last August 16, 2009 @ SMS Campuses in Adlas, Biga, Talisay & Minglanilla.

See you next year as we CELEBRATE SILVER!

Click here to view the collection of pictures of the celebration!

Concert for A Cause - "A Tribute to Fr. Al for the Benefit of his Children"

Thank you and Farewell, President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino (1933 - 2009)

Click here to view pictures: A Moment in HISTORY - Luneta, Manila - Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino has passed away.
She was 76.
Her son Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III confirmed that she died of cardio-respiratory arrest at exactly 3:18 a.m. Saturday at the Makati Medical Center.
Mrs. Aquino has been diagnosed with colon cancer early in 2008 and has been confined at the Makati Medical Center for more than a month.
Mrs. Aquino, widow of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., will be remembered as an icon of democracy, having led a military-backed popular revolt in 1986 that ousted a dictator who ruled the country for 20 years.
At about 5 a.m. outside the hospital, Noynoy read a statement announcing the death of his mother.
The statement read:

"Our mother peacefully passed away at 3:18 a.m., August 1, 2009, of cardio-respiratory arrest.
“She would have wanted to thank each and every one of you for all the prayers and your continued love and support. It was her wish for all of us to pray for one another and for our country.
“Hinihiling po ng aming pamilya ang kaunting panahon para makasama namin ang aming mahal na ina.

....Image and News Excerpt from
Read : Cory Aquino Biography
Click here : Live Video Streaming of Tita Cory's Wake

2010 Philippine Holidays

Planning a VACATION next year?


Click this link to download your copy. Enjoy!


In Memoriam: +Fr. Teodoro A. Urrutia, SJ

Fr. Teodoro Urrutia, SJ was born on November 20, 1913 in Nanclaves de
Spain. Perhaps because of the influence of the Jesuit education he obtained
from St. Francis Xavier at Sanguesa, in Navarro, Fr. Urrutia entered the Society of Jesus
on June 7, 1934. He pronounced his first vows two years later and after years of
studies and formation was ordained to the priesthood on July 30, 1948. The following
year he made his tertianship and then pronounced his final vows on February 2, 1951.
As his first assignment, he taught religion, math and literature at the Escuela
Profesional Cristo Rey in Burgos, Spain. Later, he was made principal of that school.

In 1962, his dream of being sent to the missions was realized when he was allowed
to go to the Philippines. In this country which would become the dominant passion
of his Jesuit life, Fr. Urrutia was first assigned to the island of Olutanga in Zamboanga
del Sur. There he would be involved in running the Loyola High School in Subanipa
while at the same time acting as assistant parish priest of the town. After more than
ten years on the island, his missionary zeal would bring him to Bukidnon as where
he would serve as assistant parish priest to the different towns of the province.
In 1977, he was back to his beloved Olutanga island.

His apostolic work would take its toll on his health and so in 1988, he was transferred
to the Loyola House of Studies in Manila. Despite his health condition however, he
would still engage in active ministry, doing pastoral work in the Quezon Institute and
then chaplaincy work for the Sisters of Mary Boystown and Girlstown in Silang, Cavite
and Sta. Mesa, Manila. In 2003, his health condition worsened and on August 26, 2004,
Fr. Teodoro Urrutia, SJ, finally joined his Creator whom he had faithfully served with his
outstanding dedication to the missionary work of the Society of Jesus. Hasta Luego,
Don Teodoro!

Thanks to : "The WINDHOVER - The Philippine Jesuit Magazine : 3rd Quarter 2004"

Click here for: Fr. Teodoro A. Urrutia's Memorial Mass Photos


Please help us in advertising Fr. Al's Children Foundation, Inc. (FACFI). You may use the above banner or simply put website address into your websites, blogs, forums or if you know of any website which offers free display of banner as such: which freely displays FACFI's banner.Thanks a lot!

Fr. Al's Children Foundation, Inc. (FACFI) is a non-stock, non-profit organization duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. It was established on November 26, 1992 after the demise of Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz, founder of the Sisters of Mary congregation, to assist the charity programs of the Sisters of Mary Boystowns and Girlstowns in the Philippines.

The foundation is a recognized donee institution and certified by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC): Certificate No. : 044-2007

Vocation : The Brothers of Christ

Are you in search for your life's purpose?
  • If you are in between the ages of 17 to 30; have at least high school education; physically, physiologically and spiritually healthy and above all has a sincere desire to serve the poor with the heart, mind and spirit of Christ, then we invite you to JOIN - The Brothers of Christ.
  • After approximately three years of formation, the brothers profess the religious vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and service to the poor and a promise to pray an average of three hours a day, in honor of the five wounds of Jesus. These vows are being renewed each year at the end of the annual retreat.
  • For more information on how you could join us, feel free to contact the Vocation Director at the following address and feel free also to E-mail us or visit our website:
Crisanto M. delos Reyeas Ave. Brgy. Biclatan
Gen. Trias, Cavite Philippines
Tel: (046)686-35-89, 0919.815.4947
Bro. Matthew: 0929.731.0932

Something to be PROUD of...

Yesterday, the whole SMS - Philippines community once again feel proud of ourselves being part of this great charitable institution founded by The Servant of God, Aloysius Schwartz.

I even got some walking exercise just to scout for some newspaper stand who might still be open that evening hoping to get the days' issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer so that I will be able to get personal copy of the news. Unfortunately no more copy is available at the nearest 7-11.

Gladly, I have a friend who lives near a 7-11 store and I just texted him to get a copy for me. Yes! I was able to get one and soon I will be able to have it.

Here's an excerpt of the news:

The day they sang ‘God Bless America’

By Chelo Banal-Formoso
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:05:00 07/05/2009
Filed Under: Education, Youth, Music

FROM the where the guests have been invited to stand, one can see the perfect lines formed by the girls, perhaps over 3,000 of them. Only discipline can make lines like these.

And then – their voices strong, their hand movements synchronized, looking like they are lit from within – they sing. God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her, through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the prairies, to the ocean white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.

A choreography of emotions and amazing grace, the rendition moves Kristie Anne Kenney to tears. Even the non-Americans among the guests are misty-eyed.

“That you chose to welcome me today by learning a special song that honors my country and my heritage, and to do it so brilliantly, is a very wonderful treat,” responds Ms Kenney upon being handed the microphone. “And I know of no other nation in the world that has that kind of kindness and welcoming spirit.”

It isn’t every day that the US ambassador to the Philippines comes a-calling on the Sisters of Mary (SOM) and their wards at the Girlstown complex in Silang, Cavite. And this afternoon, she comes bearing gifts.

“I brought you some books because if you’re like me and you dream of what else is out there, you can do a lot of that through books,” she says to thunderous applause.

The girls are all in uniforms of blue and white. Marian colors. In this live-in high school founded in 1985 by Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz, reading is highly valued, but so is moral and spiritual formation. The girls are taught to live a life of simplicity, charity, gratitude and joy. Marian virtues.

None of these kids is holding an iPod or a Sony Ericsson phone or any such cool gadget for teens these days. That’s because these girls, and their fellow scholars at SOM Boystown (not to be confused with the facility for juvenile delinquents), come from dirt-poor families of Luzon and Palawan (Visayas and Mindanao are served by the SOM schools in Cebu).

At Girlstown and Boystown, they are given free education, room and board, medical and dental services, not to mention heaps of hope.
To view the full article, click here:

Caramoan lures more ‘castaways’ from Israel

This is another that I am always be proud of being a Bikolano! CamSur rocks! Come South, CamSur!

THE CLIFFS OF CARAMOAN in Camarines Sur, its lush forest hills, wildlife and exotic flora, “a certain kind of green not seen elsewhere,” white beaches and its smiling, helpful people so entranced the producers of Israel’s “Survivor” series (shown there in October) that the Philippines will be part of the title...
MANILA, Philippines—A piece of paradise in Bicolandia continues to draw an international cast of castaways.

Like the French and the Bulgarians before them, Israelis have shot their own version of the popular reality TV show “Survivor” on the
Caramoan peninsula in Camarines Sur, opening this tropical Eden to a larger global audience and tourism market.

“For Israelis, it’s a view they won’t see anywhere else,” said Guy Hameiri, CEO of the production outfit Reif Hameiri, in an interview last month at the company offices in Tel Aviv.

“We were overwhelmed when we saw the location, and I’m sure it will be very tempting for our audience to go see it themselves,” Hameiri said.

Show producer Gregory Bekerman observed that “the Philippines has a certain kind of green that I haven’t seen anywhere [else].”

He said he would return to the Philippines in September to scout for another site for future “Survivor” seasons.

“It’s paradise” captured through 22 cameras and some 3,000 hours of raw footage, Bekerman said.

The challenge now is to squeeze those amazing shots into 40 hour-long episodes.


Read the full article at:


I am looking forward to visit this magnificient Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Poor, it is due for completion by 2011. God really works in mysterious ways. This project is really God's work. Solely funded by donations from different people around the world.

God bless Fr. Suarez to this noble project of yours.

MONTEMARIA is a haven for pilgrims. It is not only a place of prayer, but also a fervent prayer itself. It commences a journey of a soul to the innermost meaning of life and living. Here the largest shrine in the world dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Poor becomes the visible sign of the Love of God to men and men to God proclaimed by the grandeur and the mystical way the shrine will be built. Through divine inspiration and human aspiration, heaven and earth will witness here the glimpses of the glory of God’s re-creation.


It’s ‘Camsur’–and it rocks

But when the name is shortened, suddenly Camsur rocks!

What’s all the fuss about Camsur? It seems one dynamic man has put his province on the world map of wakeboarding. Camsur Governor LRay Villafuerte built the Camsur Watersports Complex, the world’s most modern, six-point cable ski system designed for wakeboarding, wakeskating and waterskiing – and things have not been the same.

Coupled with restaurants, sand bars, a spa, pro-shop, watersports park and a new skateboard park, Camsur is now among our Top 10 local tourist destinations. CWC offers wakeboarding for beginner riders to professional wakeboarders who come from all over the world. Riders can even enjoy the park at night, thanks to bright spotlights that keep the action going until late.


The above text is an excerpt from an article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Lifestyle section by Tessa Prieto-Valdes dated June 27, 2009.

To read the full article click here:

Image from:

SMS Worldwide: World Villages for Children Development Updates

Good News: Click the links below for the latest news and development updates regarding the World Villages for Children founded by the Servant of God, Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz.

Sao Bernardo Day Care Center and Medical Clinic in Brazil

Wee Center inaugurated in April

Women's Training Center opens in Guatemala City

Our boys are excited about their new soccer field!

Thanks a lot to all our beloved donors and benefactors.
May the good Lord continue to bless you and your loved ones even more.

CPDRC Dancing Inmate's Tribute to Michael Jackson

A tribute performed by 1,500 CPDRC Inmates on June 27, 2009 in memory of Michael Jackson. Completed in 10 hours after receiving word that the King of Pop passed away. May he always be remembered. "Ben" and "I'll be there" were sung by Michael when he was still younger! "We are the World" was composed and organized by MJ.

The world mourns the death of a music icon, his music influenced people and tributes continue pouring worldwide...May you rest in peace, MJ!

Philippine Mass Schedule Website

I find this website informative for Catholics, it is also very useful in finding major churches in the country as well as their mass schedules.

Check it out first so that you will not be late in attending mass at your favorite church next time. =)

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Michael Jackson, one of the most widely beloved entertainer and profoundly influential artist of all-time, leaves an indelible imprint on popular music and culture.

Five of Jackson's solo albums – "Off the Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," "Dangerous" and "HIStory," all with Epic Records, a Sony Music label – are among the top-sellers of all time. During his extraordinary career, he sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and "Thriller" as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award.

Michael Jackson started in the music business at the age of 11 with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5. In the early 1980s, he defined the art form of music video with such ground-breaking videos as "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and the epic "Thriller." Jackson's sound, style and dance moves inspired subsequent generations of pop, soul, R&B and hip-hop artists.

Farewell, May you rest in peace.+


Congratulations to our dear Sisters on their Renewal of Vows/Annual Retreat '09

Our dear Sisters of Mary (professed sisters) had their Retreat last June 15 to 18 at SMS Girlstown Biga. It's a once a year Retreat where all our professed Sisters in the SMS Philippines gathered together for prayer in preparation for their Renewal of Vows.

To our dear Sisters - Congratulations and Thank you very much! for sharing your lives to the poorest of the poor and for helping us to become better Christians and persons when we go out from our beloved Alma Mater! God Bless and We love you very much!

The Three Hinulid (Santo Entierros) of Cagbunga, Gainza Cam. Sur

Even if Holy Week was already finished, I just want to share with you one thing our town is famous for, especially during the said season...


According to legend, in the early 15th century, an old man named Apolinario "Mang Ayong" Agustino of Gainza found, one by one, these images of the Santo Entierro, in the Bicol River.

On May 14, 1953, some people attempted to destroy the images but were stopped by 3 men from the Philippine Constabulary. The 3 images of the Hinulid/Santo Entierro were then brought to Tabuco Church in Naga City for repair and repainting. After 3 months, the images were brought back to Barangay Cagbunga in Gainza for caretaking.

These images, believed to be miraculous, are now housed at the chapel of Barangay Cagbunga in Gainza, Camarines Sur. At present, the 3 "hinulid" or Santo Entierros (dead Christ) are being brought out for procession every Good Friday, one Santo Entierro every year in the following order, from the biggest to the smallest one.

It is said that before the images were repaired, at the back of each image, a name is printed. The biggest Hinulid is named "JesuCristo Master", the second biggest is named "JesuCristo Dios", and the small one is named "JesuCristo Adonie".

These images (representing HIM) are loved and taken cared of not only by one person nor by one family but by the entire people of the municipality of Gainza, Camarines Sur... the people of the Bicol Region.

They are valued not because they are antique.
They are valued not for the wood, paint, nor wigs that make them up, but for the person these 3 images represent.... OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.


My first Blog Award =)

Thanks a lot Ate Niko for passing this award to me...=)
Now I have my first blog award hehehe...

Batch Assignments for Foundation Day 2009

I have already uploaded the BATCH Assignments for 2009 Foundation Day GAMES for the Children at the DOWNLOAD section of the ASMSI website.

Please download a copy for your BATCH and PRINT them for your reference and don't forget to bring it on August 16, 2009.

Title: BATCH Assignment for Foundation 2009

The file includes Courts Map of Boystown and Girlstown for reference.

Thank you very much!

For more info., follow our forum thread at:

GAINZA, My Beloved Hometown

Gainza is a 6th class municipality in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 9,404 people. Some 4.5 kilometers from the bustling metropolis of Naga, a small town which existence is considered to be as ancient as the then "Ciudad de Caceres", now known as the present Naga City, still find its way toward progress.

Historical records indicate that the town of Gainza took its name after the illustrious bishop, Francisco Gainza who had made various outstanding contributions in different fields such as in education, religion, economy and even science. It was in this place where Bishop Gainza chose to build a canal or passage which would connect the river of Naga to the sea of Pasacao and likewise would serve as an outlet for flood waters on the lower portions of the Camarines Sur. This plan, however, did not reach its realization as the Bishop met its untimely death.

Our town is politically subdivided into 8 barangays namely: Cagbunga, Dahilig, Loob, Malbong, Namuat, Sampaloc, District I (Pob.), & District II (Pob.)

It was currently headed by Mayor Romeo Gontang, Vice Mayor Robert Paz and ABC President Glenn Gontang.

Majority of the residents use Bicol dialect, Tagalog is understood by many while Hiligaynon (Bisaya) and Ilocano are used by a few.

Means of Livelihood: Planting Palay (main source of Income), Planting various Vegetables, Fishing & some Cottage industries.

St. Dominic of Guzman Parish
Foundation: 1863Titular: St. Dominic of Guzman
Feastday: August 8Parish Priest: Rev. Fr. Manuel Espejo
Parochial Vicar: Rev. Fr. Cresencio Abinal, Jr.


St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney

In honor of “the 150th anniversary of the death of the Holy Curé d'Ars, Jean-Marie Vianney, a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ's flock”, Pope Benedict XVI made the announcement on March 16, 2009 - Year for Priests would be celebrated starting on June 19, 2009, feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, and ending on June 19, 2010. that a

Special Indulgences, valid for the entire duration of the Year for Priests, were granted to priests, and to the faithful in general.

Saint Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney (May 8, 1786 - August 4, 1859) was a French parish priest who became a Catholic saint and the patron saint of parish priests. He is often referred to, even in English, as the "Curé d'Ars" (the parish priest of the village of Ars). He became famous internationally for his priestly and pastoral work in his parish due to the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings. Catholics attribute this to his saintly life, mortification, and persevering ministry in the sacrament of confession.

He was the son of a poor farmer in Dardilly, France. He worked as a shepherd and didn't begin his education until he was 20 years old. While an ecclesiastical student he was called for military service, and became a "delinquent conscript" more or less because of illness, and hid to escape Napoleon's police.

He had difficulty learning Latin, and twice failed the examinations required before ordination. He was finally ordained at the age of 30 (1815), but was thought to be so incompetent he was placed under the direction of Fr. Balley, a holy priest in a neighboring village, for further training.

Three years later he was made parish priest of Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his reputation as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout the Christian world.

St. John lived an austere life, ate potatoes he boiled, and learned to keep suspended by a rope from the ceiling, so the rats wouldn't get to them. He allowed himself 2 hours of sleep each night and was frequently interrupted by the devil, who assaulted him with deafening noises, insulting conversation, and physical abuse. These diabolical visitations were occasionally witnessed with alarm by the men of the parish, but the pious Cure accepted the attacks as a matter of course and often joked about them.

St. John was given many spiritual gifts, such as the power of healing and the ability to read the hearts of his penitents. It was this latter gift which caused his fame to spread throughout France, and created large crowds seeking guidance from him.

The frail Cure began hearing confessions at 1 o'clock in the morning, and it has been reported that he spent from 13 to 17 hours a day in the cramped confessional.

He was a wonderworker loved by the crowds, but he retained a childlike simplicity, and he remains to this day the living image of the priest after the heart of Christ. His life was filled with works of charity and love. It is recorded that even the staunchest of sinners were converted at his mere word.

Vianney had a great devotion to St. Philomena, who was believed to be a Virgin Martyr of the early Church. Jean looked at her as his guardian and erected a chapel and a shrine in honor of the saint. The shrine still stands today. During May 1843, Vianney fell so ill he thought that his life was coming to its end. He asked St. Philomena to cure him and promised to give one hundred masses at her shrine. Twelve days later, Vianney was cured and he attributed his cure to St. Philomena.

Death and Canonization

On August 4, 1859 Jean-Marie Vianney died peacefully at age seventy three. Biographers recorded miracles performed throughout his life, obtaining money for his charities and food for his orphans; he also had supernatural knowledge of the past and future, and could heal the sick, especially children.

His body was exhumed because of his impending beatification, and was found dried and darkened, but perfectly entire.

On October 3, 1874 Blessed Pius IX proclaimed him Venerable; on January 8, 1905, Saint Pius X declared him Blessed and proposed him as a model to the parochial clergy; in the year 1925 Pope Pius XI canonized him, and assigned August 8 as his feast day. This feast was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in 1928 with the rank of Double. The rank was changed to that of Third-Class Feast in 1960, and to an Obligatory Memorial in 1969, when the feast day was moved to the anniversary of the saint's death, August 4.


Come South, Cam Sur

The Premiere Province of Bicolandia

Invitation: SMS 24th Foundation Day and Children's Birthday '09

To All Sisters of Mary School graduates, I am inviting you to join us on the celebration of SMS Philippines 24th Foundation Day and Children's Birthday on August 16, 2009 @ SMS Campuses in Biga, Adlas, Talisay and Minglanilla.

Visit: for details.

Leadership Lessons by Colin Powell - Part III

Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible...

a leadership primer of eighteen lessons from General Colin Powell, Chairman (Ret), Joint Chief of Staff and former U.S. Secretary State

Lesson 13: "Powell's Rules for Picking People:" Look for intelligence and judgment, and most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego, and the drive to get things done.

How often do our recruitment and hiring processes tap into these attributes? More often than not, we ignore them in favor of length of resume, degrees and prior titles. A string of job descriptions a recruit held yesterday seem to be more important than who one is today, what they can contribute tomorrow, or how well their values mesh with those of the organization.

You can train a bright, willing novice in the fundamentals of your business fairly readily, but it's a lot harder to train someone to have integrity, judgment, energy, balance, and the drive to get things done. Good leaders stack the deck in their favor right in the recruitment phase.

Lesson 14: "Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers,
who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand."

Effective leaders understand the KISS principle, "Keep It Simple, Stupid." They articulate vivid, over-arching goals and values, which they use to drive daily behaviors and choices among competing alternatives. Their visions and priorities are lean and compelling, not cluttered and buzzword-laden. Their decisions are crisp and clear, not tentative and ambiguous. They convey an unwavering firmness and consistency in their actions, aligned with the picture of the future they paint.

The result: clarity of purpose, credibility of leadership, and integrity in organization.

Lesson 15: Part I: "Use the formula P=40 to 70, in which P stands for the
probability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired.“

Part II: "Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut."

Don't take action if you have only enough information to give you less than a 40 percent chance of being right, but don't wait until you have enough facts to be 100 percent sure, because by then it is almost always too late. Today, excessive delays in the name of information-gathering breeds "analysis paralysis."

Procrastination in the name of reducing risk actually increases risk.

Lesson 16: "The commander in the field is always right and the rear
echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise."

Too often, the reverse defines corporate culture. This is one of the main reasons why leaders like Ken Iverson of Nucor Steel, Percy Barnevik of Asea Brown Boveri, and Richard Branson of Virgin have kept their corporate staffs to a bare-bones minimum - how about fewer than 100 central corporate staffers for global $30 billion-plus ABB? Or around 25 and 3 for multi-billion Nucor and Virgin, respectively?

Shift the power and the financial accountability to the folks who are bringing in the beans, not the ones who are counting or analyzing them.

Lesson 17: "Have fun in your command. Don't always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you've earned it: Spend time with your families. Corollary: surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard."

Herb Kelleher of Southwest Air and Anita Roddick of The Body Shop would agree: seek people who have some balance in their lives, who are fun to hang out with, who like to laugh (at themselves, too) and who have some non-job priorities which they approach with the same passion that they do their work.

Spare me the grim workaholic or the pompous pretentious "professional;" I'll help them find jobs with my competitor.

Lesson 18: "Command is lonely."

Harry Truman was right. Whether you're a CEO or the temporary head of a project team, the buck stops here. You can encourage participative management and bottom-up employee involvement, but ultimately the essence of leadership is the willingness to make the tough, unambiguous choices that will have an impact on the fate of the organization.

I've seen too many non-leaders flinch from this responsibility. Even as you create an informal, open, collaborative corporate culture, prepare to be lonely.

Leadership Lessons by Colin Powell - Part II

Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible...

a leadership primer of eighteen lessons from General Colin Powell, Chairman (Ret), Joint Chief of Staff and former U.S. Secretary State

Lesson 7: "Keep looking below surface appearances. Don't shrink from doing so (just) because you might not like what you find."

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant or the scared. It's an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms. It's a mind-set that assumes (or hopes) that today's realities will continue tomorrow in a tidy, linear and predictable fashion. Pure fantasy.

In this sort of culture, you won't find people who pro-actively take steps to solve problems as they emerge. Here's a little tip: don't invest in these companies.

Lesson 8: "Organization doesn't really accomplish anything. Plans don't accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don't much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds."

In a brain-based economy, your best assets are people. We've heard this expression so often that it's become trite. But how many leaders really "walk the talk" with this stuff? Too often, people are assumed to be empty chess pieces to be moved around by grand viziers, which may explain why so many top managers immerse their calendar time in deal making, restructuring and the latest management fad.

How many immerse themselves in the goal of creating an environment where the best, the brightest, the most creative are attracted, retained and, most importantly, unleashed?

Lesson 9: "Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing."

Organization charts are frozen, anachronistic photos in a work place that ought to be as dynamic as the external environment around you. If people really followed organization charts, companies would collapse. In well-run organizations, titles are also pretty meaningless. At best, they advertise some authority, an official status conferring the ability to give orders and induce obedience. But titles mean little in terms of real power, which is the capacity to influence and inspire. Have you ever noticed that people will personally commit to certain individuals who on paper (or on the organization chart) possess little authority, but instead possess pizzazz, drive, expertise, and genuine caring for teammates and products?

On the flip side, non-leaders in management may be formally anointed with all the perks and frills associated with high positions, but they have little influence on others, apart from their ability to extract minimal compliance to minimal standards.

Lesson 10: "Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it."

Too often, change is stifled by people who cling to familiar turfs and job descriptions. One reason that even large organizations wither is that managers won't challenge old, comfortable ways of doing things. But real leaders understand that, nowadays, every one of our jobs is becoming obsolete. The proper response is to obsolete our activities before someone else does.

Effective leaders create a climate where people’s worth is determined by their willingness to learn new skills and grab new responsibilities, thus perpetually reinventing their jobs. The most important question in performance evaluation becomes not, "How well did you perform your job since the last time we met?" but, "How much did you change it?"

Lesson 11: "Fit no stereotypes. Don't chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team's mission."

Flitting from fad to fad creates team confusion, reduces the leader's credibility, and drains organizational coffers. Blindly following a particular fad generates rigidity in thought and action. Sometimes speed to market is more important than total quality. Sometimes an unapologetic directive is more appropriate than participatory discussion. Some situations require the leader to hover closely; others require long, loose leashes.

Leaders honor their core values, but they are flexible in how they execute them. They understand that management techniques are not magic mantras but simply tools to be reached for at the right times.

Lesson 12: "Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier."

The ripple effect of a leader's enthusiasm and optimism is awesome. So is the impact of cynicism and pessimism. Leaders who whine and blame engender those same behaviors among their colleagues. I am not talking about stoically accepting organizational stupidity and performance incompetence with a "what, me worry?" smile. I am talking about a gung-ho attitude that says "we can change things here, we can achieve awesome goals, we can be the best." Spare me the grim litany of the "realist," give me the unrealistic aspirations of the optimist any day.

Leadership Lessons by Colin Powell - Part I

Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible...

a leadership primer of eighteen lessons from General Colin Powell, Chairman (Ret), Joint Chief of Staff and former U.S. Secretary State

Lesson 1: "Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off."

Good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It's inevitable, if you're honorable. Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity: you'll avoid the tough decisions, you'll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted, and you'll avoid offering differential rewards based on differential performance because some people might get upset.

Ironically, by procrastinating on the difficult choices, by trying not to get anyone mad, and by treating everyone equally "nicely" regardless of their contributions, you'll simply ensure that the only people you'll wind up angering are the most creative and productive people in the organization.

Lesson 2: "The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."

If this were a litmus test, the majority of CEOs would fail. One, they build so many barriers to upward communication that the very idea of someone lower in the hierarchy looking up to the leader for help is ludicrous. Two, the corporate culture they foster often defines asking for help as weakness or failure, so people cover up their gaps, and the organization suffers accordingly.

Real leaders make themselves accessible and available. They show concern for the efforts and challenges faced by underlings, even as they demand high standards. Accordingly, they are more likely to create an environment where problem analysis replaces blame.

Lesson 3: "Don't be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world."

Small companies and start-ups don't have the time for analytically detached experts. They don't have the money to subsidize lofty elites, either. The president answers the phone and drives the truck when necessary; everyone on the payroll visibly produces and contributes to bottom-line results or they're history. But as companies get bigger, they often forget who "brought them to the dance": things like all-hands involvement, egalitarianism, informality, market intimacy, daring, risk, speed, agility. Policies that emanate from ivory towers often have an adverse impact on the people out in the field who are fighting the wars or bringing in the revenues.

Real leaders are vigilant, and combative, in the face of these trends.

Lesson 4: "Don't be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard."

Learn from the pros, observe them, seek them out as mentors and partners. But remember that even the pros may have leveled out in terms of their learning and skills. Sometimes even the pros can become complacent and lazy.

Leadership does not emerge from blind obedience to anyone. Xerox's Barry Rand was right on target when he warned his people that if you have a yes-man working for you, one of you is redundant. Good leadership encourages everyone's evolution.

Lesson 5: "Never neglect details. When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant."

Strategy equals execution. All the great ideas and visions in the world are worthless if they can't be implemented rapidly and efficiently. Good leaders delegate and empower others liberally, but they pay attention to details, every day. (Think about supreme athletic coaches like Jimmy Johnson, Pat Riley and Tony La Russa). Bad ones, even those who fancy themselves as progressive "visionaries," think they're somehow "above" operational details.

Paradoxically, good leaders understand something else: an obsessive routine in carrying out the details begets conformity and complacency, which in turn dulls everyone's mind. That is why even as they pay attention to details, they continually encourage people to challenge the process. They implicitly understand the sentiment of CEO leaders like Quad Graphic's Harry Quadracchi, Oticon's Lars Kolind and the late Bill McGowan of MCI, who all independently asserted that the job of a leader is not to be the chief organizer, but the chief dis-organizer.

Lesson 6: "You don't know what you can get away with until you try."

You know the expression, "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission." Well, it's true. Good leaders don't wait for official blessing to try things out. They're prudent, not reckless. But they also realize a fact of life in most organizations: if you ask enough people for permission, you'll inevitably come up against someone who believes his job is to say "no." So the moral is, don't ask.

Less effective middle managers endorsed the sentiment, "If I haven't explicitly been told 'yes,' I can't do it," whereas the good ones believed, "If I haven't explicitly been told 'no,' I can." There's a world of difference between these two points of view.

SMS Graduates Referral Program

In an effort to make ASMSI website known to as many alumni as possible, we have launched REFER-A-FRIEND & WIN promo. Read details below:

SMS Graduates Referral Program

Get a chance to win exciting freebies, cash or gift certificates...


1. The "Refer a Friend & Win!" promo is open to all SMS graduates.

2. To qualify for the program, a graduate of SMS should be able to encourage at least 10 of their SMS graduate friends who have not activated yet their membership in our ASMSI website to Activate Membership and Update their Profile Information. The graduate who has the highest number of referral wins. We will rank them as:

1st Prize - 3,000 pesos
2nd Prize – 2,000 pesos
3rd Prize – 1,000 pesos

...and some consolation prizes

3. After the successful activation of at least 10 alumni, they should send an email addressed to the ff:


Subject: SMS Graduates Referral Program

In the body, list the names, email address and contact numbers of the alumni friends they refer for us to validate their entries and check in our database.

*** Take note also that every successful registration sends an email to the above addresses containing their registration details as well as name of person who refers them to register and activate their membership. This is to double check your entry aside from the info in our database.

4. Deadline of submission of entries will be on August 7, 2009 (Friday), 5pm

5. Winners will be drawn at SMS Girlstown Biga, Silang Cavite on August 16, 2009.

6. Winners may claim their prizes by presenting a valid ID (school, company, alumni, or government issued ID's)

7. For provincial winners who won’t be able to personally claim their prizes, we will convert your prize into its actual monetary value and we will just deposit it to your bank account or thru any other valid means.

8. All ASMSI employees, Officers and Site Admin are disqualified from joining the program.

9. This information is subject to change without prior notice.

For more info: visit our website at:

"A Miracle in Mexico" By Alejandro Grattan

"A Miracle in Mexico"
By Alejandro Grattan
December 2002 Guadalajara-Lakeside Volume 19, Number 4

In a deeply religious country which is fraught with inexplicable phenomena, we have seen one such miracle with our own eyes. Few people at Lakeside have heard of this modern-day marvel, even fewer have visited its site, though thousands of us probably have passed only a couple of hundred yards away from it.

At first glance, it would appear to be a beautifully-laid-out junior college campus which could be anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, a campus equipped with several dormitories, a large gymnasium, a soccer field, basketball and volleyball courts, a semi-Olympic-sized swimming pool, classrooms fitted with dozens of late-model computers, and an enrollment of more than two thousand students.

There, however, all similarity ends.

For this magnificent monument to one man’s courage, vision and indomitability is known as Villa de Los Niños, located about ten miles north of Jocotepec, on the highway to Guadalajara. It is a sight that has to be seen to be believed. Here some 2000 of the poorest boys in Mexico, under the firm but loving guidance of Sister Cecilia Lee and her staff of about fifteen Sisters of Mary, are provided with food, shelter, clothing and a secondary technical, vocational training, all free of charge. Upon completion of their three-year course, the graduates then proudly take their places amongst Mexico’s fast-growing middle-class.

The educational training is intensive, with the students given only a two-week yearly vacation, and allowed but one parental visit each year. But at the end of the three years, the boys have been given, in addition to the standard education for lads in the secondary age-range, vocational training in any one or more trades such as woodworking, cooking, computers, auto mechanics, refrigeration, baking, jewelry, music, electronics, etc.

The equipment and supplies are provided free by many of Mexico’s largest corporations, and the facilities we saw are state-of-the-art. The auto repair training center was equipped by Volkswagen Mexico, which provides the students with several late-model cars, and all the necessary tools. The area is maintained by the students, and is so spotless one could eat off the floor. Best of all, as with many of the other vocations, the students are guaranteed a job upon graduation with the sponsor company.

Finally, however, it is not the adult instructors or the corporations who have made this place what it is—but rather the Sisters of Mary and the students themselves. It was inspiring to witness the sense of quiet joy and deep dedication which seemed to permeate the very halls of this marvelous institution of learning. The boys we saw (and we saw hundreds of them!) seemed happy, focused and keenly aware that they had been given one of the greatest strokes of luck they are likely to ever encounter. All of them come from extremely poor backgrounds, and proudly wear the neat, clean regulation clothing they were issued upon admittance.

The day Cuca Tingen and I visited, our guide was Sister Zeny, a diminutive nun from the Philippines whose broad smile and cheerful cooperation made our short stay a delight. Of the fifteen nuns, most are from the Philippines and South Korea, with a sprinkling of Mexican sisters mixed in for local flavor.

The man responsible for this miracle in Mexico is the late Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz. Creating just one such monument to the power of courage, vision and love would be enough for any man—but over the course of his life, he founded other such facilities in Korea and the Philippines, as well as hospitals, orphanages and homes for the homeless. Little wonder that he was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Equally amazing was that he did much of this while confined to a wheelchair. In 1989, Msgr. Schwartz was stricken with the malady known today as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” an affliction which finally took his life in 1992. Now the good Sisters of Mary carry on with his magnificent dream, doing it mainly through contributions. Anyone wishing to know more about this great effort and who has the desire to take part in this charitable work may call Sister Cecilia Lee at (37472) 5-0207.

As we drove away, I glanced back at the hundreds of young boys and the beautiful grounds and buildings, and a line from a now-forgotten play came to mind, in which one of the characters—reflecting on how every now and then, good people and noble ideas can create miracles—says “Sometimes there’s God.”