Reaching Out…by Jing Ureta

For the past  years, NDMU administrators, Marist Brothers, faculty, non teaching  and Maintenance personnel would come together  on a special day  to  celebrate a year  of partnership,  camaraderie and friendship.    The Marist-mission Partners Day   has  evolved from a  simple gathering where everyone  enjoys a rest day  by playing games  and sharing meals together to an occasion  where there is a need to respond to the needs of the times. 

This year,    NDMU community  celebrating  the  Marist-Mission Partners Day, called for solidarity to help those affected by the recent typhoon that hit the country.   The aftermath of  typhoon Frank has caused  flooding  in some batangays  in Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani Province.  The typhoon  has brought  havoc to many farmlands in the area thus causing an enormous damage to properties. 

The situation has stirred the hearts of  people to respond to the call for immediate assistance.  By taking the lead, NDMU  was quick to gather its resources to provide the help it can give to the  flood victims in Lambayong Sultan Kudarat.  The special events committee chaired by Ms. Elma Rafil and Ernie Bonzo asked  the members of the NDMU community  to share food and used clothings for the victims .  The College of Arts and Science under Mrs. Benita Tandog took charged in sorting out goods given by the school, faculty, non teaching personnel, student council, student  organizations and other well meaning people at NDMU.  

Last July  28, 2008   before all the relief goods were sent to its destination, the university celebrated its Marist Mission Partners Day with a Mass presided by Fr. Nazario Benitez. This was followed by a talk  given by   Sr. Pat Bebiera who shared about the South Cotabato Demographics.  Fr. Willy Estraza,  on the other hand  talked about the present  Philippine scenario and post a challenge to everyone on how the university and the NDMU community   can  think of ways on how one  can help this country. 

The travel to Lambayong by the volunteers headed by Bro. Willy, President of NDMU  culminated the Marist-Mission Partners day .  The sun was up and one can feel the exorbirant heat building up in the trucks as the volunteers  began their journey to the   rough and dusty  road  of Pinguiaman, Lambayong Sultan Kudarat.  Reaching   Lambayong, one has to travel  another 1 and a half hour to reach the affected Barangay.   However, in order to get to the area one has to take the banca and  paddle their way to   through the  vast sea of water which once stood a very rich and abundant  rice fields. 



The residents of the affected Barangay waited in line for the arrival of the relief goods in the area.  Looking at the faces of the young and the old  you   can almost feel their pain and their hapless situation.   The mothers carrying their children as they edged their way to the site seemed lost for words.  They do not have any idea when the floods would subside or when their lives would go back to normal.  Everything is so  uncertain and they only relayed   on the goodness of people from  South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat to  provide them with the necessary assistance.  


When will all the aid end?  No one can tell but we can only pray that in God’s time they can all go back and start anew.  Moving on with their lives will be the hardest thing to do but they have to be strong and believed that there will always be a brighter tomorrow. 




Looking at NDMU now… by Jing Ureta

Whenever i would take an alumni for a brief tour of  the university, they would always feel so nostalgic about the old buildings, the acacia trees and anything that reminds them of their youth.  I remember a good friend of mine from New york who is  also an  alumni showed his teenage daughters  his old high school classroom.  He stood there for a minute as if in silent prayer..then he said proudly ..”you know kids this is my high school and this is the best years of my life..”

      ( the first hollow block building- HS Admin building)  

   ( The first college/administration  building )                                                         

Notre Dame  has stood the test of times.   It bears witness to the post war days, to the 70s of student activism  and unrest to the 80’s people power until EDSA 2.   Students have gone in and out of its portals and when they come back they still see the old structures that reminds them of the way they were.  However, there is no denying that the university has also to cope with the challenges of globalization.  It has to compete and showcased what it can offer and the product of dedicated service of its faculty the GRADUATES. 

Today, as the walls cracked, as trees gets old and grass turns brown changes have to be made. Take a look and see what is in store for you on your next visit.   The old structures  will always be  the story of our past and the new look shall speak about our future.

( AMASING!  the newly renovated building is the administration building.  the second floor which houses the old library now houses the Presidents office, a student lobby, Graduate School, Research center, guest rooms)


If a picture paints a thousands words..Jing Ureta

If you haven’t been to the university lately you will be surprised at your next visit.  There are 101 reasons why you should come back and see the changes that we have here.  One attraction is our  Alumni gallery where we have your old photographs enlarged for better viewing.  Lately, I was looking at old photographs that i need to send to the photo shop for restoration.  I had to ask some friends to identify the people they knew back then.  Funny how we all look when we were so much younger then..the elementary boys in their shorts? or the anorexic  looking high school students?  the ladies in their fancy hairdos?   Now can you identify anyone of those in the picture?  C’mon let us just enjoy looking at  our yesterdays email me if you know anyone.

Picture A                    Picture B                   Picture C                 Picture D                  Picture E

Now to help you recall these pictures were taken between the period of the 70’s-90’s.

College days is much more sophisticated don’t you think?  Look at the pictures and see if you know anyone.  Must be your mother, your aunt or grandmother .

Picture F                        Picture G

blast from the past..Patty the US peace corp at NDMC by Jing Ureta

The Marist brothers presence in the Philippines would not be complete without the presence of the American peace corps at then NDMC.  In the late  60s until the early 80’s  NDMC has invited american professionals to teach science and math subjects to college students.  The american faculties then were:  the Bedfords, Tom and Marilyn Peraldi, David Kesselholf, Patty Flakus, Dave Delasanta, Stacia Spillane, Sue Bienkowski and many more.

As a young girl then I remember the family dinner we had with the Brothers and their guests. Patty flakus, Stacia Spillane and Sue bienkowski  stayed with us for 2 years while they taught at NDMC.  I knew their presence meant alot to the college.

Now after 39 years one american peace corp came back for her sentimental journey. She is PATTY FLAKUS now MOSQUEDA,  married to larry , an american-mexican Professor teaching American foreign policies and economy at a college in Olympia, washington State.  They are blessed with two beautiful daughters Theresa and Tanya.   Instrumental for her return was BRO. PAUL MEUTEN, FMs who wrote to my sister Daday about the trip of Patty and  her husband to Japan where he was on an exchanged faculty program.  Bro. Paul  encouraged us to write to her and invite her back to the Philippines.   I was not sure  then if Patty remembers us but never the less  wrote her and invited her to Marbel.   At first she was not sure if she really wanted to come back but after giving it much thought she finally said YES and she came last June 28 with her lovely daughter Theresa.

Seing her at the airport was like being transported back in time. I was again the 11 year old girl trying to learn the guitar and singing the song LEAVING ON A JET PLANE  taught by Patty.  She is  beautiful still and carries the same charm. Dinner was at home and we invited some people she knew back then.  What was amasing I guess was Mom’s seamstress Manang Trining who came and brought with her the sweater that Patty gave her when she left in 1971. Larry de pedro one  her close friends  back then was full of hilarious stories about Patty and the gang of 4 meaning Larry, boy de Jesus, Josan Gabaldon and Bing Yap.

The Marist brothers Bro. Cris and Bro. Edgar took us to Lake Sebu the following day.  Patty remembers only the PANAMIN village and Bolul where she would hiked along with her students and friends.  She and Theresa were both awed at the scenery that  Lake Sebu offered.  the Dongon Falls, the lake view at Punta Isla,  the children dancng were  real treat.

Monday, was a visit to NDMU and IBED.  Patty met her former students in IBED like Cecile Fedoc, Susan Bahaynon, Adela Alibugha and Jo catubig.  I knew she felt so much joy when her students talked about the good ol days and how she has touch their lives.  Susan was telling her that everyone in their class liked her so much.  Adela or Delay told her “Maam Flakus, because of you I was inspired to be a science teacher ”  Theresa on the other hand was busy speaking before the class of 4th year students and 1st year students.   She enjoyed the brief interraction in class where the students asked her if she is married.  she would break into laughter and told them she is single and enjoying her life as a career person.

We had lunch at NDMU where she met with some adminiistrators, friends and co teachers  she had back then like Jovita felongco, Evans de Pedro, Paula Balo, Sofia Reyes.  John almodiente and Benita Tandog were her students then.  It was a joyful reunion.  Andi magallanes, ADVP toured her around the campus and she could not  believed the changes that NDMU had all this years.  Fe Diaz , director for Libraries showed her the Library and its facilities.  They saw old pictures in the yearbook that captures everything about the past.

Patty and Theresa left wth a promise of coming back.  I am sure they will find their way back to the hearts of people they knew and met.