A PROJECT REALIZED, A DREAM COME TRUE

August 25, 2017
By: 
Margie T. Logarta (AB Communication Arts, Ateneo Class 1977)

 
For Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio G. Tagle, it began as an idea some years ago, while watching a concert of young South Korean musicians. It became a dream, which turned into amazing reality on August 7, 2017.
 
Thanks to the creative and tireless efforts of Ateneo College Class ’77 – serendipitously Cardinal Chito’s batch –the generous support of Security Bank Corporation, headed by another classmate, Alfonso “Yogi” Salcedo, Jr., and heart-warming donations by other classmates, several violins, art kits, computers and printers were turned over to Cardinal Tagle to benefit the first group of beneficiaries - the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation. The organization, who welcomed the Pope to its center in Intramuros right after his Manila Cathedral mass, works at offering “a normal life to the poorest children of Manila by providing them with a home and solutions in the areas of education, nutrition and health.
 
The Cardinal’s pet project, “Music and Arts and Basic Computer Skills Development Program for Indigent Children and Youth in the Archdiocese of Manila” got finally on its way!
 
“We heard this orchestra, made up of South Korean young people, perform some years ago,” Cardinal Tagle recounted before a rapt audience at the events hall of the Arzobispado in Intramuros. “It was only after that we learned they were all orphans.”
 
Cardinal Tagle went onto say that he believed the kids had poured into their music all their angst and pain at being abandoned – orphans are not highly regarded in South Korea – into their music. “That is how they expressed themselves, and I hope our street children can do the same, with their violins and computers.”
 
This project came about during a conversation five years ago between the Cardinal and Ateneo College Class 1977 representative Irma Cecilio and batchmate Cynch Baga. When enquiring if he had any suggestions for an outreach project in his diocese that he would like their batch to support, he shared his desire to enrich the street children’s lives in a unique way. This, with eight other projects for the Ateneo and other outreach activities, were put to a vote before the batchmates, and it topped the selection, followed by two projects for the university.

At the same time, Yogi Salcedo, president of Security Bank Corporation, heard of the project, and immediately volunteered his support. Speaking at the August 7 gathering, he said he had no reservations about extending help to such a project since Security Bank was always searching for ways to raise the standard of education in the country.
 
Besides the purchase and turnover of specific musical instruments as well as art tools and materials, donations cover the hiring of music and arts instructors, and the supervision and management of the program by volunteer members from the batch. The Basic Computer Skills Project also includes the purchase and turnover of computers and printers, and the provision of allowances to social workers who will be tasked to teach the recipients on the basic use of these devices, as guided by volunteer members from the batch as well. These programs expect to be a long-term initiative as many kind-hearted batchmates, other individuals and corporations have responded to the call for support for the  project.
 
The Cardinal told members of Ateneo College Class 1977 at the turnover rites: “See the children of Tulay ng Kabataan. We were young once like them.”
 
And to the youngsters of Tulay in the audience, lovingly clasping their violins: “See the people (members of Ateneo College Class 1977) who are seated across from you. May you grow up to become like them and help others who are less fortunate.
 
“Together, the past and future merge.”
 
The Ateneo College Class 1977Foundation, Inc.  would like to thank the following: 1) Security Bank Corporation -  major sponsor for its 40th Jubilee Year; 2) Archdiocese of Manila for the use of the venue for the occasion; 3) Kusina Ni Kambal for co-sponsoring the Launching and Turnover Ceremony event together with College Class ’77 members who were present on the occasion.  

Cardinal Tagle strinking a string to launch the Music & Arts and Basic Computer Program for the Indigent Children of the Archdiocese of Manila

Seated L-R: Fr. Kit Bautusta (Director for Ateneo Alumni Relations), Yogi Salcedo,
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Irma L. Cecilio (Col. Class'77 Rep. and President
of ACC'77) 
Standing L-R:  Aggie Angles, Dinggay Espirity, Chi Lacuna and Bess Claudio-Umali, (Treasurer of ACC'77),
all are members of the Board of Trustees of the Ateneo College Class 1977 Foundation, Inc. (ACC'77)

More Photos Here...