SCA

People come and go, but the mission continues.

This is God’s work. His victory not ours.

We would like to thank our student servant leaders who came and took part in bringing more youth closer to God through Student Catholic Action (SCA) movement in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM).

We have new set of servants in the vineyard who undergone the pastoral formation program last weekend.

They said ‘yes’ to God’s call by serving others and we pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to empower them in this mission.

SCA

“God loves us the way we are, and no sin, fault or mistake of ours makes him change his mind. As far as Jesus is concerned – as the Gospel shows – no one is unworthy of, or far from, his thoughts. No one is insignificant. He loves all of us with a special love; for him all of us are important: you are important! God counts on you for what you are, not for what you possess. In his eyes the clothes you wear or the kind of cell phone you use are of absolutely no concern. He doesn’t care whether you are stylish or not; he cares about you! In his eyes, you are precious, and your value is inestimable.” –

Special thanks to our alumni for their unwavering support in sharing their talents, treasures and time for making the program possible.

SCA is the first student Catholic movement in the Philippines that started in 1936.

SCA came to PLM in 1981 and now on its 37th year, the movement stood tall amidst challenges in the past years.

How did SCA come to the campuses? Who started the spark that ignited the passion of serving others?

Here’s an article published last year about the selfless love of the Columban clergy that inspired SCA.

The Columbans and the Student Leaders they Molded
(by Milwida M. Guevara, SCA Alumni, originally published in Manila Bulletin, December 12, 2017)

I tried to focus on the celebration of the mass yesterday but my memory kept drifting to the past. My friend, Fr. Michael Mohally, a Columban priest, celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest. His years were indeed golden, having served as a missionary, and dedicated to the formation of leaders through Student Catholic Action (SCA).

The Columban Missionaries are also celebrating their centenary in the country this year. They ran parishes, established schools, served as university chaplains, and worked with the poor.

Many Columbans died as martyrs in the Philippines. Fr. Thomas Flynn died in the hands of the Huks in 1950. Fr. Rufus Hally was shot dead in 2001. President FVR was personally involved in the rescue of Fr. Des Hartford who was abducted by militants in Marawi in 1997.

But we remember the Columbans most fondly for their work with students. They had a special knack for identifying those with great potential for leadership and held their hands and hearts in their formative years. The Columbans modeled the virtues of servant-leadership, sharpened their minds through “teach-ins” and conferences, and developed their love for others through immersion in marginalized communities.

I am privileged to walk in the company of colleagues whose values and work were shaped by the Columban Fathers: Ernie Garilao, former Secretary of DAR; Carn Abella, former President of DAP; Dr. Antonio Torralba, former Dean of Liberal Arts, UAAP; Atty. Hector Villacorta, Secretary of the Commission on Appointments; Tess Villacorta, former Executive Director of Children’s Hour; Tina Monzon Palma, ANC Anchor, Edna Zapanta Manlapaz, Professor, Ateneo de Manila University, and of course, the great Raul Roco. We were products of “indoctrination” of the Columbans on how to live a meaningful life through service to others.

SCA was introduced in campuses at a time when students were drawn to the ideals of Communism. The Columbans adopted the cell technique in formation. It is interesting to note that the ideals of Communism were propagated through the cell method. We met regularly with a group of students where we discussed how it is to be a leader, the meaning of love, and how virtues such as humility and courage, are acquired. But our discussions were rooted not on the teachings of Lenin and Trotsky, but on the examples of a much bigger leader, Jesus. We reflected on His Gospel and His life of love. It was in these cell meetings where I first listened to Raul Roco, dapper, dashing, and eloquent in flawless English and Tagalog. Every December, the Columbans gathered student leaders in every school, college and university, and “indoctrinated” them in Baguio – La Patria Hotel for the men and St. Joseph College, for the women. Coming straight from the province, you could imagine how I listened with starry eyes to Sonia Malasarte, Nonong Contreras, Tati Licuanan, Pablo Trillana, Fr. Sonny Ramirez, Imelda Nicolas,and Abelardo Cortez.

The Columbans also saw to it that student-leadership should be well-rounded. We had festivals throughout the year where we developed our talents in drama, debates, singing, dancing, arts, and sports. Those were the years when SCA sponsored college fairs where we had great fun in marriage booths, roulettes, merry-go-round, and ferris wheels. In the evenings, we swayed and boogied with the music of RJ Jacinto and the Electromaniacs.

The Columbans helped us to have a deep understanding of life. They led us in our work with communities in the peripheries. I credit my work with the public high schools and the slums in Tondo as the backbone of my obsession for justice and education. It is not strange that many of my SCA colleagues have a penchant for public service and have continued to work with the poor.

I met Fr. Michael 47 years ago. He had an innocent look on his face and was looking forward to his work in the Philippines. Little did he know that he would serve as the Director of SCA in public high schools for many years, sans any priest as assistant. He was forever running around all day in his small car saying masses all over Metro Manila, counseling hundreds of students, and guiding their activities. His heart broke (and so did ours) when SCA was outlawed by the martial law government.

But the Columbans probably will never realize how much their work with SCA has impacted on Filipinos. Their influence has multiplied a million fold through the work of former student leaders whom they have formed. Like ripples in a pond, the ideals of the Columbans have multiplied and changed the course of rivers and oceans. They have set the course for thousands of SCAns to do what is right, give without counting the cost, and work without seeking reward.

Thank you Fr. Michael and the Columban missionaries who have given their best to the country. Indeed, you made us hear the angels sing.

Media

In one of our activities during the PLM-SCA servant’s formation, we asked the young leaders on what catches their attention most in social media.

Their response showed that inspiring messages spoke to them more.

Social Media

There are plenty of significant leaders who are not on Twitter or Facebook … yet. But I think more and more people who want to have a lasting impact are joining social media. Joining social media doesn’t mean you have to play Candy Crush on Facebook. You can control how much you engage. You can interact on Twitter from your cell phone and not even worry about getting bogged down in email activity. One of the great things social media does is enables quality leaders to broaden their influence and impact.

Contrary to studies that:

  • Social websites become their first priority, rather than the things that should come first such as school, family and sports.
  • People portray themselves as someone they’re not.
  • Young people can begin to cyberbully another peer; this can lead to many things such as depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • Some youth are easily influenced so they may feel the need to change their physical appearance by comparing themselves to the next person they see in the media.
  • Social media is a very powerful temptation, so it can also become addicting and begin to start sidetracking the youth.

The simple activity revealed that positive messages are big influencers online.

  • Keeps connections between friends when they’re not always able to see each other when they want to.
  • Social media also keeps you up to date with things that are going on around the world rather than just in your area.
  • It gives youth a place to express themselves in a way that a public place wouldn’t allow us to.
  • It helps to develop social skills, a lot of friendships can stem from a social website.
  • It’s a fun way to interact with your peers, other than seeing them in person.

Social media is the latest possibility to reach an audience that might never step into our churches or community.

Before parish priests or youth minsters often would go door to door for the parish census. This gave them the possibility of meeting parishioners (and nonparishioners) and drawing them into parish life.

Although door-to-door evangelization is attractive, it is no longer as viable as it was in times past.

Pope Francis has embraced this new medium and could be considered the first social media pope.

Although Pope Benedict XVI was the first pope to use Twitter, Francis tweets almost daily and currently has 10.8 million followers.

You might ask why we need to use social media.

We can use social media to get out the latest parish news, post inspirational quotes to inspire our parishioners, and give people important notices regarding upcoming events.

Social media helps to get our message out and to draw people to the parish or community website if it’s used properly.

The phenomenon of social media has opened new doors for us.

People “friend” us and welcome us into their daily world.

Social media is part of a new technology that came out of what was called Web 2.0. These social networks range from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and beyond.

At the same time, the use of social media is not only for getting our message out and sharing information, it’s also about building relationships with real people who create bonds with one another, and this opens hearts to what it is we have to share.

Here is a social media discipleship pathway:

• CONNECT (network) online: social networks, blogs, chat rooms, special interest sites.

• SHARE (post) relevant material that meets the needs of people and invite them to visit and explore wholistic life together through videos
and articles.

• TALK (chat) with your online friends in order to understand their needs, and respond with the relevant messages of hope found in the Bible, and perhaps by sharing your personal story.

• MEET (offline) face-to-face to develop trust and confidence in Jesus.

• INVITE (follow) Jesus on the journey of spiritual development.

Your intention, every step of the way, should be to treat each visitor and contact as a potential disciple. You should take a personal interest in their lives. You cannot expect to disciple 500 to 1,000 people individually, but you can certainly take time to disciple a small group of people and build personal relationships.

Yes, we need to create evangelization opportunities that help bring people back to church. New media, specifically social media, has a huge part in reaching out to people we need to minister to.

Kind

One small, thoughtful gesture can make someone else’s day. This was the inspiration behind the 37th founding anniversary of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (SCA) outreach activity. Alumni and members heralded random acts of kindness in the walled city of Intramuros.

Nearby residents of the university experienced a free meal with jeers and cheers – more laughters and no tears.

It inspired alumni and members to share the heart of giving not only during special occassions but daily.

It’s a lifestyle that reflects God’s goodness and grace to us with a “pay it forward” mentality.

Kindness PLM SCA

Performing random acts of kindness makes you an example of what is possible. You become an inspiration, opening the awareness of others to their own potential. Most of us want our lives to inspire love in others. A simple random act of kindness could very easily be life-giving to both the giver and receiver. When one is coming from a place of generosity, of giving and kindness that is pure and without any expectation or reward in return, what is occurring is the manifestation of a deeper reality, a deeper meaning and knowing that you are not so alone, that you are united and connected to more than you may have ever realized. Photo credits to my dear sisters Marites Villegas & Lalie Jimenez.

How great is it that our random acts of kindness and good deeds can make someone else’s entire day?

Here are some random acts of kindness that you can do to others:

  • When you see something good, share it. Manny, a friend who teaches, said that when his students are doing really well he calls their parents. Manny teaches at an alternative school where parents usually receive calls from the school when their children are in trouble. Manny said he likes to make sure he also calls with good news. How great for the kids and their parents. Keep an eye out for the positive and share it with parents, spouses, friends and so on. These are simple and great random acts of kindness.
  • Be sure to also share in a work setting. When you get great service tell the person who helped you. Then, tell a manager. Go to the corporate web site and submit an email. Write a positive online review of a business you like. It makes a difference. Our mason and electrician said that over 50% of their business comes from online reviews. And, don’t forget to point out those people at your work who do a great job.
  • Everyone is important. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name. Also say “hello” to strangers and smile. These acts of kindness are so easy, and they almost always make people smile.
  • Hold the elevator. Sometimes, when I hope the elevator will shut before someone else comes and slows me down, I think, “Am I really in that much of a rush that an extra minute will hurt me?”
  • If you see someone who looks lost and might need help with directions, don’t wait for him to ask you for help.
  • Photograph tourists. See a person or a couple trying to take a photo of themselves? Offer to take it for them.
  • When people are gossiping about someone, be the person to chime in with something nice.

Valor

Are you ready to serve?

Today we commemorate the Day of Valor, formerly called Bataán Day, to remind us of the heroism of our soldiers and for Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (PLM-SCA) team, it was a day to huddle and to plan for the servant leadership training.

A group of servant alumni reflected on the relevance of the movement in evangelizing the youth in the PLM community.

Valor

A leader with a servant’s heart works tirelessly to develop his or her team and is focused on what they can do for others.

The alumni are composed of doctors, finance executives, educators, engineers and human resources management specialist to name a few.

Beyond their profession, the group aims to continue the servant leadership legacy of the movement.

Student Catholic Action was founded in 1936 in the Philippines and started in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) back in 1981.

Since then, it has undergone a gradual process of development and expansion. Evolving from a loosely formed city-wide association in the early years it has established itself as a well-knit organization with SCA Units in practically all educational institutions in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Demonstrating adaptability as one of its main assets, SCA first concerned itself with the problem of education in the state university. It was here that the first unit was formed by Columban Father Edward J. McCarthy in 1936 at the University of the Philippines-Manila. It was formally approved by his grace, Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty on April 12, 1936.

During the occupation era the impetus of the early enthusiasm of SCA maintained the organization for a short time. Registered with the Japanese authorities “SCA for secular colleges and universities,” the organization continued with its regular student Masses but eventually, due to lack of priestly assistance, all activities gradually ceased.

After the war in 1948, with the archbishop’s request in Manila, an immediate objective of establishing religion classes in non-sectarian and public schools was called for. SCA was revived and expanded for the main purpose of providing many catechists required for this work not only in Catholic Schools. SCA then had an increasing influence until such time it did not only focus on catechism but also embraced the SIX AIMS (presently the SCA Areas of Concern).

In 1969, during the heightened student activism on Martial Law Years, student organizations including SCA was banned due to the infiltration of the leftists. Other arch/dioceses however continued the program in their own. CBCP abolished SCA in 1985 and the national coordination was lost. In 1998, CBCP, through the efforts of Bp Rolando J. Tria Tirona, ECY Chairman and Ms. Teresita E. Nitorreda, SCA gained back its national structure and was granted a mandate as a recognized youth organization by the Episcopal Commission on Youth.

INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • International Young Christian Students (IYCS) – with consultative status at UNESCO and UN ECOSOC
  • Philippine Network of Ecumenical Teams (PHILNet)
  • Ecumenical Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASYNet)

GENERAL ACTIVITIES

SCA is inspired by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn’s methodology SEE-JUDGE-ACT. The same methodology that is used as the REVIEW of LIFE of every SCAn. These activities follow one methodology:

  • National Leadership Conference (Exposure-Reflection-Action/Resolution)
  • Regional Leadership Conference (Exposure-Reflection-Action/Resolution)
  • Cluster or Archdiocesan Conference
  • National Solidarity Day/Day of Prayer for Peace
  • Leadership Youth Camps
  • Symposiums on Various Issues (Political, Educational/Cultural, Socio-Economic-Ecological, Spiritual, Media and Recreational)
  • Socio-Economic-Environmental Related Action Projects (tree planting, coastal clean-up, etc.)
  • Advocacy building

FORMATION PROGRAMS FOR MEMBERS AND YOUTH

Four-Stage Formation toward Full-fledged Membership

  • eSCAPade
  • Cell Meetings (8-session PCM)
  • Basic Orientation Workshop (BOW)
  • Christ the King Leadership Recollection and Oath-taking
  • Chaplains and Animators Formation Exchange (CAFÉ)
  • Animators Team Training

FORMATION PROGRAMS OFFERED TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE

  • Youth Evangelized to Serve (YES)
  • Taize Formation and Prayer

FuGen

Exactly four (4) years ago, Future Generation Philippine International School (FGPIS) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invited me to be their commencement speaker.

I was glad Facebook has an “on this day” feature to always look back at your special memories in life.

My wife was beside me when I received the plaque of appreciation.

FuGen

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

I shared the value of finding true joy, accepting one’s limitation and loving your parents to the graduating students.

True joy doesn’t result from things or circumstances. Joy is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.

Jesus never promised trouble-free living. In fact, He predicted the opposite, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

To quote C.S. Lewis, “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” New things may bring a temporary sense of happiness, but alas the newness wears off.

Lasting joy is not tied to material things but to a vibrant relationship with the one who is our source of joy! So take time to rediscover your joy, and learn to enjoy the journey.

Surrender to the existence of your limits. This is the only place from which you can truly start the journey of adapting, and when you accept and adapt, you can find a new way of living filled with a lot more peace – when you accept your limits, and when you accept reality, it’s then that you can discover what is still possible.

Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old. Appreciate your parents. You never know what sacrifices they went through for you.

FGPIS is one of the leading Philippine schools overseas committed to the holistic development of its graduates with special emphasis on science and technology.

They have a high culture of excellence imbued with personal discipline and multi-cultural consciousness.

The school was founded through the collaboration of the its owner Sheikha Bareah Bint Sabah Salem Al Hamoud Al Sabah, Kuwaiti princess and the group of seven dedicated, intellectuals, and efficient Filipino teachers headed by Mrs. Marie Con C. Caro, school principal and Mrs. Zenaida C. Meren, school assistant principal.

AYLC

I never thought that I will be part of the first Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC) in 1999.

AYLC

Presenting the Titos and Titas of AYLC circa 1999. The pioneer batch of young and committed student leaders of the Philippines. Sa laki kong ‘toh para akong one of the seven dwarfs ni Snow White sa pic.

Armed with grit and passion to make a difference – it was an experience of a lifetime that I would never forget.

Colleges and universities across the country were asked to nominate junior and senior college students with leadership potential and excellent academic standing.

It started with an invitation from Ms. Bernadette Sacop of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) – Pamantasan ng Lungod ng Maynila (PLM).

I was adamant to join but she believed in me.

I was one of the nominees who made it through the initial screening.

I went to the ultra modern and posh Ayala Tower One building in Makati.

Remember this was 1999, sikat ang Y2K dooms day bruhaha, sabi ng mga berks ni Nostra Damus nasa finish line na ang existence ni Mother Earth.

Thank you Lord, nakapunta ako dito bago magunaw ang mundo hehehe.

Syempre ang lakas maka-alta ng ambience.

Very sosyal!

Hindi pala sosyal na sosyal (sa boses ng bagong adjusted na braces sa ngipin).

Kala ko interview lang, aba may pa-essay si mayor na, ‘if you’re the President of the Philippines, what will you do?’

Ano daw?!

Play kuliglig in the background.

Inhale, exhale boom!

Bahala na si batman!

After the surprise written test, interview na.

Hala!

Di ako na-orient na panel interview.

Neng! Tumbling!

Umurong yung bangs ko na very 90s at keempee style!

Pasok sa room, smile pa rin.

Deep inside nagparamdam ang Cabanatuan, intensity 9 sa tuhod ko!

Bago sa akin toh!

Gusto kong magcart wheel ng mga anim!

The panel were composed of senior executives from within the Ayala group.

In fairness, mabait ang panel.

Di ka naman lalamunin ng buo.

Di ko alam kung paano ang groupings sa panel pero ang lakas maka Ms. Q & A ng sagot ko, and I, thank you!

After a few weeks, nagpadala ng letter ang Ayala Corporation sa PLM mga beshie.

Pasok sa banga ang kuya mo!

Five (5) students from PLM qualified.

Kuya Jerry Lopez and Kuya Aliw Cleto from College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA); Ate May Harris and Kuya Angelo Tabuac from College of Engineering & Technology (CET). Ako lang ang nag-qualified from College of Arts & Sciences (CAS).

Seventy students were chosen to attend the three-day AYLC.

We were given the chance to meet and listen to leading figures in business, education, politics, science, the media, development work, and the arts.

We also took part in activities geared toward nurturing values that enhance our leadership potential.

It was a new experience for me to be sitting side by side with fellow young dreamers not only from Manila but all-over the Philippines.

Pero majority are from Metro Manila.

There were also delegates from Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Aside from the shared knowledge during the training, sinong makakalimot sa pa-Lechong Baka and the unli ice cream – sarap na combination di ba?

Huntahan at kwentuhan sa hallway.

Bungisngisan sa group presentation.

Tawanan at hagalpakan.

Kagroup ko si Ate Mae, aba iba ang amats ng group namin.

Buti di pa uso ang tokhang! Para kaming sinapian, yung masaya lang palagi.

Syempre ang makasaysayang ‘toothpick’ ni Kuya Wardy from Davao.

Ang mga team building activities na chinallenge ang katawang lupa ko.

I was not a sporty person kaya nung pinagwall climbing ako – aba buti kinaya ng mga taba ko sa cheeks ng very light.

Ramdam ko na guinea pig kami. Trial and error ang first batch, maraming matutunan na pwedeng magbenefit ang susunod na mga batches.

For me, isang malaking take away ko from AYLC is that kahit nasa experimental group ako ng training.

Ramdam ko ang sincerity ng Ayala servant leaders to make a ripple in the society na simulan sa mga kabataan ang paghubog.

Malaking investment din ito at di biro ang dugo’t pawis na nilaan ng kumpanya.

This year, 20th anniversary na ng AYLC parang kailan lang nasa bus kami papunta ng San Miguel Training Center.

Puno ng pangarap.

Walang mobile phones.

Walang social media.

Wala ngang digital camera. Ilang rolyo kaya ng film ang pinadevelop?

Video documentation nga namin walang sound eh pero nasa YouTube hehehe!

Puso ang naging puhunan.

I am so proud of my batchmate’s achievements and recognitions. Di lang sa Pinas kundi pati sa world, este the universe rather.

Part na ako ng Titos at Titas ng AYLC.

Marami pang magagawa para sa bansa.

The Ayala Young Leaders Congress is a concrete expression of the Ayala Group’s commitment to national development.

It is the keystone of “Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders”, the youth leadership development program launched in 1998 by the Ayala group of companies as a strategic investment in the youth, and ultimately, in the future of the country.

Ayala’s dream is to nurture a community and form a network of values-based and principled Filipino leaders committed passionately to nation-building and to uplifting the lives of their fellow Filipinos.