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.

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.

Educator

I think I always had an idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I sort of tweaked it along the way. I knew I wanted to work in the field of education, but like most kids, I wasn’t exactly sure where I fit in.

When I was 7 years old, I wanted to be an agriculturist. At the age of 14, I wanted to do absolutely anything for the Philippines as a lawyer. By the time I was 18 years old, I wanted to be a journalist.

When I finally did grow up, I found myself working in a dead-end office job; this lasted for most of my 20s. Who was I to complain? I was making decent money, but I felt awfully unfulfilled.

I knew that I had what it takes to actually be an educator, but I was not sure exactly how to get there. And for a moment, I thought it was too late.

Until, I was given a chance to mentor young people few years back and I am still a work in progress.

Inspiring young people

The message of the Christian gospel is that there need not be any “has-beens” in God’s kingdom. He is the Lord of mercy who specializes in restoring his wayward people from their failures and dashed hopes. And He promises to be our partner in building a meaningful life of service to Himself and others.

After many years of struggling to get to where I am, I realized some very important things that I would like to share with you:

Never give up on your dreams.

Even if you kicked them out of the way because someone told you they were impossible, they’re still your dreams; you’ve merely set them aside.

Think back and remember the dreams you once had, whether it was to go to college or to become an animal rescuer or even to travel the globe. Your dreams have never truly gone away. If you work hard enough and do all of the necessary planning, you can achieve any goal that you set.

Learn to take risks and ignore all of the “what ifs.”
When I first started college, I had enough “what ifs” to build an entire country.

What if I’m too old? What if I can’t handle students? What if going back to school will be too much of a financial burden? What if, what if, what if…

I finally had the nerve to just kick the “what ifs” off of the boat and take the plunge into the sea of dreams. You can conjure up all of the “what ifs” that your mind will allow, but that energy is better spent working toward your goals.

I’m convinced many of us are tormented by “what ifs” in our lives. “What if I’d gone to the doctor sooner?” or “What if I’d not driven that route that day?” or “What if I’d been morally stronger?”

Alas, the “what ifs” plague us, but there’s nothing we can do to alter the course of the past. No one of us, no matter how strong, is strong enough to pull back the hands of time.

‘What If’ are two words, which have great power: the power to imprison the soul or to set it free – the choice is ours to make.

Barnum

Back in college, Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum was the creator of the phrase, “There’s a sucker born every minute”.

He was a master of manipulation according to my public relations professor – Mr. Roel S. Ramirez.

Barnum would use the press to attract customers through false advertising but in the movie ‘The Greatest Showman’, a tenacious side of the PR guru was shown.

A zealous dreamer and a loving family man portrayed beautifully by Hugh Jackman.

This film was filled with life lessons that will give anyone and everyone the much needed reminder that “you’re in this world with talent and purpose that nobody else has” and that it’s worth it to take risks, pursue your passion, and dream.

Barnum

If you’re in need of a positive boost in your life that will leave you feeling empowered and ready to face the world amidst challenges, I highly suggest you watch ‘The Greatest Showman’!

Here are my favorite seven (7) life-changing quotes from the movie compiled by the determined dreamer blog:

1. “You don’t need everyone to love you, just a few good people.” -Charity Barnum

Charity is, by far, my favorite character in the movie. She’s extremely supportive of her husband but also knows how to stick up for herself and say the hard things to him that he needs to hear. When he’s at the height of his chase for praise and recognition, she wisely (and kindly) reminds him that he doesn’t need everyone to love him. He just needs a few good people.

2. “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” – P.T. Barnum

The people who have made the most difference in the world have been the ones who have dared to be different, despite being told to conform. Think of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandhi, and George Orwell. Their progressive acts that went against the culture of their day are the reasons why nations have improved for the better.

The message I took from this is to be my authentic self. There’s no way I’m going to make any difference in the world if I’m not authentic to who I am and what I know is right, even if that means disappointing some people.

3. “Men suffer more from imagining too little than too much.” – P.T. Barnum

This quote encourages me to never suppress my dreams because of fear of failure. The people who dare to dream big are the ones who accomplish what seems impossible.

So, be a dreamer. Be a doer. Never be so fearful of failure that you don’t allow yourself the privilege to dream big and accomplish your goals.

4. “When you’re careless with other people, you bring ruin upon yourself.” – Jenny Lind

I have a thing against Jenny Lind. In fact, I have a thing against anyone who knows someone is in a committed relationship but continues to disrespect the relationship. I’m in no way saying that P.T. Barnum shouldn’t have taken a step back (and definitely not traveled alone with this woman!), but I don’t have much respect for her either.

That being said, she definitely had a point when she said that being careless with other people brings ruin upon yourself. I so badly wanted P.T. Barnum to genuinely care about the people he’d hired to be in his show, but unfortunately, at first, he was just using them. He was being careless with them and their feelings, which eventually led to his downfall.

The quote was an important reminder to take time to show the people I love that I genuinely care about them.

5. “The noblest art is that of making others happy.” – P.T. Barnum

Making others happy (which should involve fighting for equality, protecting children, and creating other meaningful changes) truly is the noblest art there is!

6. “I wish for happiness like this forever.” – Charity Barnum

Charity Barnum was a true example of being happy with what you have. She grew up in a wealthy home, so she could have easily longed for the finer things in life. Instead, she was grateful for the things that mattered most – her husband and children.

At the beginning of the film, each family member was sharing a wish on the makeshift gift P.T. Barnum had brought home for his eldest daughter’s birthday. Even after P.T Barnum had lost his job and things seemed to be crumbling apart, Charity’s only wish was, “for happiness like this forever.” She knew the true meaning of happiness.

7. “Father, the world is changing, and I refuse to be a part of yours.” – Phillip Carlyle

I hear things about the world being a horrible place full of evil, but I can’t help but think that most of the evil in the world is done by those who are resisting the positive changes that are being made. The Greatest Showman shines a light on a problem that’s still present today: inequality. When Phillip’s father says, “Have you any shame?” after seeing him with Anne (Phillip’s father disliked that she was a colored girl), Phillip (Zac Effron) courageously states, “Father, the world is changing, and I refuse to be a part of yours.”

Vision

For 2018, I will start to dream again.

It has been a rough ride for the past years.

The challenges made me a stronger person and it will never stop me to face life with more optimism.

I will be making my dream or vision board soon.

Vision

One of the most powerful decisions I ever made was to take responsibility for my life, instead of just letting life happen to me.

Dream (or vision) board is more powerful than you think because it actually works!

Most successful people have one; Bo Sanchez, Sha Nacino, and Jack Canfield to name a few.

A Dream Board is something that will help you focus on your goal to make your mind focus on achieving it, it is a mind exercise that’s easy to do and so achievable. But what do you really need to put on your Dream Board? Simple. The things you want to feel. Well, it’s okay to put the things that you want, material things will inevitably always be there. Feelings on the other hand needs a lot of effort to get. You can’t really buy happiness, so the more your board focuses on how you want to feel like being inspired or confident, the more it will come into reality.

1. Daydream the things you’d like to achieve this year (or next year)

You have to first visualize what you really want in life, your goals and aspirations; the things that will truly make you happy. Imagine yourself living your life with the things you want this year; the more you want it, the more you’ll be motivated to do it.

2. Collect any form of motivational pictures and words

From old magazines, or anywhere you can find motivation. Sort those out first, before you put it all together.

3. Arrange them on whatever suits you

This is where you can start making your dream board! Make a collage out of it, make it visually appealing. Just put the things that are really important to you, it’s okay to get rid some of the things you’ve cut.

4. Paste them down

Glue, tape, or anything; you have to commit with your arrangement. And also, with the things you’ve put; if you’ve included that you’ll study hard to be a Dean’s Lister, then you have to really work hard to achieve it.

5. Make it more appealing

By writing words with your own penmanship, or pictures of people that inspire you like your family and friends. Also put some crafty stuff that will make it attractive yet inspiring, so you’ll be more motivated to look at it.

6. Take time to look at it everyday

To make it easier, put it exactly where you’ll see it everyday; even if you don’t look for it. If possible, review it before you leave the house or go to sleep. If you see it, you believe it, then you achieve it. Make a stand that everything that is written on your dream board will be a reality. You don’t have to do it all at once, take things slowly. One step at a time.

Always remember, the power is not in the dream or vision board but in what we do to make our vision a reality.

Because here is the Truth:

“Vision is merely a dream without action.” ~ Joel Barker