Photo from ICU’s Twitter account

Team Philippines had a very fruitful campaign as it bagged a silver and two bronze medals in the 2015 International Cheer Union (ICU) World Cheerleading Championships at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The Philippines placed second in the All Girl Elite division and third in the Coed Elite division and the Team Cheer Hip Hop event.

The country was represented by the NU pep squad in the Coed Elite and Miriam College’s Sayawatha dance troupe in the Cheer Hip Hop.

The Philippines’ All Girls Elite team finished behind gold medalist New Zealand in their division. The NU team placed behind Mexico (gold) and Chile (silver) in the Coed Elite.

The Cheer Hip Hop squad placed alongside USA and Japan on the podium.

Catch their performances below:


Top: Sorellanza team photo
Bottom left: (L-R) Dr. Antonio Lopez, Dr. Elaine Boquiren, Mr. Romualdo A. Romualdo, and Mr. Krishna Alejandrino (JAPI Executive Director)
Bottom right: Individual awardees with Ms. Vivian Lau in the middle (President of JA Asia Pacific)
Photo credit: JAPI and Alex Alberto

The Sorellanza Inc. ladies composed of Marketing and Finance students went home with a handful of awards for showcasing admirable performance throughout the Mini-company Competition that concluded its proceedings last March 26 at the 46th Junior Achievement of the Philippines (JAPI) Annual Awards Night held at the Philippine Trade Training Center. 

The team won as a 1st runner-up in the Company of the Year category and won 2nd place in the Business Plan Competition. Individual awards achieved were: President of the Year (Marie Manalo), VP of the Year for Marketing (Alexandra Alberto), VP of the Year for Human Resources (Eliza Garcia), 1st-runner up in VP for Finance (Christine Jacinto), and 2nd runner-up in VP for Public Relations (Arianna Berro). These were the results of the 5-month operational period that involved the formulation, implementation and the conclusion or liquidation of the mini-company.

Mr. Romualdo A. Romualdo, Miriam College’s very own Marketing Officer and a CBEA professor of Marketing and Advertising, also set a milestone for the community by being awarded the Registered Marketing Educator title. “His experiences involve consultancy work, market research, and handling various brands such as Dockers and Levi Strauss. He has received various awards and merits in his field making him one of the top marketers in the industry,” as stated by JAPI.

SOLB, Sorellanza’s product, is a hybrid solar-bank and mobile-phone organizer. It was designed in such a way that it can accommodate a solar bank (solar-powered charger) on the left side, and a smartphone on the right. The company’s mission was to advocate the use of solar power to alleviate the power shortage that’s been happening in the country due to the excessive use of electricity. The company saw an opportunity for strengthening their mission and partnered with the Solar Power Initiative (SPIN) Project, a non-governmental organization, to provide solar-powered nipa huts that house an array of electronic mediums for educational purposes. Sorellanza will be giving P10,000 to SPIN as a show of support to their advocacy.
CBEA has been proudly a part of JAPI's heritage for seven consecutive years, being the only school in the Philippines accorded the Hall of Fame award for three consecutive wins. It has been training its participants to become future leaders and innovators by providing hands-on avenues that practice both the art and science of business.

MANILA – Actress Diana Zubiri feels proud that she has finally accomplished one of her many dreams – that is, to graduate from college.

In her Instagram account on Saturday, Zubiri shared pictures during her graduation, where she can be seen in her toga as she holds her diploma.

Zubiri graduated in Miriam College with a degree in Applied Arts major in theater.

In the caption, the actress said: “Thank you for amazing 5 years Miriam College (including tutorials and summer school).”

In an interview with The Philippine Star last week, Zubiri said working and studying at the same time did not come easy for her.

“There are school rules that I had to follow. The school authorities knew that showbiz is my bread-and-butter, pero hindi lahat ng oras puwede nila akong pagbigyan. Walang favoritism dun,” she said.

The actress, however, feels proud to see that all her hard work has paid off.

“We are the first batch (of 10) that graduated with this degree. I stopped schooling after I graduated high school from a public school in Caloocan. At the start of classes, nanibago talaga ako. It has been my dream to finish college and I’m glad I finally made it. When I see my picture in the yearbook, napapaiyak ako sa tuwa,” she said.

Asked what’s next for her after finishing college, Zubiri said: “I hope to make use of my degree. I decided to take up that course because I already have a background in film.”

Will this mean she is planning to direct a movie?

“It’s a possibility,” she said.

Posted at 04/20/2015 12:58 PM | Updated as of 04/20/2015 2:44 PM

The College of Arts and Sciences, led by its dean, Dr. Lourdes Samson, inaugurated "ArtSpace", a new studio for art and creative expressions for students of the Department of Applied Arts.

The occasion was graced by the President's Council led by Dr. Rosario Lapus, Miriam College President, and Dr. Glenda Fortez, vice president for Academic Affairs. On hand, too, were representatives of Maryknoll High School class 1964.

Bottom left photo shows (from left) Dr. Samson; MCHS Batch ’64 Meldee Perez-Lopez, Milet de Leon-Henson and Asuncion Tan-Castillo; Dr. Lapus, and studio architect and Applied Arts faculty Joven Ignacio.

The Miriam College team composed of six third year Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) students was hailed as the overall champions last March 25 in the Open Category of The Young Mayor Competition 2015 by Activistar Advocacy. This year’s theme was “Planning a Clean and Green Township-City Beautiful Manila.”

The winning members of the team who were dubbed “Stewards of Manila” were (top left photo, from left) Liwayway Gawilan, Melinda Beatriz Arrieta, Maria Angelica Dela Paz, Maria Cerise Layug, AstinTagalo, and Patricia Anne Cadaing.

Junior EPM students Ira Monea Navarra and Ma. Christinne Eloisa Blanco also contributed to the team’s work as supporting members. Rhoderick Alfonso, faculty of the Environment Department and instructor of Sustainable Urban Design and Computer Aided Design Techniques, took the vital task of supervising the team as well as the other contenders from the Department of Environment. 

The Young Mayor Competition is an international township planning competition designed for students aged between 14-26 years old so that they would be able to understand the current issues associated with urbanization especially in developing countries. It is now on its fourth year.

Participants from Asian countries such as the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, and India, were tasked to think of a scheme that would restore the historic City of Manila into a great, livable and safe city for its residents as well as for tourists.

The Open Category of the competition required participants to formulate a plan for a clean and green township for the City of Manila, taking into account habitat, transportation, water and waste management, and to suggest solutions that promote a sustainable city. The winning project proposal will then be presented to the local government unit of Manila for consideration.

Prior to the creating their township plan, the participants attended a Preparatory Workshop last February 7 at the Mind Museum in Taguig City. The whole-day event consisted of a series of lectures on urban planning in the Philippines, urban design, heritage and conservation and environmental law. Among the speakers of the workshop were Professor Nathaniel Von Einsidel, chairman, Principal Urban Planner, UNCEP; Architect Felino Palafox, Palafox Associates; Gemma Cruz Araneta and Isidra Reyes of the Heritage Conservation Society; Atty. Donna Gasgonia from the Office of the City of Manila; Architect Dennis Lacuna, town planner from the Office of the City of Manila; and Daniel Tay, town planner of Singapore.

Other junior and sophomore students who joined the competition were: Joan Mary Angela Cruz, Gem Francisco, Goldianne Madriaga, Anjeli Dianne Roque, Maria Bianca Katrina Sanchez and Ederlyn Anne Santos with supporting members Cybelle Angelie Bautista and Lyra Onica Quinitio (Team Reavivar Manila); and Mutya Camba, Samantha Cinco, Katrina Denise Corpus, Pamela Naz, Marie Katrina Salonga, and Carmina Gabrielle Villena (Team D. Planners). The participation of all the teams from the Department of Environment was sponsored by the Environmental Studies Institute (ESI) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) of Miriam College.

Activistar Advocacy is a private initiative with the core mission of educating young people on sustainable development, in partnership with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, one of Singapore’s leading institutions of higher learning. Contributed by Samantha Cinco, 2nd year BS Environmental Planning and Management

Delegates from the Université Catholique de Lille visited Miriam College to meet with administrators and explore possible areas of partnership between the two institutions last March 17. These areas include possible student exchange and internship program on Fashion Management in Paris, France.

The visiting delegates were Pascal Ameye, head of International Student Mobility at Leseg School of Management; Evelyne Litton, head of International Programs at ISEN School of Engineering, who represented the ISA School of Agriculture and HEI School of Engineering; Anne-Marie Michel, director of International Relations, Université Catholique de Lille; and Céline Blondeau, deputy dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Economic Sciences, who represented the faculty members of  (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th from left, respectively).

Welcoming the delegates were Dr. Rosario O. Lapus, Miriam College president; Dr. Glenda Fortez, vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. Lourdes K. Samson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Rosario Margarita Aligada, dean of the College of Education; Dr. Antonio Lopez, dean of the College of Business, Entrepreneurship and Accountancy; Dr. Caridad Sri Tharan, dean of the College of International, Humanitarian and Development Studies; Dr. Edizon Fermin, High School Principal and BEU director; and Luisa Villano, head of the Institutional Programs and Partnerships Office.

All of us want clean air, safe and adequate water, and productive land. Most of us place value on landscapes and seascapes—lush gardens, mighty waterfalls, leaping dolphins. Many of us care for pets and feel a bond with species other than our own. We decry the pollution that threatens our swimming in Boracay and that which causes asthma in our children. And now that we are aware of it, climate change has made everyone an environmentalist as we cite it whenever the temperature gets intolerably high and typhoons dangerously strong.

Environmentalism, however, goes deeper into the causes of environmental degradation. It analyzes the causes of the causes—and the ultimate causes. With the spirit of Easter still with us, we realize that the virtues that Jesus espoused reveal these ultimate causes which are actually the solutions. One of these virtues is simplicity of lifestyle and trust in the Lord as the antidote to undue worry over material things. In Matthew, 6:26-29, Jesus says: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”

All our needs are met by the environment. God created our natural resources to serve all His creatures, humankind included. Problems arise when these resources are excessively exploited. Materialism and greed—amassing wealth beyond need and reasonable comfort—have led to the destruction of forests, mountains, coral reefs, mangroves, arctic ice and all other ecosystems.

At the other end of the spectrum of human tendencies, as opposed to greed, is generosity. As Jesus preached, He enjoined His disciples to share their fish and bread with the crowd, and miraculously fed thousands. Generosity made the phenomenon possible. Generosity is certainly the need of the times. Currently, the gap between the rich and the poor of the world is scandalous and continues to be so. It is this gap that exacerbates environmental destruction. The very rich can afford to hoard the wealth that nature offers; the very poor have only nature to turn to, as when the landless are forced to migrate to the uplands and clear the forest for their own small place under the sun.

A fair socioeconomic system and equitable distribution of the planet’s wealth would ease the pressure on its ecosystems. Often, however, those in privileged situations, those who benefit from the status quo, stand in the way of reforming unjust structures. The breakthrough will come only by following Jesus’ call for generosity. There is an environmental postscript to the miracle of the loaves and fishes: Afterwards, when all were fed, Jesus made His disciples gather the leftovers. He was teaching us not to waste.

Jesus had love and compassion for all, including the outcasts of society like the prostitutes, and the perceived enemies like the tax collectors and the Roman colonizers. He saved from death the woman caught in adultery when He challenged those who would kill her, if they were sinless themselves, to “cast the first stone.” He called out to Zacchaeus, a despised tax collector, to come down from the sycamore tree from where he was watching Jesus and to host Him for a meal. He invited another tax collector, Matthew, to be one of His chosen apostles. He pitied the Roman solider and restored his ear which had been cut off at the Garden of Gethsemane by the apostle Peter.

Love and compassion are the foundations of peace. When we try to understand the other’s situation, we do not judge and we do not hurt. Self-righteousness has resulted in violence and war. Communities and nations that arrogantly believe in their cultural or religious superiority have inflicted harm not only on countless human beings but also on the natural world. Bombs have scarred the earth, killing flora and fauna and leaving the soil contaminated with heavy metals, radioactive materials and other poisons. Even unused arsenal can produce leachate toxic to soil and water. Enormous amounts of minerals and energy go into arms manufacture. Deforestation, species extinction, pollution, etc.—the collateral damage of our lifestyles—are intensified immeasurably by war. Great as He was, Jesus taught us humility, equality and peace, which we must pursue if we are to reverse the tide of environmental deterioration.

As He taught us through His life, Jesus taught us through His death. Not restricting His love to family and friends, He suffered and died for all, from the beginning until the end of humankind. That is exactly what environmentalism is: concern for the next generations. Sustainable development is defined as “meeting the needs of the present generation while ensuring that future generations will have the capacity to meet theirs.” Only if humankind takes care of our natural resources can that be possible.

May the life and death of Jesus inspire us all to be better environmentalists. His resurrection brings the promise that as we work for the integrity of His creation, the world will be better for those who will come after us.

Angelina P. Galang is president of Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy. She is officially retired from Miriam College but continues to teach at its Department of Environment.


The Rotary Club of Loyola Heights - Rotary International, District 3780, honored Prof. Ma. Jamelia F. Villanueva through “The Power Woman Award” for her dedication to plan, organize and train teachers in the different regions of the country. The club also recognized her effort as a volunteer teacher in Miriam College Adult Education for 40 years and her mission to put up a preschool for marginalized children in Barangay Loyola Heights  in partnership with the  Rotary Club of Loyola Heights. This partnership is now on its 16th year.

The award was given on March 23, 2015  during the celebration of “International Women’s Month” at the Inter-City meeting at Celebrity Plaza in Quezon City.

An all-women conference was held in Davao City on March 27-28, 2015 with around 150 women from grassroots communities, media, government, and civil society organizations in attendance. Together they called for the cessation of military offensives in Mindanao, advocate for the continuation of the peace process, and promote the resumption of deliberations on the BBL.

The event was convened by the Women’s Peace Table (WPT), a network of organizations led by the Mindanao Commission on Women (MCW), the Women and Gender Institute (WAGI), the Center for Legislative Development (CLD), and the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID). The WPT has been organizing communities and different sectors like academe, religious, business, media, and youth to actively participate in the peace process as well as in the post-conflict stage. WAGI acts as its secretariat.

Among the speakers at the event were Sen. Santanina Rasul, Rep. Sitti Djalia A. Turabin-Hataman of Anak Mindanao Party List, Atty. Anna Tarhata-Basman of the GPH Peace Panel, Chairperson Sitti Jehanne Mutin of the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women, Samira Gutoc of the Young Moro Professionals Network, Noraida Abdulah Karim of Community and Family Services International, and Councilor April Dayap who represented Mayor Duterte.

The conference aimed to unify and assert the voices and perspectives of women for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and for a lasting peace in Mindanao; consolidate and expand Women’s Peace Tables in conflict affected communities and different sectors— academe, youth, religious, business, media and others in support of the peace process and the Bangsamoro Basic Law; and increase awareness and strengthen capacities of women’s peace tables to strategize and actively participate in the peace process towards an enduring and lasting peace in Mindanao.

After the participants’ discussion on the issues they are confronted with in the context of conflict, their recommendations were summarized in a following statement titled “Restore and Reclaim” that was read by Irene Santiago, the lead convener of the WPT.

Good morning graduates, parents, faculty and administration. It is a great honor for me to be standing here in front of you as your graduation speaker. I too am a proud Maryknoller and always happy to be back home. A long time ago, I was at what was then called Maryknoll College from kindergarten to Grade 7. That period was probably one of the happiest years of my life. I loved the open spaces, the kalachuchi trees that were always in bloom, the yellow bells outside the small grade school library, the calming sound of the creek that flowed near our classrooms, or the roar it made during typhoon season, and the chapel where I had my First Communion.

My Maryknoll education was very different from that of my cousins and friends. They went to schools that were run by European nuns and had as part of their curriculum cooking and sewing. They were, I now know, preparing their female students for domesticity, to be good wives and mothers. However, in Maryknoll with the American nuns there were no cooking or sewing classes and we played baseball as part of our PE syllabus. I disliked this sport but we all had to be out in the field that extended from the covered court but I made sure I was at the farthest place possible. We had an intensive reading program that required us to diagram entire sentences, vocabulary tests, and the one SRA box which went from classroom to classroom and which I eagerly looked forward to even if I never reached gold. I now see these experiences as subtly preparing us for a life other than that of a wife and mother, and more importantly, told us that we had many options. I know this now, not then.   Wisdom comes with the passage of time. So I hope to share with you wisdom that I have gained through many years of experience that were both happy and sad and everything in between. If you remember only one thing, then I would have done my job as your speaker here today.

Fairy tales are wonderful stories that have embedded in them symbols that help us survive childhood and adolescence. Have you noticed that all the fairy tale princesses are adolescents much like yourselves? In the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, the fairy Merryweather is given a chance to break the spell of death that the evil fairy Maleficent has bestowed on the adolescent Aurora. Merryweather cannot break the spell but she can change it from death to sleep. Sleep is the symbol for unpreparedness to be an adult and as you step over the threshold, which is today’s graduation, from childhood to adolescence, you will begin the long awakening to womanhood. I will do better than Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather combined and bestow ten wishes upon you that will hopefully allow you to awake from girlhood to becoming a triumphant, empowered woman. So what would I wish for you?

  1. The first wish is that you all become whole and centered persons by taking care of your bodies, mind and soul. It will take a lot of hard work, a lot of courage, and a lot of self-love. Moving from childhood to adolescence is a difficult process. Your bodies are changing and along with that your psyche. You will at some point think you are ugly – your face will be filled with pimples, your hair seems to belong to someone else and everything about your body is too long, too short, too fat, too thin. This is called the Ugly Duckling stage and everyone goes through it, even boys. Don’t worry. It will pass. You will have mood swings, mostly angry, and banging doors will be a common sound at home. I have a memory of throwing stuff around in my room and screaming so much that my grandmother gave me a scolding I will never forget.  What I did forget was what that tantrum was all about. Probably a case of raging hormones or my ugly “apple” haircut. That will all pass. In the meantime, there are certain things you can do to make sure you turn into beautiful swans.

  2. My second wish for you is that you take care of your bodies the proper way. In my time, a fat child was considered cute and a sign that she was well cared for. Modern medical science shows that this is no longer true. A fat child will have many health problems as an adult. Make it a habit to eat the right food, especially if your family is genetically pre-disposed to certain diseases. My family, for example, is pre-disposed towards diabetes. Had my parents known better and then later myself, I would have avoided so many bad eating habits like drinking soft drinks with meals and eating ice cream for dessert almost every day. Today I am a diabetic. Only exercise keeps my sugar levels down. Exercise or indulge in a sport in the same way as you need to brush your teeth every day. Exercise not only strengthens the bones and muscles but also massages all the internal organs to keep them functioning efficiently. Exercise not only allows you to know your body, it also allows you to use it as a tool with which to master your environment – run the marathon, climb that mountain, walk a hundred miles. Your body is not a project which you have to continuously beautify and alter for the benefit of others. Love your body in whatever shape and size in the same way it loves you.

  3. This leads me to my third wish for you which is to accept yourself with all your imperfections. All those pictures in fashion magazines are photoshopped; those whitening products are only a temporary solution to dark skin. What is so bad about dark skin? Embrace who you are and your uniqueness. I know uniforms promote sameness but that is the only thing the same about us. And aren’t Maryknoll uniforms the coolest? Tan socks rock!

  4. My fourth wish for you is to find something you truly feel passionate about and work on it as best you can. God gave us all a gift, a talent. There are those who are lucky to already know what it is they are passionate about while still in grade school. Think of the artists, dancers, singers, writers, chefs, athletes among you. You may not know what it is right away but the point is to keep looking for it and one day, the universe will reward you.

  5. One of the things you can be truly passionate about is saving the environment. In the same way that we need to take care of the body, we need to take care of the space in which it thrives. Today, we are experiencing climate change. We have not been able to stop it so we need to prevent it from getting worse. Let’s do all the little things that add up – throw garbage properly, save water and electricity, car pool or commute when possible, not use plastic, etc. And tomorrow night, we can observe Earth Hour – from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm we shut down all electricity in our homes. This is a great chance for the family to verbally catch up on each other’s activities without technology. Or, with the help of a flashlight, read a story aloud.

  6. Reading is necessary even essential habit if you want to be empowered women. Make reading a habit. It is the basis of all education. How can one study science or business or architecture if one cannot read and understand what she is reading? Never take your education for granted. There are still about 61.6 million primary school age girls all over the world who are not in school. Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head at 14 years old by the Taliban because she blogged about the need for girls to be educated in Pakistan. Today, at 17 years old, she is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is an example that no one is too young to make a difference.   

  7. My seventh wish for you is to remember the message of Pope Francis to be merciful and compassionate. Treat everybody whether of different class, race, religion equally and with kindness. Be kind not only to people but also to animals, to all God’s creatures. Be kind to yourself as well.

  8. I wish for you to love, obey, and respect your parents always. Everything they do is because they love you even when you think they don’t. Spend more time with your family than with your gadgets. Your iPad can’t hug you back or tickle you. When this event is over, hug your parents.

  9. I wish for you to love your country. We live in a third world country and the only way we can move up to being a first world country is if we all work at it together. Will you stay to help make it a better place or will you leave for greener pastures? Where else can you make a difference but in your own country.

  10. How do you manage all this? With prayer. Prayerfulness is my last wish for you. There is a Being more powerful than ourselves who we can always call to for help or consolation when we feel sad or helpless. I am certain that if I had been prayerful as an adolescent I would have avoided many bad choices and therefore the sad episodes in my life. Part of this prayerfulness is to be grateful for God’s blessings even how small. Every night, before you fall asleep, think of the day’s blessings. Hopefully, this habit will continue to adulthood and lead to a spiritual life.

With all my wishes for you, I hope to have set you on the path to being the triumphant, empowered women your parents and school are preparing you to become. 
Congratulations to all graduates on your next step to an empowered womanhood!

Ms. Carla M. Pacis
Maryknoll Grade School Batch 1970
MCMS Commencement Exercises | March 27, 2015

Carla M. Pacis is a writer for children and young adults and has published more than a dozen books some of which have won awards. She is also a lecturer at De La Salle University where she teaches literature, creative writing and art appreciation. On occasion, she gives creative writing workshops for children and adults.

Carla is a founder-member of Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting or Kuting, a council member of the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) and, a fellow of the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) of the De La Salle University.

She is currently involved in the production of four new publications that have to do with food (Chopsoy), philosophy (Mulat), business (ImproveUp), and Taste Baguio.

Ms. Pacis graduated from Maryknoll Grade School in 1970. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Assumption College and her master’s degree in English Studies, major in Creative Writing, from the University of the Philippines.

She has received a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature.  

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