Two weeks winning in two cheerdance competitions in Florida, USA the MCHS did it again, this time sweeping three top awards at the 9th Asian Cheerleading International championships held in Tokyo Japan last May 9-10.

The MCHS Pep Squad Hardcourt did the school proud by winning in the All-female Group Stunts . “Each country can field as many teams as they want and our Pep Squad fielded 3 teams of 5 members each [in the All-female Group Stunts]. From among 8 teams, our group won the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards,” proudly says MCHS Assistant Principal for Student Affairs Nancy Roman who was also the teams’ chaperon.

The group practiced daily including weekend, says Roman. “The bruises on their arms, legs, and faces will tell you how hard they trained for this,” she adds.
This is the first time the MCHS Pep Squad Hardcourt competed internationally.

Miriam College, through the Department of International Studies, marks a milestone as it celebrates 20 years of excellent participation in the Model United of the Far West (MUNFW), an international simulation conference where students learn how Member States of the United Nations work together in finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

MUNFW is held annually in April at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco, California, USA. Since 1995, the Department has trained about 300 IS students, representing various countries in the MUNFW in the past two decades. It has been consistently recognized for its outstanding achievement in diplomacy in the MUN. 

This year, Miriam College received five Diplomatic Achievement awards for each of the countries they represented in the 65th Session held last April 17-21, 2015: Venezuela, Vietnam, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and New Zealand. Venezuela was also invited to speak about the conference theme, “The Reach of the United Nations in the Modern Era: The Conflict between Individual, Collective and Sovereign Rights,” during the Opening Plenary Session for receiving the highest score among the MUN delegations representing the Latin American countries.

The Permanent and Deputy Representatives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were also invited to deliver speeches in the Security Council on two occasions to speak about their country’s position on the suspected terrorist attack in Jordan and on the 10-country coalition and Saudi-led military intervention against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Miriam College’s participation in the 65th MUNFW Session was also highlighted by its leadership role in serving as chair of the Human Rights Council. Former MUNFW delegates and IS alumnae, Rejane Torrecampo, Allain Baetiong and Vanessa Lyka Cabacungan, led the Council’s four-day deliberation on topics such as equitable representation of women and minorities in the government, ensuring the dignity and rights of persons with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity and ensuring the land and resource rights of indigenous peoples.

About 600 students, representing 83 countries and 33 schools in the United States, joined the MUNFW conference. Miriam College is the only school participating from the Philippines.

In photo, from left are Blanche Bettina Canlas, Katrina Hizon, Sheyna Delos Reyes, Carla Rae Carreon, Danica Ruth Pedracio, Luisa Garcia, Paula Bergonzado, Kim Cassey Dy, Kaleena Santilla, Vanessa Lyka Cabacungan, Allain Baetiong, Rejane Torrecampo, Beanca Janine Medrano, Franz Marithe Costa, Niqui Castigador, Micah Balingit, Francheska Go, Crystal Fesalbon, Catherine Tablada, Lara Bettina Jimenez and adviser Pacita Fortin (Advisor). Seated are Immanueliza Raza, Daphnee Merginio, Rhodora Manga, Natalia Baltao, Angela Adivoso, and Angeli Tolosa.

Members of security sector from various parts of the world gathered in New York for a training on women, peace and security (WPS). CPE Executive Director Jasmin Nario-Galace participated in the meeting which was also attended by major officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

WE Act 1325, of which CPE is Secretariat, helps operationalize the WPS agenda in the security sector. The meeting was organized by the Permanent Missions of Chile and Netherlands to the UN and the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP).

Dr. Galace is in the Steering Board of GNWP.

Members of MCHS 1955 gathered for their diamond jubilee celebration this year.  Classmates were together on a five-day, activity-filled reunion, going places around the metro and on an out-of town escapade.  One of the highlights of their activities was a reflection on gratitude and promise solemnly held at the Maryknoll Sisters Centennial Garden of Gratitude and Promise at Miriam College. The garden is dedicated to the Maryknoll Sisters during their 100th year.  With them was Sister Marisa Lichauco, MM, who was their teacher back in their high school days. 

Re-connecting with their alma mater, the group was greeted by Dr. Rosario Lapus (MCHS 1958), President, who updated them on the latest developments in the school’s programs and campus features as well as recent outstanding achievements of students and employees. Also present were High School Principal Dr. Edizon Fermin and Marose Peña (bottom left photo, far left) who represented her late mom Diana Picazo-Ramoso.

MCHS 1955 shares with the community reflection pieces titled “On Gratitude” by Ms. Concepcion Limcuando Rosales and “The Promise” by Ms. Cayo Nivera Marschner.

Top photo shows Ninit Paterno (seated, far left) and classmates with Sr. Marisa, Dr. Lapus and Dr Fermin.

The Miriam College Community remembers our beloved Maryknoll Sisters who have entered into eternal life



Sister Reina Paz Kakilala entered Maryknoll in 1950.  She served in the Philippine Region in the mid-1950 to the late 1960s, as teacher to first and second grade children at Maryknoll College in Manila, supervisor of a Maryknoll school in Jimenez, and later assistant principal of Maryknoll grade school in Manila. Sister Reina Paz also served in missions in British Columbia, Canada and the United States.

A published poet in the United States, Sister Reina Paz’s works are found in the American Poetry Association’s anthology, the New York Poetry Anthology and Poetic Voices of America.  She was a National Library of Poetry Editor’s Choice Awardee in 1998 and honoree of the San Francisco International Women’s Year Conference in 1975 for her work among women as a role model “that had encouraged all women to break through the barriers of discrimination.”   

Sister Mary Clare Henry had been a Maryknoll Sister for 65 years.  She was assigned to the Philippine Region where she taught English and Religion in Lipa, Pakil, and Lucena in Laguna, Cateel in Davao Oriental, and in Malabon, Metro Manila. She was also engaged in pastoral work in Maguindanao and at the National Vocational Rehabilitation Center in Manila as volunteer for its literacy program.

Sister Mary Clare also spent many years in service at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, New York, USA, where she was assigned administrator and business coordinator for the Maryknoll Mission Institute.  

Let us include Sister Reina Paz and Sister Mary Clare in our prayers.


The Center for Peace Education, Secretariat of WE Act 1325, co-organized the Women March for Peace which was held at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on 27 April. They partnered with the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Balay Rehabilitation Center, Young Moro Professionals Network and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.

The marchers called on all sectors not to waste the gains achieved in the peace process and to continue to pursue the path to peace. Women marchers called for unity in the midst of ethnic and cultural diversity. They also highlighted the importance of women's role in achieving peace in the country.

Dr. Jasmin Nario-Galace, CPE executive director, in a speech said that "women's efforts to save the peace must be recognized and valued."

The Miriam College High School Dance Troupe, Sayawatha, brought home Gold and Bronze awards after winning in two international dance competitions held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, USA.

The group bagged Bronze for the Cheer Hip Hop event at the International Cheer Union (ICU) World Cheerleading Championships held from April 23-24. Sayawatha, along with the Philippines’ All Girls Elite team and the National University Pep Squad comprised Team Pilipinas.

The group also bagged Gold at the Dance Worlds competition under the Open Hip Hop category last April 26.

Both competitions bring together the best dance and cheerleading groups around the world to compete and showcase their moves.

Photo credits: 
Syawatha |
ICU Worlds |

This 2015, it would be exactly 60 years since we, the Maryknoll High School Class of 1955, graduated.

Sixty years! There were 72 of us then, eager 13 to 15-year- olds (there was no middle school) whose next and only goal was to go to college. Graduation ceremony in the chapel was a solemn event; we felt the excitement of being on the cusp of something more important.

We were no longer the giggling girls who eagerly boarded the school buses from Pennsylvania Avenue, Manila, which took us to the newly built Maryknoll College in Quezon City. We now felt like grown-ups, among the first graduates from the new campus.


Sixty years! There are only 55 of us now, many of us in our mid-70s—grandmothers, widows, several of us living in other countries. Our class was a microcosm of the other classes; we had classmates from the Visayas, Mindanao and various areas of Luzon; some came from well-heeled families, others from modest circumstances. Our uniform served as an effective equalizer.

Ten years ago, at our 50th reunion in San Francisco, 20 of us attended. The following year, three of those classmates had passed on. This year I am keenly, painfully aware of how the threads of life and death have become even more closely knit.

I’d like to claim that we are a unique class in that we’ve stayed connected all these years, but we’re not. It is remarkable, heartwarming and perhaps a largely Filipino trait that we have stayed connected.

What may be unique is how our class president in our senior year, Gigi Abaya-Carlos, has over these decades been our glue. She cared deeply enough to keep us together and connected, to care about what happens in each other’s lives—a living example of the Maryknoll Spirit that our alma mater endeavored to imbue in us.

Two incidents

I recall two incidents that perhaps were the first conscious steps of what helped shape me. I still remember the time I sewed my duster backwards in home economics class, and two classmates immediately came to my rescue, ripping and re-sewing with no comments or judgment on my ineptness. It was for me an indelible lesson in quick, unconditional giving which I have not forgotten. In retrospect, it may have been the Maryknoll Spirit in action.

Ten of us formed a “gang” (not a negative word then) and called ourselves the TRALDIGETS, each initial for each of our then current boyfriends. (Most of us have forgotten who they were!) When one of the Traldigets and I had a major disagreement, we did not talk to each other for days even when at the same lunch table. Then, one morning, I found a peace gift from her in my locker; that was a lifelong lesson in forgiveness and letting go of anger.

Many of us attended different colleges, and we lost track of each other as we pursued advanced degrees, careers, got married and raised families. Tragically and sadly, three died before they turned 40.

Throughout the years, Gigi was quietly in the background, encouraging us to stay in touch with each other. She organized mini reunions whenever any of us balikbayans came home. We met each other’s spouses and families; those of us living in the US made an effort to visit each other.

Some of us were fortunate enough to travel together with our spouses. With Gigi’s continuing encouragement and our shared Maryknoll legacy, getting reacquainted in our new lives was a joy!

Perhaps the last time

Many of us keenly feel that, realistically, this may perhaps be the last time we will be together in this manner. We will each bring memories of those four years, which, consciously or not, have helped shaped part of our lives.

There will be laughter and nostalgia; pride in our children and grandchildren; sadness for those who are too ill to come and for those who have gone.

Reunion means reuniting, a coming together with purpose. For our class of 1955, it’s a time to appreciate our four years together from the perspective of 60 years—to cherish this gift of time as we renew our connection, knowing that we will always be one in our Maryknoll Spirit.


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