Category: Alumni


Maryknoll/Miriam College alumna Alicia Garcia Reyes (HS Batch ’58, College ‘64) was conferred the National Artist Award for Dance in ceremonies held in Malacañang on April 14, 2016.  Reyes is among six awardees who were proclaimed National Artist by President Benigno S. Aquino Jr. as early as  2014 but was not conferred yet. 
At the formal induction in Malacañang, Reyes joins other esteemed names in art and culture among them Francisco Feliciano (music, posthumous), Cirilo Bautista (literature), Francisco Coching (visual arts, posthumous), Frederico Aguilar Alcuaz (visual arts, posthumous), and Manuel Conde (Cinema, posthumous). 
Reyes is the founder of Ballet Philippines, one of the country’s premier company in ballet and contemporary dance. She is known for initiating the professionalization of the art in the country.

Miriam College and the Maryknoll High School Class of 1958, through the Office of the President, gave a special tribute to Alice Reyes who was named National Artist for Dance in 2014 and was conferred the title in 2016 by Malacanang. Reyes’s former classmates, led by Miriam College President Rosario O. Lapus, presented the National Artist with a framed picture of her taken at an event and a Maryknoll/Miriam College doll.
“This award [National Artists for Dance] may have been more than what I have done except that this is such a glamorous and rare award,” Reyes said during an impromptu speech. “Maryknoll and Miriam is such a formidable school. It has produced such amazing number of graduates and I’m just one of them,” she added.

For her part, Dr. Lapus thanks Reyes for her contributions to Philippine art. “We are so proud of you for bringing dance in the Philippines to a higher level. Everything you received abroad you brought back here to make sure that dance, art and culture in the Philippines moves up” she said. 
A dancer, choreographer, teacher and director, Reyes has made an impact on the development and promotion of contemporary dance in the country. “Perhaps the biggest contribution of Alice Reyes to Philippine dance is the development of a distinctly Filipino modern dance idiom. Utilizing inherently Filipino materials and subject matters expressed through a combination of movements and styles from Philippine indigenous dance, modern dance and classical ballet she has successfully created a contemporary dance language that is uniquely Filipino,” read a text posted on the website of the National Commission for Culture and Arts.
Present during the gathering were some of Maryknoll/Miriam College’s luminaries, among them Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Teresita Bermudez Choa,  Corazon Alma, and Sylvia Santos Veloso. Also present were Belen Damian, Cely Anderson, Victorina DL Garcia, Mercedes Rivera da Silva,  Sr. Florence Bautista, Mila Villavicencio-Reyes, Presy Ramos, Lourdes Ledonio, Felicitas Silayan, Meny Relova, Evelyn Eugenio, and Rose Castro.

WITH technology becoming a bigger part of peoples’ lives, it is no surprise it is also becoming an integral part of education. In that light, Miriam College seeks to be in the forefront of integrating technology with education.

This was highlighted when the institution offered a master in education degree majoring in e-learning. The degree focuses on teachers becoming equipped in teaching with the use of various technologies.

The degree is augmented by offering certification programs, such as SITE (Summer Institute on Technology Education), iTEACH (Technology Education to Advance Change) and EXCEL (Executive Course on E-Learning
for Leaders).

Miriam High School Principal and the College Director for Innovation Development Dr. Edizon Fermin said these various certification programs earn the participants graduate credits, which are then recognized for the completion of the degree.

SITE, in partnership with Diwa Learning Systems Inc., was first offered on 2013 and gave certification courses on various topics. These courses are Teaching and Learning with Digital and Mobile Technology, which is designed to increase awareness of teachers in utilizing technology and integrating it with available resources; Developing and Adapting Digital and Mobile Application (apps development); E-learning Design and Supervision; and Cyber Ethics and Digital Law, in which, Fermin said, the cybercrime law played a major role in its conceptualization and is actually handled by lawyers.

iTEACH was first offered in May this year in partnership with CME Publication. Its focus is on facilitating technology integration in education.

EXCEL, set to be offered this September, will target school leaders and will help them prepare for e-learning. This was idealized since it would be hard for teachers to implement their e-learning plans if the school officials do not grasp its concept, Fermin said.

SITE and iTEACH run for five consecutive days, while EXCEL will run for three days. Fermin added that this was to reduce the attrition of participants.

He said they may expand SITE in its future iterations.

He added that the program runs around 40 to 60 hours and is enough for students to earn a graduate unit. He said the program is facilitated boarding-school style and hosted by their partners for the duration of the program.

Fermin said the above programs started as an idea. “Why don’t we train other people who like to transition to e-learning by providing them an opportunity?”

For the programs, part of their goal was that the participants get to maximize the available technology and use it to advance learning.

“Even with the situation in the Philippines, we can be leaders in e-learning because we are already good with the pedagogy,”  he said, adding that, with e-learning, he envisions education to be more transparent and more accessible.

He said the goal is the make sure the technologies augment how he interacts with society and how things are done.

These programs are part of the bigger technological and 21st-century push by Miriam College under the leadership of Fermin.

“If we want Miriam College to be a bastion of 21st- century learning, it must be driven by learners, supported by teachers, empowered by the college and sustained by the innovators.”

Fermin said it was their aim of greater institutional thrust toward incorporating or enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their curriculum that lead the mentioned developments.

The thrust first took form with the development of their e-learning system in partnership with Diwa Learning Systems Inc.

“At Miriam College, the reason for incorporating the tablet was not to lessen the weight of the backpack. We want it to enrich learning through real-time inputs and processes. That was the main affordance of an e-learning environment.”  Fermin said regarding the implementation of their e-learning system.

After their experience in developing the e-learning system and training people on how it was done, he added, they felt that they are ready to share their best practices with the world.

Aside from the programs, they also aim to have a dedicated facility for research and development. This gave birth to their Innovation Center, which will be used in developing ideas in the field of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The building will have a performing arts laboratory and theater, science laboratories, and facilities for the multimedia and culinary arts. “It is where our students translate whatever innovative ideas they have in mind.”

Construction of the facility started last year, in part due to Betty Sy, a Miriam College alumna and the daughter of SM Malls owner Henry Sy. SM Foundation donated for the construction of the building.

Fermin said since its groundbreaking in August of last year, most of the construction is finished, except for the fixtures and other things pending installation.

For their efforts in integrating education and technology, Miriam College bagged awards during the fourth Excellence in Educational Transformation Awards held on June 21. This was organized by Bayan Academy, a sociocivic organization after the aforementioned plans and programs.

For now, these are the concrete moves by Miriam College in their push for the 21st-century education. As for the future, Fermin has one word for what’s to expect: Exciting.

Business Mirror >

Anjeline De Dios, an alumna of Miriam College High School 1999 and Miriam College Grade School 1995, recently graduated valedictorian at the National University of Singapore where she finished her PhD in Human Geography. 

Earning her PhD is just one of several academic achievements of Anjeline. In 2009 she earned her Erasmus Mundus Master in Applied Ethics at Linköping University, Sweden and Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. 

In 2008 she took her Masters in Philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila and before that was a student of the Graduate Exchange Program Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences-Po), Paris. 

In 2003, she graduated cum laude at the Ateneo de Manila with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and English Literature. In that same year she also bagged the Joseph Mulry Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. 

Anjeline is the daughter of Miriam College’s former Gender and Institute Executive Director, Prof. Aurora De Dios.

To watch her valedictory speech on YouTube, go to:

Miriam College marked the opening of its 90th anniversary with the launch of the Miriam College-Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center (MC-HSSIC), the Philippines’ first integrated makerspace last Sept. 7, 2016. 

Donated by the Henry Sy Foundation through SM Hotels and Convention Corporation president and Maryknoll/Miriam College Alumni (College batch ’74) Elizabeth Sy and designed by renowned architect Ed Calma, the MC-HSSIC gives students and faculty the opportunity and space to immerse themselves in 21st century disciplines the school calls DREAM or Design, Robotics, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Arts and Mathematics. 

Present at the launch were Elizabeth Sy, SM Prime Vice President Hans Sy, Sr., Arch. Ed Calma, Miriam College Board of Trustees Chair Josefina Tan, administrators of Miriam College led by its president Dr. Rosario O. Lapus, Maryknoll Sister Marisa Lichauco and Helen Graham, and executives representing the school’s partners who equipped the laboratories with the latest tools in innovation and contributed to the development of its programs. They are Power Mac Center, Emerson Electric (ASIA) Ltd.-ROHQ., FELTA Multi-Media Inc., C&E Publishing, Inc., Center for Culinary Arts Manila, British Council, Bato Balani Foundation, Inc., and Bangkok University.

“It is here at the Miriam College- Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center where we will follow a new model of teaching and learning, one that brings change and improvement to current school and classroom practices—much like what our pioneering and progressive Maryknoll nuns did when they established their first mission school in Malabon in 1926,” said Dr. Lapus. Miriam College is celebrating its 90th Anniversary with the theme, “Mighty@90!”

The makerspace features eight connected and creative learning spaces: Fabrication Laboratory, Instrumentation Laboratory, Engineering and Electronics Laboratory, Multi-Media Laboratory, Performance Laboratory, Kitchen and Café, Playloft, and Innovatrium.  

It is supported by an integrated program that will engage its students, especially girls, in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) to DREAM to prepare them for fields of the future. It provides state-of-the-art tools so students and faculty can connect, collaborate, discover, design and create, transforming their ideas into tangible and viable products and services, and allowing them to find solutions to various problems. The STEAM program has been implemented across all units of the campus as early as 2011 under the leadership of Dr. Lapus. 

The launch of the MC-HSSIC further strengthens the innovation thrust of the school as it continues to build on its mission of “forming leaders in service” and bringing its brand of education to different growth areas, starting with its fast-growing branch in the south, MC NUVALI, and soon in Porac, Pampanga.

Capping the day’s event was a special concert by the Miriam College High School Glee Club’s current and former members. With their conductor Nancy Roman, the choir serenaded the MC community with their winning songs performed in competitions they have joined abroad. The concert dubbed “Ngalan” marks the search for the choir’s new name through a contest.

ANOTHER milestone took place at the historic College of the Holy Spirit Manila (CHSM) as Dr. Jesusa M. Marco was sworn in as the school's 9th president.

Dr. Marco's presidency also marks the transition of CHSM, making her the 1st Lay President under the school's new management by the Holy Spirit Alumni Management Corp (HSAMC). The rites will be held at the Paraclete Auditorium, College of the Holy Spirit Manila.

In September 2015, the Congregational Leadership Team in Rome gave the approval for the collaboration of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (S.Sp.S) and the CHSM Alumnae through a Management Contract for the continuance of CHSM mission.

On Jan. 21,2016, the Management Agreement was finally approved and signed between the College of the Holy Spirit of Manila and the Holy Spirit Alumni Management Corp (HSAMC).

CHSM remains to be owned by S.Sp.S, however, it is now managed by the HSAMC effective May 1,2016.

Dr. Marco finished AB Sociology in formerly Maryknoll (now Miriam College). She also holds Master of Arts in Social Sciences major in Sociology at De La Salle
University. She earned her Doctorate Degree in Sociology at Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Presently, she is also a Research Fellow of the De La Salle University.

PUBLISHED IN: Business World, September 21, 2016  |  Bulletin Sections  |  Page 7 of Section 2

Her spirit is willing, and her flesh is not weak. At age 67, dancer Michaela “Pinky” Puno is unstoppable.

This year, she competed in the Blackpool Dance Festival, dubbed the Olympics of ballroom dance competitions in England.

“No other competition lasts for eight days, boasting as many as 3,000 couples from 60 countries,” says Puno.

She joined the senior category for dancers over 35 in the Amateur Latin division.

“Competing against people who were 30 years or so younger than me sounded crazy. But I knew my body was racing against time,” she says.

Daily rehearsal

Initially, she and her Filipino partner, Ryan Jago, rehearsed daily at her Avant Garde Ballroom studio in Virginia.

Last April, she flew to the Philippines to be coached by 10-time national champion Belinda Adora.

At Blackpool, Puno donned a pink dress to stand out among the sea of red and gold. Being called back to the dance floor for another round of the competition was an achievement.

“Ryan practically pulled me on to the floor. It was a pretty rough first dance, the chacha, because I was still reeling from the surprise,” says Puno.

Although they didn’t bring home the honors, Puno was pleased with their first Blackpool competition.

The Filipino pair ranked 38th among 100 couples. For her, it was an accomplishment, considering she was up against dancers younger than her children.

Still, she realized that it takes a year of preparation to compete with the world’s best ballroom dancers.

110 percent

“I can’t say it was my best performance. I wish I could have performed as well as I practiced. They always say, you have to put in 110 percent effort during practice. With the many pressures during the actual competition, only 70 percent of what you practice comes out. For an amateur like me, that was ever so true!” she says.

Hip, knee replacements

“This was the first time our coach, Belinda, saw me competing with Ryan,” she adds. “After Blackpool, she knew what my strengths and weaknesses were. We have since adjusted some of our choreography, not necessarily performing complicated routines, but honing my technique and elevating the musicality of the dance.”

She admits that her hip and knee replacements have hampered her technique. Moreover, a mature body takes a longer time to warm up.

Nonetheless, her partners, Slava Sergiev and Jago, acknowledge her capacity, and challenge her to get out of her comfort zone.

“‘No, I don’t want to do that’ is not an option for them. Determination, the drive to excel, and more practice help me dance well despite my hip and knee replacements,” says Puno.

Then again, ballroom dancing requires a successful partnership. Like teammates in a sport, a good partner will assist, support and take risks.

Ideal partner

Puno explains that her ideal partner must be compatible with her height and appearance to facilitate seamless interaction.

“He needs to exude masculinity and confidence, without being narcissistic,” she says.

“A good partner does not worry about how he alone looks, but considers how we look together. Good technique and a willingness to keep learning is important. He needs to know how to express the emotion of the dance, and have the charisma to interact with the audience.”


A good partner must be a gentleman,” she notes.

“He must be even-tempered, and treat me like a lady at all times—on and off the dance floor. Some men act great on the dance floor, but treat their partners terribly when they are out of it. Hindi puwedeng wala siyang pakialam sa akin the minute he leaves the dance floor.”

She continues: “Even when he is not dancing, he needs to maintain a dancer’s image of class. He needs to be trustworthy and a man of good character.”

In the Pro/Am (a professional dancing with his amateur student) events, Puno dances with Sergiev, while Jago is her partner in the Senior Amateur division.

“My partners make me look good because they are not competing with me on the dance floor,” she says. “We dance as a true partnership. They provide the power and energy so I can generate it back in return. When I make a mistake, they never show disapproval. They keep dancing and try to make me recover so disaster is averted.”


On and off the dance floor, Puno is the epitome of ladylike demeanor. She credits her inner grace to her mother, Aurora Mendoza, and her education in Maryknoll (Miriam) College.

“Good manners and kindness were requirements in my home and my alma mater. I never learned to drink or smoke, and cussing is unthinkable,” she says.

Her sense of propriety is also applied in ballroom dancing. “I have never indulged in anything to make me high, and I don’t drink,” she says.

“This is why it is easy for me to be conscious of propriety. I maintain boundaries in my friendship with my partners or any dancer I am in contact with. I demand to be treated like a lady at all times because I act like a lady at all times. This avoids misunderstandings and being taken advantage of.”

Her enthusiasm and litheness make her look younger on the dance floor.

“I strive for excellence,” she says. “My passion for dance and meeting challenges drives me. The benefits of ballroom dancing keep me going. I am not in denial of my age, but I know there are competitions out there for senior women.

“I want to keep improving. There is still so much to learn. There is an expression: The more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know.”

SOURCE: Philippine Daily Inquirer >

Joseph “Chay” Cruel, former faculty of the College of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Accountancy and Miriam College alumnus received the 2016 Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Management award from Agora.  The award was given on October 26, 2016 at the PICC in Pasay City.
Cruel graduated in 2008 with a degree in Business Administration. He is currently the vice president of international and business development for the non-alcoholic division of Asia Brewery. To date he is the youngest recipient in this Agora Awards category.

Established in 1979, the Agora Awards recognizes outstanding efforts in Marketing by individuals and companies in the industry.   Past awardees in the same category include businessman and former senator Manuel Villar and former McCann Erickson CEO and Maryknoll alumna Emily Abrera.

Class representative of MCHS Batch 1981, Melissa S. Reyes, turned-over the donation of her batch to Dr. Maria Lourdes Quisumbing-Baybay, Vice President for Academic Affairs, last January 13. As a gift to Miriam College on their batch’s coral or 35th year, MCHS Batch 1981 raised Php 50,000 through contributions by some classmates and singer-songwriter, Ogie Alcasid. Mr. Alcasid performed with their batch during the last grand alumni homecoming.
The fund is intended for scholars in continuing their education by assisting them in school related expenses like meals, transportation and books. Also present at the turn-over were students from the scholars’ student organization, Talitha Cumi; Carol Ui, Admissions head; and Dr. Gail R. Galang, Institutional Partnerships and Programs Office head.

MANILA, Philippines – Former education secretary Lourdes Quisumbing died on Saturday, October 14. She was 96.

Miriam College announced Quisumbing's death on Sunday, October 15. The education advocate was a professor emeritus and former president of the college.

Quisumbing was also the dean of St Theresa's College (STC), dean of the Graduate School of Education at De La Salle University (DLSU) in Manila, and chairperson of Graduate Education at University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu.

She is best known for her stint as the secretary of the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports or DECS – now the Department of Education – during the time of the late president Corazon Aquino. She was the first female to hold the post.

"Her tenure marked the expansion of free public education to the secondary level, an increase in the share of education in the national budget, rationalization of higher education, and an emphasis on values education," said Miriam College in its news release.

After 4 years in the Aquino Cabinet, Quisumbing was appointed as secretary-general of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines, giving her the rank of ambassador in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). She served in this capacity until her retirement in 1998.

Even after retiring from public service, she continued working for the education sector as chairperson of the STC Board in Cebu. She was also president of the UNESCO-Asia Pacific Network for International Education and Values Education (APNIEVE) and APNIEVE Philippines.

She finished her bachelor's degree in Education as a summa cum laude graduate of STC. She then pursued her master's degree in Education at USC, also finishing summa cum laude. Quisumbing capped her studies with a PhD in Education from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila.

The esteemed Cebu native is survived by 8 of her 10 children, 27 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

Published online on:
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Also published on:
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Radyo Inquirer -
ABS-CBN News -
The Philippine Star (print)
Manila Bulletin (print)
Manila Times (print)

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