HONORING GENERATIONS OF DORMITORY RESIDENTS

by Rev. Dr. Fe M. Torio

Text: Exodus 3:10, Deuteronomy 8:7-10, John 17:9-11,

I Corinthians 12:8-10, Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11

 

 

The celebration of anniversaries enable us to remember the times in the past, the accomplishments of the present, and the dreams of the future. It is then a privilege and honor to have been a part of the past here at KKFI from 1978-1982, in hoping to be of help for its goals at present, and to p articipate as long as I am able for its dreams in the future, with God’s help.

For our message in this 67th anniversary, I would like to invite you to be blessed and grasp the challenge of being honoured. When I asked about the theme or main topic, the first would strike the most, “Honoring.” I said to myself: I don’t deserve to be honoured.

However, the situation in the Roman state in the time of Paul reminded me about something” Menenius Agrippa convinced the lower class in earlier Rome that although they are less noticeable members (like the stomach), they were necessary; the upper and lower classes had different roles but equal importance; also, the Stoics said that the universe was like a body; and that, Paul referred to the unity of the body not to keep one group down but to tell all the Christians in Corinth to respect and appreciate one another.

Just a solitary eye or foot is useless, so is any member of a foundation or church apart from other Christians.

First, each member has a measure of faith. (Romans 12:6-8)

Second, each members is commissioned to carry out a mission (Ephesians 4:11)

Third, each member is sent to go. (Exodus 3:10)

Fourth, each member is to receive honor and be blessed (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)

Let us consider the points one after the other before you are invited by sleep. This hour is an holy hour. Just wake up when time comes for us to bond together for our favourite activity in our dorm events: Eating time. Yes, I remember fully that there is no activity without it. We always contribute for it.

 

First, each member has a measure of faith (Romans 12:6-8)

Each of us here has a measure of faith. Whatever then is our profession or has become of ourselves after we came from this institution, returning here to celebrate together again, is a measure of faith. We did what we can in proportions to our faith. What is faith? Faith gives us the important rules for life: to know ourselves, accept ourselves, to accept the gift that God gave us, and to use that gift as it is his or her bounded duty and his/her God-given privilege to make his/her own contribution to the common good.

We do not get very far in this world until we know what we can do and what we cannot do. An honest assessment of one’s own capabilities, without conceit and without false modesty, is one of the first essentials of a useful life.

We trusted this institution to help us fulfil our dreams. We have faith that we can make it, and we did! We have learned from our ups and downs in our studies, in our relationships with others – our fellow dorm residents, the staff and business office, our visitors, our school environment and all around us – how to handle them in connection to our daily needs, and in our growth towards maturity especially in stretching our time, cash allowances, as well as brains so that, we will succeed in our endeavour to  finish requirements on time and if late, prevent ourselves away from failure, the least that we would like to happen to us in our stay in the dorm.

And most of us, we have faith in God who guides and gives everything we need during our stay her through its ministry to each and every one of us, remember?

When somebody celebrates his/her birthday, we pray and sing for them; when one is sick, a dorm resident officer will offer a visit or prayer; when one’s allowance is delayed, the staff shared a hand to lift one’s predicament. The faith of each one is measured by meeting each one’s needs, and to God be the glory. You have been a part of these activities, you deserve the honor today.

Second, each member is commissioned to carry out a mission (Ephesians 4:11)

There is a spark of God in every living creature. Thus, you are commissioned to carry out a mission, as God has mission to love the world. Paul is saying here that a man must accept himself; but even if he finds that the contribution he has to offer will be unseen and unknown, without praise and without prominence, he must make that contribution, certain that it is essential, and that without it, life and the world can never be what they were meant to be. Our families, our workplace, our churches, name it and you have it, without YOU and I WHO SUBMITTED TO A MEASURE OF FAITH IN GOD, each one of us, LIFE AND THE WORLRD will never be WHAT THEY WERE MEANTH TO BE.

Sometime, I marvel why people had charisma. It is because God gave the gift to you, and thus, you are called to be an instrument to use such gift for those whom He loves and cares. Don’t you like that? We are commissioned to carry out a mission. Such mission is for you to discover and uncover. Maybe, some of us had been nearing the end of the fulfilment of such mission. Others maybe are still starting while still others, they are on the process of the full blast of accomplishing what had been entrusted to them. Whichever we belong, we are to be faithful in carrying them out.

Brothers and sisters, we share a common focus and basis of authority as bearer’s of Christ’s message, out mission. We are therefore sent to go.

Third, each member is sent to go (Exodus 3:10)

Paul is really saying that whatever gift a man has, that gift comes from God. He calls the gift charismata. In the New Testament, a charisma is something given to a man by God which the man himself could not have acquired or attained. It is a personal, individual gift given to him by God. In point of fact, life is like that. For example, a man might practice for a lifetime and yet never play the piano like Kentner or Pouishnoff. These men has more than practice; they have the something plus, the charisma which is the gift of God. Do you have that something plus? If you have, what would you do? We are sent to go! Our skills was not so much achieved as given. We owe it to God, and we need to use it. The motive to use such something plus should not be by our own personal prestige but the conviction to go and share to others in need, our neighbors.

Daily, we can share Christ to others so that they can know Him in their hearts. Daily, we can be bringers of service to our fellowmen in whatever way we can. Daily, we can spur others on to the joy of life in Christ by our encouragement. Daily, we can be simple and generous, delights in the sheer pleasure of giving for giving’s sake, without desire of gold or promise of self-satisfaction.  Daily, we can have sense of responsibility and zeal in their hearts. Daily, we can give grace through forgiveness, based on love and kindness.

Yes, daily, we go about our life as usual, but with a measure of faith, we are commissioned to carry out a mission to go. Ultimately, we are motivated and developed to go and be responsible daily.,

Fourth, each member is to receive honor and be blessed (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)

Were you able to watch MISSION POSSIBLE from 12 midnight to 12:30 last July 18? Yes, after sharing her experience of being widowed twice at the age of 19 and left with four children, and moved on with the help of ABS-CBN. What about that? What have we done this past 67 years or so? We do receive honor and be blessed by God.

Let us review the promise of God to the Israelites:

  1. A land of wheat and barley, vines and pomegranates and fig trees, olive trees, and honey
  2. A land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper
  3. You shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.

These promises will be ours also as we continue to obey the voice of the LORD our God. What is the voice of God? Therefore, Go:

You and I should have a feeling of indebtedness to God. The more we recognize our indebtedness, that we are blessed and received honor, the deeper should we desire to share for that service, even if it meant death. In Philippines 1:21 Paul said: For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

My dear friends, fellow former dorm residents, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are endowed with the privilege to stay and be a part of this institution. We left successful with the courses we took and the life to chose. Now, we returned not only to reminisce and celebrate, but we are commissioned to carry on, keep on going, doing faithfully whatever had been entrusted to us to do by God.

With high technologies at present, still I believe we have a role to play in pursuing our dream for a better world. Let us have a share and participate for this goal. Our prayers, talents, resources, time and gifts – let us use to honor God above all.

Congratulations to one and all! May God continually bless us all, dorm residents and KKFI Family without them, we are helpless. Thank you again for giving yourselves unselfishly for us whom our parents entrusted to your care. May God empower you more, now and in the years to come.

Happy 6th anniversary.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

 

NURTURING DORMITORY RESIDENTS THROUGH THE DECADES

by Goody Mercado
Chairperson, KKFI Board of Trustees

(This message was shared as the Welcome Remarks to the 67th Founding Anniversary of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. yesterday, July 20, 2017 where the management honored the dormitory residents from 1950 to 2005.)

 

KKFI anniversary celebrations have become an annual event that the members of the Board of Trustees and the staff look forward to. Every year, the management could think of twists that surprise everyone. I remember anniversary celebrations that recognized the past Executive Directors, Board members, loyal staff members, institutional and individual partners, and, last years, ALS passers.

This year, we are honouring an unsung hero in the whole scheme of things of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. I’m referring to the Kapatiran Dormitory. We honour, too, its staff, past and present. Together with them, of course, are the dormitory residents who, through their patronage of the Kapatiran dormitory, wittingly or unwittingly financed the social development programs of Kapatiran.

You see, 100 percent of the income of the Kapatiran dormitory goes to the budget for programs, which help various marginalized and underprivileged groups in Manila, Bulacan and other places. This is the day we recognize and honour them. Congratulations!

Our theme is, “Nurturing Dorm Residents through the Decades.” I wonder how many students and reviewers the Kapatiran dorm have housed through its 50 or 60 years of existence. And I wonder where they are now. They must be successful and rich by now. Wherever they are and whatever economic state they are in, I guess this anniversary celebration is for them.

This may also serve as a prayer that they will continue to enjoy health and life abundant wherever they may be. Now, to those who are presently here, I heard we are in for a big surprise. I believe the staff prepared something special for us. I heard this is not just a simple celebration but a feast! Not necessarily a feast of foods (although they have prepared delightful array of them), but of period songs and dances made to satisfy our ears and eyes. I guess they are determined to make this day truly unforgettable. We will see by the end of the day.

I do hope they won’t disappoint us. Am I jumping the gun on you, my dear staff members? I’m sorry.

Kidding aside, I welcome you all to the 67th founding anniversary of KKFI, otherwise known as our beloved Kapatiran. Under the leadership of Nancy, we expect more success, more abundance and more fun for many, many years to come!

Thank you and enjoy!

CELEBRATING LIFE

by Glenda B. Gutierrez

Mommy Elena Godito, who has been with the Day Center for Older Persons or “Day C” since 1989, always looks forward to anniversary celebrations of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) for a special reason. “Day C members always present a special number during these celebrations,” Mommy Elena reveals. This year, however, she will not be able to join the group’s dance presentation “due to my age.”

But as in the past, she is still excited to witness this Thursday’s special event because “this time, it’s different.” The forthcoming 67th founding celebration of KKFI, to be held in the KKFI Compound on P. Paredes Street, Sampaloc, Manila, honours the “alumni” of KKFI dormitory who made the KKFI dorm their “home away from home” from 1950 to 2005.

To spice up celebration, the staff and program beneficiaries will perform popular dances from the 50s to the 90s. The Day C members, in particular, will do the 60s.

“I am both excited and nervous,” expresses Mommy Geneal “Jean” Santiago. “It is my first time to dance and I am not really good at it.”

But she and the group has been practicing religiously every Monday and Friday since the last week of May and she hopes their hard work will pay off come performance time. They are 16 in their group with Mommy Marietta “Mayette” Asedillo, 80, being the oldest and Ate Zenaida “Baby” Ordiz, 56, the youngest.

All of them say they are excited and will do their best. They say they are enjoying the practices because they discovered the real meaning of “teamwork.”

“We all help each other,” Mommy Mayette says in the vernacular. “Nobody reprimands anyone who commits a mistake.”

“There is unity here,” say Ate Baby. “I feel that I am safe with the Day C group. I feel I belong,” she added.

They are one in saying that the dance instructor/choreographer, Pio Llenado, is “the best.” They say he is patient, a good teacher and very supportive.

When told that those who saw them in practice have this opinion that they have more than a fair chance of winning the much-coveted first place, they could not believe it. They say they are just enjoying the camaraderie. Indeed, the Day C ladies are just having fun. They are celebrating life, meaning they are already winners this early. ####

AT HOME AT KKFI

by Eda Acierto

(We are re-posting the the article on Eureka Joy Bueno, a loyal dormitory resident who stayed at the Kapatiran dormitory from 1997 to 2014 as part of the 67th Founding Anniversary celebration. This was first published in the 2013 Annual Report.)

 

Eureka Joy Bueno is one of the “big sisters” at the KKFI dormitory. She came to Manila in 1993 to continue her studies at the Philippine Christian University. She was a transferee from Saint Paul University.

In 1995, she worked as a secretary for a Chinese couple who owns a hardware business. It was in May 1997 when she decided to reside at KKFI to be with her younger sister, who was a resident from 1996 to 2000.

Joy was taking up a master’s degree in counseling at the De La Salle University (DLSU) when she was admitted to the KKFI dormitory.

Her family learned about KKFI dormitories from their pastor’s wife whose daughter had a reservation at KKFI. Since she was accepted at Mary Johnston College, they thought of transferring their reservation to Joy’s sister.

Joy said she likes KKFI because it gave her a safe place to stay.

“It has been home for me and I also found my second family here in the person of housemothers and dorm residents,” she said.

The dorm had a lot of activities to offer, such as acquaintance parties, Christmas parties, and most of all the weekly cell groups that started in 2004 and lasted up to 2008.

“It opened doors and increased my network of friends,” she pointed out.

Joining KKFI program and activities strengthened her passion to reach out to the community.

Her personal dream is to be a channel of blessing not just to her own family but to the community. She also wishes that her family will also feel the same passion she has in reaching out to people in need.

“KKFI has helped me see others as I see myself. To be more giving and to think of others’ needs first before one’s self,” she said.

She expressed hope that KKFI will continue its mission and vision to empower the people in the community.

Her message to KKFI staff, donors and stakeholders: “I would like to commend the efforts that KKFI staff put into their work — their going beyond the call of duty to serve and to be excellent in their work and for providing a warm and friendly accommodation for residents like myself. To the donors and stakeholders, I say, ‘thank you and may you be richly blessed for your generosity’.”

17 LONG YEARS @ HUGH WILSON HALL

by Nitz E. Nicolas

(In celebration of the 67th Founding Anniversary of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), we are featuring several notable former dormitory residents in our blogsite. Dr. Marie Pearl Cabrera-Francisco’s 17 years stay in the dormitory is indeed notable. We are re-posting her story which was featured in the Second Semester 2015 issue of the Kapatiran Newsletter.

 

Who would want to stay in a dormitory for students for 17 long years? A student, might spend from four to six years tops,but 17 years?

Believe it or not, a young lady doctor stayed at the dorm of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) called the Hugh Wilson Hall once upon a time.Starting late 1970s, in fact. Actually, she stayed in KKFI a year longer than she did in her hometown, Olongapo City.

Pix of Dr. Marie with Family2
Dr. Marie Pearl Cabrera-Francisco and family

No wonder Dr. Marie Pearl Cabrera-Francisco called the Hugh Wilson Hall “my home.” She said sheenjoyed her stay at the dorm immensely all though out for almost two decades.

Dr. Marie Pearl said the canteen’s foodswere like those she her mother prepares at home.Even how the dorm’s house mothers took care of her reminded her of her own mother’s unwavering affection.

She remembered how the house mothers would encourage the dorm residents to study well.  Though at times they were strict, the residents knew that it was their way of disciplining them.

She added that at the dorm, inter-rooming was prohibited to ensure privacy among students, especially during at night.  The house mothers would always see to it that everybody was in their respective rooms during bed time.

Visiting hours lasts only for an hour starting at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. After that visitors were not allowed anymore.

She was a freshman Psychology student at Far Eastern University in 1978.  She continued her studies, took up medicine proper and graduated in 1988.  She could have transferred to a more expensive dormitory after finishing her medicine studies, but she decided to stay at KKFI Hugh Wilson Hall. She went on to earn her residency training on Family Medicine at the Far Eastern University (FEU)Hospital until 1995.

Dr. Marie narrated that during her time at Hugh Wilson Hall, all residents were required to eat breakfast at the huge dining hall. Before breakfast was served at 6 in the morning, a reading from the Upper Room was read.  The Chaplain assigned each resident to read.

The huge hall had plenty of study tables with a piano.  The sound of the piano, particularly to Dr. Marie who played the piano herself, helped them unwind from the school requirements.

Actually, that was something she was proud about, what she considered to be her greatest contributions to KKFI—that she became a pianist there for 17 years at the dorm during worship services and in every event conducted in the dorm.

Also as a medical student, she helped residents who were sick and ill.  She found it fulfilling to do such acts of service to other people.

During her time, the Chaplain conducted various activities and ministries among students. Bible Study sessions, prayers, and vesper services every Wednesday and Sunday helped them grow spiritually. Dr. Marie said her relationship with God grew intimately during this time.

Other activities at Hugh Wilson Hall which they really enjoyed were the welcoming of students in mid-June, the organization of student council in July.  September is the big sister and small sister (monito-monita).  December was the traditional Christmas dinner wearing formal dresses.  The month of February was a Valentine Day dance at the gym, while March was recognition day honoring graduates and awardees among the residents.  These activities made the relationship of the residents closer and stronger.

“We are a family at KKFI, I was really at home!”  she reminisced.

She fondly remembered the time when the Kapatiran management provided dormers with telephone lines. She was reviewing for the board examination at that point and access to other reviewees outside the dorm made life so much easier for her.

Truly, Kapatiran, she said, was a place where Christian values are formed compared with other dormitories around the University belt which are run in a business like.

“It’s nice to be home again! I missed this place.  It has been 20 years now since I left KKFI,” said Dr. Marie.

She and her husband, Mabini Francisco,with their 15-year-old daughter, Katherine, came last June 16, 2015 from Stockton, California to visit KKFI. The Franciscos were with members of a medical mission team.

She came to know that Kapatiran has changed a lot since her dorm days. During a talk with Executive Director Nancy C. Nicolas, she learned about the expanded ministries of KKFI, especially to the disadvantaged children and youth. She said she was challenged to come back.

“Lord willing, our medical mission team will come back to help KKFI in one of its projects and ministries,” Dr. Marie said.

She said she would be thrilled to attend a reunion with old residents of Hugh Wilson Hall.  She said that the KKFI dorm have produced so many doctors, dentists, lawyers and even a beauty queen.

“Her name is Lorna Legaspi of Centro Escolar University.  She won the Mutyang Pilipinas for Miss Asia Quest in 1988-1999,” she recalled.

Her ultimate dream for Hugh Wilson Hall, a candidate for National Heritage Award, is its renovation. She was sure former residents like her would chip in to a renovation fund.

After all, who wouldn’t want “her home” to be renovated?

An Expression of Gratitude to KKFI Dormers

By Nancy C. Nicolas

 

After the People Power Revolt in mid-1980s, the Philippines was flooded by the international funding agencies with aids to help rebuild democracy after a decade and a half of dictatorship. As a consequence, non-government organizations (NGOs) sprouted like mushrooms after a rainy night of thunderstorm. In the 1990s, however, the wind (or more accurately, the attention of funding Gods from the United States, Europe and Japan) shifted direction, leaving the foreign fund-dependent Philippine NGOs drained of their all-important life-blood.

This trend went on up this day and the civil society in the country is still reeling big-time. The tragic fate of many of our NGO-colleagues make us appreciate more how blessed Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), formerly the Methodist Social Center.

We especially are grateful for having pioneers and leaders who had the foresight so secure the sustainability of the Foundation. I am particularly referring to KKFI founder Ms Madaleine Klepper, Mrs. Ruth G. Prudente, and Mrs. Nellie Mercado. The former was granted by the Women Foreign Missionary Society of the United States the land where KKFI is now located which was formally transferred to KKFI when Mrs. Prudente initiated the incorporation of KKFI in 1971. Meanwhile, the latter built a 4-storey building and the financial system that ensured its sustainability.

In 1950, the late Ms Klepper initiated programs on P. Paredes Street in Sampaloc, Manila to have a place to serve the poor women and children of Manila who were widowed and orphaned by the recent World War 2. It was a time when some of the biggest schools and universities—the Far Eastern University, the University of Santo Tomas, the University of the East, etc.—started sprouting the area.

It was not long when the KKFI started offering its facilities as a dormitory to the schools’ students, many of whom came from Metro Manila suburbs and provinces. Who knows how many lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses, engineers, pastors, deaconesses and other professionals have made the KKFI dormitory their “home away from home.”

I started to work in KKFI six years ago. The six anniversary celebrations were conducted differently. This coming July 20, the Foundation celebrates its 67th founding anniversary and this time, it is honouring the role of the dormitory (and the dorm residents past and present) in the life of Kapatiran.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the rentals and fees of dorm residents have been KKFI’s lifeblood that have allowed it to do what it was meant to do—provide assistance and services to the poor and the marginalized sectors of the Philippine society. Perhaps these students have been doing it unwittingly but, still, they are that important. Hence, the decision to make the 67th founding anniversary of KKFI a tribute to the four-building complex, the people managing and working in it and especially the past and present residents.

I say it’s about time. That is why the Board of Trustees and management of KKFI are leaving no stone unturned in order to make the tribute a memorable. Even the staff members, the volunteers and even the residents themselves are now busy practicing their respective presentations, promising to surprise everyone come July 20.

We expect at least 200 participants who will come to the KKFI compound to join us in this special occasion, which will start at 2 o’clock in the afternoon up to six o’clock in the evening. The grandeur that we expect the celebration to be is only fitting since the dormitory, although remaining in the background all this time, will at last occupy a place it so richly deserves—the spotlight.