Feature Story

Angelicum Iran: A reunion that turned out as a farewell to a unique educational system

By Kleo Hernandez- Kannangara

FLIGHTS from different parts of the world carried Angelicum School Iran (ASIR) alumni to meet with those who are based in the Philippines.

Former teachers, administrative staff and students converged at the Zen Garden in Tagaytay on 17th/18th March 2018 for what was to be a gathering hoping to be in touch, one more time for all time.







In attendance were Fr. Rogelio Alarcon O.P. (Founder and Director), Fr. Norberto Castillo (Director for SY 1978 onwards), Mrs Cora Tenza (Assistant Director and Principal), former faculty members, Sr. Francisca Gonzales, Ms Delia Palada-Tagaban, Ms Lolilt Bitara-Bundalian and Ms Lena Nidea.

The sweet innocent face of Leslie Cabudil-Cruz was a welcoming sight at the entrance and registration area. The two-day affair was opened by Sr. Francing’s touching prayer and Mrs Tenza’s enthusiastic and grateful remarks for the long awaited reunion.

There were plenty to share: food, giveaways (provided by students on their own as surprises for their attending fellow Angelicans, ranging from overnight toiletry sets to loads of sweets and snacks) but most of all, there was a whole lot of memories and laughter that proved two days were not enough for these Angelicans to make up for the many years after the departure from Tehran due to the revolution.

It was a journey back in time; Mrs Tenza brought with her compilations of letters between her and her husband dating from when she arrived in Tehran up to the moment of rushed repatriation when the war broke out.

Teachers and students gave moving but mostly humorous recollections of times spent inside the Angelicum School, Iran campus at Jamalzadeh St. Tehran, Iran.

Fr. Alarcon’s speech is both inspiring and sad for he informed that in that very event are the heirs of Angelicum spirit as Angelicum is no more (referring to the integration of University of Santo Tomas and Angelicum College which follows the Philippine Educational curriculum different from the non-graded system which was the brain-child of Fr. Alarcon of Angelicum School).

There was also a memorial held for those who have joined our Creator ahead of us; a collage of their pictures prepared by Susan Divinagracia-Castro adorned part of the stage wall.

The anticipated Mass rendered the solemn air to the occasion after which, participants gathered to wish both Fr. Alarcon and Fr. Castillo good journey as they both had to go back to their parishes and hectic schedules respectively at Santo Domingo in Quezon City and Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan.

After dinner, attendees had a break for a brief respite and to change into their hippie costumes (the in-thing when all were still in Iran during the 70’s) for a night of entertainment and “Disco”! Psychedelic prints, tie-dyes and bell bottoms were the order of the night.

Jimmy Pronuncial, Louie Caleon, Ana Liza Saliendra, Marinelle San Roque-Siojo among other ASIR crooners took center stage. Josie Dagsaan-Balistoy wowed everyone with her distinct 70’s moves which encouraged even the shy types in the audience to get up and dance.

Games and exchange of gifts were in the program the next day. More pictures were taken, contact numbers exchanged and memories shared.

The ASIR Reunion Story in pictures.




The organizing committee would like to thank the following for their assistance:

  1. SENNAC EVENTS for the venue set up and decorations
  2. Leonardo Martin San Miguel for the video assistance
  3. Gilbert Poblete for the photography and videography during the reunion
  4. Zen Garden staff and management for a well-kept event place and all the assistance during the reunion.
Kleo Hernandez-Kannangara
Kleo has a Communication Arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines which she earned in 1986. She lives in the United Arab Emirates and is married to a Sri Lankan. She has four children, all of whom were born at the UAE. She describes her self as a “stay-at-home mom” who’s always on the road doing errands for everyone, and an “inspirational’ writer which according to her means "I write when inspired by a person, place or event."

4 Replies to “Angelicum Iran: A reunion that turned out as a farewell to a unique educational system

  1. Thank you so much for this very collaborative and inspiring article. Every detail was felt from the heart. I love you Ate Fe!

  2. In behalf of SENNAC EVENTS, many thanks Kleo for that job well done and acknowledgements to all who participated and did efforts to make the ASIR reunion a very memorable one! Shukran Habibti!

  3. Afwan theer Ate Susan. We must all congratulate each other, we came from different parts of the world, different time zones and had our own lives, each ine of us; but we managed to push through with the reunion! Mabrook to us all!

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