Colegio San Agustin-Makati veterans formed first ever CSA veteran educators association in the US

AFTER several attempts through the years, the former staff and faculty members of Colegio San Agustin-Makati finally made it and launched the first ever association of CSA veterans in the United States.

Guided by Agustinian values, the CSAer educators, families and friends elected their first set of officers during the founding meeting of the newly formed “The Filipino-American Agustinians” (FA) last Saturday at the scenic Alexander Deussen Park in Houston, Texas.

Elected officers were:

President: Corazon Flores

Vice President: Charina Gonzales (VP for internal), Lord Macawili (VP for external and youth affairs)

Secretary: Melissa Belza

Treasurers: Ludy Caluya, Luzviminda Montano

Auditor: Maximo Bunquin

PRO: Maria Consorcia Belza (Senior Division), Danish Felipe (Junior Division)

Historian: Frances Gonzales

Sgt. at Arms: Jeanne Villanueva

Adviser: Dr. Manuel Marasigan

According to Flores, FA will promote Agustinian values through different family oriented activities that also aims to enrich every member’s experience and promote Filipino culture, especially among the young Fil Am members of the group.

She added that FA is open for membership, not only to CSA veterans, but to every educator and friends who tries to live up to the Agustinian values: Love, Interiority, Humility, Devotion to study and the Pursuit of wisdom, Freedom, Community, Common good, Humble and Generous Service, friendship and Life of prayer.

Flores is the Social Studies Department chair of Houston Independent School District’s Sugar Grove Academy.

(Sitting — Left to Right) Eve Dino-Slaughter, Dr. Earl Marasigan, Belen Casasola, Jessi Manaloto, Lita Maranan, and Nestor Corpuz. (Standing  — Left to Right) Angie Guerrero, Cristina Lalata, Cherry Gonzales, Nelly Gulla, and Jeanne Villanueva.  Photo © Jeanne Villanueva

Standing Left to Right: Lourdes Claudio, Jeanne Villanueva, Luzviminda Montano, Lita Maranan, Belen Casasola, Dr. Earl Marasigan, Corazon Flores, Jackie Laroza. (Seating Left to Right) Alodia Caluya, Nelly Gulla, Jessi Manaloto and Cherry Gonzales. Image © Corazon Flores

FA’s young guns (Left to right) Lord Macawili, George Gonzales, Marie Frances Gonzales, Ma. Ciara Lalata, Felipe, Denise Belza, Danish Felipe and Venice Macawili. Image © Corazon Flores

The FA’s founding election, which was attended by over 50 people, including the family members and friends of the CSAers; coincided with the retirement party of Ms. Nelly Gulla, one of the well loved CSAer hence food, drinks, cakes, suman (a kind of rice cake), ice cream, lumpiang toge, and halo-halo were abundant during the historic and unprecedented affair.

The children of the FA’s founding members who just graduated from school were also given due recognition. These include Lord Mari Miguel Macawili who graduated Cum Laude/Magna Cum Laude with Degrees of Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/Associate of Science both from Lone Star College, his sister Venice Marie who graduated Magna Cum Laude from high school, and Dana Felipe who graduated Magna Cum Laude in high school and at the same time earned her Associate Degree.

Also recognized were Maria Ciara Lalata, who also graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering; Marie Frances Gonzales who graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of Saint Benedict with a degree in Studio Art and Asian Studies double major concentration: Computer Art and Japanese Studies; John Michael Laroza, who graduated Cum Laude from the Texas Southern University with a degree of  Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Denise Belza who graduated from the University of Houston-Clear Lake with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Communication.

Danish Felipe and George Gonzales were also recognized even though they are still completing their schooling.

After the elections, the “elder boys” played volleyball with the youth, while the ladies danced the afternoon away.

Some, on the other hand, prefer to stroll in the park which is located by the shores of Lake Houston while a few others went on a trip to memory lane as they listened to the famous songs of VST and Co., Hotdog and Yoyoy Villame.

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