September 10, 2015

Celebrating Mrs. Paloma

By Margaux Claros-Cupino, Class of 1996

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L-R: Mrs. Torralba, Jill San Juan-Singian ’99, Mrs. Paloma, Tallie Corcuera ’96, Margaux Claros-Cupino ’96, and Annex Sta. Ana ’95


Mrs. Paloma turned 88 on the 27th of August 2015.  To many, Mrs. Lydia Paloma is simply known as the former Associate Director for Personal Formation of Woodrose from 1983 to 1995.  Since her retirement, she continues to serve the school as Personal Formation Mentor to numerous high school students.  To us, her former mentees, she is our beloved and very doting second mother who was very interested in our teenage lives – from crushes to prom dresses.  And of course she never forgets, even now that we are all grown up, to remind us to go to mass and confession!


Isa del Rosario ’15


We couldn’t let this milestone pass without celebrating with her and showing her how much we love and appreciate her for all the care, concern, attention, and wise advice that she has given us.  On August 29, while she was only expecting a visit from Tallie (Corcuera ’96) and Margaux (Claros-Cupino ’96), several alumnae came to surprise her with a food feast!  We had cakes from sisters Nina (‘05) and Aissa (‘01)Atilano, siopao from Natalia Lobregat-Olondriz (‘97), barbecue from Annex Sta. Ana (’95), pizza from Niña Santos (‘09), chapchae from Margaux, and drinks from Tallie.  An even bigger surprise is a photobook with a collection of messages and pictures from her mentees and friends!

enjoying her chocolate birthday cake

enjoying her chocolate birthday cake


Happy 88th Birthday, Mrs. Paloma!  We look forward to having you as the mentor of our daughters when they get to high school in Woodrose.

March 26, 2015

The Seeds We Sow

By Criselda San, Class of 1996

To light a path, to lighten a load, to lift others to places higher than they ever thought they could go –  that is service. It is in this spirit of service that the Woodrose Alumnae Association created the BINHI Scholarship Fund which aims to provide education to deserving yet underprivileged children.

Binhi means “seed.” In each seed lies potential, the promise of life. Likewise, each BINHI scholar represents more than their own abilities and ambitions but also the dreams and hopes of their parents. Each BINHI scholar is a seed ready to be nurtured and eager to grow through the charity of others.

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It is often said that charity begins at home. So it is with BINHI. Woodrose alumnae recognized the fact that much of what they received from their second home, PAREF Woodrose School, was made possible by the dedication and sacrifice of the auxiliary staff, the men and women who tirelessly maintained the school facilities. It was out of gratitude to them that the Woodrose Alumnae Association founded BINHI. BINHI was more than just another charitable project; it was a message. BINHI was a message to the auxiliary staff: “Your selfless giving was neither unnoticed nor unappreciated.” It was also a message to BINHI’s beneficiaries, the children of the auxiliary staff: “You can be and do more. Reach higher; aim farther.”


This message resonates in the heart of Manilyn Concha, a BINHI Scholar who worked as a secretary in PAREF Woodrose School after graduating from college. “Before, I used to be content with grades that were either average or barely passing. BINHI made me realize that I can do much better, that I can excel not just in school but in the world.” The confidence she gained is echoed by another BINHI scholar, Hazel Villaruel, who says that, “I realized that the scholarship is an opportunity which is not given to everybody.” With confidence came determination and clarity. “BINHI made me more focused on the things that I really want and the kind of life that I want to have.” The kind of life Hazel wants to lead is one of service. She is now a teacher in PAREF Rosemont School. And so the cycle of giving and receiving continues.

In Manilyn and Hazel, the dreams of their parents are realized. But there are more dreams still waiting to become reality. There are currently BINHI scholars in preschool, grade school, high school and college – young minds and hearts still inching their way towards the sun. While the scholarship may directly benefit the children of Woodrose auxiliary staff, these scholars are given, through their education, the tools to serve others, to serve their nation, and to become useful hands in moving the world in a better direction.

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If you wish to sponsor a child for one year, one semester, one quarter, or one month, please contact the Alumnae Affairs Office.  Your contribution, no matter how small, can make a difference in the huge task of educating the underprivileged.

March 9, 2015

Alumnae Booth on Family Day

The alumnae booth at the Woodrose Family Day had the Red & Blue Shop selling official school merchandise on one side and a book covering corner on the other. Our heartfelt thanks to:

Carms Hernandez ’02 for the pretty set-up;
the alumnae who came to volunteer and cover with plastic the donated books that will be shipped to Palo, Leyte;
and to everyone who anonymously donated their pre-loved books.

We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 5,000 books though.  Please spread the word and invite your relatives and friends to donate books for Palo Basa ‘Ta!

Red & Blue Shop Booth:

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Book Covering Session:

L-R: Milette Dizon-Lorenzo '86, Carms Hernandez '02, and Sabs Elane '03

L-R: Milette Dizon-Lorenzo ’86, Carms Hernandez ’02, and Sabs Elane ’03

Edna Zagala-Reyes '88

Edna Zagala-Reyes ’88

Marianne Arcenas-Santos '88

Marianne Arcenas-Santos ’88

Margaux Claros-Cupino '96

Margaux Claros-Cupino ’96

February 27, 2015

BINHI Scholar is an Honor Student

We are so proud of our BINHI scholar, Gina Antonio, who ranked 1st in the HONOR’s List in the first semester, A.Y. 2014-2015, at St. Bernadette College of Alabang.  She is a part-time student taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education, while working full-time at PAREF Woodrose School. Gina has been working in Wooodrose for 21 years…and we remember her as the hardworking auxiliary staff who silently goes about her work at the Oratory, whether preparing for mass, or simply keeping it always clean. And she is also the person behind all the beautiful flower arrangements in school, including our graduation! 

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February 11, 2015

Wear Your School Colors

We had a fun photo shoot day with alumnae moms and their daughters in the Woodrose campus, wearing polo shirts, t-shirts, and pullover hoodies from the Red & Blue Shop.

The Red & Blue Shop is the official merchandise store of PAREF Woodrose School that is managed by the Woodrose Alumnae Association.  Proceeds from this support the BINHI Scholarship Fund that subsidizes the education of the children of the Woodrose Auxiliary Staff.


On Apaz Reyes-Gonzales ’86 and her daughter Carolina (Gr. 4): round neck t-shirts available in blue, red, and heather grey


backpacks with W patch on the front pocket, available in red and blue


On Monique Basa-Halili ’93 and her daughter Gabby (Gr. 2): pullover hoodies available in red and blue


On Charm de Asis-Guce ’95 and her daughter Nicola (Gr. 7): polo shirts with plaid W patch on the right sleeve, available in white and blue


On Gigi Malabanan-Noche ’95: round neck t-shirt available in blue, red, and heather grey; and on her daughter Elana: baby onesie available in white only


Thank you to Sophia Lorenzo ’14 for the photos!

January 13, 2015

First Alumna as School Board Chair

In October 2014, Woodrose reached an important and historic milestone: MILETTE DIZON-LORENZO, from Woodrose Class of 1986, is the first alumna to be elected Chairperson of the PAREF Woodrose School Board. Being an alumna with 3 daughters studying in Woodrose and 2 daughters who have already graduated from Woodrose, Milette’s heart is deeply rooted in the school. We are confident that she will lead our alma mater to greater heights!

We share with you a short write up about Milette, written by her high school classmate, Leah Puyat ’86.

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Milette Dizon-Lorenzo ’86 (third person from the left, back row) with her family.

Excellence in Action

When I was a child, an uncle of mine had a T-shirt that read, “I may not be perfect but parts of me are excellent.” My friend Milette Dizon Lorenzo ‘86 has never been mediocre or forgettable. When we were in grade school, her mom Ina Gonzalez Dizon was featured in a glossy lifestyle magazine about hosting parties, she made special mention that her then nine year old daughter Milette could already bake and would help her out when she invited guests to her home.  In high school, she was everyone’s second tutor and homeroom teacher as she helped us with our homework and exam reviews.  Her talents were not limited to academics. Her talent for drawing and crafts made for striking bulletin boards and lovely sketches of the prom dresses of our dreams.  She eventually went on to greater academic success as the first Summa Cum Laude of the Management Honors program of Ateneo de Manila University.  Upon graduation, she joined Proctor and Gamble and she was part of the team that launched premium quality brand Pantene in the Philippines.  As a mother of eight, she saw the need for a fun yet productive way to spend the summer, and  she spearheaded the Trailblazers Summer Camp, and she now heads the School Board.  What always stays with me is how steadfast and unassuming Milette goes about her work. She never seeks personal glory or recognition, but just finds a way to get things done. I am sure she will cringe with embarrassment when she reads this piece, but I am confident that the School Board will reach new heights of excellence under Milette’s leadership.

December 11, 2014

Eucharistic Procession 2014

Thank you to the alumnae volunteers who came to Woodrose on November 21, 2014 to prepare a 180 sq.ft. floral carpet assigned to us at the chapel lobby.  It took us 7 hours to complete.  Apaz Reyes-Gonzales ’86 described the making as “back-breaking but so worth the time and effort!”  Fr. Roque Reyes, Woodrose School Chaplain, gave us the best compliment…he said it was “profound.”  But more profound than this work of love is the Eucharistic Procession that took place the next day.  This has been an annual school tradition the past 10 years, and it continues to inspire and move us to love our Lord ever more deeply.

Jill San Juan-Singian ’99
Tata Reyes-Sibayan ’03
Carms Hernandez ’02
Kat Lim ’02
Mylene Pineda-Mapa ’88
Marina Reyes ’98
Ina Escasa ’13
Marie Ilagan ’13
Issay Jacob ’14
Joy Herrera ’89
Apaz Reyes-Gonzales ’86 with daughter Carolina
Carmela Vertido ’98
Ashley Aquino ’06

The making of the floral carpet:

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The start of the Eucharistic Procession at the Chapel Lobby:

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December 4, 2014

S.O.W. Book Drive

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The Woodrose Alumnae Association has partnered with Narra Nueva Study Center’s literacy project, entitled PALO, BASA TA! (Palo, let’s read!), through a book-drive that will benefit the children of Barrio San Joaquin in Palo, Leyte. This community, greatly damaged by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013, is very special to Woodrose because every summer, before the typhoon struck, several students, alumnae, and teachers would visit Palo to do rural service. When news of Palo’s devastation spread within the school community, the outpouring of help was overwhelming. Donations of food, clothing, medicines and other basic necessities were brought to Woodrose, volunteers flocked to pack relief goods for shipping, and a medical mission team was put together. A year after the typhoon struck, there is still so much work to be done. Woodrose, in cooperation with Narra Nueva, is very active in rebuilding Palo by carrying out a Teacher Training Program in reading, writing, and math that will enable teachers to be more effective in the classroom; organizing Reading Appreciation Workshops that will help grade school students develop basic literacy skills; and restoring the library and the Palo Youth Center.

The alumnae association has volunteered to to take charge of the book-drive that will help rebuild the library by filling it with literary books. We hope to collect at least 5,000 books by next year. Please support this project by donating literary children’s books. You may send your donation to Woodrose or at a drop off point in Makati (address to be provided upon request).

For more details, feel free to contact the Alumnae Affairs Office at 850-6380 loc. 128 or

January 7, 2014

A Day in Leyte

By Romina Lirio, Class of 2010


Med Mission team

Med Mission team

Last November 27, 2013, the Woodrose Medical Mission was held in Brgy. San Joaquin, Palo, Leyte. Parents, alumnae, and faculty served as volunteers. I was fortunate enough to be part of this activity. Fortunate because I was given the opportunity to help out the victims directly.

Upon arriving in Tacloban airport, the evident devastation I witnessed was far more stunning than those I saw on TV. Watching the news updates about the typhoon was already upsetting. I didn’t think it was possible to be more depressed about the situation. Although somehow my spirit was uplifted as I observed all the volunteers from different local and international organisations giving their effort and time to those in need.

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I was assigned to the dispensing station and it was probably the most stressful job. With the large amount of medicines donated, it was difficult to set-up an efficient system at first. Eventually, we got a hang of it and I enjoyed handing out the medicines even if it was extremely tiring walking around back and forth. I barely ate but it was fine. I was just too busy attending to the people that I never felt any signs of hunger.

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My brief chats with the victims were amusing. It was humbling to see the people so grateful and thankful that we were there to help them out. Giving a few extra vitamins brought about bright smiles and endless gratitude. However, the expressions of loss, pain and suffering were still etched upon their faces. Nevertheless, these people were so honest amidst these trying times. I have seen several people who deliberately approached the volunteers to have their prescriptions stamped indicating that they have claimed their share of medicines.

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The mission day was also the Feast Day of the Miraculous Medal and a mass was scheduled to be celebrated on that day. It was fascinating to see the unwavering faith of Filipinos  who have gone through numerous tragedies and are still turning to God for help. As each day passes, I know that these people are slowly standing up and restoring their lives.

As the day ended, I realised that it was such an unbelievable day with the erratic flight schedules and unusual rush of adrenaline but I’m so glad to have been part of all of it. It had been a day but it had given me immense inspiration to study even harder. So that someday when I’m a doctor, I will join these medical missions again and maybe I will make more people happy.

As the day ended, I realised that it was such an unbelievable day with the erratic flight schedules and unusual rush of adrenaline but I’m so glad to have been part of all of it. It had been a day but it had given me immense inspiration to study even harder. So that someday when I’m a doctor, I will join these medical missions again and maybe I will make more people happy.

Although somehow my spirit was uplifted as I observed all the volunteers from different local and international organisations giving their effort and time to those in need.

Some alumnae volunteers: Katrina Sarabia '98, Romina Lirio '10, Leah Librea-Zamora '88, Pola Lamarca '08, Kathee Pineda '85, and Carmela Vertido '98

Some alumnae volunteers: Katrina Sarabia ’98, Romina Lirio ’10, Leah Librea-Zamora ’88, Pola Lamarca ’08, Kathee Pineda ’85, and Carmela Vertido ’98


Photos taken by: Michael Lirio

November 28, 2013

Storm Surge of Hope

By Carmela Vertido, Class of 1998 with Ashley Aquino, Class of 2006


Below is an account of how individuals and groups in PAREF Woodrose School are helping the victims of Yolanda.

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Palo, Leyte has been our venue for rural service projects for the past two years.  This initiative set specifically in Brgy. San Joaquin, has been made possible because of the help of Mrs. Mian Añover, a Woodrose parent. Last summer, together with around 20 of our high school students, we helped 300 beneficiaries in a medical mission, as well as taught around 120 children from the barangay. We also visited homes, attended daily mass in the community’s chapel, played games with the children and made a lot of friends.

After the service project concluded, some of our students still kept in touch with the children of San Joaquin. A few days after typhoon Yolanda made landfall, one of them was able to send a text message saying that he was doing fine, but that many of the other children had died. It was heartbreaking to hear. Even now, the thought of it still seems unreal to us.

As soon as I could, I gathered the volunteers who went to Leyte and talked about what we could do to help. With the suggestion and support of the Special Subjects Department, we decided to be the organizing team of the High School Christmas program scheduled on December 19. We will be selling tickets to parents and friends. It will be a fundraising event for the survivors of Yolanda.

Many other members of the Woodrose school community continue to reach out in whatever way they can to the victims of the typhoon. These past few days, teachers, staff, students, alumnae and parents have been spending hours packing food, clothes, medicines and supplies for the medical mission that we plan to hold in Palo.  So far, the relief drive has released around 2,500 bags of food and 600 boxes filled with other items like toiletries, clothing and water. The Woodrose student council has also come up with a campaign of selling customized shirts with inspirational messages like Bangon Pilipinas and The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof.  These shirts will be donated to the survivors of the super typhoon. So far, we have 350 orders.

Recently, the Year II students have also written letters of consolation and hope to our devastated countrymen. These will be personally delivered to their recipients during our upcoming medical mission. Meanwhile, individuals and small groups continue to go to Villamor Air Base to help in the relief efforts. Grade School teacher, Pat Francisco, even had the opportunity to volunteer in Leyte over the weekend.  We asked her about her experience riding the C-130, and also about the present conditions of the people there.  I cannot seem to find the proper words to relate her stories.

These next days, we will be preparing intensely and as best as we can for the medical mission. There will be around 26 members in the medical team, along with 15 volunteers.

I’m filled with mixed emotions when I think about the medical mission next week.  Sometimes I get butterflies in my stomach.  Maybe it’s because we’re not sure what exactly will happen, or what we’ll see when we get there. But all that, of course, is part of another story.

[Author’s Note: I don’t have immediate relatives in any of the typhoon-affected areas, but our family’s helper was in Leyte when Yolanda hit.  She raised my siblings and I, and we love her a lot.  I have been calling her cell phone every day since the calamity happened but I have had no contact.  I’ve asked friends to help me look for her.  Imagining the worst things that she could have gone through—or is going through—is saddening and being unable to reach out and help someone who was always there when you needed her is an awful feeling. We continue to pray we find her.]