Thank you to the alumnae volunteers who came to Woodrose on November 27, 2015 to prepare floral carpet at the chapel lobby for the Eucharistic Procession.
Tata Reyes-Sibayan ’03
Carms Hernandez ’02
Kat Lim ’02
Mylene Pineda-Mapa ’88
Marina Reyes ’98
Lisa Mapa-Sator ’93
Ria Arada ’06
Joy Herrera ’89
Carmela Vertido ’98
Ashley Aquino ’06
Jill San Juan-Singian ’99
Monique Basa-Halili ’93
The making of the floral carpet:
The Eucharistic Procession:
Vernise Victorio, Woodrose Class of 1997, was appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd as one of the new Climate Change Commissioners. She will replace Commissioner Mary Ann Lucille Sering, for a term expiring on January 8, 2022.
Read the full story from Manila Times.
Lourdes de la Peña, Woodrose Class of 1992, CEO of Publicis Worldwide Singapore, has been handed a broader role leading Publicis Communications, a new unit set up at the end of last year.
Read the full story from mUmBRELLA.
By Leah Puyat, Class of 1986
On the way to Makiling Conference Center, my best friend, high school batchmate, and yearly fellow retreatant, Angelette Calero ’87 asked me, “Are you happy that we are going on retreat?” And I answered, “It’s not just happiness; it’s spiritual joy.” After all, our modern world accepts Disneyland as the happiest place on earth, and choosing to pray, reflect, and be in constant touch with Our Lord for three days is very different from meeting fairy tale princesses and riding Space Mountain.
And then, in our first meditation, Fr. Peñacoba spoke about, “how we must recover, renew and revive the joy of being a Christian, of being chosen by Christ.” The priest then added philosophically, “Such a deep joy; so deep that it is so easy to lose it. When preoccupied with frivolous joy, then the real joy becomes diminished. Renewal (of that joy) persists in an encounter with Jesus.”
Starting on such a joyous note, there was a buoyant air of lightheartedness and indeed, love that was truly felt throughout the retreat. Our first day’s Spiritual Reading was most assuring with the line: “Man is the only creature God wants for himself.” The reading chosen during mealtimes, entitled “The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God,” was a fascinating true story of two atheists who fell in love, and then became devout and committed Catholics, who became pillars of their local pro-life movement, and the parents of many children. The talks and classes were both practical and enlightening. The class on grace and how it acts upon our soul was full of easily relatable situations in which grace is part of our life. But a definite highlight of the retreat was the get together with Woodrose’s present Executive Director and the first Filipina numerary, Dr. Rina Villegas. In her trademark forthright and engaging manner of speaking, she brought to life those first days of the Women’s Section of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei, and made us feel as if we were in that dusty house on Leon Guinto.
Of course, there was still the requisite PASALUBONG shopping and the mild panic when there was no sample jar of bagoong on display. Good thing the administrations and the assistant numeraries quickly cleared up the confusion and then the bagoong lovers were appeased.
It was also lovely that there was a good representation of the young batches, and we will be hoping and praying that the younger girls continue to attend the retreats. Though of course, we also love having the older batches come back again and again!
Pauline Calero-Eizmendi ’87 summed it up, “This was the best retreat.” I couldn’t agree more. When I asked my sister Giselle Puyat-Precilla ’88 if she felt the same, she answered me back with a question, “Who doesn’t want to feel joy?”
By Margaux Claros-Cupino, Class of 1996
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!
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!
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.
Pebbles Barretto-Nolasco ’93, stay-at-home wife and mother, has taken up a new pursuit – the Whimsy Palette. It is not only her first project as a new publisher, it is also the first locally produced adult coloring book!
With her 3 kids (including a daughter studying in Woodrose) quite grown and demanding less attention from her, Pebbles found herself having more free time. She thought of starting a small business from home that she was interested in. She took inspiration from the coloring book craze in the US and upon searching the web and the local bookstores, found that there are no local adult coloring books available here in Manila. With this in mind, she collaborated with four fresh Woodrose graduates from Batch 2015: her niece Bella Viaplana (daughter of her sister Mia Barretto-Viaplana ’90), Andie Villarosa, Gabby Macatulad, and Nikola Lacson. The four girls have been close friends since their grade school years in Woodrose. They enthusiastically worked on this project together with Pebbles as their one last hurrah before leaving for university in August. Nikola and Gabby are going to Ateneo de Manila, Bella is going to UP Diliman, while Andie is leaving for the University of Navarre in Spain. Their artworks capture the bond of their long time friendship, which they hope will inspire others to look back on their own fondest memories.
According to Pebbles, the Whimsy Palette, a collection of 40 assorted illustrations, has helped those who use it to de-stress, relax, and be creative all at the same time. It has also kept them and their kids away from all the noise of technology.
Check out the Facebook Page: Whimsy Palette and Instagram Page: whimsy_palette.
Shervy Villareal-de Cerqueira ’96 bested the 37th Asia Pacific Dental Congress Scientific Paper Tilt. The event was held on April 3-5, 2015 in Singapore where she presented her paper, entitled Surgical Techniques for Reformation of the Interimplant Papilla Between Two Adjacent Implants – A Case Series.
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.
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.
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.