20 February 2015 — AdNU, through the HRMO, held the University Service Awards for SY2014-2015. At the last part of the event, Venus Hermocilla of the Treasurer’s Office (on behalf of her fellow awardees) gave a thanksgiving speech to the community:
At The Fronters of Service
Father President Jun Viray, the school administrators and heads of the different units here present, my fellow awardees, my colleagues in this institution, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
It is indeed a great honor for me to deliver this response on behalf of my fellow service awardees of 2015. Thank you very much for this recognition.
I joined Ateneo’s work force in January 1980 as a young girl having just graduated from college. Like anyone who is just starting to work, I had difficulty adjusting to my new environment, add to that the uncertainty of being on probationary status. In fact, I came to a point of deciding whether to transfer to a government office where I had a permanent appointment or stay in the Ateneo. Maybe it was providential that I chose to stay. Not long after, I was appointed accountant, and then again there was the fear of failing as I was very young and I thought I couldn’t live up to the expectations of my superiors.
I came to the Ateneo at a time when the school was just starting to have structures in place. It was that time when the Board of Trustees was just created as the highest policy-making body of the school replacing the then Jesuit-consultors. Systems and policies had just been crafted and introduced. Work was then simple and less complicated. But it was a time when we were only 5 or 6 workers at the Treasurer’s Office, that long before Microsoft Windows, we were already doing multi-tasking—from being teller to bookkeeper to accounting staff to doing the budget. Yes, it was a time when there were no budget hearings and we have to work with whatever available amount was appropriated. It was a time when there were only a few buildings and a few people. You walk around and you meet the same faces, the same people, and most likely, you know all of them.
I, together with my co-awardees, here take pride in the fact that with our loyalty, dedication, and commitment, we have contributed in our own little way to the attainment of the school’s mission and goals. It is our individual and collective efforts, with the guidance and leadership of the Jesuits, that has brought the University to its current status. Many of us here have experienced staying for long hours of work—of labors of love as we fondly call them—in preparation for various activities, such as, accreditation, reports for submission, payroll preparation, and the like. And everytime we accomplish all of these, we always give thanks to the Lord for His work through each and everyone of us. That is what makes us unique as workers. In fact, the work that we do is prayer in itself. Thanks to the inspiration we draw from St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, and our patron saint, St. Francis Xavier. We may be earning so little compared to those in the corporate world, but it is the kind of work, the kind of mission we have, of sharing God’s love through education where we find our fulfillment. It is the fullness of personhood of being authentically human—thinking, feeling and praying beings—where we find our strength and persist in these trying times.
Working in the Ateneo has completely changed over the years. We have been witnesses to the transformation of the school from a small college to a University, the growth of the student population , the construction of new buildings, the introduction of technology, and the change from a meager cash flow to…never mind. —Fr. Jun might take back my service award. Working in the Ateneo has over the years changed into an enormous challenge. Nevertheless, we, who have stayed here longer than 30 years are able to say with much pride that it is precisely this challenge that has kept us going. It is sharing the mission of the Ateneo, of helping educate our own people, and thereby helping develop the region that makes us persist. It is in this mission of service that makes us persevere in our work here.
It is our hope that these, our humble contributions, inspire our other colleagues to be more committed and dedicated to the work that they do—despite Facebook. It is our hope that what we have done, this we humbly call our legacy, be the inspiration of those who come after us. It is our hope that they continue to work with love and dedication for the sake of our beloved institution.
To my co-awardees, who have been here in the last 25, 30 years, let me say that it is our responsibility, it is our turn now to mentor the young and new employees to continue what we have started and accomplished over the years. We are simply stewards of this school. We are just passers-by. We will not be here forever. But let us make sure that the Ateneo de Naga University will be here in Bicol forever. Let us teach them love and service—the Ateneo way.
Mabuhay kita gabos! Mabuhay an Ateneo! Mabuhay an Bicol.
Sa giraray, Dios mabalos!