As early as June this year, the Ateneo de Naga University Alumni Association (AdNUAA) Manila Chapter, under the leadership of its President Dr. Rolan de la Rosa, had planned a gathering of AdNU’s Manila-based alumni to celebrate their Alma Mater’s 75th anniversary.
And so, on a rainy 21 August 2015, over a hundred alumni working in Manila flocked to the Ayala Hall of the Makati Sports Club, Makati City to attend the Ateneo @75 celebration.
The gathered alumni cut across generations that spanned seven and a half decades of AdNU’s existence, and they were truly a sight to behold. The oldest among them belong to HS 1947, the very first high school class which graduated from Ateneo de Naga, two years after liberation. The youngest, meanwhile was represented by an alumni from college batch 2010.
AdNUAA Manila Chapter leadership also gave due recognition to eleven of the Association’s past Presidents present during the occasion. The recognition was capped with the awarding of a plaque of special citation to Honesto General, fondly called as “Tio Oning.” He is the alumnus of HS 1947 who was responsible for the birth of the Alumni Association in Manila and who became its first President. He was also the first President of ADNAA.
The University President Fr. Primitivo E. Viray, Jr, SJ was the event’s honored guest. He shared the University’s apostolic dreams with all those gathered, deeply inspiring the participants.
The Ateneo de Naga University’s apostolic dreams include: establishing a marine research station in the Caramoan Peninsula in line with the University’s efforts in contributing to the care of Bikol’s environment; exploring the possibility of developing the industry of extracting resin from the barks of pili trees (a basic component of today’s famous perfumes) and eventually transferring the same to grassroots farmers and small land owners for their livelihood programs, with AdNU assisting in the entrepreneurial aspect of the industry; being the center for training in big data analytics in the Bikol Region, AdNU is aiming to contribute to development of Naga City as the hub for big data analytics in this part of the country; and accompanying the indigenous peoples in Bikol who are most marginalized by responding appropriately to their identified needs.
A second launch of the book Bikol Magis: Through Childhood Days and Youthful Years was also a part of the program. Bikol Magis was presented by Raul Borjal who, together with Greg Castilla as editors, endeavored to put together twenty-eight articles and brought it to its final book form. The first launch of Bikol Magis was held last July at the Xavier Hall, AdNU.
Raul Borjal presenting the book “Bikol Magis, Through Childhood Days and Youthful Years” during the book’s second launch. Mr. Borjal is one of the two editors of said book, the other being Greg Castilla.
Clemente Manaog, the incumbent President of ADNUGAA, also graced the occasion and shared the Association’s plans for the Grand Alumni Homecoming this 30 December 2015.
The university also brought a number of artifacts and documents from the archives care of by the AdNU High School Department and University Library. The materials were exhibited together with commemorative stamps and wrist watches. AdNU Press books and other souvenir items were also available for purchase.
It was an evening of reminiscing, of taking stock of what is here and now, and of looking into the future as the Ateneo de Naga University and her alumni journey together in forging new frontiers in the Bikol Region, as well as the nation.