Sunday, December 22, 2013

The 49th Foundation Day

On October 4 of every year, we all come together – students, teachers, staff, parents, and alumni as we celebrate the foundation day of our school and the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

This also happens to be the birthday of our founder; she would have turned 99 years old this year.

The late Marietta Ledesma, whose family was no stranger to the thriving sugarcane landscape, could have simply basked in the family fortune. Yet in 1964, just outside Silay City, she opened a small private institution. Bordered by sugar lands and bathed in the shade of trees, Marietta Ledesma’s school valued Christian education. Here, they taught children of farmers for free.

She had only lived long enough to see barely fifteen years’ worth of growth in the school. When she passed away, it was her husband, Edgardo Ledesma, who took over until the early 1990s.

For many years, the school gave free education. But SFAS can only do so much for the kids of Hacienda Tinihaban – that eventually became clear to the rest of Marietta and Edgardo’s family. The realization led to the start of Tapulanga Foundation. It led to more scholarships, more support for facilities, more smiles and more lives uplifted.

The SFAS that Marietta Ledesma started feels different than it did forty nine years ago. And yet its vision remains: the vision to give children a chance for a better life thru quality Christian education.

Come October 4th every year, we all gather and celebrate – our foundation day, our founder's birthday, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Beyond the greetings, the colorful banners, music, and well-rehearsed dances, October 4th is also a simple celebration of education.