Wednesday, December 9, 2015

First Place in PRISSAAP's English Language Festival!

The Private Secondary School Administrators Association of the Philippines (PRISSAAP) has initiated this year the Private Schools' English Language Festival for all private schools in Silay City. The literary contest was held at the Department of Education Hall in the Division Office of Silay City last November 20.

The school's representative was 3rd grader, Anne Marie Gulmatico.  She was coached by teacher Lovelyn Villanueva (an SFAS alumnus) and she won first place in the English Declamation category. The English Language Festival is intended for primary graders from Nursery to Grade 3 to enhance the exposure of students at an early age to these kind of competitions.

Anne Marie Gulmatico with Mrs. Leda Ibugan, English teacher.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

SFAS Joins Green Earth Crusades

One of the core values of St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City is the love for nature.  Saint Francis loved all of God's creatures from plants to animals and he referred to them as his brothers and sisters. 

Last November 6, imitating the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, high school students of SFAS participated  in the Green Earth Crusades supervised by the Catholic Women's League of the Diocese of Bacolod and the San Diego Parish of Silay City. 

A parade started the day going to the church, then Rev. Fr. Dimitri Gatcha, parish priest of the San Diego Parish, shared about the Word of God (taken from Genesis 1).  He shared that God created a very beautiful and perfect world which can sustain all the needs of mankind but because of man's pride, the world was ruined and lost its original beauty, unable to provide the needs of men. He challenged us youth to do something good for the environment to restore her beauty.

Rev. Fr. Rosello Villarosa, Youth Director of the Diocese of Bacolod, discussed Pope Francis' encyclical letter, the Laudato Si,  which stresses about the care of environment. He shared that God wants us to repair His house which we saw falling into ruins as Our Lord revealed it to Saint Francis of Assisi in a vision. Atty. Wilfredo Ramon Peñalosa, Provincial Environment Management Officer, shared about climate change. He reminded us to reduce waste, reuse things rather than throw them away and recycle old things rather than buying a new one. He challenged the youth to plant trees: if every young person around the world would plant at least 20 seedlings of trees, we could save the world. 

Rev. Fr. Rickyboy Attilana also gave a talk, interpretative dances on the environment were presented by the Doña Monserrat Lopez Memorial High School, Sta. Teresita's Academy and Silay Institute, and our very own Yorika Jaud did a song number.

Subdue the earth and bring it under your control. I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds, and all the wild animals. (Genesis 1:28)

Written by Lord William B. Pacurib, Grade 9-Sincerity

For more photos, please click here.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Culmination of the Holy Rosary

Every October, the Universal Church celebrates the month of the Holy Rosary. October was chosen as the Rosary month because October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary which was established in 1571 by St. Pope Pius V to commemorate the triumphant battle of Lepanto attributed to the Virgin Mary, whose help was invoked through praying the Holy Rosary.

As a Catholic institution, St. Francis of Assisi School participated in the month-long celebration. Every flag ceremony, the first mystery was prayed then the remaining four mysteries were prayed during classes in the day.

Then last October 30, the Culmination of the Holy Rosary month was held. Since it was a Friday, the Sorrowful Mysteries was prayed. Before each mystery, a short Gospel passage was read and students offered flowers to Mother Mary. Chosen students from different grade levels formed a pattern of the rosary, where one student corresponded to one bead of the rosary.

Every time we prayed the Hail Mary in the Holy Rosary, we invoked the help of our Mother to pray for us until our last breath.

written by Lord William Pacurib, Grade 9

For more photos, please click here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

SFAS Joins the LASSO Conference

The LaSallian Schools Supervision Office (LASSO) Conference was held at La Salle Greenhills last October 26-27. We were sent to represent the school together with faculty member Ms. Lina Gabino and office staff Ms. Marion Malunes, both of whom attended the School Heads' Conference.  The 5 of us, namely, Danica Da-anoy, Danilo Villanueva, Oliver Boiser, Angelo De Los Santos and myself, Marlyn Bernasol, attended the LASSO Academic and Cultural Meet. This meeting allowed us to get acquainted with other students from La Salle supervised schools in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We were able to share our knowledge, talents and skills. 
Oliver and I joined the Academic Meet wherein we were grouped with another pair and we answered three-levels of difficulty questions (easy, average and difficult). We were not able to get to the winning stage but we enjoyed it because we got to compete with other students.  We shared our talent in the afternoon during the Cultural show. We performed acapella and pop dance. We enjoyed and did our best to perform as this was not a competition but simply to entertain our fellow students.
We really enjoyed our stay in Manila. The experience helped improved my confidence and exposed me to social activities with my classmates.  And before we headed home, we were treated to a tour in Manila Ocean Park!

written by: Marlyn Bernasol, Grade 10

For more photos, please click here

Friday, November 6, 2015

SFAS Club: Larong Pinoy

Children nowadays are too exposed to the world of technology. Television, cellphones, tablets, laptops, computers, iPads, etc.  Their kind of fun is just at their fingertips.  They would just sit, take a gadget and play anywhere, that's their own definition of "fun".
Members playing Sungka with the club moderator, Ms. Rose Iglesia.
Larong Pinoy Club of St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City is made to take the student's focus out from technology even for a little while and introduce them to other "fun" activities. Club meetings are done once a month and the 13 members are taught different Filipino games.  Since June, they have played Kadang-kadang (played by balancing on coconut shells), Sipa (or kick), Sack race and Sungka (involves dropping shells or stones into large holes on a long canoe-shaped board)"  The next club meeting will be intended for the game Tumba Lata (knocking down cans). Sipa has become a trend in SFAS when other students saw some of the Larong Pinoy Club members playing it.

Sack Race

 "I like it in Larong Pinoy Club because it is fun and I enjoy the games.  I like playing Kadang-kadang." by Kimberly Capablanca, Grade 4

"I like the Filipino games we play in Larong Pinoy Club.  I hope we can play Patintero and Tumba Lata soon."  by Gio Sala, Grade 4

"I love the Sungka game."  by Arianne Valencia, Grade 4

written by Irah Jenne Bustamante, Grade 10

For more photos, click here.

Monday, November 2, 2015

World Teachers' Day Celebration

Negros Occidental Private School Sports Cultural Educational Association (NOPSSCEA) celebrated World Teacher's Day last October 5 at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum, Bacolod City. It was participated by the different NOPSSCEA member schools.  Most teachers and staff of St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City joined the celebration and had a share of fun and camaraderie.

A Zumba dance activity started the program and highlighted with the contest "Your Face Looks Familiar", a parody of the popular TV Show, "Your Face Sounds Familiar."  Then more games, were played and everyone got to team up with other teachers from other schools.

"I enjoyed the activities, especially the games Shortest Line and Tug-O-War.  I became friends with the other teachers I met."  by Ms. Louren Purisima

"I really enjoyed the games!"  by Ms. Jenny Lou Leonor

"It was a special day for us teachers and staff." Sir Romnick Sadio

For more photos, click here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Celebration of the 51st Foundation Day and 100th Birthday of SFAS Foundress

St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City celebrated its 51st Foundation Day and the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi last October 4. This is a yearly event where students and their families, teachers and staff and alumni gather and get festive.
And this year is more special as the school celebrated the foundress Marieta Locsin-Ledesma's 100th birthday! It was a perfect time to reminisce her advocacy in providing the children of Hacienda Tinihaban with free Christian education.
The celebration started with the Holy Eucharist officiated by Diocese of Bacolod Vicar General Monsignor Louie Galbines. After the mass, pets of students were blessed. This ceremony is conducted in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.
A Field Demonstration followed at the school's open field where students from Pre-school to Grade 8 presented a dance number in the tune of 80's music. 
100 raffle prizes of 5-kilos rice or plasticware were given away. A Magician Show highlighted the day as both young and old were entertained. Volleyball and Basketball games were played by the students versus parents and faculty.  And every family's favorite, the Bingo Card game ended the day where winners got cash prizes and a grand prize of 25-kilo sack of rice.
Thank you to all who participated and made this day very special!  And a BIG thanks to the donors who gave to the raffle and Bingo prizes, namely, Tinihaban Agricultural Corporation, Mr. Aw Beso of BESO Enterprise, Mrs Consejo Granada, Mr. Nick Antonio of Leman's Enterprise, anonymous donors and our alumni, Mr. Rene Sellado, Mrs. Teray Buensuceso-Charmak and Mrs. Ines Buensuceso-Seifert.  Barangay Captain Vic Santibanez and our dear parents, Mr. Roger Vinzon, Mrs.Fely Villarin and Mr.Ramie Dimanalata.

For more photos, click here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

YMC Grand Rosary Rally

As a Catholic school, St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City once again promoted prayerfulness among the students and the devotion to the Holy Rosary through participating in the Grand Rosary-Mass Rally held at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum last October 2 since this October we commemorate the Rosary month and  October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary with this year's theme, "Mary, Mother of the Poor: Enrich our hearts with Jesus." The said event was participated by Grade 9 students and Youth Marian Crusaders of SFAS. 

The event's aim is to commemorate the role of our Blessed Mother, to remember the poor and to invite Jesus to be the object of our hearts.  

A talk was given by Fr. Simon of the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross (MMHC) and Pastoral Director of Youth Ministry of the Archdiocese of Dagupan. He taught us that the youth today suffers from lack of self-belongingness, extreme emotional depression, loss of dignity and being a slave of sin. He also taught us that we can overcome these types of poverty through trusting God. He said “If we have Jesus in our hearts then we can have everything.”
The main events of the program were the two highest forms of prayer: the Holy Rosary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There was dramatization of the mysteries of the rosary. The mass was celebrated by Fr. Siloy Villarosa, Youth Director of the Diocese of Bacolod, along with other priests from MMHC.  His homily was about the perfect discipleship of Mary because of her "Fiat" (Greek word for "yes.") to God's call for being the first evangelizer and being the Mother of God. “She is a perfect disciple because of her filial trust and love for God as she expressed it in the Magnificat and because of her total commitment to Christ for better and for worse as it was shown in the sculpture of Pieta.”

As an act of reverence to her, MMHC Brothers had her image crowned and adorned with a rosary and Sampaguita lei as a sign that God exalted her as the highest of all creatures, full of grace and most pure. Lastly, we praised and worshiped God through singing and dancing.
For those who consider it monotonous to repeat so many times the same prayer should be reminded that Jesus said  “Pray without ceasing and never lose hope” (Luke 18:1) and lovers are never tired of repeating “I love you” to each other over and over again. Praying the rosary is a matter of love.

The Holy Rosary sustains us in the battle against the evil one and his accomplices. ―Pope Francis

Mother Mary, in Her apparition to Fatima, repeatedly asks us to pray the Rosary everyday with great deal of penance for the conversion of sinners, to be consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart and live a life of sacraments especially the Eucharist and Penance. ―Anonymous 

Written by: Lord William Buenafe Pacurib, Grade 9-Sincerity

For more photos, click here

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Swimming Club Meeting

Out of all school clubs in SFAS, the Swimming Club is said to be the club with much fun and learning.  The club moderator, Ms. Crisel Estardo, together with our coach, Joelin Patris, supervise the safety of the members and make sure that we learn the swimming lesson prepared for the day. Our club meeting is held at the Ledesma swimming pool in Silay City once a month with 40 members from elementary and secondary levels. 
Since June, we have learned basic lessons such as bubbling, proper breathing, kicking and paddling.  We are now learning freestyle and backstroke.  
Most of the members joined the Swimming Club because they don’t know how to swim.  They have learned the basics and the dos and don’ts in swimming. 

“I joined the Swimming Club to learn how to swim.”  Angelo Aguirre of Grade 4

“I joined the club because I want to improve my swimming skills.” Gabriel Basbano Grade 8-A

“I have learned the basic rules of swimming and proper swimming.” Ann Mae Hechanova Grade 10-Hope

Written by Airah Bustamante

For more photos, click here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Daily Rosary Meditation in SFAS

One of the six core values of Saint Francis of Assisi that is taught to us in school is being prayerful and as a Catholic school, we formed the Daily Rosary Meditation group.  The group prays the rosary in the morning before our classes start.

While we started with only six members last school year, we are now 10 to 20 members from Grades 8 and 9. We meet at the Akubo chapel at 6 am and pray one mystery then we end with a short bible sharing on the day's gospel reading. 

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." (Blessed Pope Pius IX)   I always keep this in mind and for me, praying the rosary is like a daily dose of spiritual growth and happiness.

Written by: Steve Louise Rotelo, Grade 9-Sincerity

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Grade 8A and 8B Recollections

The Grade 8A and 8B students had their yearly Recollection at Domus Dei, Silay City last September 16 and 25, respectively, and it was facilitated by Fr. Deo Camon of the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City.

Activities like film showing, drawing activity and sharing were given to the students. The day ended with students receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.

"I like the sharing part and introducing ourselves after playing the 7-Up game." Ana Rose Andrada, Grade 8A

"I like the story about the geese because it's about their having teamwork to reach their destination." Carl Godwin Batadlan, Grade 8A

"I learned that we should help and love each other." John Jay Costa, Grade 8A

"I learned how to work with my group, how to value things around us and help those who are in need."  Angelika Garcia, Grade 8A

For more photos, please click here.

"I learned to be confident and just be my self." Allaine Libo-on, Grade 8B

"I've learned that you need God in daily life to survive in struggles.  And you need to cooperate in your group so that your work will finish faster." Jericho David, Grade 8B

"I learned about the importance of friendship and helping each other." Arabela Pagayon, Grade 8B

"I learned how to be a good friend and to be helpful.  I learned how God created the world and how great our God is."  Abegail Eguid, Grade 8B

For more photos, please click here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Faculty and Staff Development - Heneral Luna

September 25

The faculty and staff of  St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City watched the movie Heneral Luna at Robinson's Movieworld, Bacolod City.   1Heneral Luna is a Filipino historical biopic film depicting General Antonio Luna's leadership of the Philippine Revolutionary Army during the Philippine-American War.

"I like the movie, it refreshes my knowledge about the Philippine History, especially about General Luna.  I like how they portray the Spirit of Nationalism and Unity." - Ms. Leda Ibugan

"The movie enhanced my knowledge about the Philippine History." - Ms. Edna Taganile


Sunday, October 4, 2015

100th Birthday of SFAS Foundress, Marieta Locsin Ledesma

Remembering Momsy on her 100th Birthday

On October 4, 1915, our world was blessed when Marieta Locsin was born.

She was the second to the eldest of the 17 children of Dr. Jose Locsin and Salvacion Montelibano.  

She studied high school in St. Scholastica's Academy in Manila. 

At age 23, she married Edgardo Ledesma in January 8, 1938. 

They had seven children, Jack, Andy, Mitsu, Margie, Sally, Babs and Jim. 


Momsy, as she was lovingly called by her grandchildren, was a very devoted wife to Paping Edgardo.

At a Mass, during an October meeting of the Casa Maria prayer-group to which they belonged, for the Prayers of the Faithful when the birthday celebrants of the month were remembered, Paping shared this prayer:

"Wealth and possessions are inheritance from parents;
        A good wife is a gift from the LORD.
            For my wife, Maret, praise the LORD!"

For Paping, Momsy was the perfect wife.  She was his ideal woman, his Dulcinea, his Penelope.  She never put herself before him...that although remaining true to herself, she also readily gave up many things out of love for him. 


As a mother, some of her children shared these about her:

"Mommy never spoke badly of anybody; she always said good things. I never heard an unkind word from her. She would say “She must have a problem.  Understand her as she has a problem.” Andy 

"Mommy was a caring mother for me throughout my 17 years at home. When I entered Carmel, she became my spiritual companion.  For my Clothing Day (which at that time was celebrated like a wedding day), Mommy ordered a "wedding cake" with the words:  "MARY has chosen the best part." Thank you, Mommy, for being the BEST MOMMY in the world!”  Mitsu 

"My memory of Mommy is full of happy days, happy face, always smiling and laughing … never sad, never angry, never mad, never bitter, never sarcastic or mean … simply happy.  She did not scold or reprimand.  She had no expectations or demands on any of us.  She was just there for us, for your Papu (all the time) and for us kids.  

My best memory that I treasure, is that every Holy Week, I had a new dress for Holy Thursday (procession), one for Good Friday (another procession) and a beautiful special dress for Easter Sunday (for church).  Auring sewed the dresses but Mommy would do the pattern, was always special for me.  Holy Thursday and Good Friday dresses were always green or blue (not bright) but for Easter, always colorful and special... I joined her in the procession always, with a candle.  Another memory is I always went shopping with her in Bacolod...always.  Just me...I don't know why?  She shopped for the farm laborers and had her "suki" stores, Lopue's, TengHua, New Shanghai, among others.  I can't recall the others.  She knew the owners and they all knew her."- Margie


“When I think of Mommy I always see her with a beautiful, radiant smile on her face.  I cannot seem to picture her any other way.  She always had this soft, gentle, peaceful, blissful look about her.  And her laughter was one which warmed and lightened up the room. 

As a mother she was tender and loving, soft-hearted, kind and affectionate.  She never raised her voice even when she was punishing us for our misbehavior.  She was firm but gentle.  I even liked attending Mass on Sundays because it meant being able to sit beside her in church.  I simply cherished all the times that I could be with her.  And I never doubted for one moment that she loved me.

I have many fond memories of how, as a young girl, I loved following her around the shopping center in Bacolod as she bought t-shirts and other items for the farm workers.  She would go from one shop to another, mostly run by Filipino-Chinese, and really wrangle to get the best bargain.  She was so good at this although I must admit that sometimes I would feel embarrassed by it all.  One other things that was fun for me was when we would shop together for school books and supplies prior to the start of the schoolyear.  And of course I also enjoyed the times we would go to the house of T. Goring to have a new dress made for me by Adoracion, the family dressmaker."Babs


For all the grandkids who were able to be with Momsy, she is remembered for her homemade chocolate from cacao and her best tasting avocado shake as she used fresh carabao’s milk. 

"When I was about 5-6 years old, she came to sit by my side and told me that everytime I hear footsteps, that sound like they are dragging chains at night, I should just pray 1 Our Father and 3 Hail Mary and they will go away.  So every night I heard them, I prayed as Momsy instructed and those scary sounds never ever came back.  Momsy saved me; she was my living angel." - Lizzie

"Having grown up in Silay, I have so many memories of Momsy.  Momsy was the most gentle person I have ever known.  I clearly remember how she would use her gentle touch to “heal” me when I was sick. She would sit beside me as I lay in bed, and would gently massage my head or my stomach, depending on my illness.  Somehow, her touch made my headache or tummy-ache go away.  When I had my own daughters, I also made use of my hands to try to make their aches and pains go away, and, to my amazement, it seemed to help alleviate my kids’ discomfort too.  During my residency training in Pediatrics, I learned that there is such a thing as “energy therapy” that uses gentle hand techniques to re-pattern a patient’s energy field and accelerate healing of the body, mind and spirit.  I now try to use healing touch as often as I can with my sick pediatric patients."  - Joan

"My best memory of Momsy is, one evening when we were sleeping in Silay, we sat together in the dining room and she and I read the story of Jacob and Esau.  To this Day, when I run accross this story, either at Church, or a Bible study, I remember that memory with her."- Robin


Momsy was also a devoted and loving child of God!  She went to 6 a.m. mass at San Diego parish church every day.  She prayed the rosary and read the bible every day. 

She became a Carmelite Tertiary and as she was growing in her life of prayer, in her own simple and quiet way, she drew Paping closer to God. When she died, Paping became a Carmelite Tertiary, too!    

She lived the seven corporal works of mercy:  fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, sheltered the homeless, visited the sick, visited the imprisoned and buried the dead.  She lived the “church for the poor” in her own life. 


In the 1960’s, the sugar industry boomed.  Land owners went on a world tour. After Papu and Momsy attended a recollection together, they decided not to join the tour as they wanted to use the money to do something worthy and it was Momsy’s dream to lift up the dignity of human beings as they are the children of God. So, they decided to first build the chapel in the farm and called it in honor of Mary, Our Lady of the Nativity Chapel. Next, they built homes for the farm workers around the chapel.  Last, they built the school for the farm children. They named the school St. Francis of Assisi School.  “This is my dream come true for the poor,” said Momsy.  Today St. Francis is a thriving institution in Silay and is known to many supporters and donors all over the world who help in continuing the mission she started more than 50 years ago.  It has become the most meaningful and enduring testament to her life.  When Papu passed away, he bequeathed most of his money to the school as a testament to how much he believed in the work that they had started there.

She was humming Ave Maria before she drew her last breath on July 28, 1979. 

To all who remembered Momsy, she was truly an inspiration...a living saint!  Like Mary, Momsy said Fiat to many of the things that God wanted her to do, submitting herself to His will, saying YES everyday of her life.  That is why everyone just loved her because God's love emanated from her.