De La Salle University – Inaguration of Mr. Henry Sy Sr. Hall

DLSU campus Taft Avenue, Manila

The author had the privilege of witnessing the closing ceremony of DLSU centennial celebration last June 15, 2012  Friday .  The event was highlighted with the inauguration of a new building that was name after Mr. Henry Sr. Sy .

De La Salle brothers together with Brother Armin Luistro , DEPED secretary(second from left ) Dr. Paulino Tan – ( third from the left – Chairman board of trustees SM foundation ) Brother Narciso Erguiza Jr.  DLSU chancellor and president ( six from the left ) Ms. Elizabeth Sy – 8th from left ( President of SM hotel )Mrs. Teresita Sy-Coson 9th from left ( Vice -Chairperson SM Investments Corporation , Mrs. Felicidad -Sy (  4th from right – wife of  Mr. Henry Sr. Sy)  , His Excellency Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto – 3rd from right ( Papal Nuncio ) , Mr. Han T. Sy  – second from right ( President of SM prime Holdings ),He is a mechanical engineering graduate of De La Salle University and Mr. Herbert Sy -director ( SM Food Retail Group )

This building is the first major building under the Centennial renewal plan, along term development master plan to rationalize the whole campus set-up and responds to the need for more space for research, development and learning.

Designed by the country’s leading architectural firm Leandro V. Locsin Partners.

Website: http://locsinarchitecture.com/

Architects designed the Mr. Henry Sr. Sy hall. The building is comparable to a “ Habitable tree”, a concept that seeks to capture the university continuous role in the Philippine education.

Facade of  Mr. Henry Sy Sr. Hall within the Da La Salle campus inaugurated last June 15, 2012 with thousand of alumni, students, vips, media , family members of Mr. Henry Sy Sr.  , De La Salle brothers attending the opening .

It’s institution’s stand on environmental responsibility, sustainability and continuity can be seen thru its GREEN spaces and environmental projects

Barringtonia asiatica (Linn.) Kurz. locally called Botong , Boton ( Tagalog), Banilad , Bitoon ( Bisayan/ Cebuano )

Botong  is a tree growing to a height of 8 to 15 meters. Leaves are large, obovate or obovate-oblong, 20 to 40 centimeters long, entire, thick, shining, stalkless, blunt-tipped, and pointed at the base. Flowers are very large and white, borne in short, erect, few-flavored racemes.

The DLSU Botong tree is the counterpart of  UP centennial tree, Metro Manila College – Tandang Sora or Katipunan Tree , FEU – Heritage Tree. This particular tree is said to have been planted within the campus  during the 1920’s by the founders of the university . This had been recently marked with appropriate marker .

Vanda Penang- Manila one of the dozens of orchid species and hybrids that are planted within the DLSU campus garden

Its present campus is the equivalent of a mini-oasis in this part of Taft Avenue where high rise condominium units, pollution and lack of green space in the surrounding areas.     There are also several pocket gardens that can be found within  the campus.

 Vertical landscape which consists of Asplenium nidus , microsorium  ferns planted on a wall .

The campus showcases a lot of pocket gardens with lovely flowering plants, orchids, ferns , indoor plants  and old native and introduced trees.

Commemorative marker marks the massacre of innocent lives during the closing days of the second world war

The school had also witness a lot of turbulent moments in our country’s history such as the atrocities of the last world war which not only left the university’s building and archives in chaos but the lost of innocent lives during the last days of the battle of Manila.

Repeated bombings of the area resulted in the total destruction of the gymnasium and the loss of library holdings and laboratory equipment. On February 12, 1945, a band of Japanese soldiers massacred 16 brothers and several families who had taken refuge with them in the college chapel.

DLSU Saint  La Salle Hall  shorty after the liberation  in 1945  ( Photo courtesy : DLSU archives and Mr. John Tewell.

Most of the earlier buildings were designed under the classical Greek revival of  Neo- Classical style, It is similar with the other famous buildings of pre-war Manila which includes the National Museum for Filipino People (formerly known as Finance Building) National Art Gallery Museum (Legislative or Old Congress Building), Manila Central Post Office and countless of major government buildings built during that era.

 75th anniversary commemorative stamp of De La Salle University with the neo-classical building on the background and Saint Benile on the foreground  issued in 1986 scanned from personal collection of the author . It was issued by the Philpost in June 16, 1986 , Lithography by : APO- Neda with perforation 13x 13 1/4  Wmk 3 ,   php 3.00 stamp was printed on 500,000 quantity issue .

The La Sallian education in the country was said to date back in the year 1905 when Archbishop Jeremiah James Harty – an alumnus of a La Salle School in the United States petitioned the Superior General of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools .

a 6 centavo De La Salle College commemorative stamp issue which marked the 50th anniversary of the college. photo by Courvoisier printed in Switzerland . 3,000,000 pieces were issued in June 16, 1961 .

– FSC for the establishment of a De La Salle school in the Philippines due to the very small number of Catholic institutions at that time.

Archbishop Jeremiah Harty

Archbishop Harty’s request was rejected at first due to lack of funds,  He would  continue to appeal to  Pope Puis X for the establishment of additional Catholic schools in the country.

De La Salle University 75th anniversary commemorative souvenir sheet – Php 7.20 face value with 20,000 pieces quantity issue

From March up to June 1911, nine De La Salle Christian Brothers from Europe and the United States led by Brother Blimond FSC of France arrived in the Philippines. Together On June 16, 1911, the Brothers established the first Christian Brother school in the Philippines, De La Salle College, on Calle Nozaleda (now General Luna St.)  in Paco, Manila.

With an ever-growing student population, the brothers decided to relocate at the present location on Taft Avenue in the district of Malate in 1921.

Green and White buntings -add to the festive atmosphere inside the campus

Campus Celebration:

There was a mass officiated by his Excellency, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, as the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines  installed last May 10, 2011.

DLSU chapel

Archbishop Pinto is the 15th Papal Representative and the 10th Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. He entered the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See on May 1, 1984, and has served successively in Papua New Guinea, Argentina, and the Vatican City State Secretariat.

GMA Kapuso channel 7 executive Mr. Mike Enriquez , Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, Dr. Lydia B. Echauz – President of Far Eastern University ( Picture courtesy of Andrew Pamorada)

He also served as Apostolic Nuncio to Cape Verde, Senegal, Mali, and Guinea-Bissau, and was Apostolic Delegate to Mauritania.Born on May 26, 1952, in Bari, Italy, Archbishop Pinto was ordained a priest on April 1, 1978. He holds a doctorate in Canon Law and is fluent in Italian, French, English, and Spanish.

 Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim – a special guest  together with Mr. Stephen Pamorada a DLSU student pose for a souvenir shot in front of the chapel

After several minutes at the chapel, I was warmly greeted by Ms. Marge Liggayu ( office of strategic communication )  and  Mr. Stephen Pamorada( HCS member and DLSU student ) , He acted as my impromptu tour guide  around the DLSU campus . He thought that it was my first time to come to a campus event. I told everyone that  i used to come as a seminar participant in our graduate school program  and probably three or four more occasions .

A proud DLSU student with matching green t-shirt and green archer cap

Mr. Henry Sy Sr. Hall one of the newest landmark inside the DLSU campus

The building, which has yet to be opened, is 14- story high and will house research facilities and study areas. SM Investments Corporation donated  P300 million for its construction.

SM Prime Holdings:http://www.smprime.com/s mprime/index.php?p=587&type=2&sec=49&aid=12506

I also saw Far Eastern University president Dr. Lydia B. Echauz during the building inauguration and mass.

School Bazaar

There are about 50 to 60 bazaar style market , selling different items from handmade accessories , shoes, pins, umbrella, foods, home made pastries and different t-shirts.

Green and White colored DLSU ANIMO  baller – a hotcake item for DLSU alumni, students and memorabilia hunters !

DLSU t-shirt were selling like hot cakes – Long lines of students , alumni  and memorabilia collectors were on buying spree in a university wide bazaar

The most sale-able items were T-shirts and collectible merchandise  lists  in every DLSU  students , alumni and memorabilia collectors  . Unfortunately , the centennial DLSU stamps issuance was shoved -off  according to a member of the stamp advisory committee member of the Philippine Postal Corporation last year ! Sayang ! The next stamp issuance for DLSU  if granted  will be  25 years from now. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will issue a DLSU centennial commemorative overprint but the public must still wait for now  .

DLSU – Gokongwei College of Engineering students  posed together with battery powered car which will compete in international car racing in Malaysia this July .

Concerts :

After the whole afternoon of touring around the campus, The group was treated to an evening of cultural presentation , modern dance, music and entertainment .

DLSU- Lipa students performed the religious dance ( Subli ) from Batangas

I opted to stay at the public concert held at the Henry Sy Sr. Hall were thousands of  students, alumni , priests  and invited guests were on hand to see how the DLSU education system had accomplished in their 100 years .

The school had already marked its milestone by having several campuses and affiliated schools from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao . My heartfelt congratulations and thanks to the warm hospitality and accommodation   to the office of Ms. Marge Liggayu , Mr. Vin Ello , Mr. Stephen Pamorada and Mr. Andrew Pamorada  and all those people that the author met during the activity .  Until next visit !

References:

De La Salle University-Manila. Student’s Handbook: 2003-06. Manila: DLSU Press. 2003

page 21, page 108, 1997 Dr. NGO’s Catalogue of Philippine Republic Stamps and Postal Stationeries

Press Kit from Ms. Marge Liggayu and Mr. Vin Ello ( Office for Strategic Communications)

Archbishop Jeremiah James Harty :  http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bharty.html

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas : http://www.bsp.gov.ph/

De La Salle University: https://my.dlsu.edu.ph/

National Museum : http://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph/

Stuart Exchange : http://www.stuartxchange.org/Botong.html

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