REMEMBERING THE EXCELLENT NDTCians
…for the forthcoming NDTC Great Alumni AFFAIR ( As Far and Fair As I can Remember)/27December2014
By Felizardo Lazado
The Notre Dame of Tacurong was born when I was two in 1950.
Her birth, however, came four years after the Philippines has gained her independence from America in 1946. Signifying a closer look beyond the shadow of these three events which all surprisingly came evenly and successively on the face of local history – the Philippine independence in 1946, my birth in 1948 and NDT’s birth in 1950 implies oddity as odd years came following after each event brought fresh breath of freedom to the Filipinos in 1947, a fresh breath of new life to me as I was almost lost by my family due to severe illness in 1949 and a fresh breath of hope to NDT as it unfolded the red carpet in 1951 to welcome her future alumni, the first batch of which came in 1954. …101 ? only ?.
There may be hundreds more of other alumni who are far greater than the ones I’m about to mention, or there is still someone who stands the greatest of all – but sorry, my crystal ball failed to flash their pretty and handsome faces when I was preparing this piece.
Randomly, here we go: One pre-silver jubilarian – Ben Eliseo was Tita Cory’s appointed Mayor of Tacurong during the yellow revolution in 1987. An heir to a vast Garcia Estate -Antonio Garcia has left the same sizable estate to his son Erwin Garcia. The Garcia Estate runs synonymous to palm oil industry in Central Cotabato. Morito Parcon probably the first NDTCian to enter UPcampus, his body shall be claimed by UP College of Medicine when he dies.
Alfonso Jerez, the insurance king and Danzie Buenacosa an entrep prince had once stood famous for their talking voice. The Voice of Democracy national silver medalist, Arturo Llavore was noted in oratory. Banker turned entrep Rodrigo Victorio walk hand-in-hand with son Dubert Victorio as they walk the AMWAY . Dubert as ABC President joined the City Council of Tacurong. Carlo Romero and Gideon Carnaje grabbed the first gold for NDTCBHS in erstwhile Notre Dame Quiz on the Air, while Phill Penaflor set the record in the entire NDEA as he was twice champion in the NDEA academic contest.
Late in 1965, barely a freshman Diosdado Pedral was teamed up with Rhodora Alcon (Girls Dept,) came as finalist in the initial staging of Notre Dame Quiz on the Air. Stat instructor Joel Illustracion coached the NDTC contestants who consistently won the annual stat quiz in the Province of Sultan Kudarat. Larry Tubalado was the regional champion in Philippine History contest with DEPED 12.
In government service – local , regional and national, here are our great alumni: Ruel Lucentales (RIP) from DSWD Welfare Aide in Tacurong to Regional Director in Davao to Assistant Secretary of DSWD in Manila was no joke to tell it all.
Angelo “Roncal” Montilla from the Municipal Hall to the House of Representatives was likewise a tough political journey. He authored the cityhood of Tacurong that made Geronimo Arzagon the first city mayor. Other siblings of Roncal who claimed the mayoral chair were Lino Montilla, and Lina Montilla in incumbency. There are two NDT alumni who were elected vice mayor of Tacurong- Dr. Leo Villalobos and Dr. Joseph Lechonsito also in incumbency (look… both are doctors of medicine). The Tacurong City Council has been dominated by the NDTC alumni, to mention a few: Rodrigo Jamorabon , Jairus Casipe, Max Ledda, Jesus Arcillana Max Casador, Benjamin Fajardo, Bonifacio Enitorio, Federico Seneres Jr. and Virgilo Paredes. VIP (Very Important Personnel) at the the city hall of Tacurong are NDTCians : Thomas Robles – General Services; Jaime Cedullo – Planning and Development; Eduardo Nicolo – Administration; Elma Bides – Auditing; Nestor Nomananap-Budget; John Lechonsito – City Attorney; Rommel Dionela -SP Secretary; Juney Buenacosa – PNP; Eddie Batchar – Treasury; Dr. Giovanni Deles – City Health Officer; Lynnie Balino Local Government Officer (DILG).
Dr. Domingo Miguel Jacalan was once elected Vice- Governor of Sultan Kudarat. Other shining alumni: Dr. Efhraim Collado – MHO Lambayong; Jose Tabuga -SKWD Manager; Demetrio Jerez – SUKELCO Manager; Mr. Barron – DOLE Manager; Dr. Benjamin Suedad, Board of Incorporator Green Hospital; Jimmy Andang – SP Secretary of the Province of Sultan Kudarat; Bonifacio Valdez – VMC City College -Owner/Administrator.
NDTC alumni working in the vineyard of the Lord: Ronnie Torres soon to be ordained OMI priest; Julius de Gracia to say his Thanksgiving Mass here in Tacurong; Marlo Horlador (RIP) the first NDTCian priest; Fr. Joseph Borreros, is the mission in-charge of the Orthodox Church in Southern Mindanao, with base-mission in Lake Sebu and Surallah; Bishop David Salazar covers the Southern Mindanao area of the JIL church. Our very own Parish Priest is Fr. Robles.
The length and width of educational landscape has almost been filled up by NDTCians. After serving as VPA . Dr. Nenita Garcia was joined by her husband Gaudencio Garcia in running the first large early learning center in Pres. Quirino. Dr. Rosmalin Arzagon now serves as NDTC VPA. Merle Baulete is VP for Admin and Finance, her son-in law Elmer Muyco is the current Principal of the high school department, Renato Neri runs the institution’s Extension Program and NDTC alumni Affairs; Edgar Gonzales curates the NDTC Tri-people Musuem.
The public sphere of educational landscape has Gildo Mosqueda-City Schools Division Superintendent ,General Santos City; Dr. dela Cruz is Sarangani Division superintendent; Joseph Pilotos is Tacurong Central District Supervisor; Memvie Alesna – principal ,EJC Montilla; Freddie Delantar -Princiapal-VFGNHS; Danilo Umadhay-Principal-TNHS, Roberto Leyza-Principal-ENHS; Frank Nawal-Principal SPCES; Pangi Balubugan-Principal-PQNHS; Dr. Muhaliddin Suaeb-Aministrative Officer, SK Division.
Outside Tacurong , we have Renato Hingco Vice President, Bicol University; Hernanie Carillo-Vice President -HCCD. Top 50 Filipino entrepeneur greats include one NDTBHS alumnus – Feliciano Juarez of Copylandia Philippines. He owns the company. Marketing strategist Djolan Lictawa takes charge of 5 signature jeans in the Philippines. Dr. Remo Aguilar is a multi-talented physician who organizes lectures on health, a blogger of every event in Tacurong, an artist, a writer.
In the field of music, art, culture and technology (IT): Johnny Garcia is NDTC’s Beethoven, Da Vince, and Gates. Dindo Quevada owns QWorks; John Bernard Fresco owns the FREBROS; Joeph Glenn Lazado came as the first animator in the city-now handling the videography of ARKOWA Arts; Melvin Aradanas and Francisco Torres are the city’s favorite emcees. Felix Mendoza became a national -local coach of Tacurong badminton national players. All CAT oficers in Sultan Kudarat elected Ron Lazado as President of the two-week COLT in Isulan. Bernabe brothers with Ruel, runs the biggest steel and glass works in the city while the Torrecampo bothers with Jerry, owns too, the biggest automotive shop in the city. Carlo Casipit won gold in the national secondary press conference in photo-journalism . His father, Jesusito Casipit is now the DRAGON King.
Speech power conquers. Allan Rey Lucerna captured the orator’s crown that had long been held by the Cotabato Chinese High School orators in the Region XII Water District Annual Oratorical competition. Jimmy Tanara won the silver in Kidapawan and Ron Lazado had his bronze in General Santos City in the Mindanao-wide Water District oration contest. Renato Purazon won silver medal in NDEA Talumpati contest in Marbel. Junel Bedua also a silver medalist in NDU- NDEA Talumpati. Finally, Gerald Vidal brought home the first NDTC gold in NDEA Talumpati held at the Notre Dame University.
And also who would ever believe that it was an NDTC alumnus who was made to speak before the world dignitaries – ambassadors, consuls, papal nuncio, Philippine cabinet men, legislators, governors and mayors, government executives and celebrities during the LAST birthday of the Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos at Malacanang Maharlika Hall. He spoke on the Philipine experience in human settlements. While he was speaking, Cardinal sin was seated at the right hand of the strong man, his eyeballs were seemingly twirling as he was looking at me (as if asking me: is that so?). That was a five-minute speech. The program was emceed by Bert (Tawa) Marcelo and Pilita Corrales. Vilma Santos was the last celebrity to arrive to greet Marcos. That alumnus is the by-line of this simple piece….
NDTC – Notre Dame of Tacurong College
NDEA – Notre Dame Educational Association
Notre Dame is a Catholic school in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, on the island of Mindanao, Philippines.