October 21 was a special day for Xavier School, during which three memorable events were celebrated.
Dedication of the Sports Center
The day began with the formal dedication of the sports center in honor of the late Fr. Rafael Cortina. The program started with a video clip relating the vision of the sports center and its contribution to the school’s athletics program with the philosophy of Fr. Cortina on the important role of sports in the formation of the Xavier student.
This philosophy is memorialized in the dedication marker unveiled by Fr. Johnny Go and blessed by Fr. Art Borja. It features a quote from Fr. Cortina taken from a letter he wrote.
The highlight of the dedication rites was a touching tribute given by Fr. Santos Mena which traced the late Jesuit’s life from his childhood, his years as a seminarian, his ordination in Baguio City and his long relationship with Xavier School, the period in his life which he loved most of all.
The occasion also honored the sports center donors who are among the first to respond to the school’s call for benefactors to “adopt” the major venues. These generous patrons include, the Tiu Family, who sponsored the competition court, We Enterprises, who made a donation in memory of William T. Gan for the Table Tennis Area and Clinic, Alejandro Ty and Dolmar Real Estate Devpt. Corp. represented by Mariano John Tan for the track oval, Reynaldo Go for the PE Office, XSPA for the Coffee Shop and Prayer Room and the AAXS.
On behalf of the O.T. Kang Scholarship Foundation, Ambassador Bienvenido Tan, Jr also turned over a check to benefit the Xavier School Education and Trust Fund. The foundation was one of the very first supporters of Xavier scholars even before the XSETF was established.
Our Pride & Glory Book Launch
The second half of the program was the launch of the commemorative book. The hardbound anthology of essays, mostly from alumni, is a nostalgic journey over five decades reflecting the Xavier experience as seen from different perspectives. It includes loving tributes to Jesuits and lay mentors and expresses the hopes and aspirations of the community for Xavier and its alumni to make a stronger positive impact in society.
The school presented all the contributors present with their personal copies. Among those who attended were Chris Tiu, Johnip Cua, Marga Ortigas, Mary Ngo, and the first Xaverian who entered the priesthood, Fr. Jimmy Liao.
Blessing and Opening of the Competition Court
The final event of the day was the dedication of the hardwood court named after Jacinto Tiu, father of alumni Edward and Charles Tiu. The family’s generous donation was acknowledged by Fr. Johnny Go and Mr. Tiu, the eldest of the children, gave a speech on behalf of the family. The marker was formally unveiled by the family and the court was blessed by Fr. Art Borja and Fr. Guy Guibelondo.
The program preceded the exhibition match that featured the Xavier Alumni All-Stars against the San Miguel All-Stars. The Board of Trustees welcomed each player and witnessed the awarding of special citations given by the alumni association honoring Joseph Yeo (first PBA player) and Woodward Co (first UAAP Rookie of the Year) for their unprecedented achievements. Mayor JV Ejercito, special guest of honor, presided over the ceremonial ball toss. The short program concluded with the singing of the school song.
The event attracted a sizeable crowd that included students, parents, alumni and faculty, plus special guests. Providing half-time entertainment was Xavier’s popular Dance X that wowed the crowd with their acrobatic moves. The game was a fitting way to launch the world-class competition court which now ranks among the best hardwood courts in the country. This was confirmed by the athletes, including hoop legend Allan Caidic, who all gave their seal of approval.
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