Pilgrimage 2017

Pilgrimage Prayer

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech

The Serviam Club of Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech embarked on a pilgrimage on Sunday, October 29, 2017. The group, composed of altar servers, lectors, and commentators and led by its moderator, Mr. Elmer Bueno, together with the school’s Social Services Staff, Mrs. Tess Andres; Sponsorship Program Coordinator, Mrs. Rowena Dela Cruz; and the writer, visited four historical churches in Manila: Sta. Cruz Church, Binondo Church, Manila Cathedral, and San Agustin Church.

Each visit began with a pilgrimage prayer, after which Mr. Bueno spoke about the history of the church and explained details about the Holy Eucharist. The group had the chance to attend mass at the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral in Intramuros.

The longest part of the tour was at San Agustin Church which has a museum as well. The variety of the exhibits, the vastness of the church compound, and the labyrinthine paths added to the awe and the excitement felt by everyone.

The activity had been a plan of the Campus Ministry for some time before it finally saw fruition this year. Hopefully, another pilgrimage will push through next year as this is a very enriching, edifying, and enlightening experience, enabling the ERDAnians to become more grateful and committed in their work for the Lord.

Goodbye for Now, Good Daughter of God

Gigi Buendia

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Additional Photos by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, and Jeffgerarld T. Tan, Purchasing Staff and IT Network Technician, FPTI – ERDA Tech

The saying, “Big things come in small packages” is true for Miss Jesselyn “Gigi” Buendia, Campus Ministry Coordinator of Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech. This diminutive lady is one of the kindest members of the school community and has a very big heart for others, especially the students.

Miss Buendia first came to ERDA Tech in March 2014 to help then outgoing Campus Ministry Coordinator and fellow Notre Dame de Vie lay consecrated woman Marcy Calipay in the Baccalaureate Mass for Batch 16, Class of 2014. Since then, Gigi has actively led the Campus Ministry in carrying out its spiritual and values formation programs for the school community.

She heads Serviam, a special enrichment group (club) composed of altar servers, lectors, commentators, and instrumentalists which assists her in masses, paraliturgies, and other spiritual activities. In addition, she teaches Basic Christian Living (BCL) to the grade 11 batch. Gigi is also part of the Counseling Team, along with volunteer guidance counselor Miss Everdina Ruiz.

Possessing a vibrant personality and a deep spirituality, Miss Buendia is able to draw out the best in others, particularly the students. Her patience and dedication have paid off several times when she was able to boost the self-confidence and spark the interest of students through their involvement in Campus Ministry tasks, conversations, and counseling sessions.

In November 2017, Gigi shall go to France for a year of immersion and reflection as she goes to a higher level in her spiritual formation under Notre Dame de Vie, an organization of religious and lay people founded in 1932 in Venasque, France by Carmelite priest Venerable Marie-Eugene committed to upholding the Roman Catholic faith and rendering service to others, especially the less fortunate through their various apostolates.

Indeed, Gigi shall be dearly missed by the school community whom she has touched and inspired to live more like Christ and to strive to be the best that they can be. In all earnestness, they shall await her return.

Good luck! Good health! God bless you, Gigi!


A-Day to Remember

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Additional Photos by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech and Marielle D. Reyes, Student, Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber

Faculty and staff of Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech were pleasantly surprised on Friday, October 13, 2017. As each of them entered the main building, the Student Body Organization (SBO) members led by chairperson Coleen Felix of Grade 11 – St. Dominic Savio and ably guided by their moderator, Mr. Mark Rivera, sang Appreciation Day greetings and gave them a blue bag with sweet goodies inside.

After class, the faculty and staff gathered at the St. Ignatius of Loyola Hall for a fun afternoon courtesy again of the SBO, with Courtney Gwen Dela Cruz of Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber and Xian Juilliard Oquendo of Grade 11 – St. Lorenzo Ruiz as the masters of ceremonies. Divided into five teams, the faculty and staff happily let their hair down as they competed in two games, the first one charades-like and about the various activities and practices in school, and the second one a balloon race.

Interspersed with the games were performances by ERDAnians. James Rohbin Besa and Princess Kyle Girado of Grade 11 – St. Pedro Calungsod sang “I Learned From You” by Miley Cyrus. Zaldy James Madrid of Grade 12 – St. Francis Xavier sang a classic, Louie Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” to a ukelele accompaniment by Alexis Agoncillo of Grade 12 – St. Francis Xavier. Marielle Reyes of Grade 12- St. Peter Faber recited a poem. Zandra Loraine Quisao, Mujahid Basiman, Melanie Santiano, Erica La Torre, and Jason Vista, all from Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber, danced to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song”.

The afternoon was made more exciting and energizing when everyone danced the Zumba.

As the faculty and staff ate their snacks, they were treated to an audiovisual presentation and were given their souvenirs and letters from the students. To cap the event, the community posed for group photos.

Indeed, it was a memorable Friday, A-Day to remember.

The Tech-Voc Way

by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech

Education is a very good foundation for one’s future. It is essential that a person is equipped with knowledge and skills when he enters the world of work, raises a family, and pursues a chosen career. In the Philippines, there is still a bias though, for getting a college degree instead of a training in technical-vocational education. The phrase “tech-voc lang” is indicative of the low regard of many Filipinos for this kind of career path, however, the large number of college graduates, the accompanying high unemployment rate these days, and the big demand for skilled tech-voc workers is evident. It is high time then for more students to pursue a technical-vocational education because it is more affordable than a college education and there are more opportunities in the workplace that await those who take it.

 Technical-vocational education costs less than a college education.  It is shorter, usually just two years, as compared to spending four or even more years in college. Moreover, tech-voc schools like the Toyota School of Technology in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, the Meralco Foundation Institute (MFI) in Pasig City, Metro Manila, and the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) in Pasig but soon-to-be in Laguna offer generous scholarship packages to qualified students.

Undergoing training in technical-vocational education opens  a wide door of opportunites for students. Here in the Philippines, many industrial parks have been established, mostly in the Southern Luzon area, thus increasing the demand for skilled tech-voc workers. Likewise, there are still many openings abroad for those who have successfully hurdled the National Certification Exams 3 and 4. It is not a dead-end path for there is a huge potential for advancement from being a worker in the production area to a managerial position through higher tech-voc education.

Indeed, an effective way to lessen the incidence of poverty in the Philippines is to have a greater awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of the good that technical-vocational education can do. Filipinos can draw inspiration from the success stories of those who went the tech-voc way, persevered, and achieved their goals of a better and brighter life for themselves, their families, and their country.

A Fun Friday

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Additional Photos by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, and Hazelyn M. Verdejo, Science and Research Teacher, FPTI – ERDA Tech

ERDAnians had a double treat on Friday, September 29, 2017. In the morning and the afternoon, team-building activities were held, and in the evening, there was the disco, Fusion 2017.

After the advisory period, the four teams: Blue, with coaches Mrs. Eden Baltazar and Mr. David Reyes; Red, with coaches Mr. Joel Sulit and Miss Chyryz Valiente; Yellow, with coaches Miss Hazelyn Verdejo and Mr. Noe Libradilla; and Green, with coaches Mrs. Michelle Testa and Mr. Ramon Christopher Ricafrente assembled along the corridors and then paraded from the main building to the basketball court. The teams are a mix of grade 11 and grade 12 students.

After the opening ceremony, the various games began in different venues on campus. These included volleyball, group march, team bucket, tug of war, solidarity tower, water balloon, dodgeball, adventure time, minute to win it, and basketball.

In the afternoon, the Mr. and Ms. Vocation 2017 was held at the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Hall. Each team had a pair of representatives, one male and one female. Mujahid Basiman (Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber) from the Yellow Team won as Mr. Vocation while Zandra Loraine Quisao (Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber) from the Blue Team was proclaimed Miss Vocation.

When evening came, the ERDAnians danced their hearts out in Fusion 2017 as their teachers fondly watched over them. By 9:30 p.m., the event ended, but the wonderful memories the students gained from this fun Friday will remain in their minds and hearts.

Mr. Mark Rivera, the Student Activities Program Coordinator, together with the ever-reliable and dedicated Student Body Organization (SBO) team led by its chairperson, Coleen Felix of Grade 11 – St. Dominic Savio deserve the full appreciation and admiration of the school community, most especially the students, for making all these possible.


ERDAnians at the Crossroads

Text by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Photos by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech

The talk on work values and options by Mr. Marvin Estorninos, a recruitment manager for a British-owned firm in Makati City, is the latest in a series of activities aimed at helping the ERDAnians, especially the grade 12 students, develop the discipline and the character needed in the workplace as well as make well-informed decisions on which path to take after senior high school.

Career guidance is crucial in high school, most particularly in its last two years (senior high school), hence, the school has been purposefully pushing for greater awareness among its students of the various opportunities that await them when they leave their alma mater.

Being a technical-vocational school, ERDA Tech prioritizes the option of working right after graduation or pursuing higher tech-voc education through its partners, Toyota School of Technology in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) in Pasig but soon-to-be in Laguna. Alumni such as Izthifen Gonzales (Batch 17, Class of 2015) who has recently completed his studies at Toyota and is now working in the same company, as well as Kim Carlo Rosita and Geraldine Salonga (both from Batch 18, Class of 2016) who are finishing their studies at GBF have given inspirational talks to the younger batches of ERDAnians. Likewise, the franchise owner of Ziebart Paco, an industry partner of ERDA Tech, spoke to the ERDAnians. ERDA Tech also has Work Ethics and Spirituality of Work classes in grade 12 which have been very helpful.

The students have also had field trips to companies and attended tech-voc fairs. In addition, they have been taking the mandated National Certification Exams to assess their capabilities and increase their qualifications.

Although it is a tech-voc school, ERDA Tech still supports the other options such as working while studying in college or pursuing a college education right away. In October, ERDA Tech shall open its doors to the colleges and universities to guide the students on choosing and applying for a college course.

Moreover, the option of going into business is strengthened through the Entrepreneurship classes and also the annual WIWAG Business Seminar which helps the students plan and manage their own businesses.

Choosing which way to go after high school is indeed essential for it will have a bearing on one’s future. Thus, the school has committed itself to extending to the students all the possible support.

An Evening with a Virtuoso

Chino Gutierrez

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Additional Photos by Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech

The evening of Saturday, September 23, 2017 was a night well spent for 46 ERDAnians and their teachers: Mr. Joel Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator; Mrs. Asminda Mendoza, School Nurse; Miss Crisalyn Ballenas, Administrative Office Staff, and the writer as they watched the concert of musical prodigy Joaquin Maria “Chino” Gutierrez at the Francisco Santiago Hall of the BDO Tower in Makati City. This was made possible through the efforts of Mrs. Belinda Olivares-Cunanan, a long-time member of the ERDA Tech Board of Trustees.

Chino amazed the audience as he, accompanied by seasoned pianist Mary Anne Espina, played one violin piece after another. His deft hands clearly show that his countless hours of practice and his intense devotion to improving his craft are paying off.

Hopefully, the ERDAnians shall remember this night and realize that the patience and dedication that they invest in honing their skills in their respective specializations and developing proper work values will help them achieve their goals in life.

All for the Mission

ERDA Tech Faculty and Staff - SY 2017-2018

Text by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Photos by Peter Marc D. Magsalin, Principal, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Tracy Ann G. Rotarta, Prefect of Discipline, FPTI – ERDA Tech, and Elmer Bueno, Founder’s Week 2017 Committee Chair, FPTI – ERDA Tech

Imparting knowledge, teaching skills,

Molding hearts, forming character,

All of these,

For the mission.

Every effort, each step,

Each sweat, every ache,

All of these,

For the mission.

Fr. Tritz, our inspiration,

Humble hero, hardworking till the end,

Selfless and tireless,

For the mission.

We are thankful, ever grateful,

To be able to serve, guide, and nurture,

The hope of our land,

For the mission.

Remembering Fr. Pierre Tritz

Memoirs of His Legacy

Text by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Photos courtesy of the Founder’s Week 2017 Committee, Peter Marc D. Magsalin, Principal, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Joel Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, and Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech

In September 2017, Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech commemorates the first death anniversary and the 103rd birthday of its founder, Fr. Pierre T. Tritz. The institutional mass held on September 13 was concelebrated by OIC President and Xavier School Campus Minister Fr. Xavier Olin, SJ, Xavier School Chaplain Fr. Arturo Borja, SJ, and FPTI – ERDA Tech Chaplain Fr. Munching De Guzman, SJ.

“Pierre’s Corner”, wherein the school community may place photos, letters, and other tokens of remembrance, was set up first at Cafe Tritz and then later on at St. Ignatius of Loyola Hall. “Memoirs of His Legacy”, whose objective is similar to “Pierre’s Corner”, was also launched on Facebook.

During lunch breaks, students, faculty, and staff shared their musical talents via “ET Jammin'”. Specialization classes attended training sessions and visited company partners to enhance their knowledge and skills.

On September 19, Fr. Tritz’s birthday, a special prayer was recited instead of the usual morning prayer. The following day, a mini-concert, “ET Unplugged” was held at the St. Ignatius Hall. Three enrichment groups: ET Chorale, String Gravity, and ET Dance Club performed. Messages were also given by the writer and the school principal, Mr. Peter Marc Magsalin. The finale of the show featured former Xavier School volunteer to ERDA Tech Miss Kris Carla (KC) Lawenko and current Xavier High School English Department Chair Mr. Paolo Suapengco who are both artists of the group “Hangad” of the Jesuit Music Ministry. The school community, most especially the students were mesmerized and awed by the beautiful voices of the two guests.

The upcoming activities are a mass and get-together by the ERDA Tech alumni on Saturday, September 23, as well as the students’ team-building events and the disco (Fusion 2017) on September 29.

This year’s committee in charge of the event is led by the chair, Mr. Elmer Bueno, with Mr. Mark Rivera, Mrs. Tracy Ann Rotarta, and Miss Jesselyn “Gigi” Buendia as members.

Buwan ng Wika, Kasaysayan, Sining, at Kultura 2017

Artikulo at mga Larawan mula kay Jonathan S. Lacson, Kaagapay sa Pormasyon, FPTI – ERDA Tech, mga Karagdagang Larawan mula kina Tracy Ann G. Rotarta, Gurong Tagapamahala sa mga Usaping Pandisiplina, FPTI – ERDA Tech at Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Tagapamahala sa Programa ng Sponsorship, FPTI – ERDA Tech

Ang katatapos na buwan ng Agosto ay hitik sa mga gawaing naglalayong paigtingin ang pagmamahal ng pamayanang ERDA Tech bilang mga Pilipino sa kanilang wika, kasaysayan, sining, at kultura.

May inihandang ekshibit at nagdaos ng patimpalak sa pagsulat ng tula tungkol sa papel ng wika sa pagbabago at pag-unlad ng bansa.

Ang mga mag-aaral ng ikalabindalawang baitang ay nagkaroon ng field demo kung saan malikhain nilang pinagsama ang mga galaw at kumpas ng mga folk dance sa saliw ng mga awiting Pilipino. Ganoon din ang ginawa ng mga mag-aaral ng ikalabing-isang baitang na idinaan naman sa isang paligsahan.

Sa patimpalak na “Talentadong ERDAnian”, ipinamalas ng mga kalahok ang iba’t iba nilang galing, talino, at husay sa pagkanta, pagsasayaw, at pagguhit.

Itinampok din ang mga ukit-sabon ng mga mag-aaral ng ikalabindalawang baitang. Nakatutuwang pagmasdan at hawakan ang mga obrang ito; tunay ngang sa isang ordinaryong bagay gaya ng sabon ay uusbong ang mga likha ng sining.

Ang pinakamasarap na bahagi ay ang Pistang Pilipino kung saan ang lahat ay nagtipon sa St. Ignatius of Loyola Hall upang pagsaluhan ang isang tanghaliang puno ng mga pagkaing Pilipino. Sari-saring ulam, inumin, at panghimagas ang pumawi sa gutom at uhaw ng mga mag-aaral, guro, at kawani habang masaya silang nag-uusap, nagtatawanan, at ninanamnam ang bawat sandali na sila ay magkakasama.

Ang selebrasyong ito ng ating pagkaPilipino ay bunga ng pagtutulungan ng mga kahanga-hangang gurong sina Gng. Michelle Testa, G. Christian Bumatayo, Bb. Chyryz Valiente, G. Elmer Bueno, at ng mga piling mag-aaral na tumulong sa mga paghahanda at sa pagsasakatuparan ng mga gawain.

Lahat din ng mga mag-aaral na sumali sa iba’t ibang patimpalak ay kalugod-lugod dahil sa kanilang pagtitiyaga at pagsisikap sa pagsasanay, at sa kanilang buong-pusong pagbabahagi ng kanilang galing sa pamayanang ERDA Tech.