Friday, June 30, 2017

Building Catholic School in Tumauini . . .


After serving the Parish of Cauayan, Isabela, for more than five (5) years building Chapels in every Barangay of the more than 60 Barangays in Cauayan, Fr. Angel Luga returned to Tumauini, his hometown, as Parish Priest of the UNESCO declared heritage site St. Matthias Church.  With the present state of the Church damaged by the typhoon that hit Tumauini in recent years, Fr. Luga is advocating for the renovation of the Church and to address the educational needs of the children in Tumauini and its nearby towns.

St. Matthias School in Tumauini has been in existence since 1951.  It is the only Catholic School and the second oldest educational institution in Tumauini catering to the secondary educational needs of its residence and its neighboring towns.   What makes the school unique was its curriculum focusing on value formation of its students. For more than half a century the School of St. Matthias caters not only to the Tumanuians, but also those in the nearby municipalities.  They develop God fearing, caring children to their parents and as a responsible member of the society, under its vision: Love of God, Country and Environment.

Lately, however, its population continuously decreases. Other schools in Tumauini also suffered the same fate.  

When Fr. Angel B. Luga, an Alumni of the School himself, took over as its School Director sometime in January 2012, he wrote the Board of Trustees of the School (which is under the Diocese of Ilagan)  and made a strong representation requesting that the tuition free for the first year students of the school should be made FREE.  In his letter, Fr. Luga wrote that he is willing to donate whatever honorarium he shall be entitled, i.e., P 6,000.00 a month or P 72,000.00 a year, should the school suffers financial loses in its operation.     

In the same manner, Dr. Iluminada L. Nepomuceno, PhD, expressed her strong support to Fr. Angel B. Luga’s move.  Dr. Nepomuceno said:  “I myself is an Alumnus of this School. I dedicated my entire life in rearing the youth of Tumauini and shall soon be retiring from the service. If there is something more that I can do to propagate and foster the moral values we have learned and internalize from our Alma Matter, so let it be and may God help us all.”

Both Fr. Angel and Dr. Nepomuceno is appealing to all the Alumni of the School to bond altogether help the School in developing and molding the youth of Tumauini, the way its Alumni was molded by the School.  “It is high time for us to look back. If we have  talents, extra materials or possession in life, it is high time to share should it be in excess of what we have in this earthly world.  Should it be the only legacy we can share to the youth as an embodiment of what we have gained through the learning and values instilled on us by the Institution where we all came from, so let it be. Our Father in Heaven shall grateful to Us,” said Fr. Luga. 

Fr. Luga further said that, “while we may be in a difficult situation, we must not lose sight of continuously upgrading our facility and services to develop youthful Tumauinians to be competitive in whatever endeavor they shall be indulging into in the future.  It is in them that our future lies.  The quality of leaders we shall have in the future depends on the values we shall inculcate and instill to our youth.  I am appealing to you, not only as an Alumnus, but also as fellow Tumauninian and as an Ibanag, a proud people of our glorious past, to rise once again and face this challenge united as a one.”  

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