A Mass, champagne brunch, colorful, ornate tea hats, and music with dancing was the way former students of Colegio de Sta. Isabel welcomed their new set of officers.
The induction ceremonies of Colegio de Sta. Isabel Alumni Association-Foreign Based (CSIAA-FB) officers for 2013-2014 was held on Sunday, July 21st at Almasor Court in Los Angeles with the alumni and their friends.
The occasion was jubilant with much nostalgia for the Alma Mater. And when their new leader spoke, everyone was brought both to laughter and near tears.
“There are three kinds of people: those who make things happen; those who watch what happens; and those who ask ‘what happened?’” cited Rose Cruz-Gardoce, the new president, in her remarkably short but pithy acceptance speech.
Despite her recent health challenge of undergoing a second open heart surgery in February this year, the unassuming and ever elegant Rose accepted the top post “ with a great leap of faith” but with her usual contagious enthusiasm and sense of humor, and an endearing strong leadership.
She concludes her brief remarks by saying: “I am no politician so I shall make no promises but in my watch, we will make things happen. I may be old but I am not dead.”
Rose, who is from CSI high school batch ‘55, is a long time San Fernando Valley resident.
The other officers include Ma.Luisa Rosana -vice president, Ethel Diamante -secretary, Aida Florin-Brizuela -treasurer, Vilma Diamante-Simeon -auditor, Nelia Florin -business manager, Alice San Andres-Calleja -PRO, and Nennen de los Santos -sergeant at arms. The Board of Directors are the former presidents Betty Miranda-Rances, Cecile Rosana, Lourdes Aguirre-Ordonez,Mercy Regalado-Eslinger, Cynthia Diamante, and Gene Martires-Leano.
Fr. Balbino Gumabao, the priest celebrant, inducted the officers.
Cynthia “Cyndy” Diamante, immediate past president, lauded her fellow Isabelinas for their enduring dedication to the Alma Mater – and spoke for them of their new leader- “not only are you amazing to us, you are the ‘unsinkable Rose!’ ”
The multi-talented Gene Martires-Leano was event chair and emcee.
Organized in 1991, CSIAA-FB brings together those who studied in this first normal school for girls in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Being one of the top nursing schools in the Philippines today, CSI alumni diaspora has increasingly become worldwide.
This 22-year-old alumni group’s current projects now include scholarships and dental/medical missions in the homeland.
Founded on November 5, 1867, the Colegio (a term of endearment among its alumni), is a private Catholic Vincentian institution of the Daughters of Charity in Naga City, Camarines Sur.
The prestigious Bicol institution was initially an all-girls school, then admitted boys in the 40s, went back to girls only in the 50s until nursing was introduced in the late 60s when it officially turned coed.
It became a university in August 2001, properly renamed Universidad de Sta. Isabel (ISI). It celebrates its sesquicentennial (150 years) in 2017.