Expressing generosity during the Christmas season, the University of Saint Louis (USL) conducted its 25th Alay Pasko Tradition last Dec. 18, 2015 giving Christmas gifts to identified beneficiaries in Tuguegarao City.
There were 194 recipients from USL such as student assistants, Center for Culture and the Arts (CCA) members, Dinggin Ka Learning Center (DKLC) pupils, Maintenance staff, Regional Manpower Services (RMS) janitors, and street sweepers, while 200 ward patients from the Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC) and People’s Emergency Hospital, Tuguegarao City.
Angelita P. Leonud, 23, one of the beneficiaries, cheerfully said that the grocery given was useful since spending for Christmas celebration is expensive. “Pinagsalu-saluhan namin noong Noche Buena! Nagpapasalamat ako kasi nai-share nila [USL] yung biyaya sa amin.”
“The recipients were really grateful to the University when faculty members handed to them the goods because for them, the gift-giving activity was one way of uplifting their morale during the difficult stage of their confinement in a hospital. Furthermore, this activity emphasized the real essence of Christmas,” said Mrs. Diana T. Dalman, Community Extension Service (CES) Director, Officer-in-Charge, who spearheaded the program together with Fr. Thiago O. Silva, CICM, USL Vice President for Mission and Identity/ Chaplain.
According to Mrs. Dalman, this year’s Alay Pasko is different, for it is the first time that USL had reached out to ward patients in hospitals and granted packages of gifts to student assistants and CCA performers.
The fund came from USL’s Mission Collection, students’ Community Service Fee, and employees’ monetary donations.
Fr. Silva gave his remark on the Alay Pasko. “I was really impressed and happy. The Alay Pasko was also meaningful because it was more than the giving, but it was also a manifestation of friendship in celebration of Christmas.”
On his initial plan to strengthen the extension programs organized by the University, Fr. Silva said, “First, I want to work in partnership with all who are involved as one institution. Second, is to become more aware of the needs of the people outside USL and what we can do for them. Third, is to let know that the CES Office is not just an office conducting extension services but also where ministry work is exemplified.”
Moreover, the USL High School Academic Extension Office (HS AEO) led by Mrs. Melvie T. Mabbonag, HS Academic Extension Coordinator, simultaneously conducted its annual Alay Pasko at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) at Cataggaman Pardo, Tuguegarao City, rendering goods, usable clothes and fruits to 235 detainees. The Outreach Fund of the HS AEO along with the personal contributions of teachers and students was spent.