September 23, 2017

Forming character

ONE of the important goals of education is to form the character of children. It is that part of a person that provides stability and direction in his life and everything in it, starting with the way one thinks, his attitudes and his reactions to things in general.

A person, of course, is a very dynamic being, but he needs to have a sense of permanence and confidence. He needs to be rooted and moored in some sound foundations and oriented to some clear and good goals. He just cannot be drifting aimlessly, twisting in the wind.

A person needs to have an over-all view of life. He has to have a good idea of where he comes from and where he is supposed to go. He has to find meaning and purpose in everything. In fact, he has to know what man is really all about. In this, he cannot and should not be left in the dark for long.

Thus, we have to feel the need to be clear about who and what we are. This involves our core beliefs and faith. Let’s try to be professional and serious about this, avoiding being amateurish and sophomoric. And so we have to understand that we have to be committed to a global view of man and life.

For this, our Christian faith gives us the whole thing—from man’s creation to his eternal destiny. We have to be wary of some attractive ideologies that offer partial truths that often get distorted and exploited for some ulterior motives.

In short, we have to be committed to our Christian faith, for it contains the whole truth and mystery of man, and goes much further than any man-made ideology can offer. Commitment to our Christian faith should not remain on the intellectual level only. It has to involve our whole life with all our powers and faculties.

So everyone has to work to form the right character for oneself and for others. With respect to the children,  the task is a long, tedious process that has to go in several stages, typically slow, even meandering, in accordance to the rhythm of life itself, but it should be abiding and relentless.

Good knowledge on shifting gears is definitely a necessity here, since we are going to meet all kinds of terrains, challenges, circumstances and other factors and conditionings.

Since children are not aware of the need to form their own character, their parents and teachers have to gradually make them aware of it. In the end, it is the children themselves who are the primary agents in forming their own character.

The responsibility of the parents and teachers is undoubtedly big and indispensable, but at best secondary. To the children, parents are the primary educators. Teachers just help. Both need to coordinate very closely with each other.

For sure, they need to make time for this all-important duty. This cannot be treated as a sideline only. They need time to be with the children, and time for their planning and meetings.

For this reason, parents and teachers should be clear about what is involved in forming the character of the children. They have to know what education is really all about.

Then, of course, they have to know the many, endless details of the techniques and methods involved, when to be strict, when to be lenient, etc. They have to realize then that they need formation themselves and that their formation as educators also has to go on. It should be an endless affair.

For sure, education just cannot be understood as imparting some knowledge and skills to the children. It covers a whole lot more. Many considerations have to be made—the temperament and psychology of the children, the close monitoring of their behavior, etc.

As educators, parents and teachers have to be knowledgeable not only about the subjects involved in education, but also about the appropriate ways to educate children. They need to combine a wide range of qualities—patience, cheerfulness, toughness, optimism, naturalness, openness and flexibility, etc.

They have to be good at motivating, since children respond so favorably to this that we can say that their growth and development would depend largely on the motivation they receive especially from parents and children.

They have to feel appreciated and loved, needed and important. Even when they have to be corrected, they should realize by the way we do the correction that they are in fact loved and needed, never rejected.

This, I think, is how they form their character and acquire both human and Christian maturity.

Back to Springdale

As "the only school for boys", today is the first day in school at PAREF Springdale. Teachers, staffs, and students are excited. Everyone is excited especially the new ones. You see new faces, new smiles, hear new laughter, and new kids playing at the quadrangle. For more than 16 years already as a boys school here in Cebu…

…in Springdale, you see "Gentlemen".

Bene Omnia Facere!

Run with the Titans

RUNNING PARENTS. Veteran runners Dr. Potenciano "Yong" Larrazabal III (seated, third from right) and wife Donna Cruz (second from right) will lead some 2,000 runners in PAREF Springdale's first foray in running.

FOOTBALL FOOTBALL powerhouse Paref Springdale will take a stab at running as it hosts its first road race dubbed Run with the Titans on Nov. 20 at Parkmall, Mandaue. The event, which will be headed by the parents of the Grade 3 students, is held in connection with the school’s tradition of celebrating its own Father’s Day.

Titan, a moniker used for Springdale students, inspired this year’s batch to create a project of organizing a running event. “It’s the first time we’re doing a run. It is part of our efforts of getting known in Cebu not only in football but also in running,” said Ric Ampiloquio, who is the Paref Springdale school director. 

They will have a 15K, 7K and 3K divisions, while the sprint events will be exclusive for students. Grades 1 and 2 students will have the 200-meter sprint, Grades 3 to 7 will have the 300-meter sprint, while the high school students will have the 500-meter sprint.

They will also have a separate 7K division for teachers and parents.

The run will raise funds for its beneficiary Kaabag Foundation, which holds a feeding program every Monday among 80 kids from different barangays. The school also partners with them every December for their own feeding program.

“We wanted to expose the kids to the society’s conditions,” said James Co, who heads the committee on marketing and logistics.

Also a proud parent of his third-grader Cian, Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman of the Run for Sight, will make sure that most of the needs of the runners will be provided.

The registration fee is P300 for the 15K, 7K and 3K.

Registration period will start next week at Parkmall, Center for Sight Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital and Shell Station Lahug until a few days before the race.

The run is expected to gather more than 2,000 runners, and the students will be required to attend as Nov. 20 will also be the school’s family day.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2011.

“There Be Dragons”

When you step inside a movie theater, you never know what’s going to happen… there in the dark, for an hour or two. A movie is a powerful thing, and There Be Dragons has already demonstrated the power to change the lives not only of viewers but also of actors. 

St Josemaria's life, like everyone else's, was made up of light and shadows. Through the whole of it his overwhelming desire was to be faithful to where God was taking him. This makes him a brilliant guide for others in the dark moments of their lives.

Charlie Cox himself, who plays St. Josemaría in the movie, told reporters: “My relationship with the Catholic Church and with God has certainly been profoundly affected for the better throughout this process.”

People have been writing personal testimonies to the website of St Josemaria Institute, describing the impact that the film had on their lives. Here are a few:

“I've been trying to forgive my mother all my life (…). On May 6 the topic of my therapy session was finding a way to forgive her, and that night I saw There Be Dragons. I chose to ask for St. Josemaria's intercessions, and since then, I have had nothing but good memories of her. I AM FREE of my dragon!!!” Cynthia

I leave wanting to be a better person
"Thank you, Roland Joffé. You have managed that a person, at the end of the film, is left with desires to be a better person and with the clear idea that it is not worth letting yourself be carried away by your passions. To behave in a decent, human way will at times lead to suffering, and acting badly perhaps has some advantages and saves you some blows in life . . . but it is not worth it. Thank you for this beautiful film.-José Ignacio

“Gentlemen: I am writing to thank you for having made this film. A few weeks ago I called a friend of mine to tell him that my wife and I had decided to divorce. We have a daughter. This friend told me: "Before you do that, you have to watch There Be Dragons." I went to see the movie with my wife, accompanied by this friend. We left the theater crying and unable to speak. We spent all that night talking about it, because we realized that the problem was not in our relationship as husband and wife, but that we had not been able to identify and overcome our own inner dragons. The real problems were in each one of us. So we have decided to focus our struggles on that, to overcome our dragons, and not to talk about divorce any more. We have also decided to try to have a new child.” Enrique Lorenzo

For more messages from viewers here