Student grades now online in IFSU

By: Jill B. Saquing

The Ifugao State University has launched the Student Information System (SIS) that ushers the first phase of online services for IFSU students under the project Online Student Information and Accounting System of Ifugao State University.

The SIS application embedded at the IFSU website comprises of four core modules namely:

  • Online Grade Inquiry; 
  • Online Enrollment;
  •  Online Assessment;
  • Online scheduling; and
  • Accounting Module

 

 The functional module commenced by the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Section on July 8, 2016 is the Online Grade Inquiry which engages IFSU students to view their grades online and perceived to gradually impact on enrollment processes that is a challenge to most students.

Previously, students lining up at the Registrar during enrollment are a mix up of enrollees and students who are requesting a copy of their grades for the previous semester besides other transactions.

  However, Michael D. Pinkihan, Web Coordinator said that for now, only the IFSU students who were enrolled SY 2015-2016 can view their grades as the completion of  student information is continuously being keyed in by the system developer in coordination with the Department of Registrar Services.

“The system will be completed and made functional phase by phase so we hope the students will be patient to wait for the other modules,”  he said.  

“We are working on the SIS slowly but surely so that students can enjoy a hassle free transaction with the university other than having an access to their information anytime anywhere” Pinkihan added. #

IFSU accepts incoming 1st year students

By: Jill B. Saquing

 

The Ifugao State University will accept incoming 1st year students and was confirmed none other than IFSU President Dr. Serafin L Ngohayon under Memorandum Order no. 30, s. 2016 released July 7, 2016 revoking earlier issuances and announcement made earlier in this website.

The Memorandum addressed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Campus Directors, Directors for Registrar and Admission Services and Student Services and Development and their respective Coordinators of IFSU provides that registration/enrollment period starts July 11-29, 2016.

The Memo clarifies that those who will be admitted to any IFSU’s program offerings are only those who graduated from high school prior to School Year 2015-2016.

Transferees from other HEI’s will also be accepted after due evaluation and if warranted will start anew in IFSU, the memo further says.

It provides further that a program/ class will be opened only when there are at least 20 students.

Dr. Ngohayon has also urged the dissemination of the information through radio, print media and tarpaulin.

2015 targets achieved by IFSU

      By: Jill B. Saquing

      The efforts have proven worthwhile with IFSU after it has realized its tasks to produce and deliver its Major Final Output (MFO) targets and indicators in four major areas in MFO 1: Advanced and Higher Education Services; MFO 2: Research Services; MFO 3: Technical Advisory and Extension Services and General Administration and Support Services for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

       The Inter-agency Task Force has certified IFSU to have fulfilled all the good governance conditions it has set on the Harmonization of the National Government Performance Monitoring, Information and Reporting Systems which has gained recognition of IFSU Employees and Offices to be ranked as Best, Better and Good for 2015 that comprised financial rewards ascribed in the Department of Budget and Management’s policies. 

      “We affirm the Ifugao State University (IFSU) for complying with the FY 2015 Performance Based Bonus (PBB) requirements and qualifying to the grant of bonus,” so states the official communication forwarded to IFSU dated May 21, 2016 signed by Florencio B. Abad, Secretary, Department of Budget and Management and Chairperson, AO 25 Inter-Agency Task Force.

         The good governance requirements demanded from government agencies include Transparency Seal; PhilGEPS Posting; Liquidation of Cash Advances; Citizen’s Charter and SALN. Included in this year’s requirements is the percentage (%) of efficiency in the submission of financial accountability reports, Annual Procurement Plan (APP), Agency Procurement Compliance and Performance Indicators (APCPI) System (APCPI) and Commission on Audit (COA) reports.

          However, additional requirements were set by virtue of Office Order No. 2015 – 541 on October 30, 2015 which formed the “bases for assessing DBM eligibility for the PBB in addition to the common Support to Operations (STO) and General Administration and Support Services (GASS) targets set by the IATF.”

           The following are the new and/or additional requirements for the grant of the CY (2015 PBB specified in the same order which has been fulfilled by IFSU to wit:

3.2.1 Use of the Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS) as basis for ranking performance of first and second level employees;

3.2.2 Compliance with Public Financial Management (PFM) reporting requirements of the Commission on Audit (COA) and the DBM;

3.2.3 Adoption and use of the Agency Procurement Compliance and Performance Indicators (APCPI) System;

3.2.4 Compliance with Section 3e of A.O. No. 46, series 2015 which requires agencies to submit their respective Annual Procurement Plan (APP) based on the approved budget in the General Appropriations Act (GAA), inclusive of Maintenance and Other Operating Expense (MOOE), Capital Outlay (CO) and commonly used supplies.                                                                                                     

IFSU has been compliant to good governance conditions set for FY 2013 and 2014.

CHED awards certificate of compliance to IFSU programs

By: Jill B. Saquing

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granted Certificate of Program Compliance (COPC) to four programs of the Ifugao State University after a series of intense evaluation and accreditation visits in the past few months. 

The programs that have passed the minimum standards set by CHED are: Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED), Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED), Bachelor of Science in Criminology (BSCRIM) and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT)

These programs issued with COPCs are the ones offered at the Main Campus.

The CHED CAR Order No. 2, series of 2016 specifically states that “the COPC does not extend to any branch of the institution, whether located in the same place or elsewhere.”

Other programs in all the campuses have on-going evaluation and accreditation visits which has been led by Dr. Romulo H. Malvar, Officer In Charge, Office of the Director IV, CHED Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The certificate was issued by CHED in accordance to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7722 otherwise known as “Higher Education Act of 1994”. 

        The COPC signed by Dr. Malvar was issued on June 24, 2016 at CHED-CAR, La Trinidad, Benguet and officially awarded to University President Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon during the Exit Conference of the Evaluation and Validation Visit of Curricular Programs held at the IFSU Review Center on July 1, 2016 witnessed by the IFSU Administrative Council and members of the Faculty. 

Officials for SY 2016 to 2017 announced

By: Jeremy M. Gawongna

The designated university officials for school year 2016-2017 who would form the core of the Administrative Council (ADCO) were unveiled with the issuance of Office Order Number 12 – 2016 on July 1, 2016.

The designations are based on the revised organizational structure.

They perform their functions effective July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

They are: Dr. Nancy Ann P. Gonzales, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Napoleon K. Taguiling, Vice President for Research, Development, Extension and Training (RDET); Dr. Diosdado M. Aquino, Director, Main or Lamut Campus; Dr. Camilo A. Pimentel, Director, Lagawe Campus; Dr. Ricardo L. Ildefonso, Director, Potia Campus; Mr. Joseph L. Ngohayon, Director, Aguinaldo Campus, and; Mr. Vicente L. Kalaw, Director, Hapao Campus.

The designated deans for the Main or Lamut Campus are: Dr. Ivan Baguilat, Dean, College of Open Distance and Transnational Education (CODETE); Dr. Mary P. Caclini, Dean, College of Advance Education (CAE); Dr. Alice Y. Brawner, Dean, College of Education (CoE); Dr. Nancy Ann P. Gonzales, Dean, College of Health Sciences (CHS); Dr. Dinah Corazon M. Licyayo, Dean, College of Agriculture and Home Science (CAHS); Dr. Elpidio B. Basilio Jr., Dean, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), and; Dr. Annie Tumitit, Dean, College of Criminal Justice (CCJ).

Designated deans for Lagawe Campus are: Dr. Rhoda Bunuan, Dean, College of Engineering and Technology (CET); Dr. Marcelino Lunag, Dean College of Education (CoE), and; Dr. Fernando G. Hernando, Dean, College of Business and Management (CBM).

The designated deans for Potia Campus are: Dr. Robert T. Ngidlo, Dean, College of Advance Education (CAE); Dr. Valentina Buminaang, Dean, College of Education (CoE); Dr. Milton Dulay, Dean, College of Agriculture and Forestry (CAF), and; Dr. Patricia Aliguyon, Dean, College of Business and Management (CBM). Acting deans are Mr. Roderick Vicente for the College of Computing Sciences (CCS) and Mr. Arthur Gubia-on for the College of Criminal Justice (CCJ).

Directors of service departments are: Engr. Loinaz Dulawan, Director for Administration (Chief Administrative Officer 1); Dr. Juliet, Director for Finance (Chief Administrative Officer 2); Engr. Jose P. Binwag, Director, Department of Infrastructure and Site Development (DISD); Mr. Stradivary Caro, Director, Department of General Services (DGS); Ms. Genereose S. Ognayon, Director for NBC 461 Zonal Center for CAR; Mr. Nathaniel F. Dimog, Director, Department of Income Generating Projects; Dr. Joyce A. Bodah, Director, Department of Planning and Information Management (DPIM); Mr. Michael Pinkihan, Director, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); Ms. Christine N. Dinagtuan, Director, Department of Student Services and Development ( DSSD); Dr. Vicky C. Madangeng, Director, Department of Physical Education and Sports (DPES); Dr. Vivien Dumelod, Director, Quality Assurance Office (QAO); Dr. Wedy Lanaon, Director, Department of National Service Training Program (DNSTP); Ms. Lilian Tumapang, Director, Department of Library Services; Dr, Alicia M. Binwag, Director, Department of Registrar and Admission Services (DRAS); Dr. Teresita D. Allig, Director, Department of Research and Development (DRD); Dr. Eva Marie C. Dugyon, Director, Department of Extension and Training (DET) and Manager of the IFSU Printing Office; Dr. Rommel B. Sumeg-ang, Director and Focal Person, Gender and Development Center; Dr. Marissa Bulong, Director, Globally Important Agriculture Heritage System (GIAHS) Center, and; Ms. Doris Beyer, Director, IFSU-OFPHIL Eye Center (IFOEC).

Mayor of Suzu City, Japan visits Ifugao

By Arianie Christie O. Atolba/ ISMTP Office

Suzu City Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya, Suzu City Planning and Financial Division Chief Naoyuki Kaneda, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Hokuriku Director Masato Koinuma paid a courtesy call to Ifugao State University (IFSU) President Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon on July 01, 2016.

This is part of their two-day itinerary visiting Ifugao’s rice terraces landscapes. IFSU is co-implementer of the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) and the on-site office of the ISMTP Project Management Team.

Mayor Izumiya is one of the advocates of the ISMTP being implemented as a human capacity building program for stakeholders in the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) sites of Ifugao. He is also the chairman of the Ifugao Satoyama Support Committee in Japan. His delegation was accompanied to Ifugao by ISMTP Project Leader, Professor Koji Nakamura and his associate Dr. Rizalita Edpalina. As a longtime supporter of GIAHS sites conservation, Mayor Izumiya and his delegation came to Ifugao purposely to see the Ifugao “satoyama” landscapes and hear from ISMTP implementers and local leaders best practices in facilitating sustainable development in GIAHS sites.

After the courtesy call, the Japanese delegation were formally welcomed through a program participated by IFSU officials, ISMTP workforce, ISMTP trainees and staff. It kicked off with the Ifugao traditional dance.

In his speech, Mayor Izumiya said it is his first time to visit Ifugao, but that he has heard great things about the Ifugao landscape and the culture of the Ifugao people. He said that he commends the twinning between the Ifugao GIAHS and Japan GIAHS stakeholders and wish that the “satoyama” program would continue to strengthen relations between Ifugao and Suzu City. He explained that his city, like Ifugao, is also challenged by a decreasing population due to the outmigration of young people who are seeking university education and work outside Suzu City.

After visiting IFSU, the Suzu City delegation together with the ISMTP Project Management staff met with Ifugao Governor Pedro Mayam-o and Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog, and were treated with a tour in Banaue.

Governor Pedro Mayam-o regaled the delegation with stories about the culture, agriculture and practices of the Ifugaos. Likewise, Mayor Izumiya shared that the traditional festivals in Suzu City helps in keeping the indigenous culture of the city alive.  Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog seconded that conservation of heritage sites take communal effort from all stakeholders to be effective. Local Government Programs need the acceptance and cooperation of community members as experienced by his administration. As such, the LGU welcomes partnerships and collaborations like the ISMTP who assist in educating and empowering grassroots stakeholders in Ifugao.

Agri programs pass TESDA standards

By: Jill B. Saquing

Four programs of the Ifugao State University (Main Campus) have been awarded with Certificates of TVET Program Registration (CTPR) by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The four programs that have complied with the minimum requirements/standards prescribed by TESDA are:

1.       Agricultural Crops Production NC I (with a duration of 302 hours);

2.       Agricultural Crops Production NC II (with a duration of 336 hours)

3.       Agricultural Crops Production NC III (with a duration of 445 hours); and 

4. Organic Agricultural Production II (with duration of 232 hours).

The CTPR given in May 20, 2016 in Baguio City signed by the authority of TESDA-CAR Regional Director Francisco B. Jucar “is pursuant to Republic Act No. 7796 creating the TESDA and in accordance with TESDA Board Resolution 98-03 on the Establishment of the United TVET Program registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS) dated January 23, 1998 and TESDA Circulars No. 17 and No. 12 Omnibus Amendatory Guidelines on UTPRAS as amended by TESDA Circular No. 45 Series of 2007.”

For its part IFSU conforms as signed by University President Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon to comply to the following:

1.       To submit for re-evaluation and re-registration the With Training Regulation (WTR) programs with the updated Training Regulations (TR) within a period of one year upon the effectivity of an updated TR and upon due notification from TESDA.

The failure of the institution to re-register its programs within the prescribed period shall render the closure of the four programs.

2.       Students graduating from a WTR shall undergo mandatory assessment as a requirement for graduation.

3.       All registered programs shall be subject to regular compliance audit by TESDA or a recognized auditing body to ensure continuing compliance with the minimum standards.

4. The TESDA Regional/Provincial/ District Director shall be informed of any changes in trainer and shall subsequently issue a certification as to the new trainers with corresponding NTTC numbers.

                        The trainer for the CTPR approved programs is Dr. Marissa P. Bulong, Director, Globally Important Agriculture Heritage System (GIAHS) Center.      

CHED K +12 Scholarship granted to 46 employees

By: Jeremy M. Gawongna

At least forty-six employees of the Ifugao State University (IFSU) availed of the Graduate Studies Scholarships for Faculty and Staff in the K to 12 Transition Period of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), some to start their schooling on August while some started in June.

Twenty-five were nominated for doctorate and twenty-one for masters. Four of whom are non-teaching staff. Seventeen are employees of the Main Campus, thirteen from Lagawe Campus, twelve from Potia Campus, one from Tinoc Campus, one from Hapao Campus, and two from Aguinaldo Campus.  

IFSU has the most number of scholars among the Sending Higher Education Institutions (SHEI) in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Scholarship privileges are free tuition and other fees, book allowance, living allowance, transportation assistance, thesis or dissertation capstone project allowance if applicable and group insurance. 

Aside from being an SHEI, CHED authorized IFSU as a Delivering Higher Education Institution (DHEI) for approved programs consistent with CHED Memorandum Order Number 16, Series of 2016, having satisfactorily fulfilled the requirements of the commission, in accordance with CHED Memorandum Order Number 4, series of 2016.

The approved programs are Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching Early Childhood Education, MA in Teaching English, MA in Teaching Mathematics, MA in Teaching Physical Science, MA Teaching Filipino, Master of Science (MS) in Agriculture Animal Science, MS in Agriculture Crop Science, and MS in Criminal Justice with specialization in Criminology.

Infrastructure projects implemented in campuses

 

By: Jeremy M. Gawongna

IFSU pursues its objective to modernize the university this year with the implementation of infrastructure projects in its campuses.

All of the projects are ongoing such as: the Construction of Gymnasium at Lagawe Campus with PhP 3, 848, 058.31 project cost, Construction of Convention Hall at Main Campus with PhP 11, 994, 421.54 project cost, Construction of Technology Classroom and Laboratory at Tinoc Campus with PhP 5, 501, 529.96 project cost, Construction of Research and Innovation Center at Potia Campus, Establishment of Mathematics Building at Main Campus with PhP 14, 482, 647.25 project cost, and Construction of Technology Classroom and Laboratory Building at Jacmal, Aguinaldo with PhP 4, 844, 128.22 project cost.

Quarterly monitoring of the projects by the Department of Infrastructure and Site Development headed by Engineer Jose P. Binwag is conducted to ensure quality and standard.

Completed projects in 2015 were: the Construction of New Academic and Science Laboratory Building at the Main Campus with PhP 8, 424, 548.93 project cost, Construction of Research Laboratory Building at the Main Campus with 5, 666, 958.24 project cost, Completion of Administrative and Library or Laboratory Building at Potia Campus with PhP 6, 879, 075.97 project cost, and Completion of IFSU Lagawe Industrial Technological Laboratory Building with PhP 6, 979, 927.18 project cost.

IFSU produces 1, 438 graduates

By: Jeremy M. Gawongna

The Registrar’s Office recorded a number of 1, 438 graduates of the Ifugao State University (IFSU)  2nd semester of school year 2015 to2016, surpassing the 1,368 number of graduates 2nd semester of school year 2014 to 2015. Mid-year Commencement Exercise is held every after 1st semester.

The Summer Commencement Exercises was held on June 7, 2016. Graduation ceremony for graduates under the Open Distance Education / Transnational Education was also held in Bangkok, Thailand on May 15, 2016. Commencement Exercises were held at the Main or Lamut Campus on April 1, 2016, Lagawe Campus on April 5, 2016, Potia Campus on April 7, 2016, and Tinoc Campus on March 30, 2016. 

Main Campus had the most number of graduates with 957. Potia came next with 274, followed by Lagawe with 166. Tinoc had 41 graduates. 

They were confirmed graduates by IFSU President Dr. Serafin. L. Ngohayon

Inspiring Messages

Main Campus Commencement Exercises Guest of Honor and Speaker Dr. Victor B. Mariano, Director, Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) suggested the graduates to always have in mind the Triple A: Attitude, Aptitude, and Altitude. 

“It is your attitude and not your aptitude that will determine your altitude,” he stressed.

“Attitude is the way you look at life. Aptitude is your brain matter. Aptitude is the level of your success,” he explained.

He said faith in God, humility, and positive outlook are the key elements of a good attitude.

Potia Campus Commencement Exercises Guest of Honor and Speaker Dr. Lorenzo M. Caranguian, Director, Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR), drove his points using the acronym ENSO: Education, Nature, Science, and Opportunities.

Education, according to him, is not just general education but appropriate or quality education that helps make a difference. It is the entry point to any transformation.

“Nature of involvement spells a lot,” he said. 

“We would always like to be effective and efficient in all the things that we do… Remember just one word. It’s credibility,” he said further.

On Science, he said in order to excel, one has to know the details and the rudiments.

“It’s all about technology. Gone are the days when we were hit and miss. Gone are the days when we were on trial and error method implementers. We have to be very precise,” he said. 

Dr. Caranguian further told the graduates of their edge for having finished a degree. He urged them to have the determination to find appropriate opportunities. 

Lagawe Campus Commencement Exercises Guest of Honor and Speaker Honorable Teodoro B. Baguilat Jr., Congressman, Lone District of Ifugao, honored the administrators, faculty, parents and students for achieving another development milestone.

“For the faculty and administrators, this marks the culmination of their effort to mold and hold the next generation of Ifugaos and the new hope of our province. For the students, this is the consummation of years of hard work and the beginning of the next stage of their lives; to look for a job. For our parents, this is the provision of all your sacrifice. This is a day to recognize your priceless effort,” he said.

He presented the government programs on education aiming to meet global standards such as the K+12 expanded basic education curriculum, upgrading of school facilities, scholarship programs, etc.. He cited some initiatives under his administration that benefited IFSU such as lobbying for IFSU budget during budget hearings, lobbying with Senator Pia Cayetano for the construction of the multi-purpose gymnasium at Lagawe Campus, and a lot more.

“Together, our quest for excellence will be much easier to fulfil if we work together. I see myself as part of the IFSU community by virtue of my responsibility to our beloved Ifugao,” he said.

Tinoc Campus Commencement Exercises Guest of Honor and Speaker Dr. Carmelo W. Madinno, Faculty Member, College of Arts and Sciences, Benguet State University, inspired the graduates by sharing his struggles and determination to achieve where he is now.

Summer Commencement Exercises Guest of Honor and Speaker Dr. Romulo H. Malvar, Director IV, Commission on Higher Education – Cordillera Administrative Region (CHED-CAR), pointed out that it is but apt to be happy and grateful as another batch of graduates of the different IFSU satellite campuses are equipped with values and competence ready to face the challenges in the world of work.

“In the world of work, we should be able to analyze the systems in front of us. We should be able to operate the computers in front of us,” he said.

“As graduates, you are now empowered to fulfil your dream, to fulfil your goal. In this season of unprecedented change to Philippine education landscape shaped by aggressive reform measures from the government with the full implementation of K to 12 this year, to include typology, quality assurance, and the rapidly advancing movements such as the onset of the ASEAN economic community 2015, it is imperative for our educational institutions to get ready and join the game,” he said further.

He explained that with the ASEAN integration, Filipinos would compete not only with fellow Filipinos but with nationalities in other ASEAN countries, hence, joining the game means taking all the challenges that the landscape poses, striving to attain quality education, and making a difference to achieve excellence such that excellence is the name of the game.

He shared some pointers to remember using the acronym EXCELLENCE: E for Excel, X for X-factor, C for Cooperation, E for Emulate, L for Lead by example, L for Love education, E for Engagement, C for Compete, and E for Employing God’s grace.

“Excel means you surpass something. You attain something more than what you expect, more than what is in the standard and that is the essence of being a Center of Excellence in education. That is also the essence of our Institutional Sustainability Assessment and that is excellence compared to what is being provided in our Certificate of Program Compliance,” he explained.

On X-factor, he said such is always there in any competition. He said life is full of surprises where one wakes in the morning either with pleasant or unpleasant surprises but above all, persistence in prayer helps.

On cooperation and teamwork, he said when it comes to excellence in education, nobody can attain excellence without the so-called teamwork of all the faculty, students, non-academic staff, and even the people outside the university.

On emulation, he said try to check if the university survives by following good path, good deeds, good behavior, and good values. “In doing so, that is one way to achieve excellence in education,” he said.

On leading by example, he said although nobody is perfect or nobody can actually have it all, doing or showing something in school is actually leading other people to follow such good examples.

“Love education is passion for education. Everyday of our lives, we are always learning. Those learnings, situations, and circumstances make a person a better one,” he said. 

“Engagement is getting involved,” he said. Involvement in all the activities of the university and the society, according to him, means responding to the fact that events happening whether near or far affect the university.

On competition, Dr. Malvar stressed the need to be globally competitive. He said the director of a Philippine university must be of the same level of standard with the director of any Asian university. Graduates of a Philippine university must be able to compete with graduates of universities in the whole world.

On employing God’s grace, he said God’s grace includes what and how one thinks, feels, and settles things, hence, one must always seek God’s assistance. 

Baccalaureate Mass

In his homily during the Summer Commencement Exercises Baccalaureate Mass, Fr. Noel Bantiyan, Rector, Lamut Catholic Mission, reminded the graduates not to forget the people behind their achievement: their parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends, professors, and all who journeyed with them.

 “It is right and proper that your family and friends accompany you because in so many ways, families are often the hidden faculty of academic life. Parents made sacrifices…. Your family is your encouragement. They pushed you because they know your capabilities… Most of all, they love you and feel nothing but joy and pride,” he said.

He told the graduates that aside from thanking God for their achievements, they must thank God for those who have carried out and nurtured their gifts.

“If you really want to be successful in whatever profession or work you undertake, realize that you can never do it alone. You have to rely on the love, prayer, and support of those who help you go through and become better person,” he said.

“You cannot be successful by using only your human strength and power. God must always be part of your daily life, your plans and activities. Trust in Him, the one who strengthens and sustains you,” he said further.

Fr. Bantiyan also presided the Baccalaureate Mass during the Main Campus Commencement Exercises. He based his homily on the story of The Rich Man from the Gospel of Mark.

He gave emphasis on gratitude and mission.

On gratitude, he explained that the Eucharist, the second part of the Holy Mass, literally means thanksgiving.

“Gratitude is more than just words of thanks. It is attitude, a way of seeing life and how life moves forward. Your inexhaustible energies are not yours but are God’s, the reason why Eucharist or the Holy Mass is celebrated. It is an acknowledgement that left on your own, you would not have been able to surpass the challenges and difficulties. Events and coincidences were filled with the twists, turns and surprises of a loving God such that we have to thank Him,” he said.

On mission, he said it’s not just about passing the board, but beyond that would be bigger task, realities of life, and decisions that will call for real discernment. The mission, according to him, is for a lifetime. 

“There will be many distractions, many temptations to pull you back. There will be moments of doubt and fear. There will be moments of abandonment. This is where the real challenge comes. Whatever and wherever you will be, whatever decisions you make, you will be taking along with you the name of IFSU,” he said. 

He said training and commitment are not enough unless complemented with proper care for human beings.

“They need heartfelt concern. They need to experience the richness of who they are as images and likeness of God. Poverty and pain can sometimes make them forget it but they become human when they feel once more the love of people like you who care,” he said.

He said the society is sometimes so materialistic so that what really matters are easily forgotten.

“To so many people, happiness depends on possessions. Finishing a course, having a job, having a beautiful house, luxurious car, all these things become people’s goal in life. If one of these items cannot be attained, then for some people, life has taken a terrible turn for the worst,” he said. 

“In the Gospel, a young man was told to leave material things to follow the Lord. He was trying hard to serve God. This is a man whom Jesus looks upon and loves but he couldn’t leave his possessions to follow the Lord. He had many possessions. He wasn’t able to see the ultimate value of following Christ. Thus, sad to say, some people entrust the happiness of their families to these things rather than to the presence of the Lord. The rich man in the Gospel is having a hard time to enter the kingdom of God, not because he is not concern with the kingdom of God. He has a hard time entering because he is more concerned with the kingdom of the world. His determination for things left him with a life nowhere to go. What really matters in life? As the first reading says from the Book of Wisdom, that the wisdom of God is all that matters; to see things as God sees them, to understand as God understands, to enjoy the fruit of creation as God means them to be enjoyed, to use your talents and gifts, to lead your families in love so that you become the reflection of the holy family. This is what matters in life. You may not be well-off financially. What is important is your life revolves around the love of the Lord in and through others. This is wisdom,” he explained.