In honor of the 60th year of the presence of the Marist Brothers in the Philippines, the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University has lined up a year-long celebration in the campus.

The year-long Diamond Jubilee Year celebration actually started on June 6, 2008 and will end at June 6, 2009.  I have yet to get a copy of their activities (paging Reuben!) but will post it here once the NDDU Alumni Office emails it to me.

But at this point, I wish to pay tribute to the following unforgettable Marist Brothers who have made their marks in my life:

  • Bro. Henry Joseph Ruiz, FMS – the President when I was in my early elementary years and the school was then known as NDDC.  I remember him as a kind-hearted American soul who knew all of us by our first names!
  • Bro. Eugene Pius Taju, FMS – the first Filipino Marist Brother I have come across with.  Very good-looking and so even at that time, he was the crush of teachers.
  • Bro. Samuel Geveso, FMS – i think he was the first Pinoy president of NDDC.  He always hands out my medals and awards during the convocation for honor students.
  • Bro. Paul Meuten, FMS – we were in high school when he became President, one of the strictest.  He could be German or something.  I still remember his face turning red when he admonished our noisy group who were going up the building.
  • Bro. Wenceslao Paterno, FMS – our Algebra teacher and 2nd year homerooom mentor who was the simplest and most down-to-earth brother I’ve known.
  • Bro. Willy Lubrico, FMS – our Economics teacher (a newbie instructor at that time) who would move on to become President of NDDU and instrumental in the major changes in the school, including its application as university which he spearheaded, he is the closest to me and the family.  Now as NDMU president, things are also looking up for that campus, too.
  • Bro. John Adams, FMS – a Burt Reynolds look-alike but more of a Crocodile Dundee type of guy, he was our Biology teacher who got us into hiking 8 hours from the estuary of Silway river, across the Lions Beach and exiting at the what is now known as Ladol beach, past the Alcantara property.  He made me realize that I am not cut out to be a soldier.
  • Bro. James McKnight, FMS – an American, he was never our teacher but his tall, lanky presence in all our activities during our sophomore year made him unforgetable.  He joined us in Bro. Adam’s 8-hour trek along Sarangani Bay, and from him, I first heard the word, GODDA*@?! uttered by somebody other than Clark Gable.
  • Bro. Wenceslao Calimpon, FMS – our principal during our 3rd year (if am not mistaken), he was quite the silent type but has no qualms in giving you the “grip” (fingers locked on your shoulders) if he catches you.
  • Bro. Manuel Uluan, FMS – another newbie teacher when I was in 3rd year, he taught us Chemistry.  One of the most maligned teachers of our time because of the pranks played by my classmates, I recall him shouting “YAWA” when upon entering the room, he saw all the chairs overturned.  He’ll end up to be one of the closest friends of our batch.
  • Bro. Danilo Pamplona, FMS, SLN – the closest brother to me, next to Bro. Willy, he was our Sophomore Year Homeroom adviser.  He was not only a teacher to me but was a “kabarkada”, never letting you feel that he’s older than you are.  I still feel bad not being able to find out soon enough that he died in 2006 for me to be able to pay my last respects.  🙁
  • Bro. Bob McGovern, FMS – spearheaded the Notre Dame Business Resource Center which linked up with government and private sectors on projects which enhanced the competitiveness of the city.
  • Bro. Crispin Betita, FMS – although he was introduced to me after I graduated, I met him more than a couple of times in the different launchings and inaugurations of his pet projects for the youth.  He is a model brother and a modern-day hero for me.
  • Bro. John Yap, FMS – currently the president of the NDDU.  He was a stranger for most of the “gensan dameans” when he assumed the position, but immediately endeared himself to us because of his laudable efforts to propel NDDU onward to becoming the premier educational institution in Soccsksargen that she is right now.

How about you?  Who are your unforgetable Marist Brothers?