Friday, December 16, 2011

Asia-Pacific Lasallians Educators' Congress (APLEC8) in Manila

A Brief Report From Manila: -
Malaysian delegates in the traditional and national costumes.
The 8th APLEC was themed "Living the LaSallian Values In The Asia-Pacific Region". The congress was attended by some 88 delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and India. A sole Lasallian educator came from Pakistan.
A photo shoot before the group presentation consisting delegates from various countries.
It was a rich learning process for the delegates during the four-day session. Just like any other Lasallian-based programs held anywhere in the world, an overview of the key events of the life of St. John Baptist de La Salle is customary. Key events of the founder's life are the very foundation and principles all Lasallian schools are administered and run today. Emphasis are on living lives of simplicity, a heart for children, discretion in scolding and corrections, provision of education, character building, youth formation and teaching leadership.
Dinner at De La Salle University, Manila. On my left is Brother Anthony Rogers. 
The congress also highlighted the Lasallian values of Faith, Service and Communion in Mission. This approach has to be our fundamental ingredients to produce wholesome individuals.
Presentations and personal sharing were from Ms Tracy Adams of Australia's Boys Town and "Foundation of Lasallian Spirituality" by Brother Michael Broughton, fsc.
Delegates had the opportunity to visit and have dinner at two La Salle universities - De La Salle College of St Benilde in Malate and De La Salle University in Manila. We also visited De La Salle University in Dasmarinas, well-known for its environmental conservation effort. It was an hour bus journey from Metro Manila.
In the Philippines, there are 17 educational institutions, which include colleges, schools and non-school based entities.
At the entrance of Salikneta Farm. With me are a priest from Argentina and Jojo, farm manager. 
On Day 3, delegates were divided into eight different groups for an exposure program in  selected outreach communities of a school or a non-school based apostolate- to have an idea on how values formation is being addressed or needs to be addressed. I chose Salikneta Farm, a research and laboratory farm in Bulacan, located in some part of Luzon, in the City of San Jose Del Monte, a rough 3-hour ride from the hotel. The 64-hectare farm, managed by De La Salle Araneta University, is currently used for forestry and agricultural operations by its students.
To sum up, it was a worthwhile and beneficial trip to Manila. Apart from sharing thoughts and ideas with fellow educators from the region of Asia-Pacific, I had the opportunity to meet up with many other comrades and fellow Lasalle Brothers from countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. I salute them for their continued persistence and hardwork despite their many challenges, constraints and obstacles in their respective countries towards education for the young.
Paalam Na Po....(Goodbye in Tagalog)

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