From Good to Better: The Vicente T. Lim Senior High School Building

by Steven Sy (10B), Stallion Writer
Front view of the Vicente T. Lim SHS Building (Photos by Jerry Feng, G11H, XS Media Team)

11855660_969680513083758_1745952312411852026_nThe official blessing and opening ceremony of the Vicente T. Lim Senior High School (SHS) building took place last
August 8, 2015, marking the beginning of a new chapter in Xavier School’s history. In attendance were members of the Xavier School community, various donors, the architects who contributed to the building’s design, and all the other individuals who made the creation of the building possible.

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The ceremony began with a short introduction by School President Fr. Aristotle Dy S.J., who gave an overview of the building and a short dedication to Mr. Vicente T. Lim for his generous contribution to its construction. Mr. Vicente T. Lim, after whom the SHS building is named, developed his family’s business, the Morning Star Milling Corporation, into one of the most prestigious companies in the flour milling industry. Through his determination and commitment, he was able to provide quality education to his family. As a sign of gratitude for the role education played in their formation, the Lim family was the principal donor to the construction of the SHS building.

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Following the dedication was the ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Fr. Aristotle Dy, Mayor Guia Gomez, and Senator JV Ejercito. The ceremony was followed by a traditional coin and candy shower, meant to bring good luck and fortune, as well as a lively performance from Xavier School’s Dragon and Lion dance troupe

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Directly after, the formal blessing and ceremony took place inside the Sacred Heart Chapel, a new chapel located on the upper ground floor of the SHS building. The ceremony dedicated the chapel to Fr. Jean Desautels, S.J. and Fr. Ismael Zuloaga, S.J., the men who were instrumental to the founding of Xavier School. The Sacred Heart Chapel blessing was conducted by Fr. Benjamin Sim, S.J.

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The ceremony in the Sacred Heart Chapel featured a special guest speaker, Dr. Michael Tan, Chancellor of the University of the Philippines, Diliman and receiver of the Xavier­-Kuangchi Award for Exemplary Alumni this 2015. During his speech, Dr. Tan voiced his support for the development of the Senior High School curriculum in Xavier School, a curriculum offering tracks modeled after both the K+12 and IB programs.

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After the ceremony at the Sacred Heart Chapel, the assembly proceeded to the Wee Lee Hiong Atrium, a structure that separates the Upper Ground Floor from the Lower Ground Floor. The atrium is dedicated to Wee Lee Hiong, a man who built up a corporation from nothing, becoming a dominant seaweed buyer in the Philippines, and subsequently providing a living for more than a million seaweed farmers. Since then, his business has expanded into real estate, bringing forth buildings that dominate the Fort Bonifacio Global City skyline. In true fulfillment of the Xaverian values of self-sacrifice and charity, Wee Lee Hiong also devoted much of his fortune to philanthropic work. The Wee Lee Hiong Atrium blessing ceremony was led by Fr. Candido Lim, S.J.

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The third location to be blessed was the dining hall, on the level below the building’s ground floor, which was dedicated to Francisco Y. Cokeng, former entrepreneur and head of the International Tobacco Company. This blessing was conducted by Fr. Arturo Victor Borja, S.J.

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Following this, each of the different floors in the SHS was blessed by Fr. Xavier Olin, S.J., Fr. Emerito Salustiano R. De la Rama, S.J., Fr. Ritche Elot, S.J., and Fr. Peter Pojol, S.J respectively. The different classrooms on each floor displayed their contributors on an engraving above their doors.

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The final blessing was held at the very top of the SHS building, now the highest point in the school. The Unioil Roof Garden blessing was led by Fr. Guy Peter Guibelondo, S.J.

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Once the blessings of each subsequent floor were complete, the assembly then moved to the Angelo King Multipurpose Center for lunch. There, Fr. Aristotle Dy presented each donor who contributed to the building’s inception with a plaque of appreciation as a sign of gratitude for their contributions towards the improvement of education in Xavier School.

“With the inauguration of this building, we feel equipped to bring the new Senior High School program from good to better in the coming years,” Fr. Aristotle Dy, S.J., said. “We now have 34 classrooms, 2 science labs, art and music rooms, not to mention collaboration areas, to help students pursue the subjects that interest them the most.”

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