XS ’83 Celebrates Indigenous Sunday with Aetas

The Xavier School Batch ‘83 Foundation together with Fr. Munching de Guzman SJ, the 1st Technical and Administrative Service Brigade (NCR) of the AFP Reserve Command under the command of Col. Peter C. Suchianco, JAGS (GCS) (RES) (XS’83), volunteers from the Wong Chu King Foundation, the Lingkod Committee of Xavier School, the The Philippine Pages (mostly Grade 10 students of Xavier School) and XSARC (Xavier School Association of Retired Teachers),  trooped to Zambales last October 9, 2016, for the XS ’83 Foundation’s annual Aeta Day.

Now on its 14th year, the XS Batch ’83 Foundation offered free medical check up, tooth extraction, acudetox and distributed free medicines to the community.

The Xavier students of the Lingkod Committee under Mr. Atom Monfero served as the registration committee while others worked at the “vital signs” tent – taking blood pressure and temperature of each patient.

The Grade 10 – The Philippine Pages – group with Mr. Joel Sy & Ms. Maricelle Virtucio had story-telling sessions and donated books to the Aeta school under the initiative of Ms. Allyn Go Tian of DARO.

The highlight of this year’s trip was the 1st “Aeta’s Got Talent!” singing competition sponsored by Batch ’83. This competition aims to promote self-esteem among the students. The XSARC members – Jane Ching, Rosel Valenzuela, Cleofe Perez, Rachel Tayengco, and Eleanor Estor – came to serve as jury members to 10 aspiring singers from the community.

The audience roared with excitement and approval as the 10 contestants, who sang a cappella, were narrowed to 5 and after the second round the names of the top 3 winners were announced.

The Saint Francis Learning Center in Mangan-Vaca Subic Zambales is a school for the Aeta community in Zambales.  It is being run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC). The school offers primary education to the Aetas free of charge.  During the school week, the students stay in the school’s dormitory and go home only during the weekend. Stay in the dormitory and meals are free but the children have to help out in the day to day chores.

Fr. Santos Mena SJ, was responsible for introducing Batch ’83 to this community way back in 2002.  Initially providing scholarships for the students, the XS Batch ’83 Foundation now helps the school with its plan to add classrooms and help the community with annual missions during Indigenous People Sunday.

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