“The month of October is, indeed, special for several reasons to celebrate. It is the ‘Extraordinary Missionary Month’ as inaugurated by Pope Francis who requested the ‘whole Church to live an extraordinary time of missionary activity.’ October is also the Holy Rosary Month. We also celebrate the National Indigenous Peoples Month on October,” reminded the Rev. Fr. Pedro Lamata as he added, “October also marks the devotion to the Nuestra Sra. La Virgen del Pilar in whose honor Dona Pilar Bangoy Palma Gil Rodriguez (1890-1962) was named.”
The Dona Pilar Learning Center which was founded, named and dedicated to his beloved mother by Dr. Julian ‘Chiching” Palma Gil Rodriguez, Jr. (Datu Bago Awardee 2005) is of the mission to implant in the hearts and minds of the youth of this country a desire to make something of themselves, a desire to build a stronger Philippines free of graft and corruption-tainted politicians, and prepare them for happy homes and marriages later as productive and law abiding citizens of this country.
“With this mission, it truly justifies all the hard work and money that are invested to help maintain institutions of learning like the Dona Pilar Learning Center which is celebrating its 32nd Foundation Anniversary this year,” said tito Chiching Rodriguez who, with his beloved wife tita Purification “Purita” Calabuig-Rodriguez and lovely daughter, Spain’s Hon. Consul in Mindanao Natividad Rodriguez-Fortich, welcomed students and teachers, PTA officers, alumni members, relatives, friends and guests representing the various sectors of the community who gathered at the Fundacion Madrilena to hear the Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Pedro Lamata last October 18, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.
“I strongly believe like my beloved mother did before me that we could, and indeed we should as private citizens, make the necessary contributions so grievously needed especially in the field of education, to lead our city and its children to newer and happier horizons,” tito Chiching professed; as tita Purita made clear, “The Learning Center provides quality education at the lowest possible cost. The school is committed to the preservation of Filipino ideals and Christian principles. The Dona Pilar Learning Center is primarily intended to serve the children of the Sasa-Pampanga area and its immediate vicinity.”
In his homily, the articulate Rev. Fr. Lamata told the young students that the essence of mission is to help one another; and that God will provide, support and help missions no matter the hardships one would encounter. He also reminded everybody that once we are baptized, mission becomes a part of our Christian lives. And one of our missions in life is to remain good intellectually, morally, physically, and spiritually just like the wholistic education being taught by nurturing teachers of the Dona Pilar Learning Center. Yes, October 5 also marked the celebration of World Teachers’ Day.
“As we celebrate the 32nd Founding Anniversary of the Dona Pilar Learning Center, I get reminded of what Pope John Paul II said in his message when he came to visit Davao and held mass at the airport in 1981: ‘Remember the Past with Gratitude. Lead the Present with Enthusiasm. And look to the Future with Confidence,” narrated Rev. Fr. Lamata.
Thank you, tito Chiching and tita Purita for always inviting me to the celebration of the Dona Pilar Learning Center. May God abundantly bless you and the institution of learning you founded and its teachers; and the many young lives you’ve touched in so many ways.