Espina: Josenians abroad

·2 min read

For the teacher, her students are her “trophies.” You witness them graduate, work successfully, raise a family and excel in their professions. A few of the Josenian alumni are doing well in Canada, the United States, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, Dubai and Spain.

Clint Ybañez, my lead star in many University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Broadway musicales, had settled in Los Angeles, US for some years now, and established a resto called “L.A.rsian Barbecue” which serves Cebuano dishes like lechon, barbecue, adobo, among so many, with our native “puso.” This has become a lucrative business venture which has been serving Pinoys, Americans and other nationalities.

Who would ever think that Clint, who has a golden singing voice, will be a creative entrepreneur in the US! Your Alma Mater, and the USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble (Drac) are truly proud of you, Clint. I would like to call him “the singing entrepreneur.” I loved his rendition of songs like “Through the Years.”

In 2019, another USJ-R Drac Amparito L. Lhuillier Educational Foundation (Allef) alumnus, Gérard Lemuel Cabras, moved to Madrid, Spain, to seek better opportunities. He kept me posted about his activities, and with good communication skills—aside from having a powerful voice—he landed a job as an English teacher. But it did not stop there. Gregarious Gérard became active in the Filipino community and connected with the Philippine Embassy right there in Madrid. I was so happy when Gérard told me that he was invited to sing in the Philippine Independence Day fete in Madrid organized by the Philippine Embassy.

He performed splendidly singing English, Tagalog and Spanish songs, was a vibrant showman, who spoke eloquently about his school, USJ-R, his being an Allef scholar. What a surprise, the Philippine Ambassador to Spain, Philippe Lhuillier was there, as a special guest! Gerard took the opportunity to thank the Lhuilliers, especially Michel and Amparito, and, of course, USJ-R.

In his message, Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier acknowledged the educational legacy given to deserving scholars in Cebu by his brother Michel and wife Amparito. How inspiring! What was also amazing was that Gérard met so many Josenians working in the Embassy and other firms in Madrid.

I shared this beautiful experience with Michel who was awed, and said, “what a beautiful coincidence!” He was happy that his brother Philippe met an Allef scholar in Madrid! Gérard was well applauded, and the emcee called him ”a good singer and showman!” Of course, even before going to Madrid, Gérard was emceeing, hosting and singing in many events.

US-JR, which landed second in the list of excellent schools, has a balanced accredited curriculum, which prepares students to succeed as creative and active professionals with substantial community exposure and involvement.

Adelante, Josenians! Proud to be Cebuanos.

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