Espina: USJR at 75

·2 min read

In 1964, upon my arrival from Manila to settle in Cebu, I was invited by then Fr. Rector Francisco Monasterio to teach English and Economics in high school with few English subjects in college. I had to give up my prior arranged teaching employment either in Colegio de Inmaculada Concepcion or the University of San Carlos.

The Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos (CSJ-R) was given full Paascu (Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities) accreditation, then finally university status in 1984. The rest is history.

From one main campus, the school expanded to Basak, then to Talamban, and more to come. The elementary, high school, college, post-graduate curricula featured qualified faculty, classrooms, libraries, school clinics, chapels, laboratories, audio-visual rooms and auditorium, the Recoletos Coliseum, and other facilities.

With 400 Years of Recoletos Presence in Cebu, and 75 years of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R)—with successful alumni across the globe—the Augustinian values had been embedded not only in the alumni but likewise in the communities the school served. The first long range community project was “Project Panagtiayon.”

In arts and culture, USJ-R maintained the Adelante dance group, the CSJ-R Dramatics, then the USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble.

The school also sustained its linkages; premier engineering technical fixtures; CPA review center; school publication Forward; the graduate school of Business and Management; Colleges of Law, Engineering, Education (Center of Excellence), Arts and Sciences; Psychology, English and Effective Communication, Religious Education; the first accredited HRM and Tourism courses in Cebu, and a complete IT course with its own fully equipped building at the Basak campus.

Here are more products of 75 years of USJ-R’s collective efforts in education:

Research Center; various school organizations in the Supreme Student Council; guidance and counselling courses and facilities; main and campus libraries; computer and science laboratories; HRM mini-hotel and the Norberto Quisumbing Jr. Hall; the Benedicto Masscom Studio; modern school clinic, school canteens; tourism linkages; Basak sites for high school and elementary; upgraded instructional media centers; Speech labs; audio-visual facilities and the college auditorium; school chapel and the Mt. Carmel parish, among other teaching-learning centers.

Through the years, the team efforts of the religious and lay administrators yielded international linkages and awards, faculty and student exchange programs, and extensive alumni involvement across the globe.

Aside from my academic immersion as a faculty member, then dean, toward my retirement in 2000, the Augustinian spirit had never left me. I infused it in the institutions I served, like the Zonta Club of Cebu 1, Philippines Foundation, We Care Foundation, American Chamber, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cenewof, Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko. The principles of my Alma Mater, the Maryknoll College and the University of Santo Tomas, have molded my character.

In My Diary kept some memorabilia of then CSJ-R to the present USJ-R.