June 30, 2008
Dear Centralians and Friends,
Greetings from the campus full of mud and water!
We would like to share with you the official press release of our beloved alma mater:
CPU suffers ravages of typhoon Frank
June 21, 2008 could have been just another relaxing weekend but then, Typhoon Frank struck Western Visayas with such fury that it brought especially the Province of Iloilo to its knees.
Central Philippine University was not spared. It has its share of devastation. Many walls near the University High School were bulldozed by the flash flood and soon waters coming from all areas came rushing to the campus in full speed and fury. Chest-deep waters filled most of the first floor buildings of CPU. Panic stricken residents in the campus and nearby community rushed to the University Church and the University Gymnasium for refuge. The first floors of all the houses in the American compound were filled, and the grief stricken residents even testified that the waters were knocking at the doors of the second floor. Some decided to stay in the tree house. Such magnitude of natural calamity has never been seen in the entire 103 years of CPU.
For the past week, faculty and staff of the university have been busy helping in cleaning up the campus. Heavy equipments like payloaders and backhoes can now be seen clearing the knee-deep mud. The first to respond for donation is CPU's sister institution, Silliman University (SU) in Dumaguete City . SU, through its president Dr. Ben Malayang III, sent their fire truck and another cargo truck loaded with 50 sacks of rice, used clothing, and food items for the CPU community. The party was headed by Prof. Roy Olsen de Leon together with 7 others; two are faculty members, Engr. Marlon Cornelio and Engr. Carlito Aguit and five other SU personnel, Mr. Wilfredo Amo, Mr. Virgilio Valencia , Mr. Danilo Sedillo, Mr. Harold Sesante and Mr. El John Bagtidon. We thank God that the spirit of camaraderie is alive during this time of distress. The words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40 comes to mind, "when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to m e!"
Such calamitous event that befell Central, is also foremost in the minds of the Central Philippine University Federation of Overseas Alumni Association (CPUFOAA) who are preparing for the 5th global reunion of CPU alumni in Las Vegas , Nevada USA on June 29-July 3, 2008. Mrs. Perla Guillergan-Londres, President of the CPUFOAA expressed her concern to her alma mater, "We have been following very closely the unfolding tragic events brought about by typhoon Frank. I pray that horrific as the experiences have been, that the danger has ebbed, and folks are able to get much needed rest, food water and medicine. The overseas alumni are eager to help-without exception I can say that all have family, friends and acquaintances who have been in harm's way. I have asked the chapters to mobilize their membership to consider how they may send help. Rest assured, the 5th global reunion steering committee will make this a high priority during the gathering in Las Vegas ."
As of today, June 30, 2008, almost all roads in the campus, all the first floors of the buildings, and big field are all covered with mud. The power supply and telephone services have been partially restored. Since there are problems with the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) pipes, and water supply is still not back to normal in the city, CPU gets water from the university wells. As rehabilitation efforts in the campus progresses the Management Committee and offices of the university have decided that classes in all levels will resume on Monday, July 7, 2008.
Though the university had been under this ordeal, the Chairman of the Management Committee, Dr. Agustin A. Pulido, said after the university-wide devotional in the morning of June 30, "the Central Spirit remains unquenched. Let us not be victims but victors by the grace of God" Our faith in God gives us hope that the "best is yet to come."
May God continually bless us all!
Rinand Caipang Escuban
Francis Neil Gico Jalando-on
Suzette Madalag Gonzales
CPU after Typhoon Frank...picking up the pieces PART 1
CPU after Typhoon Frank...picking up the pieces PART 2