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9th SUACONA Tipon to be held in Hawaii in May

A historic event in the life of Silliman alumni and friends will take place on May 10-14, 2017 as the ninth reunion of the Silliman University Alumni Council of North America (SUACONA) will be held in Hawaii under the sponsorship of Aloha Chapter Silliman University Alumni Association (ACSUAA).

In a communication sent to Silliman alumni and friends by the Rev. Dr. Federico “Ed” Agnir, founder of SUACONA, who is now a retired professor and pastor living in Florida, USA, he said that “for many of us mainlanders, it will be quite a daunting and distant trip, possibly the first time for some.” He added, though, that “it will be well worth it.”

Situated almost 4,000 miles over water from continental US, Aloha Chapter, according to Rev. Dr. Agnir, “represents SUACONA’s outermost boundary.” He continued: “Hawaii holds a special place in the hearts and minds of all. It bore the brunt of the December 7, 1941 attack that launched America into the Second World War.” He enticed everyone as he said, “No place on earth is better for the vacation of our life.”

Rev. Dr. Agnir informs that more than half of the 472 members of his high school graduating class who have migrated to the US live in Hawaii. On a personal note, he confesses to having family and friends in Hawaii, some of whom he has not even met.

The May 2017 event, said the Rev. Dr. Agnir, caps his lengthy and continuous leadership in various capacities for SUACONA. He relates: “It dates back almost 17 years starting in November 1999 when I inherited the task of carrying out the Stony Point mandate to establish an umbrella organization for all Silliman alumni chapters in North America, which we successfully achieved in 2001.”

Confessing to be turning 78 years old by next year (2017), he said “it’s time to let go.” He articulated that he is very happy over the growth of SUACONA, which has remained united, “a stark contrast against many migrant organizations that fold or splinter into groups soon after they are founded.”

He said he is confident that SUACONA will have “an inexhaustible supply of good leadership, a testament to the Silliman spirit.”

Amatong exhorts Sillimanians to adhere to the ‘Via, Veritas, Vita’

“We are living in a dangerous environment. When you watch the news either on television or read the broadsheets, there is no single day of peace and harmony,” thus, intoned Dr. Juanita Dy Amatong, former chairperson of the Silliman University Board of Trustees and former Finance Secretary as she guested in the gala dinner hosted by the Silliman University Alumni Association of Metro Manila Chapter, Inc. (SUAAMCI) last August at the Manila Polo Club, Forbes Park, Makati to celebrate the 115th Founders Day.

She mentioned bombings by terrorist groups in Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even in Europe and the United States that “leave us with extreme fearfulness and despair.” Add to all these are natural devastations caused by floods, forest fires, typhoons, and extreme weather conditions.

“In the economic front, the exit of Britain from the European Union sends a strong political and economic signal, affecting not only the members of the European Union, but also the rest of the world,” Dr. Amatong explained, adding that “the financial markets went tumbling down after the Brexit announcement, and the British Pound suffered deep depreciation never experienced for the last 25 years.”

In addition, among other global challenges, according to Dr. Amatong, “the ASEAN integration, which officially started to be in effect this year, is another major economic event which we, in the Philippines, must face as challenges and opportunities.”

Dr. Amatong referred to the Christian values reflected in the Silliman motto, “Via, Veritas, Vita” She said that “in a world beset with turmoil, disharmony, materialism, radicalism, and all the ills invented by men and women, Silliman University, the institution, and those who pass through its gates should find their relevance by adhering to the Silliman motto.”

She acknowledged the leadership and members of SUAAMCI for sustaining their objectives and pursuing projects, like scholarships and assisting Sillimanians find jobs in Metro Manila.