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Bedan Articles...
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"The Filipino is still worth Dying for"
by Gus Gastrock (GS'78-HS'82)

Batchmates, I still believe that Filipinos are still worth dying for...

Many Filipinos such as myself, had left the country to seek a more peaceful and freer life abroad. Most if not all had lost all hope that a time will ever come when they will again enjoy the freedoms and the rights that they had grown used to under past administrations.They went because they did not believe that any Filipino will ever have the guts to stand up for them against the dictatorship, corruption or inspire them to work for their own progress and regain their self worth.

23 Years ago,  there was the young, brilliant and articulate senator, Benigno Aquino Jr. who continued to dream and plan for such a Philippines for them. The dictatorship, recognizing his drive and purposefulness, did all it could to break his spirit. But not even imprisonment, deprivation, and even illness, could douse the spirit of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. Even when "exiled" to the United States, a state that was just a face-saving ploy for the administration because of foreign displeasure, he still dared to return, in the belief that "The Filipino is worth Dying for."

And so he came home, and was met with assassin's bullets even before he could step on the soil of his beloved Philippines. He was a loss to the country, but his death resurrected the fighting spirit of his people.

As we mark the 23rd anniversary of his heroic death, let us vow to make sure the new generation that has since come to being will be encouraged to know and remember him, and, perhaps, he also inspired to do all they can to ensure that the freedom he died for will always be preserved and, when threatened, fought for.

To my fellow batchmates, we ask ourselves, "Are the Filipinos worth dying for ?", I say yes. And while we struggle here and abroad to find respect with our own individuality, and identity as a mere human being... We shouldn't stop here... Let us not erase Philippine History, we should live it, teach it and know it... For Filipinos are still worth dying for.. the future relies on your children, and your children's children, your nephews, your nieces, they are the future of the Philippines. And I believe they are the ones we have to die for today... teaching them not to be foreigners... but Filipinos first...

Keep the balls rolling, Red and White here we come...
21st August 2006

"Hindi ka Nag-iisa"
(You are not alone) This photo was taken 1985 soon after Ninoy's Death.
Which I Won 1st prize in Canon Photofest - Manila.


Farewell, Chief!
Original Bedan Articles
Written by  schwimmy, Saturday, 06 August 2005

"People are our wealth. They are more important than institutions."
-- Roco


Amidst the turmoil of dirty politics plaguing the country, there was a man who stood as a beacon of hope and an inspiration to the youth- he was Raul Roco. Always an optimist, he saw hope for the country while the rest of us see despair. The Bedan lot may be few in Philippine politics but it only took one man to show to the entire country what a true Son of the Red and White is- and he never disappointed us. He was just one man, but he moved mountains. San Beda will be forever grateful to him, and his legacy will live on, every time we sing our beloved Bedan Hymn that he painstakingly handcrafted, we will forever be reminded that we too can move mountains.

Raul S. Roco, former senator and education secretary, was born October 26, 1941 in Naga City in the province of Camarines Sur, the son of farmer Sulpicio Azuela Roco and public school teacher Rosario Orlanda Sagarbarria.

A precocious learner, he finished elementary school at age 10 and completed high school at age 14 at the Ateneo de Naga. At age 18 he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, magna cum laude, at San Beda College in Manila.

Roco received his Bachelor of Laws as Abbott Awardee for Over-All Excellence at San Beda College.

As a young Bedan, he wrote the lyrics of the San Beda College Alma Mater Song and was editor-in-chief of The Bedan, the college newspaper.

He took his Master of Comparative Law as a University Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., where he was cross-enrolled at the Wharton School for Multinational Studies.

Roco has been conferred seven honorary doctoral degrees by various universities.

Ramon V. Mitra, (AB)

Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines 1987–1992
Representative, 2nd District of Palawan 1965-1971, 1987–1992
Minister of Agriculture 1986-1987
Assemblyman, Region IV 1984-1986
Senator of the Philippines 1971-1972
Political Party: Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (1987-2000)
Born: February 4, 1928 Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Died: March 20, 2000 Makati City, Metro Manila
Spouse: Cecilia Aldeguer Blanco


Senator Mitra was born in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on February 4, 1928 to Ramon P. Mitra and Purification Villarosa.

Mitra began his career as a journalist, going back San Beda days where he took his secondary school and was the editor of the "Bedan" school newspaper during high school. Later on, he went back to San Beda College and obtained his Bachelor of Laws. He became a diplomat, then served as special assistant to the late President Carlos Garcia. He also served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1965 to 1971 and as a senator in 1971.

He was appointed Philippine Foreign Service Officer at Washington, D.C. and United Nations from 1954 to 1961, then on 1961 he was special assistant to the Office of the President. Senator Mitra became a senior technical assistant to the Office of the Mayor of Manila from 1962 up to 1965 and was head of Philippine National Oil Company in 1998.

Senator Mitra had a life-long involvement with cattles. He was Chairman of the Farm Management Enterprises Corporation which owned and operate farm cattles ranches and breeder of gamecocks, thoroughbred horses and cattles.

He was elected congressman representing Palawan for two terms from 1965 up to 1973 and resigned during midterm and was elected senator in 1971, only to find his term cut short by Martial Law. After the Edsa revolt in 1986, Mitra was appointed as Agriculture Secretary but became a Congressman eventually winning as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1987. Mitra is best remembered for his strong leadership of the lower house from July 1987 until he ran unsuccessfully for Philippine president in 1992.

He was married to Cecilia Aldeguer Blanco with whom he had six children.

Mitra admitted that he was not able to accomplish all he had set out to do, but that he had already done a lot and was satisfied with it, when his terminal illness was made public.

"Death is the celebration of life," in his own words.

"This is as it should be," Ople said, "for Monching has lived the fullest measure of his life. He is now at rest from his labors. He has departed in peace, leaving all of us who know him good memories of a life well-spent."
[excerpts taken from Efren Danao and Ted Torres (Star) March 21, 2000]



Subject: Rene Saguisag re: SBC championship
San Beda Alumi network Occasional Issue No. 9 October 3, 2006

Manny V. Pangilinan, GS '58 and HS '62, is often in the news for one feat or another. Another Bedan is also in the limelight, Chito Francisco, HS '58. The Meralco prez has become the center of a lot of attraction and some criticism after Milenyo struck (where in heaven's name did the weather guys get this monicker?). My own credibility was also affected during the NCAA Finals week. I tell people how busy I am, up to my gills in work. And yet, everyone and his mom seem to recall seeing me on TV all the time. Well, if Manny with all he has to do found the time, why not me with far, far less to count?

Rene Saguisag
AB'59,Honors; LLB. '63,CumLaude

Probably, the most well-known Bedan student today is Samuel Ekwe, of Nigeria, who helped lead the Red Lions to the Promised Land; after 28 years, the worm turned in the NCAA.

Trophy-starved is almost like being romance-starved, it seems. I had not seen such number of fans and intensity of fervor shown by the Red Sea in every available space in Araneta for three days of the Finals on September 18, 20 and 22. The way the final game ended saw a Bedan crowd, relieved, momentarily; and then, ecstasy and pandemonium, at the Dome, followed by a looooooong celebration in Mendiola combining elements of Christmas, New Year and Mardi Gras.

The last eight or so minutes of the deciding game (best of five, as it turned out, as pointed out by NCAA Commissioner Jun Bernardino, since SBC and PCU had split their first four games) were misery for us. But, basketball is like chess: he who makes the last mistake loses. If we had won by 20 points walking away, it would not have been as heart-pounding or gut-wrenching. When Yousif Aljamal snagged the last rebound with seconds to
go, no PCU cager had the presence of mind to foul him (he is a foul line ace anyway). PCU absolutely had nothing to be ashamed of though. Had Beau Belga's last shot swished in, we might have been Duke's famed 1978 Forever's Team, America's Team, that fell short of the NCAA title in that year, bowing to Kentucky, but were hailed anyway.

For now, we are just thankful that the SBC-PCU Finals was not sidelined by Xangsane or Milenyo. A week after the super-howler, we still see nothing in Sky Cable;  good Destiny provides an alternative. Power came back to our area (Palanan, Makati) on Sunday, October 1st.   I saw the last two minutes of the deciding game. And there it all came back. The fiesta was going on, on the floor, with Manny being interviewed, along with Fr. Rector Anscar Chupungco, HS '57, Coach Koy Banal, BCS '82 (hugged by the last coach to win for San Beda, slasher Bonnie Carbonnel, in 1978) and Sam, Yousif, Pong, et al..

Everywhere I go, I keep getting congratulations from those who watch college hoops, which may be basketball at its purest, most pristine and innocent best. I just hope there is nothing to all this talk about betting lines and point-shaving involving allegedly certain NCAA cagers and refs throughout the season. For shame, if true.

The unique Indian Yell was a big hit, as always, although coming close would be the fantastic JRC number of those cheerleaders of old dancing to Till the End of Time. Bingo J! Bingo R! Bingo C! JRC!

It is not possible to remember all I saw in Araneta, such as my law classmate, Pepe Erestain, HS '57, AA '59 and LL.B. '63; pre-law buddy and townsman, Aveling Cruz, AA '57, LL.B '61; English class pal, Joe Araullo, BCS '59 (we both learned never to use "townmate"); The Bedan Sideline  Slants columnist Raul Contreras, GS '52, HS '56 and AB '60; my students, Chito Tolentino, HS '67, AB '71 and LL.B. '75 and Judge Willie Dumayas, AB '71 and LL.B. '75; PCGG Commissioner ex-"fugi" Nic Conti, LL.B.'98, but became "available" just in time; my parents intrams teammate Mayor Recom Echiverri, BSC '76; Rep. Boy Umali, GS '69, Rep. Oyie Umali, LL.B. '90, Rep. Baham Mitra, BSC '91; another Pasig townsman, Mayor Mario Raymundo, BSC '55, and many others, such as one Art Macapagal, GS '54, HS '58 and BSC '68, who would invite us to the Palace in his pop's time.

We should all read and reread the delightful write-ups such as those of Tessa Jazmines in the Business Mirror of September 28, 2006 and of Krip Yuson, GS '56 and HS '60 in the Philippine Star issue of October 1, 2006. My pal, Recah Trinidad of the Inquirer, was critical of our feat but an ugly win is better than a good loss any old time. Leo Durocher would say, show me a good loser and you show me a loser.

Repeats are not the norm in sports. But, our team core is intact. New impact players should make us stronger. We need to bottle the excellent chemistry of this year's champions. Sam can only become better in a game he did not play until a few years back. He plans to be a priest. Sam baby, never lose a sense of where your are. In the closing seconds, all of us must have prayed and pled with Sto. Ni¤o, St. Bede and Our Lady. Not that I am one of little faith, but I was going beyond San Beda and was starting to look at St. Jude for back-up.

Rene Saguisag, SBC AB '59, LL.B. '63
Former Philippine Senator and Human Rights Lawyer


Animo San Beda! Animo MVP (He D’Man)!
by: Krip Yuson

I’m afraid we might have run out of prayers and miracles," quipped Manny V. Pangilinan last Wednesday night at The Fort’s NBC Tent, where he was hosting the victory party for the San Beda Red Lions, newly crowned champs for NCAA Season 82.

The quip was in response to a query as to his hopes for the former NCAA rivals, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, themselves primed to become champs with one more win in the UAAP Finals.

Krip Yuson SBC GS'56-HS'60

Clearly, the man endearingly called MVP, who’s been lending moral support and then some to both schools, was alluding to the twin escape acts pulled off by the Lions and Eagles on separate full-house days at the Big Dome.

San Beda survived an improbable rally, from 20 points down with 8:30 minutes left, by the PCU Dolphins, who flubbed their chance at a game- winning basket. Some Bedans with whom I watched that game live on TV claimed intervention by the heavenly duo of Sto. Niño de Praga and Our Lady of Montserrat.

For its part, Ateneo executed an improbable, last-gasp, midcourt in-bound play with a second left, recalling buzzer-beaters from previous editions of the Hail Mary squad.

We were tempted to tell Manny: What those games must do to your ticker. On both occasions, he was seen at courtside, pensive and disturbed in the SBC game after earlier exhilaration over that big lead, and in the AdMU game, slumped in his seat and seemingly frustrated, when at a point down after a riveting see-saw affair, all that was left was a timeout, a throw-in and a tick of the clock.

A good thing MVP was a former squash player, now turned badminton aficionado. Otherwise the spirit of support for an Alma Mater might not manage to run apace with all the excitement and sudden downturns in the reality game.

Besides, which Alma Mater, in the event of having two, should one stand by, when separate-league push comes to cross-league shove? After all, it’s become curious how our Manila-bred allegiances pulsate whenever a school we’ve attended, sometimes for years on end, matches up with yet another.

Only last February, at the Mendiola Homecoming, the attending survivors of our Elementary Class of 1956 were called up to the nave after Mass (in the most beautiful and beloved chapel in the world) to each receive our gold medals for loyalty.

We were the primary-grade silver jubilarians for Year 2006. All of 50 years had passed since we last enjoyed those campus rites of puberty. Now in our 60’s, we’ve revived that very early camaraderie and have met often for "Barkadahan Nights" – increasingly intent on holding on (to memories) as we bid farewell to more and more of our batch with each passing year.

Very relaxed, many of us retired or semi-retired, the others still "retarded," we are as children again, without the bullies and blowhards that used to disturb the merry proceedings of company and friendship.

A good number of us went through all of high school in the same Benedictine campus. Now we look forward to surviving four more years down the road so we can be there when our High School Class of 1960 hosts the homecoming as the regular silver jubilarians by 2010. We now hope we don’t have to go through many more such games as that crucial one last Monday when suspense theater took a toll on our tickers.

It was at that February Homecoming when we first got a look at the current seniors team that was presented onstage before the familiar quadrangle, and introduced as the team that might just end a 28-year title drought.

We were surprised to note that the Red Lions of 2006 – now gaining better support after decades of frustration when our perennial champion juniors team kept losing its star players to better-funded college teams – had a big black "import" named Ekwe to beef up the veterans in Aljamal and Angeles, the carryover juniors in Menor, Hermida and Taganas, and a prized recruit from Davao in Escobal.

When Koy Banal was introduced as the new coach – and with the awareness that stronger alumni involvement was now being led by Manny Pangilinan – I told my seatmates at that open-air party: "Hey, this team is going somewhere this year. Mark my words."

As the basketball season opened and progressed, true enough, Samuel Ekwe of Nigeria proved to be a force in the paint, for defense and rebounds. It was clear that his basketball legs were yet at sea; he was a newcomer to the game. He couldn’t shoot, could hardly dribble. But he was a quick study as an athletic big man; he timed his jumps well, and had good reflexes.

What impressed me was the overall balance exhibited by a team that also knew how to play good to great defense. In game after game, the Red Lions would clamp down on an opponent for a quarter while making a searing run. Soon enough we nearly swept both rounds, winding up with a 13-1 slate, a dozen of those in succession after a fold-up against PCU on a night when Coach was busy with his job with the pros.

We had a solid starting five: Ekwe at center to man the boards; Aljamal at power forward as the go-to scorer; Menor at small forward or guard, usually assigned to match up defensively with the rival hitman; Angeles as the cool, collected playmaker with an occasional long bomb; and Escobal – as playground-savvy as Menor – switching point and two-guard positions with Angeles. The reserves were being built up as role players: Taganas, Maggay and Gamalinda to spell the frontliners, with Tecson, Hermida and Evangelista as the second-string backcourt.

By the time we were to officially dethrone Letran, Bedan alumni had already gotten wind of the prospects for ending the 28-year spell on the NCAA’s 82nd year. Our batchmates in the USA, so many of them, and with whom we had established an Internet loop, kept e-mailing for details. They asked for game tapes, until they were told to log on to The Filipino Channel’s website for the schedule of delayed screenings.

All the hoopla, as they say, rose to a crescendo and a climax with our entry to the Final Four as favorites. Our Class of ’56/’60 had TV-viewing Barkadahan Nights for the Finals, albeit not a few wanted to watch live at the Araneta Center. The majority prevailed: there we couldn’t bring beer and whisky, or gorge on sisig and chicharon, smoke and take a pee whenever we wanted. We had to be privileged: this was the senior circle watching the SBC seniors capture a title after nearly three decades.

Of course we all remembered that last crown in 1978, with Chito Loyzaga, Frankie Lim, Jayvee Yango et al. But we recalled with more fondness the champs of 1960, our year: Caranceja, Oyson, Ascue, "Big Boy" Reynoso et al. And for those of us who were there as graders, most memorable because most fabled were the three title years leading to the Zamora Trophy of the ’50s, gifted us by unarguably the best Pinoy cager of all time:
Carlos "King Caloy" and "King Bedan" Loyzaga.

For that prized trophy which could only be taken home by gaining three titles, we repeated from 1951 to 1952. Ateneo broke the run and repeated as well, 1953 and 1954. In 1955 Loyzaga came back to lead the Red Lions to a defining triumph over the Blue Eagles for the NCAA crown, and the Zamora Trophy.

And so we pray for one more miracle for MVP (He D’ Man!), for the Eagles to win it, too, deferred as it must be after Milenyo’s deluge. The buzz is if that happens (and the oldest university in our part of the world doesn’t play the spoilsport), Mr. Pangilinan might arrange a special exhibition game between SBC’s and AdMU’s champion teams.

I say make that a best-of-five for good measure, as a throwback to the 1950s rivalry. NCAA teams have suffered of late from a bit of an inferiority complex against those of the UAAP. Well, since one particular glamour team pulled out all the stops for recruitment, the younger league has had the more "price-worthy" players.

The 2006 Red Lions upset the defending UAAP champs in the Home and Away invitational early this year, but had a tough go at it, against FEU, which failed to make it to the UAAP’s Final Four. Can SBC stand a chance, then, in that planned Collegiate Champions Sweet 16 tourney this month?

Here’s hoping the plans push through, even if a knockout tourney often results in shock losses. There’s high drama with that format. In case San Beda doesn’t get to meet Ateneo in the finals, then that’s where MVP should come in with the Dream Match. Or should it be before? No matter. It should test a lot of loyalties. (Actually, I want to see Aljamal go up against Kramer, and Escobal against Escalona. Angeles and Menor might find Intal and Tiu tough match-ups, but then there’s always Ekwe to backstop them in the paint. Stingy defense vs. fluid offense. Koy Banal vs. Norman Black. Hmmm.)

Manny Pangilinan was of SBC E.S. Class of 1958, and H.S. Class of 1962. Then he took his college degree from Ateneo. That explains the twin Alma Mater dilemma, if it’s that at all.

At the big party for the renewed Animo!, he gamely posed for photo-ops with our class reps, which included his cousin Ding Reyes, the guy behind Chocolat. The rest were Dr. Serafin "Boy" Hilvano who himself became a collegiate star for the U.P. Maroons, former cheerleader Bong Obligacion, our class valedictorian Vic Alfonso, Frankie Casal of Philippines Free Press, Henry Yao, Jess Lindayag, and this Bedan chronicler.

Then we posed, too, with the triumvirate of Benedictine fathers that has led San Beda College into a new era of respectability, not only because of its basketball team: Fr. Anscar Chupungco, Rector and President; Fr. Tarcy Narciso, Abbott; and Fr. Benigno Benabarre, whom we have been most fond of, since he’s even more senior than us: the comeback kid from Madre España who just might be over a hundred years old.

That night, spontaneous pledges totaling 720K were announced, earmarked for further support. Umpa! Umpa! The fat little Indians led the tribal cry. Coach Koy asked the big boys to commit to a back-to-back. We can do it, too. Some Bedans are even roaring for a dynasty!

What’s evident is that Bedan pride has been revived, the animo regained, and a new spirit born of a long-delayed championship that owes itself to more determined alumni participation, thanks in large measure to MVP.

Fresh weather permitting, the champion cagers would have been treated to a Hong Kong blowout starting last Friday. Guess on whose account? This Friday, October 6, the victory celebrations continue with a Bedan Night from dusk to dawn at My Brother’s Moustache on Sct. Tuason corner Sct. Madriñan in Quezon City, with an all-Bedan band among the music-making guests. (Call Boy Vinzon at 0917-894-8120 for table reservations.)

Let’s roar together, and roar some more for the rest of October! Then the repeat, then the dynasty for the old Red and White!

The Philippine STAR - Sunday Life
by Alfred A. Yuson (SBC GS'56-HS'60)
Publication Date: [Sunday, October 01, 2006]

Bedan Night from dusk to dawn at My Brother’s Moustache Oct. 6,2006

Alfred "Krip" A. Yuson is one of the most distinguished writers in the Philippines. A product of San Beda College, Mendiola (GS'56-HS'60). His work includes novels, poetry collections, short fiction, essays, children's stories, biographies and coffee-table books. He has also edited numerous other titles, including several literary anthologies.

His numerous distinctions include the prestigious SEAWrite (SouthEast Asian Writers) Award lifetime achievement and inclusion in the Hall of Fame of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the Philippines' most prestigious literary distinction.

He is a founding member of the Philippine Literary Arts Council, Creative Writing Foundation, Inc. and Manila Critics Circle, and is currently Chairman of the Writers Union of the Philippines. He serves as Philippines Editor for MANOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, published by the University of Hawaii. He writes a literature and culture column for The Philippine Star, and teaches fiction and poetry at Ateneo de Manila University, where he held the Henry Lee Irwin Professorial Chair.



"Blue and Red clash again"

Part Of The Game
by Tessa Jazmines (Business Mirror, Sept. 28, 2006)

JUST think. Now that San Beda has neatly tucked away the NCAA championship trophy in the hallowed halls of Mendiola; and if Ateneo goes on to win the UAAP crown today or on Monday, the two champion teams will meet in the Champions League and will be able to renew a fierce, ancient battle.

It’s true what the wags say. The real rivalry seethes between Red and Blue. Not Blue and Green. It was San Beda and Ateneo who were the North and South Poles of the NCAA back in the days of that league’s glamour and glory.

I should know. My infatuation with basketball was kindled by the NCAA. I grew up in a house that extolled the exploits of the leading players of that era. My Dad, an avowed sports fan who would stay up all night to listen to the radio broadcasts of our basketball adventures in the Asian Games, the ABC and the Olympics in that bygone era, spoke glowingly of Caloy Loyzaga, Loreto “Bonnie” Carbonell and Cesar Jota who were the reddest, roaringest Lions then.

He loved how they tangled with their counterparts from Loyola. The name Frankie Rabat sticks in my mind as the King Eagle of those days, although I don’t recall ever seeing him and his contemporaries in action.


San Beda and Ateneo games were like DDay in the basketball world. Mendiola and Loyola were the bastions of basketball power. In the NC of yore, La Salle and Ateneo competed more on the social scene, as La Salle only emerged as an NC basketball power after Ateneo had left the league to join the UAAP in the late 70s.

The transfer was the ultimate aftermath of one of the craziest fan rumbles in basketball history which happened during an Ateneo-San Beda NCAA championship match. The game was stopped because the fans went wild and started to hurt each other. The game was replayed a few days later but behind closed doors—no fans, no tickets. And San Beda won. (Yes! That was THE famous last San Beda NCAA title of 1978!)

And was it ever so interesting. And historical too! Ateneo’s ’78 line-up was led by Louie Rabat—Frankie Rabat’s own progeny. While San Beda’s pride was led by Lion King Caloy’s own Simba: Chito Loyzaga. Other players on the Ateneo side, as I remember it, were Steve Watson, Padim Israel and Fritz Gaston. San Beda had Chuck Barreiro, Frankie Lim and JV Yango, among others. Calling the shots for the Lions was another Bedan great: Bonnie Carbonell. Wise Eagle Baby Dalupan was on the other side.


But that’s getting ahead of the story. The San Beda-Ateneo NCAA battles raged because not only did their colors make stark contrast with each other. (Red and Blue clash but Blue and Green groove together, like the colors of the sea, agree?) The Red Lions and the Blue Eagles were also the two winningest teams of the NCAA.

Championship trophies would just ding-dong back and forth between the two schools for a stretch of time. San Beda amassed 11 NCAA trophies—including the dramatically won Crispulo Zamora Trophy —a special trophy prepared by the NCAA for any team that would win a Grand Slam in the 50s. Ateneo had 14 trophies—mostly won off San Beda—and the most number of back-to-back titles. Strangely, what would always keep the Eagles from winning a Grand Slam was San Beda. The Lions were always the fly in their ointment. The smudge mark on their cheek.

Crowd-wise, the Lion-Eagle crowds would put the current day crowds to shame. Yes, including Ateneo-La Salle. Passion for passion and ardor for zeal, the two teams’ followers knew no match. The 1978 rumble is a case in point.


But even on a wholly wholesome front, Beda-Ateneo hostilities had a character all their own. For one, the two schools’ cheers were the most original and most alive with magic and mumbo-jumbo. When the San Beda crowd sang “The Red and The White”, the Ateneans would let loose with “Fly High”, the Ateneo song composed by Raul Manglapus.

Ateneo’s cries of Fabilioh! would meet with the Bedan’s Indian Yell—a yell composed by the Cuerba Brothers in 1947. Bedans say “The Blue side could not find a match that would overpower the Indian yell.” But all Bedans agree: “ though many claim rights to different cheers and yells in their possession, one thing remains clear : San Beda and Ateneo cheers remain classic and timeless.” (The Bedan, Championship Issue)


The same Bedan issue quotes an Atenista from the net who speaks of the “forgotten San Beda-Ateneo rivalry: “I still prefer the spirit of the Beda boys anytime over the La Sallites. Their brand of school spirit was the kind they wore on their chests and flaunted and shouted to the world—which is exactly the kind of fierce loyalty we have in this blue corner of the universe. This is why I say that in spirit, they are our worthier rivals.”

“The Lion and the Eagle opposition is one filled with respect and mutual admiration,” say Rufino Lopez III, John Dave Pablo and Emmanuel Mangahas in the Bedan. “There was a time when this rivalry brought the best out of each school through a series of healthy competitions in different fields.”


I should think so. After their bitter fights in the NCAA, Lions and Eagles learned to live together and fight together in a happy afterlife. In the MICAA—THE leading basketball league of the 50s-60s era—Lions Loyzaga, Carbonell, Eddie Rivera, Orly Castelo, Dading Cuna etc. became the loving teammates of Eagles Ed Ocampo, Dodo Martelino and Bobby Littaua in a team called Yco.

Don’t you think it’s time—even for one, brief, shining moment—to see this old rivalry come to life again?

Just an insight...
In the Philippine coat of arms, there are two dominant colors - Blue and RED.
At the red side, there’s a lion.
Sa blue side naman, there’s an eagle.
very interesting isn’t it. ;)

"Blue and Red clash again ?"
the saga continues...



The San Beda - Ateneo Basketball Rivalry
Is there such a thing as an Ateneo – San Beda rivarly?
by Mike Abasolo (www.inboundpass.com) Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Let’s be clear. When we are talking about the NCAA Senior Men’s Basketball, the answer will definitely be - YES. When both schools – Ateneo de Manila and San Beda College - were still together since 1924, they were the winningest teams in Philippine College Basketball. Both schools have winning traditions and a rich and colorful basketball history. Ateneo and San Beda are tied at 14 NCAA titles to this date, both being current UAAP and NCAA champions for 2008. San Beda College was the first over Ateneo to win its College Basketball title in 1927, Ateneo followed suit in 1928 and the race was on.

Ateneo had three back to back titles (1953 and 1954, 1957 and 1958, 1975 and 1976) and 1 three peat (1931, 1932, 1933), while San Beda had a couple of back to back titles (1951 and 1952, 1977 and 1978) and the most Three-peat titles (1934, 1935, 1936 and 2006, 2007, 2008). Seasons 1955 and 1959 were the years that prevented Ateneo the glory – the rare Three-Peat. But check those dates out and you’ll notice that either of them are in each others noses. Either of them can be each ones road block for the quest to be the greatest college basketball team ever. But in 1955, San Beda took the Crispulo Zamora trophy - a special trophy by the NCAA for the most number of championships in that stretch.

After winning the 1959 NCAA Championship series, San Beda will wait 17 years for another back to back title. The other wait for San Beda will be 28 years but that’s another story narrated in his book by our colleague, Jude Roque, entitled - a Time to Roar. Anyway, that 1959 San Beda team was bannered by former MICAA bruiser Big Boy Reynoso, Tata Caranceja, Jose Oyson, Ramon Asiva, and Rodolfo de los Santos.

That wait will again push the league into another classic title showdown in the 53rd season of the NCAA.

The year was 1977. The Adamson Falcons bagged the UAAP Senior Men’s Basketball over the NU Bulldogs. Joel Banal was the NCAA’s scoring leader. And, the Ateneo Blue Eagles is again poised for greatness after winning back to back titles and in search for another three-peat will once more face a familiar sentry post – the San Beda Red Lions.

San Beda swept the 1st round of the series, 7-0, to gain the 1st final seat. The 1st time these two teams met, San Beda defeated Ateneo, 93-88. Ateneo had an excuse to lose because their three starters – Joy Carpio, Fritz Gaston and Steve Watson – were in Singapore playing for the RP Youth team. Chuck Barreiro was the only Red Lion to join that RP youth selection.

In the 2nd round, Ateneo, in their last game of the series, conquered San Beda, 92-89, to take the last seat of the finals. Chito Loyzaga missed his free throws and a jumper and Francisco “Frankie? Lim was thrown out of the ball game. The Finals was set for another explosion between two teams that have different styles. The San Beda Red Lions is a deliberate half-court, high percentage shooting team against the run and gun Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Aside from Barreiro, the Red Lions had Chito Loyzaga, JB Yango, the Guzman twins and Cholo Martin with Loreto Carbonel taking care of the sidelines. The Blue Eagles, however, aside from their RP Youth stalwarts, have Louie Rabat, the Narvasa brothers and Padim Israel with the youthful Bong Go manning the coaching chores for Ateneo.

September 21, Game 1 at the Araneta Coliseum. Experts predicted that Ateneo will go all the way to win the series because of their key players’ international experience. A thunderdome at the Big Dome was almost the description of that fateful day. Steel bolts, nuts, golf balls, eggs, dry batteries, chairs and, would you believe, even long playing albums were being thrown at the court by the packed crowds in the coliseum.

The game was almost cancelled if the boisterous spectators did not stop from Fr. Jose Cruz’s and Fr. Belarmine Baltazar’s call for both sides to calm down. But the Blue Eagles’ fate will so far agree with the experts as they took game 1 of the finals, 105-99. Steve Watson was the best player for the Blue Eagles supported by Joy Carpio and Padim Israel. “I guess you could consider that as my best game�?, Watson said after the game. JB Yango, Chuck Barreiro, Noel and Joel Guzman were the top players for the Red Lions.

September 23, Game 2 at the Araneta Coliseum. Red Lions Head Coach Loreto Carbonel suggested to the NCAA officials that the following games be held in closed doors. Referees have again threatened to walk-out if such violence will occur during the games. The NCAA has been suspended in 1962 because of a similar incident. The 1963 and 1964 seasons were held in a home and away type format.

The Blue Eagles were not able to establish their running game and the Red Lions slowed things a bit. San Beda, with Chito Loyzaga, Chuck Barreiro, JB Yango and Al Alipante with his defense over Steve Watson, got game 2, 71-68 to tie the series at 1-1 but without casualties. One woman was hit near the eye and another a cut in the head as hooliganism once again struck at the Big Dome this time it included automobile spark plugs. Blue Eagle Manuel Estrella and Red Lion Noel Guzman were both hurt during the mayhem.

September 25. Ateneo de Manila thru Fr. Jose Cruz has announced that they will quit the NCAA due to rowdiness and violence. Fr. Cruz said that their withdrawal from the league was for the protection of their students and the general public. But the series will still continue.

Twice the Blue Eagles were denied by the Red Lions of a three-peat and this series will be the last of an illustrious college basketball rivalry the country has ever known.

Game 3 at the Araneta Coliseum, September 25. The same day when Ateneo made its announcement to withdraw from the league would like to come out, hopefully, with a bang. The game will be held in closed doors and will be watched only by school officials and the press.

With a refined defensive system and a man-zone that caught the Blue Eagles off guard, the San Beda Red Lions captured the 53rd NCAA Senior Men’s Basketball title, 77-75, denying the Blue Eagles another three-peat.

Ateneo Blue Eagles Back to Back Coach Baby Dalupan (the PBA’s winningest coach) blamed referee Manuel Inocentes for calling a charging foul on Blue Eagle Manolito Valdez. Coach Dalupan believes that call influenced the outcome of the series. The foul gave the Red Lions two free throw opportunities to ice the series for good.

Eugenio Puyat literally carried the Blue Eagles with 16 points followed by Watson and Carpio. Chito Loyzaga also had 16-points with Manzano, Yango and Martin contributing in double digits for the Red Lions. Ateneo’s Joy Carpio was named the Most Valuable Player.

San Beda would go on to win back to back in 1978 over the La Salle Green Archers. Ateneo will enter the UAAP. San Beda will win another title after……28 long years, almost twice the wait since the last time in 1959. The rivalry’s frolic and color is still being enjoyed on occasion in organized exhibition games by both schools.

As San Beda enjoyed a double dynasty (1934, 1935, 1936 & 2006, 2007, 2008) on the 21st century so as Ateneo, as it reaps it's championship crown at the UAAP for 2008. If San Beda succeeds in its application for a university status, will it join its former NCAA founding members? 

And hopefully we'll see another true SAN BEDA vs. ATENEO rivalry in the making... Who knows what will happen...



04/13/2008 by Arthur Gastrock

San Beda cast a dark shadow over distant past as it beat Ateneo 70-61 at the opening day of the 2008 Filoil Flying Invitational Cup Sunday afternoon at the PhilSports Arena.

It was indeed a sweet victory for the Red Lions, finally beating the Blue Eagles after consecutive unsuccessful attempts. Team San Beda ran like a well oiled machine, after a slow start. The Blue team surged to a 8-0 start. As play ensued, the Red Lions regained lost ground and never looked back.

Sam Ekwe, healing the wounds from a heart wrenching visit in Jakarta, led the charge with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Pong Escobal, the spirited leader of the team, displayed his late game heroics, including a clutch three point basket in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter. He finished with 14 points as well. Ogie Menor was his usual daredevil self with cliffhanger drives to the hoop and occasional long range bombs to finish with 12 points. Borgie Hermida assumed the role of court general, running wily against the guards of the blue side, plucking several rebounds to boot and finishing with 11 points. JR “Baby Shaq” Taganas was Sunday’s surprise package of Coach Frankie Lim, as he filled the void left by now Talk n Text Phone Pal Yousif Aljamal. The San Beda Awesome Five just kept Ateneo guessing, leaving them shackled as the final buzzer sounded.

Kevin Emeka Udo did not figure much in his first outing as a Red Lion, dishing 3 quick fouls early in the first quarter. Prized rookie Elvin Jake Pascual came off the bench, with several flashes of brilliance that made the San Beda faithful smile from ear to ear.

It was a well executed game plan for the Red Lions. Well, for what it’s worth, shooting for the Blue Eagles went terribly sour in the second half. Main gunner Chris Tiu, despite his dismal shooting off the perimeter on to the rainbow area, managed to chalk up 17 markers. Not bad for an off night! Blue chip rookies Nico Salva, Ryan Buenafe and Justin Chua were used sparingly during the game, not enough for them to strut their stuff on court, in front of prying eyes of basketball junkies.

Perhaps the happiest of all during the opening day of Filoil was Coach Ato Badolato, the illustrious mentor of the San Beda Red Cubs as scores of his proteges were showcased during last Sunday’s event. Taganas, Hermida, Menor, Villanueva, Marcelo, Lanete for the Red Lions. Baldos, Escueta and Salva for the Blue Eagles. Casio and Revilla for the Green Archers. A long list of Cubs scattered around all four corners of college basketball. A testament of the legend that is Badolato.

The win by the Red Lions really made my day. Not even my slow motion, blurry web camera could dampen my spirit. From the scratchy images on my screen, I saw the new face of San Beda basketball. Less of the individualistic display of talent but more of cohesive and methodical team play. This makes me all excited for their next games, and heck, for the NCAA!


Win for the Red and White…
Win for San Beda, our country and God…

San Beda relives Caloy Loyzaga’s golden era
By Manolo Iñigo (Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- While it is too early to talk about it, I say prospects look good for San Beda College, the back-to-back National Collegiate Athletic Association champion, to once again score a “three-peat” and relive the good old days in the 1950s when the legendary Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga led the Red Lions to three NCAA titles in 1951, 1952 and 1955 to retire the then much-coveted Zamora Trophy.

The "three-peat" or Grand Slam San Beda did was way back in 1934, 1935, and 1936. It will be nice to repeat these once more.

But unlike in the past, when the forbidding presence of the 6-foot-3 Loyzaga (a rarity among local players at that time) turned impending defeat into victory, hence the apt moniker “The Big Difference,” this year’s champion San Beda team banked heavily on a trio of cagers to nail its 13th NCAA title behind Letran College (15), the losing finalist this year and former member Ateneo de Manila University (14).

* * *

Playing big roles for the winners were mohawk-haired Ogie Menor, a well-built, 20-year-old 6-foot-3 prized forward who was named the Finals MVP; pro-bound Yousif Aljamal, a sweet-shooting 6-4 player who is set to join Talk ‘N Text in the PBA this season; and tall and beefy Sam Ekwe, the 6-foot-8 Nigerian rebounder, who won last year’s MVP award.

Although two players will be missed next season -- Aljamal and reserve forward Raymund Maggay, who is graduating -- the team is close to intact.

Thus, it is safe to say that San Beda coach Frankie Lim is extremely lucky since two talented players from the team’s junior ranks are slated to beef up his team, namely, the 6-foot-5 Kevin Udo, another Nigerian who has the makings of a future Ekwe; and last year’s juniors Top Rookie-MVP 6-foot-4 Elvin Pascual.

Lim is also counting on his other impact-performers like Borgie Hermida, Pong Escobal, Chico Tirona, top rookie Dave Marcelo, Bam-Bam Gamalinda, Jay-R Taganas, Ed Tecson and Garvo Lanete.

* * *

A dynasty in the making?

“We are not really talking about that,” said the 47-year-old Lim, who played for the champion San Beda team in 1977 and 1978. “Masyadong maaga (It’s premature).”

But he said that it felt great winning the title on his maiden stint as coach. “It’s very rewarding.”

Praising his players, Lim said they are all intelligent, may puso (with a fighting heart). “We’re up against a tough team (Letran) but I told them not to doubt their capabilities.”

“I got my confidence when my shots started to go in,” stressed Menor, who topscored for San Beda with 25 points in Game 2 after hitting 23 in Game 1, two games the Red Lions won to sweep the best-of-three title series.

Aljamal said it was time to celebrate. He missed two games of the final eliminations after he was barred by NCAA officials for failing to ask the permission of the league when he joined the PBA Rookie Draft a few weeks ago. But he was able to rejoin the team in the Final Four.

* * *


Breaking News!!!

San Beda roars to '3-peat' and NCAA greatness
(San Beda relives Caloy Loyzaga’s golden era)
by abs-cbnNEWS.com | 09/29/2008 5:22 PM

San Beda threw all its weight and parried everything Jose Rizal U Heavy Bombers had to offer and carved out an emphatic 85-69 victory Monday to crown itself three-peat champion in the 84th National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball tournament before a record crowd at the Big Dome.

Nigerian behemoth Sam Ekwe unleashed a monster performance with 21 points, 19 rebounds, three blocks, two assists and a steal to cap his three-year stint with the Red Lions with a third straight crown and Finals MVP to boot.

The win also cemented the Lions' dynasty even stronger and sent them into the elite class of the San Beda team that reigned from 1934 to 1936 while sealing a 14th crown overall.

The 2008 championship team of San Beda now joins former NCAA member Ateneo, now with the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, as the second winningest school in the oldest, most prestigious league in the land.

"It boiled down to execution. We started strong, we executed well especially in our offense, that did us some wonders," said a jubilant coach Frankie Lim.

"I told my guys not to be heroes but to play as a team and win this game as a team for our beloved school San Beda," he added.

Lim was also impressed of his 6’9" Lagos, Nigeria center.

"Ekwe is great. He’s the MVP of the Finals, MVP of the season. You got to give it to him, he’s been working hard," said Lim of his hardworking Nigerian center.

"We’ve got our highs and lows but you know at least he now understands the importance of him staying in the post. He gets a lot of opportunities there.

"I’m just too happy for him, he’s got a three-peat, MVP awards here and there. He is going out from San Beda with greatness," he added. San Beda's Ogie Menor against a Bomber.

Like Ekwe, PBA-bound Pong Escobal went out with a bang as he had 11 points, nine assists and seven boards.

"Can’t get any sweeter than this I mean to overcome this year because of all the doubts. The ups and downs during the season it just can’t get any sweeter than this. The harder the sweeter it is," said Escobal.

It also produced a lot of heroes.

Last year’s Finals MVP Ogie Menor, rookie Jake Pascual and Borgie Hermida chipped in 18, 13 and 10 points, respectively, to complete a 2-1 series win over a Jose Rizal squad that gave it all but came out empty handed.

After spending so much energy in Game Two, the Bombers looked spent that enabled the Lions to dominate the first half.

San Beda, in fact, led by as much as 17 points, 35-18, during the period thanks to a strong start by Ekwe.

The Bombers are still without a championship after 36 years. JR Sena rallied the Shaw-based dribblers back as they closed the half with an 11-3 blast that was capped by a booming triple by Jason Nocom to trim the deficit down to a single digit, 29-38.

The Red Lions came out of the dugout wearing white shirts with the No. 13 printed at the back. The Lions dedicated the series to their coach (Johnny Lim) who wore the No. 13 jersey as part of the last back-to-back champion team in the late 1970s before the three-peat.

Incidentally, the Ateneo Eagles did that to their coach Norman Black with a black shirt and the No. 24 etched on it when they ruled the UAAP Season 71 basketball championship last week.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Basketball League, which withdrew its referees Thursday, decided in the last minute to allow its referees one last time.

Remembering the 1977 - 1978 Red Lions Back to Back NCAA Champions with Johnny Lim

click to enlarge

the 2006 team that started it all again...




Greatest Filipino cager ever
(by Inquirer News Service, July 2006)

WITH his seemingly endless repertoire of playing skills and flawless harmony of mental and physical coordination, Carlos Matute Loyzaga is, by any measure, the greatest Filipino basketball player of all time.

Voted by his peers as the No. l choice--in secret balloting--for the first batch of local basketball legends that will be enshrined to the first ever National Basketball Hall of Fame, Loyzaga's dazzling record speaks for itself.

Born on Aug. 29, 1930 in San Jose, Mindoro, Loyzaga had the natural ability to turn what seemed to be an impending defeat to victory, thus earning for himself the monicker: ''The Big Difference,'' a sobriquet made popular by the incomparable sportscaster Willie Hernandez, now deceased.

Loyzaga, as a player, had the gifts of size, towering at 6-foot-3, a rarity among Filipino players during his time, shooting and rebounding prowess, not to mention that he was also a fantastic center. And with his Spanish features, he was handsome. Truly, he stood clearly above the rest.

''Loyzaga is one in a million,'' said an enraptured cage fan of his. ''He would have been phenomenal as a pro in the Philippine Basketball Association,'' the fan added. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to play in the PBA, having retired from active competition when Asia's first play-for-pay league was born in 1975.

His most memorable achievement was accomplished in 1954 as a member of the amazing Philippine team that placed third in the second World Basketball Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a feat that has now become impossible to duplicate.

Loyzaga was also named to the Mythical Selection of the tournament won by the highly-favored United States, which beat host Brazil, 62-41, in the finals. in the other game, the Philippines copped third place by beating pre-game favorite Uruguay, 67-63, after trailing, 33-32, at the half.

Coached by master bench strategist Herminio ''Herr'' Silva, the other members of the Philippine team were Bayani Amador, Rafael Barretto, Florentino Bautista, Napoleon Flores, Benjamin Francisco, Antonio Genato, also a Hall of Famer; Lauro Mumar, the team captain; Ramon Manulat, Francisco Rabat, Ponciano Saldana and Mariano Tolentino. Francis Wilson and Fred Sagarbarria were alternates.

Loyzaga also played for the Philippine team that landed eighth in the world cagefest in Chile in 1959.

Then a gangling cager, Loyzaga launched his colorful cage career in 1942 as a virtual unknown, playing for the Sta. Mesa Aces whose roster included the Cuna brothers, Pablo and Vicente; Ramon Lopez, chair of the Letran Hall of Fame; Vicente Siyllon, who became president of Insular Life; and brothers Bobby and Al Tuazon. Their coach was Jose ''Pepe'' Lansang, who later made a name for himself as a referee.

After the Liberation of Manila, Loyzaga played for a team called Bulldogs which was coached by Joker Faustino. He studied at the P. Burgos Elementary School in Sta. Mesa and National University for his high school.

Loyzaga was about to enroll at UST for his college education but before he could wear the UST jersey, noted player and coach Felicisimo Fajardo, also a Hall of Famer, took him to San Beda where Fely polished his playing style. Loyzaga had wanted earlier to play for Letran but backed off when the coach gave him the cold treatment.

Loyzaga honed his skills at the Tervalac playground in Sta. Mesa before making waves in the NCAA, then the country's most colorful and glamorous league, as a member of the fabled San Beda Red Lions in the 1950s.

He also played for the multi-titled Pratra, then coached by Gabriel ''Gabby'' Fajardo, Fely's brother and a fellow Hall of Famer. Pratra won the MICAA crown in 1951.

In the NCAA, Loyzaga lived up to his billing as ''The Big Difference'' when he engineered San Beda's successful bid to retire the coveted Zamora trophy by winning the NCAA championship three times -- in 1951, 1952 and 1955.

After his NCAA campaign, Loyzaga joined the fabulous, Elizalde family-owned YCO Painters, winners of 10 consecutive National Open titles and numerous MICAA crowns.

Loyzaga made his Olympic debut in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and played in the 1956 Melbourne Games. However, he missed the 1960 Rome Olympics due to a wrist injury he suffered while playing softball. Loyzaga coached the Philippine team that placed 13th in the 1968 Mexico Games.

In the Asian Games, Loyzaga sparked the Philippines to four straight championships -- in New Delhi in 1951, Manila in 1954, Tokyo in 1958, and Jakarta in 1962.

Capping his checkered career, Caloy skippered the Philippine team to twin victories in the ABC tournament -- in 1960 in Manila and in 1963 in Taipei -- and coached the national selection to a dramatic triumph in the 1967 ABC in Seoul.

Now based in Australia, Loyzaga, who also served as councilor of Manila, is married to Vicky Cuerva. They have four children -- Chito, Joey, Teresa, and Bing - who are all celebrities in their own right.

"An Ode To Brotherhood"
Contributed by Luis Carlo San Juan

Colleges of San Beda

Alabang Manila Rizal

One way of knowing that your alma mater has left a lasting mark on you is when you look back and are thankful for a lot of things it has done for you. This article is proof enough that my alma mater has done a good job.

The only thing permanent in life is change, or so the saying goes. It isn’t possible to live life without change. No matter how bitter, harsh, cruel or painful it gets, we have no choice but to face it to survive. Last year, change happened again – to our school. Imagine the shock my friends (and even people who are not from my school) and I got when we learned that San Beda was to turn coed.

After 102 years of existence, an all-boys institution has now become co-educational and is introducing new courses that are far from want our school has been known for. Moreover, the grade school and high school departments will be slowly phased out in the Mendiola campus and moved to a new campus in Taytay, Rizal, which will also turn coed, to our utter dismay.

This school year, all that has been set in motion. People have mixed feelings about it. A lot were surprised while others said it was about time. You’d think turning an exclusive boys school into a coed institution would be seen a God-sent, but it seems that’s not necessarily the case. Even if boys are naturally girl-crazy, still many students at San Beda seem apprehensive about the idea.
They are not being sexist, they just want to preserve the school’s culture and tradition. In other words, there’s a certain distinct aura and pride when you come from an all-boys school.

With these changes, a lot of us are afraid that our alma mater’s culture and tradition are slowly being threatened. I visited our campus not so long ago, and I sensed that a lot of things have indeed changed. The overall feel was different. Even the security guards are now kinda a pain. During my time, even if they were strict about IDs at least the guards managed to smile as we entered every now and then. Now, it seems that there is an impersonal feel about San Beda – characteristic of any institution that’s getting bigger and assuming a varied population.

I’ve written many times about my school before, but I guess this will be my last. Let’s just say this is a reminiscing piece on the old San Beda, the San Beda me and my fellow Bedans once knew. Even if they say that the San Beda I have always known is old school – exclusive, compact and down-home compared to the bigger universities – and thus was turning obsolete, somehow we feel it was better to have been in the old school.

Unlike in other academic institutions where students, upon graduation, don’t want to have anything to do with the school anymore, for us Bedans, San Beda was not just a school we attended to get a diploma. We enjoyed the process, the learning, the experiences, and the enthusiasm we got coming to school, no matter how tough it was. There is an emotional bond that binds us and keeps us much closer even if we no longer go there to attend classes. We love the school when we were there; we love it even more after leaving it.

I’ve been a Bedan all my life (technically that is), coming from the sister campus in Alabang, but it was only during my four years at San Beda, in college, did I feel the true Bedan culture. My high school, St. Benedict College in Alabang, had prepared me to adjust comfortably at San Beda. But if one really wanted to feel the real Bedan culture, one went to San Beda, the "original" in Mendiola. It was in this school that I found a sense of identity and belonging.

The Bedans can proudly claim that it has developed a culture and identity that is uniquely its own. The college was established in 1901 after the Benedictine Monks arrived in the Philippines in 1895 from Catalonia, Spain, bringing new educational standards, making it one of the most modern schools in the country at that time. The strength of the foundation did not solely come from the cornerstone of the school buildings but largely from the heartfelt dedication of the founding monks and the alumni and the generations after them. The bond between the school and its students is proof that to this day the influence of the founders has not diminished in strength. This undying faithfulness to our alma mater is the very reason San Beda has become one of the largest Benedictine schools in the world.

The founding monks’ primary focus for their Benedictine students was to be educated in the complete sense; that is, to develop fully and harmoniously the faculties of the whole man- intellectual, moral and physical. It recognized the student’s need to work and function in his post-San Beda-years, but gave equal weight to his need for character formation. It sought solid training of both mind and heart, to help the student further his development through his adulthood. Many may have come from privileged families but this was never a hindrance to seeing different realities from different angles; we were never taught to be elitists. We Bedans are proud of our ability to adjust to different social classes without losing the perspective of an educated human – one of the best attributes that distinguish us from the rest.

People may have been wondering why Bedans have always been viewed as warm and humble and I can boldly say without conceit that we really are. Students of other private schools seem to have the opposite image – I mean they deliberately act and speak in a way that tells other people how better off they are to have been able to enjoy quality elitist education. I am proud that in our school we do not just strive to be the best academically but also to be the warmest in reaching out to people.

The camaraderie among the students is legendary and exemplary. This institution thrived on the concept of "brotherhood," young gentlemen who give different hues of meaning to the already colorful experience of camaraderie.

This close-knit community where you see grade school, high school and even college students seated at one table playing Magic cards (I think now it’s Yugio) together aptly illustrates the Bedan culture. When Bedans run into each other outside the school setting they feel as if they were long-lost friends regardless of batch or age. And it does not stop there.

And now with all these changes, we are not quite sure if the old San Beda culture would still thrive.

So what will I and many of my fellow Bedans miss in the "old" San Beda? A lot actually, probably it will mark an end of an era. The absence of our "balut" vendor Mang Roger for one, the only "Bedan" who doesn’t need an ID to go inside the campus. Aside from the guards he was usually the first and the last person we’d see in school. I’ve heard it said that his "balut" was considered a Bedan delicacy– he’s been there that long. He’d station himself right beside the phone booths with his basket of duck eggs and "chicharon," a favorite snack bar for students of all levels. And when college basketball season came, he was always there with the Bedan crowd, a rather unofficial school mascot cheering our team on. If La Salle had its "Mang Jack," at San Beda we had our "Mang Roger."

Another slice of the "old" San Beda was "Hepa Lane," referring to the endless stalls of street food located just outside our walls, though thankfully I know of no one who really got sick of "Hepa" (hepatitis) from eating all that street food. Before the sprouting of endless food chains in the vicinity, the "Hepa Lane" was a favorite hang-out of students in between classes, since there one enjoyed an endless smorgasbord of skewed innards, good, yummy, cheap, "clean" (?) animal innards.

The old basketball courts, though there was nothing structurally majestic with these, were a favorite hang-out of students after class. The athletic, the bookworms and those who just wanted to kill time could use the court as they pleased. Today, the new wooden courts are only for the school varsity players.

The college lost some of its very good professors and faculty members who had already made a mark. There was once a heated argument over the requirement for every faculty member to have a master’s degree and the ones who argued for it prevailed. Consequently, those who had none, no matter how good they were, had to leave. Unfortunately, the ones we lost were not only cool and fun inside the classroom but also taught us much more than theories and way beyond what a master’s degree could ever impart to us.

Lastly, the grade school and high school students must be the last remnants of the "original" Bedan culture. Watching the grade school kids run around after their classes made us smile and gave us a light-hearted feeling after a tough and grueling day. The inquisitive ones would come to you from time to time to ask a bit of help and even call you "kuya." There was something in the vicinity, which is Mendiola where one is exposed to everything, that has molded and created a unique identity for San Beda. Since Mendiola has all kinds of establishments, in our time it brought us the outside world. In that way was the Bedan, even if he was in an exclusive boys’ school, not really shielded from the realities of the outside world. Leaving it now might mean leaving the culture that is the very identity and the very essence of being a Bedan. It is the end of the road where everything a Bedan is had all blossomed more than a century ago. The separation of the high school and college might be equivalent to cutting the kinship that has been nurtured for years.

I, for one, have had the closest friends way back from the high school. Surely, there are many exclusive schools that have gone coed before us but they have retained the exclusivity of their primary and secondary schools, thus continuing a part of the legacy of their past.

The people behind these changes said they had to do these to survive. Ironically back in my freshman year, I sometimes wished ours was a coed environment. But now, I have learned that we should really be careful about what we wish for since we might not really want it in the end.

Of course the addition of girls in the school would mean new ideas, new blood. On the light side, you don’t have to react negatively if you’re branded "school heartthrob." (If you’re all guys in school, you do the math.) It is believed that turning coeducational would lead us closer to the goal of achieving the "university status."

There are certain things we want so hard to remain exactly as they are but they too, have to change. We are left with no choice but to accept change. Instead of being reluctant and uncompromising about these inevitable changes, the only thing we can be now is just be supportive of them every step of the way. It is time for us to be open to change. Maybe Providence has placed us in a seemingly darker situation so that we could appreciate a much brighter light later. There must be a greater vision to which He wants us to open our eyes, though it may be hard to see it at the moment. The transition might be difficult, but who knows if we just have to redirect our vision to be able to see broader and greener plains. Nevertheless, I must say that I am very fortunate to have been a part of that "Old" school.

Animo San Beda!!!!

Publish Date: Friday, February 20, 2004

"The Bedan spirit in the heart"
Contributed by Luis Carlo San Juan

It was June 1997. San Beda was holding its annual pep rally before the start of college basketball season. The Indian Yell, my school’s most favored cheer, suddenly played. It was one among some original college cheers that still uses a full brass band and drums for greater effect. It was inspired by the music from old western flicks during battle scenes between the American Indians and cowboys. It is my school’s war chant, very effective in swelling school pride and intimidating rivals during collegiate games. We had a school mascot, the Indian Tribal Chief, to lead the cheers.

For an apathetic and naïve freshman student from the suburbs of southern Metro, it was an entirely new experience. Hearing it for the first time, especially with the beating of the deafening drums and energetic crowd, gave me goose bumps. It was my first dose of Bedan culture.

The atmosphere was never like this in my grade school and high school years in San Beda’s sister campus, Benedictine Abbey School, now officially known as San Beda Alabang. It was, in fact, somewhat the opposite. We grew up not really having much of a school culture. The general feeling among the students was apathy. Any form of school loyalty was considered cheesy, even baduy.

After classes were over for the day, and the moment we stepped out of the gate past the guard, off went our IDs like they were some sort of disease. And if we forgot to take it off, our faces turned red with embarrassment. Unlike in the main campus at Mendiola in Manila, where one can see students wearing San Beda shirts written in big bold letters with pride.

Standing under the 7 a.m. sun during the flag ceremonies, we sometimes had to stay scorched in the assembly area a little longer because we did not sing the Bedan Hymn loud enough. The hymn was written by the late Senator Raul Roco, but we were not aware of this then. "Again," shouted the prefect of students, but this time with raised fists. Much annoyed, we would mutter "colorful" words. We felt like we were being forced fed "school loyalty." Our arms were lifeless. We wished we were holding something to throw at the prefect. Technically we were identified as Bedans, but we never considered ourselves such. We just regarded ourselves as taga-Bene. Inside the school we were fine. Outside the classroom however, there was nothing. In the Bedan community, we were like lost sheep, not knowing what we were. There is not much camaraderie between the batches, even among classmates, even towards some of our teachers (that’s Alabang brattiness for you). There was an absence of fraternal bond. That is why it was easy for us to turn green, blue or maroon, perhaps even pink for some of the Bedans when we reached college.

It seems hard to believe that sister schools can be such cultural opposites. It is perhaps because we in Alabang, for 30 years or so, were not getting the full Benedictine treatment. Benedictine Abbey was being run more as a secular school.

But all of this is changing now. Thanks to San Beda’s new leadership, the Benedictine monks are now taking a direct hand in inculcating the proper Benedictine values. In a sense bringing us back to the fold. The first step was officially changing the name of the Alabang campus to San Beda Alabang.

What is in the name?

"A name carries a lot of things," said Fr. Ed Africa, OSB, one of San Beda’s spiritual directors, who has been a great inspiration for a lot of people, especially in the Bedan community. "A name is not just a title. A name personifies what something really stands for. The name San Beda has been around for 104 years. Immediately, because of that name, one is able also to get the history and tradition of the original school."

But is old-fashioned school tradition still relevant today? The answer is yes. Fr. Africa said, "Academic excellence is merely the development of the mind. School culture is the total formation of the individual; it is the ultimate transmission of values."

Not just the mind, he added but most of all, the heart. "Christian values with emphasis on the Benedictine ideals of prayer, work and community. When we say community, there is much respect for the individual, for the importance of each person – that is why we become family," he said.

This is probably the reason the culture of the two Benedictine schools has been different from each other. In the main campus at Mendiola, even if the students do not see the monks, the students sensed this mystical presence.

This is what the monks and the Bedan community as a whole were trying to achieve for San Beda Alabang. "Instead of being isolated from one another," Fr. Africa added, "Now there is a sharing of resources between the campuses. So we really form one family, sharing the same kind of values, the same kind of vision, and the same identity."

And as the sunset draws near for San Beda’s grade school and high school in the main campus of Mendiola, all eyes are focused on San Beda Alabang and the new campus in Taytay, Rizal, to continue with San Beda’s tradition that has been cultivated for over a century.

The Benedictines, unlike other religious orders, would rather keep their schools to a size manageable so as to maintain the kind of community spirit which they highly value. The unification of the three campuses thus is a concrete testament to that. This is definitely a huge step in achieving university status.

A few years back some taga-Bene wanted the Alabang campus to break away from Mendiola and form a culture of their own. In hindsight, it’s good they failed. But much still needs to be done. Still I think San Beda is on the right path.

It will take some time for a new school spirit to sink in, for cold hearts to thaw. I would not be surprised if the students become oblivious with what’s happening. I know the feeling. But at least they have something now that the previous generations, including mine were not able to experience. I say this not as a Bedan from Mendiola but a Bedan from Alabang.

We finally know who we are.
* * *
KETCHUP PLEASE, LUIS! By Luis Carlo San Juan
The Philippine STAR 10/21/2005


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