Monday, September 8, 2014
Culture Nurture - @ 17: BCC “Pag-asa sang Kabuhi Ko” by: James U. Sy Jr.
Culture Nurture - @ 17: BCC “Pag-asa sang Kabuhi Ko” by: James U. Sy Jr. The last time we had a faculty and staff meeting together with student leaders, the question, “What does Bacolod City College (BCC) mean to you” was asked of us. Several answers were forwarded, all of which were eloquent elucidations of the school’s core values; one stood out from the rest and was made the official theme for the 17th Foundation celebration of the college this September 2-8, 2014 - BCC “Pag-asa sang Kabuhi Ko.” BCC “Pag-asa sang Kabuhi Ko” is a very straight forward declaration, so simple in fact that it gives the best view of what Bacolod City College (BCC) stands for and for whom it was established. BCC was established at a time when teens from poverty-stricken families had a dim hope of going to college to fully equip themselves in facing the challenges of life. There was no institution of higher education run by the city government. It was in this absence of hope that BCC ignited a small spark that would slowly, but continuously, bring light to an otherwise dark future for thousands of Bacoleños, and to a much lesser extent to the youth outside of the capital. That small flame went against the strong winds of fate, refusing to die down, regardless of the odds. The birth and the infancy of Bacolod City College (BCC) was never an easy one. The four pioneer teachers - Engr. Valentino Argel, Engr. Medel Hongo, Rosalia “Rose” Lorilla, and Engr. Judith Simeon - narrated how, like Joseph and Mary, they were sent away many times but still managed to hold classes wherever and whenever they can “squat.” BCC started out with no classroom of its own, more so a building to call its own. Despite this, the teachers endured and persevered, which gave inspiration to youngsters struggling to prepare for a brighter future. The pioneer batches of BCC students held classes at ETCS, Bacolod City National High School (BCNHS), at the entrance grounds of Rizal Elementary School, and even at the second floor of the Villamonte Public Market. Sometimes classrooms were locked, forcing the poor teens to have classes in the nakedness of nature. Sometimes the desks were pushed to the sides with a note on the blackboard, “Don’t move the desks.” The pioneer students had to sit on the floor, and even lie pronated when writing. Classes at the public market were even a bigger challenge, as the smell of food being cooked and the noise of the early karaoke marathons distracted students. It was during these early days when the will of both teachers and students were tested. Things started to change when BCC’s charter President Dr. Norma M. Juarez-Roque represented the community college at the City Development Council for a P5 million grant for the construction of the Sum-ag Campus, and later another P5 million for the building of the Taculing Campus. The history of BCC can not be told without mentioning Dr. Juarez-Roque since she laid the foundation of the BCC that we know today. Each passing year BCC became stronger as students, teachers, school officials, and city officials tirelessly did their part to improve the school and the services that it delivers. One by one, better facilities became part of the college like the fully furnished Science Lab, the Media Resource Center (MRC), and the new building at the Taculing Campus among others. After 17 challenging years, Bacolod City College (BCC) continues to deliver its promise of giving quality and affordable education to qualified and deserving students. It currently has five bachelor programs - Business Administration (BSBA), Office Administration (BSOA), Teacher Education (TEd), Information System (BSIS), and Industrial Technology (BSIT) - and one 2-year course ladderized program leading to the degree of BSIS, ACT. Today, the City of Bacolod under the leadership of Hon. Mayor Monico O. Puentevella sustains its annual subsidy of the college’s operating expenses to “make education work for the city of the future” as what the chief executive said in his State of Bacolod City Report last July 2, 2013. Bacolod City First Lady Josefa “Patching” Puentevella, in her speech during the opening salvo of the school’s 17th Foundation Week last September 2, 2014, emphasized the obligation of the student in his education, “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” The honorable mayor, in his speech at the last commencement exercises, disclosed his dream of coming up with a single campus wherein the Sum-ag, Taculing, and Fortune Towne Campus will become one. It was revealed by Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., Atty. Loney Lyzander “Bong” Dilag, Spokesperson of the Mayor, and Rolando Villamor, Bacolod City Administrator, that there are plans for the addition of a Criminology Department for the college as well as a vocational course for 6 months to 1 year. BCC offers its students not only higher education but most importantly hope for a better future and a chance to improve the quality of life. The best testimony is the 6,985 students who have earned their degrees from the school; now, they have a better lives, happy families, and dignified jobs. At 17, BCC continues to soar.