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Editors Notes

arcus Garvey, a Jamaican political leader, publisher and journalist once


said, A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin

and culture is like a tree without roots.

One sure thing about MVCians, is that we are very good in reminiscing on our
past experiences at the hilltop. We tend to always try to recollect all the
adventures we had as students and we never tire remembering what we did and
what we have shared as an alumni family.
This past month was my moment of going back to the hilltop, my second home
as a teenager, the place where I literally spent the most unforgettable growing
up years of my life. This time, not as a student who was once bound by the strict
rules and regulations, but as a mere observer, a reminiscer of the past and as
a balikbayan of sorts. And oh what joy it was to step back I time, stay under
the pines and breathe the fresh morning air at sunrise in Jubilee Park facing
Nelson Hill. My classmates from the Zephyrs class made it more emotional as
we reminisce on the fun we had as students, the struggle of adulthood out in the
different fields of work we have been through, and our triumph and challenges
as wives and husbands and as parent. MVC does that to us.
The best thing we ever did on our first day there was get into a sugarcane truck
and took the tour to Lilingayon, to the Manupali River at the hydro site and
then to the new swimming pool at the campus. Everywhere we went, there was
always an incident to remember that brings giggles and screaming. We were
like little children again.

Amidst laughter and remembering the beautiful memories of our college fun, we
were able to trace back our footsteps of where we used to roam and spend our time
with. This beautiful place we called our second home will always have a place in
our heart. And the memories we had will stay and be remembered even by the
next generation.

Devotional

t was another one hot scorching day in Davao. We were all set to take a trip to
Samal island. Bags were packed; baon were stored and with all the
excitement, we boarded the two vans assigned for the trip. We were told that
the alluring mystique of Samal comprised not only of white sandy beaches but also
with beautiful natural waterfalls. At Penaplata, an area within the island garden city
of Samal, we decided to go to Hagimit waterfalls which is supposedly its pride.
Through rough and rugged terrain on dusty mountainous roads, we were amazed to
be brought to a clearing which was really nicely-kept and we followed a pathway
down the hill and was amazed with such beauty of this water falls. Within minutes,
we were ready to hit the cool waters. Of course getting pictures of this natural beauty
was foremost in my mind so I immediately took out my camera and got ready.
Although I have always relied on my cell phone for beautiful photos, I decided to hide
it fearful it could fall and get wet.
Amidst all the screaming and laughter, I was able to capture the smiles and the
enthusiasm of everyone who came along. We were having so much fun splashing
and getting wet and eating banana turon at the same time.
Then all of a sudden, I heard my daughter Farrah scream and saw her jump to
retrieve a fallen cell phone, my cell phone which she decided to take out from my
bag to use in capturing the beauty of this place. I was so mad. I intentionally hid it
for the possibility of it falling and she just had to do it. Immediately, they were able
to fish it out from the water, turned it off and immediately disassemble it and dried
all parts in the sun. I knew it was the end of it. I knew there will be no pictures saved.
I was frustrated. Yet, I closed my eyes and prayed against hope hoping for a miracle
that the cell phone will still work and all photos be saved.
Two days later, my daughter assembled it together, turned it on and miraculously it
worked. I was able to use it during the entire vacation for almost one month. My
prayers were answered. When I finally arrived in Virginia, I spent the first two days
downloading everything from my cell phone to my computer. I was amazed at how
many photos I took. Then after all was saved, the phone all of a sudden made a
weird sound and then it turned blank.

Did it need to be charged? I asked myself. I decided to charge it then all of a


sudden, it was dead. I immediately went to Verizon to have it checked and possible
change its battery.
The technician only looked at me in the eye and asked, Has this cell phone been
thoroughly soaked in water?
Yes I said. Then I told him the story of the incident at Hagimit waterfalls.
He looked at me in the eye and said, Its a miracle you were able to still use it to
take pictures and it is a miracle that you were able to save all those photos because
this cell phone should have been dead for days. Everything has corroded inside.
Believe it or not, this has been damaged for days. You should be eternally grateful
All I could do was close my eyes and say, Thank You, Lord, for hearing my prayers.
This has truly been a miracle indeed.

Shared by Jessie Colegado

A very cheap man was looking for a gift for a friend. Everything was too expensive,
except for a broken glass vase which he could purchase for almost nothing. He asked
the store to send it, hoping his friend would think it had been broken in transit.
In due time, the man received an acknowledgment from his friend. "Thanks for the
vase," it read. "It was so thoughtful of you to wrap each piece separately."
(From GCFL)

A teenager who had just received her learner's permit offered to drive her parents to church. After
a hair-raising ride, they finally reached their destination.
The mother got out of the car and said, "Thank you!"
"Anytime," her daughter replied.
As the woman slammed the door, she said, "I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to God."
(From Clean Laffs)

The graveside service just barely finished, when there was massive clap of
thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even
more thunder rumbling in the distance.
The little old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, "Well, she's there."
(From Becky Day via GCFL)

SULADS Corner: Ambush!


By Novo M. Sabas. SCHSL Principal. January 2016

ir help! A student has been held up, and they got the money from him.
Early in the morning I was awakened with this call for help. Is he alive? I asked the
companion of the victim.

Yes sir, they answered.


I called the victim and started to comfort him because of the shocking incident he experienced. I
gathered the students and prayed with them praising and giving thanks to Almighty God who
saved the life of our student from the hands of the criminals.
A week after the incident, I was invited to join a tribal meeting of the community. After the
meeting, I started to hike going back to my assignment at the school. During my hike, I saw people
running towards me. When they noticed that I could see them, they shouted, Mr. Novo, go back
to where you are from because we saw criminals who want to kill you. They are trying to ambush
you, but you did not come.
When I heard that information from the concerned people, I praised God again for His protection
and guidance. I realized that I still have a mission to be done for His sake.
SULADS ministry is so colorful - theres joy, sadness, and even terrifying moments. And I do believe
that the SULADS is filled with trials and challenges that drive us to be closer to Jesus, our Savior.
Join us in prayer for the safety of the SULADS workers.
SULADS International, Inc.
If you would like to support this mission program dedicated to taking the Gospel to the people of Mindanao, please write a check to Gospel Outreach. Mark it for the
SULADS and send it to: Gospel Outreach P.O. Box 8 College Place, WA 99324 You may also donate to the SULADS using your credit card by logging on to Gospel Outreach's
donation site (http://www.goaim.org/) and follow the directions. Again, mark it for SULADS. If you would prefer, you may write your check to the General Conference of
SDA and mark the donation for SULADS and send it to: General Conference of SDA Donations 12501 Old Columbia Pike Silver Spring, MD 20904 Thank you for your support
of this very important project. If you do not want to receive any more newsletters, Unsubscribe To update your preferences and to unsubscribe visit this link Forward a
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From MVC to Abu Dhabi with Love


~by Elvin Langot-Dador, Zephyrs Class 1978

ountain View College was my second home. My grandmother, Elena Berial


Gayao (mother of Pasotr Anastacio B. Gayao) always took me with her
whenever she visits the campus. This haven of rest was always a source of
comfort and happiness for me ,so it was always a silent wish in my heart as I got
older to be able to study there. I considered it a privilege that my aunt Vivencia
Gayao, together with my parents Tatay Pacio and Nanay Tesiang pulled resources
together so I can avail of its education.
It started in High School. I had the most fond memories there. I can still vividly
remember, one evening when my best friend Evelyn Sullano and I were so hungry
that we decided to creep to the cafeteria, hid behind the flowers of Miss Rallos flower
garden until we reached the cafeteria. There, we stole some dukot and mantika
which we hid in my friends red sweater. Sprinkled salt on it and we were in cloud
9, eating such a simple but much-needed snack.
Early morning worship was never a thing that we looked forward to. We tried escaping
from it every time we can. But the loud bell of Miss Annie Gasapo was something you
cannot escape from. Now, when I think of it, I smiled. Because that ritual has in one
way or another helped me with my spiritual journey.
Saturday nights were the most special nights. We never have to do much. We joined
the marching and games and watch couplers in their corners. But to us, it was the
social thing to do to relax and be refreshed for the hurdles we have to face the
following week.
On my junior year, I had to transfer to Central Bukidnon Institute in Bagontaas,
Valencia due to financial problems. Luckily on my senior year, I graduated with the
honor of Valedictorian so I was given a full semester scholarship at MVC where I
enrolled in Nursing. Although the going was tough, financially, I was able to graduate
in 1078 together with my beloved classmates, Zephyrs 78.

Right after graduation, I joined with the Medical Aviation Program at Guppah,
Cagayan de Sulu, Tawi-Tawi as a Public Health Nurse. Then from 1980 to 982, I
worked in the OR/RR at Manila Adventist Hospital, formerly Manila Sanitarium &
Hospital.
Then in 982 1992, I worked at Zayed Military Hospital, Abu-Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates as an OR/Recovery Room as a Srcub & Circulating Nurse as well. Then in
1993-1994, I transferred to El Magrabi Eye Center for their Operating Room as a
Circulating Nurse. Then in 995 to 2014, I was able to work at the Ministry of Health
in Abu-Dhabi as an Ambulatory Nurse and then transferred to Sheikh Khalifa Hospital
managed by Cleveland Clinic to their Ambulatory Healthcare Services, as a Dental
Nurse.
It was in Abu-Dhabi where I met my husband Felix Dador. We have two children: our
son Irvin, a graduate of Information Technology and our daughter Diane, a graduate
of Communication Arts. Both were born in Abu-Dhabi.
Now, I have fully retired from Nursing since February 2014 and living in Manila with
my husband. Looking back I can say with all honesty that I was blessed to have been
given the chance to study and live in Mountain View College where I was drilled and
taught to completely trust in God in all my ways. He was the one who provided me
the jobs that I needed and has taken cared of me and family in all our transfers from
the Philippines to Abu-Dhabi and now back in the Philippines. I am a true believer.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:6 King James Version (KJV)

More Than A Conqueror


~by MeluJean Aquino-Atagan

Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.


Romans 12:21

was brought up by faithful Seventh-day Adventists parents and having a


Christian education was very important. Being a graduate from Mountain View
College was a privilege that I will forever be grateful. There have been a lot of
challenges financially and emotionally and spiritually but I learned through the years
that if I just put complete trust in the Lord, He will provide a way for me in all that I
do. And He has never failed me.
Right after graduation, I was hired at Cagayan Valley Sanitarium & Hospital in the
Operating Room Department. Although far away from my birthplace, I was thrilled
because I ended up working with several of my classmates from the Zephyrs class,
where I worked for almost two years. It was while working there that I came to the
conclusion that my love life was not working out well for me so I resolved to get out
from the country and find a more stable and brighter future away from home.
The opportunity came as a babysitter to a well-to-do family from Hongkong. Although
I would have preferred to work as a nurse, an adventure to an unknown land was
thrilling and I knew I just have to get out from the Philippines to find a better future.
I stayed there for four years. Then in 1984, another opportunity from the agency that
hired me came this time for Calgary, Canada. And without any doubt and with
complete trust in God, I accepted it. Looking back, I am grateful because it was
through this opportunity that I finally found the job of my dreams in 1986-1988: as
a contract worker. This finally led me to my first real nursing job. Then in 1990, I met
my husband Romeo Atagan, a Medical Technologist, a devout Seventh-day Adventist
who was also a contract worker from Yemen. He was a funny and very sociable
person, a leader and a very outgoing person. Finally, I had my family and God gave
us Megan, our beautiful daughter.

Life was great! Megan was our pride and joy. Church activities kept us. But in 2004,
during a big SDA meeting in Wisconsin, Romy had a fatal massive heart attack and
was taken away from us. It was devastating! All my dreams and future plans came
to a halt. But God continued to be our Provider of all our needs. He provided us
financially through people who came to give us support monetarily and emotionally.
Until now, I still cannot fathom how God worked miraculously in the background,
constantly providing us with all the necessities in life.
When my husband died, I was angry at first. Angry at him for leaving us and angry
at myself for not seeing any symptoms of his coronary illness. What kept me going
was the constant belief that God will never leave me nor forsake me. He never did!
Now, I am still working at the Rehab Center Care West Fanning in Calgary and still
healthy and strong. I am looking forward to retirement in two years when I can take
some time off to travel to places I have never seen in the Philippines and abroad. My
unwavering faith in God was my source of strength and I will forever be grateful for
Mountain View College, who helped shape me as a woman I am today.

Meant To Be A Missionary
~by Loida Sibala-Mosqueda

henever I think of Mountain View College, I always remember those times


we spent under the pines with roommates and friends. We never did have
much. Just a basin of rice and a can of sardines and lots of tomatoes and
ginamos. We would sit and help ourselves with such a small amount of blessing and
we are content.
Then my mind would wander to sceneries of Lantapan and Lilingayon plus other
neighboring villages and towns where we spent our Sabbaths doing Ministerial
Seminar rotations. Our lives were simple and uncomplicated and yet we were satisfied
and happy. But what was amazing is that all these happenings that took place there
were part of Gods plan in molding us to the responsible ans mature people we are
now today.

Right after graduation from the MVC-School of Nursing, our Zephyrs Class 78 took
the boat together bound for Manila. We were provincianas, most of us have never
been to a metropolis city like Manila. We had no clinical instructors with us to guide
us and show us the way. But we did well, considering that all of us, pass the Nursing
Board Exams 100%.
I was hired by Cagayan Valley Sanitarium & Hospital together with 4 other classmates
from the Zephyrs 978 class to be head nurses there. It was a lot of training and
learning new skills as well as socialization. It was during my stint there that I also
met my husband who was as a surgeon. Betwee 1979 1985, my life was full of
challenges as my husband and I started a family and in such a short amount of time,
we had four children: twin girls, one boy and another girl. As a full time worker,
mother, housewife there was a lot of responsibility heaped upon me. Only with
Gods guidance made it possible for us to work as a team.
To be a missionary was a dream that comes and goes as I was growing up. But it
never occurred to me that it was what God prepared me for. Then in 985-1987, the
General Conference called us to serve West African Division particularly in Nigeria at
Adventist Medical Hospital and Motherless Babies Home. With no relatives or siblings
to call for help, our lives as foreign missionaries started. It was quite a wake-up call
for us, realizing we are in a foreign land with young children exposed to all kinds of
diseases such as typhoid, malaria, cholera, Aids and malnutrition.
But God works in all things. He reminded us in Romans 8:30-32 and these whom He
predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He
justified, He also glorified. 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is
against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will
He not also with Him freely give us all things?

We survived the 12 years around the Nigeria ( 6 years at the eastern part, 4 years in
the northern part and 2 years at Jengre). Although there were problems and
challenges, God was so great in providing us all our needs and giving us strength
every day. In those 12 years, I really learned how to kneel in prayer in deep and total
reliance on God. Although both of us were working full time in the hospital, we also
homeschooled our 4 children as a team via correspondence and snail mail.
Then in 1997 2002, we came home to the Philippines and served the Valencia Clinic
which was then called Casuga Clinic. Our children were then able to attend Mountain
View College. Then in 2002 2010, we had a call to go to Liberia. At first we tried to
ignore the call because of how unstable the country was due to war. But our two
children in MVC told us that we should think seriously in accepting the call since they
are already grown up and can take care of themselves. So, we decided to accept the
call. Equipped with just one suitcase each, we left for Sierre Leone waiting for the
trouble to subside so we can go to the mission field. In all those eyars we lived there
wwe were always ready to evacuate if needed or go where we were needed. I have
always felt, we were under Gods wings.

Looking back, I can say with all honesty that we survived all the hardships and
challenges because Mountain View College helped mold us to be what we are now.
The relationships we have created at the hilltop with our instructors of faculty
members, other students and superiors taught us to be humble, learn to live simple
lives and be content in what life offers. We were satisfied to be eating farmers
delight every day throughout the season if need be, and we learned to live frugally
without the comforts of home. So being in a real missionary setting with the simplest
of provisions, we were all right. We depended on Gods leadings and blessings were
abundant. We learned patience, contentment and perseverance.
Now, we are retired living in Valencia, but we still help with the Medical Outreach
programs at Valencia Adventist Hospital. We love to garden and we go visit our
children as needed in their own different places of abode.I firmly believed God called
us to work for Him and in return we learned humility and have been blessed
abundantly.

MVC-All The Way


~by Nenita Ruelan

lot of people have asked me if it is possible to live in one place forever. And I
have always answered, If it is MVC yes.

I graduated from MVC in 1977 and I had no desire to live anywhere else. So,
it was my greatest achievement to be hired as Administrative Secretary for the Vice
President of Student Affairs from 1978-2011. Thats 23 long years! And it is during
these times, that I got to really enjoy how it is to mingle with the students and
empathize with them in their struggles in getting a Christian education. They became
part of me and I consider most of them, my very own children. Those were the best
times of my life. After that, I became the Administrative Secretary for VP Finance
June 2011-2015.
As of now, I am the Dormitory Dean (both men and women) for the MedTech interns
at SPUC Cagayan de Oro since October 2015.
Yes, I worked at Mountain View College, my entire adult life. And it was all worth it.
I can proudly say that it was a privilege for me. This beautiful campus was my home
and I cannot be happier. The cool mountain breeze, the awesome sceneries of My
Kitanglad in the mist down to Kisalom and up the hills of Mt. Nebo. These are
breathtaking and panoramic views I enjoy every day. The flowers that nod on the
way side, the tall pine trees these are beautiful things I enjoy without having to toil
the ground or pick up weeds. It was no work yet total enjoyment for me.
I am certain that working here in MVC has made me closer to God and I do not regret
any moment of it. The environment and the people I am privileged to associate with
have given me a fulfilling and satisfied life.
I have always loved hiking and gardening but I do not even have to do the garden.
There is beauty all around me.

I will forever be grateful to God who designed this kind of life for me because I do
not think I could have enjoyed it anywhere else. He made my life story as one of the
most romantic and scenic novels that even the greatest authors will be mesmerized
and captivated by what the the Creator has wrought here in MVC: the majestic
mountains and trees and the flowers wild.
Isaiah 54:10 KJV says For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removes; but
my kindness shall depart not from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be
removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

From Way Down Under


~by Lindy Lou Javero-Baldonado

T
know

he first thing that hit you when you arrived in MVC, is the fresh, cool air,
followed by a feeling of loneliness as you start to realize that you are far away
from home. But one does not really dwell on this for a long time. Before you
it, you have adjusted quickly to MVCs schedule and and culture.

There were a few things that took time to adjust to such as the dress code where the
ladies cannot wear clothes above the knee and no sleeveless dresses or blouses either.
And this is no laughing matter either. If you do, you get be asked to leave the premises
of the cafeteria and told to go back to the dorm without a meal. Then there is the
wakeup bell ringing, the early morning worships whose attendance is required if not
imposed or you could use up all your allowance to pay the absentees fine.
Then there is the fun thing we do in the evening after lights out. Someone would sneak
in with a palanggana (big round basin) of rice with some amounts of Kolorum which
we lovingly would divined among ourselves just to have a taste if not savor the flavor
of some sardine or chicken adobo. Careful of course not to be caught by the assistant
dean whose job seems to be making us miserable with all its imposed Donts.
But then Saturday comes and it is social night and everyone gets to do the vegetarian

dance which is actually marching timethe only chance you get to hold the hands of
your boyfriend or girlfriend. From marching, it is now chancing.
Everyone is required to work in MVC. I worked in the cafeteria. It was hard work.
Those steel trays were heavy. The kawa huge. And sometimes my assignment
consisted of applying floor wax for the whole cafeteria which one time almost took off
the skin on my knees. Thats an enormous space to cover. Chopping vegetables was
very challenging. The task I liked the most was making the sandwiches. It is because
when we were done we get to keep the ends of the bread loaf. I can still remember
that nice feeling of going back to the dorm from working in the kitchen and you have
several plastic bags of bread ends which we used to call Tithe (pronounced tit-he).
Then all roommates wake up to enjoy the blessing.
What I did enjoy most is when we go to neighboring churches on Sabbaths. Walking through
little rivers and mountains and going home more blessed from the experience. It was always
a nice feeling going back to MVC after three years of internship spent in Bacolod, Cebu and
Davao City.
My first job was at Mindanao Sanitarium & Hospital Medical-Surgical unit for the night shift.
Then I was called to be a missionary and be a part of HELP Team (Health Education for Lanao
People). Then when the program was closed, I went back to Mindanao Sanitarium & Hospital
at the Emergency Room Department. Then I became a clinical instructor for MVC-School of
Nursing and at the same time as Residence Dean.
Not too long after that, I ended up on an adventure to Australia where I started working as a
Nurses Aide as I was not yet registered there. Then as soon as I was, I started working at the
Orthhopedic and Oncology departments at the Sydney Adventist Hospital followed by jobs at
Cypress Gardens Nursing Center as Registered Nurse and Training facilitator as well at Wisteria
Lodge. As I await my soon retirement, I am currently working as clinical consultant at Ozcare.
Menard, my husband and my daughters Faizah and Midy Rainee arrived in Australia in 1988.
We were very lucky to be in this country where the Aussies themselves claim to be Gods
own country and Lucky Country.
As you may have noticed. We have chosen names of Muslim princesses for our daughters with
the hope that our Muslim brothers would feel that we have accepted them. The original plan
to stay in Marawi/Tamparan for 25 years was cut short after the tragic death of one of our
team members. But God had other plans for us. From Mindanao we were transported to
Australia where we are still residing at the moment. We now have a son-in-law, Lincoln and
enjoying the company of our grandbabies Luca and Archer.
I will forever love Mountain View College. It is a big part of who I am today. With Gods help,
I have strived to shine and be a beam of light from the School of Nursing to wherever I have
been. May God continue to bless MVC and may we all shine as MVCians till Jesus comes.

Gods Plan For Me


~by Evelyn Sullano-Pepito

ho would have thought that today, I would be a serious physician, working


for the Lord and accepting His call where I am needed?

When I think of Mountain View College, I will remember the fun I had with my
barkadas the SKat Gals and the Shy Guys as high school students. They have
been instrumental in making my years in the campus full of fun and inspiration. One
memorable occasion is the scheduled SA day (Student Association) where everyone,
none exempted had to spend a day in Kisalom planting rice. That was one
unforgettable experience. If there is one event in any MVCian life that all MVCians
have to go through is the camping trip where we had to make our own tents from
coconut leaves and cogon grass. This was survival. No comforts of a warm bed or
comforters. And suffering from the extreme cold is a force to deal with. Huddling
close to your campmates is the only way to keep warm. This was also the time to be
nice to an admirer or have a boyfriend who can help you build your tent. That alone
is worth remembering at any MVC get-togethers.
I was brought to MVC right after graduation in elementary school to be in MVCAcademy. I was just a child and thats where I practically grew up and spent my high
school days until I graduated in 1972. Then I took BS-Biology there for two years and
was transferred to PUC because after an incident where several people were sent
home after a fight broke between two known barkada groups. So I graduated BS
Bio at PUC-Baesa in March 1976. From there I went to medical school at Matias Aznar
Memorial College of Medicine and graduated in 1980. I post-graduated at Manila
Sanitarium & Hospital in 198, took the board exams in October of the same year and
then got married to a classmate, Leopoldo Pepito, a non-SDA who was later baptized
as a Seventh-day Adventist.

We have three biological children and one God-given child who has now brought us
joy in our life. I started practicing as a physician as the Municipal Health Officer at
Culaba, Biliran, Leyte in January 1985 until 1988. Then I did my residency training in
OB-Gynecology at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in 1989 and then joined as
Staff Physician at Miller Sanitarium & Hospital in 1990, became Diplomate in OB-Gyne
in 995 and Fellow in OB-Gyne right after that. Although I have been Vice President
for Medical Affairs at Miller Sanitarium & Hospital, it wasnt until recently in January
of this year 2016, that I finally accepted the call to be the president for Adventist
Hospital Cebu (Millers new name).
I have always been proud to say that who I am today is due in part to the training I
received as a student in Mountain View College. We were trained there for better
service, to be an influence of hope and to serve God first in all circumstances. I will
always be proud to be an MVCian and I will always hold dear to my heart all the
wonderful memories I have in that beautiful campus.

Hilltop Memories as I remember


~by May-Ann Segovia-Lao

eeling back memories of our stay in Mountain View College brings to the fore a collection
of beautiful recollections. I will narrow it down to three most memorable ones.

1. I remember..
I still recall how well-guarded we kept the edges of the Sabbath Day holy. Everything
had to be ready before sundown every Friday. Shoes were polished; clothes for
Sabbath were all pressed; baking was done; bathrooms were cleaned; and floors
were scrubbed.
One particular incident stands out among the rest. It was around four oclock one
pleasant Friday afternoon and I still had to scrub the red-waxed cement floor in the
living room area which was not covered by the carpet, the dining room, the kitchen,
and the narrow hallway leading to our bedrooms. I was exhausted from doing all the
chores

earlier that day. We did not have any student helpers at this time except for a lady
who washed our clothes. It was a transition and an adjustment period for our family
without a mother. Dad returned to Mountain View College the summer of 1973 after
Mama Anas demise in Manila to assume the position as the college president, a
position he held prior to upgrading. Both of our parents were sent for their doctoral
upgrading at the University of Iowa, USA, in 1970. While in Iowa, Mama became
terminally ill and was brought back to the Philippines where she succumbed to ovarian
cancer in November 1972 at the age of forty-two. Our older sister, Nang Nellie, was
left in Manila as she was graduating from her BS-Biology course at Philippine Union
College and it was not advisable for her to be changing schools in her senior year. At
sixteen years of age, I took on the responsibility of taking care of Dad, my two
younger sisters, April Joy and Milanie, and our house at Mountain View College.
Breaking into tears from an overwhelming indulgence of self-pity, I called Dad in his
office that Friday afternoon and told him I was exhausted. My legs could not take
scrubbing the floor anymore. Dad quickly responded and said he would send
somebody to perform the task. Few minutes after my call, I heard someone whistling
a happy tune. Looking out our screened front door, I saw a young man casually
dressed in a white tee and khaki short pants flashing me his captivating close-up
smile while walking towards our front door. I later got his name. He was no other
than the amiable, friendly, and hardworking Ben Rosas. From then on, I couldnt
forget him. Sadly for me, he only scrubbed the floors at home once as I never gave
Dad the maiden in distress call again. At sundown that particular Friday, our family
joyfully ushered in the Sabbath as we sang our favorite hymn, Day is Dying in the
West.

2. I remember..
I have never been so frightened when Mama Ana called us quietly one early evening with
Nang Nellie and gave us specific instructions. I must have been twelve years old and
Nang Nellie fourteen years old at that time. Dad was informed that there were armed
men who wanted to invade the college campus. Rumors were circulating that a daughter
of a businessman was abducted and molested. Not taking any chances, Mama Ana
wanted us safe and hid us in the ceiling of our two-story house. She brought us to our
library where there was a small hole used by electricians to wiggle their way up the
ceiling to check on the electrical wires. Nang Nellie and I were carefully instructed to be
absolutely quiet and keep still as much as we could. Once Mama made a particular
sound, that would be the signal that the bad men were inside our house. Slowly, Nang
Nellie and I propelled our way up through the small ceiling hole and gingerly crawled
into positioning ourselves in the dingy nook, making sure we were not touching any
electric wires. I quietly trembled in fear, got the goose bumps, and had sweaty cold
palms. I could hear my own breathing. I was praying that our sphincteric tones would
tightly hold back any untimely pressing calls of nature. Thank God our ordeal did not last
long. What a relief to hear Mama call out our names. To hear her say that we could
safely go down from our hiding place was soothing music to my ears and calmed down
my racing pulses. The armed men did not proceed to Mountain View College, but went
the other direction. God sent His guardian angels to shield the faculty members, their
families, and the students from the evil intentions of the armed men. He never fails!

3. I remember..
One sunny Sunday afternoon, our friends, Althie Nermal and Jane Castro went to the
house and invited my sister April Joy and I to go horseback riding. Our parents were
not home that day as they were having a faculty meeting so we were not able to ask
their permission. It was a house rule to always ask their permission whenever we
went out for any errand or any activity. Thinking that we would be able to sneak out
and get back in time unnoticed, Joy and I excitedly went with Althie and Jane to the
ranch to borrow our horses for an afternoon of adventure.
I was given a handsome horse named Bullet. This was not my maiden equestrian
experience as my best friend Ethel Moreno and I already did some horseback riding
few months back. I more or less knew the basic equestrian ABCs: how to get atop
the saddle,how to hold the reins in place and pull them back when one wanted the
horse to slow down or stop galloping; and how to kick the sides of the horse with the
stirrups when one wanted the horse to gallop from a trotting pace. Feeling good and
confident, I got on my horse. Joy got on hers. Althie and Jane rode on one horse
together. I slowly made Bullet trot from the ranch while guiding my horse towards
the direction of the pine trees. We started at a comfortable pace and were making
headway, but suddenly without any warning, my horse Bullet was true to his name
and sped off at bullet speed in an uncontrolled gallop as I lost control when the reins
fell off my right hand. Bullet furiously galloped across the expansive lawn on the side
of the Florence Kern Auditorium where the whole battalion of ROTC cadets was in full
formation. Not wanting to be forcibly thrown off the saddle and break a bone or two,
I slowly slid down oblivious to the fact that I was not properly attired. I was wearing
a dainty peach-colored dress with a fully pleated skirt as our familys dress code at
that time did not allow us to wear shorts or pants. We strictly adhered to that rule
otherwise we would get Dads strong disapproval. While my left leg was straddled
high up on the saddle, my right leg was trying to touch the ground. This was the
unsightly picture I created while Bullet was galloping fast. From my peripheral vision,
I saw a man in ROTC uniform break from his position in the battalion and dash
towards me and Bullet while shouting my name. Before he could reach me, I finally
landed on the ground with the whole battalion of ROTC cadets witnessing my
humiliating and unflattering fall. I was helped on my feet by my knight in ROTC
uniform who happened to be our house boy since our West Visayan Academy days,
Manong Lopoy Arcon. Wow! I was in one piece! Thank God!
Sister Joy and I went home not able to escape being chastised by Dad and Mama
as we were not lucky to have sneaked back unnoticed. They were home and learned
about my unfortunate equestrian mishap. It was, Sorry, Dad. Sorry, Mama. We will
not go out again without asking permission. My parents were just so thankful and
happy that I was unscathed with nay a broken bone. Once again, my guardian angel
was there to catch me when I fell.
May Ann Segovia Lao, MD
Graduated BS-Biology, 1977, MVC. Graduated Doctor of Medicine, 1981,
Southwestern University, MHAM- College of Medicine. Internal Medicine Residency
Training, 1982-1985, former MSH now MAMC. Fellowship in Adult Cardiology and
Echocardiography, 1989-1992, St. Lukes Medical Center. Diplomate and Fellow,

Philippine College of Cardiology. Diplomate and Fellow, Philippine College of


Physicians. Worked as a consultant cardiologist and echocardiographer for fourteen
years at St. Lukes Medical Center and Manila Sanitarium and Hospital (now Adventist
Medical Center Manila) before migrating to the United States last November 2006.
Among important positions held: Head, Department of Echocardiography and Section
Chief, Coronary Care Unit, St. Lukes Medical Center, Quezon City, Philippines
Passed the three United States Licensure Examinations (USMLE) to get into a
residency training program.
Currently, I am enjoying life in retirement as empty nesters with husband, Dr. Lionel
E. Lao. We have two grown-up kids: Aili Marie Lao-Moralde who is married to Earl
Christopher Moralde; and Luke Adriel Lao. Blessed with three adorable grandkids:
Nicolo Rafael, turning 11 years old in May; Isabelle Bianca, 9 years old; and Sophia
Camille, turning 4 in May.

Quote For The Week


Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. Corrie Ten Boom

Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in
others. Rosa Parks
Let us be of cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear
are those which never come. By Amy Lowell

We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past;
and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that
was humanly possible. George Santayana

Land of Toraja, South Sulawesi

he Tana Toraja is a regency of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, a picturesque mountainous


region that is home to an indigenous group known as the Torajans. For the Toraja
people, life very much revolves around death, but not in a morbid sense. For them, a
funeral is a great celebration of life, much like a going-away party, and is an occasion in which the
entire family of the deceased, and all the members the village take part. Their ancient traditions
involve funerary customs that have been practiced over many centuries and are known to be the
most complex funeral traditions in the world.
The population of Toraja is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of
Tana Toraja (Land of Toraja). Most are Christian, others are Muslim, and a minority still retain
the local beliefs known as Aluk Todolo (Way of the Ancestors), which are most visible during
funeral festivities and burial customs.

Tourism and Toraja

ince 1984, Tana Toraja has been named as the second tourist destination after Bali by
the Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia. Since then, hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors
have visited this regency. In addition, numerous Western anthropologists have come to
Tana Toraja to study the indigenous culture and people of Toraja.
Safely protected beyond the lofty mountains and rugged granite cliffs of the central highlands of
the island of Sulawesi, are the Toraja people who live in valleys that are lush with green rice
terraces and fertile coffee plantations.
"Discovered" and opened to the world from their long isolation only since the beginning of the
last century, the Toraja today still adhere to their age-old beliefs, rituals and traditions, although
many of her people are modernized or have embraced Christianity.

Upon entering Tana Toraja, you see the majestic landscape of giant, gray granites and stones and
blue mountains afar that form a sharp contrast with the lively green of the fertile, rain-fed terraces
and the rusty red of the tropical soil. This is Tana Toraja, one of the most splendid areas in
Indonesia and icon of Indonesian tourism.
Death ceremonies, however, are held only after the last rice harvest is in and cleared, which is
normally between July and September, while ceremonies celebrating life are held in conjunction
with the planting season which starts in October. These timings are possible since the dead are
not buried immediately but are kept for months, sometimes for years, in the ancestral house until
time and funds allow for a proper funeral.
Before the turn of the new century, Torajans lived in autonomous villages, where they practised
animism, the worldview that non-human entities, including animals, plants, and often even
inanimate objects or phenomena possess a spiritual essence. They were relatively untouched by
the outside world until Dutch missionaries arrived to convert the Torajan highlanders to
Christianity. Nevertheless, even those that follow other religions in Tana Toraja, still converge
when it comes to ancient funeral customs.

Unique Funerary Customs

uring their lives, the Torajans work extremely hard to accumulate wealth. But unlike
other societies, the Torajans do not save their money to give themselves a good life,
rather they save for a good send off in death. In fact, it is the extravagance of the funeral,
not the wedding, which marks a familys status.
Funeral ceremonies are incredibly important to the Torajans and are often held weeks, months,
or even years after the death of a person to give the family of the deceased time to raise enough
money for expenses a body is not buried until the funds have been raised. Many people go
deeply into debt in order to hold a funeral ceremony and it is not uncommon for a young man,
afraid of being burdened by debt, to postpone or cancel his marriage if a grandparent of the girl
he loves is old enough to die soon. The funerals are raucous affairs involving the whole village
and traditionally last for days or even weeks. Specifically, a funeral reinforces the eternal bond
between the living and the dead.
When a Torajan dies, family members of the deceased are required to hold a series of funeral
ceremonies, known as Rambu Soloq, over many days. During this time, the deceased is not buried
but is embalmed and stored in a traditional house under the same roof with his or her family.
Until the funeral ceremonies are completed, the person is not considered to be truly dead but
merely suffering an illness. The dead relative is referred to simply as a person who is sick or the
one who is asleep. Remarkably, this could even last several years after death, depending on how
long it takes the family to raise money. During this time, the deceased family member is
symbolically fed, cared for and taken out, and is very much a part of the relatives lives.
Their ceremony begins when funeral visitors attend a buffalo-slaughtering field. Family members
are required to slaughter buffaloes and pigs as they believe that the spirit of the deceased will live

peacefully thereafter, continuing to herd the buffaloes that have come to join him or her. Before
being sacrificed according to a strictly defined procedure, the animals take part in trials of strength
known as tedong silaga.
After the sacrifice, the meat is distributed to the funeral visitors in accordance with visitors'
positions in the community, and the spirit of the deceased is also entitled to a portion of meat.
The heads of the buffaloes are returned to what is locally known as puya (a site for the soul or
spirit of the dead person) and their horns placed in front of the house of the kin. The more horns
that decorate the front of the house, the higher the status of the deceased.
The body is not buried until the eleventh day of the ceremony, although they are not technically
buried the final resting place is in a cave up on the cliff. The soul of the deceased is thought to
linger around the village until the funeral ceremony is completed, after which it begins its journey
to the land of souls.

Toraja Beliefs

n the Toraja myth, the ancestors of Torajan people came down from heaven using stairs,
which were then used by the Torajans as a communication medium with Puang Matua, the
Creator. The cosmos, is divided into the upper world (heaven), the world of man (earth),
and the underworld. At first, heaven and earth were married, then there was a darkness, a
separation, and finally the light. The Torajans traditionally believe that death is not a sudden,
abrupt event, but a gradual process toward Puya (the land of souls, or afterlife).
The Aluk Todolo belief system still very much governs the life of the society, demonstrated by
Toraja cosmology, ceremonies, settlement arrangement, houses, decorations, the role of water
buffalo, and of course, the funerary customs. According to UNESCO, the Torajan cosmology
represents an ancient cosmology common to pre-state Southeast Asian communities which is now
vanishing.
Next week we will visit the Toraja Adventist Academy.
Romy Halasan,
Toraja, South Sulawesi

Typical houses in Toraja.

The cliffs behind the town.

Torajan Houses

The water buffalo market.

The house where the water buffalo horns


are displayed (puya).

WARNING TO OUR READERS!!!


The next set of pictures are very graphic.
If you are dont enjoy pictures of the dead or
walking dead, it is suggested that you skip the
next set of pictures.

The relatives make the dead walk to their graves at the cliffs.

A walking dead.

The burial site. Those looking out from the cliffs are corpses.

PRAYER REQUESTS
Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving
for the success of the Pathway To Health Los Angeles Mega Clinic
a free-clinic outreach endeavor in which hundreds of Adventist Healthcare Professionals from
across the US participated in. MVC School of Nursing was represented. Shout out to class of
87, 88, 89, 90, 91 and 2008.

The upcoming Philippine Nurses Board Exam (NLE) on June 5-6, 2016
This is the only schedule that falls on a Non-Sabbath and it doesnt give much time for our
new grads to review. But let us ask God to bless this group and allow His name be glorified
once again. It has been the Lord's intervention that has seen us through in the past. There
is no doubt that He can do it for us again. Lets remember to include the nursing graduates
of our SDA sister institutions and SDA nursing graduates who did not have the privilege to
study in our SDA educational institutions.

Morning worship at Jubilee Park

Prayer For Healing for


Roxie Pido, Atty. Jonathan Navales. Connie Asumbrado-Maquio , Demi Garduque, Elmar
Bingcang, Flor Samson, Galileo Villaflores, Lola Ellen Sigue , Pastor Oseas Zamora, Pastor
Rudy Bermudez, Pastor Salvador Israel

Prayer For The Bereaved Family of


Chita Penola Flores who recently passed away. (mom of MVCSN Instructor Cheryl FloresMarquez and former MVC music chair Evelyn Flores Ronquillo.)
And for the families of Alvin Romanes. Cocoy Jimenez, Eng. Eugeno Porteza, Jonathan
Serenatas, Nanay Rachel Sacala

Acknowledgement
Thanks to the following who helped put together this issue of CyberFlashes:
Elvin Langot-Dador, MeluJean Aquino-Atagan, Loida Sibala-Mosqueda, Nenita Ruelan,
Lindy Lou Javero-Baldonado, Evelyn Sullano-Pepito, May-Ann Segovia-Lao
Jessie Colegedo, Romy Halasan and the SULADS.

Meet The Editors


This weeks issue of Cyberflashes is coordinated/edited Raylene Rodrigo-Baumgart.
Next weeks will be by Eddie Zamora. Please direct all entries to him or to any of the editors.
NAME:
Eddie Zamora
Evelyn Porteza-Tabingo
Jessie Colegado
Joy Caballero-Gadia
Lily EscaraLare
Melodie Mae Karaan-Inapan
Raylene Rodrigo-Baumgart

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Cyberflashes at gmail dot com
watermankids at yahoo dot com
Lily_lare at yahoo dot com dot ph
melodieinapan at yahoo dot com
raylene.baumgart at gmail dot com

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Closing Thoughts

Prayer is a privilege and the soul's sincere desire. We can


move beyond routine and 'checklist' prayers and engage in
meaningful prayer as we appropriately ask in faith and act, as
we patiently persevere through the trial of our faith, and as
we humbly acknowledge and accept 'not my will, but Thine, be
done.'
~by David A. Bednar