LOYOLA. The statue of St Ignatius Loyola now stands on the focal ground of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan Junior High School in Pueblo de Oro. Photo by Evan Perez.

By Adeva Jane Hojas Esparrago

The Xavier University Junior High School community, together with key administrators and members of Batch 1967, unveiled the statue of St Ignatius Loyola mounted at the heart of the school grounds in Pueblo de Oro on November 24.

The XUHS Batch ‘67 turned over the statue in honor of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus and companion of St Francis Xavier, and in recognition of the batch’s 50th-year jubilee. 

The Loyola statue stands almost 11 feet and was sculpted by Kagay-anon artist Oscar Pilote.

In a tearful reunion with Fr Alberto Ampil SJ (Class 1967's first-year English teacher), Eric Canoy, who spoke on behalf of their batch, recounted fond high school memories and how Ampil inspired them to give back to their community. 

SWEET REUNION. A member of Batch 1967 hugs Fr Alberto Ampil SJ (their first-year English teacher) in an emotional reunion in November. Photo by Evan Perez.

The Batch ‘67 hopes that the statue will serve as a reminder to the members of the Xavier Ateneo community to be like Ignatius by putting God at the center of their lives and by generously serving their fellowmen. 

XUJHS principal Dr Pamela Pajente, in her message, describes to the monument as “an act of gratitude” and “a way of seeing, a way of remembering and a way of proceeding.” 

She added that may the statue remind us to respond to others’ needs as part of our Atenean identity and a way of looking forward to developing more conscious, conscientious, and Christ-centered learners. 

Among the attendees of the unveiling ceremony were the school’s key administrators, including VP for basic education Dr Dulce Dawang, Lea Lilibeth Emata, Samuel Macagba III, Engr Bregida Hibaya, Alumni Affairs Office director Dr Virginia Yacapin, Fr Errol Nebrao SJ, Fr Alberto Ampil SJ, and Fr Joel Liwanag SJ, together with the Jubilarians, Batch 1967 members, and XUJHS department chairpersons, faculty, formators, and staff.∎

The statue serves as a reminder of the Xavier Atenean identity of serving God by reaching out to the peripheries. Pictured here are the key administrators of XUJHS with VP for basic education Dr Dulce Dawang and Alumni Affairs Office director Dr Virginia Yacapin with the statue of Loyola in the background. Photo by Evan Perez.

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