8TH OF SEPTEMBER. A Eucharistic celebration marks the solemn Dedication Day of the Masterson Campus and Manresa Township to the Blessed Virgin Mary during the Feast Day of the Nativity of Mary. From left to right: Cebu Landmasters SVP and COO Jose Franco Soberano, CLI Chairman and President Jose “Joe” Soberano III, Fr Madz Tumbali SJ, CDO Archbishop Jose Cabantan DD, XU President Fr Mars Tan SJ, Fr Arman Samonte SJ, Fr Gabriel Gonzales SJ, and Fr Raymund Benedict Hizon SJ. Supplied photo.
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — On the Feast Day of the Nativity of Mary, Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan has successfully held a solemn ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of the “Campus of the Future,” consisting of the Masterson Campus and Manresa Township.
The September 8 event featured a Eucharistic celebration and blessing of the ground, led by CDO Archbishop Jose Cabantan DD and XU President Fr Mars Tan SJ, along with other Jesuits in the city.
“We are dedicating the entire Manresa site to our Blessed Mother so that she will cover the whole place with her motherly love, consolation, protection, and guidance,” said Fr Mars. “She will also give us the inspiration to work on this project from beginning to its full completion.”
Fr Mars considers the new campus project as an “extraordinary gift from God.”
“Today, we recognize that the Campus of the Future is a gift from God to Xavier Ateneo, to us, a gift that needs our collective effort to make it happen, to make it stand right on this site," he added.
BLESSING OF THE GROUND. Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Jose Cabantan DD leads the blessing of ground for the Campus of the Future, alongside XU President Fr Mars Tan SJ, XU Trustee Fr Gabriel Jose Gonzales SJ, and other Jesuits in the city. Supplied photo.
A vision like the La Storta
The dedication day was well attended by some members of the XU Board of Trustees, top university administrators, deans, directors, student leaders, parents and alumni associations’ presidents, Cebu Landmasters Inc (CLI) executives, and representatives from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED-Region 10), local government unit, and the business sector.
In his message on behalf of the trustees, Atty Camilo Miguel “Bong” Montesa shared the story of the La Storta, Saint Ignatius of Loyola's encounter at the Storta Cave where the founder of the Society of Jesus received “a vision of God the Father and Christ holding the cross.”
“We are asking Mary to intercede for us, that this new campus be marked with one name alone, which is Jesus,” Atty Montesa said. “That is what we are celebrating today, this is our La Storta.”
Atty. Joeffrey Namalata, Department Head of the City Housing and Urban Development, represented CDO Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy at the said event.
He delivered the mayor’s message: “As we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, we will witness the milestone for all of us which is a product of partnerships and collaborations. […] That will provide more opportunities not only for our dear learners, for a quality learning experience, but I believe it will boost our economy by providing more livelihood opportunities to our fellow Kagay-anons.”
GROUNDBREAKING. The groundbreaking ceremony was led by the principal guests during the Dedication Day of the Masterson Campus and Manresa Township to the Blessed Virgin Mary. For left to right: CDO City Legal Officer Atty Kenneth Tamala; Cebu Landmasters Inc’s Vice President for Business Development Sylvan John Monzon; Atty Joeffrey Namalata, Head of the CDO Housing and Urban Development; Jose Gabriel Soberano, CLI Sustainability and Business Development Supervisor; Chairman, CEO, and President of Cebu Landmasters Jose “Joe” Soberano III; Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Klarex Uy; XU President Fr Mars Tan SJ; Senior Vice President and COO of Cebu Landmasters Jose Franco Soberano; Atty James Abadia, CLI Assistant Vice President for Business Development; and CLI Vice President for External Affairs Mark Leo Chang. Supplied photo.
Expanding Xavier Ateneo’s learning spaces and opportunities
The new campus, formally called “Masterson Campus” in honor of the great Jesuit visionary Fr William Masterson SJ, aims to expand Xavier Ateneo's post-pandemic learning spaces and opportunities and provide state-of-the-art facilities to adopt the developments in the academic disciplines, 21st-century learning, and technological innovations.
“We know that Xavier University will celebrate its 100 years in 2033 and this campus is really for the future, for the next 100 years and beyond,” said Jose Franco Soberano, Senior Vice President and COO of Cebu Landmasters, the project’s partner developer.
“This is so humbling for us; this has been a 15-year process for the school and for us in CLI, it has been four years that we have been looking at this, and we are so blessed to be doing this on the birthday of Mother Mary.”
The Campus of the Future will feature an abundance of open spaces, green technologies, wide roads, dedicated bike lanes, campus-wide wireless connectivity, and sustainable learning facilities for virtual and physical classes, among others.
The 21-hectare Masterson Campus will be supplemented by over 25 hectares of surrounding forested areas (protected forest and animal sanctuaries).
Building communities in Manresa Township
This new campus will blend seamlessly with the adjacent Manresa Town to be developed by CLI — a 14.3-hectare mixed-use university town with generous open spaces providing convenient and safe residential options, easy access to commercial establishments, and future-ready offices.
“The centerpiece of the Masterson Campus is really going to be the Church of Our Lady and we are going to be surrounding it not just with the educational components, but also with the Manresa Township that will complement it,” said Jose “Joe” Soberano III, Chairman, President, and CEO of Cebu Landmasters.
“That is what we at CLI are tasked to do, we are going to put up residential [buildings], offices, and mixed-use developments — all in compatibility with what our framers and educators are dreaming it to be,” Soberano continued.
“Mama Mary at the center, Jesuit education being brought forward, and together harnessed with the communities that will sprout around it.”∎
GROUNDBREAKING. The groundbreaking ceremony was led by the principal guests during the Dedication Day of the Masterson Campus and Manresa Township to the Blessed Virgin Mary. From left to right: Atty Joeffrey Namalata, Head of the City Housing and Urban Development (representing Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Klarex Uy); XU Trustee Atty Camilo Miguel “Bong” Montesa; Fr Raymund Benedict Hizon SJ, XU Basic Education Chaplain and representative of the Cagayan de Oro Jesuit Community; XU Vice President for Administration Edison Sasoy; Chairman, CEO, and President of Cebu Landmasters Jose “Joe” Soberano III; XU President Fr Mars Tan SJ; Senior Vice President and COO of Cebu Landmasters Jose Franco Soberano; Former CDO Mayor Oscar Moreno; CLI’s Vice President for Business Development Sylvan John Monzon; and CLI Vice President for External Affairs Mark Leo Chang. Supplied photo.