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Cebu City — The Banilad Center for Professional Development (BCPD), a project of the Foundation for Professional Training, Inc. (FPTI), recently conferred graduation diplomas to thirty-three (33) scholars from their Senior High School (SHS) Technical-Vocational track, Home Economics strand and to eighteen (18) of their Hotel and Restaurant Services (HRS) scholars. The school’s 30th Commencement Exercises with the theme, “Pursuing Dreams and Fostering Resilience in the Face of Adversity” held at Seda Hotel, Ayala Center Cebu last July 15, 2022, Friday, was a remarkable event being the graduation that took place two years since the coronavirus pandemic struck and affected the academic world, disrupting how traditional instruction is given, and hastening online delivery of classes.

BCPD School Director, Mrs. Elizabeth M. Lopez, with DepEd Schools Division Superintendent of Cebu Province, Ms. Rhea Mar A. Angtud, Ed.D., represented by Dr. John Paul D. Lesondato, DepEd Senior Education Program Specialist M & E, and Regional Director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Mr. Gamaliel B. Vicente, Jr., CESO III, ASEAN Engineer, represented by Ms. Clarissa J. Geraldo, Supervising TESD Specialist of the Cebu Provincial Office, confirmed the candidates for graduation.

The graduates were fortunate to listen to this year’s Inspirational Message from one of BCPD’s industry partners, Mr. Chester Lim, the proprietor of Anjo World Theme Park. In his speech, delivered by Ms. Kenneth Loreto, Anjo World Human Resources Officer, he stressed the importance of hard work and resilience to achieve success, citing the good example he saw in his parents who are considered pioneers of the retail and real estate businesses here in Cebu, working for almost seven decades now.

A BCPD alumna, Mrs. Meldrid Daguhay-Napigkit of Cebu Coffee Ventures, Inc., graced the event to further inspire the new graduates. Meldrid finished in 2013, one of BCPD’s Aboitiz scholars who were absorbed by her on-the-job training (OJT) venue, UCC, upon graduation. She related her exciting journey of going up the career ladder from being a regular employee, to her being promoted as Supervisor of UCC’s 3 branches in Cebu., owing this achievement to sheer hard work and the values she has learned as a BCPD student. BCPD graduates are not afraid to be given responsibilities at work even while they are young. They see everything as a challenge for their professional and personal growth, translating these into opportunities to become better persons.

Giving the testimonials from the graduating batch were Jhesele Rose D. Wenceslao of the Senior High School program, and Justine Artezuela of the Hotel and Restaurant Services course. They expressed how grateful they are for BCPD’s active support in their studies, starting from the time when they were given tablets/iPads to study, and provided load for their internet needs, until the pandemic happened and quickly followed by Typhoon Odette, when the school extended help for their food supplies, and in rebuilding their homes. They said that one will not be able to find any other school that thinks of the welfare of its students with so much affection and detail as what BCPD has done for them and their families.      

The highlight of the graduation was the surprise recognition of this year’s awardees, duly announced by Ms. Sarah Josefa Laragan, BCPD’s Vice-Director for Student Affairs. BCPD awarded medals of academic distinction to 6 senior high school graduates, plus 6 Bronze awardees and 1 Silver awardee to their HRS graduates. The school also gave 4 Gold Service Awards to graduates who got a perfect grade in their On-the-job Training or work immersion in BCPD’s partner hotels. The parents of the awardees were obviously moved as they received the award with their daughters on stage.

Towards the end of the program, the graduates sang their graduation song, “Moments,” followed by a summary video of their batch’s memorable journey throughout these two years of being in BCPD. Ms. Mary Anne Ruiz, DM-EM, Vice Director for Academic Affairs gave the Closing Remarks reminding the graduates to pay it forward. She also acknowledged the following institutions for continuing to support BCPD through the years such as RELEDEV-Australian Aid, Wonder Foundation, Aboitiz Foundation Inc., and APEX Mining Corporation Inc.  Ms. Charisma Rhea Castro, Vice Director for Alumnae and External Affairs was the Master of Ceremonies.  

Most of BCPD’s new graduates are set to work soon, having been accepted for work by most of their OJT venues.

Congratulations to BCPD and to Class 2022 graduates!