14 December 2013, 3:30 p.m. – UST RECTOR Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. and Urdaneta Archbishop Jacinto Jose, D.D. yesterday blessed 40 new houses in Villasis, Pangasinan built for the victims of typhoon “Pepeng” in 2009 as part of the UST Simbahayan 400 project.

In his homily, Jose, a UST Central Seminary alumnus, urged the beneficiaries to be grateful for the help given to them. “[M]agpasalamat tayo… Ang kongkretong [pagpapakita] ninyo na nagpapasalamat kayo ay i-share ‘yung biyaya na natatanggap ninyo,” the archbishop said.

In the thanksgiving program, project architect and College of Architecture Dean John Joseph Fernandez said additional facilities would also be built — a stable road network, water system, electricity, perimeter fence, landscape design, and a playground. These improvements can be accomplished with the collaboration of those who are willing to help, he said.

“With the help of [UST], our donors, and benefactors, I’m sure we can make this dream come true,” Fernandez said.

Dagohoy said students also played an important role in the development of the community. “Ang project pong ito ay pinagpawisan ng aming mga estudyante. Kaya kung may karangalan ay dapat rin nating isama ang mga estudyanteng nagpupunta rito,” he said.

Norma Galicia, 58, one of the beneficiaries, said the project was a “big help” because her family had been renting a house for two years after the typhoon devastated the area. “Hindi namin [masukat] ang saya namin kasi talagang matagal, ilang taon ko na itong hinihiling sa Panginoon,” she said.

Engineering and Architecture students helped in making the plans, while students in the National Service Training Program took part in the construction and painting of the houses.

The project started during the Quadricentennial in 2011, under the rectorship of Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. A total of 39 families have been residing in the community since December last year. Lord Bien G. Lelay and Gena Myrtle P. Terre


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