Loyalty Day: 105th Birth Anniversary of Justice Leopoldo Abellera

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Loyalty Day is an annual event that the Rizal Memorial Colleges celebrates every 22nd of January to honor Justice Leopoldo M. Abellera, not only on his birthday but also for his legacy, the now 73-year-old educational institution known in Davao City as RMC. Justice Abellera was RMC’s first Chairperson of the Board and President. Today, it would have been Justice Abellera’s 105th birthday.

This year’s commemoration is subdued and simple due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, it is as memorable. The Chairman of the Board, Leo Tereso A. Magno, graced the gathering with his presence together with his son, Lorenzo Raphael L. Magno, being RMC’s Asst. Vice President for Administration.

The program began with a prayer by Dr. Albert G. Musico, where he implored the almighty God to help us brave the pandemic as one. The prayer was followed by Perry Como’s rendition of The Lord’s Prayer, followed by the Philippine National Anthem.

Atty. Ernesto Raphael V. Robillo, Vice President for Administration, welcomed everyone in attendance to the celebration. This was the first time since the lockdown in March 2020 that such a small gathering of RMC administration, heads of offices and staff were gathered in the campus for an institutional celebration. Social distancing and health protocols were strictly observed.

In his remarks, Atty. Robillo marveled at RMC’s resilience. While educational institutions are gravely affected by the new normal, RMC continues to educate the youth despite the expected decline in enrollment and the initially shocking challenges of digital platform for education. But most importantly, RMC did not terminate employees. The RMC Board took care of the continued employment of RMC’s dedicated workers particularly at a time of great vulnerability.

Atty. Robillo took advantage of the situation to promote and encourage enrollment into a Health Maintenance Organization that the administration has contracted to provide health insurance for the employees. With the Covid-19 pandemic as background, such gesture further demonstrates that the administration truly has the employees’ welfare front and center.

To the tune of Auld Lang Syne, flower wreaths were offered before Justice Abellera’s statue. Different departments presented wreaths followed by Chairman Leo, AVP Lorenzo and VPA Robillo.

Chairman Leo Magno expressed gratitude to all those in attendance in behalf of the Abellera family. With great responsibility, the Chair is grateful to be at the helm of his grandfather’s legacy.

After Chairman Leo’s word of thanks, Mr. Amado Ancla, Director of the Office of Alumni Relations declared the soft launching of The HERO Project.

HERO stands for Help Educate Rizalian Optimists. The HERO Project is a fundraising campaign to help RMC students pay their balances in their tuition and other fees, fully or partially, with the RMC alumni as the principal source of donated funds by appealing to their sense of heroism, loyalty, and as giving-back. The beneficiaries of this campaign will be the Fourth Year students in the College Departments and the Grade 12 students in Senior High School who are currently enrolled in the First Semester of Academic Year 2020-2021, but without any form of government or external private scholarship grants being enjoyed.

After hearing the project, Chairman Leo pledged to donate P100,000 as seed money. The announcement was met with enthusiastic applause. The HERO project is spearheaded by the Office of Alumni Relations and will release the fundraising campaigns implementing guidelines soon.

The Loyalty Day 2021 event ended with the singing of the RMC Hymn. Picture-taking followed with physically-distanced pose, and then followed by a hearty meal shared at the open area beside the college food court for lunch.

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