Remembering Ma’am Moling: The ‘superwoman’

Teachers, one way or another, touch many lives in the process of nurturing their students and losing one great teacher brings grief to those whose lives he/she has hugely influenced. 
Dr. Romola Savellon, fondly known as Ma’am Moling, went on to join the Creator last September 5, 2020. She spent 36 years in Cebu Normal University (CNU) as an Educator, Ang Suga Publication Adviser, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Chairperson, and Museum Curator among other things before retiring and still later on became a University Consultant during the time of CNU President Dr. Marcelo Lopez. 
A virtual eulogy titled, “A Loving Tribute to Our Dearly Beloved Nanay Moling Savellon” was live-streamed via Zoom platform and the CNU Ang Suga Publication Facebook page on September 8, 2020, wherein students and colleagues of Savellon gathered to commemorate her life.
“The virtual eulogy was the only thing that we could do for her at this pandemic…If only circumstances would have all of us gather around her in her last waking hours, we would have done so. But she went away at a tough time. It could have been hordes of us around her in her wake if things were in a different circumstance,” Gina Panes, Ang Suga Publication alumna and former CNU teacher who is one of the organizers of the virtual eulogy said.  
Ang Suga Publication adviser 
“I would remember her as a strict but very nurturing mentor to me when I was in Ang Suga. She did put a premium on hard work and talent second…I saw integrity and sincerity when she worked. Her work ethics was a tough act to follow,” Panes recalled. 
Panes said that Savellon implemented the strict rule that bond papers in Ang Suga are to be used for Ang Suga only and not for any school or personal purposes. She said that Savellon also imparted the work ethics that work hours are to be for work and not for gallivanting.
Savellon has been the longest technical adviser of Ang Suga Publication, the official student publication of CNU where she served for 25 years from 1985 until her retirement in 2010.
“Dr. Savellon helped me discover my passion for photojournalism or photography. I entered Ang Suga way back in college as a photojournalist. I learned a lot in Ang Suga with the help of Dr. Savellon because she allowed me to freely explore things like learning how to layout or design a magazine,” Atty. John DX Lapid, Ang Suga Publication alumnus said.
Sheila Godinez, AB English (Batch 1997), and Ang Suga Publication alumna shared in a Facebook post that Savellon taught her how to be truly interested in people – to know and listen to their stories and whenever possible, to be the voice of their stories. She said that Savellon taught her to teach others how to look at the world through other people’s lens – to empathize – and to be authentic to their stories and one’s own.
She said that she learned how important it is to ask the right questions, to read between the lines, to remove layers to see the core, to always appreciate beauty, and to remember that each person is important. She said that Savellon’s true-heartedness to all those under her care, and stability and loyalty to the causes she believed in made her not just a professor but a mother.
Savellon finished her undergraduate studies from then Cebu Normal School (CNS) in 1965 with the degree Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (BSEEd). She started teaching at CNS in 1974 and has taught in the elementary and secondary departments of now CNU-Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) before teaching in college.
Visionary founder
Savellon also founded the CAS department of then Cebu State College (CSC) together with Dr. Angel Pesirla, her cousin, and became its first Dean. She was designated as CAS Chairperson in 1988. 
According to Panes, Savellon was considered the “Nanay” of the Bachelor of Arts Department in the 1990s. She shared that the department was small back then and everyone was skeptic of having the AB department last long in a teacher education institution. She said that it was Savelleon who persisted and campaigned for CAS to grow and do well in accreditation. 
Savellon also founded the University Museum and became its first curator in 1997 while CSC worked its way on becoming a University in 1998. She was also the founding President of the CNU Faculty Association. 

CAS faculty Mr. Romualdo Generalao said that Savellon was an active member of the Visayas Association of Museums and Galleries Inc. (VAMGI).

He said that Savellon was the one who spearhead the collection of the exhibitions found in the CNU museum.

He also said that Savellon was the main researcher of the 100 Most Outstanding Alumni of CNU during the University’s Centennial Homecoming celebration.

A humble, generous, and selfless woman
Dr. Eva Gacasan, CNU Psychology Department Chair, recalls Savellon as an accomplished woman who never cared for recognition. She considers Savellon as an artist who is good in sketches, a prolific writer, and a person with depth of wisdom who has contributed much to Cebuano arts and heritage.
According to Gacasan, Savellon has also helped students who had financial difficulties by providing free lunches and money for projects.
One testament of which is Gladishmarie Paeste-Pantaleon, a former Ang Suga Publication Editor-in-Chief who shared that Savellon helped her get through college by cleaning Savellon’s cubicle in the museum and in turn provided for her lunch. She narrated that it was Savellon who offered to help her after finding out the financial difficulty that caused her to be absent in classes. She said that Savellon also helped in her internship as a student-teacher. 

Pantaleon remembers Savellon as a simple woman who does not look at the outside appearance of a person and is more impressed with a person’s attitude rather than with one’s intellectual capacity. She considers Savellon an upright person.

A historian

Savellon wrote CNU’s history book titled “To Rouse the Dawn: A Century of Mentoring” that was launched on June 15, 2011. 

She also wrote books and monographs including Mga Karaang Suginlanon sa Banilad (Folktales of Banilad), and In Death’s Shadow: Kempetai Atrocities in Cebu to name a few, and made sketches of Cebuano Katipuneros that are displayed in Museo Sugbo’s Katipunan Gallery.
The Museo Sugbo, University of San Carlos (USC) Press, and St. Theresa’s College (STC) Cebu also shared their sympathies on Savellon’s passing through a Facebook post together with those of her students and friends.

Dr. Jobers Bersales, USC Museum Director and USC Press Manager said that he considers Savellon as an indefatigable researcher and scholar of Cebuano culture and heritage. He said that Savellon’s cultural heritage monograph series that was funded by the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) are pioneering works.

“We are indebted by her many writings that have shed alight anew on many aspects of Cebuano culture and art that have, over the years been lost from memory. Her sudden passing should thus be lamented,” Bersales said.

He said that one can only hope that Savellon’s students, those in the University, and those who were fortunate to know and/or work with her will continue what she has started.

Savellon thus is a superwoman who has touched lives through her works as a person, a teacher, a researcher, a founder, and a culturati. She left a lasting legacy in preserving and putting forward the Cebuano history, culture, and arts. (JDF) 

CNU professor’s COVID19-inspired instructional design wins CHED competition

The health crisis brought by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have weakened various sectors in the society, but it has also enabled people to be more creative in finding innovative solutions to cope with the challenges it brings.

Cebu Normal University (CNU) Professor Dr. Reynaldo Inocian recently joined the Teaching Model Competition on the Category: Best Innovative Instructional Design Concept (without the use of the Internet) organized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office VII in celebration of the 53rd Founding Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Inocian hitched the 1st Prize with his paper design titled, “COVID-19 Instructional Design (CID): A Response to Flexible Learning”. 

“I just thought that why not make an instructional design that is named COVID,” he said about how he came up with his paper design.

The Teaching Model Competition targets student teachers and professional teachers in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to reinforce their dynamism, creativity, and commitment by creating flexible learning models that can be used in the new normal.

Inocian said that he thought about his outputs as the former Director of the Institute for Research in Innovative Instructional Delivery (IRIID) but realized the need to come up with something fitting to the call of the new normal in education and attributed his instructional design to COVID-19 itself. 

He reframed the meaning of COVID-19 to Conditioning, Organizing, Visualizing, Interacting, and Demonstrating with 19 teaching techniques which are clustered in the five steps of his model.

“Contextualizing COVID-19 to an instructional design is intentional, in order to eliminate fear of viral contamination; and accept it as a phenomenal aspect of our world history and culture,” Inocian said. 

“CID encourages educators, learners, parents, and other stakeholders to consider the challenges of the health crisis as opportunities to learn meaningfully and sustainably during school lockdowns and quarantines and embracing [sic] the paradigm of learning in education in the new normal,” he added.

Inocian was awarded last September 3, 2020, via the Zoom platform during the Awarding of Winners as a culminating activity of CHED’s 2020 ASEAN Month Celebration.

Inocian together with the other winners of the said competition will receive a plaque, cash prize, and will enter into an agreement with CHED RO VII to have their winning entry uploaded online as part of the PHL CHED Connect Project, an Open Educational Resources (OER) platform to promote flexible learning in the country. 

The other categories of the Teaching Model Competition also include Best Teaching Model Implementer (Synchronous Approach), Best Teaching Model Implementer (Asynchronous Approach), and Best Innovative Instructional Design Concept (through the use of the Internet).    

The CHED Regional Office VII also held an Essay Writing Competition, Digital Poster-Making Competition, and Digital Short Film Competition which were participated in by different HEI’s in Central Visayas as part of the 2020 ASEAN month celebration. (JDF) 

#ThankyouCNU: A tapestry of blissful memories

Cebu Normal University (CNU) celebrated its 118th founding anniversary and 22nd anniversary as a University, and as a way for its stakeholders to express their gratitude, they participated in the photo-posting activity dubbed as, #ThankyouCNU

#ThankyouCNU was launched during the opening salvo of the two-week foundation anniversary celebration last June 15. CNU alumni, students, teachers, employees, and other stakeholders were encouraged to post on their Facebook account their unforgettable memories of/in/about CNU using the said hashtag.  

Read related article: [CNU opens 118th foundation celebration]

These posts were then compiled and presented during the 118th Foundation Celebration Closing Program that was live-streamed through the CNU Public Information Office (PIO) Facebook account last Saturday, June 27.

Read related article: [CNU nails its virtual foundation celebration closing]

Overflowing gratitude

Quality education and excellence-cultivation, made colorful by each stakeholder’s distinct experiences, were the general themes of #ThankyouCNU.

Alumni, former educators, and employees have grown and are now practicing in different fields. Their time spent with the University has also built lasting love and friendship among others. 

“I will never become who I am today if it is not for all the opportunities that CNU has provided me from the very beginning,” Joselito Tumulak Jr., CNU BS Chemistry-Physics alumnus (Batch 2017) said in his post. 

He said that it was in CNU that he met a lot of inspiring mentors that have changed his life for the better and where he met his lifelong friends. He also said that CNU has taught him the value of work and to be resourceful and creative.

Tumulak was a topnotcher (6th placer) in the October 2017 Chemical Technician Licensure Examination. He is now a practicing educator in a private institution. 

Julie May Maribojo-Gesta, CNU BSEd-Mathematics alumna (Batch 2009) said that she has a lot of memories in CNU for having studied 16 years in the institution since elementary.

She said that she has joined different extracurricular organizations including the Drums and Lyre Corps when she was in elementary. She also became a CAT officer in high school and a member and soloist of the CNU Chorale in college.

But she said that the most memorable memory she has with CNU is when she met her classmate, who became her boyfriend and now her husband.  

“I could never thank CNU enough for honing me to what I have become now… I am continually indebted for all the life lessons you have taught me,” Mary Grace Luna, CNU BSEd-English alumna (Batch 2007) said. 

Luna was the first Normalite who qualified for the Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC) and became one of the 80 participants who made it to the final congress in 2006.

She was also the first Normalite chosen to become part of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) in Region 7 in 2007.

Mechelle Canoy, CNU Psychology alumna (Batch 2018) said that she considers herself blessed, thankful, and grateful for having served as a public servant through CNU. She is currently working at the Public Information Office of the University.

She said that she became a person who thrives hard to accomplish her deliverables, who takes the lead in upholding quality in whatever she does, and who always has the heart to serve her clients and colleagues. 

“As a teacher in Cebu Normal University for 15 years, I draw inspiration and strength from my students,” Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Dr. Daisy Palompon said.

She said that she learns from her students and strives to become a better person every single step of her journey. She said that she is grateful that CNU has provided her a home, a family with her students, colleagues, and friends.

A recording of all the events that took place during the 118th Foundation Celebration of CNU can be viewed at the CNU PIO official YouTube channel(JDF)

Former CNU educators embody the ‘Normalite’ excellence

Former Cebu Normal University (CNU) faculty members from across the globe shared their experiences and how they adapted to the new normal as they gathered virtually (for the first time in so many years) to commemorate the 118th founding anniversary of the institution.

A session called CNU Family Interaction featuring the former educators of CNU who are now based in different counties across three continents was live-streamed last Saturday, June 27 at the CNU Public Information Office (PIO) Facebook account.

The session was facilitated by Dr. Marita Nalam and Dr. Raul Rossell, and was participated in by Dr. Nancy Villanueva, Mrs. Elena Dumangas, Mr. Nixon Go, Mrs. Maria Lilibeth Abaquita, Dr. Rico Paja, Dr. Arlene Bachinela, Dr. Ernest Yu, Dr. Fides Ybanez, Dr. Amelianita Jugasan, Mr. Ramil Orbita, Dr. Patrocinio Malazarte Jr., Dr. Gil Baguio, Dr. Pops Singson, Dr. Gina Lopez, Dr. Editha Obejero, Mrs. Marivic Quiachon, and Mr. Arcelieto Quiachon.

“Cebu Normal University is a home for successful educators, a home for topnotchers, and it offers high-quality education that prepares students to be globally competent,” Villanueva said as something she will always remember about CNU.

She said that she is thankful to have worked with competent teachers who prepared her to be successful in her teaching career abroad. 

“I was very happy when I got the chance to become part of the faculty which is a way for me to give back to how CNU has shaped and molded me as a professional,” Nalam said. 

Nalam is also an alumna of the University where she finished her elementary, high school, and graduate studies. She is currently teaching in Manitoba, Canada. 

Lopez said that it was tenacity that made her survive for 15 years now in a foreign land. She said that she would have succumbed to pressure and would have easily gone back home had it not been because of her experiences in CNU. 

Lopez admitted feeling guilty for leaving the University and shared that she would join programs that are still connected to the country. She has now considered herself as part of those who helped float the economy of the Philippines. 

Dr. Bibiana Isok, CNU Faculty Association Incorporated (FAI) President, who convened the session said that had she been the administrator back then, she would have stopped the teachers from leaving. But she also said that it was also a way of giving chance to others which the former teachers agreed.

Adjustment to the ‘new normal’

Dumangas, who is a teacher now in South Korea said she does a lot of activities, homework, and assignments now that everybody has entered this ‘new normal’. She also shared that what is nice is that they have a system where they could just upload their lessons in video format for the students to watch.

Abaquita, who now teaches in Australia said they make use of web-based software also but are already back to the face-to-face mode of instructional delivery. 

Nalam said that it was not a difficult transition for them in Canada because they have already been practicing blended learning. She said that they have a portal where teachers can input their exams in different types.


Nalam said that CNU has exemplified “the real essence of brilliance, significance to community, and excellence” and for that she will remain proud as a Normalite.

Bachinela congratulates the University for keeping stronger each year through the numerous accomplishments it has achieved locally, regionally, and nationally. She said it looks like CNU is going international also. 

Gil said that everything he is right now – as an educator and as a person – he owes it to CNU. He said that it is a great pleasure to be a Normalite and to be a professor of CNU.

“You are indeed a capability-builder and all those times that we were there, you built us up. People all over the world always remember CNU and what we got from there,” Lopez said.

A recording of the CNU Family Interaction can also be viewed at the CNU PIO official YouTube channel(JDF)

CNU Alumni to the world: Testimonials of excellence

Crimson and gold, which signify excellence, inevitably become part of every Normalite’s identity after they graduate from Cebu Normal University (CNU).

This is proven true yet again as some CNU alumni who have already conquered various corners of the globe gave their testament on how they took excellence with them through the talk, CNU Alumni to the World and for the World which was live-streamed last Monday, June 22, at the CNU Public Information Office (PIO) Facebook account.

Alumni of then Cebu State College (CSC) now CNU shared how their formative years and growth in the institution has enabled and prepared them to be world-class educators, leaders, and advocates.   

Dr. Nerissa Linell Joie Tago Calub, CNU alumni, former Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu Province Division, and now Education Administrator IV of the New York City Department of Education organized the talk called Conversations with the CNU alumni in North America that includes USA and Canada. 

“Your presence in the United States is contributory to that pride that Cebu Normal University is indeed successful in its mission to produce quality graduates…proving to the entire world that CNU alumni are always great,” Dr. Ramir Uytico, CNU Federation of Cebu Normal University Alumni Association Incorporated (FCNUAAI) President said.

The conversations was facilitated by Calub and was participated in by: Ms. JohJoh Seno Demol-Jenae, Mathematics Teacher of Bronx International High School in the New York City Department of Education; Dr. Amelianita Jugasan, Grade 1 Teacher of Prince George County Public Schools in Maryland, USA; Mr. Melvin Damaolao, Assistant Principal of Bronx International High School in the New York City Department of Education; Mr. Nixon Go, Assistant Nurse Manager of Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Walnut Creek Medical Center in California USA; Mr. Marcelo Inot, Math Teacher of New Utrecht High School in the New York City Department of Education; Atty. Alberto Montefalcon Jr., Immigration Attorney of Montefalcon Law Offices in USA and the Philippines; Atty. Rhigel Jay Tan, Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Atty. Marco Tomakin, Immigration Attorney of the Law Office of Marco FG Tomakin in Albany, New York, USA.

The talk was conducted as part of the 118th Foundation Celebration of the University and is the second portion of the discussion on how the University has been leading in the new normal in relevance to this year’s foundation anniversary theme, Thriving, Leading, and Serving in the New Normal. 

Read related article: [Former student leaders motivate Normalites

“CNU has equipped me with the necessary tools to persevere and become productive in my teaching profession. This is because Cebu Normal University has instilled in me how to cope with the demands of my work and to balance with my responsibilities for my family,” Inot said. 

Inot has spent seven years as a classroom teacher, and eight years as an administrator in the country before he decided to migrate to a different country. He said he took the risk after he was offered a job in New York even if it means “back to square one” to provide a good life for his family. He said he took four licensure exams to be able to stay and be given a permanent teaching position in the US. 

He is the current President of the Association of Fil-Am Teachers of America Inc. or AFTA, the premier Filipino-American Teacher organization in the US.

Damaolao said that being resourceful, resilient, and adaptable are the significant learnings he has acquired as a Normalite.  

He said one must find out first what he or she loves to do and to work towards it to become successful. He encouraged Normalites to create doable and attainable goals. He also recommended that one must find balance in life, work hard and still have time for family and friends. He said one should also not be afraid to fail to succeed.

“Know what you want to do. Don’t just trust that chances will bring you there,” Dr. Tan also said.

“What you think is best for you and what you define life will be will get you there,” he also added.

Tan has spent 20 years at CNU as a student from kindergarten to graduate school. He claims the University to have instilled in him the passion for learning and the quest to be innovative and creative.

Jugasan also encouraged the Normalite community to never stop learning and to seize every opportunity to enrich oneself since learning continues as long as we live.

She reminded Normalites to enjoy the present moment still since tomorrow is never a promise to anybody. She also advised to wisely pick one’s battles in life because not all are worth fighting for. She said it is also a human need to be appreciated, so one should celebrate success also and pray hard.

Jugasan was a former Professor and Board Secretary of CNU before migrating to the US.

A recording of the CNU Alumni to the World and for the World can also be viewed at the CNU PIO official YouTube channel(JDF)

ILSAA Christmas Party

CNU Integrated Laboratory School Alumni Association (ILSAA) conducted its Alumni Christmas party to unite ILS graduates in celebration of the holiday season.

The event was held last Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the ILS Centennial Stage.

More than 30 alumni joined the celebration. An oathtaking was done by the new set of ILSAA officers.


Balik CNU 2019

Federation of Cebu Normal University Alumni Association, Inc. (FCNUAAI) celebrated Balik CNU Grand Alumni Homecoming 2019 to acknowledge CNU graduates and those who have excelled in different fields. 

The homecoming took place last August, 3, 2019, Saturday at the Samuel McClintock (SM) hall of CNU main with the theme Paghanduraw, Panaghiusa, Pangalagad ug Pagpalambu.

Alumni graduates from 20 years (Emerald), 25 years (Silver), 30 years (Pearl), 35 years (Jade), 40 years (Ruby), 50 years (Golden), 60 years (Diamond) and above attended the gathering. Representatives from each group of also performed song and dance numbers through Halad sa CNU.

Alumni who have huge accomplishments in different fields were also awarded as Garbo sa CNU.  

The Garbo sa CNU 2019 Awardees were:

Educational Leadership

  • Dr. Maria Anastacia B. Gador
  • Dr. Daisy R. Palompon
  • Mrs. Merinisa J. Olvido
  • Mrs. Ma. Theresa F. Tio
  • Dr. Nerissa Linell T. Calub, CESO VI
  • Mrs. Divah S. Zata
  • Dr. Joseph Steven A. Descallar
  • Dr. Ethel L. Abao
  • Dr. Angeline M. Pogoy
  • Dr. Michaelangelo R. Sauro
  • Dr. Josephina L. Fabio

Professional Achievement

  • Ms. Stephanie Lyn A. Tsao
  • Dr. Laurence L. Garcia
  • Dr. Jezyl C. Cutamora
  • Dr. Juvelyn P. Otero
  • Dr. Jeanna B. Enriquez
  • Atty. Rey Cris A. Panugaling
  • Ms. Ruth H. Navarro
  • Ms. Elaine D. Favre

Professional Leadership

  • Mr. Rodulfo F. Besinga

Public Service

  • Judge Christine M. Abad
  • Dr. Romeo Dax O. Roa
  • Ms. Fe Estrella T. Lawas
  • Mr. Ember V. Alinsug

Military Leadership

  • Lt. Col. Assumption R. Dy
  • Col. Arlene A. Epe

Academic Awardees

  • Ann Mica R. Lim-BSED-8th Place
  • Immanuelle Ann A. Ocaya-BEEd-8th Place

Nursing Licensure Exam (NLE) 2018

  • Honey Sheen Bangquiao-8th Place
  • Athena Louise Mangoroban-9th Place
  • Jessa Marie Menor-10th Place

Chemical Technician Licensure Exam

  • Princess Annalou Ocaña-8th Place

The celebration was also attended by Dr. Filomena Dayagbil, CNU President; Dr. Glen M. Pesole, PA for Alumni Affairs,  Dr. Ramir Uytico, FCNUAAI President; Dr. Porponio Lapa, FCNUAAI Vice-President and other members of the FCNUAAI Board of Trustees.

Dr. Porponio Lapa, FCNUAAI Vice-President and other members of the FCNUAAI Board of Trustees.

The event ended with raffle draw of door and major prizes.