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How do we differentiate Mindanao Summit from NLC’s and Biennial Conventions?

This is one of the challenging questions that confront us as we prepare the big day
for the 7th Mindanao Summit come on November 21-22, 2009. With the advent of
cellular phones, I found myself texting and calling few of my contacts as many were
greatly surprised to who’s this gate crasher and unregistered number texting and calling
them. Yet it turned out that the greatest surprise was the one which hit me! Knowing
that many of our university and college based chapters no longer exist is a sad and
painful reality. Gone are the days when we have chapters based in Ateneo de
Cagayan, Ateneo de Zamboanga, Ateneo de Davao, among others. Consider
these statistics: of the 57 recorded College chapters in Mindanao alone, the surviving
College chapters today numbered to 13 only or 22%. These surviving College chapters
(13 chapters) are in crisis also!

Then an idea popped up. This incoming summit has to be special, unique,
historical--something empowering to the young members of our family. Yes, it’s time
to make our undergraduate members feel that they are important and our hope to
make our dear Alpha Sigma Phi soar high to its greater glory once more. Debates, litany
chapter reports and strict observance of parliamentary rules, etc. (err.. don’t get me
wrong) will not save our College Chapters. Spare this Summit and reserve all your
protests and display of arrogant intelligences on Conventions or National Leadership
Conferences. I meant no offense for this comment please.

Seriously speaking, this year’s Summit will be a showcase of talents. “Ginoo at

Binibining Alpano 2009” could be exciting and hilarious experience for our
undergraduates. Dance and Poster Making Contests are designed to be participated by
all, including the Alumni.

Let me share you a piece of my dream:

I imagine a Summit (or NLC and BC) where activities like Spelling Bee,
Extemporaneous Speaking, Argumentation and Debate, Project Proposal Presentation, Y-
speak Debate, Alphan Jingle Contest, Chorus Competition, ASP t- shirt design contest,
Quiz Bee and Singing Contest will be held, thereby making homecomings very exciting
experiences! Whew! It would be so much fun, and I believe members will always be
looking forward to these kinds of occasions. And because this would be the pattern of
every big gathering, recruitment for memberships will improve a lot and the quality of
recruits will eventually be the name of the game. I also envision events such as these as
perfect venues for networking in business or for employment opportunities.

I believe in a modern psychology when they said: Success is 99% INSPIRATION

and only 1% PERSPIRATION. This can be debated upon, but listen to my dream--when
one is inspired, local chapter operations up to the National Office will never be a problem.
Finances will increase, endowment programs will prosper, scholarships, loans, forming of
cooperatives, etc, are possible because each is inspired to give his/her share.

I know I am not a lone dreamer. I know many of you have nobler dreams than me.
Some of these things were tried before. Others may have encountered a lot of
frustrations along the way. Yet, let us continue to dream dreams and continue to hope for
a better operation of our dear Alpha Sigma Phi in the future. But let us not remain
dreaming, let us wake up and do something to it. There are so many things that need to
be done yet. The ABS-CBN’s TV station has a beautiful advertisement which we can
emulate--“Ako Mismo ang Simula ng Pagbabago.”

Perhaps, this can only happen if we truly live the real essence of our anthem - “Oh
Hail, Alpha Sigma Phi,” where the word “love” is mentioned six times. The song is filled
with inspiration, reminding all of us that all our endeavors and our walking, sailing and
marching here on earth must geared towards attaining heaven. This only happens when
we have love in our hearts, soul, and minds. Indeed, the storms of life may shake our
ground, yet a greater peace still dwells in our hearts. The dreams we build may fall apart
yet a deeper hope still runs in our hearts. Let us fear no harm, for we are ruled by a far
greater love, a far greater love.
May your stay with us be truly meaningful, memorable and enjoyable as we strive
to be better Alpha Sigs in the community and in the whole world! Let us truly be a GIFT,
real gift…

May God richly bless us as we continue to make a positive difference in this world.
Kalinaw sa Minda-NOW! (Peace in Mindanao.NOW!)
Bro Rey A. Catulong
Program Director