Article excerpt

Byline: Cerge M. Remonde

AT the start of this week, I was the Commencement Speaker at my old school in Argao, the town of my birth.

I am afraid that based on outstanding directives to the Cabinet, this will just be the first in a series of commencements we will address.

The Cebu State College of Science & Technology Agro-Industrial & Forestry College, Argao Campus, a key component of the Cebu State College System, was known as the Cebu South National High School (CSNHS) and the Cebu Southern AgroIndustrial School (CSAIS) at the time of my secondary school graduation some 36 years ago.

On the same drill field from whence I moved to the University of the Visayas in Cebu City, some 70 kilometers or two hours away, depending on road traffic conditions, I shared and savored old values with over 400 wide-eyed, highly motivated and hopeful youths, who were moving on from high school to college, from the ladderized certificate and four-year degree programs to the world of work.

The course offerings of my old school, I was pleased to note, mirror the trends of the times: Hotel & Restaurant Services and Tourism; Computer Technology; Electronics; and Garments Technology had the higher graduate turnouts, with classes conducted even in the evenings. Of course the education courses, particularly Livelihood Education, also had quite a number of graduates. Argao, with its beautiful coast line and people who are by nature warm and hospitable, could be a natural magnet for tourists.

At its prime, the Argao Beach Club was among the country's tourism jewels. Also, Argao is known for such delicacies as the torta, the town's ticket to the country's gastronomic map.

Dr. Pedrito Pontillas, CSCST Argao Campus Director, a dear friend and husband to my cousin, Florita, who in turn manages the Philippine Science High School in Argao, is doing outstanding work, matching the school's output with the job market. …