Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

Relationships that bind

Green Light

Manila Standard Today

August 26. 2013

Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan

With no strategic intent to make a round of talks at various schools, I found myself engaged this month with the faculty of Celedonio Salvador Elementary School (CSES) in Paco, Manila.  I was already scheduled at San Juan de Dios, Pasay City for a follow-up session on creative fidelity with Val Alejandro, Dr. Trix Ponsaran, Jeanne Aberion, and Rolly Capistrano but the flow of energy brought me to the campus of CSES.


When Bamcref catechist Rebecca Oliza invited me to give a talk on relationships I immediately said yes, thinking that it would be an opportunity to re-unite with the De La Salle catechists.  After all, they, together with former director Louie Lacson, facilitated my research in the public schools.

I did not realize that my audience would be the CSES faculty.  On August 2, 2013, I revisited CSES and I met Principal Evelyn de Vera. I recounted to her that I was at CSES 8 years ago to validate the survey I made on the performance of the Grade IV pupils.  With 20-minute lessons they out-performed the other Grade IV and VI CSES pupils and those who had 30, 40 and 50-minute classes from three other selected public schools.

It was catechist Soledad Nabos who made the difference.  A master catechist for more than 30 years, she used the PESO [Munich method of presentation, exposition, summary, and orientation] approach with engaging stories and customized visual aids for rapid content delivery. In a 2005 critical incident survey her pupils showed superior moral choices.


The presence of the catechists in the public schools was justified under Sec. 928 of the Revised Administrative Code, which became part of the Sec. 5 of the 1935 Philippine Constitution. It provided a window of opportunity for religious instruction in public schools. Br. Andelino Manuel Castillo, FSC, together with De La Salle College President Br. Gabriel Connon, FSC and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Director Msgr. Faustino Ortiz, professionalized the teaching of catechism to gain access in public schools, thereby replacing part-time student catechists.

Br. Manuel, FSC was assisted by first supervisor Faustino Diaz in managing the De La Salle catechetical program in 1952. His innovative staggered scheduling hardly disrupted the schedule of classes and the teaching of catechism was readily accepted by the school supervisors and principals.  They welcomed the catechism lessons because the catechists reinforced the good manners and right conduct (GMRC) of the pupils.

In 2003, the Br. Andelino Manuel Castillo FSC Religious Education Foundation [Bamcref] was registered and accredited as a donor institution.  Today, the DLSU catechetical center  has 21 full-time Bamcref catechists teaching in 16 public schools and the DLSU Center for Social Concern and Action manages the service learning of the students.

Upon the suggestion of Br. Andrew Gonzalez, FSC, I researched on Bamcref’s 50 years of catechetical service.  I found out that one of the first schools to enjoy the professional services of De La Salle catechists was CSES [Celedonio Salvador was the first director of the Philippine Bureau of Education].  The school was founded in 1918 and was named Thomas Jefferson Primary School. But in 1952 the municipality of Manila renamed it to Celedonio Salvador Elementary School.

Today, CSES has 1,900 pupils.  It is managed by  Principal Evelyn A. de Vera, with the assistance of Master teacher-in-charge Elizabeth Labaclalo, Jocelyn Torres, MT-III, Susan Tolentino, MT-I, Imelda D. Geronimo, MT-I  and Agnes  P. Cabe, MT-I, and faculty members. The catechetical program is managed by Bamcref head catechist Ma. Rebecca Oliza together with Marilyn Montemayor and Chona Pascual.


The second professional development meeting of CSES was focused on Relationships.  The forum, sponsored by the Grade V faculty under the chairmanship of Estrella Lanusa,  was part of the faculty development program of the  faculty club headed by President John Francis and Vice-president Agnes Cabe

My talk opened with a good news. I announced that Filipino relational quotient is very high and it pervasive influence was earlier recognized by Jaime Bulatao, SJ who termed as smooth interpersonal relationship (SIR) .  Carucci and Pasmore (2002) call it relationship intelligence or rQ.  High rQ is a valuable quality in promoting multistream management (Dyck & Neubert, 2011) which underscores practical wisdom, participation with courage, experimentation, relational self-control and human dignity and exercise of justice and fairness by being high sensitive to others.   Unfortunately, western bias against the Asian ‘face value’ mistakenly tags SIR as a negative trait, resulting to a low self-esteem and delaying growth in being assertive.

In reality, Filipinos have extremely high rQ based on our cultural DNA and Christian heritage. A Filipino relational self is better seen from Ken Wilber’s sensitive self, where relationship ranks even slightly higher than spirituality.

Mark Michael Lewis interprets the sensitive self as communitarian, and ecologically sensitive. It establishes lateral bonding and linking.  Its emphasis is on dialogue, and group  relationships. Its decisions are made through reconciliation and consensus. The sensitive self  brings harmony and enriches human potential. It is subjective, nonlinear in thinking and shows a greater degree of affective warmth, sensitivity, and caring for earth and all its inhabitants.


I concluded my talk CSES by raising human relationship to a spiritual level, making a distinction between spirituality and the traditional practice of Catholic religiosity.  I dared say that we are spiritual beings with human relational experiences.

Spirituality based on the Lasallian mantra of “I will continue to do all my actions for the love of You” creates a horizontal and vertical web of human relations. At the horizontal plane our daily chores are at once spiritual in Lasallian faith-zeal context for communitarian common good and our actions enter a vertical relationship in form of human consciousness of a universal force [God] and an experience of the sacred through the sacraments and sacramentals.

As spiritual beings, we must re-commission [re-baptize] ourselves to a much higher level of relationship that surpasses our humanity immersed and drowned in materiality [matter reality].

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