Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Silliman’s First Family

“ My father always told me, ‘find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ ”
- Jim Fox

Looking at how comfortable Silliman University President Ben S. Malayang III with his new job, I know that he has found a responsibility that is very close to his heart.

To Sillimanians, the name Malayang is always identified with the University as almost everyone in this huge family from Mindanao went through our beloved portals. It wouldn’t be difficult to share the bond we call The Silliman Spirit when with the Malayangs. The love for Silliman is evidently in their bloodline.

In fact, when you get to be with them in one of their family gatherings even away from the campus, you would always feel like it’s one of those familiar Silliman family fellowships. Many of the values that stem from the Christian environment prevail when with them: the spirit of joy simply overflows!

President Ben Malayang

Visit the President’s Office today and you will experience this cool and easy feeling when within a Malayang zone. I‘m sure the President’s Home would even be a greater experience as you will have in the welcoming line not just the joyful Big Ben, but also the interesting members of his happy home.

Everyone loves the First Lady Gladys Fe Rio - Malayang. She graduated from Silliman University with a BS in General Science in 1976. She is always with a radiant smile. The pastor’s kid has grown to be a faithful servant to God’s ministry. When the family was based in Oakland, Gladys would drive several miles on the freeway just to be in a church where she was a big help in the Music Ministry – the First Lady loves the piano.
First Lady

She has been leading various Church organizations, education committees and agencies and NGO’s concerned with human development.
As Executive Director of The Women’s Health Care Foundation (WHCF), she has been very helpful in educating the Filipino community with issues concerning reproductive health. Her present network and consultancy assignments on human development projects from around the world would be beneficial to the academic and extension programs of the University.

In fact, she is very generous with her ideas and has been a resource person during the celebration of the International Women’s Day in March.

Nayna I hope the Creative Writing circle of Silliman, and the students of the College of Law will also have the opportunity to meet the First Daughter Nayna Aurafe - it will definitely be a valuable intellectual exchange. Nayna graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Creative Writing. She is now a senior Law student at UP. Prior to this, she was working with the communication arm of the World Wildlife Fund. Nayna would definitely love our University Town, the gateway to her other passion: scuba diving.

Miharu_Jay Miharu Jay Kimwell, fondly called Mij, has many Sillimanian friends as she was an active leader in the first two Hexagon camps, a gathering of Christian Youth Fellowship from six different churches. Mij graduated with a degree in Biology from UP Los Baños and worked with the Marine Science Institute. She had presented a paper during a national convention on Marine Biology held in Silliman. This junior medical student of the UERM College of Medicine is married to Bart Kimwell, a professor in Architecture at the University of Santo Tomas. Like her mother, Mij also plays the piano; she also loves to sing. Bart plays the drums.

IMG_0100 Feeling so uncomfortable with the attention he is getting as the only son of the University President is the youngest Robert Jed, a junior Mass Communication student of Silliman. RJ is the president of Silliman University Debate Society, bringing home to MassCom glories from all the debates and speech contests he competes in. RJ is also a feature writer of the Weekly Sillimanian and was a representative to the Student Government Assembly. This founding president of the Renaissance Youth Leaders Forum (RYLF) hopes for more action relating to student welfare. He said a “convergence of interests will lead to a more dynamic intellectual life.”

When asked to describe his own family, he smiled, and said, “talkative.” Then he added that the Malayang family is: liberal, outspoken, loves to travel, opinionated. And that they all love good food, RJ added with laughter.

He said he’s glad he’s into outdoors sports like mountainbiking. That is why you don’t see the “typical Malayang build” on RJ. Yet?

Two more important family members – Musa and Toffee – will be flying in from Manila. Both Labradors. They, too, will feel at home in this City of Dogwalkers.

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