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MCL launches Project ECHO at Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

From left to right: MCL President and CEO, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea; Mayor Jovito De Guia Reyes of Paguil, Laguna; Laguna Lake Development Authority representative, Mr. Roque Delas Alas; MCL Executive Vice President and COO, Engr. Dodjie S. Maestrecampo; MCL Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Aloysius Nathaniel S. Costales; and MCL Vice President for Academic Affairs, Engr. Dennis H. Tablante.

December 9, 2015 – Administrators and staff gathered at the Rizal Building Lobby and Airwell for the annual MCL Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. At four in the afternoon, the crowd started to line up along the Promenade Hall at Malayan Colleges Laguna, as they enjoyed the holiday brownies and refreshments prepared for them. Soon enough, as they were told by emcees Ezekiel Guevarra and Faye Belizario, the guests proceeded to the Rizal Bldg. Lobby for the main program made more significant by the launch of MCL’s Institutional Project for the coming year – Project ECHO, spearheaded by MCL’s Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement (CSCE).

Making the celebration more momentous was the presence of MCL President and CEO, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea; Executive Vice President and COO, Engr. Dodjie S. Maestrecampo; and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Engr. Dennis H. Tablante. The MCL community was present to welcome the guests from its new partner community – the Panguil River Eco Park in Panguil, Laguna, led by Mayor Jovito De Guia Reyes.

The MCL Chamber Singers welcomed the MCL community and the guests to the program by singing the Christmas carol, “Joy to the World.” Another heartwarming performance was given by kids from the Children’s Joy Foundation, as they played and sang Christmas carols and other songs for the guests.

The Children's Joy Foundation giving a heartwarming performance for the attendees.

Dr. Vea greeted everyone at this year’s Christmas Lighting Ceremony, as he shared with fondness how excited he is for the partnership between MCL and Panguil River Eco Park.

CSCE’s Service-Learning Head, Asst. Prof. Raychelle R. Artuz gave everyone an overview of the Project ECHO, which is an acronym for Environmental Conservation through Holistic Outcomes. The said project aims to help in the rehabilitation, preservation, and protection of the Panguil River Eco Park in hope to improve the lives and livelihood of the families living in the surrounding communities there.

Afterwards, Mayor Jovito De Guia Reyes gave his message to the MCL community. According to him, in recent researches, Panguil is the number five most visited spot in Laguna. Yet, there are many things that has to be improved and taken care of. He trusts that Project ECHO will prove to be beneficial to the people living there and to the Eco Park itself.

Representing the partner institution, the Laguna Lake Development Authority, was Mr. Roque Delas Alas, who inspiringly reminded everyone that the whole point of the project launched in time for Christmas is that the commitment to value and care for the environment shall serve as light, as we are the ones who will mold the next generation, in service of not just the self, but of the many.

MCL officials and representatives from the partner community pose for a photo after signing the Memorandum of Understanding.

As the evening approached, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Engr. Dodjie S. Maestrecampo, Engr. Dennis H. Tablante, and the representatives from the partner community, as one, signed the Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the partnership between MCL and Panguil River Eco Park through Project ECHO.

After the signing, the MCL department heads lined up to decorate the Christmas tree with paper leaves, wherein written are their respective answers to the question, “What do you ECHO this Christmas?” to make their gesture of commitment to Project ECHO.

Later that evening, the crowds gathered at the MCL Airwell for the official lighting of the Christmas tree and the anticipated fireworks display.

“It feels good to be here in this celebration. I’m happy that the lights that are going to light this tree will reach us far in Panguil,” Mayor De Guia mentioned during the program. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is an annual celebration in MCL. More photos from the event can be viewed at MCL’s official Facebook page.

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