Br. Bernard S. Oca FSC, or Br. Bernie, was officially inducted as the eighth President of De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ) during the solemnity of the birth of St. John the Baptist last 24 June 2013. The occasion was graced by one of the sisters of the president, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, members of the DLSZ Board of Trustees, De La Salle Brothers, alumni, parents, students, Lasallian Partners and distinguished guests.
A Eucharistic Celebration, presided by Msgr. Rufino Suplido, preceded the Installation Rite. Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Department of Education Secretary and former DLSZ President, read the letter of appointment that was signed by the Chairman of the DLSZ Board of Trustees, Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC. It was followed by the Presentation of the Presidential Medal. Julia Therese P. Sabitsana (DLSZ 2025), one of DLSZ’s Brother President Scholars, carried the medal. Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC, outgoing DLSZ President, then bestowed the medal to Br. Bernie. Br. Armin administered the Oath of Office while Jay La Salle, a Br. Rafael Donato FSC Night High School student, held the Bible for Br. Bernie.
The acceptance speech of Br. Bernie highlighted President Corazon C. Aquino as his source of inspiration. He was inspired by her selfless response to God’s call to serve our country when she took on Ninoy Aquino’s fight for democracy. He stressed a correlation between being a nationalist and a Lasallian; that DLSZ, as a Catholic institution, should form saints and heroes or heroines who will contribute to the betterment of our country.
Br. Bernie animatedly invited Br. Armin, to also impart some words. Br. Armin eagerly agreed and shared his experience during one of his school visitations around the country. He emphasized the importance of having a decent school that the youth deserves. DLSZ, as one of the premier schools in the Philippines, is blessed enough that it should continue St. John Baptist de La Salle’s mission to serve the deprived sectors of our community.
In the parting, Br. Bernie expressed his gratitude to Br. Dennis for handing him an already excellent school. With his remarkable experience as a Lasallian educator and leader, it allows him to hit the ground running and continue to lead in forming “Christian achievers for God and country”.