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Education 102: Rest. Renew. Reach out.

He who knows how to rest has faith in God.

He who renews himself gains wisdom.

He who reaches out makes himself immortal.

These cogitations are only fathomed by those who are prepared.

As flowers only blossom at the right time.

And only fertile soil can produce sweet fruits.

May this piece of work rejuvenate your soul suitably.

This article is for you my dear Lasallian teachers, employees, and administrators.

The 3Rs of the Vaugirard Experience.

What do we all yearn for amidst this arduous place called university? After a term of burning candles at both ends for a worth of lectures, checking, and deadlines, we definitely need a short break. We all deserve a respite from all the hustle and bustle along our small slice of Taft Avenue, some quality time to keep a firm hold on what is left of our sanity. Fortunately, faculty members and employees of De La Salle University are in no danger of becoming dull boys and girls from all work and no play (or rest, in this case).

Exchange your daily backdrop of incessant voices in discussion for a solemn atmosphere that is conducive for relaxation. Take a break from the mad rush in the corridors; take long, quiet walks alongside landscaped gardens instead. Trade in city pollution for some fresh air. Give our standard cafeteria fare a rest and try fresh, flavorful food served by warm, attentive personnel. No more five-minute lunches in between classes—enjoy an all-natural three-course meal of salad, all-you-can-eat entrées and dessert lovingly prepared by a chef who takes time to visit your table for chitchat. Evenings will not involve a mound of papers to check or deadlines to meet; instead, end your day with a scrumptious dinner al fresco. Don’t just doze off to sleep— treat yourself to a movie, or perhaps a dip in the pool. Experience all of these while meeting new friends from the De La Salle community. Why not share a meaningful chat, sing a hiney ma tov, or laugh your heart out to nonstop jokes?

This experience sounds dreamy—and expensive. Well, worry not because faculty and employees can take advantage of this great opportunity at no cost, thanks to St. John Baptist de La Salle’s Vaugirard, the inspiration behind the Lasallian Pastoral Office’s activity, the Vaugirard Experience.

St. John Baptist de La Salle, upon his search, found a house in a Vaugirard county. He opened this house to all his brothers who need rest and renewal from a tiring and demanding school year. From then on, it became their novitiate house where his brothers would go and relax in order to be rejuvenated for the next school year.

Continuing his legacy, Ms. Amie Galang, together with her LSPO team armed with hardworking and good looking men by the name of Andylyn Simeon and James Laxa, thought of coming up with this kind of much-needed activity. The program is set in a calm, peaceful and relaxing venue to refresh one’s mind, body and spirit.

It also ensures that faculty and staff spend enough time not just to rest but also to reflect, to revitalize one’s body while restoring one’s faith and zeal that animate every Lasallian educator. This was made possible by communing with nature.

The Vaugirard Experience encourages participants to improve the personal and professional aspects of their lives, in order to become authentic resources for the renewal of the Church and society.

Well, Vaugirard Experience endeavors to fill us with that driving force that allows us to give more of ourselves in service of God and our Lasallian community.

Vaugirard Experience utterly brings people from different departments of De La Salle University to one snug as a bug in a rug venue.

After experiencing all of these privileges, Nelly Ann Cruz, Carolina Dionco, Maria Lourdes Krainz, Ma. Roda Mahinay, Dr. Sterling Plata, Mark Raymond Pitoc, Mark Christian Reyes, Maria Judy San Juan, Nena Tenorio-Santos, Dr. Luis Sembrano, Asuncion Villafuerte, and myself (Edwina Bensal), the very few blessed participants scribbled it into words; thus, you are unravelling now St. La Salle’s loving and generous bequest.

The core of Vaugirard Experience is the act of embracing faith that translates into acts of love. This overnight activity goes beyond ambience and fanfare. More than the small pleasures and delights, it seeks to deepen the participants’ faith, which serves as the wellspring for charitable service. It is an oft-repeated truism that one cannot give what one does not have; needless to say, happiness and content from within.

Our personal Vaugirard Experience has allowed us to deepen our faith in the God of Truth, Justice and Love amidst adversities. This entire experience, remarkably the Emmaus Walk, or E-walk, brought many things to light:

1. doing the right thing regardless of what others might say or think;

2. speaking the truth, especially to those we love, even if it angers them; being more sensitive to the needs and feelings of people we encounter every day, especially the disadvantaged;

3. listening to the wisdom of the old and welcoming the ideas of the young; and most especially

4. building genuine friendship - even though this was our first meeting, immediately, we felt the camaraderie and considered ourselves one big happy family. In fact, until now we still get in touch with each other and go out whenever we have common free time.

Who would have thought that all of these could come from some R&R?

So at the end of term, don’t just sign up for some R&R; Try some R&R&R—rest, renew, and reach out—the Vaugirard way.

Vaugirard Experience, a free therapy for our mind, body and soul!

A million thanks, St. La Salle!

Thank you, De La Salle University for this superb gift.

Now, we are primed again to brave a new term with strength, love, and joy in our heart!

This article was written last 2010 for the 2401 Newsletter. But its inclusion in the said newsletter didn't happen. So I am making it available here for my dear LaSallian community. This is my way of thanking De La Salle University and sharing to all of you the beautiful and meaningful experiences we had.

Share with us your similar experience, too.

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Chris Bensal
Chris Bensal
Feb 08, 2021


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