Stepping through the gates of Blessed Sacrament Catholic School (Quezon City) on 14 November, what first met the visitors from the UP ROTC were students in uniform – tropical fatigue uniforms, that is.
As part of its continuing advocacy, the UP Corps of Cadets conducted an NSTP-ROTC orientation at the said school. The team sent to Blessed — composed of CMaj Karis Dawn Salinas 1Cl, C1Lt Ryan Kristofer Arana 2Cl, CP2Lt Samuel Clark Thadeus Castro 4Cl, CP2Lt Nicole Jae Rodriguez 4Cl, and Ms. Celeste Atas of the Corps of Sponsors — was a little startled and quite impressed to see its functional and effective Citizen Army Training (CAT) unit.
The commandant of Blessed’s CAT unit, Mr. Genesis Ng, welcomed the team and led them to the principal, Mrs. Angelita Concepcion. Mrs. Concepcion invited the team to her office for a short while to express her gratitude and appreciation towards the UP ROTC for visiting their school. Afterwards, the team was introduced to the corps commander of the CAT unit, CCol Dione Vergara.
The orientation began. CMaj Salinas introduced the National Service Training Program or NSTP to the high school students. She further elaborated the ROTC component of the NSTP, highlighting ROTC in UP and showed some pictures of the UP cadets during their training. Afterwards, Ms. Atas from the UP Corps of Sponsors gave a short talk about Corps of Sponsors including their current activities. CP2Lt Castro also delivered a speech on how joining the UP ROTC can greatly influence one’s life, as it did his. A question and answer segment closed the program and their corps commander invited the team to their CAT room for refreshments.
Later on, the cadets of Blessed requested that C1Lt Arana show them a few rifle drills and he taught some tricks up his sleeve.
The time was short and soon it was time for the visitors to get going. As the UP ROTC high school visit team stepped out of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, they realized that not only did the high school students learn from them, but that it was mutual.