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Dateline Seattle: Hurop-Hurop

The late Fr. James J. O’Brien, SJ, former teacher at the Ateneo de Naga University and known for inspiring a generation of Ateneans to love the Bicol culture, was a trailblazer in every way. As a teacher, he instilled in his students love for Bicol – its people, its language, its songs, its history, its riddles and its religious values and traditions. Bikolano historian Danilo M. Gerona describes Fr. O’Brien “as the ‘cultural conscience’ among Bikolanos, a foreigner who loved Bicol more than most Bikolanos did, who behaved more like a Bikolano than most Bikolanos.” In recognition of his contribution in the field of cultural awareness and appreciation, O’Bikoliana, the Ateneo de Naga High School Class of 1966 Golden Legacy Project, will release this month the first issue of Hurop-Hurop. Hurop-Hurop is a pamphlet that will document the lectures given at The Annual James J. O’Brien, SJ, Memorial Lecture Series. The annual lecture series is a project of O’Bikoliana that is designed to immortalize the vision and advocacy of Fr. O’Brien. The lecture series will bring scholarly examination of some aspects of the Bicol culture by various scholars as they relate to what Fr. O’Brien stood for. The inaugural lecture was given last September by Dr. Danilo M. Gerona, Bikolano historian, professor and book author, who discussed the role of Fr. O’Brien in the birth of Bikol studies. The two reactors were Marifa Borja-Prado, faculty member of the Department of Literature and Language Studies at the Ateneo de Naga University, and Tito Gerona Valiente, director of the Institute of Bikol History and Culture at the Ateneo de Naga University. Nicol Miraflores, a member of AdeN HS Class ’66, explains why the pamphlet is named Hurop-Hurop. Hurop-hurop or reflective thinking is a mental process that involves analyzing, making inference, formulating judgment, comparing and contrasting, evaluating and making conclusions. In addition it prepares a person to react to ideas and issues, engage in thoughtful conversations, make decisions on courses of action, and assume responsibility for any consequences. Thus, it is but fitting that the pamphlet is named Hurop-Hurop. Hurop-Hurop intends to engage its readers in a meaningful reflective examination of the many aspects of the Bicol culture. The cover design of Hurop-Hurop was conceptualized by Fer Basbas. O’Bikoliana is a repository of Bikol books and other related materials like maps, Bikol songs, old newspapers, etc. that is housed at the Ateneo de Naga James J. O’Brien Library. Batch ‘66 has continued to provide the funds to acquire these materials so that O’Bikoliana will become a top educational resource. O’Bikoliana is similar to Filipiniana in some ways. But the major difference is that O’Bikoliana will strive to reinforce the connection between the Ateneo and the community by attracting students from other colleges and universities, cultural workers, scholars and researchers to use O’Bikoliana as an educational resource. It is the intent of Batch ’66 that O’Bikoliana continues to have the effect of reinforcing the connection between the Ateneo de Naga University and the community by attracting students, scholars, researchers, and a host of cultural workers who want to study or research on the Bicol history and culture. Hurop-Hurop is another resource that will make this connection a reality.

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