KIWANIS International awards VPAA

Dr. Estrella C. Buenaventura, Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) of Wesleyan University – Philippines, Cabanatuan City, was recognized and awarded by the KIWANIS International Division 2C1 and the John Wesley School of Law and Governance by its class 2017 on Gender Equality last March 24, 2017 at SM Megacenter in Cabanatuan City. The awarding was done in time for the celebration of the International Women’s Month.

Kiwanis International is an international, coeducational service club founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan which primarily aimed at strengthening communities and serving children (Wikipedia). Through the years, it has expanded its concern to some other issues besetting the communities, and thus addressed practical solutions to the knowledge of the community. One of which is the issue on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

Dr. Buenaventura was chosen on the basis that she contributes and effects in the academic aspects of students where excellent education is provided. She has been at Wesleyan University – Philippines since 1987 being a classroom teacher up until she reached her present status as the VPAA.

The awardees included Ms. Angelita Liwag-Laya, Dr. Rhoda Razon, Fiscal Emelita Portillo, Dra. Irmina Beltran, and Judge Cynthia Florendo. Below is the full script of Dr. Buenaventura’s thanksgiving speech during the awarding:


I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the KIWANIS International for having chosen me as this year’s awardee. My contribution in the academe is definitely the basis for this award. But I want to clarify that I do not upkeep my services only for awards like this, rather I feel it as my vocation to encourage the young generations to knowing and appreciating the importance of education in their lives.

While I was preparing for this occasion, I came across with the term EGALITARIANISM which basically means equality among men and women. Since time immemorial, women have been regarded as second class citizens – if we will base on what history says. But the evolution of time has changed how women are treated in our social set-up because the same history says that women should be accorded with the same treatment as men have and enjoy. Hence, egalitarianism.

Women empowerment has been a significant issue of discussions in many forms of interactions. We have even trivialized how women contribute in the various aspects of our lives – whether social, political, religious, economic and academic. In all these aspects, we are all aware of the important involvement and influence of women. And at this juncture, I want to focus on the aspect and context of the academe, as I can only speak based on my personal experiences being in the academe since I became professional until I was able to reach the top of my ladder in my services.

Personally, I started as a classroom teacher. Knowing that I can do more in my teaching profession, I went on to earn further degrees in the graduate level of education. I now know that I am equipped with the proper training and background to effect my example to students who are under my watch and care. You know, I feel some sense of accomplishment and achievement on my part when I know of students who become successful in his or her profession, because in one way or another I have contributed to such success, even in the minutest way.

A recognition like this is a resonation that women in the different sectors are given acknowledgment for their significant contributions in the society. And the KIWANIS International must be commended for such undertaking in benchmarking the top in the list to be awarded. To the officers of the KIWANIS International, thank you very much. To our very own John Wesley School of Law and Governance, the same degree of appreciation is what I want to express because you were instrumental in considering me. In the way that I am proud of this, I also feel humble and challenged to continue with fervor my services to the academe.

Good evening and God bless!

By: Allan B. Chavez