Dumaguete’s Gentle People

Photo by Dumagueteneo.com

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My parents were recently featured in Dumaguete City Tourism Office’s series, Dumaguete’s Gentle People.  Allow me to share the longer version of said feature on this space.  Thank you, Sir Ian Casocot, for making this happen.

Mr. Leonardo S. Sicat and Mrs. Wivina R. Sicat are behind the success of ABC Learning Center. Starting the school in 1987 with only 24 students, ABC now caters to over a thousand pupils with branches in Tanjay, Bais, Tayasan, and Guihulngan. This is testament to the couple’s commitment to quality education and character development.

Mr. Sicat finds his academic roots in De La Salle University. After finishing his graduate studies in De La Salle University in Manila, he went on to become an administrator of La Salle schools throughout the country. He continued to do so before establishing ABC Learning Center with his wife in the late 80s.

Mrs. Sicat is a true blue Negrosanon who hails from Calo, San Jose. She finished her bachelor’s degree in Education in the University of Southern Philippines in Cebu. She went on to complete her graduate studies in De La Salle University. She met her husband in Bislig where she became Principal of a La Salle-supervised school which Mr. Sicat was the School Director of.

After serving yet another La Salle-run school in Marinduque, the couple decided to strike it on their own in Dumaguete. They started a preschool at a time when small primary schools were not the trend yet. The school was initially located at Hibbard Avenue. It did not take long for word to come out about this small school that effectively prepared young learners to face the academic challenges that came with elementary years. Pretty soon, kids came in droves that the school had to be moved to its current location in Bantayan to accommodate the growing population.

In less than ten years, ABC branched out to various parts of the province.  What started out as a preschool is now a middle school offering first grade to sixth grade levels. “We are humbled by the trust and confidence the community has given to our school, “says Mr. Sicat. “We are challenged even more to continue our mission to help shape the hearts and minds of the children entrusted to our care.” Mrs. Sicat agrees with her husband. “It is a unique position to be in, that is to be a part of a person’s story as he or she grows and develops, “she says. “Such position is a responsibility we certainly do not take lightly.”

Bearing bright hopes for each of the children who have come and gone the portals of ABC Learning Center, Mr. and Mrs. Sicat remain steadfast in their mission as they look on to more years of building this nation one pupil at a time.