Quantcast
Latest Stories

May Flores, stalwart Mindanao glee club promoter, retires

By

XAVIER University gives her a service award. PHOTOS FROM MAY FLORES’ FACEBOOK ACCOUNT.

Before the TV hit series “Glee” was even conceived, the most happening thing in Cagayan de Oro City was to make it to the glee club of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. It was the breeding ground of local talent.

And now, here’s the latest: The music scene in Cagayan de Oro City will no longer be the same now that its favorite music teacher, song artist and choir director May Flores, has gone on retirement.

After 38 years at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, where she played a key role in the glee club and at the English department in the high school (how she instilled in her students an almost architectural passion for and precision in constructing, or deconstructing, sentences and even paragraphs), she is moving on to what she calls “a well-deserved rest.”

Looking back, she says, “It was music that brought me to this lifelong career in the academe. My dream was to pursue a degree in Music. But due to financial reasons, this did not push through.”

She reckons that her parents already saw her potential in the teaching field when, as a child, she would always play the role of teacher with her playmates. When she was in high school, as a member of the Sodality in Lourdes College, she was a catechist to her fellow youths.

Calling

CURTAIN CALL. May Flores waves goodbye to a lifetime career.

“But even then, I didn’t realize that God was calling me to the teaching vocation,” she says. “It took a while for me to accept it, even when I was already pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at Xavier U. It was an emotional struggle. What kept me going was the enjoyment and fulfillment I had of being a glee club member throughout my college years.”

In 1975, right after graduating from college, she began to teach at Xavier’s High School (XUHS) Department. It was at the behest of the late Jesuit priest Antonio Cuna, the  glee club director. “He ‘ordered’ me to handle the high-school glee club. He knew me because I was with the college glee club for five years.”

She was, in fact, in a dilemma. The principal of the grade school had invited her to teach there. She recalls, “I was an Elementary Education graduate and my major was General Science.”

The available slot in the high school was first-year English. “At that time, I couldn’t turn down Derps [Father Cuna]. He was very influential in my life. Also, Derps had a very strong charisma. You could never say no to him. That’s how much we loved him. I expressed my apprehensions regarding teaching English and he said he already worked it out with the then principal, Fr. Jose Ma. Fuentes, that I would observe classes at first.”

Roller-coaster ride

It was a “roller-coaster ride” for her because she had to make a turnabout from General Science to English.

She recalls, “The fire for both teaching English and training the choir ignited me to achieve more. I worked very closely with Derps so that the XUHS glee club could help in the mounting of the annual university concert. Everybody on campus looked forward to it. It was Derps’ way of raising funds for the scholarship burses.”

In 1977, she led the High School Youth Choir, an all-male choir then, in joining the National Music Competition for Young Artists (Namcya) and the Himig Competitions. The choir won in the regional level and made it to the national finals at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the Folk Arts Theater.

“It was more than what I dreamed of at that time,” she says. “It was overwhelming.”

This was the start of a string of wins at choral competitions, including the Namcya.

“Since I didn’t have any formal training in music, Fr. Fuentes, the principal, sent me to the CCP to train under Lucio San Pedro, Ramon Pagayon-Santos, Rey Paguio and Flora Zarco-Rivera. They enriched my knowledge and skills in music,” she says.

This emboldened her to share her music expertise outside the high school. She helped the choir at the St. John Vianney Seminary and the Carmelites, both in Camaman-an Hills in Cagayan de Oro.

“My work at the seminary gave me the privilege and honor to work with the great Jesuit musician and composer Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros, a very jolly, light-hearted man. This opportunity has widened and enriched my perspectives about life,” she says.

Flores also helped out in the music programs of other private schools in Cagayan de Oro City, and gave training workshops to music teachers in different regions all over the Philippines for many years.

Blessed

“I have been blessed with so many mentors—Father Cuna and professor Lino Abrio, my choral trainers in college; Fr. George Hofileña; Fr. Danny Huang, who showed me that being a real teacher is to respond to a call for service which requires dedication and deep commitment; Fr. Jojo Magadia, who taught me to believe and trust in my capabilities; Fr. Alberto Ampil, who stressed that dedication and commitment in one’s work means that one must aspire for high quality, discipline and efficient delivery of service; Ms Lumen Teodoro, who demanded discipline and efficiency; Fr. Julian Pastor, who instilled in me the values of humility, sincerity, simplicity and action; and Fr. Pio de Castro, a huge person with a big heart who once went to the house and made us donuts. They are among my many mentors and friends who have enriched and nurtured me as a person and teacher, and showed me how to live out the Ignatian spirit.

“I can never fully express my gratitude to this gift, this opportunity, this apostolate,” she adds.

She also thanks her parents who guided her to this path.

Her parting words: “In omnibus amare (in everything, love). In omnibus servire (in everything, serve). In omnibus amare et servire Domino (In everything, love and serve the Lord).”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cagayan de Oro , Lifestyle , May Flores , People

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=676495713 Minardski L. Flores

    Hi mam. We haven’t met, but being a Flores myself, proud ko mangangkon nimo nga paryente. :-D I am sure that all of those who have joined, and listened to performances of the XUHS Glee Club in your days, are proud to say – Thank you for the music and performance… Good luck and God bless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1484305572 Jonathan M. Mongcal

    Though I am not a Glee Club member in high school, Ms. May Flores was one of the most amiable teacher in the campus. God bless.
    (Thank you for the nice article from Mozart P.).



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Tagle to Napoles: Be honest and return the money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Obama rejects notion that trade deal is in danger
  • [VIDEO] No assurances on Janet Lim-Napoles’ bid to become state witness
  • South Sudan president fires long-time army leader
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
    Marketplace