OpinionsSydney ConnectionDean Sinco, FU's dream catcher

Dean Sinco, FU’s dream catcher


- Advertisment -spot_img

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — There is a lore among Native American people. They believe the night air is filled with dreams. To spare their children from bad dreams, they hang a dream catcher over their beds.

The web dream catcher allows only beautiful dreams to teach the children natural wisdom. The web traps the bad dream, exposes it to the light of a rising sun to evaporate like the morning dew.

The dream catcher, a hoop of willow, helps its recipient to attain his goal by means of the beautiful dream’s idea and vision.

This is the challenge which confronts Victor Vicente “Dean” Sinco to save Foundation University from a bad dream, and allow only the beautiful dream to secure the education of students from poor families in Negros Oriental and from the neighboring provinces.

In running the gauntlet, Dean Sinco steps into the big shoes of his illustrious grandfather and namesake Dr. Vicente G. Sinco, who established FU in 1949 to serve the needs of financially-challenged students.

Dr. Sinco is endeared in the hearts of the gentle people of Dumaguete not only as a founder of FU. He is remembered as well as the ninth president of the University of the Philippines.

On top, Filipinos recall that Dr. Sinco signed the UN Charter in behalf of the government as Philippine Commissioner of Foreign Affairs.

In Dean’s recollection, his GrandDad and the Sinco siblings latched on to a dream, and set on a mission to establish an education institution for the common people.

FU’s Bad Dream

Dean’s Dad Leandro Sinco’s involvement with the school started on Day 1 until 1968 when the family left for the USA. Things then were going well for the institution. From 1968 to 1990, FU blipped out from Dean’s radar screen, except for a brief moment in 1988 when his GrandDad passed away.

In 1994, Leandro decided to opt for retirement from his teaching position in the University of Washington to go home to Dumaguete. He made the hard choice after being appraised by long distance calls that FU was floundering.

FU’s finances were on the red. On the verge of bankruptcy, the Sinco family members wanted it liquidated, perhaps for a song, in Dean’s recollection. No one wanted to touch the University anymore. Still, his Dad persevered and invited him as well to join in masterminding the University’s turnaround.

It was a hard decision to transplant his family from Hawaii to Dumaguete. After a year of soul-searching, his family chose to join a father-and-son team to resuscitate an ailing University. In doing so, he left his own architectural firm in Hawaii that had eight employees and which earned for him some $10,000 per month.

Dream Inheritor

Father-and-son duo became the inheritor of Dr. Vicente Sinco’s dream when no one else dared to assume responsibility of a University that was on a downhill skid.

An architect by his calling, Dean threw and lost himself out in giving a brand new look to FU’s broken down physical plant.

With limited resources, Dean applied his belief that the path to success requires proper surroundings. To reinvent FU’s state of mediocrity, he started by designing and constructing two campus gates that gave a spark of life to a decaying foundation. He also gave a sparkle to the Sylvan Amphitheater which inspired Mayor Odol Gonzalez to duplicate it in Valencia.

The re-invention process reverberated to the classroom, canteen, and library buildings. The sprucing up was done until the rundown and worn out school got the look of a premier university.

FU students’ old drab uniform did not escape the Architect’s discriminating eye. Dean changed the plaid table cloth material, and morphed it with an avant garde comfortable design that FU students now wear in campus, and anywhere else, with heads up high.

But what is creating a double impact is equipping the students with the latest technological skills, and affording them with the latest electronic gadgets.

The entire FU campus is now on a WIFI wave blanket. Any student with a computer anywhere in campus can access the Internet. The Elementary and High School laboratories are made conducive to being techno-savvy as they are equipped with Apple Macintosh computers on a 1:1 ratio to the students.

The teachers’ competency and character likewise get a good deal of attention from the Dream Inheritor. Dean wants higher credentials for all. He puts Dr. Aparicio Mequi in-charge in assisting the teachers diligently to acquire Master’s degrees and possibly PhD’s.

Far more important is the sharing and publication of relevant research and dissertation, as Dean instills to the teachers that credible research garners credible respect.

A CHED certificate citing FU as a “Center for Excellence in Research and IT”, the Inheritor underscores, only comes from hard work.

The CHED accreditation team which visited the University last July confirmed the great leap forward FU has made in the past years. Team members noted that FU has acquired infra- and academic facilities that some premier universities in Manila have been found wanting.

Dream Inception

To hitch the dream a notch higher, Victor Vicente as chair of the Board of Trustees is taking a bolder step. He is morphing from dream catching to dream inception — from dream catcher to dream extractor.

Like Leonardo DiCaprio in the sci-fi action movie Inception, Dean intends to implant his own ideas on the dreamer. The Grand Dad’s dream is now the Grandson’s dream, with a significant difference.
Dr. Sinco conceived his dream at a time when high tech was not yet available. The grandson is turning his dream into reality when cyberspace is transforming the world into a global village. It is the high-tech edge that Dean is working conscientiously on, to infuse into the bloodstream of the FU populace to give its graduates the incisive quality in any highly-competitive field of a shrinking world.

With an Apple iPad in his hand, Dean showed a staff member how it’s going to change everything in education. With an on-campus WIFI, FU is digitizing its entire library. The iPad will enable its student to read a digital download without going to the library. The student may even read a book download from any digital library of the world whether it be in Tokyo, Paris, London or New York.

Dean is encouraging the students and staff to keep in step with the latest advances in technology. He is also reinventing their annual exhibit Digital Dumaguete. He is treating the upcoming event as a job fair for the FU students and graduates, to give them better employment opportunities over their competitors from other schools. This time around, FU students and their work will be the stars of the show with exhibitors/employers from outside Dumaguete as the side show.

The reinvention underscores the need to get people to appreciate the talent that has been developed in Foundation University over the years.

Dream Web

Victor Vicente is a believer in the exponential power of networking. With FU having limited resources in pursuing a preferential education for the poor, he has enlisted the support and trust of philanthropists. The Board of Trustees is giving moral support.

Just recently, the Board admitted seven corporate members who have given significant contributions to the University’s academic and extension programs. They are well-established and respected in their chosen fields of profession or discipline, and lend prominence to FU’s academic standing here and abroad.

An IT Development engineer at Microsoft Corp., academicians from premiere universities in Manila and abroad, successful entrepreneurs, the president of Royal Savings Bank — to name a few — will give FU a network of well-established names.

The chairman of the Board, Dean Sinco, said the addition of the new members will greatly enhance FU’s ability to address incoming challenges and opportunities. He said he hopes to widen the partnership in days ahead.

Waiting to be tapped is a big reservoir of goodwill from FU alumni scattered all over the world. An alumni network can easily be reached via the on-campus WIFI of the University.

Dream Catcher

Dean surrounds the University with a beautiful physical plant. The Board oversees FU with trusted names in their chosen fields of profession or discipline. The teachers are happy upgrading their qualifications and competencies. The students are proud even in merely wearing the University uniform. With glee, the parents enroll their children at FU as a University of the Common Tao. A number of philanthropists are supporting the mission. All of these are consequences of the good intention and handiwork of the Dream Catcher.

Above all, Victor Vicente is happiest because of the support of his family through thick and thin.

The impulse of dreaming, however, is catching up on the Dream Catcher. Dream Extractor becomes him. He is superimposing his own dream at a time when there is a challenge to his leadership. Seeing the downgrading of the learning environment in a congested small city, Dean dreams of Foundation University atop Valencia where the greeneries still aplenty and the air afresh. The new University campus will be nestled on a 24-hectare area above sea level, and the other educational institutions in the low-lying plain.

Victor Vicente is confident the plan is doable. In an interview with Glynda Descuatan of SkyCable, Dean asked, “How do you eat an elephant?”

In answering himself, he mused, “Bite by bite.”

Dean has the track record for all FU stockholders to trust him to do it.

Given the trust and support of all FU stockholders, Victor Vicente, already a winner, can sketch, design, and construct the FU of his dream chunk-by-chunk.

That is where Dean, the Architect, is good at — turning a dream into reality.

Latest news

Road works done by August: DPWH

    Public Works & Highways District Engr. Noli Alcantara has assured that all the road rehabilitation works in the 2nd...

Kawayan Collective awarded PH’s top small biz

    Kawayan Collective Agriculture Cooperative, a social enterprise promoting the use of bamboo as an alternative to traditional construction materials,...

Celebrating the triumph of bamboo

    In a heartwarming testament to the power of sustainability and community-driven initiatives, the Kawayan Collective Agriculture Cooperative —a homegrown...

SEC taps NOCCI for financial literacy drive

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in partnership with the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI), conducted...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

PTFOMS to hold media confab

    The Presidential Task Force on Media Security, in collaboration with the office of City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, will...

1 killed amid heavy rains in north

    A 70-year-old man died while 40 families were evacuated to a safer place Monday afternoon after heavy rains triggered...

Must read

Road works done by August: DPWH

    Public Works & Highways District Engr. Noli Alcantara has...

Kawayan Collective awarded PH’s top small biz

    Kawayan Collective Agriculture Cooperative, a social enterprise promoting the...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you