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2 DLSL Grads Highly Placed in the Current Philippine Government

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Br. Armin Altamirano Luistro became the second Christian Brother after Andrew Gonzales FSC to be appointed to the post of Secretary of the Department of Education. He was designated to the post by President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.

I have known Br. Armin for most of my life because he is the younger brother of my classmate Sebastian, who is currently based in Rome as the Vicar General of the Order of the Blessed Sacrament.

His siblings Ma. Assumpta and Antonio were also classmates of my sister Rowena and brother Ronaldo.

Br. Armin is two years my junior and graduated from DLSL in 1977. I also used to see him every once in a while when he went to college at DLSU-Manila, where he went to pursue a Liberal Arts degree in Philosophy and Letters.

He entered the De La Salle Scholasticate to become a Christian Brother in 1979 and received the religious habit in October 1981. A year later, he made his first vows to officially become a Christian Brother.

It was, perhaps, fitting that Br. Armin’s first teaching assignment would be where else but DLSL, his own alma mater. He stayed from 1983-1986 and taught Religion to the lower years of high school.

As a religious educator, Br. Armin’s credentials are outstanding by any standards. From being a simple classroom teacher to head of the novitiate, he became Brother Visitor of the Philippine Province of the Christian Brothers in 1997. He held the position until 2003.

Later, he would become President of the De La Salle University System, a network of eight institutions. All the while, he was also something of a political activist, often being seen on national television involved in campaigns against corruption in government.

As Secretary of Education, his most important legacy will likely be the expansion of the Philippine educational system into what is known as the K-12 program. With the new program, it is hoped that graduates of basic education in the country will not only be more competitive internationally but also better prepared for careers.

Having seen Br. Armin in different capacities and despite his successes in each, I still say that his best work was done inside the classroom. As is the case elsewhere, regrettably the best teachers almost invariably find themselves climbing up the administrative ladder.

As a teacher at DLSL, Br. Armin was something of a Pied Piper, but in a good way. Whether in school or up in the city, it was not uncommon to see him accompanied by young people, who simply adored him.

He just enjoyed a natural charisma which made young people seek out his company. Having him as a Home Room Adviser – or even just as Religion teacher – already brought bragging rights.

Those who were fortunate enough to have had him as teacher – and I know a few because some of them would become my own students – would vouch that he touched their lives profoundly and changed them for the better.

Resource: Wikipedia.

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