Duly recognized for her many years of loyal service to the Lasallian institution as an educator, Br. Josefina Alburo, AFSC, is an affiliate of the De La Salle Brothers.
Photo from the Green & White Yearbook (1963)
Today being World Teachers’ Day, The LaSallian finds it fitting to honor one of the most loyal partners of DLSU in education and continued service.
Still going strong at close to 90 years, Br. Josefina Alburo AFSC sat straightly and with serene dignity at Balik Berde, the June reunion of De La Salle College (DLSC) grade school and high school faculty and staff. Br. Alburo, fondly called Feny by her friends, is the oldest remaining faculty member of DLSC’s roster.
According to the Office of Strategic Communications (STRATCOM), affiliation in the institute is “the highest and most rare honor bestowed by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The letters conferred entitles the recipient to a participation in the Institute, which is more than honorary. An affiliated member is incorporated intimately into the Society of the Brothers, his or her name is inscribed in the archives at Casa Generalize, the Mother House of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Rome, and he or she shares with the Brothers in all the prayers and good works as well as in the general spiritual treasury of the Institute.”
She gestured towards the event hosts, Br. Bernie Oca FSC, and Ayi Magpayo of STRATCOM, and says, “Those two. They were my former students.”
While it may be far from the imagination of many Lasallians today, the Lasallites of DLSC vividly recall Alburo as principal and coordinator of the English department, passionately coaching students in their declamations.
Alburo did not mean to be an educator. Following the Second World War, she clarifies that she had been part of a special civilian unit of the US Army’s reconstruction efforts. “[Once], we met Br. Francis Cody. Francis Cody was the principal then. The teacher I was with was an A-1 teacher, and she said, ‘You look like a teacher. You want to come and teach here?’”
Of course, the would-be principal of DLSC declined, given that she had been stationed at V. Mapa, and then Padre Faura, which was her base as part of the Recovered Personnel Division of the US Army. On June 1952, Br. Cody once again called Alburo, saying, “Come to La Salle.”
Alburo told her immediate boss that Br. Cody offered her a teaching job; her boss told her to take it, but to report in at Padre Faura. “The classes were only from 8 to 12 noon,” recalls Alburo. “So every afternoon, I would go back to Padre Faura. That’s how [it was], how I got here.”