Silang’s Sisters of Mary

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There are many roads leading to picturesque Tagaytay City. One of the original routes is through Silang, Cavite. Silang, officially the Municipality of Silang, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. Silang is located in the eastern section of Cavite

Silang is a town of great potential from its vast land area suitable to agriculture and real estate to high-end leisure development and private farming enclaves, the town’s vast resources, reliable road networks and transporation make Silang a viable choice.

Offering its residents a genteel lifestyle away from the desities of the metro, Silang has a special charm with its lush greeneries and crisp cool air. Apart from quaint restaurants and various organic farms, the town has many local treasures. From its 420 year old baroque church which was recently declared as National Cultural Treasure, the soon to be developed Eco-tourism sites, to the various comprehensive development programs, they are paving the way for a brighter and a more robust municipality. 

Silang Mayor Hon. Corie Poblete shared with me the other attractions like the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette and the Sisters of Mary Girlstown and Boystown.

The Sisters of Mary officially started its operation in the Philippines in 1985. The Sisters worked primarily to establish Boystowns and Girlstowns to serve as schools and homes for deserving students from poorest of the poor families. They take care of the indigent youth entrusted to them by giving them free food, clothing, shelter, medical and dental services, and secondary education.

Congregation was founded by Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz, an American diocesan priest now known as Venerable Aloysius Schwartz, in 1964 in Busan, South Korea to provide free educational and vocational welfare for the underprivileged children/youth, medical care to the sick and the dying, and shelter service to the homeless and helpless.

In 1983, Fr. Al, as he is fondly called by many, was a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, an award given in recognition for his exemplary works of alleviating the plight of the orphans, abandoned and the vagrants of Korea. During the ceremony, he met Jaime Cardinal Sin, the then Archbishop of Manila, who invited him to set up his Religious Community and charity programs in the Philippines.

In 1985, seeing the urgent need of the poor and with total confidence in God’s providence, Fr. Al founded the Sisters of Mary at Sta. Mesa, Manila, thus expanding his charity programs in the Philippines. Construction of buildings and rounding up of children from the slum and very poor areas were done and in a few months, they launched the work.

The Sisters of Mary Girlstown has 3 seven-story buildings with dormitories and classrooms that total 72 classrooms. There is a courted gymnasium with three basketball courts and stage as well as 29 outdoor basketball courts. To fully serve over four thousand students, there are facilities like a three-story workshop for vocational training, 2 high-speed sewing workshops and culinary arts workshop. For their sports needs, they have a semi-Olympic size outdoor swimming pool and a 400-meter running track with soccer field. Generously donated by Alex and Marixi Prieto, there is the Louie Prieto Auditorium – named after my late brother who passed away over 25 years ago. Other utilities include a cistern for clean water, a three-storey builidng to accommodate a workshop and auditorium, a graduates’ dormitory and asewage treatment plant.

A visit to the Sisters of Mary is truly an experience. A few meters away is Our Lady of La Salette. Celebrating its 50th annivesary in the Philippines, the National Shrine has numerous visitors inside its complex that has also a seminary and retreat house.

Silang, Cavite has truly many things to offer. There is also a Wilcon Depot branch in Silang as well as most fast food chains and groceries. Life is booming in Silang!

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