President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message during the Inauguration of Henry Sy, Sr. Hall and Unveiling of the Cory Aquino Democratic Space Marker at the De La Salle University (DLSU) in Taft Avenue, Manila City on Wednesday (February 13, 2013). DLSU dedicates the Democratic Space to keep President Corazon C. Aquino’s legacy alive in the hearts of Lasallians and fellow Filipinos. The Henry Sy, Sr. Hall is a 14-storey modern and eco-friendly building which will house various academic service units, study areas, learning spaces, and select offices. It will also be the first academic structure that will be rated by BERDE (Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence). (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 14 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III officially opened the Cory Aquino Democratic Space (CADS), a sprawling park dedicated in honor of the President’s mother and democratic icon, in ceremonies held at the De La Salle University (DLSU) main campus in Manila on Wednesday.

The President, who was accompanied by DLSU president and chancellor Ricardo Laguda, FSC; Education Secretary Armin Luistro and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. president Hans Sy, unveiled the marker of CADS which is located at the front portion of the university campus.

In his speech, the President said the CADS will serve to remind the community the importance of “discourse and consensus-building” and provide the students and faculty of La Salle, a venue to practice their right to stand up for what is right.

“Today, we are likewise inaugurating the Cory Aquino Democratic Space. My mother, during her life, seldom took pleasure from praise—but this patch of green, and the ideals it stands for, would have made her proud,” the President said.

“As my mother’s memory always reminds me, so too will this space remind your community of the importance of discourse and consensus-building. More importantly, it provides a venue in which La Sallians can continue to practice their right to stand up for what they believe to be right,” he added.

“This democratic space embodies the righteousness and the bravery of those who have come before, and it will continue to become a source of courage for all your students, your teachers, your administrators, your donors, and anyone who sets foot in it,” the President said.

The President also cited the newly constructed Henry Sy, Sr. Hall located at the rear of CADS, saying it showed that our “educational institutions are continuing to improve their facilities” to serve the students better.

“The Henry Sy, Sr. Hall will undoubtedly add to La Salle’s capacities to equip students with the knowledge they need to etch their own marks in our country’s history,” the President said.

A major project of DLSU during its centennial year in 2011, the new building’s main feature is the Learning Commons: a central hub that will house one million books, electronic databases, and special collections.

More than a repository of books and reference materials, the Learning Commons is a place of transformative learning and collaborative, multi-disciplinary research.

Named in honor of the Philippine retail magnate, the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall is a 14-storey modern and eco-friendly building which houses various academic service units, study areas, learning spaces and select offices.

In ending, the President called on the students of La Salle to continue the academic excellence achieved by their fellow La Sallians who came before them in order help build the country.

“As President, I am counting on you to continue the good work in the coming decades. This is not just about finding your personal success, but also about contributing to your community and to your country. In the same way that the former students, the teachers, the administrators, and the donors whose names decorate the history of La Salle have given part of their life to the community. You have an obligation to fulfill your potential and continue the great Lasallian tradition of helping build this country,” the President said.

“You have the natural talent—a combination of intellect, creativity, and compassion—and your school is doing everything it can to nurture that talent. And it is my hope that you can grow to surpass even those who have come before you,” he added. (MNS)