Remembering Dean Fronda with Gratitude and Praise
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 16:09

Dean Macario Gagaza Fronda was born in Agoo, La Union, in 1921. He had his elementary and High School education in his hometown, and continued his studies at the National University in Manila in 1940, at the beginning of World War II. In spite of the trouble brought by the war, and of financial constraints that forced him to work as a student, he obtained his elementary teaching certificate and joined SLU in 1947. He taught without interruption in the School of Teacher Education, obtaining in the meantime also the Certificate in Physical Education at the National College of Physical Education in Manila. He became particularly famous as founder and conductor of the SLU band,  that counted at some point up to 150 members, and was awarded for its 50th anniversary in 2003. His composition skills were expressed through the creation of the SLU hymn and, later in the nineties, of the Baguio Panagbenga-hymn. Being married and father of eight children, he retired in 1987 as Dean of Student Affairs, at the age of 65. He would continue a part-time job as music teacher until 1997, and remained the band master for several more years. A substantial number of boarding students, many of them band members, found accommodation in his house during the years they passed at SLU. Called “daddy” by many of them, he was loved rather than feared, even as he was known for being “strict” as Dean of Student Affairs. He was a person who could get the maximum out of whatever life had to offer, in his family, with colleagues and students at the university, and as a musician.  Receiver of numerous educational and civic awards, dean Fronda will forever be remembered as one of the icons that have given SLU history a particular face, color and content. May the Lord in Whom he believed let him share forever in the celestial harmony.