Progressive Approach: The Joy of Learning (Interview with Gillian Joyce Virata)

 

To welcome SY2017–SY2018 and introduce the educational approaches and strategies RCI adopts, we are posting this article which came out in the official publication of FEU—Tambuli, Vol 16, Issue No.1, 2016. This is part of the feature article titled, “Expansive Leadership: FEU more Formidable with Acquisition of Roosevelt College.”

 

Gillian Virata grew up in a school described as constructivist or progressive. “I grew up in JASMS (Jose Abad Santos Memorial School) which was founded by my grandmother, Doreen Barber Gamboa. She was a deep believer, advocate, and pioneer here in the Philippines for progressive education,” recalls Virata. This is the reason why Virata says she enjoyed school and continues to enjoy learning new things.

As the Vice President for Academic Affairs for RCI, Virata is working on the educational approaches and strategies used by the school’s faculty and introducing different ways of teaching or facilitating learning. At the core of this effort is the creation of a curriculum map that will organize learning under relevant and content-rich units or themes. Developing this map (or maps) is one of the initiatives of FEU President, Dr. Michael Alba.

“Curriculum mapping is a process through which teachers and academic managers review in detail the content and competencies that students are expected to learn at each stage of their schooling. The educators try to figure out the best possible sequence, depth, and duration that may be needed to ensure that all students acquire sufficient understanding of concepts introduced during the school year and learn how to apply this learning in real-world situations,“ she said.

“In parallel to developing the map, teachers also need to be updated on current teaching strategies, references, materials, and technology so that, once the initial map is developed, they can efficiently and effectively facilitate the learning process in a nurturing environment. For example, we will encourage teachers to use more student-led discussions and activities not just for extracurricular activities but also within the more formal classroom setting.” These strategies, that have been proven to work, give teachers more options or alternative approaches for enriching students’ learning experiences.

 

Joy of learning

“The joy you see in a child’s eyes when she or he figures something out; or is able to do something for himself or herself and make something work; or understands an idea or finishes a book or is able to perform or speak up in class—these are the things that light up our young people and help them in the process of learning. I think that is what all teachers and schools should strive to achieve,” emphasized Virata, who realized she was lucky for experiencing that joy in learning in her early years of schooling.

She admitted that RCI is still working out the details for an operational model proposed by Dr. Alba on how it can make affordable, high-quality education sustainable for large numbers of students. This is another part of the Roosevelt and FEU challenge which she intends to face head on with much optimism. “Dr. Alba said that if we can make it work (and we need to make it work in Roosevelt) then, it’s something that we can share with the whole country.”

Her mission to deliver high-quality education and reach more people is the main driving force that according to her would fuel her leadership in the next five years.

 

Lifelong readers

One of the key projects that Virata currently focuses on is the RCI Reading Program. She believes in instilling the love of reading among students—a practice and habit that she knows would sustain lifelong learning. Research studies reveal that good reading habits lead to greater fulfillment, success, and leadership abilities.

Today, learning at RCI is more student-centered already in the sense that in formal instruction, students are asked to use more of their imagination and to express their ideas and feelings about topics. The school has hired a specialist, Adalia Soriano, who has been visiting RCI classrooms, working one-on-one with the teachers, and conducting workshops.

VPAA Virata asks RCI pupils to share about their favorite book characters during the launching of RCI Reading Program in 2016VPAA Virata                 VPAA Virata asks RCI pupils to share about their favorite book characters during the launching of RCI Reading Program in 2016

 

“There is really a need to introduce different types of activities and we’re focusing right now on reading. For example, all the elementary classrooms in Roosevelt have just set-up their in-classroom libraries or reading corners. When a child finishes a book, he or she can put a sticker in a big tarpaulin that’s in the middle of the school to show everyone what he or she has been reading. There’s also a log in the reading corner where they record the number of students who read and each student keeps a journal where they write about their reading experience.”

Virata feels that this is a good time to be in Roosevelt College when asked how she envisions RCI five years from now. “At the pace that we are going, in five years’ time, we will have upgraded the facilities and we would have introduced technology including high-speed Internet access for teachers and students. We will also be implementing a very dynamic and well-thought-out curriculum that we hope would be more relevant or meaningful to students so that they also experience this joy of learning.”

And while she remains confident with the directions that RCI is taking to become a preferred school in its areas of operation, she is realistic about the time frame. It might take a little more than five years to hit our enrollment targets for all levels including tertiary, but it’s very exciting, I feel it’s also pioneering. We have a very worthy goal to keep us going despite all the little things and some of the big issues that we have to deal with.”

This same attitude of positivity is what drives her to continue her passion for school and learning—something that she feels she ought to share with others: “There are ways of teaching and learning that can be joyful and this is something that will help you in many other aspects of life. It is my wish that all children are given the opportunity to preserve their innate joy of learning.”

 

RCI teachers adopt paradigm shift in curricular direction

By: Adalia Soriano, Workshop Designer and Facilitator and Consultant for RCI Reading Program

It was a well spent 15-day summer workshop with mentally challenging, socially invigorating, and professionally gratifying activities.

On May 15–June 2, 2017, some 70 elementary school teachers from the five campuses of Roosevelt College, Inc., (RCI)—Cainta, Cubao, Marikina, Rodriguez, and San Mateo—found themselves on unfamiliar ground. They were immersed in activities directed at adopting curricular programs that aimed to develop literate and critically thinking individuals who are globally competitive and environmentally sensitive.

Workshop facilitator Dali Soriano explains the objectives of the activity

Workshop facilitator Dali Soriano explains the objectives of the activity

The shift eliminated the traditional dependence on textbooks. There are no more textbooks in major subjects like English and Filipino and in specialized areas as Music,  Arts and Physical Education, Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao and Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan. Araling Panlipunan, Math, and Science are hooked up to the e-learning package provided by digital companies such as DIWA, Phoenix, and TechFactors.

During the workshop, teachers prepared their respective curriculum guides for the school year (SY)2017–SY2018 as they grouped themselves into subject areas and worked on their unit plans and lesson plans for the year. To prepare for this task, they had to develop a basic framework of program- and subject-learning objectives that  emanated from the institutional objectives. Outputs were completed but these are documents in progress.

The summer workshop was indeed mentally challenging. Teachers needed to leave their comfort zones of traditional paper-pencil activities and lecture-type strategies to take a leap into the unfamiliar not only with collaborative strategies, use of manipulatives, and writing–learning logs but also with constructing higher-order thinking questions, specific objectives, and assessments using holistic rubrics. All this was a struggle in the beginning but with patience and persistence and enough guidance, teachers were happy that they hurdled this challenge with sighs of relief and a sense of satisfaction.

 

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The one big positive effect of the workshop is the collaborative effort among teachers of the different campuses. They were delighted that they were able to get to know their colleagues and shared ideas with them to complete their tasks. The camaraderie and support for one another was evident such that if one member of the group had a problem with her work, everyone else in the group came to the rescue. This workshop brought the teachers of the different campuses together to know each other better as well.

On the last days of the workshop, as the teachers looked back and saw what they had accomplished, they were amazed at what they could do. These accomplishments they said, could help them become better teachers, confident that they could do more than what they had done before. They expressed their gratitude for making them part of all that transpired this summer.

All this is an affirmation of the need for teachers’ continuing education in an ever-changing school environment. This also shows that when teachers are pushed to their limits they surprise themselves with their latent capabilities. This summer workshop did just that.

Shown below are photos of the RCI workshop team with the participants.

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RCI conducts strategic planning workshop

On May 12, 2017, the Academics Team of Roosevelt College, Inc. (RCI), led by RCI vice president (VP) for academic affairs Gillian Joyce Virata with the campus heads, principals, and academic supervisors gathered for an initial strategic planning workshop. FEU VP for human resource Renato Serapio facilitated the activity.

The one-day workshop enabled participants to review and affirm the newly proposed vision-mission statements and do an
environmental scan using the institutional development framework or the tri-pod model (See figure below) through an analysis of institutional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) externally and internally.  

Tri-Pod Model (1)-page-001Prior to identifying the key result areas (KRAs), participants shared their insights on stakeholder expectations from RCI. The group then came up with consolidated KRAs based on desired goals.

“The group was able to do a good self assessment,” remarked VP Serapio after the presentation and discussion of the SWOT analysis.                      

RCI Marikina campus head Teresa Angeles described the planning as “very engaging” and added that, “It gave us one day to look at RCI from all vantage points, reassess procedures and work flow, and start strategizing for a better RCI starting SY2017–SY2018.

At the start of the workshop, VP Virata urged everyone to look inward as an institution and ask, “Do we have what it takes to realize RCI’s vision and mission?” She reiterated the value of working together with real respect to make RCI a better place for everyone in the institution.

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FEU VP  for human resource Renato Serapio gives the overview of the planning workshop.

                   Workshop participants discussed, agreed, and worked on the strategic planning requirements.

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RCI non-teaching personnel trained in customer service excellence

To stay competitive and remain attuned to the latest developments in the workplace, 30 non-teaching personnel of Roosevelt College, Inc. (RCI), underwent a Customer Service Excellence Workshop conducted by FIAT International Training and Development. Eyra Lourdes Umali and Paul Elson Umali facilitated the workshop. The activity was another affirmation of the new management’s support for employees to have meaningful careers in RCI.

FIAT facilitators Paul Elson Umali and Eyra Lourdes Umali explain the objectives of the workshop.

FIAT facilitators Paul Elson Umali and Eyra Lourdes Umali explain the objectives of the workshop.

The institution’s non-teaching staff serve as front liners and backroom support for various transactions and they need to develop strong customer-service orientation and allied skills. The workshop was a venue to identify and address customer requirements; to recognize what excellent customer service is vis-a-vis the RCI vision, mission, and values; and to arrive at a shared understanding of best practices in customer service.

A working dictum in today’s business environment—”One can never go wrong if you start and end with the customer”—guided the workshop framework. Participants were shown how operationalizing this dictum requires everyone in a workplace to, first and foremost, take into consideration the effect of their actions on internal and external customers.

The framework for customer-service excellence highlights four important steps in winning over customers: transmit a positive attitude, identify customer needs, provide for the needs of customers, and make sure customers return (and they do when they are satisfied with the services provided them).

A discussion on change and transition management also gave participants a better understanding of the recent developments in RCI and suggested ways to adapt to these changes. Everyone agreed on the need to let go of ways of working that didn’t work in the past and take on and be receptive to new ways of learning and working.

Participants were highly appreciative of this professional development activity. They reported coming to many realizations on how to deal with school customers and the importance of knowing the target market to avoid making wrong assumptions about customers. They also recognized the significance of having a pleasing personality, patience, and focus.

“I also appreciate the value of teamwork in performing our duties,” said Rina Zamora, an accounting staff. Nina delas Armas, administration manager, added that “we should not let fear get in the way of building our skills and competence.” Marianne Tesoro of RCI Rodriguez mentioned that while learning from the different activities and exercises, they also had fun singing, dancing, and acting during the workshop.

Vice president for academic affairs Gillian Joyce Virata, in her message to the participants, pointed out the great amount of change that everyone has had to cope with in the past year. “There is much more change to come,” she added. “The RCI board of trustees set very high goals for our institution to reach and we can only do this if we work well together and help each other.” This is why, VP Virata stressed, that excellent customer service for internal customers is just as important as service for external customers.

The activity took place on April 19, 2017, at the RCI Cainta Audio-Visual Room. It employed a mix of training methodologies such as interactive lecturettes and role playing for application of learning.

RCI VP for academic affairs Gillian Joyce Virata stresses the need for teamwork in providing excellent customer service.

RCI VP for academic affairs Gillian Joyce Virata stresses the need for teamwork in providing excellent customer service.

 

Group members take turns in sharing their output to the body.

Group members take turns in sharing their output to the body.

 

Participants huddle in preparation for a fun workshop activity.

Participants huddle in preparation for a fun workshop activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Find your ‘true north,’” RCI President Michael Alba tells first batch of graduates under RCI new management

The Class of 2017, the first tertiary class to graduate under the new management of Roosevelt College, Inc., (RCI), donned their academic gowns and were bestowed their academic degrees on March 31, 2017, at Teatro Marikina in Marikina City, Metro Manila. A total of 109 graduates from the Tertiary Education Division (TED) and Graduate School (GS) marched on stage to have their tassels shifted and diplomas handed them. The graduation ceremony had the theme, Espousing Academic Excellence for Social Transformation.

RCI central administration officers and unit officials were witnesses to this momentous event. In his commencement address, RCI president Michael Alba delivered the last lessons or bilins to the graduates. Among others, he gave them a list of things that can help them find their “true north.”

  1. (From the book Higher Education in America by Derek Bok, ex-president of Harvard University) Develop critical thinking skills and commit to be a life-long learner, be morally sensitive and upright, and be an active and engaged citizen in the community. Graduates should seek to develop these skills, traits, and values to succeed in the world of work and to flourish in life. “To be a good person and citizen, you need a moral backbone and civic spirit,” he summed up.
  1. (From the book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, teachers of the most popular elective course at Stanford University) Design life as the most important project—be constantly aware that doing so is a process, be persistently curious to see things from different perspectives, and ask for help through collaboration.
  1. Never give up!
  1. This came from an Hasidic tale Dr. Alba heard from Rev. Fr. Mariano Agruda III, OCD, which points towards a correct disposition to the Almighty. It goes…

Late one evening, a poor farmer, on his way back from the market, found himself without his prayer book. The wheel of his cart had come off right in the middle of the woods and it distressed him that this day should pass without his having said his prayers.

So, he uttered this prayer: “I have done something very foolish, Lord. I came away from home this morning without my prayer book, and my memory is such that I cannot recite a single prayer without it. So this is what I am going to do: I shall recite the alphabet five times very slowly, and You, to whom all prayers are known, can put the letters together to form the prayers I cannot remember.”

And the Lord God said to His angels: “Of all the prayers I have heard today, this one was undoubtedly the best because it came from a heart simple and sincere.

In her yearbook message to the class, RCI vice president for academic affairs Gillian Joyce Virata lauded the graduates for having completed all the requirements for their respective degrees amid significant changes in school, the country, and the world. She exhorted them to create their own vision of a better world for all as the world needs people who can and will keep it on a path of peace, collaboration, and growth.

TED and GS Dean Aldrin Darilag, meanwhile, challenged the graduates to continue dreaming for a brighter future, continue toiling for a fruitful vineyard so that there will be more opportunities and special places that will come their way.

On behalf of the graduates, Prince Joser Cruz, acknowledged and thanked the people who helped and guided them in their academic journey leading them to march with pride, honor, and dignity. Cruz was awarded the highest honors in the graduate school.

RCI TED and GS graduation at Teatro Marikina, Marikina City, Metro Manila

RCI TED and GS graduation at Teatro Marikina, Marikina City, Metro Manila

 

RCI Board of Trustees and officials (L-R): TED and Graduate School Dean Aldrin Darilag, Board of Trustees (BOT) member Edilberto de Jesus, BOT member and President Michael Alba, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gillian Joyce Virata

RCI Board of Trustees and officials
(L-R): TED and Graduate School Dean Aldrin Darilag, Board of Trustees (BOT) member Edilberto de Jesus, BOT member and President Michael Alba, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gillian Joyce Virata

 

Prince Joser Cruz, graduate school student with the highest honors, delivers his Address of Gratitude

Prince Joser Cruz, a graduate of MA in Education with specialization in English Studies and Instruction with the highest honors, delivers his Address of Gratitude

RCI joins FEU group of schools for BE curriculum mapping project launch

Roosevelt College, Inc. (RCI), together with the other FEU group of schools, convened for the first time for the launching of FEU’s Basic Education (BE) Curriculum Mapping project on April 4, 2017, at the University Conference Center. RCI campus heads, principals, and academic supervisors with vice president for academic affairs Gillian Joyce Virata and RCI faculty development consultant Adalia Soriano were in attendance.

In his opening remarks, FEU president Michael Alba said the event was more of a relaunching because the project has been implemented for one year in FEU Cavite and Diliman. But this time, the administration would like to do the reform more comprehensively as well as align faculty incentives with performance. Pres. Alba also presented the challenges being faced by FEU and pointed out that curriculum mapping is an avenue to get to the right direction—engaging happy students who love learning, have a good sense of the world, have developed Multiple Intelligences, and are well rounded; having teachers who have mastery over their subjects, who care about students in their charge, who help students to flourish, and who are also financially stable; and having a vibrant and nurturing school environment where each one cooperates toward reaching the common goal and each one becomes the best version of themselves.  Curriculum mapping is about fostering a culture of empowerment.

For his part, FEU chief finance officer (CFO) Juan Miguel Montinola gave an overview of the administration’s plans for the FEU group of schools. He emphasized academic excellence as the only metric of success and curriculum mapping is one of the means to achieve this. CFO Montinola urged the schools to keep on improving to fulfill the delivery of good-quality education.

Vice president for human resource Renato Serapio talked about the Faculty Incentive Program outlining required competencies, individual key performance indicators (KPI), and the program’s parameters. All these are aimed at looking at one’s strengths and addressing areas for improvement geared toward having good and meaningful careers at FEU.

FEU consultant and resource person Nicole Concepcion-Inocencio discussed the curriculum mapping KPI and timeline and held workshops on the FEU core values and graduate attributes, and learning circles about teaching practices.

The event was capped by a reflection and commitment activity where each participant reflected on their role based on the core values discussed.  

RCI @FEU curriculum mapping

RCI group, composed of campus heads, principals, and academic supervisors, led by VP for Academic Affairs Gillian Joyce Virata (center) (L-R): Jason Carlos, Penelope Mercado, Teresa Angeles, Rosarita Dalisay, RCI faculty development consultant Adalia Soriano, FEU consultant and workshop resource person Nicole Concepcion-Inocencio, VP Virata, Carmencita Alcantara, Laura Moya, Merlina Domingo, Norita Lachenal, Leonila Santos, and Roberto Cruz

RCI celebrates 84 years of academic excellence

Roosevelt College, Inc. (RCI), is a respected pioneer in tertiary and basic education in eastern Metro Manila and the Province of Rizal. Now a proud member of the FEU group of schools, this 84-year–old institution remains committed to the provision of high-quality education to Roosevelt students.

This year, RCI celebrated its 84th founding anniversary.  The week-long celebration in the last week of January brought together RCI’s elementary, secondary, and tertiary education departments (EED, SED, and TED, respectively) in the opening ceremonies. From January 26–30, 2017, various activities were held to commemorate the occasion.

The opening ceremonies started with the parade of students from RCI’s three departments who cheered, roared, and danced as they imbibed the festivities. RCI EED principal Jason Carlos officially opened the event with a warm welcome to the students and parents. RCI SED principal and Cainta campus head Penelope Mercado, reading the speech of VP for Academic Affairs Gillian Joyce Virata, recalled the history of the institution and mentioned some of the changes that the near future holds in store for RCI. These included high-speed Web connectivity, upgrading of facilities and equipment, experts to work with teachers in finding the best ways and the best lessons to teach so that learning will be faster, more interesting, and also more fun for all Rooseveltians.

EED students performed a mass field demonstration presenting the different Philippine festivals. SED gave their winning dance performances and TED did a musical exhibition through a live band which made all students shout for joy.

The foundation day was also highlighted by the Search for Little Mr. and Ms. RCI Cainta for EED and Mr. and Ms. RCI Cainta for SED and TED pageant night. Kenneth Gerald N. Holgado, from Grade 11-HUMSS,  and Chinnie Deguidoy from TED were hailed as the new Mr. and Ms. RCI Cainta 2017. Lindsay Sean Osorio and Lindsay Sumperos were crowned as the new little Mr. and Ms. RCI Cainta 2017.

There was also Spotlight 2017, a musical presentation organized by the Actor’s Guild led by the club president Marie Carlen Tanio and directed by club adviser John Cristopher Ubaldo and SED teacher Erika Comendador. Spotlight captures the life of a Rooseveltian in school. The video presentations were prepared by Vernon Portugal, Grade 11– HUMSS and Keren Taylar, Grade 10– Rizal. The story behind each segment was very inspirational and something that all students were able to relate to. Music genres of pop, rock, and ballads were used in the performances packed with impressive choreography. SED faculty and staff, led by guidance counselor Carlota Casalme, also prepared a surprise performance. The program was a success with positive feedback given to the performers.

On January 30, a system-wide thanksgiving mass and awards ceremony were held with the presence of the Board of Trustees led by Chair Aurelio R. Montinola III and Central Office administration officers headed by  President Michael M. Alba, officials and guests from the Far Eastern University, and RCI campuses’ school heads, faculty, and staff. Fr. Vonn Rudolph Villacarlos, an alumnus of RCI Cainta, officiated the mass. At the ensuing awarding ceremonies, employees with 10, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years of service were given recognition for their dedication and loyalty to the institution.

On behalf of the awardees, Fernando P. Jorge, a 35-year service awardee from RCI Cainta, gave a response for the recognition received. He reminisced his early days in RCI and said he was privileged to have witnessed the many turn of events in the institution. He expressed his gratitude to the former chair of the board of trustees and president who was present that night, Romeo P. dela Paz, for the sacrifices he did for Roosevelt College and its community for the past years. As to the challenge that the changes in RCI offers, he said to embrace and see it as an opportunity for growth.

Chair Montinola III and President Alba, in their speeches, presented to the RCI community the things to look forward to in the next school year and beyond as the new management takes major steps in implementing changes for a resurgent institution.

 

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L-R: FEU VP for Corporate Affairs Gianna Montinola, RCI VP for Finance Rosanna Salcedo, RCI CFO Juan Miguel Montinola, RCI President Michael Alba, former Roosevelt College Chair of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and President Romeo dela Paz, RCI HR Officer Frances Nina delas Armas, RCI BOT Chair Aurelio Montinola III, and RCI VP for Academic Affairs Gillian Joyce Virata

 

 

 

RCI attends PACU seminar on critical and creative thinking

The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) held a seminar on critical and creative thinking on March 2–3, 2017, at the Blessed Buenaventura G. Paredes OP Building in the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.  The seminar provided a venue for the academe to recognize and strengthen the value of using critical thinking in the classroom and beyond. Topics covered were the infusion of critical thinking into content areas, multiple intelligences and learning styles, application of critical thinking in the IB schools, to name a few.

Resource speakers, mostly academicians, presented valuable ideas and concepts on critical thinking. It was stressed that teaching becomes successful only when students transfer critical-thinking processes into real-life situations or daily encounters with reality. In the classroom, equal emphasis should be given to both content or mastery of the subject matter and the thinking process.

Another speaker highlighted the need for teachers and educators to feel joy in what they are doing so that learning for students becomes an enjoyable experience. In the process, being joyful releases one’s passion—one cannot teach something one doesn’t enjoy. Moreover, on top of content, teachers need to teach kindness, fairness, and resiliency.

The need to work in teams was likewise underscored. Collaborative and cooperative learning are favored to expose the learner to alternative viewpoints. Knowledge should not be kept in silos; this is not acceptable in the realm of critical and creative thinking.

On curriculum design, while there have been endeavors to make a holistic curriculum to ensure that learners learn, it is still stifled during the implementation or delivery process. “Curriculum is more than a textbook, more than a classroom, and more than teachers and students. It is all of the social influences, populist crises, military campaigns, and historical moments that shape our lives—when we are in school and in our lives beyond the classroom.” (Cary 2006) This calls for a real educational leader who “must look at the curriculum whole and raise insistent questions of priority and relationship.” (Cremin 1965)

RCI’s Aldrin Darilag, Dean of the Tertiary Education Division and Graduate School, and Rosarita Dalisay from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs represented RCI in the seminar.

 

References:

Cary, Lisa. Curriculum Spaces: Discourse, Postmodern Theory and Educational Research. New York: Peter Lang, 2006

Cremin, Lawrence. The Genius of American Education. New York: Vintage Books, 1965

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Critical and creative thinking seminar participants with PACU officers and staff. RCI delegates were Dean Aldrin Darilag (last row, extreme right) and Rosarita Dalisay (third row, extreme right).                 

 

RCI Rodriguez hosts SWA Discovery workshop

By Karl Lyel B. Lim and John Carlo I. San Pascual

 

On February 24–26, 2017, the Roosevelt College Rodriguez Scout Movement, composed of the Senior Scout Outfit 289 and Rover Scout Circle 01, participated in the Scouts of the World Award (SWA) Discovery workshop held in the Roosevelt College Rodriguez campus. A total of 66 scouts (39 Senior scouts and 27 Rover scouts) successfully completed the workshop. The SWA is a recognition given to scouts who epitomize exemplary performance in the field of volunteerism to attain betterment of the world.

The workshop was facilitated by Sctr. Bernando G. de Leon, deputy national program commissioner for community-based scouting of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), together with his team—Sctr. Dexter C. Villa, from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Sctr. Carmelo B. Francia, country coordinator for Messengers of Peace and BSP National Office program research development officer; Sctr. Roy Christian A. Inciong, from Globe Telecom, Inc.; and Sct. Allizandra Janina F. Gulapa and Sct. Carl Jeff Andrew F. Angeles, both from Brighton Venturers 1012 of Manila Council-BSP.

The workshop consisted of modules on peace, development, and environment.

Sctr. Francia talked about peace. He said that peace can only be achieved if two or more people, who already have peace in themselves, will work together to diffuse it to the world.

The development module was discussed by Sct. Angeles, an SWA awardee. He presented the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which primarily aim to eradicate poverty, to safeguard the planet, and to guarantee impartiality and success to all.

Sctr. Villa talked about the environment. He highlighted the urgent need to stop climate change for it was destroying the environment. He encouraged the youth to  advocate the preservation of the planet through proper waste segregation and waste disposal.

In preparation for their community service, the scouts also conducted a field visit to Sitio Wawa, one of the remote places in the Municipality of Rodriguez. They inspected the area and interviewed several residents to hear their views on important concerns that needed to be addressed.

Sctr. Inciong facilitated the development of action plans and tested the scouts’ decision-making skills through an interactive activity.

Ultimately, the scouts were awarded their SWA Passports which marked the start of their journey to help bring about world peace and development and to save the environment.

RCI Rodriguez campus head Carmencita Alcantara served as the workshop consultant. MAPEH teacher  Lim was the workshop coordinator and Sctr. de Leon was the workshop director and head facilitator.

 

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The Senior Scout Outfit 289 and Rover Scout Circle 01 of the Roosevelt College Rodriguez Scout Movement

RCI hosts Blood Drum Spirit for PHL International Jazz Fest

February is National Arts Month and on February 22, 2017, RCI Cainta students and teachers from all levels and both high schools were joined by their counterparts from RCI San Mateo for a special celebration with the Blood Drum Spirit at the RCI Cainta gymnasium. Students from RCI Cainta performed the front act. They were Kenobi Ricarte,  pianist; Kenth Francisco, drummer; Eunice Catabona and John Fabro, singers; Ryu Adrinao, guitarist (from Grade 11-STEM); Carlo Janer, bassist (Grade 11-HUMSS); and Tyra Caro, drummer (Grade 8).

The Blood Drum Spirit is an ensemble composed of drummer, pianist, and tap dancer Royal Hartigan, bassist Wes brown, saxophonist David Bindman, and pianist Art Hirahara. Percussionist Toni Bernardo was part of the group that performed at RCI Cainta in place of Bindman. The group performed pieces from different cultures including music from Ghana.

Pong Aureus, Cultural Specialist of the U.S. Embassy, described Blood Drum Spirit as a band that “brings a new global vision to music, exploring deep into the world’s great traditions through the prism of live jazz performance.” In her message to RCI, she said the audience would be treated to music by Blood Drum Spirit “that adapts elements of world cultures, including South Indian solkattu rhythms, tala (time cycles), and raga (modes); Javanese gamelan structures and rhythms, Philippine Kulintang ensemble instruments and timbres, African American clapping plays, and the like—all embedded within the fabric of a uniquely American Jazz compositional and improvisational sound and style.”

Visiting and performing at RCI Cainta was part of the band’s current Philippine tour. This was made possible through the collaboration among the FEU’s President’s Committee on Culture, the Philippine International Jazz Festival, and the US Embassy.

with RCI

 

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