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Noche Buena

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas brings families together, with Jesus at the center, to celebrate love, share joyful moments, giving gifts, and strengthening relationships. Tonight, at the stroke of midnight, after their members have attended the Simbang Gabi (Christmas Eve Mass) and paid homage to the image of the Infant Jesus in the Church’s Belen, Filipino families will come together to partake of their traditional “Noche Buena” dinner.
The Noche Buena is a beautiful tradition that has been passed on to us through many generations by our foreparents. Many liken the Noche Buena to the Western celebration of Thanksgiving Day when all the family members, and even the entire clan, gather for dinner.
In olden times, the typical Noche Buena table featured queso de bola, hot chocolate, chicken galantina, acharra, and leche flan. As centuries passed and with other foreign influences, the Filipino Noche Buena table has evolved to include the Christmas ham, pansit, fruit cakes, and wine. Today’s Noche Buena treats also include our very own puto bumbong (steamed glutinous rice cooked in bamboo shoots, flavored with brown sugar and grated coconut), bibingka, suman, and salabat (native tea). In some homes, the Noche Buena table centerpiece is our native lechon.
But beyond sharing a common meal together among family members. Noche Buena is a celebration of the joyful moment of the coming of Jesus in our midst. It is a commemoration of that “Good Night” when the Blessed Mother gave birth to God’s only begotten Son who was destined to reestablish our relationship with God after we had been separated from Him by sin. It is the celebration of God’s love for humanity: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will have life eternal (John 3:16).
As we prepare for tonight’s Noche Buena, let us make space for Joseph, Mary and Jesus in our hearts and in our lives, that we may emulate their simplicity, their devotion to each other, their sincerity in serving others, and their profound and abiding faith in God’s goodness and compassion. Let us be willing messengers of the hope by making those who have less in life experience the joy and love that the Christmas season brings.


Brain Teaser

Monday, December 19, 2011

ook at the red dot in the middle and move your head towards and away from the screen. See how the outer rings appear to rotate?


'Simbang Gabi': A cherished Christmas tradition

Friday, December 16, 2011

Church bells will ring at dawn starting Friday until Christmas Day, calling the Catholic faithful to the “Simbang Gabi,” the nine-day dawn masses held in honor of the Virgin Mary.
The pealing of the bells is said to symbolize a message of hope in God and of hope for peace on earth.
The votive masses are held not only in the Philippines but in other countries where there are Filipino communities.
For years now, some parishes have also been holding anticipated “Simbang Gabi” masses at around 8 or 9 in the evening before the dawn masses to accommodate the needs of the faithful on different work schedules.
The masses end on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, with the “Misa de Gallo” (rooster’s mass) at midnight.
According to Fr. Noel V. Osial, SDB, rector of the Don Bosco Provincial House in Makati City, Filipinos particularly cherish the “Simbang Gabi” tradition. “We find it not only on Philippine soil but everywhere in the world where there are Filipino Catholics who anticipate every year the nine days of preparation for the Birth of Jesus Christ,” Osial said.
For the members of the clergy, “Simbang Gabi” is always an opportunity for catechizing the faithful, Osial said.
“But whether the masses are celebrated early in the morning or at night, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world, the reason for celebrating remains the same – we prepare for the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.”
In attending the “Misa de Aguinaldo” (gift mass), churchgoers offer the gift of sacrifice of waking up before the break of dawn for nine consecutive days to attend the dawn masses in thanksgiving, as a form of worship, or for a standing petition, said a Church official.
Not a few believe that completing the nine-day masses would mean the granting of a particular favor.
The Filipinos’ Simbang Gabi dates back to 1565, when Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi celebrated the first Feast of the Nativity.
The practice originated in Mexico when in 1587, Fray Diego de Soria, prior of the Convent of San Agustin Acolman, asked permission from the Pope to hold Christmas masses for the farmers who wake up very early to work.
During the 16th century, Pope Sixtus V decreed that the dawn masses be held in the Philippines every 16th of December.
After the mass, there is another old custom: the partaking of native delicacies sold in stalls outside the church like rice cakes (bibingka), puto bungbong, and suman taken with ginger tea (salabat), coffee or hot chocolate.
To preserve the solemnity of Simbang Gabi, the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) released a circular last October 12 signed by Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, reiterating the implementation within the archdiocese of the guidelines issued the previous year.


Learning 2.0

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

 How do children learn today?
Aside from teachers and books, young people look to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr as valuable sources of information through peer-to-peer sharing of content. Information sites like Wikipedia and content-based platforms like blogs are also valuable learning highways today.
Welcome to Learning 2.0! Based on Web 2.0 technology, Learning 2.0 is when learners make use of web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the internet. Web 2.0 sites — social networks, blogs, wikis, video-sharing, etc. — allow users to interact with its creators and the community itself.
“There was a time when students are constrained in the library or in their houses to study. Now, you can actually study using technology, specifically these websites that students today use everyday. We’re lucky that technology is at our disposal.
All aspects of society have been touched by the internet. Internet is available 24/7/365,” said John Peter Abraham Ruero, president of Philippine Society for IT Educators, National Capital Region chapter.
Ruero spoke at the recent 9th Philippine Youth Congress in Information and Technology (Y4iT) 2011, hosted by the University of the Philippines- Diliman. Y4iT was organized by the UP Information Technology Training Center and was attended by over 26,000 delegates from all over the country. A total of 100 local and foreign IT experts shared their expertise on IT with the academe.
What excites students these days is the fact that technology is more dynamic and more responsive to their needs.
The days of web 1.0 — HTML (hypertext mark-up language), home pages, portals, client server, wired dial-up, etc. — have long been forgotten because what young people use these days are XML (Extensible Markup Language), web applications, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) used in blogs, peer-to-peer (networking), wireless broadband, etc.
All these are more user content-driven, where users are the ones putting in the contents rather than just consuming them.
“We are content consumers but once you upload photos on Facebook, you are already a content producer,” Ruero said. “This is the time when networks believe their contributions matter. This is why you can put comments on Facebook. The contributions or feedback given to you are actually important.”
For instance in Wikipedia, users may actually edit or add information to the page of a particular person, event, place, etc.
In Facebook, which has around 800 million users worldwide, an average of 250 million photos are being uploaded every day. YouTube users upload 48 hours of video every minute, or 69,120 hours every day.
A participatory culture is being encouraged among the users of internet.
This emerging age of culture produces an atmosphere of participation, creation and expression.
“Now there’s participation, there’s more creation and production of content. You can easily take videos and upload it. You get to learn something, not only from your teachers or the internet but from your peers,” Ruero explained.
This is also the time when play is used in learning. Web-based games actually teach because play today also means the capacity to experiment with games where lessons become much more engaging.
“When we talk about play, our parents think of fun. But if you’re playing Farmville for instance, or Sim City, you’re so engaged. We already do problem-solving in games. Even if I don’t know the instructions of the game, I would know by actively engaging in the game. Games are a simulation or the ability to interpret, construct and describe the real world,” Ruero said.
However, Ruero said, students should have the right skills and competencies to learn properly in the world of Web 2.0. Since most of the contents come from users themselves, information may be inaccurate, or even bogus. It is not new that false information spreads in social networks.
For instance, the Oprah Winfrey statement where the millionaire host was supposed to have praised Filipina Miss Universe candidate Shamcey Supsup had been proven to be a hoax. An entry in a Wikipedia page about of a former Philippine President said this leader was a “former member of the Teletubbies”. This entry was subsequently removed from the page.
“We can use wikis in our research, we can bookmark websites for references. Today teachers are developing contents that are modularized so that when students log on, it can be a lot easier. They are more engaged. It must be personalized as much as you can so that students can get the content that they need, anytime, anywhere,” he said.
“Students must have the competency or the ability to judge the credibility of contents. Users have to remember that not all content producers are trustworthy,” Ruero further warned.


DepEd fast-tracks kinder teachers' pay

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Department of Education (DepEd) Saturday vowed to fast-track the processing of the payment of teachers’ salaries after an advocacy group revealed that hundreds of kindergarten teachers have not been paid since the school year opened.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a statement that DepEd is hoping to receive June to October payments next month. “We wish to assure our kindergarten teachers that we are fast-tracking the processing of the payment of their salaries,” he said.
Luistro said that while the department is completing enrollment data from the field needed for the release of funds, “we received news from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that we will be able to process downloading of funds based on initial projections.”
He asked the help of the kindergarten volunteer teachers and the teacher organizations for the immediate submission of the actual enrollment data.
The Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC), a 30,000-strong group, on Friday said almost all the teachers under the DepEd’s Universal Kindergarten Program (UKP) have not been paid since June. “Still, some teachers who served in the summer kinder program have yet to receive their compensation,” said TDC spokesperson Emmalyn Policarpio.
Policarpio, a teacher in Valenzuela City, said that this is how the DepEd implements Enhanced K to 12 Basic Education Program of the Aquino administration. “The honorarium amounting to R3,000 is always delayed,” she said.
The UKP is the first phase of the implementation of the K to 12 program which is expected to be rolled out to Grade 1 and First Year high school students by next school year. This year, DepEd accepted almost two million kindergarten students in more than 50,000 public schools despite the perennial shortages in classrooms, teachers, school facilities and textbooks.
Manila Bulletin


DepEd sets exam for out-of-school youth in November

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Department of Education through the National Education Testing and Research Center announces that the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) will be held on November 20, 2011 for Luzon and on November 27, 2011 for Visayas and Mindanao.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the PEPT aims to retrieve out-of-school youth and place them in the formal school system if they so desire. “ Through PEPT, we would also like to  validate and accredit knowledge and skills in academic areas gained through informal and non-formal means. In the end, PEPT will pave the way for their  re-entry into formal schooling, job promotion, job training and  employment,” added Luistro.

PEPT targets Filipino citizens who are dropouts from  elementary and secondary schools for at least one  year. It is also for those  who never attended a formal school but can read and write, or those  presently employed but  need to  upgrade their academic level whether  elementary or high school. Moreover, applicants must be at least one year overage for their supposed grade/year level in the formal school system.

Applicants must bring their birth certificate  issued by the NSO or Local Civil Registrar duly authenticated (original and 2 photo-copies),  2 pieces ID picture  and recently taken (size 1”x1”) and school  record  --  original and 2 photocopies  -- of  Form 137 (Transcript of Records with school seal and signature of principal/registrar)  or Form 138 (Report Card with school seal and signature of principal/registrar) for elementary level and  Form 137 for secondary.

PEPT takers will pay P50 for the regular test given every November in designated testing centers all over the country  or P200 for walk-in or special administration which is conducted from January to June at DepEd- NETRC in Pasig City.

For elementary level, the test coverage is Science, Mathematics, HeKaSi (Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika), Filipino and English. In the secondary level, the exam for first year covers General Science, Elementary Algebra, Philippine History (Kasaysayan at Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas), English I and Filipino I; for second year, the coverage include Biology, Intermediate Algebra, Asian History (Kasaysayan ng mga Bansang Asyano), English II and Filipino II; for third year, the subjects  covered are Chemistry, Geometry, World History (Kasaysayan ng Daigdig), English III and Filipino III; for fourth year, the exam will touch on  Physics, Advance Algebra, Trigo-nometry, Statistics, Economics, English IV and Filipino IV.

The PEPT can also be administered to individuals with visual impairment whether Braille or non-Braille readers.


STEP-SDC Contest Package for 2011-2012

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

 Reference for the criteria of judging, contest procedures, specific instructions and resources required in each competition.

Click here to download the the contest package.


National Heroes Day

Monday, August 29, 2011

The celebration of National Heroes Day was fist signed into law through Act No. 3827 of the Philippine Legislature on October 28, 1931. The Act declared the last Sunday of August of every year as an official national holiday.

President Corazon Aquino’s Administrative Code of 1987  adopted this in Book 1, Chapter 7, which provided for a list of regular holidays and nationwide special days, setting National Heroes Day as a Regular Holiday celebrated on the last Sunday of August. The Administrative Code provides that the list of holidays and special days may be “modified by law, order or proclamation.”

On July 24, 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act No. 9492, which amended Book 1, Chapter 7 of the Administrative Code. Per RA 9492, the celebration of National Heroes Day thus falls on the last Monday of August.

President Benigno S. Aquino III‘s Proclamation No. 84, s. 2010 continued this, setting National Heroes Day on August 29, 2011, i.e., the last Monday of August. On this day, President Aquino lead a ceremonial wreath-laying on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, to honor the unnamed heroes who have died for the country.

For a full transcript of President Aquino’s speech during the ceremony, please click here.



DepEd asks public to refer to guidelines on suspension of classes during bad weather

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Department of Education  has called on the public especially parents to use as guide  the existing policies on suspension on classes  during bad weather condition to keep children out of harm.  

Based on to DepEd Order No. 28, series of 2005, classes in all public and private elementary and secondary schools are automatically suspended or cancelled without having to wait for announcement under the following circumstances:

When Signal No. 1 is raised by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), classes at the pre-school level shall be automatically suspended in all public and private schools.

When Signal No. 2 is raised, classes at the pre-school, elementary and secondary levels shall be automatically suspended in all public and private schools.

In view of this, DepEd has requested PAG-ASA to reiterate these guidelines when issuing   regular weather bulletin so that the public can be duly-informed and can be better prepared.

In the absence of storm signals, localized suspension is allowed by DepEd. The decision may be made by the school principal, division superintendent or local government executive.

Secretary Armin Luistro reiterated that the parents, the local executives and the local DepEd officials are in the best position to decide if they will send their children to school when storm signals are announced by PAGASA in specific areas.

Existing policies allow local DepEd officials and local government executives to suspend classes at their level to avoid leaving children on the streets when heavy rains and strong winds hit certain areas.

 “The final decision to let the child go to school or not is left with the parents.  Local suspension and parental decision are allowed since parents and officials on the ground have a better idea about the situation in their areas,” explained Luistro.

 DepEd has also furnished media outfits with the guidelines which they can use to reiterate to the public during inclement weather.   



DepEd prepares for nationwide fun run for Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary

Monday, June 13, 2011

Preparations for the Department of Education’s simultaneous nationwide fun run on June 19 to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal are now in full swing.

“We all know how our national hero pushed for the education of the Filipinos and I am sure that a century after his death that remains his aspiration,” said Education Secretary Armin Luistro.

Instead of paying a registration fee, participants of the fun run are requested to bring donations or sign a pledge form to signify support for schools or to state what they can contribute to upgrade the standard of education in public schools. Completed forms will be submitted to the Local Registration Committee, where pledge forms/actual donations will be accounted for and turned over to the schools.

Participants have the choice of a 1-, 2-, or 3-kilometer walk or run. All the different divisions in the National Capital Region will have their fun run at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta starting at 6:00 am.
DepEd, through its Adopt-a-School Program (ASP), will set up a booth for the acceptance of donations and the administration of the pledge form. This will be replicated in all the regional and division offices nationwide.

Donations-in-kind could be in the form of school supplies (pencils, ball pens, ruled paper, notebooks, crayons, chalk, etc.); classroom furniture (chairs, tables, cabinets, etc.); equipment (fax machine, computers, printers, electric fans, etc.); classrooms; or shop equipment (for Industrial Arts, Home Economics, Agri-Fishing, etc.).

Pledges could volunteer to provide service as a resource person for a particular subject; tutorial assistance; peer counseling; assistance to teachers (preparing visual aids, teachers’ aids); school maintenance and repairs; or teaching service.

According to Merlie Asprer, ASP Operations Manager, they are now receiving confirmation of participation to the fun run from the private sector. “Employees of a telecommunications company, for one, have agreed to pool resources and buy educational materials, which they will bring on June 19,” said Asprer.

Luistro expects the event to bring together education stakeholders in the spirit of fun and love for education. “This is a good physical exertion and at the same time an expression of compassion for our young learners who need our full support,” he explained.

The fun run will be spearheaded by all DepEd Division Offices (DOs) nationwide. All participating DOs will handle the preparatory work which shall include the organization of different committees to promote the activity as well as coordination with volunteers, sponsors and media.

More than 22 million public elementary and high school students trooped to public schools nationwide when classes opened last June 6.  This includes some 1.2 million kindergarten pupils who form the first batch of universal kinder students under the K to 12 basic education reform program of the Aquino Administration. Official figures show that more than one million new entrants to the public schools system is accepted by DepEd every year.



Educate Mozambique: Using Social media to educate a nation

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mozambique is rebuilding its education system starting from the ground up, quite literally. The country just initiated the launch of Educate Mozambique which is a broad and global online, social, mobile and offline campaign to both educate and crowd-source the world about the current situation faced by millions of school children in Mozambique. Educate Mozambique is a first of it's kind pro-active social media campaign run on behalf of an entire nation in Africa.

Click here to read more about this story.


How to Draw Storyboards

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


On using VMs in Class

Teaching Internet Technologies to a class of Computer Science students require that they set up their own servers. The servers are important so they can deploy their web applications in a real world setting, whilst ensuring that they get the skills of actually installing and maintaining a server. Some students are familiar with using a web hosting service, but I prohibit them from doing that for obvious reasons.

With a limited number of servers connected to the internet, the next best thing is to have a powerful enough server and run several virtual machines on it. IN our case, we use VMWare on Mac OS X and Linux and we virtualize Linux.

One thing good about using Linux is that you can have decent quality of service from limited resources. A Core 2 Duo Mac Mini Server is enough to support 5 Linux virtual machines without any performance penalties.

The configuration is simple -- 256MB RAM, one processor and 21GB of space is plenty for an Ubuntu server install. Note, however, that you must have the networking set to bridge, instead of using NAT. That way, each server gets an IP address that is on the same network as the main or host server.

If you are behind a firewall or a router, you need to map different ports on the router to forward to different ports on different VMs. For example, map router port 8001 to the VM port 80 will allow you to access the web server on the VM on that external port.

One last thing before transferring access to students is to make sure that all the VMs automatically start after the computer boots up. Now, you can leave the servers under the care of your students and let them configure and deploy their web apps.

If you need more VMs, you either get a more powerful server, or experiment on lowering the RAM on each VM. Remember that Linux server does not need that much RAM to act as web server.

Source: Manila Bulletin


Internet Access a Human Right: UN

Monday, June 6, 2011

Influenced by the role of social media in the recent Middle East uprisings, the United Nations is now saying internet access should be considered a human right, reports the LA Times.

In a report released last Friday, special rapporteur to the UN, Frank La Rue, said the “internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the internet should be a priority for all states”.

La Rue added that the internet is “one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century”, referring to open and transparent governance. Where people face injustice, inequality and tight-fisted rule, the internet can play a “key role…in mobilizing the population”, La Rue said.

As such, the UN is urging governments that block internet access are "in contravention [of their] international human rights obligations" and should eschew those laws.

And because internet users tend to actively participate in a canon of content creation rather than being passive spectators, online platforms are an especially valuable tool in countries where there is no independent media, the UN said in its report.

“Such platforms enable individuals to share critical views and to find objective information,” the report read. “By enabling individuals to exchange information and ideas instantaneously and inexpensively across national borders, the internet allows access to information and knowledge that was previously unattainable.

“This, in turn, contributes to the discovery of the truth and progress of society as a whole.”


Schoolchildren to help plant trees

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has cleared executives of Samsung Electronic Philippines Corp. (SEPCO) and SD Human Tech from criminal charges that stemmed from a complaint that they allegedly pirated some 700 personnel of a Filipino manpower agency.

Assistant State Prosecutor Natilaine T. Salvilla, in a 51-page resolution, absolved SEPCO executives and SD Human Tech officers from syndicated and large scale illegal recruitment, estafa and theft charges filed against them by Vivian Anastacio-Guerrero of Temps and Staffers Inc. (TSI), a Filipino manpower agency that had provided promoters and office-based personnel to SEPCO.

SEPCO, a subsidiary of the giant multinational company Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., is engaged in the marketing and distribution of consumer electronic products televisions, home appliances, air conditioning system, mobile phones, and information technology products.

Cleared of criminal charges were Kyung Chull Park, president and CEO of Samsung Philippines, and the firm’s chief finance officer Boem Hee Lee, as well as Hae Kyong Kim, an executive of SD Human Tech.
The DoJ also ordered the dismissal of the complaint charges against SEPCO executives Glenn Glinoga, Gabriel Matriano, Mary Anne Felipe, Benjamin Jimenez, Sherilyn Tan, Louie Liston, Angela Salvallon, Gerard Duremdes, Ricky de Guzman, Noel Dajao, Elaine Matito, Jerick Paloma, and Maybelle Doloran.

The DoJ prosecutors ruled that executives of SEPCO and SD Human Tech cannot be held liable for syndicated and large scale illegal recruitment under Article 34 of the Labor Code because the complainant failed to establish any of the officers or employees of SEPCO “personally induced or attempted to induce any one of the employees of TSI to quit their employment.”

Source: Manila Bulletin


International agencies join 2011 Brigada Eskwela

The Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela or National Schools Maintenance Week is getting the support of two international donor organizations which pledged to help spruce up public schools in time for the opening of classes on June 6, 2011. 

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have  signified their  participation to this year’s Brigada Eskwela  by adopting public schools for repair and repainting.

“We expect more pledges of participation from the private sector and hopefully international agencies as the Brigada -- slated from May 23 to 28 -- draws nearer, “ said Luistro.

Brigada Eskwela is an annual schools clean up and repair activity spearheaded by Deped and participated in by NGOs, parents, students, teachers, the business sector, civic organizations, government and private sector employees.

It enjoins participants to donate construction and cleaning materials or serve as volunteers to prepare the schools two weeks before the opening of classes. It does not accept cash donations.   

Last year, Brigada generated an equivalent amount of over P1.7 billion from donations in kind and manhours spent in school repairs which would have otherwise been taken from the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of public schools.

When Brigada was first launched in 2003, only 31% of all elementary and secondary public schools participated but because of  overwhelming response from the public and the bayanihan spirit that it engendered, it was made an  institutional annual event in 2008.  Since then, Brigada is 100% participated in by all public elementary and secondary  schools  nationwide.

Luistro said AusAid has committed to adopt schools for clean up and repair in Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao while USAID chose three schools it will help repair and repaint.

Luistro explained that Brigada stirs up a sense of community among the participants, especially among the students, as they work side by side with other education stakeholders towards a common cause.

“ We all want to make the schools clean and ready for the opening of schools so that by June 6, our students can buckle down to their regular school work,” he elaborated.    

Brigada Eskwela will kick-off on May 23  with a motorcade starting  from the DepED Central Office in Pasig going  to  Bago-Bantay  Elementary  School in Quezon  City, where  a  ceremonial  program  will be held.

Aside from AusAid and USAID, other participating agencies include Ayala Foundation  Inc., Coca-Cola Foundation Inc.,GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc., IBM Phils., Intel Technology Phils., JVR Foundation, Microsoft  Phils,Nutri-Asia Inc. and SouthEast Asia Food Inc. Philippine Business For Social Progress, ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.,Smart Communication, Inc. San Miguel Corp., Philamlife  and Unionbank, Rebisco Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, FFCCCII, Fit for School, Hands on Manila Foundation and Autovention Corp, Crown Worlwide Movers,Inc. Mannasoft tech Corporation, Networkers and Entrepreneurs Dev’t Cooperative and Wilkins Builder.
Brigada Eskwela won an Anvil Award in 2010, the only government line agency to receive the coveted public relations award.


Desiderata in Filipino

Sunday, May 15, 2011

PAG-AANGKIN: Desiderata, salin sa Filipino ni Dr. Zeus A. Salazar

Things to be desired

Humayo kang panatag ang loob sa mundo ng ingay at kaabalahan,
Go placidly amid the noise and haste

at iyong tandaan anong kapayapaan ang madarama sa katahimikan.
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

Hangga't maaari at walang pagsuko, makibagay ka sa lahat ng kapwa mo tao.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Tahimik at malinaw mong bigkasin ang sa iyo'y totoo;  at ang iba'y pakinggan,
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,

ang mapupurol man at walang nalalaman;  sila rin ay may kani-kaniyang kasaysayan.
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Maiingay at basagulero'y iyong iwasan; kayamutan lamang sila sa kalooban.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.

Kung ihahambing mo sa iba ang sarili,
baka yumabang ka lamang at ang loob mo'y sumama,
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter,

sapagkat palagian mong matatagpuan
ang mga taong hihigit at kukulang sa iyong katayuan.
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

lkalugod mo ang iyong mga tagumpay at gayundin ang mga balak.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Interes mo'y panatilihin sa iyong gawain, ito man ay hamak,
Keep interested in your own career, however humble,

tunay itong kaangkinan sa panahon ng pabugsu-bugsong kapalaran.
it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

 Buong ingat mong asikasuhin ang iyong negosyo,
dahil puno ng panlilinlang ang ating mundo.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.

Gayunman, huwag mong ikabulag ito sa kabutihang naririyan din;
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

marami ang nagpupunyaging matamo ang matatayog na mithiin,
at sa lahat ng dako ang buhay ay lipos ng kabayanihan.
many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Maging ikaw ka.
Be yourself.

Higit sa lahat, paggiliw ay huwag mong ipagkunwa.
Sa pag-ibig huwag ka ring maging mapangkutya;
Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;

sapagkat sa kabila ng katigangan ng puso't napawing tiwala,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,

tulad ng damo siya'y habang panahong naririyan.
it is as perennial as the grass.

Payo ng mga taon tanggapin mong masuyo,
Take kindly the counsel of the years, 

mga bagay ng kabataan magaan ang loob mong isuko.
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Palakasin mo ang kalooban upang masangga ang biglang kasawian.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

Huwag mong ikabahala ang mga agam-agam gayumpaman.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Maraming pangamba'y mula lamang sa pagod at kalungkutan.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Bukod sa kapaki-pakinabang na disiplina, sarili mo'y pagbigyan.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

Isa kang anak ng sanlibutan, tulad ng mga tala at kakahuyan;
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;

ang manatili rito ay iyong karapatan.
you have a right to be here.

At malinaw sa iyo o hindi man,
And whether or not it is clear to you,

walang alinlanga't bumubukadkad nang dapat ang santinakpan.
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Samakatuwid makipagkasundo ka sa Diyos, anuman Siya sa iyong isipan.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

At anuman ang iyong gawain at hangarin, sa gulo't ingay ng buhay,
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,

panatilihin mong panatag ang loobin.
keep peace in your soul.

Sa kabila ng kanyang kahuwaran, paghihirap at mga bigong adhikain,
ito'y isa pa ring daigdig na maganda.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Maging masaya ka.
Be cheerful.

Sikapin mong lumigaya.
Strive to be happy.


Planning the Ideal Kinder Classroom

What is an ideal kinder classroom like?

With the Universal Kindergarten Program by the Department of Education (DepEd) being implemented this June, many teachers and principals may find themselves asking this question.

To give them an idea of what type of kinder classrooms appeal to young children, DepEd Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) trainees recently organized an exhibit showcasing ideal kindergarten classrooms.

In response to the challenge posed by Education Secretary Armin Luistro for them to be advocates of the Universal Kindergarten campaign, this year’s 150 SPES trainees—divided into five groups—built miniatures of “child-friendly” classrooms filled with storybooks, puzzles, and toys.

According to SPES Marielle Pigtain, cooperation among group members was the driving force of the project. “We also make it a point that every member will be allowed by their respective offices to spend their vacant hours decorating the ‘classroom’,” she said.

Her group, in particular, scheduled shifts so that all group members could attend to this special assignment without neglecting their office duties.

The SPES’ classroom exhibit assignment is the department’s way of encouraging the public, including the central office employees and the private sector, to actively involve themselves in the fulfillment of the government’s goal of providing every Filipino a brighter future through quality education. The designs were mainly based on concepts such as fairytales and fables.

Meanwhile, the zero-based budgeting concept enabled the students to draw on their creativity and resourcefulness. “Most of the materials used by our group are recycled like cartons and used colored paper. There were even some members who brought decorations from their houses,” said SPES trainee Manuela Balaguer.

Another SPES trainee, Enzo Vidal, the exhibit goes beyond showing to their outputs but also the value of sharing and giving for the cause of education. “This reminds us that education is a shared responsibility of everyone. Even we, students and out-of-school youths, in our own little ways, could do something for the betterment of our preschool education,” he said.

Luistro commended the efforts of the SPES trainees in coming up with the exhibit. “Since the goal of expanding the coverage of preschool education is to better prepare our young learners, we believe that part of this preparation should be to ensure that the learning process inside the classroom will be fun for the young learners,” he said. “Classroom set-up should be able to attract kids to learn and value education given their young age,” he said.

The secretary also told them to come up with a way so they can take part in collecting toy and book donations within their neighborhood, families, peers, classmates and friends.
“If all of us pitch in for this donation drive, we could transform a typical kindergarten classroom into a laboratory that can better prepare our young learners to the real world of formal schooling and provide them greater chances to complete their education,” Luistro said.
Source: Manila Bulletin


Alexander Graham Bell: Great Inventor, Poor Drawer

Saturday, May 14, 2011

If we were to somehow pull a Bill & Ted and nab Alexander Graham Bell out of the time-space continuum to bring with us back to 2011, he probably wouldn't even recognize that the tiny Apple-stamped devices we were all speaking into were the great, great, great grandchildren of his original telephone.

"But where's the giant cone you yell into?" he'd ask puzzled. "Where... where is the vibrating diaphragm?  Or the electromagnet connecting to the armature? What... what's that roaring bird machine overhead?!?"
To which we'd say, "Chill out, bro. Have a slice of pizza."  (Assuming we were Keanu Reeves.)

These sketches from the summer of 1876 were made available by the Library of Congress, showing the hand-drawn essentials of Bell's most famous invention. In his own words, they're "the first drawings made of my telephone — or 'instrument for the transmission of vocal utterances by telegraph.'" The heirloom photographs were re-obtained in Australia after they'd left the United States by Bell's grandson and were presented as a gift to the LOC.

Mind you, they're not very good, but when you're a brilliant scientist/inventor/engineer displaced from your current timeline who changed the way humankind fundamentally communicates, it's perfectly OK to not be good at something.


DepEd supports free birth registration project

The Department of Education (DepEd) expressed its support to the Free Birth Registration project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as it cites the importance of proper birth documentation in a child’s schooling.

“This project is very timely especially in preparation for the forthcoming enrolment of students in our public schools. Birth certificate is a very important document in securing student’s identity,” said DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro.

Luistro also emphasized that this effort supports the Education For All (EFA) goal that the country pledged to meet by 2015. The Free Birth Registration project advocates the protection of every child’s basic rights, more particularly in keeping children in school. Thus, he encouraged parents to grab the opportunity of registering their children for free.

This joint project is initiated to cover the registration of Indigenous Peoples (IP), children of indigent parents, children who are enrolled and will be enrolled in public schools and all beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who have no birth certificates yet.

This initiative also responds to the difficulty in complying with the basic documentary requirements such as birth certificates of children in tribal communities.

Alongside with DepEd and DSWD, the Free Birth Registration project under Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, is in collaboration with the National Statistics Office (NSO) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Registration and processing fees of birth certificates will be shouldered by government funds for the month-long registration from May 3-31, 2011 in the Local Civil Registrar’s Office of every municipality.


There are weird similarities between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

  • Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
  • Both were shot in the back of the head in the presence of their wives.
  • Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.
  • Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
  • Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
  • Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
  • Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808. Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
  • Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theatre. Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln, made by Ford.
  • Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse. Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran
    and hid in a theater.
  • Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.


Nice Egg for Breakfast

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Everybody knows the old saying: "Have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper."  I am not sure if everybody realizes the fact, that the healthy breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you ask me, I am for eating breakfast.

I came across this site which gave me an idea on how to motivate my nephews to eat breakfast. Here is a nice heart egg for breakfast.


List of Philippine Holidays 2011 - Proclamation No. 84

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MalacaƱang has just released the list of the dates of holidays in the Philippines for the year 2011.

President Benigno S. Aquino III today signed Proclamation No. 84 declaring the regular holidays, special (non-working) days, and special holidays (for all schools) for the year 2011.

The holidays in the Philippines no longer has to be moved to the nearest Monday of the week. Proclamation No. 84 mentions Republic Act No. 9849, which stipulates that holidays be moved to the nearest Mondays. RA 9849 also states that it can be modified by law, order or proclamation.

Proclamation No. 84 modifies RA 9849.
List of Philippine Holidays for the Year 2011

Here are the dates of the holidays which are to be observed in the Philippines:

A. Regular Holidays

New Year’s Day – January 1 (Saturday)
Araw ng Kagitingan – April 9 (Saturday)
Maundy Thursday – April 21
Good Friday – April 22
Labor Day – May 1 (Sunday)
Independence Day – June 12 (Sunday)
National Heroes Day – August 29 (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day – November 30 (Wednesday)
Christmas Day – December 25 (Sunday)
Rizal Day – December 30 (Friday)

B. Special (Non-Working) Days

Ninoy Aquino Day – August 21 (Sunday)
All Saints Day – November 1 (Tuesday)
Last Day of the Year – December 31 (Saturday)

C. Special Holiday (for all schools)

EDSA Revolution Anniversary – February 25 (Friday)

Proclamation No. 84 also has provisions for observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha, the dates of which shall be determined based on the Islamic calendar. Once the dates are determined, new proclamations will be issued.


Why the DepEd Early Registration is a Must?

The Department of Education is conducting a special one-day registration for incoming kindergarten, Grade 1 and first year high school students on January 29, 2011.

This one-day pre-registration will be done simultaneously on all public schools nationwide on the last Saturday of January 2011.

The early registration targets all 5 year olds to be enrolled in kindergarten and all 6 year-olds in Grade 1. Early registration is also mandated in public secondary schools to guarantee the enrolment of incoming first year students in their preferred high school.

Why does DepEd need an early registration?

According to the Department of Education, the early registration will give them enough time to come up with education interventions and prevent students from dropping out of school. They want to ensure that all those who have to be enrolled already enrolled even before June.

They would also want to measure how many pupils will be in school this coming school year to estimate the expenses they will need to provide sufficient facilities and services.

The early registration would also save parents from the long lines during the enrolment on June.



Get the Heart of Your Audience

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dale Carnegie once said, “There are always three speeches for everyone you actually gave - the one you practised, the one you gave and the one you wished you gave.”

The ability to prepare and deliver a powerful winning speech can be your trump card in any profession or forum. Many aspire to be successful public speakers but few make it.

To begin with, let us see what successful public speakers do once they accept an invitation to speak.

Establishing speaking goals
The first and most important step in preparing for public speaking is to clearly identify the speaking goals.
>Whom are you speaking to — what is the audience profile?
>What do you wish to communicate? What should the listeners take home from your speech?
>Why will people come to listen, implying the value or worth of your speech?
>Why have you been chosen to speak? This will tell you how you are different from other speakers who have been invited.
>Which are the areas or topics where highest impact is desired?

Answers to these questions should give you a clear idea of what needs to be achieved at the end of the speech. Take special efforts to speak to organisers about these facts and you will have all the information you need to start preparing.

Important fact-finding steps
>Ask organisers for important details regarding date, time, venue, agenda for the programme, names of other speakers who will address before and after you.
>You must also ask for language preference for the speech. If you want to win the audience, speak to them in the language they are most comfortable with. Public speaking is not about proving your oratory skills. Its true success lies in conquering the heart and mind of listeners and enrolling them to your school of thought effectively. So run that extra mile to talk to people in their preferred language.
>A very important piece of information is the time limit, how much time have you been given? Listeners are restless when speakers exceed time. We ourselves do not like speakers who go on and on without showing sensitivity for others’ time. Some speakers overstep time to the extent that other speakers, who are scheduled after them, have to cut down their speeches! It is said: make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening. However well prepared you may be, it is important to resist the temptation of exceeding your time.
>Which public address system is available? Are you going to be behind a podium? Or can you use a collar mike or cordless mike and move freely? How big is the auditorium and how are the sound speakers placed? This will help you to plan your delivery technique and body language. Some people feel very comfortable to speak from behind a podium whereas some feel they can connect better when they move freely with a collar mike or cordless mike. Ask for the arrangement of your choice to avoid last minute surprises.
>Use of communication aids needs to be confirmed. You may want to use a projection or slide show to support your speech and it is advisable to inform organisers about it well in advance. Also, the arrangement for proper audiovisual relay of the projection to every corner of the auditorium needs to be confirmed. This will ensure that every section of the audience can see and hear you and the presentation clearly.

Supporting facts for your speech
It pays to enhance your basic script with the latest fact and figures, stories, humour, audiovisual clips and even with elements of surprise. Do not deliver the same speech again and again in the same format. Every audience is different and needs different incentives to keep their interest alive. Captivate people with value added information and present it vividly.

You can also use newspaper clippings or research documents to endorse your views and establish credibility. Listeners like interesting bits of information and you may even find them jotting down when you speak. I have come across occasions when many speakers use similar material and data for a given topic and the audience goes through repetitive speeches helplessly. Be unique, think differently. Work hard to gather information that will keep the audience hooked.

Next week we will share more about effective public speaking. Until then remember, “There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.”

(The author is a corporate soft skills trainer and a motivational speaker)


Integrating the Internet into the classroom

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Integrating ICT in the Classroom


Health Benefits of Whole Grains

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eating a fiber-heavy diet helped reduce people's risk of death from heart disease, infectious or respiratory disease, or any cause by 22%, according to a new study.

What's more, people who were in the highest fiber-intake group (29.4 g per day for men and 25.8 g for women) were also less likely to develop those diseases than people with the lowest levels of fiber consumption (12.6 g per day for men and 10.8 g for women).

That's good motivation to adhere to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which called on Jan. 31 for increased consumption of fiber through whole grains, enriched foods and fresh fruits and veggies. The DGA recommends 14 g of dietary fiber per 1,000 calories per day — which totals about 25 g of fiber a day.

Dietary fiber is the edible part of a plant that is difficult to digest — found in wheat bran and green, leafy vegetables — and is known to improve health in a number of ways. It is thought to lower risks of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes and obesity, and it's known to reduce cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. According to background information in the study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, it also binds to potential cancer-causing agents so the body can flush them out.

For the study, researchers looked at mortality data for 219,123 men and 168,999 women, who completed questionnaires about their eating habits between 1995 and 1996 as part of the longitudinal National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study.

During nine years of follow-up, 20,126 men and 11,330 women died. People who ate the highest amounts of fiber were 22% less likely to die of any cause than people who ate the least fiber. Further, men in the highest quintile were 24% less likely to suffer from cardiovascular, infectious or respiratory diseases than men in the lowest quintile, and for women the reduction in risk was 34%.

Researchers noted that fiber from grains, such as in whole-grain bread or brown rice, but not fiber from fruits, was associated with the reduced risk of death in both men and women.


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