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RAFI offers kayak program

Friday, June 1, 2012

By Christianne Eric T. Orbiso and Rosemarrie A. So, RAFI Interns

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Kool Adventure Camp (KAC) offers a kayak program that aims to develop and enhance leadership skills. The program is open to both corporate professionals and youth groups.

“This is not just a recreation program. This is a leadership development program using kayak as a tool. With all the beautiful and rich marine biodiversity and potential islets in Cebu, there is no reason for us not to have this kind of water activity,” Anthony Terence Ocampo, KAC deputy director for Professional Programs, said.

A kayak program will last for three to four days, wherein participants will be navigating and paddling to the sites covered by the route, like the islands of Olango, Pandanon, Caohagan, Banakon, and other islands between Cebu and Bohol.

The program will test the endurance, patience, teamwork, and communication and planning skills of the participants, as well as how they respond to changes in the environment.

kayak

KAC facilitators give instructions to RAFI Micro-finance team before they head out to a kayak expedition from Om Shanti, Cordova to Shalala Beach, Pangan-an and Caohagan Island last July 14-17, 2011.

The 52 tandem kayaks donated by Outward Bound Singapore will be utilized in the kayak program, which is preferably conducted during the second or third quarter of the year to avoid bad weather conditions such as typhoons and monsoons.

The head facilitators of the kayak program are Ocampo and Sheerene Abrea, KAC Professional Development Programs facilitator, who are both certified with Kayak Coach Level 1 by the Singapore Canoe Federation.

To ensure the safety of the participants, the KAC facilitators conduct Risk Assessment and Management System (RAMS) before every expedition. They follow operating procedures and standards from medical to rescue and program design, which are internationally benchmarked.

The program’s pilot group is RAFI’s Micro-finance team, who kayaked from Om Shanti, Cordova to Shalala Beach, Pangan-an and Caohagan Island last July 14-17, 2011.

“The program helped strengthen our teamwork as we cooperate with each other and focus to reaching our destination. I felt secure with several colleagues who know how to handle the kayak and the KAC team boat that followed us along the way,” Nineveh Mascariñas, finance supervisor of RAFI Micro-finance, said.

KAC is one of the programs under RAFI’s Leadership & Citizenship focus area, where future leaders are nurtured to prepare them to take an active role in affecting change. RAFI’s other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Education.

KAC is currently building the Philippines’ first outdoor experiential center at Barangay Cansomoroy, Balamban Cebu, which is set to open in 2013.

For more information about the kayak program and KAC, please call 418-7234 local 406 and look for Totits or Sheerene or e-mail attotits.ocampo@rafi.org.ph, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com.ph/rafi.org.ph.

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RAFI launches new education project

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

By Christianne Eric T. Orbiso, RAFI Intern

Aiming to take an active role in the education of a child, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) launched a school governance project dubbed Educational QUality ImProvement Through Community Empowerment and Capacity Building (EQUIP-CEBU) on May 23 at Casino Español, Cebu City.

EQUIP-CEBU seeks to improve over-all school quality by improving the capacity of local stakeholders in managing their schools. It entails the organization of a Project Management Team (PMT) by the local government unit (LGU) to design, develop, implement, and monitor the project.

The project is aligned with the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) and Republic Act No. 9155, or the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001, which aims to empower the teachers, parents, and community to continuously improve their own schools, at the same time encourage them to be actively involved in the education of the child.

During the launching, RAFI signed a memorandum of agreement with the three pilot areas―the municipalities of Asturias and Liloan, Carcar City; Department of Education (DepEd) Carcar City Division; and DepEd Cebu Province Division.

equipcebu

RAFI signed a pact with its partners for the implementation of EQUIP-CEBU last May 23 at Casino, Español, Cebu City. Present during the event were (seated L-R) Gregorio Cyrus Elejorde, schools division superintendent of DepEd Carcar; Mario Patricio Barcenas, vice mayor of Carcar City; Roberto Aboitiz, president of RAFI; Allan Adlawan, mayor of Asturias; Vincent Franco Frasco, mayor of Liloan, and Dr. Arden Monisit, Schools Division Superintendent of DepEd Cebu Province; witnessed by (standing L-R) Reynaldo Antonio Laguda, assistant secretary and chief of staff of DepEd; Miguel Rene Dominguez, governor of Sarangani; Washington Sycip, board of trustee of Synergeia Foundation Inc.; and Milwida Guevara, president and CEO of Synergeia Foundation Inc.

RAFI also inked a memorandum of understanding with Synergeia Foundation Inc., a Manila-based organization that advocates school governance improvement in 250 municipalities in the Philippines, for provision of technical support in the implementation of the project in the three pilot areas.

Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene A. Dominguez, who initiated programs and projects promoting good school governance in his province, shared about Sarangani’s best practices in governance especially on education.

“Pushing an education reform is a great challenge. However, our genuine passion and political will as leaders will influence others to move forward with us. Let us continue engaging our communities to be part of our quest in providing quality education to our children. Improving the quality of education is a tool to alleviate poverty,” Dominguez said in his speech.

Synergeia Foundation Inc. conducted a planning workshop with the PMT members right after the project launching.

equipcebulaunching

(L-R) Washington Sycip, board of trustee of Synergeia Foundation Inc.; Roberto Aboitiz, president of RAFI; and Milwida Guevara, president and CEO of Synergeia Foundation Inc. forge ties as Synergia commits to provide technical support for the implementation of EQUIP-CEBU, RAFI’s new education project launched last May 27 at Casino Español, Cebu City.

The event was graced by Roberto Aboitiz, president of RAFI; Ma. Cristina Aboitiz, executive vice president of RAFI; Amaya Aboitiz, executive committee chair of RAFI’s Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund (DACF); Milwida Guevara, president and CEO of Synergeia Foundation Inc.; Washington Sycip, Synergeia Foundation Inc. board of trustee; and Reynaldo Laguda, assistant secretary and chief of staff of DepEd.

The mayors and PMTs of the three pilot areas, mayors and/or representatives of the LGUs of Cebu Province, and officials from DepEd and Coalition for Better Education also attended the launching.

EQUIP-CEBU is one of the projects under RAFI’s Education focus area, believing that shaping the next generation of talent begins with nurturing the love for learning. Other focus areas of RAFI are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Leadership & Citizenship.

For more information about EQUIP-CEBU, please contact 419-7234 loc. 209 and look for Tanya Flores, or visit www.rafi.org.ph orwww.facebook.com/rafi.or.ph.

Mappers tag Cebu historical sites in Google

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

By Christianne Eric T. Orbiso and Rosemarrie A. So, RAFI Interns

This year’s Gabii sa Kabilin has stepped up not only with the increased number of participating museums and heritage sites, but also with the incorporation of technology and new media, aiming to provide the best cultural experience to the public.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) in partnership with Google Development Group (GDG)-Philippines, Cebu Bloggers Society Inc., Smart Communications, and New Media Bureau organized “Google MapUp” last May 19 at the Casa Gorordo Museum, Lopez Jaena Street, Cebu City.

mappers

Mappers gather to tag historical sites in Cebu and Mandaue during the ”Google MapUp” held last May 19 at Casa Gorordo Museum, in preparation for the 6th Gabii sa Kabilin of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and partners.

“Google MapUp” was facilitated by representatives from GDG-Philippines and gathered around 20 mappers from Cebu to tag and update historical sites of Cebu and Mandaue cities in Google Maps.

“We are holding this activity to provide this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin participants good quality, relevant, and accurate information of the location of museums and heritage sites joining the Gabii sa Kabilin,” Ruben Licera, GTUG/GDG Philippines community manager, said.

The mappers added and edited roads, schools, churches, parks, and other historical sites of Cebu and Mandaue cities to Google Maps. SMART Communications provided an exclusive broadband lease line for the event.

GDG aims to organize the world’s geographic information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Gabii sa Kabilin, inspired by the Long Night of Museums in Germany and other European countries, aims to encourage the public to visit museums and understand their position as a venue for cultural understanding. Its sixth run, which gathered 22 museums and heritage sites, was organized by RAFI through its Culture & Heritage unit and partners last May 25.

Culture & Heritage is one of the focus areas of RAFI. It aims to help communities understand, value and share their culture and heritage with others. The foundation’s other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.

For more information about Gabii sa Kabilin and RAFI Culture & Heritage, please call 418-7234 local 703 and look for Karl Damayo or Florencio Moreño, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.

Cebu schools welcome K-12

Thursday, June 7, 2012

By Christianne Eric T. Orbiso, RAFI Interns

With the implementation of K-12 program, the government, teachers, parents, and students will have to face new challenges this school year.

During the June 2 episode of “Pagtuki”, the official radio program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), Edgar Baring, Lapu-lapu City Department of Education (DepEd) program supervisor, said that there would be a “slight difference” in this year’s opening of classes from that of the previous years as K-12 takes effect in the basic education system of the Philippines.

“The local and national government are trying their best to attain the needs of the students in this new scheme of education,” Baring said.

K-12 entails the addition of the subjects Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH) in grades 1, 2 and 3; and Edukasyong Pagkakatao (Edukasyong Pagpapahalaga in the old curriculum).

Considering these added subjects, the contact time of teaching in some of the old subjects were decreased based on the DepEd Order no. 31 series of 2012. Science’s span of teaching is now only 240 minutes instead of 360 minutes per week. Mathematics, English, Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE), MAPEH and Filipino, from 300 minutes a week falls to 240 minutes, 180 minutes a week for Araling Panlipunan (AP) and 120 minutes a week for Edukasyong Pagkakatao.

This school year will also revive the mother-tongue based medium of instruction from kindergarten to grade 3.

Since K-12 program is now taking effect, DepEd reminds the public that no fees should be collected in any public school nationwide apart from the fees for Boy Scout of the Philippines and Girl Scout of the Philippines which is PhP 50, PhP 35 for Philippine National Red Cross, and a unanimous decision of the parents for the contribution  of Parents-Teachers Association (PTA).

“Lapu-Lapu public schools are expected to increase 8-10 percent of the population because of the transferees from private schools who decided to move to government schools due to tuition fee increase of their respective schools and there are lots of migrants from Cebu province and even from Mindanao,” Baring shared.

“Most of the parents and school children in Lapu-Lapu are now excited for the opening of the class despite the implementation of K-12 program, as they were already aware in this change of education system,” he added.

RAFI Education focus area, on their part, creates programs and projects that can address the challenges of K-12. These programs include the School Rehabilitation Program (SRP) and the newly launched project Educational QUality ImProvement Through CommunityEmpowerment and Capacity Building (EQUIP-CEBU).

“There are lots of problems in schools that we need to focus on and must not only be addressed to the government but to the individual as well. If we will work hand in hand, the problems will be solved,” Tanya Flores, senior program officer of RAFI Education Development unit, said.

“Pagtuki” is aired over DYLA every Saturday at 10 a.m.-11 a.m. The program tackles timely and relevant issues affecting the Cebuano community.

For more information about the radio program, visit http://www.rafi.org.ph or http://www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.

RAFI declares winners of Gabii sa Kabilin blogging contest

Friday, June 8, 2012

By Christianne Eric T. Orbiso and Rosemarrie A. So, RAFI Interns

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) announced the winners of the first Gabii sa Kabilin blogging contest on June 8.

The first prize was awarded to Stanley Cabigas’ blog entry “How I discovered Pilita Corrales in Cebu” in his blog site http://www.langyaw.com. Cabigas shared his experience visiting for the first time the Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum.

The second placer is Maria Rowena Getutua of http://www.mawen-thoughtscraps.blogspot.com with her blog entry “Are you Cebuano Enough?” which featured the museums that she had gone to during the Gabii sa Kabilin.

Finishing third is Vernon Joseph Go of http://www.vernongo.com with “Proud Past: Land Of Kings & Heroes”Go delved into the link between pride of heritage and nation building.

The first prize winner received Php 3,000; second prize, Php 2,000; and third prize P1,000. Each winner will also be given a certificate and a one-year web hosting by Earl Pablo, one of the judges and owner of a web hosting provider.

The blogging contest was open to all the sixth Gabii sa Kabilin participants, who were encouraged to blog about their experiences during the event in their blogs.

The panel of judges is composed of Earl Pablo, owner of a web hosting provider and runs a 30-day blogging challenge; John Silva, executive director of Ortigas Foundation and a published author and blogger; and Marlen del Mar-Limpag, co-founder of InnoPub Media, a company involved in e-book production and data tagging of heritage and tourism sites in the Philippines through QR or quick response codes, and writer of Business World and Yahoo! Philippines.

Gabii sa Kabilin, inspired by the Long Night of Museums in Germany and other European countries, aims to encourage the public to visit museums and understand their position as a venue for cultural understanding. Its sixth run, which gathered 22 museums and heritage sites, was organized by RAFI through its Culture & Heritage unit and partners last May 25.

Culture & Heritage is one of the focus areas of RAFI. It aims to help communities understand, value and share their culture and heritage with others. The foundation’s other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.

For more information about Gabii sa Kabilin and RAFI Culture & Heritage, please call 418-7234 local 703 and look for Florencio Moreño, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.

2012 Gabii sa Kabilin in Restrospect

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

By Christianne Eric T. Orbiso and Rosemarrie A. So, RAFI Interns

We visited half of the museums and heritage sites that participated in this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin. How these old structures and things stood the test of time is something that filled us with awe and wonder. We enjoyed the sight of crowds enjoying the burst of activities, from dances, songs, interactive demonstrations, to games. Everywhere you go, you see smiles painted on the faces of the people around, young and old. We can’t help but feel very proud to have joined this one-of-a-kind event and to be Cebuanos, as we discover our rich culture and heritage.

Here are snippets of our adventures:

Yap- Sandiego Ancestral House

Around 300 years old, this two-story ancestral house tells its age even from the outside.  It is  now privately owned by Val Sandiego, from the eighth generation of the Sandiego family, who oversees its maintenance. Inside the house are centuries-old furniture, kitchenware, and other decorative and household items. Hanged on the wall of its second floor is a 200-year-old canoe made of tugas. Beside the house is a small garden with a four-feet wishing well. Gold coins dating back to the 17th century were said to be found when the well was once cleaned.

yap sandiego hauz

HALAD. Sandiego Dance Troupe offers a Sinulog Dance in front of the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House during the 2012 Gabii sa Kabilin (please see Gallery for other photos on the 2012 Gabii sa Kabilin).

Museo Parian sa Sugbo (1730 Jesuit House)

Hours earlier before Gabii sa Kabilin formally started, this structure built around the 1730s opened its doors to guests with music from a harpist and a pianist. Cebuano songs played all night long.

University of Southern Philippines (USPF) Rizaliana Museum

I bet not all Cebuanos, or even Filipinos, know that the KKK flag still exists to this very day. This symbol of the Filipinos’ unwavering bravery is housed in the Rizaliana Museum of USPF. As young Filipinos who have enjoyed the fruits of freedom, we highly recommend our fellow youth to check out this banner of national pride.

There are more reasons to visit the museum as things owned or that has something to do with the country’s national hero Jose Rizal―from the hero’s winter coats, vests, summer pants, socks, and even original copies of Josephine Bracken’s letters and the Los Domingos de Diario de Manila, a newspaper of Rizal’s time―are on display.

Cathedral Museum of Cebu

The  Cathedral Museum opened a gallery named “Bahandi Sa Pagtuo“, which featured relics from the Parish of Sts. Peter and Paul, Bantayan Island, Cebu.

Other must-see religious items in the gallery include the Indult, a Catholic canon law that was given by Pope Leo XIII in 1840 which permits the Bantayan people to eat meat even in Holy Week; 18th century painting of the mysteries of the holy rosary; an ivory Niño Jesus Dormido (sleeping Sto. Niño); the Orimon, a carriage used when a priest visits the house of a sick person; and the rueda, a set of bells used for Latin mass.

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Museum

Although part of the Gabii sa Kabilin, the BPI museum opened until 4 p.m. only for security purposes. It is interesting to note that it is the first museum in the country with an operational bank at the same time.

The museum showcases historical bank notes, which includes the first banknote produced here in the Philippines up to the banknotes that we are using right now. We also saw bank journals way back 1855 and coins made of gold and silver. It also had an art gallery titled “Bililhong Kabilin”, which featured works of eight Cebuana visual artists The best part of the visit was being able to go inside a large vault that contains decades-old paintings.

Sacred Heart Parish Church

The opening program of this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin was held at the Sacred Heart Parish Church, which was also celebrating its 60th anniversary. Visitors were treated to a glimpse of Chinese culture, like the dragon dance performed by young parishioners and Filipino gastronomic delights , such as the bibingka and puto bungbung sold in the food fair on the parish grounds.

Don Sergio Osmeña Memorabilia and Art Gallery

Located at the College Assurance Plan (CAP) Center, this museum-gallery presented a film of old Cebu structures, places, and personalities. Inside the building, are two master bedrooms named after former president Sergio Osmeña and General MacArthur. MacArthur’s room has a 1952 cadillac with power steering and power windows. The whole museum is surrounded with paintings. Local products are also on display outside.

Museo Sugbo

Today 12 fully airconditioned galleries in three interrelated museums complete with wi-fi facilities as well as museum shops and even a wishing well make Museo Sugbo truly an experience you will treasure.

museo sugbo

LOOMING LARGE. Museo Sugbo opens its door to a huge crowd for 2012 Gabii sa Kabilin (please see Gallery for photos of the 2012 Gabii sa Kabilin).

Fort San Pedro

Cultural dance presentations, a tribal band, and dancers with colorful costumes were the  things that caught our attention. We even saw Koreans jiving to the beat of the drums. They also initiated traditional games for children like sungka. Whille roaming around, we saw a group of Korean kids playing sungka.

Before its gateway, tartanillas (horse-drawn carriages) were parked, ready to take people with tickets around Cebu’s old district.

Plaza Independencia

Several Cebuano visual artists displayed their works which they sold in affordable prices. One artist sketches portraits of customers for a cheap fee. Now, who says art can’t be inexpensive?

Mahatma Ghandi once said, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the souls of its people.” Indeed Gabii sa Kabilin has beautifully etched priceless memories in us that have not only made us more proud of who we are, but have also inspired us to do our share in preserving our cherished heirlooms.

Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines exhibit opens in SM, Ayala

Thursday, June 14, 2012

By Christianne Eric T. Orbiso, RAFI Intern

To drum up public support for the upcoming province-wide running and planting event on June 30 organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and partners, a Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines exhibit that was opened last week will run until June 23 at SM City Cebu and Ayala Center Cebu.

The exhibits, which are open daily during mall hours, are located at SM City Cebu’s lower ground floor, between Air Philippines booking office and Country Crafts, and at Ayala Center Cebu’s Active Zone.

The exhibit features samples of native tree species, reports on the growth and survival rate of seedlings planted during the Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines 2011, and basic information on this year’s event. It also serves as a registration center.

Registration, which ends on June 23, can also be done in Cebu Provincial Capitol PENRO Office, Talisay City Hall at the office of Councilor Bernard Odilao, University of the Philippines Cebu College Arts and Sciences Building, University of San Jose-Recoletos Main Campus, University of San Carlos (USC) Main Campus Supreme Student Council Office, USC North Campus Information Center, USC Talamban Campus College of Architecture and Fine Arts, University of the Visayas Main Campus Arts and Sciences Building, St. Theresa’s College Student Affairs Office, Metropolitan Cebu Water District, and RAFI Main Office (Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center) at Lopez Jaena Street, Cebu City.

Official Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines shirts are sold for Php 200 each at the designated registration centers. Bulk orders can be made at the event’s official shirt supplier.

Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines is held annually every last Saturday of June, which celebrates Environment Month.

The event will be held simultaneously in 51 municipalities and component cities, including Cebu City, making the event a province-wide endeavor. The Cebu Provincial Government has issued an executive order mandating the implementation and institutionalization of Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines throughout the province. This year, Davao del Sur will also organize Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines, making it the first local government unit outside Cebu to replicate the event.

Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines 2012 is organized in collaboration with the Cebu Provincial Government, Aboitiz Equity Venture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Talisay City local government unit and other LGUs in Cebu, and various government and private institutions.

Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines, one of the components of GREENIN Philippines program, is a fun run and planting activity that provides a venue for every Filipino to contribute in rehabilitating and protecting our environment with the goal of bringing back the country’s forest cover.

GREENIN Philippines Program, which stands for Generation REdemption and Expansion of Natural resources INitiatives in the Philippines Program, is one of the programs under RAFI’s Integrated Development focus area. It aims to replicate best practices in environmental protection, conservation, and rehabilitation to more places in the country for a greener Philippines. RAFI’s other focus areas are Micro-finance &Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Education.

For more information about Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines, please contact 418-7234 loc. 515  and look for Vince Tabuñag, or visitwww.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.