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  • SAN JUAN NHS: The Home of ICT Wizards

    Erwin T. Bulabog
    Special Science Teacher – III / ICT Coordinator
    San Juan National High School

    “The world is just a mouse–click away”. This line aptly describes the power of the internet.

    San Juan National High School (SJNHS) is the only public school in the town of San Juan (formerly Cabali-an) located at the province of Southern Leyte. The school is home to almost 1,000 students including some from its neighboring towns. It became a recipient of the Smart Schools Program (SSP) of Smart Communications, Inc. in June 2006 through the effort of then principal Rachel R. Cuevas. 

    SSP's Access, Content, Training (ACT) components made a great impact to the school especially to the students. SJNHS is active in Student Technologists and Entrepreneurs of the Philippines (STEP) Skills Competitions especially in the ICT Category. We have won several contests such as desktop publishing, Powerpoint presentations, e- poster making, and web designing as competed with the nation's best during the national competitions. SJNHS is currently offering several ICT programs such as: Basic ICT troubleshooting, Web Designing, Web Quests, Scavenger Hunt, Mining the Internet, and Blogging . Through SSP, we were tagged as the “home of the ICT Wizards” in the entire division of Southern Leyte.

    Thanks to the program, I was able to enhance and develop my skills in ICT and immediately shared it to my students. Moreover, I earned my Masters Degree major in Instructional Media and Design as a Smart Mentors Scholar at the University of Makati through the Smart Mentoring Program.

    These program components helped the school in improving its standards towards achieving its goal – that is, to give a child a lifelong learning through technology and prepare them to meet the challenges of the real world.

    As an SSP member for five (5) years already, and with the new leadership of our school principal, Mrs. Daylinda G. Tagnipez, I am proud to say that the impact of this program to our school and the community is really a great help. SJNHS students are now enjoying the limitless power of internet education.

    Thanks to the Smart Schools Program. Thanks to Smart. SJNHS is soaring high above the rest.

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  • A Beacon of Hope

    Aileen C. Ibañez
    Cagayan National High School

    As I watch the students practice for the Tuguegarao City Pavvurulun Festival street dance competition, their rhythmic movements are echoes of long-gone generations of Cagayan National High School (CNHS) students who once graced her halls. The drum beats tell of numerous trials those students endured and the sweet victories they shared.

    Indeed, CNHS has weathered the tests of time, as she kept herself afloat with arms wide open to welcome the youth. She nurtured them through different learning opportunities.

    Whenever I look around the school, every nook and cranny speaks of wear and tear carved by time. The classrooms may have been renovated and repainted; the laboratories furnished, the shops and kitchens fitted with new equipment; however, each of them witnessed a boy or a girl who started a dream and gradually blossomed towards greater accomplishments.

    How many students learned reading and writing in the Old Library? How many discovered the wonders of math and science? How many began their own businesses after taking entrepreneurship, baking, sewing and cooking classes? How many of them are now shop owners, farmers, landscape artists, and mechanics? In each of them, CNHS has germinated endless success stories in her verdant classrooms.

    CNHS may be noted for her students’ academic prowess, but more importantly, she has touched the lives of the poor by giving them hope through knowledge and skills they can use for a lifetime. The CNHS legacy can never be contained in books; it lives in every one of her sons and daughters who dared to dream and use their talents for noble purposes. CNHS may not offer a luxurious environment but the students’ resilience—their patience, creativity and resourcefulness— compensate for whatever is lacking in school.

    So every time I walk around the campus, I am grateful for the opportunity to mingle with the youth. Who knows? The student sitting there at the reading kiosk is the country’s next president.

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  • Grooving to the Digital Move: A Journey to the 8th National Science Quest- National Dance Robotics Category

    By Odessa Martirez- Escobia
    Secondary School Teacher 3, Nasipit National High School

    It may be weird for the old generation to see the youth nowadays moving like frozen and cold machines with jerky gestures, but believe it or not, it’s the trend nowadays. From the likes of Lady Gaga dancing to the groove of a futuristic style, robotic dance is the hype, academically wise, even in science competitions.

    From such humble beginnings, Nasipit National High School (NHS), formerly Nasipit Integrated Secondary School, showed the region and country that it is a powerhouse in the dancing arena as they made their way to nationals last February 03, 2011. The dancing triumph in the division level was a momentous occasion for the school as it geared the way towards the regional level. Just like a seed of hope, triumph grew victory after another, for it was a battle to the finish as the dancers bagged the division title and the right to represent the region, meeting stiff competition from fellow schools.

    Once a seed of hope is a now a towering tree of dreams and pride for our groovers. With support from parents and teachers, they rehearsed countless times, synchronizing the body with the jive of music, freely flowing, with passions burning for a chance to shine in the national stage. Eagerness built day by day, till the moment they have to depart for Manila.

    But as the spirits of the 18 robotic dancers from Nasipit were as mighty as the airplane they are going to ride, bad weather gave them reason to be doubtful that their dream of performing in the nationals is slowly fading away. Anxiety grew as a low pressure area developed in the region. Support showed itself through their teachers, coaches and local officials as they found an alternate route from Davao to Cebu then to Manila. From long pauses of anxiety and uncertainty, hope springs eternal as the dancing company enjoyed their flight. Their efforts were not in vain, although they did not take the coveted title, they placed fifth amongst all the regions countrywide.

    The Nasipit NHS robotic dancers grooved themselves history for their school and region but most importantly for themselves and their parents. Their dedication and commitment towards their love and passion for dancing brought them wreaths of recognition and pride from everyone. For a young school such as Nasipit National High, producing this remarkable group of talented people shows the community and the country on how harmonious cooperation is among the constituents of the school system (parents, teachers, benefactors, community leaders, and students), just like the rhythm and beat in a dance, flows smoothly if all is coordinated and seamlessly works as a group.

    Grand as it is to represent the region of Caraga to the national limelight of science and dance, the Nasipit robotic groovers are as humble as their school’s origin. Only 9 years of age, the school was legislated way back 2010. But with the support of the community and its benefactors, Nasipit National High School grew and now boasts of achievers in academics and extracurricular affairs within such time.

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  • Bring it on!

    By Kline Prescotte L. Castillano
    3rd year, Misamis Occidental National High School

    We, from the Misamis Occidental National High School (MONHS), are ready to grace the 7th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards sponsored by Smart Communications, Inc. which will be held on March 09, 2011.

    The best preparation for the event is definitely doing the best that we can today. And sure we did. But it was not easy.

    It was a tough weekend for the four (4) delegates of MONHS, particularly in making booths. Turning the screws from left to right is a hard task and so is the fitting of each part which was very exhausting. It came to a point where we were disgruntled by the fact that we could not construct our booths properly. Screws were everywhere and pieces of wood were on the ground. We were very, very frustrated indeed.

    But Mr. Echalico was there to give us the confidence we badly needed. Through his words of encouragement, we managed to pick up the pieces and build the booths. Slowly but surely, we started to see the fruit of our labor.

    It was a eureka moment when the whole team finished working on the booth. Here’s a glimpse of it:

    MONHS booth 

    So yes, we are 100% ready for the 7th SWEEP Awards! This is certainly gonna be a fun experience!

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  • Students Speak: Proud to be a GSCHS student! (Part 4)

    Students from General Santos City High School share their reasons why they are proud of their school.

    Prestigious school
    By Annieve Carmona

    GSCHS delivers quality education to its students through its four specialized programs: Basic Education Curriculum, Special Program in the Arts, Special Program in the Sports, and Special Science Class. These programs hone the potentials of students, maximizing the use of their skills and talents. Furthermore, GSCHS provides advanced ICT education, producing graduates adept in technology. I feel proud that I am a student of one of the most prestigious schools in General Santos City.

    Preparing for a bright future
    By Harija Salipada 

    Words are not enough to describe how proud I am of GSCHS. In my four years of studying in GSCHS, my life has become happier and more exciting. I met a lot of different people that made great impact to my life. I never expected to learn and achieve as much as I did at GSCHS. 

    The best thing about GSCHS is its dedication to produce individuals equipped with proper knowledge, skills, and values that will make them capable of building a good future for themselves. It teaches its students to have self-confidence by recognizing and honing their talents, and giving them full support on the things that they like to do.

    I love my alma mater and I will always cherish the memories I had here.

    Complete package
    Rizza Mae A. Obligado

    The biggest pride of GSCHS is probably being named the ICT center of Region XII, offering better computer and technology learning, and improved access to the Internet.  Nationwide, GSCHS earned several awards and recognitions, making its name more popular.

    GSCHS delivers academic excellence through its qualified teachers, guiding and supporting students to realize their full potential. And through its various school organizations, GSCHS also trains students to become responsible and competitive future leaders of the nation. Furthermore, it ensures that its students grow with proper values, which makes me even prouder of my school.

    When you study at GSCHS, you will get a complete package—academic excellence, leadership and practical skills, and values.

    No regrets
    By Cresinte Gumilao

    Through the years, GSCHS continues to produce quality graduates who become responsible citizens of the country. It provides its students a strong foundation for college. GSCHS, through its excellent teachers, helps students know their capabilities.

    GSCHS gains popularity through its victories over many competitions in academics and sports. These successes contribute to the pride and confidence of its students, developing a desire within them to achieve more.

    I never regret enrolling at GSCHS. I am confident that the training I get here will help me go a long way.

    Center of Excellence
    By Ken Rix D. Baldoza

    Few years ago, GSCHS presented Project ALERT (Advancing Learning through Electronic and Relevant Technologies), which aims to improve academic performance of students in Science, Math, and English through the use of interactive educational materials. This project is a pride of GSCHS.  

    GSCHS is one of the remarkable schools in General Santos City. This is where champions are made, proven by the countless awards and recognitions it got in academics, sports, and the arts. No wonder many parents want to enroll their children here. GSCHS prepares students for a good future.

    ICT Center
    By Rudy Mariscal

    GSCHS set high standards in the kind of education it provides and for this it gains numerous recognitions. Few years ago it was awarded as the Most Effective Public Secondary School and named the Best School Implementer of Integrated School Health and Nutrition Program.

    Probably one of the best recognitions that GSCHS earned is it being named as the ICT Center of Region XII. It began to develop mastery on ICT on December 2004 when it was chosen as one of the pilot schools of the Philippine Science Digital School e-learning program. Then, further strengthening its ICT proficiency, GSCHS became a partner of Smart Schools Program (SSP)—a project of Smart Communications, Inc. which conducts free ICT trainings and workshops and holds activities that allow student to practice ICT.

    I am proud of GSCHS. With its high standards, it helps students go beyond their limits and achieve more.

    Good learning environment
    By Mae Flor Busano

    GSCHS provides not only quality education but also a good environment for learning. Spending most of my time at school for three years now, GSCHS is like a second home to me. I met a lot of new friends here with different personalities especially that I joined different organizations with which I also learned to develop my leadership and social skills. My friends make me feel comfortable at school making learning easier and more inspiring for me.

    Reasons why I love GSCHS
    By Jessiebel L. Manansang

    I love our school uniform because it looks neat. It makes me feel smart and confident.

    I love the school’s environment. It’s very favorable for learning, allowing me to concentrate well on my studies.

    I love our computer laboratories, DOST laboratories, libraries, and internet connection, enabling me to easily access information and gain new knowledge.

    I love our academic programs as it hones my skills and capabilities.

    I love our excellent teachers as they help me learn more about myself and my capabilities.

    I also love that GSCHS instills good morals and values, guiding me to grow as a well-mannered individual.

    And most importantly, I love GSCHS because it helps me to be the best person that I can be.

    Shaping goodness
    By Rosejene Hapsay

    I love GSCHS because it shapes me to become a good person. It does not only teach us academic lessons but also practical lessons which are more important for us to achieve fulfillment in everything that we do. I have high respect for our teachers because of their brilliance and commitment to help us be the best that we can be.

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  • Students Speak: Proud to be a GSCHS student! (Part 3)

    Students from General Santos City High School (GSCHS) share their reasons why they are proud of their school.

    Beloved alma mater
    by Divina B. Moradas

    GSCHS is a competitive school. It provides quality education and molds its students to become better individuals. Furthermore, it has the best teachers who help the students become outstanding and God-fearing citizens.

    GSCHS is a big part of my teenage life because this is where I met my true friends. I am also thankful for the support given to us by our advisers and teachers who act as our second parents. I will never forget the moments I shared with my friends and teachers in GSCHS. To my beloved alma mater, thank you.

    My pride
    by Lyka Marie P. Galdonez

    GSCHS is outstanding because of its excellent teachers who motivate and inspire students. Our teachers challenge us to aim higher and achieve more.

    It is my pride to be part of GSCHS not only because of its high standards but also because of the values it teaches us.

    Honing skills and talents
    by Katrina Joie Buhian

    What is great about GSCHS is that it recognizes students’ talents and skills and hones them. Our school’s support and motivation help us develop confidence, allowing us to learn and achieve more. Our teachers do not only improve our skills and capabilities, they also lift our morale and guide us to become well-mannered individuals.

    Competitive school
    by Chen-Chen H. Paulio

    GSCHS motivates us to do our best in everything that we do. Our teachers are always supportive and they never fail to guide and encourage us. They nurture our talents and skills, helping us achieve our goals. I am very proud of my school.

    I am enjoying my high school life at GSCHS. I learned the true meaning of camaraderie here. IN GSCHS, I found true friends who help me become a better person.

    A big part of me
    by Jeasa Marie C. Valenzona

    My experiences in GSCHS influence my personality. It’s like my second home. My teachers are like my parents in school, guiding me to become a good and responsible individual. My classmates are like my brothers and sisters with whom I share experiences.

    At GSCHS, we are given the proper training to prepare us for the future. Our school hones our skills and teaches us the right values and attitudes to become good citizens of the country. They help shape us as future leaders of the nation.

    Our school is a partner of Smart Schools Program (SSP), an initiative of SMART that aims to promote ICT in education. GSCHS is actively participating in various SSP activities such as Doon Po Sa Amin Learning Challenge and SSP monthly gimmicks which further enhance our skills in ICT.

    There will be a lot of challenges and struggles in the future but I am confident that I will be able to overcome them because of the things I learned at GSCHS.  I love GSCHS and even after I graduate, I will always remember my alma mater.

    Competitive edge
    Rizza R. Baugbog

    With the advanced education that GSCHS provides to us, especially in the field of ICT, I developed confidence in using computers and different programs. I know that this will be a good competitive edge for me in the future. I am proud of my school. I am very happy to be studying here at GSCHS.

    by Bryan Genotiva

    If I were to describe GSCHS in one word, I would say that it is versatile. GSCHS, the ICT Center of Region XII, excels in many fields which contribute to its prestige and fame.  It has a Special Program in the Sports which provides excellent training to its students. This is why, in almost all sports competitions we participate in, we take home awards. It also has Special Program in the Arts, the home of Kalingaw dancers and The Voice, which are famous in the city and even in some areas of the country. In the field of Science, we have a Special Science Class, which contributes to our numerous victories in science competitions, both in regional and national levels. Our school papers, namely Ang Pastol and The Rancher, are also our pride. Last year, both publications champion the Regional Schools Press Conference. These things and more make us proud to be students of GSCHS.

    Aside from teaching excellence, GSCHS also helps us to unlearn our bad practices and attitudes. Our teachers never run out of patience in instilling values in us and improving our outlook in life. They also never get tired of stretching our limits until we realize the best of our capabilities.

    Learning while having fun
    By Leonard Harris F. Pangcoga

    When we were looking for a school, GSCHS was not my first choice. But now, I am thankful, happy, and proud that I end up studying here. I have no regrets. Teachers and students in GSCHS are great. Because of them, I look forward going to school everyday. At GSCHS, I learn a lot and have fun at the same time I love General Santos City High School because it offers high standard of education. It gives me a strong foundation for college.

    Balancing education and fun
    by Janine Sastrellas

    GSCHS is one of the competitive schools in General Santos City. It excels in the fields of academics, sports, and arts. GSCHS offers special programs that are developed to enhance students’ abilities and competency.

    What I love about GSCHS is that I enjoy while learning. I look forward to our school’s activities and I participate actively. GSCHS balances education and fun.

    Ensuring good future
    by Kirztine Sheen C. Seballos

    GSCHS has four curricula: Special Science Class, Special Program in the Arts, Special Program in the Sports, and Basic Education. Our school aims to further enhance skills and abilities of its students. I love GSCHS because of its expertise on shaping its students to become intelligent and responsible citizens of the country. Our teachers know how to bring out the best in us. With the training I get in GSCHS, I feel confident entering college. I now have more courage and determination to face challenges in the coming years. Thank you GSCHS for preparing me for a bright future!

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  • Students Speak: Proud to be a GSCHS student! (Part 2)

    Students from General Santos City High School share their reasons why they are proud of their school.

    Great School
    By Sushita Beth D. Senobago

    General Santos City High School (GCSHS) is undeniably one of the best schools in the nation, and this makes us very proud. When someone hears the name of our school, what comes to their minds is how excellent GSCHS is.

    Learning is exciting and fun at GSCHS. Our teachers are determined to push us beyond our limits, and to help us realize our full potential. They encourage us to join competitions and extra-curricular activities. Every time we participate, they give us full support and motivation which inspires us to do our best, which I think is a big factor in our victories over many contests.

    In addition, what makes GSCHS even more brilliant is that, aside from the quality education it provides, it also trains us to become well-mannered individuals. I think this is why other people think our school is great. The intelligent and refined individuals GSCHS produces reflect the standards and values of our school.

    One of a kind school
    By Jamila Angeli R. Valle

    I enjoy my high school life because I love my school. I am proud of the kind of education I get from my school and I find good friends here.

    I love challenges, and GSCHS gives me tough challenges which make my stay here more interesting and satisfying. We have excellent teachers who push us to become the best person that we can be. We know that the training they give us will be for our own benefit.  
    GSCHS is a one of a kind school. I make good memories here which I will deeply treasure. My experiences at GSCHS and the people I meet here will always be a part of who I am.

    Great Mentors
    By Novy Jean A. Villanueva

    GSCHS provides quality education to its students. We are well educated and guided by our teachers, and they help us achieve our goals. Our teachers are our mentors. They contribute a lot to our learning and achievements. They never fail to motivate and inspire us to do better.

    Ang Magalang Bow
    By Jacob R. Bahang

    GSCHS is a prestigious school that provides high quality education and produces globally competitive students. This makes us very proud of our school. But what makes us even prouder is our Ang Magalang Bow trait instilled to us by our school. Undeniably, GSCHS is an institution that not only aims for academic excellence but also makes an effort to mold its students to become better individuals by nurturing their moral values.

    Ang Magalang Bow is the practice of bowing as a sign of respect. We do it as a form of greeting to people we meet. But Ang Magalang Bow goes beyond the act of bowing or a polite greeting. It is about respect. It serves as a reminder for us to always observe our manners. Ang Magalang Bow will always be our guiding principle in treating people. 

    We are proud of this culture and we wish to preserve it for many years to come. It would even be better if other schools can do the same.

    By Jennica D. Parreño

    One of the things I acquire from GSCHS is self-confidence. Our school never fails to motivate us to take responsibility and challenges which help us develop trust in ourselves. I feel that I am a braver and more mature person because of the training I get from my school. I am certain that my experiences here at GSCHS will help me overcome many obstacles that will come my way.

    Excellent Training Ground
    By Denmark E. Rondan

    GSCHS gives excellent training to its students. It has several organizations like the Youth for the Environment in Schools Organization, for instance, which aims to make students aware of environmental issues and involve them to environmental efforts. It also holds many activities that are free for students to join, which develops our competence.

    We also have great teachers in GSCHS that give full attention to us. We can really feel their passion to get us educated and help us realize the best of our capabilities.

    My second family
    By Zela Gen M. Biboso

    I love GSCHS because of its brilliant teachers, the quality education it gives, the policies and rules that mold its students to become a better person, and the friendship I have with my teachers and fellow students.  

    Our teachers are effective educators and excellent motivators. When we approach them to share about our difficulties in certain lessons, they would always help us and inspire us to endure the hardships, saying that these are good training for us especially when we get to college. With the guidance and support they give, we can really feel their concern for us which we truly appreciate.

    Our teachers, being our second parents, also share practical lessons and proper values to us. Sometimes, we don’t see the relevance of what they ask from us, but we trust them when they say that it is for our own good so we obey them.

    GSCHS provides me a lot of opportunities to discover more about myself, boosting my self-confidence. I know that the things I learn here in GSCHS will all be helpful as I grow older. 

    GSCHS is like my second family. The moments I spend with my teachers and classmates will always be worth reminiscing.

    Good memories
    By Nathelle Ann T. Bartolata

    Over the years, GSCHS gained prestige as an academic institution. It provides quality education and produces competent individuals. It is named as the ICT center of Region XII because of the advanced training it provides on information and communication technologies. For these, I am proud of my school.

    Teachers play a huge factor in learning and we are fortunate to have intelligent educators who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise to us. They challenge us to stretch our limits and set higher goals.  Sometimes, they are like our counselors too as they are willing to listen to our problems, and to give us advice.

    I will be graduating soon but I will never forget GSCHS. I will always treasure my high school life and the friends I met in school.  Thank you GSCHS for four years of good memories and for molding us into better persons.

    By Korina Myke Pasicolan

    GSCHS, named as the ICT center of Region XII, has an excellent learning environment. It is the home of competitive and smart students. It has excellent facilities that enhance our learning. Our teachers, who are like our second parents, are brilliant and always ready and willing to assist and guide us.

    I am privileged to be a student of GSCHS. The quality education I get from the school gives me confidence because I know I am well-equipped with knowledge and skills that will serve as my weapon to overcome challenges that would come my way.

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  • Students Speak: Proud to be a GSCHS student! (Part 1)

    Students from General Santos City High School share their reasons why they are proud of their school.

    Home of winners
    by John Simon Babia

    General Santos City High School (GSCHS) is one of the best schools in our region. It bagged several awards which contributed significantly to the school’s popularity and prestige. GSCHS students always win in academic and sports competitions. Our school paper also earned many recognitions . GSCHS is also the ICT center of Region XII.

    GSCHS continues to produce competitive individuals. With every achievement my school attains, I feel more proud that GSCHS is my alma mater.

    Commitment to excellence and character
    by Arve Jay Caballero

    General Santos City High School molds its students to become competent individuals. It excels in the field of ICT. In fact, it is considered as the ICT center of Region XII. It is aggressive in joining academic and sports competitions too from which it gained numerous recognitions and awards.

    But aside from academic excellence, GSCHS also instills values and discipline to its students. So, it produces not only bright individuals but also responsible and compassionate citizens. This makes me proud to be a student of GSCHS!

    High school life is the best
    by Ethel Pearl Monacillo

    GSCHS is a school of excellence. It is a school to beat in many competitions nationwide, be it in the field of academics or sports. Every time my school is given recognition, my heart beats with pride. GSCHS teaches me the value of discipline, determination, and hard work. It plays a big role in shaping my personality.

    Aside from its accomplishments, what I love most about my school are the teachers and students who became my friends. They help me know myself better and become a better individual. The memories and experiences I share with them will always bring me joy. Indeed, people are right when they say, “mas masaya ang high school”.

    We are proud of you, our dear alma mater. Continue soaring high!

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  • Our school of choice

    By Roche Nicole B. Rocamora
    Student, Tagaytay City Science National High School

    Quality education, highly competent teachers, modern facilities, and a student-friendly environment. These are the pride of Tagaytay City Science National High School (TCSNHS) and the main reasons why TCSNHS is the school of choice of parents and children in Tagaytay City and nearby areas.

    Envisioning a humane, healthy, and productive society, TCSNHS aims to help young learners to be scientifically equipped with knowledge and skills, to be appreciative of the arts and sports, and to be God-loving. TCSNHS serves as the foundation for the Filipino youth’s lifelong learning and development.

    The school sets and maintains high standards in education for its students. I am proud to be a student of TCSNHS and I can say that I have learned a lot from my school not only for my academic progress but also, and more importantly, for my personal development. In TCSNHS, we are given the proper education we need to become better individuals who have knowledge, wisdom, and good values.

    TCSNHS helps me build my future and fulfill my ambitions. Tagaytay City Science National High School drives students to succeed, and it is the guiding wind that makes us soar and fly high.

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  • Barobo NHS bags top prize at DPSA Learning Challenge

    For the second consecutive year, Surigao del Sur’s Barobo National High School made it to the finals of Smart Communications, Inc.’s (SMART) Doon Po Sa Amin (DPSA) Learning Challenge. But this time, the institution went all the way to emerge as overall champion for its entry, “Sumbada: Buhay Lambat.” The same entry also bagged the Best in Technology and Livelihood category award.

    The awarding ceremony of the 2nd DPSA Learning Challenge was held last February 5 and 6 at the A. Venue Hall in Makati City. The competition, a part of the Smart Schools Program’s (SSP) web-based project Doon Po Sa Amin, is a search for the richest and most significant online local content generated by student-teacher groups from SSP partner schools.

    Barobo National High School’s winning entry “Sumbada: Buhay Lambat” is a descriptive study on the local fishermen’s practice of Sumbada, its legality and the impact on the fishing industry.

    “Our entry is all about awakening the minds of the people in our locality,” says Jade de los Santos, a student-member of the team. Sumbada is an illegal fishing method that uses very fine nets and active gears to catch fish. “Throughout our region, it is only in our locality that sumbada is being practiced,” he adds.

    Head coach Romulo Morata, who spent several nights at sea with some of his students to observe the practice, said that “the students knew what sumbada is, but did not exactly realize what it was all about—its effect and how vital it was for us Barobohanons.” Now that his students are better informed regarding the issue, he is confident that they can “contribute to the development of our community.”

    The team hopes that through their study, the local government units and the community will work together to find sustainable solutions to address this problem.

    Aside from de los Santos, the other members of the team include: senior students Jennifer Noveras and Reiza Tecson; juniors Christine Dianne Angeles and Kevin Jay Gerbabuena; sophomores Gretchen Balahay, Glenn Calamba, Marian Joyce Macadine, Karren Kaye Serrano and Joymae Lyn Morata; freshmen Noren Ruffa Mae Bacsin, Vanessa Gerbabuena, RM David Martinote, John Ruel Dela Peña and Randy Colina; and teacher-coaches Romeo Lepardo, Jr. and Ariadne Cuares, ICT Coordinator/Moderator Alex Mistula and adviser Principal Aida Aribal.

    The team won P50,000 in cash, a trophy and a computer unit with LED monitor. They also received a trophy and an additional P30,000 for topping the Technology and Livelihood Topic Category. The team’s webmaster Jade de los Santos also took home P5,000 for winning the DPSA Quiz Bee held during the two-day event.

    The other topic category winners were: Nueva Ecija High School for "Mathematics of the Tricycle City” (Best in Mathematics); Batanes National Science High School for "Lime and its Building Power" (Best in Science and Environment); Naga City Science High School for “Tigsik: Pagsalingoy sa Lenguaheng Bikolano” (Best in Language and Literature); Barobo National High School for “Davisol: Mga Likha at Pananampalataya” (Best in Arts and Culture); Science and Technology Education Center for “Binisaya: Myth or Scientific" (Best in Health and Wellness); and Naga City Science High School for “Mike V. Padua: Pag-asa Kan Naga” (Best in Social Science).

    Special Awards were also handed out to Agusan National High School (Best in Student Collaboration), Bataan National High School for “Mt. Samat: The Stand for the Fallen” (Best  Website), Maddela Comprehensive High School for “Sierra Madre: The Peak of Life” (Best in Community Impact) and Barobo National High School for “Davisol: Mga Likha at Pananampalataya” (Best in Photos). The special awardees each received P10,000 and a trophy.

    The ten winning teams were given the chance to exhibit their works during the culminating event and compete for the Best in Booth Exhibit award. Nueva Ecija High School garnered the highest score from the judges and the most number of text votes to win the award and an additional P10,000.

    All the winning entries can be accessed through the DPSA’s main website

    For its second run (June-November 2009), the DPSA Learning Challenge received 147 entries from 43 participating schools. The distinguished panel of judges included Community of Learners Foundation Head Feny delos Angeles-Bautista, Web Philippines, Inc. President Roger Chua, Netlearn Ventures, Inc. Trainers Christopher Lorenzo and Lloyd Layug, freelance journalist Mozart Pastrano, and SMART’s consultant for Strategic Business Development Ramon Duremdes and Public Affairs Community Partnerships Senior Manager Darwin Flores, Corporate Communications Senior Manager Salome Flores-Aldaba.

    The DPSA program was launched in 2008 to encourage SSP partner schools to use Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to generate web-based information and educational materials. It also aims to provide the schools a venue where they can share what is unique in their hometowns.

    “Doon Po Sa Amin has helped a lot in promoting cultures in the Philippines,” relates Evangeline Castillo, Head Teacher III of Batanes National Science High School. “We are actually meeting via our websites -- we learn their stories and they learn ours,” she adds.

    DPSA Learning Challenge judge Mozart Pastrano believes the program has given the students a sense of pride of place and rootedness. “It allows the students to immerse themselves in the stories of their community and choose which one they would like to tell the rest of the world.”

    The Smart Schools Program, implemented through the Philippine Business for Social Progress with the support of the Department of Education, is the flagship education initiative of SMART under its corporate social responsibility program Kabalikat.

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