Jose Carillo's Forum



Students give Rx for Philippine health care system
By Tarra Quismundo, Philippine Daily Inquirer

November 27, 2011—This time, it was the patients who gave the prescription.

When pediatricians asked Filipino high school students what should be done to improve health and education, the answers were a revelation worthy of the attention of grownups.

From spending less time on the computer and staying away from junk food to better public and private sector support to health care, some 1,000 students said their piece in an on-the-spot essay-writing competition organized by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS).

Held in celebration of PPS’ 65th anniversary, the contest became the Filipino youth’s referendum of sorts on health care, with their inputs envisioned to form part of public and private sector planning of health and education programs for the youth.

“They have enough awareness about health. They know quite a handful about government programs, and they know about all the distractions they face, like technology, modernization and consumerism,” said Dr. Rosemarie Jean Jaucian-Poblete, chair of the PPS diamond anniversary organizing committee.

“They also know that they have a personal responsibility for their health. As they’re growing up they have dreams, but to [realize these dreams], they need to be nurtured and guided,” Poblete said.

With the theme “Creating Sound Minds and Bodies: Health and Education Working Together,” the competition was conducted simultaneously on Nov. 11 in 11 sites nationwide in partnership with the SM Cares program of the SM Supermalls.

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UST’s Varsitarian to hold 3-day journalism workshop

MANILA, September 19, 2011—The 83-year-old official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) is set to hold a 3-day journalism workshop next month.

Inkblots, now on its 13th year, will feature seminars on writing for news, sports, opinion-editorials, features, culture and lifestyle. It will also offer lectures on investigative journalism, photojournalism, cartooning, Filipino writing and layout.

Invited speakers include Lourd de Veyra, Quinito Henson, Vim Nadera, Cesar Apolinario and Manix Abrera.

The workshop is open to campus journalists, campus press advisers and college students. It will be held from October 13 to 15 at the UST campus in España, Manila.

For more information about Inkblots, contact the Varsitarian at (632) 406-1611 local 8235 or e-mail

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Say “Thank you” to your teacher, Education Department urges

September 2, 2011—In two simple words, honor your teacher with gratitude.

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday called on students to honor their teachers with simple thanks as it launched the month-long celebration of educators in public and private schools nationwide.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro on Thursday initiated DepEd’s “Thank You, Teacher” campaign as part of celebrations of Teachers’ Month this September and World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5.

“I think we should regularly take time to revitalize the image of teachers and draw public attention to their value in society,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a statement.
“It is but proper that the country dedicate a whole month to recognize teachers for their unique role in preparing students for the future, in strengthening communities and in building a nation,” said the official.

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No chalks, no teaching aids, no boards
By Cake Evangelista, Philippine Daily Inquirer

August 21, 2011—Technology is now part of everyday life. So it comes as no surprise to hear that classrooms will soon be retooled to reflect advances in technology.

Recently, Dell came out with what it called “Connected Classrooms,” doing away with blackboards, chalk, charts and other teaching aids traditionally used to mold young minds.
Dell envisions 30 laptops connected wirelessly, each device tuned to a particular lesson shown through an interactive projector managed by a teacher.

Rani Burchmore, head of Dell’s Education Practice for South Asia, said the goal of the “Connected Classroom” is to “transform the learning environment for the Digital Age and align it with the needs of the connected generation.”

By using digital media in lessons and classrooms discussion, students are also encouraged to become more creative and innovative, said Burchmore, who has been developing educational solutions in developing countries in Asia since last year.

Ricky Lopez, country manager of Dell Philippines, also said that the digital divide, or the gap between technology users and nonusers, becomes more apparent in the age of technology.
“Kids are using laptops, PCs (personal computers), tablets and netbooks to do their homework. They are more tech savvy than we are,” Lopez said during a Dell product launch last month.

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Philippines has 26,000 foreign students

MANILA, August 26, 2011—More than 26,000 foreigners are currently studying in various schools throughout the Philippines with South Koreans topping the list, according to the Bureau of Immigration.

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr., in a statement, disclosed that more than 17,000 college enrollees accounted for the bulk of the foreign students while the rest were studying in elementary and high school or taking short-term language courses.

David said those enrolled in college are holders of student visa while elementary and high-school students are issued special study permits (SSPs).

He explained that both the student visa and SSP are issued by the BI to qualified foreign students pursuant to Section 9(f) of the Philippine Immigration Act.

The BI chief cited the increasing number of foreigners studying here as “proof that the Philippines is fast emerging as a major educational hub in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“The fact that more and more foreigners are opting to study here is testament to the improving standard and quality of education provided by the country’s learning institutions," David said.

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High school students find learning exciting with use of iPads
By Alex V. Pal, Philippine Daily Inquirer

July 29, 2011—Imagine a Philippine classroom where students do not anymore use thick, paperbound books. Instead, before each student and the teacher is an iPad.

No, this is not a picture of a classroom of the future. It’s happening now at Foundation University (FU) in Dumaguete City.

The iPad is Apple’s revolutionary handy tablet computer, which has become a popular platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games and web content.
Through this device, sophomore high school students are learning through digitized Philippine textbooks from Vibal Publishing House Inc., which also started producing e-books for this school year.

“It was a wonderful coincidence,” said Victor Vicente Sinco, FU vice president for finance and administration.

The university prepared to start the program this year where only Math, English and Science would be taught using the iPad. But in the process, one of the students stumbled upon Vibal Publishing’s latest innovation.

The university then asked Vibal Publishing permission to be the first Philippine school to use their e-books for iPads. The company immediately sent their software experts to Dumaguete to brief the teachers on how to use the e-books.

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Pinoys reap medals in international math tilt

MANILA, July 18, 2011—Young Filipino math wizards won their share of medals, including a gold and several silvers and bronzes, in the 14th Po Leung Kok Primary Mathematics World Contest (PMWC) held in Hong Kong last week.

Winning a gold medal for Team Philippines and leading the medal winners was Farrell Eldrian Wu, a Grade 5 student of MGC New Life Christian Academy in Taguig City.

“I really love math!” a triumphant and overwhelmed Wu, 11, exclaimed after being awarded the gold medal in ceremonies held last Saturday.

This year’s Po Leung Kuk contest drew 44 teams from 15 countries and territories, namely the United States, Russia, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, South Africa, Bulgaria, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Dr. Simon Chua, head of the Philippine delegation and president of the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines (MTG), said the performance of the MTG math whiz kids was a nice start for their 2011 campaign to get the Philippines recognized for math excellence in the international stage.

Andrew Lawrence Sy of St. Jude Catholic School, Clyde Wesley Ang of Chiang Kai Shek College, Jasper John Segismundo of Pasig Catholic College, and Gen Mark Tanno of Southville International School and Colleges won silver medals in the PWMC.

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Zamboanga math wizard bags gold in Bali olympiad

BALI, Indonesia, July 24, 2011—The Philippines won gold, silver, and several bronze medals in the International Math Competition held here from July 18 until yesterday.

Simon Chua, head of the Philippine delegation and president of MTG-Philippines, said the medal haul in this year’s competition was a respectable performance.

Taking home a gold medal from the math tilt was Gene Go, Jr. from the Zamboanga Chong Hua High School, who started joining international math contests only this year.

Errol John Suarez, a Grade 5 student of Bicol University-Legaspi City, took home a silver medal. He also won a gold medal in the Singapore International Math Competition last year. 

Ma. Czarina Angela Lao of High School Team A won a bronze medal while her teammates Daniel Young of Jubillee Christian Academy, Austin Edrich Chua of St. Jude Catholic School, and Kaye Janelle Yao of Grace Christian College each won a Merit Award.

Jason Joseph Fernandez of Philippine Science High School – Main Campus in Quezon City and Charles Kenneth Dee Lui of St. Jude Catholic School of High School Team B won a bronze medal each while their teammates Hans Bryan Geremy Ong of Grace Christian College and Aldreich Aldwin Aberilla Mayoralgo of Xavier School won a Merit Award each.

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United States:

Chinese students learn about America at portals
By Kathryn Boughton

LAKEVILLE, July 14, 2011—Anyone who has struggled with learning another language—especially one as complex as Chinese or English—would appreciate the opportunity being afforded to 28 students from Peking University High School this summer. The students of the prestigious Beijing high school have traveled half a world to study for three weeks at an equally prestigious institution, Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, where they are learning the nuance of the English language through Hotchkiss’ Portals program.

Portals, an intensive summer immersion in classes that have heretofore been confined to environmental science and music, has been opened up this year to include a third language Portal. English teacher James Fornshell was chosen as director for the new Portal and said that the students would be in residence at Hotchkiss for three weeks, during which time they would read American literature and take part in theater classes.

“These students all converse quite comfortably in English,” explained Mr. Fornshell, “but when it comes to analyzing stories, it is more difficult for them. And they are being exposed to things in American education that are different than they experience in China—such as sitting around a table during class instead of sitting at desks and chairs in a row.”

The students, all handsome and multi-talented individuals, greeted a visitor to their classroom and identified themselves by the American names they had chosen to use while in the United States. There was “Tony” and “Mimi,” “Michael,” “Allison” and “Rachel.” A little more unusual was the choice of “Ian” as an American name and almost incomprehensible was the selection of “Flash.”

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English teacher wins students’ hearts more than 60 times over

ILLINOIS, July 3, 2011—Ryan Doherty, 39, teaches sophomores, juniors and seniors at Metea Valley High School in Aurora, part of Indian Prairie School District 204. The Harvey native (who spent most of his childhood in Elmhurst) and Downers Grove resident has been a teacher for nine years.

Doherty was nominated for The Beacon-News’ “Teacher Feature” by one of his students at Metea Valley, who declined to give her name. “I would want all the attention to be on him (in this article), not on me,” the student said.

As to why the student nominated Doherty, well, “He is one of the best English teachers in District 204.”

“He is so dedicated to his job and I really look up to him; his personality stands out amongst the rest,” the student said. “He is very easy-going, trustworthy, compassionate toward others; his friendliness is contagious to everyone in the building, he cares for individual students and does not treat students as one big mass and that everyone is the same.”

“On top of that, Mr. Doherty is understanding, super knowledgeable, patient and extremely humorous,” the student continued. “He has the greatest love for books that he just shines his excitement onto the students (whether they like it or not) and shows how there is so much more to life than the area we live in.”

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2 Filipino student scientists bag grand prizes in Intel ISEF

MANILA, May 19, 2011—Two young Filipino budding scientists, both incoming college freshmen this June and products of public schools, bagged grand prizes in the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Los Angeles, California in the US earlier this month.

Miguel Arnold Reyes of Philippine Science High School-Main Campus and Angeli Joyce Yap Dy of Capiz National High School, both 16, were among the list of award recipients announced at the end of the ISEF competitions, with their science research projects emerging as one of the best in a field of 1,500 other entries from their foreign counterparts.

Reyes received a Second Place Grand Award in the field of Materials and Bioengineering and $1,500 for his investigation of naturally occurring elements as substitutes for commercial film plastics.

Dy, on the other hand, received a Fourth Place Grand Award in Biochemistry and $500 for her investigation of milkfish serum as a cheaper alternative supplement for the culture of human lung and colon carcinomas cells instead of the expensive but commonly used medium, fetal bovine serum.

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96 aspirants from Western Visayas qualify for DOST-SEI scholarship

ILOILO CITY, April 20, 2011 (PNA)—A total of 96 high school graduates from various schools in Western Visayas have qualified for the 2011 scholarships of the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI).

Data from the DOST here showed that 74 of the passers qualified as scholars under the RA 7687 scholarship, also known as the Science Scholarship Act of 1994, which is a scholarship program for poor and underprivileged but deserving students. They will be pursuing priority courses in the basic sciences, applied sciences, engineering, and science and mathematics teaching.

Twenty two passed the Merit scholarship program. Formerly known as Project 5801, the Merit Scholarship seeks to help college freshmen, from the top five percent of the graduating high school class, enter into and complete specific baccalaureate degree programs. Merit scholars will pursue priority courses in the basic sciences, engineering, other applied sciences and science and mathematics teaching at identified universities.

DOST-SEI scholars under the RA 7687 will receive tuition fee subsidy and other school fees, book allowance per academic year, monthly stipend for 10-11 month duration and more.

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Four outstanding Samar high school students take educational trip to Manila

MANILA, April 23, 2011 (PNA)—Four high school students from a small school in Northern Samar recently enjoyed a six-day tour of Metro Manila as a prize for being the best readers of their crop.

The winners were Aileen Palmera Duque (first year), Justin Biag (second year), Abegail Unay (third year), and Jade Magbanua (fourth year).

To encourage a reading culture in the school, St. Anthony Academy of Mondragon, Northern Samar gathered donations of good fiction books for young people from various local groups and abroad, and launched the Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) program in June 2010.

Each class level had a sustained 15-minute silent reading period daily, with the students reading a book of their choice.

Periodically, the students were given prizes for the best reading logs, and the grand prize for the Reader of the Year for each year level would be the trip to Manila.

This was a takeoff from the school’s reading slogan contest winning entry, “Reading is the best passport to travel around the world.”

Accompanied by their English teacher, Redem del Corro, the group left for Manila on their first plane ride on April 9 and return to Samar on April 14.

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School journalists tackle new education proposal

BUTUAN CITY, April 14, 2011—The country’s top public and private elementary and secondary school journalists are divided regarding the plan of the Department of Education (DepEd) to lengthen basic education from 10 to 12 years, it was learned here Thursday.

The campus scribes from 17 regions expressed their varied views on the agency’s K+12 plan which was the issue assigned by DepEd for them to articulate on in the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) news writing contest held last Wednesday at the Fr. Saturnino Urios University (high school) in this city, which served as venue of the five-day event hosted by DepEd in the Caraga Region.

They were later interviewed randomly by the Manila Bulletin after the hour-long written competition participated in by news writing contestants from various regions. They, however, asked not to be identified.

The K+12 plan, introduced by DepEd Secretary Armin A. Luistro on instruction of President Aquino, proposes to institutionalize kindergarten as regular part of the six-year elementary education curriculum and to add one year to the four-year secondary education program.

A high school journalist from the Eastern Visayas said the K+12 is disadvantageous to students from poor rural and urban-poor families many of whom go to school with half-empty stomach.

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Website on small-scale mining wins grand prize at 3rd DPSA Learning Challenge

“Taliwala sa mga Gilak sa Bulawanong Yuta”, a website about small-scale gold mining in barangay Tambis, Borobo, Surigao del Sur, won the grand prize in the 3rd “Doon Po Sa Amin” Learning Challenge.

Designed and developed by a team from Barobo National High School, the website presents the facts on the history of mining in the locality, the entire mining process and the problems associated with it.

In two new DPSA contests, a team from Naga City Science High School came up with the winning video blog featuring the Bicolano dish Kinalas for “Ano ang Kwento Mo?”; while elementary students of Banaue Central School created the winning blog site on how junk food wrappers can be made into a variety of products for the DPSA Quest.

Doon Po Sa Amin (DPSA) is a community service project of Smart Communications, Inc. that encourages schools to use computer and Internet technologies to contribute web-based information and educational materials about their respective communities.

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Student from Davao City is national oratorical champion

March 6, 2011—A student from Davao City won first prize and became the first national champion of the recently held Voice of the Youth—National Oratorical Competition sponsored by the Department of Education, National Youth Commission, and STI Foundation. The competition aims to develop critical thinking and English communication skills among students.

Joshua Ferrer from Southpoint School Davao bagged P100,000 and P800,000 worth of computer laboratory package for his school, while his coach, Pauline Anne Ferrero, was given P30,000 worth of school-related prizes.

A total of 12 finalists delivered speeches based on the theme “Change I Want To See Begins With Me: Becoming the New Filipino” to a panel of judges composed of veteran broadcast journalist Mike Enriquez; associate professor Dr. Celia Bulan of the College of Arts and Letters in the University of the Philippines; and Mike Walters from the Debate Society of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Besides Ferrer, Charles Andre Cadiogan from Baguio National High School won first runner-up and Patricia Mari Mijares from Bacolod City National High School came through second runner-up.

The other participants from the regions were Cryshielle Mae Osorio and Emman Christian Olpe,  National Capital Region; Ven Guiller Allavado, Region I and Cordillera Administrative Region; Renz Victor Picache and Lourlly Jane Garcia, Regions IV and V; Immanuel Nico Dioneda, Regions VII and VIII; and April Dyan Gumanao, Regions XI and XII.

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UP student wins top prize in international poetry contest

February 4, 2011—A student of the University of the Philippines (UP) won the top prize in a poetry contest for Filipino students held by the Embassy of Chile and UP.

The "unlikely" winner, Rene Calunsag, an Industrial Engineering student of UP, can perhaps relate to what Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's once wrote: "Poetry arrived in search of me."

"I really love Math, but I started writing in third grade, and after that was a cascade of writing," said Rene Calunsag, who was awarded the first prize of 1000 US dollars for his poem entitled "The 34th Miner."

"I realized that when there were 33 miners, there was supposed to be a 34th because at the time that the 33 miners were freed, the rest of Chile will also be freed. So the 34th miner is the rest of Chile," explained Calunsag.

His poem begins:

"This cold, dark mine; it’s silent noise
The piercing fear from Death’s grim toys
The hard, course ground I slumber in
They strangle me—I cannot win"

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Philippine senator tells UPCAT passers to join in nation-building

MANILA, January 5, 2011 (PNA)—Senator Edgardo Angara on Tuesday challenged the new University of the Philippines system scholars to take part in nation-building.

"They must not waste this opportunity to learn from some of the country’s finest educators," Angara, a former UP president, said.

Around 13,000 graduating high school students recently made it into the UP System for Academic year 2011-2012 after taking the notoriously difficult UPCAT last August, earning them entry into one of the 12 UP campuses around the country.

The results of the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test) were released on Monday.

“These bright young minds deserve this chance to get good education. This is why we are working hard to improve the academic programs and facilities not just for UP, but for all the state-funded colleges and universities” said Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.

According to Angara, students of state-run universities are in a unique position to help the nation.

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Students read books not matched to their reading level, study reveals

MANILA, December 16, 2010—Reading is the foundation of academic success and lifelong learning, but the brutal fact remains that a majority of Filipino students do not possess the ability and motivation to read. In 2007, the Department of Education reported that 70% of our nation’s learners are incapable of reading within the expected level.

This is the situation of reading achievement in the Philippines as evaluated by Scholastic Inc., the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. For the past four years, Scholastic-Philippines has been emerging as a leader in educational technology and literacy education as it has been working to address the mismatch between readers’ ability and the level of reading materials students are required to read.

Scholastic’s Assessment and Enrichment Program for Reading (AEP-Reading), a supplemental reading program that aims to change the paradigm across the academic community, is now being used by 40 schools in the Philippines. The program helps schools enable readers and develop their love for reading.

Frank Wong, president of Scholastic Asia, reveals that Scholastic has been helping children around the world for 90 years now. “Reading is such a fundamental skill, and if you can get the kids to enjoy reading, the battle is half won,” he states. “Our Philippine office has achieved much success in this reading program, and now more Filipino students are reading better than they did before.”

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Mapua students bag gold at architecture competition in China

MANILA, December 2, 2010—Students from the graduating class of Mapua Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture, Industrial Design and the Built Environment (ARIDBE) bagged the gold award at the International Competition for Sustainable Architecture and Design (ICSAD) last September. Participating were 20 schools and universities from across the globe, with two entries coming from MIT.

Geared toward housing problem of the urban poor, ICSAD encourages a creative and multi-disciplinary approach in designing sustainable city development of the future. The competition called for entries for pro-poor and eco-efficient housing solutions using local materials and vernacular traditions in a modern context.

Rio Cielo F. Velasco, the representative of the team “Fusion”, presented the design solution to the panel of judges during the final leg of the competition and later received the award. Angeli-Kathryn Jalla, the representative of another team finalist under Archt. Albert S. Zambrano, likewise received their certificates as finalists.

The winning team, together with adviser architect Junar P. Tablan, received a one-week free accommodation at an environmentally friendly resort in Palawan, the chance to be involved in the design of the Zero Carbon Cottage for the EU co-funded “Zero Carbon Resorts” project, and publication of the entry in the journal Architect in Japan.

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25,000 Bihar students to participate in English Olympiad

PATNA, December 29, 2010—As many as 25,000 school students from Bihar belonging to Standard II to X are expected to participate in International English Olympiad (IEO) being organized jointly by `The English and Foreign Language University (EFAL)', Hyderabad, and Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF).

According to SOF state coordinator Vishal Daftuar, while the one-hour joint test would be held on January 29 in the state, the last date for registration to participate in IEO has been extended, and the full details could be had from the mobile number 9973119416.

He said that 25,000 students belonging to 200 schools would be participating in the IEO. Of them, 6,500 students would be from the schools at Patna alone, Daftuar added.

The SOF has collaborated with EFAL, Hyderabad, which is the only internationally known institution and university for English language in the country. The one-hour examination would have questions aimed at testing students' knowledge in word structure, reading and spoken as well as written expressions, Daftuar said, adding that the All India English Language Testing Authority ( AIELTA) would frame the questions.

All the participating students would get Participation Certificate and their respective English Quotient reports, while 500 most successful students at the international level, each from every class from Standard II to X, number 4,500 in all, would also be honoured.

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