April 25, 2017

Elements of the finest schools in a school run by parents

MANILA, Philippines – While teachers take the place of parents in thousands of schools all over the country, none offer the kind of pedagogy that schools under the Parents for Education Foundation (PAREF) possess. These are schools run by no other than the parents themselves. With a firm resolve, they formed PAREF in 1976, a non-stock, non-profit corporation, whose main objective is to put up schools and to provide parents the means to promote the world-class education they dreamed for their children.

Dreaming of leaders who can bring about social transformation, PAREF focuses its efforts on building men and women of character.

“Members of the alumni,” reported Ralph Guzman of PAREF-Southridge School, “are just about always bumping into co-alumni at the University of the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Asia and the Pacific, and the University of Santo Tomas.” Indeed PAREF students continue to enter Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Brown, Yale, and Stanford, even earning Latin honors of summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude. Within its 35 years, the system has produced at least ten summa cum laudes, six of them in American universities. Thus, the University of the Philippines and some DepEd officials have informed PAREF that its student results show that it is one of the top school systems in the country.

For PAREF, its strongest tool for facilitating personal excellence is one-on-one mentoring. Each child is assigned to one mentor, a member of the school personnel, who chats on a periodic basis with the student personally to understand his or her personality, behavior and potential. Inspired by the ideas of a modern saint and Catholic educator, Josemaria Escriva, PAREF is the first organization in the Philippines to practice this type of active partnership between parents and teachers.               

Building on this key strength, PAREF has developed its home-school collaboration system through the years. The latest addition is the incorporation of Harvard-Business-School-style case studies in its New Parents Education Program (NPEP), developed together with Educhild Foundation.

The faculty is considered the heart of the school. Thus, PAREF ensures that its teachers are fit for the purpose of being parent partners outside the home.

PAREF has successfully realized its mission and vision by putting up 7 single-sex schools all over the country: Southridge, Woodrose, Rosehill, Northfield, Springdale, Southcrest and Westbridge. The PAREF Preschools, Inc. (PPSI), meanwhile, is composed of Rosemont, Ridgefield, Rosefield, Ridgefield Iloilo and Rosehill Preschool.

For parents who aspire to play a proactive role in the education of their children and desire for them to grow up living the values of the Catholic Faith, PAREF will be more than happy to welcome them as part of their community. Parents can visit any of its schools all over the country or call (02) 6314292, 7810220, 6311695 or 6877104 or send an email to centraloffice@paref.org. Parents can also visit www.paref.org or drop by the PAREF Office at Units 107-109 Cedar Mansion II, No. 7 Escriva Drive, San Antonio Village, Pasig City.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/education-and-home/2013/10/31/1251400/elements-finest-schools-school-run-parents

Forming character

ONE of the important goals of education is to form the character of children. It is that part of a person that provides stability and direction in his life and everything in it, starting with the way one thinks, his attitudes and his reactions to things in general.

A person, of course, is a very dynamic being, but he needs to have a sense of permanence and confidence. He needs to be rooted and moored in some sound foundations and oriented to some clear and good goals. He just cannot be drifting aimlessly, twisting in the wind.

A person needs to have an over-all view of life. He has to have a good idea of where he comes from and where he is supposed to go. He has to find meaning and purpose in everything. In fact, he has to know what man is really all about. In this, he cannot and should not be left in the dark for long.

Thus, we have to feel the need to be clear about who and what we are. This involves our core beliefs and faith. Let’s try to be professional and serious about this, avoiding being amateurish and sophomoric. And so we have to understand that we have to be committed to a global view of man and life.

For this, our Christian faith gives us the whole thing—from man’s creation to his eternal destiny. We have to be wary of some attractive ideologies that offer partial truths that often get distorted and exploited for some ulterior motives.

In short, we have to be committed to our Christian faith, for it contains the whole truth and mystery of man, and goes much further than any man-made ideology can offer. Commitment to our Christian faith should not remain on the intellectual level only. It has to involve our whole life with all our powers and faculties.

So everyone has to work to form the right character for oneself and for others. With respect to the children,  the task is a long, tedious process that has to go in several stages, typically slow, even meandering, in accordance to the rhythm of life itself, but it should be abiding and relentless.

Good knowledge on shifting gears is definitely a necessity here, since we are going to meet all kinds of terrains, challenges, circumstances and other factors and conditionings.

Since children are not aware of the need to form their own character, their parents and teachers have to gradually make them aware of it. In the end, it is the children themselves who are the primary agents in forming their own character.

The responsibility of the parents and teachers is undoubtedly big and indispensable, but at best secondary. To the children, parents are the primary educators. Teachers just help. Both need to coordinate very closely with each other.

For sure, they need to make time for this all-important duty. This cannot be treated as a sideline only. They need time to be with the children, and time for their planning and meetings.

For this reason, parents and teachers should be clear about what is involved in forming the character of the children. They have to know what education is really all about.

Then, of course, they have to know the many, endless details of the techniques and methods involved, when to be strict, when to be lenient, etc. They have to realize then that they need formation themselves and that their formation as educators also has to go on. It should be an endless affair.

For sure, education just cannot be understood as imparting some knowledge and skills to the children. It covers a whole lot more. Many considerations have to be made—the temperament and psychology of the children, the close monitoring of their behavior, etc.

As educators, parents and teachers have to be knowledgeable not only about the subjects involved in education, but also about the appropriate ways to educate children. They need to combine a wide range of qualities—patience, cheerfulness, toughness, optimism, naturalness, openness and flexibility, etc.

They have to be good at motivating, since children respond so favorably to this that we can say that their growth and development would depend largely on the motivation they receive especially from parents and children.

They have to feel appreciated and loved, needed and important. Even when they have to be corrected, they should realize by the way we do the correction that they are in fact loved and needed, never rejected.

This, I think, is how they form their character and acquire both human and Christian maturity.

Igimax: love your sport, make it your passion

Mr. Ampiloquio, Dr. Payod, Mr. Mendoza, Mr. Rosal, Mr. Cabuguas, teachers and staff
My dear parents and friends… 
My fellow awardees… 

Sport teaches me a lot of things. Allow me to share them with you especially to the younger Titans.

The first one is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else. It has to be your choice… it has to be your passion.

Defeats are like fire. It can destroy or strengthen you, depending on your outlook in life. But remember, the fire that melts the butter is the same fire that hardens the steel.

Champions are not made in the gym. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. And remember, when you are not practicing, someone, somewhere, is practicing and when you meet him, he will win. This goes to show how important hard work and sacrifice is.

Being a student and an athlete at the same time is not easy … it takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, determination and proper time management on both our school work and training schedules. We could not have done this without the support of our parents and our school, PAREF Springdale.

In behalf of all the awardees, let me thank our school for giving us the opportunity to learn things outside the four walls of our classrooms. You encourage us to explore on extra-curricular activities such as sports, without having to give up on our academics. Your all-out support and understanding by excusing us from our classes yet allowing us to make up for our absences is such a privilege that not all student-athletes from other schools enjoy. This is probably the reason why most of us, Springdale athletes, if not all, excel in our sports.

We learned how to balance both our chosen sport and our studies. We thank you, teachers, for shaping our character and making us the kind of student-athletes that we are today. We really appreciate and will forever be grateful for the opportunities you opened up for us not only academically but also in the field of sports. And of course, to all our parents, we thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for the support and sacrifices you have given us to make things possible and for always being there for us, no matter what.

Let me end this by sharing with you my “3 Simple Rules in Life”:

– If you do not GO after what you want … you will never have it. 
– If you do not ASK … the answer will always be a no. 
– If you do not step FORWARD … you will always be in the same place.

Learn to TAKE risks … and see where your brave heart can take you!

God bless the Titans! Good evening.

Athlete's Night Address by Luis Miguel "IgiMax" Maximo, Philippine Cycling Team

Team Philippines among the Top Four in 2012 World Schools Debating Championships

Six Philippine high school students made history by reaching the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) semi-final in Cape Town, South Africa in January this year, thereby emerging among the top four teams of the tournament. 

Foto / Sharmila Parmanand

Cape Town, Africa. Foto / Sharmila Parmanand

Having participated since 2002, this was the furthest that any team from the Philippines had ever progressed. The team, composed of Joaquin Maria Bonoan Escano from PAREF Southridge School, Donald Felbaum and Nico Lorenzo Flaminiano from Xavier School, Rico Rey Francis Holganza, Jr., from PAREF Springdale School in Cebu, Sanjeev Parmanand from Ateneo de Zamboanga University High School, and Mariella Antoinette Salazar from International School Manila, finished 8th after 8 preliminary rounds of debating, with 6 wins – the highest ever for a team from the Philippines.

Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC extends his greetings to the Philippine team for the honor they have brought to the country. “I am truly pleased with the convergence of young people from different parts of the world to share their opinions on issues affecting their respective countries locally and globally. But more importantly, hats off to the Philippine team for showing the world the great potential of Filipino students,” said Luistro.

He added that the competition has been a golden opportunity for the world to hear and understand the youth’s views on topics that are often discussed only by the older generation – when the issues discussed shall most certainly affect the younger generation.

The team proved to be the tournament’s surprise package, earning the respect of judges and coaches all over the world, as they went on to defeat Canada (2010 champions) in the first round of the finals, and Singapore (2011 champions) in the quarter-finals. They were narrowly defeated in the semi-finals by eventual champions Scotland.

“The team put in a great amount of work, researching topics and practicing their debating, along with having to manage their schoolwork, and it’s good to see their effort and dedication rewarded,” said Sharmila Parmanand, a three-time Asian Champion debater and former member of the Ateneo de Manila Debate Society, who served as coach this year.

Kip Oebanda, a Philippine national champion and two-time Asian semi-finalist, who coached the Philippine team for the previous two championships, noted that this was the first team to field speakers from outside Manila, with a speaker each from Visayas and Mindanao.

“It’s exciting to see debate spreading across the country,” he said.

Source: http://deped.net/team-philippines-among-the-top-four-in-2012-world-schools-debating-championships.html

Springdale wins in Knowledge Challenge

The Bethany Christian School and PAREF Springdale swept wins during the elementary eliminations of the 2nd BTC Knowledge Challenge on Sept. 10.

The teams from grade 3 to grade 6 dominated the first round of the inter-school quiz bee at the Banilad Town Centre (BTC) and will compete in the finals on Sept. 24.

St. Theresa’s College and Acedemia del Christifidelis also had three teams going into the finals as well as Cebu Bradford School with two teams.

A team each from Cebu Eastern College, Childlink Learning Center, Marie Ernestine School and St. Paul Learning Center also made it to the finals.

Each team has three students. The eliminations for the secondary division will be held today, Sept. 17 at the second floor lobby of the BTC main building.

While 11 schools competed in the elementary division, 10 schools have registered teams to compete from first to fourth year levels.

Other than the schools mentioned, the Don Bosco Technology Center and Harvest Christian School also competed in the high school division.

Jiggy Junior of Y101-FM is quiz master. Now in its second year, the Knowledge Challenge is in collaboration with the Department of Education that reviewed the quiz items and provided the judges.

The winners will receive golden BTC medals and gifts from BTC tenants, while the school with the most number of winning teams will get a trophy as overall champion.

Published in the Inquirer News on September 17, 2011.

Run with the Titans

RUNNING PARENTS. Veteran runners Dr. Potenciano "Yong" Larrazabal III (seated, third from right) and wife Donna Cruz (second from right) will lead some 2,000 runners in PAREF Springdale's first foray in running.

FOOTBALL FOOTBALL powerhouse Paref Springdale will take a stab at running as it hosts its first road race dubbed Run with the Titans on Nov. 20 at Parkmall, Mandaue. The event, which will be headed by the parents of the Grade 3 students, is held in connection with the school’s tradition of celebrating its own Father’s Day.

Titan, a moniker used for Springdale students, inspired this year’s batch to create a project of organizing a running event. “It’s the first time we’re doing a run. It is part of our efforts of getting known in Cebu not only in football but also in running,” said Ric Ampiloquio, who is the Paref Springdale school director. 

They will have a 15K, 7K and 3K divisions, while the sprint events will be exclusive for students. Grades 1 and 2 students will have the 200-meter sprint, Grades 3 to 7 will have the 300-meter sprint, while the high school students will have the 500-meter sprint.

They will also have a separate 7K division for teachers and parents.

The run will raise funds for its beneficiary Kaabag Foundation, which holds a feeding program every Monday among 80 kids from different barangays. The school also partners with them every December for their own feeding program.

“We wanted to expose the kids to the society’s conditions,” said James Co, who heads the committee on marketing and logistics.

Also a proud parent of his third-grader Cian, Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman of the Run for Sight, will make sure that most of the needs of the runners will be provided.

The registration fee is P300 for the 15K, 7K and 3K.

Registration period will start next week at Parkmall, Center for Sight Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital and Shell Station Lahug until a few days before the race.

The run is expected to gather more than 2,000 runners, and the students will be required to attend as Nov. 20 will also be the school’s family day.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2011.

PAREF junior gets in national debate team

RICO Rey Francis Holganza, a 16-year-old junior, made it to the Philippine national secondary debate team after a weekend of gruelling tryouts.

The Team Philippines: World Schools Debate Championships committee came to Cebu last Dec. 18 and 19 and hosted a tryouts session at the University of the Philippines Cebu College campus.

Holganza, or Ribo as his friends call him, was chosen by Kip Oebanda and James Soriano, head coaches of the team, after several rounds of debate where six other Springdale students participated.

He will be sent to Dundee, Scotland, on August and to Cape Town, South Africa, on February to compete in two editions of World Schools Debate Championships.

Four of six slots in the team have been taken by Holganza, Joaquin Escaño from PAREF Southridge School, Sanjeev Parmanand from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Akshar Bonu and Mariella Salazar from the International School of Manila.

Practice was intense because it would last until four in the morning, but it was all worthwhile,? Holganza said.

The team has been competing regularly for the past few years, but this is the first time the committee hosted tryouts outside of Metro Manila, making Holganza's accomplishment an even bigger one.

Published in the Inquirer Global Nation on March 29, 2011.

 

Paolo Pascual: Being a part of the Azkals is a very, very big achievement

MANILA, Philippines — Yannick Tuason and Paolo Pascual leave everything behind for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with the Azkals.

Paolo Pascual, goalkeeper: The other ‘Papa P’

He may not be Piolo, but Paolo Pascual now has his fair share of crazy, adoring fans since joining the Azkals as one of its newest homegrown recruits.

Paolo and the rest of the U-23 (Under 23) players are currently preparing for the Southeast Asian Games in November in Indonesia where he will be the first goalkeeper.

He is also getting back to fighting form after he dislocated his shoulder almost two months ago.
 
Photo grabbed with permission from Paolo's Facebook.

Paolo was just a regular Business and Entrepreneurship college junior at the University of San Carlos in Cebu when he got a call from the Philippine Football Federation asking him to try out for the Azkals.

While it’s already an achievement to try out with other experienced and talented players who come from the other parts of the globe, what sets Paolo apart is the fact that he made it to the national team at only 20 years old. The 5’11” Cebuano native has been training with the Azkals since January.

Paolo started playing football when he was seven years old at Paref Springdale School. He was a striker until Grade VII when his coach Mario Ceniza realized Paolo had the potential to be a good goalkeeper given his height. He has since played in Global Smartmatic FC and in the Philippine U-19 team that competed in China.

Paolo is supposed to be in fourth year college now, but because most of the trainings are conducted in Manila, he is now looking for a school in the capital city where he can continue his studies while he attends the national team trainings at the same time.

Even if he is away from home, Paolo relates that he is always reminded by his father to “always be an intelligent athlete” by balancing academics and sports.

How did you get into football? I started when I was seven years old, for school. Since then, I’ve been playing football in elementary, high school and college. It has always been my childhood dream to play football.

Who are your football idols? Being a goalkeeper, I look up to Iker Casillas. Locally, I look up to my partner, Eduard Sacapano. He has a good work ethic and he has been with the team for so long so I think he deserves to get noticed, he deserves credit.

How would you describe yourself as a player? A goalkeeper should have discipline and a good work ethic. You shouldn’t give up. Even up to the last minute, you should give it your all. Neil Etheridge gives us a lot of tips. When he’s here, he trains us. He’s got a lot of really, really good and useful tips.

What type of a student are you? I’m silent, kinda studious and friendly.

Was it a tough decision choosing between school and being part of the national football team? It is football for now. But I know you can’t get a living by just doing football. You have to earn after football also. So you need a college degree and all that to go through with life. I talked to my mom and dad about it first and I told them that this is just a once-in-alifetime experience. My parents have been very supportive. They’re the ones who have been encouraging me to join the Azkals.

Who inspires you during a game? Number one is God. Next is ‘yung mga na-achieve nung veteran teammates namin, all the Pinoys who have been with the Azkals ever since, like Roel Gener. Their dedication to the team and to the country is amazing.

Do you have any rituals before a game? I just pray.

How has football changed your life? Now that we’re part of the team, you should be more conscious about your health. That’s something to focus on.

What do you consider is your biggest achievement so far? I think being a part of the Azkals is a very, very big achievement already.

What was your craziest experience with a fan? In Barotac (Iloilo) it is pretty wild. The crowd there is rowdy compared to Manila. Here kasi, they keep things to themselves. There they would, they release. They do anything.

Are you single or in a relationship? I’m single.

What do you look for in a girlfriend? I like someone who is God-fearing and family-oriented.

The biggest sacrifice that you have to make as an Azkal? Being away from the family. I’m from Cebu and to move here to Manila is a big sacrifice for me.

What was the biggest adjustment for you coming from Cebu? The life and the family. Homesickness. In Cebu, I have everything there, you have a home, you’re family is there for you. But here, you have to be independent. You have to learn how to live on your own. You have to find ways to get by here in Manila. It was hard adjusting. But after probably a month, I got used to it already.

If you were not a football player, what would you be doing now? I will be studying. Get my business degree then maybe I’ll go become a pilot. It’s been my dream as well.

Do you think the Azkals will survive without the Fil-foreigners? I think we also need the Fil-foreigners. They bring a lot of experience to the team. But skills-wise, I think the pureblooded Filipinos have it.

What was your initial reaction when you saw your team captain, Aly Borromeo’s billboard? Good for him. I’m happy for him. If you have that kind of body, why not flaunt it. Aly has been with the team for so long already, he really deserves all the attention and fame that he has been getting now. Same with Ian (Araneta), Chieffy (Caligdong) and Role (Gener). I’m closest to them and Yannick (Tuason).

Is there a player in the team that you get intimidated by? In football, if you get intimidated, nothing will happen to you. You have to be strong.
 
Published in the Manila Bulletin on July 20, 2011.

Pages: Gio Gandionco’s dream: ‘Be like Rory’

By John Pages

TIGER Woods is outdated and passé. Today’s young golfers want to be like the 22-year-old Irish champion of the United States Open.

Take the son of Opep and Cora Gandionco. Only 16 years old, he possesses the confidence and maturity of Rory McIlroy.

Angelo Jose “Gio” Gandionco explained: “Rory inspired me to do better and to challenge myself; if Rory can do it, why can’t I? It may be tough to be the best or even get in the PGA Tour but if you have the will and desire, you can achieve it. Rory winning made me realize that it’s possible to win one of the biggest tournaments and beat the best. Like now, I’m touring America playing tournaments and I’m up against the best juniors. I know if I play my game I can beat them like Rory. If I focus on what I’m supposed to do and not get intimidated, I can win.”

Spunk, spirit, and self-assurance.

That’s Gio.

From the U.S., he e-mailed last week. “I just finished my first tournament this second trip here,” said Gio. “It’s the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Club Corp Mission Hills Desert Junior in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), California. Despite jet lag since I just arrived three days earlier and playing in 114-degree weather, I finished second with a score of 71-73-72, which is my best finish so far here. Most of the other players were from California. LJ Go (from Cebu) also played.”

Gio, a 2-handicapper who also idolizes Rickie Fowler (“He stands out with his fashion statement”), travels next to Pinehurst, North Carolina and Huntsville, Alabama. He then returns home to Cebu, where he is a fourth year high school student at Paref-Springdale (and a five-time Student Athlete Of The Year).

“Last April,” he added, “my mom’s family had a reunion in Hawaii so we went on to Texas to join a tournament at the Texas A&M University. I finished 14th (that was a highly-ranked junior event) and, at the PGA Golf Club in Florida, I finished in the top 10. Here in the U.S., there are 5,000 junior golf players… so I think I have been doing well.”

Gio started golf at the age of four. He used Little Tikes plastic golf clubs and his dad, Opep, who heads the family-owned giant Julie’s Bakeshop, was the person who taught his son how to swing.

By age 7, Gio joined golf events. But, he also had a similar interest in the Azkals game of football. He was Springdale’s striker. Finally, he had to choose. “When my soccer tournaments and golf coach’s schedules competed for my time,” he said, “I knew I had to make a choice. Although I enjoyed the team play in soccer with my friends, I knew it was golf I really loved! So at 11, I started to seriously work on my game.”

Mixing academics and sport has not been easy. “My schedule is very hectic,” said Gio, an honor student who consistently averages 90+. “But, I always try to put time for both practicing and studying. During schooldays, I get dismissed 4:30pm so I head to either the range or the golf course on MWF. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work out in the gym. I get home 6:30pm, study, eat, sleep. It is not easy being a student-athlete; you have to learn how to manage your time well. Even while I’m away for a tournament, I still have to read books and do homework to prepare for tests.”

Gio’s dream? To play in the PGA Tour. But first, he says, “My goal in the medium term is to get a scholarship at a prestigious U.S. university. I would like to play college golf, at the same time graduate with a degree in Business.”

His best score? A 5-under par in a Men’s Amateur tournament late last year. “Although I am still working on my game,” he says, “my short game has always been my strength.

Every aspect of my game is still a work-in-progress, and I am open to learning and improving.”

As to the aspects of golf that he enjoys most, he answers, “I love every part of the game: the pressure, the challenge, the intimidation, the hard work, the difficulties that come everyday and, most of all, the feeling of knowing you’re improving.”

Only 16, Gio sounds like a very, very mature person.

Just like Rory.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu on July 7, 2011.

Paref returns to Bonbon for charity work

For the third year in a row, the senior and junior students of Paref Springdale School visited Bonbon Elementary School for their annual Work Camp.Held from Feb. 21 to 23 and 28 for the juniors and March 1 to 4 for the seniors, the third Work Camp involved the students carrying out charitable works.

 

The three main objectives of this year’s Work Camp were the annual tutorial sessions in Mathematics and Reading, the creation of a school garden and the painting of the new computer laboratory. Springdale also plans to donate its old computers for the laboratory.

The juniors culminated their Work Camp with musical performances in front of the children while the seniors culminated theirs with a feeding program.

Through this annual Work Camp, Paref Springdale aims to provide its students with a quality work experience, interaction with less fortunate children and an opportunity to contribute to society.

“I’ve opened my eyes to reality, I felt happy to be productive and give back to society,” said Matthew Cancio, a junior student.

The public school, located in the mountain barangay of Bonbon in Cebu City is around an hour’s drive from the city and has been Springdale’s “adopted” school for three years now. 

 

In the past years, some of the projects that have been accomplished by subsequent junior and senior batches included the rehabilitation of classrooms, the construction of computer desks, the setting-up of a computer laboratory, the fencing of dangerously steep areas and sport tutorials.

“I hope Bonbon can cope up with the needs of the latest education trends with the help of Paref Springdale,” said Principal Arlene Caballero.


The third annual Work Camp was truly an enriching experience for all as the community expressed its utmost gratitude for yet another year of charity.

Published in the Cebu Daily newspaper on March 04, 2011.