Internationally-acclaimed author Candy Gourlay gave a talk to the Grade 7 students of Miriam College Middle School last September 26, 2014. Miss Gourlay, a two-time recepient of the Crystal Kite Prize for Europe, talked about her journey to becoming a novelist, from starting out as a journalist to realizing her dormant passion for prose writing. She drew parallels between her life and Joseph Campbell's "The Hero's Journey, "a cyclical structure that archetypal heroes complete in the course of a story. Miss Gourlay's first book, “Tall Story” is part of the Grade 7 list of required readings.

The students immensely enjoyed her animated personality and her up-to-date references from some books and movies that the students love. She undoubtedly inspired and captured the hearts of not only budding writers, but of anyone who wishes to become a hero in their own journey as well. In the words of a student who was in the audience, "Miss Gourlay knows what's up."

Candy Gourlay currently resides in London with her husband and three children. Other than “Tall Story”, she has also been acclaimed for her new book, “Shine”. It debuted in the UK in September 2013 and in the Philippines this year.

Miriam College Child Study Center made its move to gain further knowledge on media education by attending the 7th World Summit on Media for Children. The conference which happened first time in Asia was held last September 8 – 11, 2014 at the Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CSC’s very own Marose Yuzon, Teacher Tel Cruz and Teacher Beckie Ticsay were privileged to be part of this conference.

The summit aimed to achieve a greater understanding of developments in children’s media around the world, to raise the status of children’s programming by bringing issues and concerns to the attention of key people in production and distribution and bringing to fore the importance of issues relating to children and young people. 

The three-day conference emphasized the school’s role to enhance the learning of the students using media education. Instead of prohibiting children from using media, the school's role is to recognize the changes and to provide the students concepts and activities that would make them intelligent and responsible social media users.

Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA) presented the Insurance Education Award to the College of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Accountancy (CBEA) of Miriam College last October 9 at the New World Hotel in Makati. PIRA recognized the contribution of Miriam College in actively promoting and teaching Risk Management to their Business Education students.  Receiving the award were CBEA Dean Dr. Antonio M. Lopez and BA Chairperson Dr. Elaine Boquiren.

Student delegates from the UNESCO Youth Club of Miriam College namely, (in photo from left) Alexis Nadine Bautista, Beatrice Passe, Andrea Conopio, Katrina Hizon, and Angeline Ramos bagged 1st runner up in the Quiz Bowl on the UN Millenium Development Goals. The activity was part of the International Youth Development Summit 2014 held at Atrium Hotel, Pasay City last September 20-23.

With the theme, “Reimagining a Peaceful and Resilient World Beyond 2015”, youths from various regions of the Philippines came together in forming and sharing ideas, planning and introducing better solutions towards achieving the world’s current development agenda: the International Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD 2005-2014) and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Plenary sessions, workshops, and orientations were conducted with the goal of empowering and increasing efficient participation of the youth sector in coming up with solutions to the challenges faced by developing countries as well as the rest of the world.

Miriam College is partnering with Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and Leonio Land, Inc. for the development of a 10-hectare campus in Alviera, ALI’s newest township located at the heart of Central Luzon in Porac, Pampanga.

The campus will offer Senior High School and differentiated college programs with special focus on arts, design, technology and management fields.

Top left photo shows (from left) Glenda Villanueva, High School chairperson for Business and Trades;  Maria Luisa Villano, HEU Admissions officer; Cristina Ibanez, President’s Office technical assistant; and Romualdo Romulado, Miriam College Marketing head with Fernando Zobel de Ayala, ALI chair; and John Estacio, general manager of Alviera during the launch of Alviera in Porac.

On October 3, 2014, Miriam College, ALI and Leonio Land, Inc. formally signed the agreement for the development of the campus. Top right photo shows (from left) Meean Dy, vice president of Ayala Land, Clarissa Leonio-Asuncion, managing director of Leonio Land Inc. with Dr. Rosario Lapus Miriam College president and Dr. Glenda Fortez, vice president for Academic Affairs.

This is the second partnership of the school with ALI, the first of which is the development of MC NUVALI in Sta. Rosa.

MANILA, Philippines – Real passion is when after getting a degree in a certain field of discipline you still pursue another because it is where your heart truly belongs. Though some never find the courage to take that brave step, Chic Francisco, a 1972 graduate of AB Communication Arts from Maryknoll College (now called Miriam College) took every step she could towards her real passion: dressmaking and fashion design.

Coming from a family of art critics and enthusiasts, Chic (whose real name is Eloisa) recalls that it was her cousins’ constant encouraging and positive assessment on her sense of fashion and style that drove her to putting up her first fashion-related business: a made-to-order dress shop.

“Why don’t you put up a dress shop?” Chic remembers her cousins asking, and so she did.

Through it, she acquired invaluable knowledge on how to operate within the industry, and then later on she decided to take on greater heights by closing her dress shop and by starting her own fashion school, the Golden Hands Fashion and Arts School.

Chic said she’s always been a hands-on dressmaking teacher. However, her deeper objective in teaching pattern-making and fashion design was to equip her able and talented students with ample expertise in the field so they would later on be able to utilize their skills for their own livelihood.

Though she decided to close her school in 2009, her objective remains the same.

Chic is now a mother of three equally successful individuals.


During the 20-year run of her fashion school, Chic also ventured the field of book writing. Over the years, she authored four dressmaking tutorial books: “Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Pattern-Making and Sewing of Various Skirt Styles;” “Simplified Pattern-Making of Ladies’ Pants;” “Simplified Pattern-Making of Basic Men’s Wear” and “Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Fashion Designing”.

Now in the age where digital is king, Chic made it a point that her efforts to share dressmaking knowledge will reach more and more talented individuals. And so, she decided to go digital.

Through her official website and a YouTube Channel: Chic Francisco, Chic publishes her pattern and dressmaking lessons online which, for now, are free.

Pride in method

For Chic, before kicking off a full-blown dressmaking lesson, it is important to teach students first how to properly take body measurements. And this was what she did with the first lesson she uploaded online:

And when the students are ready for the actual pattern-making and sewing, they can choose to try creating:

Basic dress with waistline

Straight Blouse with a notched collar and basic short sleeves

And the Ladies’ Pants lesson which can be viewed via paid subscription.

Online crowd reception

After two years of going digital, the fruit of Chic’s sweet labor, you can say, are the messages of gratitude sent to her by aspiring dressmakers from around the globe:

When she was still running her school, a man visited her school and asked if Chic has an advanced book on fashion design. Unfortunately, Chic answered she had not produced another book. Then out of curiosity, Chic asked why he wanted an advanced book on fashion design. He answered, “Actually, I am a fashion designer in Dubai and I am on vacation now. You just don’t know, Madame, but I learned fashion design from your book alone.” This really made Chic very happy that day.

More from Chic

Asked if she plans to continue releasing video tutorials and e-books online, Chic shared with that her next e-book on “Simplified Pattern-Making of Ladies’ Wear” will definitely be out within the last quarter of the year. But whether she sees herself doing online tutorials for long, the teacher/pattern-maker/entrepreneur with the golden hands answered, “Yes, definitely! That is if I still enjoy what I am doing!”

Chic Francisco’s online tutorials are available via and ChicFrancisco.


The forum entitled “Development Opportunities and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro” was held last September 23 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Makati City.

This event was organized by the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies and one of its co-organizers was the Women’s Peace Table, which is a part of WAGI’s two-year women, peace, and security project entitled: “Increasing Women’s Participation in Conflict Affected Areas in Mindanao”. This is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Undersecretary Jose Lorena was the keynote speaker for the said event, representing the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles. Among the speakers during the forum were: Abhoud Syed Lingga of the Institute for Bangsamoro Studies, Sam Chittik of Facility for Advisory Support for Transition Capacities (FASTRAC), Dr. Fermin Adriano of the International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov), Dr. Ma. Lourdes D. Lim of the National Economic Development Authority Region XI, Larry Santos of the Regional Board of Investments in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Irene Santiago of the Mindanao Commission on Women (MCW), and Mr. Benedikt Seeman of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Miriam College-Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) Executive Director Aurora De Dios was the emcee and facilitator of the forum.

Gracing the event were representatives from the government, business organizations, academe, media, and diplomatic corps. One of the key attendees was Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) ad hoc committee chair Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Ambassador Delia Albert.

A total of 148 guests attended the forum.

The Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) hosted a study visit for the Bunkyu Gakuin University of Japan last September 4 at Miriam College. The students were accompanied by their Graduate School of Foreign Studies professor, Mitsuko Horiuchi. They were warmly welcomed by International Studies (IS) students.

WAGI presented its current programs and activities while the IS students shared general information about their course and other extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. This was reciprocated by the students from Bunkyo Gakuin University through an audio-visual presentation of their culture and traditions in Japan.

A highlight of the visit was a final activity where Miriam College and Bungkyo Gakuin University students taught each other about their respective local languages.

The Women and Gender Institute (WAGI), in partnership with the College of International, Humanitarian and Development Studies, held a forum about women’s experiences during the Martial Law years The forum was entitled: Women in the Anti-Dictatorship Struggle: Remembering Martial Law.” It was held last September 3 at the Environmental Studies Institute (ESI).

The objective of the forum was to raise students’ awareness about the said period in history and to constantly remind them of the struggle and heroism the Filipino people from all sectors of society.

The forum was graced by speakers who were very candid in imparting their stories to the young members of the audience. They were Maryknoll sister Helen Graham; Indai Sajor, international expert on Gender, Peace and Security and an activist during the Martial Law years; Dr. Anna Marcelita Shakil and Omuhani Mabandes of Noorus Salam; June Caridad Pagaduan-Lopez M.D. of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine; and Susan Macabuag, of Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation.

The forum was well-attended by students, representatives from the government, as well as by CSO groups. It ended with the singing of “Bayan Ko”, one of the most popular songs among anti-dictatorship activists, which was led by the International Studies Music, a choir group consisting of students from the IS Department of Miriam College.

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the Music Center, Nuclear Abolition Day (NAD) and the International Day of Peace, the Center for Peace Education (CPE) joined hands with the Music Center and the Integrated Lifestyle and Wellness Center (ILAW) in the staging of a Peace Concert titled “For All the World”, featuring CPE’s very own talent Mirma Tica.

It was an evening of exhilarating and meaningful peace music with a line-up of songs that have captivated the hearts of many generations. Tica serenaded nearly 200 people in the audience at the fully-packed of La Porte Hall with songs such as “Imagine”, “The Greatest Love of All” and “For All the World”.

Accompanying Tica on stage were pianist Francis Etorma, bassist Lester Herco, drummer Gleen Velarde. She also performed several songs with guest vocalist and High School faculty, Jairus Quitco.

A booth was set up just outside the concert hall where NAD flyers were given out and “Ban Nuclear Weapons Now” T-shirts were raffled to attendees of the concert. They were also encouraged to sign the Global Petition to Ban Nuclear Weapons.

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