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A growing number of Filipino families are relying on social media and other forms of instant communication to bridge distances.

There have been many studies done on the social cost of overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) migration and single-parent families. Problems—from infidelity on the part of one or both spouses, to teen pregnancy and drug addiction among children of OFWs—have taken root since the Philippine government began institutionalizing the export of surplus labor to the rest of the world more than 40 years ago. But thanks to advances in technology, a more recent set of studies reveals that more Filipino families are now able to cope with the loneliness and even thrive despite the distances that separate them.

“Ideally, we should all be together. But as long as our country can’t provide enough jobs for its citizens, relying on technology to bridge separated families is the next best thing. Nothing, not even the most lavish gifts, can fill the loneliness a child feels for a missing parent. Constant and most of the time instant communication between parents and children through text messaging, social media, and Skype lessen the loneliness,” said Dr. Victoria Apuan, seasoned educator and chair of Miriam College’s Family Studies Program.

Kids of OFWs growing up in the early 1970s like this writer should know. It usually took at least two weeks for snail mail to arrive. Not too many families had telephones back then. Long distance calls, apart from being expensive, weren’t always reliable. Family members were limited to receiving or sending each other voice tapes via the OFW’s colleagues who were either arriving or leaving the country.

These days, absentee parents can keep abreast of their children’s activities almost in real time, said Apuan, whose field of expertise includes Psychology, Philippine Studies, and Gender and Development. Some even conduct tutorials over Skype or FaceTime, while others gain a clearer idea of who their children’s friends are through Facebook.

Thanks to Skype or FaceTime, it’s not uncommon, for instance, for a parent who is thousands of miles away to virtually participate in his or her child’s birthday via a wired computer or tablet in the living room or dining area. The virtual party enables both parent and child to retain some form of bond.

“The child knows that he or she has a lifeline, and that’s important,” said Apuan. “Through these modern-day gadgets and systems, he or she would get an answer.”

She also believes in and advocates the importance of support groups both for the spouse abroad and the one left behind to take care of the kids. Apart from joining, say, a religious or civic support group, which frowns on extra-marital affairs, there are certain companies in the Middle East, for instance, that won’t tolerate their employees’ infidelity.

The situation is equally difficult for the one left behind. Apart from being a single parent to his or her children, he or she is expected to solve various problems that are sometimes too small to bring to the attention of the spouse abroad. These concerns may seem inconsequential, but they do add up and can fester and turn into bigger problems if not addressed immediately. That’s why they also need people to provide them with moral support or even a shoulder to cry on.

Based on another study Apuan shared with Panorama, an intergenerational family of OFWs is being held up as a model on how it should be done. The family started fielding out OFWs from among its members in the 1970s. The tradition, for lack of a better description, continued with a second batch of OFWs in the 1990s, and a third one in the 2010s.

Family members from each generation have one thing in common that allowed them to remain intact and insulated from common problems usually encountered by many fellow OFW families. According to the researcher, this commonality is a testament to the strength and fortitude of the spouses left behind in the Philippines.

“There are two types of coping—emotion-focused coping and problem-focused coping,” said Apuan. “The researcher found out that families in the study, especially the spouses left behind, have a clear objective from the start. They were aware and willing to sacrifice initially in order to experience a better life for themselves and their families in the future.”

Apart from delaying gratification, the wives, for instance, try to make ends meet. They also make their OFW husbands’ salaries earn by engaging in various small businesses and money-making ventures. Children don’t automatically receive an increase in their allowance just because their father or mother is now an OFW. And if these families have saved enough, the money usually goes to buying more farmlands if the family is into farming, or expanding the store if it’s into trading.

“Some people are unaware or unmindful of the possibilities,” said Apuan. “But such foresight and entrepreneurial bent can be learned. That’s why the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Agency) should give more entrepreneurship training to those left behind. They have to manage the money earned by their spouses abroad properly.”

Family values can be strengthened by a supportive community, even a supportive school, she added. There’s always some form of dislocation whenever one or both parents leave for abroad to work, but this can be minimized.

At the same time, Apuan also mentioned the need to recognize families that are in different social arrangements. The old nuclear family consisting of father, mother, and children is no longer the norm. This development, although no longer new, was first articulated in a global conference in the early 1990s in Malta. Even then, less conventional forms of family had begun to lose the stigma once attached to them.

Apart from solo parenting, separation, or divorce, a growing number of children these days are being raised by extended members of the family such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings. Many children even include their nannies when their teachers ask them, for instance, to name the members of their family. It seems unthinkable to them not to include the yaya as part of their support group.

Then there’s also the growing rise of lesbian and gay couples raising either their biological or adopted children. There are likewise people who remarry after their first marriages have been annulled. The children they bring into the new arrangement become part of what is now called blended families.

“Street children also have a sense of family,” said Apuan. “Those in very difficult circumstances look for a support person whether or not related by blood. This person or group of persons become their kuya or ate. Loosely, the family is now defined as a group of people with whom you can find support and love. It’s always important for the child while growing up to have some reliable, consistent support person."

SOURCE: Manila Bulletin > www.mb.com.ph/technology-saves-the-day/#kXij4U6qT3gKAWRC.99

Selected students from Miriam College Middle School joined the Philippine Society of Youth Science Clubs’ (PSYSC) annual Math, Science at Kapaligiran (MathSciaKa) workshops at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).  The workshops, held last September 17, aim to test the scientific knowledge and engineering skills of students through creative and non-traditional methods. 
Alize Rosemary Madayag of 7-Tecson and Jasmihn Celina Tiggangay of 7-Dela Rama won 1st Place in the Mystery Workshop Bracket II for their blueprint design for an agriculture software application that can be used by the youth. In the same bracket, Angela Villasanta of 8-T’boli and Samantha Centeno of 8-Badjao won 3rd Place in the Workshop Fair. Both students designed a drip irrigation system that can be used in both a traditional farm and a city farm.
Photo shows Alize Rosemary Madayag and Jasmihn Celina Tiggangay with their trainer Anne Jillian Dumanat, a grade 8 Science teacher; Angela Villasanta and Samantha Centeno with their coach and the director of PHIVOLCS, Dr. Renato Solidum; and the MCMS participants of MathSciaka Brackets I and II with their trainers Ma. Fatima Cruz and  Anne Jillian Dumanat.

STUDENTS lit candles for peace on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, as they urge President Duterte to stop extrajudicial killings. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Students from various schools in Metro Manila plan to send a statement to President Duterte and other government officials calling for a stop to extrajudicial killings.
Around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, around 500 students from Miriam College, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and the University of the Philippines held a candlelight vigil on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, to protest the recent wave of drug-related killings sweeping the country.
The students occupied a portion of the sidewalk from AdMU to Miriam College where they lit candles to remember the lives lost in the government’s war on drugs.

Jasmin Galace, executive director of Miriam College’s Center for Peace Education, told the Inquirer that they decided to hold the activity to coincide with the celebration of the International Day of Peace.

“We will say our piece, we will speak up for peace,” Galace added.

Aside from the activity on Wednesday, she also said that Miriam College and other schools were planning to send a statement on extrajudicial killings along with thousands of signatures to Mr. Duterte.

“We want to say that there are other methodologies to fight drugs,” Galace said, adding that while they support the crusade against the drug menace, it was still important to value life.

According to her, Miriam College wanted to emphasize that its school grounds “is a zone of peace” where every human life is valued.

“We believe that political, economic and food security are also important, not just security from external threats,” Galace said.

“Maybe the government just does not have the time to sit down, process and reflect on the other methods they can use to fight illegal drugs,” she added.

SOURCE: Philippine Daily Inquirer > http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/818184/students-say-their-piece-for-peace#ixzz4L2nL1DNh

ANOTHER milestone took place at the historic College of the Holy Spirit Manila (CHSM) as Dr. Jesusa M. Marco was sworn in as the school's 9th president.

Dr. Marco's presidency also marks the transition of CHSM, making her the 1st Lay President under the school's new management by the Holy Spirit Alumni Management Corp (HSAMC). The rites will be held at the Paraclete Auditorium, College of the Holy Spirit Manila.

In September 2015, the Congregational Leadership Team in Rome gave the approval for the collaboration of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (S.Sp.S) and the CHSM Alumnae through a Management Contract for the continuance of CHSM mission.

On Jan. 21,2016, the Management Agreement was finally approved and signed between the College of the Holy Spirit of Manila and the Holy Spirit Alumni Management Corp (HSAMC).

CHSM remains to be owned by S.Sp.S, however, it is now managed by the HSAMC effective May 1,2016.

Dr. Marco finished AB Sociology in formerly Maryknoll (now Miriam College). She also holds Master of Arts in Social Sciences major in Sociology at De La Salle
University. She earned her Doctorate Degree in Sociology at Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Presently, she is also a Research Fellow of the De La Salle University.

PUBLISHED IN: Business World, September 21, 2016  |  Bulletin Sections  |  Page 7 of Section 2

Middle School’s College Week celebration, which ran from September 5-9, was anchored on two big institutional events—the launch of the Miriam College-Henry Sy Sr. Innovation Center and the opening of the school’s 90th Anniversary celebrations. The unit came up with unique, creative and innovative activities that celebrate the uniqueness of each learner.

The first half of the week dubbed “How Board Are You?” showcased life-sized board games and puzzles with fun and innovative ways on how to play them. The second half, themed “We Serve with All Our Might”, introduced activities that emphasized on how well-bonded the Middle School community is.

Parents who served communities shared with their daughters’ homeroom class ways on how to meaningfully make an impact on the lives of others. In a separate activity, students got the chance to interact with children from the Lingap Kapwa partner communities of ANCOP, Daang Tubo, and Balara.

Capping the activities was a unit Mass with Sr. Teresa Dagdag, M.M. and other Maryknoll Sisters. 

Truly, these two-pronged activities gave the unit an extraordinary day of fun and learning.

Twenty-four Middle School students from the Young Artists Club shared their talent to the community by painting the unit’s entry for the Little Free Libraries (LFL). The students worked on the LFL from September 2 to 3, 2016.

Armed with their brushes, paints and a whole lot of creativity, the students painted “little houses”. These small structures are to house books that will be donated by the community. The activity was a good way for MS girls to showcase their talent and at the same time work for a cause.

Communication students and Miriam College Television (MCTV) members, Pauline Santiago, R.K Dela Rosa, Jean Kelly Chua, and Daniella Marie Castro created an audio visual presentation (AVP) to pay tribute to Henry Sy, Sr. who, through his foundation, donated 100-M for the construction of the Miriam College-Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center, the Philippine’s first integrated makerspace.

The AVP centered on his inspiring qualities that contributed to his success in business. The group presented their work to Miriam College President Dr. Rosario Lapus; Miriam College High School Principal Dr. Edizon Fermin; Department of Communication Chairperson Dr. Maria Margarita Acosta; Marketing and Communications Head Romualdo Romualdo; and Innovation Resource Manager and Project Development Coordinator, Maria Cristina Ibanez.

Produced by Miriam College Television (MCTV), the official television production sub-organization of the Department of Communication, the six-minute AVP showed a compilation of photos and videos of Henry Sy, Sr., chronologically arranged, following the tracks from his simple beginnings to being in the forefront of the business industry; and now having contributed to yet another flagship building. 

With the support and guidance of MCTV moderator, Gilbeys Sardea, Department of Communication Chairperson Dr. Maria Margarita Acosta; Innovation Resource Manager and Project Development Coordinator of the Office of the President, Maria Cristina Ibanez, and Radio MC moderator Rosario Sinon, the Communication students were able to translate their objective of creating a lively, upbeat, and up-to-date tribute in the production. The AVP was shown during the launch of the MC-HSSIC.

The video was completed in six days’ in collaboration with Allan Baniel and Joel Toledo, head writer and script writer respectively; Radio MC head, Juris Longboan who did the voiceover; and the MCTV members who put the bits and pieces together, creating a masterpiece that received accolades from Dr. Lapus and Elizabeth Sy, president of SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation and MC alumna. By Marga Tulaylay, BA Comm

Miriam College is proud to partner with the Little Free Library (LFL) on the school’s 90th anniversary. 

Rooted in the Maryknoll tradition of blazing trails, the school believes that the LFL movement is an innovative way of bringing books and the love of reading to the community. 

Apart from putting up Little Free Libraries inside its Diliman and NUVALI campuses, the school also targets to build “90 for 90” or ninety LFLs on its 90th year. 

Ninety partner communities will be chosen as beneficiaries of 90 libraries built by Miriam College students. “These libraries will serve as lasting testaments to the Maryknoll Sisters’ trailblazing spirit and love for learning,” says Miriam College President Dr. Rosario O. Lapus. “We want our students to know these communities, understand their needs, and share our love for learning and reading with adults and children alike.” 

The LFL project was launched last Sept. 7, during the opening of the school’s 90th anniversary and launch of the MC-HSSIC. The event was graced by LFL President, Miguel Patolot.

“We are thrilled to partner with Little Free Library because this project promotes literacy, fosters community engagement, and encourages integrity, resourcefulness, and innovation,” said Mian Arcega, Project Lead for MC Little Free Libraries.”

Miriam College marked the opening of its 90th anniversary with the launch of the Miriam College-Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center (MC-HSSIC), the Philippines’ first integrated makerspace last Sept. 7, 2016. 

Donated by the Henry Sy Foundation through SM Hotels and Convention Corporation president and Maryknoll/Miriam College Alumni (College batch ’74) Elizabeth Sy and designed by renowned architect Ed Calma, the MC-HSSIC gives students and faculty the opportunity and space to immerse themselves in 21st century disciplines the school calls DREAM or Design, Robotics, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Arts and Mathematics. 

Present at the launch were Elizabeth Sy, SM Prime Vice President Hans Sy, Sr., Arch. Ed Calma, Miriam College Board of Trustees Chair Josefina Tan, administrators of Miriam College led by its president Dr. Rosario O. Lapus, Maryknoll Sister Marisa Lichauco and Helen Graham, and executives representing the school’s partners who equipped the laboratories with the latest tools in innovation and contributed to the development of its programs. They are Power Mac Center, Emerson Electric (ASIA) Ltd.-ROHQ., FELTA Multi-Media Inc., C&E Publishing, Inc., Center for Culinary Arts Manila, British Council, Bato Balani Foundation, Inc., and Bangkok University.

“It is here at the Miriam College- Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center where we will follow a new model of teaching and learning, one that brings change and improvement to current school and classroom practices—much like what our pioneering and progressive Maryknoll nuns did when they established their first mission school in Malabon in 1926,” said Dr. Lapus. Miriam College is celebrating its 90th Anniversary with the theme, “Mighty@90!”

The makerspace features eight connected and creative learning spaces: Fabrication Laboratory, Instrumentation Laboratory, Engineering and Electronics Laboratory, Multi-Media Laboratory, Performance Laboratory, Kitchen and Café, Playloft, and Innovatrium.  

It is supported by an integrated program that will engage its students, especially girls, in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) to DREAM to prepare them for fields of the future. It provides state-of-the-art tools so students and faculty can connect, collaborate, discover, design and create, transforming their ideas into tangible and viable products and services, and allowing them to find solutions to various problems. The STEAM program has been implemented across all units of the campus as early as 2011 under the leadership of Dr. Lapus. 

The launch of the MC-HSSIC further strengthens the innovation thrust of the school as it continues to build on its mission of “forming leaders in service” and bringing its brand of education to different growth areas, starting with its fast-growing branch in the south, MC NUVALI, and soon in Porac, Pampanga.

Capping the day’s event was a special concert by the Miriam College High School Glee Club’s current and former members. With their conductor Nancy Roman, the choir serenaded the MC community with their winning songs performed in competitions they have joined abroad. The concert dubbed “Ngalan” marks the search for the choir’s new name through a contest.

You can sculpt a Pokemon figurine using a 3D pen, which oozes plastic as you press a button and draw arcs in the air.

You can make a robot move forward and backward with basic software programming.

And you can don a ketchup bottle costume while observing your classmates create art out of the frying pans, plates, and glasses you provided them.

At the Miriam College Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center, students find excitement in learning, using their hands to make things – a new ice cream flavor, a video, a dress.

On September 7, Wednesday, school officials, industry partners, students, and alumni came together for the launch of what they dubbed the “makerspace”—a 1,412-square meter lot featuring eight spaces in Miriam College, Quezon City.

The center is donated by the Henry Sy Foundation through SM Hotels and Convention Corporation president and Maryknoll/Miriam College Alumni (Batch 74) Elizabeth Sy and designed by famous architect Ed Calma. Other partners of the school who helped in providing equipment for the laboratories are Emerson Electric (Asia) Ltd., Power Mac Center, ROHQ, Felta Multi-Media Inc., C&E Publishing Inc., Center for Culinary Arts Manila, British Council, Bato Balani Foundation, Inc., and Bangkok University.

The launching ceremony marks the institution’s 90th anniversary.

“Within these walls we go beyond the old lesson plans, outdated curricula, CHED and DepEd rules; abandon traditional roles; and leave our comfort zones to use new forms of teaching and learning,” said school president Rosario Lapus.

“I dream that this is where we will nurture young inventors, problem solvers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and scientists—a young Marie Curie, a Dado Banatao, a Lindy Locsin, a Fe del Mundo, perhaps another Henry Sy—encouraging them to take the first steps towards discovery and to see for themselves what works,” she added.

Students from nursery to graduate school can use this space, as can professionals, parents, and even the elderly.

The goal is to enable students to DREAM, tinkering in laboratories for Design, Robotics, Engineering and Entrepreneurship, Arts, and Mathematics.

At Fab lab, they can do prototyping using OmniFab 3D printers, scanners, pens, and modeling software, as well as Brother electric sewing machines.

Students can learn gastronomic science and envision their own restaurant at the CCA (Center for Culinary Arts-Manila) Makers’ Café. Miriam College director for innovation development Edizon Fermin envisions a place where students can immerse themselves in food-oriented lifestyles that are sustainable. They learn not to waste food, as well as to grow the things they eat – including endemic herbs and spices.

At Play Loft, students can find Eureka moments through “playful ideation”. They can then go to the other laboratories to convert their ideas into practice.

They can then pitch these to business leaders at the Innovatrium, which hosts workshops, conferences, and trainings.

In the Multimedia Lab, they can learn graphic design, web design, and audio and visual engineering on Apple computers provided by PowerMac Philippines.

“The world suddenly has been digitized. The smaller it gets and the better its translated into other forms, whether it’s in art, or in science, or in video format, or in 3D animation,” Fermin said.

They can master measurement and do experiments with weighing scales, compressors, and infrared thermometers provided by Emerson at Instrulab.

“Give them the venue in schools to learn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and enjoy STEM. We are basically promoting STEM to all kids to develop future engineers and scientists—including girls,” said Emerson project manager Villacer Ceredon.

In the E-L@b, students as young as nine years old learn to create robots with Lego building blocks and software programming.

“The real language of this generation is their ability to move in the digital space, and how they are applied to various disciplines,” Fermin said. He noted that students will learn basic engineering principles of robotics and computing sciences here.

And in the Performance Lab, students learn that art is not just for the “upper” echelons of society.

“No, it’s for everyone. We want to introduce the art of everyday things, and how it blends into the consciousness of the people,” Fermin explained.

He believes that the new makerspace will allow Miriam College to “continue to trailblaze as an institution.”

“We cannot be teaching the students the same stuff over and over again,” he added.

Fermin explained that there had long been making activities in the school, but these were just scaled through the innovation center.

“Don’t think of it as something that has a certain period of time. Let’s think of it as, there is a curriculum, and there are some aspects of this curriculum that can be done better in upgraded spaces more than the traditional science laboratories. This is where that will be done,” he said.

There will also be programs to bridge public and private schools so students can share knowledge.

“Because it is not true that public schools cannot do this. There are many brilliant students in public schools. You just need to give them the appropriate space or appropriate environment, have them listen to their fellow students who have good ideas, and when they come together, we have no distinction between who is from public, who is from private,” Fermin said.

He also stresses the importance of the “S” after”DREAM”, which stands for “social responsibility”.

“The solutions that you create here must have an impact on society. Because you don’t just generate money for the sake of getting rich. Well yes, that’s also good, but you have to make use of your giftedness for a noble purpose. That is the mission of Miriam College,” he said.

SOURCE: Interaksyon > www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle/robots-3d-figurines-and-lego-bricks-miriam-colleges-makerspace-makes-learning-fun-again

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