This year, there were six Communication students from different year levels who competed for the title of Miss COMMgeniality. The competition is a biennial pageant spearheaded by the Communication Society officers and showcases the Communication students’ intelligence, talent, charisma and beauty.  The event was held last April 25, 2016 at the Paz Adriano, Little Theater. 

Unlike the usual pageants where gowns are worn, contestants showcased creative costumes embodying the different field of media for their catwalk. For the talent and question and answer portions, contestants applied their knowledge in media in different situations.

The 2016 Miss COMMgeniality title went to  Gessle Escober. Chelsea Famatigan took home the Social Media award, Joreen Loreto won the People’s Choice Award and Best in Talent, while Abigail Reyes received the Best in Creative Outfit Award.

Photo shows the candidates and winners of Miss COMMgeniality 2016 together with Dr. Maragrita Acosta, chairperson of the Department of Communication; pageant judges Rian Hernandez, Zita Garganera, Mikah de Vera (Ms. COMMgeniality 2014) and Lynda Garcia; the officers of the Communication Society; and the hosts.

The Center for Peace Education of Miriam College (CPE-MC), in cooperation with the Philippine Association for Teacher Education and with funding support from the Samuel Rubin Foundation, organized a training for faculty teams from the Philippine Colleges of Education last May 19-20.

The workshop sought to introduce the participants the knowledge base, attitudes, and skills that comprise peace education as well as on the teaching-learning approaches and strategies compatible with educating for peace. It also sought to encourage the participants to integrate peace education into their professional courses beginning SY 2016-2017.

This type of training is deemed strategic and significant because it means reaching a very important sector, that is, the teacher educators, who have in their hands the great potential of  influencing future generations of teachers and, through these teachers, countless future students and young people.

There were 28 participants from sixteen 16 institutions representing state universities and private colleges from various parts of the country. They have come from as far north as the Ilocos region and as far south as Palawan. This training is the fifth in a series of trainings since 2010 that the CPE-MC has conducted.

The Department of Communication very own Radio MC received two awards at the Podcast Competition—Best Radio Documentary led by Fourth Year Communication student Shamae Samson, and 3rd place for Best Radio Show.  The awarding was held at the Podcast Convention last April 18-20, 2016 at the UST Seminary Gym. 

The 3-day event which included talks and seminars. Among the speakers were the organization's President, Clarissa Coscolluela and External Vice President, Andrea Punzalan.

The Podcast Competition was a great way to cap off the semester. Not only did it showcase the excellence of the students in radio production but it also served as a way to further celebrate the department’s recognition as a Center of Development.  By Quinn Agpaoa with photos by Clarissa Coscolluela

Rotary International, in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), hosted its very first MasterPEACE: Be Masters for Peace Boot Camp. The camp aimed to give the youth a better understanding of the peace process in Mindanao while further promoting peace education and peace as a lifestyle.  Delegates of this camp were chosen through a rigorous application process, and were cut down to only 70 student leaders from different colleges and universities all over the Philippines. Representing Miriam College were students, Soteya Trasadas, IV-BA International Studies, and Bianca Pabotoy, III-BA Communication.

The delegates were given a two-day conference at PHINMA Training Center in Tagaytay City, with a number of plenaries from notable peace advocates, including Miriam College’s Center for Peace Education Executive Director Dr. Jasmin Galace. The delegates were given exercises to understand peace in a more personal level. A concise run-down on the important details that concerns the Bangsamoro Basic Law was also given to the delegates before leaving for another two-day immersion in Cotabato City.

The immersion included a visit in Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the site where members of both the AFP and MILF were massacred.

Delegates were also given a chance to interact with a Madrasa or a Muslim school, situated beside the field of the Mamasapano Massacre. 

MasterPEACE Boot Camp is the pioneering conference of the OPAPP for the youth. By Bianca Pabotoy

Meriza Mamaril’s high school life was not an easy road, but she walked it 30 minutes a day every schoolday for four years, and look where it has led her!

Every day, Meriza Mamaril would walk for 30 minutes from Brgy. Barangka, Marikina to Miriam College High School. Little did she know that the half-an-hour walk she took for four years, every school day, would lead her to the stage—to a diploma and a valedictory speech.

Meriza never hid the fact that her parents were street vendors of itlog (egg) and kwek kwek (deep fried battered quail eggs), that they didn’t have their own house, or that she couldn’t afford to ride public transportation going to school. She wasn’t ashamed that prior to studying at Miriam College, she was a public school student at Barangka Elementary School and that to be able to study in Miriam, she needed a scholarship from Tulong Dunong. Her station in life has motivated her to work hard and achieve her dreams of giving her family a better life.

“I want us to have our own house. I want them to get out of the scorching heat of the sun and get the rest they deserve. Instead, I’ll be the one to work and provide for them. I’ve seen their sacrifices and hardships for me so I could study and have a good future. It’s time for me to return the favor.  Sometimes I want to give up, but I just remind myself that I’m doing this for them,” says Meriza.

At an early age, Meriza learned that in order to get what you wanted, you must not give up. Things may not come easy for you but as long as you keep your eye on the prize, you will get it, no matter how hard the struggle. “I learned how to prioritize, to study first before going out with my friends, to say no, and to manage my time. If you keep your goal in mind, then you’ll know which path you should take,” she says.

Her favorite subject is Math because it always challenges her. She joined various contests where her or her team emerged as champions like the Ateneo Youth Economic Summit and Ateneo Junior Summer Seminar. But like every other graduate, the lectures or the contests are not the only ones she will remember. She will also remember the people who helped her along the way, the people who stayed with her, win or lose.

“At first, I thought I wouldn’t have friends here because I didn’t feel like I belonged. I wasn’t paying for my tuition. My classmates came from well-off families. But I was not afraid to tell them about my situation. High school turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve met friends that I will treasure for a lifetime and it provided me with various opportunities to learn. I will always remember my classmates and the friends who helped me get through all these things, those who accepted me for who I am,” she muses.

This coming school year, Meriza is taking up Bachelor of Science in Management Engineering at Ateneo de Manila University as a scholar. And as her thanks, she will be tutoring her fellow Tulong Dunong Scholars.

“My parents taught me to never give up. To keep dreaming even when I fail. I want every student to know that it’s up to you to change your life. You hold your own future in your hands. You determine how you will achieve it. You choose the path you will walk on. And you alone will determine whether it will be something you can look back on with pride.”

SOURCE: Manila Bulletin >

TV5, in partnership with the Department of Communication, held a campus tour dubbed Bilang Pilipino Campus Series in Miriam College last April 25. The campus tour was held at the Little Theater with Atty. Mel Sta. Maria, Dr. Orly Mercado, and Renze Ongkiko as the guest speakers. The series was organized to educate the youth about the elections which was held last May 9. Bilang Pilipino was also the organizer of the 2nd Pilipinas Presidential debates which was held in Cebu last March 20, 2016.

The program opened with the showing of an episode from the program History with Lourd which tackled black propaganda during elections. Taking off from that topic was speaker Dr. Mercado who talked about leadership and the qualities of a good leader while Atty. Sta. Maria covered issues that are currently faced by the government that the presidentiables may or may not have in their respective platforms. For his part, Ongkiko discussed the role of media during elections and shared his experiences as a journalist. 

Roy Caguin, News5 brand manager and the brains behind the Bilang Pilipino website, discussed the powerful site that they created to help the public, especially first-time voters. 

The activity ended with a forum where the students gamely asked speakers meaningful and relevant questions.

Criel Joy Quiazon and Jacqueline Hidalgo, Fourth Year Communication students, were part of the Board of Jurors for the 24th KBP Golden Dove Awards. They were endorsed by the Department of Communication to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP). The KBP aims to confer the awards of recognition to individuals, groups and stations who have contributed directly or indirectly to the broadcast industry and who have shown outstanding performance and contributed to the improvement and upgrading of standards in their respective fields. 

Both women leaders, Quiazon is the President of the Communication Society while Hidalgo is the Editor-in-Chief of Chi Rho Publications. Together with other individuals from the Communication industry, Quiazon and Hidalgo, as student jurors, evaluated the works of different broadcasting stations in TV and radio, as well as personalities in the aforementioned fields. 

The culminating event of 24th KBP Golden Dove Awards was held last April 29, 2016 at the Star Theater, Pasay City.

Jane Antiola’s knowledge in educational technology paved the way for her to become a teacher at St. Columban College High School in Mindanao, earning for her an award in recognition of her highly creative way of using a learning management system in presenting instructional materials and conducting instructional activities. However, she believes that there is a need to improve her knowledge and further her skill as a 21st century teacher in order for her to meet the needs of today’s learners.

Antiola went to a series of summer classes and workshops for the whole week last April—but instead of a teacher, she was there as a student. Usual summer classes and workshops are meant for advance learning to give insights on certain topics. Antiola, together with over a hundred educators from various parts of the country, attended Miriam College’s Summer Institute on Technology in Education (SITE) from April 18 to 22. The workshops aim to educate participants on matters concerning today’s digitally dependent learners to better understand them and to catch on to new age tools that support 21st century teaching and learning.

SITE, a five-day certification training and workshop, has been engaging educators as well as administrators, librarians, and IT and media specialists in a highly interactive environment which gives emphasis on educational technology—for four years now—as a part of innovation and to bring forth their creativity.

SITE offered four courses this year and each of these courses fit the need of participants on areas that are of interest to them. Course 1 focused on implementing the tablet PC-based education; Course 2 was about developing and adapting digital and mobile applications; Course 3 explored instructional design and supervision of a digital learning environment; and Course 4 shed light on cyber ethics and digital law.  

SITE is a collaboration between Miriam College and Bato Balani Foundation Inc. (BBFI) with the participation of Diwa Learning Systems Inc, the country’s leading provider of K-12 educational resources, and the one that introduced Genyo, the Philippines’ first and only fully-integrated online learning management system on Basic Education.

To learn more about BBFI and Diwa, visit and, or email

SOURCE: The Standard >

Maryknoll/Miriam College alumna Alicia Garcia Reyes (HS Batch ’58, College ‘64) was conferred the National Artist Award for Dance in ceremonies held in Malacañang on April 14, 2016.  Reyes is among six awardees who were proclaimed National Artist by President Benigno S. Aquino Jr. as early as  2014 but was not conferred yet. 
At the formal induction in Malacañang, Reyes joins other esteemed names in art and culture among them Francisco Feliciano (music, posthumous), Cirilo Bautista (literature), Francisco Coching (visual arts, posthumous), Frederico Aguilar Alcuaz (visual arts, posthumous), and Manuel Conde (Cinema, posthumous). 
Reyes is the founder of Ballet Philippines, one of the country’s premier company in ballet and contemporary dance. She is known for initiating the professionalization of the art in the country.

A dad shares how these toys and games can teach kids the fundamentals of programming.

The trouble with being a geek dad is that you’ll invariably try to influence your children to be more like you, someone with a more-than-fleeting interest in things like Star Trek, video games, DIY toys, self-published comics, building drones, hacking NERF blasters, tweaking gadgets, and constructing Rube Goldberg machines out of Lego. But, that’s not a bad thing. Geek culture has sparked a renewed interest in the subjects of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, which is something we need to encourage and support if we want our country (and our kids) to be competitive in a future that’s already knocking at our door.

While, ultimately, I will let my son decide what he wants to do in life, I’m doing my bit to plant these seeds of influence. His room abounds with science toys, and he already knows who Darth Vader is. But I’m thinking of levelling him up and getting him started on the basics of coding.

“Coding” means “programming,” or simply being able to tell a machine what to do. It’s a skill that I personally believe is essential--not just “cool” to have--for our kids (us, even). We’re in the middle of a machine revolution where even coffee machines are connected to the Internet, air-conditioners are controlled by apps, and light bulbs change color when you drag your thumb across your mobile phone. It pays to understand how it all works.

My son is just turning five so a Bachelor’s Degree course in the University of the Philippines is out of the question. But, then again, the principles of coding don’t require you to be fluent in the languages of computer science, at least not yet. Underlying fundamentals can be communicated through the things that interest young boys and girls, namely toys and games. 

Take Lego, for instance. Popular with both kids and adults, the plastic brick system from Billund, Denmark, is used to teach basic robotics and programming via the Lego Education WeDo concept. The WeDo kit lets children build colorful Lego robots, complete with motors to move parts and sensors that respond to the environment. These are connected to a computer, where students use a simple drag-and-drop programming tool to control the movement and behaviour of their creations.

The Lego WeDo system has been used in Miriam College’s Child Study Center (CSC) summer robotics workshop, which just finished its run last April. Designed for kids of kindergarten age, the five-day course gets them started at practically the same time they start learning how to read. Facilitators provide students with different engaging activities that flexed their creativity while introducing them to basic logic and problem solving. Solo and group projects encouraged kids to work with an end goal in mind.

“Parents need to know and understand that this is not an ordinary course,” says Jula Arcano of the Miriam College CSC. “In the course, parents learned how inquisitive and creative their kids can be, and better appreciate the talents and skills of their child when it comes to understanding instructions, how they can diligently follow steps and work with the materials.” 

Though its WeDo program has already ended, Miriam College is offering a second round of robotics workshops, this time using the Sphero system (just like the BB-8 toy), among other STEM workshops.

Another popular tool to teach coding to youngsters is the Mojang game, Minecraft. This game lets you explore and create in a world of pixelated blocks. Think Lego, but mission oriented and digitized, playable on a PC, tablet, or mobile phone. Kids are already hooked on the game. Why not work within their interests and make it more of a learning experience?

That’s just what groups like iCode Academy are doing. The school offers a three-level Minecraft Modding summer program that lets students create their own Minecraft mods. Offered to kids from 9 to 12, the course gives pupils a taste of coding using programming blocks that you plunk into a workspace in order to control and modify your characters. Level 3 students go beyond the programming blocks to actually code in Javascript. (iCode Academy’s Minecraft Mod course runs this May, along with another course, Adventures in Programming with Scratch. Click here to register.)
You can find something similar online via the “Hour of Code” courses at, which likewise uses programming blocks. I’m in the middle of their Minecraft course, and it’s fun yet challenging even for an adult.

Also, if you’re the DIY type, you might want to bring home some of these teaching toys. I’ve been drooling over the Piper computer kit, which introduces kids and adults to basic principles of electronics, computer engineering, and programming. Piper lets you build your own DIY computer, using a Raspberry Pi board, complete with lights, sensors wires, the whole caboodle, running Minecraft. It’s a gorgeous piece of tech, something I would have wanted growing up.

“Everyone should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” I didn’t say that; Steve Jobs did. But I’m a firm believer in that statement. At its core, learning to code teaches you to look at a problem, break it down into manageable parts, and logically come up with steps that lead to a solution. That’s a skill that I would very much like my son to have, whether he eventually becomes a doctor, lawyer, painter or engineer.

Karlo Nilo B. Samson is a long-time tech editor and member of the Philippine Cyberpress. He is the father of one rambunctious boy with a keen love for LEGO. And ninjas. Don’t forget the ninjas.

SOURCE: Smart Parenting >

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