Archive for category Bato Balani Foundation

Beacons of Inspiration: 12 New Stories of Educators

Everyday, in almost every corner of the country, there is a teacher who goes the extra mile to serve. Finding new stories of inspiration is not difficult and these are 12 new stories that can move us.  

Serving the Underserved

Normita Liwag

Normita Liwag

Michelle Norico

Michelle Norico

Jinky Tecson

In service of the least of their brothers, this is where the efforts of Normita Liwag of Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, and teaching tandem Michelle Norico and Jinky Tecson of Pototan, Iloilo, go.  They perform the challenging task of teaching inmates, a lot of whom have not had the opportunity to go to school or finish their studies. What drives them is the urge to help the inmates get a new lease on life, despite the difficulties, including overcoming the stigma attached to this sector of society.

Dr. Marilyn Ngales

Dr. Marilyn Ngales

Gerum Salatan

Gerum Salatan

Similarly, Dr. Marilyn Ngales of Manila and Gerum Salatan of Claveria, Misamis Oriental have stepped forward to lift up the plight of Indigenous People or IPs through education. These teachers, who are IPs themselves, help the tribes of Mountain Province and Misamis Oriental gain skills needed to protect their culture and advocate for their rights. 

Advocating Quality Education

Dr. Jerico Bacani

Dr. Jerico Bacani

Alleli Ester Domingo

Alleli Ester Domingo

Aaron Tolentino

Aaron Tolentino

Lorelee Asignacion

Lorelee Asignacion

Dr. Christine Guinacaran

Dr. Christine Guinacaran

Dr. Jovelyn Delosa

Dr. Jovelyn Delosa

Dr. Jerico Bacani of Baguio City; Aleli Ester Domingo of Los Banos, Laguna; Aaron Tolentino of Manila; Lorelee Asignacion of Bacolod City; Dr. Christine Guinacaran of Zamboanga City; and Dr. Jovelyn Delosa of Cagayan de Oro City have undertaken the task of education as a vocation rather than as occupation.

The teachers give of themselves wholly to uplift learners, oftentimes involving personal resources lilke time and money.  

For Dr. Bacani of Baguio City, it is through research that he is able to help math education in the Philippines.  Miss Domingo does so through teacher training. Mr. Tolentino devotes a lot of time in training students to become better campus journalists. Ms. Asignacion uses technology to help students develop much-needed 21st century skills.

Dr. Guinacaran established a club that utilizes peer-to-peer education to help poor readers.  Dr. Delosa focuses on properly molding aspiring teachers so that they become beacons of light for education, especially in the public system.

Protecting our Resources

Haide Pandoy

Haide Pandoy

Dr. Aris Larroder

Dr. Aris Larroder

Haide Pandoy of Malabon City and Dr. Aris Larroder of Iloilo City champion causes that are important for the country, beyond their usual teaching tasks.  

Miss Pandoy strongly supports the preservation of the environment, while Dr. Larroder promotes IP knowledge and adapted the indigenization program in his Science teaching.

A Tribute to Teachers

Stories like this, set by the teachers, are not just for celebration but also for emulation.  

This is the reason why for 14 years now, Bato Balani Foundation Inc. has been scouring the country for these kinds of inspiration and presenting them to the public in a program called “The Many Faces of the Teacher.”

The program seeks to recognize Filipino educators and how they are transforming their communities, their students and ultimately the course of this country’s future. The nationwide search started early this year and from this pool, the honorees for 2015 will emerge.

The honorees will be presented to their peers on October 2, 2015 at an event entitled “A Tribute to Teachers,” which will be held at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, Marriott Hotel Manila.  

The Many Faces of the Teacher is supported by Diwa Learning Systems.  For more information, log on to

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New Zealand ASEAN Scholarships

Opening of Applications in the Philippines

The New Zealand Government through the New Zealand Aid Programme offers scholarships for eligible postgraduate students from the Philippines to undertake development-related studies at a tertiary institution in New Zealand.

An indicative allocation of 18 scholarships is made available for Filipinos who wish to obtain a postgraduate degree (i.e. postgraduate diplomas, masters degrees or doctorates) in New Zealand commencing in 2016. New Zealand ASEAN Scholarships empower individuals with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications to contribute to economic, social, and political development within the Philippines.

The scholarships aim to contribute to the achievement of Philippine human resource development objectives, particularly in areas where New Zealand has recognized expertise. Priority themes for this year are agriculture development, renewable energy, disaster risk management, public sector management and private sector development.

Applications are welcome from the public, private and civil society sectors. Deadline for application for the 2016 school year is 31 July 2015.

The Bato Balani Foundation Inc. with its commitment of uplifting the quality of education in the country is assisting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) through the New Zealand Embassy in searching for Filipinos who will most benefit from the opportunity to study in New Zealand and will contribute to the development of the Philippines on their return. A roadshow of activities which includes scholarship orientations and consultations will be conducted in key provinces nationwide to promote the New Zealand Scholarships in the Philippines.

Full details of the scholarship and application form are available on the New Zealand Aid Programme website: To know more about the schedules of scholarship orientations and education events, please contact (632) 8925462 / (0923) 5364303 or email

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The Many Faces of the Teacher 2014 honoree Genevieve Kulong gets local recognition

10620453_10152739194983014_1010013222796501264_oThe city government of Zamboanga recently honored exemplary citizens who have contributed significantly in their fields of interest.  Among those given the Local Achievers 2015 award were Ms. Genevieve Kulong (4th from left), master teacher from Zamboanga City High School and 2014 honoree of The Many Faces of the Teacher award of Bato Balani Foundation Inc. and Diwa Learning Systems.  The ceremony was one of the highlights of the 78th Dia de Zamboanga celebration. Leading the ceremony was Mayor Ma. Isabelle  Climaco (2nd from left), who bestowed the prestigious awards to the winners.  Also in photo are (from left) Councilor Roel Natividad, Mayor Climaco, Husband Ronnie Val Kulong, Kulong, Councilor Ismael Musa, Councilor Ma. Paz Abubakar and Councilor Vincent Paul Elago.

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Bato Balani Foundation Call for Nominees for Teacher Search

There are lots of stories of true heroisms that affect minds of young students, molding them to greatness and leaving them inspirations to become heroes themselves.  In one of the more than seven thousand islands of the country, a teacher is there with a story that needs to be told to inspire thousand others.

Diwa Learning Systems Inc. (DLSI) and Bato Balani Foundation Inc. (BBFI) once again open its search for true heroes of our generations, the teachers with its The Many Faces of the Teacher program.

Now on its 12th year, The Many Faces of the Teacher (TMFT) is an advocacy campaign aimed to extol the virtues of teaching by providing role models who inspire excellence.

Organizers believe that by discovering these educators and honoring them, it will make every Filipino aware of the sublime nature and valuable contribution of the teacher to society thereby encouraging every Filipino mentor to achieve excellence in teaching.

Last year, it honored young, inspirational speaker Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko from Manila; culture preserver and leader Elsie C. Padernal from Calinog, Iloilo; ALS coordinator and community organizer Darwin T. Tadifa from Tubungan, Iloilo; mobile school teacher andtribal Filipino educator Jinglebert P. Collado; and ICT and peace advocate Genevieve Kulong from Zamboanga City

The search is open to teachers of all ages, who are actively teaching in private or public primary, elementary or secondary schools, colleges, and universities.  He or she must demonstrate exceptional performance in teaching; has employed creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness in teaching; and importantly, lives out his esteemed values  inteaching, family, and personal life.  The nominees should also have a deep sense of nationalism and are committed toteaching for the benefit of the country and its people.  He or she must be respected in school andcommunity and is a role model for students, colleagues, and family. In addition, he or she must be an active member of the community and has engaged in socio-civic activities.

Partner organizations, school associations, religious organisations, the Department of Education, and the school heads, students, and teachers can nominate.

The organizers will use the following criteria for evaluation:  person of integrity and morality; in good relations with students, colleagues, community members, and family; commitment and dedication to the teaching vocation; strength of values/principles applied in teaching and personal life and involvement in school and community activities.

To nominate, log on to to secure a nomination form or visit BBFI office at 6/F PDCP Bank Center, V.A.Rufino cor. Leviste Streets, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Nomination forms may be sent to or to fax number 892-9543.

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Bato Balani Foundation Inc helps give out-of-school youth a chance on education

DSC_0585Kariton Klasrum gets a supportive push.  Bato Balani Foundation Inc Executive Director, Natalie Christine V. Jorge (2nd from left) joins 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, Efren Peñaflorida (2nd from right) and Department of Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC present the new mobile classrooms at the roll-out ceremony of Kariton Klasrum Project at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex last January 27.

Makati City, Philippines – Poverty has kept education inaccessible to a lot of our country’s children. So as a response to these challenges, Bato Balani Foundation Inc (BBFI) supports the Kariton Klasrum, a project by the Department of Education and the Dynamic Teen Company (DTC), which will hopefully bring education to them. Bato Balani Foundation Inc, the socio development arm of Diwa Learning Systems Inc, the country’s leading provider of print and digital educational resources, donated textbooks and educational magazines for the mobile classrooms that are being prepared for more than 100 different locations nationwide.

The Kariton Klasrum is originally a project of Efren Peñaflorida, founder of DTC and 2009 CNN Hero of the Year. BBFI does its share by loading up the fleet of Kariton Klasrums with educational resources that street children and out-of-school youth will use to learn basic education and to help them get back to regular schools.

While a lot of other things need to be loaded in each Kariton Klasrum, BBFI hopes that their donation will help the program roll out sooner than planned and go beyond 100 locations. BBFI readily extended its support to Kariton Klasrum because it shares the foundation’s vision to make quality education accessible to everyone. BBFI believes that the little help they offered provided the Kariton Klasrum program a considerable push to make that vision a reality.


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Karipasan 2015, Batangas Waiters Race make a dash for wellness, sportsmanship, and camaraderie

MALVAR, BATANGAS—On 08 February 2015, Sunday, more than 3,000 runners will make a mad dash for KARIPASAN 2015: The 7th Batangas Run for Wellness to benefit educational communities in the Visayas that were devastated by typhoon Yolanda.

Thousands of running enthusiasts including students and teachers from around Batangas and Metro Manila will be doing 3K, 5K, and 10K runs. Gun start is at 6 am, in front of the Lima Park Pavilion found inside the Lima Technology Center in Malvar, Batangas.

Organized by the First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH) and Lima Park Hotel, this annual event is a manifestation of the Institute’s commitment to community-building. It is also one of the Hotel’s concrete steps to promote sports and wellness tourism as part of the Bisita Batangas campaign.

This year, proceeds from Karipasan 2015 will go the education development programs of the Bato Balani Foundation Inc focused on teacher training, school and library assistance, scholarships and other special involvements aimed at uplifting Philippine education.

Last year, proceeds from Karipasan went to the rehabilitation of typhoon-ravaged schools in central Visayas, and special programs that supported the welfare of teachers who survived typhoon Yolanda.

Simultaneous events are the Zumba Marathon and the Bataangas Waiters Race, where Hotel and Restaurant Management students and schools and professional compete in mixed sprint and relays. Last year’s champions are BSU Malvar, STI Tanauan, Le Cafe, F. Baylosis, and Tablogles Catering Services.

Karipasan 2015 is supported by the First Asia Institute Alumni Organisation (FAIAO), Lima Land Inc., and the Municipality of Malvar. For more information and to register, contact Theresa Codizal through tel. nos. (043) 778 0656/1529/1526 loc. 312. You may also send an email to

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Five new stories of Heroism from Teachers

Bato Balani Foundation announces this year’s honorees for its annual recognition program, The Many Faces of theTeachers.  Since its birth in 2002, it has been presenting stories of inspiration in the hope of uplifting the stature ofteaching in the country.

The roster of honorees are presented at the much-awaited event, “A Tribute to Teachers”, which is held in Davao City as one of the major highlights of the country’s celebration of National Teachers Month. The honorees join the ranks of thecountry’s most admirable teachers such as this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Emergent Leader awardee Randy Halasan; 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees Christopher Bernido and Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido;  2008 Most Outstanding Mobile Teacher Jenelyn Baylon; Dr. Onofre Pagsanghan; Loboc Children’s Choir Founder Alma Fernando-Taldo; Batibot founder Feny delos Angeles-Bautista; 2002 Intel Excellence in Teaching Awardee Dr. Josette T. Biyo and Fr. James Reuter.  The search started in 2002 as an advocacy campaign designed to lift the status of teaching in the country.

The honorees are spirited enabler Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko from Manila; cultural curator Elsie C. Padernal from Calinog, Iloilo; creative leader Darwin T. Tadifa from Tubungan, Iloilo; limitless lecturer Jinglebert P. Collado; and innovation crusader Genevieve Kulong from Zamboanga City

Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko: Spirited Enabler

Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko graduated from a prestigious university in Metro Manila and obtained her Master’s Degree and Post-Graduate Degree from The University of Melbourne in Australia and the National Institute of Education in Singapore respectively. Despite her educational background, Ms. Ongkiko, made the unconventional decision to teachat the Culiat Elementary School, a public school located in Quezon City with over-populated students.

Influenced by her father who taught her the meaning of service, the value of simplicity and choosing to look at the bright side in life, Ms. Ongkiko wanted to serve and channel her love through teaching her students. To her, a teacher should be an embodiment of love and light. She should do her best to help change the lives of her students. Her students endearingly call her “Teacher Sab,” and her motivating ways and confidence in her students inspire them to excel and finish their education. She believes that her success is their success.

Outside teaching, Ms. Ongkiko is an inspirational speaker. She is always invited to give talks in local TedEx events, commencement exercises, leadership fora, and conferences. She is also a head teacher at “Teachables Inc.,” a group committed to support and empower teachers all around the country. She strives to create a community of teachers who mutually support each other and encourage each other with their love for teaching. She also aims to provide her fellow teachers an avenue to tell their own stories so that society may see them in a more inspiring and positive light.

Elsie C. Padernal: Cultural Curator


Discrimination is still a sad reality Filipino indigenous peoples (IP) face.  As a result, the IPs feel inferior to lowlanders.  Some resort to just hiding their ethnic roots.

But that is not for Elsie C. Padernal.  A member of the Cabellero Clan of the Panay Bukidnon tribe, who are theremaining masters of their culture, Elsie is persistent  in learning about her culture as well as  passing her knowledge to her students and other people interested about their culture.

Ms Padernal is Lamingan to her tribe, which means mirror of the youth. She has been incorporating their culture in her lessons. She has included local embroidery in their art class, traditional dance in their PE and using bamboo instruments in their music class.  After school, she spends time documenting her culture. She is writing a Sugidanon dictionary which translates the archaic language to Kinaray-a to Tagalog to English. She also keeps other record books where she documents other facets of their culture like constellation, months, wind and trees.

Outside the classroom, she is a performer, resource speaker, trainer, writer and composer of Panay Bukidnon chants and dances.  She is also President and founder of the Panay IP Professionals Organization (PIPPO), which encourages professionals who are members of their tribe to learn about their culture.  She is also spearheading a project that  will train an IP teacher in the 13 mountains barangay and 7 lowland barangays plus 8 in National High Schools theintegration of IP curriculum to regular curriculum.  Apart from these groups, she also serves as an officer or active member of the different organizations concerned about preserving their culture.

Darwin T. Tadifa: Creative Leader

TADIFA.Victoria Elementary School is the second farthest school in the Municipality of Tubungan, Iloilo.  The place is difficult to reach.  It entails mountain climbing, river crossings and facing threats from the leftist rebel groups.  Victoria is the first teaching assignment of Mr. Tadifa.  But, the hardship in reaching Victoria is the easier part of Mr. Tadifa’s journey as a teacher in Victoria.  The people of Victoria have a very low regard for education.

To influence the people, Mr. Tadifa persevered to help the students excel in their education and get recognition from it.  They joined competitions in the district and congressional levels and started wining.  The parents were impressed and soon after  started appreciating education. Mr. Tadifa started organizing the parents so that they can also learn skills they can use in their daily lives and to earn added income from cooking and gardening.  They formalized their activities and called it project BULAK (Buhay Unahin sa Literasiya para sa Ating Kinabukasan).

Aside from this, Mr. Tadifa was also instrumental in the electrification of Barangay Victoria.  He also helped in thebuilding of the farm to market road.

After 3 years in Victoria, he transferred to Tubungan Elementary School, where he  handles the Edukasyon Pangtahanan class and works as the Alternative Learning Systems Coordinator.  Thes roles allow himt to continue his service in Victoria and to reach out to out of school youths and other learners in Tubungan.

For his home barangay, San Jose, this creative leader spearheaded Project LUNOK (Literasiya Unahin Natin at Obligahin para sa ating Kinabukasan). They have projects involving basic cooking, table setting, napkin folding and other skills that help the members become more entrepreneurial.

Jinglebert P. Collado: Limitless Lecturer

COLLADO.Another teacher whose boundaries are limitless is 34 year old mobile teacher Jinglebert P. Collado.

His true calling is educating IP learners, no matter the difficulty in reaching them. He and his family are aware of therisks.  Kapalong, Davao Del Norte is considered a “red zone area” in Mindanao due to the presence of rebels He could have accepted assignments that came with attractive compensations and urban comforts, yet he chose to stay in Kapalong.

His first assignment was the Dibabawun tribe in Mambago. The area is kilometers away from the Poblacion of Kapalong and he needed to hike for one and a half hours to reach his students.Seeing the eyes and faces of these IP children who are thirsty for education relieved him of the physical hardships of trekking. More rewarding were the gratitude and happiness of the parents.

After Mambago, he was transferred to another IP community, the Aninipot Elementray School, which is farther than Mambago. This job entailed 4 hours hiking and crossing 21 rivers.

He adopts his teaching style to work despite their cultural differences.  The modules and worksheets teach them not only the basic aspects of education but also the livelihood and spiritual growth of IPs.

As a community worker, he works together with the Barangay in developing activities for his students and other members of the neighborhood.

Genevieve G. Kulong: Innovation Crusader 

KULONG.Last year, the peace-loving people of Zamboanga woke up to sounds of mortars and firearms.  One’s natural response to war is usually to flee, but not for Genevieve G. Kulong and her family.

At the height of the Zamboanga siege, the family received text messages from concerned family members asking them to leave Zamboanga City. Their reply was “this is the time our city needs us the most.”

Instead of staying home, Ms. Kulong, together with other teachers, volunteered at the evacuation center in their school, tending to those who were affected by the war.  She also adopted in her home a co-teacher who is an evacuee.

Realizing that her students needed help in coping up with stress from war, she turned to ICT to reach out to her students.  She used social networking sites to communicate with her students and used it as a venue for her students to express their feelings. This project was recognized in the recent National ICT Congress.  It got the best practices award.

Ms. Kulong also made a disaster plan for her school, which uses ICT. It became a model disaster plan in her district. With her group, the ANS Rotary Club of Zamboanga City, she is lobbying for financial support for a school in Sta. Barbara which was damaged by the Zamboanga Siege.

Prior to the war in Zamboanga, Ms. Kulong was very active in conducting outreach program for the kids of Zamboanga City who live in the mountains.  They bring them to the city for a fun day and let them come home with clothes, food and school supplies.

This innovation crusader is also very active in promoting ICT in Zamboanga, reaching out to fellow teachers, her students and the parents of her students.  At her former school, Ayala National High School, 90% of the teachers are ICT adept because of her efforts.  Also, one of her projects, which encouraged her students to investigate and produce videos about rice shortage, won a Best Practice Award using ICT in Education at the 3rdICT Congress in 2012.

Inspiring teachers

A quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero says “What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation.”

These teachers did not only do their duty, which already is a noble act.  They went beyond.  For these, they deserve theaccolade.

For more information about A Tribute to Teacher and The Many Faces of the Teacher, log on to and

Updates are also available at

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