One of the modules I love teaching best in my PERSEF class is the one on community development and advocacy. In this module, I ask my students to identify a social problem in their community that concerns or affects them. Even though this is only a class project for them, it amazes me to see how brilliant their ideas can get. However, that’s all it remains to be…an idea.
Enter the Unilab Ideas Positive competition.
Now on it’s third year, the Unilab Ideas Positive competition gives college students all across the country to spark change with one idea. Because they believe in the youth’s ideas and capacity to make a positive change in their community, the Unilab Foundation is offering 15 teams a total of Php 1.5 M as seed money in order to make their health and wellness ideas for their communities a reality. They will also provide these students with a a 3-day social marketing boot camp, where they learn and understand social marketing approaches from a pool of experts using current and relevant social marketing practices and case studies in order for their ideas to come into full fruition.
As mentioned, this is the third year of this project and this time, they are moving out of Metro Manila and opening the competition to the entire Philippines. As such, more college students can participate and more communities can benefit.
To be part of this project and for more information about the program, log on to www.unilabideaspositive.com.Read More
It has been quite a long time since I got myself involved in an advocacy project and so when I was invited to participate in a project that The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was doing in celebration of its 50 years of conservation, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.
What really motivated me to say yes to this project was Joe, the dog I adopted last year. Raising him made me realize that while he and his brother, Bubba, are quite lucky they live in a home, are fed and are safe, many other animals are not. Not only that, the places that these animals make their homes in are not protected either, all because of what we call “modernization”. And so I decided that my project this year will be on going green in whatever small way I can.
However, while individual efforts at going green, such as taking steps to choose earth friendly products, recycle, and so on and so forth, are important, we can also be part of a bigger solution by teaming up with organizations that can put together individual efforts into collective action. One such organization is the WWF.
In celebration of its 50th year, the World Wildlife Fund invites us all to bid for a greener future with an online fundraising auction, GREENER AT 50, via Ebay Philippines. Proceeds of the project will benefit the WWF-Philippines’ environmental sustainability projects. Up for grabs in the online auction are limited edition items from celebrities, such as a signed pair of pointe shoes by prima ballerina, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, and other memorabilia from celebrities and personalities including the Philippine Volcanoes Team, Pat Dy, Sara Black, Boy Abunda. You can also get the opportunity to immerse in exclusive WWF sites and discover nature from your own experience!
Check out www.ebay.ph/wwfgreenerat50 to view the items for auction and get ready to start bidding for a greener environment.
This year, let’s all be part of the solution and bid for the future with WWF-Philippines.
Log on to wwf.org.ph to learn more about WWF-Philippines and like them on facebook http://www.facebook.com/WWF-Philippines.Read More
At this very moment I can barely feel me toes, my knees are wobbly still and my back is killing m, my eyes are droopy and my throat is so ouchie but I must say, all these physical aches and pains were well worth it It was such a wonderful blessing to be able to touch base with the “Teacher Ria” in me today as I took part in a teacher training program for 100 public preschool teachers from all different parts of the country. The teachers in today’s conference were such great participants they exceeded all my expectations It was truly such a gift to be able to be part of this workshop again. Like I said this morning on my Facebook page, I am grateful for the opportunity to not only continue touching lives through teaching, but to share this with others.
Thank you so much to the Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation, Inc. for the chance to be part of the HSBC Kinder College Conference again!Read More
Last year I shared about how, for my 30th birthday, a good doctor friend of mine gave me a gift that would last a lifetime: the gift of protection against cervical cancer. This year, Bravehearts, a non-profit organization initially led by the Cervical Cancer Prevention Network (CECAP), continues it’s advocacy of raising awareness on cervical cancer prevention with the Tour of Hope 2011: Going the Xtra Mile against Cervical Cancer
On May 28, the Tour of Hope cyclists will once again head off on their bicycles to raise awareness for this worthy cause.
As a blogger, I would also like to participate in raising awareness by reminding my readers of the importance of prevention. When I went to get my own vaccination (errr…yes, the first one was free as a gift from my friend but the rest I had to pay for haha), I did complain that it was expensive, but when I really think about it, it was all worth it. After all, coming from a family with a history of cancer and reproductive health problems ups my risk for cancer, I might as well do something about it, right? So I strongly urge you to consider this as well.
Did you know…
- Cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer worldwide
- Over 80% of cases occur in developing countries including the Philippines.
- More than 7,000 new cases are reported annually in the Philippines
- Every day, 12 Filipinas die of cervical cancer.
- Cervical cancer is caused by a common and easily transmittable virus known as the Human papilloma virus or HPV
- Vaccination and regular screening can help prevent the onset of Cervical Cancer
- At it’s early stages, Cervical Cancer shows no signs or symptoms
- Women of all ages, race and SES are at-risk of infection
(facts and figures collated from various sources, some of which from press releases and the internet)
For more information check out www.Xoutcervicalcancer.com.ph.Read More
Throughout the trimester, I have discussed various core concepts in human development with my students on Developmental Psychology. Because they are college students, however, I gave extra attention to the discussions on adolescent development and behavior. I appreciated how candid they were in discussing their experiences and thoughts about things going on around them. It doesn’t surprise me, however, that many of their concerns were still congruent to my concerns as an adolescent.
One thing we discussed is all about adolescent egocentrism and why people at that stage are likely to engage in extremely high risk behaviors, such as experimenting with drugs and alcohol, driving under the influence, unprotected sexual relations and the like. We talked about the biological, psychological and other factors that contribute to that. We also went on to discuss the dangers and repercussions of such behaviors. Often times, because of their sense of invinsibility (which comes from their egocentrism), they think ‘that can’t happen to me’.
I have to admit that even I tend to think that way every now and then, yes, even if I am no longer an adolescent. This is perhaps because we tend to take things for granted too often. For example, one of my biggest faults is my tendency to text or check my phone when I get stuck in traffic. I rationalize that I do this only when I am stopped, but too often a time, I catch myself driving with my phone in my hands without even thinking about it. It’s become a habit, sad to say. So it takes conscious effort to remind myself to not do it. Once, I remember I kinda bumped into the curb (thank God it was just the curb!) because I wasn’t paying attention because I was engrossed with my phone.
Other high risk behaviors adolescents and young adults alike tend to engage in is driving under the influence (errr…yes yes yes… ) During our lectures I got to ask them what behaviors they do, even though they know it can be risky. The most common response I got from them was “I drive even if I had one or two beers/shots/drinks“. To be honest, initial thought bubble that flashed in my head was : that’s okay, as long as you’re not hilo (yes, spoken like a true margarita queen haha). Granted that we can tolerate a certain safe level of alcohol in our system, we cannot deny that it does impair us in many levels, especially in excessive amounts. For one, physically we become less inhibited and more carefree. Motor coordination and reflexes are likewise affected. On a cognitive level, our judgment is also impaired. We fail to recognize signs, focus on details and this can affect spatial reasoning. Take for example this photo:
If I were driving and I was a little too tipsy, I may assume that I could go, because the light is green, right? However, it says red. When we’re drunk, we might not notice the little details, thus leading to accidents and even death. That is but one example of impaired judgment when driving drunk.
Driving under the influence claims countless lives all over the world on a daily basis. It was funny that as I lectured on this in class, I myself was struck with that reminder to be more aware of my behaviors. I’m not going to pretend I’ve never done that, get behind the wheel after having a drink or two, I mean. I won’t make any excuses about it either. What I will do, however, is remind myself, just the way I have learned to do so when it comes to mobile texting (yes that’s what I used to call driving and texting), there is much responsibility in my fingertips: use it wisely.
A few months ago I wrote a post about Justin Bieber and Charice signing the No Texting Zone Pact on the Oprah Winfrey show and so when I got an invitation to the launch of of Hisense Wireless Wonders headsets and Bluetooth accessories, I did not hesitate to attend. Being highly dependent on my mobile phone and given that my many jobs requires me to be out of the house for long periods of time, I thought it best to check out these new gadgets and to see if they will suit my busy lifestyle.
What exactly was launched during the event? Well, for one, we were introduced to the line of Multipoint Headsets and other Bluetooth Accessories that can make mobile connectivity simpler, quicker and most of all, safer. These devices allow you to pair multiple devices thus allowing you to connect hands-free with no hassles of having to pair and re-pair devices repeatedly. The multipoint feature of the Hisense HB200M headsets allow you to even connect simultaneously with two different phones, even if they are under different network providers. Thus, you are always ready to receive your calls with instant connectivity.
Hisense also introduced the HB650S Car kit (which I seriously wanted to win during the raffle, hehe!). Given that I spend so much time in my car, having this will definitely reduce risks as I take calls from time to time. Yes, I know we shouldn’t use the phone while driving, but…well, this definitely makes it safer, right? What’s good about the car kit is that it has a Smart TTS (Text to Speech) feature enables it to inform you who is calling, without you needing to check on the display.
Adding to the versatility of Hisense Bluetooth devices is the fact that it is designed for both fashion and functionality. Whether its for work or for play, these devices will definitely add some flair to wireless mobility.Read More
In my practice, both as a teacher and a clinician, I have worked with one too many girls who have struggled with weight and eating disorders. Sometimes it can be a challenge for me, especially since I myself struggle with weight, but I guess that’s really part of the process, right?
What frustrates me about working with these issues and concerns is how difficult it is to maintain or reinforce what we are working with, especially given the mixed signals students (and all people in general I guess) get from various signals from all over. Although I will talk about media in this post, I recognize that they’re not the only culprit in this whole game. I want to make that clear after all
How does media influence an adolescents body image to begin with? Well, let’s face it: through television, magazines and the like, there really is a glorification of what is ” supposed” to be beautiful. Although, yes, there are shows and the like that DO EMPHASIZE that there is more to a person than size, it is still very much overshadowed by many other signals being given to them. As such, they go on all sorts of diets and take all these diet pills that promise weight loss in just x number of days. Add to this the reinforcements of advertisements and so on and so forth. Sigh. It’s a vicious cycle I tell ya.
So, what’s the solution? I honestly don’t know. Granted that the need to fit in and to look a certain way is part of the developmental process, I think there should be clear-cut and more significant steps that need to be undertaken to make long-term change happen. As such, I applaud the efforts of shows like America’s Next Top Model (yes, even if it is a model search I appreciate how Tyra would always say beauty comes in all shapes, colors and sizes…although in that show we still can see a lot of the stereotypes, right?) and Glee as they try to make changes happen.
What else can we do? Drop me a line here and lets see where we can goRead More
Although I am at the cusp of ending my early childhood teaching career, I am still a big believer and advocate for a good education. It’s sad that so many deserving students are unable to receive this great gift, and it warms my heart to know that so many institutions, organizations and groups are ready and willing to offer these students this chance. One such institution is Bannister Academy.
If you know of any deserving 1st or 2nd year High School students, do take that step and nominate them to the Bannister Academy Search for Scholars. Two deserving students (1 male, 1 female) will be given a 4-year full financial scholarship to deserving high school students.
Details are as follows:
Who is qualified?
• Anyone who is eligible for transfer to 1st or 2nd year high school*;
• Demonstrates good moral character;
• Has a strong drive to excel
*It is necessary to present supporting documents of eligibility
How many entries can be nominated?
• You can nominate only one (1) entry.
What should the entry contain?
All entries should include the following:
1. Your name and your relationship to the nominee
2. Basic Information of the student:
- Full Name
- Date of birth (date-month-year)
3. Contact details: Landline number, cellphone number and e-mail address
4. A 300-word essay by the student, answering the question, “How can I change the world?”
Where should I send my entry?
• All entries should be e-mailed to email@example.com on or before March 9, 2011.
When will candidates be selected?
• 10 finalists will be selected, 5 girls and 5 boys. The Names of finalists will be announced on March 11, 2011. They will be contacted personally and through their registered guardians.
• All finalists have to take an entrance exam and interview on March 14. Winners will be awarded on March 19, during the Bannister Open House.
Over the weekend I was invited to attend a Toy Making (well, redesigning/reconstruction more like it) Workshop with the Pilipinas Street Plan (PSP) at the Lopez Memorial Museum and Library. It surely was a wonderful way to spend a lazy Saturday morning and I had so much fun tapping into that creative side of me. The event was also attended by some other bloggers and a handful of art enthusiasts. During the workshop, we got to personalize and rework an ordinary vinyl or plastic toy, like those you get at the tiangges or in places like Divisoria for example, and make it into something different.
This was my piece, Astrogirl reinvented
The photos on top show the original toy, before I coated it with a white base and reworked it. I actually wanted to do something different, but I didn’t have enough time to do so. I think it came out interesting, nonetheless. This was a piece inspired by my yoga practice, and my quest to find balance in my life. Nice right?
We had a lot of fun getting our hands dirtied during the workshop! We used Boysen Acrylic Latex paint, the kind used for walls and houses. I thought these paints would trigger my asthma and smell bad, but it didn’t at all and since it’s water based, it was quite easy to handle.
My fellow artists also had a grand time making their own pieces, and this is what we came up with:
During the workshop, we were told that we can actually do this technique for a wide range of other items and surfaces, which got me to realize, maybe that’s what I was doing all a long with my craft boxes and paintings on walls. According to Epjey, one of the members of PSP, this is actually inspired by graffitti art that can be seen in so many of our streets. This is also why the group is called Pilipinas Street Plan. It is a local community of artists that aim to make art accessible to all and to showcase local talents which is often grossly understated, and as stated in their blog, is “committed in showcasing and celebrating ephemeral artworks on streets. From graffiti, posters, stickers, objects and happenings”. And that’s actually what the heart of art is all about, right? Tapping into that spontaneous , free-reined part of one’s self that needs to be expressed with no limits, no bounds, no censorship, just pure spirit no matter where it takes you.
In collaboration with the Lopez Memorial Museum and Library, the PSP has created a showcase wherein they have “mapped out” specific sites where graffiti art has taken place across the country. This is in line with their current exhibit, Extensions . The goal of the project, as I understood it from my conversation with MaryAnn, a representative from the musuem, is to be able to capture the essence of what Filipino artists are. In the musuem, a video is played on loop where it was said that the musuem hopes this will be a way of recapturing what the Filipino identity is all about. More so, the project, aptly called extensions, aims to highlight the fact that art is not just limited to the typical painting on a wall, but also to open up spaces and include different media as part of the true heart of art.
These were some of the wonderful paintings, artworks and installations I was able to see when I walked around the musuem:
The museum is located at the ground floor of the Benpres Building, Exchange Road corner Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center and is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
The toys we participants were able to make during the workshop are going to be on display and up for sale in this upcoming weekends Art in the Park event, which will be held in Salcedo park Funds raised from the project will benefit the Knowledge Channel. So, if you’re free this Saturday, February 19, and are looking for something different from the usual malling fun you and your family often do, do drop by the parkRead More
One of my major advocacies as a preschool teacher, despite the fact I don’t read as much as I used to anymore, is to foster a love for reading in my kids. I feel a little guilty, actually, that lately I am not as able to integrate stories to my lessons as much as I used to, or want to for that matter. Before I would have a story EVERY single day. However now, I tend to have about 2-3 a week. Sigh.
What I try to do, however, is set aside book time everyday for the kids to explore the different books in class. I allow them to have free reign of the books they would like to check out and read during this period. I go around and sit with them and together we go through the book. Often times the books that are in our booktime shelf are those that we had read already, so they are often familiar with the story line. However today, as I sat beside one of my little girls, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how far her reading skills have come
isn’t she so cute! hehe. yes, those are real prescription eyeglasses.
Although the book in the picture, I think, is being read from memory, she can now read longer words and has a better grasp over sight words. At times, however, she still relies too much on this, but that’s normal Her phonetic mastery is also something she is able to rely on in our spelling games. Scenes like these are definitely going to be among those I will miss a lot pretty soon
I almost forgot…
Today is Thank You Day. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since this site hosted Toblerone‘s Spread The Sweetness of Gratitude contest in honor of Thank You Day. Today, I am thankful for being reminded that I have the chance to do just that everyday, no matter how bad a day I may be having
And so while today wasn’t a perfect day for me, I am making a choice to take the time say thank you nonetheless, for the big and little things that have come my way For today, this includes the virtual hugs shared by my online friends, and for the real hugs my little kids in class gave me today. This includes, too, heart-warming comments posted on my blogs i am woman, hear me rawr! and Fat Girl No More. Lastly, I am still thankful for simple reminders that come my way that tell me despite whatever troubles and stresses come my way, cliché as it may be, that this too shall pass and that yes, while I seem to have misplaced my happy vibe a wee bit since yesterday, I am finding my way back to it, so for that, I am grateful
What are you thankful for today? Do drop by the Toblerone Pilipinas Facebook Fan Page and Click on the Notes section to share your story of gratitude and join in on their Thank You Day Promo!Read More
It’s been a week since I launched my support for the Real Love Campaign for the benefit of Kythe Foundation. Thank you to all those who dropped by and joined, or perhaps simply liked the Real Love Facebook Page. I wish I could give all 10 of you who joined my contest a prize, but I can only pick one…and the winner is:
Being a psychologist myself, I know how important resilience is to recovery so I’m glad echertweena recognized the value of this too. Also, it’s not enough that we “like” the Facebook page…we all need to get together to raise awareness for the disease.
Congratulations to the winner and to all who supported the cause, a big, big THANK YOU!!!Read More
I think it is no secret, especially to those who read my blogs a lot, that my Lolo is my hero. It has been 14 years since we lost him, and though the pain and sadness of not having him around has faded, it never really goes away. Although he was diagnosed initially with emphysema, he eventually succumbed to cancer in 1996. Our family has had a long history of battling this deadly disease, which claims so many lives yearly. Even my mom had her own uterine cancer scare a few years back after she had given birth to my youngest brother and in all honesty, this is also why my personal PCOS related woes kinda scare me to the highest heavens all the time things don’t go well health wise. In my head I do know prevention is better than cure, which is actually why I opted to get myself vaccinated against HPV, which is one of the leading causes of cervical cancer, but right now, I’m butting heads with my doctor because of it hehe.
I realized that one thing that helped my family a lot get through all those cancer scares and difficulties was the fact that we had a good support system to lean on. However, not everyone has that. This is why when I was invited by Ms. Janette Toral to support the Real Love Campaign for the benefit of Kythe Foundation, an organization that provides support and psychosocial services for children with cancer, I did not hesitate to include it as one of my personal advocacies.
The Real Love Campaign is led by Unilever Foodsolutions. You too are invited to support the cause by simply “liking” their official Facebook Page. By just clicking on that “like” button, you help make a difference. How? For every 1,000 “Like” entries until it reaches 10,000 fans, Unilever Foodsolutions will donate 1,000 sandwiches to the different Kythe partner hospitals. Not bad, right? (SO CLICK NOW!!! hehe)
You can also WIN one of these limited edition shirts by simply supporting my little contest here in The Accidental Teacher The mechanics are simple. Just complete the statement: “I will share my love to the kids of Kythe by____________”. Post your answer in the comment section below and on October 10, 2010, one lucky winner will take home the special Team Manila shirt Winners, however, must be Philippine residents only.Read More
Last year, I shared in this blog that for my 30th birthday, I got myself the gift of protection against Cervical Cancer. By opting to get the vaccination, I would like to believe that I made a stand against an illness that kills so many women yearly. It is sad that many women lose their lives to an illness that can be prevented, or treated for that matter if diagnosed early. More so, it is sad that if women (especially younger women and adolescents) are educated about these health concerns and issues that are related to one’s sexual decisions, they can make better choices. This goes beyond just cervical cancer, but other health concerns as well.
While abstinence is still key in protecting oneself from diseases, we cannot deny that many of the young people in our society (heck, even the not so young!) do not make the best choices when it comes to these things. I remember a made-for-tv movie once in the Hallmark channel about this issue and in that story, teenagers as young as 13 were infected with STD’s because of the highly promiscuous and under-informed environment they were in. Because they didn’t know better, they turned to fellow teenagers or various online sources to find answers. While some are valid and can give good information, such as treatments, prevention and natural cures for herpes and other similar diseases, there are those sites that are completely ridiculous and out of context.
At the end of the day, health care and disease prevention is a choice we all have to make. It is our responsibility, especially as the adults, to inform the younger generation of the right and appropriate choices for life.Read More
I am a self-confessed over-the-counter junkie. I am the type of person who would pop a pill at the first sign of a cold or to treat even small aches and pains. However, now that I am getting older, I can’t help but think about what this does to my body. While the relief is almost instantaneous, it can have long term consequences that may affect my future. This is why it scares me that so many over-the-counter medications are being abused nowadays. From oral antibiotics to analgesics, even weight loss pills and supposed natural/herbal supplements, these pills are being passed around like it’s candy. It doesn’t help that many of the celebrities around have made taking these pills cool and interesting.
I think one way we teachers can help address this problem is by including topics like prescription drug use and abuse in our health classes. Although I may not be able to do this for my preschoolers, I sure can address this in my college classroom. A good venue, for example, is in my abnormal psychology classes where I talk about eating disorders and addictions. I don’t have a set lesson plan in mind yet, but I think it would be a good addition to the lesson. Any suggestions?Read More
A few days ago, I came across a post in Facebook laughing about a bill filed by the re-elected senator, Lito Lapid. The bill aimed to protect the welfare of left-handed Filipinos. Senate Bill No. 31, entitled the “Comprehensive Handedness Act of 2010″ may seem like a trivial bill for most people, hence the sense of ridicule it brought about. The response of some is that it is a useless bill filed by someone who knows nothing about politics. Granted Lito Lapid, more known as an actor rather than his political prowess, may not be in the same league with most of his contemporaries, but his resolution is not as laughable as what people make it out to be.
Being a Lefty myself, I have found myself put on the spot for my handedness.
When I was in college, I was once accused of cheating during an examination because I had to sit sideways because of the way the school armchair was designed. Back then, most chairs were those small wooded chairs with an extended area for the desk on the right hand side. For lefties like me, it was impossible to write without sitting sideways. Even during my college entrance exam I was reprimanded by a proctor for sitting the way I did, to which I retorted, “Give me a left-handed desk and I will sit-up straight”.
See…to those who think this bill is stupid, as a lefty who has had to deal with making adjustments because of my handedness, let me tell you it’s not.Read More