October 8, 2018

Suspension of Climbs in Mt. Pulag Lifted

After the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong over the Philippines, particularly in the northern parts of Luzon, hiking and climbing activities at Mt. Pulag was suspended for safety reasons.

Most of the roads leading to the mountain incurred landslides and other damages. The park's management had to suspend climbing activities within the park for a couple of weeks.

However, the park's management has announced that the park has been reopened for hikers and climbers. Nearly all the roads leading to the mountain have been fixed. Nevertheless, hikers are still advised to be extra careful when climbing the mountain.

As per park policy, hikers especially those who are climbing in groups are required to get in touch with the park's management prior to their scheduled climbs.

In the most recent update on their Facebook page, the park's management had the following to say: "Please be informed that suspension of climbs at Mt. Pulag National Park has been lifted. Babadak Trail, Akiki Trail, Four Lakes, and other trails are now open for climbs. Thank you and God bless."

Hikers who want to climb Mt. Pulag can choose from several trail options. There are four main trails leading to the summit of the mountain.

These are the Ambangeg, Akiki, Tawangan, and Ambaguio trails. Akiki is considered to be the most difficult trail so it's advisable for seasoned hikers. The Ambangeg trail is the easiest and the shortest way towards the summit. it's great for beginners.

The Cordilleran Sun
The Tawangan trail is also a fairly hard trail but many hikers choose not to take it because the trail is often infested with leeches especially during the rainy season. The Amabaguio trail starts at the nearby province of Nueva Vizcaya.

October 1, 2018

Are You Ready For Star Trail Challenge 2018?

Here's something that both beginners and advanced runners can look forward to this coming December. The Star Trail Challenge is back for its third edition to be held at the Tanay Adventure Camp in Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal on December 9 (Sunday). The event is offering three distances for interested runners (8 kilometers, 12 kilometers, and 21 kilometers).

The event is being presented by Pinoy Trails and Be Trail Ready and in partnership with Hoka One One Philippines. The organizers describe the event as the "fusion of Pinoy Trails as the community portal for trail runners, the race expertise of Be Trail Ready and the premium brand in Hoka One One".

The races will take runners through good trails that will pass through Dayapa Falls. Runners will also be treated to scenic views of the Sierra Madre Mountain range. Special prizes and surprises are in store for runners on race day.

Everyone who registers for any of the distances will receive a Hoka One One windbreaker jacket, a limited edition trucker cup, and a medal mug for finishers. All participants will also receive a 20% Hoka One One voucher.

Registration fees are as follows:
- 8K – Early Bird: P950, Regular: P1,050, Late: P1,250
 - 12K – Early Bird: P1,150, Regular: P1,250, Late: P1,450
 - 21K – Early Bird: P1,350, Regular P1,450, Late: P1,650
 - Early Bird Registration: October 1 to October 16, 2018
 - Regular Registration: October 17 to November 16, 2018
 - Late Registration: November 17 to 23, 2018

The fees cover the following:
 - Hoka Windbreaker
 - STC2018 Limited Edition Trucker Cap
 - Finisher Medal Mug
 - Personalized Bib Number
 - Entrance to Tanay Adventure Camp
 - Environmental Fee
 - Tourism Fee
 - Raffle Stub
 - 20% Hoka One One Voucher

August 23, 2018

DepEd Memo 135: 19th National Convention and Seminar-Workshop of the National Organization of Professional Teachers Inc.

1. The National Organization of Professional Teachers Inc. (NOPTI) will conduct the 19th National Convention and Seminar-Workshop with the theme NOPTIans: Sustaining a Strong Community of Learners and Stakeholders’ Partnership and Living a Culture of Excellence Towards an Enhanced K to 12 Program Implementation from November 23 to 25 at the Baguio Teachers Camp, Baguio City.

2. The convention aims to:
a. provide the participants with important updates on the enhanced K to 12 program;
b. address the issues, concerns, and challenges of the new curriculum; and
c. share with them innovative teaching practices and new paradigms in the implementation of the K to 12 program

3. The target participants are elementary and secondary school teachers, school heads/administrators, officers and members of NOPTI in the school, district, division, regional, and national level, non-NOPTI members, and other education stakeholders.

4. Participants from public schools shall attend the convention on official business. However, participants from private schools shall make arrangements with their respective school heads.

5. A registration fee of Five Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (5,500) shall be charged per participant to cover expenses for the food and accommodation, venue, convention kits, honoraria of speakers, and other incidental expenses charged to local funds, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
6. The confirmed list of participants may be submitted to the NOPTI office, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino High School, Aguho St., Comembo, Makati City, or forwarded to telefax no. (02) 882-1145. Participants will be guided accordingly by local NOPTI staff during the registration.

7. For more information, contact:

Wilfredo C. Moredo
National Organization of Professional Teachers Inc. (NOPTI)
Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino High School
Aguho St., Comembo, Makati City
Mobile phone no.: 0947-256-1415
Email address: bnahs_95@yahoo.com

Rodriguez Bagana
Board Secretary, NOPTI
Telefax No.: (02) 882-1145
Mobile phone no.: 0905-446-9262

Asuncion C. Aguilar
National Treasurer, NOPTI
Mobile phone no.: 0917-518-4414

Liza Soria
Office Secretary, NOPTI
Mobile phone no.: 0949-959-4567

8. Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.

DepEd Memo 134: National Science and Technology Fair for School Year 2018-2019

1. The Department of Education (DepEd), through the Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD), announces the conduct of the National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) for School Year (SY) 2018-2019 from February 18 to 22, 2019 at the Tagaytay International Convention Center (TICC), Tagaytay City. The conduct of the school, division, and regional Science and Technology Fair (STF) levels shall be held on the following dates:

School – September 2018
Division – October 2018
Region – November 2018

2. The STF aims to:
a. promote Science and Technology consciousness, and a culture of innovation among the youth; and
b. identify the most creative and innovative student researchers from junior and senior high schools, who shall represent the country in the international Science research fairs

3. The official participants from each region at the national level DepEd-BCD STF shall only be the Rank 1 Regional Winners in each of the different categories, whose entries have been approved by the national level Scientific Review Committee (SRC). Substitutes shall not be allowed. The description and maximum number of official participants are the following:
4. The number of other Official Party Members are as follows:
5. The following documents are enclosed for information and guidance:
6. Regional coordinators (RCs), division science and math supervisors, school heads, and participants are expected to download softcopies of the following documents from the corresponding links:
7. The registration fee for each participant is as follows:
8. Registration fee shall be charged to local funds, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations. This fee will cover prizes, board and lodging of the participants and their advisers, science and mathematics supervisors, and the materials needed to the conduct of the STF. The subsidy to cover the payment for honoraria of the members of the SRC and BOJ relative to the conduct of Regional STF shall be downloaded to the regions.

9. The travel expenses of participants in the national level STF shall be charged to local funds or other sources; whereas, the expenses of the BCD staff, board and lodging of official participants, materials, transportation and communication relative to the activities, prizes and cash awards, and honoraria of members of the SRC, BOJ, and external or non-DepEd resource persons shall be charged to the BCD fund, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

10. The RCs are requested to submit reports using the format provided in Enclosure No. 5 to the BCD, through email address nstf@deped.gov.ph, on or before December 3, 2018. Failure to submit the report and the projects on time shall disqualify the region in the national fair.

11. All other activities relative to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research projects, including those of the private associations, shall be harmonized with the activities of the NSTF from February 18 to 22, 2019. All students, including those from other special interests programs, are strongly encouraged to participate in the school level STF.

12. For more information, contact Ms. Anna Liza M. Chan, Senior Education Program Specialist, BCD-Curriculum Standards Development Division (CSDD), Department of Education (DepEd) Central Office, 3rd Floor Bonifacio Building, DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City at telephone nos. (02) 632-7746 and (02) 635-9822, or email nstf@deped.gov.ph.

13. Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.

August 22, 2018

Comics Competition For Filipinos; Grand Prize Of 50,000 Pesos

Are you a Filipino comics artist? Then you should consider joining this comics creation competition which is part of the TAGA-ALOG 2018 project by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in collaboration with the Philippine Educational Theater Association or PETA. The grand winner will receive a prize of 50 thousand pesos. Deadline of submission by artists will be on August 30, 2018. That means you have at least one week to get your work done.

The competition is open to all new Filipino comics artists. Those who are under eighteen years old are required to submit a consent form from their parents or guardians. Those who are joining should have never published a graphic novel or a short story. Furthermore, they should never have been paid for writing a graphic novel or a short story.

An artist can join as an individual or as a pair if the writer of the story is different from the artist or illustrator. Artists should stick to the following theme: Ilog Pasig: Balik Tanaw, Balik Sigla. The submitted comics should have never been published anywhere, including online.

The criteria in choosing the winner are as follows:
1. Relevance to the theme - 40%
2. Story - 30%
3. Quality of the art - 30%

How to submit your comics:
1. Download and completely fill up the official entry form.
2. Submit your comics online via email. Your email should contain the following: a copy of your valid ID, a short description of your comics, and a soft copy of your comics in PDF form.
3. You can also submit your entry via regular mail to: TAGA-ALOG Secretariat, PETA Theater Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City. You need to put the following in a brown envelope: completed entry form, a copy of your valid ID, short description of your comics, a CD containing a PDF copy of your comics.

Note: The comics should be 10 pages long. It can be in the Filipino or English language or a combination of both (Taglish). For more information about the contest, please visit their Facebook page.

Aurora Movie Trailer Starring Anne Curtis, Marco Gumabao, And Mercedes Cabral

A trailer for the upcoming horror thriller film Aurora has been released by Viva Films and Aliud Entertainment. The movie which was directed by Yam Laranas will feature a cast topbilled by Anne Curtis, Marco Gumabao, and Mercedes Cabral. Other members of the cast include Arnold Reyes, Allan Paule, and Ricardo Cepeda. Yam Laranas is the same director behind well-known Tagalog films such as The Road, Patient X, The Echo, Sigaw, Hibla, Ikaw Lamang Hanggang Ngayon, Radyo, and Balahibong Pusa.

In Aurora, Anne Curtis plays a girl named Leana whose life and that of her family were turned upside down when a passenger ship crashed on the rocky shores of the island they call home. More than a thousand passengers perished from the crashed ship. Aurora is scheduled to hit theaters in the Philippines on December 25, 2018. It's one of the entries for the annual Metro Manila Film Festival or MMFF. So far, only four entries were announced by the organization. Aside from Aurora, the other three announced entries are Fantastica: The Princess, The Prince, and the Perya, Girl in the Orange Dress, and Jack EM Popoy: The Puliscredibles. Watch the official teaser trail for Aurora below:

Here's a transcript of the voice-over on the trailer: "The passenger ship Aurora collided against the rocks in our tiny island. Over a thousand passengers died instantly. Many of the dead bodies have been found. But until now many are still missing. Floating endlessly. Until they wash up in our shores. My name is Leana. I will help find the missing passengers of the Aurora. For their families and for the sake of our island."

This is definitely a movie worth checking out when it comes out in theaters all over the Philippines. Yam Laranas has proven himself to be a very capable director especially in the horror and thriller genre. At it's very core, this is a ghost story about long-gone people interfering with the lives of the living in an attempt to find peace.

August 16, 2018

DepEd Memo: Observance of the National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous Peoples Month 2018

DepEd Memorandum No. 128, series 2018: Observance of the National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous Peoples Month 2018.

1. The Department of Education (DepEd) announces the Observance of the National Indigenous Peoples Day, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and National Indigenous Peoples Month.

2. All its offices and schools are enjoined to observe the following celebrations through various commemorative and advocacy activities:
a. National Indigenous Peoples Day pursuant to Republic Act No. 10689 entitled An Act Declaring August 9 as National Indigenous Peoples Day and Mandating the Meaningful Observance Thereof; and
b. National Indigenous Peoples Month is based on the issuance of the Presidential Proclamation No. 1906, s. 2009 entitled Declaring the Month of October of Every Year as National Indigenous Peoples Month.

3. For this year’s observance of the National Indigenous Peoples (IP) Day and National IP Month, the DepEd shall be guided by the theme Ugnayan ng DepEd at Pamayanan Pagtibayin sa Pangalawang Dekada ng Pagsulong ng Katutubong Edukasyon. The theme highlights the importance of partnership between DepEd and IP communities, which is moving into its second decade this year. The strengthening of partnership mechanisms is a fundamental prerequisite to actualize the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSPs) in the curriculum and meaningful participation of IP communities in program management and governance.

4. Integrated commemoration of the National IP Day and IP Month shall focus on advocacy activities that highlight the importance of this partnership and efforts to widen the involvement of communities in education governance and curriculum contextualization.

5. As the primary government agency mandated to protect and promote the right of every Filipino learner to basic education, including the inculcation of values that protect recognition of the nation’s cultural diversity, the DepEd intends to substantially contribute to the objectives of the said observances through the extensive network of schools, field offices, and various learning programs.

6. This is consistent with the aims of the K to 12 Basic Education Program and the National Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) Policy Framework (DepEd Order No. 62, s. 2011), which stipulates that within the framework of maintaining inclusive and effective learning environments, the DepEd shall nurture, among all learners and DepEd teaching and nonteaching personnel, respect for human rights and cultural diversity and that DepEd shall promote greater awareness and appreciation of the Indigenous Peoples’ cultural heritage and history – an integral, yet often neglected, part of the Philippine nation’s cultural heritage and history (Section 15-g).

7. In line with the theme, the regional and schools division offices, and schools are enjoined to support the national celebrations by undertaking appropriate and relevant activities from August 6 to 17, 2018 (for the commemoration of the National IP Day on August 9) and from October 1 to 31, 2018 (for the National IP Month) through, but not limited to, the following:

a. Conduct of appropriate learning activities that promote the objectives and message of the national celebration (e.g., activities that promote awareness of and respect for indigenous cultural communities, particularly those within or proximal to the school vicinity);
b. Conduct of advocacy activities for teaching and nonteaching personnel, and other stakeholders;
c. Hanging of streamers/banners in strategic places in the vicinity of DepEd offices and schools (an electronic file of the standard layout shall be provided to regional offices by the DepEd – Indigenous Peoples Education Office/IPsEO); and
d. Featuring the event and other IPEd-related activities on the website and other communications media of the regional and schools division offices, and schools.

8. For DepEd personnel, it is highly encouraged that the said observances be maximized as an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of key DepEd policies on IPEd, such as the IPEd Curriculum Framework (DO 32, s. 2015), the implementation of the IPEd Program, as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (online resources are available at http://un.org/en/events/indigenousday/resources.shtml).

9. It is reiterated that the planning and conduct of activities are to be guided by the Guidelines on the Conduct of Activities and Use of Materials Involving Aspects of Indigenous Peoples Culture (DO 51, s. 2014), which are meant to provide guidance on the ethical assessment of the conduct of learning activities and related engagements of schools, DepEd offices, and other education initiatives, which involve various aspects of indigenous peoples culture. Likewise, field offices and schools are enjoined to consult and collaborate with indigenous community elders and other culture bearers as appropriate in the conduct of activities.

10. Regional offices and SDOs, through the IPEd focal persons, shall ensure the proper coordination of activities and compliance with the guideline provided in this Memorandum. Expenses incurred relative to the conduct of activities shall be charged to local funds, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

11. Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.