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Their hands feed the world. Indeed, it is but befitting to honor farmers and thank them every day for what they continue to do: till the soil and make it productive to keep us all from getting hungry. Despite advancements in technology, the fact remains: we all need to eat and once farmers stop planting and growing food, we will all starve.

On the last Friday of October, in commemoration of the feast of St. Francis de Assisi, who is known for his ministry to the poor and care for nature and animals, the Agribusiness Management Department of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod paid tribute to the tillers of the soil in the USLS Agribusiness Demo Farm in Barangay Granada. The event was dubbed, “3rd Farmers’ Day & Pet Fellowship”. 

Farmers and Agribusiness Management students bonded over lunch at the demo farm; right, farmer Benjie showing and teaching students how to plow the field with the help of every farmer’s best friend, a carabao.*
The farmers who were honored with Agribusiness Department Chair, Bea Emma Bachinela, Diahnne Debbie Diaz-Salud , Farm Manager Rodel Clavite, Green Ranchers Club officers and Fanfreluche Inc.*
Vista Alegre Elementary School teachers walk kilometers and cross rivers to conduct home visitation and remedial classes in remote areas.*

Jessica Olivares, president of the Green Ranchers Club said the two-part program celebrated the hard work of farmers to ensure food security and a healthy nation through organic farming.

“Rain or Shine, our farmers continue to toil. Thus, it is only proper that we take time to express our gratitude to them, who work the hardest rain or shine, to feed us. Without farmers, there is no agriculture. The absence of food means no life,” emphasized Oliveros in her message of gratitude delivered during the program.

The 30 farmers who attended the program listened to personal messages of thanks of students and faculty members. They were also entertained by the Green Ranchers through intermission numbers and treated to a feast that consisted of viands that were prepared using farm-grown crops and a native roast pig that is always the centerpiece of every salo-salo sa uma as we call it.

Bea Emma Bachinela, department chair, considers farmers as the real heroes and reminded everyone to always pay respect to them. 

“The department and the whole LaSallian community is committed to making sustainable programs and activities that will prioritize our real heroes, our farmers,” said Bachinela. 

Disrict V Supervisor Dr. Grace Abao with the judges – Doc Yasss!, Mylene Bautista of STIWNU School of Graduate Studies, Engr. Mae Cuaycong and Dr. Lowelyn Escalona, Education Program Supervisor; right, a tricycle that goes around the barangay carrying, books, flash cards, interactive toys that are intended to attract and encourage learners to read and learn.*
Micro-video lectures used in Physics Class and developed by teachers Phillip Raymond De Oca, Mark Enrique Deoma and Lyndon Villaceran that won champion in the 2022 District V Innovation Showdown.*

The second part of the program featured a Pet Care Management Talk by renowned dog trainer John Abraham Zayco and a lecture on swine raising by Alton Cabahug. Both speakers shared valuable information about dog and swine behavior as well as the fundamentals of caring for and managing animals.

In a separate activity and school, public school teachers belonging to District V of the Division of Bacolod showcased the best of innovations they have introduced to their respective schools as part of DepEd’s “Sulong EduKalidad” program.

Dr. Grace Abao, District V Supervisor said the Innovation Showdown under the said program aims to respond to the rapidly changing learning environment of present and future learners.

“We are now able to see how our schools introduce aggressive reforms to globalize the quality of basic education in the country through curriculum review and update, improvement of learning environment, teachers’ upskilling and reskilling, and engagement of stakeholders for support and collaboration,” explained Abao.

I was privileged to be among the judges who scrutinized the innovative technologies presented by 7 elementary schools and 2 secondary schools that participated in 3 categories namely teaching, non-teaching and teaching-related.

During the face-to-face interviews, teacher-presenters passionately explained to us their respective innovative strategies to ensure that learning continued even during uncertain times like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Selfless is the best adjective to describe teachers as proven by one innovative approach introduced by teachers of Luis B. Puentevella Elementary School to their students by converting every vacant space beside classrooms as reading alleys to encourage learners to spend their extra time during recess and lunch breaks to pick a book and read. Class advisers were on standby to assist students who needed help and also conduct assessments even during their lunch breaks.  This innovation aims to help young learners having difficulty in reading to cope with the challenges of the new normal to students.

The same is true with Vista Alegre Elementary School teachers, who in 2020, when schools were closed due to the strict protocols to curb the spread of the virus, continued their mission to make every child literate even if it meant having to cross rivers and walk kilometers just to reach the homes of learners.

Jenny De La Cruz, one of the teacher-presenters told the judges that through their Pabasa ni Teresa Mobile Program in line with the Worthy Innovation of Learning Materials for Reading (WILMAR) and Learning through Offline Digital Innovations (LODI), the school is able to address the gaps in reading comprehension and deficiency in literacy skills in both language and content areas.

Bacolod City National High School’s “Development and Validation of Micro-Lecture Videos via the ADDIE Model” is this year’s Innovation Showdown champion in the Teaching-Related Category (Secondary Schools).

Mark Enrique Deoma told us that micro video lectures are regarded as one of the most efficient and widely-used blended learning formats at present.

“BCNHS sees the potential of using micro lectures in Physics class. Micro-lectures are instructional videos that are designed to fill the gap in learners’ understanding of concepts and the time they have to spend in understanding these concepts,” said Deoma.

Moreover, the innovation designed by Deoma, Phillip Raymund De Oca and Lyndon Villaceran differ from other educational videos because it encourages fragmented learning, allow students to concentrate due to short runtime, only focus on certain parts of a lesson to allow more focus and supports mobile learning due to small file size.

Meanwhile, “Mathattack Made Easy” by Maria Fe Toledo of CV Ramos Elementary School and “MOOE, Made Easy!” by Ma. Corazon Tuvida of Bacolod SPED Center won champions in the Teaching-Related Category for School Heads and Non-Teaching Category respectively.

All winners per district will face off with other district winners in the division level. Those who will win will be representing the division in the Regional Innovation Showdown.

Farmers and teachers are among the most underrated members of the community whose contributions are so vital to social development. And I say in this time of pandemic we continue to see how they remain passionate in their work without fanfare and not much accolade. While farmers ensure nourishment of the body, teachers take care of the intellectual nurturance and cognitive development of every learner. Without them, the world will never have physically and intellectually healthy professionals, specialists, experts and innovators. Don’t forget to thank a farmer and a teacher everyday.*

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November 2022

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