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Sep 25th
Home Sections Education & Technology “Sorsogon FreeMinds” Facebook Group Reinvents Not Only Christmas But Also Year-round Gift-giving to Elementary Pupils
“Sorsogon FreeMinds” Facebook Group Reinvents Not Only Christmas But Also Year-round Gift-giving to Elementary Pupils PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Saturday, 17 December 2011 13:11



Wittingly or Not, the “Sorsoganon FreeMinds” Prime Movers Are Addressing Back-to-Basics Issues About the Real Needs of Filipino School Kids


T his writer was invited to join the a Facebook closed group called the Sorsoganon FreeMinds(Updates, Issues,Current Events & Anything under d SUN” and he did join it to his utmost satisfaction. To join it, please access this hyperlink:!/groups/170912212990596/


The “Sorsoganon FreeMinds” prime movers Jamschat Bonos Hagos, Tess Limena De Ramon, Aliza Meneses, Ma. Liza Ocleana and Ray Villar not only administer the group but they also initiate civic work. They floated an idea sometime in October 2011 about helping underprivileged elementary pupils in Sorsogon Province.


While some Filipino and Overseas-Filipino foundations and community organizations are raising funds to computerize (supposedly) public schools in the Philippines, almost all of them forget that many underprivileged elementary pupils in the countryside actually do not have notebooks, paper, pencils and erasers. The “Sorsoganon FreeMinds” leaders decided to embark on a year-round gift-giving of the said basic school supplies to the poorest-of-the-poor school kids.


The “Sorsoganon FreeMinders,” as this writer calls the Facebook closed-group members, will distribute the initial gifts of school supplies plus some toys to probably most of the 400 students of the Panlayaan Elementary School in Sorsogon City on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, during the school’s Christmas party. The group will probably go back next month to make a second distribution, as some donations are still in transit.


If readers would like to send help, they may deposit or remit to this account under the name of Ma. Liza Ocleana, Trustee, A/C # 348-3-34821630-0, Metrobank Sorsogon Branch. Please send a scanned copy of the deposit slip or deposit tracing number to this e-mail address: for record purposes.


Our readers are assured that our website will post full progress-and-financial reports that will comply strictly with the ATIC policies. ATIC, as I coined means, "Accountability, Transparency, Integrity and Credibility."

Help From Overseas Filipinos, Especially Sorsoganon OFWs


I discussed on Dec. 4, 2011, the idea of helping the Sorsoganon Freeminders with Henry Bio and Atty. Victor Martires, current and past president, respectively, of the Sorsogon Province Association of U.S.A. (SPAUSA). Both said that the SPAUSA should support it but it must be properly organized and coordinated. Mr. Bio promised to call a meeting in January 2012 to discuss the project with the SPAUSA members. This writer was one of the cofounders of the SPAUSA. Atty. Martires is also the first Sorsoganon president of the United Bicolandia-Los Angeles (UBLA).


Last Wednesday this writer brought the Sorsoganon FreeMinders’ project to the Media Breakfast Club (MBC) during its 1,128th meeting at the Kapistahan Restaurant at the Luzon Plaza in Los Angeles, California.


This writer presented to the MBC his ideas on how Overseas Filipinos and Overseas-Filipino workers (OFWs) may be able to help on a continuous basis the Sorsoganon FreeMinds' advocacy and eventually do it on a national scale, one province at a time. Here is the gist of the proposal – with Sorsogon as the pilot province:


1.0             It is suggested that Filipino-American (or Overseas-Filipino) clubs and associations like the MBC and/or the Philippine-American National Association (PANA), the Knights of Rizal, the American Legion’s Manila Post 464 and the Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) – that were represented during the meeting – form and/or support an advocacy called (for want of a better name) the “Operation PEN PAL (OPP).”


1.1             PEN stands for Pencils, Erasers and Notebooks. PAL means “Plus Anything for the Library.”


1.2             Children or scions of Overseas Filipinos who are elementary-school pupils will be encouraged to assist the OPP by persuading them to spare part of their ample school supplies that would be shipped to participating schools in the Philippines. They will also be encouraged to write letters to the Filipino school-kid recipients, so that they become real “pen pals” with them.


1.2.1       If possible, participating foreign learning centers can become “sister schools” with their Philippine counterparts. This would facilitate cultural exchanges and help school kids learn from each other, as they exchange letters (as “pen pals”).


1.3             In some strategic areas in the United States – like the County of Los Angeles in California – participants in the OPP can send school supplies that can be picked up by a freight forwarder.


1.3.1       Oliver Sulit, an MBC member, volunteered the services of his company, the Padala Express (PADEx), to handle the shipping of the collected school supplies and even books. He would ask the PADEx owners to give a fifty-percent (50%) discount of the shipping charges for the OPP-generated school supplies.


2.0              More support can be generated by appealing to the couple of thousands (and counting) of Filipino-American priests, pastors, ministers and nuns who usually serve also parochial schools to help the OPP in whatever way they could.


2.1             The thousands of Filipino and Filipino-American teachers, especially those who belong to the various chapters of Filipino-American Educators’ Association (FAEA) can be recruited also to help the OPP.


3.0             In the final analysis, this writer said – as he continued his presentation to the MBC members – that the American people have a moral obligation to help the public schools in the Philippines for after all the United States introduced to the archipelago the public-educational system.


3.1             Part of the history of public education in the Philippines, as started during the American regime, can be read it this article:

           The “Thomasite” Teachers Are Indeed Back in America  



3.2             Here’s another report on the arrival of the American teachers in the Philippines: More-than a Century of Filipino Writing in English



(To be continued . . .) # # #

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Last Updated on Saturday, 17 December 2011 13:53

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