Friday, June 11, 2010

If there’s one thing we learned in the last few years, it’s the need to stay alert to the potential for new scenarios to arise. And indeed, there are emerging pressures not only in the education sector but also in other sectors of society that need to be addressed in a more innovative and comprehensive way.

So no matter how inspiring the comments are from our clients about what UP NISMED has been doing, we are making some changes in our organizational structure and the way we deliver our services to meet changing demands, given many constraints.

The NISMED reorganization is currently focused on the academic groups involved in research, curriculum, and professional development. Recognizing the need to articulate the basic education curriculum, the academic teams at the Institute will be made up of science and mathematics education specialists and associates distributed across three disciplines: biological, physical, and earth and environmental sciences and not by educational level background (elementary or secondary school). This new grouping will help us conduct activities with more efficiency and dynamism and enable us to complete our flagship program labeled ‘Collaborative Lesson Research and Development.’

A major innovation in the conduct of the research cum professional development project is the active participation of school partners. The CLRD Program promotes vigorously the practice of ‘teaching science through inquiry’ and ‘teaching mathematics through problem solving’ to as many stakeholders as possible to reverse the trend of poor performance of students. Our experiences tell us that given the right motivation, challenge, and instructions from teachers, young boys and girls can solve problems in different ways and investigate problems in real life.

To complete as many milestones as possible at NISMED, we are going to practice ‘distributed leadership’ knowing that each staff has a particular strength and expertise. This year and onwards, we will stretch over the leadership practice to two or more staff over time. This means that a task is coenacted by two or more leaders—working together or independently, to conduct more inquiry-based teacher training, publish more HOTS-based instructional materials, improve and make the communication system within NISMED and with our clients more efficient.

The decision to make changes in the way we work as an Institution and the activities we run is based on many factors and may have been the easy part. Getting our clients to consider our findings and recommendations and get out of their comfort zones is much more difficult. Our challenge Is to convince DepED, CHED, and other education stakeholders that the changes we suggest in the basic education curriculum and the professional development model we offer are for the better.

NISMED is introducing Collaborative Lesson Research and Development (CLRD), a school-based model of continuing professional development for teachers. This is an adaptation of lesson study which originated in Japan. The aim of CLRD is to ultimately improve student learning by enhancing the competence of teachers as they collaboratively plan, implement, and improve lessons guided by a long-term goal and subgoals that they formulate.

Dr. Erlina Ronda (extreme right) meets with the High School Mathematics 1
CLRD Group of Sta. Lucia High School composed of (from left to right)
Annie Jose-department head, Eflida Tesorio, Paula Sylvia
Ronald Locasia, and Diana Santa Rosa.

A total of 19 NISMED academic staff representing eight subject areas are involved in the project. The staff in the secondary school science subject areas will be working with their counterpart teachers in North Fairview High School in Quezon City and Rizal High School in Pasig City. Meanwhile, the staff in secondary school mathematics will be collaborating with the mathematics teachers of Sta. Lucia High School in Pasig City. Through CLRD, NISMED aims to promote teaching and learning science through inquiry and teaching and learning 1mathematics through problem solving. This is in line with the emphasis of the science and mathematics curriculum frameworks for basic education which NISMED is developing.

As an initial activity to enable the schools and NISMED to develop a long-term goal and subgoals, NISMED developed a needs assessment instrument per subject area in the form of a test covering one to three topics in the first two quarters of the school year and administered it to outgoing students of the subject area in the school year 2009 to 2010. This was to determine if the students learned the most important concepts, principles, skills, and dispositions related to the topic. Results of the tests will be used as an important basis when developing unit plans with accompanying lesson plans.

The test for each subject area in science was tried out in Rizal High School. Each test was revised based on the results of the tryout. Then the revised test was administered in North Fairview High School. For mathematics, the tests were administered to two sections each per subject area in Sta. Lucia High School. Necessary revisions were done and the revised tests were administered to two sections in the same school that were not used in the tryout.

The topics covered for each subject area in science were: Year 1, Force and Energy; Year 2, Cell Structure and Function and Life Energy; Year 3, Properties and Classification of Matter, Structure of the Atom, and Atoms in the Periodic Table; Year 4, Light and Nuclear Energy. The topics for each subject area in mathematics were: Year 1, Positive and Negative Numbers; Year 2, Geometric Relations; Year 3, Quadratic Equations; and Year 4, Polynomial Functions.

A seminar-workshop for all participating teachers will be conducted on May 17 to 19, 2010 at NISMED. This is to familiarize them with NISMED’s science and mathematics curriculum frameworks, orient them on the CLRD process, make them experience teaching and learning science and mathematics through inquiry and problem solving and analyze lessons that model this approach, and to collaboratively formulate a goal and subgoals with NISMED staff.

In the first Philippine Conference-Workshop on Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education (MTB MLE), four UP NISMED science education specialists presented papers on the theme, “Reclaiming the Right to Learn in One’s Own Language.”

The conference aimed to bring together education stakeholders and advocates of MLE to share experiences and lessons gained from using MTB MLE in basic education. Also discussed during the conference was the strategic plan for implementing Department Order No. 74 s. 2009—the DepED order institutionalizing multilingual education as a fundamental educational policy and program in the entire formal education and in the alternative learning system.

Dr. Marina E. Balce talked about Teaching Quality Science in Filipino emphasizing that the use of the mother tongue increases the achievement of Grade 5 pupils with varying abilities, provided that other aspects for good science teaching are also considered. In her paper, Using Filipino in the Teaching of Science, Dr. Risa L. Reyes asserted that pupil participation and sharing of ideas were more enthusiastic and spontaneous when articulated in Filipino than in English. She maintained that using Filipino in teaching science would be more effective than using English.

Dr. Editha T. Villaflor, on the other hand, shared findings from her study, How do Pupils Organize Information from Video Materials? She claimed that concept maps help learners to organize information and video materials in spoken language at home help facilitate learning of science concepts. Dr. Amelia E. Punzalan’s paper was on MLE During the Spanish Period: Philippine Dictionaries from 1521 to 1896. The initial analysis of two major Tagalog-Spanish dictionaries, Vocabulario Tagalo (1624) and Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala (1754), reveals that Philippine languages have already been intellectualized as far back as the Spanish period, and are therefore suitable for use as medium for teaching and learning.

Organized by 170+ Talaytayan MLE Consortium in cooperation with the Department of Education and Summer Institute of Linguistics International (SIL), the conference was held at Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro City on February 18 to 20, 2010 with more than 850 participants from various parts of the Philippines and neighboring countries like Timor Leste and Bangladesh in attendance.

The 170+ Talaytayan MLE Consortium is an alliance of education stakeholders from the University of the Philippines, Philippine Normal University, Mariano Marcos State University and Ateneo de Davao University. It also includes nongovernmental organizations like Save the Children, NAKEM International, DILA Philippines, and the Translators Association of the Philippines. It is headed by Dr. Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco of the UP Department of Linguistics.Publish Post

The use of Filipino, Cebuano, Ilonggo, Pampango, Ilocano or whatever is the language of the pupil in teaching Mathematics and Science may soon be the practice from Preschool to Grade 3 throughout the public school system. This scenario emerged at the First Philippine Conference-Workshop on Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education (MTB MLE) held on 18 to 20 February at Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro City close on the heels of the issuance of DepED Order 74 series of 2009 dated July 14 entitled “Institutionalizing Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education.”

The DepED Order, which was for immediate dissemination and compliance, cites local and international research consistent with the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) recommendations, as bases for affirming the benefits and relevance of institutionalizing multilingual education.

MTB MLE, as defined in the Order, is the effective use of more than two languages for literacy and instruction. Briefly, the Order enjoins all Regional Directors and Superintendents to promote and encourage local participation in the formulation of region-specific schemes to support MLE; provision of orientation and training opportunities on MLE; planning and implementation of MLE programs utilizing Maintenance and Operating Expenses (MOOE), school board funds, and other education funds; and establishment of an MLE technical working group at the regional and division levels.

Bridging Plans to guide the Order’s implementation are included. They specify that at Grade 4, the language of learning and instruction (LOLI) for both Science and Mathematics is to be English. The full text of the order, including enclosures, may be downloaded from the DepED website No. 74, s. 2009.pdf)

This latest language policy of DepED points NISMED towards the development of research-based materials for teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in (at least) the major languages of the Philippines.

The Elementary School Mathematics and Science (ESM and ESS) Groups of NISMED developed diagnostic tests for 70 private school Madrasah teachers of Regions IX, XII, and ARMM to determine what they actually know and can do in relation to the mathematics and science subjects they are teaching. The assessment tools were developed based on DepED’s Standard Madrasah Curriculum (RBEC Component) for Science and Health and for Mathematics; information gathered from NISMED’s previous training programs and researches; and cognitive and inquiry/thinking skills included in the 2008 TIMSS Assessment Framework. The results, findings, and recommendations will determine the design of training programs lined up for the teachers in July of this year.

Development of the tests started in December 2009. The tests consisted of selected response (modified multiple choice) and constructed response items. One test each for three grade-level clusters was developed: Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3 and 4, and Grades 5 and 6. Three tests per subject area therefore comprised the output, totaling six tests. The mathematics tests covered four main topics: Whole Numbers, Rational Numbers, Geometry and Measurement, and Data and Graphs. Across all clusters, the focus of the test in each main topic is the reasoning level.

The science tests were process- based, within the contexts of the RBEC themes of People, Animals, Plants, Materials, Energy, Earth, and Space. With an average of 40 items per test, each item was peer critiqued and later reviewed by mathematics and science consultants. The teachers belonging to a grade-level cluster are expected to take both the mathematics and science tests in that cluster.

The tests were administered by the USAID-funded Education Development Center (EDC) in February to teachers identified by EDC’s partner NGOs. A total of 67 teachers took the tests: 40 in Grades 1 and 2, 13 in Grades 3 and 4, and 14 in Grades 5 and 6. NISMED checked the papers, processed and analyzed the results, and drew up recommendations for the design of the training programs.

As a member of the IYA 2009 National Organizing Committee (NOC), NISMED, represented by its Director, managed the conduct of the regional and national levels IYA competition. With the support of the DepED national and regional offices, 11 regional competitions were conducted. The highest team scorers for secondary level and the highest individual scorer for tertiary level in each region participated in the national competition. The Regional Test was made up of multiple-choice questions while the National Test was a combination of multiple-choice items, open-ended questions and a practical exam using the telescope. The tests covered topics in astronomy and space science using three levels of cognitive domain: factual knowledge, conceptual understanding, and reasoning and analysis. Test administrators representing the NOC agencies administered the test and scored the papers with the DepED Regional IYA coordinators, using a common scoring guide.

For the secondary level, the team winners were: Philippine Science High School Camarines Sur Campus, Region V, (1st), Philippine Science High School Southern Mindanao Campus, Region X1 (2nd), and Pasig Science High School, NCR (3rd). For the tertiary level, the winners were from Siliman University, Region VII (1st), UP Diliman, NCR (2nd), and Mindanao State University General Santos Campus, Region XII (3rd). Cash prizes and plaques were given to the national winners while the regional winners received consolation prizes.

Two participants take their time in answering
the practical portion of the Astronomy Olympiad.

The year-round IYA celebration was headed by PAGASA and funded by the DOST-GIA Philippine Participation in the 2009 IYA. The global celebration commemorated the 400th anniversary of the first use of a telescope for astronomical purposes by Galileo Galilei. It was aimed to stimulate worldwide interests, especially among young people, in astronomy and science. Launched in February 2009 at the SM Mall of Asia, the Philippine celebration started with an exhibit of images from the IYA organizers and a talk about Jupiter’s Red Spot by Christopher Go (a Filipino imager who discovered the feature), a tour of the science-based interactive exhibits, and a film show about space at the Science Discovery Center.

Other activities related to the celebration of IYA 2009 organized by varied groups included 100 hours of Astronomy on April 2 to 5, 2009 and Sidewalk Astronomy on April 4, 2009. Astronomy Olympiad at the Regional and National Levels and the National Astronomy Congress were postponed to February 2010 because of Typhoon Ondoy and other calamities that claimed lives and destroyed properties in the last quarter of 2009.

Mariel T. Atregenio of the Elementary School Mathematics and Guillermo P. Bautista, Jr. of the High School Mathematics gave lectures at the 13th Lecture Series of the Mathematics Society of the Philippines: CAR and Regions I and II Chapters in Baguio City on February 19, 2010. The theme of the seminar was “Current Trends in Teaching Mathematics and Education Research Towards National Development.”

Atregenio’s lecture was titled Teaching, Learning, and Assessing Mathematics through Problem Solving. She discussed and exemplified how problem solving could be used as a means to teach and learn new concepts in mathematics and to assess students’ mathematical understanding. She also emphasized the importance of teaching mathematics in an integrated manner such as by making connections between the present topic and concepts previously learned as well as those yet to be taken up.

Bautista talked about Mathematics and Multimedia: The Use of Computer and the Internet in Teaching Mathematics. He discussed several mathematics and multimedia software and gave examples on how to integrate them in classroom teaching. He also discussed Web 2.0 technologies and how these are presently utilized in other countries. He likewise referred participants to educational websites that can be used in mathematics classes.

New ideas and skills greeted NISMED staff during the first quarter of 2010. A series of in-house seminars were held to further enhance NISMED’s development and research work and organizational relationships.

On Web 2.0 technologies

Sixteen more NISMED staff participated in the second run of the two-day in-house seminar-workshop on “Collaborative Content Development Using Web 2.0 Tools” on January 7 and 15, at the Information Science Lab. Enthusiastically and earnestly engaging themselves in every activity during the workshop, ‘Batch 2’—as they proudly called their group—insisted that they had more fun (and teased they also learned more) than their ‘Batch 1’ cohorts. The first run, conducted on December 3 to 4, 2009, had 18 participants.

“Batch 2” participants engage in an activity called “Find Someone Who...”.

Facilitated by Celia Balbin and John Alex Reyroso of the Information Science Group, the seminar-workshop focused on how to leverage Google Docs and wikis to enhance collaborative development work at NISMED. In addition to learning the essentials of Google Docs and wikis and viewing samples of actual use in education, the group reflected on current practices in content development and on how incorporating Web 2.0 technologies may improve efficiency and productivity in their respective workplaces.

Within three months of completing two batches of an in-house seminar, NISMED harnesses Google Docs and wikis to support its programs and operations. The Socials Committee was first to adopt the tools. They put up a wiki during the in-house training and formally launched their Web 2.0 presence with an online survey (also in Google Docs) that polled the staff on whether or not to continue with birthday celebrations. The techies were quick to join and sustained an animated discussion on the topic put to a halt only with the posting of the survey results. The discussion pages generated much participation as committee members and other staff asked questions, exchanged opinions, shared tips and information in relation to forthcoming events. Postings in the months of January and February were mostly on organizing the retirement party for Angie Montes—NISMED’s librarian, drawing sponsors for NISMED’s bowling team, and brainstorming on the venue for the summer teambuilding. Find the wiki at

The Property Section now disseminates the monthly summary of supplies, repairs and equipment expenditures through the Google Docs platform. With view-only rights, section heads and group chairs now have ready access to the information. Being able to see other groups’ and sections’ reports also adds to the ‘accountability’ feel.

NISMED will once again host an international conference this year. Dubbed “The 2nd International Conference in Science and Mathematics Education,” the conference will be held on October 26 to 28, 2010. Cognizant of the gargantuan tasks of running an international conference, Dr. Marlene B. Ferido, conference overall chair, is starting early. Among the preparations was the setting up of a wiki to support committee operations for the conference. As a start, the wiki environment enabled individual staff to sign up for the committee(s) of their choice. Dr. Ferido has added the duties and responsibilities of each committee, while the Art Section has uploaded for review and polling different designs each for the ID, poster, brochure and website. The wiki now has section pages for the different committees, file upload, discussion, calendar linked to Google Calendar, and is expected to generate more content and contributions as preparations progress.

Using Google docs, members of the Earth Science Group contributed individual inputs to a class observation report while the Biology Group collaboratively developed a lesson plan on Mendelian genetics with a partner teacher from Balara High School. They also used Google spreadsheets to add their latest edits to the Science Curriculum Framework.

On the UbD curriculum model

A series of in-house seminars on Understanding by Design (UbD) was conducted by Dr. Marlene B. Ferido. On January 19, 2010, she presented the first stage of the UbD model. Subsequent workshops on writing enduring understandings (EUs) and essential questions (EQs) were held on February 1 and 2, 2010 among the Science staff. On February 11, 2010, Dr. Ferido shared excerpts from the plenary lectures of Dr. Jeanne Purcell Vautour and Prof. Everett Kline, both faculty of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) in the United States. The conference was held at the Manila Hotel on February 4 to 6, 2010.

UbD is a curriculum model developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in which curriculum and instruction are developed “backward.” Teachers and curriculum developers using the model consider the learning outcomes and approriate assessment first and then plan learning experiences and instruction to bridge the gap between what students already know and what they need to know. The curriculum model consists of three stages: identifying desired results; determining acceptable evidence; and planning learning experiences and instruction.

In Stage 1 of UbD, big ideas are highlighted by EUs and EQs. EUs are specific insights about big ideas that teachers want students to leave with long after schooling. EQs frame the teaching and learning, emphasizing key ideas, principles, and concepts, and eliciting inquiry into content. In Stage 2, the core assessment tasks focus on evidence of mastery of the big ideas, as well as key performance tasks that give evidence of understanding. In Stage 3, the learning experiences provided by the teacher clarify what the big ideas are, what these ideas look like in concrete situations, and how an understanding of these ideas will be assessed.

On employee discipline vis-a-vis institutional values

Aligning one’s discipline with institutional values took center stage in an in-house seminar for NISMED’s administrative staff held on February 21, 2010 at the Vidal Tan Hall. Facilitated by Angelie S. Domingo, head of the Property Section, and Wilhelmina L. dela Paz of the Desktop and Printing Section, the seminar entitled “Employee Discipline vis-a-vis Institutional Values” aimed to “provide opportunities to revisit, refocus, and realign both the employees’ personal value system and that of the Institution they find themselves in.”

Domingo’s talk focused on the inseparable but at times incongruous nature of personal attitudes and institutional values. In her talk, she sought to clarify the importance of aligning an employee’s personal values to those of the institution. She reasoned that because public office is a public trust, government employees must at “all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency.”

Domingo talks on aligning personal attitudes with institutional values.

Dela Paz, in the second part of the seminar, discussed Civil Service rules and regulations that are fundamental to a government employee’s rights and obligations. She premised her discussion on what constitutes proper conduct among government employees and how this in turn parallels the government’s fight against corruption.

Dela Paz discusses the Civil Service rules and regulations.

Both staff underscored how trust forms the basis of employment and tenure in public service.

The in-house seminar was an echo conduct of a seminar attended by Domingo and dela Paz on August 18 to 21, 2009 in Cagayan De Oro City, given by the Personnel Officers Association of the Philippines.

“This is so tiring!” The students complain as they drag their bags through six flights of stairs to the topmost floor of the NISMED building. A week earlier, girls from the Assumption College were griping similarly, and a week from today, pupils from the Village School of Parkwoods will voice the same protests. On this particular Friday, high school students from the Bethany Montessori Learning Center are ‘camping’ overnight. It is their turn to skywatch.

After a fast-food dinner, the students gather in the dark to watch a slide presentation. The speaker shows a ‘family portrait’ of the members of the solar system. The images are cleverly drawn, showing a sense of volume, and when the students see the Earth as a mere dot compared to the Sun, they could not believe their eyes. And when the Sun, the star of our own solar system, is in turn compared to Betelgeuse, another star, there is an eruption of reactions. At the scale of the picture, Betelgeuse is perhaps the size of a basketball while the Sun is as big as a pixel.

Later on, the students are invited to use Stellarium, a planetarium software which shows what the sky will look like at any place in the world and at any time one chooses. The students are completely captivated, as the software allows them to zoom close to Jupiter and discover for themselves what Galileo himself discovered when he first looked at the giant planet through a telescope. The students are thrilled to watch a simulation of the total solar eclipse that was seen in China in July of 2009. The teachers themselves come alive when they find out that Stellarium can be downloaded from the Internet for free.

The students then troop out to the view deck and try to learn their way around the stars. They recognize the Big Dipper in the north but express surprise when told that it is not a constellation. They learn how to hop from star to star, remembering their names, using a memory aid: Follow the arc to Arcturus and speed on to Spica. ‘Arc’ is the curved handle of the Big Dipper, ‘Arcturus’ is the brightest star of the constellation Bootes, and ‘Spica’ is that of Virgo.

From the view deck the students are herded into the observatory, five at a time. Too many people moving about could lead to a shaky image in the telescope. “It’s so big!” The students could not get over the size of the towering telescope beneath the dome. “What kind is it?” they ask. They learn that it’s a reflecting telescope. That instead of a lens, it uses a mirror to catch light. “Why is it so dark in here?” the students wonder as they point their flashlights at each other’s faces. They are not aware that bright light ruins the night vision needed to see dim objects.

“What are we looking at?” a student asks as she gingerly climbs onto the ladder to peer into the eyepiece. The Orion Nebula, she is told, located beneath the famous belt of the hunter in the heavens. She takes in the hazy patch of light and wonders about the stars within. She is impressed to learn that those stars were born from the nebula, that nebulas are star nurseries. The students waiting for their turn grow restless. They can’t wait to see how a nebula looks.

After more than a hundred students have looked at the nebula, the huge telescope is turned toward the loveliest planet of all. Everyone agrees that it’s beautiful. Saturn with its mysterious rings never fails to move the students. But there is always one or two who will say that “It looks like a fishball on a stick.” Others say that “It’s a trick! There’s a photo stuck up there somewhere!” They all stop talking though when they are challenged to find the largest moon of Saturn, Titan, which is bigger than the planet Mercury.

After looking at other celestial objects, the students return to the view deck. Some are already tired and are soon curled up in their sleeping bags. Others wait for shooting stars, yelling now and then—believing their wishes will come true. A small group refuses to go to sleep and clamor for more. They keep asking all sorts of questions. These lucky few will learn a little extra. They are the ones who we hope will grow into scientists who will make the world a better place.

Participants from Village School of Parkwoods observe
the moon through a refracting telescope.


Accompanied by their teachers, a total of 542 elementary and high school students participated in overnight skywatching sessions at UP NISMED from January to March, 2010. Skywatching activities were conducted by Eligio Obille Jr., John Alex Reyroso, Ivy Mejia, and members of the UP Astronomical Society.

As part of its extension work, UP NISMED regularly conducts skywatching sessions during the months of December, January, February, and sometimes March, when the skies are clear and the weather is cool. For further details and reservation, interested schools may contact NISMED at (02) 9274276 ext. 212 or (02) 9283545.



January 15

Assumption College
San Lorenzo Village
Makati City

January 29

Bethany Montessori
Learning Center
Las PiƱas City

February 5

Village School of

Quezon City

February 12

St. Theresa’s College
Quezon City

February 19

Village School of
Quezon City

March 19

Balara High School
Quirino High School
Camp General Emilio
Aguinaldo High School
All in Quezon City

Cox exhibit in Singapore

It’s the second invitation for Daniel “Dansoy” Coquilla to exhibit his paintings at the Utterly Art Exhibition Space in Singapore. In his 18th one-man show, “Top Shot,” Dansoy depicted the Binondo holiday ambience in celebrating the Chinese New Year, intricately capturing the traditional dragon dance, dragon boat race, and food stalls selling freshly cooked hopia, fishballs, and pancit with his signature bird’s-eye view style. The exhibit ran from February 3 to 13, 2010.

Dansoy, or “Cox” to NISMED colleagues, is a video editor of the Audiovisual Group. His string of awards includes the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award in 2006, Philippine Finalist to the Windsor & Newton Worldwide Millenium Painting Competition in 1999, UP Gawad Chanselor para sa Sining Biswal in 1998, and Juror’s Choice (top 5) awards in the 1997 Philip Morris Philippine and ASEAN Art Competitions.

A Day to cherish

On February 18, 2010, another NISMED staff has flown the coop. Or to speak plainly, Enriqueta Angelita Montes, the Institute’s librarian, has retired, having gracefully reached the respectable age of sixty-five. She had been working in UP since 1977, and in NISMED since 1989. There was a short program at the auditorium to honor her long years of dedicated service. Friends from recent and not-so-recent times wished her well via a video prepared by the Audiovisual Group. Rolly Tan from the Elementary Science Group impressed the audience with his superb singing. Not to be outdone, the rest of the Junior Staff later wowed the crowd with a well-choreographed dance. Dulce Sebastian and Leosan Navalta did a sweet duet. Dansoy Coquilla and Addie Saliva countered with a rock ballad.

Angie Montes receives a plaque of appreciation from
Director Merle C. Tan.

In between numbers, Mr. Montes was pressed for stories about the honoree. He gamely related how he used to travel miles and miles by bus just to pay court to Manang Angie. Called upon for retirement advice, NISMED alumna Jopab (Dr. Josefina Pabellon to those who take pleasure in formality) quipped that to retire means “Magpapalit ka lang ng gulong. Then you can be on your way, good as new.” Soon it was time for the director, Dr. Merle Tan, to rise and officially express the Institute’s gratitude and present a plaque of appreciation to Manang Angie, who responded with a short thank-you speech of her own. And after everybody stood up to sing Dahil Sa Iyo (supposedly Manang Angie’s favorite kundiman), the program ended with a flurry of picture-taking and a light merienda.

Take care, Manang Angie. Do drop in, now and then.

The tireless stork

Ceril Maramag of the High School Physics Group gave birth to her second baby boy on February 18, 2010. Christened John Jacob, Ceril says Cobi is undoubtedly the family’s delight. Two-year-old Kuya Mumble is already a big fan, quick to lend a hand or lull Cobi to sleep with his own version of a lullaby.