Since 1898, June 12 has been commemorated by Filipinos as the day that marked the nation’s independence from the Spanish rule which lasted for 333 years.
To celebrate this year’s Philippine Independence Day, Virlanie organized an educational tour for Grade 4 to 7 children in our residential homes, specifically Tanglaw and Masaya, last June 12, 2018. A total of 16 Virlanie children and 5 staff were given the opportunity to tour around Casa Manila, Baluarte De San Diego, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, National Museum of Anthropology, as well as the newly-opened National Museum of Natural History. Our children also witnessed for the very first time the symbolic Flag Raising Ceremony in Luneta Park.
Tweety, one of our children from Tanglaw home, noted that the Museum of Natural History was her favorite part of the tour. “Maganda doon. Nakita ko si Lolong, pati yung mga animals na tinanggal mga laman (It was nice there. I was able to see Lolong (the world’s largest saltwater crocodile in captivity until his death on Feb. 10, 2013) as well as taxidermized animals)”, said Tweety. The Flag Raising Ceremony was also memorable for her as it was her first time to witness such an event. “Natutunan namin yung mga flag. Nung kumanta na kami [ng Lupang Hinirang] doon na itinaas yung flag (We learned about the flags. When we started singing [Lupang Hinirang], the flag was raised)”, she continued.
According to Mary Joyce Paz, one of our teachers in Magellan Learning Center (MLC), the Independence Day tour was part of MLC’s Lakbay Aral extension program. The tour was meant to promote and develop awareness among our children on Philippine history, a subject which was initially not included in MLC’s curriculum in the previous years.
According to MLC Lead Emelina Malibago, HEKASI (Heograpiya, Kasaysayan, Sibika or Geography, History and Civics) was not initially included in MLC’s curriculum because they prioritized basic literacy of children. “Before kasi, gusto namin magfocus muna yung mga bata sa basics, like Math and English. Gusto muna namin magkaroon sila ng mastery doon. Pero dahil nakita namin yung need na matutunan ng mga bata ang kasaysayan, naisip namin isama ang HEKASI sa classes namin. (Before, we wanted the children to focus first on basic subjects like Math and English. We want them to master those subjects first. But since we saw the children’s need to learn History, we decided to include HEKASI in our classes)”, said Teacher Ems.
MLC has already introduced its very first HEKASI subject earlier this month. HEKASI classes take place once a week to Virlanie children in Grade levels 9 to 12.