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Grasshoppers. Caterpillars. Frogs. Leaves. Stones.

These were a few of the things my children brought for me from school. They also came home with faces streaked with (a bit of) dirt, socks (somewhat) black on the soles, knees of denim pants turned white (or brown )from kneeling on the floor to play board games, and the bottom back of white uniforms turned brown from sitting on steps while socializing with classmates. In the early grades, they brought mats and pillows to school because they had one-hour naps.

They came home excited, narrating what they did and learned. Sometimes, they showed off a portfolio of artworks they did in school.

They learned to play wonderful sentimental music with various instruments. Once, my eldest child, who was in the lyre and flute ensemble, serenaded nuns in a hospice. They played old songs which brought tears to the nuns’ eyes. Another time, they were invited to an expensive exclusive school for girls. My daughter said the campus was big but didn’t look friendly.

They had stage plays mounted in school and in other schools as well. I should know, because my son used to play a main character in one which enjoyed three runs.

They competed (and won!) with other schools in various intramurals.

My husband and eldest daughter joined a Father and Child campette twice while I stayed home for a change.

All my children enjoyed camping in school and with other schools in different venues. We celebrated and still continue to celebrate Earth Hour every year as a school year-ender for the Scouts.

Whatever was the child’s family’s religious preference was respected: there were Religion classes for Catholics and special classes for non-Catholics. There were interfaith prayers in programs when the school community is gathered.

These are just a few of my children’s experiences (and other children before them) going to school in JASMS or Jose Abad Santos Memorial School, the basic education department of the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) in Quezon City.

jasms

The JASMS Way taught my children that learning is not defined by grades in report cards and that learning is done not just within the four walls of the classrooms.

I have three children and all of them, except for the few years we home-schooled the two younger ones during their early grades, are or were JASMS-QC students. As of this writing, I only have two children in JASMS-QC because the eldest graduated high school two years ago, with a Loyalty Award pinned on her graduation dress.

The JASMS learning experience

Where we live, we have a lot of school options, but we chose JASMS for our children and these are some of the reasons why:

1. JASMs helped our children develop their self-confidence through a balance of learning academics and nurturing their gifts in the other intelligences traditional schools do not give importance to.
2. The school focuses on wholistic development, such that youngsters were able to hone their skills in the fields they excel in, whether theatre arts, music, sports, writing, speaking, visual arts, etc.
3. It offered a learned process that allowed children to value their self-worth, develop their confidence, sharpen their thinking processes and explore different ways to learn within and outside the classrooms.
4. I am a special needs teacher and having my children mingle with children who have special needs is very important to me. In JASMS, typically and atypically developing children learn side by side. Thus, they learn to respect and accept each other, regardless how differently they learn and cope.
5. The school and the parents work together in the children’s learning process.

One time, at the nearby supermarket, I noticed a young school boy who, at 7pm, was still squeaky clean, polo shirt still white and black pants with no marks on the knee part, looking like how he might do if he were on the way to school. I discreetly pointed him out to the children and said: “Look at the boy, still looking clean even at this time.”

The children were unanimous in saying that he looked like he did not have fun in school. “Di naman siya masaya.”

Masaya = happy.

Happy learning

The children were happy with the playground (muddy when it rains) and whatever was there they can play with. They did not mind the sometimes leaking classroom roofs or the flooding from EDSA during heavy thunderstorms. Children still went back to the school even if classrooms were submerged during Ondoy and the children’s books, mats, and most of the first-floor rooms were flooded and majority of the materials there were destroyed. (Thank you, QC and JASMS Parents Association, for having that creek/concrete barrier fixed.)

The children played happily in the only court in the quadrangle, even if they had to schedule basketball and volleyball practices till late because they had to share.

We witnessed a lot of performances in that court: Field Demo, Family Day, English Night, Drama Club performances, Grade 5 and 6 Turn-Over Ceremonies, Graduation Rites, First Friday Masses, Monday Flag Ceremonies, Camping Programs and Basketball and Volleyball Tournaments versus other schools.

This was the same court where performances often had to be stopped because it was raining and the audience had to wait for the weather to clear out. We didn’t complain about this much. For us parents, what mattered most was that our children loved the school, lock stock and barrel.

This is what the JASMS way is all about, that children have fun learning and that learning is fun.

Threat to the JASMS way

Lately though, the JASMS way is facing awesome challenges.

READ MORE HERE.

Me. I lovingly say soothing words with matching hugs and kisses when I wake the two younger children around 5am during school days. Twenty minutes after that, I yell at them “Baka dumating na ang service hindi pa kayo tapos, hindi pa nakakain ng breakfast. Dalian nyo na! Blah…blah…blah…” in the effort to hurry them up because they haven’t eaten breakfast yet and the school service is already waiting at the gate. Yes, I have done this, at 5:30am. Tsk.
BJ, a teenager. “I hate it when my mom yells. She makes me feel like I’m stupid. The more she yells, the more I want to do what she doesn’t want me to do. Talking to me and not yelling is better because the more she yells, the more I shut down my brain and stop listening to her.”
HK, a pre-teen. “Natatakot ako pag sumisigaw si Mama ko. Parang lagi na lang mali ang ginagawa ko. Baka sa galit niya pag sumisigaw siya, masaktan niya ako.”
YA, office worker. “Our boss is a yeller. He loses his temper quickly and does not hesitate to yell at anyone of us if we make a mistake. Sana kung ginagawa niya yun in private, eh hindi, sa harap pa ng mga officemates namin. We are not happy in the office anymore. We are thinking of a mass resignation, para matauhan siya.”

Why yell when you can perfectly say your piece in peace?

We have yelled for a thousand different reasons but first and foremost of these reasons would be because we want to assert that, yes, we are right and that the other person is wrong.

We yell because we want to prove a point and get our message across.
We yell because we want to be heard.
We yell because we feel superior to the one we are yelling at.
We yell because we are in a hurry and the others are slowing us down.
Why, we even yell virtually when we use ALL CAPS and end these with a lot of !!!!!
Sometimes we yell just because …

On the other hand, have you ever been yelled at?

Not cool.

Do you remember the last time you were yelled at?

We would want to forget yes, but the scene seems to keep playing in our head.

Mothers who yell.

A certain mom thinks her son is studying online but all the while he is visiting sites to see what he can buy at the online guitar store. 

Habitual yelling.

Yelling when one can perfectly speak well.

Alternatives to yelling.

Don’t we just want to know what yellers can do otherwise?

Breaking the yelling cycle is not easy.

HOW?

Read more here: Are You a Yeller? How to Break the Yelling Habit.

 We Filipinos are known to survive the odds we face on a day to day basis. From one of the worst rainy season experience that has occurred called Ondoy, the benchmark of all flooding to come, to Habagat flooding, (to which one refers to depends on the year it happened), earthquakes, mine spills, volcanic eruptions, the recent notable weather disturbance called Mario, are just some of the things we have to deal with from time to time. Put in traffic for those who live in the NCR and we see tired and stressed out people.

In all these weather disturbances and natural calamities (and traffic woes), it is imperative that we are always prepared to face the challenges that will come.

These calamities have brought the best (and of course the worst but I will not dwell in this negativity) in us Filipinos. We say that the Filipino spirit is indomitable and that we show the world how we survive these calamities and how we have not just strengthened our solidarity as Filipinos but how we found compassion and will to serve those who are in need.

In serving others who are in need, we do not do so half-heartedly. We serve with excellence and compassion, in Filipino, husay at malasakit. We show husay at malasakit not only to our family and friends but to those who need help.

When I saw Unilab’s new TVC, it deeply touched my heart to see how the company’s thrust on husay at malasakit hopes to influence not just their viewership but those who have the capacity, time, resources and the willingness in their hearts and spirits to help our country.

Being a mother makes me a partner with my husband as the primary giver of love and care to our family. Just like Unilab, the country’s biggest pharmaceutical company, we also believe in the power of husay and malasakit in rearing our children.

Having been privileged to be able to visit Unilab’s facilities twice, I have seen how technological advances has been incorporated in how they manufacture the supplements a lot of us purchase whether as nutritional supplements or as aid in our physical ailments. To better take care of the Filipinos better, the facilities and procedures are given the utmost safety precautions to make sure that the products are safe and adhere to high quality standards.

Having skin care products from Unilab shows how much technological advances and innovations they have achieved. Unilab also promotes having an active life which makes people healthier. The manufacture of their healthcare products is what will always be the company’s “heart” with the health and safety of the Filipinos at the core.

There are affordable and superior quality healthcare products for those with limited resources assure them that they can still have safe and high quality products. These Unilab products are distributed across the country, from Luzon, Visayas to Mindanao.

Unilab believes in the spirit of genuine concern to make lives better with its husay and malasakit thrust.

As a mom, I believe in companies that show concern and whose products adhere to high quality standards but not too expensive, because this is the way I raise my family: for the children to be the best they can be, to have our needs met using products with high quality standards but without compromising our financial capabilities and to have happy and healthy lives.

As a mom, I believe in Unilab’s husay at malasakit campaign because I am a consumer who buys their products.

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