Monday, August 30, 2010

Mano Amiga celebrates Buwan ng Wika month

August was an exciting month for Mano Amiga Academy as the school celebrated Buwan ng Wika for the first time. The Mano Amiga staff worked with the parents and volunteers in coming up with different activities that help build awareness and instill love for Philippine culture.

Throughout the month of August, culture appreciation was integrated into Mano Amiga's classroom activities by introducing the students to different local customs and traditions, as well as important events in Philippine history.

Mano Amiga included the whole community in the festivities by organizing a Youth Sports Tournament featuring traditional Filipino games.
The Buwan ng Wika month culminated with a program featuring performances from the students and parents of the different types of folk dance. After the show, the community feasted on different local delicacies donated by the Mano Amiga faculty and some of the families.

"Buwan ng Wika is an important school event because it serves as a good opportunity for us to nurture the children's love and appreciation for our culture, specially the Filipino language," Principal Rev Tria-Siasoyco said. "Developing a strong sense of country among our students is something we try to integrate in our activities all throughout the year to help them become productive citizens who are proud of their rich culture and heritage."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Western Union Global President and CEO Christina Gold visits Mano Amiga Academy

Western Union President and CEO Christina Gold accompanied by Drina Yue, Senior VP and Managing Director of WU Asia Pacific; Patricia Riingen, Senior Vice President of WU Pacific Indo-China; and Lorenzo Ocampo, President and CEO of PETNET Inc, recently visited Mano Amiga Academy to meet with the PETNET-Western Union scholars.

In 2008, PETNET and Western Union Foundation provided Mano Amiga with a $50,000-scholarship grant to cover the tuition fee and educational materials of 14 students for three years. The recipients of the award were chosen from the informal settlers residing in Taguig City which includes families of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The Mano Amiga students welcomed the guests by performing musical numbers while the parents of the PETNET-WU scholars met with Ms. Gold after the program to express their gratitude. Taguig Mayor Laarni Cayetano awarded Ms. Gold with the Key to the City, to thank her and the company for their numerous efforts to improve the lives of underprivileged families living in Taguig.

Ms Gold's visit to the Philippines is her fourth time over the last few years. It will be the last occasion she visits in her official capacity as she retires in September and hands over her role to Hikmet Ersek, the current Chief Operating Officer.

The entire Mano Amiga family thanks Ms. Gold for being its partner in transforming communities!

Friday, August 20, 2010

NASA engineers inspire Mano Amiga students to reach for the stars

Cheers fill the Philippine Science Centrum auditorium as a woman in a space suit gracefully enters the room. The woman is Sabrina Singh, an engineer and astronaut trainer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA), and her audience are the students of Mano Amiga Academy and other public schools in Manila.

Singh, along with fellow NASA engineer Adam Gilmore, took a break from their work duties to be part of Asia's society Science Caravan: Reaching for the Stars. For two weeks, Singh and Gilmore will conduct "interactive science and space demonstrations in different public schools in order to inspire and motivate the youth."

The students listened attentively while Singh explained to them how astronauts eat and sleep in outer space. They all gasped in amazement when Gilmore showed them an actual footage of a space shuttle launch. The children got even more excited when he taught them how to make their own space rockets using paper, cardboard and glue.

"The objective of the program is to free the minds of our children to dream bigger and to have courage in pursuing them through education. By meeting Sabrina and Adam whose life stories are likewise inspiring, our children will get to meet in person people who have truly accomplished much," Asia Society executive director Arnel Casanova told the Philippines News Agency.

During the workshop, Singh asked whether anybody from the audience would like to be the first Filipino astronaut. Many raised their hand, including Mano Amiga student Joshua Dave Waras, who added that he would like to put the Philippine flag on the moon.

Singh smiled at the audience and said,"Just remember: If these people can do it, then you can do it, too. Anything is possible."

20 Mano Amiga students from Prep and Grade 1 were chosen to be part of Asia Society's Science caravan

NASA Engineer and Astronaut trainer Sabrina Singh tells the students that they can do anything if they work hard enough.