By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) will continue its campaign for greater awareness on patriotism and valor among learners and its own personnel through various activities and partnerships with other government and related agencies.
DepEd, in close coordination with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), recently spearheaded and took part in various activities during the recent “Araw ng Kagitingan” and Philippine Veterans Week celebrations.
These activities, DepEd said, continuously “inculcates the value of patriotism and valor” among the students, teachers and other personnel of the Department. Anchored on the theme, “Kagitingan at Pagmamahal sa Pilipinas para sa Tunay na Pagbabago,” the celebrations aimed to instill in the minds and hearts of the Filipino people, especially the youth, that the freedom the Filipinos enjoy today was nourished by the blood and sacrifices of the veteran forefathers.
DepEd noted that the celebrations also aimed “to present our veterans as among the country’s national treasures; revive kagitingan or the culture of heroism and love for country which the Filipino race has been known for, essentially because of our veterans’ valor and selfless sacrifices; and strengthen our collective sense of national pride and patriotism.”
Among the activities participated in by the learners, with the assistance of their respective coaches, are the painting and essay-writing competitions led by the External Partnerships Service-Special Events Unit (EPS-SEU) and were joined by Grades 7 to 10 learners enrolled in any public secondary schools nationwide.
This year’s competition winners include Shena Rain Libranda of Gumaca National High School -Calabarzon (first prize); Eric James Balanquit of Batasan Hills National High School–NCR (second prize); and Mayshelle Janzenne Reyes of Ramon Magsaysay High School–NCR (third prize) for the National Creative Painting Competition.
The winners for the National Essay Writing Contest are Ma. Princess Curioso of Gumaca National High School for her entry entitled “Bayaning Beterano sa Bayang Malaya” (first prize); Erika Marie Javines of Navotas National High School for her entry “Tinig ng Liwayway sa Bayani ng Kahapon” (second prize) and Ken Bein Mar Caballes of Caraga Regional Science High School for his entry “Pugay Kamay para sa Makabayang Tagumpay” (third prize).
The winners received their awards during the Araw ng Kagitingan celebration on April 9 at the Mt. Samat National Shrine, Pilar, Bataan, graced by Undersecretary Tonisito Umali and other DepEd officials and personnel.
Various activities were likewise conducted at the school level that highlighted the courage and patriotism of the veterans such as the integration of the said topic in classroom and round-table discussion, and the conduct of simple campus program participated in by the learners.
To further raise awareness on the said celebrations, DepEd officials, personnel and learners also attended and participated in other activities such as the Sunrise Ceremony on April 5 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Taguig City; Wreath-laying Ceremony on April 5 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Taguig City; Review in Honor of the Veterans on April 5 at the Philippine Army Headquarters, Taguig City; Tribute to all Filipino Heroes on April 7 at Corregidor Island, Cavite (wreath-laying ceremony led by Usec Umali, with PVAO and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officials; Paggunita sa Capas at the Capas National Shrine, Capas, Tarlac; and the Sunset Ceremony on April 11 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Taguig City.