Twice the Fun and the Learning

Fun Run and TEDx 2018

Text by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Photos by Tracy Ann G. Rotarta, Prefect of Discipline, FPTI – ERDA Tech and Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech

For two successive Saturdays, January 20 and 27, 2018, the ERDA Tech community participated in events sponsored by Xavier School San Juan: the Xavier Stallion Family Fun Run 2018 and TEDx.

Very early in the morning of January 20, the ERDA Tech delegation composed of 37 grade 11 students, three grade 12 students, and 21 faculty and staff arrived at the Xavier School San Juan campus for the fun run. They joined the segment of their choice: 1K, 3K, 5K, and 10K and, together with the Xavier School family and friends, ran and/or walked their hearts out for the sake of good health and bonding with one another. At the end of the run, the participants then enjoyed making the rounds of the various sponsors to get their freebies.

On January 27, the ERDA Tech community was once again in Xavier School, this time to attend the TEDx which featured speakers from different fields of expertise. This year’s theme is Stories in Motion. Attending this event were 10 grade 11 students and six teachers. Adding to the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that the participants obtained were ample food and delightful freebies as well.

Indeed, ERDA Tech is very blessed to have been close to the heart of the Xavier School community. In return, it does its best to excel in the field of technical-vocational education and to extend any form of assistance to Xavier.


Viva, Sto. Nino! (Buling-Buling 2018)

Sto. Nino

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Additional Photos by Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech and Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech

Saturday, January 13, 2017 was festive in Pandacan, Manila with the various events in connection with the Feast of the Sto. Nino de Pandacan (Buling-Buling Festival). Though the actual date of the feast is January 21, the Roman Catholic Church opted to hold it a week earlier to merge with the celebration of the Philippine Independent Church (Aglipayan).

The Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech community participated in the event, as it has done so for the past several years. This year, all the dancers in the Buling-Buling Dance Procession were students, ably trained by Mr. Mark Rivera, Student Activities Program Coordinator. The faculty and the staff served as banner bearers, marshals, carrosa bearers, and attendants to the dancers.

After the speeches by the different guests which included city councilors, a paraliturgy was held, and then the procession began. As the ERDA Tech delegation moved to the front of the stage, it was acknowledged for its active participation over the years, the latest being the final time since the school shall be transferring to Tanauan, Batangas in 2019.

With dedication and enthusiasm, the ERDAnian dancers weaved through the streets of Pandacan despite the afternoon heat and certain parts of the route which were narrow because of so many people watching.

The procession ended at the churchyard at about past five in the afternoon, after which the participants headed back to school for a well-deserved early dinner.

The school’s working committee for this year’s Buling-Buling Festival was composed of Mrs. Tess Andres, chairperson; Mrs. Marge Antonio, assistant chairperson; and members: Mrs. Tracy Ann Rotarta, Mrs. Rowena Dela Cruz, Mr. Joel Sulit, Mr. Felix Pangan, and Mr. Mark Rivera.

The student dancers were James Rohbin Besa, Rubilea Anthonette Pangindian, Ivann Matthew Azarcon, Florence Kate De Leon, Ryan Charles Binuya, Annabelle Lorraine Malic, Danico Danielle Orobia, Princess Kyle Girado, Rhei Jefferson Sison, Arlen Wayan, Darryl Caronan, Dhavie Desabelle Aquino, Mark Jester Pingol, Jersey Wayne Cortez, J-Skie Laguinday, Geoliene Cura, John Paulo Mesa, Gerardene Baltazar, Jeric Gaviola, Blessie Vi Aguilar, Christian Madrid, Abegail Lapinig, John Mark Larracochea, Marjorie Aguja, Raemiel Infante, Kruza Vhryz Sison, Glen Geric Cadion, Justine Baluyot, Olsen Prince Moral, and Red Juzzel Enriquez.

One Community, One Celebration

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Additional Photos by Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech and Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech

To end the year, Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech held on Friday, December 22 the Holiday Shindig 2017 which was spearheaded by the Student Body Organization (SBO) under the moderatorship of Mr. Mark Rivera, Student Activities Program Coordinator.

The day began with an institutional mass officiated by Fr. Richard Babao, parish priest of the Ina ng Laging Saklolo Parish in Punta, Sta. Ana where many ERDAnians reside.

It was followed by a program at the St. Ignatius of Loyola Hall wherein the grade 11 classes gave performances and hosted games for the students, faculty, and staff.

By late morning, everyone was having lunch courtesy of each grade 11 class. The school also provided spaghetti and C2 juice for everybody.

Awards were given to the winning teams and classes in the games and in the classroom decoration contest. In the latter activity, Grade 11 – St. Lorenzo Ruiz under Miss Hazelyn Verdejo won first place, Grade 11 – St. Pedro Calungsod under Mrs. Eden Baltazar got second place, and Grade 11 – St. Dominic Savio under Mr. Pierce Gallego garnered third place.

Exhilarated and looking forward to the final stretch of school year 2017-2018, the members of the school community bade goodbye to one another for a much-needed and well-earned two-week break.


Grade 12 Salu-Salo

Text by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Photos by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech

On December 20, 2017, the fourth in-school reporting day of the grade 12 students who are undergoing their work immersion in the second semester, the school prepared something special for them. Instead of the usual input and discussion at the Audiovisual Room and the sharing sessions in the various mentoring venues on campus afterward, Batch 19, together with their mentors, school administrators, and volunteer guidance counselor, Miss Everdina Ruiz, gathered at Cafe Tritz.

The event began with a paraliturgy led by Mr. Elmer Bueno, Campus Ministry Coordinator. Miss Marilyn Benedicto, Industry Linkage Coordinator gave the opening remarks. After an ice-breaker facilitated by Mr. Mark Rivera, everyone ate lunch consisting of spaghetti, chicken, leche flan, and iced tea.

It was a joyous moment as the students, who had not seen one another for a week because of their respective duties in their work immersion companies, shared their stories over lunch.

Mr. Peter Marc Magsalin, school principal, gave the closing remarks, wherein he acknowledged the 11 grade 12 students who shall be starting their studies at the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) in January 2018, and whose remaining work immersion hours shall be waived.

Earlier, on Saturday, December 16, 2017, a smaller group of students had their salu-salo. This is the group that reports to school on Saturdays since their employers require them to report to work on Wednesdays.

With both happiness and sadness, the students, clutching their annual Christmas baskets courtesy of the very hardworking and dedicated Atty. Charlemagne Yu of the school’s board of trustees, bade goodbye to each other as the salu-salo ended, looking forward to the next time they can once again gather as a batch.

In-School Reporting

by Marilyn Benedicto, Industry Linkage Coordinator, FPTI-ERDA Tech

As part of the Work Immersion Program of the Grade 12 students during the second semester, a once-a-week In-School Reporting (ISR) is allotted for mentoring sessions as well as inputs on Spirituality of Work.

At the moment, the Grade 12 students have already had four ISR days. Majority of the students report to school on Wednesdays while the rest have theirs on Saturdays as part of a special arrangements with the employers of the latter.

Students are grouped randomly and assigned to a specific mentor to whom they can freely share their experiences, whether good or not-so-good, at the workplace.

It is a good opportunity for students to share with their mentors and batchmates  the joys of their training, the new things they learned, and the new friendships they have made.

Students also talk about their challenges and concerns such as commuting to and from work, dealing with coworkers, supervisors, and clients, as well as difficulties with their tasks.

The weekly meeting in school is helpful to motivate students as they take this new endeavor. It is also a time for students to be reunited with everyone.

The Work Immersion Program is not just a requirement of the K+12 Senior High School Curriculum for TVL but is also a meaningful program that will ensure students’ enhancement of skills, acquisition of new knowledge and competencies, as well as development of a positive work attitude.



Pilgrimage 2017

Pilgrimage Prayer

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech

The Serviam Club of Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech embarked on a pilgrimage on Sunday, October 29, 2017. The group, composed of altar servers, lectors, and commentators and led by its moderator, Mr. Elmer Bueno, together with the school’s Social Services Staff, Mrs. Tess Andres; Sponsorship Program Coordinator, Mrs. Rowena Dela Cruz; and the writer, visited four historical churches in Manila: Sta. Cruz Church, Binondo Church, Manila Cathedral, and San Agustin Church.

Each visit began with a pilgrimage prayer, after which Mr. Bueno spoke about the history of the church and explained details about the Holy Eucharist. The group had the chance to attend mass at the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral in Intramuros.

The longest part of the tour was at San Agustin Church which has a museum as well. The variety of the exhibits, the vastness of the church compound, and the labyrinthine paths added to the awe and the excitement felt by everyone.

The activity had been a plan of the Campus Ministry for some time before it finally saw fruition this year. Hopefully, another pilgrimage will push through next year as this is a very enriching, edifying, and enlightening experience, enabling the ERDAnians to become more grateful and committed in their work for the Lord.

Goodbye for Now, Good Daughter of God

Gigi Buendia

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Additional Photos by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, and Jeffgerarld T. Tan, Purchasing Staff and IT Network Technician, FPTI – ERDA Tech

The saying, “Big things come in small packages” is true for Miss Jesselyn “Gigi” Buendia, Campus Ministry Coordinator of Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech. This diminutive lady is one of the kindest members of the school community and has a very big heart for others, especially the students.

Miss Buendia first came to ERDA Tech in March 2014 to help then outgoing Campus Ministry Coordinator and fellow Notre Dame de Vie lay consecrated woman Marcy Calipay in the Baccalaureate Mass for Batch 16, Class of 2014. Since then, Gigi has actively led the Campus Ministry in carrying out its spiritual and values formation programs for the school community.

She heads Serviam, a special enrichment group (club) composed of altar servers, lectors, commentators, and instrumentalists which assists her in masses, paraliturgies, and other spiritual activities. In addition, she teaches Basic Christian Living (BCL) to the grade 11 batch. Gigi is also part of the Counseling Team, along with volunteer guidance counselor Miss Everdina Ruiz.

Possessing a vibrant personality and a deep spirituality, Miss Buendia is able to draw out the best in others, particularly the students. Her patience and dedication have paid off several times when she was able to boost the self-confidence and spark the interest of students through their involvement in Campus Ministry tasks, conversations, and counseling sessions.

In November 2017, Gigi shall go to France for a year of immersion and reflection as she goes to a higher level in her spiritual formation under Notre Dame de Vie, an organization of religious and lay people founded in 1932 in Venasque, France by Carmelite priest Venerable Marie-Eugene committed to upholding the Roman Catholic faith and rendering service to others, especially the less fortunate through their various apostolates.

Indeed, Gigi shall be dearly missed by the school community whom she has touched and inspired to live more like Christ and to strive to be the best that they can be. In all earnestness, they shall await her return.

Good luck! Good health! God bless you, Gigi!


A-Day to Remember

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech; Additional Photos by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech and Marielle D. Reyes, Student, Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber

Faculty and staff of Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech were pleasantly surprised on Friday, October 13, 2017. As each of them entered the main building, the Student Body Organization (SBO) members led by chairperson Coleen Felix of Grade 11 – St. Dominic Savio and ably guided by their moderator, Mr. Mark Rivera, sang Appreciation Day greetings and gave them a blue bag with sweet goodies inside.

After class, the faculty and staff gathered at the St. Ignatius of Loyola Hall for a fun afternoon courtesy again of the SBO, with Courtney Gwen Dela Cruz of Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber and Xian Juilliard Oquendo of Grade 11 – St. Lorenzo Ruiz as the masters of ceremonies. Divided into five teams, the faculty and staff happily let their hair down as they competed in two games, the first one charades-like and about the various activities and practices in school, and the second one a balloon race.

Interspersed with the games were performances by ERDAnians. James Rohbin Besa and Princess Kyle Girado of Grade 11 – St. Pedro Calungsod sang “I Learned From You” by Miley Cyrus. Zaldy James Madrid of Grade 12 – St. Francis Xavier sang a classic, Louie Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” to a ukelele accompaniment by Alexis Agoncillo of Grade 12 – St. Francis Xavier. Marielle Reyes of Grade 12- St. Peter Faber recited a poem. Zandra Loraine Quisao, Mujahid Basiman, Melanie Santiano, Erica La Torre, and Jason Vista, all from Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber, danced to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song”.

The afternoon was made more exciting and energizing when everyone danced the Zumba.

As the faculty and staff ate their snacks, they were treated to an audiovisual presentation and were given their souvenirs and letters from the students. To cap the event, the community posed for group photos.

Indeed, it was a memorable Friday, A-Day to remember.

The Tech-Voc Way

by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech

Education is a very good foundation for one’s future. It is essential that a person is equipped with knowledge and skills when he enters the world of work, raises a family, and pursues a chosen career. In the Philippines, there is still a bias though, for getting a college degree instead of a training in technical-vocational education. The phrase “tech-voc lang” is indicative of the low regard of many Filipinos for this kind of career path, however, the large number of college graduates, the accompanying high unemployment rate these days, and the big demand for skilled tech-voc workers is evident. It is high time then for more students to pursue a technical-vocational education because it is more affordable than a college education and there are more opportunities in the workplace that await those who take it.

 Technical-vocational education costs less than a college education.  It is shorter, usually just two years, as compared to spending four or even more years in college. Moreover, tech-voc schools like the Toyota School of Technology in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, the Meralco Foundation Institute (MFI) in Pasig City, Metro Manila, and the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) in Pasig but soon-to-be in Laguna offer generous scholarship packages to qualified students.

Undergoing training in technical-vocational education opens  a wide door of opportunites for students. Here in the Philippines, many industrial parks have been established, mostly in the Southern Luzon area, thus increasing the demand for skilled tech-voc workers. Likewise, there are still many openings abroad for those who have successfully hurdled the National Certification Exams 3 and 4. It is not a dead-end path for there is a huge potential for advancement from being a worker in the production area to a managerial position through higher tech-voc education.

Indeed, an effective way to lessen the incidence of poverty in the Philippines is to have a greater awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of the good that technical-vocational education can do. Filipinos can draw inspiration from the success stories of those who went the tech-voc way, persevered, and achieved their goals of a better and brighter life for themselves, their families, and their country.

A Fun Friday

Text and Photos by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Additional Photos by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Joel S. Sulit, Assistant to the Student Activities Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech, and Hazelyn M. Verdejo, Science and Research Teacher, FPTI – ERDA Tech

ERDAnians had a double treat on Friday, September 29, 2017. In the morning and the afternoon, team-building activities were held, and in the evening, there was the disco, Fusion 2017.

After the advisory period, the four teams: Blue, with coaches Mrs. Eden Baltazar and Mr. David Reyes; Red, with coaches Mr. Joel Sulit and Miss Chyryz Valiente; Yellow, with coaches Miss Hazelyn Verdejo and Mr. Noe Libradilla; and Green, with coaches Mrs. Michelle Testa and Mr. Ramon Christopher Ricafrente assembled along the corridors and then paraded from the main building to the basketball court. The teams are a mix of grade 11 and grade 12 students.

After the opening ceremony, the various games began in different venues on campus. These included volleyball, group march, team bucket, tug of war, solidarity tower, water balloon, dodgeball, adventure time, minute to win it, and basketball.

In the afternoon, the Mr. and Ms. Vocation 2017 was held at the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Hall. Each team had a pair of representatives, one male and one female. Mujahid Basiman (Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber) from the Yellow Team won as Mr. Vocation while Zandra Loraine Quisao (Grade 12 – St. Peter Faber) from the Blue Team was proclaimed Miss Vocation.

When evening came, the ERDAnians danced their hearts out in Fusion 2017 as their teachers fondly watched over them. By 9:30 p.m., the event ended, but the wonderful memories the students gained from this fun Friday will remain in their minds and hearts.

Mr. Mark Rivera, the Student Activities Program Coordinator, together with the ever-reliable and dedicated Student Body Organization (SBO) team led by its chairperson, Coleen Felix of Grade 11 – St. Dominic Savio deserve the full appreciation and admiration of the school community, most especially the students, for making all these possible.