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Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Rex Education’s ‘Bawat Paaralan Edukampyon Continuum’ recognized at UNODC Conference as an exemplary school-community-family program for strengthening drug-abuse prevention

During the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Conference recently, at Novotel Manila, Quezon City, Rex Education bared its ‘Bawat Paaralan Edukampyon (BPE) Continuum’ for strengthening drug-abuse prevention.

UNODC’s Conference gathered organizations, policymakers, and prevention implementers for discussions on addressing drug-related problems in the country. Under the theme “Prevention Digest: Strengthening the prevention strategy and family-based initiatives in the Philippines”, UNODC encouraged individuals and groups to share drug-abuse prevention responses that are health-centered and based on family intervention. The agenda tackled the healthcare system, evidence-based programs, and Philippine experiences in family-centered interventions.

During the 3rd day of the event, REX was among the government and non-government organizations who shared their experiences with prevention programming, as well as the impact and influence of these initiatives.

Taking a whole school approach to reform initiatives

BPE officially launched during the January 2021 Annual Educators' Congress, where 400 private and public schools expressed interest and intent in pilot implementing the framework.
In March 2021, pilot implementation for BPE began with 13 schools completing one implementation cycle. These schools were Marantha Christian Academy, St. Edward School, Canossa Academy Calamba, Ednas School, Cherished Moments School, Colegio de Santa Rita de San Carlos, Inc., Cabulay High School, San Andres Elementary School, Divisoria High School, Rosario National High School, Sagana National High School, Patul National High School, and Sinili Integrated School.

REX gave life to the portmanteau ‘Edukampyon’, a combination of the words edukasyon (education) and kampyon (champion) to mean champions of education. The BPE program is grounded in the Edukampyon advocacy: To engage duty-bearers and build their capacities for respecting, protecting, and fulfilling the right to quality education.

Pursuant to BEDP 2030, REX advocates a whole-school approach that entails the collaboration of all members in a school community. The whole school approach recognizes that the informal curriculum is just as valuable as the formal one, highlighting the importance of providing learners with inclusive and safe environments beyond the classroom. This framework is meant to advance agendas on global education and reform initiatives such as health awareness, eradication of violence, and drug abuse prevention.

The whole school approach also comes into play in promoting the six facets of the Filipino whole learner. REX has identified various indicators that should ensure a Filipino learner is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged, and values-oriented. Across these indicators, there is a common theme that encourages school culture and leadership to promote learners' physical and mental health, implement policies relevant to civic participation, and equip students with the essential competencies for lifelong learning. Families and communities are recognized as a major part of this advocacy, as the success of a child's education largely relies on the effective collaboration of stakeholders advocating for every learner's well-being.

Bawat Paaralan Edukampyon in support of UNODC standards

Based on the standards of UNODC, drug abuse prevention is a significant motivator for children, young adults, and adults to contribute positively in their families, schools, workplaces, and communities. Drug-abuse prevention at the school level focuses on the health and safety of children and youth, in a bid to encourage self-actualization that can lead to the realization of their full potential, prompting them to become productive members of society.

UNODC has found that developing a student's personal and social skills can prevent drug use and alcohol abuse. For children aged 10 and below, programs centered on improving resistance skills and self-control have been shown to reduce general problem behaviors in and out of the classroom. Several other factors can also influence the discouragement of substance abuse, such as students' academic performance, commitment to school, and social opportunities.

To achieve these benchmarks, REX designed BPE as a three-tier implementation framework that will allow schools to conduct systematic assessments of their progress in the UNODC's domains. BPE encourages schools to work with their stakeholders, students, parents, and community members in the planning and implementation of activities and interventions that are relevant to UNODC's standards.

Bawat Paaralan Edukampyon is an exemplary school-community-family program for drug abuse prevention

The BPE's pilot implementation allowed learners to learn about drug abuse prevention through the collaborative efforts of their teachers, administrators, parents, and other stakeholders. In particular, parents reported feeling more engaged and knowledgeable of their children's school activities and priorities after participating in the BPE process.

The participating schools showed significant levels of involvement and support, having developed an appreciation for the BPE framework. REX intends to leverage this support in fine-tuning effective BPE advocacies, communications, and education initiatives for more schools across the nation.

In doing so, REX was able to complement UNODC's standards on drug-use prevention. Placing value in the partnership, emphasizing the importance of effective parenting, and delivering evidence-based prevention strategies proved to be the pillars that drove the success of BPE's initial launch. REX is committed to pushing BPE at a wider scale, in a bid to ensure children and youth become invulnerable and more resilient to drug use.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Daily Reminders That Will Pick Up Your Spirits

In an ideal world, things will always go your way. The MRT will never be late nor packed, you can always buy whatever you want, and you will never gain a pound or two despite indulging your sweet tooth. Alas, an ideal world doesn’t truly exist and our daily reality can sometimes be tougher to navigate than how we hope it to be.

The thing is, experiencing these little bumps doesn’t exactly make life bad. Instead, you can think of them as little bursts of flavor that make your adventure a little bit more interesting! The way that we take pitfalls in stride is what makes the world of difference in how we manage them and so is giving in sometimes to situations instead of fighting them off.

If you need a little refresher that feeling BAD is not really all that BAD, then here are a few daily reminders that will surely turn that frown into a smile.

1. The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude. – Dennis S. Brown

Could this be any more true? It may sound cliche or even too idealistic, but it is how we take and give in to things that change the way we view and feel them.

2. Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. -Robert Louis Stevenson

This is the perfect reminder to all of us who can be a little tough on ourselves when we fall short of our expectations. Sometimes you win. Other times you just get to be a step closer to your goal. Both are okay.

3. Sometimes you need those bad days, to help you appreciate the good ones. – Unknown

Read that again. If every day is perfect, then what makes a good day… good? Appreciating your wins is so much sweeter when you’ve experienced losses, too.

4. I am learning to trust the journey even when I do not understand it. – Mila Bron

Not ultimately knowing where you are going or what’s coming next may be one of the most terrifying things in life. But it’s the element of surprise and the way that we enjoy the ride that makes life all the more special.

5. If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Yes, flavor. All the limitations we put on ourselves to make sure everything goes our way are the roadblocks that can make life black and white. Live truly and honestly by going through flavors. Bitter, sweet, or both, all are important in the great recipe of life.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to just ‘give in?' When you feel like the day is tougher than usual, tap on your inner child and remember how you used to handle your big emotions. For a lot of us, it is simply allowing ourselves to FEEL. That, or a bite or two of simply good ice cream.

The next time you are feeling down, get yourself your favorite Nestlé Ice Cream cold treat. The leading ice cream brand has never failed to make anyone smile with its quality flavors, one bite of which can turn a bad day into a good one.

Being the true champ that it is, Nestlé Ice Cream is making everyone’s summer extra special with its Great Ice Cream Sale. The promo, which will run until June 30 gives big discounts to cult favorites like Nestlé Temptations (Strawberries & Cream, Almond Brownie Fudge, Double Dutch, Cookies & Cream, Rocky Road, Mocha & Cashew), Nestlé Drumstick (Double Choco Vanilla and Ube Cheesecake), and Nobrelli (Choco-Keso-Ube, Choco-Manga-Ube, Choco-Pandan-Ube). This special treat is available when you buy in all leading supermarkets and Nestlé Ice Cream’s official Lazada store: Ice Cream Party PH.

If that is not a good sign that it is time for you to give yourself a break, then we don’t know what is. After all, ice cream makes everything so much better—though should you really wait for a bad day to have some? Go ahead. Indulge.

To stay updated on other promos, follow Nestlé Ice Cream Philippines and Nestlé Temptations on Facebook. You can also follow Nestlé Temptations on Instagram to add a little sweetness to your feed.

8 Health Essentials That You Need To Have This Summer

Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to make plans with loved ones to enjoy the great outdoors. A day spent outside the home is fun, but the intense heat can affect anyone’s health.

Watsons encourages families to stock up on health essentials that can help combat the harmful effects of sun exposure and high temperatures. With over 60 million people affected by El Niño, there is a high chance of disease outbreaks. This also causes heat stress and respiratory diseases, among a wide range of health problems.

Since prevention is better than cure, here are the must-haves that the leading health and beauty retailer recommends:


Sunscreen protects the skin and helps prevent sunburn and premature aging, and more alarming conditions like skin cancer.

When looking for sunscreen, it’s important to choose broad-spectrum products that protect the skin from both the Ultraviolet A (UVA) and B (UVB) rays of the sun. Another consideration is the sun protection factor or SPF. This is a number that tells you how long the sun’s UVB rays will turn the skin red after applying sunscreen. Minimal exposure to the sun needs an SPF of 15 or higher, while longer time spent outdoors needs at least 30. It is recommended to use sunscreen 30 minutes before heading outdoors and to reapply every two hours.

Facial mist

Complement sunscreen with a generous spritz of facial mist. This product serves a dual purpose: it hydrates the skin and helps it absorb other products like serums and moisturizers. Facial mists have other benefits depending on the ingredients. Some have essential oils for aromatherapy, while others have antioxidants.

Vitamin C serum

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals that damage the cells. It also controls infections and heals wounds. The vitamin plays an important role this summer: when used as a serum, it can hydrate and brighten the skin, protect against sun damage, and promote collagen production to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that reduces damage caused by free radicals. It’s also an essential vitamin during the summer because it cares for the skin and hair. Vitamin E creates a protective barrier on the skin’s surface to lock in moisture. Additionally, it supports the scalp and adds shine to hair.


Magnesium is a mineral that helps make the heart, bones, muscles, and nerves operate at their best. It even regulates body temperature. Thankfully, the mineral is available as a supplement that can be easily bought at health stores.


Zinc is a mineral that helps the immune system. It aids in wound healing, blood clotting, and the optimal functioning of the thyroid. A shortage of zinc may lead to pneumonia, skin changes, and even hair loss. The heat can damage hair so a zinc supplement may help address that.


Collagen is a type of protein that helps cells grow, provides a protective layer for organs, and gives elasticity to the skin. It’s also available as oral and topical products that help with signs of aging such as wrinkles and dehydration. These can be caused by the summer heat so it’s advisable to take collagen this summer.


Glutathione is an antioxidant that fights off oxidative stress, which may lead to diseases like diabetes and cancer. Its oral and topical supplements may help lighten dark spots and free radical damage to the skin caused by the sun.

All these health essentials are available at Watsons. The global brand in health and beauty retail offers a complete and wide range of vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter or prescription medicines, personal care products, and other essentials in its network of 1,000+ stores in the Philippines.

Watsons makes the shopping experience more convenient with its added services. Customers can choose Click & Collect Express, where they can purchase online and pick up their orders from their selected store in 30 minutes or less. They may also try the Home Delivery Express, which delivers orders right to their doorstep within three hours.

“Filipinos are making the most out of the summer by spending more time outdoors or traveling. The right health products can help them ease their worries so they can focus on celebrating and enjoying the season. Let Watsons remove the burden of shopping by visiting our wide network of stores and availing of Click & Collect Express and Home Delivery Express,” says Jared De Guzman, Watsons Customer Director. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

How to Land Your Dream Job with a Winning Resume

Whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced applicant, the hiring process always starts with submitting an essential document—a resume. While job interviews get you hired, a resume determines the success of your job hunting from the get-go.

Leading online job portal JobStreet by SEEK believes that crafting a winning resume will give you an edge in landing your next big career move. Especially with the graduation season around the corner, fresh graduates have to step up and present themselves to the best of their abilities.

According to a study by JobStreet, an average HR person takes only 30 seconds to browse each resume, and about 70% of these do not even reach hiring managers. 

In line with this, JobStreet fortifies its dedication to empowering jobseekers through its recent webinar entitled Creating a Winning Resume featuring thought leaders—Jheric Delos Angeles, Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at BUKAS; Myke Celis, Multi-awarded Global Master Coach, and International Best-selling Author; and Kim Viray, Head of Marketing at JobStreet Philippines.

Resume is a storytelling document

There’s no real formula for creating a very good resume. Although it has the same parts and structure, each one is unique depending on personal experiences and background, and this is where your advantage comes in. To get hired with a standout resume, take the time to ponder and ask yourself: What makes you unique? What makes you you? Instead of listing your daily tasks, include the details that will allow the reader to get at least a glimpse of what you have contributed to your previous employer. On the other hand, fresh graduates may include extra-curricular activities and volunteer work.

“Finding a company that matches your values starts with storytelling. When you allow them to get to know you and see where you’re coming from, you will finally get hired,” said Jheric Delos Angeles.

Tailor your resume to the job

While trying to convey your story, ensure that all added information is relevant to the role and the company you are applying for. Substance over form, quality over quantity. A hiring manager is always looking for people who can add value to the company, which is why it is necessary to do your research, know their preferences, and customize your resume and cover letter accordingly.

As much as necessary, highlight your experience and skills that are most relevant to the position you are applying for. It pays to leave an impression that your job application is a conscious decision and that you are well aware of the role. Lastly, avoid mass sending similar copies.

“What could get you hired is how you think - how you think about the entire process, this application, yourself, your strategy, what you are doing to make yourself the most hirable candidate, your attitude, and how you face acceptance and defeat. That is what would get you hired. The resume is just the beginning,” Myke Celis shared.

Keep your resume professional

A resume, being the first thing a hirer would see from you, is critical. Therefore, be cautious and pay attention to every detail. Professionalism is a big factor in the corporate world, as it shows reliability and credibility, which are basic requirements in all companies. Use a formal photograph, avoid code names in email addresses by using your first and last name, check grammar and spelling, use a neat font, and be consistent and factual.

“Just like creating a winning resume, this is just the beginning of success. We have lined up a series of events for the rest of the year to fulfill our team’s mission which is to provide support and jobs to every Filipino," said Kim Viray, JobStreet Philippines Head of Marketing.

“We will ensure that there will be less friction when it comes to your overall job search process in the JobStreet platform,” he added. For more insights and career advice, visit

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Book Feature: Dreaming of the Sea + Exclusive Interview with Author Raissa Claire R. Falgui

Dreaming of the Sea is a collection of stories set by sea, evoking its power and mystery, with themes mainly romantic and speculative fiction. 

This was written by Raissa Claire R. Falgui, a writer with a wide variety of interests which are reflected in her fiction. Her historical novel Woman in a Frame was shortlisted for the Philippine National Book Awards in 2015. Her collection of science fiction Virtual Centre and other Science Fiction Stories was published by Penguin Random House Southeast Asia. Several of her speculative fiction stories have been published in Alternative Alamat, in the literary journal Likhaan, and in the international anthology Of Words and Water 2014. 

Today, we are blessed with this opportunity to have this exclusive interview with her.  

1. Can you share with us something about the book that isn't in the blurb?

I conceived this book as a beach read, and I think it is in a not-so-typical way. There are several romances, a couple with ghostly elements, and several others with mythical elements-- stories to resonate with a variety of moods you might have while relaxing in a beach setting.

2. What inspired the idea for your latest book?

I noticed I had written several stories set by the sea, most of them while working on my MA. I'd written one for Alternative Alamat and one for the YA anthology Friend Zones as well. I even had two sci-fi stories where people ended up living on islands in the middle of the sea. Since I was so drawn to the sea (ironically, since I've rarely been to beaches in my adult life), I thought of completing a sea-themed collection.

3. How long did it take you to complete the book?

One of the stories is based on one I wrote as a college freshman, a few others were written while I was doing my MA in 2011-2014, the others, which are the romantic ones, were mainly started in 2019-2020 and completed during the lockdown.

4. What part of the book was most challenging to write and why?

Occasionally, I plunge into writing a story without a clear plot or ending in mind. Then I get stuck on how to end it! This was the problem with "The Last of the Mermaids." It was based on a speech assignment I had as a college freshman. So it didn't really have a plot: it was just a mermaid rambling over issues she had observed and experienced as the last of her kind. I submitted it to the UP Writers' Workshop and of course, I got comments on the ending not really making much of an impact. The final, strong ending came to me as I was doing research about issues affecting the ocean while writing a book on climate change. I was feeling angry over the issues and lack of action on them, and that inspired me to have the mermaid take drastic action.

5. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I hope they end up dreaming of the sea in various ways--as the backdrop of romance, as a well of mystery, or in whatever way that suits them. I also hope they'll gain more appreciation for the sea as the inspiration for myths through the ages as well as an essential resource for our planet.

6. If you’re planning a sequel or writing the next book, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

I'm completing a collection of stories based on Philippine myths, which I completed the first draft of during the last NaNoWriMo mostly on my keyboardless tablet--as my laptop conked out on the second day! I really have a fondness for myth-based stories which began when I read Pop Stories for Groovy Kids as well, a kid. That's my book closest to completion, though I can't say for sure if it will be the next one to come out.

7. Where can they buy your books or find out more about you?

Dreaming of the Sea may be purchased from 8Letters online 

or via Shopee at

You may also follow me on my Facebook and Goodreads account.


Thank you, Author Raissa, for agreeing to this interview. We are happy to learn more about you and your book and we are looking forward to more stories from you. 


We love supporting authors! Do you want your book to be featured? 

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Woman Farmer Leader Sparks Hope in Agriculture

Bernadeth Carandang is the farmer leader at the Magallanes-Samahang Magsasaka ng Kay-apas at Medina Agriculture Cooperative (MAG-SAMAKAME) in Cavite. Growing up in a farming family, she understood the difficulties faced by farmers.

“Utang, benta, at bayad kami noon. Uutang para sa kapital, magbebenta ng ani, at ipambabayad sa utang yung kita. Tapos uulit lang. Halos wala nang naiiwan sa amin (Borrow money, sell, and pay off debts was our practice. We would loan our capital, sell our harvest, and pay off debts with our earnings. It was a cycle. We almost had nothing left),” she said.
Bernadeth and her fellow farmers wondered how they could increase their income since farming is the only livelihood they knew.

Becoming agro-entrepreneurs

In 2018, the local government unit (LGU) of Magallanes joined Jollibee Group Foundation’s (JGF) Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP), which helps farmers increase their income by directly supplying institutional markets.

Through the partnership, MAG-SAMAKAME was trained on the eight-step Agro-Enterprise Clustering Approach, which culminates in their delivery to Jollibee Group as an accredited supplier. Bernadeth also participated in the course “Agro-entrepreneurship for Inclusive Value Chains,” where she further honed her business and leadership skills. The course was co-developed by the Jollibee Group Foundation with Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan.

In 2022, MAG-SAMAKAME started its regular deliveries of tomato to Jollibee Group. Bernadeth recalled she was very anxious during their first delivery to the depot, thinking something might go wrong. It was not until she held the delivery receipt that she messaged the farmers who were eagerly waiting from their homes, “This is it!”

“’Yung isa sa kanila napapikit talaga at sabi, ‘Ang sarap sa pakiramdam!’ (One of them closed his eyes and said, ‘This feels so good!’,” Bernadeth shared.

Since then, they have delivered a monthly average of 2,500 kgs of fresh tomatoes, which are used in Jollibee’s Champ burgers.

A woman farmer leader

As cooperative secretary, Bernadeth is also a leader who empowers farmers, especially women. MAG-SAMAKAME was formed in 2003 with 16 pioneering members. It has since grown fivefold to 84, wherein 57% or 48 members are females.

“Sabi nila kapag magsasaka, dapat lalaki. Ngayon, dumarami na rin ang mga babae (They said that farmers should be males. Now, we’re seeing that more women are becoming farmers), observed Bernadeth.

As a woman, Bernadeth finds her greatest strength is patience, which she uses not only in tending to her crops, but also in encouraging farmer members to join the cluster that supplies to Jollibee. “Dati ayaw nila sumali, hindi daw nila kaya magcommit. Sabi ko ‘wag tayong matakot sumubok (Before, the farmers refused to join, saying they can’t commit. I told them to not be afraid to try),” she said.

By teaching them how to think and act like entrepreneurs, Bernadeth found that the farmers have become more cooperative. Now, they are already thinking of how to grow their business further by planting other vegetables like bell pepper and seeking other institutional buyers.

“We aim to expand our vegetable deliveries so that we can also help other farmers in Magallanes, through our coordination with the LGU,” Bernadeth said in Filipino.
Sowing seeds of hope

With her unending passion for learning, Bernadeth took up Education while remaining committed to farming. She passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers in 2022 and now teaches Technology and Livelihood Education to secondary students.

“Tinanong ko ang students ko kung anong gusto nilang maging. Walang may gustong magsaka. Ituturo ko sa kanila na farming is a business, at ang kaalaman ko sa agriculture at agro-enterprise. (I asked my students what they want to be in the future. Nobody wants to farm. I will teach them that farming is a business, as well as my knowledge in agriculture and agro-enterprise),” she said. “After all, farming is a profession of hope.”