Filipino values school caravan goes to Lake Sebu and Cebu City

On 24 and 25 October, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts held the Mindanao leg of the school caravan of Bálay Pinoy, its celebration of Filipino Values Month.

Called Gono Pinoy, “Bálay Pinoy” in the T’boli language, the event was held in the town of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato. It gathered students from Santa Cruz Mission School, Inc. and other participants from all over the town, part of the traditional home range of the indigenous T’boli people, to deepen their awareness of values of their community.

In the opening program on 24 October at the Barangay Poblacion Gym, T’boli traditional chanter Boi Rosie Sula performed a ritual chant, while NCCA Subcommission on Cultural Dissemination Commissioner and Committee on Cultural Education head Carlo Ebeo shared the background of the NCCA Filipino Values Formation Program and signaled the start of the celebration by beating the gong together with the head of NCCA Subcommission on Culture Communities and Traditional Arts and National Committee on Southern Cultural Communities Reden Ulo, and Lake Sebu vice mayor Liezel Tupas Izuga.

Students and local performers from Dekolon Junior High School, Lake Sebu National High School, Keheligal Cultural Troupe and Lemehek Junior High School kept more than a thousand attendees entertained with performances, while Boi Myrna Pula read the Heneral Tuna picture book.

Heneral Tuna, the main character from the NCCA’s animated series on Filipino values, Heneral Tuna, visited Santa Cruz Mission School on 25 October, amusing its students. The visit also featured a storytelling session.

After Mindanao, the Bálay Pinoy school caravan will proceed to the Visayas. It will be at the Lahug Elementary School in Cebu City, Cebu, today, 13 November, where the Heneral Tuna picture book, a collaborative project between the NCCA and Filipino independent publisher Aklat Alamid, will be launched.

Head of NCCA Subcommission on Culture Communities and Traditional Arts Reden Ulo and Lake Sebu vice mayor Liezel Tupas Izuga signaled the start of the celebration.

The opening program will be attended by Dr. Maricon M. Gumba, who will deliver the welcome remarks and NCCA deputy executive director for administration and support services Marichu G. Tellano and will feature performances by the Nexus Dos Percussion Band teachers and students who will dance the sinulog. Students of Lahug Elementary School will also showcase performances that highlight values in Cebuano culture.

The ceremonial turnover of Heneral Tuna picture book will be led by Tellano; Aklat Alamid representative MJ Tumamac; Dr. Salustiano T. Jimenez from Department of Education’s Region 7 office; Dr. Nimfa D. Bongo, Schools Division superintendent of DepEd Cebu City Division; Dr. Maricon M. Gumba, DepEd Public Schools District supervisor; Dr. Terisita B. Manzanarez, Education Program supervisor in Values and Guidance; Dr. Lily Ann S. Go, school principal; Estela Sacmar, school librarian; and Al Magne Man-on, school property custodian.

The winners of the Heneral Tuna Traditional Poster Making Contest will be awarded.

On 14 November, the school caravan will go to Lapu-Lapu City Central School for a storytelling session.

Organized by NCCA in collaboration with Klubi Weavers Organization, Bálay Pinoy aims to promote the NCCA Values Formation Program materials as learning and teaching tools. The program is one of the flagship programs of the NCCA which aims to contribute to the enhancement of the Philippine social fabric towards building a high trust and a resilient society through the inculcation of values that foster the common good.

Filipino Values Month is celebrated every November, in accordance to Presidential Proclamation No. 479, signed on 25 October 1994.