Competitions can be divisive, but if viewed positively, they can be productive as they catalyze students and coaches to higher levels of enthusiasm and performance.
The recently concluded 1st EP/MEP National Open House, a historic one at that, is a good example. Pinoy coaches were so eager and passionate in making their students better today than they were yesterday – making the schools they work for, stand out in the process. That being said, perhaps it is safe to say that the many possibilities a student can do can also be attributed to his/her coach.
The Filipino Coaches
Pinoy coaches of science and maths projects for both lower and upper secondary students were on fire. It was as if they were the ones competing with each other but in a friendly and healthy manner.
In mathematics project M1-3, Buddy Aniel and his students snatched the first place, followed by Coach Gary G. Jardinero of Bunyawat Witthayalai School in 2nd place, Fernando P. Causapin of Loie Phittayakom School in 3rd place, and Alfredo S. Rosales Jr. of Satrichaiyaphum School in the 4th spot.
Coach Michael Camorongan Ogoy of Bangbowitthayakhom School clinched the third place for the mathematics project of the upper secondary or M4-6 category, and the 6th spot went to Coach Rex Bagui of Satreesirket School.
Meanwhile, for the M1-3 science project, Satreesitket School in Sisaket province proved to be a tough team to beat. The triumvirate coaches consist of Lorna Salasa, Charmaine Salasa, and Arasaw Tumpaak Awa.
Coach Roselle M. Cabrejas of Chonkanyanukoon School in Chonburi got the second place, and Coach Shiere Diadem R. Lagarto of Bunyawat Witthayalai School landed in third.
For the upper secondary science project, Teachers Charmaine Salasa and Lorna Salasa of Satreesirket School in Sisaket placed second while Ms. Tina Cuevas of Chonkanyanukoon School secured the third place.
Other notable Filipino coaches who made a name for themselves include Coach Ed Domingo of Suratthani School. His student in junior high received a gold medal in the singing category, as well as Coach Zairah Myrrh Magpulong of Sakolrajwittayanukoul School, whose student ranked second in the M4-6 category.
Not all sunshine and lollipops
Training the students was not sunshine and lollipops. In an interview with Pinoy Legacy, Coach Lorna Salasa revealed their primary problem.
The appropriation of the budget for Math/Sci was a huge challenge. There was plenty of bureaucracy before the budget was released. Hence, trainers ended up spending their own money and, fingers crossed, be fully refunded.”
Coach Arasaw Tumpaak Awa also shared that one of the inevitable challenges they faced was the communication and reasoning skills or capacity of the kids to analyze.
“We call this a real challenge because there are many competitions that the school needs to participate in which requires sending tough caliber students. However, the crème de la crème students are normally asked to be representatives of language competitions. Therefore, we in the science team end up training the average ones.”
Rainbows after the rain
“We were on cloud nine when we heard the result. It was well-deserved praise for the kids as they really worked hard on it, heeded our advice, and stayed focus before and during the competition,” Coach Charmaine Salasa said.
“EPIC!” That is how Teacher Michael Camorognan Igoy described the 1st EP/MEP National Open House. “It was tough but we made it through,” he added.
Coach Ed Domingo even left a message to all Pinoy coaches or teachers in the kingdom: “We Filipino teachers are no stranger to discrimination. There will always be people who will put us down because of our race, gender preferences, age, etc., but we cannot let them drag us down. Prove them wrong by having faith that God has brought us here for a purpose, and by excelling in what we do.”
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