Abono bares Games winners

February 20, 2009 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

By Yolanda Z. Sotelo

awardingIndustriousness, determination, community support, will to win.

These were the basic factors behind the winning schools in the provincewide Gulayan at Maisan sa Eskuwelahan contest sponsored by the Abono party list group.

The students, teachers and staff of each school and the community worked together to come up with a “winning piece” – a 300-square meter area in the school yard that bloomed with vegetables and corn – and won prizes that would surely benefit the students.

“It was all worth it. Even if we did not win, we feel already like winners because we were able to show that if everyone cooperated, we will accomplish what we want to do,” Marissa Tababa, principal of the Macalong Elementary School in Urdaneta City, which won first place in elementary (city category), said.

“The parents came by to help, even bringing their own snacks. We are grateful for having joined the contest because it united us as a school and as a community,” Tababa said.

Over in Rosales town, the San Isidro Elementary School reminds one of the folk song “Bahay Kubo.” The song goes: “Kahit munti. Ang halaman duon ay sari-sari.” At the back of a building is the Games project, but the entire school yard is covered with different vegetables.

Village head Conrado Espanto has been very active in helping the school with its vegetable production program, saying the vegetables have always been replanted every after fruiting stage.

In Anda island in western Pangasinan, Macandocandong Elementary School bested all schools that entered the Games contest.

Water is scarce in the village but Carla Fatima Soriano, the school principal, said an open well has been dug that provides water for the garden.

“The garden has been a source of income for the school, and we have sold P6,000 worth of vegetables,” Soriano proudly said.

She added that the school will continue planting vegetables because it does not only bring money for school projects, but also serves as a training ground for the students in tending vegetable garden.

Another school in Anda won the contest in the high school level (Western Pangasinan category) – the Carot National High School.

School principal Melita Caspe said the children dug an almost unyielding piece of land where they established their Games project. Photos of the children while preparing the land showed their determination to make the land productive.

Their determination paid off — the area was turned into a verdant garden of vegetables and corn and they won for the school a one-room school building.

In Pozorrubio town, every inch of the yard of Don Benito Agro-Industrial High School, a school accessible through an unpaved village road, is green with vegetables.

Principal Susana Clariza, the school principal, said the Games was put up in an area where trees used to stand but which were felled by tropical typhoon Cosme in May 2008.

Being an agro-industrial school, Don Benito High School has always been involved in agricultural undertakings but it is challenged by the kind of land on which it stands.

“The soil is sandy and full of stones so it is difficult to cultivate it,” Clariza said.

Still, the students and teachers, are able make the land productive and come up with a Games project worthy of the first prize.

In the city category for high school, Alaminos City National High School was the lone winner as it was the only city high school that met Abono’s strict standards.

Aside from fertilizers provided by Abono, almost all the schools used indigenous gardening inputs like organic fertilizers and natural pesticides like neem tree leaves.

Many schools also had to face challenges like lack of water, infertile land and even lack of space where the Games project will be established.

Some schools like the Don Teofilo Elementary School in San Quintin and the Lipay Elementary School in Villasis had to “sacrifice” a part of the playground for the vegetables and corn garden. The schools won the second and third prizes in eastern Pangasinan division, elementary category.

The teachers and students of Pilar Elementary School in Santiago Island, Bolinao, were determined to win a school room because their school building was already dilapidated. At the back of the school with a beautiful view of the sea, they established a lush garden even if they had to carry water from miles away.

The school did not win a prize, but a surprise awaits the school, courtesy of Abono.

Second placer Sampaloc Elementary School in Bolinao (western Pangasinan, high school category) presented a neat, fenced Games project.

Mangatarem National High School (third place, high school, western Pangasinan) planted some vegetables in sacks because the soil was rocky, but its tomatoes were grown in arch trellis. Sadly, its corn area had to make way for the construction of a four-room school building.

Water is scarce in Luciente II in Bolinao but this did not deter the teachers and students from cultivating a garden that won the second place in elementary category, western Pangasinan division.

Despite their few numbers, the three teachers of Bonilla Elementary School came up with a garden worthy of the third place in western Pangasinan, elementary category.

Entry filed under: News.

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