Malayan Colleges Laguna

Innovations Beyond Challenges: MCL holds annual Student Research Colloquium

Last July 1, 2022, Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School’s Research Promotion and Coordination Office (MCL RPCO) held the 2022 Student Research Colloquium, wherein MCL student researchers showcased their competitive research studies and presented them to the selected esteemed panel from different areas of research.    

MCL RCPO’s 2022 Research Colloquium invitation posted on the Malayan Colleges Laguna Facebook page.

The program began with the opening remarks from Engr. Maribel Songsong, MCL’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dr. Dodjie Maestrecampo, MCL’s President and Chief Executive Officer. According to Engr. Maribel Songsong, this year’s theme was “Promoting academic resiliency through research and innovation amidst continuous global transformation.”  Stating that now more than ever, there is an increasing need to adapt to our learning and produce innovative research studies that could further improve the current situation. Hence, there is a need for events such as MCL’s 2022 Student Research Colloquium to have a scholarly discussion on certain topics that are pivotal to the ever-changing society. 

Engr. Maribel Songsong, MCL’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, during her opening remarks for the 2022 Student Research Colloquium.
Dr. Dodjie Maestrecampo, MCL’s President and Chief Executive Officer, during his opening remarks at the 2022 Student Research Colloquium.

The panel of judges consists of different professionals from different areas of research. First among the panelists was Dr. Gernelyn T. Logrosa, Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao’s (MMCM) Research Director. She was followed by Dr. Jennifer C. Coloma, a Project Development Officer of the ICT Literacy and Competency Bureau of the Department of Information and Communications Technology Philippines. The last judge was Engr. Jejomar C. Carlos, a Project and Program Manager from the Department of Science and Technology and an MCL alumnus.  

Presentation of the panel judges consisting of Dr. Gernelyn T. Logrosa, Dr. Jennifer C. Coloma, and Engr. Jejomar S. Carlos for the 2022 Student Research Colloquium.

There was a total of eleven (11) studies that were qualified to be presented, and they were judged based on the following criteria: design and methodology, purpose and impact, creativity and innovativeness, discussion and summary of relevant findings, results and outcomes of the study, and the overall outcome of the entire oral presentation. The lineup consists of the following studies:  

1.  “Comparative Analysis on PV Tracking Configurations for Optimal Energy Generation Algorithm.” 

      Authors: William Howard delos Reyes and Collista Marie Macandili 

2. “Flexural Strength Performance of Sandwich Panel with Abaca Fiber in Polyurethane Foam Core and Gypsum Board  Face Sheet at Elevated Temperature.”  

      Authors: Oliver Angsalda, Jonathan Argao and Ian Emmanuel Peralta 

3. “Mi-Amoro: Development of an IOT-Based Welfare Monitoring and Reporting of Wearable Device for OFW’s From BARMM Region.”  

      Authors: John Lloyd Juanillo, Aivan Gevin Barcelona, Vince Aira Marquez and Rod Elrei Torres 

4. “In-Silico Binding of SARS-COV-2 Virus with Different Drug Molecules using Autodock.” 

      Authors: Patricia Sofia Capola, Emmanuel Ticzon and Gio Andrey Torres 

5. “Deep Learning-Based Face Mask and Face Shield Detection System in Enclosed Public Entryways for COVID-19 Safety.”  

      Authors: Alexandra Apolinario, Aleena Rose Corales and Davie Dianne Morito 

6. “Customers’ Expectations and Perceived Service Quality in Casual Dining Restaurants during the Pandemic.”  

      Authors: Marie Danielle Arribe, Trisha Rani Chawla and Ena Patricia Kathleen Magno 

7. “Electronic Food Nose: A Low-Cost IOT-Based Fish Quality Monitoring System.”  

      Authors: Jose Antonio Marasigan, Nathaniel Paulo Mercado and Laurence Rivera 

8. “Face Recognition on Mask-Occuladed Faces using Periocular Trait and Eye Blinking as Identity Biometrics.”  

      Authors: John Wilfred Acebedo, Alen Dominic Barundia and James Karl Honrado 

9. “Factors Affecting Consumer’s Intention to use E-Wallet in Urban Areas in the Philippines A Structural Equation Modeling Approach.” 

      Authors: John Renz Dayrit, John Aldrin Selda, and David Brian Vizmanos 

10. “The Influence of Tax Knowledge on Tax Compliance Behavior of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in Laguna” 

      Authors: Andrea Jane Arce, Charmaine Gungon and Marianne Vinchelle Pañares 

 Along with the oral presentation, twenty-seven (27) student researchers were also qualified to present their digital posters. The entrees were judged by three panel members namely, Dr. Roel C. Rodrigo, MCL’s Director for the Learning Environments and Innovations Office (LEIO), Dr. Ronald Allan S. Delos Reyes, a faculty member from the College of Arts and Science (CAS), and Prof. Dennis A. Martillano, a faculty member from the College of Computer and Information Science and an Ad Excellentiam Awardee. 

Virtual presentation of the digital posters from twenty-seven student researchers from different colleges.

In the end, Patricia Sofia Capola, Emmanuel Ticzon, and Gio Andrei Torres together with their adviser Engr. Conrado Montecarlo and their study titled “In Silico Binding of SARS-COV-2 Virus with Different Drug Molecules Using Autodock”, won the oral presentation. For the poster competition, Francis Darwin O. Bagaporo, Jan Rinhard N. Lampon, and John Aldrin O. Musni from the Mechanical Engineering program won with their research study’s poster titled, “Design and Fabrication of an Integrated Coconut Husk Grinder with Commutable Drive Source for the Production of Coconut Peat”. 

Student researchers from Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering program (Patricia Sofia Capola, Emmanuel Ticzon, and Gio Andrey Torres) during their oral presentation at the 2022 Student Research Colloquium.


Student researchers from Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering program (Patricia Sofia Capola, Emmanuel Ticzon, and Gio Andrey Torres) who won the oral presentation of 2022 Student Research Colloquium.


Francis Darwin O. Bagaporo, Jan Rinhard N. Lampon, and John Aldrin O. Musni’s virtual presentation of their digital research poster titled, “Design and Fabrication of an Integrated Coconut Husk Grinder with Commutable Drive Source for Production of Coconut Peat”.


Awarding of the aforementioned winners for the poster competition.

Ticzon, one of the oral presentation winners, said in an interview “Ang main goal din naman namin sa research namin is to promote ‘yung knowledge na pwede natin ma-solve ‘yung certain problem ngayong pandemic.” (Our main goal in conducting our research is to promote knowledge that could be a solution to our problem during pandemic). The winners of the oral presentation will receive an Ad Excellentiam award which consists of gift certificates and recognition during their graduation rites. 

Acknowledgment message from the Director of Research Promotions and Coordination (RPCO) Office, Dr. Hermie A. Articona.

During an interview, Dr. Articona gave a message for all researchers and all aspiring researchers in the MCL community, he said “Keep on seeking knowledge and be engaged in lifelong learning activities that would benefit you and the people around you,” said Dr. Hermie A. Articona, Director of the Research Promotions and Coordination Office (RPCO) in a separate message for all researchers and aspiring researchers. “As members of the academe, we are at the very forefront of knowledge discovery. So, go beyond your teaching duties and learning activities, and embark on research that would provide practical solutions to existing problems.”   

For the next research colloquium, MCL RPCO are expecting to see more interesting studies as they plan to continue encouraging the MCL community to innovate topics and build technologies that may help in creating solution on how to establish a more resilient economy and society.

MCL, in turn, will continue to support all the researchers in the community along with their advocacies. As Dr. Articona mentioned, Make sure that your research studies would not just end up in shelves. Rather, invest a little more time and effort to bring what you have gained from your research to those who are in need of it. That way, we can impact our society and contribute positively to our immediate communities.” 

MCL participates in the 1st Internal Youth Conference on Language and Culture 2022

Last October 29, 2022, Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School (MCL) attended the 1st International Youth Conference on Language and Culture (IYCLAC). MCL was represented by two students from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) – Jelica Ann Marie G. Bella from the B.A. Communication program, and Martin David R. Victoria from the Bachelor of Multimedia Arts program. 

IYCLAC was organized by Esa Unggul University (EUU) along with the English Pro-Club and Hangari Korean Club. This event is held in commemoration of the Indonesian Youth Pledge Day which is celebrated every 28th of October since year 1928 and was established to honor the vow of the Indonesian youth to have one motherland, one nation, and one language. The Youth Pledge demonstrated that Indonesia at the period granted young people opportunities and valued their opinions in the process of establishing the country.  

The conference was also conducted in observance of Language month and the 29th annual anniversary of EUU. For over the past ten years, the university has progressed significantly and was ranked among Jakarta’s leading private universities. Both in terms of scientific outcomes and community engagement, the institution has expanded promptly, and the worldwide community has acknowledged its accomplishments. The EUU presently has a connection to international quality standards in academic excellence as a result of its partnership with Arizona State University (ASU). 

This primary goal and objective of IYCLAC is to develop a young generation that is socially informed and shares concern about the significance of culture and language together with developing creative ideas and communication in a multicultural environment. To share their insights, original ideas, and opinions on preserving youth identity among varied and multicultural communities and landscapes, this conference welcomed engagement from students from several colleges in Indonesia as well as other nations, including the Philippines. 

In an interview, the students from CAS were asked why they accepted the invitation from EUU. Jelica from B.A. Communication said that “I joined there not just for the experience, but to showcase the global competitiveness of those who are honed by our institution.” She also added that, “As you can see, to represent MCL is both an honor and a privilege. Aside from this, I want to know more about other countries’ culture; it is like traveling the world in a glimpse through words.”  

Martin David Victoria from BMMA (left) and Jelica Ann Marie Bella from BA COMM (right) at the Internal Youth Conference on Language and Culture 2022. Photo from OSPGE.

As the conference feature the theme of “Preserving Youth Identity in Multicultural Society”, Jelica discussed Presenting Filipino Folk Culture to a Global Audience: The Nuances of Netflix’s Trese. She considered Trese as her subject matter as she mentioned that the Netflix adaptation of the Filipino novel is a prime illustrative example of cultural representation. She continued by saying that Netflix is a platform that offers a distinctive door of opportunity to conserve, promote culture and promote a wide range of viewpoints globally. Jelica then concluded with an emphasis on her statement that Trese is an embodiment of how animation conveys and perpetuates folk culture and youth culture. The modernization of folklore not only will be able to capture the interest of the youth of the present generation but would help preserve the rich heritage and traditions deeply rooted within the national culture.  

Jelica Ann Marie Bella during here discussion of “Presenting Filipino Folk Culture to a Global Audience: The Nuances of Netflix’s Trese” at IYCLAC. Photo from OSPGE.

On the same event, Martin, the current president of CAS Student Council, talked about The Growing Impact of Social Media towards Individuals Across our Societies.” He mainly elaborated the notable quotation of the Philippine’s National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, in which he stated that “Kabataan ang Pagasa ng Bayan” (The youth is the hope of our country). Martin emphasized that there is a strong cultural influence that underlies the impact of technology on daily existence. Social media is a crucial venue for communication, information exchange, identity promotion, and cultural promotion. Filipinos are more susceptible to intercultural exposure and its impacts on people’s sense of who they are in society because the country has the most active social media users. According to Martin, the multicultural environment is inevitable and beyond human control or supervision, however, young Filipinos can evolve and represent their unique identities by concentrating on local media and content in order to develop their identities online over time.  

Martin David Victoria during his discussion of “The Growing Impact of Social Media towards Individuals Across our Societies.” at IYCLAC. Photo from OSPGE.

On MCL’s participation to the international youth conference, MCL’s Assistant Vice-President for External Relations and Global Linkages, Prof. James Ronald O. Mesina stated that, “It’s part of our activities for regional and international collaboration, and for wider and greater exposure for our students to share to their regional and Asian counterparts.” 

Cintana Education invited MCL to take part in IYCLAC at EUU. Last year, MCL applied for membership to the Cintana Alliance, whose goal is to enhance teacher and student mobility and internationalize the program. The Cintana Alliance offers the advantage of providing MCL with possibilities to engage on a global scale through its members. Given that EUU is a part of the alliance, partner universities like MCL are acknowledged of all their potential for global engagement.  

MCL actively urges its students to be involved in extracurricular activities that possess a global focus given the privileges and advantages. According to Prof. Eva Marie M. Pedregosa, Program Chair of the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Program, Jelica’s participation in the event fulfills the student outcomes of the communication program. She has demonstrated by her involvement that MCL B.A. Communication students are adept to “Communicate in different formats and platforms (print, broadcast, and online)” (SO1); “Moreover, she has clearly proven in her discussion that Communication students are capable to apply communication theories/models, principles, practices, and tools” in development-related discourses (SO5).  

Proactive MCL students like Martin and Jelica were eager to offer their knowledge and insights with other young people in the Philippines and Indonesia. In essence, exposure equates to everything. MCL promotes the skills of the Filipino youth in language and culture among its fellow Asian allies. 

MCL CSCE participates in 1st International Conference on NSTP Implementers and Risk Managers in Tarlac City

By: Julie Anne C. Dee

Ms. Jocelyn T. Bellin, CSCE Director (Third to the left) and Ms. Julie Anne C. Dee, NSTP Program Coordinator, (Second to the right) alongside with the other delegates of the Conference

The Philippine Association of NSTP Implementers and Disaster Risk Managers Inc. (PANIDRMI) conducted its 1st International Conference last September 21 to 23, 2022, at the Kaisa Convention Hall, Tarlac City.  The theme of the conference was “Empowered, Dedicated NTSP Implementers and Disaster Risk Managers: A Key Milestone Towards UN SDG and Ambisyon 2040’s Realization”. Established in 2022, the PANIDRMI is an organization that is guided by the provisions of the National Service Training Program Law (Republic Act No. 9163) of 2001 and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Law (Republic Act No. 10121).

In partnership with Tarlac State University (TSU) and endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), 500 National Service Training Program (NSTP) implementers and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Managers across the country managed to participate in the conference. With the conference’s connection with the United Nations’ and Philippines’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the event aimed to serve as an open platform for exchange of ideas and knowledge between both speakers and participants, leading to concrete and appropriate actions to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. Dr. Susana L. Fernandez, GSC PA (Res), PANIDRM President and NSTP/DRRM coordinator of Pangasinan State University, welcomed the representatives from participating SUCs and LGUs across the country.

The Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement (CSCE) participated in the said conference as the department responsible for the operation and implementation of the NSTP courses of the Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School. Ms. Julie Anne C. Dee (NSTP Program Coordinator) and Ms. Jocelyn T. Bellin (Director of CSCE) served as the delegates of the conference.

Major Hermie P. Pava (Left), President of Philippine Society of NSTP Educators and Implementers (PSNEI), discussing the Roadmap for NSTP Development and Mr. Clement R. Japones, Jr (Right), Project Officer of the International Federation of Red Cross, presenting the Global Approaches of United Nations in Strategizing DRRM

The three-day event focused on the following key areas: 1) Key revisions of the NSTP Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR); 2) Global Approaches of United Nations in Strategizing Disaster Risk Reduction Management; 3) Multi-dimensional Domains of Disaster Risk Managers: Towards Community Involvement and Resilience; 4) Effective Curriculum Planning and Sound Disaster Risk Management Manual of Operations: A Perspective of SUC and LGU Partnerships; Responding to Mental Health Issues during Catastrophe: A Global Outlook; 5) Challenges of NSTP Implementers and Disaster Risk Managers in the Philippines: Towards Readiness to Turbulence; and 6) Luzon Islands: An Archipelagic Voyage to a Disaster Resilient Communities.

The conference also addressed the need to reinforce the mobilization of the National Service Reserve Corps (NSRC), a reserve corps composed of graduates of the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) and Literacy Training Service (LTS) – among the SUCs and HEIs. In accordance with Philippine DRMM Law (Republic Act No. 10121), members of the NSRC ought to serve as ‘on-call’ volunteers who can be tapped by the DRRM should emergency-related occurrences happen within a locality.

The participants also discussed their respective views on the implementation of the Mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). While the present administration proposed the revival of mandatory ROTC, some of the event participants showed support and others were opposed the idea of it being implemented in the Senior High School.

The participants of the 1st International Conference on NSTP Implementers and Risk Managers representing the SUCs, HEIs and LGUs from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao at the Kaisa Convetion Hall, Tarlac City.

With this conference, MCL CSCE hopes to strengthen the existing network among NSTP and DRR advocates to make the implementation of NSTP more responsive and attuned to the call of the times. More importantly, the 1st PANIDRMI Conference succeeded in imparting to the participants the pertinent knowledge/information and skills that are required of the NSTP students as well as of the implementers, and the appropriate responses needed in disaster and risk incidents in the communities they belong to.


Advisory on College Re-Enrollment and Stakeholders’ Forum for Current Students (2nd Term, A.Y. 22-23)

This November 14, 2022 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, all MCL College students and their parents are encouraged to join the Stakeholders’ Forum for Re-Enrollment for the Second Term of A.Y. 2022 – 2023.  

In this forum, the Re-Enrollment Process and Guidelines will be discussed and all questions regarding Re-Enrollment will be entertained.  

Read the Advisory on College Enrollment for 2nd Term, AY 2022-2023 

Access the presentation and watch the meeting recording of the Stakeholders’ Forum:

Stakeholders’ Forum Presentation

Release of PICC Graduation Pictures for MCL-SHS 4th Commencement and MCL 20th Commencement Exercises

Graduates who availed of the services of SunFlores, MCL’s official photographer during the recent Commencement Exercises, are advised of the following details for the release of their photos taken at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Who: Graduates who took part in the MCL Senior High School 4th Commencement Exercises and 20th Commencement Exercises for College and availed of the services of the Official Graduation Photographer (c/o SunFlores)
What: Releasing of PICC Graduation Pictures (Taken at the venue last August 1 and September 10, 2022)
When: November 12 and 19, 2022 (both Saturdays), 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Where: Rizal Bldg. Ground Floor (near the Registrar’s Office)

MCL Commended by CHED for QS Stars Rating Achievement

Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School (MCL) received a Certificate of Commendation and a trophy last August 26, 2022 from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for its achievement in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Star Rating in 2020. The QS Stars university rating system uses a comprehensive and in-depth framework to rate and compare university performance across a broad range of key criteria. It’s designed to provide valuable insights into areas of strength and weakness, driving best-in-class standards in higher education (from the QS website.) 

 The recognition was part of CHED’s commemoration of the 55th Founding Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) through a celebration with the Philippine higher education sector.  

 Citing the letter addressed to the MCL President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Dodjie S. Maestrecampo, Atty. Lily Freida C. Macabangun-Milla, CESO IV, Director of the CHED International Affairs Staff stated that the “ASEAN ICONS is a recognition of “exemplary Philippine Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that championed the global reputation of the Philippine higher education through their commendable performance in recognized international rankings and ratings, trailblazing efforts to advance internationalization of HEIs, and innovative initiatives to contribute to the country’s economic and societal goals. As a champion of internationalization and a leader in elevating the global reputation of Philippine higher education institutions (HEIs)” as the primary consideration of MCL’s commendation along with other notable institutions.  

 On the same communication, the CHED-International Affairs Staff (IAS) made the invitation to the ASEAN Philippine Higher Education Internationalization Champions Of Nation-building and Sustainability Awards Night (ASEAN ICONS) last August 26, 2022 in Hilton Hotel, Pasay City. 

 Last September 16, 2022 MCL Assistant Vice-President for External Relations and Global Linkages, Prof. James Ronald O. Mesina, paid a courtesy call to Atty. Lily Milla at the CHED Office to receive the award and renew MCL’s commitment to collaborate with CHED and other institutions in promoting international cooperation. Currently, the Colleges and the Office for Strategic Partnerships and Global Engagement are catching up on the commitments made to our international partners and affiliates. 

MCL continues to prove its dedication to its motto, “Excellence and Virtue” by constantly seeking growth, development, and global competitiveness. Being able to achieve QS Star Ratings for Employability, Facilities, and Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness is relatively unique and impressive for a young institution like MCL. Based on the performance-based metric system, MCL was awarded an overall rating of three (3) QS Stars by the Quacquereli Symonds (QS) Star Ratings. 

 According to Dr. Maestrecampo, the internationalization of MCL is one of the key strategies that improves the quality of teaching, learning, and research activities of the institution. He said, “Our partnerships with Arizona State University and the Business College of Athens are examples of these efforts to further enhance our business, health science, and maritime programs. Furthermore, the Quacquerelli Symonds (QS) Star Ratings that MCL received in 2020 is a testament to the achievement of the best-in-class global standards in the areas of teaching, innovation, engagement, and employability of all our programs.”  

Advisory on the Adjustment of the Academic Schedule of Activities for College Students for the 1st Term of AY 22-23

Due to the class suspension declared by the Provincial Government of Laguna from November 2 to 5, 2022, please take note of the following adjustments in the Academic Schedule of Activities for College, First Term, A.Y. 2022 – 2023: 

November 7, 2022 Rest Day/Make Up Classes/Alternative Activities 
November 8 to 11, 2022 Final Examination 
November 15, 2022 (5:00 PM) Deadline for Final Grade Encoding 
November 15, 2022 (7:00 PM onwards) Viewing of First Term Grades 

NOTE: All Final Examinations scheduled from November 2 to 5 will be rescheduled to November 8 to 11, 2022. Please see announcements from your teachers or professors for more details. 

Please see below the updated Calendar of Activities for the First Term of A.Y. 2022 – 2023: 

First Term, AY 22-23













Second Term, AY 22-23


By: Reinhold Gabriel B. Catangay

Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, teaching grade 7 & 8 students of Don Jose Integrated High School (DJIHS) on how to understand their own emotions. (Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE)

Last May 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic pestered the world with a then untreatable and deadly virus that forced everyone to isolate themselves from the comfort of their homes. Everyone, in different parts of the world, was mentally and physically affected by the global health crisis. Here in the Philippines, one of the affected sectors was the young generation of students. Most of them may have experienced anxiety and shock due to the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The students’ mental health concerns matter, especially now that public schools have braced for the beginning of in-person classes again and everyone will once again be required to adapt to the now normal. 

With this, Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School’s Center for Guidance and Counseling (MCL CGC), in collaboration with the MCL’s Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement (MCL CSCE), conducted its first in-person seminar on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) with the students of the Don Jose Integrated High School (DJIHS). Before the program began, Ms. Catherine G. Javier, the School Principal, awarded a plaque of appreciation to the CSCE, represented by the department’s Director, Ms. Jocelyn T. Bellin. The award was in recognition of the MCL as one of the school’s top stakeholders and for its outstanding support in conducting improvement-based engagements throughout the pandemic. 

Jocelyn T. Bellin, director of CSCE, receiving the award for MCL-CSCE being one of the top stakeholders of DJIHS from Ms. Catherine G. Javier, DJIHS Principal. (Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE).

Studying at home does not necessarily equate to comfortability and this was proven by almost all students for more than two (2) years of learning fully online (Amadora, 2020). Being restricted from going out meant limited personal relationships throughout the entire duration of the lockdown, and this could have caused the students’ difficulty in getting back to school for the resumption of face-to-face classes Hence, this and more were the focus of the MHPSS seminar delivered by MCL CGC. 

Grade 7 & 8 students of Don Jose Integrated High School (DJIHS) at the opening of the program. 
(Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE) 

During the seminar with the students of DJIHS, Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, of MCL CGC discussed the mental and psychosocial effects of adjusting to a lot of changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As students are now slowly transcending into a new chapter of their lives, the need for supervision and guidance is even greater under the hands of experts in the field.   

Growing into a fine, self-knowing, and mature individual requires a lot of understanding. However, without the ability to discern what is right from wrong, one can never truly understand others if they cannot understand themselves from within. Ms. Tarzona commenced her discussion with this food for thought as the Grades 7 and 8 students attentively listened to her.  

Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, on promoting self-seeking behaviors and emotional well-being. (Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE).

Raising awareness on the core tenets of MHPSS, through the promotion of self-seeking behaviors and emotional well-being. In doing so, this program sought to build resiliency of students through greater self-awareness by understanding one’s emotions and foster one’s welfare. 

As the program progressed, Ms. Tarzona, asked what mental health is – one of the grade 8 students, described it as the ‘feeling that triggers anxiety and depression when not addressed and properly taken care of.’ One reason mental health is not often talked about is due to the stigma attached to it. Hence, people tend to invalidate the relevance of the issue. Ms. Tarzona strongly encouraged the students and teachers to address mental health challenges and treat it as not something to be ashamed of. Fortunately, more people are now opening to the idea of mental health primarily due to the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of them are now encouraging therapy to address similar concerns.  Ms. Tarzona further explained that mental health values self-care – the act of looking after one’s own mental well-being. 

All these come from understanding one’s emotions, whether it may be caused by internal or external factors, nonetheless, both affect how one views themselves. With that, the importance of self-awareness comes in. According to Ms. Joy, being self-aware requires consistency. She suggested that students should stick to a routine that is healthy for them and eat nutritious foods to keep their mind lively. Meditation and keeping a journal would do a lot of help as well as jotting down what one cannot say helps them channel their feelings onto something, which will ease the feeling of being burdened by pent up emotions.  

Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, on having an outlet for venting out for psychosocial  
support and awareness. (Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE). 

Ms. Tarzona mentioned that another way of adapting to the now normal is venting out or having someone to talk to — who truly listens and understands — can prove to be a huge factor in staying healthy mentally. In doing so, one does not only let up their emotions but also engages in a proper discussion which can prompt growth and self-improvement. This person can either be one’s parent, Friend, significant other, but most importantly, an expert and certified therapist.  

Ms. Tarzona proceeded to conduct a ‘grounding’ exercise, where some of the students eagerly participated in. One of the students was asked to name some things she can see, feel, hear, smell, and taste. The reason being was further developing her sense of self-awareness by taking deep breaths and recognizing her senses in helping her focus and reflect on herself. 

Students from Don Jose Integrated High School (DJIHS), participated in the test of senses. (Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE).

Ms. Tarzona answered some of the questions raised by the participants. A faculty member of DJIHS asked what the other ways could be done to vent one’s emotions and prevent further harm, in which Ms. Tarzona answered – this could be in the form of writing, spending time doing one’s hobbies, but the best would be talking it out with a therapist. If one is not available, a trusted guardian or a friend would do as they do not need to say anything but simply listen and hear you out and that goes a long way. Simply put, channeling one’s time and energy into doing positive things will go a long way.   

Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, addressed concerns during the question and answer portion of the program. (Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE).

Mr. Diosdado D. Villeta, Head Teacher 1 of DJIHS, thanked Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, and the CSCE for initiating such an important and timely issue. Mr. Villeta showed his gratitude by thanking Ms. Tarzona for giving them the opportunity to undergo a physical seminar facilitated by a registered guidance counselor who values the importance of psychosocial and mental well-being. 

Mr. Diosdado D. Villeta, Head Teacher 1 of Don Jose Integrated High School (DJIHS), thanked Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, and Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School, for conducting the awareness seminar. (Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE).

The DJIHS awarded Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, with a certificate in recognition of her expertise on MHPSS through the conduct of a seminar promoting a healthy space where students can talk about mental well-being without the fear of being judged, and in advocating that psychosocial and mental health are not something to be ashamed of.  

Ms. Joy P. Tarzona, RGC, with Catherine G. Javier, Principal of Don Jose Integrated High School, and Arlene Gasaprd, adopt a school coordinator of DJIHS. (Photo by Reinhold Gabriel Catangay, MCL-CSCE).