Sunday, June 19, 2016

VP Robredo takes daughters on a bonding trip to Bohol; Bohol teachers use gadget to 'preserve voice'

•VP Robredo takes daughters on a bonding trip to Bohol
• Bohol teachers use gadget to 'preserve voice'

Cristopher Boncales felt nervous when he was tasked to give tour to the country’s second highest official who visited Bohol last Wednesday.

“I was speechless because I was nervous,” he told VRS.  He admitted that he was at a loss for words when he came face-to-face with Vice President elect Leni Robredo. He was relieved when the soft-spoken Robredo was smiling to him asking him simple inquiries on the places they went on Bohol.

Boncales, 40, a tour guide of 22 years, has been guiding VIPs, ambassadors and other high ranking officials to Bohol. He said it was a privilege guiding the Robredo and her family of their Bohol countryside tour.

Vice President elect Leni Robredo listens
 to tour guide Cristopher Boncalez (blue shirt) 
during their Loboc river cruise last Wednesday. 
Courtesy: Liza Macalandag
“She was very much interested on Bohol. She was interested about the Chocolate Hills, tarsier and Loboc River River,” said Boncales.

With only two weeks before she assumes office as the land's second highest official, Robredo and her three daughters- Aika, Trisha at Jillian- were visiting Bohol last Monday. 

Robredo took a break from work for some quality time with her daughters. She said her vacation was a family bonding because she missed taking care of her daughters during her poll campaign in the last 10 months.

“Ito kasi bakayon sa mga bata. Iniwasan ko talaga magtrabaho kasi halos na-neglect ko sila halos ng 10 months.  Eh, ngayon ito talaga para sa kanila,” Robredo told VRS in an interview in Loboc town.

Although Robredo was visiting Bohol thrice, it was this vacation she was able to explore the province’s tourist attractions.

“Masaya ako..ilang beses na din  akong nakapunta pero ngayon lang yata ako makakaikot.  Lahat na punta ko lahat trabaho. Ngayon lang talaga kasama ang mga anak ko ko na bibisita sa mga must- see na mga sights dito sa Bohol,” she said.

The family went to Oslob, Cebu for whale shark watching last Tuesday morning.  After Oslob, they went to Balicasag Island off Panglao town for snorkelling. Balicasag Island is a known world-class diving site.

Last Wednesday, they visited the Chocolate Hills in Carmen town. They also visited the man-made Loboc  and posed with the tarsier considered the smallest primate in the world. At 11 a.m., they had lunch at Loboc River together with Loboc Mayor Helen Calipusan-Alaba, provincial administrator Alfonso Ae Damalerio, Benjie Oliva and tour operator Lourdes Sultan.

During a stopover at the end of Loboc River for a cruise, the Robredo family joined with a local dance group which entertains the “cruisers.”

Robredo said she was not able to thank some Boholanos who voted for her last May 9 elections. She garnered 272, 649 votes in Bohol.

“Hindi pa lahat. Babalik ako,” she said.

With only two weeks before she assumes office as the land's second highest official, Vice President elect Leni Robredo has taken her daughters - Aika, Trisha at Jillian- on a special trip, spending quality time with the girls in Bohol province. With the Robredo family are Loboc Mayor Helen Calipusan and Travel Village owner Lourdes Sultan. Courtesy: Liza Macalandag
For  Damalerio,  the visit of  Robredo can help boost the tourism of  Bohol.  He said Robredo has recognized Bohol’s huge potentials in making a substantial contribution to national economic growth.

“Well, she assured she will promote Bohol,” said Damalerio who accompanied Robredo in her countryside tour.

“It was her first time to see Bohol, almost all the tourist attractions in Bohol. When she was here it was purely campaign. Now, she saw the wealth and wonder of Bohol,” added Damalerio.

The annual tourist arrival in Bohol is pegged at 500,000, a report from the Bohol Tourism Office. But the figure is expected to increase to 1.7 million per year once construction of the new P7.14-billion Bohol airport on Panglao Island is completed.

Robredo was mobbed by supporters during her stopovers. She gamely mingled with supporters and fans and participated in some photo opportunities.

Robredo said she has yet to talk with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte regarding her possible appointment to the incoming Cabinet.

Duterte and Robredo will hold separate inauguration ceremonies on June 30.

Robredo would be in Cebu City on June 28 to administer the oath of Cebu  City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña, a good friend of her husband, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo who died of plane crash in Masbate in August 2012.

Teachers use gadget to 'preserve voice'

As classes opened on Monday, Rochelle Marie Bolotaolo’s voice rises above the usual classroom noises and distractions, such as the clatter of students hustling through the hallway, and a noise from an on-going construction of classroom buildings. The students can still hear her clearer. But that's not because she's shouting rather, Bolotaolo is addressing her students through a wireless microphone clipped to her uniform. 

Bolotaolo, 33, who has been teaching at the already congested Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS) for five years, uses a portable sound system (lavalier or lapel microphone), a wireless, hands-free microphone to be heard by her students.

Grade 7 teacher Rochelle Marie Bolotaolo of Dr. Cecilio Putong 
National High School  in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, is using a portable 
sound system to be heard by her oversized class.
Leo Udtohan/Chronicle
“There is buzzing noise outside so I need to use a lapel,” said Bolotaolo.

She said she has been using the portable sound system for four years. She said she found it practical and effective.

"It is very effective. Aside from the microphone there is a USB I can use for my lesson,” she said.

Without the gadget, Bolotaolo said it would be next to impossible for her students to hear her as the noise of ongoing construction of more classrooms in DCPNHS drowns out class lessons.

And with 50 students, Bolotaolo can’t expect to be heard clearly by everyone in her class.

Bolotaolo’s class can be considered oversized as the ideal class size is only 45 students for high school and 35 for elementary school.

She said she had experienced fatigue before because she had to strain her voice.  

It’s the effect of lack of classrooms and more students as a result of the K-12 program that adds more years to basic elementary and high school education to meet international standards.

Another Grade 7 teacher, Jeanette Yenogacio, said she used the sound system to prevent too much strain on her vocal chords.

Virgilia Omictin, principal of Dr. Cecilio Putong 
National High School, says the gadget  
can prevent teacher’s fatigue since it can decrease teachers' 
voice strain, increase students' attention and aid in 
classroom participation as the country is
 implementing the K-12 program. Leo Udtohan/Chronicle
“I should preserve my voice because I still have six sections to handle,” Yenogacio said. The gadget, she said, helps her students,” even those seated at the back,” to hear her.

Boloatolo and Yenogacio bought the gadgets using their own money. They, however, don’t mind dipping into their own pockets because they know it would be for the benefit of their students.

“I believe better sound will translate into better learning. I noticed the students can absorb the lessons well,” said Yenogacio.  

Yenogacio noticed that her students were attentive and focus on the class.

“My students can hear me clearer and better,” she said.

Yenogacio, who was one of the teachers who used the portable sound system, recalled that she lost her voice a couple of times and suffered several sore throats when she was not using the gadget while teaching.

She said before none of the teachers wanted to wear the gadget. At least seven out of 150 teachers at DCPNHS are using lapel mic.

 “At first, none of us really wanted to wear mic lapel but years after we get used to it,” she said.

While education officials had said everything is set for the start of the school year and senior high school, perennial problems remain.

Class sizes had to be expanded and schools use one room for two or more classes, held by shifts, to cope with lack of classrooms.

Virgilia Omictin, DCPNHS principal, said she is encouraging teachers to use portable sound system since it is helpful.

“It can prevent teacher’s fatigue,” she said.

She also said by using the gadget, it can decrease teachers' voice strain, increase students' attention and aid in classroom participation.

"I think it has had an impact in the classroom teaching," Omictin said.

DCPNHS, which has at least 5,000 students this school year, hold classes from 6 a.m. to noon and from noon to 6 p.m. to accommodate two classes per room.

Omictin anticipated the school population to increase by 4 or 5 percent.

Grade 11, or senior high school, classes are to be held in morning and afternoon shifts.

In August, Omictin said two buildings with 16 classrooms would be finished and these could ease the shortage of rooms.

“But we are K-12 ready,” quipped Omictin.


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