Students and parents gathered at Sweetwater High School for the 12th Annual Magkaisa Student and Parent Conference. This was held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Ms. Dinnah Donato-Palmore, SUHI Counselor, and Lora Bumatay, Assistant Principal at Granger Junior, chaired this conference.
In the morning, participants listened to an established keynote speaker Eric Tan, a Montgomery High Alumni of Class of 1994 and Senior Principal Designer at Disney Consumer Products. Afterwards, they watched a fashion show of cultural clothing sponsored by parents, teachers, and students of Council for Teaching Filipino Language and Culture (CTFLC). Mrs. Grace Almazar, teacher from Olympian, gathered most of her students to walk the runway. In addition, Mrs. Miguelita Candelaria led the parents and community in participation of this fashion show. They wowed the audience with their beautiful Filipino traditional costumes ranging from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Mr. Salvador Idos exclaimed, “The fashion show was amazing!”
By mid-morning, participants attended cultural and career preparation Workshops. CTFLC contributed cultural workshops such as the following:
- Filipino Social Games headed by Mr. Rey Idos, Filipino teacher at Eastlake High School
- Gawad Kalinga workshop led by Bell Middle School students under the leadership of Mrs. Jacquilin Magat-Lapid, CTFLC President and Bell Middle School Filipino teacher.
- Ukulele Lessons provided by Mrs. Julita Biares
- Filipino Superstitious Belief: A thing of the past or Cultural Identity? – given by Mrs. Rizalyn Cruz, Filipino Teacher at Otay Ranch and Farah Mendoza, ELD teacher at Sweetwater High School
During these workshops, classrooms were packed with 40 or more students and parents. They took with them the pride and knowledge of being a Filipino and they carried the hope of a brighter future.
After the workshops, participants gathered at the gym to honor the Karangalan Scholarship Winners from different schools. Mrs. Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia and Mrs. Dinnah Donato-Palmore, Sweetwater High School counselors, recognized and presented the awards to the winners.
Following the recognition, Ms. Marie Coronel, member of the 10News Team and an alumna from Eastlake High School, inspired the audience and the scholarship winners. She talked about her experience as a reporter in her field primarily of Caucasian descent. Additionally, she spoke about being from South San Diego and giving back to the community.
While enjoying their lunch, students from different schools entertained the crowd. Students from Otay Ranch High School Pangkat Sayaw headed by Mrs. Rizalyn Cruz showcased Bulaklakan, Sakuting, and Maglalatik. Also, students from Mar Vista headed by Mrs. Marilin Escalante presented Subli, Tinikling, and Muslim dances. Students from Granger High School entertained the audience with their Hip-Hop Dance.
Furthermore, Ms. Katriz Trinidad, contestant from NBC The Voice and student from Otay Ranch High School, serenaded the crowd with her powerful rendition of Beyonce’s “Love on Top” and Megan Tranier’s “Lips are Moving”.
Throughout the day, students participated in the Selfie Scavenger Hunt and posted pictures in their Tweeter and/or Instragram with #Magkaisaitona. During lunch, they gave cool shirts as prizes.
Magkaisa, Ito Na! This maybe the last Magkaisa Conference, however everybody hoped for another one next year. This conference brought a community… a family together finding the past and future.