Ako si Paciana Abella, 55 taga-Langub, Kalunasan, dakbayan sa Sugbo. Akong bana si Saturnino Abella ug duna mi unom ka mga anak. Nagdako ko sa Bohol. Didto ko nag eskwela hangtod high school. Tungod sa kalisod sa among kahimtang kaniadto, wala ko napaeskwela sa akong mga ginikanan sa kolehiyo.

Kay gusto gyud ko nga makaeskwela sa koliheyo ug makakuha sa kurso nga Commerce, nianhi ko sa Cebu aron mag-working student. Sa edad nga 20 anyos , nakasulod ko sa usa ka factory, apan wala gyud ko makaeskwela kay ang akong mga amo dili mosugot nga biyaan nako ilang negosyo.

Nagtrabaho ko sulod sa duha ka tuig. Paghawa nako sa factory, nagminyo dayon ko sa akong bana karon. Nawala na sa akong hunahuna ang pageskwela og balik ilabi na dihang anaa na kami’y mga anak.

Usa ka driver akong bana ug ako sa balay lang. Ang sweldo sa akong bana among gisaligan maong naglisod kaayo mi unsaon pag budget ang iyang sweldo alang sa unom namo ka mga anak nga pulos nag-eskwela.

Niabot mi sa panahon nga bisan vetsin utangon pa nako sa tindahan,  ug mangasugsog akong kamot sa among kahoy nga kabinet aron mangita og piso aron makapalit og tubig.

Aron makatabang sa akong bana, nakahukom ko nga mag-dealer sa mga direct selling nga kompanya. Nisulay pud ko’g huwam og kwarta sa mga tigpatanto nga dunay 20 porsiyento nga interes. Ingon ani ang among kinabuhi hangtud nga nahoman og eskwela ang akong duha ka mga anak ug nakatrabaho ang usa sa Japan. Sila na ug ang akong aban bana ang nagsuporta sa among pamilya.

Apan tuig 2009, naaksidente ang akong bana sa iyang trabahoan ug napugos nga moundang nalang.

Gumikan niadto, ang akong anak nga tua sa Japan nakahukom nga mopalit nalang mi og second-hand nga multicab aron naa miy magamit sa negosyo. Ang ako pud usa ka anak nagtrabaho og usa ka restaurant niingun nga magsupplier ko og raw ingredients sa iyang gitrabahoan.

Tuig 2012, giagni ko sa akong amiga nga moapil sa micro-finance nga programa sa Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Nagduha-duha ko sa pag apil kay basin maglisod na sab ko sa pagbayad, pareha atong una nako nga giapilang pautang sab. Apan nadugay, ako kining gisulayan. Karon makaingon ko nga maayo ug dako ang natabang sa maong dessisyon sa akong negosyo.

Karon, dili na mangasugsog ang akong tudlo sa pagpangitag piso, makatulog na ko sa gabii nga dili maproblema sa among kaonon ingka-ugma. Labaw sa tanan, akong mga anak karon pulos na nakahuman sa kolehiyo.

Makaingon ko nga unang pagsulay kanamo sa Ginoo ang kalisod aron mas masabtan namo unsa ka dakong gasa ang medyo haruhay namong kinabuhi karon.

Supreme Student Government (SSG) officers from the Department of Education (DepEd) Danao City Division will lead in implementing their 26 school and community project proposals as an output of a four-day Youth Leadership Change Project Program conducted by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc – Kool Adventure Camp (RAFI-KAC) last June 27 – 30, 2017.   

These projects will benefit Danao City’s school and community particularly in the areas of health, waste segregation, construction, tree planting, cleanliness, sports, recycling, drug addiction, bullying, and teenage pregnancy.

Ernie Albopera, one of the SSG officers, said he is now more motivated to apply his learning as he continues his leadership journey outside KAC.

“My advocay to help and protect could help realize our project which is the ‘Hagdanan Para Sa Kaligtasan.’ This project is the creation of pathways that will strengthen the safety in school’s premises. This is my commitment as SSG leader,” added Albopera.

Albopera is one of the students from one of the participating schools namely Maslog National High School, Cogon Cruz Integrated School, Sandayong Sur National High School, Malapoc Integrated School, Lawaan National High School, Binaliw Integrated School, Baliang National High School, Elpidio H. Perez Memorial Technical Vocational High School, Quisol Integrated School, Bibiana Mercado Integrated School, Sabang National High School, Ramon M. Durano Sr. Foundation – Science and Technology Education Center, Sta. Rosa Integrated School, Eduardo Gorre Memorial Integrated School, Guinacot Integrated School, Estefa O. Montes Memorial National High School, Ramon M. Durano Sr. Memorial National High School, Beatriz D. Durano Memorial National High School, Bayabas Integrated School, B. Durano Integrated School, DT Durano Memorial Integrated School, Ubaldo Iway Memorial National High School, Guinsay National High School, Nicolas U. Tiongko Memorial National High School, Raymund B. Hermosilla Integrated School, and Santican National High School.  

These projects are fully supported by DepEd Danao City Division, school leaders and the Danao City Government. These projects are expected to be implemented in the next months and will be recognized in December.

The Aboitiz Group recently firmed up its long-standing commitment to the environment, partnering with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) to plant an estimated one million trees and reforest large areas in Luzon and Visayas under the group’s flagship nationwide tree-planting program, A-Park.

Under its partnership with PBSP (cost: an estimated P23.5 million), the Aboitiz Group will plant and maintain 500,000 trees on an estimated 313-hectare property in the Marikina Watershed from 2017 to 2022. The Marikina Watershed, declared a protected area in 2011, serves as a biodiversity site and river basin that catches water from the Central Luzon mountain ranges. Today, only 25% of the area is forested.

Further, the Aboitiz Group will also partner with RAFI and the Department of Education-Cebu to plant and grow 500,000 trees (all native timber or fruit-bearing) through school and community-based activities across Cebu from 2017 to 2020. This partnership will establish native tree nurseries in at least 300 schools province-wide, led by 50,000 public school students, and will include tree-growing training for at least 150 DepEd teachers. The estimated cost of this partnership is at P22.6 million

These partnerships, which total approximately P46M in value, were signed at a ceremony last October 26 by Rey Laguda, PBSP Executive Director; Erramon I. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Armin Luistro, PBSP President; Jon Ramon Aboitiz, RAFI President and CEO; and Susan Valdez, Aboitiz Foundation President.

“The Aboitiz Way has always emphasized the core value of Responsibility, not just in our work, but equally important how we interact with our surroundings. A-Park trees will not only help combat climate change, but also provide livelihood opportunities for our community stakeholders,” said Erramon I. Aboitiz.

STRENGTHENING A-PARK. (From L-R) Philippine Business For Social Progress (PBSP) Executive Director Rey Laguda, Aboitiz Equity Ventures President and CEO Erramon Aboitiz, PBSP President Brother Armin Luistro, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (RAFI) Chairman and CEO Jon Ramon Aboitiz, and Aboitiz Foundation President Susan Valdez during the MOA signing event for the A-Park reforestation partnerships on Oct. 26, 2017.

STRENGTHENING A-PARK. (From L-R) Philippine Business For Social Progress (PBSP) Executive Director Rey Laguda, Aboitiz Equity Ventures President and CEO Erramon Aboitiz, PBSP President Brother Armin Luistro, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (RAFI) Chairman and CEO Jon Ramon Aboitiz, and Aboitiz Foundation President Susan Valdez during the MOA signing event for the A-Park reforestation partnerships on Oct. 26, 2017.

The A-Park program is a nationwide reforestation initiative of the Aboitiz Group, with the planted trees playing key roles in the group’s overall carbon sequestration thrust as well as the ongoing international action on climate change. The program is the Group’s contribution to the government’s greening efforts in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

In 2016, the Aboitiz Group planted 5.4 million trees, each with an excellent seedling survival rate of 77%.

Under its Environment focus area, the Aboitiz Group continues to roll out initiatives that advance business and communities by promoting environmental conservation and biodiversity enhancement. These support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water), and 15 (Life on Land).

Under this program, the Aboitiz Group also focuses on waste management and resource efficiency while supporting the government’s greening initiatives. The Aboitiz Foundation, through the help of Aboitiz business units, also enjoins team members to actively participate in minimizing environmental impact through sustainable initiatives.

 

About Aboitiz Equity Ventures

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is the public holding company of the Aboitiz Group with major investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, and land. Today, AEV is recognized as one of the best-managed companies in the Philippines and in the region, consistently cited for its commitment to good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. With five generations of Aboitiz Group business success behind it, AEV continues to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities.

(Story contributed by Thet R. Mesias, Media Relations, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.)

Kool Adventure Camp (KAC), the flagship leadership and citizenship program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. was accredited with a pass rating by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) with inspection conducted from October 5 to 14, 2017.

The Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), founded in 1993, is the world’s leading and largest American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer focused specifically and solely on the challenge course industry. ACCT is comprised of a nucleus of more than 3,097 members worldwide. An accreditation is conducted by an ACCT Professional Vendor Member, who will assess the Challenge Ropes Course facilities and practitioners against ACCT international standards for construction, installation, operation and ethics of practice. The inspection was conducted by Exponent Challenge Technology Asia (ECTA), one of only four ACCT Professional Vendor Members in Asia.

In particular, KAC was given a pass rating for the following international standards in relation to the operations of its Adventure Education facilities: (1) American National Standard Institute ANSI/ACCT 03-2017 Standards for CRC and Canopy/Zip Line Tours, ACCT, USA; (2) European Norms EN 12572-2007 Standards on Artificial Climbing Structures, European Committee for Standardization (CEN) for the Indoor & Outdoor Rockwall; (3) European Norms EN 15567-1 Standards for Sports and Recreational Facilities – Ropes Courses Part 1: Construction and Safety Requirement, European Committee for Standardization (CEN); and (4) Community Europe (CE), Union International Des Association d’Alpinesme UIAA Equipment Safety Standards.

During the inspection and accreditation, KAC Staff also upgraded their skills proficiency. Upgraded from Level II Advanced CRC Practitioner (Full Certification) to Level III Challenge Course Manager (Full Certification) is Peter Jay Alera, KAC Operations Support and Safety Manager. His main responsibility is to ensure that KAC facilities and operations staff are fully compliant of the ACCT international standards and the KAC Local Operating Procedure standards. Upgraded from Level I Basic CRC Practitioner to Level II Advanced CRC Practitioner are the following KAC Operations staff: KAC Youth Development Programs (YDP) Training Operations Manager Gabriel Lamparas,; YDP Facilitators Landolf Villanueva, Kristy Ann Diaz and Nina Credo; Professional Development Programs Facilitators Leo Urpiana and Dea Devaras. Accelerated to Level II Advanced CRC Practitioner are the following KAC YDP Facilitators: Jehzial Mainit, Kevin Navares and Richard De Los Reyes.

With the above results on Skills Certification of Staff, KAC is also recognized for meeting the following international standards in relation to skills: (1) European Norms, EN 15567-2 Standards for Sports and Recreational Facilities – Ropes Courses Part 2: Operational Requirements, European Committee for Standardization (CEN); and (2) Community Europe (CE) WSH Code of Practice, Working Safety at Height.

Kool Adventure Camp is the first and only fully dedicated Adventure Education Center in the Philippines located in Barangay Cansomoroy, Balamban, Cebu. The inspection and certification is part of KAC’s commitment to safety as its paramount priority in delivering world class programs and services conducted by its internationally trained and highly competent Adventure Education Practitioners.

These outstanding results are a testimony of KAC’s dedication to equipping organizations and individuals to be leaders of change through life changing powerful learning experiences at par with the best Adventure Education Centers in the world. Enroll in a KAC program or course by calling 260-9000 local 1001 and look for Jean Descutido or email info.kac@rafi.org.ph.

(Story contributed by Jean Descutido, Program Assistant, KAC- Kool Adventure Camp, RAFI – Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.)