Saturday, November 4, 2017

Grateful at 25: CBB celebrates years in the service

 “Grateful at 25 : CBB celebrates years in the service”
Sun.Star Davao, Nov. 4, 2017

Center for Brighter Beginnings, Inc. (CBB), the pioneer in specialized Early Childhood Education in Davao City, celebrates its 25th founding anniversary this 2017.

“It all started with a small dream of having a preschool with various learning areas, a simple playground, and developmentally appropriate materials for the classroom. I soon realized that the only way to dream is to dream big. And, these big dreams cannot be rushed”, says CBB president and school director Rossa Charissa Omac-Gavino who is fondly called as “Teacher Chari”.

Photo credit: Annie Paz-Lim
So, she took several trainings and employed research-based programs to create a curriculum that incorporated tested and brilliant strategies in determining what to teach and how to teach young minds.
“Perseverance, passion, teamwork, and the constant pursuit for excellence, have brought CBB to be regarded as the city’s premiere preschool that it is today. Our success is a manifestation that teamwork makes the dream work”, enthuses the CBB president.

“I genuinely believe that excellence is what CBB stands for because I have seen the exceptional human beings who have all learned the CBB way and I have heard first-hand testimonials from parents attesting that our way works. It is this constant and consistent striving for excellence that has gained the trust of stakeholders and propelled CBB along these twenty-five glorious and remarkable years”, happily shares Teacher Chari.


To pay homage to CBB’s success in the last 25 years, a Grand Alumni Homecoming entitled “CBB @ 25: A Homecoming, Tribute, and Celebration”, with Chelsea Logistics as the event presenter, was held at the Davao Convention and Trade Center with no less than President Rodrigo R. Duterte as the guest of honor.

Photo credit: Office of the President
“It was truly a night of nostalgia through songs and dances, as all the presentations allowed the audience to look back and reminisce on CBB’s humble beginnings and its successful journey to its first 25 years”, describes Teacher Chari.

CBB alumna Chelsea Denise Uy talked about how CBB has been part of her life. And, how in the future, when they, CBB Babies, all have their own careers and making a big impact in Philippine society, will make CBB proud and represent their first school in a good way.

In her speech, Chelsea said "I truly envision a future of women and men working hard, changing the Philippines for the better, and for the child in them to always remember being a CBB student. That once, they themselves were learning and striving in this school and they were making their parents and teachers proud as they were growing up".

Beautifully styling the anniversary venue was Annie Paz-Lim and her dynamic team. On the other hand, LCB Performing Arts Center Foundation, Inc. amazingly choreographed the various production numbers.

Giving back

The homecoming, considered as the highlight of CBB’s year-long observance of its anniversary, also helped fund the heart of this celebration---service to the community.


Traditionally, CBB has conducted several trainings, for free, to assist public school and daycare center teachers in teaching preschoolers and pupils in the early grades.

“CBB has been steadfast not only in providing the best early childhood education to its students but also in committing itself in uplifting preschool education for the marginalized sectors of our community and even in the far-flung provinces of Mindanao”, narrates Teacher Chari.

Through the offices of the City Mayor and the 1st District Congressman of Davao City, the Local Government Units of Digos City, Mati City in Davao Oriental, Davao Del Norte and Compostela Valley, CBB has conducted trainings for public school and daycare center teachers and provided them with the necessary classroom materials and resources to implement specialized programs in beginning reading and writing.

For this momentous 25 years, CBB conducted this training on a grander scale with the support of Chelsea Logistics and the City Government of Davao.

“Six hundred and fifty (650) teachers from the City Social Service and Development Office, the beneficiary of the anniversary show, representing all the daycare and child-minding centers in Davao City were given free six-week training sessions on Early Literacy. The topics included the Lindamood Bell Learning Processes, the Handwriting Without Tears, and CBB’s very own “Musical Letter Sounds” program”, details Teacher Chari.

“CBB would not be what it is today without the people who played such important roles in this journey to silver. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude to my teachers who have been with me since the very beginning and to the team that I have now; the loyal CBB parents who believed in our vision and who always support us even after their children have graduated; and to our CBB babies who continually make us proud. Thank you, everyone. I look forward to more years of sharing this exciting journey!”, ends the passionate school director.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Shiloh sets sail at seven

“Shiloh sets sail at 7”
Sun.Star Davao, October 21, 2017

Much like the unwavering Disney character Moana, Shiloh Rae Digal is fondly described by her loved ones as a risk taker, imaginative, and headstrong.

Born prematurely at 7 months old, Shiloh came to the lives of her dear parents Jun and Lorna “Yaya Lorn” Digal after ten years of marriage. “Seven years ago, we lost hope of having a child. My husband and I went through a lot of difficulties. Every time the work-up was unsuccessful, we ended up frustrated”, Yaya Lorn recalls in the vernacular.

Then, one day, as Yaya Lorn was riding a jeepney, she saw a kid with special needs. She silently prayed to God that if it was His will, to bless her and Jun with a child. The well-loved longtime household manager promised that whatever the child’s condition would be, she would wholeheartedly accept it. After a month, Yaya Lorn had a pleasant surprise----she was six weeks pregnant. Indeed, by faith all things were possible!

Collaborative love

Shiloh, the Digals’ most awaited blessing, recently celebrated her 7th birthday with a Moana-themed party adoringly organized by her multi-talented Davao Christian High School teacher Lyn Constantino at the Bonhomie Leisure and Resort in Mabini, Davao Oriental.

   “We chose this venue because it resembled the scenery in Moana’s ‘Motunui’ and had a   very relaxing island vibe”, explains the energetic Teacher Lyn.



  With only two weeks to prepare for the affair, Teacher Lyn collaborated with equally artistic church workers from the Panabo Christian Community Church headed by Malachie Dela Rosa and Nova Leopardas, and her fellow DCHS co-worker Edgar Verano who did the impressive life-sized styrofoam Moana characters of Maui, Hei Hei and Pua.

Shiloh even had a captivating Moana-inspired birthday photo shoot with ‘Maui’ (a.k.a. Ryan James Nagayo) in full-body faux tribal tattoo and armed with a magical fish hook stunningly captured by Marlon Guillano Photography.

The ocean is calling

  Aside from being the busy hands-on event and photo shoot planner, Teacher Lyn acted as the vibrant party host and hilarious game master who brought the house down with her amusing games which included the ‘Island Dance’ and ‘Bring It to Te Fiti’.

   Meanwhile, Kenneth Jei Digal bagged the best costume (male category) for his ingenious “Hei Hei” costume while Juliet Digal Won was the female winner for her ethereal “Te Fiti” get-up. A special award was likewise received by Cherry Digal for the “Sina: Moana’s Mom Look-Alike” contest.

  For the giveaways, Yaya Lorn, who has traveled to different countries with the Ong family through the years, shared her vast collection of hotel slippers and toiletry sets gorgeously wrapped in colorful packaging. In addition, the Digal family innovatively turned shells handpicked from Digos into welcome leis for the attendees.

  When the cheerful celebrant blew the candles on her three-dimensional Moana birthday cake beautifully created by Daisy Jane Cimafranca, Teacher Lyn asked what her birthday wish was; to which the adventurous Shiloh swiftly exclaimed, “I wish I can go wherever I want!”.

     Undeniably, in signature Moana fashion, Shiloh has set sail for life’s exciting adventures at   7!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Metro at Cinco: Healthier families just get better

 “Metro at Cinco: Healthier families just get better”
Sun.Star Davao, Oct. 7, 2017

Finding out that there is no available room when your loved one needs to be urgently confined in a hospital is an absolute nightmare for any parent.

In 2010, Davao City was hit by a dengue epidemic which caused a serious shortage of hospital beds. I’ve personally known of some families who let their kids stay in their homes monitored by a doctor or nurse as hospitals could no longer accommodate them during that crucial period.

It was also around this time that a group of health professionals and investors saw the need to meet Davao’s growing demands in quality health care. Thus, in 2012, the Metro Davao Medical and Research Center, Inc. (MDMRCI) or more popularly known in Davao City as Metro Hospital, opened its outpatient clinic and services to the public. These included the Laboratory, Diagnostic Radiology Imaging Center, Cardiovascular and Neurology Unit, and Pharmacy.

In 2013, Metro began operating its eight-story modern hospital. It offered a comprehensive range of medical and paramedical services aside from being a clinical research center. 

Family-friendly hospital

Five years later, Metro has become one of Davao’s most reliable family-friendly hospitals with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and the home of competent doctors and staff, not to mention its accessible location and convenient parking area.

The 135-bed Metro Hospital is Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Phil Health) accredited, and boasts of “bigger rooms and wider beds”, plus its no surcharge and no holiday rates advantage.

Metro Hospital has a naturally-ventilated building which is very welcome news for patients and hospital visitors (especially the elderly and children) as good ventilation and adequate sunlight lessens the risk of infection. In addition, special units are maintained by positive and negative air pressure ventilation.

Advocating healthy lifestyle

“Metro Hospital refers to its outpatient building as “Health Science and Wellness Center,” mainly because they want the hospital and medical center to be an advocate of healthy living, apart from providing treatment to the sick”, says Metro Hospital Chief of Clinics Dr. Jett Lu.
MDMRC Hospital Chief of Clinics, Dr. Jett Lu 
“What makes the facility different from others is that it provides proper guidance to people to help them attain a healthy lifestyle. The center prides itself with doctors specializing in aesthetic and anti-aging medicine, hair and scalp diseases–hair transplant and restoration, gynecologic oncology, sleep medicine, hematology, and other specialties of different clinical departments”, he elaborates.

“There is a total of 109 clinics covering majority of the subspecialties.  Included in this center are a spa, diabetes center, weight management, hearing center, reading, occupational and developmental therapy, dialysis center, and rehabilitation center”, adds Dr. Lu.

Health care with a heart

Committed to provide excellent healthcare services to its patients, the dedicated people behind Metro Hospital proudly assure that they offer “Health Care with a Heart”.

“The Diabetes Ambulatory Care and Wellness Center does not just give treatment to people with diabetes. They also have counseling to the families and relatives of the patient for them to fully understand the situation and bearings of the patient”, details Dr. Lu.  

In addition, Metro Hospital’s Cancer Center is one of the hospital’s premier centers. “We know cancer treatment is expensive.  A day-stay at the Cancer Center is thus provided in Metro, where patients need not be admitted to undergo chemotherapy, transfusions and infusions”, cites Dr. Lu. 

“Highly skilled and compassionate staff man each cubicle of the unit to provide all the special needs of cancer patients from diagnostic, therapeutic, counseling and support as we win them back to health in a sterile and friendly environment.  All our adult and pediatric oncologists, hematologists and immunologists have been trained overseas”, Dr. Lu shares.

Metro at Cinco

Metro Hospital recently commemorated its 5th year anniversary celebration with the theme, “Metro @ Cinco, High Five! Healthier Families Just Got Better”, at the Davao Convention and Trade Center.

The affair was an unforgettable gathering of Metro Hospital’s doctors, medical staff, and personnel to celebrate the institution’s continued success for the past five years. Doctors Lara Torno, Jessie Orcasitas, and Mae Gallardo acted as the evening’s engaging hosts.
The evening’s hosts: (L-R) Dr. Lara Torno, Dr. Jessie Orcasitas, Dr. Mae Gallardo

Mrs. Lelen Valderrama, Assistant Hospital Administrator (Second from left) 
enjoys the photo booth with the hospital staff.
(L-R) Quality Control Head Althea Robins-Lorenzo; Chief Nurse Deborah Juliet Omran; HR Director Jill Dailisan; Infection Control Nurse Monica Ysulat; Nursing Service Training Officer Sheila Mae Pacalda
(L to R) Dr. Cookie Bolcan, Dr. Maya Taojo, Dr. Honey Abarquez (standing), Dr. Chanille Go-Herrera, 
Dr. Mae Gallardo, Dr. Sherria Ann Lu, Dr. Rommel Bernardo
Instead of inviting a high-profile personality to deliver the Guest Speaker address, Alex Bacus, one of the hospital’s first security employees was bestowed this prestigious honor. Another pioneering ER nurse, Zyril John Navaja, extended his well wishes to the crowd.
A break from tradition, one of the hospital’s first security employees Mr. Alex Bacus 
gives his address as the Guest Speaker.

Mr. Zyril John Navaja, Pioneering ER Nurse gives his well wishes for the crowd.
Medical Director Dr. Yvette Yenco-Tan and Hospital Administrator Dr. Linell Malimbag likewise delivered their respective messages during the joyful occasion.
A message from the Medical Director, Dr. Yvette Yenco-Tan
Hospital Administrator Dr. Linell Malimbag delivers her inspiring anniversary message
 and shares her big plans for the institution.

The hospital’s “Topnotcher Physicians” were given special recognition and cash gifts by Metro Hospital Board of Director Geoffrey Yenco as well.

Ob-Gyne Department Topnotchers receive the traditional “Ang Pao”; (L-R) Dr. Jessie Orcasitas, 
Dr. Maya Taojo, Dr. Ailyne Gerona, Board of Director Geoffrey Yenco

A big high five to Metro Hospital for giving Dabawenyo families quality health care for the past five years!

We share photos of this happy milestone by Ariel Yanong of Blank Pixels.

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