Supporting DepEd’s Brigada Pagbasa at Bagnen Elementary School & Gotang Primary School

by Genevieve Balance Kupang and Estella “Pacita” Wanden

A Joint Initiative Featuring Book Donations, Storytelling, and Cultural Exchanges

A literary event at the Bagnen Elementary School and Gotang Primary School in Bauko, Mountain Province demonstrated Baguio Central University’s (BCU) and partner organization’s steadfast commitment to Community Extension Services (CES) and the promotion of literacy beyond its campuses. Several key departments including the Graduate School, College of Business Administration, College of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts, Library, and the Student Affairs Office, collaborated to organize this educational initiative. It featured a captivating storytelling session, a formal ceremony to commemorate book donations through a MOA signing and a Deed of Acceptance signing, enriching cultural exchanges, and a delightful sharing of food. As noted by Dr. Janice Alejandrino, the CES activity also underscored a profound sense of community and camaraderie among all participants.

Book donations from Golden Values School (GVS) and C&E Publishing House enrich the BES library as learners (R) eagerly carry the books with their teacher’s assistance. On the Left is Hon. Emerita Garon, the co-founder of GVS and the president of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction.

Before this event, Dr. Genevieve Balance Kupang, Dean of BCU’s Graduate School, reached out to Golden Values School (GVS), World Council for Curriculum and Instruction (WCCI), and C&E Publishing House Inc. in Manila and Batangas, to secure book donations for Bagnen Elementary School (BES) and Gotang Primary School (GPS) in Balintaugan, an adjacent barangay of Bagnen, Bauko, Mountain Province. The generosity of these benevolent partners contributed a total of 1,688 books valued at P171,200.00. This significant donation not only promotes literacy but also supports DepEd’s initiatives such as Brigada Pagbasa and Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) Time in these two public schools.

Creative Storytelling

Dr. Genevieve B. Kupang, a creative storyteller, engages with BES students and young parents as she narrates and sings ‘Love You Forever’ by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw. Photo credit: BES.

These books are a treasure trove for the eager minds of BES and GPS students. We also learned that BES generously shared the books intended for high school with the nearby Bagnen National High School. This collaboration not only reflects the spirit of SDG #17, emphasizing partnerships for the goals but also underscores the significance of collective action in achieving sustainable development for our Filipino indigenous learners.”

The MOA and the Deed of Acceptance Signing capture the collaboration between BES as the beneficiaries, BCU, and other community benefactors. Seated from L: BES Adopt-A-School Program Coordinator Ms. Freda B. Wadwadan, BES Teacher-in-Charge Marilou O. Papsa-ao, and BCU Dean of Graduate School Genevieve B. Kupang, BCU Dean of the College of Bus. Admin. Dr. Janice Alejandrino; Standing from L: Rev. Fr. Lawig B. Ngaya-an, the parish priest of Barangay Bagnen; Reading Coordinator Ma’am Clarima G. Poyongan of Gotang Primary School; Head of Library Ms. Clarence K. Fagyan, Head of Student Affairs Office Ms. Sheenah Pearl Pangda, BCU faculty members Engr. Lorelie S. Malit, and Mr. Marcial Awat.

The occasion, “Turning Pages, Building Futures: A Celebration of Book Donations, MOA Signing, and Reading Revelry,” was designed as a symbolic event and a tangible expression of support for the Department of Education’s Brigada Pagbasa, akin to the globally recognized DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time. This shared commitment to literacy aligns with the broader mission of Baguio Central University, Golden Values School, C&E Publishing House, and the WCCI to engage actively in community development, transforming education as a catalyst for positive change. As BCU takes the lead in initiating such endeavors, this collaboration stands as a testament to the power of education, community partnerships, and shared goals in fostering a brighter future (SDG#17).

Top Left: Sir Christopher W. Lao-e, the emcee for the day. Top Right: Student leader Owen B. Angayan delivers his vote of thanks. Ma’am Clarence K. Fagyan shares that this occasion is timely because November is the Library and Information Services Month with the theme ‘Read, Reread, Relive!’ Down Right: BES learners.

Bagnen Elementary School’s Teacher-in-Charge, Ma’am Marilou Papsa-o (3rd from the right standing), joins BES faculty, parents, and BCU partners in a memorable photo capturing the collaborative spirit of the occasion. Photo credit: BES.

Bagnen Elementary School Teacher-in-Charge Marilou O. Papsa-ao, parent representatives, and the BCU partners: from L: Ms. Clarence K. Fagyan, Library Head, Dr. Genevieve B. Kupang, Dean, Graduate School, Dr. Janice Alejandrino, Dean, College of Business and Administration, Ms. Sheenah Pearl Pangda, Head, Student Affairs Office, Engr. Lorelie S. Malit, Faculty of Teacher Education, Liberal Arts & Property Custodian, and Mr. Marcial Awat, Faculty of the Graduate School, CTELA and College of Nursing and School of Midwifery. Photo Credit: Leonor Bagnos, BES.

This is an original chant artfully composed and translated by Mrs. Estela Colanga Wanden, the beloved and passionate Coordinator of the Indigenous People’s Education (IPEd) Program from Bagnen, and performed with gusto by the parents of BES as a heartfelt welcome to their esteemed partners from BCU:


Gawis ay wakgat am-in
Owas di menlamlamnin
Agew nay sim-mingising


Good morning everybody
Cold morning, nature's icy gentle touch
The sun emerged gradually

Mengasing nan u-ubbing
Nay asi da yayagking.

Joyful are the children
Skipping, frolicking, and playing.

Intako men-iyaman
Nay dadlo ay inumdan
Agew di men-uubongan
Intako men-ag-ag gong
Ulnong di simpangabong

Thank you, Almighty God,
Finally, the day has come.
A day of family bonds,
Sharing cultural stories spun,
For both IP and BCU, as one.

Dadama ng ragsak mi
Ken dakayo ay bisita mi
Tulong yo ay nanumo
Nanapno si sursuro.
Mendawes nan binub-o
Basaen da nan lib-lo
Puonan day matago

We are truly fortunate,
Blessed with books, a precious gift.
Knowledge within, we cherish,
A tool for generations to nourish.
Pursuing ambitions, we stand,
Navigating life hand in hand,
United with nations, we cope,
Guided by wisdom and hope.

An-ak mi ay oskila
Esten yo ay mangbasa
Sin Tulong di mimistra
Nemnem yo et mabesa
Lumawa ng linglingka
Way laton kasiyana
Wadan enyo diploma
Ay matago isnan daga

Anticipating our beloved learners
Guided by our teachers so dear
Read the books that expand your minds
Guiding you to success
and molding the way
For a better life and
sustainable progress


O Apo ay Kabunian
Inka kad baniniyan
Bisita mi’y enumdan
Ili mi ed maudan
Amed mo bindisyunan
Biag da et masuntoan
Tay tulong dan ad-ado
Sayangdan ay sumsumbo.



Oh, dear Lord, we ask and pray
Guide, and direct them (visitors) every day
Give them power and bless their way
Coming here is not easy
“Long Life! says Bagnen people
Cause more help is deserved by all
By other learners of every school.


As an expression of gratitude, the community partakes in an indigenous dance and gong playing led by Rev. Fr. Lawig Ngaya-an, Bagnen Elders, Barangay Council Members, Teachers, Parents, and BCU partners. Photo credit: Jovelyn Diaten, BES.

Expressing deep gratitude for the warm hospitality of the BES academic community, the BCU partners extended heartfelt thanks. Appreciation was conveyed for the warm welcome, comfortable accommodations, inspiring speeches from student leaders, abundance of delicious food, captivating cultural presentations, expressions of unity, collaboration among all stakeholders, and meaningful partnership.

Mabuhay ang lahat ng donors and beneficiaries. Mabuhay tayong lahat! (Long live all the donors and beneficiaries. Let’s all live!)

About the Authors:

Estella “Pacita” Wanden. An indigenous wisdom keeper, a known composer, and chanter, an Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) Program implementer of the Department of Education in Bagnen Elementary School, Bauko, Mountain Province. She is blessed with seven children. She shares her gift by teaching the children, youth, and elders in her community. She has the talent of instantaneously composing songs and chants that rhyme which the community and visitors appreciate and enjoy.

Dr. Genevieve Balance Kupang serves as the Dean of the Graduate School at Baguio Central University. She is a Leadership Team Member for the Exceptional Woman of Peace Award at Pathways to Peace, a UN Peace Messenger Organization. Dr. Kupang chairs the Special Interest Groups and serves concurrently as the Peace Education Coordinator of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction. Furthermore, she is an incorporator of the Asian Social Institute and a lay member of the Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue of CBCP.