Isang Makabuluhang Araw ng Kalayaan (A Meaningful Day of Freedom)!

by Michael T. Sebullen and Genevieve B. Kupang


This year’s Philippine Independence Day shone even brighter in Sitio Lusod, Barangay Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet, thanks to a heartwarming outreach activity. On June 12, 2024, Baguio Central University College of Nursing and School of Midwifery (CNSM), Graduate School and CBA deans, faculty, students, personnel, and staff, in partnership with Lusod Community School, CHED-CAR, DepEd, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 15 Tech Support Company, the Office of Benguet Congressman Eric Yap, the Municipal Health Office, and LGU Tinongdan, Itogon, conducted a medical mission, “Operation Tuli,” educational talks, and free haircuts for boys and men at Lusod IP Community School, themed “Revolutionizing Education and Health, One Step at a Time.”

 Embodying the spirit of volunteerism and the BCU core value of Equity. The CNSM team heads towards Sitio Lusod, Tinongdan! Leading the way are Dean Gina Casi, Sir Jomar Valerio, and Sir Jesse Bantali, accompanied by dedicated students: John Lloyd L. Villar, Cyril Pacis, Gwyneth Robles, Jadie Campol, Xing Ling, Jirah Kingad, Krisha Ubungen, Aira Nicole Lab-isa, Ronalyn Fagronod, Ruby Abenoja, Mariecris Dalingay, Ken Tecson, and Brenda Gumabay. (The photo doesn’t include the two additional groups of volunteers who came in separate jeepneys).

Philip F. Fowaya, the Head of Lusod Community School, welcomes the BCU partners, staff from the Office of Benguet Congressman Eric Yap, CHED-CAR, DepEd Benguet, Itogon municipal health workers, and members of the RMF Battalion 15 Tech Support Company.

Nurse Instr. Priscilla Dela Cruz and Sir Karl Kiw-is distribute vitamins and medicines to partners in Lusod after consulting with Dr. Ma. Joralyn Bahingawan.

This collaborative spirit between various LGU line agencies and Baguio Central University exemplifies both the true meaning of freedom–serving and uplifting communities – and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in action, particularly SDG #17: Partnerships for the Goals, SDG #3: Good Health and Well-being (providing free consultation, medicines, vitamins, “operation tuli,” and information), and SDG #4: Quality Education (offering educational activities and resources).

A Lusod elderly woman has her general health consultation with Dr. Bahingawan while her grandson looks on.

Regional Mobile Force Batallion 15 Technical Support, PNP-CAR (PCpt Rolando S. Mores and Pat Jenel R. Biala) offers free haircuts to male attendees.

With grateful hearts, the Municipal Health Office, led by Dr. Ma. Joralyn Bahingawan, receives the donated kitchenware! A big thank you to the BCU Graduate School representatives (from R-L, Engr. Lorelie S. Malit, Ms. Sheenah Pearl Pangda, Dr. Edna Culbongan, Dr. Janice D. Alejandrino, Dr. Remedios O. Laroco, Dr. Genevieve B. Kupang, Dr. Joralyn Bahingawan) and staff.  We especially recognize the generosity of the Graduate School faculty and staff who contributed funds to make this donation possible.

Heartfelt thanks to our Graduate School Faculty, Staff, Students, and our partner, the International Center for Social Research, Peace and Development, for their donations! Together, we made a difference. #gratitude #givingback

With the support of our Graduate School Faculty, Staff, Students, and our partner, the International Center for Social Research, Peace and Development, we were able to buy kitchen wares and goodies for our outreach partner. Special thanks to Ma’am Christina M. Wallang, Ma’am Nelia Depaynos, Ma’am Ellaine E. Besilan, Dr. Remedios O. Laroco, Dr. Criselda S. Felix, Dr. Michael De Roxas, Dr. Lyha L. Fias-ilon, Dr. Lilian Pagulongan, Dr. Janice Alejandrino, Dr. Samuel Neyney, Dr. Manion Alcantara, Dr. Jose Balcanao, Dr. Jennifer Longchasen, Dr. Jolly Mariacos, and Dr. Genevieve B. Kupang. Their generosity has made a  blessing to the community.

The Joy of Giving. Ma’am Jirah Siddayao and Dean Casi assist a young schoolgirl in selecting clothes that fit her. Additionally, school supplies are distributed by DepEd and a partner from Makati City, along with slippers and hygiene kits from the Office of Benguet Congressman Eric Yap.

GS Dean Dr. Genevieve B. Kupang and GS faculty Dr. Edna Culbongan charmed the audience with their storytelling of “Love You Forever” and a captivating cultural chant greeting.

This initiative exemplifies the university’s commitment to community service and the collaborative spirit of the region. Through this partnership, the outreach activity provided much-needed medical services and valuable educational insights, making a significant impact on the local community and embodying the essence of Independence Day by fostering unity and service.

The Office of Congressman Eric Yap were represented by Ma’am Jirah Siddayao; Atty. CJ Dalen, Sir Steven Omedio and Sir Aubrey Vaugn Pilsona. MHO Dr. Oliver P. Guadaña, Community physician Dr. Ma. Joralyn Bahingawan, from DepEd Regional office represented by Dr. Mayclair Aquino Jimenez, from CHED who represented by Dr. Bernadette C. Pal-ec.

Jennelyn Minong, a young mother of two from Lusod, beamed, “Masaya ako ta napan kayo dito, at nagpapasalamat kami ta adda ti inted yo nga tulong.” (We’re so happy you’re here! Thanks for your help). (28 years old, with Eron Kyle, 8, and Ayiesha, 5 months old). At 79, Maximo Ataban, one of the owners of the heritage house and the community’s oldest resident to receive medical care, expressed his deep appreciation. ‘There are no words,’ he said in Ibaloi, ‘thank you for coming. We hope you return soon.’

Safety and Education! Dr. Genevieve B. Kupang and P/Sgt. Edwin Wakit discuss future collaborations, aiming to address the root causes of conflict, promote crime prevention through educational initiatives, and ensure a safe community for all.

 Mr. Astor M. Olao, past president of ALFA (Farmers’ Association) and community representative, expresses heartfelt thanks from the community.

All partners received the certificate of appreciation signed by the Barangay Captain of Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet, Edwin O. Atumpag. The program was expertly and joyfully guided by Instr. Emerson C. Soriano, a faculty member from the BCU College of Nursing and School of Midwifery.

The BCU Graduate School is grateful to the students, faculty, and Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Midwifery for inviting them to join this student-led outreach initiative.

This is one in a series of two regarding this outreach activity. Our beloved Baguio-Benguet continues to radiate brightly and prosper in the light of freedom and loving service!

#ArawNgKalayaan #OutreachProgram #Health/EducationOutreachPH #JoyofService  #MeaningfulOutreach  #UNSDGs #MeaningfulCollaborationofIPCommunityPNPAcademe&HealthWorkers