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Books for brighter kids/ QC’s Parangal awardee

FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - November 1, 2017 - 4:00pm

Five new series of textbooks are ready for use in the elementary schools in line with the Department of Education’s K-12 basic education curriculum. These books for Grades 1 – 6 pupils are meant to develop their  thinking skills, explore and investigate the world around them, strengthen their love of country and deepen their understanding of our culture, and give lessons for active involvement and participation in learning activities. 

 These textbooks are the latest “babies” of SC Mardison Corp., a printing, publishing, importing and bookselling company in the Philippines. These were launched at the Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel Hotel by the  company’s managing director, Ulysses Poblete Crisostomo, and  executive editor and author, Florencia  DC. Domingo, Ph.D.

The increasing popularity of ebooks  does not deter students’ learning comprehension, nor gradually phase out printed textbooks, Ulysses said. An article titled Ebooks vs Printed Books, which Is Preferred Now? says a study conducted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop found that “literacy building in children is more effective with a printed book than with an ebook because of the centralized focus on the story and the opportunities for interaction between the child and the parent reading the book with the child.”

Ulysses said the study confirms that “while ebooks also deliver the story, and encourage children to participate with interactive add-ons, there is no conversation and nothing to encourage the child to verbalize or explore using language. In fact, the research concluded that sometimes ‘click-through’ added features can actually detract  from the reading experience because of all the interruptions.”

The book Araling Panlipunan sa Bagong Panahon, is a series of reference textbooks for social studies. Answering the apprehension of concerned citizens over the “rewriting” of Philippine history (like not mentioning the abuses committed during the reign of President Marcos, among others), Dr. Domingo said the books present history “objectively.” There is “no history twist,” she added. The company has a roster of  creative writers whose output is carefully evaluated by a jury.

The four other textbook series published by SC Mardison areGet Engaged in English, SparkScience, Filipino sa Bagong Panahon and Get Engaged in MAPEH, a textbook series for music, art, physical education and health opportunity for active involvement and participation in learning activities.

If the SC Mardison textbooks ensure pupils’ learning abilities, there’s more to expect with the company’s partnering with Chan Huang Yee of Singapore, the educator  who imported Singapore math into the country, who will propagate another Singapore method that teaches kids to read before they turn five years ago. The method, Ms. Yee told the Bulong Pulungan media, is called “I Can Read,” as  a ”literacy and English language service provider that teaches children to recognize not only letters but clusters of letters.” 

SC Mardison Corp. was founded by Simon Mossesgeld Crisostomo, who finished his BS major in electronics communications engineering at the University of Sto. Tomas. After college he successfully built his ECE career, which peaked as he became vice president of an international security systems firm, the ADT Systems New York. Upon his return to the Philippines, he established companies with various lines of businesses, such as in electrical supplies, alarm automation, and property development and management. His latest visionary endeavor is publishing state-of-the-art books and curriculum materials for private and public schools to prepare them for the challenges of 21st century education. 

SC Mardison stands for Simon Crisostomo, founder of the company, while Mardison is the acronym for the name of Crisostomo’s wife, Ma. Ditas, who now serves as the company chairman and CEO, and Sons representing the Crisostomo children Paolo, Antonio and Ulysses Crisostomo.

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Congratulations to Justice Narciso S. Nario Sr.  who celebrated his 85th birthday last Sunday, with his former law classmates at the University of the Philippines College of Law  (Class 1957) and close friends and relatives. Another cause for rejoicing was his being honored a few days earlier as a  2017 Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal awardee. 

The MLQ Gawad Parangal, begun 78 years ago,  is bestowed on  eminent and exemplary residents of the capital city of the Philippines. 

The award committee describes the city as being “at the forefront in the arena of socio-economic development that is the paragon of many local governments. First imagined by the president and statesman Manuel L. Quezon as a world-class capital and home of the working class, it continues to fulfill that dream 78 years later. Poised to become a strategic business, tourism and cultural hub and a significant player and partner for development, cooperation and understanding in the Philippine and international hemisphere, Quezon City recognizes its critical role in the global stage.”

Aside from former Sandiganbyan Justice Nario, the 2017 Gawad Parangal awardees are Zeneida Quezon Avanceña, Corazon Cristobal Generoso-Iñigo, Cielito F. Habito, John Lesaca, Samie C. Lim, Orlando S. Mercado, Lily Monteverde, Ramon G. Orlina, Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr., Leah Roman Reyes and Dr. Dionisia A. Rola.

Outstanding institutions were also given the Parangal award. They are the AFP Medical Center, Bantayog ng mga Bayani, Bayanihan: The Philippine National Folk Dance Company, Little Quiapo Restaurant, Sulo Riviera Hotel, and the UP Singing Ambassadors. 

            

Of the Parangal awardees, Justice Nario is an idol to my husband and myself, and to members of the  UP Diliman Tennis Club. We have enjoyed his leadership in the sports organization, where he has been president for many years.  He has also been our mentor and adviser in legal matters, and given us clear-minded view  into world and local affairs.  Below is a recap of the justice’s life story as printed in the 2017 Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal souvenir program.

 He is from General Natividad, Nueva Ecija, and a UP law graduate. He joined Nueva  Ecija Gov. Eduardo L. Joson’s legal staff, providing free legal assistance to marginalized farmers. In the political field, he was elected provincial board member of the province, a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa and vice-governor, then governor, of Nueva Ecija. In 1997, he was appointed Justice of the Sandiganbayan whose fourth division he chaired, and in 2005, he was appointed chairman of the Presidential Commission on Government by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

One of his most sterling accomplishments was his authorizing a bill to make education free for students in the province of Nueva Ecija. His act was followed by other lawmakers, resulting in free tuition fees for public high school students in the country.

After his political career, he returned to law practice, and was appointed by President Fidel V. Ramos as Presidential Legislative Adviser and head of the Presidential Legislative and Liaison Office; in these positions he strictly followed his belief that people in government should serve and not be served by the public.

As Justice of the Sandiganbayan in 1997, he handled several high profile cases that have captured the nation’s attention. His steady leadership in the bench restored the dignity and trust of the people in our courts.

He retired in 2002 but was later appointed to the PCGG by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who recognized that the office needed someone with a steadfast belief in fighting for justice to successfully recover ill-gotten wealth.

 email: dominitorrevillas@gmail.com

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