Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Lamp that Made a Magna Cum Laude

One of the winning entries to the 2014 Photo Contest in the observance of Fire Prevention Month.
The picture above does not show the actual lamp that made me a Magna cum Laude. Rather, it is similar to the lamp that made me a Magna cum Laude. It is a kind of kerosene lamp, an improvised and home-made lamp being fueled by kerosene.

Out of poverty, the kerosene lamp served as my light in my academic journey. I didn't had access to electricity until I was in early 20's when my family moved to a relative's house with electricity. I am so grateful for the lamp that I included it in my high school valedictory address.

I encountered the kerosene lamp again as I recently judged the photo contest of the Bureau of Fire Protection in the observance of Fire Prevention Month in March. With the theme, "Isulong ang kaunlaran, sunog ay iwasan; kaalaman at pag-iingat ang kailangan", photo contest entries came from all over the Philippines.

The lamp above reminds me of my past. I was like the girl in the picture. I experienced poverty but the lack of material things did not shatter my dreams. Now, I am part of the government's workforce committed to the protection of the country's economic gains through fire protection.

The picture below is another winning entry of the photo contest that I am referring to. It is another reminder of fire safety. On the other hand, it still reminds me of my childhood and schooling days. During that time, a candle was more expensive to use than a kerosene lamp. That is why my family had to prefer to use a kerosene lamp over a candle.

In my present job, it doesn't matter whatever lighting we use or keep. The more important thing is how we use those light safely so that we can still achieve our dreams amid poverty. 

Let us keep inspiring children and our very own children to continue learning and to keep the "light on." With that, they too, cannot just be a Magna cum Laude but perhaps a Summa cum Laude as well.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Children Silently Speaking on Fire Safety

My nose bled in judging the best of the best outputs of students from all over the Philippines last March. The Bureau of Fire Protection gathered all entries of high school students in drawing, essay writing and poster making contests on fire safety in relation to the observance of Fire Prevention Month.

In the final judging, four of us, judges, selected the best three for each category one afternoon at SM North EDSA in Quezon City. The entries were focused on 2014's theme of the country's fire prevention month obsevance: "Isulong and kaunlaran, sunog ay iwasan; kaalaman at pag-ingat ang kailangan."

The photographs here are some of the students' winning entries. These masterpieces now form part of the property of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). The student winners all received cash prizes from the BFP.