May 23, 2024

Stella Maria L. de Guia

The most significant lesson in “face-to-face” classes as differentiated from “online or virtual classes” during the Covid-19 pandemic is the essence of cultural diversity.

Post pandemic, children are again able to mingle and socialize to better understand their existence, oanongaba ng pagkataoko?..

From different meaningful discussions, “Cultural diversity is about appreciating that society is made up of many different groups with different interests, skills, talents and needs. Children are able to recognizeother people in society who have different religious beliefs, ways of living, cultural dances and expressions.”

It’s appreciating diverse ways of thinking, cultural behaviors, color of skin, ethnicity, languages and way of living. And that we need to respect each other’s  idiosyncrasies.

And so, I was happy to watch the children’s cultural shows whether representing local Philippine festivals or international country representations.

I must congratulate the hard work of teachers, staff, parents and founders of the Baguio Multicultural Institute (BMI) at Cooyesan Hotel Plaza alongNaguilian Road.

The costumes, presentations and dedication can be seen and felt. So much innovation and effort to showcase cultural diversity. And of course, the happy faces of the children and their dynamic performances is a sight to behold!

Nakakatuwa at nakakataba ng puso! Added to this, are the proud parents happily snapping photos of their children in so many different ways and angles.

Hay…this lola had so many good memories of the same experience which has now been passed on to her daughter-in-law.

Founded in 2013, the BMI School is headed by Dr. Co An, honorary chairman and founder; Roger Tiu, chairman/president; and School Rector Engr. Nestor Yao. 

Together they envisioned a caring and compassionate school where “learners” that’s what they call their students can mingle .learn, live, lead and serve the multi-culturalcommunity and  environment. It is where ethnicity can be understood.

The school started with some toddlers and kindergarten learners 11 years ago. It gradually progressed to Grade 10. Mandarin classes is their asset. And if the student learns it well,  he or she can  carry the asset thru  their adult years.

Laoshi or Mandarin teachers Erlinda Loma-ang and Josie Magno are valuable ladies.

The celebration on Feb. 29 to March 1 showcased some of the different festivals in the Philippines like Pamulinawen in Pangasinan; Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon; Maskara in Bacolod; Longanisa in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur; Panagbenga in Baguio City; and Sinulog in Cebu. (Photos by Jacqueline de Guia and BMI)