It wasn’t merely a one-day event; it represented a lifelong commitment, an enduring promise. – Mr. Christian Anthony Valino, SWBO
To instill values of empathy and active involvement while reinforcing the school’s anti-bullying campaign, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (ESP) teachers, and the Supreme Pupil Government (SPG) of Montessori De Sagrada Familia’s Elementary Department joined forces to set an eloquent precedent within the Sagradan community, embracing the theme “Be an Upstander, Not a Bystander” during their inaugural character formation program for the school year at the MDSF Gymnasium, September 15.
In a concerted effort to support the campaign, the program featured three exemplary Sagradans who bravely stepped up and shared their first-hand experiences, setting a powerful example of what it means to be an upstander rather than a bystander.
Zairich Althea Castillo shared her personal experience as a victim of bullying, urging everyone to embrace and love their true selves.
Isabella Sophia Cruz also provided insights on how to practically deal with bullying situations, emphasizing the power of empathy, which is the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s situation.
“Let’s open our eyes, stand up, and reflect,” Cruz highlighted.
Furthermore, Alexis Robert Nuesca, amid shouts of anticipation, shared his own experiences and encouraged students to utilize freedom of expression and highlight the role of upstanders, especially in outnumbering the bystanders who unintentionally side with potential bullies.
In addition, Mr. Christian Anthony Valino, the Student Well-Being Officer, together with Mr. Gene Carlo Sayo, facilitated the event through the core principles of A.C.T., which stands for Ask, Choose, and Teach. These seemingly simple steps carried profound importance in tackling the immediate challenge of potential bullying, Sir Valino emphasized.
“The real and simple antidote to bullying is kindness,” the SWBO professed.
Moreover, the Supreme Pupil Government welcomed arriving Sagradans at the entrance of the gym using “Interact-Tables,” which are desks that contain mini-games relevant to the cause – capturing smiles and enthusiasm as they poised to stand up for all the beliefs they stand for.
During preliminary brainstorming for the event, Ms. Lizbeth Agudon, the MDSF Elementary Department’s Counseling and Testing Officer, eloquently expressed the sentiment that “It takes a village to raise a child.” Keeping this principle in mind, the OSA team and ESP teachers joined hands to create a series of interactive programs structured as Station Rotations. Through these, the students had the opportunity to participate in the ‘Upstander Pledge,’ where they promised to become not mere bystanders but upstanders, active agents of real change in society.
Teacher Maria Carmela Ong, the school principal, underscored in her opening speech that Sagrada is determined to create an environment wherein students can thrive emotionally, socially, and academically.
Notably, the entire program was live-streamed to the lower grade school by the Information Communication Technology Office, ensuring that every level could participate in this important initiative.
Ultimately, this character formation program acted as a significant stride in directly confronting bullying head-on, at its roots, preventing it from escalating further. It emphasizes the indispensable role of early education and mentorship in weaving a culture defined by synergy, empathy, and respect, with the ultimate aim of eradicating the cycle of bullying within our youth and society, once and for all.
-The Sagradan Jr