KA NOEL’S SPEECH AT THE DINNER DANCE AT REMBRANDT HALL
SCARBOROUGH, TORONTO JULY 26, 2003
Thank you very much for the very kind introduction….To our host, the Paetenian International Canada Chapter, their President, Mrs. Thelma Mendoza Jacuban. To Kang Ver Madrinan, President of the Federated Paetenian International, Sa aking mga tagapag-ampon sa twing pupunta ako ng Toronto, kay Ka Onie and Ka Benny Cadawas. I must not forget to greet my one and only “commander in chief” and financier Evelyn Cadayona. I’d like to acknowledge each and everyone of you tonight, but I have only 5 minutes to do my thing, that means 4 minutes of introduction and 1 minute of speech proper. Kaya hindi ko na po kayo iisa-isahin at baka may makaligtaan pa ako ay mabawasan pa ako ng boto. So to be safe, TODOS LOS SANTOS, A VERY PLEASANT AND SMILING EVENING TO ALL.
Speeches are boring, I know, specially on occasions like this where everybody is itching to mambo and to cha-cha and to tango. I could almost read your faces, “come on, we came here to dance. If we want to hear a sermon, we’ll go to the church”. Just let me share with you an incident inside a church. At the middle of a sermon, the priest noticed that nobody was paying attention. Some are yawning, men are going out to light a cigarette. So he paused for a moment, then in a very loud voice he said: “I saw a mother pig and 9 piglets, and it is very strange that the mother pig and the 9 piglets have horns on their foreheads!” Suddenly, everybody was very attentive. Those who went out step right back, all ears and eager to hear about those pigs with horns on their foreheads. And the priest said: “Look at you people, when I was talking about the truth and the words of God, nobody was paying attention, now that I’m telling you lies, everybody is listening!”
Now, I’ll be talking about the truth of the “Alay Computer Project”. I hope you won’t fall asleep. And no yawning please. I have appointed a secret agent with a camera. Any body caught yawning will be fined $100, all proceeds will go to the “Alay Computer Project”.
As far as I can recall, the “Alay Computer Project” was conceived in cyber space by three professors who are members of the paete e-group. Professor Angel de Dios, a professor in Georgetown University in Washington. Professor Anne Lan Cagahastian Candelaria a professor in Ateneo University in Manila and Professor Rey Carolino. Rey is not a University Professor, but he professes that he is always after the welfare of Batang Paete, and therefore to me is more than a professor.
The Alay Computer Project is very appropriate and very timely because of the pressing problems in our public school system today. 93%, that is 14 million out of 15 million elementary students go to public elementary schools. There is a reported acute shortage of Text Books and Instructional materials. In comparison, American students have 140 times more reading materials available to them than their Filipino counterparts. Therefore, Alay Computer will truly fit in as it will not only fill the gap in the lack of instructional materials, but it will also foster creativity, cooperative and collaborative learning, self direction and access to remote sources of information. And therefore, the objective of Alay computer is very clear, that is to give the elementary pupils of our 3 schools, the opportunity to be abreast with the Modern Computer Technology in order for them to be competitive with their counterparts in the modern world. It’s vision was expressed poetically in a poem entitled “Pagdating ng Panahon” in the book of poems “Mga Tula Ni Kaka” by Ka Noel. It says:
Elementarya pa lang ay nagsasanay na,
Sensiyang pang “Computer” na teknolohia.
Hindi pahuhuli bagkus nangunguna,
Ang Batang Paete kay husay talaga.
The computer laboratories have been installed at the three elementary schools with 16 brand new computers at the PES central, 5 at Quenale Elementary School and 4 at Ibaba. We have completed the training of 22 teachers trained by no less than the chief of computer science department of Ateneo de Manila and actual hands on training have started at the opening of classes last June to be part of the curriculum for the 3 elementary schools.
The implementing arm of the “Alay Computer Project” is a foundation dully registered at the Security and Exchange Commission under the name of PAETENIAN ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY , PAETECH in short. Anne Lan Cagahastian is our very energetic Chairman of the board and our esteemed president, who will not settle for any thing less than excellent is Mr. Raul Roque. We have 7 Board of directors and 2 honorary directors in the persons of Rey Carolino and Dr. Angel de Dios.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our benevolent benefactors who have made this project possible. First and foremost is Dr. Angel de Dios who unselfishly contributed U.S.$ 10,000 for this cause. Although it is unfortunate not to have him here tonight, lets give him a big round of applause. Then we have the P.I. Chicago Chapter headed by Mr. Joven Ortiz who lend the foundation $ 2,000.00 which was used as the show money in registering the foundation to the SEC, on top of their US $ 800 contribution. Tonight a very good friend, Mady Madrinan Rivera, will hand over a check worth U.S. $ 2,500.00 as their contribution to this project. There are a lot of individuals who have contributed, too many to be mentioned here, some with $500, P1000, 100 swish francs, C$500. Those who don’t have money, like me, volunteered as work horses, from directors to dish washers. To those who have already given their support to the Alay Computer Project, in the name of the officers and members of PAETECH, our sincerest gratitude. For those who are thinking of supporting the Alay Computer Project, thank you in advance and please hurry up. For those who are not thinking of supporting the project, tubuan sana kayo ng tighawat sa magkabilang kilikili para kayo’y makiliti at maisipan din ninyong suportahan ang Alay Computer Project.
Our young school children will be the future leaders of our town, our province, maybe, our country, who knows. As parents, it is our duty to equip them with modern tools for them to be prepared for such great responsibility. Finally, as Felly Casilag Burgdorfer said: “I wish you enough”. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbyes. But most of all, I wish you enough money for you to share your fortune with the young children of Paete.
Thank you for not sleeping, good night.
LETTER OF THANKS
From Anne Lan Kagahastian-Candelaria
Chairman of the Board
Paetenian Alliance for Education & Technology, Inc.
On behalf of the men, women and children of the Alay Computer Project, I would
like to express my deepest appreciation for all the generosity all of you have
1. Mrs. Mady Madrinan Rivera, who, as Rey puts it: "use her charm and
persuasive power in convincing the association that our Alay Computer Project is worthy of this donation (S2,000)." Indeed, the children of PES, QES and IES will be very happy to hear this great news. All of us over here are working
extra hard to provide not only the hardware needs but also enhancing the capability of the people to make sure that this project can eventually stand on its own.
2. Dr. Angel de Dios, for his untiring support and patience from the very
beginning of this project. His dedication and passion in realizing his dream
gave the project its "drive". Rest assured that the children will go beyond
Word, Excel, and Powerpoint -- Alay Computer is beyond technology. Alay Computer is all about putting heart and soul into technology, using technology as a tool to strengthen one's heritage and tradition, and remembering one's roots.
3. The PI Canada Chapter and all chapters who believed in this worthy
project. May all of us not forget Paete, the town that gave us fond memories of growing up, making lifetime friends, falling in-love and falling out-of-love, and embracing family and tradition. We are all Paetenos, in spirit and
in blood. Let us help the future of Paete live their own dreams, have their
own memories of love, life, friends and families through giving them a sense
of hope -- that they can be whatever they want to be if they strive hard enough.
To all of you who have been with us since the beginning and who continues to be with us today, thank you. The journey has just begun for the Alay Computer Project. We still need your support to continue this quest -- all for the children of Paete.