Several MS Education foreign students with their Section Head, Dr. Linda Acierto, came together on August 29 to go to Paliparan, Dasmarinas, Cavite, on their first community extension program. Assisting them were MS Education alumni were Ms. Lyn Dizon, Head of Community Development in Arellano University, Ms. Dela Paz Retirado, an alternative education specialist of the Dept. of Education, and Ms. Corazon Katigbak, of ASI’s Human Resource Development Office. Social Development VP- Prof. Dennis Batoy and Field Exposure Coordinator Ms. Niobe Espinosa led the small ASI group to conduct an ocular survey and to meet the youth scholars and women representatives of the Samahan ng Kababaihan ng Paliparan.
ASI had been assisting the Paliparan community in the mid 1980’s since they were transferred from their first informal settlement community along Diosdado Macapagal Avenue in Pasay, where they had started a day care center for the young children of informal settlers influenced by the Senden Home, the first home for Manila streetchildren founded by ASI Pres. Dr. Mina Ramirez, after the death of ASI founder, Fr. Francis Senden, CICM, in 1974, who had a soft heart for the helpless streetchildren.
A former ASI registrar, Atty. Carmen Maluto, a licensed social worker and faculty in Social Work, had started the support and advocacy for the Paliparan community in Dasmarinas, Cavite, with the “Samahang Bisig Lakas ng Paliparan” in 1986. It now has a training center in lieu of the day care, and in 2009, Prof. Dennis Batoy had organized the “Samahan ng Kababaihan ng Paliparan” whose members have developed their social enterprising skills by creating products for their communities and interested parties. Currently, JAFS (Japan Asia Friendship Society) with ASI support some 55 young scholars of Paliparan with their schooling needs like transportation, school supplies and other adjunct school fees.
For Dr. Linda Acierto and her students and team, this will be the start of a continuing partnership with the Paliparan community, with emphasis in learning skills in values formation and career orientation for the young scholar, and for the MS Education students to engage in meaningful field and community extension programs to help realize the vision and mission of ASI. It is also providential that ASI alumna Fr. Claro Sumaque is the parish priest of Paliparan Chapel, and had signified support for the program.