International internships develop responsibility, independence and maturity, students say

Midway through the internship program in Thailand, Hospitality Management students of La Consolacion College Bacolod have so much to say about how international internships have changed their lives. Malory Gubagaras, 19, said that her experience has taught her to be more independent and responsible. She said that the responsibilities are real and the company puts the same level of expectations from them as they would with regular employees.

“During the training I started as a runner. I would get empty plates from the guests’ tables, bus out plates and cutleries. But now, I take orders and use the POS. I am made to handle guest requests and sometimes become a chief station. My job is not as easy as I expected it to be, but I learned so much from the experience” added Gubagaras who has been assigned in various dining restaurants and bars of Centara Grand at Central World in Bangkok.

Gubagaras is one of the 30 pioneer students participating in the program based in Thailand, which was made possible through a partnership with ABROS Management Consultancy (AMC). Students are assigned in luxury hotels in the country’s key tourist destinations like Siam Design Hotel and  Ayarra Hilltops Boutique Resort and Spa.

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Read: 31 students hired in Thailand’s luxury hotels for a six-month internship

Michael Ascano, AMC director said that the partners are pleased to have LCC students as they are quick to adjust to the work environment and are equipped with the necessary skills to deliver to the expectations of the international clientele. He added that students tend to progress rather quickly and that they could work well with highly-skilled professionals and more importantly are able to communicate effectively with them.

Students are treated like professionals says Sr. Maria A. Garcia, OSA, Academic Administrative Officer, who made a personal visit last June 2016. She said that some interns are assigned to do more technical work which is different from their hiring assignment. Students were originally hired to do frontline work as front desk operations and food service. Sr. Garcia added that the management saw that some students are capable of doing more technical work so some of them have been reassigned to work closely with the chefs.

Sr. Garcia also said that apart from the salary they are earning, they are provided with decent accommodations that allow them to use facilities as swimming pool and gym. At Siam Design Hotels, students are housed in the hotel itself so they could enjoy amenities free of charge, she added.

Rodjhun Navarro, head of LCC’s Office for Institutional Advancement and Linkages said that the college is consistent in providing job opportunities for students even before graduation through rigid on-the-job training that are not only limited to local partners but also internationally. “If college education is to be seen as an investment, students are getting quick returns from the allowances given to them while on training. That may not be the case in other programs where students spend so much for OJT and are not getting some form of remuneration for their service” he added.

LCC Bacolod also sends students to the US under the J1 VISA program where almost a hundred students have undergone either a 6-month or a 12-month internship in the country’s largest hotel and resort chains like Gaylord and Omni.

Read: US VISA sponsors and industry partners laud interns in America

Gubagaras said that the whole experience being away from her family has taught her to trust her own self more and that she has become a more confident person. “I would recommend that other students aspiring to work in the hospitality industry, to experience practicum outside the Philippines. You get to put yourself in a different culture, you can learn a new language and meet new friends who are not from other countries. The experience is really different” Gubagaras added.

70 complete Amadeus Basic Reservation Course

LCC tourism grads take the edge in airline and travel services employment

Seventy students in the Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management (BSTM) degree at La Consolacion College Bacolod completed the Amadeus Basic Reservation Course, which is a component of the degree program. The Amadeus is a widely-used computer reservation system that supports various airlines worldwide. Knowledge and skills on operating the system give tourism graduates an edge when they look for jobs especially in the airline industry says Dr. Airene B. Gedorio, BSTM program head.

A tracer study for graduates of the past two years revealed that more than 70 percent of those who finished BSTM degree from LCC Bacolod are employed and already have earned a permanent status in the domestic and international industries. Graduates say that communication skills, personality and technical competence were the major factors that influence their employment and their ability to succeed in their jobs.

The Amadeus Basic Reservation course is provided within the BSTM curriculum but one that goes beyond the minimum requirements of the Commission on Higher Education. Dr. Randdie P. Cuelo, VP for Academic Affairs said that LCC Bacolod is determined to provide students with all opportunities to develop professional and technical competence. The college being the pioneer in the offering of the BS Tourism degree in the province remains focused in promoting excellence in these specializations through value-laden programs and educational facilities that match the trends and demands in the industry, he added. Currently, there are 331 students in the BSTM.

A completion ceremony was held on August 10, 2016 at the Millennium Hall of the HRM & Tourism Center where students received Certificates of Completion and Rating handed to them by Amadeus representative Malou M. Avila. Sr. Maria A. Garcia, OSA, Administrative Officer for Academics and organizer of the event said that the administration is pleased to have the parents at the ceremony. One of them who is an OFW said that he’s very happy that the college has included Amadeus in its curriculum. With the qualification, graduates could easily land a job not only in the airline industry but as well as in international hotels, tour and travel industry services where the system is also being used he added.

The course completers are:

  1. Johann Agpangan
  2. Ian Amar
  3. Faith Arevalo
  4. Camille Atas
  5. Tricia Barata
  6. Sherima Baruela
  7. Rica Joy Barroca
  8. Colleen Bat-og
  9. Louise Buenaventura
  10. Ronieville Cabili
  11. April Canlas
  12. Juvy Casibo
  13. Jessa Celiz
  14. Mary Rose Coja
  15. Nelrose Cornelio
  16. Sarah Sheen Cortes
  17. Michaela Custodio
  18. Mary Arden Dagohoy
  19. Mary Joy Declaro
  20. Nissaren Delgado
  21. Angel Dela Cruz
  22. Rosellie Dulosa
  23. Tiffany Esmalla
  24. Summer Espinosa
  25. Aleana Garlitos
  26. Kristen Gicaro
  27. Alexa Hilado
  28. Karen Homecillo
  29. Juleanne Jalandoni
  30. Cheza Lacao
  31. Leanne Lorayna
  32. Pauline Magada
  33. Ma. Consuelo Maipid
  34. Ellyssa Meguiso
  35. Christine Mercurio
  36. Caroline Mesa
  37. Nicole Mesobre
  38. Joanna Montero
  39. Sharmela Nardo
  40. Michelle Navarro
  41. Kisha Odtohan
  42. Princess Olavio
  43. Princess Pagalilawan
  44. Bianca Pangilinan
  45. Erica Pelagio
  46. Diana Pineda
  47. Jessa Pomarin
  48. Angelica Portugaleza
  49. Melie Ramos
  50. Lara Sauce
  51. Krystelle Sinadhan
  52. Katrina Tabudlong
  53. Joyce Tiangson
  54. Hillary Bill Torocio
  55. Divine Trayco
  56. May Jane Trofeo
  57. Anna Leah Torres
  58. Roxanne Torres
  59. Lovely Tuando
  60. Ojelyn Tugade
  61. Naira Tumindig
  62. Shiena Umbao
  63. Kim Valies
  64. Mari JeneVersoza
  65. Mikaela Victoriano
  66. Dhevy Villagonzalo
  67. Jireh Villamejor
  68. Karla Yulo
  69. Khena Zaldarriaga

Psychotrauma and Crisis Management Course gets overwhelming response

The crash course in crisis and psychotrauma management overflowed with five walk-in participants additional to the 20 pre-registered students. The introductory session was held on August 6, 2016, Saturday. Professionals coming from various academic institutions and NGO’s and from across different fields were the first batch of students.  They are guidance counselors, psychologists, teachers, nurses, human resource managers and social workers, a press release from the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education said.

Dr. Ma. Mercedes Joson, Dean of La Consolacion College Bacolod Graduate Studies and Continuing Education said that another wave of the course will be opened in October for those who were not able to join the first batch.

Dr. Johnny Decatoria, a psychologist that specializes in trauma and stress cases, was the featured lecturer of the first session.  His topics on crisis, trauma, and psychotrauma interventions was well received by the participants who engaged with him all throughout the day.  He said that he enjoyed engaging the students who are coming from vicarious experiences.

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The training course will go for two months with Saturday classes that will run for eight meetings from 8am to 12pm.

Read: LCC opens Program in Crisis and Psychotrauma Management

‘LCC through the pinhole’

Students learn pinhole camera photography from visiting friends from Indonesia

An exhibition of photographs taken using pinhole cameras by the Arts & Design and Digital Media Arts students of La Consolacion College Bacolod is currently on display. The exhibits are a product of the Pinhole Camera Photography Workshop facilitated by visiting students from Sekolah Dasar Alam Anak Soleh (SDAAS) in Bekasi, Indonesia.

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The visiting students from Sekolah Dasar Alam Anak Sholeh (SDAAS) gave a workshop on pinhole camera photography.  They began with giving the participants coming from the Arts & Design and Digital Media Arts programs theories on how photography works and how to create a pinhole camera using recycled materials.

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David Meier introduces the visiting students from Indonesia, facilitators and resource persons of the Pinhole Camera Workshop.
Pinhole camera photography is increasingly gaining popularity. Although the conventional technology has long been existent, it is not something people are very familiar with particularly among the younger generations. In countries like Indonesia, pinhole camera photography has been reintroduced in teaching science, art or simply a hobby.   The camera easily captures interest and curiosity because of its ability to take artistic photos using conventional methods and ordinary materials.

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SDAAS is a special school for kindergarten and elementary children coming from poor economic backgrounds. The school was founded by Agustian and offered programs that go beyond the minimum requirement of the Government of Indonesia. For more than a decade, the school survives from volunteerism and support from other organbizations. Agustian’s son, Sultan Aun karbela now operates the school.
The workshop, which was held on August 3, 2016, gave the participants valuable knowledge about historical, aesthetic and technical aspects of this trend said Lj Libunao, a Grade 11 Arts & Design student.  About 170 participants took part in the workshop.

The visiting students guided the participants in constructing their own pinhole cameras.  The students recycled used cigarette and soda cans to form the body of the camera.  A portion was cut from the body to give way for the “lens” and the aperture.  Pinhole photography is non-lens photography. Lens is replaced by a small hole which light gets through and a picture arises in a camera. Students sprayed the interior of the can with a matte black paint to make sure that nothing reflects the light from the inside.  They then placed the negative paper and started shooting, one photo for each paper, which only took about 30 seconds to one minute. The visiting students also taught the participants the conventional photo processing in a portable darkroom and at LCC’s photo processing demonstration room.

 

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Fine Arts students make the pinhole camera from scratch. In this picture, the youngest of the visiting Indonesians, guides them through the process. Agil does not speak English so guidance was done through non-verbal communication. Amazingly, it took only 10 minutes for the students to prepare the “lens” of the Pinhole Camera.
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The following day, photos were organized into an exhibit at the 2nd floor foyer fronting the Integrated School Academic Council Office.

David Meier, a German volunteer who moderated the workshop said that the visiting Indonesians did a good job transferring the technology to the Filipino participants considering the cultural barriers and communication issues.  He added that the practical experience the students gained have led them to discover new interests and showed them how photography works in its easiest form.

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Tiara Ersha Octari addresses a question from the participants.
SDAAS is a special kindergarten and elementary school in Indonesia for the less privileged but deserving students.  The pinhole camera photography is among the co-curricular programs the school has taught the children.  It is supported by KMF Kalacitra and Artha Graha Peduli.

Ten Indonesians were part of the visiting team.  They are Nur Laila, Mutiara Kasih, Pangeran Agil Karbela, Ridwan, Ardi Nata, Nugraha, Tiara Ersha Octari, Sultan Aun Karbela, Tubagus Muhammad Rafi Rizki Dyadra and the Founder of SDAAS, Agustian.

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participants shoot using their pinhole camera.
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A picture of LCC campus through the pinhole.

Indonesian-Filipino Youth: Promoting Intercultural Understanding and Acceptance

Mobility and interaction are among the key social characteristics of our world today. Diverse environments have become the new normal. Rapidly advancing technologies have enhanced our capability to go beyond the borders of our country and expanded our horizons to relating with people from different nations, cultures, religions and lifestyles. Maintaining peace and order has become a major concern as the mindsets of peoples are not easily adapted to the increasingly global social environment, thus the need to promote tolerance.

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LCCB President Sr. Gavina F. Barrera, OSA and Administrative Officer for Academics Sr. Maria A. Garcia, OSA welcome the visiting students from Indonesia

Just recently, news about terrorism has taken over our prime time . The spate of killings by what was believed to be due to the rise of radical extremism proliferated by an Islam fundamentalist militant group called the Islamic State or ISIS, through its extensive and effective use of propaganda.

Despite public criticism and rejection even by fellow Muslim religious groups and societies in the world, ISIS continues to wage its religious war. Because of this, Muslims around the world are generalized and are unfairly being associated to terrorism making them subject to harassment and discrimination especially in places where they are a cultural minority.

In the US for example, a presidential candidate has pledged to ban Muslims from entering the country in the aftermaths of San Bernardino and Orlando shooting incidents, justifying that America has consistently been “under attack from people who believe only in Jihad”. In Europe especially in Britain, there was a “wave of discrimination” a day after their people have voted for the separation of Britain from the European Union spurred by public anger over terrorism and loose immigration policies as among their major issues.

Against this global backdrop, Indonesian and Filipino students are taking steps to promote intercultural understanding and tolerance. An interfaith exchange was hosted by La Consolacion College Bacolod on August 2, 2016. Although Islam is also one of the major religions in the Philippines, there is little understanding of their culture especially in Bacolod City where their population is very small.

In one very rare occasion at LCC, the visiting Muslim students from Sekolah Dasar Alam Anak Sholeh (SDAAS) participated in a Catholic mass as a gesture of openness and respect as they begin their cultural exchange program. The visiting students were accommodated by a class of Senior High School students who likewise gave them the opportunity to share something about their faith and culture. The Indonesians led a Muslim prayer and sung a few songs from Koran.

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Indonesian-Muslims from Bekasi hear the Catholic mass at La Consolacion College Bacolod as part of the three-day cultural exchange visit.

David Meier, a German volunteer of AFS Intercultural Programs Philippines and one of the facilitators of the cultural exchange visit, gave his account on the activity. He said that the activity was an opportunity for him to have a glimpse at two different Asian faiths and culture. He added that it was a great chance to clarify misconceptions about the two religions and identify areas where both share similarities.

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AFS Volunteer David Meier from Germany gives the rationale of the interfaith exchange

The participants engaged in a meaningful interaction which was moderated by Helen Claire Manatad, mentor. Students were amazed to discover many similarities as the belief on the existence of heaven, earth and angels to the cultural traditions as fasting and abstinence.

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The overall mood was friendly and genial. Some visiting students gave excerpts from the holy Koran to the astonishment of the Filipino students who have heard only for the first time. Although the Philippines and Indonesia are practically neighbors, their peoples are not as familiar with each other. The long eras of colonization has westernized the Philippines and culturally distanced it from the other neighboring countries in Asia. But the cultural exchange visit was one that was really enjoyed and appreciated by the Filipino students. They too are hoping that one day, they could travel and immerse with their friendly Asian neighbors.

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In a world where fundamentalism continues to fuel divisiveness, intolerance and hate, there is a great need to promote intercultural understanding and acceptance, said Rodjhun Navarro, head of the Office for Institutional Advancement and Linkages. The interfaith exchange has been one that helped students realize some of the ill-informed misconceptions about Islam and the Muslim culture. They have learned from the international visitors and developed mutual respect and understanding for new cultures, he added.

LCC continually strives to provide opportunities for students to develop cultural sensitivity and opens its doors for cultural and academic exchange. Currently, there are five exchange students from Germany, Italy, Japan and the US and there are more than 50 students of LCC Bacolod currently having their international on-the-job training in countries like Thailand and USA.

 

 

‘Service-Learning taught us to take delight in little things’

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When I asked students about what they think of society today, rarely did I find answers related to their awareness of social issues like poverty or profound answers about life. Often, their views of the world are limited to a description of how fast-paced our society is nowadays and how new buildings rising like mushrooms represent “improvement of life”. No one ever mentioned about other realities like the everyday we encounter with that kid in the street running around asking for money, or that old lady sitting down in the hard pavement hoping for better days to come as we walk pass by her. Human as we are, we tend to sympathize with them or pity them, hoping to do something great that can really change their lives.

Last week, I was given the task to facilitate a service-learning project at a public school – part of what we do in my new job at La Consolacion College Bacolod  is to take the students out to the community. Since working for Volunteer Service Organization, I have become used to community-based engagements and for each, there are always new lessons or a reminder of the ones I have learned before but perhaps forgotten.

I went with the 6th graders to guide them in their activity which involved tutoring younger kids at the public school. For the students, it was a way to apply what they have learned in school while at the same time, learn something new. That rainy Friday was filled with giggles and laughter as our 6th graders taught subjects like Mathematics, Social Studies, and English.

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Most of our students were astounded why the kids at the public school were enjoying despite their condition: jam-packed classroom, not enough materials and school supplies. One curiously asked how the pupils could seem to be okay.

It was, to me, an opportunity to teach what I have learned in life, that is, we should take delight in little things. For the pupils at the public school, having our students giving them time, attention and care are enough for them to be happy.

As pitiful as it sounds, our world today has conditioned us to put our satisfaction in material things. We strive hard to gain material things only to lose our ability to care and love each other, and yet, these are all that really matters./ Benedict Moraña

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Benedict Moraña is a staff at the Office for Institutional Advancement and Linkages, he has a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and he is currently pursuing Law.