March 29, 2022 marked the culmination of a year-long construction project undertaken by Philippine Allied Enterprises Corporation (PAEC), the exclusive Philippine distributor of Bridgestone and Firestone tires in the country, when they turned over and inaugurated the new single-story 3-classroom building in the Talogtog Elementary School (TES) in Mangaldan, Pangasinan.
The construction and donation of the classroom building was part of PAEC/Bridgestone Philippines’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in cooperation with the Department of Education (DepEd), Friends of Hope, Inc. and the Masonic brethren of the Alfonso Lee Sin Memorial Lodge 158, where Gilbert Sanchez, the proprietor of GNS Auto, the largest Bridgestone tire dealer in Pangasinan, is closely affiliated with.
The heat of that hot Tuesday afternoon was overshadowed by the festive atmosphere around the school, especially with the lively music provided by the TES School Band. At around 3:00 PM, the masters of ceremonies, Lemuel Bautista and Myla Sevillena, started the program. After the various opening hymns, Rev. Fr. Jose Laforteza gave the invocation to bless the afternoon’s activities.
The welcome address was delivered by Reynaldo Javier, the president of the TES Teachers’ Club, and was followed by the opening remarks of Catherin Manuel, the vice president of the Federated Parents Teachers Association (PTA). Both speeches were filled with gratitude for the blessings that the school had received from the donors.
Meaningful Turnover Activities
The donors and the audience were asked to move to the newly-built 1-story 3-classroom building for the turnover activities that included the ceremonial ribbon cutting, the exchange of the Philippine flag with the donor, the unveiling of the classroom markers and the donor’s wall, and the signing of the Deed of Acceptance between the donors and the school administration.
While Rev. Fr. Laforteza was blessing the new building, the parents of the students who will be using the new classrooms were impressed with its first-class construction, which was also designed to generate employment for local construction workers, carpenters and craftsmen. The parents were also happy that each classroom had an individual toilet for the student’s use.
Hope for the Future
After the turnover ceremonies and photo opportunities, the donors and benefactors were each asked to plant their Trees of Hope to signify their involvement in the development of the TES students as the hope for the future of Mangaldan and Pangasinan. In his message, Talogtog Barangay Kagawad Eduardo Caballero, representing Barangay Captain Macario Caballero, thanked Bridgestone Philippines, friends of Hope, Inc. and other donors for helping improve the elementary education of the children of their constituents.
Public School District Supervisor Dr. Minerva Serafica recalled how she told the teachers and staff of TES that they are blessed for being chosen for the classroom donation. Representing the Mayor’s Office, Helen Aquino expressed Municipal Mayor Mary Marilyn De Guzman Lambino’s heartfelt gratitude to Bridgestone Philippines and the donors for choosing to help improve the facilities of their public elementary school.
More Blessings in Store
The female teachers of the school surprised everyone, including their students, when they presented a very hip dance number that one audience member commented was “worthy of being posted on Instagram or Tiktok”. Friends of Hope Programs Associate Geraldine Escano expressed her gratitude to Bridgestone Philippines for their partnership in this endeavor while Senior Warden Paul Co, Jr. announced that his brethren in the Alfonso Lee Sin Memorial Lodge 158 will donate more than P200,000 worth of school needs and supplies as their commitment to TES.
In an inspired analogy, PAEC/Bridgestone Philippines Marketing Manager Allan Santos described elementary education as “the ‘tires’ that enable the vehicle we call ‘society’ to move forward”. He said that any vehicle will not move without tires and added that while Bridgestone is famous around the world for quality tires, they also believe in the importance of quality education, hence their commitment to helping improve the classrooms for the TES students.
After the ceremonial awarding of the Plaques of Appreciation to the donors and benefactors, including individual plaques for Santos, PAEC VP for Marketing Leslie Tagle-Dinglasan and PAEC President Marc Tagle, everybody gamely posed for group photos, which was followed by genuine camaraderie while partaking of the refreshments prepared by the TES teachers and staff.
Editor’s Note: Inspired by the donations made by PAEC/Bridgestone Philippines, Friends of Hope, Inc. and the Masons of Alfonso Lee Sin Memorial Lodge 158, Power Wheels Magazine made a small donation of several books and magazines for the library of Talogtog Elementary School as well as a couple of folding beds and some medicine for the school clinic. We want to thank Ford Group Philippines for lending us a Ford Ranger pickup truck (equipped with Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires) that we drove to transport our meager donation from our base in Quezon City to Pangasinan. We hope that through this story, we can inspire you, our dear readers, to extend any help you can provide to further improve the quality of elementary education in public schools.