When we celebrate, we are very serious about celebrations and enjoy celebrations. Walang celebration kung walang music, dancing, or prayer of thanks (There is no celebration if there isn't any music, dancing, or prayer of thanks)," enthused Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones as she addressed teachers from all over the Philippines who converged in Ormoc City, Leyte for the annual celebration of National Teachers Month.
As one of the strongest partners of the DepEd, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) readily accepted the government agency’s request to help support the culmination of National Teachers Month last October 5. In line with their advocacy for inclusive growth, the bottling firm sponsored the celebration, providing treats and prizes for the hailed second parents of Filipino schoolchildren.
"We have been a long-time partner of DepEd and we eagerly celebrate the value of our teachers who sacrifice so much in the shaping of our nation's future." said Monique Castro, Corporate Affairs and Communications Senior Manager of PCPPI, whose yearly Brigada Eskwela and school feeding programs punctuate their regular partnership with the government organization. "PCPPI's consistent commitment to quality education is also cemented here through supporting our beloved educators, promoting their holistic welfare by participating in initiatives that honor them and their undeniable value to society."
Aside from supplying free goodies available to teachers all throughout the day, PCPPI also encouraged teachers to show off their gifts through a talent show that highlighted their hidden skills outside of the classroom. The beverage giant made sure they enjoyed themselves with engaging activities and games where they can win prizes and have a good time, all while being refreshed by their favorite Pepsi products.
Since its launch in 2008, the DepEd has elevated the usual teacher’s day celebration normally held in schools into a national celebration for educators nationwide--akin to Mother's and Father's Day.
Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez and her husband, Ormoc city mayor Richard Gomez expressed their pride hosting the event in the city of beautiful people despite being hit with calamity after calamity, the most recent of which was Typhoon Ompong. The 4th district representative of Leyte commended teachers for their dedication, calling them superheroes and magicians for the multi-faceted roles they play in the lives of every student they nurture.
“The underlying principle has always been, that by the time we are done and when we move on to other things, we have to make sure that what we leave behind is so much better than what we found,” Torres-Gomez said. “The world is a much better place because of all you teachers.”
This year's theme, "Gratitude In10sified" highlights ten successful years the government and its partners in the private sector celebrated teachers through National Teachers Month. DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali recalled the humble observance National Teachers Month started with and beamed how it has now grown for 6,000 teachers in its host city, the biggest celebration thus far.
"What we are doing here is different," he said. "The government isn't the only one celebrating but those from the private sector as well."
"The yearly celebration of Teacher's Day and their month-long appreciation from September to October—the longest in the world—is undeniable evidence that the Philippines holds at a high regard the contributions of teachers nationwide," added Castro. "With that, the support of companies like PCPPI is further proof that teachers are not only essential and significant to the communities we operate in, but also are key partners in building the nation."