Last September 28, 2018, St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina (SSAM) learned about a maligning post by a group called STAP (Save the Angels Project) in its Facebook page.

In one of its posts dated September 27, 2018 at 9:27 pm, it criticized and accused the school run by the Benedictine sisters in relation to the school’s use of Dengvaxia vaccine as part of its dengue prevention program. The school allegedly gained financially, allowed the connivance between the school physician and a parent who is a Sanofi medical representative, covered up the cases of hospitalized students, and threatened parents to keep silent about the issue.

Upon inquiry and investigation, the school found out that there were SSAM parents who were invited to attend the Parents’/Leaders’ Forum at DOH Convention Hall last September 28, 2018, from 9:00 am-3:00 pm. As a requirement for their entry, they were asked to bring documents from the school (receipts, letters, etc.) to confirm that their daughters received the immunization. They did not know that these documents will be used and uploaded on social media. The manner by which these were used by STAP was clearly meant to discredit the school and cast dishonor not only to the administration but also to the Benedictine sisters.

St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina (SSAM) vehemently and categorically denies any of those allegations. The school would like to answer each allegation point by point.

  1. On monetary gains

The school did charge the parents an amount of Php 3, 400 for the cost of each immunization shot which is lower than its suggested retail price range of Php 5000-6000 in private clinics. The payment was made through the school and the whole amount was remitted to Sanofi Pasteur Philippines, Inc. As a private institution, the school is not a recipient of the free vaccine coming from the Department of Health.

  1. On connivance between the school physician and a parent who is a Sanofi medical representative

The school’s conduct on the matter had been transparent and above board. The members of the Parents-Teachers Association Board (SSAM-PTA Board) were consulted regarding the proposal to disseminate among the parents the information about the immunization. The PTA Board approved the proposal including the Php 3,400.00 amount per dose, and so letters were sent to the parents. On voluntary basis, a total of 126 out of 3, 215 students availed of the vaccine, some of them are siblings of the students. Names of vaccine recipients were submitted and acknowledged by the Marikina City Heath Office and the Barangay Marikina Heights Health Center. There was no reason for the school at that time to doubt the government’s effort through the Department of Health in its use of Dengvaxia vaccine to prevent the rise of dengue victims.

The Sanofi Pasteur Philippines, Inc. medical representative is also not a parent of SSAM.

Monitoring and follow up was conducted among the vaccinated students. Some students received the complete dose of three shots while others discontinued upon learning the new findings about the vaccine. A circular containing the advice of Health Secretary Francisco Duque on what to do in case symptoms manifest was also distributed to the concerned students.

This matter has been referred to the school’s legal counsel for immediate and appropriate action.

Love Thy Neighbor

Love Thy Neighbor

Last July 18, 2018, Sister Alexis Lamarroza, OSB coordinated with Mr. Ryan Salvador, moderator of Marikina PIO to give the donations collected during the Feast Day of St. Benedict and the 8 sacks of rice from the donations of the Grade 6 Batch 2017-2018 graduates to flood victims of Marikina. These were delivered at Malanday Elementary School where 78 families were evacuated. Thanks to the generosity of the students and parents. SSAM Grade School Department was able to alleviate the condition of the people in the flooded areas.

Pakikiisa sa Barangay Security Force

Pakikiisa sa Barangay Security Force

Ika-21 ng Pebrero nang isinagawa ang ikalawang bahagi ng Social Involvement Program (SIP) ng mga mag-aaral sa ikaapat na baitang. Katulad ng unang bahagi na isinagawa nung Setyembre 15, 2017, muling naging panauhin ang mga miyembro ng Barangay Security Force (BSF) ng Marikina Heights. Bukod sa mga Barangay Tanod na katulad ni Kuya Francis Borja, may mga tauhan din ng BSF na nangangasiwa sa Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) desk. Nagbigay sila ng dagdag-kaalaman sa mga mag-aaral na maaari silang lapitan kung may mga nais idulog na insidente ng pang-aabuso sa mga kababaihan at mga bata.

Sa pahayag ni Ginang Pelante, muli niyang ipinaalala ang malaking bahagi na ginagampanan ng BSF upang maipatupad ang mga ordinansa at mapanatili ang katahimikan at kaayusan sa pamayanan. Binanggit din nya na dahil sa kanilang katungkulan, maaari din silang matawag na “The Avengers” at dapat silang pasalamatan sa kanilang mga ginagawa.

Naging maayos ang programa na isinagawa ng mga mag-aaral katulong ang kanilang mga guro, mga PSRs, at SIP Volunteers. Tuwang-tuwa ang mga bata sa mga palaro na inihanda para sa kanila na isinagawa kasama ang mga miyembro ng BSF. Maligayang nakilahok ang panauhin sa mga palaro at maging sa pagsayaw na pinangunahan ng mga mag-aaral na kasapi ng Junior Dance Club.

Bilang pasasalamat, nagbigay ng munting regalo na nagmula sa mga mag-aaral at PTA sa mga panauhin, sa isang matandang tagapangasiwa ng parking ng mga sasakyan sa Liwasang kalayaan at pati na rin sa mga Security Guards ng eskwelahan. Lubos naman itong ikinatuwa at ipinpapasalamt ng mga kapita-pitagang mga panauhin.

Kulasaya 2018

Kulasaya 2018

Every year, Saint Scholastica’s Academy of Marikina conducts a school fair, which is usually held on the first Friday and Saturday of February. It is a 2-day event that celebrates the feast of St. Scholastica as well. Scholasticans, together with their families and friends, enjoy a wide variety of rides, games, booths, and more.

The fair begins with the Holy Eucharist at the High School Quadrangle. For this school year, it coincides with the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, also known as the Candelaria. After the Mass, the students proceeded to different places. There were many booths. At the Sacred Heart and Sister Joaquina Dining Hall area were the food booths, with a wide variety of food, such as barbeque, shawarma and pizza. The senior high school students prepared and sold cupcake and popcorn. Well-known food suppliers had pop-up booths as well.

Three rides at the grassy area in front of the lobby were Vikings, Caterpillar, and the Elephant Carousel. These rides were enjoyed by all ages. From teachers, grade school and high school students, parents, siblings, and even students from different schools.

There were different stalls and booths that sold merchandise and other goods that are trending to children and teenagers like flower crowns, shades, caps, Korean items, and shirts. For high school students, they enjoyed the “jail booth” wherein assigned grade 10 class officers catch those whom they find is appropriate for the criteria they are looking for.

Not only were there much food to eat and items to buy, but also there were many arcade games at the SLH. There were games to play and many prizes to win. While the school fair was on-going, events and performances were held at the new building, also called as the “Band Collision”. The school community and invited bands played songs on their instruments and sang favorite tunes.

The High School Dance Concert was another event a lot of students were eager to go to. The High School Dance club prepared and practiced for a long time for this event. They performed cultural dances and modern dances.

On the second day, the Field Demonstration was held. The MAPEH Area worked hard for this special event every year. Students from Kindergarten until Grade 10 practiced hard for a successful performance.

There was also a Mini Bingo Socials at the SICC.

The jubilant and joyous mood continued for the rest of the day, but all events must come to an end. To formally end this year’s school fair, the Thanksgiving Liturgy occurred at the SICC to praise and thank God for the wonderful blessings received for this year.

This year’s school fair is truly a joyous and successful one. Everyone had time to enjoy, relax, and have rest from all the schoolwork. I’m sure we’re all eager for the next one.

Ardenti Palmarum

Ardenti Palmarum

The Holy Season of Lent begins with the Ash Wednesday. Catholic churches all over the world, as well as St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina, prepare the congregation and the students to better appreciate Christ’s death and resurrection through self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting and self-denial. Through the CLE classes, students were asked to bring palms from previous year’s Palm Sunday and these are burnt in the Rite of Burning of Palms on February 13. With these ashes, the priest marks a cross on the foreheads of worshipers, saying, "Remember, man, that dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return" (Genesis 3:19). Besides showing sorrow for sins, those who honor Ash Wednesday add an additional meaning; the need to prepare for a holy death.

Did you know that …

… the palms remind us of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem?

… palm trees have two different types of leaves: palmate and pinnate.

… not all palm trees are "trees," and not all plants called "palms" are truly palms?

… the first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday?

… the day before the Lent begins is called Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras?

… Ash Wednesday has a non-Christian origin and was accepted into the beliefs of the Catholic Church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD?

… Ash Wednesday is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, however, from Biblical times, sprinkling oneself with ashes has been a mark of sorrow for sin?

… the original meaning of “lent” is “spring”?