2019 OISCA Children’s Forest Program National workshop in Philippines

For this fiscal year, the OISCA – CFP National Workshop was held in OTTAA Nueva Vizcaya Reforestation Project in Brgy. Kirang, Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya on the 27th to the 30th of November. Participants from 12 provinces in the country attended the said workshop.102 participants composed of 50 elementary pupils, 9 high schools, 24 teachers, and 19 OISCA coordinators, volunteers and resource speakers gathered to celebrate yet another national workshop with another exciting and educational theme. Guided by the theme “Today’s Youth: Enhancement of Biodiversity Conservation Efforts and Carbon Sequestration Potential Appreciation” together with our reliable resource speakers the Workshop went by without a hitch. 

They reported what they learned in CFP Goodwill Ambassadors in japan.
They reported what they learned in CFP Goodwill Ambassadors in japan.

On the first day, registration of participants and rooms were assigned prior to the start of the program proper. Around 10 AM, the OISCA – CFP National Workshop started with Sir Jerson F. Donasco, from DepEd Sagay, Negros Occidental as the host. After the singing of the national anthem of the Philippines and Japan, the Welcoming Remarks were delivered by Mr. Mario G. Lopez, Project Manager of the OTTAA Nueva Vizcaya Reforestation Project followed by a message from the new Secretary-General of OISCA International, Mr. Fumio Kitsuki which was delivered by Ms. Maribeth N. Reboton, director of OISCA Manila Office. Sir Roger Z. Rochar, Education Supervisor of the DepEd Sagay facilitated the roll call of participants along with their cheers about their respective regions followed by the overview of the workshop and house rules to be observed during their stay. This was followed by the review of last year’s National Workshop, presentation of Accomplished Action Plan by CFP Palawan provincial coordinator, sharing of CFP experience from Sir Bernie F. Valdoria of Mamala Integrated School, Quezon and Sir Joel Lyndon R. Panginen of E. Pesa Elementary School, Nueva Ecija, presentation of OISCA activities in the Philippines, testimonial of Sir Mark R. Peralta and  sharing of learning experience of Chersey and Clifton, the CFP Goodwill Ambassadors for the year 2019, and finally the presentation of background of the OTTAA Nueva Vizcaya Reforestation Project.

On the afternoon, Sir Nelson M. Pampolina, Associate Professor 4 in the Department of Forest Biological Sciences, UPLB-CFNR took the stage for his part on the workshop proper. He started on the leveling off of expectations of the participants. He started with these five (5) questions: (1) Why do we need to learn; (2) What are the things you want to learn; (3) What have you discovered when you arrived; (4) What living thing stricken you the most; and (5) How will you share your discovery when you go home. These questions were followed by lessons they will learn and the actions they will take towards these questions. Then, the participants were divided into 5 groups. The groups were apoy (fire), tubig (water), hangin (wind), mundo (earth), and kapwa (spirit). Next was a lecture about the genesis of life and biodiversity. He also presented pictures of different organisms to the participants.  Then, the 5 groups were tasked to make infographics using roots, bark, twigs, leaves and seeds. The participants had their dinner and readied their selves for the presentation of their cultures in forms of dances, songs, beatboxing, and through poems. 

On the second day, a recap of activities was given by selected participants, singing of nationalistic songs and warm up activities.  It was followed by the continuation of Sir Nelson’s workshop proper. He gave a presentation regarding the instruments that the participants will be using in the afternoon for their biodiversity survey. Instruments include the diameter and meter tapes, compass, GPS device, light intensity meter, soil pH meter, and straw string. It was then followed by a nature walk around the Reforestation project and the planting of 200 Pterocarpus indicus (Narra) seedlings. It took the group around two (2) hours to walk and collects materials for their group infographic’s designing around the reforestation project. 

On the afternoon, the group proceeded to different ecosystems (aquatic, shrub land, natural forest, fruit plantation, and mahogany plantation) depending on their groups. The groups established one (1) 5x5 meter and one (1) 1x1 meter plots using the meter tapes and straw strings. After that, participants were given forms where they will record their observations. They inventoried living things found inside the plots like plants, animals, and fungi. Plants with diameters greater than 5 cm were classified as trees and plants less than 5 cm were noted as shrubs. Their numbers and other observations were recorded. Soil temperature, light intensity and climate on different ecosystems were recorded using the different instruments brought by Sir Nelson. Participants also collected leaves from plants to preserve them as herbarium specimens with the use of tags and old magazines. After their fieldwork, participants cleaned and organized their data and computed for different diversity indices while snacks were being served. After that, Ms. Fe T. Nadado from Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) presented a background about PNVSCA. After dinner,  the groups presented their infographics made from materials assigned to them found around the reforestation project. This was followed by a simple activity where participants wrote things started with “#I thought”, “#Now I realize”, and “#I will” about the theme of the workshop on cardboards. 

On the final day, a recap was given by selected participants, singing of nationalistic songs and energizer activities after breakfast. Since the weather was perfect, a team building activities prepared by Sir Jerson were conducted outdoor. This activity showed good teamwork among members of the group.  Everybody enjoyed it.   It was followed by the presentation of their activities on “#I thought”, “#Now I realize”, and “#I will” and their inventory data facilitated by Sir Roger and Sir Nelson, respectively. After the conclusion of activities was given by our amazing resource speakers, post test was given.  The activity includes a ball attached with 10 questions from the discussed points during the span of the workshop; music was played and while it was playing, participants passes the ball until the music stops. The one who had the ball will then answer the question attached to it. Next was awarding of prizes to the highest pointers among the groups.  Followed by the closing program started with the impressions given by selected participants, followed by the challenge by Ms. Maribeth N. Reboton to the participants which was accepted by selected teacher-participant and pupil-participant from NCR and Benguet.  The closing message was given by Mr. Mario Lopez.  It was followed by the presentation of certificates.  After lunch, the participants went their own ways to share their leanings in their respective provinces.

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