Mr. Albert C. Bandoquillo, was recognized as the 2021 DepEd Gawad Siklab Most Outstanding Barkada Kontra Droga (BKD) Adviser. Through efforts, support, and participation of various stakeholders, he was awarded as one of the Top 3 Finalists for the National level of Gawad Siklab. BKD is a youth-based organization aimed at strengthening drug education as one of the solutions in combating the lethal effects and impacts of drugs on youths. He is a graduate of Diploma in Social Studies Education (DSSE), under the Faculty of Education (FEd) of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). He is a public school teacher in a rural school, Taysan Resettlement Integrated School (TRIS) located in Taysan, Legazpi City, Albay, and a part-time Professorial Lecturer in Philosophy at the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Bicol University.

Mr. Bandoquillo expressed his gratitude for the recognition as it represents he had a substantial impact on the well-being of his students. He mentioned the award is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to finding creative solutions to society’s growing issues. He encourages instructors in rural schools to undertake innovation and provide exceptional service despite the challenge of limited resources and hopes that the award inspires their local and provincial authorities to show their support to youth in their town and beyond by allocating funds for even more programs.

Mr. Bandoquillo dedicates the award to his TRIS students, particularly to TRIS BKD officers. He shares: “I wouldn’t have this passion right now without them. As their teacher, their growth as a student and as a person is a driving force that leads me to this recognition. In a society that scares young and underprivileged people to dream big, I will never stop reminding them how valid their ambitions are. I will continuously encourage them, no matter how difficult times have been, to keep pursuing those things they love doing. He extends his gratitude to his department for instilling professional values in promoting quality instruction to learners even beyond the four corners of the classroom. 

Mr. Bandoquillo holding the plaque of recognition as Region V BKD Most Outstanding BKD Implementer with BKD Officers in Taysan Resettlement Integrated School. The organization is also a recipient of the City of Legazpi Red Orchid Award (right) as 100% Smoke-Free Establishment and Plaque of Commendation from Albay Provincial Youth Albay as one of the partner organizations in strengthening youth participation in civic activities.

When asked how the award will help him in his future endeavors, he shared that he intends to keep encouraging more groups and leaders to support their causes through long-term collaboration targeted at helping their students. Mr. Bandoquillo emphasizes that this is only the beginning of BKD-related projects, activities, and events.

“UPOU played a very significant role in awakening my role in contributing a positive change to the community most especially in these trying times.

Mr. Bandoquillo took up the DSSE course with the desire to be a competent educator in his chosen field. He shared “The DSSE curriculum prepared me to be a versatile facilitator of learning” and emphasized that his UPOU education has prepared him for providing flexible instruction during the pandemic, particularly in delivering quality instruction through effectively using technology. Bringing his knowledge back to his community, he initiated the “Gabay Aral Community Facilitators” program for students in their rural community who do not have internet access. The initiative assigns tutors for each purok to assist disadvantaged students with their studies. He also used social media platforms to launch virtual activities to extend their organization’s activities. 

Mr. Bandoquillo with his BKD Officers and parents in Taysan Resettlement Integrated School during his UPOU Virtual Graduation. He insisted on sharing his graduation moment with his students to inspire them to always acknowledge their parents’ efforts in achieving one’s success. 

As a UPOU student, he says participation in a variety of learning activities honed his critical and constructive thinking skills, which he now passes on to his present students. He also shared that being a part of UPOU has given him a sense of belonging. “A home that nurtures its learners to be an agent of productive change and a home that challenges its students to be the best version of themselves” he expressed.

“UPOU has instilled in me to put into action the maxim bayan bago sarili” 

Mr. Bandoquillo was also recognized by the Schools Division Office of Legazpi City Taysan Resettlement Integrated School with the 2019 Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award. He is also the founder of Prutas para sa Pangarap, an organization that provides free sewing machines to deserving youth and teaches them how to create doormats, facemasks, and carpets for sustainable livelihood.

Written by PRGuevarra and ACBandoquillo