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EARTHQUAKE DRILL: CARING FOR TCAPS FAMILY

The Philippines being located along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire — an area in the Pacific where earthquakes occur most frequently — we experience a lot of seismic and volcanic tremors. A number of which created massive devastation like the 1990 Luzon Earthquake.

For this reason, the government implemented an act which strengthens disaster risk reduction and management system. The act directs all institutions to exercise proper disaster drills and emergency responses.

It is our responsibility at the Children’s Ark Preparatory School to carry out our own proper training for disaster response. Last July, the school community performed an earthquake emergency drill which aimed in teaching staff and students how to respond appropriately to earthquakes.

The drill reiterates the “duck, cover and hold” practice which is dropping down to the floor, taking cover under a table and holding on to its posts.

The exercise includes teaching our students the proper attitude in times of disaster. Little helpful reminders such as “Don’t Run” and “No Pushing” or “Refrain from Returning” to classrooms/buildings and proceeding to evacuation areas.

TCAPS also encourages our young students to express their feelings such as fear, anxiety or anger. We listen to them carefully and offer reassurance. Restoring their psychological normalcy is part of the earthquake drill.

The Childrens Ark Preparatory School ground serves as an evacuation area sufficient and very much easily accessible to everyone during an earthquake. Also, the DAHHA Clubhouse can serve as temporary shelter when needed.

The earthquake/disaster drill is an important part of the school’s preparedness plan. We see to it that we provide maximum preparedness for our students and ensure their safety in times of danger.

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TCAPS DAY CAMP AT LA MESA ECOPARK

How do you decide if your child is ready for a camp if he/she has never been to a camp? Trust the Scout Masters.

Some may not realize just how good the experience camping really is. Camping is a creative, educational, and cooperative outdoor living experience. It contributes significantly to physical, mental, spiritual, and social growth of it’s campers.

The Children’s Ark Preparatory School held a Day Camp last March 27 at the La Mesa Dam Ecopark in Quezon City. The Ecopark is an ecological nature reserve site which is part of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system — the dam which supplies most of the water supply in Metro Manila.

A nice and cool place to walk around and commune with nature, the Ecopark is a great venue for camping. Our day camp was under the guidance of Teachers Kellie Grace Santos and Jona Biescas, our Scout Masters. Some of the activities include hiking, knot tying, mapping, neckerchief knots and folds, and other leadership skills training.

Our Scouts have come together to have fun and at the same time have a sense of independence as they try new adventures away from home.


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FOR THE LOVE OF ANIMALS

They say you can always tell about a person by the way they put their hands on an animal. There are those who feed their animals first before sitting down to dinner. And then there’s C.A.R.A.– Compassion and Responsibility for Animals. A non-profit NGO made up of animal lovers dedicated in helping the plight of animals in the Philippines.

Formed in 2000 without government support and eking out from private donors, CARA aims ‘to make the Philippines an animal compassionate country.’ Especially the most domesticated ones, cats and dogs to which, oftentimes, man is more humanely related.

C.A.R.A. or CARA Welfare Philippines provides cheap sterilization, veterinary care, as well as pets recovery, rehabilitation and retrieval.

Essentially, it’s a life-giving advocacy in many ways.

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For the love of animals, the Childrens Ark Preparatory School sponsored a rap session as to our cherished pets, together with C.A.R.A’s senior volunteer educator, Mr. Eric Suguitan — a leading voice in animal-welfare concerns.

Mr. Suguitan opened up our kids to words like compassion and empathy for their furry, feathered, and finned friends.

The idea is to promote prevention of cruelty to animals and RESPECT to those who are different — with kindness.

The wisdom of the National PTA Congress states it very well: “Children trained to extend justice, kindness, and mercy to animals become more just, kind, and considerate in their relations to each other. Character training along these lines will result in men and women of broader sympathies; more humane, more lawabiding, in every respect more valuable citizens.”

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Other CARA missions include providing veterinary consultations for low income pet owners through the CARA veterinary clinic; to promote Trap/Neuter/Return in barangays, villages and commercial establishments; to provide caring and responsible homes through our adoption program; to educate citizens about animal welfare and the stray animal population and; to promote no-kill pounds and shelters

For more information please visit CARA website.


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LAST STOP: BIORESEARCH’S LOST EDEN EDUCATIONAL PARK

The final stage of the Children’s Ark Preparatory School’s outbound tour is a visit at the BIORESEARCH’s Lost Eden Educational Park — a four-hectare sanctuary where species of birds, bugs, insects, variety of fishes and all sorts of plants and vegetations can be found.

Located right at the heart of the bustling Metro Manila, the place is a haven for ecologist and nature-lovers. It holds a total of more than two million creatures and thousands of plant life.

TCAPS students enjoyed touring around the park while learning from the lectures delivered by BioResearch tour guides. The place may appear like a plain veterinary clinic from the outside, but once you step in, it’s a totally different scenery. BioResearch’s Lost Eden is not just a place for fun with the flora and fauna, but a place for research and studies as well.

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BioResearch started as a pet shop four decades ago. Today it is equipped with the right facilities and resources needed to shelter endangered animals. For that reason, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has designated the park as a Wildlife Rescue Center.

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BioResearch’s personnel gave us a pre-tour briefing on facts about the plants and animals on display before we take pleasure viewing lines of aquariums, a pool of turtles and reptiles, birds, and a greenhouse. At the center of the park is a market of various herbs and other greenery from around the Philippines.

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Facilities at the Lost Eden includes a lengthy aquarium strip of various freshwater ornamental fishes from all over the world; a periculture learning space at the honey bee gallery; a Butterfly Farm; a Koi Pavilion; Dog and Cat Mansion; the Central Park; the Rainbow Tree House which is said to have been built around a 200 year-old tamarind tree; the Bird Mansion and; the Turtle World.

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The Children’s Ark Preparatory School believes that for students to acquire optimum knowledge, they sometimes have to step out of the boundaries of the the four corners of a classroom and learn from a wide range of experience and activities that go above and beyond what they usually encounter.

This years outbound tour, which took place in fun and safe environments have broaden our students’ horizons; provided a variety of new learning opportunities; improve their team-building skills and; and refreshed their sense of camaraderie.

These things are not always accessible on a day-to-day basis. The tour has undoubtedly rejuvenated their sense of confidence and self-awareness and encouraged them to go for more new experiences!


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PARENTING TALK: RAISING CHILDREN OF CHAMPIONS

Miss Ellen Rojo is a Psychology graduate with a master’s degree in Divinity — an academic degree in religion or pastoral profession. We had the good opportunity of having her brainstorm us more on raising children apace with God. You see, most people in today’s world seldom recognize the principles of God as the force that will lead to a stable and joyous upbringing.

Raising kids is one of the most laborious and toughest task in our lives. Although it is the most valuable and most gratifying activity, we refer to it as “the hardest job in the world.” There are good times, of course, as there are trying times. But none is more rewarding and fulfilling than seeing our children go through life in God’s way.

All we want is to be perfect mothers and fathers. We try to do everything to balance work and home life and when things don’t work, we feel like failures. We try to keep them from troubles, at the same time allow them to experience pain so they’ll be able to handle pain when we are no longer around. Parenthood is both wondrous and tough at the same time.

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Miss Rojo’s talks hinge on teaching children God’s way of life during their childhood in order to have foundation to which they can best rely later on. She catechize the need for parents to instill into their children that God’s way works for us. Or in her words, Producing champion children is a partnership work with God.

Paramount to parenting is to raise children seeing God through their parents’ eyes. A young mind’s perception of God is first and foremost developed through their parents’ example. Even though we understand that not all children brought up in the Church will be bred in God’s image, it is recognizable that efforts are not really wasted.

Miss Rojo expounded more on the Simple steps to start a relationship with God:

  • God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your child
  • Problem: we are separated from God.
  • God’s solution: Jesus
  • We must individually accept Jesus

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Raising kids may be a great challenge. But some champion parents know a few secrets to make things easier. Miss Rojo for example, shared this unbeaten tip she called T.R.A.I.N:

T – trust their DIVINE design

R – respect their needs

A – acknowledge they are individually unique

I – instruct and guide them

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The Children’s Ark Preparatory School understands the thought that there is no greater legacy parents can bequest their children than to have the fullness of blessings that come from bowing to the will of God.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them — Psalm 127: 3–5


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EARTHQUAKE DRILL: T.C.A.P.S ON CHILDREN’S DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Manila is No. 5 on Forbes’ list of 20 Most Earthquake Vulnerable Cities. This is because the Philippines lies on the edge of the Pacific plate or, inside the Pacific “Ring of Fire” — a seismic zone where a large number of earthquakes occur. Since the 17th century, the Philippines has experienced over a hundred deadly earthquakes. The latest being the Central Visayas tremor with a magnitude of 7.2 which hit on October 2013.

In a country prone to these hazards, the government has a continued policy stressing the importance of preparedness when a disaster strikes. In the same manner, the Children’s Ark Preparatory School understands the need for readiness and the unique challenges earthquakes pose on its schoolchildren. Not like other natural calamities, earthquakes occur without warning. However, with the right training and careful planning, everyone can be prepared to react appropriately during and after an earthquake, and with ample provisions ready for use.

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TCAPS stresses the importance of drills and practices and how it can reduce alarm and confusion when disaster strikes. The more kids are educated on preparedness the more they are less likely to panic. Doing the wrong thing during crisis is a terrible mistake.

Most earthquake-prone countries require several drills a year. Last July, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority conducted the Metrowide Quake Drill with the aim of providing a “real-world training scenario in preparation for a possible earthquake in Metro Manila.” This required performance of the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drills and evacuation of premises.

Our teachers didn’t have a hard time conducting this SHAKE DRILL as our kids show great enthusiasm for the exercise.

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The July 1990 earthquake is probably the most destructive and the most tragic disaster in the history of the Philippines. A great number of schoolchildren perished in this earthquake particularly those in Central Luzon. It occurred just when classes were only moments away from being over.

The Children’s Ark Preparatory School underscores preparedness among our kids with utmost concern, and makes it a point to prioritize readiness as to natural calamities especially earthquakes. We hope for the best and expect the worst, but the bottom line is we cannot be unprepared when bad things strikes.

Below are numbers to call when disaster strikes:

National Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) hotlines
(02) 911-1406, (02) 912-2665, (02) 912-5668, (02) 911-1873

Philippine National Police (PNP) Hotline Patrol
117 or send TXT PNP to 2920

Red Cross hotline
143, (02) 527-0000, (02) 527-8385 to 95


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TCAPS’ OUTBOUND TOUR: ZOOBIC SAFARI

TCAPS hits the road again!

The Children’s Ark Preparatory School started the last quarter with an educational tour around Zoobic Safari. The whole idea is to provide our kids with hands-on learning experience and a change of settings which can only be effective through field trips and educational expeditions. Some things are best learned out of the classroom. Today, information and knowledge are readily available via the superfast cyberspace. However, taking the kids out there is simply a whole lot different experience. This would literally be “to think outside the box.”

Besides, it is when they set off together in a particular journey that gives them the good opportunity to mingle with each other and have a break from the usual routine of classroom activities. Plus, travel and change of settings creates new vigor to the mind.

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We set out for the awesome woodlands of Zoobic Safari. A five-hectare tourist attraction located on Subic Bay Freeport’s Forest Adventure. The menagerie boasts of diverse exotic animals hanging around their assumed natural habitat. The forest includes a wide range of terrain similarly found in the jungles: streams, grasslands and even caves and nests. The tour, with 11 attractions, takes about 2 1/2 hours to complete.

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Savannah. A haven for ostriches, potbellies, wild boars, and guinea fowls. The place — accessible to all vehicles —  is where playful ostriches roam free. They try to race with cars and even peck at the glass window. The sight of colorful birds and their distinct sounds delights visitors. More and more people turn to the relaxing sound birds make for their meditation, relaxation and sometimes therapy.

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Animals here in Zoobic Safari have become accustomed to the presence of human beings. They hang around comfortably amidst the many visitors. Kids have a grand time wandering about and interacting with deers, ostriches, albino carabao, monkeys, an eagle, miniature horses, bearcats, guinea pigs, ferrets, and many more.

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Animal MuZOOeum.  A rare collection of real stuffed animals, bone collections and preserved animal skin.

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Tiger Safari. A two-hectare enclosed area where we experienced the thrill of getting a close encounter with full grown tigers aboard a customized grill-protected Safari Jeep. There is fear and excitement as we get closer and feel the ferocity of this beasts with their long and sharp teeth. Perhaps a once in a lifetime experience.

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Aeta’s Trail. We took a glimpse of an interesting Native Aeta culture as they perform some of their traditional dances featuring butterfly and war dance; an exhibit of realistic Aeta village complete with their abodes and cooking areas. The show includes an amazing gymnastic ability of the dancers as they perform the Monkey Dance and catapult their way up a tall tree.

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Ocean Adventure. The first and only Open Water Marine Theme Park in Southeast Asia. It has become one of the premiere attractions in Subic Bay, Philippines. Ocean Adventure has a proven record of providing environmental awareness and education combined with wholesome entertainment. Ocean Adventure’s advocacy for environmental protection and its corporate social responsibility programs are second to none.

One of the attractions here is the Balancing Act. A short 15-minute show featuring Kenyan acrobats. We were delighted with their display of their dancing, tumbling and of course, balancing capabilities.

Simply amazing.

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Serpentarium. An old ammunition bunker converted into a menagerie where you will find a showcase of various species of reptiles (snakes, lizards and  turtles). Also included here are lizards, iguanas, monitor lizards, turtles, and other cold-blooded creatures are available for viewing.

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Croco Loco.  A pit of over 200 crocodiles. We walked over the steel grated walkway while the predators snap their mouth below. The fun here is to feed these crocs buy purchasing a chicken and dangling it to these reptiles by means of a fishing rod. See how they jump for food!

At the Crocodile Café, one can view the quick-snappers from a water-level glass observation area..

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Field trips are essential part of school curriculum. They broaden children’s educational experience. Field trips enrich and expand the learning program, bolsters cognition skills by immersing kids into sensory activities, increase children’s knowledge in a particular subject area and expand children’s awareness of their own community.

The Children’s Ark Preparatory School thinks of the excursion as a field study too, not only a field trip. It is a learning experience or experimental learning.