DepEd: Gawad Siklab

Fresh from the I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference) Convention of volunteers all over the Philippines, the founders gave us the assignment to participate in Department of Education’s Gawad Siklab: Search for Outstanding Supreme Pupil Government (SPG) and Supreme Student Government (SSG). I had my apprehensions thinking that I might not be able to keep my opinions to myself if I see the Secretary of Education whose response regarding the issues of the Lumad was less than satisfying. But for the love of my volunteer organization and since I don’t really have anything going on for the days it was scheduled, I agreed.

*Team Drug Prevention Pose*

The Gawad Siklab Search for Outstanding SPG & SSG aims to recognize the student-led projects from all over the Philippines. The competition has 2 levels- SPG for grade school and SSG for high school level; and 5 categories of projects: Makadiyos (for God), Makabansa (for the country), Makatao (for people), Makakalikasan (for the environment), and Drug Prevention Program. Across the 5 categories, I couldn’t believe that the projects were led by 9-10-year-olds (mostly female student leaders). When I was their age, the activities my Student Government would do were mostly outreach programs. Truly, the future looks bright as young leaders are being highly participative in being part of the solution.

Breakout Session for Elevator Pitch

I initially thought we’d just be giving a short talk or that I’ll just create a powerpoint presentation for Meryl who is best at engaging the audience. But it turns out, I am M.A.D. volunteers ended up as the secretariat/organizers of the program. The speakers/judges were mostly connections of the volunteers who thankfully came despite the short notice. And I ended up doing a short opening video animation, learning from YouTube how to troubleshoot my video ratio, preparing the collaterals giving a talk about How To Pitch, and facilitating the Elevator Pitch Exercise. All in all, the volunteers spent about 3 days of no sleep, complaining amongst ourselves about the differences in opinion between idealistic millennials and those who were “kinain na ng sistema”..And I have to say, the previous generation may often belittle millennials because of the poor representation of social media junkies but millennials CAN actually get the job done with efficiency and effectivity despite the short amount of prep time – something that older people wouldn’t understand. If there’s anything I can share about putting up an event is that it is important to:

  1. make it personal – use welcome cards / thank you notes with individual names of recipients
  2. small gifts / welcome tokens go a long way to get anybody’s favor
  3. courtesy and sincerity is important in building relationships
  4. support, encouragement, and dignified treatment from immediate supervisors will earn a subordinate’s respect
I am M.A.D. x DepEd

This marks our first foray into organizing events for other organizations and I hope we will have more with our establishment of MADx in 2018. MADx is the enterprising arm of I am Making A Difference – an initiative that will hopefully fund our community programs for 2018. If you need effective and efficient millennials (mostly comprised of youth leaders in various sectors) to organize or facilitate your event/activity, please get in touch with us or leave a comment with your details so I can get back to you.

Facebook: I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference)




Wanderlust, choco-addict, tea-lover, strawberry-monster, camera-wielding, dancing creature of the sea.

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