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PAGCOR FEEDING PROGRAM HELPS HUNDREDS OF SCHOOL CHILDREN IN ILOCOS

by on Nov.27, 2014, under PAGCOR CSR

Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte – Growing up in the remote upland part of Laoag without much interaction with other people has made grade-4 student Eilahnia timid and shy.

Her teacher from Naguilian Elementary School (NES) in Nueva Era, observed that she is also a slow learner compared to her other classmates.

Eilahnia’s class adviser Marites Remos narrates that the young girl seldom participates in class activities. “She doesn’t like doing board work and her reading skills in English is at the ‘frustrated’ level – which is below the desired reading level for pupils her age.

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Employees of the Casino Filipino Laoag branch assist the PAGCOR Feeding Program beneficiaries during the project’s launching in Naguilian Elementary School in Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte. PAGCOR allocated more than P42 million for its nationwide feeding program for School Year 2014-2015.

Remos relates that Eilahnia’s performance in class is likely affected by the lack of proper nutrition. At the age of nine, she only weighs 16 kilos which is ten kilos lighter than the normal weight of 26 kilos for children her age.

Eilahnia is one of the many students of NES who severely lack nutrition. The barangay elementary school with only five teachers and a student population of 125 is constantly battling with malnutrition. To date, half of the school’s student population is classified as “severely wasted”.

Action Contre la Faim or ACF International which carries out the “Action Against Hunger” campaign in 45 countries, said “severe wasting” is characterized by massive loss of body fat and muscle tissue. Severely wasted children “look almost elderly and their bodies are extremely thin and skeletal.”

Eilahnia’s family is one of those who resort to unhealthy alternative food such as noodles, canned goods, soy sauce or bagoong in order to survive. One of the reasons why Eilahnia can be considered “severely wasted” is her family’s inability to provide nutritious food for her

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Employees of Casino Filipino Laoag take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer in the Feeding Program activities carried out by the branch in various public schools in Ilocos Norte.

Remos said they can only do so much to help their poor students. “Naawa kami sa mga batang kagaya ni Eilahnia. Kaso hindi rin naman namin kayang maibigay lahat ng pangangailangan nila. Kaya ang ginawa namin dati, yung budget sa canteen, nilagay na lang for feeding ng mga bata. Pero two weeks lang ‘yun at sopas lang ang naipakain namin sa kanila,” she recalled.

Fortunately, Naguilian Elementary School was chosen by PAGCOR as one of the beneficiaries of its Feeding Program for school year 2014-2015. Through this project, the students of NES who severely lack nutrition will now have a chance to attain their ideal weight and improve their health.

“We are thankful because this program will have a huge impact on our students’ health. Kapag healthy ang bata, mas active sila sa klase. Makaka-tulong din ito sa families nila at mas magiging maayos ang pakikipag-socialize sa kapwa nila,” Remos added.

PAGCOR through its Casino Filipino branch in Laoag, selected close to 400 beneficiaries in eight schools in Ilocos who will benefit from the PAGCOR Feeding Program for this school year. Apart from NES, other chosen beneficiary schools include Acnam-Caray Elementary School, Monte Elementary School, Danao Elementary School, Dingras West Elementary School, Cabittuaran Elementary School, Gubang Elementary School and Canaam Elementary School.

CF Laoag Nurse Karen Ignacio who is one of the committee members of PAGCOR’s Feeding Program, is hopeful that their target beneficiaries will be able to improve their weight and nutritional condition.

“At the start of our feeding sessions, makikita natin severely wasted sila. Then habang pinapa-kain natin sila, uma-angat naman ang timbang nila. Target natin after ng feeding, kung hindi man umabot sa talagang mataas na weight, nasa border na sila,” she said.

The PAGCOR Feeding Program will give 30 students of the Naguilian Elementary School in Ilocos Norte with complete, nutritious meals for 120 days to help them attain their ideal weight and improve their overall nutritional state.

The PAGCOR Feeding Program will give 30 students of the Naguilian Elementary School in Ilocos Norte with complete, nutritious meals for 120 days to help them attain their ideal weight and improve their overall nutritional state.

Ignacio helps monitor the progress of the beneficiaries’ weight. “Ako yung nagche-check at nagva-validate sa nutrition nila, gumagawa din ako ng menu ng bawat schools. Bini-bigay namin yung menu na dapat lutuin para sa mga bata,” she related.

For PAGCOR employees like Ignacio, volunteering and spending their spare time for the feeding program beneficiaries is one way of helping underprivileged kids in their province. “Hindi man financial yung maibigay natin, yung mai-angat man lang yung nutrition status ng mga estudyante, malaking bagay na.”

She also sees the feeding program as one of several admirable projects of PAGCOR. “Nationwide ang project na ito. Kung may wastong nutrisyon, mas magana ang utak ng mga bata, tatalino sila at a-asenso. Eventually yung mga bata pag-laki nila, mai-a-angat nila yung kabuhayan nila,” Ignacio cited.

Rowena Simeon, CF Laoag’s Financial Assistant, is also one of the branch’s feeding program volunteers. “Pag nakikita ko sila, parang madudurog ang puso ko. Kasi hindi naman tayo pare-pareho ng estado sa buhay. Syempre as a mother, naantig yung damdamin ko na tumulong din. Yung pag-aasikaso ko sa kanila, parang sarili ko na din silang anak.” (Darren Agaton)

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PAVILION BRANCH PICKS REPRESENTATIVES TO MISS CASINO FILIPINO 2014

by on Sep.25, 2014, under Casino Filipino, PAGCOR CSR

Excitement and anticipation filled Casino Filipino Pavilion last August 30, 2014 as the branch picked its representatives to the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 grand coronation night.

Angela Aninang, Rosemary Turner and Agatha Lei Romero were chosen as the last batch of beautiful ladies who will compete in the pageant’s grand finals. They beat 65 other young Filipina hopefuls who tried their luck during the Metro Manila screening.

(From left) Angela Aninang, Rosemary Turner and Agatha Lei Romero were picked as CF Pavilion’s representatives to the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 pageant.

(From left) Angela Aninang, Agatha Lei Romero and Rosemary Turner were picked as CF Pavilion’s representatives in the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 pageant.

Twenty one year old Angela Aninang is a graduate of BS Medical Technology in Angeles University Foundation and a Medical Technology Board Exam passer. Although she has previously tried her luck in several beauty competitions, Aninang considers joining the Miss Casino Filipino pageant as a whole new experience.

“Miss Casino Filipino isn’t just about the search for the most beautiful but it is more of how pure your intentions are for the less fortunate. I see it as competition of women who have the heart to serve others by standing by their advocacy and fulfilling it,” she said.

Angela, who is also an aspiring doctor, said the pageant’s cash prize could help her pay for her tuition fees in medical school.  Likewise, it can help her advocacy of providing more accessible health services for less privileged Filipinos.

“If given a chance, I would like to organize medical missions and reach out to impoverished Filipinos in far flung areas, especially those who do not have access to proper medical care. I also want to educate more people on the importance of good health,” Angela cited.

Miss Casino Filipino Pavilion representatives together with the jurors: Actor and rap artist Carlos Agassi (extreme left), AVP for Entertainment Wilza Magpusao (second from left) and Branch Marketing and Entertainment Head Joelino Panganiban (extreme right).

Miss Casino Filipino Pavilion representatives together with the jurors: Actor and rap artist Carlos Agassi (extreme left), AVP for Entertainment Wilza Magpusao (second from left) and Branch Marketing and Entertainment Head Joelino Panganiban (extreme right).

Meanwhile, Agatha Lei Romero believes that Miss Casino Filipino will give her an opportunity to help out-of-school-youth fulfill their dreams. She wants to actively take part in PAGCOR’s education-related Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.

A fourth year Civil Engineering student in the University of Santo Tomas, Agatha shared that her parents made a lot of sacrifices in order to send her to good schools. “They wanted to secure my future. I want to pay it forward by helping Filipino children get better opportunities in education, too,” Agatha explained.

Meanwhile, Rosemary Turner, who is a holder of several beauty titles like Miss Olongapo 2009 and Miss Trinity University of Asia 2013, also hopes to win Miss Casino Filipino so she could engage in charity works.

According to her, winning the Miss Casino Filipino title will give her a different sense of fulfillment. “You don’t just win a title. You also win a chance to help the underprivileged. If I win, I want to be help impoverished Filipinos in rural areas by educating them how to have sustainable means of livelihood. Rather than just giving money, it’s more important to teach the poor to support themselves in the long run,” Rosemary added.

Actor, rap artist and TV host Carlos Agassi, who was one of the judges during the CF Pavilion semifinals, commended the finalists. He noted that all three girls have a big chance of bringing home the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 crown.

“All of them are beautiful and talented and I’m positive that they’ll do great on the finals. But what’s great to know is that these young women don’t just aspire for the cash prize or the beauty title. They also hope to make a huge impact on other people’s lives when they win this contest,” he said.

Apart from the P500,000 cash prize, the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 will also get a chance to help a charitable institution of her choice through PAGCOR’s financial donation of P200,000.

AVP Bong Quintana of PAGCOR’s Entertainment and Bingo Department meanwhile thanked all the beautiful ladies who participated in the nationwide screenings of the Miss Casino Filipino 2014. “We’ve had hundreds of aspirants who were enticed to join not only for themselves but to pursue a more noble cause of helping the needy. We know that the judges will have a difficult time selecting the winners because all our grand finalists are very beautiful,” he cited.

(From left) Agatha Lei Romero, Rosemary Turner and Angela Aninang were picked as CF Pavilion’s representatives to the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 pageant.

(From left) Agatha Lei Romero, Rosemary Turner and Angela Aninang were picked as CF Pavilion’s representatives to the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 pageant.

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MISS CASINO FILIPINO 2014 INSPIRES CANDIDATES TO PURSUE NOBLE ADVOCACIES

by on Sep.24, 2014, under Casino Filipino, PAGCOR CSR

Three more beautiful ladies were added to the roster of candidates vying for the Miss Casino Filipino (CF) 2014 title when CF Malabon Satellite picked its representatives to the grand finals night.

The three winners – Haydee Gumasing, Dale Ivory Lee and Ivy Meerry Enriquez– were all ecstatic not only  because they can compete in the grand finals round but also because they will get a chance to help others if they win the Miss Casino Filipino crown.

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(From left) Dale Ivory Lee, Ivy Meerry Enriquez and Haydee Gumasing were chosen as representatives of the CF Malabon Satellite to the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 beauty pageant.

The beauty pageant’s grand winner will be given the opportunity to support a charitable cause through PAGCOR’s financial assistance of P200,000.

Promoting the welfare of the elderly who were abandoned by their families is the advocacy of 20 year-old Haydee Gumasing. “When I saw the plight of the elderly housed in a shelter in our hometown, I felt their pain. I could not imagine the feeling of being abandoned by their families. With PAGCOR’s financial aid, I can somehow help provide their basic necessities,” the third year Mass Communication student from Bulacan said.

Meanwhile, 21 year-old Dale Ivory Lee wants to support the anti-violence campaign against women. She said the alarming cases of rape and abuse against women need immediate action.

According to Lee, she intends to support an information drive on women’s rights if she wins as Miss Casino Filipino 2014. “It is the terrifying number of cases of raped and battered women that drives me to support this advocacy. We should call attention to it to protect the rights of young girls and helpless women,” the fourth year Tourism Industry student cited.

As for 18 year-old Ivy Meerry Enriquez, promoting and sustaining ecotourism in the Philippines is her chosen advocacy. She explained that the country is rich in natural resources and she wants to encourage Filipinos to help preserve these treasures.

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The three lovely winners together with (from left) GM Jomar Reyes of the Malabon Grand Hotel and Entertainment Center, PAGCOR Satellite Operations Group 1 Branch Manager William Avendaño, and PAGCOR Entertainment Officer Marilyn Flores, who served as judges during the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 semi-finals round in the Malabon satellite.

“Many tourists visit the Philippines because of our natural wonders. They want to experience the beautiful places in our country. We must also ensure that our future generations will continue to take pride in them. But to do these things, we must encourage every citizen to be responsible in taking good care of our environment and our tourist attractions,” Enriquez added.

Apart from being chosen as representatives of the CF Malabon Satellite in the Miss Casino Filipino 2014 grand finals on September 19, 2014 at the Midas Hotel and Casino, Gumasing and Lee bagged special awards during the semifinals. Gumasing won the “Best in Talent” award while Lee was named “Best in Long Gown”.

Meantime, Branch Manager William Avendaño of PAGCOR’s Satellite Operations Group 1 said that the Miss Casino Filipino project only proves that the state-owned gaming firm offers more than just gaming and entertainment.

“We also have this pageant which empowers the chosen Miss Casino Filipino to pursue her chosen advocacy. It also promotes not only the beauty of Filipinas but their heart for service as well. This laudable undertaking should be continued,” Avendano cited.

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