To highlight the importance of having a gender responsive early childhood care and development (ECCD) program for women’s empowerment and gender equality, and in fulfillment of the role of interior designers to address practical concerns of Filipinos, BS Interior Design students of the University of the Philippines College of Home Economics (UP CHE), together with the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UP CWGS) and the UP CHE faculty, sponsors of the renovation project, and guests, marked the opening of the newly renovated Kalinga Day Care Center (KDCC) in UP Diliman, Quezon City, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and guided tour of the facility on January 10, 2020.
UP’s Atty. Gaby Concepcion and Justice Marvic Leonen; Dr. Sylvia Guerrero, Dr. Nathalie Verceles, and Dr. Excelsa Tongson of UP CWGS; and, Dr. Adelaida Mayo, Prof. Hanna Faustino, and Prof. Pamela Aquino of UP CHE led the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon to open the improved KDCC facility to its constituents.
Interior designer and faculty adviser Pamela Aquino introduced the ten BS ID students responsible for renovating KDCC’s reception area, teachers’ room, recreation area, kitchen, storage, and toilet: Dana Sangalang (project head); Erielle Ekong (quality control & site coordinator); Gaille Marquez (secretariat & procurement); Clement Ignacio (design head); Rizza Tabios (procurement & quality control); Steffi Yuquimpo (finance head & design co-head); Mikee Arevalo (CAD operator & procurement); Catherine Asejo (site coordinator & quality control); Angela Titular (externals & publicity co-head); and, Sophia Teaño (externals & publicity co-head). New furnishing and two additional spaces, the dining area and the breastfeeding room were also provided to KDCC through the project.
Prof. Tongson turned over to Prof. Aquino and the students the letter of appreciation written by the children enrolled in KDCC.
Prof. Tongson provided a background on how the KDCC started, and encouraged everybody to take a look at the KDCC whole-day and half-day programs and to put up their own day care centers in public or private offices. She explained that the day care primarily caters to the needs of the children of UP employees and students so that they, as parents, may be able to pursue their interests and participate in nation building.
The KDCC opened in 1998 and is fully managed by the UP CWGS as a non-formal, non-structured alternative learning environment which aims to provide a comfortable, gender-fair, and safe environment for children from ages 1 to 5 years old, and to promote a positive self-concept in children. KDCC also provides parents, guardians and caregivers or yayas with gender-responsive seminars on childhood care and development, laws, and other women’s and gender related issues.
According to the BS ID students who completed the project, “the opportunity to renovate KDCC was brought about by ID 179: Special Project in Interior Design.” This course is taken by graduating BS ID students to engage them in a real-world scenario or provide them a glimpse of what they may expect of professional life. It involves the class in meticulous planning, designing, execution, and post-evaluation of the project for a chosen beneficiary.
UP CHE Department of Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design (CTID) Chairperson Faustino provided more details on the project. She said ID students used to hold exhibits in malls to showcase their skills until the start of 2000. The ID 179 course was redesigned by senior faculty members, Dr. Adelaida Mayo and Dr. Raquel Florendo, and the students embraced ID as “a discipline that addresses very significant issues and concerns in our society” by dedicating their projects to help their chosen beneficiaries.
“ID in Home Economics aims to focus on basic needs and practical concerns of individuals and families in everyday life. How we apply it must translate to the enhancement of the wellbeing of individuals and families. For many years, ID of UP has helped many institutions through renovating interior spaces. Through this course, ID 179, we have already touched many lives and many institutions, from public libraries, school for the blind, socialized housing, hospitals, dormitories, and many more. Institutions such as Mabuhay Deseret Foundation, Bahay Biyaya, and ECPAT Philippines Inc. are among our most recent ID 179 projects,” Faustino said.
“Realize that the true beauty of the space occurred the moment that you shared your lives to others, listening, learning and understanding where their needs come from. Thank you for advancing the role to give back to society, but I hope that this would not be the last time. I hope that you will consider this as a regular habit in your life. Always put others first. This will bring honor to our nation, as well as hope,” Faustino told the students.
The renovation project was also sponsored by: Hulma Manila Custom Fabrication, Inc.; Global Visions Events & Marketing Network, Inc.; Saxum et Sal, Inc.; Kuysen Enterprises, Inc.; Universal Robina Corporation; Splash Corporation; Creamline Ice Cream; Aztec Secret Health & Beauty; San Miguel PureFoods, Inc.; Rebisco; Del Monte Foods, Inc.; Magnolia; and, individual donors who supported the fundraising efforts of the class.