Silid Aralan celebrates its 9TH Anniversary

From the simple hopes and dreams of the children in Payatas dumpsite encouraged the idea of Silid Aralan Inc. (SAI) of Mr. Arcie G. Mallari, the Founder and Executive Director of Silid Aralan. With the help of some friends and volunteers Silid Aralan has officially begun its journey of constant learning and changing people’s lives on April 12, 2007. Nine years after, we in Silid Aralan looked back to the people who have joined us through the years; to the people who have shared a part of their lives with us and the learners, and to the ones who believed that Silid Aralan can make it.
Last May 5, 2016 (Thursday) at the Santuario De San Antonio Function Hall, McKinley Road, Makati City, Silid Aralan, Inc. celebrated its 9th anniversary together with our long-time and largest donors, with our partners and with the co-learners and learners.
Straight from the University of Cordilleras (UC) in Baguio City were the new co-learners of Silid Aralan. They were composed of professors and graduating students from UC who have been teaching the Silid Aralan learners from Baguio City. The co-learners from Silid Aralan’s different hubs in Montalban, and Math Summer Camp co-learner Ms. Rhia Vicente were also present. Came also our friends from Kid’s Club, Colegio de Montalban, Global Pyxera, PHINMA Foundation, World Youth Alliance (WYA), Y&R, Xentro Malls Montalban Town Center (MTC), AISEC, Monark Foundation and Monark Equipment; and our individual donors like Mr. Jan-B Banson, Mr. Marc Licaros, Ms. Sitti Navarro-Ramirez, Ms. Marc Cubales, Ms. Ara Denina, Ms. Kathy Cruz and Mr. Jackie Yap.
The celebration started with a prayer from one of our learners, ErlenMahilum and was followed by the welcome remarks from Silid Aralan’s Operations Manager and the master of the ceremonies of the night, Mrs. Arlene Acosta and she made to the President’s Report from Mr. Arcie G. Mallari. Mr. Mallari recounted Silid Aralan’s new partnership for expansion and development, the improvements of the learners and the recent achievements of Silid Aralan over the years. It was then followed by the testimonies of one of the Silid Aralan pioneer learners and now an upcoming LEAP learner, Mel Angelo “Gelo” Ortiola.
Gelo shared his story of being part of Silid Aralan’s pioneer learners, why he stayed in Silid Aralan through the years despite of his many shortcomings in his academic studies. He spoke about the way Silid Aralan shifted his perception about the importance of education and the reason of why being in Silid Aralan brought him to where he is and made who he is right now. Next was the testimony of Mrs. Mary Ann Ortiola, who is Gelo’s mother and Silid Aralan’s current Administrator. She imparted about how being a parent played a crucial role to his son’s development and how Silid Aralan helped her on fulfilling that role as a parent.
The testimonies were followed by some performance from Silid Aralan learners and co-learners from Baguio City. Silid Aralan learners dedicated a song to the donors, partners and co-learners and everyone who’ve been a part of their journey while Baguio co-learners performed a traditional Ifugao dance.
A co-learner from Baguio City, Niki Milan, resumed the testimonies by sharing their journey of establishing the very first learning hub of Silid Aralan in Baguio City, how they struggled and were fulfilled over the days and weeks of their co-learning with the children. Mr. Alex Cruz, the owner of Xentro Malls/ Montalban Town Center, took up the stage by sharing his journey from being a working student to owning malls and hotels all over the Philippines.
For the closing statement, Ms. Acosta and Mr. Mallari joined on stage to tell about what’s next for Silid Aralan for the upcoming years. Mr. Mallari also shared more of the stories he’d had with more of the Silid Aralan learners, expressing his dreams engendered by those stories and the vision of Silid Aralan of affecting more lives and reinventing the future by empowering more children.