ALBAY, February 11, 2019– Bicolano heroes took center stage during the First Regional Assembly of Education Leaders (RAEL) held at the Legazpi City Convention Center from February 7 to 9.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones feted five notable Bicolanos in her keynote message during the last day of the assembly, which gathered more than 2,000 leading local educators.

Lauding the event’s theme, “The Bicolano Leaders: Inspiring Trust, Igniting Passion, Transforming Organization,” Briones stated that the apt models for Bicolano leaders are the local heroes of the region.

Topping her heroes’ list is Jose Maria Panganiban of Camarines Norte. Dubbed as the “Avenger of the Filipino Honor,” a great writer, orator, and essayist, Panganiban was one of the contributors for La Solidaridad, writing under the pen names “Jomapa” and “JMP.”

Next is Gen. Ludivico “Vicong” Arejola who fought in the Filipino-American war in Camarines Sur.

The Education chief also gave a special focus on Wenceslao Q. Vinzons, once governor of Camarines Norte, who was considered the youngest member of the 1935 Constitutional Convention. He also organized one of the first guerrilla groups that fought the Japanese. The Secretary noted that the University of the Philippines dedicated an edifice, popularly known as the Vinzons Hall, in honor of the great Bicolano hero.

Col. Juan Q. Miranda, meanwhile, was the first representative of the First District of Camarines Sur. Briones narrated how he liberated Naga City and environs days before the American soldiers arrived to help drive away the retreating Japanese soldiers.

  • DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones graced the last day of the First Regional Assembly of Education Leaders (RAEL) which was held from February 7 to 9 in Legazpi City, Albay.

She also gave special mention to Tecla San Andres Ziga, a former senator notable for being the first Filipina to top the bar examination.

“I know there’s a lot of Bicolano heroes that I failed to mention due to limitation of time who are worthy of our emulation,” Briones added.

The Secretary further enjoined the educators to derive passion, inspiration, and transformation in the organization from these heroes. “If you go to other places, please visit places of history and arts, like museum and galleries instead of shopping malls. This way, we will have a deeper knowledge of the place, its history, and arts,” she emphasized.

She also commended the Bicolano educators present in the assembly for their contribution to the achievements of the Department, particularly the highest approval rating among government agencies. She reported that DepEd’s approval has risen to 88% in both the June and September 2018 Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey.

“Our collective efforts to improve the delivery of basic education is recognized by the people,” Briones said. “Tayong lahat ay may papel dito, in spite of criticisms, in spite of barrage of complaints, financial challenges, climate change,” she added.

DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Lorna Dig Dino also graced the opening ceremonies of RAEL, and discussed 21st century leadership skills which she described as involving “vision, emotional intelligence, and self-leadership that embraces change and innovation, welcomes and values diversity, develops a 21st century mindset connected with the world, and is action-oriented.”

RAEL is a congress of educator-leaders in the whole region which aims to provide participants the opportunity to keep pace with global challenges in education and inculcate and promote the value of servant-leadership. It is sponsored by the Bicol Association of Schools Superintendents (BASS), which is an association of superintendents and assistant superintendents (retired and active) of the 13 schools division offices of Bicol, with DepEd Region V Director Gilbert Sadsad and Assistant Director Cristito Eco as advisers.