BDA Graduates 2018: Ready to Take on the World

The graduates throwing their graduation caps
Merry Jane giving her words of welcome

Graduation day brought joy and gratefulness to the students of Bohol Deaf Academy (BDA). On March 28, 2018 sixteen young men and women and their parents celebrated the long-anticipated day with a graduate procession, Moving Up Ceremony, and Recognition Rites. A roller coaster of emotions flooded the graduates, their families, and teachers as they remembered the past and felt hope for the future.

Jenny Rose giving her message of thanks to her parents, teachers, sponsors, and IDEA

Merry Jane Cabasag, second class honors, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and expressed her gratitude to all who shaped the future of the graduates. Jenny Rose Gratula, first class honors, thanked her teachers for teaching her new things, for encouragement from her parents to do her best, and for IDEA and her sponsors for giving her the opportunity to grow into the person she is today.

Mrs. Carmen Madelo (parent) thanking everyone who supported the Deaf children in school

One of the parents, Mrs. Carmen Madelo, shared her gratitude to BDA for teaching Deaf children the skills to make a living. She recalled how disheartening it was for her son, William, to be rejected several times from attending other schools because of his situation. Without BDA, William would have never received a quality education. Mrs. Madelo said she can’t help but feel proud of all of the children for accomplishing this milestone in their lives.

Mrs. Marilou Hinlo sharing her inspirational message to the graduates

Mrs. Marilou Hinlo, the Guest Speaker and a teacher for the Deaf in Jagna SPED Center, felt honored by the invitation to speak at the ceremony where eight out of sixteen graduates were once her elementary students. She inspired the graduates saying, “You are all capable. You are all deserving. It is in belief, courage, patience, and hard work that we surely lead you ahead and give you a bright future.”

One of the remarkable things about this graduating class is that it has two sets of brothers and sisters graduating together – Charlie and Cheryl Mae Wahing and Eric and Eva Besinga. The siblings are among the students who excelled at BDA. Charlie received the Mayor Leadership Award, Service Award, and Athlete of the Year Award while Cheryl was the seventh honors in class. Eric was also an Athlete of the Year, Performing Ambassador of BDA, and Service Awardee while Eva was the fifth honors and an Artist of the Year.

Besinga siblings
Wahing siblings

While every single person should have access to a quality education, not all Deaf in the Philippines receive one. These 16 Deaf graduates certainly feel privileged and blessed by the opportunities they have, and for the people who support IDEA to make a difference in the lives of children. IDEA will continue to support many of these students even after graduation as most of them will be employed and trained by IDEA-supported organizations.

Way to go, graduates!

BDA Graduates Batch 2017-2018


BDA Intramural Games 2017

Maricel participating in the cheer dance

It had been a tense few weeks, and the pressure was building at Bohol Deaf Academy (BDA) as students pushed through challenging projects and exams. One sunny day on September 26, 2017, the atmosphere suddenly changed from one of intense pressure to excitement. Maricel leapt into the sunshine with eager eyes and a wide grin. As a freshman student, Maricel could not be more excited for BDA’s three-day Intramural Games. The intramurals would teach the students how to build teamwork and camaraderie and release a lot of extra energy. Maricel actively participated in the cheer dance team, and she surely had a memorable intramurals experience this year.

The Cheer dance champion

The intramurals opened with a parade of the teams around the campus. Students waved their banners and flags, jumping and shouting with excitement. When the cheer dance competition started, the students showed off their incredible talents. The team routines were full of dancing and impressive acrobatics. We have so many talented students! The Green Team, or Parrot Team, grabbed first place, but the judges had no easy job selecting the winner. The students were so full of enthusiasm and talent, they were all a joy to see.

Mr. & Ms. Intramurals 2017 candidates

BDA also held a competition for the Mr. and Miss Intramurals 2017. The candidates from each team were astonishing. Everyone confidently showed their talent. During the interview portion, each candidate answered with certainty and poise. The candidates made everyone proud and it was truly an honor to see how they have grown with grace, talent, and wit.

Mr. and Ms. Intramurals 2017

Dennis James Moneva and Jenny Rose Gratula were crowned as Mr. and Miss Intramurals 2017. Dennis James was also awarded as Best in Production Number while Jenny Rose received the Best in Talent and Darling of the Social Media awards. Other awardees included: Best in Production Number – Glenda Ayop; Best in Talent – Ian Kent Varon; Best in Sportswear – Ian Kent Varon and Marjorie Hibaya; Mr. and Ms. Photogenic – Junnel Akiatan and Marjorie Hibaya; Darling of the Social Media – Ian Kent Varon; Best in Interview – Angel Ricci Idulsa and Jucel Bonghanoy.

Basketball Game

On the second and third day of intramurals, the students enjoyed sports like basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, and running as well as some parlor games. Everyone cheered for their teammates and exchanged hugs with their competitors after every game.  The smiles on the students’ faces spoke volumes of joy. At the end of the day, the Blue Team was crowned the overall champion of the intramural days, but everyone received a renewed love of teamwork and camaraderie.

The intramural days were truly a blast. It promoted friendly competition, encouraged the students to exercise, and developed leadership skills. Congratulations to the students for the good sportsmanship!

BDA Culminates Buwan ng Wika

Joross and Glenda in their Filipino Attire

Joross and Glenda have been very excited for August to come. Both of them spent their weekends searching for the best traditional Filipino attire to wear for their school culmination activity during the National Language Month celebration. Joross and Glenda are both in the 7th grade and this was their first opportunity to participate in such a celebration with other high school Deaf students at Bohol Deaf Academy (BDA). They knew it would be an enjoyable day.

In the Philippines, August is designated as Buwan ng Wika (National Language Month) which is celebrated to promote Filipino, the national language, as well as Philippine culture and traditions. Every year, it is one of the most highly-anticipated events in the country.

Winwin participating in the Spelling Bee

On August 29, 2017, BDA culminated the month-long celebration with a day of fun and challenging activities. To challenge students, BDA organized a Quiz competition and Spelling Bee for every grade level. For our students, writing in the Filipino language is challenging because English is their primary written language. Still, our students eagerly put in the work to learn Filipino and made a great showing at the competitions. The winners for the Quiz were: Mariesil Orcullo – Grade 7, Jolly Ann Divinagracia – Grade 8, Alberto Besinga – Grade 9, and Stephanie Lluvido – Grade 10. For the Spelling Bee the champs were: Janice Capuno – Grade 7, Winwin Socorin – Grade 8, Aira Jane Luminarias – Grade 8, and William Madelo – Grade 10.

Francis Jake playing “Hit the Pot”

Aside from the scholastic games, the students enjoyed traditional Filipino games. Paluan ng Palayok (hit the pot), Karang (racing with coconut shell under each foot), and Palaro sa harina (flour game) were just some of the activities. As a bonus, everyone had a fun snack during the “boodle fight” where students ate food off a table with their hands while standing shoulder to shoulder in the Fillipino military practice.

Joross and Yoshabelle, BDA Lakan at Lakambini 2017 with their teachers

The students also made a great effort to wear traditional Filipino dress. BDA teachers recognized the most beautifully dressed and confident students with the title “Lakan at Lakambini” (Chieftain and Muse). The awardees were: 1st place – Joross Manuales and Yoshabelle Romero, 2nd place – Jemuel Jamero and Glenda Ayop, 3rd place – Alberto Besinga and Lorraine Mae Tuyor, 4th place – John Albert Elivera and Cheryl Wahing, 5th place – Eric Besinga and Rose Jane Luminarias.

A shout out to BDA for the successful celebration and great job in promoting the Filipino culture!