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iLab ARAL and partners empower money-smart students and educators

By Rechele A. Capal


In a groundbreaking initiative aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, financial, economic, and social skills development, iLab ARAL Inc. successfully led the Project KUWARTA Money-Smart Camp 2023 in collaboration with esteemed partners on November 24, 2023. The event, supported by the Local Government Unit of Calabanga, headed by Municipal Mayor Eugene Norman B. Severo, and DepEd Calabanga East District, led by its district supervisor, Dr. Roberto L. Bayonito, brought together students and teachers from Calabanga East for an immersive and engaging learning experience.


The camp featured five dynamic sessions hosted at prominent institutions in Naga City and Pili, Camarines Sur. The day commenced with a learning walk at Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST), where students and teachers explored the food, manufacturing, and fabrication laboratories with Mr. Manny Huertas and Engr. Dominic Bolima. They also had the opportunity to learn about Pamitisan Shoe Shop’s initiative with its founder and CEO, Mr. Keenan Ivory Lee Duliesco. Guided by Mr. Duliesco and Ms. Jane Faurillo, the president of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Society, the Ideation Activity provided a platform for creative thinking and innovation. The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Apolonia C. Sebello, and the YES-BISCAST Adviser, Dr. Ana Marie A. Binalla, graced the event with their presence and inspiring messages.



At the Academy of Career Education, Administrator and Chef Billy Genterola delivered a motivating message to the participants, setting the tone for an enriching experience. Chef Jo, on the other hand, facilitated the Food Processing Demo-Workshop on making “atsara” (pickled papaya). The session not only imparted culinary skills but also allowed exploration of the kitchen used by culinary arts students.


The camp then took a deep dive into Cooperative Savings at CamSur Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CMPC) in Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur. Participants explored the Kadiwa Store, gaining insights into CMPC’s financial initiatives. Following the exploration, the group enjoyed lunch at the CMPC Diner. The afternoon continued with an enlightening discussion on Cooperative Savings led by Ms. Riza Exala, Head Office Manager.


The financial knowledge journey continued with a session at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Naga City. Ms. Shaoi shed light on “The Role of the Central Bank” and how people can contribute to the Central Bank as well.


The grand finale unfolded at V Gallery, with the session hosted by the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants and Junior Financial Executives of Naga College Foundation. Facilitated by Mr. Robert G. Estefane, a 4th Year BSBA-FM student of NCF, the workshop on “Smart Spending and Thoughtful Giving” sparked a lively exchange of ideas among participants.


Notably, iLab ARAL Inc. has been recognized as one of the 2023 Outstanding Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Stakeholder Awardees. This accolade further underscores the organization’s commitment to excellence and its significant contribution to financial education and empowerment.


iLab ARAL Inc., with its diverse and engaging curriculum, has successfully equipped the students and teachers of Calabanga with practical skills and knowledge to navigate the world of entrepreneurship, finance, and economics. The collaborative efforts of iLab ARAL Inc. and its partners, such as LGU Calabanga, DepEd Calabanga East District, CamSur Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology, Academy of Career Education, and Naga College Foundation Inc., have set a precedent for future initiatives aimed at building a financially literate and empowered community.


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