PSHS-EVC arisen, reborn

Photo by Jake Tse, Jr.
Just like a phoenix, we have risen from the ashes.

More of rubble rather than ashes, it seemed like two years ago when the most tragic of tragedies befell on Eastern Visayas. Typhoon Haiyan proved to be the ultimate challenge for survival, as thousands were left dead, billions of pesos worth of property was destroyed, and amidst the mire of calamity, confusion, desperation, and grief transcended.

Yet the challenge was taken and now, along with the entire region, PSHS-EVC has risen.

Photo by Nicolas Faller, Jr.

Despite the difficulties posed by the tremendous calamity, the school has remained strong in the postscript. Pisay’s spirit was not broken despite the liters of seawater that washed up on the shores of Eastern Visayas or the liters of tears many had to shed in a psychological reaction to the sheer horror of those defining hours. The school is on its way back.

This was the assurance that Campus Director Reynaldo Garnace expressed in a press conference with campus journalists on September 26, 2015, as he took note of the victories and developments that prove that PSHS-EVC is rising back. Such achievements include the improved performance of the institution’s scholars, which may translate into 103 Director’s Listers in the last school year, 6th place in 2014 within the PSHS System in terms of UPCAT passing rate compared to 10th in 2012 and 8th in 2013, among others. He also highlighted infrastructure development, such as the construction of the Science and Technology Building, the Academic Building III, and upcoming extensive rehabilitation of damaged facilities, such as the Gymnasium, the Dormitories, etc. in 2016.

In a nutshell, the budget is there, and it is enough to place EVC back on track.

Yet, despite the numerous improvements which begin to materialize, many challenges still remain in lieu of the System’s goal to become the leading Science High School in the ASEAN by 2016. Apart from rising back from the damage, keeping up with a globalized world remains as a paramount objective as demonstrated by the K-12 Curriculum. The question has evolved from “Have we risen back?” to “Are we prepared?”

The Director professed that EVC will be ready “as soon as Grade 11 opens”. Indeed, as the PSHSS has engaged in numerous initiatives to prepare each campus for the new beginning, such as curriculum workshops, professional development of the faculty and staff, trips to other high schools abroad, and others. The campus, along with the rest of the system, is in a “learning phase” wherein it finds out how to begin again and build upon the merits of the past, infusing what it can learn from successful proponents of the new curriculum, and build a path towards becoming the leading SHS in the ASEAN. Not only has PSHS-EVC risen back, it also chooses to take on the challenges head-first.

Just like a phoenix, we have risen from the ashes. Risen and reborn, there’s only one thing to say now, “Challenge accepted”.