Caveat recently felt humbly super proud and elated upon knowing that one of our past workshoppers-members many, many moons ago at Balintataw Film and Theater Arts company (BAFTA) Monsieur Edward Agdeppa was recently short listed in the Rotary Club International search for "The One International Humanitarian Award 2022."

An Ilocano from Ilocos Sur, I kidded him that perhaps the BBM-SARA UniTeam's landslide victory has rubbed off on him, but he was extra polite and bashful to say not to politicize or color the most eventful phase of his life. Edward is an avowed 'rainbow' advocate. That puts our subtext to rest.

Edward Agdeppa, shortlisted in Rotary Club's International Humanitarian Award 2022.
Edward Agdeppa, shortlisted in Rotary Club's International Humanitarian Award 2022.

The short list was officially revealed by Madam Liza Elorde, Governor of Rotary International District 3810 RY 2019-2020, who nominated him with the goal of honoring an individual whose extraordinary public service exemplifies the Rotary ideal of "SERVICE ABOVE SELF.

Edward was selected one of 14 candidates out of 37 entries, out of whom five finalists will be selected to vie for "The One Philippines 2022" award. This is a really big deal for Edward. From the 14 shortlisted candidates, five finalists will be selected; they will vie for "The One Philippines 2022."

Liza Elorde, past governor of Rotary International District 3810
Liza Elorde, past governor of Rotary International District 3810

The selection will be conducted by a panel of judges composed of non-Rotarians who are highly esteemed in their respective fields of endeavor.

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A total prize of P1.5 million will go to the winning candidate's declared humanitarian efforts. The top three awardees may qualify to compete for "The One International Humanitarian Award 2023" and win additional prizes of from US$50,000 to US$100,000.

The winner of the top five Philippine finalists will receive a cash award of P50,000 for the service projects of the nominating club. If the nominee bags the international award, the nominating body will be entitled to an additional prize of US$5,000 for their ongoing projects at hand.

To this, Agdeppa is grateful for the shortlist which to him is more than a recognition. He is keeping his fingers crossed and continues to enhance his own teaching strategy for the marginalized young learners at his non-formal learning pilot center for vulnerable children in the direction to keep in step with the fast changing digital transformation in education.

Recalling, he was doubly thankful for having joined BAFTA company whose co-artistic directors are Marcelino Cavestany, PhD., and yes, Caveat. Our turf was at Parks and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), Quezon city, but we moved out to another venue years later.

This was under the Unesco Philippines Center for International Theater Institute under its Executive Director and Grand Dame of Philippine Theater Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, founder of Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), and the youngest ever to be awarded the Ramon Magsaysay (RM) Award for Communication and Public Service.

Cecile has her teaching pedagogy called DREAMS (Development, Rehabilitation, Education, in the Arts, through Media and Sciences) offered free to teach the PWDs, the street kids, the academically, and socially-disadvantaged young children; while BAFTA, among others, has a subject area on Creative Drama as an Instructional Tool.

Edward, a retired program systems analyst, and a mathematician by profession, eventually founded "I-Volunteer for Filipino Children" (IVFC) and put up his own non-formal pilot learning center in reading and mathematics to supplement his remedial and intervention classes in the poor communities of North Fairview.

Through the years, Edward's customized teaching pedagogy both in-person and online multiplied to as far as some depressed areas in Pag-asa, Quezon city, Rodriguez, Rizal, Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

Offered for free, his initiative was actualized with the participation of like-minded humanitarians, e.g; the LGUs down to the barangay level, parents, teachers and teacher aides, social workers, psychologists, students on practicum, etc.

Eventually, his initiative paid off amply as shown in awards won by his pupils locally and abroad. Last year, three of his pupils representing IVFC respectively bagged the gold award at the Big Bay Bei (BBB) Heat Round; the DOST Youth Excellence in Science (Yes) Awards; and the Ad Achievement Awards.

This year, his pupils bagged at least three Gold Awards conducted namely by Future Intelligence Students Olympiad International; International Kangaroo Mathematics Competition Preliminary; 2nd Math-Inic National Vedic Mathematics Challenge National Top Scorer; and another Int'l. Champion Award from PUTNAM Cup which is actually equivalent to gold.

Additional sets of five Silver Awards were bagged by his pupils conducted namely by: Philippine International Mathematical Olympiad, Heat Round Silver; Math Without Borders, Spring Silver; Future Intelligence Students Olympiad Final Silver; Math Without Borders Winter Silver; and Silver Award- Level Line Word Star Mathematical Olympiad Challenge-Philippines (WSMOC). One pupil bagged a Bronze from Final Bebras Challenge Final.

Edward Agdeppa's YouTube link is at: https://youtu.be/BAd464FmqQ-c.