ABOUT MCC

MCC PRESIDENT

Letter from the President

Letter from the President

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

There again… but I could be wrong. Then I heard it again. I got up from my desk and swung the door open to the next room. I excitedly asked Kris and Jane (the two dependable OP officers who greet you every time you come to my office), to verify that what I heard from my room were real, live, chirping birds.

Kris happily told me, “yes ma’am, maraming ibon na sa MCC.” Then the week that followed, around 6pm when most offices were already closed, I saw VP RJ in the corridor. So, I walked and joined him for a quick chat about random college matters. However, we were interrupted by this beautiful sight of about a hundred birds, all charmingly lined up atop the vast white roof of the college. Once in a while, one would glide and scoop low toward the ground then shoot up high once again. Sometimes they go by pairs and fly in circles as if performing a coquettish dance. We abandoned the discussion and instead diverted our full attention to the spectacular show of flight. It was at that moment we realized that what we have inside our gates is not only a community for MCC people but also for these creatures. We delved into appreciating the green surroundings that must have drawn the birds to us.

And am I glad for every peso we spent on the garden? on what used to be a dry, brown, and lifeless space that has now become a playground not only to humans? Don’t we call that an ecosystem, the habitat of life, the natural balance of earth? I’ve always believed that a peaceful co-existence with other living things is the most basic yet ultimate life-saving rule to sustaining our home called earth. This harmonious relationship is what keeps us all breathing and surviving. Yes, without the others, we die. The life of every bee, butterfly, bird, worm, snail etcetera has no price at all, because their life is in fact the measure of our life too. Such is the circle of life. Remember The Lion King? Skip the artistic element, the principle is true.

That day, I went home with a triumphant smile. Next time you come to MCC, I urge you to stay a bit late so you can catch a glimpse of our “chirping residents”. Of course, don’t forget the One Above who created all things equal and beautiful like you. By the way, to all the women and men whose lives were significantly touched by a woman, Happy Women’s Month! Here’s a statement from a woman I greatly admire, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG). She said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made." Too many times, I found strength in those words.

Thank you for reading and hopefully, I’ll see you around bird watching

RBG became the first Jewish female justice in the US of A. RBG presented a strong voice in favor of gender equality, the rights of workers and the separation of church and state. During her years of service, Justice Ginsburg was faced with daunting personal challenges. In 1999, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, all without missing a day of service on the bench. If you want to know more about her, click the link below: https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/ruth-bader-ginsburg

Message from the President

Message from the President

on the occasion of Mabalacat City College Commencement Exercises for the Graduating Class of 2021

February 25, 2022

“Going Beyond: Thriving to Success and Excellence in the Face of Challenge”

It’s harvest season because today you will be reaping the rewards of those four long years of hard work and diligence. We rejoice with you Mabalacat City College’s Batch 2020-2021!

The theme goes “Going Beyond: Thriving to Success and Excellence in the Face of Challenge”. Last November 17 to 19, 2021, the College has undergone accreditation. I am very elated to share to you that the accreditation body has elevated us to level 2. What does that mean?

That the institution that is about to grant you your ticket to the world has provided you the best education amidst the challenges of this global pandemic. Is that bad or good? I think it has its positive side. Two years of this so-called new normal has taught us to go beyond our comfort zones, challenge the old system and venture on new ones, of course with a great risk and perhaps, fear. But we need to hold on to something, that is courage and hope. The fact that we are here today, then this is the batch that showed great courage and remained hopeful all this time.

Bring that with you, along the skills and competence that your professors had meticulously ingrained in you. We believe that with the top-notch education this institution had given you combined with the greatest lesson about courage and hope, you go beyond in the next chapter of your life and in every chapter that will follow successfully.

We just hope that in all those chapters, you will not forget your alma mater. Yes, we will be beaming with pride as you climb the rope of your careers and profession. Crimson Tribe, go forth and show the world what you are made of. Let our red color of fire bring out the passion in you and that strong steel of gray be your symbol of determination. Just keep going.

To the parents and other significant people in their lives, congratulations as well. I am sure you’ve provided the best support system to them. They won’t be here without you.

Crimson Tribe congratulations and reminding you again to just keep going.

“Going Beyond: Thriving to Success and Excellence in the Face of Challenge”

It’s harvest season because today you will be reaping the rewards of those four long years of hard work and diligence. We rejoice with you Mabalacat City College’s Batch 2020-2021!

The theme goes “Going Beyond: Thriving to Success and Excellence in the Face of Challenge”. Last November 17 to 19, 2021, the College has undergone accreditation. I am very elated to share to you that the accreditation body has elevated us to level 2. What does that mean?

That the institution that is about to grant you your ticket to the world has provided you the best education amidst the challenges of this global pandemic. Is that bad or good? I think it has its positive side. Two years of this so-called new normal has taught us to go beyond our comfort zones, challenge the old system and venture on new ones, of course with a great risk and perhaps, fear. But we need to hold on to something, that is courage and hope. The fact that we are here today, then this is the batch that showed great courage and remained hopeful all this time.

Bring that with you, along the skills and competence that your professors had meticulously ingrained in you. We believe that with the top-notch education this institution had given you combined with the greatest lesson about courage and hope, you go beyond in the next chapter of your life and in every chapter that will follow successfully.

We just hope that in all those chapters, you will not forget your alma mater. Yes, we will be beaming with pride as you climb the rope of your careers and profession. Crimson Tribe, go forth and show the world what you are made of. Let our red color of fire bring out the passion in you and that strong steel of gray be your symbol of determination. Just keep going.

To the parents and other significant people in their lives, congratulations as well. I am sure you’ve provided the best support system to them. They won’t be here without you.

Crimson Tribe congratulations and reminding you again to just keep going.

ON INTERNATIONALIZATION

ON INTERNATIONALIZATION

(An Excerpt from the President’s Speech during Texas and Education USA Orientation 2021) - May 18, 2021

You see, there are so many things that can divide us, but there are also so many things that can unite us. And why should we choose the former when we are given the choice or opportunity to better understand the world we are living in? Mabalacat City College chooses the path of understanding, so we embark on internationalization.

Oftentimes this kind of activity is only for state and private universities, probably because of fear that community colleges have little to offer.

However, as we look closely, community colleges actually have so much to offer in understanding the world. Community colleges or local colleges as we refer to them in the Philippines, are rich venues of grassroots information on almost anything on social sciences and developmental studies, genuinely preserved culture that dates back in many centuries ago, backyard industries that can inspire great business ideas and so much more.

Those things are what brought us here today. We have so much to share and learn from each other.

Apart from that, this world had suffered enough. Every day we hear news on oppression, on inequality and about victims of war, of terrorism, of human rights violation. These are products of misunderstanding that one idea is superior above others. Through international exchanges we teach our students the appreciation to understand the world from many voices, and to learn that diversity is in fact a set of different truths which are equally valid just like their own truth at home. If we can do this together, then perhaps, it will be a better and a kinder world for the next generation because the students we teach today shall lead them.

You see, there are so many things that can divide us, but there are also so many things that can unite us. And why should we choose the former when we are given the choice or opportunity to better understand the world we are living in? Mabalacat City College chooses the path of understanding, so we embark on internationalization.

Oftentimes this kind of activity is only for state and private universities, probably because of fear that community colleges have little to offer.

However, as we look closely, community colleges actually have so much to offer in understanding the world. Community colleges or local colleges as we refer to them in the Philippines, are rich venues of grassroots information on almost anything on social sciences and developmental studies, genuinely preserved culture that dates back in many centuries ago, backyard industries that can inspire great business ideas and so much more.

Those things are what brought us here today. We have so much to share and learn from each other.

Apart from that, this world had suffered enough. Every day we hear news on oppression, on inequality and about victims of war, of terrorism, of human rights violation. These are products of misunderstanding that one idea is superior above others. Through international exchanges we teach our students the appreciation to understand the world from many voices, and to learn that diversity is in fact a set of different truths which are equally valid just like their own truth at home. If we can do this together, then perhaps, it will be a better and a kinder world for the next generation because the students we teach today shall lead them.

OUR COMMUNITY EFFORTS

OUR COMMUNITY EFFORTS

Consequence-Based Response on Student Services for Balance-Development in this Pandemic Time

More than a year into this pandemic reveals that shifting our mode of learning is merely not enough. The pivots we took led us to a whole new different path and that, it wasn’t just a diversion as we’ve expected it to be. We have to realize that online is here to stay. If we don’t, then we are not only losing relevance but might put our students to harm.

When we shifted to online learning, mental health became an issue. We have to accept that the modality itself is the primary source of this stress. Connectivity issues, compatibility of equipment, limited interaction, back strain, eye problems are just few of the things that makes online learning stressful. With all these organizations offering webinars for additional learning, we just have to decline. Yes, they mean well but we are running the risk of exposing our students more to the very toxic that causes their stress. We just can’t accommodate every webinar request even if it is about mental health itself. Exposing them more is aggravating the issue.

If online learning provided platform for academic requirements, we need to shift paradigm on student services too, and it might just be the opposite. During face-to-face, we gave them seminars on topics ranging from environmental, gender, leadership and even mental health. That is because what they needed then was knowledge about these things. Now, information is at their fingertip. We introduced them to a platform that made all these information available to them. Then why do we still bombard them with additional online activities loaded with the same information? What students need now is the opportunity to be a social being because, they are. We want our students to feel normal, be normal even for such a short time, we want them to relax, to look at nature, appreciate colors and break the pattern of this zombie-like living. These are the consequences that we aspire our student services programs to effect on them. For example, we want them to move away from the source of the stress, then our instructions should bring them outdoor even if it’s just at their doorstep to stare at the cloud or to merely look at the window beyond 20 meters. If we follow this consequence-based response paradigm, schools become the enablers of these experiences to be normal again.

Point is, online learning is the way to go and that is non-negotiable at the moment. Schools have to create the balance and through consequence-based responses on the student services, we give our students alternative ways for a balanced and normal development under this current situation.

More than a year into this pandemic reveals that shifting our mode of learning is merely not enough. The pivots we took led us to a whole new different path and that, it wasn’t just a diversion as we’ve expected it to be. We have to realize that online is here to stay. If we don’t, then we are not only losing relevance but might put our students to harm.

When we shifted to online learning, mental health became an issue. We have to accept that the modality itself is the primary source of this stress. Connectivity issues, compatibility of equipment, limited interaction, back strain, eye problems are just few of the things that makes online learning stressful. With all these organizations offering webinars for additional learning, we just have to decline. Yes, they mean well but we are running the risk of exposing our students more to the very toxic that causes their stress. We just can’t accommodate every webinar request even if it is about mental health itself. Exposing them more is aggravating the issue.

If online learning provided platform for academic requirements, we need to shift paradigm on student services too, and it might just be the opposite. During face-to-face, we gave them seminars on topics ranging from environmental, gender, leadership and even mental health. That is because what they needed then was knowledge about these things. Now, information is at their fingertip. We introduced them to a platform that made all these information available to them. Then why do we still bombard them with additional online activities loaded with the same information? What students need now is the opportunity to be a social being because, they are. We want our students to feel normal, be normal even for such a short time, we want them to relax, to look at nature, appreciate colors and break the pattern of this zombie-like living. These are the consequences that we aspire our student services programs to effect on them. For example, we want them to move away from the source of the stress, then our instructions should bring them outdoor even if it’s just at their doorstep to stare at the cloud or to merely look at the window beyond 20 meters. If we follow this consequence-based response paradigm, schools become the enablers of these experiences to be normal again.

Point is, online learning is the way to go and that is non-negotiable at the moment. Schools have to create the balance and through consequence-based responses on the student services, we give our students alternative ways for a balanced and normal development under this current situation.

ABOUT THE PRESIDENT

ABOUT THE PRESIDENT

Michelle Aguilar-Ong is a government and business executive, currently serving as the College President of Mabalacat City College. As President, she has made remarkable strides by introducing a plethora of pioneering programs that have garnered widespread acclaim. Notably, two of MCC's pandemic responses have been named finalists at the renowned Times Higher Education Awards in Asia.

Dr. Aguilar-Ong has authored several policies for the college that have earned recognition and adoption from other agencies, such as the Juana Policy, Inclusivity Policy, and Balacat Tree Policy. Her devotion to promoting social inclusivity is evident in the various programs she has launched, such as the Pro Plus initiative for working students with disabilities, the First Generation program for families without college graduates, the I-Peace program for indigenous communities, the Life Long Learning program for adults seeking workforce reintegration, and the Honors program for academically gifted students. Through Dr. Aguilar-Ong's leadership, Mabalacat City College has become a benchmarking destination, not only for local colleges but also for state universities, owing to its exceptional technology utilization and community development programs. Furthermore, she has implemented effective transformations in student life, internationalization, and organizational culture, garnering praise from various stakeholders.

Dr. Aguilar-Ong specializes in conducting commissioned studies in the field of organizational development. Her work is often sought after by private corporations who are seeking to enhance their operations and improve their bottom line.

She holds the esteemed position of visiting professor at the graduate school of Don Honorio Ventura State University, where she imparts her expertise in Public Policy Research, Organizational Management, Public Sector Communication. Additionally, she serves as a faculty-coach for the innovative Design Thinking Work Integrated Program offered by both the MPA and MBA courses. Her previous leadership roles have spanned various accomplishments, including her time as Executive Director of Nayong Pilipino Foundation, a subsidiary of the Department of Tourism, and Assistant Executive Director of Project Redland at Clark Development Corporation, which played a key role in formulating the resonant approach for humane resettlement. Her academic qualifications encompass an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Sciences from the University of the Philippines-Manila, a master's degree, and a doctorate in Public Administration from Don Honorio Ventura State University, where she received the meritissimus distinction for both degrees. Notably, she holds a coaching certificate from the Chartered Management Institute in London and was selected for a prestigious training program for Community College Administrators sponsored by the US Department of State at Florida State University in 2022. Her proven versatility extends into the media industry as well, as she served as a host of a weekly public affairs program for GNNTV 44 from 2014 to 2017 and continues to guest host on various programs.

Michelle Aguilar-Ong is a government and business executive, currently serving as the College President of Mabalacat City College. As President, she has made remarkable strides by introducing a plethora of pioneering programs that have garnered widespread acclaim. Notably, two of MCC's pandemic responses have been named finalists at the renowned Times Higher Education Awards in Asia.

Dr. Aguilar-Ong has authored several policies for the college that have earned recognition and adoption from other agencies, such as the Juana Policy, Inclusivity Policy, and Balacat Tree Policy. Her devotion to promoting social inclusivity is evident in the various programs she has launched, such as the Pro Plus initiative for working students with disabilities, the First Generation program for families without college graduates, the I-Peace program for indigenous communities, the Life Long Learning program for adults seeking workforce reintegration, and the Honors program for academically gifted students. Through Dr. Aguilar-Ong's leadership, Mabalacat City College has become a benchmarking destination, not only for local colleges but also for state universities, owing to its exceptional technology utilization and community development programs. Furthermore, she has implemented effective transformations in student life, internationalization, and organizational culture, garnering praise from various stakeholders.

Dr. Aguilar-Ong specializes in conducting commissioned studies in the field of organizational development. Her work is often sought after by private corporations who are seeking to enhance their operations and improve their bottom line.

She holds the esteemed position of visiting professor at the graduate school of Don Honorio Ventura State University, where she imparts her expertise in Public Policy Research, Organizational Management, Public Sector Communication. Additionally, she serves as a faculty-coach for the innovative Design Thinking Work Integrated Program offered by both the MPA and MBA courses. Her previous leadership roles have spanned various accomplishments, including her time as Executive Director of Nayong Pilipino Foundation, a subsidiary of the Department of Tourism, and Assistant Executive Director of Project Redland at Clark Development Corporation, which played a key role in formulating the resonant approach for humane resettlement. Her academic qualifications encompass an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Sciences from the University of the Philippines-Manila, a master's degree, and a doctorate in Public Administration from Don Honorio Ventura State University, where she received the meritissimus distinction for both degrees. Notably, she holds a coaching certificate from the Chartered Management Institute in London and was selected for a prestigious training program for Community College Administrators sponsored by the US Department of State at Florida State University in 2022. Her proven versatility extends into the media industry as well, as she served as a host of a weekly public affairs program for GNNTV 44 from 2014 to 2017 and continues to guest host on various programs.

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