Barangay Burabod is a secluded area located at the foot of Mt. Isarog in Calabanga, Camarines Sur. Because of its remoteness and distance from the urban areas of the municipality, students in Barangay Burabod had to hike 5 kilometers to be able to reach the nearest school.
Upon visiting the area a few years ago, former Camarines Sur Representative and now Vice President Leni Robredo had a chance to speak with Burabod’s Barangay Captain Roberto C. Cabaltera. They looked for possible ways to bring education closer to students and put up a secondary school in the location. After enlisting the support of various LGUs and government agencies, Severo High School in Burabod – named after Eduardo A. Severo, who generously donated a one-hectare lot – finally opened its doors to 123 enrollees last June 2014.
As fate would have it, Typhoon Glenda hit the Philippines that same year, and devastated areas of Camarines Sur. Severo High School was severely damaged, leaving its teachers, students and entire community in dire need to repair its classrooms with the hope to make it far sturdier than the original construction.
Not known to the people of Brgy. Burabod, events were already unfolding to address their need. Philam Foundation was coordinating with the Department of Education in identifying areas that were most in need of new classrooms under its “Philam Paaralan” program. Its goal was to build classrooms in calamity-stricken and under-served communities. When Robredo explained the situation of Severo High School to Philam Foundation President Max Ventura, construction plans began to unfold.
Apart from rehabilitation work that needed to be done, Philam Foundation successfully built two new Philam Paaralan classrooms for Severo Highschool, in partnership with the Happy Hearts Fund.
“The act of physically building an educational structure is such a metaphor for deeper, more profound things,” explained Ventura. “Ultimately, we are building the knowledge of our youth and securing their future. Philam Foundation is thankful to all our partners and everyone who made it possible,” he added.
The new Philam Paaralan classrooms can accommodate approximately 100 students. “We were intentional in the way we designed these classrooms, taking into consideration the risk of calamities,” Ventura pointed out. “These classrooms are typhoon-proof and built using the latest steel frame technology. Students of Severo High school can now concentrate on their lessons and academic work with no need to worry when the rains come.”
“Aside from having typhoon-resilient structures, our classrooms are fully-furnished with water sanitation and hygiene facilities that will promote cleanliness and healthy living among students,” Ventura concluded.
Established in 1997 to commemorate Philam Life's 50th Golden Anniversary, Philam Foundation, Inc. is the social development arm of the Philam Group of Companies. It is a non-stock, non-profit organization committed to serve the less privileged in society. To learn more about the Philam Foundation, visit www.philamlife.com
About Philam Life
The Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company (Philam Life) is the country’s premier life insurance company. Established on 21 June 1947, Philam Life has earned the trust of customers for its financial strength, strong brand name, and ability to deliver on its promises.
Philam Life has PHP236.4 billion in total assets as of 31 December 2015 and has delivered timely payouts of over PHP10 billion in education benefits (2004-2015) and over PHP131 billion in insurance benefits (1950-2015), while serving close to 600,000 individual policyholders and over 2 million insured group members.
Philam Life understands the real life needs of its customers and provides the right plans and the right solutions including life protection, health insurance, savings, education, retirement, investment, group and credit life insurance. It also offers bancassurance and fund management products and services through its subsidiaries – BPI Philam Life Assurance Company (BPI-Philam) and Philam Asset Management Inc. (PAMI).
Philam Life is a member of AIA Group Limited, the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group.
AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively “AIA” or the “Group”) comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, a 97 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka, a 49 per cent joint venture in India and representative offices in Myanmar and Cambodia.
The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai almost a century ago. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$181 billion as of 31 May 2016.
AIA meets the long-term savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a range of products and services including life insurance, accident and health insurance and savings plans. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents, partners and employees across Asia-Pacific, AIA serves the holders of more than 29 million individual policies and over 16 million participating members of group insurance schemes.
AIA Group Limited is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code “1299” with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) traded on the over-the-counter market (ticker symbol: “AAGIY”).