ON July 29, 2010, the Don Antonio O. Floirendo Foundation, Davao Agricultural Ventures Corporation and Del Monte Fresh Produce Philippines formally inaugurated the school building located in Barangay Merangeran, Quezon town in Bukidnon.
The newly built school was a joint project of AOF Foundation, Davco and Del Monte Philippines that started February this year for the benefit of the Merangeran community.
"We are very happy to be here," said Seor Jose Lopez of Del Monte. "We all know that education is an investment in the future, and we are very glad that we are able to help shape that future."
The school building composed of four spacious classrooms, complete with all the facilities, will be accommodated by elementary students from grades one to six next year. To date, Don Antonio O. Floirendo Sr. Elementary school is filled with the first 65 pre-school pupils.
Tomy Labaon, regional director of National Commission on Indigenous People, and DepEd asstistant school district supervisor, Rey Manuel, stressed the school will be incorporated with a curriculum fitted for the community of Merangeran.
"We will put a soul in this body (school), and that soul will be the curriculum that will best fit it," Manuel said.
A Multi-lingual structure will be used in the program; one that the tribe will be at ease with and in a way will not hinder the tribe's cultural ways, Labaon, for his part, said.
"We are looking forward to enhance the school," remarked Virgilio P. Estrada, Davco vice president. "Maybe, we could develop the school more, like putting playground for the students."
With the help of the tribal leaders headed by Datu and Bae Manahan Lataran and Datu Condrado Sumin-ao, local government officials, DepEd, the joint project became a success.
"Ang among dugay na ginahulat nga pangandoy, kamo ra, Antonio Floirendo Sr., Davco ug Del Monte ang nakatupad niini, Daghang Salamat," a heartwarming thanks from Vice Mayor Roberto Alo, who also represented the feelings of the whole community.