10 Things We Loved about the Philippine Homeschooling Conference 2016

I am definitely one biased writer here.  So, forgive me.  But then, I also am reviewing this from different perspectives! First of all, I am one of the core members of the Homeschool Association of Philippine Islands (HAPI) that partnered with Educating For Life (EFL) in presenting this year’s conference.  Secondly, I am also one of the workshop speakers for the ”How to Start Your Homeschool Journey” session.  Thirdly, I was a homeschooler attendee myself, overseeing our homeschooled (former and current) children as they volunteered and fourthly, I was an exhibitor in the expo as well representing the Visions of Hope Foundation where I currently sit as board member. Fifthly, I also represented the FB Homeschooling Support groups as Homeschoolers of the Philippines (HOP)…. gasp.. whew… and lastly, I was a homeschool blogger.. so there.  Wow, that sounded like a UNIT STUDY Approach on How to Get Involved in the  Philippine Homeschool Conference! So, hopefully, all that perspective will help equalize my own biases  as I write this ( Honestly, we welcome all positive and constructive feedback! Please comment!).

So here are my favorite things about this year’s run:

  1.  For Homeschoolers, By Homeschoolers:    Just look at the photos.  Nuff said!

    Eldest son came a bit later with Papa Gilbert. These sweet ones were all ready to work at 7AM!
    Homeschoolers as Volunteers were up as early as 5 AM! Photo courtesy of Mariel Uyquiengco,
    Homeschoolers came in full force and were superb hosts!
    Joy Mendoza, a product of homeschooling, was one of keynote speakers.
    Homeschooler Alyssa Hao on violin
    Homeschooler Damodar Das Castilo on the Cello
    Homeschooler Damodar Das Castilo on the Cello

    More orchestral music were provided by the Catholic Family Academy Homeschool Orchestra and by the Mercurio Family Ensemble.

Even the some of the kids' activities were led by homeschoolers. Meg and Maddie Barraca taught my daughter ,Raya and niece, Kaila brush calligraphy.
Even the some of the kids’ activities were led by homeschoolers. Homeschoolers teaching other Homeschoolers! Meg and Maddie Barraca taught my daughter Raya and niece, Kaila brush calligraphy.

2. This year’s “title or theme” : From Roots to Wings

I love it.  There are so many ways of looking at it.  From seeds to roots, from walking to flying.  From roots to release.   I just love all the analogies that “roots” and “wings” bring to mind.

3.  The Homeschooling through Stages approach

Whether you are just about to take the plunge, or homeschooling for some time,  whether you are ready to release to college or needing encouragement in your journey, whether you represent a homeschool provider or thinking of putting up one…. there is a room for you in this conference!

Tried to stay within the 45 minute allotted time to share “How to Start Your Homeschool Journey”

4.  Impactful Keynote Messages

You just wanted to be better in what we were doing. After the morning messages, you just wanted to a better parent (in whatever capacity your season calls you as described by Bro. Bo Sanchez as “control, coach and consultant!”) , a better educator, a better believer, a better neighbor…….

Ms. Deonna Tanchi- a pioneer in Philippine Homeschooling!
Bro.  Bo Sanchez
Learned a whole lot about Relevance in Education! A superb talk on motivation children to learn and love learning by Mr. Andrew Pudewa.
With speakers Mr. Gary Cox and Mr. Andrew Pudewa

5. Venue

The venue is central, easily accessible for people within Metro Manila.  It was very comfortable and highly conducive for learning. One suggestion I have heard was to create more space for the expo so the aisles are not so cramped.

6.  Relationships Recharged

FB friends finally meet. With Hazel Bautista!

Seeing familiar ones too!

One of the highlights was having my sisters join me. Here with our eldest, Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas, governor of Kidzania Manila!
With familiar friends from Homeschool Global (our family’s homeschool provider), co homeschooling parent and co workshop speaker, Ms. Milona Barraca and our ever so sweet and gracious homeschooling family advisor, Ms. Girlie Argosino.
My families! Buizon family led by sister Felichi with her former homeschooled daughters Tahnee and Kaila, with our Marco, Raya and Gino and my Visions of Hope Foundation family: Arlene, Cheney, Abi and R'love. This is the booth where children help other children!
My families! Buizon family led by  another sister Felichi with her former homeschooled daughters Tahnee and Kaila, with our Marco, Raya and Gino and my Visions of Hope Foundation family: Arlene, Cheney, Abi and R’love. This is the booth where children help other children! Contact them through their website and take part in the many ways your family/children can help other children in our country!

7.  The launch of many firsts!

  • The HapiNews ( hopefully a regular newsletter from HAPI)

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  • HomeschoolTV website,   youtube and FB site!
  • The Philippine Homeschool Conference App  (though others may have  preferred a one page hard copy schedule that they could hold and fold) was quiet useful.
  • The coziest nook ever for FB Homeschooling Support Groups as spearheaded by Ms. Denise Pena
Photo courtesy of Ms. Christine Amador
Photo courtesy of Ms. Christine Amador

8.  Ok, my brother, Senator Kiko Pangilinan’s heartwarming opening remarks was simply the best way to start a conference.  Not only did he launch March 3, 2017 (and promised to file a senate resolution for it)  as the first ever Philippine National Homeschooling Day, “Building Up the Philippines, One Family at a Time” (Congratulations to Ms. Ailene Amargo for this winning tagline!”, he also expressed his support to help in legislation to support all homeschoolers in the Philippines! But I think, our favorite, honestly , was his stories about “homeschooling” his children!


9. The A-team : Amazing, Adorable, Aweome, Alive, Aggressive, Agile, Alert, Attentive, Assuring. We give the team A+ indeed!

Educating for Life Workforce! Photo from Ms. Tina Rodriguez
HAPI! Homeschooler Association of the Philippines  headed by Mr. Edric Mendoza with the movers of HomeschoolTV and Educating for Life ! Photo courtesy of Ms. Laksmi Maluya.
The Maluya Family. Laksmi is our champion from HAPI. Photo provided by Ms. Tina Rodriguez
The Maluya Family. Laksmi is our champion from HAPI. Photo provided by Ms. Tina Rodriguez

10.  The best ever Homeschool Expo/Trade Fair (good thing I was super busy and was able to resist the temptation to purchase and hoard!) with so many exciting, enriching and cool products and super fun activities for kids.

Congratulations to the entire team behind this conference. A job well done, indeed.

So there, how about you?  Any comments or suggestions? Pls feel free to share your thoughts. If you’d like to share more photos on the event, please email me at homescoolph@gmail.com! You may also direct your feedback regarding the recently concluded conference via Philippine Homeschool Conference FB page or www.educatingforlife.co !

Gotta go for!


1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

3 Weeks to Go to the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016 !

I would like to make an appeal to all homeschoolers to make time to attend this once a year gathering of Philippine Homeschoolers !  Consider it a wise investment for your homeschooling journey.  I can assure you that it will truly be more than “Worth it”.  I still vividly remember the first big conference I attended at the St Francis Square with Ms. Debra Bell, the author of the The Ultimate Guide for Homeschooling (available locally at Learning Plus Book Store).  And  I still remember the warmth, the peace, and assurance that filled my my heart after listening to her speak. One thing I remember quite well, and still find myself quoting her again and again.  Though not verbatim, this was the most  impactful message for me then, “Instill the love for learning! Oh, your children will have many gaps for sure since we can’t attempt to cover everything. However, when your children come to the point that he realizes he has those gaps, he will gladly and passionately learn what needs to be learned. So chill!”

This year’s line up  is truly exciting. Imagine 4 keynote gifted speakers tackling these life changing, essential homeschooling /parenting topics? Mother-Daughter Homeschoolers, Ms. Deonna Tanchi- Ms. Joy Tanchi will tandem teach on “Building a Firm Foundation“.  An international well sought after speaker and education expert, Mr. Andrew Pudewa will be handling, “The Art and Science of Helping Children Learn Well” and superb and dynamic speaker, founder of the Catholic Filipino Academy, Mr. Bo Sanchez  will share about,  “Leaving a Legacy for Our Children.” If these powerful messages do not encourage you to homeschool forever (Joke only!), and to do so with a bigger, worthier picture in mind, I really don’t know who or what will.

To get a better view of what’s in line, here is the planned program:

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 Wow,  I am so excited to see from the details of the program that as the conference’s title clearly says, “From Roots to Wings: Homeschooling Through the Stages”, this conference indeed meets every homeschooler or soon to be homeschooler where they are currently at!

Wait, did you see my name on the program? Yes, I will be handling one workshop on “Starting Your Journey” with the emphasis on “Your” as I will try to help homeschoolers personalize their journey as they carve their own homeschooling paths!  Oh, please, click here and register soon. And if you are part of the Homeschoolers of the Philippines Facebook Group, wouldn’t this the perfect place to finally meet all the other homeschoolers and so we can actually engage with one another beyond profile photos ,updates and comments?

Apart from all this, I so love browsing (yes, can’t shop much since our last homeschooled son (of 4) has all the hand me downs and shared material from his older siblings) in the exciting expo ( 50 or so  booths) of homeschooling/parenting material! I remembering purchasing my most favorite and most used material and learning tools from homeschooling conference expos!

Just in case, you are not yet convinced to join us this year, I searched online for more reasons to attend this year’s homeschool conference, and viola, guess where I was led to?  Our own keynote’s speaker, Andrew Pudewa’s blogpost on “Why Attend a Homeschool Convention This Year?”

“Teaching is the overflow of the soul of the teacher to the soul of the student.” To do that, of course, the teacher’s soul must be full. Yes, we can read stuff. We can watch videos. We can pray. But for so many of us, the busyness of life makes all those things we can and should do to fill ourselves up somewhat less important than the crisis of the moment. (And in homeschooling, there always seems to be a crisis of the moment!)

In reality, a conference is a retreat—a place to gather with like-minded people, see and hear new ideas, ask questions, and contemplate. Even if the talks you attend aren’t the “incredible” talks that change one’s life, there are ideas everywhere, and I’ve found that one small idea from an unexpected source can improve my life forever. Sometimes those ideas don’t even come from speakers or workshops, but from one-on-one conversations with other homeschooling parents.

So, see you there! If this post made you finally decide to click and register, do leave a comment at the end of this post, please!

P.S. I’d like to personally invite you as well to support Visions of Hope Foundation booth as it participates to raise funds for educating and caring of poor children in our country.  They will be selling new elementary and high school Philippine textbooks (in marked down prices)  along with  foundation shirts and mugs.  The Homeschoolers of the Philippines pins will be sold in this booth as well.  Visit us, ok?


Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”