The gift of music for CENTEX students

Enrico Louise Tobias, nine years old, is a smart, talented student living in Tondo, Manila. He has been attending the Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX), where bright students from economically disadvantaged families receive education that rivals the quality of some of the top private schools in the country. 

Aside from a rigorous curriculum that adheres to standards set by the Department of Education, some of the top public elementary school teachers in the country, and a nurturing learning environment, CENTEX offers enhancement programs for its students—not just to supplement academic learning, but also to boost their confidence and self-esteem.

One such enhancement is the After Hours Music Program, where Enrico has been honing his skills as a violinist for the past four years. Under the mentorship of the internationally acclaimed violinist Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata, Enrico has been attending twice-weekly after-school music lessons with 22 other CENTEX students.

But Enrico, embodying the culture of excellence inculcated in him by CENTEX, does not stop with attending the music sessions—has become a passionate violinist. He practices on his own, sometimes for up to five hours a day during the summer break.

This is why during performances, whether in school private functions, or large public venues, Enrico shines as a violinist.

Enrico, of course, is just one of the many bright, talented, and confident kids that Ayala Foundation Inc. has been nurturing through CENTEX. For the past 17 years, CENTEX has been one of the key Education initiatives of the foundation, graduating over 1,000 students from its Manila and Batangas schools. In fact, 80 percent of the students from CENTEX Manila’s first batch of graduates have completed or are completing their college education—well on their way to fruitful and satisfying professional careers.

Because of children like Enrico, Volkswagen Philippines has chosen to partner with Ayala Foundation in providing a nurturing environment for bright, talented, and confident students. On May 12, officials from Volkswagen Philippines turned over 21 violins and two cellos for the CENTEX After Hours Music Program. This is Volkswagen’s second effort after the launch of their Child Safety Initiative.

“Music teaches discipline and responsibility and can really help in increasing a child’s learning ability,” says John Philip Orbeta, President of Volkswagen Philippines. “For us, the job is never done when it comes to advancement of children’s welfare.”

“I’m very happy with this partnership with Volkswagen,” said Ruel Maranan, Ayala Foundation President. “We are both in the business of ‘moving’ people—in mind, heart, and spirit.”

Also present during the ceremonial turnover held at the Volkswagen BGC showroom were Volkswagen Marketing Director Arnel Doria, Ayala Foundation Senior Director for Programs Joie Lopez, Coke Bolipata, and other representatives from Volkswagen, Ayala Foundation, and Ayala Corporation.

As a sign of gratitude, the CENTEX students performed several musical pieces for the audience, including Johann Sebastian Bach‘s Minuet 1, 2, and 3 and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

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