The first team up of Kapuso Dingdong Dantes and Kapamilya Shaina Magdayao will not be for a movie or a series.
On June 29, at Victorino’s Restaurant in Quezon City, the two launched a “partnership” that will push Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) to school children in rural areas.
With Dingdong as the chairman of Yes Pinoy Foundation, and Shaina, together with Ginebra basketball player LA Tenorio, representing Smile Cares Foundation, the three signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the “Yes to Full STEAM Ahead.”
THE PROJECT. Yes Pinoy will be in charge of selecting students who will train under STEAM Education, 20 teachers will also be trained to facilitate an eco camp.
Shaina said, “I think, Yes Pinoy will help us in choosing. But yung mga programs namin, we’re gonna be working with the LGUs, yung expert pagdating sa agriculture.
“Then, i-infuse namin ang STEAM Education. Basically, we’re gonna set up a camp. Parang sponsorship or scholarship.”
The initiative aims to put up a two-hectare eco camp in Siargao, where the kids will be trained for STEAM-related jobs.
Dingdong added, “Ang STEAM education kasi, isa siyang tool. Educational tool that is quite out-of-the box.Na hindi siya traditional type of learning.
"It’s quite new. Kasi kahit ako, noong na-introduce sa akin yun, maganda siya mula sa bata.
"Pero yung baby ko, masyado pang bata.
"Pero through the process, natuturuan ang young Filipinos on different types of learning na sila mismo, nakaka-discover, nagiging creative sila and innovative.
"Ang end-product dun, nakakapag-produce sila ng mga products.
"Like what Shaina mentioned, puwedeng makapag-produce ng sabon, even solar panel, at marami pang-iba.”
Shaina started toying on the idea three years ago.
“Wala pa kaming concrete na plans…wala pa rin kaming concrete na foundation...
“Actually, all our plans we’re really small. We all just wanted to help. Ako, particularly, children. Kasi malapit talaga ko sa mga bata, alam niyo naman yun.
“But now, lumalaki pa ang advocacy namin because we’ve partnered with Yes Pinoy Foundation. Actually, our initial plan is just to bring the STEAM Education to provinces.
“Now, nagkakaroon na kami ng bigger dreams because of eco camp.”
The project is targeting 500 kids.
Dingdong threw in, “If it’s done properly, if developed properly, it could lead to skills, and skills are very important factor para sa entrepreneurship at employment ng mga OSY [out of school youths].
“Remember, kaya nga sila OSY, it’s because of poverty. Naghahanap sila ng pagkakakitaan, trabaho. Naniniwala kami na this can be a very big tool para matulungan sila.”
THE PARTNERSHIP. Atty. Lucille Sering, their common friend, helped make the partnership between the two stars possible.
She’s the same lawyer handling the cases of Shaina’s sister Vina Morales.
But prior to this, Dingdong and Shaina have been active in their individual socio-civic endeavors.
Dingdong said, “I believe na wala kaming mapupuntahan kung mag-isa lang kaming kikilos.
"And mahalaga talaga yung if you get like-minded people, you share the same passion, love, and commitment to what you’re doing.”
For Shaina’s part, she is not used to publicizing her charity projects, so it quite took her a lot of convincing to get the media involved during the MOA signing.
“Personally, I don’t like it. I’m very sensitive when it comes to sincerity.
"Siguro kasi, I’ ve been in the business for a long time and medyo mahirap yun hanapin sa industriya natin.
“So, I’ve been very particular when it comes to sincerity.
"Feeling ko kasi, when you help, you don’t need the media. You don’t need the coverage. Kaya medyo masakit sa akin ‘to ngayon. I’m talking about it right now."
But, “They made me realized that since I have big dreams, we need bigger help. That’s why we’re getting formal with our contract signing and, hopefully, by using our voice, we’ll be able to raise more awareness.”
The groundbreaking for the eco camp in Siargao will be this September, while the construction will start in November.