CREATIVE STYLE. Teachers of Saint Louis School of Solano in Nueva Vizcaya showcase their artistic creation of face masks and face shields, giving color to the observance of the Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa in this undated photo. The school made the activity to promote Philippine culture and languages while advocating the use of face masks and shields amid the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Office of Student Affairs-Saint Louis School FB page)

MANILA – A private Catholic school has transformed this year's 'Buwan ng Wika' into a more creative observance by honoring Filipino culture, heritage, and identity through native languages, alongside promoting the use of face masks and face shields amid the pandemic.

Saint Louis School, one of the premier Catholic schools of the Diocese of Bayombong in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, came up with a timely celebration of the country's 'Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa' amid the health crisis.

The school's Office of Student Affairs (OSA) has organized a virtual competition aimed at preserving Filipino pride and heritage while promoting health and safety measures at the same time.

"Our goal in the said event is to spread awareness and knowledge on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in this pandemic at the same time cultivate the creativity and resourcefulness of our teachers," Joe Hendrick Morales, school's OSA coordinator, said. "And of course, all these are in line with the celebration Buwan ng Wika this year."

In a now-viral social media post, participants wore their own artistic creation of face masks and face shields along with their native garments, giving color to the 'Buwan ng Wika' celebration.

Saint Louis's pre-school, junior and senior high school teachers are competing for the most creative, stylish, artistic, and Filipino culture-inspired face mask and face shield.

Each participant is representing each school's department and must able to showcase their own Filipino style of face masks and face shields with the use of indigenous and recyclable materials.

The criteria for evaluation include creativity, resourcefulness, presentation, and appropriateness to the theme "Wika ng Kasaysayan, Kasaysayan ng Wika: Ang mga Katutubong Wika sa Maka-Filipinong Bayanihan Kontra Pandemya."

Morales said the aside from honoring Filipino history and culture, this initiative targets to promote awareness on using face masks and face shields to curb the local transmission of Covid-19.

He added that the initiative is compliant with the health protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Department of Health (DOH).

Meanwhile, Morales urged the public to adhere to the government's preventive measures to combat the dreaded Covid-19.

"We are encouraging everyone to observe all the protocols and guidelines set by the IATF and DOH to help eradicate the spread of the virus, proper use of facemasks and face shields, social distancing, and other precautionary measures," he said.

"Sama-sama po natin labanan ang pandemyang ito at patuloy po tayong manalig sa Diyos para sa kanyang paggabay (Let's fight this pandemic together and continue to trust in God for his guidance)," he added.

On the other hand, Morales said the school has already started its classes this school year through the use of self-paced learning modules, as face-to-face classes remain prohibited due to the pandemic.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said face-to-face classes would not be allowed until a vaccine for Covid-19 is already available. (PNA)