Retro-Post: Thank You for the Music

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With mi unica hija Brinks, during the ceremonies

With mi unica hija Brinks, during the ceremonies (photo by Boyet Gabion)

The event was held in January 2012 but I missed posting about it. So here it is in December, retro mode of course.

It's ATI's 25th anniversary, quite an auspicious day for giving out awards, a perfect day for receiving one. But what's with the ABBA song? Later.

It was a usual week-long celebration, but this time ATI honored 25 of its institutional/individual partners. I felt esteemed to be one of them.

The citation reads:

As our PARTNER AND ALLY to building capabilities as well as
capacities among the agricultural extension stakeholders.
Together, we inform...
we educate...
we share knowledge...
we empower...
we build dreams and CHANGE LIVES!

I thank the Lord for giving me the strength and directions.

I remember, my first direct and long term engagement with ATI was in 2001-2003. I was National Consultant on Extension Information Technology and part of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) team on the project Strengthening the Devolved Agricultural Extension Services in Support of the Philippine Agriculture and Fishery Modernization Act (TCP/PHI/0167). I have seen and worked then with ATI centers in Bicol, Cebu and Davao. In 2005 I was reunited with ATI for the FAO-assisted drafting of the Report on the Implementation of an e-Extension Network for the DA which actually proposed a Farmer’s Call Center. It took me to ATI-CAR, and again in Cebu and Davao.

2012 marked my fifth year with ATI's Knowledge Product Management Division (KPMD). I had the time to interact with all the centers. And in those 5 most fruitful years, I have seen 6 major launchings spearheaded by KPMD:

  • e-learning in 2007
  • ATIiNteractive in 2008
  • text support 39132 in 2009
  • Aurora e-Village in 2009
  • Farmers' Contact Center in 2009
  • NMRice Mobile in 2011

Thank you ATI for the opportunity. Thank you KPMD for the cooperation. Thank you all our e-extension coordinators. You've put fun into work. And to the two most zealous and resolute ladies of ATI, Niet Arceo and Pam Mappala, thank you for meeting the challenges with me, for simply 'thinking out of the box'. It's a rare privilege to be working side-by-side with former students.

Now, for the ABBA song... it's at ATI that I was given the chance well, coerced at first, to hone my singing, a.k.a. videoke, skills. In the beginning, it was difficult to embarrassing. Next was simply the camaraderie.
And so, thank you too ATI... for the music.

(Just in case you want to sing along, here's ABBA's Thank You for The Music.)

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.