Operation Brotherhood Montessori Center
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|Operation Brotherhood Montessori Center Incorporated|
OBMC's logo as of 2011 which features their motto and a depiction of a butterfly's metamorphosis.
|Motto||Seipsum Facit Persona|
Man Makes Himself
|Founder||Amb. Preciosa S. Soliven|
|Campus||Greenhills (Main Campus), Angeles, Las Piñas, Sta. Ana, Fairview|
Operation Brotherhood Montessori Center Incorporated (also known as OB Montessori Center Inc.) is an Italian-based school in the Philippines named after Maria Montessori. It was founded by former UNESCO-Philippines Secretary-General Amb. Preciosa Soliven in 1966. The mother organization Operation Brotherhood International was founded by Oscar G. Arellano. OBI provided medical help and community upliftment assistance to the war refugees in Vietnam and Laos. When OBI started operations in the Philippines in 1963, village projects became its first priority including schools for the poor. Ambassador Preciosa S. Soliven who had been teaching young children in Vietnam and later worked with a Swiss Montessori preschool teacher in Makati was asked by OBI (Oscar G. Arellano) to manage these schools. OB Montessori offers toddler, pre-school (known as Casa), elementary school, high school and college levels and is the first school in the Philippines to use the Montessori method. Oscar G. Arellano, founder of OBI Phils also opened another Montessori school in 1975. Smaller in scale compared to its neighbor and counterpart, OB Montessori Center. This little school is nestled in Barangay Addition Hills, San Juan City.
- 1 History
- 2 Teachers
- 3 Academic Programs
- 4 Prepared Environment
- 5 Courtesy
- 6 Community Services and Programs
- 7 School Branches
- 8 Notable alumni 
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Operation Brotherhood International (OBI), the mother organization of O.B Montessori Center, Inc., was founded by Oscar Arellano in 1956. OBI provided assistance to the war refugees in Vietnam and Laos. The OBI team was made out of doctors, nurses, food technologists, agriculturists, and Social Workers. In 1963, its Filipino team helped relocate 3,000 squatter families from Intramuros, Manila to Sapang Palay, Bulacan.
The principle of "self help" pervaded all OBI activities. The education of the family unit was given emphasis. Thus, while the adults were engaged in community activities, their children attended nursery school.
When OBI started operations, village projects including kindergarten schools for the poor were set up. Oscar Arellano asked Ambassador Preciosa S. Soliven to manage these schools. OBI assisted in the fundraising that initially financed the O.B Montessori Center making it self-supporting until its incorporation in 1975. Amb. Soliven assumed the presidency of this non stock, non profit institution. The original board members were SEC commissioner Angel Limjoco, Sen. Salvador Laurel, Greek Counsel General Alexander Adamson, Sony Philippines President Elena Lim and Philippine Star publisher Max Soliven.
In 1964, Italian Ambassador, Signor Rubino awarded Amb. Soliven, project manager Operation Brotherhood International Village Children's Schools, a government organization to train in the Association Montessori International (AMI) Primary Course in Perugia, Italy. Years later, eight of her teachers received the same kind of scholarship grant. They were enrolled at the AMI Primary Course for 3-7 year old's.
Amb. Preciosa Soliven specialized in the Montessori Language Arts in London, England as arranged by Mr. Mario Montessori and Muriel Dwyer, head of the Maria Montessori Center at Lyndhurst Gardens. A British counsel grant was also given to her in the same year which included observation of British and Scottish primary schools.
In 1968-1969, she was awarded an additional Italian scholarship to take the AMI Elementary Course for 7-12 year old's in Bergamo, Italy. Internationally recognized Montessori experts with whom Soliven has worked with were Antonietta Paolini, Elnora Ilonegger, Camilo Grazzini, and Sofia Cavaletti of AMI Italy.
Montessori became a household word when Soliven hosted 2 children's shows at ABS-CBN: "Montessori for the Home" in 1970 and "Montessori for everyone" in 1971. The shows were broadcast in both Filipino and English. They became so popular, that their ratings surpassed that of "Sesame Street" which aired simultaneously in another channel. "Montessori for Everyone" ranked 17 in the list of 400 weekly TV programs aired over local channels. In 1990, Soliven moved to a new medium, informing the country about the Montessori way in her column, "A Point of Awareness". Every morning in OB, the high school students read, cut and paste these columns in their SSDG notebooks.
Every year, O.B Montessori Center stages a play or a musical, usually based on well-loved fairy tales and Broadway plays with participants from among the students aged 3–18 years. The gala affairs are often attended by national leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, entertainment personalities and well known socialites. Their common observation is that OBMCI students perform like "professionals". Funds raised are used for the O.B Montessori Twin Project of Pagsasarili Preschools and Mothercraft Training and Literacy Course for Village Mothers.
When Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino became president in 1986, she appointed Dr. Soliven to represent the Philippines in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France. It was here that she was elected a member for the Executive Board, the highest governing body of UNESCO. In discussing the UN priority of literacy projects for Asia, Latin America and Africa, Amb. Soliven would often mention to the Director-General and members of the board how the Montessori System has worked so well in the Philippines for all Social classes of children as well as adults. Her colleagues, former Prime Mister of Australia, Mr.Whitlam; Amb. Wagner de Reyna of Peru, Dr. Zhao of China, Amb. Aboussouan of Lebannon and Mr.Cosmapodoeus of Greece were touched by her constant reference of Dr.Maria Montesori who championed for the cause of the child.
Back in the 1940s when UNESCO was founded, the popular Peruvian ambassador recalled that it was Dr.Maria Montessori's philosophy of the "inner man" that triggered off a rich spiritual discussion among the founding members of the Executive Board. Mesdames Halima Inayatullah of Pakistan, Paronetto-Valier of Italy and Ulvhammer of Sweden were attracted to the O.B Montessori Pagsasirili Preschool and Mothercraft programs.
Soliven demonstrated the modified Montessori Pagsasarili Program by convening a class compound of the children of African, European, Asian, and Latin American employees in the 2 succeeding years during which she participated in the spring seasons at Place des Fontenoy in Paris.
Dr. Zacarias of the Education Committee adapted several Montessori ideas in their primary school experiment in South Africa.
Meantime, in 1988, then Secretary of Education, Dr. Lourdes Quisumbing appointed Soliven as one of the 9 founding members of the Education Department Task Force to coordinate Early Childhood Education in the Philippines (CONCEP). Its work was to streamline the curriculum teacher training and facility guidelines to make it easier for Congress to include preschool education within the national budget in the near future.
O.B. Montessori Center, Inc. conducts "in house" training for its own teachers. This is patterned after the International Montessori Training Centers and has been approved as a "proficiency" course by the Department of Education. It is a one and a half year course that focuses on Montessori theories and practice. Amb. Preciosa Soliven heads the training team and is assisted by Ms. Sara Soliven-De Guzman, Executive President.
The training program covers seven courses leading to proficiency in teaching preschool, primary school, intermediate school, and professional high school. Pagsasarili preschool and Mothercraft Literacy Training for the village mother and their children. Prospective teachers are also retained in specialized areas such as Home Arts, Food Technology, Agriculture, Physical Education, Music, and Religion.
The O.B. Montessori Toddlers Program centers on the philosophy of "Helping the Child Help Himself" through the Montessori Prepared Environment. The Toddlers Room simulates a house where the child is given freedom to work independently in a Prepared Environment that is complete, functional and orderly, thus maximizing his potential to the fullest. The furniture and materials are also designed within the child's level that would enable him to develop independence in movement and language in preparation for preschool education.
Montessori Education in the Philippines did not start among the rich. It started among the poor in Sapang Palay, Bulacan. When Amb. Soliven returned to the Philippines, she put up a school for middle class while maintaining services to the poor.
The first full-time Montessori Nursery School was organized and conducted at the Syquia Apartments in Malate, Manila. It was named O.B. Montessori Children's House. Soon, other Children's Houses were opened in Paco, Makati, and Quezon City. Most of O.B. Montessori Children's Houses were established between 1966 and 1970 in rented mansions in Manila and Quezon City.
The Casa Curriculum makes use of 177 hands-on apparata for Practical Life activities, Sensorial Life activities, Language, Mathematics and Cultural Arts (divided into History, Botany, Geography, Science, Music and Arts).
After Soliven completed her AMI Elementary course for 6-12 year old's in Bergamo, in 1969, she continued the Montessori project by opening the grade school level in 1970. The first grade school graduation was held in 1977 with 10 students as the first batch of graduates.
The first grade school started operations in Paco, Manila. From that old schoolhouse, it was transferred to Taft Avenue. When this Schoolhouse became to crowded to accommodate all the children, the grade school was transferred to Sta. Ana, Manila.
The grade school curriculum, called the Cosmic Curriculum follows Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy which is to make the child realize that he is part of the universe and he has a special role to play in it. It teaches the child to appreciate the creation of the universe from the atom, plants and animals, to the coming of man. It also teaches them the universal responsibility of mankind, to care for life.
Academic subjects include Language, Filipino, Mathematics, Geometry, and Cultural Arts (which is divided into 4 subject areas, namely: History, Geography, Botany, and Zoology). Agriculture, Home Arts, Music, Character Education, Physical Education and Scouting have innovative programs.
School activities such as Exhibits, Poetry Festivals, Fashion Shows, Scouting Investiture, Barn Dance, Formal Dining, Intramurals, Musical Presentations and others are held to complement the academic and special subjects. Field trips are arranged to supplement the lessons learned inside the classroom.
OBMC has a variety of extra-curricular activities. Membership in school clubs such as the: O.B. Montessori Angels Choir, Angklung Ensemble, Marching Band,O.B.Montessori Dance Club, Student Council, Basketball, Chess, Badminton and Taekwondo Varsity Teams, Junior Police Training Program, and the participation in the Poetry/Declamation Festival and the regular Broadway Musicales including the Christmas Tableaus is encouraged to develop the child's confidence, discipline and appreciation of the arts.
From 1977 to 1982, OBMCI grade school graduates would normally go to traditional schools for their secondary education. Some were able to adjust well to the traditional set up, while others did not. They would come back to OBMCI asking the school to open a high school level. Due to these numerous requests, Soliven launched the O.B. Montessori Professional High School.
Professional High School
Between 1972 and 1982, Soliven received various study grants from the U.S State Department, Europe and Australia to visit professional high schools. Among these she visited was Ecole Culinaire in Paris, France. What Amb. Soliven saw in these various academic and technical schools, she applied in the innovative O.B Professional High School, the first of its kind in the Philippines.
Maria Montessori believed that the period of development between 12 and 18 is a quest for economic independence. This develops self-confidence among teenagers. To meet this adolescent need, Operation Brotherhood Montessori opened the O.B Montessori Professional High School in 1983.
The Professional High School curriculum provides special training in entrepreneurship, leadership and citizenship.
The O.B. Montessori Professional High School Curriculum is composed of 4 core subjects: Communication Arts (Filipino, English, Public Speaking, Logic/Argumentation and Debate, Spanish/Italian/Nihonggo/French); Science and Technology (Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics); Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry with Logic, Trigonometry with Calculus and Statistics); and Makabayan Subjects (Social Studies, Law on Persons, Technology, Home Economics and Livelihood Education, Computer, Accounting, Values Education, Music, Physical Education, Health, Leadership Training and the Revitalized Homeroom Guidance Program)
Co-curricular activities compliment the classroom activities. Field trips are regularly scheduled through the year. High school joint school-endorsed clubs include: OBMC Leadership Corps, Women's Volleyball Varsity, Marching Band, Show Band, Taekwondo Club, Men's and Women's Basketball Varsity, Glee Club, Dance Club, Rainbow Catering Club, and UNESCO ASPNet Club.
As the young adult reaches the age between 18-24, he begins to make his decisions in the choice of his career. This stage focuses in the preparation for a profession and for his future family life. With these in mind, Operation Brotherhood Montessori College Courses have been designed for the adult to mature professionally.
Since 1995, OBMC has been offering the 4 year "Bachelor in Early Childhood Education with specialization in the Montessori Method". This is based on the original international curriculum designed by Dr. Maria Montessori. This degree entails daily "practice teaching" in the freshman year. This intense classroom work is closely monitored and each trainee's ability to "normalize" children is carefully evaluated.
Unique to this 4-year course is the inclusion of the Montessori School Management Program which exposes students to the operation and management of a full Montessori school.
OB College also offers a "Proficiency Course in Montessori Preschool Education" to college graduates who would like to open up or teach in a Montessori School. This intensive course may be completed in just 2 semesters an 1 summer.
The short course in "Professional Education" is likewise given to those who would like to earn the 18 units required by the Professional Regional Commission (PRC). Completion of the required units will qualify non-education majors to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)
In 1995, Soliven founded "Istituto Culinario", as the first specialized school for Culinary Arts in the country. It will continue to instill the disciplines and prepared environment brought about by Maria Montessori. The primary objective of the organization is to provide training for chefs.
The course prepares students to establish their own business highlighted by the actual training in catering management and marketing. Students are exposed to a wide range of activities such as culinary exhibits and competitions, exposure tours, and actual management of food business. It likewise emphasizes the importance of eating safe, cost efficient food and further aims to develop proper work attitudes and values.
2 year Diploma course in Food Service is patterned after the well equipped European state-supported culinary schools which thoroughly trains high school graduates in becoming self-reliant featuring a "ladderized" program leading towards a subsequent degree course. The course allows immediate employment after graduation and promises an opportunity for graduates to work as a chef in any of the international hotel kitchens. Dual training consists of simultaneous classes on international cuisine, computer skills, and entrepreneurship together with the in house apprenticeship in Ristorante La Dolce Fontana.
In 2012, there were major renovations in the college and in the school restaurant. Ristorante La Dolce Fontana and OB Culinary College was replaced with Brasserie Cicou and Istituto Culinario.
In 2016 both the Brasserie Cicou and Istituto Culinario were taken down, Istituto Culinario was taken down in order to have space for the grade 11 and 12 rooms
The Prepared Environment is a unique feature of the Montessori system. It must be beautiful, complete and functional. All Montessori materials used in the classroom have been universally tested and conform to international Montessori standards.
Maria Montessori believes that the environment must be prepared for the child. Therefore, care must be given in setting up an environment at home or in school. The aim of the Prepared Environment is to facilitate the development of independence.
The Casa and Grade School Prepared Environment is equipped with furniture proportional to the children's size. It also contains classroom materials which are scientifically designed to fulfill the children's needs and sensitivities.
In the Montessori High School and College levels, the environment is still an important feature. According to Dr. Maria Montessori, the young adult must be exposed to a Prepared Environment that will acquaint him with the structure of society where order is respected and rules are consistent. If the environment is not in order, chaos, disturbance, ignorance and disrespect may occur.
The "professional" set-up of laboratories (kitchens, science, computer, agriculture farm) where theories are turned into practical activities enhances the students' quest for self-sufficiency. Apprenticeship of the Food Service programs are done in ristorantes, bistros, and cafes of the school.
A unique practice of courtesy in OBMC schools is the handshake. Students greet their teachers by shaking their hands every morning and a sign of gratitude during dismissal. Cadet officers render a hand salute to the staff members as a sign of respect.
Community Services and Programs
OBMC students are given the awareness of sharing and caring for the less privileged members of society through the following foundations. In the Professional High School curriculum, the Junior Operation Brotherhood Service (JOBS) through the Mothercraft Literacy Program and Project Kaibigan satisfies the need to serve his fellowmen.
O.B. Montessori Child and Community Foundation
- Pagsasarili Preschools
- Mothercraft Training and Literacy Course for Village Mothers
Mt. Pinatubo Hidden Temple Shrine Foundation
- Medical Mission
- Mothercraft training
- Livelihood training for the community of Palan, San Mercelino, Zambales
- Greenhills, San Juan City, Philippines
- Santa Ana, Manila, Philippines
- BF Homes Las Piñas, Las Piñas, Philippines
- Angeles, Pampanga, Philippines
- Fairview, Quezon City, Philippines
- Lea Salonga - Actress, International Singer
- Aiza Seguerra - Actress, Singer
- Matet de Leon - Actress
- Karylle - Actress, Singer
- Kathryn Bernardo - Actress
- Camille Prats - Actress
- John Prats- Actor, Dancer
- Melissa Ricks- Actress
- Michelle Madrigal - Actress
- Carla Abellana - Actress
- Serena Dalrymple - Child Actress
- Danita Paner - Actress, Singer
- Carlos Agassi - Actor, Model
- Ciara Sotto - Actress, Singer
- Gabby Eigenmann - Actor
- Isabel Granada - Actress, Singer
- Rico Blanco - Singer, Song Writer, Producer