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19 Umela grads pass Tesda’s NCII test

07 December 2017

The new batch of trainees and guests during Umela’s Culmination and Recognition ceremony.

By Daisy CL Mandap

All 19 candidates from the United Migrants Entrepreneurship and Livelihood Association (Umela) hurdled the NCII examination to become certified massage therapists held at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office on Nov 19 and 26.

They were among about 100 basic massage therapy graduates who took the qualifying exam administered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

 Those who made it from Umela were Florentina Sajulga, Teofilo Bacani JR. Emely Dilla,  Angelita Baroro, Julie Mae Chungalan, Leah Ayomen, Maria Editha Respicio, Luzviminda Baysac,  Evangeline Molina, Juanita Baloloy,  Marivic Calputura, Elizabeth Lingan, Mercidita Abad, Agnes Franco, Lydia Bayos, Rona Pelongco, Marvelissa Guerrero, Maritess Custodio and Elizabeth Tadeo.

Umela’s leader Ofelia P. Baquirin said she was overjoyed by the outstanding performance in the exam of their graduates.

“Sobrang saya ko po,” she said. “As founder/president/trainor, I am so proud of them kasi napatunayan muli na hindi nasayang ang oras at effort na ibinibigay namin sa libreng pagtuturo sa kanila.”

Baquirin said the joy is shared by all the co-founders of Umela, her fellow trainors, as well as the volunteer trainors who are all NCII passers themselves.

She said the examinees were all competent and confident because they all gave their best in preparing for the qualifying test.

Those who managed to be shortlisted from the exam came from other massage training courses given by various groups, including the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) office in Hong Kong.

Each year, hundreds of migrant Filipino workers in Hong Kong complete the basic training course and the on-the-job training required of those who aspire to become certified massage therapists in the Philippines. But because of the limited slots, only a small percentage of the graduates are able to take the Tesda-administered test.

To qualify, one must take the basic massage therapy course, then complete 72 hours of additional lessons on basic anatomy and physiology, microbiology and pathology, then do a practicum or on-the-job training.

But once they hurdle the NCII exam, they become registered therapists and can run their own spa in the Philippines.

The 100% pass rate of its graduates gave another reason for Umela to celebrate, as it held the graduation ceremony on Nov. 26 for about 70 more migrant workers from batches 20-23 who completed its basic massage course this year.

Awarding the certificates to the graduates at Umela’s “outdoor school” opposite the High Court in Admiralty was acting head of post Derrick Atienza, who paid tribute to both Umela and the students who persisted in learning a new skill while doing domestic work.

The same message came from Umela’s other guests from the Filipino business community. But The SUN publisher Leo A. Deocadiz took the message a step further when he challenged the graduates to “monetize” their newly acquired skill, by thinking of how they can make a living out of it.

Baquirin said two new batches of students will take the basic massage therapy course starting Dec. 10, and another two on Jan. 2. Each batch is limited to just 15 students so they will be better trained.

For inquiries on how to join Umela’s free massage training, call Maellen Lupera,5535 2165; Opalyn Albidas, 61387357 and Emma Capal, 9859 5023

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