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media lakbay-aral
Media practitioners from Mindanao joined the CARD MRI in a lakbay-aral program that introduces the latter’s various social development initiatives and explores the beauty of Tagum City.

CARD MRI hosts Lakbay-Aral for media in Tagum City

Press Release
July 7, 2022

SAN PABLO CITY – CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) held a Media Lakbay-Aral in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on June 16-17, 2022. The study tour program allowed the participants to have a first-hand experience on the different community development programs of the member institutions of CARD MRI, which includes the CARD Bank (a microfinance-oriented rural bank), BotiCARD (a generic pharmacy), CARD MBA (a mutual benefit association) and CARD-MRI Development Institute Inc. (a Senior High School, College, and training institute).

The Media Lakbay-Aral was attended by the following: Aurora “Auring” Lozada (Consultant and Broadcaster of DXDN Radyo Ukay Tagum); Ruel Dagsangan (News Anchor of DXDN Radyo Ukay Tagum); Joseph Jubelag (Manager of Mindanao Bulletin); Naomi Sendad (News Correspondent of Asintado Newsliner); Erlinda Alcid (News Correspondent of Manila Star); Margarita Candido (Editor of Mindanet Balita); Elmer “Dudz Romantico” Tandoc (Station Manager of Radyo Natin Tagum); Allan Basong (from Mindanao Gold Star Daily News); Dexter Visitacion (from Radio Kokak and Superbalita; Mario Saladas, Publisher of Trends and Time Newspaper; Eric Alonzo from DXUM News and Public Affairs; and Markneil Cardona (Marketing Manager of Mindanao Journal).

Microfinance Program

The study tour started with an exposure to the implementation of the microfinance operations of CARD MRI. Two CARD Bank centers in Tagum were visited by the group where they observed the collection of weekly payments from clients. They also witnessed the conduct of Credit with Education (CwE), a learning session on health, enterprise development, financial literacy, and disaster preparedness which help CARD clients to live productively in their community.

After the center meeting, the participants also visited two CARD Bank clients. One of them is Norma Dua, who has been a CARD Bank client for 12 years. She currently has an existing loan of P200,000, which she used as capital for her tree nursery enterprise in Tagum City. They also met Juliet M. Torrivillas, who owns RTW (ready-to-wear clothes), who has been a client of CARD Bank for five years and currently has a P300,000 loan.

Campus Tour

After the field visit, the participants went to CMDI for a tour of the campus’ facilities. The CMDI Tagum Campus offers programs for Senior High School such as Academic TRACK with ABM strand and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track with ICT and Home Economics strands and Baccalaureate courses such as BS Entrepreneurship with specialization in Microfinance, BS Accountancy, BS Accounting Information System and BS Tourism Management.

CMDI also provides digital tools for students amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Its e-library enables students and faculty members to access the campus library through electronic devices connected to the internet. Meanwhile, the tourism e-laboratory allows students, faculty members and CARD clients to virtually travel to various provinces in the Philippines through 360° videos and other virtual reality tours hosted by CARD MRI Hijos Tours.

This school year, there are 907 enrolled students in college and 405 enrolled students from senior high school.

Koa Kafe

The Media Lakbay-Aral also went to the Koa Kafe Pop-up event hosted by CARD MRI Publishing House. Named after “Koa”, the publishing company’s owl mascot, the event primarily aims to introduce its publications and communication materials.

Free Koa Kits with coloring books, school supplies, and toys were also given to children who were recognized as top savers of Maagap Savings, a savings account of CARD Bank that encourages children to save their money while they are still young. The same children also attended the storytelling event of CARD Publishing.

In partnership with Mga Likha ni Inay, the marketing arm of CARD MRI, attendees of the pop-event received free snacks and drinks like calamansi juice, iced and brewed coffee, and instant noodles.


Before the day ended, the participants along with other CARD clients and staff watched an online performance depicting the challenges overcame by CARD microinsurance coordinators and drivers during the onset of the pandemic. This event is presented by CARD MRI Hijos Tours, the tour company of CARD MRI. Sugilanon is a Hiligaynon word that means to tell a story.

A deeper foundation

CARD MRI also arranged a media briefing that enabled the participants to have a deeper understanding of what the organization does. To reach its vision of eradicating poverty in the Philippines, it has established various institutions that cater to the needs of its clients and their families not only in terms of financial support but also in community development including programs in health, education, livelihood, and disaster management, among others.

The media briefing was attended by CARD Bank AVP Jenet Constantino, CARD Bank Regional Director Erwin Lazo, CARD SME Bank Regional Director Ian Madrona, CARD, Inc. Regional Director Mr. Norman Bulao, CMDI AVP Christian Albert Sandoval, CARD MBA Provincial Manager Louie Mar Vestil, MLNI Deputy Director Angela Poonin, CARD Publishing Deputy Director Cyrene Grace Lubigan, and CARD MRI officers and staff.

“I feel delighted that I was invited to this event. I've heard a lot about CARD for a long time, but now my understanding of it has broadened after we witnessed first-hand the microfinance programs and services of CARD MRI within its community,” shared Aurora Lozada, a broadcaster and one of the top ten outstanding Tagumenyos who received Tagumpay Excellence Awards 2022 in Tagum City.

The CARD MRI Publishing House Inc. hopes that through collaboration with various media practitioners in the Philippines, messages of opportunities and development through news and stories will reach a broader audience.

“We are grateful for the support of our media friends in our mission of poverty eradication through communications. In this age that information is available to everyone through technology, we acknowledge that communications will play a vital role in how we can reach nation building,” said Marilyn Manila, president of CARD MRI Publishing House Inc.

The CARD MRI Publishing House is set to hold more Lakbay-Aral for Media in South and North Luzon and Visayas this year.

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