About Us

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How might we empower teachers to keep on learning?

Brief history

Habi Education Lab started out in November 2014 as an experiment in professional development for teachers that asked the question: how might we empower teachers to keep on learning? Through small design thinking workshops and collaborative prototyping of lessons with educators, we were able to develop a learning program that promotes critical thinking, optimism, deeper learning, reflection, and empathy. We practiced what we preached—we were rough, quick, and entrepreneurial in our work, and we constantly improved our curriculum and materials. But hidden underneath those piles of sticky notes, rough sketches, uncooked spaghetti, and boxes of crayons, we discovered something more interesting. Not only did we produce an engaging yet effective workshop, we also created a powerful way of co-designing learning experiences for schools, one that requires the teachers’ active participation, leverages their unique contextual grassroots knowledge, and adapts to the diversity within and between schools.

To this day, we continue to use and refine our collaborative process with schools and organizations. We carefully study their culture in order to formulate recommendations and learning programs that are fit to their needs. The countless interactions we’ve had with teachers, students, and administrators have shaped the beliefs that persistently guide our work: that education can always get better, that change is a process, and that the users are also experts.

Mga Taga-Habi

Our team of Learning Experience Designers

Gerson Abesamis

Gerson Abesamis

Gerson is an educator and designer, and leads our initiatives in design as the Executive Director. He works at the intersections of creativity, media & technology, learning, and teacher development. Currently he teaches Educational Technology at UP Diliman. Previous experience: Consultant for Materials Development and Teacher Training at the Commission on Higher Education, Computer Science Teacher at Philippine Science HS, UX Designer at Pearson, and Web Project Manager at Harvard. He holds a BA in Film from UP Diliman, and an EdM in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University.

Clifton Esteban

Clifton Esteban

Clifton, the Operations Director, manages our overall performance and business development, putting into action his passion for entrepreneurship in the education industry. He has collaborated with organizations such as Quality Education Design and Teach for the Philippines in designing learning and training programs. His research interests include philosophy of education, psychology, and outdoor & experiential learning. Clifton graduated with a BS in Legal Management, and is currently pursuing an MSc in Outdoor Environment and Sustainability Education at the University of Edinburgh.

Katty Caragay

Katty Caragay

Katty is Habi's specialist in psychological measurement and statistics, and leads our efforts in data gathering and insights analysis as the Research Director. She works to create culture-appropriate measurement tools for Filipino students, teachers, staff, and school leaders, applying her extensive experience in test development and research. She also teaches Psychological Measurement at UP Diliman. BS in Psychology, Master of Statistics, and current PhD student in Psychology at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.

Kel Almazan

Kel Almazan

Kel is a graphic designer and videographer with a degree in Visual Communication from the College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, Diliman. She leans towards using creativity to design for development. She previously worked for Plan International Philippines as Visual Content Producer where she collected stories, co-facilitated workshops and developed materials for communication and advocacy work. She then explored other avenues by working for the Integrated Creative Services team of CNN Philippines. To learn more about community-based and participatory approaches to design, she also joined the HANDs Project for Disaster Education, a fellowship program sponsored by the Japan Foundation.

Bernice Dy

Bernice Dy

Bernice has been teaching for 8 years. She was the lead teacher for the foreign team and was Vice Principal in an International Kindergarten in Shanghai, China. Before that, she was a Family Community Program Advisor for the Harvard Graduate Commons Program. She was an active member of Kythe Philippines, providing bedside education to children diagnosed to be terminally ill. She graduated from Ateneo de Manila University majoring in Social Sciences, minoring in Economics and is certified by the American TESOL Institute on TESOL Foundations for Children.

Ralph Lumbres

Ralph Lumbres

Ralph is a visual artist who is exploring multiple means of integrating art, research, education, and creativity to enhance communities. As a HANDs Fellow of the Japan Foundation, he is focused on making creative projects for environmental and disaster education. He is also a freelance designer, mostly having worked in various theater productions as a stage and props designer. He taught Fine Arts courses at Kalayaan College, College of St. Benilde, and at the CCP Summer Arts Academy. He graduated with a BFA in Sculpture from UP Diliman.

Lacey Ramos

Lacey Ramos

Lacey graduated with a BS in Psychology from Miriam College, but has been working in education for almost 10 years. She started as a Reading Clinician, then became a Filipino teacher at Multiple Intelligence International School. She continued her journey by teaching in a public school under Teach for the Philippines. Before Habi, she was a Program Officer for Institutional Relations at Pathways to Higher Education. She is currently part of the TFP Ambassadorship Program and is pursuing her MA in Teaching in the Early Grades at UP Diliman.

Kaye Robles

Kaye Robles

Kaye’s background is in politics and international relations but since graduating from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in European Studies, she’s been a Social Studies teacher at Miriam College High School, an Editorial Assistant for Summit Media, and a consultant for Fundacion Santiago, doing research and developing narratives for community based heritage tourism efforts around Luzon. She is currently pursuing her Certificate in Professional Teaching at the University of the Philippines Open University.

Ness Roque

Ness Roque

Ness is a freelance theater and film actress, writer, dramaturg, and teacher. She is a core member of Sipat Lawin Ensemble, a contemporary performance collective aimed at creating new and relevant devised performances with various communities. She teaches theater and facilitates acting workshops for adults and children. She used to teach HS Filipino at Xavier School San Juan. She holds a degree in Filipino Literature from Ateneo de Manila University.

Nikki Vergara

Nikki Vergara

Nikki has taught in both urban and rural settings, and in both a private and public school dedicated to serving the poorest Filipinos. She volunteered to teach and act as the guidance counselor in a rural private school in Bukidnon, and joined the pioneer cohort of Teach for the Philippines where she taught Grade 3 students for two years. She then worked at the Department of Education as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Instruction, coordinating the roll out of the Senior High School program. BS in Psychology, minor in Education, currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at Ateneo de Manila University.


Community of Workshop Facilitators

Our extended team of talented educators and workshop facilitators

Karol Yee

Karol Yee

Founding Director

Senen Pineda

Senen Pineda

Eds Querubin

Eds Querubin

Anthony Garciano

Anthony Garciano

Sabs Ongkiko

Sabs Ongkiko

Meila Romero-Payawal

Meila Romero-Payawal

Partners