Julie, with the cap, is overseeing the youth if their plaster is applied well.
Julie Gallamaso is the masonry instructor for the Hulas training program of indigenous youth in Upper Pulangi. He is one of six TESDA1-certified masons in the whole of Bukidnon province.
Julie started his mason work in 2001, where he worked as a construction foreman for the provincial government of Bukidnon. Prior to this, he worked as a construction laborer in different projects in the province. In 2007, he enrolled at a TESDA mason training program and received his national license after completing 300 hours of training. This included as his actual training ground the construction of the Bukidnon Provincial Capitol building.
In 2008, TESDA-Bukidnon enlisted him as one of its representatives to the Regional “Galing Mason Award”2 in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City. During the competition, he completed a housing unit for Gawad Kalinga3 in Bogo, CDO. The competition called for “perfection” in the executions, starting from the laying of concrete hollow blocks to plastering and flooring. Among the participants, he was named as the regional winner and became the first Bukidnon “Galing Mason” awardee.
In February 2011, Julie joined the teaching team of the Hulas program in Bendum. He shares with the youth participants what he learned from TESDA and uses the TESDA mason training manual as a guide in his teaching. Now moving into the 4th Hulas batch, Julie sees the value of improving the course by allotting time for the youth to learn more theory and the basis for calculation and estimation. This he believes will give them more edge as they go back to their communities and try to look for masonry jobs.
“Teaching the indigenous youth of Upper Pulangi gave me a new sense of direction. I studied masonry because I wanted to go abroad – just that. I did not realize that this will lead me to more meaningful work which is sharing my knowledge and skills with the indigenous youth of Mindanao.”
1 Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is a government agency tasked to manage and supervise technical education and skills development in the Philippines. It is the leading partner in the development of the Filipino workforce with world-class competence and positive work values.
2 Galing Mason Award is an annual event sponsored by the Holcim, leading cement company in the Philippines, in partnership with TESDA and Gawad Kalinga, to treat the country’s hardworking masons who strive to improve their knowledge and skills, show pride and dedication in their work, and who are responsible members of their family and community.
3 Gawad Kalinga is a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement that seeks to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024.