Ilocos Norte opens first “SANDbox”
Mr. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” A. Marcos led the opening of Ilocos Norte’s first “SANDbox,” a creative and co-working space for capacity development and flexible working, at Brgy. Saud, Pagudpud, last March 2.
“SANDbox” aims to support learners who need access to the Internet and e-learning technologies, enhance creativity among the youth, and provide a working space for local entrepreneurs.
On its opening day, it served nearly a hundred Ilokano youth and entrepreneurs, who are mostly locals, by offering several laptops and tablets equipped with free WiFi connectivity using fiber optic technology for their recreation and planning.
“Isa sa problema dito sa Pagudpud ay [Internet] connectivity kaya dito namin sinimulan [ang SANDbox] sa Saud. Ang Saud din ay isa sa pinakamagandang beaches sa buong mundo so I thought there was no better place to open the first ‘SANDbox’ kung ‘di dito para naman hindi lang magamit ng mga locals pati na rin ang mga turista,” Mr. Marcos explained.
Due to COVID-19, remote learning and alternative work arrangements have become more entrenched in the new normal. As such, many in the academic and business sectors have been trying to continually reconfigure their setups.
As a former economic consultant of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, he has sustained his efforts in providing learning and livelihood opportunities to Ilokanos amidst the continuing pandemic, saying:
“This is all about adjusting to the new normal. Ibinabalik natin ang mga trabahong nawala dahil sa pandemiya. Itong mga computer at iba pang gamit ay hindi lang para sa mga kabataan, pati na rin sa mga manggagawa, mga nagtatrabaho, ang ating mga online sellers, at mga taong interesadong magtayo ng bagong negosyo via the Internet.”
Mr. Marcos himself employed four (4) locals who underwent training to manage the said establishment. The second “SANDbox” will be constructed in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte’s capital.