Sheina Joy Paclar and Elaid Franco Albia from Opol National Secondary Technical School in Cagayan de Oro were the only female-male tandem among the contestants of the Automotive Servicing category during the National Festival of Talents (NFOT) held in Dumaguete City.
Automotive Servicing was one of the events under the Industrial Arts in NFOT’s Technolympics, wherein contenders are assessed for the accuracy of the diagnosed trouble, proposed repair, use of tools, safety work habits, and speed, alongside their fluency in oral communication and flow of thought in the interview following the four-hour practical test.
Representing Region X, Sheina and Franco were both happy and anxious when they competed.
“I’m a little nervous, because our competitors looked tough. They were from higher year levels,” Franco shared.
Sheina, meanwhile, felt pressured. “I am the only female, and they were all tall and burly.”
But they felt triumphant when they were able to diagnose and tune-up the engine during the contest held at Sibulan Municipal Gym on February 21.
Asked how their tandem works, the two pointed out the distribution of tasks and shared responsibility. Sheena is primarily in charge of the wiring, while Franco handles the machines.
“External and internal,” Sheena described.
The synergy of their efforts proved to be instrumental in getting the job done. They have demonstrated the importance of teamwork as they contributed their individual skills, experiences, and perspectives in solving the problem at hand.
Franco has been fixing engines and machines at home and at their shop. Since Grade 8, he has been serving as assistant and companion to his uncle who does automotive servicing. “Ako iyong alalay sa kanya; tuwing pumupunta kami sa labas dahil may nasiraan ng sasakyan, bale ako ang assistant niya.”
On the other hand, Sheina has always been interested in diagnosing and troubleshooting engine problems. “And I’m willing to learn more,” she relayed.
Although they will go their separate ways in Senior High School – with Sheina enrolling in the Humanities and Social Sciences strand under the Academic track, and Franco venturing into the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track – the two will treasure their NFOT experience for the rest of their lives.
They also agreed that NFOT did not only give them the opportunity to show their talents and skills to the rest of the country, it also united the different regions.
“Napag-isa nito ang Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao,” the two opined.