Block Two 2021

What: Block Two of Abot Tala’s Self-Directed and Interest-Led Learning Program
When: August 16-October 8, 2021
Where: Abot Tala’s Slack Workspace & Zoom Rooms
Who: Teens ages 12-18 who would like to be part of an interest-led learning community. We welcome teen homeschoolers, unschoolers, and those who are taking a break or gap year, especially during this global pandemic.

Note: Before classes officially start, we’ve got a Teen-Led Week from August 9-13. This also serves as our free trial week.


Our teens get to choose and join the classes they’d like to be part of based on their interests and curiosity. They have the freedom to design their personal schedule around the classes they’ve chosen, so they’d also have time to collaborate with other teens and work on their passion projects and homeschool requirements (if they have a homeschool provider). When they join our classes they won’t be graded. The motivation to be part of a class is purely to learn and not to earn grades.

Each teen is also paired up with a staff mentor for one-on-one sessions where they get to talk about how their classes and activities are going, what keeps them busy, what projects they’re working on, whatever direction they wish to take, and more.



Please note that all of the programs include the following as well: 

  • 3 weekly mentor-led community events (Community Huddle, Puzzle, Mysteries, and Riddles, Game Show Hour)
  • Mentor-led clubs (Debate Club, Chess Club, Abot Tala Radio, Musician’s Circle)
  • Freedom Fridays (teen-led classes & activities)
  • Online learning resources


  1. If you have any questions or clarifications about the program, you may email us at or call/text 09152864494.
  2. Once you’re ready to sign-up, click here and fill up our sign-up form.
  3. Expect an email to confirm your registration.
  4. Family meeting (for new members only)
  5. An invitation to our Slack workspace will be sent to your teen so they can start to get to know the community through the non-class channels.
  6. Expect your invoice and our bank details via email.
  7. Once payment has been made (via online transfer or Paypal), please email us a copy of your proof payment.
  8. After we’ve received a copy of your proof of payment, we will add your teen to his/her class channels on Slack.



Community Huddle with Abot Tala Staff Mentors
The only hour in the week where all of our teens are in one place! During huddles we have activities, both mentor and teen-led, to help us get to know each other better. We also get to talk about community updates, as well as questions and issues they may have about the program. This is also when we consult the teens about certain decisions we make for the community. The huddle is open to all block 2 members of Abot Tala.

Community Huddle alternates weekly with Puzzles, Mysteries, and Riddles.

Puzzles, Mysteries, and Riddles with Abot Tala Staff Mentors
Whether by decoding ciphers, visualizing locations, or calculating your next move, let’s get those neurons working as by solving puzzles, mysteries, and riddles! This is open to all block 2 members of Abot Tala.

Conversational Japanese with Reena Suzuki
This class starts from learning Japanese characters such as hiragana and katakana to help teens read easy Japanese phrases used in daily life. This course also aims to know a wider range of Japanese words or phrases in different situations that could be applied in daily life. At the end of the class, teens would be able to understand the basic Japanese words, how to count numbers, and some easy practical phrases.

Math Gym B (Arithmetic, Pre-Algebra) with Ericho Fuentes
This math class covers pre-algebra topics such as integers, fractions, percentages, and basic geometry. The objective of this course is to equip the learners with basic, practical mathematics knowledge that will prepare them for real-life applications and higher mathematics. This course will be administered asynchronously while utilizing online resources from Khan Academy and Tutorials in Taglish to address the varied learning paces and levels of the members of the class.

The Natural Sciences with Ericho Fuentes
This is an interdisciplinary course that aims to explore natural phenomena from the point of view of the different natural sciences, namely physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy. The course will be tailored to the interests and needs of the learners and may require independent learning from the learners once in a while in the form of written homework, readings, and very easy experiments.

Learning Historians with Nat Sundiang
History isn’t just being aware of events from the past. Perhaps even more significant is how we choose to reflect upon past narratives. In this crash course, students will learn how to better interpret world history not only as a social science, but also as part of the humanities; as it can aid us to better make sense of the world, and in turn, our part in shaping it.

Unscripted with Joyce Buen and Nat Sundiang
Most of our experiences in life are completely unscripted. This class is full of activities and lessons that will help prepare you for those moments! Every week, we will explore different lessons from the art of improv mixed with public speaking and personality development to make unscripted moments a lot more fun! Yes? Yes, and!


Filipino Sign Language with Pauline & Cristina Guanzon
Learn basic or advanced FSL in 8 sessions. This class is English-based (not Tagalog), and is largely based on ASL just with some localization to Filipino culture.

Verified: Navigating a World of Misinformation with Tiago Arnaiz
This is a four-week crash course on the tools and best practices employed by investigative journalists to find true and reliable information in a post-truth world. Every other week, we’ll be learning new ways to verify the information we encounter online, as well as trying our hands at creating our own acts of journalism.
*Please note that Verified is every other week.

Genius, Crime, and Madness: A Crashcourse on Abnormal and Forensic Psychology with Mar Beatriz
Your mission is to become a junior expert in the world of abnormal and forensic psychology. If you choose to accept, you’ll begin your journey with learning about the history of mental disorders and how it has shaped our world. Afterward, you’ll scrutinize the lives of some of the world’s greatest minds and figure out which mental illnesses affected their existence. Near the end of the expedition, you’ll be welcomed to the world of crime and law, and how deeply psychology impacts how we decide on who is pardoned and who is punished. Good luck!

Open-minded Ka Ba?: Stocks, Crypto, and Investing 101 Description with Mil Matienzo
This class aims to discuss the basics of investing in the stock and crypto markets using the fundamental principles of economics and finance. The class will take on a more practical and entrepreneurial approach to learning about investing in the markets.

Balarila 101: Pagbasa at Pagsulat sa Wikang Filipino kasama si Icia Encinas
Gusto mo bang matutong magsulat sa Filipino pero hindi ka sigurado kung paano ginagamit ang NG at NANG? Gusto mo bang matutong magsulat gamit ang mas malawak na kaalaman sa bokabularyong Filipino? Ito na ang hinihintay mo! Isang kursong nakalaan sa pagsanay sa pagbasa, pagsulat, at pagsalita ng wikang Filipino. Ang kursong ito ay para sa mga kabataang nais hasain ang kanilang kaalaman at pagyamanin lalo ang kanilang kaalaman sa wikang Filipino. Layunin ng kurso ang pagpapalaganap ng pagmamahal at pagpapaunlad ng sariling wika.

SOS! (Secrets of Studying) with Diane Gabriel
It’s one week before exam finals, you’re neck-deep in research and notes for your project report, meanwhile, your teammates scheduled 3 meetings this week for your keynote presentation on Art Nouveau in the 20th century. Sound familiar? Not to worry! SOS is a 4-session workshop on different studying and note-taking techniques such as mind mapping, sketch noting, active recall, and others to see what fits you best to help you study smarter, not harder.

SOS! (Secrets of Studying) alternates weekly with Drawing: Visual Perception & Techniques

Drawing: Visual Perception & Techniques with Diane Gabriel
This class will cover some of the basic fundamentals in drawing and sketching that can be applied to any medium and can help drawing skills at any level. Class sessions will cover forms and figures, light and shadows, measuring and proportion, and other drawing tips. Students can use their preferred medium in class (traditional or digital).

Check out Abot Tala’s IGTV to see the 24Oras feature on our FSL Mentor!


Me, but Better: Personality Development with Joyce Buen
Social distancing can hurt our social skills. Teens find themselves asking, “How can I be more confident?”, “How can I work better with people?”, or “How do I avoid awkwardness?” It isn’t a secret that in any workspace, having soft skills is just as valuable as having technical skills. Let’s fill up that section of your resume by practicing confidence, charisma, communication, and other interpersonal skills in this personality development class. The goal is not to change you. The goal is to be you, but better!

Me, but Better: Personality Development alternates weekly with Sleeptalking

Sleeptalking with Joyce Buen
One of the problems young people have today is a messy sleep schedule. It can be quite difficult to overcome alone, so why not try to conquer it together? In this class, we will be studying how sleep affects a teen’s life, share tips, try different techniques, and challenge each other until we find a routine that works! Say hello to good nights and better mornings!

Music Theory with Ericho Fuentes
This class is designed for informally trained, intermediate-level musicians who want to have a better understanding of notes, scales, chords, and other musical concepts. The students will also be guided on how to use these theoretical concepts in their own playing.
*Please note that Music Theory will run for the first 4 weeks of the block only.

Songwriting with Jazz + Mikey
Learn how to write songs from the pros! Teens in this class will be mentored by Jazz Nicolas of The Itchyworms and Mikey Amistoso of Ciudad and Hannah + Gabi.
*Please note that this class will run for the last 4 weeks of the block only.

Math Gym A and A+ (Algebra, Geometry, Pre-calculus) with Ericho Fuentes
This class covers algebra, geometry, and precalculus. This course will be administered asynchronously while utilizing online resources from Khan Academy and Tutorials in Taglish to address the varied learning paces and levels of the members of the class. This course is recommended for teens who are considering a career in science, engineering, and finance.

Speeches & Presentation with Owie dela Cruz
We all know that presenting ideas and delivering speeches are such important skills. In this class, you won’t just learn tips and tricks in presenting. We’ll also watch and draw inspiration from different TEDTalks, speeches, sales pitches (like you see on Shark Tank), and more.

Digital Art (Mentor to be announced on Monday)
Sure, you can learn digital art by watching loads of youtube videos and tutorials. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a mentor you can ask real-time about their different tips and tricks? Wouldn’t you want feedback from a pro? This class aims to be a safe space where you can learn with other fellow budding artists with the guidance of a mentor who knows what life is like as a young artist.


Basic 2D Animation with Alia Pablo
In this class, we will explore the basic principles and the process of making 2d animation through discussions and hands-on activities. Teens will learn how 2d animation is used as a medium in the visual arts.
*Class requirements: Krita and a drawing tablet

The Plot Thickens: Fiction Writing Class with Icia Encinas
This is a creative writing workshop course for young writers. Teens have the option to choose whether to write their output in Filipino, English, or both! They will learn how to write different types of fiction and are encouraged to develop their own style of storytelling. Lessons will also include reading various works from classic short stories to more modern-day works of fiction.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with Mich Alagao
Teens explore ideas from criminology, philosophy, and ethics and try to see how these ideas relate to our everyday lives. Critical thinking and reflection on complex issues will be encouraged. Class is recommended for older teens.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly alternates weekly with What Would You Do?

What Would You Do? A class on Leadership & Relationships with Owie dela Cruz
Every other week we’ll challenge each other to come up with the best possible decision for different leadership & relationship scenarios. It’s problem-solving time! What would you do? Let’s discuss your thoughts and learn from each other.

Tales, Myths, & Legends with Gabe Gabriel
Ever wonder where the idea of dwarfs and elves came from? Or what the real story of Thor and Loki is outside the Marvel Universe? Who are Ra and Anubis and what role did they play in shaping Egyptian society? Come and find out as this class delves into the original sources of the popular gods and goddesses we know so well — Homer’s The Illiad and Odyssey, stories from the Nordic texts Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, Egyptian mythology, and more.

Game Show Hour with Ericho Fuentes
History, Science, Art, Movies, and anything under the sun, really. Lead your team to victory in the weekly Game Show Hour — our version of your typical Quiz Night! Game Show Hour is open to all block 2 members of Abot Tala.

These are classes and sessions that are free of charge for any teen who is part of our current block. It’s our way of making sure that there’s one day a week that’s fully available to all of our members so we can build a stronger community of self-directed learners. These classes and activities are mostly teen-led. It’s their day, their rules.

To read about our mentors, click here.

For more photos of our past activities, visit our Instagram account here:

For more information or to set an appointment for an online family meeting with us, call or text 0915-2864494 . 

Thank you to everyone who joined Block 1!

%d bloggers like this: