Your School's Name - Does it matter?

Monday, December 14, 2009
Certainly, there will be unending debates on this matter especially that a lot of schools and universities are involved in this. This is one matter that consumed a lot of my brain's juices and I'd have to admit, it's quite hard to make a stand and defend it all throughout. But does your school's name really help in getting yourself a job?

Bias, as they call it, is still existent in this world and wherever you'll go, there will be no escaping when it comes to this. Yes, this applies to job seeking too. It may not necessarily be a good idea to state this but when time calls for this instance, I'm better off saying that there is a so-called "racism" going on in the corporate world today. So, why do companies have to look at the name of your school and its performance? It's plain and simple, they just want to make sure that you've had sufficient training/schooling that's apt for their standards. There's no denying that any company will want to have the best from among the many. Thus leading them to a thorough screening and evaluation which fortunately/unfortunately includes a preference on certain (top or reputable) schools. This may pose to be a problem among the majority who are seemingly demotivated by the "racism." But before I go further, let me just elaborate why there's this certain bias among employers. As far as position is concerned, there's clarity in the thought that these people in charged for employment are knowledgeable enough to pick the more equipped applicants. Of course, it is a given that a (high) number of these people come from certain schools, often from "preferred" schools as well, and it's natural that they give particular attention to applicants of their school especially that they would know what they've been through in the course of knowledge-seeking in college and they would likewise be assured that there will surely be this so-called "quality." Adding to that, they're knowledgeable enough of the kind of learning environment these applicants have been to, with facilities, instruction and a lot more factors also being taken into consideration.

Preferences in schools are comparable with preferences in brand names. It won't take deep logic to verify this. Take for example "Brand A" being the better option among competition. Surely, people who aim for the best won't settle for any other brand and they won't even take risk, given that many factors such as quality and the like shouldn't be discounted at all. But wait! What about the other brands? On the brighter side, there will still be other considerations included as well. "Brand A" surely won't have them all and there will always be better products from other brands as well. But then again, there's no sense in questioning why people choose "BRAND A" on top of any other, is there? Same is true in employment. There's no stopping these companies from opting employment of graduates from top institutions especially that they're not just looking for hard-working but intellectual people as well.

While certain people believe that this scenario no longer exists, I can't help but repel especially when proof is there to settle any argument regarding this. I highly recommend setting aside any bias regarding any school. Just look around and see. By then you'll get to discover that, indeed, there is still racism in job seeking. You'll need to open your eyes and believe what reality there is.

Fortunately, it's not the crack of doom for you if you don't belong to any of the top/preferred schools. It is worth taking note that you are ought to market yourself no matter what. A better option is to excel in your field or craft for there is a higher probability that your experience will be taken into consideration more than the name of your school. Another edge that can bring you up there is when you get involved in extra-curricular activities. They will be an added edge especially when talks about inside and outside the classroom experiences are concerned. Always remember that if your school and its name won't be of help in you landing a job, then by all means, do it on your own, at your very best! As they say, it certainly won't be over until the fat lady sings. So, show them what you got!

Are you ready?

Saturday, December 5, 2009
Christmas is right around the corner and we're off to our final countdown for it. But wait! Amid our anticipation, it is best to ask ourselves whether we are ready for Christmas.

It is widely known that the longest Christmas is here in the country and there's no denying, a lot of us have already set up our homes with decorations fit for the season. But is it just decorations that we really need to prepare? Perhaps, we need even more than mere aesthetic enhancements. Financial stability is something we all look up for, especially in this special month of the year and we know for a fact that money can buy a lot of things - gifts included. If so, what happens if we fall short of our expectations? It's a sad reality that a number of Filipinos today no longer celebrate Christmas, not for the reason that they do not want to, but because of financial constraint. It is in this kind of instance that we should somehow be thankful that we still get to celebrate Christmas no matter how simple it may be.

To numerous Filipino families, though they celebrate Christmas, the festivity still isn't complete. A loved one working or living abroad just to sustain the family's needs is pretty common, isn't it? I feel for them as I, myself, belong to the same boat. Though technology has made this world a global village, nothing will ever beat the actual presence of a loved one on Christmas day. The internet won't be able to send real hugs and kisses to the people who matter to us most. Sad as it may be, we should remember that life is sometimes unfair and that we must move on no matter what.

Christmas will still be Christmas without us celebrating it. So, we might as well be one with the world in celebration. More often than not, diverting our attention will prevent us from dwelling in our sad realities. Buy yourself and loved ones something for the season and you will see how happy it can get. Most importantly, it is worth remembering that Christmas is not just about receiving as it is also a good time for giving. As they say, it is far better to give than receive.

We don't really need a grand celebration for Christmas. To those of you whose families are complete during Christmas day, be thankful because you are lucky to have them on that special day. To those who aren't as privileged, there are a lot more reasons to smile than frown on that extraordinary event. Let us all be happy and thankful of what we have, for the poorest of poor can even be happier than the majority of us this Christmas. Have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year ahead!


Thursday, December 3, 2009
The 2010 elections - unarguably among the highly anticipated happenings in the archipelago today. We've been witnesses at how politicians started the selling of their names through television, radio or even in print media ads. So, tell me, what's so new about this?

Automated elections? You can't be kidding me! Is this what the government is bragging to its people? Well yes, in a sense, it does help a lot in the electoral process but the main question that enters my mind in an instant is "will it also help improve the quality of leadership in this country?" For so as long as we have the same dishonest officials craving for the country's premier positions, nothing will ever change in this country. This leads me to a deeper analysis of the current system of politics and its electoral process.

You can just imagine how many millions or, shall I say, billions of Pesos are spent just to gain popularity through any form of advertisement. It can be recalled that early "campaigns" existed way before the last day of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy. What's more amazing (or disgusting) is the fact that these politicians shell out even more resources than the salary they're projected to earn in a year. Does this seem fishy to you too? Of course it should! These politicians will certainly see corruption as a means of getting their "ROI/Return on Investment" the earliest possible time. Who would waste money just to get a position that doesn't even compensate half the actual amount of expenses to get there?

Still not convinced? Here's a more frustrating news: ex-convict and ousted President Estrada is now having his return in the world of politics after all things said and done. Do we need another EDSA revolt if ever? Nah! I think that's already way too much. Can't we have any other presidential candidate instead? Are we falling short of wise and honest leaders in this side of the earth or should the better question be, are we contented with these kinds of politicians?

I, myself, already lost enthusiasm in voting this upcoming elections. Nobody really caught my attention yet. But despite that, I know that my vote can make a big, big difference. Ironically, I'm thinking of voting without writing names in my ballot - which is entirely useless in the first place. Though I haven't lost hope in this country yet, I already did with its political side and as to when and how this impression will vanish, I do not really know. One thing is certain though, it's not over until the fat lady sings.

Pinoy Nga!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Filipinos, a race of creative, competitive and cranky people. Sometimes, we prefer doing things the wrong way and laugh them all out. Don't we just love such feeling?

I've always been fascinated at how a lot of us Filipinos manage to spend time face to face with Adobe Photoshop and make fun of other people's faces. Take for instance the fancy photographs of the people's champ, Manny Pacquiao and his mom scattered all over the web.

I'm admitted that these are really funny photos but on the part of the people involved, these may not necessarily be fun at all. A lot of us are aware that this is sinfully hilarious at the expense of somebody else's image but then it's apparent that not even the act of sinning bothers us anymore not even the slightest of it. So now, is it still safe to call the Philippines a Catholic/Christian country or is it just by name that we consider ourselves such? I am led to believe that Filipinos are somehow the same as before in terms of religiosity but a part of me says that people are becoming even more sinful by the generation.

I can't help but mention the growing number of teenage pregnancies in the country. Isn't it against our own faith? The past years, I've grown to embrace the fact that a lot has changed already. Yesterday's Maria Clara is already 6 feet below the ground. Crab mentality worsened even more and its end is nowhere in sight.

Frustratingly, there are even a lot more to mention but I prefer not to. It's hardly bearable especially that I somehow feel guilt in realizing that at certain instances, I am one with the majority in failing to right the wrong.

At the end of them all, we always assign the blame to something or someone else; often neglecting the possibility that we ourselves can be worth the blame too. Who's to blame might turn out to be a question that nobody might dare answer in the near future.

Loose Grip

Monday, November 23, 2009
What happens to a relationship when one loses hope on the simplest of situations? That is among the many questions scattered all over my consciousness as I face one of the toughest struggles I have encountered in my 20 years of existence.

I used to think that relationships should be deeply rooted on present situations but this certain instance proved me wrong. There are a lot more to consider in order to attain a desirable journey as a pair. Among those that need to be considered in a relationship is a deep understanding of what a real couple is. I just cannot imagine how a number of people get to compete with their other half's friends, family and most frustratingly, work. I just find it real shallow especially with a mindset that there will surely be rougher seas ahead that can barely be predicted.

I just wish people will learn how to give way at certain instances especially because there is no such thing as "total ownership" when it comes to relationships. It is but selfishness that prevail among people who think about the word "I," most of the time forgetting that sometimes being alone is not a bad thing. I hate to say this but I don't think people who possess majority of the aforementioned problems will ever find someone who can last long with them; that's if they ever will find one.

Given the chance to name the ideal significant other for me, that someone should first and foremost, understand that there is somehow that little world outside the relationship that needs particular attention as well. Second, I find it essential that deeper understanding of work and its purpose be instilled especially that it's usually for a selfless reason. Third, I'd go for someone who knows how to understand situations and analyze before throwing whatever "brilliant ideas/comments" there are. If only people knew better on the aspect of understanding, then the world would have been less complicated.

There's no sense in quitting where there isn't really any point of doing so but if everything else fails, giving up can be the only resort.

And because of this, I rest my case. I find no sense in fighting for someone, who can't even fight for what used to be "us" in the first place. I'm just human, prone to vulnerability and weariness. I once again, officially, embrace the arguably lonely world of aloneness.

Paper Clip Prince

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Kyle walks along one of the streets in the city when he saw a red paper clip on the sidewalk. He stopped and pondered deeply, and without hesitation he picked it up. He knew he can do something better than throwing it away. And from that time on, every paper clip Kyle sees was never the same again.

It was one of those lazy afternoons when Kyle became hooked with a new hobby. It was a hobby he never imagined to be hooked at, or even care much about. It was a realization that came to his brainstems: that by seeing things in a creative way, he can make a difference.

Yes, Kyle Howard Demerre, a 19 year old junior student did make a difference. He made a difference from his creativity and innovation, and touched a lot of young people in looking at things in their different perspectives.

But how did this young boy make such a difference?

Transforming paper clips into robots is something that Kyle boasts the most. Every paper clip he sees in everyday is being added to the many boxes of paper clips he has stored in his room in their ancestral house located in Looc, Dumaguete City. These paperclips, through the use of his innovative mind and power of his hands, are being transformed into colorful robots and images. Some of Kyle’s creations were patterned after some famous characters like Voltes 5, Goku, and Pokemon.

Aside from cartoon characters, which Kyle idolizes as well, his masterpieces also have a touch of environmentalism. As a matter of fact, Kyle also has creations of robotic animals like scorpions, crocodiles, spiders, even dinosaurs add up to his huge number of paperclip-made collections.

Truly, it was not just a mere “creativity” this guy possesses. Amazingly, he has a lot of patience too. Imagine being able to create robots out of paper clips through the use of pliers, armed with limitless patience. And because paperclips vary in colors, it has surely made Kyle’s collection of robots and galactic characters extra stunning.

But things were not easy for Kyle. It was in high school when Kyle knew that creativity was his gift, and he knew he wants to live with it. For Kyle that time, imagination was the key toward nurturing his creativity. He was not amazed at how he made his paper clip robots, but as his friends start to appreciate all his works, he realized that indeed, there was something worth the pride in his masterpieces.

The moment Kyle entered college, he began to make the most out of the paperclips he saw around him. Every curl of the pliers, every piercing, and every robot he creates gives him a sense of pride and inspiration. There, Kyle knew that he gets all his inspiration from his artworks, and as time goes by, the flame of creativity enflames more and more.

Kyle narrates that many of his friends expressed their interests on his works and began visiting his place to learn how to make the said artworks. During free time, Kyle does nothing but think of characters and images he can pattern his work to.

“I make it because I want to make use of my time,” Kyle said. But this young guy continued that he does not make it just for the sake of art. There is something more than simply making artworks for his self-gratification. Kyle knows that there is a need to bring his creativity a notch higher, and its first step can only be taken through using his skill for others’ benefit. Besides sitting on praises from his friends and teachers, Kyle, through his amazing creativity, still wants to touch other young people’s lives. In fact, Kyle has been doing a number of workshops with his friends and classmates to share his knowledge and skills to other young people. This, Kyle believes, will somehow give the young people the idea that there is a need for recycling the things we see around us.

As of this time, this young boy continues to make use of his unique skill of making the most out of the simplest things, and most importantly, touching other teenagers’ lives in giving them the realization that creativity can be mastered, while helping the environment in little ways.

After college, Kyle still plans to continue his old ways of transforming paper clips into artworks, and still be able to reach out to others through the arts.

Reasons to celebrate this November

Sunday, November 15, 2009
November is seemingly among the ordinary months of the year for me. This may be because it's back to school for me and the majority of young people out there. But I think there are even more reasons why I feel this way; reasons I am yet to find out.

As I roamed around the city, the wind's direction seemingly changed. Things changed - a lot! The festive mood is finally on and everybody around the city can, perhaps, feel it too. So, what are the reasons behind the festive mood anyway?

Pacquiao's fight against Cotto is set today and as I write (or encode) this, the fight is already on. Though the fight just started, I can already smell victory from where I'm at. Or is it just because of the perfume I'm wearing? LOL. But seriously, win or lose, it is still our pride that someone gets to represent our country in the international arena. But wait, there are even more reasons to rejoice. It's now time to move the spotlight to the local scene.

On November 23, Dumaguete's first full-service mall will open its doors for its first batch of mall rats. From that day on, the new and preferred commercial center will be the Dumaguete Business park. At long last, people will stay kilometers away from stalls, grocery and convenience stores that close at noon time; not to mention their early closing time. Boohoo! Isn't this reason enough to be ecstatic? No more MISfortune marts and the like! LOL

November 24 marks the vesperas of the city of gentle people's charter day celebration. Not only that, the 24th is another holiday for students, employees or perhaps employers too and that means no classes and no work! Thank God for holidays! LOL. But even before the aforementioned day, the city's inhabitants (and non-inhabitants) will get to gaze the showcase of a rich culture that will give the people a glimpse of the past.

November 25 is Dumaguete's big day and I know food will be on top of the majority's priorities but aside from that, this is one opportunity for camaraderie among friends, relatives and people from a distance as well. I remember those days when we used to hop from one house to another in our quest for food (or maybe something else. LOL). That was surely fun and I look forward to experiencing it once again this year.

The festive mood doesn't necessarily have to end there, at least for me it doesn't. The last day of November is the most significant day of the year for me - my birthday. It's supposedly one of the happy days of my life. This year, my boinkday will surely be a good one. (Don't ask why. ROFL) In a matter of days, I will give the age of 20 my final adios. Because of this, I find a countdown to 21 necessary:

Drowning From Within

Saturday, November 7, 2009

As we enter into a more diverse community in college, we encounter people from nearly all walks of life. It is a difficult transition from high school in a sense that we meet different classmates in a matter of an hour or two. Because of that, we come across different persocnalities; from friendly individuals to loners, from studious students to lazy heads, from introverts to extroverts and from sensible to shallow people. The world is full of shallow people and I don’t know if that is reason enough to write about them but I will, anyway.

Generally, shallow people see almost everything in a superficial manner. Ironically, a lot of them are not even aware that they are already drowning in their own shallowness. They are, most of the time, suffering from boredom and unhappy with their state of life—which actually explains why they end up picking and prodding at another person to feel good.

So, how do we really know if a person is shallow? Listed below are a few characteristics that compose a shallow person based on personal and other people’s experiences. These include intolerance, insecurity, being judgmental, hypocrisy, tactlessness, materialism and flashiness.

A shallow person desires to get rid of all unattractive people in the world—something clearly futile and nearly impossible to accomplish. They are intolerant of how other people dress or even look like, with a mindset that they are far superior. Who would one stand next to for him to feel less unattractive himself in the first place? Pardon me for the shallow joke but it somehow makes sense, doesn’t it?

Shallow people ridiculously take too long before they decide to introduce their boyfriends/girlfriends to peers for the reason that they’re afraid to have them “stolen.” I can’t help but think that this is due to the insecurities they possess. Unfortunately, this happens frequently in real life.

“It takes one to know one” as they say; shallow people think otherwise. Being judgmental is apparently innate in them. They easily jump into conclusions thinking that they know everything. It’s a pain that they seem to know us more than we do. Adding insult to injury, these narrow-minded people mostly insist on what they believe is true; often not paying attention to what other people say.

Hypocrisy is another addition to the parameters of shallowness. If it’s not you, don’t act it! Showing people something contrary to the real you doesn’t help but add to the long list of vices you can have. There may be instances that may be so pressing that one may see hypocrisy as a last resort. But even then, it should not be considered a choice.

Words are extremely powerful that a word or two could either please or hurt a person. When people start using the wrong words, it may follow that he/she is tactless, insensitive or just don’t have a life. A tactless person can be identified as someone shallow. It is worth remembering that there are some matters better left unsaid to avoid making someone miffed; a tactless person can be very weak at this.

Shallow people give importance to material possessions more than well-being or anything else. Materialistic as they are, shallow people attend to a seemingly unending crave for a variety of things at the expense of intellectual or even spiritual values. There is more to life than mere materialistic happiness.

Those who show-off a lot are more likely to be shallow people. They are attention-seekers who think they are successful in entering the limelight through flaunting their possessions. Oftentimes these people have high self-esteem and most, if not all, of the time too arrogant.

Now is the perfect time to evaluate yourself whether you belong to the growing number of frivolous people or not. So, if you’re one of them, you shouldn’t wonder why a lot of people dislike or do not even bother to notice your existence. It’s not yet too late to make a full-360 though, so make that change and make it now.


Thursday, October 22, 2009
Just when I thought I was already at the peak, I realized that it was the other way around. I've never been this vulnerable, disappointed and depressed. I thought I've reached my utmost 360 only to realize that it wasn't my biggest turn yet. I thought life could be happier now. I was made to believe that happiness could last for a lifetime but no, this ain't the happy ending everyone's looking up to. Could it be that the problem's with me alone?

I promised myself to make it best the next time around. At first, everything went fine and I expected a lot but it was only until then. Things were all messed up right after. The worst happened and it came to an end yesterday.

While writing this, I got an SMS, read it and cried. No, it's not over yet and hopefully it won't be. It's time to move on to another chapter of my life. I can still be happy, I know...


Friday, October 16, 2009
Sam, just like any other Korean student, is here in the Philippines to learn the English language. He is new to the place and is still at the state of culture shock. Oftentimes, foreigners like him study in the country because of the belief that a lot of us Filipinos speak good, if not excellent English.

It is a challenge to him and many other Koreans to learn English at its very basic because the language is not commonly used in their homeland. Therefore, it is understandable that they have their own way of pronouncing words and they often are heard interchanging one letter to another. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're dumb or incapable; it only means there is more to work on especially with the use of the language. Perhaps, the majority will agree if one says that soon enough, they could master the English language or even be better than many people.

One cannot help but question why of all countries, the Philippines is the country of choice for many Koreans and other non-English speaking nationalities. "Education in Korea is very expensive and here it is very affordable," said Sam. Being a third-world country could be one of the many factors why education is cheaper here than in many countries but it does not necessarily affect the quality of instruction that we have here most especially in private institutions or universities that are among the top.

Though education is a high priority of the Philippine government, it is so unfortunate that a lot of public schools and universities in the country remain substandard. "Quality Education," as seen mostly on the roofing of these schools give a sarcastic impact to numerous people who see the real situation. Quality education is never related to overpopulated schools and universities, nor is it related to the lack of classrooms, qualified teachers and facilities. But yes, maybe the term quality education has already been tainted for the majority, or it might be that people are getting used to it over the years.

A sad reality is that a number of Koreans actually enroll in these institutions, thinking that they could learn a lot at a lesser cost. What fears me is the possibility that their purpose of being here might be defeated. They might not benefit from their schooling here and end up wasting their own resources. The question remains: will they ever learn the English language or perhaps the better question to throw is will they ever learn anything at all?

I believe there is a lot to work on especially in the field of education in the Philippines. If only corruption could meet its death, the possibility of betterment is high. But I'm afraid that scene is nowhere to be seen yet and that the country's officials must undergo a different kind of change before we can see it coming.

A lot of Koreans resort to hiring tutors to aid them in exploring the English language. I personally find nothing wrong with that. But what happens if the tutor himself/herself doesn't know much bout the language? This is another unfortunate situation that I usually witness. It's sad but there isn't much to do about it.

Meet the new tutor: Jayvee

Sam was actually my first tutee. I could remember our first session when I hardly understood a word from him that time. Weeks after, I finally got used to it and found strategies that worked best for him. It was a difficult job for me then but I felt that my effort could help educate a person eager enough to learn.

He had the urge to learn the language and allotted particular time for his twice-a-day tutorial. He was able to read very basic English that time but there was a great need to polish it. Finding mistakes in his grammar and pronunciation was my task back then. It's funny because if I were to assess him, only 50% of what he said could be understood by the majority; but I eventually got used to it. I remember him frequently saying "snatshit...snatshit" during the first week of tutorial. It came to me in a surprise a week after when he bragged about him being the only Korean in their class to pronounce the word snatched very well. He felt thankful to me that time and I felt happy to have, somehow, imparted my humble knowledge on the English language.

I knew that it wasn't just teaching that was required of me back then; patience and devotion were an addition to my bulk as well. I guess it goes to anybody who's on the same boat as I am.

Empty Blahs

Saturday, October 10, 2009
For the longest time, I kept my faith in promises thinking that they're never meant to be broken. I cannot understand why a lot of people find it real easy to forget promises and care less about them. I don't understand why these people tend not to bother being true to their words. If they only know how hard it feels to keep on waiting only to end up with nothing, they might reconsider and be true to their words.

The way I see it most of the time, letting somebody expect something is already a burden, how much more if it doesn't even meet its realization? I feel so bad when I'm given false assurances because I am the type of person who believes that there's more to promises than just forgetting about them. It is a sad reality that a lot of people hardly recall their own promises thinking that it's no biggie. I'm not sure if these people have short term memory loss or some sort of amnesia but if they really do, I'd say they need to consult a professional who can address such problem.

Even the simplest of promises matter. For so as long as it is a promise, there should be no reason to break it. If you are not certain about a promise you're about to make then DON'T BOTHER SAYING IT! Think about it, you don't want to wait for nothing, do you? I think nobody sane enough is willing to wait until forever for that.

I don't get the point why I'm usually a victim of broken promises. Is it just me expecting too much about promises or is it the people who redefine what a promise is themselves? I'd say they need to come up with their own dictionary for crying out loud. I had enough of empty promises. I don't know if I can still bear some more.

If you can't keep simple promises especially in a relationship, how will you ever learn to keep the person from leaving soon because of disappointment over your empty blahs? A lot of people do not notice it but they are prone to encountering problems by simply burying promises 6 feet below the ground. Trust issues and more could easily arise because of this. Let this be a call for people who don't take promises seriously.

To whom it may concern, don't even attempt to promise anything that you won't take seriously in the long run. It's such a shame to do so. What's more shameful is the thought that you're a person with no word of honor. Boohoo!

Don't Stop Dreaming and Believing

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Since I was a child, the thought of being in the limelight never failed to catch my fancy. Performers, television hosts, radio personalities and even actors were just some of the people I looked up to back then.

There is no denying that I grew up as a very ambitious child and I feel no shame in saying so. Since I don’t pay taxes for my dreams, it’s better to dream big. After all, there’s nothing to lose when all else fails. In fact, scanning my high school year book can already be enough proof to describe how ambitious I can be at times. “I want to be a famous actor” answers the question about my ambition based on my yearbook. Ironic describes my reaction right after reading it, four years past the birth of my yearbook. I was huge back then, which probably was the reason behind why it was ironic for me. However, the irony didn’t seem to stop me from dreaming and I knew nothing else could hinder me from aiming further but myself.

High school didn’t really turn out to be the perfect avenue for me to prove that I can have my own fair share of achievements I could contribute and share with my family. The four years spent was more of like fun on top of knowledge-seeking. I was the ordinary school boy/brat who goes to school, talks a lot in class, hangs out with peers, and worst, the mediocre student whose life was not pointed at any particular direction. In short, I was a total nobody back then, no achievements, nothing to brag and be proud of. But along the way, I experienced a major realization and that was the thought that life doesn’t end there. For as long as I exist, it’s not yet too late to make a 360-degree turn and make the most out of what is given to me.

My first few years in college seemed to me as a no-brainer. Nothing as significant and extravagant as expected arose that much or maybe it was just mere mediocrity that prompted me to say so. Still, direction was nowhere to be seen in the situation and I was already losing grip on the high hope of experiencing something life-changing. Though the mindset that I was a person with no achievements was at its peak that time, I continued to dream. It came to me in a shock when somebody sat down with me and talked about me, my attitude and my life. I felt the urge for honesty that time and decided to call myself a non-achiever in front of that person. It took me more than an hour to let his words sink into my consciousness especially those that said “it’s not that you’re not an achiever, it’s just that you don’t notice that you have some.” That instance was exactly what I was waiting for years already. It somehow felt like a slap of reality to me and if there is one thing I learned about it, the thought that we need to be slapped on the face occasionally to be able to wake up would be it. From that time on, I started to dream more. Weeks after, I decided to list down a checklist of goals before I leave the portals of Silliman University. The checklist includes: to become a regular Radio Personality of Killer Bee 95.1, be part of the Luce Auditorium Corpse of Ushers and Usherettes, join the Debate Society, become a Campus Ambassador and the most ambitious of all, host Miss Silliman.

Months after, the name Jayvee became familiar to a lot of listeners of Killer Bee. I then started a life of a radio personality. It was the first time I treated an achievement as it is because I then knew that not everybody can be given the opportunity to be a radio personality. Then I said to myself “one down, four more to go.” Five months later another opportunity came, an opportunity that didn’t even give me an option to say no. It was to be the news editor of the Weekly Sillimanian. Though it wasn’t part of my personal checklist, I accepted the challenge. Thereafter, I became oblivious for a moment that it was actually another achievement for me.

The rain of good things didn’t stop as UTV, the only television talk show in the Visayas produced and directed by students, opened its doors for me. Being the floor emcee of the said talk show made me realize one thing: good things come to those who wait.

Not so long after, I was requested to host Miss Silliman. It felt like being on cloud nine the time I grabbed the offer. For a lot of people, it may not be so much of a big deal but for me, it is. Years before, I used to be among the audience cheering for a certain candidate. But during that day, I was seen holding the microphone and hosting the oldest campus-based beauty pageant. The 25th of August will always remind me that I once achieved a dream that I thought would remain as such.

Today, I no longer see myself as the old lousy, mediocre non-achiever. Everybody is actually an achiever if people just look deeper into the real essence of life. One doesn’t need to cross bridges and oceans to attain achievements for even the simplest success stories can spur into attaining the biggest achievements.

All it takes is just patience coupled with determination. My existence and yours per se is already an achievement. For a lot of students, getting good grades, excelling in co-curricular activities already mean achievements. Look around and see that you yourself are an achiever. Once you start dreaming, make sure to make it grand and do not ever question its probability for nobody is a master of the future but the creator Himself.

Never stop dreaming and believing because dreams do come true.

Don't Fake It!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I know it's a bit too late for this but you know how it goes. "Better late than later" Whooops! Make that Better late than never. LOL

The Campus by the sea, considered as one of the most prestigious universities in the country, recently underwent an instant make-over thanks to the PAASCU accreditation. The campus is clearly a landmark in the city but then the already beautiful spot turned much better in a snap of a finger. Because of this, many people have resorted to queries such as "why and why now?" Those are only few questions that still seek answers up to date.

It's a surprise to see the elevator of the Arts and Sciences Building operational after such a long time of "rest," I really thought it was eternal already. It wasn't really used for any other occasion but for the accreditation per se. What's worst is the fact that only accreditors were able to use it. That's if they were indeed able to use the facility. Frankly, most of the buildings were repainted and landscapes can be seen around the campus. Not only that, the presence of signage became a trend that time and is still evident at the moment. I hate to say this but Silliman University gave its plastic smile to the accreditors. Weeks before the scheduled date of accreditation, a lot of aesthetic enhancements were rushed for completion just to meet the so-called "deadline."

I find it really pathetic the fact that students weren't able to dress freely during the whole duration of the accreditation. NO SLIPPERS ALLOWED; WEAR YOUR IDs; MEMORIZE THE MISSION, VISION AND OBJECTIVES OF THE UNIVERSITY; and the most pathetic among all is the sudden presence of the SEAT PLAN were among the numerous policies that the teachers, or shall I say the University, strictly imposed. All these and more occurred ONLY during the accreditation period. Talking about being scripted!

I believe that the university killed its culture that time and even though my perception of it being the second best school in the country is intact, I couldn't help but be appalled. It is worth taking note that the instruction should be the topmost priority during the accreditation, not anything else. Teachers who don't deserve such title and position are still roaming around the vicinity, accepting what the parents of students pay the institution.

I just hope all those stunts will work for the accreditors because if it won't, it could be a slap on the face for the whole Silliman community and likewise a pain in the ass for the people responsible for the abrupt changes.


Thursday, September 17, 2009
The Philippines, with its rich culture, imaginative and talented citizens, is now experiencing a shortage or more appropriately called a recycling of ideas and it is very evident in local television. Recycling stuff is a good thing and everybody knows that but it doesn't necessarily have to reach the shores of our local television networks. For one, it makes a lot of people think that we are currently experiencing a shortage of creativity and skill. Not only that, it gives others an impression that we settle for the familiar rather than explore other good stuff and be proud that we have a rich collection of our own.

At this point you might be wondering what I am exactly referring to. I suppose it's not hard to scan your television channels during night time and see what's hot or what's not. Darna, for example, is a story that has become widely known to a lot of Filipinos and I believe it has been seen for millions (pardon the exaggeration) of times on silver screens or TV sets and for a lot of Filipinos, it may be considered hot but I personally think otherwise. Having said that, you might be led to think that I dislike the aforementioned novel. Don't get me wrong. I admire the novel but what I am not happy about is the fact that it can be recalled by many that Darna was aired years back; actually in just less than a decade. There's no denying that Angel Locsin's image as Darna can still be recalled by the majority. Probably the worst thing about this is that the story was previously shown in the same television network only with a different set of cast this time around. I have nothing against the new face of Darna or her new costume but the big deal for me here is the failure to explore and feature more Filipino stories that deserve airtime spots as well. Why does it have to be Darna again? Can't any other fictional character be featured instead or does this indicate a degradation of the Philippine television's quality and creativity? I do not wish to think that our local TV networks' think tanks are getting lazier year after year but it is apparently what I see. The gap from the previous Darna to the present one can be counted using one hand only and I'm convinced that there should be something done to avoid cases like this. Though I saw a high probability of Darna being visible again to Filipinos through television or other forms of media, I didn't expect it to come sooner than expected. What I find funny is the undying support and patronage of Filipinos for stories despite having repeatedly featured/aired on television. It really makes me think that we either don't have any other choice but to watch what's fed to us over television, we don't get bored with the common or we just watch it because that "beautiful" lady's face can be seen againthis time as the new Darna.

Unfortunately, it's not just Darna that is faced with the same fate. Our local television networks also started the remakes of foreign TV series that once captured Juan de la Cruz's attention. I didn't even know that copying story ideas from foreign countries could even be taken into consideration also. I hate to say this but the way I see it, we just don't give a damn about what these local networks are airing. For as long as we're entertained, we don't bother whether the ones we are watching are copied, recycled or doesn't make sense at all.
Honestly, I don't know whether I should feel happy with the present TV shows given the remakes and "recycling" as I'd rather call them. This particularly gives me the urge to get the remote control and either change channel or turn off the television set.

Because I Should

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Ego and pride sometimes drive us crazy to the extent that we get blinded and we find it hard to accept that we did something wrong. It's sometimes hard to sink in and convince ourselves that it is us who just did the mistake. In my case, I feel probably twice that and it might be because of my pride. Sometimes it's easier to pass the blame to other people when in fact it is not their fault. It is an instance I find hard to explain and further discuss for a reason I do not really know. But despite me not wanting to be in the hot seat, I sometimes feel apologetic especially to the one I love.

"Sorry seems to be the hardest word" as a line of a song goes and I find a lot of sense in it. The easiest culprit to pinpoint and blame why some of us are faced with it is extreme pride. As far as my opinion is concerned, a moderate level of pride is normal since the lack of it means something different, something more of a bad thing to me as it seems. But how do we really get about eradicating too much pride? The answer: I don't really know. Maybe it really varies from one person to another and maybe it's rightful that we find out for ourselves how we can learn to spot and accept our mistakes and eventually apologize. Pride can be very dangerous. Too much of it can cause undesirable situations that could possibly lead to hurting other people's feelings or even hurting ourselves in the process.

For me, what works best is to remember that I am a human being, prone to failures and mistakes and I do not discount the fact that I have failed a lot of times or even more than I currently know. I have learned to say sorry despite the hurting ego and the uncomfortable situation. It feels good sometimes to acknowledge a fault and it is understandable at a certain extent.
So the next time you're caught in an undesirable situation of saying sorry or not, think deep whether it is really your fault or not. Do not fool yourself because it won't help solve any dilemma there is. Just be frank and accept that you're likewise human; you commit mistakes and most of all, you are never perfect. Try it, it might work for you.

Love or Lust?

Monday, September 7, 2009
Oftentimes people get to use words which may not be appropriate or those of totally different meaning. Frustratingly, among those commonly misused words is love.

By definition, love means to feel tender affection for somebody. If that is so, what then separates love from lust? The word lust per se doesn’t really involve deep feelings; it is mere physical attraction rather than emotional attraction in short.

What’s strange about love is its complexity. Even the bible has its own definition, or more of like a checklist, of what love is: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves...” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-1. It doesn’t just stop there as it gets more complicated with the many types of love. But who really cares about complications? A lot of us love complications anyway. It just proves that we don’t settle for less most of the time. The irony now comes in as a lot of people are fine with just lusting.

Perhaps one reason why people choose lust over love is fear. When you love, you risk a lot of things and there’s even more to that. Love is a very demanding word. It asks a lot or shall I say, demands a lot. The fear of hurting to most, if not all of us, is one barrier or reason for us to keep ourselves from loving. But come to think of it, there’s just this thin line between love and hurting. As they say, it is impossible to love without hurting. Why do we tend to seek the dark side when we have an option to see the lighter side in the first place?

For a couple of months now, I opted to stay away from complications, from commitment, from love. This is not because I am afraid of hurting but because I no longer want to hurt somebody else. Sometimes, it’s better to stay away from something good because that good mean the exact opposite to somebody. It doesn’t necessarily have to end there. If there’s a problem within you that calls for a change then, by all means, do so. After all, there’s no harm in trying and I believe there’s nothing wrong to choose to be better.

When somebody comes and knocks at your door, don’t settle for lust, instead, take the extra mile, risk, and use your right to love. If you find happiness in it, there should be no hesitation at all. You can never tell how long that person who makes you happy can stay. If the person doesn’t stay for long then don’t force it! There must be a reason for him/her not to make it in the next chapters of your life. If it didn’t work, at least you tried. That doesn’t make you lesser a person anyway.

Life is merely about choices. In each chapter of your life you will encounter choices which are tantamount to your life’s direction and it’s just up to you on what path to take. Go for something that makes life worthwhile. Life is too short to just play around with and it’s worth noting, most of all, that you are entitled to one lifetime only. We may not have everything it takes to enjoy life but we’re given this life to enjoy everything as much as we could. Opt for the best and don’t settle for something below your capability. Take the risk and exercise your privilege to love. Live life to its fullest and soon enough, you’ll see how good it can get.

A Dream Turned Reality

The past few days went great and I never felt any happier in my entire life. What marks the smile on my face at the moment is the memories worth reminiscing; those that either strengthen my emotional or intellectual capability or even both. I am happy to have established something far better than the best of the failed relationships I had before.

The mere thought that the relationship doesn't just involve mere love is something that is not common in every relationship. The way I see it, the relationship gives the two of us the opportunity to grow emotionally, intellectually and even spiritually. Arguments normally arise in every relationship and I do not discount the fact that we have our own fair share at times but what makes ours different is the fact that we argue to make each other better persons. I feel thankful that we haven't and hopefully will not reach the point of hurting each other enough yet and I believe it has something to do with our relationship's security.

The sense of security lessens the chances of jealousy and conflicts about third parties and I am happy to have met a person whom I can trust so much. The assurance that the our love will remain as radiant as the morning sun every time we wake up is a first in my case. The constant awakening to reality is sometimes painfully done but I acknowledge the fact that it is thrown at each other constructively; something I find ironically romantic.

Romance became another word the moment I met my new love. The word became more significant and it's impact to me became a tad higher. Every kiss, hug and moment spent together seemed as if we were isolated somewhere far from the world's complicated side. It is funny and considerably corny to say that it feels like being in cloud nine. Being certain that more happy moments are yet to come, I no longer worry much about keeping the fire in our relationship burning. It is something that makes me undeniably proud.

I've never been so proud of my significant other as much as I do now. Perhaps it may not sound humble to say this but the thought that we belong to the same boat with the same cup of tea gives me the feeling that we have the right to be proud of achievements we have attained. I have never said this before and you shouldn't be surprised why. Years back, I was "nobody" in the society but, even though I may still be in that state, this time I am assured that I have a lot of things that common people are not gifted with. I recently realized that life shouldn't stop the moment you have fulfilled your dreams because as long as we exist, we are OUGHT to keep dreaming. But it is not just enough to dream, I suppose, because we do not dream just for the sake of it. I believe it is there for a purpose and that sole purpose is to motivate us to make that dream a realization.

I once dreamed of being in a relationship that I can surely be proud of but never did I expect it to come. Now, without any hesitation, I am glad to say that I
have finally fulfilled that dream.