Tuesday, August 28, 2012

impromptu trip

It was another long weekend.  I was craving for bulalo and something to do so I texted Royson and he texted Imye, and by two PM we were headed for Tagaytay. I love my barkada. Kaladkarin.

The goal of the trip was to eat, eat, enjoy the weather and eat.

We headed first to the Abundant Place just a few kilometers before reaching the Tagaytay City boundary.  It's a small place known for their handicrafts and giant palitaw (or palutang as we call in our side of Cavite). For a hundred bucks, you get to eat a big (very) palitaw served with muscovado, coconut shavings, coconut strips and pinipig (rice crispies); a cup of a very tasty tablea chocolate drink; and taragon tea. The place is very airy and decorated with the shell handicrafts that they sell. If we weren't planning to eat more somewhere else, we would have stayed and probably finished two more giant palitaws... each!

giant palitaw at the Abundant Place

We then went to Green ATS Bulalohan and Restaurant. A meal at this place is always a part of any Tagaytay gimik.  Bulalo! Fried tilapia! Grilled pork! Coke! ahhhh.... heaven.

 bulalo at Green ATS

After satisfying our bulalo craving, we headed for the Cliff House. It's actually a very posh inn with four big rooms overlooking the lake complete with outdoor jacuzzis.  A night's stay in one of the rooms would cost you 15,000.  Quite pricy! But of course, we went there to eat.  There were several interesting eating establishments to choose from but we decided to just have crepes and coffee from Bretton.

coffee at the Cliff House
That was a great way to cap the long weekend, a food trip around a cool city with equally cool and always-hungry-for-good-food friends!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

[multiply harvest] jars of clay: manila concert high

Multiply is closing down! I need to find a way to transfer my pictures and blog entries to another site fast! While I was browsing thru nosref.multiply.com, I came across one of my first blog entries.  I got so excited reading it that I had to share it here.

It was my entry after watching the Jars of Clay concert here in Manila. It was originally posted March 4, 2005! Ang tagal na! Sweet memories are sweet! Haha.

People know that I'm not a deeply religious person so some of you might get shocked with the following thoughts. Hehehehe. But what can I say, I'm a jarsofclay freak.

I was finally able to cross out one of the items on my list of things to do before i die... "watch jars of clay live in concert". I thought I would have to go to the states and track them down to fulfill my dream. Obviously, a long, a tedious and a not-so-affordable process. But the other night the dream came true...

I was able to sing along with my favorite band as they sing my favorite songs!

...i need you ...five candles ..frail ...show you love ...crazy times ...fly ...flood ...tea and sympathy

I was singing, shouting, waving, dancing and jumping. It has been a long time since I felt that happy. Hehehehe

The highlight of the evening for me was when they sang "Worlds Apart" (the top of my favorite list). While the band was singing, I was standing, singing along with my head tilted up and my eyes closed. I was no longer aware of the crowd. Suddenly, it was just me, the voice and the song of prayer. If there is such a thing as an out-of-body experience, I guess that was it.  I felt like I was floating.

I usually feel the same way (to a lesser degree) whenever I listen to the track on my cd but to hear it live was way way better. The feeling was more intense, the words were more alive and the levitation was much much higher! : ) Someone said that the coliseum became solemn during the song. I guess I was not the only one floating.

While the band was playing the song's intro, I called up a DK's cell - a fellow jarsofclay freak who also favored "Worlds Apart". Unfortunately, she was not able to make it to the concert so I wanted her hear the band sing the song live thru the phone. Later that evening she texted me and told me that it made her cry. (she was riding the bus the time she was listening to the song. hehehehe)

Such are the feelings that the band and their songs can bring out.

I can truly say that the evening of March 2, 2005 was one of the happiest moments of my pathetic life ; ) I'm so happy (an understatement) jars of clay finally came to the country.

I hope they come back soon. But even if it takes another ten year before they come back here, I know it will still be worth the wait.

Friday, August 17, 2012

kaeskwela twitter master

I'm the new caretaker of the KaEskwela twitter account!

My marching order is to incraese the number of followers from 31 to 1,000! Challenge accepted. 

Please follow @KaEskwela on twitter and learn more of the stories of the schools and children we help.

new blood

The results of the Aug 2012 physcial therapy and occupational therapy licensure exam is out! Congratulations to the 469 new PTRP's and 49 new OTRP's! Welcome to the other side. :)

I know countless educators beamed with pride as they read through the list. Thirty out of the 32 examinees fom UP CAMP passed. With a 93.75% passing rate, the university ranks among the top 3  top performing schools this year. But since, UP CAMP has less than fifty examinees, the college is not qualified for the award. This has always been a probem for the college. PT and OT are quota courses in the university which only take 50 freshmen each every year. No shiftees or transferees are accepted into these course and, realistically, not all of the 50 freshmen will make it to graduation. So we end up with less than 50 examinees every year. But I digress...

Congratualtions to all my students who passed the exam! Well done! Well done! You are now you are licensed to serve. Please use you license well. Remember the lessons you've learned inside and outside the classroom.

For those who did not make it this round, as cliche as it may sound, there is a time and a place for everything. Remember, a delay is not a denial. Cry for a while but do not wallow. One examination should not define you. Gather yourself together and prepare for the next exam. You have the college's support.

UPPT2012 during their last class
(photo from Cez' FB page)

Congratulations also to Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and to the University of Santo Tomas for being the top two performing schools this year, and to PLM again for bagging most of the spots in the top 10 examinees list.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

project 50-50 for montalban

The UP College of Allied Medical Professions (Pedro Gil, Manila) is now accepting donations for a relief/rehab operation in Montalban, Rizal for communities affected by the recent calamity.

The College will be accepting donations til August 16.
The distribution will be on August 18.

Please help spread the word.

initial donations of CAMP alumni and students  


It was not a storm. It was just rains brought about by the habagat (southwest wind, southwest monsoon) intensified by a typhoon just outside the Philippine area of responsibility. However, it brought with it more rains than Ondoy in span of several days.

Classes and offices at UP Manila were suspended for more than four days. More than 70% of Metro Manila was flooded along with several towns around the surrounding provinces. Many families lost their homes and their livelihood.  Life in the metro slowed down for two weeks.

Now, things are starting to pick up. Relief and rehabilitation efforts from different organizations are now on-going. Filipinos are always willing to help. “The Filipino spirit is waterproof.” “Baha ka lang. Filipino kami”

I admire the Filipino spirit. However, it is still very reactive. I hope we can transfer our passion, our efforts, our spirit from response to prevention.  The Filipino spirit need not prove it’s waterproof-ness in the midst of severe flooding if it can prevent the calamity from occurring in the first place.

Another storm is expected to come by Tuesday next week. Flooding is expected because the dams, rivers and the ground is still recovering from the major soaking from this week’s rains.

Stay safe and dry!
flood behind the post office building (july 30)
ilog taft avebue (aug 6)
santolan lrt, flyover and marikina riverbank (aug 7)
mall on stilts (aug 7)
marikina river (aug 7)
pig evacuees (aug 8)

Monday, August 6, 2012

kaeskwela map drive

Join the KaEskwela Map Drive!

If you have old usable globes, maps or other teaching aids at home that are just lying around, you can donate them to KaEskwela to help partner schools in Tanay, Montalban, Pampanga and Laguna.

For more details you can email the group at kaeskwelavolunteers@yahoo.com or check the group's FB page.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

hashtag: rejected UPCAT essay questions

Last Saturday, the University of the Philippines held it's college admission test for the academic year 2013-2014.  The UPCAT is one of the earliest, if not the earliest college entrance examination available to incoming college freshmen. Millions of 4th year high school students flocked to testing centers all over the country.

What's special with this year's examination, that set facebook and twitter netizens abuzz, is the addition of essay questions.  Twit-peeps started making jokes about this and  #RejectedUPCATEssayQuestions became the number one trending topic in the Philippines the night after the exam.

Of course, I had to join in the fun. Blogger and PPTA Officer Rian Gabor suggested that I compile my tweets in a blog. Check out my tweets below.

There were several blogs who found the entries so hilarious that they compiled the tweets. Check one of the blogs here.

Definitely, it's more fun in (the University of ) the Philippines! :)

ode to my old laptop

My old laptop died.

Not really. It just wouldn’t wake up. One day, I turned it off to rest from working and when I tried to turn it on after an hour it wouldn’t boot. The message on the screen said a file has been corrupted which is necessary for it to boot. I wasn’t surprised.  It was an old laptop as far as laptop goes. I had it for four years but before that it was owned by someone else. Two people, in fact. I bought it third-hand.

I know I could still have it repaired.  There have been near misses like this in the past. It has survived the blue screen of death twice and still it lasted this long. After looking at the laptops sorry state, I knew it was time to let it retire. The battery no longer works when I bought it and I had to keep it plugged in which limited it’s portability. The CD ROM and two out of its three USB port no longer work. The left click on the mouse pad was already broken when it was purchased, and pretty soon the right click followed suit. I cannot move the screen when it’s turned on because the screen would go blank. The F8 key is missing and the downward direction key is held in place with a tape. The list goes on.

Battered as it may seem, that laptop has served me well.  Countless lectures, handouts and examinations were made using that laptop. I’ve used it to download numerous journal articles, teaching materials and music. It has been used in many presentations and teaching-learning activities. That laptop has accompanied me in four out of my now five years in the university. Several reports, papers and audiovisual presentations were crammed with it. My life as a teacher and grad student would not have been easy without that battered computer. It has been by my side, almost literally, for four year but now, it is time to rest.

Recently, I bought in instalment my first brand new lap top, a Toshiba Satellite C840. It cost me close to 31k which is roughly 2,600 per month for 12 months.  Not bad. It has an Intel Core i3 processor, a 500 gig memory, Bluetooth and the works! It was a toss between buying a Samsung with a 1 therabyte and this. I chose sturdiness over space knowing how I am with electronic gadgets. I hope this one will last as long as my last computer.

Right now, the old laptop sits quietly in one of my cabinets in my cubicle at the college. I’ll leave it there for a while. Fortunately, I was able to back-up my files in my external hard drive before it decided to sleep permanently. Perhaps, I’ll have it fixed and give it to my nephew to use in grade school. Perhaps not. I still haven’t decided. For now, I’ll let it sleep and get its much deserved respite.

Rest well, old friend.

my niece and nephew playing with the old laptop

Saturday, August 4, 2012

failed attempt

My initial attempt to revive this blog was a complete failure. Actually, I really didn't try that hard. I will try again. Hopefully, even with the busy schedule, I'll be able to blog at least once a week (or once every two weeks).

Hmmm... so what will I blog about now...