Wednesday, 31 December 2014

NEW YEAR 2015

Life has never been permanent, it has always been a constant change. 

New Year's Eve: Welcoming of a New Year
Today we celebrate a new chapter of our book, with its new blank pages that are yet to be filled with spectacular memories..


New year has been one of the most awaited celebrations of most Filipinos. It has been in our root to welcome new year and woke up as early as 12:00 in the morning to face another year and have Media Noche with our families. :)

FLASHBACK 2014

FLASHBACK
2014

I've seen better days, but I've also seen worse. I don't have everything that I want, but I do have all I need. I don’t have achieved every dream I plan but I have received and welcomed more pretty-good opportunities. My #2014 may not be that perfect but I’m blessed because it has just been a great and a lovely chapter, it has been a stepping stone, and an open gate to new horizon. For that I am so much happy.

As the year comes to an end, I want to thank you. Thank you to all of my friends and those who have contributed to make another chapter of my life worth it. You know who you are, and I thank all of you for sharing your gifts, blessings and 2014 moments with me. May you also be abundantly blessed this new year too.. See you all this 2015.


I also want to thank all of my viewers, lurkers, and readers. :) Thank You for making this year worth it. See you Next Year! 

Monday, 29 December 2014

Was it a Lesson Learned ?

Remembering Tropical Depression Queenie : 
Was it a Lesson Learned ?


A tropical depression turns to be a natural phenomenon that made everybody up.

It was a humid night as I was wearily asleep in my bed having colds and headaches. The rain heavily poured and the winds outside were howling like wolves that flew some of our neighbourhoods’ roofs causing a terrible noise. I could do nothing but ignored all of those, closed my eyes, prayed and sent myself back to sleep as I pulled my blanket back and covered my face.

For the next two hours, the lights begun to flicker. Still, I can hear the rain heavily pounded the ground and outside we hear more twigs and branches of trees cracked and fell to the roofs.   

I could never imagine that it was only seven hours ago when our Physics teacher informed us that Bohol was now under storm signal no. 1. It was 7:00 in the evening when we left our school based on our usual shifting schedules and there were no advisories of early suspension. By then, the rain was just normal and we enjoyed our class discussion with no further weather interruptions except my sinusitis that was bothering me.

But what just happened after swift hours?

Supposed that the outpouring of the rain would slowly stop, it diversely turn the other way around and made every household shiver and woke up as early as dawn.

The clock points 1:30 early morning when I decided to lift myself out from the bed and helped my mama looked for some candles and emergency lights to lit up. While papa on the other hand was on his way taking up pails and put them down on the floor to catch rainwater that got in due to some roof holes. My older sister on the other side having her pocket WIFI searched for typhoon updates on social media as an immediate source of information. Well, it was not a surprise that many of the netizens from Facebook and any other social sites were awoke by Tropical Depression Queenie and posted their insights as well as their inquiries begging for updates and weather forecasts.

Almost everybody were waiting to see from their newsfeeds any updates about TD Queenie yet even DOST-PAG-ASA’s social latest update was only 11 hours ago and was lagging behind.

It was at the same time, when Tagbilaran City is right on the path of Typhoon Queenie and a massive black out covered the entire province since 12:00 early morning.

And what has supposed to be a Tropical Depression turns out to be a Tropical Storm with maximum winds of 55 kilometres per hour. For some people it brought them much fear than how Yolanda wreaked havoc and took Bohol under storm signal No.3 just last year at this the same month of November. Everyone who stayed on their homes were also having the same and doubtful of their feelings.

Four hours earlier, I caught myself hugging a soft pillow after a heavy slight sleep due to last night’s panorama but still the rain was pouring but not exactly as heavy as hours before. The sun slowly appeared but still those dark greyed clouds covered the sky.

I got up from bed and open the windows. I saw countless banana trees lying down after their roots were pulled off and so was my Lolo’s field was in a disaster. There were no exemptions that even our car was covered with twigs and our washed clothes outside were blown away to the other’s rooftop.

And just as I had the chance to go online and look for updates about Tropical Storm Queenie, what met me were the photo posts from different sources that covers the aftermath of the said typhoon from various parts of the province and post advisories from the netizens. The same as what happened during the earthquake, I saw homes toppled and some light structures washed out by the storm and brought high tide waves to coastal areas.

What has to be the media and journalists’ responsibility of giving timely updates and accurate facts has now been put to the netizens comfort and trendy-accessible posts from around their places.

To inform, to give accurate information, to be timely, precise, and to be able to establish a reliable committee with strong and consistent communication to give updates on situations concerning peoples welfare. These are our roles and purposes as journalists especially before, during and after calamities and as aspirants we must be aware of these major responsibilities that we must adhere.

We must be equipped and be a keen observant. We must show that we can help newsrooms navigate the changes; we must be able to respond to citizens concerns, have the urgency to adjust, access and innovate.  Because as catalysts of change, we must build a clear and a firm connection for the people especially in times of disasters.

 These are the basis why we exist.

We are agents of change. It is our calling to be instruments of change and at the first place, we must be empowered, to take the risks and take initiatives to bring good service. Not just we write when news breaks but we give context why the issues are important, we suggest solutions, we dig deeper. As well as we touch lives, we persuade individuals to positive action, we help the people to have strong social networks that would be open to the people close to them - to effectively communicate with each other and to ultimately build new resources that help them overcome life’s difficulties that has the power to survive, thrive and rise by itself even with minimal help from others.

Just as to be effective journalists we must also be sustainable alone to demonstrate to everyone the power to be self reliant, to be more flexible, and be more prepared and less dependent. It is always important for us to call the people’s attention, participation and cooperation for them too to meet basic needs, to secure livelihood, to be disaster-resilient and food self sufficient especially after catastrophes and future calculations.

We must not wait for others to neither aid us nor wait for the things to be finer as how it should be. If we want to see things fall unto their right pieces once again, we must do it for ourselves.  As is, we must not wait for another phenomenon to pass, we must go ahead and take the ounce of preparation and give the most accurate information we can give to the world. Certainly, it has always been important to deliver precise details so no one must be mislead to what is true from what are gossips that bring much fear and chaos, or for everyone to be prepared to what the reality is going to be. We must take action never to be victims of life but to be vulnerable enough to be its conqueror.


Sunday, 28 December 2014

EXPERIENCE A MYSTICAL JOURNEY TO ANDA


EXPERIENCE A MYSTICAL JOURNEY TO
 ANDA




One of Andale’s top stop destinations is the mystical island of Lamanoc in Barangay Badiang. It is in the peninsula secluded, with white-sand beaches, limestone rocks, fascinating overhanging rocks, and intriguing caves wrapped by mystic anecdotes since pre-colonial times.

After sharing a warm spirit to the ANDAKidz, we moved to a mystic cave tour in Lamanoc and untangled several tales of the past. To get into Lamanoc’s gateway, we passed through the Bakhawan Mangrove Forest and from there we crossed a long bamboo walkway which runs through the middle of the forest and passed through more of those frail platforms and long poles of thick bamboo stalk that needs collective balance of weight.

Our quite enchanting walk took as several minutes before we reached a small hut. We then took a ride on the wooden boats (bangka/s) used by the community paddlers to fetch us. It was a smooth ride, graced by the calm waves of the sea water only about a few feet high and by the gentle conversations with the local paddlers and tour guide.

Later, we reached Lamanoc’s point and started the mystical and historical cave experience tour.  Ancient rock art forms greeted us: tombs, burial grounds, coffins, skeletal remains and more prehistoric cave settlements.  As we went through another uphill hike, the local tour guide shared to us spiritual beliefs and rituals which were mostly being held within Lamanoc.

Diwata ritual was one of the interesting talks of the local guide. It is said to be a traditional practice in which spirits of nature were called by the community, lead by their religious leader or a shaman called Baylan or a tambalan to ensure a bountiful harvest, abundance in hunting fishes, and also for healing  from sickness and protection from bad spirits. In return, it is said that the community offers a thanksgiving ceremony through chants, dances and killing of chicken or pig.

Within the caves, you can also view some of the shaman rock paintings, which has been a unique site, a manifestation of human expression by our fore bearers. You can also take a look of their enchanting red hematite paintings and in the midst of one of the caves a fossilized clam can also be seen. There is also a big cross uphill which was said to be placed during the Spanish colonial period.

To add to the mystery of the island, the local tour guide introduced a cave, said to be where a local witch fled after the townsfolk started persecuting her. There were also stories of supernatural sightings and for some of us, we felt something from the magical air and mystical wind.
After a long first day of going through a terrific at Lamanoc Island, our experiences were simply the best. Spending time with the creepy atmosphere, overcoming tricky trails, cliffs and balancing beneath those wide bamboo bridges were too much of joyful adventure worth spending for.

Yet our Andale side trips did not end there, we stayed over Quinale Beach and the following day, we explored Anda’s popular cave pools.

Our first stop was at Kabagnow cave, a huge hole cave with crystal clear water. It wasn’t easy to access for the bloggers so we left after taking good pictures and went to the next cave pool. At Tibao and Conbento, some bloggers were able to go underwater because it was accessible than the first one we had. It is obvious that local townsfolk are frequent to the area as you can see sachets of shampoos left. The town officials, though, are looking forward for a program to educate the people how to preserve the wonders of their cave pools and keep it clean as possible to boost tourism.


Anda has been a good place for our mystical and historic explorations. If you’re into creepy adventures or looking for a great experience, Anda could be a good hideaway for you too.. 













Wednesday, 24 December 2014

COMMUNITY BUILDING


ANDAKIDZ & COMMUNITY BUILDING WITH A HEART


From indigenous-creative resources, an ideal community is started. 

Amazingly made through plastic soft drink bottles and breakable empty wine bottles, nipa roofs, and bamboo trunks, this community that they were trying to build would soon serve numerous ANDAKidz and help their families.

This would soon shelter their community programs, meetings, livelihood events for elders and learning center for the kids to support their studies and help them build their dreams.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

THE JOURNEY TO BAYAWAN


MY ITINERARY FROM TAGBILARAN-DUMAGUETE-BAYAWAN CITY (back to)-DUMAGUETE-TAGBILARAN


Dec. 15, 2014 (Monday) : OPENING CEREMONIES and PARADE
It was Sunday when we arrived at Bayawan City, Negros and it’s now my second stay here. I woke up early as 5:00 and lined up for bath. We had only one comfort room for both DCPNHS and BISU delegates since we’re in the same quarter and unfortunately the water supply is quite inconsistent.

When the clock strikes 1:00 in the afternoon, we took the bus from our billeting school towards Bayawan Parish Church for a holy mass which was attended by thousands of RSPC 2014 participants.

It was followed by the Grand Parade.

Under the heat of the sun RSPC 2014 delegates went intact for the Grand Parade per delegations. I never thought that it would be that haggard, actually I felt totally burnt out. We had a very long walk from the parish church we headed towards the Integrated Business Center. Yet all sweat paved away, as we saw many Bayawanons outside their doors and greeted us with their smiles as they kept their eyes and witness the grand parade of aspirant journalists.

Dec. 16, 2014 (Tuesday) : CONTEST PROPER

This is the day which brought every journalist in the region together in Bayawan.

As I waited for my contest period, I keenly observed how each of us perseveres. I may not know all of those young minds I met as I walk along a corridor and sat with unfamiliar faces, yet I saw a familiar eye in most each of us.

The eye of determination, confidence, doubt, nervousness, uneasiness, and all the hopes and prayers that each of us devoted for this day.

My soft heart can hear our every whisper, our every prayer, our every wish and our every words of optimism. Some says ‘Kaya ko to! ( I can do this), some confidently claims ‘This is the time’, ‘I shall win this game’, or most of the nervous eyes whispers questions ‘How?’, ‘Anyways, whatever happens. I knew it would be okay.’ And most participants patiently waited and calmly sat down...

It was almost 10:45 am when feature writing participants (my category) were called for the proper competition guidelines and directed us to our assigned contests rooms.

Reading every syllable the facilitator wrote for our theme category makes me think ‘Okay, I haven’t prepared for this, well, I can write anyways.’
‘Should sex education better taught in home or in school?

That’s it! What do you think about it?

I was thinking what to write about it and how to start.

I was not well prepared for this topic, it was not that serious old dumped one and I was not that interested about this kind of issues yet anyways I had written well as I've thought without any regret. Yet, I knew that there’s something lacking in my piece and it’s the accurate information of how and what sex education is all about?

I settled my mind more on human touches and insights not thinking that the real nut was ‘sex education’ though I've wrote down some factors which ruin lives and shattered most youngster’s dreams because they acquire less advice and education about sex. And as to answer the topic’s question, I’ve chosen school and explained my insights well. And that’s it, just as time was about to end, I was able to passed my piece.

DAY 3- DEC. 17, 2014 : CLOSING PROGRAM AND AWARDING CEREMONIES.

This would be my last year in RSPC (HS) and I would totally miss these times. Awarding ceremonies rolls the way again and I as usual  was not called for a medal.

Ever since, I kept dreaming of grabbing a place in this competition, but no I haven't able to make it to the top. Somehow it brought despair & disappointment, 'cause after all your hard work, it just didn't pay off. That's a big slap in the face.

Yet even how things unfold, some people still cling to their belief in me and in my capabilities -their belief which mean much more to me especially when I needed it the most. I may not attain success of which winning gold medals or trophies but true success lies within yourself and I'm thankful for all my friends who made realize that I am beyond what I think of myself. I know, something great is about to come. So, just keep kicking and bring the spirit back to life.

RSPC2014

I am thankful I've conquered the privilege to attend this wonderful event and had the opportunity to go to Bayawan City. Once a campus journalist will always be one and I would not waste this advantage to be an effective campus journalist.

In my own view, the best’s way to start the journey towards being an effective journalist cannot be determine by the gold medals you’ll receive but to be a true journalist, you must be willing to take the risk and accept the things as they are and most especially as campus journalist you must see things in another perspective. For me, sideways from the main goal of writing for this competition, is my aim to dig deeper, to share my experiences and so also to inculcate an interest to my readers to come and experience Bayawan City as well as to help the people in their community and to tell a story to the world.

As journalists, we do not just write when news breaks, or when there’s a competition but we write for the beautiful things and as dedication for RSPC 2014, I hope to lift the tangled tales and the jewels of the city of Bayawan.

WHAT TO DO IN BAYAWAN?
here are just some things you may enjoy within the City of Character:

1. Take several rides on their Pot-pot Sikad

2. Taste their Bayawan’s best Baye-Baye

3. Room around their nature and plaza

4. Take a glimpse of their native Tawo-Tawo, visit their landscapes and take plunge to their sanitary landfills.


5. Enjoy their sun sets

6. Horseback riding... 


7. Walk in their boulevard 







MEMOIRS FROM BAYAWAN



MY MEMOIRS FROM BAYAWAN: THE HOME AWAY FROM HOME

From the genuine province of Negros Oriental lies the city of Bayawan- the abode which captures the hearts of everybody who has been there, especially the RSPC 2014 delegates. 

It was dated Dec. 14, 2014 when we left Bohol to join this year’s Regional School Pressconference. Upon arrival at Dumaguete City Pier we took a Ceres bus ride towards the city of Bayawan.

The bright blue skies greeted us, with their readily ccolorful banners and flyers that calls and welcomes RSPC delegates. From the bus, you can take good glimpses of their adorable mountain tops, rice fields, native scarecrows, irrigations, those white sandy beaches, cute little ‘Nipa’ houses, and the lovely marching palm trees. It was a beautiful panorama of their nature with pleasing hum of the birds.


It was about two hours when we reached Bayawan East National High School, our billeting quarter together with the entire Tagbilaran City Division, Bohol, Talisay and Naga Divisions. Well, you won’t wonder how big the place is for the four divisions. 

There were no proper room assignments so we need to search rooms for ourselves. Since we’re only seven from DCPNHS family, we decided to stay together with our neighbouring campus, the BISU (highschool department).

We stayed there for four nights, slept with crickets, cockroaches, and anything itchy. We sit in their greeny field; dump our footprints in their muddy sand and have our skin tanned under the heat of the sun.

We also tried to walk the pavement of their streets.

While looking for a place to eat, we found Mang Inasal, the only branch within the city.

We also tried to shop in one of their considered high class shopping markets in the city; it’s called ‘Prince’. We had our manito/manita raffle inside the shopping mall, we interviewed some of their guards, ask questions to their sales crew and took pictures inside and outside the doors of the mall and had several plunge to their classic restaurant branch of “May Abohan” and tasted some of their treats disregarding of the very long wait and a little interrupting service.

Not just, we had also taken numerous rides of their extended tri sikads and the very mainstream yet unique “Potpot-Sikad”. It is the usual ride of every Bayawanons transporting them from place to place or otherwise they walk. As what I’ve observed, only several Bayawanons have their own cars, or as is, it is very rare to see Mercedes, BMW, Honda, taxis/cab, or even Suzuki cars lined up on the streets waiting for the heavy traffic unlike most of the visited cities and places in the Philippines. 

Bayawan is one of the most peaceful and less polluted places in the country.

In addition, I guess, it is the only place where a five-peso can take you anywhere you want to go within boundaries of their city and on look their beautiful haven.

In our countless rides of Potpot-Sikad we had also given several chances to interrogate the admirable perseverance of their drivers. They have their distinction of stories. But there is that one thing common to all of them. They have their universal purpose. And it is to earn for a living not for themselves but to raise their families and for their children to be able to attend school and the hope for their kids to achieve their goals in life that they them self has not given the chance.

My trip to Bayawan is not just bounded to the aim of taking a competition but so also, it has been a bridge to discover something incredibly inspiring and take notes of a wonderful city of character, they may be not that perfect though and not that organized yet there’s something in the place that is pleasing to the heart.



 











Monday, 22 December 2014

POPE FRANCIS


POPE       FRANCIS:       THE        PEOPLE’S          POPE


“My people are poor and I am one of them.”

Jose Mario Bergoglio was his real name. He is humble, simple religious leader and a man who radiated holiness. He is the first pope who chooses Francis of Assissi as his namesake, the 10th century patron saint of the poor.

Pope Francis is the reigning pope of the Catholic Church. He is the first non- European and Latin American pope in 1, 300 years and is also the first Jesuit to become pope in the 2oo year-history of the Catholic Church.

He is the pope of the poor. He is the people’s pope.

He led a simple life. He has been noted for his humility. His concern is for the poor and his commitment is to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs and faiths. He demonstrated his kindness and compassion for the poor and marginalized.

Pope Francis even made himself more accessible to the people, as he continues to live a modest life. He brings Catholic Church closer to the common people and to God, he live humbly, seek out and extend a helping hand to the needy.

He has washed the feet of a Muslim woman jailed in Rome’s youth prison as part of the Thursday ceremony. He’s the pope who have touched, kissed and blessed a man covered in tumor. He’s the pope who allows children to come near him in public appearance and celebrates his 77th birthday with homeless people, treating them like family.

In January 2015, he is set to visit the Philippines in order to meet the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, which wrecked havoc on the country last November and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake survivor victims in Bohol.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the pope called for prayers and aid for Filipinos affected by the disasters.

“Let the Holy spirit renew the creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Asia! Pagpalain kayo ng Diyos. “

His statements, proved that he do love the Philippines and thus, all Filipinos march to see the pope of the people, our Pope Francis.

-----------------------------HOW I HOPE TO SEE THE POPE FRANCIS --------------------------------


I also hope to see the Pope Francis in personal even for once in a while. That's one of my wishlists this next new year.

HITTING THE OTHER WAY AROUND


THE ROUTE TOWARDS ANDA: HITTING THE OTHER WAY AROUND THE TRIP

Getting to Know BOHOL Again:THROUGH ANDALE

Andale has not just been a great opportunity to experience new adventures, meet new bloggers, chitchat with old friends, but it has also been a series of getting to know each other again rides, a mystical storytelling and historic lecture sharing.  It has been a blast application of all our knowledge in class since we’ve been also discussing and giving reports about Bohol literature and history for almost successive months but could you ever imagined through ANDALE the lessons we learned from school were somehow sum up for just a day.

From the two-hour ride before going to Anda, we had a very entertaining address from PIA BOHOL- Mr. Rey Anthony Chiu. The storytelling scrutinized the chronicles of the history and the things many are still unaware.

From Tagbilaran city’s origin, the Bilaans and the place where natives hide during colonization, to the the very accessible place which took the natives  less time to travel or “baklay”, which claims the town of Baclayon. Then we come to tackle about the province of Bohol and its tales of where it has its name, whether from the word boho, or either from the very exquisite tree named after Bohol that has to be found in Bool, Elementary School even up until now. From there, we dig deeper to the sagas of the mystical golden kingdom of Dapitan, the princess and the Chinese slaves, transactions of gold mining, the destruction of the place and we got unto the very rich King were when he took his breath away, he was buried together with his richest stuff neither in between the highest peak of a hill (Dayu Hill?), that is to be found here in the province and it is yet to be discovered again. From the olden anecdotes, we’ve reach the name/s of Eli , a guy from Mindanao who went back to Bohol and bought the said land where gold stocks are buried.  He is said to run as President of the Philippines and he have promise to pay all debts of the country when he will be elected. From there, we pore over the story of an old woman selling very unusual clay who has her everyday stocks.  It was found out that those clay supplies were from the top of the hill. The clay that has supposed to be in gray turns out to be white and its explanation was maybe there is a great possibility that there’s an agent, an AU (gold) uphill making them turn white.  

Furthermore, we also took time to tackle more about dolphins, and whales, the Pamilacan Island, the story of Mariveles from Dauis, there two palm trees and many many more historic talks until we reach Anda. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

CHOCOREICH

"CHOCOREICH" FIRST BOHOLANO CHOCOLATE SHOP and CAFE NEWLY OPENS  --in---TAGBILARAN CITY, BOHOL PHILIPPINES

The Hills are There, 

Yet Chocolates are Here in the Heart of the City


Bohol is internationally known for its wondrous and fantastic scene in Carmen, The Chocolate Hills. Incredible beauty comes from a magical history, the cone- shaped hills that made every Boholano stands out from others.

Even after a shattering memoir of Oktubre Kinse Killer Earthquake in the province, the hills, they're firmly holding tight, and there they can still be beautifully seen. The ruins of some hills can still be seen though, but after years from now it can be seen no more.

CHOCOLATE HILLS? Others may take it literally,or some may exclaim. "We can see the ruins but where's the chocolates flowing over here?"