The New Bluepad.org p. 9 Building Not a Bed of Roses p.6 p.9
END THE SILENCE OF THE GAGGED!
THE OFFICIAL STUDENT PUBLICATION OF ATENEO DE DAVAO UNIVERSITY Vol. 56 No. 1
Higher budget, tuition freeze and refund top youth groups’
Wish list for P-Noy by Paul Randy Gumanao
f President Aquino does not want a nationwide sequel of the PUP incident last May, when students threw and burned school facilities, he should give more attention to the worsening education crisis in the country. This is the challenge of the Filipino youth to the new administration.
P-Noy Wins Over All. Then presidential aspirant Noynoy Aquino enthralls despite unfavorable weather and the skepticism of a good fraction of the community. Photo by Adi Leuterio.
A Closer Look at the Freedom of Information Bill
bill did not lose hope and said they will again file the bicameral version of the bill during the commencement of the 15th Congress. Problems in Accessing and Acquiring Public Information Those who want to access and acquire public documents have suffered problems in the past. The lack of uniform procedure in acquiring the documents could be one cause. Also, the discretion as to who is allowed to access public information remains in the respective agencies and this continues to happen because there is no definite sanction or penalty imposed on those who violate the right to information. Another cause is the very poor government record-keeping system (some files are still kept in folders stacked along with many other folders in file cabinets). The
by Joffreylle Marie B. Opiano
he Freedom of Information bill was passed by Congress on May 12, 2008 as House Bill 3732 and was later passed by the Senate as Senate Bill 3308. Soon after, the Senate ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee Report regarding the bill on February 1 of this year. However, Congress did not ratify it due to lack of quorum as declared by House Speaker Prospero Nograles. At the time, there were 137 members present, two more than the prescribed 135 members to constitute a quorum. But Nograles said only 128 were around. Supporters of the
» A Closer p10
“Gloria Arroyo will leave behind the most shameful and tragic legacy for Philippine education characterized by the lowest education spending, yearly tuition hikes, the highest dropout rate, unresolved corruption, disrespect of students’ democratic rights and freedoms and a systematic neglect of the government of the education sector,” says Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino. KABATAAN Partylist, as a broad youth alliance, expresses the sector’s high hopes and expectations on Aquino, who, during his campaign, avowed to include education in his top priorities if elected. Aquino pledged to follow the prescription of UNESCO to allot six percent (6%) of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to education. At present, the most pressing education issue confronting the youth is the rampant increases in Tuition and Other Fees. Amidst the economic crisis, 339 schools nationwide have increased tuition and miscellaneous fees. In Davao City, around 25 schools increased Tuition and Other Fees, and AdDU is on top of the list having the most expensive Tuition Fee of Php. 821.20 per unit after a 6% increase in tuition rate this school year (read the article ‘Not a Bed of Roses‘ for more on the matter). All of these imply that millions would not afford to go to school. According to KABATAAN, they will demand for
» Higher p10
A D D U A p p o i n t s N e w Tr e a s u r e r by Jan - Patrik B. Laroya
teneo de Davao University has a new Treasurer in the person of Mr. Jimmy Delgado.
The University Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Mr. Delgado as University Treasurer effective July 1 this year until May 31, 2011. According to the University memo issued by Fr. Antonio S. Samson, SJ dated June 29, Mr. Delgado is a faculty member teaching Accountancy at the School of Business Governance since 2001. He graduated
cum laude from the Ateneo de Davao University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy in1997, passed the CPA licensure exam in 1999, and finished his MBA in 2003. He has over eleven years of experience in accounting, auditing, finance and taxation as well as two years of banking experience. Delgado, who teaches Accountancy and Management Accounting at the School of Business and Governance, replaced Fr. Anthony Ceasar C. Pabayo, SJ, who served as OIC/Treasurer for the university from May to June following the resignation of Mr. Rolex M. Ratilla.
02 | ATENEWS
You have to be humble to say you are not Superman and Einstein combined. You don’t have all the solutions at your fingertips,” said President Benigno Simeon Aquino III few days before his inauguration. The Filipinos know that P-Noy is not Superman, nor is he Einstein. But P-Noy could not blame the clamoring masses for wanting immediate actions or solutions that are obviously within his capacity to fulfill as the country’s topmost official. The people know that, as President, Noy does not need either superpowers or extreme intellect to address the urgent concerns of the citizens. The country suffered so much under the Arroyo regime. And Aquino, with his promise of a government diametrically opposite to GMA’s, must uplift the spirit of the people. It is confusing whether P-Noy is just trying to project an aura of humility or is washing his hands of responsibility when he uttered that statement. Certainly, it is heartening to notice that P-Noy does acknowledge that there are existing demands from his constituents but this statement means that he always has the option not to take action owing to his being “just human”. But, no. If he wishes to be different from GMA, he should manifest it through concrete actions. In his inaugural speech, P-Noy said, “There will be no reconciliation without justice.” Hence, he should let justice prevail by prosecuting GMA and her minions for the alleged acts of corruption and human rights violations, among which includes the 1,199 victims of extrajudicial killings believed to be perpetrated by her cohorts from the AFP, attributed to them. P-Noy should see to it that the perpetrators of heinous crimes like the Maguindanao and
Why I Should Be In That Rally
by Paul Randy Gumanao
n the afternoon of June 7, while in a Ieducation, protest rally against commercialization of I received a text message from my father saying, “Bisag unsaog taptap og placards sa imong nawong, klaro gihapon kaayo ka dong.”
Yeah. He saw me on TV while ABS-CBN was taking a live coverage of our rally in Claveria. At that moment, I didn’t feel proud, even if my activism is no secret to my family. Still, I often have apprehensions because I know, and I always expect that whenever I come home after protest actions, my father would find a way to criticize (whether constructively or violently) the actions we undertook. I was one of the speakers representing the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. As I was delivering my solidarity message, some of my friends and schoolmates were there across the street. I was bothered. They might be thinking why a student like me, a scholar of the university and a scholar of the government, would rant against Tuition Fee Increases and commercialization of education. That was also what my father told me.
The ‘laban’ of P-Noy’s government should be the defense of the oppressed majority. IN THIS SECTION
Editorial • Why I Should Be in This Rally • Let’s Talk About SexEd • Inverbati
Hacienda Luisita massacres are properly tried. Also, P-Noy should resume peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front (NDFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to seriously discuss much-needed comprehensive and extensive socio-economic reforms in the country. P-Noy should prioritize education. With GMA’s administration leaving the educational system in ruins, it is the responsibility of P-Noy’s government to save it from totally decaying. But P-Noy’s proposal to extend basic education by two years is not the answer. P-Noy needs to remember that before he can restructure curriculums and other grand plans, he must address the shortage of classrooms, textbooks and teachers in the country. In addition, the uncontrolled increase in tuition and other fees especially in tertiary education must be regulated. Hence, P-Noy should consider increasing the education budget by allocating 6% of the GDP to education as prescribed by UNESCO. Quality education must, at all times, be made accessible to every citizen. After having high expectations of him expressed even before he assumed his seat, P-Noy has no reason not to address these concerns of the public. He has the obligation to create his identity, not as the son of Ninoy and Cory and not as Kris’s brother, but as the President of the Republic of the Philippines who promotes justice, peace and good governance. P-Noy’s taking office from GMA is a victory for the people. However Noy’s presidency is not equal to the removal of GMA’s spirit in the bureaucracy. In his six years in Malacañang, P-Noy has to show the Filipinos what he truly means by saying “ituloy ang laban”: “Laban” should be a defense of the oppressed majority, a “laban” led not by Superman, not by Einstein, but by P-Noy.
He questioned my credibility of speaking about Tuition Fee Increase, when in fact I do not pay with my own money. If there was one credible speaker who should have spoken then, it should have been a non-scholar, a student whose parents pay all expenses by their own. And I accept the idea that, should there be protests on significant student issues, majority of the students have to be mobilized. However I’d like to clarify that my involvement in such actions is not a gesture of ingratitude towards AdDU admin or towards DOST-SEI who sponsor my scholarship. Our call during the protest action was not addressed solely to the Ateneo administration. It was directed mainly to the government for failing to perform its role in ensuring that education, as a basic right of every citizen, is available to all. My involvement is an expression of dismay that while I am enjoying the benefits of scholarships in a private Jesuit institution, there are millions of young people who are deprived of their right to a quality and comprehensive education, contrary to what the Philippine Constitution mandates. My involvement as an activist is one of my applications of what the Jesuit education calls “social consciousness.” Now tell me, is it wrong to demand for others’ welfare? Is it an act of ingratitude on my part to demand for accessible education, if not for me, for millions of poor youth?
The educational crisis in the country is not simply an issue brought by the increase in the prices of petroleum products as believed by many. The truth is that educational budget constantly diminishes while the allocations for militarization and debt servicing increase. Add to the list the granting of autonomous and deregulated status legitimizing the abuses of most private schools. I, together with the other progressive youth, believe that when the scenario of commercialized education continues to prevail, many would not be educated. When many are uneducated, the economy would continue to decline. If that happens, the Philippines would be nothing but a trash bin. I might be noisy and militant, but this is not a valid justification why I should stop being an activist because being one is not a crime but an exercise of my constitutional rights. For as long as I could still responsibly comply with the requisites of being a chemistry major, a writer, a son, a brother, a friend, I will never leave activism. The consolation I earn from it is the courage to assert for justice, and to feel and to express the bitterness of the gagged. And yes, my father was right. The activists do not have to act as the lifetime spokespersons of the oppressed. There is a need to mobilize the students, the youth. It is about time to see new faces. After all, this is not just the activists’ fight.
ATENEWS ‘End the silence of the gagged’
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Paul Randy Gumanao ASSOCIATE EDITOR Reymond Pepito MANAGING EDITOR Tom Luis Herrera HONORARY EDITOR Santigo Paulo Pascual NEWS EDITOR Jan - Patrik Laroya FEATURES EDITOR Ma. Katherina Galope SENIOR WRITERS Joffreylle Marie B. Opiano • Merill Jem Llerena • Kathleene Anne Veloso • Rea Romero STAFF WRITERS Cyril Jerome Almanzor • John Kessler Misterio • Almira Jane Villegas • Gary Kin Camarillo • Edward Lactaoen • Jhar-Mae Magalona • Jamira Anne Martinez • Partricia Templa • Pamela Joy Yutiamco
ATENEWS | 03 Let’s Talk About SexEd
26 th Avenue by Reymond Pepito
ex. This is one of the few words that catch our attention. Whenever we see the word “sex” in magazines, newspapers and other print materials, we tend to stop and take interest in reading it, not perhaps because we really want to read about sex but maybe the “questioning self” wants to clarify and discover the truth about the matter. In liberal democracies, sex is viewed as a normal activity for adults and teenagers. They engage in it, whether they are married or not, whether they are in a serious relationship or a fling. In fact, most of their kids in high school plan on “getting laid“ before college. For them, sex is not a big deal. So, their state colleges and universities decided to integrate sex education into their curriculum. The situation is very different in the Philippines. Mentioning the word elicits its listeners to label the one uttering it as “rude” and “vulgar”, as our society, so we say, adheres to high moral standards and conservatism. But is a sensible discussion of sex an affront to all that is decent and moral? For sure, our parents never explained to us what sex is. Our first encounter with this word is through our
conversations with friends and from the internet. We sharpen our understanding of it from the bits and pieces shared to us by our peers, who may or may not be the best sources of information on the matter. Meanwhile, our mothers and fathers keep their mouths shut about the topic. When they do talk to their children about sex, they employ euphemisms, calling organs “bird” and “flower”. They probably act this way not because they don’t want us to know what it is all about, but because they don’t know how to convey their thoughts. They must find it awkward to share what they know since they themselves weren’t taught on the matter by their parents. So the result is that sex has become a taboo topic, and a discussion on sex on any level is an invitation to wickedness. If the family, as the basic social unit and the ideal source of first learnings, is not capable of providing sex education, then it would be better if the government takes the responsibility. It is difficult for children to understand things that are hidden and not well explained. Just like how my friend, way back in his childhood days, asked his dad why his mom got pregnant. The only answer he got was that “kapag masayang-masaya ang isang babae, mabubuntis sya.” Now tell me, is my friend’s dad a good sex educator? Does this statement help him in getting to the truth about sex? We cannot deny that we are in the state of adolescence,
with raging hormones that are easily stimulated by the merest of stimuli, bringing with it an itch that screams to be scratched, with undesirable consequences. The Young Adult Fertility Survey conducted by University of the Philippines Population Institute said that a significant percentage of early to late adolescents in the Philippines engage in premarital sex. We see this fact in our everyday lives: we talk about high school friends who have babies before graduation; or not so long ago we had Nene in “Katorse” who feared about her nanay’s reaction rather than the burdens The intention in Sex Education is not to encourage young ones to engage in sex, as many great institutions fear, but to propagate learnings instead. As long as institutions like the Church are there, willing to guide and give assistance, we will not forget how to draw the line between what is moral and not. If our government will continue to show insufficient support of SexEd due to fears that can be seen upon further reflection as moot, it is doubtful if we can tamp rapid population growth in this country. In his column, Conrado de Quiros says “It’s the Education, not the Sex”, and Education is the key word in Sex Ed. However massive screening and studies must be allotted regarding this matter if ever the government would implement sex education as part of the curriculum of private and public schools. We can never say “never”, not with all the problems around us. Let us not be myopic in these issues. Let us think of the future and most importantly, THINK OF TODAY.
Inverbati More than two months since the alleged acts of corruption by the former university treasurer, Mr. Rolex Ratilla, ATENEWS asked the reactions and opinions of some students and faculty members on the issue. As stakeholders of the university, the students and the faculty members have the right to know about the current state of the case because it is the university’s money that is involved. Hence, they also have the right to be heard. Here are some of their reactions and opinions: “As students we deserve to know how the university treasurer spends every centavo that we pay each semester. If proven guilty, Mr. Rolex Ratilla should suffer the consequences tantamount to the crime he committed. The university should appoint a treasurer worthy of trust and respect, one who is selfless and will pursue the interests of the students for the improvement of the quality of education.” - Aldwin Chester Dumago 3Entrep-A ”We don’t have the right to judge, we don’t know the real story,” –4th year, Archi “The finances of other administrators should also be checked for anomalies. If Mr. Ratilla managed to corrupt school funds undetected for some time, I believe it is very much possible that others could be doing it as well.” – Jonathan Nasser, BS Bio 3/ Bahaghari President “Questionable ngano for how many years wala siya nasakpan. Ngano karon lang nahayag?”—3rd year, CoE “Bantog ra naay No Permit, No Exam Policy kay para makakawat dayon! I want my money back!”—Nars ”I0can’t0really say something since I didn’t have a personal experience with him. But based on what I’ve heard, many are angry at him because of the things he has done.” –EA Faculty “If the speculations are true, I really find it disappointing. It enrages me to know that somebody else spent the money that my parents have worked hard for. Whoever is found guilty must deal with the consequences of his actions.” – Jenny Quiao, BS Bio 4/ NSM Representative “I was shocked to hear the news. Nangyayari rin pala ang corruption sa school natin.” –5th year, IE
“What happened was clearly a breach to one of our core values– integrity. But even if the administration’s currently conducting the necessary investigations, I believe this is much more a time for us students to be vigilant since this concerns our money, our welfare, and the well-being that we protect as being members of the Ateneo Community.” :) – Charmaine Espinas, GACP Interim President “Justice should rule. If he really did it, then he should face the consequences. I’ve been hearing complaints from other teachers saying how unprofessional he is.”—EA faculty “Let’s FORGIVE and FORGET. Huhh??? Ingon lang na ni Fr. Samson. Pero dili jud na pwede, duhh!” –Nursing Student “Mao kaha ni ang rason nganong 50k ang tuition sa Nursing? Wala ginapunit sa among parents ang kwarta sa dalan!! Kung tinuod man ang allegations, magabaan unta ka, Ratilla.”— Galit ako “Nakalimutan ata ni Ratilla ang pinakaimportante na commandment..tsk..tsk..tsk.. “Thou shall not be caught.”—Flip “I cannot believe that ADDU is covering-up such a scandalous act. AdDU should be transparent in all accounts. We the students deserve to know about it.” – Kyra Naomi
of the SCB, Mr. Ratilla has resigned from the University as of May 21. According to the letter, Mr. Ratilla admits to his accountabilities to the University and is cooperating with the University to settle it, but nonetheless an external audit is still being undertaken relating to his office and former responsibilities, and the results of the audit will serve as the management’s guide on the proper action and final disposition regarding Mr. Ratilla’s case. The University meanwhile is taking measures to protect its interests and to assure that similar incidents will not happen in the future, by reviewing and strengthening accounting and financial safeguards. This letter is in response to an earlier letter dated June 1 by the respondents calling for a review of power structures and practices in the Finance Office. The opinions above are not supposed to judge the person of Mr. Ratilla but to express the wanting for clarifications on the issue. Apparently, most of the reactions stated are against the alleged incident of corruption and one cannot blame these people from expressing such because, until now, there have been no clear status of the case. Whether the incident is proven to be true or not, an anomaly involving millions of the university money is NOT SOMETHING TO BE IGNORED. This is the most appropriate time that the Ateneo, as a community, works to concretize the virtues of HONESTY and INTEGRITY.
“The incident reveals that governance in the university is characterized by a lack of transparency and accountability. It is a call to open our eyes about the need to democratize the way things are run, to ensure that the different stakeholders (faculty, students, and administration) serve as a system of countervailing so as to achieve the essence of a community. It is undeniably a cause of embarrassment as it demonstrated how the value of honesty that we teach is but an ideal consigned in the 4 walls of the classroom. The challenge now is this: must we let the value of justice be but so much ink on paper as well?” —‘Thomas Hobbes’, SSE faculty In a letter dated June 12 from Mr. Paul G. Dominguez, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, addressed to Mr. Neil Pancho of the CFU, Mr. Carlo Magno II of UGAT-HS-ADDU, and Ms. Carizza Gonzales
PHOTOJOURNALISTS Maritoni Nanini • Adrian Leuterio • Miguel Antonio • Kriszle Muit • Caycee Coronel • Khalil Angelo Gamela ILLUSTRATORS Adrian Ablazo • Mark Johnson Lunop • Bea Trizzia Jimenez LAYOUT TEAM Al Pascual • Sween Desquitado GRAPHICS Sanju Chugani • Jason Occidental WEB TEAM Eugene Maning MODERATOR Dr. Victoria Tatad-Pre MEMBER OF THE COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES The Atenews is the official student publication of the Ateneo de Davao University. We accept articles, poems, pictures, comics and other contributions for publication. Visit our office at the Covered Court Building, Ateneo de Davao University, E. Jacinto St., Davao City, call us at (082) 221-2411 loc. 8332, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
04 | ATENEWS
A Shift for the Accountancy Program by Maria Katherina M. Galope
n this fast paced world, where business trends are ever-shifting, small yet significant curriculum amendments can have a big effect on the future of the students. It has been quite the center of talk for most SBG students that the accountancy division is undergoing some drastic changes this year to keep afloat with the times. Aside from renaming the managementaccountancy program, there was also a shift in the curriculum for accountancy students. The Bachelor of Science in Commerce – Major in Management Accountancy (MA) has been renamed as Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology (BSACCT). BSACCT is a nonboard accounting course that aims to develop globally-competitive professionals in the field of accountancy. When interviewed during the
recently held SBG Orientation Day, Mrs. Lenore Loque-loque explained that the change in the course description did not mean that there would be a total overhaul of the subjects to be taken. The course was simply renamed because it is mandated by Memorandum No.50 of 2008 of the Commission on Higher Education. According to Ms. Loque-loque, the job opportunities that are available for the graduates of ManagementAccountancy will still be the same work possibilities for the BSACCT gr aduates. The accountancy program, known as one of the toughest courses in campus, has now been changed into a 5-year course. Students are still debating among themselves about which of the two programs they would prefer, a five year course with lesser units during each semester, or a four years course but with fully-loaded semesters and mandatory summer classes. It’s a choice between going to school longer but with less pressure, or getting through it as fast as possible. One of the advantages of the 5-year course not experienced by the previous batches is that the last semester of their fifth year will be totally dedicated to a
» Accountancy p11
Election Analyses On the days leading to the historic May 10 Automated National and Local Elections, the Philippines was engaged in heated debate whether or not to hold the elections, as several anomalies sprouted to cast doubt on the accuracy and reliability of the machines. The issue on printing ballots was one of the problems faced by the Commission on Election (COMELEC) during the preparation period. The Head of Poll Body’s printing committee for National Printing Office, Esmeralda AmoraLadra, reported that they were unlikely to produce the required 50 million ballots since the NPO machines were not operating at maximum capacity. She further stressed that there was a need for them to avail of another set of machines in order to do the work faster. The NPO also forwarded a suggestion to the COMELEC to prepare measures in the case of possible manual elections. Another glitch faced by the commission is the
Ateneans unite in the 27th Buklod Atenista Congress 2010 By: Raymond Pepito Student councils from the five Ateneo schools in the country gathered at Ateneo de Manila University last May 26-29 for the annual 27th Buklod Atenista with the theme, “Engaging Ateneans for a Better Philippines”. Attending this event were the representatives of each school’s student council, publication and faith organizations. Buklod Atenista was established in 1982, with the purpose of providing avenues for the sharing of ideas on student concerns and coming up with a plan and vision among the Ateneo Universities. This year’s youth agenda was about responding
Jan - Patrik B. Laroya
e want the students to be involved,” said SAMAHAN President Carizza Gonzales when asked why the student organization added three new committees to its Central Board. With the creation of the Issues Committee, Secretaries and Treasurers’ Auxiliary Management Program (STAMP) and the Leadership Pool, the Samahan Central Board (SCB) now has five committees including the LAYAG, its cultural arm, and the CREATIVE, its productions team. The Issues Committee is primarily tasked with referring gathered student issues to the SCB. STAMP is composed of the secretaries and treasurers of all student clubs and organizations in school. Headed by SAMAHAN Secretary-General Migel Estoque and Treasurer Patrick Dequina, STAMP is further divided into two components: SAMP, for the secretaries, takes
» Samahan p11
Atenews Conducts FOI Forum by Jan - Patrik B. Laroya
by Reymond Pepito
SAMAHAN Introduces New Committees
Ballot Secrecy Folder Scam. A certain whistleblower in the person of Atty. Melchor Magdamo, a former legal attorney of COMELEC under Commissioner Jose Melo last 2008, surfaced accusing Melo, Tolentino and other COMELEC officials of allegedly c o m m i t t i n g corruption. He said that these officials disobeyed an order of the COMELEC en banc since they proceeded on the bidding for expensive folders 2 years ago despite of an existing order to postpone such plan. Add to the list of problems the malfunctions of the multibillion PCOS machines on tests conducted by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) a few days before Election Day. Some of the machines could not read the ballots and could not count the votes properly while others were simply damaged. The potential disasters uncovered candidates and voters alike to an extent that various political aspirants and groups appealed to COMELEC to postpone the elections, lest failure of elections happen.
tenews, the official student publication of Ateneo de Davao University, heldd a forum on the Freedom of Information last June 25 at the Thibault Hall. The forum, dubbed “Breaking the Culture of Secrecy: A Forum on Freedom of Information Bill”, aims to educate the students on the current status of the bill, why it is not passed to law and the potential problems relating to promoting access to information to the public. Erwin Quinones from the Legal Resource Center and spokesperson of the Right to Know, Right Now Campaign - Davao Chapter talked about the importance of accessibility to information on matters of public concern including official records, documents and papers pertaining to official acts and transactions by the government and its agencies. Cheryll Fiel, one of the editor of DavaoToday. Com, the leading online newspaper in Davao City talked about the importance of the Freedom of Information bill to journalists. Her talk emphasized the effect of the bill on journalists and the society at large should it be passed. People from several organizations outside the campus and students from the University participated in the said forum to be aware of the crucial status of the bill. The Atenews conducted this forum in fulfillment of one of their duties and responsibilities to the studentry of the Ateneo de Davao which is to raise awareness among students about current issues. This forum is the first in a series of similar activities that the Atenews will be holding in the months to come.
» Election p11 Mallari gets CoN rep’s seat to the needs and concerns of the Filipino youth after the Local and National Elections, addressing problems in the aspect of the economy, education, and good governance. The event commenced with the review and ratification of the Ateneo agenda, presided by Buklod Atenista’s Secretary General Gio Alejo of AdMU. During the plenary, each school raised its important points and motions regarding the Ateneo Youth Agenda (AYA) to help the body come up with a sound decision. Forums such as “The Ateneo at 150: Ignatian Leadership and Heroic Leadership” by AdMU’s president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J., and the discussion on “The Current Philippine Social and Political Situation” given by the prominent economist and broadcaster, Ms. Solita “Winnie”
» Ateneans p10
By Paul Randy Gumanao
Ms. Tessa Mae Montealto Mallari is proclaimed as the new representative of the College of Nursing based on the results of the special election held by the ADDU-COMELEC last June 23-25. From a voters’ turnout of 50.44%, Mallari, with 394 votes and with no complaints, grievances or protests received, now officially functions as the CoN’s Division Representative after her proclamation last July 2. In a memorandum by the AdDU-COMELEC Legal Division, Mallari will be officially inaugurated along with the winners of the First Year Representative Election and the GACP and CCO Executive Board Elections. “I would like to thank the College of Nursing for the unending trust and hope. Remember that we shall rise again. In all of these, I give back all the glory and honor to God,” Mallari told ATENEWS.
ATENEWS | 05 by Tom Louis Herrera
wise man once said, “You’ll never know what is behind the door unless you open it.” In reality, the doors we’re concerned with aren’t just ordinary doors we usually have at homes or in any other edifice. These are doors with connecting trails and pathways needing to be ventured. But marching through this course and embarking in different routes need a lot of guts coupled with vigor and intense nerves. Of course these attributes needed aren’t just given for free, because they are earned through preparation. Beloved freshmen studes, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing you need to worry about because you are on the right track. It’s great that you have chosen the Ateneo to be your second home. This is the place where you will spend most of the coming four or five years of your life. Yes, it seems to be a long journey because there are a lot of usual and unusual things that may happen in your life in this period of time. Nevertheless, just set that aside because what is important is embracing the fact that you are now here inside a huge campus, yet appearing so small because of the many different things in it that are not yet fully perceived by your senses. As part of the Ateneo community, we invite you to accustom yourself to the common things an Atenean should be familiar with. CAMPUS PHYSICAL TOUR Your few days in Ateneo are not really enough to give you the guts to walk around the campus ALONE. Typical first year students go in flocks with their friends in order to relieve the fear of moving around as a new kid on the block. It’s okay to practice companionship, but isn’t it cool to walk along with oozing confidence as if you have stayed longer enough to master the details of being in the University?
the 5TH FLOOR SPACE IN THE JUBILEE BUILDING are the perfect havens for rehearsing dance moves. For those who make most of their time by studying and hooking-up on bunches of books, the LIBRARY is the perfect place to hang-out. And of course, for those who want to say their prayers and ask for enlightenment, we have two sanctuaries to stay: the CHAPEL near the Loyola House and the PRAYER ROOMS on the third floor of the Canisius Building. Barkada Hub For studes who love to play around, conversing and getting along with friends while doing school requirements, the GAZEBO is the best tambayan that suits these activities. And take note of this fact from a reliable source: The gazebo area is also home to many techie guys with their laptops because it is indeed a Wi-Fi hot spot area. If you enjoy sightseeing, you can stay along the ROXAS BENCHES for a good view of passersby. But if you want to smell some fresh air, then you can stay at the BOTANICAL GARDEN fronting the guidance office, or feel free sitting on the benches along the corners of the Ateneo grounds, the CHAPEL BENCHES and the WOOD BENCHES in front of the President’s office. The University has indeed levelled-up in terms of infrastructure. One way of being grateful for these resources is valuing it through proper usage and care. During your first few days in Ateneo, you were already oriented with the school’s policies and regulations. To emphasize some important rules followed inside the University, the next section takes on a comprehensive review of them.
The Gateways To give you an overview, Ateneo has three entrances: the Roxas, Claveria and Jacinto gates. These corner entrances cater to students coming from different areas in Davao City. The Buildings You may have seen maps of the buildings and amenities inside the campus. Aside from familiarizing locations, you must also know the following tidbits about the Ateneo Buildings: Most of the buildings inside the campus are named after the Jesuit priests who take part in the Ateneo history. The infrastructures inside the campus are abbreviated as follows: B = Bellarmine (it’s short i) C = Canisius (with an ‘sh’ in the middle) W = Wieman (as in Way-man) R = Del Rosario (don’t be confused why it’s not ‘D’) F = Finster (as is) M = Mitchell (not Michell) D = Dotterweich (mute the ‘ch’) T = Thibault (silent ‘lt’) G = Gisbert (as in ‘gee’) J = Jubilee (not a Jesuit priest) Where to stay? One major distinction of college from high school is the fact that we have breaks in between classes, ranging from one-hour breaks to longer ones. Many groups of students are stuck deciding what to do or which place to go in their leisure time. But with the Ateneo’s improved and developed facilities and amenities, you will surely avoid hardships in deciding because there are a lot of places to stay while waiting for the next class without going outside the campus. For those BFF’s who like food and laugh trips, staying at the FOODCOURT would be the leisure pursuit for you. But if you and your berks enjoy hanging around together playing sports and other physical activities, you may enjoy the wide area inside the COVERED COURT. Also, for dance fanatics practicing for intermission numbers, the THIBAULT GROUNDS, the MINI AUDITORIUM and
SCHOOL POLICIES During the first year orientation program, your facilitators took the effort of discussing to you in detail the school’s rules and regulations, following what is stated generally in the Student Handbook. We hope that you are already equipped with the armor of wisdom about the school policies. But in case your armor is ripped off because of the tension of adjusting to a new environment, here is a helpful little guide for you. On Lates and Absences In a regular semester, everyone is blessed with 10 un/reasonable cuts on MWF’s and 7 for TTH’s including a 3:1 tardiness ratio. Some students really abuse this limited number of allowable absences. This is the reason why some would suffer a Failure Debarred (FD) mark in the final grades. Be sure to follow this rule: Attendance is a MUST! You have chosen to be in school so be sure to follow this rule because it could make or break your grades. On Cheating Ateneo promotes
HONESTY. So everyone is expected to abide by the principles of our patron as endorsed by the school. Being honest means a lot of things. (There surely are a lot of experiences inside the university involving controversies on integrity) One example is CHEATING. The University has already set sanctions for this grave offense. (Refer to the handbook for the Memorandum of the President on Cheating) Please do not let this value remain as an empty phrase; rather you should live it and take it seriously to be able to see the fruits this could bring in our lives. On Wearing of the School Uniform Ateneo guards are now strictly implementing the proper wearing of school uniform inside the campus. As relayed to you in your orientation, we have our prescribed school uniform and “Uniform Holiday clothes” (washday attire as the common term). Be guided with them to avoid having arguments with the school guards, or worse, be brought to the Office of Student Affairs for sanctions. Also, outside the campus, you should watch your behavior because you are bringing the name of the school. Should you have your barkada trips or “laag,” better not wear your uniforms to avoid risking the name of the school. On Academic Matters Most of the students’ time is of course spent inside the four corners of the classrooms. This is why the immediate concern of every freshman is STUDIES. If this applies to you, then you are indeed growing as an Atenean with excellence as the foremost goal. You might hear your ate’s or kuya’s mention about ’WPA’. Don’t be baffled by this: the WPA or Weighted General Average is just your General Average or Average Grade in high school. So be sure to check your program’s passing WPA in order to be retained in the school years to come. During the first week of classes, I was stuck up with some first year students I knew, and guess what they’re complaining to me? Subjects, schedule, teachers. I can see that they really are responding to the BIG changes that are taking place in their lives. Subjects? Actually, there are more and harder ones to come in the next 3-4 years of your stay in the University. You are not expected to love all the subjects that you enrolled, but instead learn to value them even if they are just minor subjects. Don’t ever think that minor subjects will not have an impact to your grades because these subjects actually make up most of your enrolled units. So my advice is just to take everything seriously, and everything you aim for will follow. Schedule? You cannot choose your own schedule because as first year students you belong to regular classes with fixed schedules. So don’t complain about the 7:40AM classes or 5:50PM classes that you have. Following these time frames will help you in disciplining yourself on how to manage your time. My advice would be to know your priorities so that being responsible will be as easy as eating peanuts. And finally, the teachers. Teacher factor is the complaint of almost everybody, not only of first year students. Even if you have the gentlest teacher or the “terror” teacher, do not let yourself be affected. Mind you, in your whole college life you will meet a total of at least 30 or at most 50 different teachers. This means 30 to 50 different attitudes, personalities and styles of teaching. Just equip yourselves with more patience in order to live with them as peacefully and harmoniously as possible in this school. Key to Unlocking the Doors “College” in a broad, subjective, and idealistic sense is a time of commencement, dynamism and dreaming about the future. It is the beginning of a new chapter in your lives. It is the way behind the door that leads you to a more challenging excursion and to a brighter future. Now that the door to college life is open, are you ready to come inside and go on a breathtaking trip? Again, welcome to the Ateneo community and I wish you all the best in your journey through the doors and paths of the Ateneo.
06 | ATENEWS New Building in Campus: The Jubilee by Kathleen Anne Veloso
oh. Aah.” The new building looms over everyone in campus, awing most with its “brand-newness” and spectacular stained glass facade. Before we walk away to our respective worlds, however, let’s take an in depth look at the Jubilee Building.
inside the University President’s office, was done by Mr. Ryan Carreon, a local painter who graduated from the Xavier University. He has also done other paintings for the stained glass facades of the three university chapels.
The Jubilee Building, sometimes jokingly called the “jejemon building,” is a fivestorey structure celebrating the Ateneo de Davao’s 60 years of existence, hence the name “Jubilee.” The groundbreaking ceremony began in 2008 and the actual construction, headed by Engr. Henry Omolida and an architect from the RMDA Architects firm, started in 2009. The Jubilee was finished in May 2010, and was ready for occupancy after approximately nine months of construction. While the Jubilee was being built, a rumor circulated around the campus that the building was for the EA division only. Mr. Jeremy Eliab, Assistant to the President, said that the old building that is now the Jubilee was originally intended to be renovated into a one-storey Engineering Lab but Fr. Samson, the University President, decided to maximize the space and expand the building vertically. Now the building stands five storeys high, with 12 non-air conditioned classrooms for students from ALL divisions, offices like the Admissions office, and three function rooms. The inauguration of the building is still being planned, but will most probably be held on July 31, St. Ignatius’s feast day, according to Mr. Eliab. A university mass will be held and the building will be blessed on the same day as well.
THE NO-STUDENTS-ALLOWED ELEVATOR The Jubilee has one elevator. However, it is only for use by the faculty, the elderly, the physically challenged, and for emergencies. The reason for this, said Mr. Eliab, is that the elevator is too small and has a capacity of only five to six people. Therefore, the elevator cannot accommodate the students who are occupying the building. Students who have headed for the elevator found themselves barred from entering by the security guards and pointed to the stairs. The tiring ascent to the classroom is not to be rewarded by cool relief inside however, since the classrooms which are naturally ventilated are too...
Photos by Adi Leuterio
When looking at the Jubilee building, the thing most people notice is the façade of Kraut stained glass, which features the Holy Family and Jesuit saints like St. Anthony de Padua. The painting, which also appears on the current school calendar and in a frame
...HOT HOT HOT! Many students and even teachers who have classes in the building have complained about the temperature inside the Jubilee. “Ang init sa loob, it’s not conducive for learning,” says one student after another sweaty class in the third floor of the building. “The classrooms are hot and stuffy, and it doesn’t help that there are no air conditions and only a few fans.” Many teachers have already requested to be moved to other rooms in other buildings, surrendering to the heat. One teacher even jokingly said that he’d take the room only if he’d be provided with an electric fan of his own. “Even the windows aren’t helping kase walang pumapasok na hangin,” says another student. ”Mas mabuti pa kung jalousies na lang ang ginamit, at least mabubuksan pa lahat.” The reason for the high temperature, according to an architect, is because of the
east-west orientation of the building. This leads to excessive heat gain from the sun. Students who have once wished to have classes in the sparkly new building now beg to be moved to the “old, yet airy” buildings. “I hope that the admin does something about this before we all melt from the heat,” commented a concerned BM student. It’s not only the temperature that has caught both the students’ and teachers’ attention. The narrow corridors and doors have been a cause for complaints too. “The doors are too narrow,” said a third year MA student. “It’s difficult to go out of the classroom when all your classmates go at once.” An architecture student speculated about the reason for this and concluded that the recessed doors were to blame. “It doesn’t help that the corridors are too narrow as well. But this is probably the reason why the doors were recessed: to avoid doors opening into the student’s faces.” Recessed doors or not however, it is clear that the designer did not allot much space for the building’s circulatory elements, which are very important for schools. Since the building has already been erected, it would be foolish to tear it down and build it all over again. “The only architectural solution that I can think of without rebuilding the Jubilee would be to add air conditioning units,” says an architect. “Another solution would be to reduce the size of the classes using the building, or to assign classes that do not need much ventilation,” the architect added. Whichever way the administration decides to address the needs and complaints of the students and teachers, the important thing is that they will do something to improve the situation of the building, and soon.
PLDT Watchpad Crew Finalist
ATENEWS | 07
by Ma. Katherina Galope by Maria Katherina Galope
y submitting an audition video just for fun, Paolo Villanueva has gone a long way by becoming the only contestant from Mindanao to be chosen for the top ten in the search for the PLDT Watchpad Crew.
Arbie Baguios, the one with the second highest votes. Shockingly though, Paolo was not among the teens chosen to become a PLDT Watchpad Crew. When asked on his opinion on the matter, he replied that “I was saddened that the voters’ efforts were in vain. What is the point of asking people to vote when it seems that it wasn’t even taken into account?” There was also an interview portion that was not part of the original criteria. They were each given time to convince a panel why they deserved to be picked for the final five. Clearly frustrated by the sudden turn of events, Paolo added, “They admitted that they did not even see my audition video. How was I supposed to explain to them everything I did for this competition in a short few minutes? One interviewer, who was an original Watchpad crew, told me to raise any one question for the panel, I responded by asking ‘How did your hosting events and the Watchpad crew help you discover yourself as a person for yourself and the society?’ after my question there was an unbelievable long pause…”
Many of you were not even aware that a search for the PLDT Watchpad Crew existed. In an interview with Paolo, he said he had no idea that it was such a big deal in Manila - “there were long winding rows of people waiting to audition, I was totally shocked by the attention upon arriving in Manila.” In fact there were two ways of auditioning, by going there personally, or by submitting an audition video, Paolo chose to do the latter. As part of the lucky top 10 chosen, he was asked to come up with a catchphrase to portray himself. Pao chose the word “Omnicompentent” because he believes it best embodies his character. Not only is Paolo good at photography and making his own movies, which includes writing the screenplay, shooting the actual movie, producing it and then finally editing it, he also knows how to play four musical instruments and has even composed a myriad of songs.
A realization that he took away with him from the whole event is “to be logical, don’t be shallow”. He became consciously aware that many people don’t even want change, they just like sticking to what they are familiar with. He was also keen to the idea that the editor is always in control. He explained that no matter how good an actor is, or how amazing a movie is, the editor always gets the final say on how the audience would see it.
This self-admitted music addict grew up in a world of music and theater which of course has led to his current success. A long overdue project that he continues to update is a movie that he started making with his close friends when they were only in grade four. One scene actually took two months to create - “kasi nga, sobra ka perfectionist”. By updating the script now and then, Paolo relives that still fresh memories of that grade four project that introduced him into a whole new world. To sum it all up, he adds, “Everything started from that grade four moment”. Enhancing his already advanced skills from a tender age, Paolo has now evolved into what may only be described as one production staff, in one person.
Aside from the wonderful experiences that he might not have otherwise enjoyed, he added that hopefully he demolished some of the people’s presumptions about Mindanao. “It was really disappointing to see that some still refused to believe that I was from Mindanao”. After the whirlwind of the competition finally cooled down a bit, Paolo now returns to his current projects such as making a videoblog for an upcoming site for Ateneans. Aside from his more techie projects, he hopes to pursue hosting and acting. He grew up in a world of theater and he believes that it’s high time that he returns to his roots and sharpen what seven years of production work has taught him.
Upon arriving in Manila, as the top ten were required to do, they were thrust into a whole new environment that entailed hosting, modeling, dj-ing, being interviewed and generally living the life of artists. They got to attend parties in VIP clubs; they had their own bodyguards and even got to meet Kelly Clarkson! All throughout the competition, they kept up a steady stream of self-promotion by asking their audience and supporters to vote for them, because from the top ten who were chosen, only five would become the actual PLDT Watchpad Crew. Paolo got the highest number of votes among all the contestants with a whopping 62,766 points, which is quite a lead from the 58,116 points that
“Life is not all about equations and the straight to textbook references. It is the hunger of learning new things and it’s that curiosity that keeps me going.”
When asked what statement he lives by, he quoted his role model, Steve Jobs – “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.” It is quite obvious that Paolo is the type of person who continually likes trying out new things. As a closing statement, he added, “Because in life it’s not all about equations, and the straight to textbook references. It’s something else and what keeps me alive in doing what I love to do even if many people hate me or abhor me is the hunger of learning new things and it’s that curiosity that keeps me going”. (Pao’s audition video can be viewed on www. facebook.com/macster7 or www.youtube.com/ macster7 or subscribe to his Video Blog in iTunes or find it at www.igeek.zxq.net )
Photo by Adi Leuterio
However, when asked if he thought his being a nerd gave him an edge over the other contestants, he simple answered “I don’t like being called a nerd. It sounds somewhat wrong to me”.
08 | ATENEWS Confuse Me… NOT!
A Style and Fashion Differentiation by MJ Llerena
Life in this university is not easy. Everyone knows that.
Confuse Me ... Not • +H3 j3j3m0n pH3n0m3n0n • Get Ready for BluePad.org • Not a Bed of Roses • Calendar of Activities
+H3 j3j3m0n pH3n0m3n0n by Kathleen Anne N. Veloso
es, they’re all around us, filling the cyber world with a weird mix of sticky capped letters and numbers. Yes, they’re everywhere, constantly puzzling us with their messages and their laughs of ‘jejejeje’ whenever they find something funny. Yes, they’re about to take over the world! Okay, maybe not, but one thing is for sure: the jejemon phenomenon has definitely begun.
What exactly are jejemons?
A jejemon, according to UrbanDictionary. Com, is anyone with a low tolerance for correct punctuation, syntax and grammar. So basically, anyone—not just Filipinos—can be jejemons. True enough, there are foreigners like the Thais who use the jejemon language on the net, just not to the extent Filipinos do. They type “hahaha” this way: “555.” Though it may be considered as a local form of leet speak, which is a globally accepted form of symbolic writing with a Google and Facebook page, the jejemon language is not to be confused with it.
lam! Pow! Ka-ching! These are the sounds of a war in ADDU – a war that proceeds in silence, a war that begins and ends only on Wednesdays. On this day, dazzling warriors march through the gates of the university, each bearing their mighty weapons: the men with their heads and feet encased in helmets and shoes emblazoned with metallic or heavy print; and the women dressed to the teeth in pumps, wedges and dressy tees, facing the battle with tons of courage and powder foundation. The War of Wednesdays is a clash of identity, a battle of expression, a war of impressions. In a glance, the university has become a jungle habituated by beautiful fighting creatures. Each employ their own special attack – Dress-down, Over-Dress, UnderDress, and Dress-to-Kill. Those who are defeated are stripped-off of their ‘Warrior’ titles and are reduced to laughable roles. Watching from afar, are the Two Creators – Style and Fashion – just waiting for the right time. When the day comes to a close and the Gifted Ones emerge, the Great Two come swooping down from their fortress to rightfully crown the victors as heirs to the throne. On the hour of the Coronation, the Creed of Inauguration is stated by the victors as follows: “Upon this day, you, _______________ (state your name) shall be known by the title The Moooost----- ooops! Stop music please. I think we have an itsy bitsy problem here. Will the winners be called Most Stylish or Most Fashionable? To some, this question will arouse heckyeah-like-they’re-just-the-same answers. Puzzlement over the two is common and you possibility are one of the many Ateneans riding the wagon of confusion. Fashion and Style are jointly used whenever and wherever and the terms stylish and fashionable have long come to mean as one. However, they are not. Fashion and Style are different. Firstly, Fashion is only slavishly keeping up with the latest trends. A fashionable person always keeps an eye out for what is “in” during the season. You can rock the most illfitting Baller hat or über-colored Supra shoes even if it doesn’t suit you or match your outfit just because it’s “in” now. Last year, everywhere I went I saw checkered patterns on ladies’ and even men’s clothes, bags, and shoes. I fondly call it ‘the checkered disaster’.
» Confuse Me ... p10
IN THIS SECTION
In reality, however, jejemons have ceased to be limited to linguistic style. They have created a sub-culture of their own, complete with a different language and fashion style. For written texts, jejemons prefer to “spice things up” by using sticky caps (capitalizing some letters in a word at random or in a pattern) and using symbols and numbers in place of letters (‘3’ instead of ‘e’). Jejemons can also be spotted easily through their tilted jejecaps, baggy pants, and loose t-shirts.
The origin of ‘jejemon’
The term ‘jejemon’ was coined by joining “jeje”, which came from “hehe” with the “h” replaced with “j”, and “mon” from the cartoon show “Pokemon” meaning monster. The author of “The Construct”, an online blog, says that “One must not overlook the “mon” in the blend “jejemon.” It may seem so innocent but we must be reminded that “mon” in Pokemon means “monster.” Isn’t this a way of demonizing this social group? That they are of a lower species? That people need to “catch them all” and tame and train them to do one’s bidding?“ The answers to these questions, of course, vary with every person who uses the term.
Why jejemons are
Most of us wonder why jejemons do the things they do. Why do they make texts so difficult to read? Why do they have to tilt their caps to the side? Why do they have to be jejemons? For Mr. Jerome Serrano, a faculty of the sociology department, jejemons do what they do because of three reasons, two of which are: self-expression and a sense of belonging. Jejemons are able to express themselves better through writing and texting in ‘Jejenese’. To outsiders—those who are not jejemons— their texts may seem chaotic and even cryptic, but to the jejemons, it is only natural and they are comfortable with it.
Whether it be capitalizing some letters randomly or using the ‘@’ sign in place of ‘a’, texting this way uplifts their self-esteem and adds to their identity. Only those who are real jejemons— those who truly adhere to their principles and live their lifestyle—can be called “insiders”. The third reason for jejemons, according to Mr. Serrano, is to resist conventional culture. By “conventional” we mean the international language, English. It has come to dominate the people’s way of communication so much that all who do not follow it’s rules and structure are dubbed ‘grammatically incorrect’. It has also become so much of an elitist language that those who could not join the group are driven to rebel against it and create a group of their own— hence, the jejemons. This also explains their fashion, combining aspects of hip-hop, rock, emo-core, metal, and original Filipino music in one ensemble. Why wear caps the predictable way when you can tilt it and look jejemonishly fabulous?
Of course, not everyone can stand to simply turn a blind eye to the jejemon craze. The jejebusters--a group of internet grammar vigilantes, typically Filipinos (UrbanDictionary. Com)—rose subsequently after the rise of the jejemons. Their aim: the eradication of jejetyping and jejemon existence. The jejebusters use a lot of ways in catching jejemons like commenting on a jejemon’s wall or Friendster page or posting a jejemon’s profile on Facebook to get everyone to laugh at it. It does sound cruel, but nobody ever said that being a jejemon doesn’t go without a particular consequence—in this case, public humiliation. Jejebusters aren’t alone in raising eyebrows at this new fad either. Even the Department of Education frowns at the whole ‘jejemon craze’, seeking to cleanse school-age Filipinos of the “jejemon” mentality. The DepEd seems more concerned on the ill-effects of jejemons than the increasing number of out-of-school youth. In fact, they have ordered all teachers to teach their students the correct composition of text messages. They also called on parents and other stakeholders to curb this method of communication, especially among the students, to avoid grammatical errors. Even jejemon fashion is not exempted from the Department of Education’s war against jejemons. They said they will not tolerate “jejemon” fashion among school children adding that they should still wear the proper school attire, despite the “no uniform” policy. This means that baggy pants and loose shirts are a no-no for students.
And it all boils down to…
Whichever way you see it. You can view jejemons through the eyes of jejebusters and criticize everything about jejemons, from the way they text to the way they dress. You can see jejemons as friends or ‘h0mi3zz’ and imitate their manners and lifestyles. Or you can view jejemons as a simple fad, something that will cease to exist in the years to come. Whichever way you see them, love them or hate them, jejemons are a ‘now’ in society, and indeed, we have not seen the last of the jejemon phenomenon yet.
ATENEWS | 09
GET READY FOR by Jan-Patrik Laroya
anna get the latest updates on the most popular school personalities and the coolest guys and girls in the campus? Or have yourself featured in the frontpage of a university students’ social blog? Do you want to be part of an engaging, exclusive web-based community and interact with fellow Atenistas, a la Gossip Girl?
happenings and stories around the campus, as well as the hottest fads, cutting-edge tech gear, games and other university events and activities, academics and otherwise, of interest to the Atenistas. The blog will also feature the lifestyle and doings of fellow college students, and how they cope with their hectic, eventful lives.
deepening the students’ college experience and bringing all Atenistas together as a proud and lively community. The blog does not and will not promote divisiveness in this online community, in the form of provoking derogatory and salacious posts, personal attacks and smear campaigns, and the like.
Enter BLUEPAD.ORG, the Portal for Ateneans of Davao. It is the first and only blog of this kind in the entire Philippines catering to college students in the Ateneo de Davao University.
The blog aims to attract Atenistas to socialize with schoolmates outside of their immediate circle of friends through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, etc. Aside from the socializing part, the site will also conduct interesting online contests like Paparazzi Shots (nice funny candid shots), Male and Female Fashionista Awards, Atenista of the Week, Suggest a Crush/Hottie for the Frontpage, My Favorite Teacher, and other contests as requested by the students.
BLUEPAD.ORG will be the online gazebo where friends meet, the foodcourt where food comes in the form of great stories, the virtual Thibault Dance Hall where the students can dance to the tune of college music, the covered court which will help students exercise their thirst for information, and all other fields in Ateneo de Davao where students mingle ALL WRAPPED INTO ONE.
This blog project is devoted to promoting actual and interesting online discussions with the intent of providing good entertainment,
If you want to be part of the team, email us at email@example.com
The idea for a university students’ social blog came from the popular US teen series Gossip Girl. School blogs are now prevalent in the US, adding spice and excitement to the lives of college students participating in it. A school social blog because of its very nature is slowly spreading to many universities overseas. BLUEPAD.ORG will be established as a students’ social blog and will feature all the latest
Not a Bed of Roses (First in a series)
Karlo James David Bringas, Contributor
ife in this university is not easy. Everyone knows that. There are academics, and then there are club activities, class outings and school events, and after that you have the great intricacies of relationships, decisions and power plays in this little community we are part of. Things are done, things are decided, things are shushed up, and even the most passive ones among us who only wish to get good grades and nothing else are affected by what is going on. But what does go on? In this series of articles, we will address the various facets of life in this university through the eyes of the important players in this community. For this first article, let us examine university life from the viewpoint of the students. The issue of tuition fee increase is a perennial one. Just this June, the Ateneo has increased tuition and other fees. This fee hike is implemented for this school year following a meeting by the school’s Multi-sectoral committee (composed of the deans of SAS, SBG and CON, officers of the SAMAHAN Central Board (SCB), officers of the College Faculty Union and the non-teaching staff union, the president of the Ateneo Alumni Association, the OSA director, and the university treasurer) to present a schedule of school fees, or a breakdown of old fees and the proposed amounts for SY 2010-2011, on February 12, and after the approval of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on April 7. According to this schedule, the tuition fee for first year students is now P821.20 per unit, up from P774.70 per unit; for second year students, the fee is at P787.15, up from P742.60 per unit last year; and for third year to fifth year students, the tuition fee increased to P754.50 per unit from P711.80 per unit. School fees that did not increase include the Affiliation Fee, Information Technology Fee, Institutional Research Fee and SAP. It should be noted here that the ATENEWS is unable to take the side of the Finance Office regarding these figures for inclusion in this article, as Mr. Ratilla, the previous University Treasurer, is no longer connected with the university and so is unavailable for comment. Others approached for an interview like then OIC-Treasurer Fr. Pabayo and Dr. Manalaysay of the Multi-sectoral committee declined to comment, citing lack of authority to talk on the matter.
A new fee called Cultural Fee worth P100 is implemented this year, and all other fees increased by 6% from the previous year, following the recommendation of CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 14, series of 2005 for allowable increases in tuition and other fees. This document states that a proposed tuition hike should not be more than the prevailing national inflation rate, otherwise the tuition hike is subect to consultation with stakeholders or members of the Multi-sectoral committee and the approval of CHED. The current set of guidelines being followed for tuition fee hikes for higher education institutes (HEIs), however, is CMO No. 13, series of 1998, which does not stipulate any of the conditions in CMO 14. In fact, CMO 13 is heavily criticized when CHED decided to supersede CMO 14 with it, as the implementation of the earlier guideline is tantamount to lifting a tuition hike cap that prevents HEIs from increasing tuition and other fees at any rate they wish. As part of the Multi-sectoral committee, the SAMAHAN Central Board was invited to this meeting to take part in a consultation process which, as defined by CMO 13, are “actual meetings and/or discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed increase in tuition fees within the participants will have an opportunity to air their objections, sentiments and the like, without fear, and under a free and candid atmosphere”. In an interview with the ATENEWS, SCB President Carizza Gonzales says, “we were just invited to be there to represent the students during the ‘consultation’. The three of us even tried to clarify some gray areas but Sir Retilla, the former university treasurer, outwitted us ... The SAMAHAN and I were not part in the process of making the proposal.” In previous consultations attended by the ATENEWS, the meetings of the Multi-sectoral committee on tuition fee hikes take the form of presentations, where the University Treasurer or his representative shows the proposed fees for the incoming school year and the members of the SCB raise their suggestions and comments on the fees. Before the meeting, the SCB normally asks for a copy of the proposed schedule prepared by the Admin, which they review and discuss before they forward their recommendations and suggestions.
The blog will be launched on the third week of July 2010, so mark your calendars!
CALENDAR OF ACTIVITES First Semester SY 2010-2011
May 31 - June 1 June 2 June 2-3 June 4-5 June 5 June 7 June 7-14 June 14 June 16 June 17 June 18 June 21 Prog June 23 Prog June 25 July 12-17 July 21-23 July 26-29 July 29 July 30 July 31 August 12-14 August 15 August 23-28 September 10 September 25 October 4-9 Octerber 15
2nd Yr Enrollment General Faculty Meeting 3rd Yr Enrollment 4th Yr/5th Yr Enrollemnt Parents Meeting Classes Begin Adding & Dropping Philo Orientation Program SBG Orientation Program Mass of the Holy Spirit NS & SS&E Orientation Prog CS/Eng’g &Archi Orientation Humanities/BSN Orientation CCO General Meeting Preliminary Examinations Admin/Faculty/NTS Retreat First Year Rep Elections Mass of St. Ignatius Deadline of Advisory Grades Feast of St. Ignatius College Fiesta/Palarong Atenista Assumption Day Midterm Examinations Deadling of Midterm Grades PE Day Final Exams Deadline of Final Grades
Second Semester SY 2010-2011 October 25 October 26 October 27 October 28 October 30 November 3
1st Yr Enrollment 2nd Yr Enrollment 3rd Yr Enrollment 4th Yr/5th Yr Enrollment Transferees Enrollment Classes Begin
When asked if the tuition fee increase is justifiable, Ms. Gonzales answers in the negative, adding “the students did not even feel the improvement of facilities in the university, as indicated in the proposal where they allotted the 20% of the increase for development. The brinks and the jubilee building are not sufficient grounds. It’s depressing to know that though Ateneo de Davao has 8,000 students, we only have four LCD projectors available at the AVR. Not all the drinking fountains especially on the fourth to seventh floors are functioning well. A lot of lavatories in our comfort rooms are out of order. Sometimes air-conditioners are even broken especially in buildings that are designed to be air-conditioned, making it not conducive for learning because of the heat. Teachers get small wages. We pride ourselves as one of the prime universities in the Philippines but the facilities and amenities are deteriorating.“
» Not a Bed ... p11
10 | ATENEWS »
refund of tuition fees most especially from schools whose increases were not reasonable and where no genuine consultations with the students were made. But that is not the only problem. KABATAAN shares this wish list for the P-Noy admin. 1. Increase state spending on education to six (6) percent of the GDP. a. Utilize increased government revenues to fill the various gaps in the education sector like the shortages in classrooms, books, computers and other learning tools. b. Repudiate payment for anomalous debt contracts. Realign a significant portion of debt servicing and Malacanang intelligence funds to education services. 2. Implement a three-year moratorium on tuition and other fee increases in all levels. 3. Promote a nationalist curriculum. a. Adopt Filipino and vernacular language as the medium of instruction. b. Make History and Human Rights Education mandatory. c. Strengthen community service courses at all levels. d. Ensure that vocational/technical education match the actual needs of the local economy. Reform medical and nursing education to meet community health needs. 4. Uphold democratic rights of students a. Establish student councils and campus publications in all schools nationwide. b. Expand student participation in decisionmaking processes. Ensure student representation in policy-making bodies and institutions. 5. Improve teachers’ welfare. 6. Improve science, research and technology development. 7. Promote transparency and sanction corruption cases in education programs and contracts. 8. Review existing policies and institutions of education. a. Repeal Education Act of 1982. b. Repeal Campus Journalism Act of 1991. c. Revamp the government policy of reducing the budget of state universities and colleges. d. Review and strengthen the regulatory powers of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education (DepEd) For so many years, recurrent protest actions have been made by various progressive groups, especially youth groups like KABATAAN, condemning the government’s poor attention to education. Until now, they said, they did not get concrete responses to their calls. KABATAAN believes that the youth need a scientific, mass-oriented and nationalistic educational system. Furthermore, the partylist calls on the youth to unite in condemning the state’s and private educators’ repressive policies that made education a mere privilege rather than a human right.
Monsod, were held. Meanwhile, Bam Enriquez, president of the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation shared how the whole four days would be filled not only with work but also with fun and leisure. The delegates got to visit historical places in Metro Manila such as Intramuros and Binondo. Young actor Robi Dominggo and the AdMU’s Glee Club were among those who entertained the delegates. One of the highlights of the program was the decision of the Student Publications and Faith Organizations to author resolutions to be included permanently in the Buklod Atenista Constitution, which would probably be dealt by the Buklod Atenista congress during its evaluation to be held here in Ateneo de Davao University. The 27th Buklod Atenista ended successfully with its graduation ceremony.
A Closer ...
remedy to compel disclosure, which is primarily judicial and legislative, remains inaccessible to the general public because the bureaucratic commitment to openness is very low. Plus, the cost of certain information is excessive . Right to Information
of 10 days, the agency shall give a formal letter of explanation stating the reason of the delay, and why an extension is needed. Further, the bill also covers a proscription against excessive costs of obtaining information such that one shall only be charged minimal or zero cost at all in obtaining the documents.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution clearly states the right to information of the citizens of the Republic of the Philippines but there was no enabling law for this constitutional provision. Section 7 of the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution says:
The bill also has provisions protecting the citizens from abuse of power. It includes, among others, the clause that if the official from whose agency one is requesting of a public document do not acknowledge the request, the person asking for the document shall report the official to his/her immediate superior, who shall in turn compel the official to give the requested documents. For further efficiency, the bill also includes a provision where the citizens can already download necessary information right from the official websites of the government agencies. To top it all off, the bill attempts to make public information not only accessible, but also more understandable to the people by means of making it a duty of the agencies to publish information to the public, to perpetuate the keeping of records of every transaction, and to make the documents more accessible in language and form. The government agencies are also obliged to post all the steps, negotiations and key government positions pertaining to definite propositions of the government, content of contract, agreement or treaty in transactions involving public interest.
“The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to limitations as may be provided by law.” The Freedom of Information bill is formulated so that, when enacted into law, it would enforce transparency on matters of public concern. Features of House Bill 3732 The bill is structured in such a way so as to strengthen the claim of Section 7 of the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution. Its salient features include an expansive scope that covers all government agencies and sees to it that the widest array of public information is accessible. In addition, it also stresses express legislative determination that all information under the control of any government agency is of public interest. The bill also emphasizes the relative importance of a clear, speedy, and uniform procedure for access to information, including quick and certain period of compliance and the manner of accepting and responding to requests. It is stated in this bill that the agency from which the public document is requested is given a maximum of 10 days to comply the request and, if they are not able to comply with the said request in the lapse
Support for FoI The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) guarantees to support and pursue the bill all the way to its passage through the 15th Congress. Several members of the labor group and various sectors also show support saying that the bill can help empower those who seek information regarding official documents which were not disclosed earlier so that there will be answers to various controversies involving the government. If fully ratified, the Freedom of Information bill can promote transparency between and among government agencies and citizens as well as disclosure of public documents regarding political issues and anomalies.
Confuse Me ...
Seeing these made me feel like I was haunted by an angered picnic cloth. Still three years back, the Leggings and Micro-miniskirt Duo took its reign. No matter how wrong it looked on them, no matter how it made their bottoms look like it is hanging, women frequented the malls in those outfits. It was like everybody got their clothes from one closet. Fashion is reduced to copying. Style, however, is not absorbing what’s from outside. Style is exuding what is inside you. Style is applying your own personal swagger to fashion. Being stylish is about making a statement. It is how you wear an “in” piece in your own way. Being stylish is paying attention to what best fits your hair, complexion, face, body, and most of all your personality. Playing with style is like making your body a canvas where you splash pieces that would create a picture of you. Being stylish is being the “you” you want to express. I can wear an “in” tulle dress for instance and look all Gossip Girl like everybody else. But by donning on a Japanese Pop Star jacket, the right number of bangles, and laced stilettos, I can make the whole outfit scream “ME”. Style is about individualism and self-expression. The next distinction I’m going to make is the contrast between the two terms. Fashion is passing, style is eternal. Fashion is only beautiful at a specific time, season, and even place. Fashion fades and changes. This is exactly the reason why you have to change your closet collections every time. Fashion crazes usually happen because of renowned designers, famed celebrities, and other icons. However, after a
certain time, the craze subsides and people turn their heads to the new “It” thing in stores, magazines, or TV or go back to a fashion history. On the contrary, Style looks good beyond time. No matter what season, one’s own style will always be relevant to oneself. Style isn’t about always being fashionable and wearing the new It item. It’s about what you bring to the table. Otherwise, everyone will look the same and no one will have style. Now the differences have been laid out. Fashion and Style work together most of the time but clearly the two are different. Fashion is duplication while Style is originality. Fashion is by the many while Style is by ‘you’. Lastly, Fashion is passing while Style is eternal. I’ll utter a silent prayer that the two terms will never be mixed up again. So, now we jump off the wagon of confusion after a rather weird transition from a bedtime story to a meaty lecture. What happens to the story of the warriors who become heirs? Resume epic music, music, music (echo)! On second thought, never mind that bogus tale. Being fashionable makes one look fabulous, but having a strong sense of personal style is greater. It separates you from the crowd. In the jungle where everyone is trying to compete and survive for the titles Best Dressed, Best Look, Best Do, and everything best, it’s nice to have a sense of self and a sense of uniqueness. So, are you Fashionable or are you Stylish? Till the next lifestyle scoop mates!
ATENEWS | 11 »
Quick Response As rumors of the postponement of elections circulated, Smartmatic took immediate actions to address the irregularities of the PCOS machines. They replaced the memory cards of the machines for every precinct as Election Day loomed as well as appearing on national TV to ensure the public that the elections would precede smoothly. Fortunately for Smartmatic and the voting public, majority of the machines functioned well on May 10. A successful election already seemed assured as the day closed on a historic national event of our time. The Scent of Success Despite the odds, the May election was a success. This success is mostly due to the efforts of teachers acting as the BEIs who made sure that the machines ran smoothly and without error, and the patience of voters cramped in dilapidated classrooms waiting as long as four or more hours in inopportune weather to exercise their right, to ensure that those they consider capable to assume leadership of the land. The success of this election is illustrated by the high turnout rate. With a rate of 75%, the May 2010 Philippine Elections ranks as among the highest all over the world. Now, the Filipinos could proudly say to the rest of the world that indeed this nation is the first ever country in South East Asia to have fully and successfully carried out the shift from manual to automated polls on a nationwide scale. Media Meets Technology The media as the country’s watchdog played an important part in the recent elections. Aside from covering the events of Election Day nationwide in real-time using advanced technology on par with that used in CNN, the media served to mobilize the citizenry in getting involved on the country’s important issues and activities, using popular social networking sites, cell phones and blogs to connect with the masses, particularly the youth. The latter action was most remarkable, because it provided an avenue for vigilant citizens to send stories of anomalies happening on their regions. The only snag on the elections on the side of the media was the perceived biases in news coverage of major media outlets in the country, leading some of the networks to be labeled as “yellow
Election ... networks” and “orange networks”. Political Dynasties As a result of the elections, various political families perpetuated their influence. The Marcoses in particular bagged several powerful positions in the government. From the new Senator Bong-bong Marcos; to his mother, Congresswoman Imelda Marcos; down to his sister, Governor Imee Marcos, who trounced their relatives at the automated polls, the stage has been set for a Marcos political comeback. The Garcias of Cebu are still in power despite the challenges to their dominance. The Singsons, who happen to be the oldest political dynasty in our country, continue to maintain their control over the people. In Davao, the Nograleses and Dutertes still walk the halls of power, within Congress and Local Executive positions as well as outside of it. Even the president himself is the product of a prominent political family. These are but few of the hundreds of political families that still hold influence in the actions and plans of this country. The continued existence of political dynasties is in contradiction to Article II, The Declaration of Rules and State Policies, Sec. 26 of 1987 Constitution, but given their clout and our fixation with the politics of personalities and personal networks rather than in political platforms the phenomenon continues. Our Tomorrow The courage shown by the COMELEC to automate the nation elections is their legacy to our country. However, that legacy will be wasted if they will not impose honesty amongst themselves and if they will not speak of the truth on the controversies they face.
charge of disseminating and documenting relevant information and fostering external relations; while for the treasurers, TAMP looks after the audit, the finances and logistics. The Leadership Pool, composed of student leaders recognized in different institutions, aims to educate students about good leadership and to hone potential student leaders through lectures and discussions. “We realized before that one of the reasons why the SCB’s presence is not felt by the students is the lack of avenues for student-involvement. That is why we’re adding new committees to our Board to be able to delegate more tasks and be able to reach more students. We want the students to feel that SAMAHAN is not only for officers. They voted us and we want them to be involved,” Gonzales added. This move of SAMAHAN ensures greater participation of students in school activities, putting it a step closer in achieving a more interactive students’ community.
review and synthesis. So, if the students are tough and brave enough, there is a big possibility that they might take and pass the CPA board exam right after graduation without the help of a formal review outside of school. Aside from the change into a 5-year program, additional subjects such as Humanities 2 and Internship 101 were also introduced to the accountancy program just this summer. Humanities 2, a supposedly elective subject, thrust the students into a world of characters and ping-ins as they learned how to read, write and speak Mandarin. The introduction of Hum2 is another attempt by the school at to making the students even more globally - competitive in anticipation of the cut-throat business world.
We Filipino voters are the reason why our elections ended successfully. Our willingness to cast our votes and our strong participation to expose anomalies paved way for a hope-filled six years. We have witnessed that technology played a great role in this year’s election. However, its contribution could never alter the substance of our electoral democracy. The challenge for us Filipinos is to vote based on platforms, not by fame or power. We should never let these oligarchs and political dynasties rule over us again and again. If not for us, election automation and the promise of a matured democracy can never materialize.
Not a Bed ...
CMO 13 states that for private HEIs, “70% of the proceeds to be derived from the tuition fee increase shall be used for the payment of increase in salaries, wages, allowances and other benefits of its teaching and non-teaching personnel and other staff”. There is no mention of the improvement of facilities as a required allocation for tuition fee increases in CMO 13. The issue of tuition fee increases has been a thorn in the side of the students for many years already. Ms. Gonzales offers her view on the issue as follows: “We [the SCB, in an event sponsored by the National Youth Commission (NYC)] discussed about the tuition fee increase. He told us that the NYC agrees with tuition fee increase as long as it is need-driven. I would like to reiterate that I am not personally against the increase as long as it is justifiable and fair.” The increase in tuition fees is a given in private universities, whose needs are not supported by the state and requires good facilities and competent staff to uphold its image as a premier school. However, tuition fee hikes should be justifiable and should have results that are palpable. Basing on the various
complaints on inferior facilities and teachers’ pay in this campus, it is apparent that previous tuition hikes did not do its job. “I think why it is like this is because the students themselves are not united about it”, Ms. Gonzales enthuses as the question of why the age-old issue of tuition fee increase is still unsolved at present. “We just allow this saddening situation to happen. Maybe also lack of political will from the previous SCB administrations contributed to this. The lack of transparency regarding this matter makes it more alien to the students and may potentially be viewed as an evil even by the student leaders. The SCB, Atenews and other bodies concerned can never resolve this issue if taken individually. This time we must be working hand in hand to resolve this issue. We need to gather and make the students understand the real situation. The SCB WOULD LIKE TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT WE ARE NOT AGAINST TUITION FEE INCREASE SO AS LONG AS IT IS JUSTIFIABLE AND FAIR. We understand that there are reasons why we should increase the quality of certain aspects of the school such as development of benefits and wages of the faculty and the employees in
the Ateneo and improvement of facilities. But given the current condition we have, we feel that the increase is not a need of the school, but rather only a commercial enterprise. “ TOFI is but one of the many issues that plague Ateneans these days. Other issues are simmering elsewhere in this school. Mr. Ratilla’s alleged illegal actions regarding the school’s finance is making the rounds of student gossip. Meanwhile, irregularities centering on the Capping and Pinning Ceremony of incoming second year Nursing students and problems on a certain Nursing student who was not allowed to take his major subjects due to confusing and conflicting procedures that failed to inform him properly on his standing and does not follow a proper decision-making process still await a proper resolution. Other issues affecting students are circulating in the school that cannot be mentioned here due to space constraints but hopefully will be tackled in the next release of the ATENEWS. Stay tuned for next time, as we tackle issues in the Ateneo from the perspective of the administration.
12 | ATENEWS COMICS
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Every year, old and new Ateneans alike flock to the covered court to be a part of their respective division orientations. Each division carefully planned out a way to broadcast announcements and updates and have fun all at the same time. From gothic brides to feisty cowboys, it contradicts the idea that college students are all about work and no make no room for play.
Photos by Adi Leuterio Text by Rea Romero