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AdZU culminates Ramadan with Grand Pagbuka

BREAKING FAST. Non-Muslim participants join their Muslim brothers as they break their fast for the day, signaling the near end of the month-long Ramadan. WORDS: FATHIMA M.Z. AHAMED KABEER, PHOTO: ATENEO COLLEGE GUIDANCE OFFICE


he months of July and August marked the month of fasting, Ramadan, for the Muslims. As the month was nearing its completion, the annual Grand Pagbuka was held on August 17, Friday. This year’s edition was spearheaded by the Campus Ministry and the Muslim Students Association of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (MSA) with their moderator, Mr. Ghazzali G. Taupan. The Grand Pagbuka is an activity that Ateneo has been prac-

ticing for years. The event saw Muslim Ateneans and even nonMuslims gather under one roof and break their fast as one. “Pagbuka” is a Tausug word meaning “breaking of one’s fast,” which in Arabic is “iftar.” Ramadan is the month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims give up food and water from the periods of six in the morning to six in the evening – following the practice of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Similarly, the occasion took place at the Multi-Purpose Covered

ABECS spearheads Math tutorials WORDS: ASEYA KHADIJA CALO


he Ateneo Blue Eagle and Centennial Scholars (ABECS), Eagles’ Math Core Circle (E'MC²), and El Consejo Atenista spearheaded the university-wide Math Tutorials on August 4 and 11 of this year. It gathered more than six hundred students in the Bellarmine-Campion Hall to refresh their learning on College Algebra, Trigonometry and Geometry. ABECS President Jessie Kirk Grubb has expressed her contentment over the tutorials, especially when this year garnered an increased participation of students and a high passing rate in the midterm for those taking Mathematics subjects."Mas marami nang tutees at tutors this year kasi nakita na nila na talagang may naitulong ang tutori-

als," says Grubb. "I trust my members and the committees, kaya kahit may pressure, hindi ko nararamdamang magfe-fail ito." Meanwhile, shortly after the midterm week, ABECS has posted a comprehensive report about the midterm passing rate of their tutees. The results are as follows: Math100 - Tutees: 4/4 (100%) Math101 - Tutees: 435/483 (90.01%)Math103 - Tutees: 37/45 (82.22%) Math121 - Tutees: 82/101 (80.39%) "Happy and satisfied ako sa results kahit na-doble ang dami ng tutees," exclaims Grubb. Improvement and plans to expand the scope of tutorials are MATH TUTORIALS… | PAGE 8

Courts. Gadzmin Salisa, president of the MSA, shared, “The conduct of the Grand Iftar needed long and careful planning. This is why it is normally held in the end days of the month of Ramazan.” Imans or Islamic leaders from the Muslim community of the city were invited to grace the dinner; they were also joined by representatives from the US Peace Corps and the American Embassy in Manila. A video of US President Barrack Obama delivering a speech before those present in the White House

Iftar was shown too, highlighting his message to the Muslim world. Meanwhile, university president, Fr. Antonio F. Moreno, SJ in his remarks stressed how the Grand Pagbuka is a fine example of Ateneo’s commitment to inter-faith dialogue and understanding. The evening started with a “dua” (Arabic word for prayer). This indicated that the hours of fasting had come to an end on that day. Afterwards, guests and members of the Ateneo community who came to join started to eat. The food prepared featured samplings of different Tausug delicacies such as pasung, putli, mandi, and baulu. The Grand Pagbuka is like the rest of the other iftar days. It is so-called because a large number of people converge in one venue to break fast together with food prepared in generous servings. When asked about the significance of the Grand Pagbuka, Mr. Datu Ahmed, Islamic Religious Studies instructor, said, “The significance of the Grand Pagbuka is to let other people, and [sic] especially the nonMuslims experience how happy a believer is to receive blessings from His creator.”



nother Atenean has once again made the Ateneo de Zamboanga University


Dr John Michael Flores Dellariarte, a graduate of Ateneo’s School of Medicine in 2012 was among the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP). He was awarded on August 2 at Malcañan Palace by no less than President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. The Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) is an Awards and Formation Program that seeks to galvanize the youth into nation building through exemplary academic performance, change -making social involvement, and inspiring leadership services to their school, local communities, and the country. Dellariarte was involved in

various community health development projects in Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur. He was active in pioneering the floating ambulance which ferries emergency patients from remote parts of Lakewood’s lake to the health center. Moreover, he was also one of those who helped in realizing MED SCHOOL GRAD… | PAGE 9



AdZU bags PICPA BOOM championship

ADU adjes are VisMin’s finest


teneo de Zamboanga University was proclaimed the over-all champion in the 2nd PICPA BOOM, an accounting competition hosted by the Regional Federation of the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants. It was held on August 5 at the Universidad de Zamboanga, Ipil Campus. Ateneo representatives were able to best four out of the seven accounting subjects that sealed the second over-all championship title for the university. The regional champions are as follows: Glenn William Alcala for Theory of Accounts, Christine Burlasa for Auditing Theories, Alexa Potayre for Practical Accounting 1, and for Practical Accounting 2, Arnie Pendon. Among the other placers are as follows: Angelly Quiming and Paola Migelli Cananea, second and third placers, respectively, for Auditing Theories; Rica Sue Desosa, second placer for Management Advisory Services; and Jasper Andrew Adjarani, third placer for Business Law and Taxation. “Actually, our participants did not really review [extensively for the] contest…[but they were] really prepared because they really learned so much from their own [regular] classes,” says Mr. Armee Jay Cresmundo, moderator of the Accountancy Academic Organization (AAO). AAO is preparing for another regional convention on September this year where they plan to claim another victory in its featured competitions. ____________________________




e would like to apologize for committing the following mistakes in our previous

issues:  The word, “thanksgiving” in the article “Ateneo community hosts thangksgiving dinner” (see The Beacon Reveille, Issue 2, Special Centennial Issue) was misspelled and overlooked. 

The photo in the article “How hard can you get” (see The Beacon, Issue 1, July 2012) was taken by Darrylene Clemente and not by Frances Grace Florendo.

The source of the photograph found in page 10 of The Beacon, Issue 1, July 2012, was the official Facebook fan page of Cong. Maria Isabelle "Beng" G. Climaco. We apologize for failing to cite it in the said issue. Sincerely, The Editor


drian Uro, a faculty member of the School of Liberal Arts, and Judean Grace Galvez, a sophomore Accounting student, were awarded best adjudicator and 8th best adjudicator, respectively, in the 6 th VisayasMindanao Debate Championship which was held in Cebu City on July 26 to 30, this year. Uro and Galvez join the roster of nationally-acclaimed adjudicators from different colleges and universities such as Ateneo de Davao University, Siliman University, University of the Philippines—Cebu and Ateneo de Cagayan—Xavier University. This was the first time for both Uro and Galvez to compete as adjudicators in a debate tournament. Prior to this, Uro represented AdZU as a debater in Visayas and Mindanao debates, and some other national and Asian tournaments in his college years. He was regarded as one of Mindanao’s best debaters in 2010 and 2011. On the other hand, while Galvez is a new member of the Ateneo Debate Union, but she has made milestones by being regarded as one of VisMin’s best in her first out-of-town tournament. Meanwhile, all debating teams of ADZU qualified for the final series of the competition. Team ADZU-A that was composed ADU ADJES… | PAGE 9

BANNER BEARERS. Contingents from the Ateneo Debate Union pose with the adjudication core of the VisayasMindanao Debate Championship. WORDS: KELVIN J. CULAJARA, PHOTO SOURCE: JUDEAN GRACE GALVEZ

AdZU celebrates week-long feast of Jesuits founder WORDS: KEITH LAURICE ARJINE DEMAYO


teneo de Zamboanga University held its annual St. Ignatius Week on July 23 to 30 with the theme, “Rekindle the Fire of Excellence, Spirituality and Citizenship in Us.” The week-long celebration of the feast of the founder of the Society of Jesus was filled with many activities such as the St. Ignatius Exhibit displayed at the college lobby and covered walk, A Conversation with St. Ignatius held at the College Audio Vis-

ual Room, and the Daily Mass and Novena Prayer to St. Ignatius and the Night of Music and Prayer that were both held at the University Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There were also many contest -type activities like the Poster Making, Essay Writing, Prayer Writing, and the St. Ignatius Quiz Bowl. Below are the lists of winners for the various contests: Poster Making Contest:First – Camille D. Corpus WEEK-LONG FEAST… | PAGE 9

Toribio attends int’l symposium in Bali WORDS: NEILSON NICK DLS. ALINSANGAN


n August 1 to 7 of this year, El Consejo Atenista President Adriel Earl A. Toribio participated in the 3rd University Scholars Leadership Symposium held in Bali, Indonesia. It gathered around 400 delegates from 33 different countries. The symposium was organized by The Humanitarian Affairs of the United Kingdom to provide young leaders all around the globe with deeper knowledge and awareness of international humanitarian needs. It seeks to improve the delegates’ understanding of poverty around the world and to give them an idea on how they can be an instrument in making positive change. Contrary to common knowledge, Toribio did not represent Ateneo de Zamboanga University in the said symposium, but instead, he represented the Philippines. Participants all around the country were chosen based on their application entries for the said symposium. Toribio passed the screening process and attended the said

symposium with 20 other representatives from the Philippines. He was the sole representative from Mindanao, the rest hailing from Visayas and Luzon. Toribio, together with all the other delegates, got to listen to talks delivered by international icons including CNN Hero of 2011 Robin Lim. They were given an overview of the current social situation of the global community, and ideas on how to respond to disasters and other global social issues. Part of the symposium was a sharing of ideas on how to make the world a better place. The discussion focused most especially on aspects regarding poverty, education, environment, and human trafficking. Toribio’s team then adopted the Mobile Classroom project which is basically a classroom in wheels that will be soon roaming the streets of Indonesia. The symposium was not purely discussions for it also involved action. Accordingly, the delegates got to build actual houses for the poor indigents of Bali, and

as well as to feed the street children. They also held recreational activities for the impoverished children such as going on a marine walk and a mass biking activity, playing paintball with the orphans, having fun in the water bom, water rafting, and playing sports. The interaction they had with the children, and the joy they brought to them was “priceless,” according to Toribio Toribio also related that the whole symposium was akin to SACSI’s Summer of Service and Immersion activities, only that it is in a global scale. A follow up event will be held in Malaysia sometime in October of this year. The next year’s University Scholars Leadership Symposium will be held in the Philippines. Accordingly, preparations are already underway. Toribio and the rest of the Filipino delegates will be part of the team behind this international event which will be held on August of 2013.


The Cradle of Hope


Clockwise: (Top left) A number of wooden chairs cramp in an open room which, for the local youth in Barangay Patalon, is enough to be called a classroom. (Above) Few children’s books are piled in the classroom’s only shelf which already constitutes their “library”. (Left) The first ever school for the indigenous people was set in Barangay Patalon which is thirty one (31) kilometers away from the city proper. _____ PHOTO SOURCE: JEHANNA ABUBAKAR (THROUGH BARRY BARRACA)


e have encountered the Subanons only in our History 102: Cultura de Zamboanga as the original inhabitants of our city, but who really are these people? There is a probability that you have seen them downtown, but not anymore identifiable as they are. As centuries pass by, they too have welcomed modernity – most have converted to Christianity and Islam, leaving their original religious identity as animists behind. Most of


them have been acquainted with the cultures that we are experiencing today, and most of them are in the self-struggle between distinctiveness and embracing the contemporary. The latter seems to be leaving them away from its scope: These people occupy the low-paid working class in urban and rural areas, thanks to the absence of adequate education in the areas where they are located. While most of the youth in the urban areas enjoy the wellstructured, Hispanic-designed build-

ings provided by the government, the Subanon youth have no such things, not even a small kubo or a volunteer teacher for simple instructions to give them a glimpse of what is education. While most people across the city are complaining about erratic electricity and water supply, they do not even possess these amenities. The place is called Sitio Monte Central in Patalon. In this mountaintop village dwell the amicable Subanons who always smile to whoever they encounter.

There is not a trace of hatred or dislike from them. Ateneo’s Center for Community Extension Services (CCES) and Ateneo Interdisciplinary Studies Institute, in partnership with the Department of Education, Assisi Development Foundation Incorporated, barangay government of Patalon, and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, have established the first ever Indigenous People’s (IP) school in the region. Though a simple mere two-roomed edifice constructed out of light materials, it is a seed on which a fruitful generation will spring out of and forever change the fate of the tribesmen. It will be operated by CCES until the year 2014, when the Department of Education will formally take over. As of now, the Monte Central IP School can only offer early childhood education, elementary education, specifically Grade 1 and Grade 2 for the Subanon children. An Alternative Learning System (ALS) for out-of-school youth (OSY) and adults is also available. Nonetheless, soon they would need a bigger school to cater the community. The Ateneo Interdisciplinary Studies Institute, the official organization for ABIS students of the university hatched this idea. It was borne out when AISI’s moderator, Mr. Mark Francis Francisco invited the top three officers of the organization for a climb into the village – Jan Lawrence Calapardo, the President, Barry Barraca, the Prime Minister, and Jehana Abubakar, the Ambassador to the University.


n August 12, residents of Luzon, particularly those in Metro Manila and Laguna Province, became unsuspecting victims of the heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon, commonly known as hanging habagat. In a matter of hours, the metropolis and the neighbouring plains became virtual water worlds.


Caught off guard…again In the National Capital Region, families living in low-lying and below sealevel got to relive their nightmarish experience with tropical storm Ondoy four years ago. Classes were suspended in all year levels and evacuation centres were quickly organized to accommodate the hundreds of evacuees. In Central and Southern Luzon, swathes and swathes of rice fields were entirely submerged under water and fishponds overflowed bearing huge losses on the people’s livelihood. Habagat is a usual weather phenomenon in the Philippines. However, no one expected it to be that destructive. News headlines in all over the country were about the catastrophic happenings in Luzon. Even foreign correspondents took note of the tragedy. The residents

most especially, including the government and the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), were caught off guard. No one was expecting that such regular weather condition would produce this amount of rainfall; so great it brought floods to Metro Manila, swelled the Angat and Ipo Dam to critical levels and caused the swift rise of the Laguna de Bay. Ayuda Luzon A memorandum was released by Fr. Antonio F. Moreno, SJ, Ateneo de Zamboanga University President, with regards to the calamity that struck Luzon. In his memo, he urged the Ateneo community to extend a helping hand to the flood victims by donating cash, clothes, medicines, and other basic necessities. In line with this, the Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement (SACSI) Office headed by its director, Mrs. Cellyn A. Verallo, spearheaded the relief operation aptly called Ayuda Luzon (Help Luzon). According to Ms. Marjo Andrea C. Mequin, a National Service Training Program (NSTP) facilitator and one of the staff of the SACSI Office, the re-

sponse of the Ateneo Community was sluggish during the first few days of the said relief operation. They only started receiving prompt and eager donations after a week, both from the Ateneo Community and from other persons and institutions in Zamboanga City like Cuidad Medical Zamboanga, the Western Mindanao Power Corporation, and the Tzu Chi Foundation. The Ayuda Luzon relief operation is still ongoing and the SACSI Office is still willing and open to accept donations both in kind and in cash. Sluggish response The days following the launch of the Ayuda Luzon relief operation, the response of the Ateneo community proved to be lukewarm. Few donations were given during the first few days despite the vigorous efforts of various offices in disseminating information and calling for more donations via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The response of the Ateneo community only gradually increased within the following weeks. More donations were sent to the Brebeuf Gymnasium, headquarters of the Ayuda Luzon operation. Other institutions were also sending in their aid and

assistance. In comparison to Tabang Sendong, the previous relief operation spearheaded by SACSI to assist the victims of Typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City, the amount of donations both in cash and kind received in Ayuda Luzon, did not even reach half of the amount donated during the Tabang Sendong Operation. Mequin noted that, “Yung sa Op POOR RESPONSE… | PAGE 9



The Damaso in the making n the unprecedented attempt to push for the development of reproductive health, what Filipinos currently witness is a battle between empty theatrics and logic. While pro-RH advocates have spent much of their resources conducting researches and studies just to make millions of Filipinos understand how worse many Filipinos’ conditions are, members of the CBCP remain steadfast in theatrically insisting that the RH Bill is anti-life without even dipping a finger to at least provide a specific framework in which other grounds it is deemed morally questionable. While the pro-RH advocates have engaged quite fairly to a verbal and intellectual sparring when the anti-RH faction challenged that its moral grounds are questionable, why can’t these RH antagonists engage in matters of technicalities, in presenting efficient alternatives, and even in presenting comprehensive evidences to at least support their assertion that abstinence and natural methods are the ultimate saviors of dying Filipinas? Or the least that they could have done was to provide a logical view on how remaining “pure” in the eyes of the church outweighs the value of salvaging the EDITORIAL deaths and casualties caused by the inaccessibility of contraceptives and reproductive health measures in both urban and rural areas. Using the democratic framework, it is essentially unfair to deny the people of options in private matters such as family planning, especially when the ones who halt these options are those who never shell out taxes for the nation’s benefit. In fact, the Filipino people have spoken: in the most recent survey by the Social Weather Station (SWS), seventy percent (70%) of them have expressed assent for the bill. Keeping CBCP in the picture is like an abrasive intervention to society’s choice, as if the people should always be doomed to conventional methods when they call for better means as they face pressing and worsening situations of sexually-transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies every day of their lives. If CBCP is too afraid of the possibility of promiscuity and “liberal” values among the youth once the sex education of the bill is pushed through, well, these problems are not wholly exclusive to the passage of the bill alone. There are a lot of factors like mainstream media’s glorification of sex and polygamy, or the people’s voracious access to pornography. We would like to believe that the RH Bill is not going to be a state-recognized kama sutra. Promiscuity just does not fit in the direct correlation with the RH Bill. If CBCP is too wary about the idea of abortion, this claim has been refuted and answered for so many times already. But if they refer to the use of contraceptives as preventing and wasting potentials for life, then anyone who masturbates must be accused for crimes against humanity like genocide, perhaps? Thousands of women die of underground abortions due to unwanted pregnancies, while there is an increasing rate of infants being disposed in garbage cans and toilets, aren’t these lives, too? In all these, the Reproductive Health Bill must be welcomed and what CBCP should do is to allow people to have access to options. They still have their church spaces to work with their constituents, maybe there they could advertise their natural “alternatives” which they have been advocating for so long. Having to dictate Filipinos’ choice and being their dispatcher to constantly point out that only “this” and “that” is the way is intolerable. After all, the Filipinos have learned better—and from history alone, they would not want another Damaso in the making.



More in common than you think SARAH GAIL C. GALVAN


he key to good branding is to choose a name which is both memorable and unique. Hence, while the city government downplays its titles of “City of Flowers” and “Sardines Capital of the Philippines”, we ask then, what reasonable city would want its claim to fame to be canned fish? This brings us to the ingenuity behind the promotion of “Ciudad Latina de Asia,” the city’s new identity. A strategic move to boom the tourism industry of Zamboanga, the title suits our Latinderived culture and history to which it is best manifested in our Spanish Creole language – Chavacano. Moreover, there are a number of claims made that Zamboanga truly fits the title as it shares similar qualities to other cities in Latin America. As the writer of the “Zamboanga City: Asia’s Latin City?” article, Jerome Herrera explains, “… Zamboanga City looks Latin as any city in Latin America does.” Although I am sure that Mr. Herrera is referring to the physical aspects that we share with our Latin American counterparts, the innocent observation holds greater significance than those mere physical similarities. Having lived in Zamboanga my whole life, I do believe that we possess the same beauty and potentiality as that of other cities in the country, more so in some cases. However, being a native does not mean that I am blind to the fact that our city is feared by nonZamboangeños and that this fear is borne out of just cause – case in point, the twin bombings that occurred recently in Guiwan and Suterville. Indeed, scenarios of the

same nature as of the bombings give Zamboanga a bad name to which I laud the local government’s efforts of countering such bad reputation with the classic marketing move of giving it a brand new image. But is the title of “Asia’s Latin City” a good choice? The image connotes that Zamboanga as being the only Latin city in Asia, must be like those cities in Latin America for it to be named as such. Do we even know what those cities in Latin America are like? The gods of irony may have been shining their brightest when the local government deemed it right to disclose our new city brand to encourage tourists to come and visit because with the reputation that Latin American cities have now – most of them having some of the highest crime rates in the world, that might not have been the best move. For picture this, crime has become a prominent attribute when referring to Latin American cities. According to Max Perez of the Toonari Post, “Mexico has the highest crime rate in the world…Five of the 10 most dangerous cities in the world are located in Mexico… Kidnapping, killings, rape and armed robberies are common in LatinAmerica. In many of these countries, public life is almost paralyzing from the fear of being hit by a stray bullet or being kidnapped.” Sounds familiar right? Zamboanga is also known for its gun killings which have been recently increasing as of present, its bombings, kidnappings and several other cases that have been building up its image as a place where crime proliferates and whom locals and visitors alike are warned daily to reMORE IN COMMON… | PAGE 10





A few weeks ago, I broke out of my usual allAmerican-loving self when I enthusiastically invited my friends to watch a Filipino barkada movie, “The Reunion”, after who knows how many years since I last saw one. Inspired by the iconic Filipino rock band Eraserheads(Eheads), the story revolves around four friends who realized how much their present situation sucks as compared to their awesome high school life. Aside from the endearing cast of today’s hottest heartthrobs (especially Xian Lim), the movie featured different Eheads songs that were tied to the different stories of the characters, including the popular hits “Alapaap”, “Huling El Bimbo”, and “Ligaya”. While the band was born before I was, knowing the songs pretty well meant that Eraserheads has made such a huge impact in the Original Pinoy Music (OPM) scene and in the Filipino culture in general. Their songs have transpired from generation to generation, and are still embedded in the hearts of today’s Filipino youth. Eraserheads was not only an icon because of their multiplatinum albums and thousands of screaming fans, but also because in a sense, Eheads redefined OPM and placed Pinoy music high above the charts. They are proof that Filipinos are

capable of original and straightforward creativity that is unique only to this culture. Contrary to what is happening now, the majority of music that is heard in the airwaves are of foreign artists. Add to that the long list of foreign artists who have dominated Araneta Coliseum time and again because of their sold-out concerts. The Filipino industry, may it be showbiz, music, or even theater, has at one point or another lost its Filipino identity because quite a number are just rip-offs or copycats of Western culture. At the same time, the Filipino audience has become so accustomed to patronizing foreign cultures that we have become so blind to our own. It feels like our identity has been lost in all the hullabaloo of the West. There is so much beauty, creativity, and potential around us that we fail to see because we have been too clouded with everything foreign. Partly to be blamed are the long years of colonization, that others have dubbed us as “little brown Americans”. However, it is always a choice for us to stay true to our own. I have nothing against appreciating other cultures, as I am writing this to you, I also plead guilty for the same kind of corruption. What hurts our Pinoy culture is that we reserve ourselves to watch Phantom of the Opera and we could care less

about a theater performance by our local artists (which by the way more or less have the same caliber as the foreign ones). On a deeper note, our overpowering admiration for Western culture tells us a little something about how we perceive ourselves as Filipinos. It tells us how much we lack confidence in ourselves to go out there and create a name for ourselves. It tells us that we are contented with being copycats from other cultures. It tells us how weak we are in terms of unleashing what we are truly capable of. If only we give originality a chance, I am sure we could be leaders of the pack instead of being satisfied eating off the dust of those who go before us. I do not know if and when the heavens will bring down another Eraserheads to bring back the enthusiasm we once had for the Filipino culture. If that does not happen; may be at least we can learn how to strike a balance between appreciating others and recognizing our own. If we do not give this a chance, who knows what might be left of our identity fifty years from now.

_____ COMMENTS? E-mail her at, or you can follow her on Twitter @jammyq.

Filipinos thinking in tragic times KEITH JOSHUA DUMPIT


eath Toll: 175. high risk of disaster, their most Damages to Agriculture Sec- common obstacle is the obstinacy tor: P1, 435,130, 000 of the people. Even with the assurance of temporary evacuation In Filipinos’ battle with homes, they refuse to yield, for it is Mother Earth’s rage, casualties are possible that people might equate inevitable, hence summarized by the losing their property with subsefigures above. To think that the quent poverty. casualties aforementioned are totals Must Filipinos be hardof three recent typhoons, namely headed? Definitely not. Most FilipiGener, Helen and Igme, compari- nos have born witnesses to the fasons with typhoons of yesteryears talities of natural disasters and this may indicate that these August ca- act warrants them to learn from lamities are not as worse as previous others’ experience. If they really ones. However, a question springs want to be spared in situations like to mind while pondering on these these, obedience is the key. Saving things: How much has Filipinos or taking solace from properties is learned from suffering through pointless when the person in the these catastrophes? end gets swept away and unfortuTo an extent, Filipinos have nately dies in the circumstances. learned to be more vigilant, cautious The analogy may be superficial but and sigurista, while others, let’s say, that is because the reason why peohave maintained their hard- ple become obstinate is also superfiheadedness despite the recurrence cial, that in times of dire need for of calamities. What’s more pro- safety, they choose to risk their lives found about situations like these is clinging to materials that in the end when Filipinos value property more would be of zero help. than existence. Even when salvation The Filipino mindset in knocks on their door, they refuse times of tragedy is their fear of povthe offer of help, a kind of help erty as the result of catastrophe, rather intangible but so powerful which leads them to desperation that it can spare one’s life. When and moral dilemmas. Falling prey to rescue operators are sent to help typhoons means starting over for people evacuate from areas with many Filipinos, that’s why in strug-


gling to survive in mishaps, they, as much as possible, try to save all their family members to ensure themselves a glimmer of hope for the future rather than securing payment for burial rites. Throughout the years, some Filipinos have learned to be alert and attentive during catastrophic times yet some have learned to maintain attitudes that would rather increase their risk to potent dangers. Nevertheless, the most promising option for a Filipino to emerge from such cataclysms is to grab any opportunity of help available. In times like these, all help is promising and there is little, almost zero room for betrayal. Then again, the cliché still goes: “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” It might take a little more time to have these worn-out words completely engraved in Filipinos’ minds.

_____ COMMENTS? E-mail him at, or at


he recently concluded Ateneo Centennial Celebration has clearly made its mark in the history of Ateneo de Zamboanga University. It has left us with a promise of change—of hope. Surely, we have seen some of these changes, the centennial walk, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the new Vision and Mission, and the Xavier Hall just to mention a few. We have seen these changes, yet do we actually feel the changes? Those I have mentioned above are all but aesthetic changes. While it is conceded that these are important things for a “greater change” to be made, yet these are less significant than that kind of change Ateneo strives to achieve. The change that must be felt comes from within, within the very essence of what makes Ateneo Ateneo. What we are talking about here is the people in the Ateneo, be it the students, the professors and members of the faculty and staff, and the administration. I remember during the centennial celebration, while I was having my lunch with my friends, we were approached by a group of students informing us that they needed more people for the human seal (though I prefer to call it Human ADZU 100, for there was no seal at all). We checked out the backfield and saw that the formation was incomplete. The resulting picture was an irregularly drawn outline of wobbly letters and numbers spelling out ADZU 100. Now that is an example of apathy in action. Students’ apathy has always been a plague in Ateneo since time immemorial, though it is not its sole problem, yet it has always been a cause of dismay for almost every Ateneo event. It is funny how apathy is only stressed during the duration of the annually-held student council elections. Apathy, in fact is a year round problem. We could see it reeking its vile stench in every event. I have must have never seen more than a half of the AdZU population participating in a said event. The sad thing is, most of the people who participated were those whose attendances were required and graded by their professors. There remained only a handful people who were sincere enough in giving their time and full involvement. University masses, parades and gatherings; most of the attendances in these events are fuelled by the teacher’s requirements. It is sad that most students are motivated externally; they just do things out of fear of punishment or out of anticipation for a reward. Their actions are not totally in earnest. Students just do not feel the THE CHALLENGE… | PAGE 12





rgullo – a Spanish word which translates to pride in English. We are all familiar with the line in the song that goes “Orgullo de Mindanao”. Zamboanga is the pride of Mindanao. With the things that have been happening lately, can we still sing this line with as much fervor? Zamboanga has its generous share of winning moments. But we cannot deny that time and time again, it has been branded as unsafe territory, a place where you rub elbows with terrorists, a city that is seemingly not conducive for living. This perception has been common among outsiders and, as it has been lately, to its own residents. Everything took a different turn when news spread like wildfire that Universidad de Zamboanga president was killed by an unidentified gunman just outside his residence. This elicited a lot of strong reactions and was, for how many weeks, the highlight of local newspapers. The most perceptible out of

all these reactions is the tarpaulin that the school management put up as their cry for justice for the unresolved cases of murders and deaths through the year. As it stands now, the tarpaulin serves to count down the number of gunshot killings from the start of the year. As of today, this signage flashes a staggering figure of 110+ deaths by gunshot only. That’s three deaths a week on average.

the issue. According to Zamboanga Today report, he says that this tarpaulin can serve as a reminder to the city mayor “everytime he walks out of the veranda of the City Hall” to do something constructive about the alarming number of deaths which continues to increase. However, City Mayor Celso Lobregat has taken a dislike over this tarpaulin and wants to have it removed immediately. He firmly expressed his disgust over it saying “Ayuda sila, nomas pone caratula.” AcLooking at Both Ends of the cordingly, it is a way of branding the Spectrum city as a death trap and this will do Although police authority nothing but scare tourists from exdisputes the accuracy of the said ploring the city. figure – saying that there’s more, they do recognize that it is within Looking at Loopholes the terms of democracy that the It is quite disturbing to school be given freedom to post know that some of these crimes of such signage. Some even say that passion happen in broad daylight. this can serve as a concrete re- Are these people really that skilled minder for locals to always be on and unafraid that most of them get guard. away with it? Or should the quesCouncilor Rommel Agan tion be: are the police forces really takes an open view with regards to that inefficient to render most of

these cases unresolved? What motives can these people have? Some say these numerous killings work much like a profession for some already. People take the job as hired killers to relieve the family of hunger. For others, well, it’s the hunger to avenge that leads them to pick up a gun and shoot somebody at point-blank range even with onlookers around. Looking at all of these, an inevitable question hovers over the issue: will the crimes be as numerous if the laws on firearms possession were being promulgated and executed efficiently? City Police Director James Mejia even says that the city should gradually take the lead of countries with strict policies like Malaysia where the punishment of simple possession would be death. He cites that there have been reports of the proliferation of firearms in the black market and this does not help the situation. He also cites that changes have been made in the city police forces as



A Timeline of Terror WORDS: MALIVER GAAS


ombings and chaos in Zamboanga City happen almost every year. If you will go to other cities in the Philippines, people will ridicule you if you happen to introduce yourself as a Zamboangueño. For some, being a Zamboangueño is like being a resident of Baghdad or Damascus. But devoid of all violent and offensive portrayal and the mockery we get from others, we on the other hand do nothing about this situation. As if hearing news about bombings in our city has just been a normal pastime. Let’s see the consistent attempts of bombers in their aim of bringing social unrest in our city. Here are the records of bombings in Zamboanga for the past four years. 2008: Panic at the Philippine Air Force Base On May 29 2008, an improvised explosive device inside a suspicious baggage exploded killing two people and leaving 18 wounded at the Philippine Air Force Base. The bomb exploded in front of the military base where US troops were training local soldiers on anti-terrorism warfare. The site was also the location of the Philippine Military Mutual Fund, Air Material Wing Savings and Loans Association, Office of the US Agency for International Development and the headquarters of Zamboanga City Rep. Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar. As to the reasons why the explosion occurred, the authorities were uncertain of who was really the target of the bombing.

a result of the rising criminality. On the other hand, a resident expressed her dismay about the 2010: An Exploding Visit at Zamsituation saying “This only shows a boanga City International Airport Sulu Governor Abdusakur failure by the city government to protect its own people.” This statement and what Universidad de Zamboanga did practically resonate the sentiments of the city as a whole. If people are free to take hold of deadly weapons without a Zamboanga proper license, then who is to say policemen who is next? The death of someone sweep the area of position has certainly created an near the wreckimpact far greater than other re- age after a bomb ported cases of gunshot killings. If a exploded as the man as prominent and guarded as bus was approaching the the president of a university can be killed, then would still there be terminal in Maria Clara Lobregat complications in killing say an ordiHighway in Zamnary citizen? boanga City. Although intention prePhoto by LUIS cludes all other factors when it LIWANAG. _____ comes to committing a crime, the PHOTO lack of stringency in laws makes it SOURCE: easier for criminals to commit these VERAFILES.ORG heinous crimes.

Tan was among the 23 people hurt during the bombing at the Zamboanga City International Airport last August 5 2010. Aside from the said survivors, 2 more victims were found dead after the explosion. Coincidentally, the bombing happened a day before the visit of US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. The ambassador was to go to Zamboanga to conduct a series of activities in the city. Shortly after hearing the news of an explosion, Mr. Henry Thomas canceled his flight to Zamboanga. 2011: The Gate Crasher at Atilano Pension House and San Roque Cock Pit A double bomb explosion happened on October 9 2011, making undesirable news during the celebration of Zamboanga Hermosa Festival. The first explosion happened at San Roque Cock Pit around 12:25 p.m. Authorities said the bomb that exploded was concealed in a "fighting cock box" and placed on the cockpit's left bleacher. Betters must not have noticed this. Who cares of a mysterious box when you’re busy cheering for your winning bet? The second explosion happened at the second floor of the Red Palm Pension House in Guiwan Village at around 12:30 p.m. Cellphone-triggered IEDs were used for the explosion. The twin explosion left at least 11 people wounded including four boxers, a referee and a bakeshop worker. Moreover, three were killed and twenty seven (27) were wounded during an explosion in the Atilano Pension House in down-

town Zamboanga on November 26. The said explosion was said to be very “powerful” that nearly collapsed the building and shattered windows and panes of nearby establishments. 2012: The Uninvited Bus Passenger Just this August 16, another bomb explosion occurred. This time, it was targeting a passenger bus while heading its way to the terminal. Six people, including a 2-year-old boy were injured. According to reports, the four suspects boarded the bus along the highway of Barangay Culianan, the bus having begun its journey from Pagadian City. The suspects however disembarked from the bus to go to a mall at Barangay Putik, leaving an improvised explosive device about to stop the bus from reaching its destination. All the bombings in the past four years were blamed to Al-Qaedalinked-group Abu Sayyaf, but police and military authorities have yet to know of the real culprit. Meanwhile, during the meeting of the Crisis Management Council (CMC), City Mayor Celso Lobregat has identified various motives of the bombings including extortion, personal grudge and terrorism. Lobregat has then expressed eagerness and determination to crack down groups behind the series of bombings, and has even asserted that the “…(local) authorities are doing everything possible to make sure that peace and order reigns in Zamboanga City and that we are not resting…to pursue crime prevention and crime solution.”



El Chismoso Atenista WORDS: BARRY BARRACA


olitical intrigues are everyone’s favorite and it seems to be a constant companion of any exciting, albeit immature democracy. Apparently, even our very own student council is not spared from these much-hushed-yet -talked-about rumors. The Case of the Purloined Shirts While everybody was excited on claiming and wearing their centennial shirts, El Consejo Atenista President, Earl Toribio was in rage when he found out that apparently there were forty-one centennial shirts missing. How on earth could such a large number of shirts be lost in an office manned by half a battalion of officers and volunteers? Just imagine the thief who stole it would be dragging a huge box loaded with shirts from the El Consejo office through the hallways of the university, or a gang of studentbandits with bags fully-stuffed either running or sneaking away from the office! Speculations ranged from cases of theft, inside-job, to just being a plain err. One focused on the angle that maybe there were really no forty-one shirts; perhaps it was just an issue to cover up graft. Another was that the office was left unclosed and there were group of people who carried away all of it, just like ants pillaging an unguarded picnic table. However, when such issue was raised to Toribio, he was vehement in clearing out the issue. “The forty-one lost shirts are unrecorded ordered shirts that did not reflect on the master list of the shirts or-

Math tutorials... taken in consideration by Grubb as well. She says that she plans to fuse the tutorials and the operation shoebox where they will be targeting elementary students of public schools. “Mga bata na naman ang tutees at elementary subjects ang ituturo namin sa kanila.” Her idea remains to be an idea, since it has not taken any serious action yet. Accordingly, it requires "intensive planning". But she admits that she has been vocal about it to ABECS Vice President for Citizenship, Kier Luanne Sudiacal, and ABECS Moderator, Ms. Dorothy Joann Lei Labrador. Meanwhile, Mr. Rey Reyes, chairperson of the Mathematics Department, expresses his support for the tutorials because he believes that such an activity has a huge contribution to the students’ learning of Math. "The tutorials really help especially to those na nahihiya o natatakot magtanong tungkol sa lessons

dered,” he says. He then clarifies that technically, there were no shirts lost since such claimed loss was due to discrepancies of the shirts actually ordered and those recorded in the master list. “This in turn resulted to a lack of forty-one shirts to be released during the releasing period. The concession of El Consejo is that we have faltered in the ordering system and we have overlooked some loopholes,” he then explained further. It’s More Fun in Boracay Another story came out sizzling that the President Toribio had offered a trip to Boracay exclusively to the El Consejo officers and volunteers. All those who knew the leak of information drooled of course, but had an icy look on the expense. A cabinet secretary who requested anonymity said that several officers floated the assumption that El Consejo might be shouldering a big chunk of the disbursement in order for the trip to be affordable to tune of thousands of pesos. When asked about its veracity, Toribio’s response was, “2GO offered a travel package to the El Consejo Atenista, period.” “It was also meant to be an R&R (Rest and Relaxation) for the Consejo since it would be after the Buklod Atenista [which we will be hosting soon]. Clearly there were [sic] no funding [from El Consejo] allocated to that. It is from their (members) own pockets that they would draw the money. It was stated in the GM (group message) and concepts sa teachers nila.” “Pag sa tutorials, they are freer to ask kasi ang tutors eh students rin kagaya nila," Reyes explains. "Para sa mga students naman na kailangan ng push, mga simpleng 'kaya mo yan', they offer that as well." Inspiration from an idea The tutorials started just last year as a joint activity of ABECS, E'MC², ECA, and Society of Ateneo Scholars (SAS). "Marami kasing nababagsak[sic] sa first year Mathematics not because tinatamad sila, but because of the variability in the curriculum of high school education in Zamboanga, which results to some students not being ready for collegiate-level of Mathematics in the Ateneo,” says Math Tutorials founder, Mr. Ralph Jorline Chua. "As a result, they needlessly extend their stay in college, which is an unnecessary waste of time and money."

that I have sent them... and there are still no sign-up sheets available also, so there are no confirmed goers to Bora,” Toribio further clarifies. Student Activity Bodega? A Student Activity Center so-called, is in status quo a mere bodega of the El Consejo Atenista – true or false? Some members and officers of student clubs and organizations have been wondering why the SAC is not available at times, and really not adequate for use. The room looks half of what it was when major renovations took place during the Pepito administration. The current state of the laminated conference tables installed during the said presidency seemed to have joined the ranks of their brotherarmchairs in the recently renamed Xavier Hall. “Last time nakita ko Accordingly, this concern drove him and his team to realize the dream. "I was inspired by the idea that something like that could be done. Eh nagawa nga, kaya masaya." The tutorials originally catered to Math101 only, but since the results were well, other Math subjects were added in its roster. Most of the tutors were willing scholars, Mathematical Sciences students, Secondary and Elementary Education students majoring in Math, and capable volunteers. Their services are repaid through snacks, certificates, and credited service hours in their Student Time Record (STR). The snacks and teaching paraphernalia are funded by the accumulated funds of the ABECS, but Chua realized that the tutorials needed more support for it to come into fruition. "We formed alliances such as with Consejo for funding and support."

siyang may tao is when yung enrolment pa, kung sa bagay, student activity din naman ang enrolment,” a freshman remarked. Observations like this seem to reinforce reports that the Office of the Registrar intends to permanently claim the room since the office regularly uses it during semestral enrollment. “Hindi na siya nage-exist, mahirap na ngang mag-reserve ng mga rooms, tapos wala pang SAC, pano nalang tayo ‘di ba?,” asked another. “The El Consejo is not given any room to store materials, so temporarily doon namin nilalagay... by September we would be seeing a new Student Activity Centre. Since time immemorial naman it had been like that, even before my term... we plan to change it entirely so it can serve the students... just give us time,” vows Toribio.

The views Meanwhile, some other tutees expressed dismay over some occurrences during the sessions. “Sina ate at kuya…parang nahihilo pa. Nakalimutan na siguro nila ang mga lessons ng first year kaya ganun.” "Okay lang naman pero sana on-time...Dapat parang klase lang, kung 9am, 9am start na. Kung 1pm, start na rin." However, despite the complaints, many others expressed their compliments to ABECS for a job well done. Others were even grateful enough to state that they have “garnered passing marks in their Math quizzes” because of the techniques their tutors taught them. “Na -realize ko, ang Math, kapag iisipin mong mahirap, mahirap talaga. Pero kapag minahal mo, at pinagsikapan [mong pag-aralan], madadalian ka lang pala.”




CLOTHE THYSELF. While some Muslim women have renounced the practice of veiling themselves, most of them still wear the hijab as a sign of modesty and privacy.


tice and fair play, as well as the corresponding exercise by students of their equally constitutionally-enshrined right to religious freedom.” He later added in his letter of appeal certain supplementary documents which contained provisions from the Department of Education Order No. 53 and the Magna Carta of Women which provide for the protection and promotion of the rights of women, particularly Muslim or Moro and indigenous women and the use of the hijab of Muslim students in school premises.

ecently, protests from certain Muslim and even non-Islamic advocate groups sparked as Pilar College banned the use of the hijab by its female students within its premises. In a letter addressed to the City Mayor Celso Lobregat, Pilar College president, Sr. Ma. Nina C. Balbas, RVM reasons that its origin is that of Roman Catholicism and that “we cannot deviate from that origin”, which therefore, justifies its policy on the ban. “It is true that we cater to students of different religions, but before they are officially enrolled, during interviews of student applicants, rules and regulations are explained to them particularly the nonwearing of the hijab or veil,” Balbas continues. Moreover, Balbas further explains that Pilar College is giving students the freedom to choose a school which best fits their personal interests. She added that such policy is just an exercise of its academic freedom in which schools, colleges

and universities have the right to choose whom to teach. Meanwhile, Secretary Mehol Sadain of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) addressed a letter of petition to Sr. Balbas, in which he appealed in behalf of the hijab-wearing Muslim women for the administration’s kind reconsideration and compromise. “I am writing, not to argue, but to enlighten; and not to object,” he further clarified. Sadain wrote an open letter to Pilar College’s president with high hopes of being able to reach out to the school and reverse its century-old policy. “As the wearing of the hijab or the veil is a sign of modesty and obedience to God, it can never denigrate or damage educational institutions. Instead, it can uplift the institution’s sense of modesty and morality without distinction as to religion,” he emphasized once more. The NCMF Secretary said that while Pilar College claims the exercise of academic freedom, “such freedom must conform to law and the basic indices of jus-

Facebook Interludes From a newsbrief in and Yahoo! News to a special part in an episode of GMA-7’s Kapuso Mo, Jessica and a full editorial of The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Zamboanga City has never produced an issue that rattled the nation’s social fiber in this magnitude since the Subic Rape Case. The issue heated up more as social networking sites became venues for affected Muslims and non-Muslim advocates to air out their views on the ban. Dozens upon dozens of comments and posts, negative and positive alike, arose and filled pages on Facebook. “Pilar [College] is just insisting to declare that female students using hijab violates the long existing rules and regulations of the school and it’s against the uniformity of the students but the real fact is that this school is Anti-Muslim,” one angry Facebook user commented. A lot of posts of the same context follow closely, utterly boiling the blood of most Pilarists. A particular user, Elle (not the

Med school grad…

Week-long feast...

Poor response...

the project of providing yellow bancas for the benefit of local children who used to walk for hours to reach their schools. It was also Delliariarte who helped pioneer the construction of a halfway house or lying-in center for expectant mothers. Above all these achievements, he also spearheaded on establishing solar reflectors which were made from soda cans to amplify solar energy and to disinfect water, thus, providing safe drinking water for the community. Accordingly, all of these undertakings were realized through the help of local folks who exhibited the spirit of volunteerism. To highlight Dr. Dellariarte’s achievements, the Ateneo Center for Leadership and Governance (ACLG), Center for Community Extension Services (CCES) and Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement Office (SACSI) of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University organized a forum on life-saving entrepreneurship entitled “Salva Vida.” During the forum, Dr. Dellariarte shared his innovation as a young doctor through the I CAN make a Difference Inc., and Yellow Boat of Hope of Foundation which he conceived in response to economic and health issues besetting Western Mindanao.

Second – Jonah B. Bucoy Third – Victor Ian M. Covarrubias and Marie Christalene A. Ramos Essay Writing Contest: First – Gia Margeliza D.A. Enriquez Second – John Xyrious Q. Dela Cruz Third – Danica R. Bustillo Prayer Writing Contest: First – Fathima M.Z. Ahamed Kabeer Second – Calingalan Caluang Third – Aileen V. Tiblani St. Ignatius Quiz Bowl: First – Angelo B. Enriquez and Ninel Pajes Second – Glinith Pauline R. Egos and Vanessa Lou E. Oga Third – Keith Joshua Dumpit

ADU adjes… of Glenn William Alcala and Ruby Jane Calletor, and Team ADZU-B composed of Kim Senerez and Pjey Fidel, landed in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Team ADZU-C composed of Khalid Lozano and Milarose Barraca, landed the octo-finals as well. Because of his recent victory, Uro is set to be one of the Deputy Chief Adjudicators in the 26th Mindanao Parliamentary Debate Championship which is to be held in Davao City on August 30. He will join some other international debate superstars from Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines—Diliman.

eration Sendong, agad-agad silang nagbigay, pero yung sa Ayuda Luzon, after one week pa naging mabilis ang pagdating ng donations. At nung Operation Sendong, halos mapuno na ang [Brebeuf] gym sa dami ng donations, pero ngayon, hindi pa nga umabot sa kalahati.” What’s the difference? Indeed, as compared to the Ateneo community’s response to Tabang Sendong, which was very much immediate and swift, its response to the Ayuda Luzon relief operation was not that prompt. Why then was there a difference? Mindanao is rarely ravaged by typhoons and tropical storms since it is below the Typhoon Belt. This is why when Typhoon Sendong surprisingly devastated Northern Mindanao, the local government units and the people themselves were not prepared for the calamity. It brought about large scale destructions such as floods and landslides all over the region that cost the lives of many Filipinos. In fact, Typhoon Sendong was considered to be one of the worst natural calamities to hit the Philippines. When news about such unfortunate event reached the Ateneo, everyone was taken aback and there were massive flows of sympathies and implorations. The response and the flow of cash and kind donations was lightning fast, highly because it was the first time for the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan to be afflicted by such a deadly typhoon. And with the large number of deaths, victims, and damages that Sendong caused, more people and institutions in the city were moved to donate and offer assistance. On the other hand, when Habagat smashed into Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon, the response of the

real name) answered, “I'll[sic] like you to enroll to[sic] Pilar [College] before saying that it is an anti-Muslim school. We are educated people. We shouldn't believe in hear-say[s]. As a student of Pilar College I respect you. I hope you'll respect our school as we respect yours….” On the other hand, while some were pouring their angst against the issue, a few managed to express their views in a relatively composed manner. “I hope this conflict will be resolved soon. I believed [sic] we all want peace, don't we? Peace to you.” The issue grew to immense proportions that there were those who signed online petitions asking to boycott Pilar College, while others chose not to be involved in its affairs. The Verdict For many Pilarists, graduates and undergrads, and the school’s faculty and administration, their decision stands firm – policies are policies. Majority of them are not willing to change the river’s course just because it ran across some rocks on its journey; as a result, the hijab ban is still being implemented in the school. There are still those who are against the decision as there are who are willing to fight alongside Pilar College and its academic freedom. The controversy is dying out now, the comments and posts lessening. Pretty soon, all of this will be a distant memory, as with all controversies. As this fades away, memories remain that will forever remind us of man’s ability to fight for what is right, even if it means changing a centuries-old tradition.

people, not only in Ateneo but also in Zamboanga City, was slow despite the fact that there were losses and damages as well. This was primarily because such calamity like floods is but a usual occurrence whenever a torrent of rain falls, especially in the greater Metro Manila area. People are no longer surprised about it. The usual response is, “Ah, baha na naman sa Manila.” With this kind of reaction, they assume that the government and the people residing in those areas are already prepared to address such a calamity given their constant recurrence. Citizenship beyond words For the Ateneo, living up to its ideal of citizenship should be an absolute. Such reasons for a slow response to assist and empower the needy and the afflicted are not acceptable. Citizenship knows no boundaries and goes beyond words of sympathies and condolences. As a community, no matter how usual a calamity occurs, either in Luzon, Visayas, or Mindanao, we should always be ready and open to extend a helping hand. Citizenship is also found in charitable deeds, thus we should not hinder ourselves from donating whatever we can or extend any assistance that we can offer. We must put aside the mentality of such calamities as being “usual” or “lagi na lang.” Instead, the Ateneo community should develop a sense of awareness and the mind set of being a man and woman for others. Hence, let us continue to conduct relief operations not only for those who are victims of calamities that rarely occur but also for those who are victims of the usual floods during the rainy seasons, the victims of violence, and the victims of injustices here in our country.



the only Philosophy teacher that is Muslim, how does this become a part of the way that you teach Philosophy? S: Father Moga once said that philosophy is about two things: what others say and what you say. In teaching, I try to present to my students a variety of views in the hope that they will eventually form their own views about the world. I do not impose my own beliefs and opinions to the students. There are times when I would bring up certain things about Islam, but I only do so when there is a need to clarify misconceptions. I always remind them that we are looking into what others have already said in the past and they can always agree or disagree.


arah Mae R. Ismael took her degree in secondary education only last March 2012. She was a magna cum laude graduate due to her splendid academic performance. Currently, she is with the Ateneo as an English and Philosophy instructor. During her college years, she was an exchange student at the University of Pennsylvania. BEACON: As an Education student who graduated with a major in English, why choose to teach Philosophy? SARAH: I believe that English is interdisciplinary and that is one of the reasons why I chose to specialize in it in the first place. Therefore, I think teaching Philosophy is not such a far-fetched idea. In teaching Philosophy, you need to ask the right questions, and to be able to do that, you need a good language faculty to assure that the questions will come out the way you mean them to. It was really Father Moga who started my interest in Philosophy. He introduced me to various literatures about the field and I found them interesting. I still get to use the things I learned in my undergraduate course because I teach some English courses as well.

does not warrant any special feeling. For me, the concern is more on being the neophyte in the department. More than anything, I feel pressured to deliver well because I am in the midst of veteran professors who are very knowledgeable about the field. B: In AdZU, Philosophy teachers tend to lean more towards the Christian perspective given their religious denomination. However as

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main vigilant. Two writers from Zamboanga Today have even characterized Zamboanga in these terms: “a city of killings and apathy” by Jeng Cruz and “a negotiation center for kidnappers” by Rex Miravite. Zamboanga then has been labeled through the local government’s decision as a Latin city – how unexpectedly appropriate. Clearly, we share so much more with our Latin American counterparts than mere culture, history and language. Albeit, the “danger zone” feature that is similar may differ in gravity given that compared to the crime and violence situation in Latin America, ours in Zamboanga is so much tamer. Nevertheless, we cannot deny that the parallelisms still exist and what is more unfortunate is that we claimed the similarities with the goal of changing our image for B: How does it feel to be in a malethe better. I guess the concept of dominated Philosophy Department? better research and decision making S: Being the a female in the departshould have entered into the picture ment is a minor technicality that

S:That experience gave me the opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures. It has made me more open -minded about people’s differences. The classroom is already a microcosm of the world; therefore, I think the experience made me more ready to face a classroom with a diversity of students.

B: Is wearing the Hijab more of a symbol of your devotion to your religion or a stand that Muslims have the right to practice their religious beliefs even in a predominantly Catholic school? S: It would have to be the former. Fortunately, Muslim Ateneans do not have to fight earnestly for the right to practice their religious beB: As a recent graduate, how did you liefs because I believe that the cope with the quick transition of stu- Ateneo already acknowledges and dent to teacher? respects this right. S: I had my practicum during my last year as a student and the experience B: What is your personal opinion definitely helped. I’m still adjusting on the policy of banning the wearthough, so I take it one step at a ing of the Hijab that Pilar College is time. imposing right now? S: I prefer not to give my opinion B: What problems did you encounter on this issue. The reason why this as a new teacher? issue has escalated to national and S: One of the greatest challenges I even international levels is because have is handling students who are as people readily voice out their reacold as, and sometimes older than, I tions that are not necessarily based am. Of course, I want students to on facts, but on biases and personal feel that they can talk to me when opinions. I believe that Pilar College they need a friend, but sometimes is now working on a resolution. I’m over-familiarity comes in. They also not saying that I am apathetic to this tend to think that they can sweet talk issue; I am merely willing to let their way out of requirements and them, Pilar College, try to solve the such. issue without adding the burden of my judgment, which, by the way, B: How did your experience as an will not help in solving the issue. exchange student at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania contribute to B: As one of the people who were your teaching? BEACON ASKS… | PAGE 12

in this case.

might as well expect a grim future and still be feared by nonZamboangeños from all over the country. A certain school might just as well get a bigger tarpaulin since the number of gunshot killings will definitely increase if nothing can be done to stop or minimize such crimes.

I do not begrudge the local government for such an oversight considering that “Asia’s Latin City” sounds beautiful and enticing enough for them to be swayed into its favor as the city brand. However, it is the fact that the oversight has brought into light the status of Zamboanga’s crime rate and the In the end, everyone in Zaminefficiency of law enforcers to se- boanga should do their best to assure cure the welfare of its citizens is the our city’s security. Law enforcers and problem. residents alike should be able to work together, the former in enforcFor when will effective ac- ing the law and the latter with being tion be done? Will it be when we are vigilant and aware enough to report indeed in the same grave situation the crimes that they have witnessed. as that of our other Latin city name- True enough, “Ciudad Latina de sakes? Because with the current Asia” sounds marvelous compared situation as it is now, where we can to our other two titles of flowers and be compared to the other cities who sardines. This is why it is in everyare known for having one of the one’s best interest to show the good highest crime rates in the world side of being a ciudad Latina and not since we have unwittingly named proliferate further that such cities are ourselves to be one of them and but homes to people who are on the have found that we are the same, we wrong side of the law.



Is “it” an Atenean, or is “it” not? WORDS: MOHAMMAD ZEN N. JOHAN, PHOTO: KELVIN J. CULAJARA

Of course! Ateneo is IT. So I have to be in IT.”- This was the answer of a second year Atenean when she was asked how an Atenean should be. Common to the dazzling world of glamour, the word “IT,” has evolved to mean the most obsessed and what’s hot. And usually- IT also comes with a hefty price. It is hilarious but disturbing to say, that to some or even to many, the worth and essence of being an Atenean is comparable to a dress by a local designer and unknown shoes, bought from two separate boutiques just near the Ateneo. We wonder- if Ateneans really are serious about being IT, why don’t they go for Puglisi, Dela Renta, Herrera or Givenchy couture? If they lose blood with these international names, at least a dress from Topshop, Madison or Zara paired with red soles would console IT. Ateneo is known mainly because of its distinct Jesuit education. According to Fr. Willie Samson SJ., we also have three schools on top of the University: The School of the Head (Excellence), of the Heart (Spirituality) and of the Hand (Citizenship). But as we do a careful analysis for the sake of integration, has it really equipped the students? Can we generally conclude that we have grasped the teachings of the three schools mentioned above? Well, to a certain degree, we can say yes. In totality, we believe that we Ateneans are intelligent. No matter what our academic remarks are, we still believe that along the process, we were able to pull it off. Ateneo has also accomplished so much in peace and social development as deemed by its vision and mission. We have core offices like the SACSI, APCI, ACLG, and CCES that do their mandate to coin initiatives of their respective specializations. We also have substantially strong organizations in the campus that are involved in engagements and advocacies that are sometimes, big in scope. But despite of these gestures,

there seems to be a question of the heart. All these appear to be a flash of brilliance in a dull background. As we strengthen our external efforts, we tend to forget our supposed internal struggle for our interpersonal relationship and identity as Ateneans. Evidently, Ateneans have always been generally labeled as affluent. True enough, most of them come from Zamboanga’s upper and middle class. But this fact surfaced a soundless tension. Our excellence has also brought some of us into unmanageable sardonic expressions. Our hand too, has caused much incorrect perception towards our identity. Some students are looked down and made indifferent, just because they maintain a lower WPA than that of other programs. On the other side, the students who keep a high WPA that belongs to the believed most difficult program in the University are also labeled as nerds. Is there even a hierarchy of programs in the University? Students from a particular School have also been alarmingly called names, sweepingly labeled as poor and gay, and downright teased during competitions. The teasing comes from two sources: most students in that School are scholars, and many of its male students are gay. The word “scholar” has come to be associated with “poor”, and in a community where many belong to the middle and upper class, this is a big thing. Simplicity is one Ignatian value that is taught to us. Unfortunately, it is believed that apart from being enrolled in Ateneo being “class” is important, and being sosyal makes an Atenean. What is social by the way? Is it through the clothes you wear? Is it buying from boutiques and shops whose products are even 75% less the price when it was originally bought from the markets of Bangkok? Ateneans are taught to be humans. We are prepared to live in a way of life that employs mind, heart and hand. We are taught to have the

culture of openness and sensitivity to other cultures, personalities, and genders. We were also trained look, and understand the other side of the coin. In other words, we are taught to be sensitive and open minded. We were never taught to taunt. With this alarming level of lapses, we propose three changes, that although may already be present in the current framework, but needs more emphasis or actual implementation. Extensive review of the approach. First, we believe that the approach of an ignacian education is crucial. The current approach clearly shows that it is not effective. Styles and creativity must be taken seriously, especially in giving models. Second, formation programs have been met with concoction, from thrilling obedience, to lifeless compliance, to overt resistance. We believe that its value must not just be emphasized, but realized. It means expanding the current system into more effective, engaging, meaningful, advanced and creative format. We need to look at models and explore ideas like integrating service learning to our curriculum. And third, there should be the sense one “oneness,” in all these endeavors. It will be very confusing and difficult if the approach varies from one to another. Internalization. No matter what approach is used, it must be supplemented with processing. Students must realize it by themselves and not simply by telling them. At the same time, we, as students should be reminded that Ateneo is not simply about instilling knowledge, it’s about a holistic growth. Our struggle for excellence has also brought us to compete with one another. But competition in an ignacian context means competing with our self. It means struggling for the good which is not always easy. Whatever we show through our external efforts should also be reflected in the campus. As Ateneans, we should learn how to connect with one another. The act of discriminating others displays lack of

maturity and respect and shows arrogance. This is true for all; colleges should develop the mentality of helping other colleges and not constantly try to beat them. Instead of gloating over how their college is richer and bigger, why not extend a helping hand to other colleges? Students must also take away the “victim” and “IT.” So what if my clothes are cheap? And so what if your clothes are expensive? We are all Ateneans and as students, our goal is to learn, and not to show our show our believed to be “IT” clothes. Externalization. There is so much more to learn than what is taught by our universal faculty. If Ateneo seeks to form men and women for others, they should be deeply rooted in realities outside the almost bricked walls of our campus. We first grasp reality in lectures and books, but we complete this process by moving out and engaging the problems, joy, pains, triumphs, and struggles of others for ourselves. The students must be allowed to understand the world he/she is called to heal. Not just to reflective exposures, but also through meaningful engagements. In as much as students ask for more OJT and theory application opportunities, the Univerisity must also consider find creative ways in integrating service learning in these activities. If students will feel how difficult it is to be poor, they will begin to develop a sense of empathy for others and even for themselves. These are three summary points of the several ways of ensuring that Ateneans grow to be sensitive and open minded. There is a need to infuse a sense of urgency to begin exploring how to make these efforts more effective and meaningful for students. It’s rigorous and bloody, but we should. After all, it’s Ateneo, isn’t IT? _____ Mohammad Zen N. Johan is an economics graduate from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University. He contributed this article to Beacon on November 2011.

12 The challenge... significance of these events in their lives. They believe that nothing can be achieved in these events. But mind you, students of Ateneo, that very attitude that you possess is what hinders achievement of that greater change which you, yourselves desire. An example of this is that, most students normally rant about the tuition fee increases almost every year while cursing the administration that such hike was not justified. But to think of it, did these students even attend the public consultation on tuition fee increase before such hike was even implemented? Did they even dare to address their concerns on that public consultation? No. While the battle cry of most students is to defend for their rights to be heard, it is them who deny every opportunity to realize those rights. Part of the centennial celebration’s aim is to achieve change, to achieve a better tomorrow for the

● MISCELLANEOUS ● Ateneo. As part of the Ateneo, we must also do our share of change. Change ourselves for the better, in line with what an Atenean should be, for the Ateneo community. Ignore this call, and apathy wins again. Maybe I might propose a challenge to the Ateneo community. Should another university event take place, the professors should not require their students to attend them, and then the reality of how students really see these events will eventually float in the open. The next time a University event should take place, students should attend out of genuine interest. If a majority still attends, then maybe there still is hope, if not, then apathy once again triumphs and it’s back to square one. Will you heed this challenge? Should you do, there is a big likelihood for failure, but that is what makes it a challenge. Should this challenge be overcome, then what greater things we could achieve? Should apathy be brought down, then nothing can be out of reach.

tapped to conduct the preliminary

Beacon asks...

survey to determine if there is a clamor to modify the uniform for Muslim females who wear the Hijab, can you please explain the context of this proposal? S: The Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) started an informal signature campaign last year to allow Muslim females who wear the Hijab to wear long sleeved uniforms. This year, an ad hoc Uniform Committee was formed to look into this possibility. We are currently conducting surveys to determine if there is indeed a clamor from the female Muslim population to modify the uniform for those who are wearing the Hijab. If a significant number of respondents agree, that will perhaps be an advantage when the concern is raised to the Board. If the request is approved, female Muslims who wish to wear long sleeved uniforms will be allowed to do so, thus eliminating the need to wear jackets, sweaters or the like over the school

uniform. Contrary to what others may believe, female Muslims will NOT be required to wear the Hijab nor will they be required to wear long sleeves. The MSA is pushing for this so that those who would want to wear long sleeves will be able to do so. B: How will you describe the treatment of Muslims in AdZU which is a Jesuit school? S: I don’t know how others see it, but in my opinion, Muslims in AdZU do not experience special treatment nor do we experience maltreatment, and this is how it should be. Based on my observation and experience, I never felt that re-


TALK TO US. WE DON’T BITE :) E-mail us at, You may also see us at Ground Floor, Xavier Hall, Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Your voice. Your light.

The Beacon Reveille  

The official student publication of Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Volume 68, Issue 3, August 2012