N OV E M B E R 2 013
You have experienced it – that temporal minimum. Only that, in the confines of time and space, you often mistake them as absolutes. Everything is so vivid in the now, that, when faced with adversity, you often regress to the surety of the past for some comfort or pattern: “I know I’ve seen this before.” “I know ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’” “I know that it cannot be down forever.”
Then, you pick these fragments up and start mapping the way out. The optimism become so preposterous – a leap of faith, even: on God, on fate, on Mom, on the brilliant teammate, that it just might work.
The statistics is important, of course. “Thousands graduated with this degree.” “Sixty people have it worse.” “Mark, Paris, and Manny are rich.” With stats stuck on replay and map stretched out before you, all that’s left to do is to trace the next moment with your every choice. But your hand grows smaller and your breath runs shorter, and chances of doing what’s right go nil. “I’ll change the plan.” “Why not wait it out?” “No, I’ll just crash my way to the end.” In the flurry of nothing and time’s transportation, and there! You’re up. But that doesn’t mean disaster’s over. You space out. Then, you space in. The thing is, not everyone spaces in enough in time to see the spectacular view while rising and peaking, that, by the time one does, he’s going downhill again. Maybe:
the past isn’t refined and sure; or the fragments weren’t pieced right; or the optimism isn’t preposterous enough; or the statistics chosen isn’t conclusive; or the map isn’t made at all; that during the time he hits that particular rock bottom, the momentum of preparation and support isn’t enough to keep him going, even after he’s not down there anymore.
People get trapped. So:
Color lives. Talk issues through. Encourage faith. Voice constructive perspectives. And if one’s got it really bad, walk with him and nudge continually until the summit.
It’s the most sensible and humane thing to do.
THE GUILDER INSTITUTE
TABLE OF CONTENTS 4
ON THE ISSUE OF NAPOLES AND THE PORK B A R R E L S C A M : A P E D E S T R I A N ’S G U I D E
On the first week of classes and Yolanda relief operations
A summary of Napoles’s case
A .Y . 2 0 1 3 - 2 0 1 4 Editor-in-Chief
CARLO PIO RODA ARVIN LIM
PUBLICATIONS Kyle Abella, Maki Bajit, Erika Buenaventura, Camille Calma, Angelica Calso, Edison Chow, Debbie Dizon, Maica Fernandez, Marty Gonzaga, Jose Isaguirre II, Raphael Layosa, Mikhael Magana, Nadine Magtibay, Socorro Montemayor, Kenji Muramatsu, Aiko Sagusay, John Soriano, Isaac Tambunting, Alyssa Uy ADMIN Alvin Amil, Patricia Anatalio, Hector Salatan, Renzo Tiangco, Josel Rivera CREATIVES Daniella Adriano, Carmela Mira, Jadiene Teng, Kristine Racoma, Shei Ruiz
DISASTER RESPONSE OR RESPONSE DISASTER?
A DIVE INTO THE VICTORS’ MIND
Just where was the local government in the universal effort to help the supertyphoon victims?
Featuring students who brought pride to the VSB community
THE TRUTH ABOUT FRIENDSHIP
The different friends you have, will meet, or you hope never to meet
F O R Y O U R C O N S I D E R AT I O N
A list of movies to watch before the end of the year
Why stressed and busy students must make time for exercise in their daily routine
UP, UP, VSB VSB reopens reopens for for the the 2nd 2nd semester semester BY BY KENJI KENJI MURAMATSU MURAMATSU DESPITE THE controversies that lurked the Cesar EA Virata School of Business (VSB) for the last semester, the said school and the university opened for its students through the general registration last November 4-6. The Computerized Registration System, in general, featured a new system of enlistment that divided the subjects into blocks and delegated. This new feature of the CRS, however, was not able to escape from glitches during the registration period. Some students were confused for they were accustomed to the prior system which was individual-subject-enlistment procedure while some found the block assignments per course rather unfair. Likewise, the newly-renovated Cash Office was re-opened in time for the tuition fee payment, working alongside the previous venue of payments, the University Theatre.
In addition to the changes in registration for this semester, the administration also opened online loan applications for the students. The Tri-College (Tri-Col) system of pre-rogging was also maintained and was adapted from the past semesters. It has always been a tradition that the Registration Volunteer Corps (RVC) spearheads the said event mainly through efficient and informative enrolment process. Working hand-in-hand with the RVC was the School of Business Student Council (SBSC) who was in charge of the collection of council and batch fee and of ensuring a peaceful and stress-free registration procedure. Furthermore, the said student council provided an entertainment lounge geared toward easing the stress of the enrolment process.
VSB helps Yolanda victims through relief ops BY ISAAC TAMBUNTING AMIDST THE rising death toll and unparalleled damage caused by Supertyphoon Yolanda, the student body of the Virata School of Business has made an effort to contribute in bringing relief to the devastated areas. The UP School of Business Student Council (SBSC) led the way by opening a booth to accept donations and by encouraging VSB students to help out at IskoOperations, a relief effort headed by the University Student Council. The donations received by the SBSC were forwarded to the IskoOperations relief packaging center which, on November 15, 2013, was situated at the College of Engineering covered court. According to SBSC Councilor Jet Padernal, the SBSC was able to collect around PhP 28,200 worth of donations. They used the funds to donate 2,100 bottles of water, 840 packs of biscuits, and 600 pouches to IskoOperation. The remainder was given as cash donations. “The output of donations and the influx of volunteers to IskoOperations for the typhoon is very overwhelming,” said University Student Council Councilor Dan Guzman. “We have already packed close to 9,000 goods, (as of November 15) and we’re going to surpass that by today.” “In behalf of IskoOperation, we would like to thank each and everyone of you who helped during this time and for uniting with the entire country and even with the world,” Guzman added.
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On the Issue of Napoles and the Pork Barrel Scam: A Pedestrian’s Guide BY CARMILLE ROMERO DURING THE past months, much has happened about the pork barrel scam implicating Janet Lim-Napoles and certain lawmakers. Outrage broke out among the people because of the misuse of the pork barrel funds--a clear manifestation of corruption. And it was yet just another tip of the iceberg – weeks later, other issues, such as the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and new Napoles-like masterminds have been discovered as well. To get to the root of the issue on pork barrel, it would be good to understand why it was institutionalized in the first place. The Congress is composed of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each year, every senator is allocated PhP 200 million and every member of the House of Representatives is allocated PhP 70 million as part of the congressional pork barrel. Named the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), these are funds which are supposedly used to finance programs identified by the members of the Congress. How and where such funds are used is based on the discretion of the lawmakers. In the past years, lawmakers allegedly misused their pork barrel by typically getting 20-50% rebate from their contracts in public work projects, such as infrastructure. This would lead to the projects becoming substandard, incomplete, or being forgotten altogether. Due to the exposition of this alleged corruption of pork barrel, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) implemented stricter rules for the release of funds. For this reason, lawmakers came up with another scheme for taking advantage of their pork barrel. In order to ensure success, they need somebody to help them execute the scheme efficiently. Here is where Napoles enters the scene. Surprisingly, the process was fairly simple. It starts when Napoles agrees with a lawmaker on a split arrangement on where to put the funds coming from the PDAF. The lawmaker then writes a letter to DBM for the release of the fund. Once DBM has issued a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO), a document that facilitates the release of funds, Napoles then receives a copy. Immediately after that, it is expected that she releases the money for the lawmaker in accordance with their agreement. Now the lawmaker, along with his representative/s, has taken their slice of the cake. The other portions go to somebody else. When the lawmaker creates an endorsement letter identifying to which NGO the funds go to, and presents it to the Implementing Agency, whose head also gets a slice of the cake, a check is issued to the NGO. It is the projects of these NGOs which were revealed later on to be bogus. Once the NGO deposits the check to its bank account, it is withdrawn by Napoles’ employees and
delivered to either her office or domicile. There goes the final slice of the cake. Overall, allegedly 60% of the released PDAF go to the lawmaker, 5% to the lawmaker’s representative, 10% to the head of the implementing agency, and the final 25% goes to Napoles. The aforementioned process accounted for the 10-billion pork barrel scam exposed by Benhur Luy and other the whistleblowers. Benhur Luy, the principal witness to the scam was Napoles’ second cousin. According to his testimonies, he worked for Napoles wherein he was assigned the transactions with the lawmakers using fake NGOs. This exposé triggered the Million People March on August 26 where people called for the abolition of the pork barrel system. Aside from this, there were still a lot of demonstrations staged by people from different sectors. Clearly, this corruption was not expected by Aquino’s “boss” in his “tuwid na daan”. Three days before the Million People March, just as people were calling for the President’s take on the issue, he gave a statement on the abolition of the PDAF. However, upon digging deeper into the President’s statement, his plan is not to abolish but to overhaul it. After investigating and prosecuting the people behind the misuse of pork barrel, changes will be instituted so as to limit the menu allowed for government funding. Project proposals would be upfront and soft consumable and quick infrastructure projects will not be approved. NGOs and GOCCs will no longer be able to channel funds. Finally, government bidding will be publicized. As much as the President shows to reform the policies on the PDAF, it appears that the same old system would remain intact. Most people say that a more important reform would be to rechannel the funds and allocate it to sectors in need of it such as health and education and abolish PDAF in its entirety. Others call more radically to abolish even the presidential pork. The more pessimistic ones say that corruption will remain in the system regardless of reforms. Which solution would be best is yet to be determined. Sources:
http://www.rappler.com/nation/37132-aquino-abolish-pdaf http://www.rappler.com/nation/38699-napoles-scheme-pdaf-infographic http://ph.news.yahoo.com/pork-scam-infographics-090326962.html http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/09/05/1172701/house-scraps-2014-pdaf http://moneypolitics.pcij.org/data-a-day/definition-of-terms-saro/ http://www.sunstar.com.ph/breaking-news/2013/09/12/whistleblower-testifiessenate-hearing-pork-302827
DISASTER RESPONSE OR
RESPONSE DISASTER? BY PLACIDO PENITENTE
PHOTO FROM MOUNTAINMESSENGER.COM
IT’S BEEN more than a week since the strongest typhoon of the year ravaged the Philippines. As you may have observed or even have taken part of, people have gathered in relief operations to send their help to the people of the Visayas region. In UP alone, we’ve seen the likes of Isko Operation and Tulong Kabataan, accepting donations and — with the help of selfless volunteers — working hours repacking them for the families who’ve lost everything. In this time of dire need, we see the Filipino spirit working as one to help our countrymen get on their feet again. It is BAYANIHAN in action at a grand scale right before our eyes. However, in light of this, you might have noticed that there are — most apparent in social media — people who have been criticizing certain groups, particularly the government, because of their response to the disaster. Of course, you might say that now is not the time to throw dirt at one another and point fingers. That is true. But perhaps to understand why these people do this despite the fact that blaming others is the last thing that we need, we must look at what has been happening through their perspective and try to see what it is they see.
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First of all, let us look at the president himself. We say that blaming is not productive and cannot help our people in need. That is true. But let us look at His Excellency’s first response: “Yung Tacloban, hesitant lang ako. Para bang hindi ganun ka prepared...compared to other areas... Siguro I will reserve comments muna at this point in time hanggang mas makumpleto natin yung datos,” (quote lifted from ANC, 9 November 2013). Excuse me, but if I may point out, is that not a statement of putting blame on the local government of Tacloban? In this statement alone, the president insinuates that Tacloban’s government is responsible for the devastation in their area. The very first thing our president does in less than 24 hours after Yolanda is to blame Tacloban officials. Might I ask: is that the right attitude of a statesman? Moreover, as we have established, is that helpful? Inquirer’s Christian V. Esguerra presents one possible explanation: “Aquino did not name names, though he had indicated earlier that Tacloban City, which bore the brunt of Yolanda, was not well-
“We will deal with the political matters and cry foul at what must be deemed un-acceptable later. For the mean time, let us continue to pray for our countrymen and work to help them in their time of need.”
prepared. The city mayor there is Alfred Romualdez, whose clan is a bitter political rival of the Aquinos. Romualdez was himself a victim after a huge storm surge battered the resort he was supposedly inspecting.” (Esguerra, Inquirer News) Is it not quite bothersome—disgusting, even— that in the midst of such devastation and loss of lives, politics is still the main concern of our own president? Because the mayor is a political enemy, he quickly throws the blame on him? Is this a proper response from the head of government? Aquino aside, let’s take a look at the BIR. On the 14th of November 2013, Inquirer reported: “The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday clarified that relief goods both from here and abroad for the victims of monster typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) will be spared from tax as long as it is coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development
(DSWD) or accredited private foundations.” (Tetch Torres-Tupas, Inquirer News) This report sparked much rage among netizens who cried foul against such practice in government. Though Henares justifies such via RA 10121, common sense dictates that to prioritize tax in the midst of the tragedy is quite selfish. Not only is it selfish, but the fact that it would effectively delay and even decrease the donations reaching the families would make anyone say that the practice is indeed of bad taste and quite inappropriate. Is this disaster response, or a disastrous response? These are just some of the many reasons why people have been criticizing the government. Yes, throwing dirt at each other is the last thing we need at this time, but perhaps to point out dirt that must be cleansed would also be helpful. A lawyer I look up to tells me, “We will deal with the political matters and cry foul at what must be deemed unacceptable later. For the mean time, let us continue to pray for our countrymen and work to help them in their time of need”. Let’s help our people, and let’s help clean the dirt. It’s not too late.
THE TRUTH ABOUT
FRIENDSHIP BY MA. ANGELICA ESMERA CALSO THEY SAY you never know the worth of water until the well runs dry. This proverb, however, has never been—and shall never be—relevant in viewing friendship. Why should you drown yourself in a seemingly bottomless pool of guilt—regrets from not having valued your friends in times that they had been beside you—when you can simply start over by meeting many other friends? Memories of friendship can be easily replaced by even better ones because the world would always hold an immense supply of friends so long as you seek friendship. Are you looking for a new friend? The following list contains the classes of the most precious friends, who are undeniably worthy of your attention.
T H E AC A DZ O N E R
The Acadzoner recognizes the fact that it is quite perplexing to instantly take in a chunk of information, such as effectively managing one conversation that encompasses nearly all of the facets of your lives. The Acadzoner, therefore, focuses on only one aspect of your lives—the academic life. This friend regularly calls you to clarify lessons, always texts you to ask about homework, and occasionally chats with you in the hallway about how difficult the most recent exam had been. Like any other student, The Acadzoner and you both need someone, who is eager to listen and able to understand the ins and outs of the complex, academic life. Hence, if you are capable of staying in the acadzone as much as The Acadzoner is, then you live up to the standard that a friend in need is a friend indeed.
This friend is similar to The Acadzoner. With The Orgzoner, conversations would revolve around persons, things, events, tasks, and responsibilities concerning the organization that both of you belong to. In addition to the same benefits of being acadzoned, a friendship with The Orgzoner is a reliable preparation for succeeding someday in the “real world”, where nothing but a professional relationship is highly expected from you.
T H E F A M I LY F R I E N D
This friend may be also known as The De Jure Friend—one who is rightfully your friend because The Family Friend’s parent/s and yours graduated from the same course in the same school and / or are closely working with each other in their careers (e.g. partners in a profession). Meeting The Family Friend may be only as frequent as attending the social gatherings. But talking to each other about the past of your parents as students, the present of your parents as colleagues, or the future of both of you as pursuers of the career paths taken by your parents raises very useful life insights that such a conversation more than compensates for the seasonal communication. An inheritable friendship, therefore, must definitely be one of the most treasured forms of heritage that you may receive from your parents.
T H E F AC E B O O K F R I E N D
This friend is the social butterfly, who never fails to bring social networking to life. Despite having more than a thousand other friends on Facebook, this friend neither overlooks nor forgets you. The Facebook Friend always finds time to chat with you about a request for a like for some things (e.g., status, photo, and fan page) or for gifts, lives, and other forms of help in order to accomplish a worthwhile game. Entertaining this friend, therefore, not only makes you realize how much crucial your help can be but also causes you to feel extremely satisfied as it will always be better, indeed, to give than to receive.
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They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer. What makes connecting with The Frenemy even more special is the bunch of rewards that you can reap from successfully handling the challenge of keeping this friend “between close and closer”. The existence of The Frenemy is the essence of a friendly competition. For instance, The Frenemy and you may collaborate in terms of (1) working in the same group for an academic requirement through cooperatively aiming for a high group grade for the output but individually striving for a high score for the peer evaluation, and (2) conducting a group study for an upcoming exam through cooperatively aiming for grasp of basic concepts but individually striving for knowledge of more comprehensive matter. A friendship with The Frenemy, therefore, is the epitome of the fact that not only parasitic interactions but also symbiotic relationships can thrive in our ecosystem.
THE TWO CITIES
Do you know that the number three in feng shui signifies communication? Communication is one of life’s vitals, especially for The Two Cities, who have been both a friend to you for a while and are now in dire need of moving away from their respective spots within the wide friendzone. As The Bridge, you bear the critical duty of paving the way for a special friendship to bloom between The Two Cities. A friendship with The Two Cities, therefore, entails a sense of fulfillment that leads to your self-affirmation.
THE TWO WHEELS
The Two Wheels are a revamp of The Two Cities. This time you are The Third Wheel, whom The Two Wheels heavily rely on for initiating communication only in far tougher circumstances, such as when these friends are caught in a misunderstanding that poses the threat of these friends reverting to being The Two Cities. Hence, they may still invite you to dates, in which you must remain alert in order to make sure that these friends would never leave a fight unresolved. Being designated as The Third Wheel, therefore, presents an honor greater than that from serving as The Bridge. Having helped in reaching equilibrium is one thing; being the equilibrium itself is another. Moreover, being able to stabilize the special friendship between The Two Wheels when you cannot mend your own is more than adequate to prove yourself without the expense of living for mere egocentricity.
T H E W H I S T L E - B LOW E R
The Whistle-blower sustains considerable appreciation for private matter that you share with this friend to the extent that this friend deems your life an open book—one that is must-read and a deserving best-seller. The Whistle-blower thinks your secrets, whether or not these are trivial, are worth sharing to the public no matter how much you humbly tell this friend that you do not intend to reveal your secrets to other people. The Whistle-blower, therefore, is one of the most selfless friends that you can have as this friend chooses helping many other people discover your secrets over possessing self-esteem derived from the exclusivity or the prestigious feeling of being the only person entrusted with your confidential information.
T H E G R E AT P R E T E N D E R
This friend disregards the exhaustion caused by carrying two personalities. Despite the fact that facilitating the perfect timing of switching from one personality to another necessitates utmost effort, The Great Pretender is more than willing to continually praise you face to face while carefully informing other people behind your back about your qualities, words, and deeds that this friend considers undesirable—all of these just to ensure that you would never feel even the slightest degree of offense. A friendship with The Great Pretender, therefore, is one of the healthiest relationships that you can enjoy in your lifetime. If you would ask me why I did not include The True Friend in the previously mentioned list, then I must ask you who The True Friend is. Could you describe The True Friend? Absolutely, you cannot; no one can. The True Friend is a mere myth. Hence, do not be fooled! There is no such person as true friend as much as there is no such thing as priceless friendship. Friendship can never be priceless; forgoing the truth is the price that you must pay for friendship. The more truth you forego, therefore, the more valuable the friendship would become. Only when nearly the entire truth is given up would pain cease demanding to be felt in order for friendship to really begin to blossom—this is the truth about friendship. Do you believe in this truth about friendship?
A Dive into the Victors’ Mind
BY D E B B I E D I Z O N A N D S O C M O N T E M AY O R P H OT O S F R O M P E R S O N A L F AC E B O O K AC C O U N T S
T H E A M B A S S A D O R S O F G O O DW I L L - P H I L I P P I N E S B y : t h e N at i o n a l F e d e r at i o n o f J u n i o r P h i l i p p i n e I n s t i t u t e o f A c c o u nt a nt s Rank: S econd Runner Up S p e c i a l Aw a r d s : M s . B e s t i n L o n g G ow n , M s . C a r e l i n e C o s m et i c s , M s . P i n k w at e r , M s . B e s t i n S w i m s u i t , M s . C o n g e n i a l i t y , M s . Pe o p l e ’s C h o i c e
A BALANCING ACT “Preparing for this pageant was really challenging. I had to balance my academics and my rehearsals for the pageant. During my free time, I practice my posture, my walk, my poses and my smiles for every segment of the competition. I also had to lessen what I was eating and had to find time to exercise-- squeezing all these in my tight schedule to study for the finals. It really was a tough journey but looking back, I now believe that it was worth all the hard work I’ve gone through.” THE DRIVING FORCE “One thing that made me really determined to pursue this journey until the end was that I believe that this chance comes once in a lifetime. Growing up, I was taught to grab opportunities given to me by the people who believe in my capabilities, to share what I know and showcase what God has blessed me with.” RISK AND RETURN “I knew from the very start that this journey would make me take so many risks considering the fact that I’m currently in 3rd year of BS BAA, an equally challenging course. But I also knew that I had in myself the courage to take all these risks and give it a try; gladly, I have succeeded. For me, the journey to being the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants’ Ambassador of Goodwill was truly a risk worth taking.”
F I O N A AY T O N A
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T H E N E S T L E M A N AG E M E N T I M M E R S I O N F O R L E A D E R S H I P E X C E L L E N C E S u b j e c t : “ a c r o s s b et w e e n a s h o r t - y et - e x t e n s i v e s t i nt i n b u s i n e s s s c h o o l a n d a c a l l fo r t r a n s fo r m at i o n a l l e a d e r s h i p ” Rank: First Place THE KEY TO SUCCESS “I would say that it was decisiveness that led us to success. We refused to overthink and just went with the strategy that both the data and qualitative insights gathered from the Brand Team pointed us to. In being quick decision-makers, we enjoyed the luxury of time to organize our thought flow and presentation manner. We also had plenty of time to brainstorm on possible questions that the judges might ask. Because of the clear presentation that we were fortunately able to come up with, we ended up receiving just two simple questions from our panel of six judges.” THE MAIN LESSON “A team must have a common goal known to all at the onset of a project. Sounds very basic, but very important.”
IAN DA ZO with TEAM KIMYSTRY
1 5 T H I N T E R C O L L E G I AT E F I N A N C E C O M P E T I T I O N By: the Financial Executive Institute of the Philippines Subject: Char tered Financial Analyst Level 1 Exam Rank: First Place UNDER PRESSURE “During the early phases of the training proper, we all decided that we should win the contest in order to keep the championship title with the university. However, as the training progressed, we learned that we are only putting too much pressure on ourselves. Only then did we realize that such pressure is not enough to motivate us. We depended on each other for support and from there, we became more productive.” BEFORE THE END “The morning of the finals round, we all agreed that we will simply do our best and dedicate our performance to those people who have been fully supporting us from day one. For us, being champions was a really huge bonus. We were just thankful and happy that we did not fail those who believed in us and those who have invested time and effort in helping us.” WINNING “For us, being champions was a really huge bonus. We were just thankful and happy that we did not fail those who believed in us and those who have invested time and effort in helping us.”
N I G E L L E E , E A R L B AU T I S T A , AL YUSOPH, JOSEL RIVERA, ISRAEL TAN
F O R Y O U R C O N S I D E R AT I O N 7 more films to watch in theaters this 201 3 BY TOPY DAJAY IT’S ALMOST the end of the year; but if you love watching movies, you’d know that a lot of the best ones come out during the last few months, hoping to be the first thing that people remember come awards season. It’s my mission then to call into attention some of the titles I believe should be seen in theaters because of its great cast, apparent quality, and overall value for money.
THE BLOC KBUSTER S The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Nobody expected the first installment in the franchise to be as successful as it was, shattering box office records and even beating all Harry Potter films in terms of U.S. gross. The sequel follows the story of Katniss and Peeta on the aftermath of the 74th Annual Hunger Games and I’m sure most of us will be eager to find out what happens, whether we’ve read the books or not. I’m still wondering how they can get away with a PG-13 rating, though. Frozen If you enjoyed Tangled, then this Disney animated offering is a no-brainer. The studio has been on a winning streak ever since acquiring Pixar and now they’re about to release Frozen, which took years to complete, but early reviews indicate it turned out well. The comedy-adventure is headlined by Kristen Bell lending her voice for Anna, but expect Olaf the Snowman to be the real scene-stealer. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug An Unexpected Journey expectedly ended up as a lesser film compared to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but people don’t seem to care as long as they get more of Middle Earth. Indeed, The Hobbit is helped by nostalgia. But it’s also heavily backed-up by Martin Freeman who slays his role as Bilbo Baggins. Now if only I can pronounce Smaug correctly…
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THE OSCAR BAITS 12 Years A Slave My top pick to win Best Picture and acting nods at the Oscars. This pic from Steve McQueen (Shame) features the likes of Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, but most of the work will be done by relative unknowns Chivetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o. It could be the best film of the year, but its unapologetic focus on American slavery will most likely prevent you from seeing it more than once. American Hustle This will remind you of Silver Linings Playbook. Why? Because it’s by the same director (David O. Russell) and also it stars the same leads (Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper). In addition this late 1980’s crime drama involves Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner and the future Meryl Streep: Amy Adams. Surely those five people are enough to convince you.
Her It’s a movie about a writer (Joaquin Phoenix) who ends up falling in love with an operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The concept itself is fresh, intriguing and brilliant. You won’t ever see Scarlett in the film but it’s still completely dominated by women (Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams), but Chris Pratt is also around for the ladies. The Wolf of Wall Street This is a movie by Martin Scorsese, a director whose first and last rotten film based on Rotten Tomatoes was in 1972 and then went on to make over thirty fresh films in a span of 40 years. He teams up once again with Leonardo DiCaprio in this movie that’s perfectly fit for our course. Based on a true story of a con-artist who came into media attention in the 90’s, it’s could be Scorsese’s next Best Picture winner after The Departed.
WORKING OUT BY ALYSSA MARIE UY
R L COLLEGE STUDENTS are highly preoccupied people, who have too little time for too many tasks. VSBers are no exception to this; in fact, we are perhaps the most loaded and pressured ones in the university. Tons of requirements always take much of our weekly routines. This is why, oftentimes, we are deprived of time allotted even for basic needs such as eating and sleeping. How much more if we spend it on other less prioritized things like working out? Do we even have to consider this? Yes, especially when working out improves our health and performance. Weâ€™re talking about efficiency here. Working out improves our performance in class because of its benefits on our physical health. Studies show that it helps us sleep better because it increases the amount of time we spend in the deepest stage of sleep, and it smoothens and regularizes transitions between sleeping cycles. It prevents premature aging, keeping us fresh-looking even during hell weeks. It also strengthens our immune system which is greatly needed by students who are sleep-deprived. As college students, we need all the energy we can get. We use our energy to walk from building to building, to think and to do certain activities. Therefore, working out is beneficial because it increases energy and endurance. Also, at times, one may feel unmotivated to go to the gym to workout. But, once in the process, one feels more energized and hyped up. When asked why they workout, most of peoplesâ€™ answers include their desires to look and feel good. Gained muscle tone, strength and stamina helps one feel better compared to the time when out of shape. Boosted confidence and self-image, therefore, makes us healthier emotionally. Exercise promotes a happier and livelier disposition. Studies have shown a clear correlation between working out and happiness. According to it, physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that produce a sense of euphoria in the brain. The Huffington Post also adds that there are greater feelings of excitements and enthusiasm. Amanda Hyde says that these are its discrete benefits. Similar to what was mentioned earlier, you
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feel better because you become more energized. It also improves your mood and prevents mood swings. Improving mental acuity is one major benefit of working out to students. Along with its advantages to physical and emotional health, this is one factor which greatly increases our efficiency. A source says that people who work out on a regular basis have better memory, reaction time, and concentration. Aerobic activity stimulates the middle-frontal and superior parietal regions of the brain, which are associated with attention and keeping goals in mind. Mental sharpness is also due to the increased blood flow to the brain. They say, what is good for the entire body is also good for the mind. With this, our mental health is maintained. Stress, stress and stress. These are the three things college people deal with most of the time. From planning sessions to case studies to grueling reviews for exams, we certainly need a break. We need something as relaxing and as de-stressing as a workout. Instead of spending our time on social networking sites, it would be better then, to set it aside for workout. A source claims that exercise reduces stress, depression and anxiety. It diminishes electrical activity in tense muscles as soon as you finish your workout, which makes you less hyperactive and jittery. The endorphins released after workout also promotes relaxation. It also prevents depression because these endorphins make you happier. Busy students like us need to get things in the littlest time possible. Therefore, the increased efficiency that exercise and workout gives us helps us accomplish our daily chores faster. In line with this, working out also maintains our health amidst the pressures, demands, and deprivations of college life. It relaxes us every time we are stressed with school and org work. It also improves our mood and so, we can establish good relationships with the people around us. We learn how to manage our time to fit it into our hectic schedule. Indeed, working out has much more benefits than we thought it had. Sources: http://www.askmen.com/top_10/fitness_top_ten/25b_fitness_list.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/23/exercise-health_n_1374389.html
RNR WEEK LAUNCH NOV. 19, 2013
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