Be B e y o n d
e x p e c t a t i o n s !
Oc t ober 2009
taking over your
Pinoy > Ondoy
Hope for the children
Top 10 ways my family drives me crazy
CHANGERS Elections, here we come! Santa Claus Lives Believe it!
We give you more reason to hope for a better tomorrow!
EDITORIAL BOARD EXECUTIVE EDITORS Angela Espinas Pamela See Lorina Tan MANAGING EDITOR Charlene Tiu ART DIRECTOR Luke Santiago CONTRIBUTORS Major Article Writers Angela Espiñas Pamela See TJ Manalang Kelvin Mendoza Minor Article Writers Guido Sarreal Charlene Tiu Krizia Yatco Feature Article Writers Mico Cortez James Desoacido John Laxamana TJ Manalang Luke Santiago Lorina Tan
B e y o n d
e x p e c t a t i o n s !
Beyond expectations indeed fter hours of planning, writing, editing and finishing, you have in your hands the maiden issue of Be Magazine. It’s fitting that we had chosen to start this saga with the theme of HOPE—for a spark of hope can turn a great idea into a masterpiece. Looking back, we started out with nothing but a vision of building a community that is strong in morals and values, a place where we, the youth who hang precariously off the ledge just waiting to jump, can find the strength and the support to leap higher than we or anyone else ever expected. We stand tall today not because we have reached our goal, but because we’re standing at the beginning of something great. It is our HOPE that you grow together with Be Magazine and that you continue to Be Outstanding, Be Creative, Be Funny, Be Crazy, Be Happy and most of all, Be Yourself because YOU are Beyond Expectations! Happy Reading!
Editor Be 3
3 editor's note
4 Santa Clause Lives
r e v o c pho t o
34 book shelf
TJ shares the top 5 "Santas" in his life. The Game Changers Learn about the major factors that will ultimately decide how to win the 2010 elections.
13 Never Alone in the Country Road
What happens when technology takes over the family? Top 10 Things My Family Does That Drive Me Crazy Family is a love-hate relationship.
Photographed by Miguel Yatco
38 on tv
James unravels the theme of hope in the movie It Could Happen to You.
40 fun page
Enjoy a bunch of quotes and puzzles and reminisce the Top 5s of the 90's.
42 Nurturing The Youth, Training Leaders, Bulding The
22 I Hope I Cancer-vive 26 The Youth and Their Faith 29 A Funhouse Geared for Tomorrow
Mico shares how The Catcher in the Rye actually propagates 'hope' in spite of what its critics say.
Nation Billy Santos talks about training students through the Department of Education National Leaders Training for the Supreme Student Government Youth Leaders of Today Charlene interviews to two promising young women who show that the youth really is the "hope of the country". Pinoy > Ondoy Stories of struggle and recovery brought by the worst flood that hit the Philippines in decades.
58 horoscope 61 i find hope in...
se l f r u o y e b
#5 Homeroom Adviser
Santa Claus Lives (Why Elvis could not have been Santa) by:
Timothy Jordan R. Manalang
ne of the greatest letdowns you’ll ever encounter in your transition from childhood to adulthood is knowing that Santa Claus does not exist. You’re given this ‘silent pact’ that engenders you to ‘keep it a secret’ and not spoil the unpleasant surprise to any kid who still believes in Santa Claus. I still remember how I
found out there was no such thing as Santa. It was a cold December evening, and I hid under the sheets of the sofa where I caught a glimpse of my dad giving himself his own present: which I found the next day to be jackstones. I asked my mom about what had transpired that night, and that’s when they gave me ‘the talk’, which I still regret knowing to this day.
Call it childish, but believing in Santa Claus always made me happy. Imagine a fat beer-bellied man who’d deliver you a toy without you even aspiring for any particular one…unless for the occassional ‘To Santa’ list. It was even more wonderful because we didn’t even have a chimney, I imagined him getting out of our toilet bowl, or perhaps ringing the doorbell having my grandmother open the gate for him. It’s always exciting to not know something, and Santa Claus was just that, a mysterious figure who brings joy to kids and younghearted individuals like me. The happiness which I feel whenever I think about there being a Santa made me change my belief system a little. It made me think that celebrating the holidays would mean believing in Santa. Every time the holiday season passes by, I would delegate my own Santa. I would find particular situations or persons, to be my “Santa for the rest of the season”. Then, after picking my Santa, I then either: make sure I get something from this Santa or, make sure that Santa gets something from me. It’s either one or the other though, since it’s hard to do both. But so far, the best Santa Claus figures I have had are:
My homeroom adviser from high school was the first person I delegated as my Santa Claus, because I was sure that she would deliver. I was sure she was going to give me something over the course of the holidays, with me being her best student and all. She was a memorable Santa, because, as any rational gift receiver would think, a teacher’s gift to her students would generally and utterly be unwanted: handkerchiefs, picture frames, or anything belonging to my list of things I’d expect to get from the kris kringle game. However, my Santa Adviser gave me a gift cheque for dairy queen, knowing how much I love ice cream. It amazed me that she went out of her way to give me something personalized, and what she thought I would really appreciate. What’s even more memorable was that during the exchange, I got her shoelaces.
#4 Manong Maroling, A Taxi Driver
Manong Maroling is another unforgettable Santa. Manong Maroling was the taxi cab I rode during Christmas day to get to a dinner with my family. Manong Maroling, unlike any taxi driver, has a habit (or scam, I wouldn’t really know) of telling his soap operaBe 5
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like life story. He’d lecture about making sure that what I was studying was something that made me happy, to never go against the police officer that lives next door and about the relevant life lessons he had experienced. His stories would touch your heart, eventually making you add something extra to the fare, garnering his sincere thanks with words like: “Godbless anak, mula sa lahat ng taxi driver na nangangailangan ng iyong tulong, maraming salamat”. Clearly, Manong Maroling is so far the friendliest and most random Santa I have had.
#3 Micheal Jackson
Firstly, MJ is here not in reverence for his death, but rather because he has really procured the title of Santa in my 19 years of life. I do not really like the way Micheal Jackson lived his life, but I respect him for being so great. Micheal Jackson gave me one thing for Christmas: the Moonwalk. Ever since I learned that yiiou can view videos from the internet that contained instructions on how to do the moonwalk, I have carefully studied it and made sure that I master it. If it is any consolation however, this Santa is the only one I shed a tear for (take note, just one). Elvis would’ve been my other Santa, but he just gave us his trot, which isn’t as cool as the moonwalk, so MJ gets this special spot in my heart.
#2 The Person Who Created the Final Fantasy Games + Bill Gates
Second to the best Santa for me is the person who created the Final Fantasy games or the Xbox, or the Playstation. Every single year, I pledge 6
a goal of being able to buy my own Xbox or PS3, which unfortunately, fails every time. Nevertheless, it shows my child-like desires to receive the latest gifts until now. I remember how I had to save my money in the piggy bank with that goal in mind, but later on spending the cash for food or something consumable. I curse these Santas for making games because it interferes with my studying, but I also love them for the exact same reasons.
At the end of it all, the best Santa I have come across is myself. I have realized that whenever the holidays comes in, I’d promise myself a Santa. This Santa then represented my getting a present. This present meant that I’d promise myself to do things in order to get what I desire. I’d sort through catalogues, TV channels or surf the net for what particular ‘thing’ I want for Christmas. Then, I’d save up for the particular thing, or give effort in learning or obtaining whatever it is I am after. Perhaps the truest and greatest Santa exists whenever I give myself what I think I deserve for Christmas. Looking back, I allowed myself to be a Santa for other people whenever I look for my own Santa Claus. I was able to give gratitude to my homeroom teacher, to Mr. Manoling whom I was able to be generous, to Micheal Jackson whom I gave respected, and lastly myself which I have given patience, perseverance and discipline. I am my own greatest Santa. So, every Christmas, why don’t you find yourself a Santa and make sure you get something you truly deserve. Giving gifts now means more than an adult responsibility, rather it also means the awakening of the kid from within you, and believing that Santa exists; at least for the rest of the holidays. ◆ Be 7
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The Game Changers by
A youthful’ responsibility The youth vote, time and again, has been a hot issue during elections. Every other year, a plethora of campaigns and advertisements have tried to woo the first time voters to vote, or at least register. There have been a lot of elections in the past. What makes this one so different, and how important is the youth vote? More importantly, why should the youth vote? On September 11, 2009, the Ateneo held “One Tama: the Spiritual Aspect of Voting”, a forum that tackled and encouraged the youth 8
to register and vote. It featured the Ateneo School of Government Dean Tony La Vina, House Speaker Prospero Nograles as a representative of Davao, ABS-CBN Current Affairs’ Maria Ressa, and ABS-CBN News’ chaplain, Fr. Tito Caluag. The focus of the forum wasn’t much about the candidates, but rather the electorate, particularly the youth voters. The discussion was long and varied, but ultimately boiled down to the reality that the elections, more evidently so in this one, is about hope and change.
The hype The upcoming elections hold a lot of anticipation. In the next 7 months, the country will have a new president, a new set of senators, congressmen, mayors, among others. With a lot of political turmoil over the past decade, it is clear why every set of elections within the last ten years have been highly publicized. The upcoming election in particular will be a little more different, as Maria Ressa said the voters of this generation are “the game changers”. A lot of factors unique in this batch of first-time voters make it a “tipping point” of sorts, borrowing House Speaker Nograles’ words. This is primarily due to the potential power of the youth to swing the direction of the elections. There are two key factors that are speculated to make a huge impact on the upcoming national elections, and Philippine history: the internet generation and the new voting machines. The development of the automated poll machines may provide convenience and efficiency, but it also brings major concerns. Since the process has gone from the ordinary pen-and-paper to the all-new shade-to-vote, voters’ reactions could be those of shock and confusion.
Another concern is the lack of machines to replace non-functional ones. With only 2000 replacement machines available, while around 80,000 machines will be servicing the whole country, the odds of having a poll breakdown are quite underestimated. The change can go either way; it could usher in cleaner elections, or an electorate enraged and baffled with the new system. Regardless, it will still push through as per the decision of the Supreme Court.
The second equally important factor, which hardly gets mainstream attention as pointed out by Ms. Ressa, is the overwhelming influence of the internet. The political power of the World Wide Web traces its roots to U.S. political races in the 90’s and solidified its significance when, in 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency with Be 9
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to play a huge role in the elections. But the internet is only an empty the help of social networking sites, information highway uploaded video clips, if voters, particularly and advertisements the internet savvy and donations online. youth ones, do not The power of the see the point of elecinternet and its users, Social networking sites, such tions. A lot has been which is composed as facebook are expected to done to change this, of the majority of play a huge role in the 2010 and there is still a lot the youth, is a vast elections. left to do. force that can help swing the tide for better elections. Changing the numbers Because of it, free speech is taken To aid the seemingly lack of ento another level, and information thusiasm among the youth, many is made more accessible to the organizations and individuals public. It provides a new venue make pop-culturebased camfor media proliferation, one that is paigns. Mainstream movements freer and unbounded by the conand programs like “Ako Mismo”, straints of the hierarchies of con“Boto mo I-Patrol Mo”, among ventional media. Like the motto of Ohmynews.com, the dominant civil- many others encourage youth participation in the upcoming elecian journalism source in Asia goes, tions. “everyone is a reporter”. This new Ms. Ressa listed down key figfreedom of information disseminaures about elections and what the tion and social association is slated media giant is doing to help out on the upcoming elections. Also, she extensively detailed numbers detailing how many eligible voters Dean La Vina there are, how many first-time voters there are, and how many registered. The numbers are dismaying. According to Dean La Vina, only 10-15% of first time voters are registered and the general registration numbers are barely reassuring in terms of nationwide registrations. Certain efforts have been done to
improve the numbers by several entities. ABS-CBN launched various campaigns that promotes fair and active elections that traces its roots back to 2007 elections. There is seemingly a need for the youth to step up and take matters to their own hands. But for that to happen there should first be a realization of the importance of the system which has been fought for many times over. Looking Back while Moving Forward To emphasize the importance of elections and democracy as a whole, Fr. Caluag looks back two decades ago to the EDSA revolution of 1986. He reminisced how Fr. Caluag valiant the fight for democracy was during “those four glorious days of EDSA”. He remarked on how the Ateneans of that era went “down from the hill” to march the streets and bare the threat of detainment and death for democracy. As history tells us their efforts were not in vain, as the dictatorship fell and freedom was restored. It was a glorious triumph of the people, of the rich, the poor, the old, and more importantly the
young. The then 27-year-old Fr. Caluag, overwhelmed with the event, remarked using the words of William Wordsworth; “To be young and to be there was very heaven”. Indeed the people at that time had responded to the call with a sense of urgency, a sense of duty to the nation. Today, the youth is challenged to be like the youth of the past. But the challenge is to be tackled differently this time around. Despite no longer experiencing a level of tyranny as that during the 70’s, we still live in a system that needs change. But nostalgia is not the only reason to vote. There is more that compelled the Ateneans of that era and the whole Filipino nation to clamor and ultimately risk their lives for the restoration of democratic rule. Spirituality Of The Vote What revolutions past fought for is the very sanctity of the vote. The elections are indispensible to a democracy; it is said to be the voice of the people expressed in a civil and institutionalized way. “It is the bond of the people and their leaders”, said Nograles. More importantly, it has bearing to the way this generation and the future ones live their lives. As Dean Tony La Vina put it, “Yun ang tanging paraan na sinasabi Be 11
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natin na ito ang bayan natin at dito natin gustong pumunta ang bayan natin, sa pagpipili ng liderato natin (It is the only way to say that this is our nation and this is were want our nation to go, by choosing our leaders)”. It is therefore the responsibility of each generation to stand up and take charge of the future. To illustrate the real effects of elections on the citizens, Speaker Nograles narrates a conversation with a local politician after winning. He asked him, “what [are] your plans for the children and the poor in the area?” To this he was given the blunt reply, “I have no such plans”. The citizens have the power to prevent those kinds of leaders from being elected, they can choose for their own welfare and that of their neighbors. It is this moral essence of the vote that makes it so sacred; it is that which makes it spiritual. It is the very reason, according to Fr. Caluag, that a mother stood in front of a tank, fearful for life; it is the prayer on the lips of an Ateneo High School sophomore who locked arms with him back in 1986; it is the spirit of the nation marching and chanting in unison. They all believed in a “brighter future for themselves and the future generations.” They all hoped.
Today, as Fr. Caluag puts it “The ball is on your [the youth’s] court”; it is this generation’s turn to hope. New Hope There has been much talk about what is different about the upcoming elections. There has been much effort to encourage the youth vote, which comprises a large percentage of votes. Aside from the numbers, the youth vote is important because it is empowered by experiences and lessons from the past, and advancements in information technology. It is believed that this empowerment together with the vast number can make change a possibility. Every ballot one casts holds a new possibility for oneself and one’s loved ones. It can end the bad politics of today, or perpetuate it if not filled. A well-reflected on and educated vote is a vote for the future, a vote for hope for the country. This generation of voters has the right tools at their disposal. They are at the crossroads, hearing the echoes of the “yellow fever” past and clicking forward to the future. It is simply the youth’s duty and expression of freedom and hope. Why vote? Why not? ◆ Speaker Nograles
Never alone alone Never in the the country country road roadxx in By Angela Espinas
radled in their arms, you cry for the first time. Reach for their outstretched hands, you take your first step. Crying on their shoulder, you encounter your first heartache. We experience our own realities for the first time with our families by our side. It seems hard to picture life without them. However, as we get up on our own feet and start our own journey, we tend to unintentionally distance ourselves from them. With a ‘bff’ who we can easily tell everything to, a Facebook account to keep-in-touch with all our friends and meet new ones and an iPod to help us escape into our own little private worlds, our family becomes nothing more than another wheel to a car.
Our generation was born into a world of cutting edge technology—personal desktop computers have become a permanent fixture in all homes; cellular phones, which were previously only owned by corporate executives and middle- to upper-class individuals during the were given to almost every child; the simple cassette player has been long replaced by the multi-function-featured iPod; small and bulky television sets grew bigger, slimmer, and clearer; and print media and advertisements have gone digital. The list goes on and on. There’s no denying that such technologies make life so much faster and way more exciting for us. We’ve all learned to multitask and the time-consuming tasks that Be 13
our parents had to go through have been reduced to a few clicks of a button. Unfortunately, amidst all the excitement and fascination…these gadgets we hold so near and dear to us pose grave and serious repercussions, especially to our relationships with our family. I’m sure everyone has had those times when we’re so inthe-zone playing that latest video game or rocking-out to our newest album download that we completely ignore time, hunger and our parents’ voices telling us its time for dinner. John Vernon Pavlik’s book, Media in the Digital Age, mentions Dr. Carla Seal-Wanner, a Children’s media expert, as Dr. Seal-Wanner: saying that “parents worry “[parents] worry about about that the seductive that the aspects of seductive aspects of interactive interactive media and media and technology… may technolcontribute to ogy… may social isolation.” contribute to social isolation.” It may be surprising to know that by being too engrossed with the computer and the internet, the television and game consoles, we may very well be on our way to completely turning our backs on their
personal and human relationships! Most of us have already exhibited the symptoms: instead of running to a sibling or a parent at the end of a particularly bad day at school, we log-on to an internet forum filled with people we don’t know at all and rant to them. You may be asking: “What’s the big deal?” Imagine you just had a tiring day, you lock yourself up in your bedroom, plug-in the earphones and go on to concentrate on breaking onto the next round of Plants vs. Zombies. Now, what if a fire suddenly starts in the kitchen. Everyone’s panicking but nobody knows where you are or what you’re doing as you stay oblivious to the chaos until it’s too late. Now that may be an uberextreme case, but remember the news about a Korean who died of heart failure after 50 straight hours of World of Warcraft with hardly any breaks? After that came out, one can never really tell how far a wildly-engrossed child will go. Not only is it harmful to our personal health (and hygiene..
50 HOURS!). Technology today causes broken relationships. In some cases, teenagers succumb to such lures because of each of their current situations. Who can’t help but feel for Blair (of Gossip Girl) whenever she gets snubbed by
84% of teens prefer having family dinners versus the 16% who prefer to eat alone. her mother. In the fast-paced, economically competitive society that we live in, there would be parents who spend time with their businesses more than they do with their children. It’s easiest to cope with this by keeping ourselves locked up and preoccupied with the internet and media to have time to actually care. This unfortunate reality puts a huge strain on the relationship between parents and children, and soon affects the whole family. Affected teenagers are likely involved in such situations because they fail to realize how importance the family is to them. In fact, a 2007 survey conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University in the United Be 15
States indicates statistical evidence to show how important family dinners are. It shows that 84% of teens prefer having family dinners versus the 16% who prefer to eat alone. It is during mealtimes that families have the opportunity to connect and communicate despite their busy schedules. It is good to know that after a bad day at school or at work, family members can sit down by the dining table, share joys and sorrows, while being fully aware that there are always a few people in this world to fall back on. Family is hope. They catch you when you fall, open your eyes to the light when you only see darkness, and pave the way to your
independence in adulthood. We hope for a bright future because we know that deep inside, we dread the thought of leaving them and being alone in the world. We hope for our own loving family someday, because of how much we are loved now. What can we do today but create great memories with our families. Aside from having them take-part in your first-time realities, it wouldnâ€™t hurt to invite them deeper into your life. You may not know it yet, but as your family support system strengthens, so does your hope in life. Now the Nintendo Wii will probably be out-phased in a few years time but your family will never become obsolete. â—†
Family is hope.
TOP 10 THINGS
MY FAMILY DOES THAT DRIVES ME
CRAZY!!! And the Science of Compromise
By Lorina Tan
Fighting over the remote Dad wants to watch CNN, mom simply can-not miss the latest episode of her favorite teleserye and bunso won’t quit bugging everyone so that he can watch his favorite cartoon shows. What about me!? I’m sure countless battles have ensued on the living room couch for control of that remote and they never end well. The best thing to do is agree on a TV schedule that will accommodate everyone’s favorite shows… Now where did that remote go?
Finish your vegetables! It just gets a little irritating when mom starts voicing out her opinions on what’s on your plate and what she thinks you should be eating. “finish your vegetables!”, “don’t you think you’ve had enough for dinner?” and my personal pet peeve “Stop dieting!”. But before you freak-out over her suggestion of you bringing a lunchbox to school the next day, whether she’d like you to eat more or less, you have to remember that mom only wants to make sure you’re staying healthy to face all the work and stress of college specially cause she’s not always there to make sure you’re not just grabbing a cup of coffee or a pack of chips for lunch or something (which we both know you do sometimes). The solution? Compromise! Do as she says while you’re under her roof. You can always order a midnight snack later.
What are you wearing? I could ask my parents the same thing whenever they feel like reliving their 70’s glory days! One thing’s for sure, our and our parents’ fashion senses won’t always match. But instead of sneaking out so they don’t see your outfit, or worse, throwing a fit every time you’re asked to explain your wardrobe choices, think of it like a fashion critique or that quick tip (I think you’ll look better with your hair down) right before you exit the door. I personally trust my mom’s opinion when she points things out about what I’m wearing but I don’t always agree. Listen to what they say and at the very least consider it because this all boils down to being sensible. You may look and feel great wearing stilettos to school, but how would you fare in them while stumbling-about and rushing to your next class?
Back in my day… It’s bad enough to be stuck there listening to mom or dad tell you what their life was like back then, but even worse when they try to compare you to their 19year-old selves! Sometimes our good ol’ mums and dads forget how much has changed since they were our age. For instance, because of the text message, a professor or a boss could ask you to do something in the middle of the night, on Sunday’s, etc. While we are presented with new opportunities, we also have to face new pressures in our every day lives. It’s not easy for many parents to grasp this idea, thus giving rise to many squabbles and misunderstandings. Resolving this issue is really about group work more than anything. Try to give the old folks a glimpse of your life by simply telling them how your day went but extend them the same courtesy of listening and learning from their stories as well. It’ll help you understand where they’re coming from and perhaps give you a juicy tale to tell during family reunions! Be 19
Share and Share Alike What’s mine is yours sounds good on paper until you’ve saved the last slice of chocolate cake for dessert later only to find out that someone else took a bite (or five) out of it before you even had any. Or how about when your brother uses your favorite face towel to wipe his foot, fresh from the hitting the gym! Not only is it unhygienic, it irritates the heck out of people! The solution: setting mutually-agreed-upon boundaries. You and your co-habitants should make it a point to agree upon which things are share-able and which are off-limits. Hey we all have the right to our private stash of Snickers and Kit Kats!
Curfew So I’m about to graduate and GET A JOB within 4 years and you still want to impose a bedtime? Curfews are really born out of trust issues. Yes. Sometimes it could be because parents don’t feel that they can trust you with so much freedom. But this isn’t always the case. Your parents may also have trust issues with society in general. They don’t trust that nothing bad will happen to you when you’re out so late so they try to take preventive measures. One way you can work around the paranoia is to agree upon measures that will keep your parents at ease without you losing your autonomy such as texting back home every hour or whatever works for the both of you.
HOW Embarrassing! We’ve all at some point wished we could just disappear into thin air because of something our parents did or said in front of other people. (admit it! you just cringed at the thought!) But instead of getting revenge, You have the understand that the issue here is all about respect. Let them embarrass you once in a while, they deserve the right to do so after bringing you kicking and screaming into the world and putting-up with you for so many years. But do let them know if they’ve crossed the line at any instance. You don’t want to leave new company eyeing you awkwardly after talking to your parents for 5 minutes.
Sibling Rivalry When you were kids, sibling rivalry meant lot of screaming, kicking, biting, hair-pulling and shoving. Now it’s completely different (except for the occasional screaming). It’s inevitable for two people who’ve spent so much time together to not be at each other’s throats once in a while and while your brother/ sister may know exactly what to do to piss you-off by this point; But at the end of the day, remember that they’re still the one’s you will always be able to turn to in great need.
Nagging Parents When you think about it, parents can be as persistent as kids when they want something done. You can only hear “fix your room” so many times until it’s permanently etched into your head! The solution: Unless you’re being asked to do something completely beyond your capacity, just do it! It’ll save you precious time and ear damage.
SOME PRIVACY PLEASE! Privacy is a manysplendored thing in a household with a huge family where people barge into each other’s rooms at will and borrow things without needing each other’s permissions. Now while that may be very convenient for everyone in regular incidences, I’m sure you’ll agree that everyone needs their private space to “breathe”. For such cases, the best thing to practice is sensitivity towards other people’s space and privacy requirements. Living together for so long, one can tell if he/she isn’t really bothering someone else or is very much unwelcome at the moment.
pus m a c n o
I hOPe, I cancer-vive
By Timothy Manalang
“Hope has two beautiful daughters – anger and courage; anger at how things are, and courage to fight for how things should be”.
he realities of our world today inspire hope, not in the ‘fairy tale’ sense, but rather, they inspire through bitter realities, mistakes, and failures. Hope then is not about just being a beacon of strength, but having enough wisdom in order to know what to do in times when you feel that hope is lost. 22
~ Thomas Aquinas One such reality that fosters this need for hope is cancer. It is responsible for about 25% of all deaths in the U.S., and is a major public health problem in many parts of the world. Cancer patients usually seem to be encompassed with strong wills and positive outlooks due to the fact that they had to go through cancer’s painful na-
ture and treatments. Their realities therefore foster either religiosity or despair. Cancer can affect just about anyone, men, women, the elderly, but perhaps surprisingly, it can even affect children, from babies to toddlers to adolescents. Imagine the realities of childhood that they have to sacrifice in the face of their condition; such a limitation is well beyond what any child should endure. Imagine, losing your childhood and spending your days worrying about your health? The Ateneo de Manila University has certainly enacted well their vision of being men and women for others in providing for a sector
based cluster in their organizations. One particular organization that caters specifically to pediatric cancer patients is Kythe-Ateneo. No particular picture of reality can capture one’s sight as that of those children that are afflicted with a sickness that is usually associated with incurability and termination. How can I be HOPE? The organization presents more than one way, mostly through hospital visits, celebrations with the kids, and advocacy projects, but all leading to the same theme; that I can be HOPE if I care. I am HOPE if I give the kids a chance, if I give others a chance. It is also a reminder and an encouragement to them that cancer cannot be fought, only survived. This reality presents that being part of the organization is perhaps one of the most taxing, yet at the same time, psychologically and humanely fulfilling things you can undertake in all hope. Perhaps the best picture to capture the essence of hope in cancer is the experience of having one of the kids you visit die. The experience makes it seem like you experience one of your own deaths, you experience a paschal mystery, grieve for it, having being unable to reconcile the death of the kid with reason. The loss makes you emotionally unstable, troubling Be 23
you for the longest timeâ€Ś until you come to realize that all your efforts beforehand were not in vain. You realize that death is inevitable, and the time you spent with the kid are the moments when you participate in the kidâ€™s childhood, a childhood you try to provide in all happiness and hope. Only in hindsight do you notice where you find God in that picture, yet you know you are doing something good with your time.
"I am HOPE if I give the kids a chance, if I give others a chance. " Perhaps hope can be found in such a cause, beyond the faces of the children. Hope can also be found in death or having that responsibility and willingness to do some good. It is also helping someone achieve their true happiness, given the time that they have. It is easy to place theological significance in the experience, but it is different perhaps to experience the situation itself. Sickness persists as one of the central reasons which causes us to hope, and intensify our faith in God. Theology acquires its acquiescent value for an individual in the face of the experience of cancer. Through interac-
tion with cancer-stricken kids as a form of advocacy, it is able to lead one to experience subjectively and understand hope in its finest. The courage to do good, the power of hope, and fulfilling our humanity by being a person for others- these have all been laid out to us in the Ateneo. We are given the chance to see the realities that do not make us stale in hoping and believing. We are always in search for reason, and this search fosters hope.ď‚ľ
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The Youth and Their Faith By Krizia Yatco
ave you ever wondered just where God is in the lives of today’s college students? Well, a survey conducted on living out one’s religion can help answer that question. It seeks to find out if the youth places much value on their faith life by actively partaking in their own spirituality through Scriptures, the Church and its Sacraments, as well as prayer and devotion.
Out of a total of 100 randomly selected students as respondents, 84 % is Roman Catholic, 7% is Protestant, 5% is Agnostic, 2% is Iglesia ni Kristo, 1% is Born Again, and another 1% is Godist. Of course, we all have different experiences and relationships with God for many reasons, such as the way we were raised or which grade school we attended. Not only can we learn from others by sharing our faith; we also feel a sense of belongingness that can help us discover ourselves. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents said they have faith in God. Moreover, almost half the respondents (44%) are interested in reading the Bible. It is a very comforting thought that a clear majority of today’s youth still find Him relevant despite the fact that it is much harder to see God amidst all the complications of the modern world. The students who made this personal response gives hope to keep holding on to our beliefs, no matter the challenges
that come our way. Having God present in our lives gives us meaning and purpose. Eighty-two percent stated that they believe in Church teachings. The youth is susceptible to ideological influences, but they still give due importance to our Doctrines. This is essential because it serves as the foundation of our faith and morality. It brings us together as a community in the light of truth and helps us make some crucial decisions in our lives. It is quite heartrending to find that merely 6% of the youth pray the rosary regularly. This prayer is very beautiful for it narrates the relationship between the Mother Mary and her Son Jesus. The thing is it takes a good 20 minutes to finish all 5 mysteries. With the fast-paced way of life, filled with so many distractions, this can be considered a burden. On the same note, only 32% of the students asserted that they would prioritize school work rather than attend Sunday mass. Sometimes, Be 27
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we are so overwhelmed with our busy schedules that we lose sight of what is important; however, we must remember that we need to set aside some time to talk to God in prayer in order for our relationship with Him to flourish. Let us never forget that God is always worth our time. Seventy percent believe in valuing celibacy before marriage. As we know, sex is something sacred and so must be respected. Let us keep in mind that we must wait for the right time to give our whole self because it should definitely be special, as it is a gift from God. True enough, it is much harder to resist temptations during these times when casual sex is rampant. It requires us to practice virtues, such as prudence and
"merely 6% 6% of the "merely youth pray pray the the youth rosary regularly." regularly." rosary
temperance. Being good, pure, and beautiful, celibacy before marriage leads to selflessness and joy and ultimately, a more fulfilling relationship. A little more than half the respondents (53%) reported that their faith has been strengthened since entering college. In the words of John Henry Newman, “to live is to change.” We are continually growing, maturing. College is a time for diverse and new experiences that shape who we are, may it be in the form of a socially-oriented organization or an influential Philosophy teacher. With these encounters, we discover ourselves and our possibilities and this enables us to aim even higher. By making our faith play a bigger role in our lives, we are sure to receive more grace from our loving God. But before anything else, we first have to know where we stand in these numbers so that we can move forward. These are actually opportunities for acts of freedom for it gives us a chance to go deeper into ourselves and form ourselves. So let us salute one another! We always need help from the outside in order to become more aware of ourselves. Let’s act on the hope that we can still improve these numbers. If we look out for each other as we should, we can certainly reach a hundred percent!
e s u o h A Fun r o F d e Gear w o r r o Tom By Pam See
here is no dou bt that the school has beco our second hom me e. Even as a toddler, w e w ere already cond itioned to beco me accustomed to a learning en vi ronment even if that just invo lves playing with blocks and co loring pictures. Com e our pre-adu lt and teen years, th e school has be come a major tamba yan, a powerh ou se of knowledge and also a soci al ring wherein we were able to start building our own netw ork of friends. An d maybe even as we grow older, w e’ll still contin ue studying to ea rn more degre es,
build up our reputation an d increase our u nderstanding of the world around us. It all boils down to the fact that we, as human beings, have this insatiable nee d to know more. A s Descartes sa id, cogito ergo sum - I think, ther efore I am. True to that philosop hical thought, it is because of ou r ability to form though ts and think fo r ourselves that we are able to prove our existence as a human be ing. But have you ever thought of school as bein g fun? Maybe fun isn’t exactly th e right word for it since it only en compasses a ge neral behavior of amusemen t, but Be 29
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BLUE EAGLES!
isn’t that what the school is aiming for, to make learning fun? Going back to its etymology, school originally came from the Greek word σχολή (skhole), which means leisure. The Greeks apparently liked to learn things during their own free time but this notion changed over time when human’s thirst for knowledge changed the mean-
when our teacher would announce that we were watching the Magic School Bus? How about the times when we were almost dozing off in English class from studying Shakespeare and Greek Mythologies? But then again, there were also those unforgettable times when we were made to do our own contemporary interpretations
We spend so much time in school that all our activities we do there have become integrated in our daily routine. ing of the word from “leisure” to “learning”. Either way, the school can be seen as an institution that tries to make learning enjoyable for everyone under the supervision of teachers and mentors. It is a place that enables and encourages students to flourish and maximize their true potentials. Remember when we were still in grade school and how we were made to study and memorize all sorts of information regarding the anatomy, the universe, chemical reactions and all sort of mindboggling things? But remember the times how we would also look forward to Science class especially
of these literatures through class productions. We spend so much time in school that all our activities we do there have become integrated in our daily routine. The school doesn’t merely serve its purpose as a compulsory requirement for us to receive formal education but it has become a place filled with priceless memories of laughter, hardship, joy, challenge, and most of all, hope. Our parents started enrolling us in good schools in hopes that this will serve as our starting point to gain strong moral values that will help shape us become better individuals. They Be 31
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send us to these reputable schools so that we could attain quality education from the best teachers and be immersed in a lot of great opportunities that can serve as our leeway towards a better future. Elbert Hubbard, an American writer, publisher, artist and philosopher once said, “there is no failure except in no longer trying.” Sometimes, we may consider school as a burden with all the heavy academic requirements that we are made to do. We are forced to deal with terror teachers, troublesome group mates and challenging tests. We also try to balance our social life with that of our academics but it is through these times that we are able to learn how to set our priorities right. We join many organizations, immerse ourselves with different projects and try our luck in various competitions held by the school with pure eagerness and antici-
“there is no failure except in no longer trying.” - Elbert Hubbard pation that we will succeed and we will be able to prove ourselves worthy to our family, teachers and friends. But no matter how hard we try; there is still the inevitability of failure. We could have spent a great deal of time studying for a
Do we continue hoping or do we start regressing?
test or making a project only to receive a grade lower than our expectations. We could have already sacrificed a lot and exerted so much effort in our tasks only to be criticized by others. But in the end, it depends on how we react to these 32
trying situations. Do we mope around and become bitter or do we make these failed attempts as a good reason as any other to try again?
such as to see our crush, ace a test, share an idea, learn a little bit more compared to yesterday and to contribute and create an impact to our school community. In the end, what matters more than our grades is the relationship and the memories we were able to foster and develop with different people we have met along the way. Everyday we make every minute count so that as we grow older, we could look back and get the satisfaction in knowing that we were able to cherish and make the most out of our school years. It may be a bumpy road, but the journey will be worth it. Cheers to all the good times,
...in the end, it depends on how we react to these trying situations. A positive learning environment is one of the many reasons that make going to school exciting and worthwhile. Everyday, we wake up with many expectations
the championships, the trying moments and most especially, the bonds we have shared with the school community. ONE BIG FIGHT! ◆ Be 33
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The Catcher in the Rye
J. D. Salinger
Reviewed by Mico Cortez
Happiness is like a butterfly, which, when pursued, is just beyond our grasp, but which, when one waits patiently for, will alight on your shoulder.
or some people our age, happiness is a pursuit. It is a constant search and a constant longing that will last you for the rest of your life. We continually search for things and feelings that we think would make us happy. Happiness, for us, is associated with wanting. We want our own place and own car, a stable relationship, a weekend without anything school-related to worry about, a shot at that dream job that will ensure a comfortable future and so many more things. It is a constant activity, a conscious effort that governs our thinking and our actions. It is a search that seems to consume both our waking moments and our dreams.
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, narrates the story of one such search for happiness. It revolves around a seventeen yearold boy named Holden Caulfield and the situations he finds himself in after getting kicked out of school for failing four of his five subjects. Along the way, he meets all sorts of people, both old acquaintances and strangers, as he struggles to come to terms with himself, his identity, and ultimately, his life. The story is told in the first person point of view, with Holden as the narrator. It is told according to his perspective, hence, we get a glimpse of his thoughts, feelings, and emotions, described in
Catcher in the Rye front cover
throughout the book, and it would even seem that his life is utterly depressing, and that there is no salvation for him. It is easy to sympathize with this boy, because the reader immediately identifies with the troubles that he goes through. We've all had our moments of sheer desperation, and Holden's unabashed narration of his hopelessness seems to be the reason for this book's cult following among depressed people and high school students. However, if you are neither among this group, you can still gain a lot of new insights as his story slowly unfolds. Another recurring theme throughout the book is that of innocence: innocence lost, and innocence found. Without giving away any key plot points, I feel that the symbolisms that are constant throughout the story points to the fact that Holden is a teenager who hasn't realized that he has already grown up. He was forced to grow up, but he just isn't ready to admit it to himself. Aside from that, a preservation of innocence, as characterized by his little sister, Pheobe, would seem like Holden's ultimate goal, and his only salvation. In one of the more griping parts of the book, Pheobe asks his brother if he knows what he'd like to be if given the chance. Holden answers by quoting a line from a
painstaking detail. Key plot points, i.e. historical events in his life which explain the context of his reaction to a certain event, is narrated by the character whenever a need for it arises. This way of writing makes the reader feel that one really is in a conversation with Holden, as if he was a melancholic long lost friend who needed someone to pour out his emotions to. Since it is told in the point of view of a troubled seventeen yearold youth, the story would unavoidably seem maudlin at times. Sadness is a tone that is consistent
lf e h s k o o b poem by Robert Burns: if a body meets a body coming through the rye. He imagines thousands of children playing in a rye field, with no adults around, and with a cliff at the end of it. What he'd do is that he'd stand at the edge of the cliff and catch the children if they start to go over it: he'd be the catcher in the rye. The resolution of the story comes only at the end, which isn't also that explicitly stated. If one is not careful, the reader might be left with a feeling of hopelessness after reading it. Critics of the book are quick to point out that because of the tone that the book was written, it depresses people, and encourages them accept the futility of life. Holden's courage to live his life seems to be characterized by his unending pursuit of a
trivial happiness to another. However, the message that the book leaves is not of desperation but of hope. It starts with a search, but an end with a realization that sometimes an even more courageous way to live life (and to â€œpursueâ€? happiness for that matter) is to just wait. At times, it is easy for us to forget that there are some things in life which we donâ€™t have to continually search for just to be happy. Happiness can be found everywhere. It is already there, and all we need to do is to just stop and acknowledge it. This book is a reminder that no matter how bleak things are, there is always a silver lining. The Catcher in the Rye is a very honest book and a surprising source of inspiration despite the desperation that it narrates.
"Happiness can be found everywhere."
Mysterious Way Review by James Desoacido
ver one weekend a few weekends ago, HBO showed “It Could Happen to You” (1994) starring Nicholas Cage who played the role of the dutiful and moral policeman with an ambitious wife. While it seemed like an action film, the movie’s a light-hearted comedy about love and hope. The movie follows the meeting of a bankrupt waitress and a cop (Cage) who run into each other’s lives in a less than pleasant spat leading to a wager on lottery winnings. Unsurprisingly, the cop wins the lottery and is entitled to 4 Million dollars, which he promised to split with the waitress. His wife objects but he keeps his promise and soon greed causes a rift in their relationship. While his wife is busy finding ways to invest the winnings, he secretly gives some money away to charity, which his wife angrily deemed as wasteful. On the other hand, our unlucky waitress turns her life around with a little help from the cop, buys the coffee shop she worked for, and names a table 38
in his honor available for hungry customers who don’t have any money with them to buy food and offers them free soup. As things go on, the cop’s wife files for a divorce but he finds himself falling in love with the waitress without the money. And together they realize that “the money’s not important, what’s important is you”. It’s a touching story about hope that shows that even in a world where people are indifferent about most things and are only too concentrated in pursuing their personal satisfaction, there are still some who are nice, dutiful and moral. Hope comes when someone comes around to show us that hope is possible and there are people out there who are living the life of Christ and whose morality is strong and sincere. A small reminder that no matter how things turn out to be, there is still a little spark of hope in this society that will never fade. ♥
E G A P FUN s 5 p o +T By Luke
Top 5 Boy Bands 1. A1 2. Westlife 3. Backstreet Boys 4. Boyzone Top 5 Anime 5. Nsync 1. Ghost Fighter 2. Dragon Ball 3. Flame Of Recca 4. Samurai X 5. Slam Dunk
Top 5 Childhood Cartoon Shows 1. Tom and Jerry 2. Popeye 3. Flinstones 4. Scooby-Doo 5. Kimba, the white lion
By Mico & John
Top 5 Baon 1. Spam 2. Hotdog 3. Chicken Nuggets 4. Pan de sal w/ Chiz Whiz 5. Biscuits
Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles. ~ Samuel Smiles
Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.
Top 5 Robot Shows 1. Voltes 5 2. Daimos 3. Voltron 4. Gundam 5. Transformers
â€œObstacles are thing s a person sees when he takes his ey es off his goal.â€? ~ E. Joseph Cossm an, Entrepreneur
3 6 4 9 3
6 4 7 1 6 7 1 9 1 8 5 6 9 1 2 4 3 5 6 9 1 5 Be 41
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Nurturing The Youth, Training Leaders, Bulding The Nation By Guido Sarreal
or three years, student leader Billy Santos has been helping build the nation through the Department of Education National Leaders Training for the Supreme Student Government. Training, nurturing and empowering these future young leaders has been his practice for years. Now this dedicated young man talks about his experiences in this event, what drives his team and how crucial their work is for nation building. Guido Sarreal (for Be): Good Afternoon Billy. It’s good to see you, thank you for taking your time for this interview. Billy Santos: Thank you, too. It’s a pleasure. Be: Ok. Tell me something interesting about Billy Santos. BS: I might not look like it around campus but I’m a very nationalistic person inside. I’m someone you can talk to casually about issues regarding politics and Philippine society. I’m very much inclined to nation-building. Be: What are your current involvements? BS: Strains and I just finished with the DepEd NLTSGO. It is an avenue for development of high school student government systems. It is also a good way of inspiring the young leaders of our country and empowering them to do something concrete for their community. In a way, we can say that through this event, we start to mold a better future for our country one student leader at a time.
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Be: So what got you into this event or activity? BS: What first got me into it was my involvement in Strains as a member. Every member of Strains is invited to join as module crafters for content preparation or as facilitators for the event itself. Be: So you got in. I believe this is a very hard experience what motivated you to keep at it for 3 years? BS: It was a very fulfilling experience. For one, seeing and hearing the kids having much passion for the country is really overwhelming. But there is also the factor that you learn a lot from the event as facilitators. It helps me break out of my normal student life and actually do something now rather than waiting for my graduation. It helps me realize the more important things we are really here for. Because of the event, I have actually found a more meaningful purpose outside college.
Be: What exactly were the things you did for this program during your 3-year stay? BS: For my first year of involvement, I crafted a module for the kids to understand positional leadership. I also facilitated during the event itself. In my second year of involvement, I became the Deputy Head of the project. This last year of mine I was part of the core as the External Relations Head, the supervisor of the project from Strains (meaning the project was under my department). I also became a facilitator during the event.
"seeing and hearing the kids having much passion for the country is really overwhelming."
Be: For you, how important is the LTSGO? BS: It is very important to me considering the change it brought to my life. But aside from that, I also see the project as a good effort to spark nation-building for us Filipinos. It helps in nation-building by acknowledging the fact that the children are the future of the country. I for one believe that we can solve a lot of problems by educating our citizens and what better place to start than during their growing years? I also firmly believe that in doing the NLTSGO, we keep the hope alive that there is something better for our nation…that there are still people who are willing to work towards the progress of the country. Be: A battle cry for many groups these days is nation building. How important is this for you right now? Why is it so important? BS: It is very crucial to have a good movement these days because of the coming elections. It’s not to support a good candidate but more importantly to inspire a lot of Filipinos to work towards positive change for the country. I think that currently, the passion to change the country is sleeping in most of us so it would be good to have events here and now that could set that passion aflame again. I really think now is the best time to inspire a movement for change.
Be: There are many students there asking how can I contribute to nation building? What can you advise them? BS: By realizing that they are a crucial part of the country…that they are capable of contributing something concrete to the nation. I believe that by understanding this simple fact, students can explore a lot of things for the nation from as simple as studying and eventually be specialists in their own field to implementing projects that benefit the community.
“...currently, the passion to change the country is sleeping in most of us...” Be: You do lots of things that can get very tiring and stressful. What keeps you going? BS: What keeps me going is the fact that I know that I belong to this community. That to work for its future is the same as ensuring mine and everybody else I care for. I also cling to the hope that there will always be something beyond what we have at present. That we can always strive to reach the best for everybody. Be 45
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Be: A very casual question, what makes Billy Santos’ day complete? BS: When I am able to accomplish something (i.e. project, exams). I also enjoy wonderful conversations with people (ok medyo malabo ‘to. hahaha!) Be: Any last words for our readers? BS: Keep the hope alive. There will always be something better waiting out there. If you feel tired of working for the nation, do rest. But never ever give up.
Be: Thank you very much again Billy. We learned a lot and I hope our readers do so as well. ◆ The DepEd NLSTGO is a yearly gathering of school youth leaders from around the country. Mostly from public schools, students undergo a 4-day training which includes talks from keynote speakers; focused group discussions, various games, concerts, elections for the Supreme Student Government and other activities. The breakout sessions are facilitated by students from AteneoStrains.
"Keep the hope alive. There will always be something better waiting out there. If you feel tired of working for the nation, do rest. But never ever give up."
Billy Santos in action.
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YOUTH ERS D A E L OF TODAY By Charlene Tiu
ver wonder how you can contribute to greater society through your passion? If you don’t have any idea, then university organizations, specifically social oriented organizations, is an option for the youth to engage themselves to the reality. These organizations serve as a venue for students to grow as persons and to lead a team. Margaret Ong, president of Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League (ACIL) from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Diane Ty, President of Medical Missions Incorporated-Nursing Group from University of Santo Tomas (UST), are just two of the many youth leaders transforming society with their passion.
If you are an Atenean, you would always see a blue bus parked in Xavier Hall. That bus is ACIL’s as members/catechists have “Area Time” every week where they would teach children about God & bible, by being the medium of the message. On Leadership: As a youth leader she considers herself to be struggling but determined since “leading a group of highly intelligent and opinionated Ateneans with diverse perspectives is not at all easy.” What keeps Marj going is her hope for these children with inadequate religious instruction, “see the love of Christ through them and in effect creating a foundation of love for our country.” Catechism helps and challenges Marj fulfill her passion in reaching out to other people. This may sound easy in paper but “as a teacher of religion, a subject with no exact science, it requires a person not to simply to teach your subject matter but more importantly to live it.” Leadership Tip: “Take responsibilities and step up, the value of patience comes a long way in being a leader!”
✭ ✿ ❁
Margaret “Marj“ Ong 21 yrs. old
School: BS Legal Management 2010, ADMU Organization: Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League (ACIL) is an organization that envisions its members in making Christ a living reality especially to children who have inadequate religious instruction.” What makes ACIL different from other university organizations is its rich 104 years of tradition in helping and creating instruments of Christ through student catechists by concretely teaching God’s words to His children; and at same time constantly making efforts in order to improve this core competence.” 48
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Cleaning and Preparing our own instruments.
Diane Sharon Ty 20 years old School: BS Nursing 2010, UST Organization: “Medical Missions Incorporated (MMI)aims to contribute to the solution of the health and social problems affecting the indigents of the Philippines through giving free medical and surgical services in having mission in different areas of the Philippines. It is composed of 3 groups the medical doctors, medical students, and student nurses.” Daine leads the MMI-Nursing Group, whose main goal is to provide holistic nursing care and to contribute to the health awareness, education, and improvement of the people in the areas visited. Their activity that best describes the organization is their
Candon Mission: Circumcisions in Minor Area
Candon Major Mission: Minor Sterile Field
Group picture inside our office Candon Major Mission: Scrubbing in on a Major Operation
“Annual Sapang Palay Major Medical Surgical Mission” in Bulacan where they get to apply theory to reality, lasting for 3 intense days of medical assistance, ranging from consultations, excisions, circumcisions, and to major operations. On Leadership: As a youth leader, Diane sees herself as a servant leader as tries to do what is best for the organization. She’s of leader who leads by democracy but at important decisions an authoritative style works well with her. When I asked who has influenced her to this advocacy, she answers that the “poor people of the Philippines” led her like outreach programs since she was a child. As cheesy as it may sound, Diane sympathizes with them with pure intentions of helping them in one way or another. Leadership Tip: “Not one type of leadership will always be effective; it’s a matter of being flexible and sensing what your organization needs.”◆
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By James Desoacido, Kelvin Mendoza, and Guido Sarreal A silver Lining Before the tragedy happened in Metro Manila everything actually went well for me and my family. Because of this we just end up doing and minding our own business. Talking to neighbors was not a usual scene as they too were too busy with their own lives and problems. A simple “Good morning!” and asking the usual “musta na?” question were the only situations where we get to talk with each other. Although we knew 52
each other through faces, names and jobs it was limited to just that. Generally our knowledge of our neighbors was just skin deep especially because we just transferred there about 4 years ago. So Typhoon Ondoy came and ravaged the village. It wrecked havoc in metro manila and the surrounding provinces. My family and I were in the house watching the news for daily updates. As time passed the rains fell harder and water started to grow and fill
the street. We were left on our own by nightfall as telephone lines, cell phone signals and electricity were cut off. The tragedy also became a way for us as a neighborhood or kapitbahay to get in touch with one another and use the typhoon as a way to start a conversation. By mid-afternoon all the families living in our street were outside our balconies looking down at the street and the flowing water. It was there where we started communicating with each other. Everyone were Asking each other if we all have food for the night and if we need anything. Then the topic changed from stories from the past as they were reiterating that this was the first time that our street was flooded. The morning of Sept 27, 2009 was no different as our communicating with each other continued and even extended to other streets as we walked around to see how everybody else was. In a way it was a silver lining for me because I know that if something like this ever happens again my family and I won’t be feeling as alone. This is because at the back of our minds we know that our neighbors care and are willing to lend a hand and we in turn is more than willing to do the same for them.
One Bigger Fight Awakening Waking up to a storm with your room flooded knee deep wasn’t a very pleasant experience. But some people had it worse. Ondoy took the belongings, homes, security, and lives of a lot of Filipinos. But the one thing he could never take away was the Filipino’s ever enduring spirit. Ateneo, in particular, showed me personally what some people thought was just a pretentious mantra: Men and Women for Others. Be 53
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For the past few years some people within and outside of the community have labeled Ateneans as merely capitalists waiting to graduate, an apathetic bunch of rich kids whose moves and motives are purely self-serving. After Ondoy struck with such mighty force, the Ateneo along with the Filipino nation defied the preconception of the Philippines as simply too factitious, and the Ateneo simply being really intelligent snobs. Sunday, a day after Ondoy, I received texts and e-mails requesting for donations and volunteers to go to the Loyola Schools for the victims of Ondoy. I obliged in the afternoon, and I was initially impressed at what I saw: a lot of Ateneans with goods, cars, and willingness to help. It was not that amazing at first, but great things have to begin somewhere small. From the small corner in Colayco, the operations moved to the covered courts, it was then that the magnitude of the efforts is made apparent. Donations and volunteers poured in faster than the waters of Ondoy and the blue side showcased the best of what each can offer. What was more impressive is how much willingness the people have in helping all those who
are affected in the areas that the community can reach. At first, one might think that it was all just a fluke; that people won’t go helping beyond a day. Then, day after day, the operations carried on. Other than packing and sorting goods, the community members dared to get their hands dirty by helping in cleaning operations and distribution of the goods. The Answer Some people of past generations of Ateneans say that we have it all worked out for us. It was like we were not that much of a community anymore and how we are not as united as they were in the past. After all, their generation had Martial law, some had coup de etas, and others had the EDSA 2. What transpired was also somewhat an answer to the Atenean generations past and present: we can do this, it’s our turn. We have been called, and we have responded. But we did not do it because it was challenging, we did it because it was what was needed to be done, because it is simply for the greater good. We did it for the very same reason the Ateneans of the 80s locked arms against Marcos, we did for our friends, for our families, for fellow Ateneans, for our countrymen, and we did it for all of the humanity that needed it. I was talking to a course-mate in
the car while we were delivering the some packed goods to the covered courts. We both agreed that this was really one of the most concrete and amazing nationbuilding experience the Ateneo has spawned and witnessed, and how it was more than any NSTP. No one was academically required to go, but deep down everyone who helped out knew that there is more to helping out than fulfilling requirements or getting praises. This wasn’t a subject anymore; this was real life beyond the classroom with real people depending on it.
A Different Big Fight Personally, the only reason I stayed in manila during the storm was to watch the UAAP basketball finals game. People always say that, those games were great venues to see the Ateneo being a community. It still is a good way of showing solidarity, but what happened during those glorious and sweaty days after Ondoy in the covered courts was much more than what any game in Araneta could bring forth from the Ateneo community. I was expecting an epic game that weekend, what I
witnessed and became a part of something much more. Ondoy came and knocked us down with the force of the winds and the rains, we rose up with the strength of our backs, sweat of our brows, and the genuine care of our hearts. The final examinations in the Loyola Schools maybe cancelled, but it’s safe to assume the Ateneo has passed something more than what any test paper or oral exam can throw at us. My teacher in a political science class said that, according to Fr. Adolfo Nicholas S.J., Magis was not all about competing; it was not about defeating the others. It was about being humane for others, it was having genuine care and concern for all those around you, competitor or not. This seemed very vague at first, but it was concretized emphatically when Ondoy passed through. What transpired in the community was Magis: it was more. It was more than anyone could have ever thought of. It was more than about grades, popularity, cars, and the high life. It was beyond the championships, accolades, or beating other universities. It was simply doing what we were saying all along it was us, as a community and as a nation, being men and women for others.
Kelvin Mendoza Be 55
Guido Sarreal 56
H e lp us out!
C ut out t his f lye r.
Pass i t around t he c lass.
Post i t ont o a bulle t in board for all t o se e.
“Rescue Efforts Overwhelmed” this was the headline in a leading newspaper a few days after the devastating storm Ondoy ravaged the country. The content of course was negative. So chaotic was the situation that rescue workers were unable to reach victims. Mud, dirt and water were in the way of rescue. Amusingly the same headline gives me a different insight, a more positive, proud, hopeful type of content. Yes the rescue efforts were overwhelmed, overwhelmed by support, charity, nationalism, love and hope. I went to 4 relief centers, Ateneo, CubaoExpo, Philippine Red Cross and the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Baclaran all of which were overflowing with volunteers and relief goods. From all walks of lives hundreds to thousands of people gathered to do their rescue work, truly rescue efforts were overwhelmed. In not one instance I found myself with nothing to do except marvel and wonder at the amazing power of love and hope. I joke to my friends “hindi lang sa Paquiao and nakakapag unite sa bansa bagyo din” and truly it was a country united. United not by just the storm but united in giving and expressing love and hope.
Donat e as ma ny i t e ms f rom t he list as you c a n.
Give yourse l f a pat on t he ba c k. You just gave some one's hope ba c k in t he ir li f e.
Gemini 20 May – 21 June This year, focus exclusively on developing your enduring relationship with God. Your morals have no real value outside of doctrine and worship. Ignore people who claim that they know God. Only you can know God for yourself through a real understanding guided by the Holy Spirit. Remember to come out of your shell for God is present beyond your current devotion. Find God by experiencing the world. Take part in retreats and recollections. Lucky Numbers: 22, 30, 01, 02, 29 Lucky Color: Ube Purple
Leo 22 July – 23 August This year is a turning point for you. Remember that even after sinning, we can be made whole through forgiveness. Keep hope intact in your heart, and always be guided with your conscience. The uncertainty of life as well as death should be your guide in making responsible decisions. Man is responsible for his actions, but only God can give us grace. Remember that He loves you. Join a retreat or a recollection with Gemini, you will be able to realize a lot of things. Lucky Numbers: 55, 36, 95, 25, 42 Lucky Color: Bloodshot Red
Cancer 21 June – 22 July Your social energy makes you a head-turner althroughout this year, so grab this opportunity and interact with people! It will be easy for you to make new friends and impressing them with your different skills. However, remember that for every ‘leap of faith’, we can fall. We can only know mistakes after we leap. Let your social energy reflect your theological life and beliefs. Lucky Number: 35, 40, 99, 21, 03 Lucky Color: Swamp Blue
Virgo 23 August – 22 September Take what you’ve earned but set it aside for safekeeping as for now. Keep living simply and be conscious of good actions. The moral life holds us beyond what we can explain or feel, therefore, trust your instinct as well as your heart and mind, only then shall you realize the truly moral life. Collect coupons that you find, they will come in handy one day. Lucky Numbers: 34, 65,92, 11, 09 Lucky Color: Old Navy Blue
Forecast by TJ Manalang Libra 22 September – 23 Oct. Remember that depth is more important than length, width and height. The ability to understand and to reason is one of the most important facets of being human. If someone asks you to do an irrational favor, be sure to understand its consequences or else you will get into trouble. Pray the rosary everyday and you just might find 500 pesos lying on the floor. Lucky Numbers: 90, 45, 66, 74, 32 Lucky Color: Morning Sky Blue
Taurus 19 April – 20 May This year of the rat will give you increased insight, therefore use your ideas responsibly and direct them to actions that will generate good outcomes. Don’t hesitate to be spontaneous today for it will grant you the opportunity to generate new ideas. Follow that gut feeling of yours, develop your ideas, but always remember to follow your conscience. Nobody can follow your conscience better than you do. Do not be afraid to approach your crush, it may just lead to something new. Lucky Numbers: 12, 25, 33, 26, 08 Lucky Color: Ivy Green
Scorpio 23 October – 22 Nov. Beware the sting of temptation. Big decisions that you have to make will be numerous this year, so remember to let the Holy Spirit give you the understanding and insight in order to make the right one. In the face of temptation, remember God, or at least, remember to come back to Him. Life can only be truly happy with sound faith and a conscientious mind. You will lose 500 pesos from irresponsibility this year, so pray that Libra gives it back. Lucky Numbers: 16, 28, 37, 51, 06 Lucky Color: Atchara Yellow
Aries 20 March – 19 April Obstacles may hinder your every endeavour, however, remember that suffering is part of every person’s Paschal Mystery. Every obstacle is an opportunity to acquire the Holy Spirit and become more like God. Don’t let it distract your focus but use it to your advantage. Maintain your spirituality and always visit your parish, there just might be a free rosary in it for you. Lucky Numbers: 03, 20, 43, 05, 10 Lucky Color: Blue Violet
Aquarius 20 Jan. – 18 Feb. You will be asked a sexual favour this year. Remember that engaging in sex outside of a marital relationship is sinful unless you are aware of its unitive and procreative significance. There is no value to a culminating act without anything to culminate. The greatest protection is the power to say “no”. Do not go into a Frenzy because what is worthwhile is worth waiting for. Remain chaste for to be truly chaste is to practice being truly human. Just say “NO!” Lucky Numbers: 255, 13, 08, 07, 09 Lucky Color: Electric Neon Green
Capricorn 21 Dec. – 20 Jan. You will be faced with an ethical dilemma later this year. Remember that virtues would fulfill your potential for good. Live virtuously and you will always stay loyal to the good. Read the whole Book of John by the end of September this year, and you will be rewarded with the gift of knowledge and a surprise. Hint: It is something you don’t expect, but you deserve it all the same. Lucky Numbers: 92, 12, 30, 40, 29 Lucky Color: Coffee Mocha Latte Brown
Pisces 18 February – 20 March Your life this year will be as serene as you want it to be. Remember to live your life, not hide in the confines of your ‘safe’ home. We can’t grow, nor gain the Holy Spirit without learning to risk a little. Remember that love necessitates and exhibits the ability to get hurt, and do take that hurt. Stay open to the possibility of receiving the Holy Spirit and you will be rewarded with understanding. You will also learn the lyrics to most church songs, and one Gregorian chant. Lucky Numbers: 55, 44, 37, 62, 91 Lucky Color: Sunrise Orange
Sagittarius 22 Nov.– 21 Dec. The possibility of you having a relationship will be great this year. Remember to acknowledge the body as a spiritual item. Remember to not just objectify people, learn to see their faces, learn to love solidarity, become open to God’s grace in your relationship, and NEVER forget to pray. If you do all of these, then you’ll feel electricity flowing through your body: this is the true ‘kilig’ feeling. Lucky Numbers: 01, 02, 11, 26, 41 Lucky Color: Dirty White
I find hope in...
What about you?
Be B e y o n d
e x p e c t a t i o n s !
Published on Oct 15, 2009