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ON THIS ISSUE... Special Feature: Get To Know Your ATLAS Officers (PAGE 4) The Official Publication of the Association of Taxation and Law Students June to October 2013 - Volume 1, Issue 1

LPPCHEA: The Prime Environment of the Metro (PAGE 4) Nard Hartney S. Molina, CPA: The Spark of a Catalyst (PAGE 5) Ink and Words (PAGE 6)

On this photo: ATLAS officers (from left to right) Sharmaine Guiterrez, Al Christian Co, Irish Tolero, Asher Lyn Cruz, and Jeric James Pernitez, as they received a check worth PHP 25,000 for winning the UPCE-YEC’s 50:50: Be Their Lifeline Competition.

The ATLAS Way: Growth Through Experience

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ATLAS Team Bags UPCE-YEC 2013 Championship Award ATLAS volunteers in GMA Relief Operations By: PAMELA DE JESUS Association of Taxation and Law Students (ATLAS) volunteered in the repacking of goods in GMA Kapuso Foundation during Typhoon Maring at Tandang Sora Avenue, Quezon City last August 25 and 26. Sharmaine C. Gutierrez, Vice President for External Affairs, contacted and coordinated with the foundation's warehouse officer for scheduling. Students who were interested to volunteer filled out a form and submitted it online. These forms will serve as a record for GMA

(Continue to Page 2) On this photo: The booth of ATLAS during the 2013 RSO Recruitment Week held last July 1 to 5, 2013, inspired by the Ibon-Ebon Festival.

By: GERALD SON Members of the student organization Association of Taxation and Law Students (ATLAS) proved to be a force to reckon with as they prevailed in the idea generating contest of the University of the Philippines Circle of Entrepreneurs' Young Entrepreneurs Convention 2013 held last September 21. The winning team of the University of the East-Caloocan College of Business Administration 4th year students namely Al Christian S. Co, Asher Lyn G. Cruz, Sharmaine C. Gutierrez, Jeric James C. Pernitez and Irish D. Tolero outshined other teams with their concept of floating farms.

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ATLAS showcases Ibon-Ebon theme in membership booth By: MARITONI MALONZO During the membeship week at the University of the East-Caloocan, Association of Taxation and Law Students (ATLAS) officers utilized their creativity as they showcased Ibon-Ebon festival as theme of their membership booth. With the belief that like birds people come in different shapes, sizes and strengths, ATLAS aimed to work in a group like birds flying in flocks.

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© 2013 by the Association of Taxation and Law Students University of the East Caloocan. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of ATLAS. For suggestions, comments, and concerns, contact or write us at: ASSOCIATION OF TAXATION AND LAW STUDENTS 3/F Engineering Building, University of the East Caloocan #105 Samson Road, Caloocan City Contact #: +63 926 569 0595 E-mail: Website:

...Ibon-Ebon Festival (From Page 1) They also emphasized through their creative booth that they must be flexible and make changes when things aren't working the way they wanted it to be. Ibon-Ebon festival is one of the most colorful events in Candaba, Pampanga during February 1-2. The festival literally means "bird-egg" and features the municipality as home of thousands of migratory birds in the globe. Flocks of migratory birds can be seen at the Candaba swamp during the festival, which Ibon-Ebon showcases along with the growing duck-egg industry of the town. The organization promised to the students that like birds, together they’ll spread their wings and soar high, affirming the Athenian belief of aiming high and hitting the mark. ■

COMICS: “Maling Akala”

On this photo: The UE students as they wait long hours in order to pay Their tuition and other school fees at the cashier. (Photo Credits: Charlene May Dabu)

Beneficial or Detrimental? We experience lots of changes in a lifetime. It is something typical and usual. Some are beneficial while others are detrimental. When we change something or into something generally it is for improving. Such is the idea when the revised enrollment procedures were implemented. However, most students appeared to feel hostile towards it. Apart from students waiting for their grades to confirm whether they’ve passed or failed, the news of the revised enrollment procedures is also brewing on the minds of the students. In the new enrollment system, students’ validity of reservation is three days. Only reprocessing of registration forms is proscribed. And computer generated pre-enrollment forms are accepted at the cashier. These changes allowed the students to just fall in line for the cashier when they came to the university. Now, where is the problem? Maybe it was wrong timing, but the first day of enrollment for this semester surprised the enrollees. Although instructions were posted everywhere, most were unsure of the first thing to do. The major upshot on the students was the undeniably lengthy line of students waiting for their turn in the cashier during the first few days. The reason behind seemingly was the shortened validity time for a reserved slot and delayed availability of subjects to be enrolled. Those

...volunteers in GMA (From Page 1)

foundation the next time they need volunteers. The volunteers from ATLAS were assigned to sort used clothes during the first day, while on the second day they were assigned to repack goods until 5:00 P.M. Several groups and organizations donated and participated in the GMA relief operations. Volunteers were either assigned in repacking of goods or in sorting of

who paid thru bank still had to come to the cashier who will provide their registration forms. On the following enrollment dates, the line would have reach up to the Engineering building if it was a straight one, just to prove a point. Everybody expected an hour or two (tops) to wait for their turn but three hours in line apparently is the new normal. The revised enrollment procedures seemed to fail expectations of the students. And all fingers pointed to the change of enrollment procedures. Suggestions like change the procedures back to how it was and increase the number of cashiers came from the students’ outburst in different social media pages. The same suggestions eventually died when the semester started. There is nothing wrong with the revised procedures but there are rooms for improvement. Everybody is adjusting to these changes. And it is too early to judge. In fact, students who enrolled in the last days were relieved when chairs were provided even for those meters away from the cashier. Also the instructions for those who paid thru bank improved since they would just proceed to MISD for verification of account balance and issuance of registration forms instead of waiting in line. As long as the management is changing accordingly the faults in the enrollment system, change, for this case, will always be beneficial. ■ used clothes. “Malditas,” The Philippine Women’s National Football Team also helped in the repacking of goods. Volunteers prepared bags of food containing one and a half kilo of rice, five packets of noodles and three cans of sardineas. Paul Lexter C. Tan, fourth year accounting technology student from UE said, “It is a very tiring yet a happy day. All your efforts are worth it because you were able to help other people in your own simple way.” ■



NEWS ...UPCE-YEC 2013 Champion (From Page 1) Nine groups joined the competition conducted at the UP Diliman NCPAG Assembly Hall. Both 2nd and 3rd place winners were delegates of UP Diliman. With the theme "50/50: Be Their Lifeline", the competition aimed to uplift the lives of the residents of ARTEX, a community in Malabon with an area which has been submerged permanently under polluted saltwater since 2004. The concept was to engage the inhibiters in a feasible and sustainable entrepreneurial activity. Through various researches, the winning team conceptualized and proposed a floating farm using plastic bottles as floating devices. With the help of DENRNCR Directors most especially Professor Erlinda Daquigan, finance officer, the team came up with two salt-tolerant and salt-loving plant species—called Halophytes—the wild rice and dampalit. A grand prize of 50,000 pesos was awarded to the team, half of which was given to the ARTEX Community. The team sends their deepest thanks to those who supported and believed them in making the research possible. They would also like to thank Karl Kevin Cornejo, Mr. BA 2013, for editing their video entry in the said competition. Because of their collaborative efforts, the team also won the Cha Dao People's Choice Award which was given to the team with the most likes on Facebook. "We joined the event not just for the prize but because we were amazed with the strength, unity and perseverance of the ARTEX people, and we wanted to improve their lives even in the simplest ways we could," said Pernitez, VP for Promotions, in an interview. ■

ATLAS holds seminar on stress vs humor BY: AL CHRISTIAN CO "Laughter is the best medicine." Such saying was proven in the seminar entitled "Stress vs. Humor: Laugh your Stress Out!" conducted by the Association of Taxation and Law Students last September 25. The seminar took event at 1:00pm to 4:30pm in the Multi-Purpose Hall I of the Engineering Building in the University of the East (UE) Caloocan Campus. Mr. John Postrado, Guidance Counselor, and Mr. Paolo Trinidad, was invited as guest speakers. Mr.Trinidad talked about Laughter Yoga—an activity where people laugh all the time. With an air of humor and loads of laughter, the students were able to experience a session with the author. Mr. Postrado conversely discussed the different causes and symptoms of stress. The students were able to picked-up pieces of information on the possible causes of their anxiety and how to manage it effectively. The seminar aimed to instill in the students that laughing is the best and easiest way to reduce stress. It also aimed to help students cope with its adverse effects. It was emphasized in the seminar that laughing also strengthens the immune system.

On this photo: The first installment of the Seminar on Internal Auditing Certifications held last July 11, 2013 at the Engineering Briefing Room. The following people in the photo include the guest speakers Mr. Argel Joseph Ampogñan and Mr. Michael Gallego; Dr. Donatila San Juan, Dean of College of Business Administration; Dr. Ma. Teresa Gonzales, Associate Dean; Prof. Jano Minorca, and some of the ATLAS officers and other distinguished guests.

ATLAS invites Institute of Internal Auditors to UE Caloocan By: JHESIEL VILLASEÑOR In pursuit to promote global competitiveness and expand the knowledge of the students, the Association of Taxation and Law Students (ATLAS) invited and introduced the internationally accredited Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) in seminars launched for the College of Business Administration of the University of the East Caloocan. ATLAS hosted two waves of seminar with IIA. The first was held at the Engineering Briefing Room last July 11, with the guest speakers Mr. Argel Joseph Ampogñan, a Certifications Specialist, and his superior, Mr. Michael Gallego. With the positive response of the students and the willingness of IIA to share what they offer, the first seminar was followed by a second event which was held last September 24 at the Multi-Purpose Hall I.

Mr. Ampogñan brought with him this time the Chief Operating Officer of IIA-Philippines, Ms. Richel Mendoza, a proud UE-Caloocan alumna. “It is important that we should try to expand our knowledge to the different fields and careers that is waiting for us in the future because that’s where we might find our passion, a career that would give us a satisfying and fulfilling life”, said Jeric James Pernitez, Project Head. IIA is one of the global providers of certifications in the areas of Internal Auditing, Fraud, Risk Management and others. Internal Auditing is a field of auditing dealing with internal controls and quality assurance which aims to add value to the firm. This field is specialized but is not limited in the course Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology (BSAcT) to further their career considerations after graduating. ■

It was clearly evident that the students enjoyed in the said event as they actively participated with the speakers. Moreover, the organizers hope that they will impart the knowledge they learned from the seminar and apply it in their daily life. ■

ATLAS launches iShare BY: IRISH TOLERO Three times a semester, six times a year, exams are on their way. As a way of helping students in preparation for their upcoming exams, ATLAS launched a mentoring session entitled “iSHARE: ATLAS Mentoring Circle”. iSHARE was held one week before the exams. Circle of students and a mentor were gathered to review together in an informal classroom setting. The mentor reviewed the circle and the circle was able to ask questions regarding matters which they don't understand in the subject. iSHARE gives students the opportunity to have a forum-based learning enabling them to exchange their ideas and knowledge which might help them understand more of the subject. iSHARE is also a place to develop teaching skills as a

On this photo: Guest Speaker Mr. Paolo Trinidad, while speaking to the attendees about the importance of laughter and happiness.

mentor. Mentors were students who had taken up and understood the subject. It also served as a review for the mentors of what they had learned before. Jeric James Pernitez, one of the mentors, says that “As a mentor, thankful ako kasi dahil sa iSHARE, nagawa ko i-share yung knowledge ko pati yung point of views ko pagdating sa taxation system.” Aside from this mentoring session, under this project, ATLAS gave reviewers to all the members free of charge. It’s their way of helping other students who were not able to attend the sessions. They gave each of them a copy of the questions and uploaded the answers in their Facebook page. ■





Judging Toni’s strict but effective (very much) way of doing the job and that searing tenacity, I guess that’s pretty obvious.

“Leadership by example.” Asher has been unaware of being a living proof of this phrase ever since the crown of presidency was bestowed upon her. With stewardship for a glorious diadem and endless responsibilities for lustrous red cloak, she can’t help but be slapped with waves of pressure at first. Succeeding terms of distinction and success sure is hard for anyone. But Asher, as her name suggests, took the road less taken with an unusual felicity.

Stunning. Spruce. Strict. And…. strict. Forget all the adjectives known to human race when describing our VP for Finance but not strict. In dealing with the organization’s funds, Toni has always been strict.

I don’t know how she does it. It’s pretty hard to sleep and wake up the next morning greeted by the profanity of paper bills and coins. But she does it so good. It really is a stressful and crazy task, but boy, Toni sure is happy with what she is doing. And I guess- unarguably, that that’s what matters most.


Together with the exciting rush of students and the obnoxious screaming of the bell, she finds herself torn between the aftermaths of being the one who leads, of being the one on top. She faces people with different personalities, like different colors living in the same box, and she has to, and she does, deal with each and every one of them. She is placid. She is neutral. When things like misunderstandings threaten to break the camaraderie among the officers apart, she always considers both sides of the coin, weighs things out, and fixes it. It is stressful, even tiring. But friendship is, and will always be, worth the fight. She is tasked to be the first soldier to advance into the battle, to shout the battle cry, to capture the flag. And with every wound, bead of sweat and drop of blood, a new Asher is born. She is now bursting with confidence and benevolence, is visionary, and is pocket-full of patience. Patience for people who don’t understand and for those who refuses to. It is sure to be arduous to be her, with her words and actions bouncing back to either improve or destroy the image of ATLAS. But Asher being Asher, she does it with impeccable grace. She also manages her time quite well. For her, there is time for duties and responsibilities at ATLAS, for her academics, for her family, for herself, and even for a romantic interest. So, grades? Expectations? Critics? Unavoidable mistakes? Flaws? No problem. Call her Ash. My president. Your leader. Our queen. This girl just never backs down.

Vice President for Finance

But who else would be fit for the job? Toni is just perfect. Being the eldest in the family, her father taught her discipline and frugality by letting her manage the family’s budget from her OFW mother. And when the screening for ATLAS officers was opened, she saw the opportunity. The foundation is strong, why doubt? It’s like learning science from Newton. Later then, she realized that handling a club’s treasury is miles away from squeezing the family budget. The risk is just TOO BIG. The responsibility is just TOO HARD. The fund is indeed the life and blood of the organization, so no one can blame her for her rigid ways. The job is tough enough. But Maritoni is tougher. She refuses to let it weigh her down. She lists every cash movement in her notebook. The receipts are well-hidden, away from the ecstatic faces of termites. She buoys her co-officers to be prudent, to maximize their money and to avoid overspending. You can always see her talking to project heads on whether or not they could lower the budget for their proposal. For her, every peso matters. Typical Toni. She sure is wise too. She keeps a bank account for the org’s money, and carries just the petty cash fund. Of course, you can’t go walking down the streets with a bag stashed full of cash. She had a wallet for each monetary denomination, and counts them before she leaves for school and after she comes home. It is so exasperating, but genius. Pure dedication is what makes up Toni. She often skips her meals and stays up late just to make everything right, in pace-perfect. It is under her term that ATLAS still has a sufficient fund for the second semester. Way too sufficient. And is it surprising to say that this federation year, ATLAS has never lost a peso?


Second Year Representative The Big Boss. Funny but serious – that would probably be the best way to describe our Second Year Representative; and also be the best reason why Francis L. Rubio, has earned his title as "Boss" among his peers. But you would never see it unless you get to chat with the Boss. As a student, Francis is a too-good-to-be-true type. He tops every Departmental exams, gets to receive flat 1.00 grades in his subjects – like a piece of cake, and earns satisfactory comments from his professors. Among his friends, he also excels at making them laugh, lending them money when needed, listening to their jokes and stories, and encouraging them to be the best they can be. A boss at heart, indeed. But aside from being a complete-package student, Francis is also a follower, member, and leader at the same time in this organization, ATLAS. He is an active officer who imparts his ideas, dedicates his time and exerts his efforts. He, together with his friends, was the one behind the successful quiz bee, Triumvirate. His creativity and knowledge brings that event to success not just for him but for the whole organization, causing more-than -the-expected registration and satisfaction among the contestants. "I'm happy to be part of this organization, naniniwala akong isang malaking blessing ‘to ni Lord at thankful din ako dahil alam kong makakatulong ito sa akin", stated by the one and only Boss. ■

LPPCHEA: The Prime Environment of the Metro By: MA. PATRICE SEBASTIAN LPPCHEA, or the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area, is the first critical habitat to be declared in the country, amended through Presidential Proclamation No. 1412. This nature reserve is situated on the western side of the Aguinaldo Highway (Coastal Road) and is bounded on the north by the Parañaque River and on the South by the Las Piñas River. It covers an area of 175 hectares consisting of mangroves, lagoons, mudflats, salt marshes and mixed beach forest. This wildlife sanctuary provides a home for resting of the migratory birds, which are around 31 species with some coming from countries like China, Japan and Siberia. Between the months of August and April, migratory birds then make their way to the warmer regions of the world. Thus, the number of birds that rests upon this sanctuary may reach as high as 5,000 heads per day. Moreover, these wild birds are the main attraction at the LPPCHEA. It provides a habitat for our feathered friends which are around 82 species, wherein 31 of which are migratory birds. Certainly, these birds add so much beauty on this sanctuary. Among these birds are the Little Egrets, Black-Crowned Night Herons, Common Moorhen and Philippine Duck, which stand out more than the others. A number of endangered birds will also be

spotted in this reserve such as Chinese Egret, Common Greenshank and Black-Winged Stilts. Our feathered, lovely friends are not the only objects of interest in this wildlife sanctuary, for mangrove forests have also been attractions there. These mangroves are the thickest and most diverse among the remaining mongrove areas within Manila Bay. They serve as protections of the coastal communities of Las Piñas and Parañaque from stom surges and high tides. Mangroves also are a critical germination area, feeding, nursery and shelter areas for fishes as well as other wildlife species. Still, there are other areas that are worth visiting like the salt marshes which play an important role in the aquatic food web and also help in protecting shorelines from erosion. Another attraction are the ponds, which hosts certain wild birds and mangrove species. One important part of this sanctuary are the mudflats which serves as the feeding grounds for wild birds. LPPCHEA, truly, provides a safe haven for species who needs home especially for those whose kinds are in danger of extinction. This wildlife sanctuary sets a reminder for us that we shall take part on saving our environment. Thus, this place is a prime environment for Metro Manila with all the pollution within the city. ■ (Photo Credits: Mark Jason Villa / Alain Pascua)

Asher Lyn G. Cruz

President (Federation Year 2013-2014)

Maritoni D. Malonzo Vice President for Finance (Federation Year 2013-2014)

Francis L. Rubio

Second Year Representative (Federation Year 2013-2014)


Nard Har tney S. Molina, CPA: The Spark of a Catalyst BY: TRICIA RAE ZAPATA

FEATURE That day, I was vividly dreaming of mashed potatoes. Then, a phone call from a f r i e n d brought me back to my senses, to the bitter reality. I wanted to punch this guy so hard that very moment, like I’m always eager to, for Nard Hartney S. Molina, CPA President (Federation Year 2011-2012) interrupting Student Adviser (Federation Year 2012-2013) my dream of my beloved, beautiful mashed potatoes. Then, a line he uttered made my eyes popped open so wide with all its morning glory: “Write an article about Kuya Hartney.” Silence. It took me seconds to register the thought. Write an article about Kuya Hartney. Sure, I have always been to writing since I was seven. But to write a piece featuring none other than Kuya Hartney.. Kuya Hartney. THE Kuya Hartney! Nard Hartney Saringan Molina. The name rings a thousand glorious little bells. The one almost everyone knows. The one with a flawless grace. The one I’ve been idolizing since I was a freshman student. I don’t know why. Maybe because of his aura of awesomeness he’s radiating that attracts me whenever I see him walking down the corridor. Maybe because of his words I find so true. Or maybe because of his warm compassion for everyone and everything that I find so brave. So dauntless? I don’t know. But I do know that I sound a little creepy right now, but I really don’t know. What the heck. Why is it so hard to talk about the people we adore? This must be it. The ultimate challenge to my writing experience. A blessing for a zealot, a curse for a writer. Of course, I would love to feature him, but it’s not as easy as it seems. How can I, a novice, write an article with him as the subject? He is Kuya Hartney. Will my words ever be enough to justify how good as a person he is? Then it all happened so fast. One time I’m staring at the ceiling, wondering how I ended up here, and the next, I found myself staring at him for an interview. I. was. so. freaking. nervous. Jitters kept on crawling on my skin. My breakfast threatened to make a grand, public reappearance. Our project head, who was beside me that time, was a witness to all of my drama. God, help me. But then, he smiled, then I’m on a roll of questions, and I let myself drown in his presence and words. As a Leader. It all started being a group leader. It all began with a willingness to be unique from the others. It’s not the


lust to standout that made him do so, but because he wanted to be unlike the rest, to be uncommon, to show something new.

back. And after those cold, bitter, sleepless nights and blinking mantle of wet lashes, he began to look at the world with a new set of eyes.

As everything changed with the promise of puberty, his passion for leadership was fueled with passion. When he was a fourth year high school student and their school’s student council president, he led the march to kick their school principal from his position. The former, a president of nobility, versus the latter, a president of repugnance. Carrying this victory and a better perspective towards student rights, Kuya Hartney advanced into college with loaded guns and fiery eyes. Let the tigers come with their claws!

As a Dreamer.

But college life was not so easy for our protagonist. He found it difficult to stand under the shadows of the higher years. Yes, he’s a member of these clubs and a committee for these organizations in his early years, but he never felt it was enough. It was as if there is more in him, more of what he can do. It was when in his fourth year that he found what he was looking for. In ATLAS. Presidency. Leadership. A familiar territory marked with excellence. That friendly burden he has always loved. I don’t know, but Kuya Hartney and I share the same attitude of not being contented of something unless we are the ones in-charge of it. We feel that something might go wrong unless we spearheaded it. Is it foolishness? Martyrdom? No, I call it beautiful selflessness. And I quote him, “Leadership is not measured by how many servants you have, but how many leaders you’ve made.” Kuya Hartney is the type of leader you’d love. He’s not the bossy that shouts orders left and right. Like most leaders, he doesn’t want a project to fail, and will take all the blame if it ever did. He does not condone easily. There was this time that he replaced his lovely vice presidents with more deserving committees. It hurts for him to see them go, but he has to do it, for the sake of the organization. He’s sarcastic. He assumes almost all the responsibilities. He kills you with kindness. Then the next year, he was elected as the vice president of the Central Student Council. But man, it sure was a diverse world. Kuya Hartney was surprised at how tough being in the CSC. Everyday, he was dealing with different people of different personalities, of different courses, of different colleges, of a different party, of different visions. Different, obviously, was the exact word. But Kuya Hartney, with that charismatic personality of his, just used this as a stepping stone to grow more, to be more mature, and to give more of him to others. And in both of these years, up until the very moment I’m brewing this art, he’s been into projects for the amelioration of the community. He’s into the real change, more into hands-on, the actual work, dropping the peppy talks of flowers and stars. He’s a man of action, like every one of us should be. And all of these blossomed from a broken heart. The pain that’s just too real made him realize what’s real about life too, that there’s more to look for than the warmth brought by holding hands, that undeniable sweetness of exchanged soft whispers and that perfect yet unexplainable feeling of loving and being loved

Kuya Hartney has always wanted to be a teacher. Educating the mind of the youth, imparting things that are substantial and beautiful: knowledge, experience, wisdom and character. Seven years from now, we’ll see him in any of the four areas of accounting, be it public, private, government or academe. He’ll be in where he is needed the most, as he has always been. Get a knife and slash his body and see “altruism” mixed with his blood. Cut his heart open and see the word “volunteerism” pumping. Search his brain and see that all he thinks about is how to make the community a better place. See, it’s in everything of him. Social Responsibility. Nard Hartney Molina is born for this. As a Mentor. “Ikaw ang mas nakakaintindi , kaya ikaw ang magadjust.”, “Galingan mo pa.”, “Laging pagsikapan ang lahat ng gagawin mo.” Lines often said by Kuya Hartney himself. He is loved widely and deeply. Always looking after his friends, always there to drop a quirky punch line or just being Hartney. Apart from his colorful (very colorful, shall I say) love life, he often shares with them his ways and ideas of living life, of being a leader. And as I mashed it all up: Sometimes, in the real fight, all you need to have are guts and wits. AS A CPA Board Examination Passer. Kuya Hartney gave me an advice, one I’ll be sure to treasure: “Preparation starts from the first year. The first day.” I just couldn’t agree more. For him it’s way better than to be slow in studying but knows it from different hundred angles, than rushing a topic and pretending you’re freaking awesome. Strategize. It makes the difference. “You have to know every little bit of what you are doing. Pero huwag mo naman pabayaan sarili mo. Gumala din minsan. Lumav-life! Tiwala lang. Believe in yourself.” These things kept him sane from all the pressure and lunacy of the coming board exam. And sure enough, a sweep of euphoria embraced his soul as his name appeared on the list of passers last October. As an alumnus of ATLAS I’m sorry. I can’t seem to write everything I should. There is just too much to say about how Kuya Hartney feels about ATLAS. The feeling is too prodigious. Too wonderful. Even though he didn’t tell me everything, I felt it. They feel it. There is something among him and his friends in ATLAS that I can’t put into letters. That red thread that won’t breach. Words fail me. All I came up is one single sentence, one that will say it all, one that will last forever: ATLAS is home. ■




Ink and Words BY: ESTHER JOY GUTIERREZ I have never truly considered myself as a writer, even when I aspire to be one. I don't have the reservoir of life lessons and quirky one-liners to satisfy a good plot. But if there is anything I am sure of, it's writing. It is my own personal therapy when the buzz in my head becomes unbearable. For me, it's either I take all those thoughts on paper, or continue trapping them in my head, resulting a headache. They say there is power in pen, and there is. For some, writing can be tiresome and boring. I mean, we write lectures and notes. We write assignments and research papers. What is new? In college we are taught extensively on grammar and syntax and stuff. Is there more to it? Yes, there is. Writing isn't all about technicalities. Just as Ray Bradbury would say, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Think about all those books that you loved. All the books that left a mark. Lord of the Rings. Five People You Meet In Heaven. Ender's Game. Divergent. Hunger Games. These are basically words strung up to create worlds where people can let their imagination fly. Writing is about the world you create. There are no rules. There is freedom in writing. Writing is also a form of expression. There are times when you just couldn't say what you really wanted to say. There are times that you try to explain it as best as you could but it just won't come right. "It's at the tip of my tongue!". Those times when there isn't enough bravery in there to spit all the words out of your

throat. These are times that I search for something to write on, because the thing that I can't say- that I can easily write. There is power in expressing the depth of your mind, and you don't need to worry. Words aren't there to criticize. There is no need to be magnanimous. Simple words relay thoughts more accurately and efficiently. You can be as direct, or you can be as poetic as you want. There are no rules in expressing what is on your mind. You can write them however way you want. As I'm writing this article, I am thinking about the people who are also writing for The Sphere. I am imagining them sitting in front of the screen, asking themselves, "How do I do this?" Writing in a publication, where everyone would read your work, can be a daunting task. How would they react? Would they be bored? Should I add a level of hilarity to my work? These are the common thoughts or worries that plague a writer's mind as they work. Some would easily plow on through and some would stay stuck, but the moment they pass that mental barrier; you'd be surprised at the clarity of the mental picture they can portray with words. I am thinking of you too, my reader. Are you bored? Is my approach too mundane or banal? Did it come across as half-hearted or too serious? Did you enjoy reading The Sphere? What are your thoughts? If you would write this article, how would you write it? I may seem to ask a lot of questions, pardon me. But part of writing is thinking and I can't help but wonder about these things.

As I'm nearing the end, (no please don't mentally scream hurrah!) I would like to say something about how and why we even came up with this publication. I won't say that we feel the need to report whatever it is that our organization had completed for the last term and how we're awesome yada yada, but all I would say is that there is joy in looking back on all those times that you didn't think you could do it, but you did. All those accomplishments weren't ours to celebrate alone. There are those friends, and teachers and students that made each activity worthwhile. There were conflicts and mishaps and differences. There were a lot of questions and doubts. There were arguments over simple things and external setbacks. But you know what? We're still standing and working our asses off to be our very best. We still spend our time brainstorming about programs and activities that would help , that would make a difference in the long run. All those seminars? Team buildings? And all those that will come after, are carefully thought out and planned just for YOU. ATLAS is basically a bunch of people, burning through a lot of brain cells (turning black hair into grey) to serve you. The Sphere is about how we helped and how we would like to help. This is our way to say THANK YOU. This is our way to celebrate OUR victory. It really is more fun in ATLAS. ■

The ATLAS Way Growth Through Experience BY: MARIZ JOY MACARILAY "Experience is the teacher of all things." - Julius Caesar ATLAS is not just a student organization. It's you, me, us, and above all, a family. For me, ATLAS does not only mean "Association of Taxation and Law Students". Instead it could also purport "Always Teach and Learn the Art of Sharing." Life is a give and take cycle. In addition, sharing is something universal. Through sharing, we can learn. We can grow. I think the real focus of student organizations is to help the students to enhance themselves and equip them with wisdom that cannot be usually learned inside the classroom but rather, through experiences.

As a former vice president for non-academics, I sacrificed my time and effort to fulfil the duties and responsibilities laid on me by serving my co-warriors and being a role model to other student leaders. In return, it taught me to become a better leader and a stronger individual amidst all the challenges that came on my way. I can proudly say we produced 16 events and won 8 different awards last federation year which were all sweet fruits of all our labor. On the other hand, you, our dear members, must be active by sharing your talents, intelligence and true self, which can develop your social interaction and personality. You can also find new friends and maybe, discover some of your hidden abilities that can be useful for your future. Allowing yourself to be involved in the wide range of activities, either academi-

COMICS: ”Si Manong, Si Manong, Si Manong”


cally or non-academically, this organization offers will make you, one way or another, build self-confidence and boost your well-being. "Be involved Atlanians!", as we always say. Aside from the fact that you need to enjoy the membership fee you had paid, the real essence of becoming a member is to get involved and earn experiences. Don't be naive, be a wise member! I let myself experience being part of one of the most outstanding organization in my university in order to suffice the standards of what I intend to become in the future - a catalyst of change. I highly suggest that you must experience it too. ATLAS experience is part of the continuous learning we need to go through so that we can be a catalyst of our own country. A simple effort we can exert today can be the most meaningful action that could save the Philippines from its chaotic condition. We are bound to make a change not for our sake but, of the future generation. According to Eleanor Roosevelt, the purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. "Live life to the fullest", as what a much known cliché stated. Be not afraid to have new experiences, to have fun, and to commit mistakes because being successful does not requires us to be perfect or ideal. Most of the successful people are those who are adventurous for they are not afraid to speak their ideas and put them into actions. Hence, try to maximize and bring out the best of your abilities, seize every moment while you are still a student and, most especially, make decisions that you will never regret for the rest of your life. Always teach and learn the art of sharing in the best possible way you can – be an Atlanian! Please, continue supporting this organization. Let's enjoy, learn and have fun. It is really more fun in ATLAS! ■


STORY “Wake up!” I groggily opened my eyes into slits and saw my boyfriend. “It's time.” he said, before standing up and lending me his hand. I reached for it, while my other hand rubbed my eyes. “How long was I out?” I asked. “Too long.” he replied with a smirk, then added “Hurry up, those two are waiting.” The aforementioned two, James and Hannah, were poised near the door, very close to each other. “It's about time you woke up, miss,” James jeered. I flushed in embarrassment. “Hey, it’s still half an hour before midnight. We still have plenty of time,” Brian retorted. “Guys, remember why we’re here in the first place. It’s to perform the charm, not to fight with each other,” Hannah interjected while smoothing her hair. “Ready, guys?” she asked. Brian and I nodded agreeably. We walked cautiously to the door, James peering at the corridors through the door's little window. "Coast’s clear, guys. Let's go!" he said in a hurried whisper. I stepped out from the room we were hiding in and looked around in awe. "It's really dark and creepy at this hour, Brian—“ I said whilst hugging myself “and cold." "It's always dark and creepy up here in the Engineering building, Patrice. Can't say the same thing about the coldness though. They ought to replace the AC units up here, and install an elevator while they're at it too. Watch your step." We scurried down the stairs and looked down the hall, making sure no one else was present, and then crossed over to the TYK Building. “This is turning to be quite a chore, going down from EN and then climbing up to the 6th floor. Can’t we take a break?” I uttered between breaths. “You already slept long enough, Pattie.” scoffed James, the last word in a mocking tone. I couldn’t help but get flustered. Brian suddenly held my hand and said, in a strong yet calm voice, “Could you please stop talking to my girlfriend that way, and don’t call her Pattie either. It’s awful.” then he turned to me and whispered. “You were the one who wanted to do this in the first place, so best keep mum, honey.” He’s right. I was the one who insisted on going. After I heard of the rumors, I really wanted to do it. They said if you were to write your and your lover’s name at the university helipad at midnight, your love would bloom forever. I was sold right away. I always believed in love spells and faithfully forwarded all those chain mails that promised true love, and fervently wished to find my own ‘happily ever after’. I swore I’d do anything to have it, and here was the perfect opportunity. I was ready to do anything for it, even if it meant staying long after class hours finished, hiding in a creepy, old room for and lying to my parents about a non-existent school project. Of course, Brian was beside me all the time, so none of it was really that bad. We finally came upon the door to the uppermost level of the building—the helipad. Almost there. We’re just one door away from eternal love. “But this door’s locked. It always is.” I gawped. “Is it?” James, his right hand on the door handle, glanced at Hannah then flashed us a sly grin. “Voila!” With a quick and powerful tug at its handle, the door glided open; and the kiss of cold wind welcomed us. Just like magic. “Hurry, it’s two minutes to midnight.” Hannah chided us as she looked down on her wristwatch. She led us to the corner where written on one spot were their names, Hannah and James. “Your turn.” she said as she gave me the Sharpie. “Fifty seconds.” I didn’t give it a second thought. I bent down and wrote our names in an instant, including our last names for good measure. “And, twelve o’clock.” As soon as Hannah stopped talking, the floor started quivering. Everything became a huge mess.

Happily Ever After BY: CHARLIE DEL ROSARIO, PAULINE GRACE FORTEZA, AND AUDREY MAE GEOLAGON The ground began to shake violently and I could feel the tremor beneath my feet. “What the hell?! An earthquake?! AT THIS TIME?!” Brian exclaimed as he plopped down, having lost his balance. “Hannah! Stay with me!” I heard James shout while reaching for Hannah, who unluckily tumbled down near the doorway. My knees weren’t spared either, and so I fell ungracefully unto the hard concrete. After that, all I saw was pitch black. I fluttered my eyelids open, rubbing my temples as a wave of dizziness came over me. “Ugh Brian..?” I groaned. “Brian? Where—?” I uttered as I helped myself up, and paused suddenly as I surveyed my surroundings. ‘Strange, I don’t remember getting into a room.’ I thought to myself. I glanced at the windows and saw the room’s aged dishevelled state. The walls were all dirty and its grimy white paint was peeling. Dark moulds and spider webs collecting black dust were lined every corner. The floor was strangely covered with bits of newspaper, leaves and mud. Smudged mud. “Brian? Hey, it’s me, Patrice! Hannah? James?!” I cried as I nervously left the room. I passed by a couple of rooms and found Hannah lying on a corner by the hallway, unconscious. What exactly happened to her? Where is everyone? This is really bad. Since I couldn’t carry her, I grabbed her by the arms and dragged her into a room by our side. As I opened the door, I took in the enormous number of mannequins, rolled up paper and canvases occupying the room. All in their perfect forms and poses, I passed a few mannequins and carefully sat Hannah by a wall. It would be hard for me to move around the place with her along, so I left her in that room. She’ll be safe, surely. There was only four of us here. Or so I thought. I slowly made my way around a corner of the gloomy hallway and passed by a fire extinguisher suited on the wall. My heart was pounding into my chest. I could even feel it beating in my throat. I swallowed hard as I heard a muffled sound of footsteps behind me. ‘Those are the sound of Brian’s sneakers, I’m sure of it!’ I thought and quickly turned around, finding Brian looking at the opposite direction. “Brian!” I exclaimed as I practically ran to him and embraced him with all my might. “I thought I lost you forever!” I cried and buried my face into his shoulder. “Patrice! I’m so glad that you’re safe! I was looking for you for hours! Don’t cry now… I’m here.” Brian said and grabbed my shoulders. “Have you seen Hannah and James? I can’t find them anywhere.” He asked frantically. ”I just found Hannah, I left her in a room full of mannequins.” “Really? Then, all that’s left is James… Let’s go look for him. I’ll carry Hannah for the meantime, we can’t leave her like that for so long.” He exhaled. “Right. Let’s go.” I led him back to the room where I left Hannah. As both Brian and I approached the room. I heard the disgusting sounds of something being crushed. Oh no. The blood in my veins rushed throughout my body and Brian and I looked at each other mortified. “HANNAH?!” we both screamed as we opened the door with a bang. We we’re too late. All the mannequins on the floor were now swarming on the ceiling, their once perfect forms now horrifyingly twisted and ghastly. ‘Is that blood I see oozing down the walls?!’ In the midst of all the insanity was Hannah’s contorted body—her face peeling off, her mouth gaped open in an impossible manner and her muscles raw and sinews lining her once fair skin. Brian and I did the same thing. We ran. Brian and I kept running away from that horrible room until we saw James standing in the middle of the hallway. “James! We have to get- AHHHHH!“ Brian screamed at the sight of him. James looked exactly like Hannah—only worse. Are both of his arms

cut open? Is that an intestine I’m seeing?! Even so, James charged at our direction and tried to push Brian out a broken window. Brian kicked James hard enough against a cabinet, causing it to fall on him. James stopped moving after that. When we approached his body, Brian saw that James’ insides were made of wood. I began to ponder but the swarm of mannequins were approaching us fast. We didn’t hesitate to run. We ran as far as our legs could carry us. After an hour of running or perhaps just two minutes (I don’t know which), Brian opened a room and hauled me inside. We collapsed in unison on the floor, I managing not to hyperventilate from exhaustion. “I think we lost them.” Leaning against the wall for support, Brian reached for my hand, gently squeezing it. “I have a plan,” Brian whispered, “but it’s a desperate plan.” Brian’s face was set in grim determination. “Don’t tell me you’re going to volunteer yourself to distract them and die in the process so that I, the damsel in distress, can escape and live. That’s cliché, Brian. I will not allow it.” Brian looked away. “How did you..?” he started but I interjected. “We’re not in a movie, Brian. There aren’t directors who’d yell ‘Cut!’ when the monster’s about to grab us nor do we have doubles to do the death-defying stunts for us, so don’t expect everything to go smoothly. Heck, we’re just lucky we escaped them twice.” I don’t want to die. I don’t want Brian to die. This is really unfair. All I wanted was a ‘happily-ever-after’. Can’t a girl dream? Now I know there are really no shortcuts to a lasting relationship, and I learned that in the hard way. Waterworks tried to make an appearance but no, I won’t cry. I will not succumb to this twisted fate. I will not give them the satisfaction of us losing hope. “Let’s get away from here together. It’s either we escape or die trying.” I stood up but a jolt of pain made me stumble. Brian caught me and asked what’s wrong. “I sprained my ankle.” Now, I will not be able to run, I thought, wincing. I clenched my hands in frustration. Why did I have to be so weak? “I think it’s time to resort to my plan, Patrice” “NO!” I cried, “Here’s the plan, just run. Run for help and don’t ever look back. You’re an athlete; I know you can outrun them. I’ll just stay here.” Brian tried to say something but I broke him off. “No buts, I have the final say in this argument because I’m the girl here. Remember, don’t sacrifice yourself. I’d rather have a coward boyfriend who’s alive and kicking than a heroic boyfriend who’s DEAD.” The longest hour passed after we executed my plan. He promised to be back as soon as possible so we could be together forever and be the best couple in the university. Meanwhile, sprawled on the dust-and-dirt-filled floor, I scanned my surroundings. In the corner of this dilapidated room, there was a broken desk. After a thorough search, I found several newspaper clippings. These are what I learned: Apparently, in the past, there was an art studio situated on the piece of land where UE is currently standing. A fire smothered the studio into ashes. The said accident drove the owner into suicide. A picture of his suicide note was printed in one article. It said, “I swear solemnly in my life that my work of arts will be eternal and perfect. Anyone who tries to cross our path will be trampled.” And guess what, his line of passion was creating mannequins. Finally, it all clicked. A knock on the door dragged me to my senses, to this contorted reality. Fear was clouding over me so much that it was almost tangible. It started to strangle me so I tried to fight it, to no avail. One uttered word behind the door released me from the choking grasp of terror. “Patrice!” Limping, I scampered to

the door to welcome my long-awaited boyfriend and, hopefully, with some help. I opened the door, armed will blindingly bright optimism, just to be shattered before my own eyes and replaced with crushing fear, rooting me to the spot. I attempted to deter the reappearance of my lunch but the horrid image on the door made me threw up. Standing on the door was my boyfriend, Brian. But I know he wasn’t my Brian. Not anymore. His skin was sagging, as if it was loosely fitted. I knew the skin was Brian’s but what stood beneath was a mannequin. I knew because I could still see parts of the mannequin where the skin failed to fit. And the eyes, their gaze was not straight at me. They were askew, the pupils at different directions. And the way he moved, it was like there were non-existent strings controlling it, making his movements slightly constrained. I mustered up my courage and backed one step away. “I returned, as promised,” the figure in the doorway said. “Join us so that we can be forever, my love.” I strained my eyes and as they were adjusting to the darkness behind the mannequin who stole my Brian, that’s when I saw the swarm of mannequins with their limbs twisted, all of their mouths set in mocking smiles. My heart beat so fast I was surprised it didn’t jump out my ribcage. My knees gave in and I slumped on the floor. “I will not join you as long as I live because you’re not my Brian!” “Oh, is that so? Here’s your Brian!” In an instant, he hurled to me a reddish mass of flesh. “AHHHHHHH!!” I knew what it was; it was the lifeless cadaver of Brian. I could see the muscles in its pinkish tinge, the veins and arteries pumping, his intestines protruding and his eyes, OH GOD, his hazel brown eyes, they were gouged out. I couldn’t move. My hands were shuddering. My eyes were terror-stricken. My stomach had been emptied, so had my bladder. I was doomed. In the end, I fell prey to their desires. The horde of mannequins crowded me. As they peeled my skin off, my mind was filled of swirling ideas trying to form constellations of coherent thoughts, attempting to explain this gruesome catastrophe that had befallen me. James and Hannah were already victims of the curse, that’s why they were able to open the helipad door. There was no magic. They lured us so that their brethren mannequins could complete their transformation. It was all explained in the newspaper clippings. The rumored urban legend of eternal love was just a façade to attract forced skin donators. Those who performed the charm at midnight must have been inexplicably transported to the burned art studio in the past. What could this place possibly be if not the art studio? After they extricated the coverings of their victims, the skin-covered mannequins will be transported back to the present and act as the doppelgangers of the victims, as if nothing happened, and carry on their mission to beguile desperate couples. I closed my eyes, and smiled, knowing that I’ll die unearthing all the secrets of this grotesque curse, knowing that I’ll die with my beloved Brian. THE NEXT DAY… “Honey, do you know them?” the girl asked as she pointed the couple in the next bench. “Patrice and Brian?” the guy answered. “I wish we could be like them.” “You know, they became so lovey-dovey with each other after they performed that love charm. Should we try it?” the guy asked. The girl vigorously nodded his approval. “I’m in. What could we possibly lose? ■


A Cup of Avarice (And Two Tablespoon of Lust!)

BY: DENIELLA ANNE BAYACA “Greed (Avarice) is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things."—Thomas Aquinas Avarice, as defined, is a sin applied to intense and excessive desire and pursuit of material possessions. Scavenging, hoarding, theft and robbery are some actions influenced by greed. We have seen and encountered a lot of cases involving the said actions, clue: you can see it all over the news! Sure, it is alarming, but what is more disturbing is that it has already entered our school, our beloved university. Greed took over a group of students in UE Caloocan! Last semester, S.Y. 2013-2014, just a normal day for most of the students, the UE-Cal surprisingly raised the security measures for students who wish to leave the school premises. Each bag is carefully checked and they seemed like looking for something which caused delay in the part of students paving way for both irritation and curiosity. Few days later, a professor told us the story. For those who haven’t heard it yet, this is what happened. The football team of UE, all students of UEMLA, came to practice at UE-Cal’s Field. Somehow unfamiliar with the school and not owning a locker there, the team decided to leave their personal belongings in the portion of the field in front of the Old Academic Bldg., complacent that no one will get their things in such a public place with them just playing around. Soon, they found out that their things, including their gadgets, were missing. Some students around the place of incident said that they saw a group of high school students took the bags. The team then informed the security officers and immediately ordered security


guards to check the bags of all students leaving the school. They tried to call one of the victims’ phones which the school service driver answered. He then said that a girl, one of the students riding the service vehicle, handed the phone to him. The girl was then caught and she turned over her companions. It turned out that this group of third year high school students agreed on hiding the gadgets in some of the plant vase at the back of the LCT Bldg. after realizing that they cannot pass the gate with the stolen items. The girl insisted in bringing one of the phones with her which she handed to the driver for a while. When someone called, the driver answered the phone. What drove them to do that? Do you think it’s out of necessity? Of course not! Anyone who can afford to enroll at a private school can surely afford to provide himself his needs and maybe, wants. Again, what drove them to do that? A cup of avarice and two tablespoon of lust—a desire to have more, an urge for luxurious materials and a little curiosity which is, according to Thomas Hobbes, the lust of mind. The youth of today are materialistic. The improvement of technology develops more variety, more choices, more wants for the young people making them greedy, making them ask for more, making them rapacious to goods of ostentation. This is not just about those bunch of junior high school students. This is about all of us, the youth and the students of the University of the East. We are more than this. We are warriors. Don’t let our greediness ruin the good reputation that thousands of alumni worked for. Don’t let our impulsiveness paint dirt on the name our school took care of for 67 years. Let us take this as an example, not of what we must do but of what we must avoid. Live with the values of a true warrior, after all, you are one. ■


FEATURE UE-CAL welcomes the largest youth organization BY: JERIC JAMES PERNITEZ “There is only one thing that can solve every problem in the world. That is leadership.” Such is the firm belief of the President of AIESECUP Diliman, Mr. Hans Aggabao as he encouraged everyone to be a globally competitive leader when he and his colleagues visited UE Caloocan last September 17, 2013. AIESEC – the largest youth organization worldwide – is oriented towards providing a global platform for the youth in experiencing, honing and developing leadership skills through international exchange programs. They are the ones behind the biggest youth conventions worldwide like, Global Youth Summit and Youth to Business Forum. AIESEC believes leadership can only be learned by interacting with others. And when they say others, it’s about other citizens—other nationalities. In connection to this, the organization aims to connect different nationalities for people to treat everyone not as others, but as a part of their cause, as a colleague, as a friend. In that way everyone would be able to work for a common goal – the betterment of society, that is. Through the efforts of several student leaders from different colleges, student organizations are now working to create a local chapter of AIESEC in the campus, so UE Warriors might be given the opportunity to lead, and be globally competitive. ■

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