The good, the bad and the U-Turn | Hindi ko Makita-kits
Loyola Times MARCH 2011
SMDC: The story on the controversial construction
Table of contents Katipunan FEATURES Skyline portrait
Smooth Criminals; Wired Fire; Hindi Ko Makita-kits
In the Blue Corner, 12
By Arilia Tolentino and Shyla Francisco
Drug a-booze, 16
By Alex Santiago, Research by Kim Luces
By Arilia Tolentino
CULTURE Last, but not the list, The Good, the Bad and the U-turn Open court
An MMDA reprimands a vehicle driver as he caught him swerving before the u-turn slot.
Letters to the Editors
THE Ex-Chay-ting Life “I just wanted to say I love your February issue! I loved how you portrayed the journalists. I can really relate to it since I’m a journalist myself. It’s good to know that there are people who understand that it is really not an easy job to get the news. The job is not at all glamorous. Also, featuring Chay Hofilena really pushed me to buy the newsmagazine. Her story is wonderful. I was always curious on what it feels like to be a journalist and a teacher. I loved how you featured her. Great job guys!” -Danielle Marquez
PHOTO BY DAPHNE OLIVEROS http://www.flickr.com/photos/daphnerakstar/1148582637/
“Your February issue was inspiring. I always wanted to be a journalist and when I saw and read your stories, I became more determined in pursuing this career. My parents did not want me to become a journalist, but after reading your articles, they understood the job and why I really wanted it. Also, I was so happy that you finally featured Ms. Chay Hofilena!! I idolize her! I really wanted to know more about her. Thank you the Loyola Times, thank you!!” -Hans Garay
“In behalf of Ms. Chay Hofilena’s fans, we thank you! We have been requesting for a feature of her for the past 6 months and I was glad that you finally featured her. We have really waited for this. The moment we found out that you were going to feature her, we lined up in National Book Store. Would you believe that on the first day of The Loyola Times release, it was sold out?! Serious! Haha! Anyway, more power to the magazine and the staff!” -Teresa Alvero, president of Chay-nese (Chay Hofilena’s official fan club)
“Thank you for featuring Ms. Chay Hofilena! She was my newswriting teacher two years ago and I loved how she changed her look and outlook in life! I also like your journalism articles and I also appreciated that you put timely stories in the newsmagazine. I really liked it since it helped me understand the news more. I learned the side of the victims. Before, I was biased and now I feel and understand both sides. Please feature more stories like that! Thank you!” -Philip Sionosa
“First of all, I would like to commend you for the amazing layout and timely stories you put on the magazine. With today’s economic crisis, it is really hard for the journalists not to accept bribes from officials, but I am happy that they have ethical codes and rules to follow. I was just a little sad that Chay Hofilena profile has only a page. I really liked her! You should’ve allotted at least two pages. Anyhow, I was still happy you featured her.” -Jun Agosto
Staff + Opinion
Should we continue with the construction of SMDC Blue Residences? I think SMDC should not go on with the construction because they are causing a lot of problems in the area. Katipunan traffic is bad enough as it is, and another high-rise building will just cause the congestion to worsen. Also, the building itself is directly above a fault, which puts its residents in danger should there ever be an earthquake of high magnitude. Aside from that, neighboring Ateneo de Manila will be affected, since the side road beside Blue Residences is a direct link to the Ateneo Grade School. SMDC should just give up on this project and find another, more suitable site that doesn't clash with any of the schools and residential places in the area--which are first priority because of the density of people who live, work and study there. -Alex, editor-in-chief
No, we shouldn’t. It will be detrimental to the traffic flow. It is unnecessary since we already have a lot of high-rise buildings along Katipunan. It is just another capitalist project which seeks to earn more and more money without even considering the consequences. The building has not been opened yet, but its masterminds have already violated the law. What more if they are allowed to do business already? -Arilia, associate editor
I personally think that the construction of SMDC Blue should not be continued. Aside from the worse traffic it might cause once it is completed, the building stands near the Marikina Valley fault. If and when an earthquake occurs, one of the most probable directions of Blue's fall will be towards Ateneo. Its completion will not only be a hassle to Loyola Heights residents, but also will be a dangerous neighbor to the Ateneo. -Kim Luces, art editor
No, they shouldn’t be allowed. First, they violated the law. They did not undergo the normal process. They were already given an exception and yet they didn’t follow the remaining procedure in securing a permit. Next, it will only create problems in traffic and in the environment. The constructions are above a fault, and in case something happens, there is a big possibility it will fall in the Ateneo buildings. I think if the City government allows them to continue the construction, others would follow them too- thinking it is just easy to be excused and to get out of the problem. --Shyla, managing editor
No. First of all, it didn’t go through the normal AND legal process of securing of the necessary permits. Also, don’t we have enough of skyscrapers in Katipunan that only obstruct our view of the sky? -Eunice, photo editor
BULLETIN Bulletin front page Portrait mcdo picture
“It is alarming that most of the time, nagkakaroon ng problema sa McDonald’s” -Barangay Captain Caesar Marquez
Police station nine located along Anonas, Quezon City is the home of several thieves caught in the Loyola Heights area.
Smooth Criminal A lesson on the ways of theft in Katipunan BY KIM LUCES
It was the morning of March 11. Marcia Gacosta, a household helper, rode a jeep from Cubao to Katipunan Avenue to fetch her ward from school. She sat nearest the jeep entrance, with a bag containing her cell phone and a Miriam College dismissal card placed between her legs. “Para,” one of the passengers called to the driver as they approached Aurora Boulevard. Two passengers alighted from the jeep: the first was a woman, the second a man in his midtwenties. The second passenger stopped in front of Marcia. In seconds, he had a knife across Marcia’s neck. “May nilabas siyang patalim (He brought out a knife),” Marcia narrated. “Tinutok sa aking leeg, sabay ang pagkuha niya ng aking bag na nakalagay sa pagitan ng aking mga hita (He held [the
knife] against my neck, and snatched the bag I was holding in between my legs).” The suspect ran. Marcia, too, alighted from the jeep and ran after him. “[…]sinundan ko ang suspek hanggang makahingi ako ng tulong sa isang
PO2 Roy Torre parked his motorcycle and approached him. Torre held the suspect while Marcia took the knife from his waist. He was not able to run. The weapon was a kitchen knife: nine inches long, marked “LEO 3-1111”.
“Akala ng officer kaibigan, yun pala ninanakawan na” pulis na naka-motorsiklo (I followed the suspect until I could get help from a policeman [riding a motorcycle]),” she continued. “Umangkas ako at hinanap namin ang suspek sa kahabaan ng Aurora Boulevard (I rode the motorcycle and we looked for the suspect along Aurora Boulevard).” Marcia finally saw the suspect holding her bag. His back was turned when
Modus operandi Even Loyola Heights, which is considered to be very safe, is no exemption to this kind of crime. Theft may not be as rampant in the area, thanks to the actively roaming tanod and police, but it happens nonetheless. Only an average of two to three reports of theft happens in the barangay
every month. Most of the stolen items are never retrieved. Many thefts happen in the Katipunan area where students’ laptops and/or bags are usually stolen. Most are done in rather innovative ways. “Wala masyadong snatching dito sa Loyola Heights (Not much snatching is done in Loyola Heights),” said PO2 Rodolfo Ramos, who patrols the Loyola Heights area. “Ang madalas dito yung ‘salisi’ (What happens often is ‘salisi’).” Cases of ‘basag kotse’ were the most common a few months ago. One or two men would break the glass of a car and take whatever is inside while another would be on the lookout for police. Gaining trust Another is the infamous budol-budol, sort of a ‘mind game’ done by a group of three or four. “Umpisa niyan, yung isa muna yung magpapakilala. Tapos pag nakuha na yung loob ng biktima, tsaka na siya magtatawag ng kasama niya (What they do first is introduce themselves. When they manage to befriend the victim, they call the others involved),” PO2 Ramos explained. “Minsan naman pag nagtiwala na yung biktima, pinapahawak yung gamit, tapos pinapasa dun sa kasama (When they gain the victim’s trust, the victim may ask them to watch their belongings, which they then give to their accomplices).” In some instances, the thief would pretend to be a policeman or a tanod, and tell the victim that he/she has a violation he/ she has to pay for. This type of modus is the most difficult to detect or prevent. “Kunwari may isang biktima, may kausap diyan (For example there’s a victim talking to someone),” Ramos said. “Akala ng officer kaibigan lang, nun pala ninanakawan na (The officer would think that the [other] person is only a friend, little do they know that they are being thieved already).” Recently, the most common modus operandi is the ‘riding-in-tandem’, wherein two men in a motorcycle pass beside the victim and take his/her belongings. Ramos advised the public, students most especially, to keep laptops and important belongings inside bags, and not bring them in a separate case.
Wired Fire On fires in dorms BY ALEX SANTIAGO
Danielle Marquez was in a state of panic. Her roommates at the Eliazo dormitory inside Ateneo de Manila University had awakened her at three in the morning with urgent voices and shocked faces. One of their room’s ceiling fans had started to emit large red sparks, and the rest of their room’s electrical power had gone out. The eighteen-year-old Communication sophomore and her three roommates ran for their lives, summoning the guard to help them. The sparks from the ceiling fan were now teasing a full-scale fire, one that threatened to destroy their personal items and put many lives in danger. Marquez recalled that the security guard called some others to help control the growing sparks and the small fire that had begun. None of Marquez’s or her roommates’ belongings were damaged — except for the ceiling fan. The fire, which was considered small-scale and easily controlled, was never reported. “It [the fire] could’ve happened and gotten worse if it wasn’t called to attention,” shared Marquez, who still resides in the same dorm room. “They removed our fan and I think it was replaced.” Electrical issues Situations like these are beginning to become commonplace in Loyola Heights. In fact, records from the
Loyola Heights Barangay Hall state that majority of fires in the vicinity every month occur in dormitories— and all for the same reason. “Karamihan mga electric, faulty electrical wiring,” said Jesse Mirasol, a Loyola Heights firefighter. In 2009 alone, where eight full-scale fires were fought in Loyola Heights, more than half came from dormitories, shared Mirasol. Of the 11 major fires in 2010, a smaller number came from dormitories, but all for the same reasons nonetheless. Legal reasons “Most of the dormitories with fires aren’t legal, so they don’t have safety regulations,” added Barangay Captain Caesar Marquez.
More than several wires intertwine with each other as dormers use their laptops all at the same time—without regard for the consequences.
“Mga residential areas, kino-convert into dormitories na walang permit (Residential areas are being converted into dormitories without permits).” Instances like the one in the Eliazo dorm are rare, said Chairman Marquez, but not impossible. In fact, a well-known dormitory near the barangay hall recently suffered a small fire. “Wala naming nasaktan (Nobody was hurt),” assured Mirasol. “Nagkaroon nga lang ng alarm at natupok namin (An alarm was raised and we were able to put [the fire] out).” The cause of the fire, said Mirasol, was the overloading of an electrical outlet, where several laptop chargers and a cellphone charger were plugged in. “Sa isang room, maraming nakatira kasi (One room is occupied by many),” commented Marquez, who advises dormers to use their outlets wisely. The dormitory in question refused to comment on the matter, saying that their dormers’ privacy “came first.” Prevention is key Prevention of similar fires is up to the dormers, said Mirasol. “Wala silang mga fire extinguishers (They don’t have fire extinguishers),” stated Marquez of most dormitories. “Sana hindi na mangyari ulit (I hope it doesn’t happen again).” Simple energy-saving tricks may be the key to preventing more fires, said Danielle Marquez. “Be mindful of the amount of power supply you're using— don't use too many appliances at the same time,” she advised. “If you're not using it, turn it off.”
“Be mindful of the power supply you’re using—if you’re not using it, turn it off.”
Hindi Ko Makita-kits! The alarming number of thefts in our favourite fast food outlet BY KIM LUCES
McDonald's lights shine amidst the great evening sky. But is it always a great evening after stepping out of this fast food chain? Basag-kotse, budol-budol, riding-intandem – just some of the reasons why the public is told to be cautious when walking along Katipunan. But most thefts do not happen on the street itself, but in the confines of one of the most frequented places in Katipunan – McDonald’s. The barangay hall receives one or two reports of theft in McDonald’s (Mcdo) every month. The problem, according to PO2 Rodolfo Ramos, is the lack of security guards. “Isa lang kasi yung guard (They only have one guard),” said Ramos. “ Ang binabantayan niya loob tsaka labas, yung mga nakaparadang sasakyan (He guards both the inside and the outside of the establishment, and also the parked cars).” Ramos advised McDonald’s to have at least two guards just so one would watch the inside while the other will be posted outside, something that McDonald’s refused to do. “Ayaw yata nilang gumastos (They don’t want to
spend),” he added. “It is alarming that most of the time, nagkakaroon ng problema sa (there is a problem in) McDonald’s,” said Barangay Captain Caesar Marquez. “Kinausap na namin sila, ayaw nilang makipag-usap (We tried talking to them, but they don’t want to).” Another problem is with the CCTV camera. “May CCTV sila, hindi gumagana (They have a CCTV camera that doesn’t work),” said Marquez. “Kahit panoorin lang namin, ayaw nilang pumayag (They won’t even let us watch it).” Marquez also said that McDonald’s never reported any incidents of theft, with the victims usually being the ones to report to the barangay hall. “There is something wrong with that kasi never silang nag-cooperate. […] I don’t see yung kanilang concern sa kanilang mga customer.” McDonald’s refused to comment on the issue.
Features front page Parking boys portrait
A parking boy sits outside McDonald's Katipunan as he thinks deeply of his thoughts with a cup of orange juice.
Big sm ture w
In SMDC flaunts its latest project through a giant horizontal billboard outside its construction site along Katipunan cor. Aurora Boulevard.
Itâ€™s S BY S
mdc picwith cap
n the Blue Corner
SMDC vs. Loyola Heights. Whose side are you on? Shyla Francisco and Arilia Tolentino
Smdc half-strip picture
A small signage informs passers-by of the ideal duration of the Blue Residences construction.
Loyola Heights against SM Blue The construction of a 42-story SM Development Corporation (SMDC) building along Katipunan Avenue has been met with complaints from residents and establishments of Barangay Loyola Heights. In their complaint letters, the homeowners associations’ of Loyola Grand Villas, Xavierville II, La Vista and the administration of Ateneo de Manila University expressed their “strongest objections to the construction [of SMDC’s Blue Residences] due to series of environmental effects and impacts to the immediate surroundings and vicinity,” as stated in their letters. They also cited that no public hearing, a requirement for a Special Use Permit, was held at the barangay. According to Barangay Loyola Heights Chairman Caesar Marquez,
SMDC secured a locational clearance but did not return for their building permit after. “All of a sudden, nalaman namin na yung city government gave them an exception to such reasons like yung height ng building, density tapos yung traffic (All of a sudden, we discovered that the city government gave them the exception for reasons like the height of the building, the density and traffic),” Marquez explained. “Supposedly, pag kukuha ka ng exemptions, kailangan ng public hearing ... hindi sila kumuha nun (Supposedly, when you request an exemption, a public hearing is required ... they did not go through that).” SMDC started the construction with just a fencing permit at hand. The Quezon City Council approved Resolution SPO-4866 S-2010, which allowed
SMDC’s exemption from the provision of Article VI Section IV (Traffic Generation) and 11 (Height Regulation). SMDC’s Blue Residences is a commercial and residential condominium with 1,626 residential units. According to the said resolution, the project will not adversely affect public health, safety and welfare. Precious Hipolito Castelo, a City Hall official, already proposed another resolution revoking Resolution SP4866 S-2010. The City Council is currently discussing the approval of Castelo’s proposed resolution. SM and Loyola Heights meet halfway During a meeting held at the QuezonCity Hall on March 2, SM Development Corporation (SMDC) and representatives from Loyola Heights came up with a compromise regarding the
Smdc half-strip picture
A bulldozer digs deeper into the soil of highly commercialized Katipunan.
construction of Blue Residences, SMDC’s latest residential venture, along Katipunan Avenue. SMDC was allowed to continue construction if they met certain conditions, including reduction of the building’s height and better traffic management. Among those present at the meeting were representatives from the Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College, the Quezon City Planning Office and several homeowners’ associations including La Vista, Loyola Grand Villas and Xavierville II. The city government was also present to hold the meeting. “Clearly, madami silang [SMDC] hindi ginawa sa process (Clearly, SMDC did not complete all the necessary processes),” said Loyola Heights Barangay Captain Caesar Marquez.
“Yung City Planning [office], mayroon din silang hindi ginawang tama (The City Planning Office also did not do everything correctly).” According to Marquez’s letter to City Building official Isagani R. Versoza, the issued building permit for SMDC was invalid. Aside from the usage of a barangay locational clearance as construction clearance, Versoza also issued a building permit for the wrong date. “To our surprise, the building permit issued erroneously stated that a barangay clearance was issued November 5, 2010, when in fact, as per attached, the barangay clearance was dated March 2, 2010,” Marquez stated in his letter to Versoza. Ateneo de Manila University’s student council, the Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng
Ateneo de Manila, also has the same concern. “It is highly questionable that the 17th City Council took much haste in the approval of these exemptions, suspending rules, deliberations and withholding public consultations when the stakeholders share a common stand of disapproval,” the Sanggunian said in a statement regarding Blue Residences. Though a compromise has been reached, some residents of Loyola Heights are still against the construction of the said high-rise condominium. “Magpepetisyon pa rin kami (We will still petition [the agreement]),” declared a representative from the Xavierville II Homeowners’ Association. Another meeting will be held next Wednesday to discuss the conditions and provisions further.
Drug A-booze Katipunan has become the ultimate booze playground.
Written by: Alex Santiago Research by: Kim Luces
Katipunan-based students spend their Saturday nights having fun at Papu's along Xavierville Avenue. But what exactly do their nights involve?
s, a popular drinking hotspot
Students start drinking at Cantina as early as 2pm and finish as late as 2am--or even 6am, according to barangay officials.
The picture was straight out of a clichéd Hollywood movie: beer bottles strewn carelessly everywhere, the music turned up way too loud, boisterous laughter, slurred voices—all meshed together into one entity known as a high school drinking session. Bart*, a former Ateneo High School student, recalled this scene as a normal Friday night. Along with a large group of boys from Ateneo High, Bart would troop to Katipunan straight out of school and drink until the wee hours. Their choice of venue: Drew’s, a popular drinking spot in Katipunan known for its cheap, free-flowing booze. There was one problem though. Bart and his friends, being high school students, were all underage. But they wouldn’t let that stop them.
Special offers and services usually posted in advertisements influence students to drink large amounts of alcohol.
nager (We befriended the managers),” said Bart, who is now a 20year-old Ateneo college student. “Meron silang [Drew’s] no-polo [shirt] rule, pero nakalusot kami dun (They had a no-polo rule, but we were able to get past that).” Their method, Bart said, was to follow the establishment’s rules by removing their blue Ateneo polo shirts, which would give them away as high school students, and drinking while wearing only their undershirts. “Never kami nahuli (We were never caught),” Bart added. “Marami na kaming pinasara (We had a lot of them [establishments] shut down),” said Loyola Heights Barangay Captain Caesar Marquez of the rampant underage drinking in the area. The barangay, said Marquez, has had numerous problems in the recent years all coming from the four Polo shirts most popular drinking spots in the “Kinaibigan namin yung mga ma- area: Cantina, Drew’s, Papu’s, and
the Meat Shop, which the barangay ordered closed in 2010 after an inspection revealed drug dealing and underage drinking. Marquez said that serving alcohol to minors would result in the revoking of the establishment’s business clearance, a punishment that befell the Meat Shop in 2008. Vetsin: the new date-rape drug Surprisingly, another problem that has caused the barangay officials headaches on more than one occasion comes from a common household viand: vetsin. “Vetsin is used as a date-rape drug,” said Marquez, referring to the methods used by would-be attackers in subduing their innocent victims. PO2 Rodolfo Ramos, who patrols the Loyola Heights area, said that an establishment on Xavierville Avenue, Papu’s Grill, is well-known for having “vetsin rapists.” Packets of vetsin were strewn
Papu's, a restaurant in the daytime, becomes a bar at night.
everywhere during a barangay inspection, added Marquez. The modus, said Marquez, was to slip a packet of vetsin into the unsuspecting victim’s drink, which, when combined with a high level of alcohol, would make the drink toxic and render the victim unconscious. “May mga nalalasing na mga estudyante (We have students who get drunk),” said Marquez, referencing a women’s college in the Katipunan area, whose students are often victims. “Dinadala nalang namin sa bahay ([So] we just take them home).” Parking with drugs Tim* and Elliot* are both college students who admit to smoking marijuana in their free time. While their main sources for the weed are people outside their usual circle, they can always count on the “parking boys” of Katipunan for a quick fix. Both boys, however, assert that
This drink is the highlight of this college student's schoolwork-filled week.
they do not buy the weed themselves, but ask a ‘middleman’ to do it for them. “I usually just give money to someone whom I know will be buying weed,” said Tim. “I ask them to just buy for me as well.”
yung boy pumunta sa isang lugar na hindi ko alam kung saan (We waited in the car while the boy went somewhere else, I don’t know where). “Balik siya mga 10 to 15 minutes, tapos ginamit yung 'handshake technique' para mabigay yung stuff (He came back after 10, 15 minutes and used the ‘handshake technique’ to give us the weed).” Marquez, on the other hand, said that the main source of weed that the barangay knew of was the Meat Shop. “May mga nakatago na marijuana sa aircon units (There was marijuana hidden in the air-conditioning units),” said Marquez of the scene during a routine barangay inspection of the place. “May kasama ako na kilala yung Marquez said that the barangay parking boys (I was with someone is still on the lookout for any violawho knew the parking boys),” said tions in the said drinking places. Elliot, who has witnessed one of his friends buying from a parking boy *Names changed to protect privacy. before. “Hintay kami sa car tapos
“May nakatago na marijuana sa aircon”
The parking boys usually spend their whole day helping commuters get jeeps, taxis, and tricycles in Katipunan Avenue, and compete with one another in getting money by finding as many "customers" as they can.
Picture with quote
Palaboy A glimpse of the life of a Katipunan parking boy BY ARILIA TOLENTINO
Running his hand through his artificially colored blonde hair, he waved at a tricycle for a woman who just finished eating breakfast in McDonald’s. She handed him five pesos, and off he went to another customer. He approached a Miriam College student and asked, “Ate, tricycle? Jeep? Taxi?” Probably bothered by the piercings on his left ear and his bloodshot eyes, she pretended not to hear him. When a car pulled out of the McDonald’s parking lot, he quickly ran to it and knocked on the back of the car hollering, “Sige. Atras. Sige pa. Sige pa. Okay. Libre. Atras, atras.” The driver rolled down the window of the car and gave him several one-peso coins before speeding away. 17-year-old Joseph Sagi is the seventh child in his family. He works as a “parking boy” outside McDonald’s. He lives in Barangay Loyola Heights, but the rest of his family lives in Marikina. He used to live with them, but last December 21, 2010, his parents forced him out of the house. “Nakulong ako. Pagkalabas ko ng bilanggo, napagpasyahan nila na nagiging pa-bigat na ako sa kanila (I was jailed. When I was released, they [his parents] decided that I was a burden on them),” Joseph said. “Kaya nung pinapalayas na ako, lumayas na rin ako. Nakakahiya na rin sa kanila, at ayaw ko na rin makarinig pa ng kung anu-ano (So when they told me to leave, I just did. It’s embarrassing for them, and I don’t want to hear anymore about it).” When he was still in Marikina, he
and his group of friends used to hang out outside a warehouse. When the owner of the warehouse lost several metals and steels, he pointed to Joseph’s group as the thieves. They were in jail for two weeks, but the owner eventually decided to set them free because he saw the maltreated and unfed teenagers behind bars. “Hindi kinayanan ng konsensya
“Wala na akong pinapangarap. Wala nang silbi (I don’t have any more dreams. It’s no use),” Joseph said. niya (His conscience bothered him),” Joseph explained. He currently lives in Barangay Loyola Heights with Omnium, a man who adopts abandoned children and teenagers and lets them live with him. “Bakla yun si Kuya Omnium. Pero mabait naman! Minsan, namimilit lang nga na magbigay ng pera para sa bigas (Kuya Omnium is gay. But he’s nice. He just asks us sometimes for money to buy rice),” shared Joseph’s neighbor and co-parking boy, Charlie Asok. Charlie Asok, 15 years old, has eight siblings. His father is a tricycle driver, and his mother is a laundry-
woman. He goes to school from seven in the morning to twelve noon. After school, he goes straight to Katipunan to work until four in the morning. “Kulang pa rin yung kinikita ng mga magulang ko (My parents don’t earn enough),” he shared. “Kailangan din namin kumayod na magkakapatid (Us siblings have to work too).” The barangay officials of Loyola Heights often go to McDonald’s just to drive Joseph, Charlie, and other parking boys away. Sometimes, they get the boys and bring them to the barangay hall. “Hindi po maganda ang trato sa amin doon. Hindi kami pinapakain (They don’t treat us nicely. We’re not fed),” Charlie shared. “Minsan, binubugbog pa kami (They even beat us up sometimes).” After being held in the hall for two days, the parking boys would still go back to their usual spot outside McDonald’s and resume to their usual work to earn fifty pesos a day. When they have earned enough, they decide to go home, buy rice and feed their families. “Wala na akong pinapangarap. Wala nang silbi (I don’t have any more dreams. It’s no use),” Joseph said. Joseph is satisfied with being a parking boy for the rest of his life. Fiddling with a suspicious-looking stick covered with foil, he saw a person trying to look for a taxi. He excused himself and rushed to the man. “Kuya, tricycle? Jeep? Taxi?”
CULTURE Culture front page with quote
'Puff' goes the so-called blue bridge in between Ateneo and Miriam--the result of a senior's bucket list prank.
These pigeonholes symbolize work and terror for students--making them an easy target for vandalism
One big picture
Last but not the list The seniors have one more assignment before graduation. BY EUNICE RODRIGUEZ
“Some of the things on that list may be just for laughs, but ultimately, it’s about us seniors wanting to leave our final mark on the school,” Ivy Andalis, a senior graduating this year from the Ateneo, explained. Andalis is just one of the many seniors this year who have written a bucket list, a list of things they want to accomplish before they actually graduate. The items on the list range from the mundane (finishing a thesis) to the more out-there, ridiculous things. “I have a blockmate who swore to herself that she would go to a gay bar before graduation. She would ogle the macho dancers there to her heart’s content,” Andalis said.
According to Racquel Caser, the concept of a bucket list was introduced during the Pabaon, an annual event for graduating seniors to reflect on their time in the Ateneo campus. “I remember that we were given two pieces of paper [during that event]. The first said to list down all the things we wanted to accomplish before we graduate,” Caser explained. “The second asked us to write what we could do to make those things happen.” “At first we were all like, finish my thesis, graduate on time, get an A in this subject,” Andalis added. “But then we were like, is there more to college than this? This will be our last chance to act like rogues, have
fun as students. “We listed down most unusual activities we could think of. Some of us wanted to give a ‘love letter’ to the classmate or professor we’ve had a crush on for years. Others wanted to cross Katipunan Avenue in the middle of the night without using the overpass.” “It may sound like it’s a very selfcentered joke, but seniors take their bucket lists seriously,” Ivy continued. “It’s our last chance to make our mark.” Seeing “Puffs” in Pigeonholes It seems that some of the seniors are indeed taking their lists seriously. The once-immaculate walls of the campus were suddenly streaked
they would sneak inside the campus in the middle of the night and put up a wooden sign, containing the words “Meron Pond was here,” outside the new library.
with vandalism during the latter part of the second semester, an act allegedly done by seniors wishing to fulfill their bucket lists. The most noticeable of the vandalism is “Puff,” a word seen on the wall in the covered walkway between Sec C and Matteo Ricci Study Hall. It has also turned up on the wall of the “Blue Bridge” overpass outside Ateneo Gate 3.5. Rina Cabral and Jeseleyn Jagong are Management Information Systems (BS MIS) seniors who thought of a clever idea for their bucket lists: the pigeon-in-the-pigeonhole scheme for the professors in their home department. “MIS professors are one-of-akind,” Jagong said. “They give some of the hardest exams and the heaviest workload in the university, yet they are also the nicest professors I’ve ever met.” “[So] we decided to give them a gift in their pigeonholes as our way of showing our gratitude to them,” Cabral added. A pigeonhole is a small, wooden compartment normally found in the different faculty departments, where students can submit schoolwork in lieu of a personal or electronic submission.
“We thought, ‘why are pigeonholes named thus when there aren’t any pigeons in them?’ Cabral explained. “We resolved to make them [pigeonholes] live up to their name.”
Entering the real world Miguel Panopio of the Ateneo Office for Social Concern and Involvement (OSCI), believes that seniors’ outlandish bucket lists is their way of saying good-bye to college life. Panopio, who graduated from the Ateneo in 2010, also made a bucket list, says it was not as comical as the ones made by seniors this year. “Seniors are at this point in their lives when they have to say goodbye to being older kids and have to start saying hello to the responsibilities of adulthood,” Panopio said. “If they are caught doing some of the things in their lists, the most severe punishment they could get is a school reprimand. “If they are caught doing that [the bucket lists] in the real world, they might get into jail. It’s a different world out there,” he added. “The seniors are enjoying their last few months of not being part of that world.”
The Meron Library Another quirky item on the bucket list of this duo involves a recently completed structure on campus. “Do you know the new Rizal Library used to be the Meron Pond?” Rina asked. “It was really sad when they removed it to make way for the library. It stinks, we know, but there was something about that pond, especially since there was this legend that Father Ferriols himself named it.” The Meron Pond was removed in 2009 when the new Rizal Library was constructed on the site of the pond. Legend has it that Philosophy professor Fr. Roque Ferriols christened the pond as Meron, the rough Filipino equivalent of being in English, or logos in Greek. The newly-built and pristine Rizal Library is the new The plan, according to victim of this year's crop of senior bucket lists. Rina and Jeselyn, was that
MMDA rules state that enforcers are not supposed to be seen in groups while apprehending a motorist.
The good, the bad, the u-turn Blah blah blah blah blah blah BY SHYLA FRANCISCO At first glance, traffic patrollers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) assigned to Katipunan Avenue seem to be doing a good job. The blue-uniformed officials are very persistent in catching violators of traffic regulations, with no hesitation whatsoever in stopping cars intent on breaking the rules. The drivers themselves, however, beg to differ. Despite the pure colors of their uniforms, the MMDA officials’ intentions are anything but—leading to this discussion: “Who is doing the better job: MMDA officials in catching violators or the caught drivers with their clever excuses?” Robin Martinez, a Communication sophomore from the Ateneo de Manila University, has been caught thrice by MMDA officials along
Katipunan, all at the same spot: the U -turn slot across the entrance of Miriam College. All three of his misdemeanors were for swerving after exiting from Ateneo Gate 1, where a no swerving policy is implemented. Despite getting caught by MMDA officials, however, Martinez has yet to hand over his license. Instead, he handed over a 50-peso bill. “What I usually say pag persistent, ‘baka puwede pag-usapan, bibigyan pang-merienda’ (What I usually say if they are persistent, ‘Maybe we can talk about it, I’ll give you money for your snack’),” the 20-year-old explained. MMDA tactics for accepting the money can only be described as creative. Officials hand over a record book (wherein violators’ names are
listed) and instruct the driver to put the money in it, said Martinez, a ruse to prevent discovery from senior officials. While male drivers dig deep into their pockets, female drivers use their emotions to keep from handing their licenses over. “I started to cry,” said Miles Atadero, an Ateneo sophomore, of her experience with Katipunan MMDA after getting caught for parking illegally. “The officer panicked and said he'll talk to his superior about it.” Atadero’s acting job worked, because both officers released her after a short talk. “Since there were a lot of cars passing by, both officers got conscious because people might think they made me cry,” she said. “A few
“Yung tumatakbo ang tinutuluyan namin”
just make things worse. “Yung mga tumatakbo, yun yung tinutuluyan namin (The ones who run are the ones we prosecute most),” he said. “Ngayon kasi may spot report, at cellphone na pipicture-an yung [plate] number (Now they have spot reports, and cellphones that can take pictures of plate numbers).” Asked if she thinks the MMDA is doing a good job, Atadero minutes later they just advised me said it depends on the situation. to be more careful.” “Some officers are not easily tricked “Maraming nag-aapela kasi minsan and are really serious about their parang naaapakan yung ego nila job... it is just unfortunate that most (Many [people] appeal because they of our observations lean toward the feel like it’s a loss of pride),” excorrupt traffic officials.” plained MMDA official Godofredo Whether the MMDA is doing Elvena, who said that majority of a good job or not, Elvena advices caught drivers try to weasel their drivers to just follow the law. way out. “Sundin para mas maayos yung Elvena also stressed that the trapiko, maayos yung daloy, maiwamost common violations in san yung aksidente (Just follow the Katipunan Avenue are unloading law for better traffic management and swerving. and to avoid accidents).” When asked if ‘ganda points’ (charm) work with traffic enforcers, Elvena said it depends on the situation: “Minsan, pero supposedly hindi (Sometimes, but supposedly no).” Trying to escape, Elvena said, will
It is not everyday that you see Katipunan Road without traffic.
Some things a driver must know according to the MMDA (mmda.gov.ph) 1. MMDA Enforcers are not allowed to group together while apprehending a motorist. They are not even allowed to stand together in groups of two (2) or more, except in actual times of special operations (e.g. apprehending groups of smokebelching/colorum buses). 2. Swerving is not a traffic violation. It is defined as a movement wherein vehicles shift from a lane to another. However, it can constitute the offense of reckless driving if it is done without precautions (e.g. swerving in an abrupt and careless manner, swerving without the use of signals). Each Traffic Enforcer has his/her own written mission order issued by the MMDA Central Admin. Apprehended drivers are free to ask for the apprehending officer's mission order, which includes his area of responsibility, time of duty, official function. It also indicates whether or not the enforcer is authorized to issue tickets. Traffic Enforcers should issue TVR in complete uniform, with visible nameplates. Traffic Enforcers are instructed to accomplish the TVR (Traffic Violation Receipt) without any delay or argument on the road, so as to avoid traffic congestion. Traffic Enforcers are not allowed to ask drivers to alight from their vehicles while the apprehension is taking place. Most importantly, Traffic Enforcers are not allowed to ask or receive bribe money. During traffic apprehensions, the following can be considered as a valid driver's license: — ID Plastic Card, DLR / Temporary Driver's License, TOP (Temporary Operator's Permit), International Driver's License, Foreign License
Open court The games are on—and everyone can join BY EUNICE RODRIGUEZ
The Loyola Court in the Barangay Hall Complex is the venue for this year's upcoming youth sportsfest.
This April, the Loyola Heights Barangay Hall will once again spearhead a sportsfest that will specifically cater to the youth of Loyola Heights. Dubbed the “Sanggunian ng Kabataan Sportsfest,” the annual event is a project of the barangay’s Sanggunian ng Kabataan (SK). “Ako personally hindi ako naniniwala na nilalayo ng sportsfest ang kabataan sa droga. Kaya hindi ko ina-approve kapag ganun ang dahilan eh (Personally, I don’t believe that sportsfests turn the youth away from drugs. That is why I don’t give my approval to an event if that’s their only reason),” said Councilor Florentino Murao, who rejects the notion that sportsfests are meant to discourage the youth from using drugs. “Naniniwala ako na parte ng buhay ng tao ang sports; nagpopromote ‘yan ng friendship at camaraderie (I believe that sports are a part of life; it promotes friendship and camaraderie).”
Open to everyone Open to youths aged 10 to 21 years old, the sportsfest includes events like basketball, volleyball, and badminton, and is open to all genders. A whole category in volleyball last year, said Murao, was even opened for gay youths. Prizes include trophies, medals and cash. Champions of each particular category bring home trophies and four thousand pesos. The first runner-ups receive medals and two thousand pesos while the second runner-ups get medals and one thousand pesos per team. According to Councilor Murao, the budget for the prizes, uniforms and other necessary expenses are shouldered by the barangay.
what we call an ‘inter-business establishment’ sportsfest).” Aside from the sportsfest for the youth held from April to May, the barangay also holds a sporting tournament for the different business establishments in Loyola Heights during the months of November and December. Establishments get to participate by paying an entrance fee of four thousand pesos each. Last year, the champions for the ‘inter-business establishment’ sportsfest were Cello’s Doughnuts and Shoppersville Supermarket. “Ginagawa namin ‘to para din makapagnetworking sila, para makilala nila yung empleyado ng ibang establishments (We do it so they can also network with and get to know employees of other establishBusinesses do sports ments),” commented Murao. “For leisure “[Pero] hindi lang para sa kabataan ang din, dahil alam mo naman, mga empleyado sportsfest namin (Our sportsfests are not ‘yan, lagi ‘yang pagod. Way ‘to para makaonly for the youth),” added Murao. “Meron pag-unwind sila (They also need the leidin kaming tinatawag na ‘inter-business sure time. These employees are always establishment’ sportsfest (We also have tired; it’s a way for them to unwind).”