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Art by Ryan Ceazar B. Santua

EDITOR’S NOTE “You don’t remember your name?” she asked. “No,” he replied, meeting her eyes. “But for some reason, I remember yours.” If there’s one animated couple that has utterly changed my idea of true love, it has got to be Chihiro and Haku of Spirited Away. Because perhaps it’s my inner romantic sap talking or the hormones are finally kicking in, but there’s something about the idea that one could forget everything else, and yet the single memory of the one you love still remains. As stated in the movie, memories aren’t really forgotten. It’s just that some are harder to recall. Lucky for us, though, recalling isn’t a totally difficult task. We have photographs, scrapbooks, journals and home videos lying around the house to aid our reminiscences. But while some mementos stir pleasurable nostalgia, others resurrect feelings of old hate, regret, sadness and pain. Moments of weakness, bad decisions and mistakes—when it all boils down sleeping well at night, isn’t it better if these things of the past remain forgotten? You decide. But know that whoever you are now is a collaborative effort of every experience you’ve gone through since birth. Everyone you meet, friends, enemies or wallflowers that pass you by, they’ve been a part of the biggest novel you’ve ever made: your life. Through both good and bad decisions, you have grown to be the person, maybe not who you expected to be, but needed to be in the long run. This year’s special issue showcases exactly that. At page 38, we remember a glorious time in our Negrense heritage that ended up in ruins, and rose to glory again. At page 36, we turn back time and see the University as it was before we first stepped on its grounds. All that, and the inspiring tales of people whose directions in life can serve as a reminder to everyone that the best way to live is to just keep at it. Adely Grace V. Tomaro Editor-in-Chief

THE BLITZ Blessed by the gods of productivity, the Spectres suppressed their tempestuous desires to spend the rest of their summer break as internet hobos and Facebook insomniacs just to make this special issue a momentous memento for your reading consumption. Thank you Jayrick Aguirre, Joy Martir, Katrina Almalki, and Bea Rodriguez, who, despite being graduates already, still fulfilled their duties (and passed their articles); Mr. Dominic Lindaya and RJ Magbanua of the production support group; Joanne Aloba for being the cover model; Sir Andre Tagamolila and the OSA faculty, for signing and approving requests; and Christopher Nolan, who directed the badass movie that inspired this year’s theme. You are all 2-4-6-0-Wonderful.

ABOUT THE COVER “I can’t really remember to forget you.” Memories have the their way of making us hold on to our dearest pasts. Through all the rain and pain of life, the only thing that will remain is our memory. Mementos. A myriad of memories, all instilled in photographs, scribbles, jewelry; they make us remember our roots. When we lose sight of these memories, mementos bring them back. MODEL Joanne Aloba PHOTOGRAPHED BY Anna Katrina B. Almalki STYLED BY Marc Kevin R. Jabay FRONT & BACK COVER ILLUSTRATION BY Ryan Ceazar B. Santua















MEMBER Alliance of Lasallian Campus Journalists and Advisers College Editors Guild of the Philippines The Spectrum is the Official Student Media Corps of the Univeristy of St. La Salle. Its editorial office is located at the Yanson Hall Student Activity Center G/F, University of St. La Salle, La Salle Avenue, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental 6100. CONTACT NUMBER (034) 432-1187 local 172 EMAIL/ FACEBOOK ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of The Spectrum may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Media Corps. All contributions become The Spectrum property and the Editors-in-Chief reserve the right to edit all articles for publication.

























































“You know what the best feeling in the world is? It’s graduating [and] knowing you have done everything you possibly could and you gave it your absolute all.”


ut God at the center of your life.” Coming from the tall and sportylooking teenager whose eyes gleam with delight, these words seem to echo throughout the hallways of the University. He then begins to narrate how he, from a young boy with so much potential, grew up to be the very person he is today, a college graduate who has left his indelible mark on the University’s history. Kit Montelibano has been a familiar face in La Salle. How could he not be, when his Lasallian life started ever since he was in prep? A lot of people know him, especially those from the Integrated School where he was constantly involved in student leadership and spiritual formation. “I did a lot of things back then. My high school life was always filled with activities but in the end, I regret nothing,” Kit recalls. Come first year college, he decided to take a break from all the usual student involvement.

“My life as a student was my very first priority when I entered college.” he points out. He chose Accountancy as his first course, but after realizing that the course required every little bit of him and more, he shifted and took up Psychology the following semester. His parents were very supportive and they respected his decision. “Well, I’ve always wanted to be a guidance counselor.” He says it is the most humble career path he can imagine himself going for. In this new life and in the course his heart quickly loved, Kit became a member of the Psych Society which he was actively involved in, and before he knew it, his pool of friends grew in number and so did his confidence level. ‘‘I was doing my thing with the Psych Society and that’s when the political parties came calling,” he laughs. Probably having heard of the success he’s had in high school, the University Student Government clamored for him to mimic his glory days and bring about change to the college. “Being a student, just a student, was my mantra during my entire stay in the college. I had to play the role of heartbreaker and dream-crusher to those guys. I turned them down.” Nevertheless, he eventually became the club’s president. “Although I didn’t meet my priority when I decided to run for Psych Society’s president, it was a position related to my course, so it was definitely a plus,” he says. Now, he wholeheartedly describes

himself as both an extrovert and introvert. He likes to deal with people, fueling his already established “people person” image. And ladies, get this, this guy is pretty good with interacting with women, too. “I have a sister, so yeah…. Ha ha!” Kit graduated with a Student Service Award. All the support from his family, friends, and his constant self-motivation has finally paid off. “You know what the best feeling in the world is? It’s graduating [and] knowing you have done everything you possibly could and you gave it your absolute all.” When his mother died last year, it became the turning point of his life. “All of my achievements, I offer them up to my Mom.” Now, as he leaves the school grounds, the place he has called home for most of his life, he still finds himself in the profession of being around people. “Teaching, facilitating, involving myself in HR, I can see myself doing just that in the near future,” he smiles and gazes up to the sky, contemplating on what the future holds for him. Put God at the center of your life. That has been his driving force. That has kept him going for so long. That gave him strength to carry on when everyone else said otherwise. And that is the message he imparts to the La Sallian community. “Do everything with passion and always put God at the center of your life.” He entered La Salle as a nobody. He leaves a totally different somebody. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013





hen asked to describe herself, Alexis Victoria Canchela wasted no time to sweeten her words and answered without hesitation that she was just an ordinary student: lazy, non-conforming and talkative. But the way she carried herself said something more: this is a woman who radiated confidence and excellence. Even as a high school student, Alexis was someone to be watched out for. The valedictorian of her graduating class, Alexis joined all activities she could get herself into. “Even if I didn’t know how to dance, I still tried,” she laughs. But upon entering college, Alexis decided to lie low and for the first two years, contented herself by simply being at the sidelines at school. But that doesn’t mean Alexis stopped being who she was. She was just as loud in college as she was in high school. “I’m still talkative. And people’s normal tone of voice is only equivalent to my whisper,” she jokes. Alexis feels she doesn’t need to change herself to fit in and is content with her



personality, strength and flaws. Earlier this year, she graduated as a Business Administration student, majoring in Business Economics. In all her simplicity and humility, she has been molded to become an admirable student with her own personal quirks, uniqueness and brilliance. But Alexis was neither a pushy nor dramatic, grade-conscious student that most people would expect from an achiever. “I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my studies,” she says, though her title of Cum Laude belies her words. “I can be competitive at times but I don’t chase or haggle for my grades. If that’s the grade I get, then that’s the grade I deserve. Grades are just numbers anyway; they don’t necessarily reflect how smart you are in a class.” By her third year, she decided studying all the time did not seem enough. Her love for surprises and uncertainty led her to join various clubs and extra-curricular activities. “I don’t follow a script,” she says, “I prefer to live in the moment rather than to always look forward to the future.” and indeed, life gave her surprises. One was gaining chief editorship of the La Salle Yearbook 2012. “I don’t know why I did it, it just happened,” Alexis laughs, adding that her joining the Yearbook was what she called “diving in blind”, with no idea what she had to do in such a high position. All she knew was that she was ready to learn. The stress and obstacles she faced during her term as Editor were all part of the package of prestige but even after several sleepless nights, Alexis says that in the end, it was all worth it. She became more of a leader because of the experience. Another surprise, though less pleasant, that presented itself during her fourth year came in the process of working on her thesis. The battle tested not only Alexis’ patience, but her relationships with her colleagues as well.

“I can be competitive at times but I don’t chase or haggle for my grades. If that’s the grade I get, then that’s the grade I deserve. Grades are just numbers anyway; they don’t necessarily reflect how smart you are in a class.”

“When you work on your thesis, friendships can get broken,” she explains, “it’s either you become stronger as friends, or your friendship becomes strained.” Aside from regular school and Yearbook duties, there are always personal problems that come to challenge a person. For Alexis, she gets through life with her so-called weird coping mechanism. When things get too burdensome, she would look at the mirror while crying and telling herself, “There are starving children in Africa! They’re probably too dehydrated to cry and you’re wailing over school problems?!” she would then encourage herself to persevere and remember that other people had worse problems than she did, so she would stop complaining over petty discomforts. But college life wasn’t all about schoolwork, responsibilities and stress. Quoting The Spectrum’s tagline, ‘Freedom is everything’, Alexis shares the two important things she learned from college: ideas of freedom and equality. One of her Philosophy classes taught Alexis to be more inquisitive about life, and this challenged some of her beliefs. She had always been an opinionated person, but college made her see that everyone has the freedom to question and the freedom to believe in their own thoughts. “Not all questions in the world have answers”, she says, “but it is very eye-

opening for a person to know that you can ask questions and be curious about certain things in life.” Alexis is very open and respectful of the opinions of others, but she’ll also defend her own until her last breath. she has several role models in life, her parents, whom she greatly respects. Among them are her nanay Angelita Parra, who raised her and has always been there to listen to her without judging her; Quentin Tarantino, the bad-ass director of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, who doesn’t care of what other people think about him, and continues to do his craft the way he thinks it should be done; and the Filipino Free Thinkers, an online based organization whom Alexis refers to as a “group of people who actually think like her.” A woman whose great passion for integrity, freedom and equality has served as her cornerstone in life, Alexis has indeed lived up to what she believes in. A piece of advice she’d give the future generation of students? “Don’t be a wilting flower,” she says, “Everyone is born to stand out, but not everyone has the courage to do so. Do your best to live it up. If you don’t, you’ll regret it in the future. Never settle for mediocrity just because you think someone else has already done better. Choose to live life.” THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 11








aking a wrong turn doesn’t always lead you to the wrong destination. Sometimes, what lies ahead is better kept a secret until the time to finally taste success becomes ripe. For Chemical Engineering graduate Paul Ian Sonon, being an engineer didn’t have that much career appeal to him at first. “ I really wanted to take up Architecture,” he says. But wearing that toga last March 24 with a beaming “Cum Laude” title, he had no room for regrets. Looking back on who he was as a high school student then, Paul wasn’t exactly the “scholarly-looking” type. “Daw mumoy lang ko sa higad nga simusimuon mo lang. (I was the wimpy kid who looked suggestive to be bullied,)” He didn’t engage in social conversations with people that much and he liked being alone. He also preferred to stay within the bounds of his comfort zone. However, college was a totally different experience. A Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholar, Paul Ian was swayed to take a course that did not really interest him. “My mother and I had our share of quarrels. I had doubts in taking up engineering because I thought that I might not excel.” But because Architecture wasn’t on the list of courses offered in the DOST scholarship program, he did not have much of a choice. Paul admits that in the first few years of college, he got into smoking and drinking with bad company. But in the end, he found true friends who supported him and helped develop his self-esteem instead of lead him towards the path of self-destruction. Most importantly, their good influence motivated him to level up his standards for achievement. Not just

“Never start by saying that something is hard. It is easier than you thought it would be.”

academically, but in the entirety of his being. He ran as senator during his third year and won. He has learned a total of 6 foreign languages namely, Russian, Italian, Japanese, French, Korean and Chinese and he even started a language only he could understand. But during his third year, Paul’s health condition became a big problem. He underwent a major surgical operation when his large and small intestines irregularly intertwined. He also succumbed to an immune system breakdown when his white blood cells increased and went crazy. “I really am sickly. But good thing I was able to survive all these. I didn’t let sickness become a hindrance to who I am as a person and in achieving my dreams.” But for his own well-being, Paul had to regulate his vices, which he successfully does mind over matter. “Ako ang klase estudyante nga ga-“shat” pa antes sang exam. Pero para sa akon, indi man na malain kay nabal-an mo man ang epekto sa lawas mo. Importante kabalo ka lang sang limitasyon mo. (I’m the type of student who would drink right before the exams. For me, there’s nothing wrong with

it because in the first place you are aware of what it does to your body. What’s important is for you to know your limitations).” With a healthier heart, body and selfesteem, Paul feels ready to accept a new challenge: taking on the future one step at a time. “We make our future. It is very important for us to have that foresight and work out our way in achieving it.” Paul also believes that all successes start with gaining the right mindset. “Never start by saying something is hard. It is easier than you though it to be [as long as you try]. Set your mind that you will be able to pass it. And when you’re in hot water, learn to work harder for it [but] it’s not healthy if you bury yourself too much on studies. Grades aren’t measures of success anyway. So learn to have fun while you’re at it.” In the highway of life, each person is driving towards his or her own personal destinations. But in the course of living, you realize that when it’s all over, the journey was what made all the difference. So take it slow, and feel the wind in your hair. Live young while you can. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 13






“Whatever crisis you face, you know you can surmount it when you believe that you are not alone and that He’s there for you all throughout,”


can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This verse from Philippians became the inspiration in writing every page of Hanemar Ponteras’ success story. For her, the strongest boon one can have is a fervent relationship with God. Through the strength He gives, surviving the realities of life seems less of a burden and more of a learning experience. “Whatever crisis you face, you know you can surmount it when you believe that you are not alone and that He’s there for you all throughout,” Hanemar says. Everything Hanemar has earned is God’s gift to her. Before she took her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, Hanemar was swayed by the idea of entering a Bible School for two years. It was when she found herself with a chalk in hand, standing in front of a blackboard and teaching a bunch of children in school, that she realized that teaching was her calling. Besides her academic aspirations, Hanemar has a passion for leadership. For three straight

years, she was the Batch Representative for her college, before winning governorship in her senior year. Her friends describe her as a superhuman – juggling council duties and schoolwork loads while maintaining Dean’s List status. Hanemar admits that being both a student and a leader is never easy. But her supportive family, friends and relationship with God have played a big role in her methods of coping with the responsibility despite the emotional toll of student governance. With all the hardwork, faith, and confidence, Hanemar grew to become a model student, always ready to serve the public. She joined national seminars and was even sent to international conferences, like the MBC Missions Conference, where she served as the Program Committee Facilitator, and the International Education Week. She was invited to the English Enthusiasts’ Club Spiritual Fellowship and spoke in front of the audience of the Meadows of Catholic Group Conference. And Hanemar often comes home

with several awards under her belt. To top it all off, Hanemar is also a threetime recipient of a Corps d’ Elite award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a student in the university. When asked what the secret behind her achievements was, Hanemar said she owed it to one being: God. It was His way of preparing her to a future as educator. Hanemar says her success is made possible by the four values she considers important. These are dedication, inspiration, humility and fear of the Lord. Her dedication pushed her to reach her goal of being the next Lasallian educator for the new generation of learners; her inspiration got her through her insatiable will to serve others and help them become better persons; her humility for she accepts every victory and defeat as lessons; and her fear of the Lord made her trust on God who is her perfect foundation. Hanemar’s life is no fairy tale, nor is it in an epic sealed in a holy “baul” for future generations to ogle at. Hanemar’s life was a love story; a love story between her and God, and the entire chronicle will not end when she steps up on a platform and receive her diploma. She will remain diligent in accomplishing every task given to her. “It’s faith that brought me here and it is still faith that will lead me there!” she says. Faith is often undermined by the youth of today. In a culture of loose values, staggering morale and principles, it seems like we no longer have time to spare for our almighty God. But it’s funny, actually, we only have our own lives to worry about and God has the entire world to take care of. But even with billions of people to attend to, He always has time to carve the best path for us and wills us to carry on. Because though we do not see Him, we feel Him in our hearts. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 15






“Have you heard of that flyer from the nursing cheering team who fell right before the sportsfest and was rushed to the hospital? That was me!”


hen Khara Jane Abuana walked into the nursing café dressed in her white nursing garb, with a bag stuffed with books slung over her shoulder and a medical kit strapped to her side, at first glance, one would immediately see the distinct air of a typical busy and stressed-out student. But as she spotted some familiar faces in the crowd, she approached them with a bounce in her step and greeted them ‘hello’ with a genuine smile. Khara is no different from any of us. She laughs, she works hard to pass her subjects, and, when asked to describe herself, she also responds with the typical “Ambot ah” (I don’t know), coupled with a shrug. But underneath that typical yet sweet façade is a woman with a brilliant mind who has lived an exhausting yet entirely fulfilling college life. Khara was the treasurer of the College of Nursing Council, a flyer for the Nursing Cheering Team since her first year, and, on top of everything else, recently graduated as Magna Cum Laude. With all her active involvement in co-curricular activities and her academic achievements, you’d think Khara was madly in love with her chosen career path. And she is; although at first, that wasn’t the case. “Nursing wasn’t my first choice,” Khara admits. “I wanted to become an engineer. But in high school, I was inspired by nurses and upon entering college, though I did not initially love the course at first, after a while, [it grew on me], especially when it got to the OJTs.” For her, nursing was a difficult course all on its own but it gets even more difficult if you don’t learn to enjoy what you do and welcome each difficult task with perseverance and faith. If Khara has learned a thing or two in the last 4 years, it is that you must be physically and

emotionally prepared for absolutely anything. Khara considers her subjects to be her greatest hardship. Even after graduating, she doesn’t exactly speak of them fondly. “The [lessons] are so hard; it drains you,” she said. Sleep also became an even pricier luxury that it reached a point where she was required to stay up until ungodly hours to study for a “short quiz” the following day. Even her weekends were sometimes sacrificed just to complete certain requirements. Sometimes, she doesn’t even take a bath anymore, just so she could get to work on time. But in the end, Khara surpassed these hardships by keeping her cool and by just doing the job to the best of her capacity. “These experiences have taught me to be resourceful,” Khara says. “You just need to adjust and work with what you’ve got.” But time has always been a problem. Time never stops for anyone, nor does it sympathize with the lazy. And Khara shares, with much passion, that her biggest bane is, in fact, her incredible laziness. Khara is the type who wouldn’t start getting a job done until the big deadline-bomb was dropped to the last countdown. This often leads her to procrastinate but even with the pressure of having a metaphoric bomb over her head, Khara manages to do well and works pretty efficiently under gunpoint. Another thing that Khara has gained from studying nursing is a deep compassion for human life. Spending a lot of time with people who were sickly and/or fighting for their lives in the hospital, Khara has grown a special place in her heart dedicated to helping others. Considering the nature of nursing work, one would assume Khara was unafraid in the face of near-death situations. But when asked about her memorable experiences in college, it’s

surprising to note that many of the examples Khara cited were all centered on fear. “Have you heard of that flyer from the nursing cheering team who fell right before the sportsfest and was rushed to the hospital? That was me!” During the practice, Khara fell down hard when her teammates were not able to catch her on time. Everyone became frantic when they saw blood gushing out from her ear. She was conscious as she was brought to the hospital, but could not remember anything that had happened. The accident earned her a small fracture on the skull. Though she laughs about it now, after that experience, Khara became more careful and wary. Another experience worth telling happened during one of her late night duties two years ago. Khara’s classmates were fond of telling ghost stories, and when she went to the bathroom that night, two of her friends turned off the lights to scare her. After the prank, Khara cried and didn’t talk to them for the rest of the night. But scared-y cat or not, Khara was no pushover. Khara’s resolve to run for treasurer came when she decided that she wanted to take a step to lead others. The new responsibility made her schedule a bit more hectic, but she was able to juggle everything with the help of her own personal support team who consisted of her mom, her friends and classmates, and God. Now that she’s an official nursing graduate, what’s next? For Khara, she plans to push through with her Med proper because she really dreams of becoming a doctor and work with kids. If Khara went ahead with her plans, there’s no doubt that she has yet to see the end of her stressful days, sleepless nights and mountains of work, duties and projects. Perhaps her life may become even more hectic and busy now that she chases an even bigger dream. But knowing Khara, she’ll get through it. Not because there’s anything particularly superhuman about her, but because she doesn’t let hardships and failure put her down. After all, the first step to rise above every roadblock to success and every seemingly dead-end state of hopelessness that comes with growing up, getting through college and deciding what to do next with your life is to quit complaining and just do it. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 17






s soon as she heard the words “describe yourself ”, her eyes grew big. The expression on her face could be likened to that of an eight-year old girl who just discovered that Santa Claus was not real. Heartily, she lets out a laugh then says, “Grabe amu gid na dayon ya bi?” Simple, cheerful, and approachable is what July Escosa would describe herself. Anyone who happens to know her and her line of work in that humble office with a “Balayan” nameplate on the door would tell you she is all that and more. But fate does know how to make things ironic, as she had no exposure to the world of community service before college. “To tell you the truth, I did not have any extracurricular activities at all during my life before La Salle,” she confesses. July joined Balayan when she was in second year, after just shifting to Hospitality Management from a BS Biology course. “I was actually a member of the first batch of Lasallian Ambassadors back in the day, so I decided to give Balayan a shot,” she recalls. “At first I thought all we’re going to do was to plant some trees and mangroves and more trees, but boy, was I wrong!” Having no idea what to expect, she closed her eyes, took the risk, and went right in. “I was feeling a little awkward at first. But then I got the chance to meet and be friends with Marianne Grace Lopez. From that time on, I began to feel comfortable with my new Balayan family.” She had the Balayan people to thank for being a family to her in school. “Marianne is one person who inspires me and others a lot. I believe she’s a member of The Class 2012? Haha,” she elaborates. Slowly but surely, July began to feel at home with the Balayan peeps. Her defining moment came in 2011, where her call to become a real difference maker was realized. “I had the chance to go on one of the immersion programs that

To everyone still in school and for those who plan to make a difference, July imparts this message: “Embrace and love what you’re doing. Stay committed. Love your work and your work will love you.”

Balayan has in store for the volunteers,” she says. The immersion program is a scheme where student volunteers would go and live with one family of the “poorest of the poor” in some of the far flung barrios and communities in Negros. “I was assigned to a family in Cauayan. And even though I was only with them for a little over five days, I knew what it was like to finally have a complete family.” A complete family is the missing piece in her life. Coming from a household where her mother was the breadwinner, she says it brings happiness to her heart that her family still supports her all the way. “There were times when I didn’t get any baon when I had to go on weekend activities with Balayan so I used my own money. But my grandmother and mother were always understanding and they strived hard to support whatever decision I make,” she recounts with a smile. “And even though I lack a father figure in my life, I still love him very much and I hope he’ll be proud of the person I have become over the years.” As her college life comes to a close, she looks back at all the precious memories that La

Salle and Balayan has left her. “I have always lived on one motto during my entire stay here in the University. Always be positive,” she recalls, with that gleaming sparkle in her eyes. Because of that motto of hers, July has reached out to countless people, and touched the hearts of countless more. She still sees herself in the future involved with community work. “Of course, I’ll work for a while in the HM industry, but when I’ve settled down, I’ll still go back to where my heart is, the community. After all, it is through Balayan that I found the true meaning of being a Lasallian.” And as cliché as it may sound, July has surely lived her college life to the fullest, making mistakes and wrong decisions included. “Definitely no regrets at all.” To everyone still in school and for those who plan to make a difference, July imparts this message: “Embrace and love what you’re doing. Stay committed. Love your work and your work will love you.” And know that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 19






keep having this dream. It starts out really dark, and then suddenly, it grows bright and then I realize that God is there. Each time He would tell me ‘Fria, you are the one I have chosen to help other people.’ It gives me this strange feeling of de ja vu every time.” A dedicated, God-fearing and religious young woman, Fria Nove Mae Valencia, an Operations Management graduate, is fully committed to accepting whatever mission God has in store for her under the firm belief that He has chosen her to rise above that challenge. “Every day I wake up and I think, God must really love me. Sometimes I feel as though I was born during the time of Jesus because it’s like we’ve already met. Other times I think, maybe I was one of His disciples in a past life.” Fria confesses, confirming just how much she believes in Him and their close connection. Prior to graduating, Fria was a student assistant for the Center of Lasallian Ministry (CELAM) since her second year. Her strong connection with God has played a vital role in shaping the person she is today. Throughout all her successes she humbly remembers God’s presence in her life. But the road to her spiritual journey wasn’t easy nor was it as firm and immovable as it is now. Like all of us, she worked her way through trials and adversities in order to embrace the light of God’s power. Before she entered CELAM, Fria felt as though she was distant from God and that she

“Every day I wake up and I think, God must really love me. Sometimes I feel as though I was born during the time of Jesus because it’s like we’ve already met. Other times I think, maybe I was one of His disciples in a past life.”

was rather inactive in her own church. Upon entering CELAM, she gained confidence in the Lord’s strength as well as the effectiveness of prayer. “The greatest catalyst for me was when my team and I were sent to Manila for the

National Management Quiz Bee. The CELAM staff was very supportive of me. They prayed for us and our success. We ended up being the champions.” Despite this blessing, Fria admits that at some point she had given up on prayer because of the many struggles her team had encountered prior to the competition. But in the end, she realized that everything else can most likely fail her, but God never abandons. Since she acquired such a philosophy, she’s been reaping success with whatever she does. Fria claims that her relationship with God was also the reason for her getting the best out of her years in college. Aside from being a working student, she has also been the mayor of her class for two years all while excelling in her academics. This two-time Corps d’ Elite nominee says she lifts up all her success to her parents and to God, her eternal inspirations. When asked where she was headed after graduation she jokingly replied, “Home, because the graduation ceremony will probably end late at night!” But with a future that holds wild possibilities ranging from getting a stable office job to becoming a movie star, Fria has only just began her journey towards greatness and getting home late will be the least of her worries from here on in. With the rest of her life now hers for the taking, one thing’s for certain: this won’t be the last time she’ll be seeing God in one of her prophetic dreams calling her the “chosen one” once again. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 21







’m as human as you all are,” Julio Emmanuel Espina states with a tone of unabridged clarity. “I too have my share of ticks and imperfections. It’s just that I may have taken a few of those things to bordering extremes at some point in life.” With a total of 81 units dropped and having shifted from five different courses and four different schools before finally graduating, the outgoing USG Executive President has the repertoire of your typical rebel. But his unusual transcript of records only reveals a shallow layer of who he is. While his wayward past actually details an extraordinary journey through college that ended in any way but cliché. Taking college courses as a trial-anderror game, Julio kickstated college as a Basic Education student then, along the way, he shifted to Mass Communications then back to Education majoring in Early Childhood Education then to Special Education before finally settling with Interdisciplinary Studies here at the university. Though Julio’s road to graduating was full of detours and forked paths, there were no dead ends for the man who chose to keep on going despite frustration. Rather than taking it all negatively, he chose to grow where he was planted and despite popular opinion, would remind himself that though his life didn’t play out perfectly, it was his life and he was lucky enough to have it. Alot like an abstract painting, Julio’s college experience would appear as an aimless, scattered and disastrous collection of random paint trails on canvas for one who couldn’t see the beauty of its novelty. “But coming from an untied perspective, it’s a masterpiece.” Julio states in his written testimony. Not one for interviews, the man of the moment preferred having his thoughts on paper rather than on a voice recorder. “It appears thriving in meaning and content. However directionless it would start at first, it patiently evolves to a work of art as you inch your way through the brushstrokes.” As the outgoing president of the University Student Government, Julio admits that he got the position out of pure, dumb luck. “I had no prior political experience,” he states. “I barely

“It took me a whopping six and a half years just to graduate from a single course. A feat that almost seemed impossible as I was growing up”

knew how things work upstairs, let alone understood the basic functions of it all. But I was perhaps tapped to take up that daunting challenge on the presumption that I could be a suitable figure for it, given our collective success in uplifting the stigma of the IDS Department during my term as its president.” Julio also admits that though his life isn’t exactly the ideally expected of a role model student body president’s, he says that the essence of leadership has little to do with that. Leadership has an intrinsic component that delves on one’s ability to sympathize with the people, big and small. Because when you’ve been down at the bottom, you know how the underdogs feel and you know that there are many students out there who need someone to fight for them. That is where a true leader comes in. “[You need] to have the balls to act on it. It’s being constantly fearless and unwavering when paired against the problems at hand.” Julio says. For his dutiful dedication and persevering spirit, Julio sealed the last chapter of his college life last March with his head held high. Receiving the annual Institutional Award for the Most Outstanding Student in the field of Leadership and Service is more than what any regular “rebel” could ask for. But for Julio, the biggest and grandest achievement he garnered in graduation is the graduation itself ! “It took me a whopping six and a half years

just to graduate from a single course. A feat that almost seemed to be impossible as I was growing up.” Julio explains. So its no wonder that when he got that diploma and tossed his graduation cap to the sky, a feeling of lightheaded euphoria filled him. His long tiresome journey had finally come to an end. Or did it? If you thought Julio had enough of getting up early and going to school lafter spending a huge chunk of his life trying to get out of it, think again. Currently an applicant for the College of Law and at the same time, working his way through work applications and interviews, Julio is venturing through the sea called life, voyaging once again into a destination he can’t foresee. But despite the fear of what lies in the future, Julio says that his dreams are fairly simple and in the grand scheme of things, he isn’t asking for anything more than achieving happiness in whatever form it takes. “Growing up I dreamt big, but now that I’m a bit older, I’ve learned to shrink it down to simpler things. Now I just dream of stability, entering a profession I could be proud of and earning a fitting wage for it. Call my dream minimal but I couldn’t be any happier if I had those at hand; and of course, anything beyond that, I’d also take. What’s important, as well as a word of advice for the others, is that we should aim for achievability over the idea of grandeur. If done collectively, I assume it would eventually result to the same thing.” THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 23






o, I have long been reading the dogeared back issues on our office archives and saw all these people—the past editors—with their scribbled meanderings emblazoned along with their posed pictures. Now, it’s my turn and I’m a bit flustered. I must admit, I’m not very outspoken. I’m thinking, it’s sort of a bit too much for me to have this space in here to publish all that I have to say for public consumption. I mean, I do it on my columns and editorials and features but they’re not this personal. So, basically the intro of this article is sort of a complaint. But then, it’s a requirement. Since I now spent 1/5ths of this article about my personal inadequacies which I’m sure you’re not interested with, I guess I’ll just have to write about the things I’ve learned in college to fill this space. Man, this is hard. Okay, for almost four years of walking in the University’s hallowed corridors, hours of fidgeting at the classrooms with the blank walls and sputtering air-conditioners, and lounging at the zombieinfested Spectrum office, there has been a barrage of realizations that poked my brain into waking up from my prepubescent reveries.


I dunno if these are really the so-called “wisdom” that they call it but I’m just gonna list ‘em here anyway. Or else the magazine editor will go ballistic (haha). TOUGHEN UP I came to this university as a complete nobody. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have friends and I looked freakish. The only social interaction that I could muster was to awkwardly stare at people passing by while I was sitting alone in one of the hallway benches while eating my staple food (waffles). I spent my vacant periods at the library, poring over books (just their pictures actually) and periodically dozing off with my earphones plugging my ears. I must’ve been a few steps closer to insanity that time because I was just so angst-y, depressed and antisocial. But then, I remember that time when I was in the jeepney, on my usual early morning commute, when I had a “Sudden Clarity Clarence” moment that I realized: “You dude, you only have yourself; you have to toughen up.” That was when I flashed a smirk right there (and baffled the other passengers). I was miserable because I was missing my high school best friends back

then and because I was away from my folks. But then, if I’m going to dwell on the past and mope in my misery, I won’t be going anywhere. You just have to toughen up, find ways to get that emotional luggage out of the window and then carry on like a boss.Works every time. KNOW STUFF It’s hard to be a good kid when you’re in college. All kinds of temptations swim all around you, threatening to dislodge you from the main reason why you are here in the University in the first place. Newsflash! You’re here for your course and your goal is to finish it. I am acting like one of your parents right now, but come on, this is your main objective and you can prolly do the other side-missions later. We all had moments of lethargy when we’re too lazy to go to our classes and would rather do something else than listen to lectures. And it’s completely okay to do that occasionally but when you find yourself overdoing that, then it time to go back to the main road on the map. To get yourself inside those classrooms. Backtracking, I was actually not sure on how I was able to survive almost four years of repeated binge-studying on Biology and regurgitating everything on the exams and quizzes but somehow, I did. Point is, know when to have fun but then never stray away from your main goal. That is to graduate. You just have to be consistent. Just keep on moving, bro. JOIN SOMETHING I started writing when I was in grade school and I have thought of joining the school pub even before I enrolled in the University. Can’t really say that I’m doing good at it (writing) but I guess it is the best that I can do and a little extra-curriculars wouldn’t hurt. I remember that time when I (along with the other newbies) were extremely intimidated with our top eds back then (along with rumors of them eating human flesh back at there at the old office dungeon), and many of us thought of quitting like bitches. But then, our EIC said that if we were to quit, we would be the same as 8000 students in this University, just chilling here and not leaving anything to be remembered. I contemplated on that thought and from then on, I never had any qualms of staying in the pub until I reached this state that I am now.

Do ‘em bucket lists, try doing some random “trips” and basically just breathe and be silly every once in a while.

Being a member of a group…any group as long as it is active will definitely give you an edge in lots of things, not only on your resumes. I’m talking about work ethics, and management; actual situations where you get work with people on a real setting. Can’t say I did a good job as an EIC (I’ll leave my staff to comment on that) but at least I know what it is like and it will only go easier when I encounter stuff like this in the future. CALM DOWN There will always come a time when you will mess up during enrolment and end up being an irregular in a class of 45 unfamiliar faces all gawking at you as if you’re a freak of nature. But then, you have to survive five months of it and the trick is to just go with the flow. I know that my classmates’ first impressions of me was that that of a grumpy walrus, but then, looking intimidating and ugly is not an excuse to open up to people and connect with them, especially when you are forced to join group presentations. Same thing goes for other random people you see walking with you on the corridors. There are 8000 (tortured) souls in here, all as unique as snowflakes and chances are, some of these freakin’ snowflakes will get on your nerves. Snotty balikbayans, whiny spoiled brats, cocky douchebags, social-climbing geckos and an endless lot of them will be infesting the campus but then, there’s really nothing you can do about it. Here’s the drift: be tolerant of people and everything will go smooth. WIND UP And all this time, after hundreds of quizzes and exams, dozens of requirements, a

gazillion lectures, a truckload of professors, all the impromptu drama presentations, video projects that have static for background music, downloaded (or meticulously crafted) powerpoint presentations, crumpled exam permits, lost IDs, community visits, lost and unreturned ballpens, plates of pancit canton, dues for unreturned books in the library, slips at the hallways, events at the coli, crush encounters everywhere, sleepless nights interjected with hour-long Facebook scrollathons and all the other quirks of college experienced by all of us who have graduated, chances are, you’ve forgotten what it’s like to act like a kid and to relish life as it comes. It may seem like a complete turn-around from what I have said in the last bullets but the ultimate piece of advice that I can say to everyone is to enjoy every moment of college because you’re not getting any younger. Do ‘em bucket lists, try doing some random “trips” and basically just breathe and be silly every once in a while. You still have functioning brain cells to tell you not to do what’s really stupid but then, if you haven’t done anything exciting, then you wouldn’t have anything to tell your children in the future. Some experiences can only happen if you let them happen. There you go, folks, the advice column of one who seems to be the most unpopular, inefficient and useless editor of the school publication for the last 56 years. It’s actually up to you if you want to follow these random advices but for me, they worked and I couldn’t have survived college without learning all these bits of “Mallard ducks.” I still have a lot of plans but they’re not that interesting anyway. Now how do I end this article? THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 27






was five years old when I first sat behind the wheel. It was a Willy’s owner type jeep, the kind that could pass off Lightning McQueen’s other best bud. My father would drag me onto his lap in the driver’s seat, place my hands on the wheel, and help me steer the car from the gate, into the garage. And because he did all the footwork, everything went fine. Okay, so it hardly counts as a real driving experience, but as early as that time, I knew I wanted to drive one day. Frankly, these past four years in university are like the five hours of driving lessons I took in 2010. You sit behind the wheel, giddy and anxious. Before you slam down on the accelerator, though, the first thing you learn is how to survive slow traffic. First gear, release clutch, brakes. You get the hang of it eventually, and then you finally drive out into the traffic. It’s still the same world you see every day, but then it’s also different. You slowly make it downtown, home of ignorant drivers, pervasive pedestrians, and a reckless abandon of most traffic rules. You try hard not to screw up, not to shout to the world that oh hey, I’m a student driver, so feel free to overtake anytime! On the road you’ll meet different kinds of vehicles (or drivers). Some you’ll stereotype, some you’ll misjudge, some you’ll have a similar driving style with, some you won’t even notice, and some you’ll find extremely frustrating you end up wishing they’d just crash into a Ceres bus after they zipped by and nearly whisked your mirror off. It won’t be easy. It wasn’t. But with practice, composure, and maybe a pair of eyeglasses to grant you that perfect 20/20 vision, you’ll earn the confidence, and your license, in good time. And in many ways, the diploma that is now safely tucked in my shelf is like a driver’s license. It’s proof that you’re now skilled enough to be out on your own. Or is it? The first time you hold your card, you feel confident, accomplished. Then, slowly, you start to backtrack. It dawns on you that this is the real deal: screw up, and you can’t simply wave your wrinkly student’s permit as a pretext for your less-than-satisfactory skill on the road. Now that you have your license, there’s this budding pressure on your shoulders. At least, that’s how I initially felt. I feel that I’m getting better each time I man the wheel. And yet there are, and will still be, moments – baffling moments – when I curse myself and

My license is old enough to expire later this year, and I have long since learned that it’s okay to have moments like these, just like how it’s okay to sometimes fail. That it’s okay to feel nervous. Sit behind the wheel, take a deep breath, and just drive. You might come across a fork in the road or two.

ask just how I managed to have my bumpers kiss a tree while on reverse, or have the passenger door scratched because I miscalculated the distance between it and the gates. Moments like when I park my car at school in the morning and come back in the afternoon to find that someone had left a 20-inch, bright green graze on the lower, left side and a nonexistent note of apology. My license is old enough to expire later this year, and I have long since learned that it’s okay to have moments of failure or disappointment like these. It’s okay to feel nervous, to make mistakes. Take a deep breath, and just keep driving. You might come across a fork in

the road, or maybe some pot holes. Sometimes, not even a streetlamp has lit up. At one point, maybe you’ll drive high enough in the mountains to see the winding road before you, with only a small fence separating you from the edge of the cliff. Go slow if you want to, but keep driving. You didn’t work hard to get that license for nothing. In 2011, my father left this world, thanks to cancer. But not before he quietly told me, a few days earlier, that although he may not live long enough to see it, he wanted to me pull off two things in the near future: to graduate, and, whether I liked it or not, to be a good driver. Well, Pops, mission accomplished. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 29




ollege. It’s a melting pot of people who come from all walks of life. People who have a thousand stories to tell, people who are unique in their own way, people who have a fair share of talent, and people who have equal chances and opportunities. What makes it extraordinary is when your talent meets opportunity, and it’s like you own the world. Fate or just simply luck? Maybe confidence? Mine was fuelled by confidence, ridden by luck and was acted upon by fate. But whatever it is, you get to be the shiniest star in the universe. Who was I? Just any other girl who entered the University and consistently finding myself stumbling upon surprises brought about by personal discoveries. A fresh face flashing a picture perfect smile in campus who got to meet awesome people around, making my social circle bigger and better. That girl who seized everyday by taking chances and grabbing every opportunity she encountered. It was the time of my life when I became carefree. You know, I wanted to do the things I haven’t done before to discover my other capabilities. One way to find out is through experimentation and that’s the perfect word to describe college, if you ask me. Experimentation of who I wanted to be and experimentation of the things I wanted to do. I had to define those aspects of myself since college is just a step away to the real world. I encouraged myself to get out of my shell and experience news things, especially those that were in line with my course, AB Communications. I was after the experiences to serve as training grounds for my future career. It was confidence which pushed me to plunge into the unknown.


Who would have ever known that I would be a part of The Spectrum? I wasn’t part of any writers’ guild until I joined the 57-yearold school publication, and found my comfort zone there. I admit I wasn’t the most talented writer of my batch. I was lucky to be hired as a sports writer in the publication, given the fact I was the only one who applied for that position. Mind you, my articles bled when they came back to me. It came as no surprise since I didn’t have any background experience in journalism, not a single training conference. But, blessings kept on coming. I was privileged to be chosen as one of the representatives of The Spectrum in a journalism seminarworkshop during my second month stay in the publication. I practiced the craft and was praised by my mentor to be having a potential in the field. Indeed, practice makes perfect. Apart from being a newspaper writer, I was promoted to Managing Editor when I reached my junior year. At first I was hesitant to take the job because there were a lot of aspects in my life I was actively involved in and doubted my capacity to do the tasks, given I had no experience in leading a team. Honestly, I nearly resigned from the publication and was seeking new pastures to venture in. But, the Editor-in-Chief that time made me realize it was for my betterment and personal growth so I took it as a challenge. Being promoted to a higher position entailed a new function in the publication which meant more responsibilities and expectations from me. I tested the waters and went with the flow, wherever it took me and I’m surprised I’m writing this article now. Four years, I practically spent my whole college life being part of the half century old publication. I can say belonging in the organization has helped me a lot in terms of my expertise in the field by learning and acquiring skills that of a media practitioner. Aside from journalism, my hosting, public relations and events management skills were honed because I dealt with people most of the time and the organization holds an annual Journalism conference. I have met a lot of significant people in the field and got to experience certain stuff because of The Spectrum. Even though I invested so much time, effort, laughter and tears in the publication apart from my personal

So yeah, I’m the girl with a big smile on her face who you first saw in the hallways and hoping she has left a footprint in the University.

life, academics and part-time job which resulted to me being a “busy bee” my whole college life, I don’t regret anything because of the learning and experience I gained as well as how it led me to other opportunities. That’s how important The Spectrum is to me and it will forever be one of my treasured college memories. Well, initially my basic function is a student digesting the lessons taught by my professors inside the four walls of the classroom. But, my case was exceptional like that of a student leader, student athlete and a student assistant. I was a student journalist, and I was faced with a constant battle between school and the publication. My attention is divided as well as my time and effort, and it boils down to setting my priorities straight. My academics bombarded me with requirements demanded by my course and so did the publication. I can’t help but feel stressed at times. Procrastination also gets in the way which makes it more difficult. How did I combat all these? I set a schedule and a “To-do” list, even staying up in the wee hours of the night until sunrise being accompanied by music to my ears just to get things done. The next thing I knew, I’m already getting ready for school even feeling

drowsy and weary, acting like a sleepwalker or a zombie. Hehe! Of course, the best part in college is the people who were with you for four years. The people I made memories with, the people I shared my story with, the people who were there for me through good and rough times. I know they will always have an impeccable mark in my college life. Major annual activities in school like the Lasallian Week and Animolympics added features of an unforgettable college life because those events are actually bonding times spent with college buddies. Parties, hang outs, chitchats and sleep overs with my friends, especially when there are group projects are the things I will somehow miss, now that I have graduated. So yeah, I’m the girl with a big smile on her face who you first saw in the hallways and hoping she has left a footprint in the University. The girl who has reached her goal by having a distinct identity, and knows what she wants to do in life. The girl who will have a name for herself in her chosen career. The girl who believes confidence, luck and fate are a combined force in achieving a dream which gradually becomes a reality. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 31




etting into college was one thing but surviving it an entirely different story. Four years isn’t as simple as it sounds. It wasn’t as fun as grade school anymore nor was it as meaningful as high school. It was something that’ll get you through your dreams and ambitions. I didn’t mess it up, thank God, but it took me a lot of ups and downs to really appreciate what it meant to be in college. When I first entered the university, I had no idea of what’s in store for me, all I knew was I needed to get that diploma fast and then I’d be gone. But as I started walking in those jam-packed halls, everything just started to fall into place. Little by little, those missing pieces began to fit together and eventuallyt, I also figured out who I am. MASSCOMM SOCIETY. Taking up Communications was solely my choice. My parents didn’t choose it for me nor did they convince me to take up their course of choice. That’s why failing was never an option because first, I have no one to else to blame but myself, and second, I just can’t fail. I must say my first year was a blur. I was swimming in unknown waters and I wasn’t sure whether or not I could reach the end point. What made it easier was having the company of new acquaintances, diverse and unique for that matter. I got to meet friends coming from various social groups I’d never imagined being a part of. And because we were different, competition was always present. I, for one, hated losing. I was used to being on top of my


I always wanted to be in front, be the star. But these people taught me that being the one behind the show was more rewarding than being the show itself.

game that I always wanted to hold that place forever. But eventually I realized that being at the bottom of the pit isn’t that bad. Losing was inevitable and what’s important is that you learn how to climb your way back. I must say, if it weren’t for my ABCO family, I wouldn’t be the person I am now. Though they made me a little crazier, a lot gayer and very, very loud, it is because of them that I shined brighter than everyone else. They helped me reach my full potentials and taught me how to face life and its never-ending changes. PRODUCTION SUPPORT GROUP I was aimlessly walking in the Solomon hallway when a familiar face flashed before me and asked if I was interested to join nonacademic clubs. The next thing I knew, I was up for an interview with a bunch of seriouslooking dudes with their mustaches reaching their chests. I was hesitant, being with those guys, working for shows until the wee hours of the night without being paid or being in the same room with those piercing eyes that kept staring at you for unknown reasons didn’t sound very appealing to me. But I was there, I was next in line and I thought, why not give it

a try? I mean, I can always back out and quit. Now that I look back, I guess being in that interview was one of the greatest decisions I made in my entire college life. This group opened a whole new world for me, a world full of learning and endless opportunities. I was never really a backstage kind of person; I always wanted to be in front, be the star. But these people taught me that being the one behind the show was more rewarding than being the show itself. They taught me that stars aren’t only the ones on the limelight but instead; a real star shines despite being hidden at the back. All along I thought PSG was just all about work, production stuff and beer but little did I know that being in this group meant having a band of brothers that’ll teach you life’s greatest lessons. THE SPECTRUM Ahhhh, where do I even begin to describe my journey as a Spectre? Well honestly, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think about joining this publication. I wasn’t really a writer though I enjoyed putting my ideas into words and I never really loved photojournalism though I enjoyed taking random snapshots of

people and places. I guess everything started when a friend of mine got in and we would hang inside the 17-degree cold office, observing the people inside, wondering if they even take a break or what. Little did I know that after a semester, I would be one of those people living in the so-called “Zombieland”, drinking Chuckie in the wee hours of the night, being friends with the famous twins Sugar and Spice and squeezing our creative juices out for another issue of the newspaper and magazine. The first few days of being a Spectre were hard. You definitely have to prove yourself worthy of your position and you must succumb to the orders of your editors especially when deadlines are just around the corner, working your ass off day and night just so you could submit your assignments before the layout session. But I tell you; nothing is more glorifying than seeing your name in the staff box, seeing your works published in the newspaper and magazine and for me, nothing beats the feeling of having your work used as the banner photo or the front cover of the magazine. I didn’t even realize it’s already been three years. Joining The Spectrum was truly a blessing for me, they gave me a family, they equipped me with knowledge and skills I couldn’t even imagine having and most of all, they polished me with experiences that made me sparkle even brighter. These eccentric people completed my half-empty half-full college life and now the final challenge would be saying goodbye. Now that my 4-year journey has ended, it’s time to open up another book in my life, another book to fill up with knowledge and experience that’ll help me become the person I was meant to be. It was a tough ride but I enjoyed every single bump along the way. I’ll be off to better places and greater heights and I wont be afraid because I know, I have everything I’ll ever need. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 33





ith seven gates, seventeen buildings, and over a hundred rooms, the University of St. La Salle has the capacity to accommodate up to five thousand students, and is recognized as one of Bacolod City’s finest institutes. This beloved campus of green and white has been in existence since 1952, and as time goes by, it has only been getting better and better. Years ago, the ground we Lasallian students walk on was no more than another clump of idle land that belonged to Alfredo Montelibano Sr. He had donated the lot to the La Salle brothers and the school began taking shape in 1952. And back then, the school was called La Salle College. There wasn’t anything impressive about the small school that was barely visible amidst the surrounding sugarcane field. With a total student population of only 175 boys from Prep to Grade 5 and a faculty of only seven individuals, it’s hard to imagine the massive USLS we have today was once composed of such a tiny community. As if it isn’t hard enough to imagine the classrooms, auditoriums, numerous computer 36 AUGUST 2013 THESPECTRUM

“Before it became the very school you are in, it was a piece of land owned by the Montelibanos.Witness how an idle patch of green transformed into the University everyone knows about(where’s USLS again?).”

rooms, cafes, food court and bookstore of the University as a bare and underdeveloped piece of land. But let’s look back for a moment at the worn out sepia photographs of what our majestic alma mater once was. Before memory exercises and hours of community service were enforced, the form of discipline was a little closer to home. Back then students who went against the rules and regulations were met with the Paddle of Love. The school principal once held the reputable authority of executing a mighty, life changing wallop. A student who was doomed to such a demeaning fate either received a low deportment grade or performed acts of cruelty against the school’s rules. This wooden stick is not only a means of keeping the students in order, it also teaches them an important life lesson, love hurts. As the saying goes boys will always be boys. In a school chock full of male students, an agreement was inevitably made, The Lasallian Gentleman’s Agreement. So before the area behind Balay Kalinungan was dubbed as The Sanctuario, it was known as Devil’s Island.

In the event of a dispute, the students settle their differences in this inconspicuous spot. With trees covering the area, there was no way for the Lasallian Brothers to know that their students were bashing each other’s brains out to their heart’s content. At the end of the battle, true to their word, they leave in a grudge free, diplomatic and gentlemanly way. Some say that this is the reason why the past Lasallian graduates are all strong and manly. As the earth kept evolving, so did the school of St. La Salle. The campus constantly progressed and developed. After the formation of the Grade School and High School buildings, the brothers decided to put up a dormitory for the students. The Boarding Department, which was situated north of the Solomon building accommodated students who lived far away from home. But it wasn’t long until it took hold of another transition. It soon had a Science lab on the second floor with a library and the famous room 10 on the bottom. It is clear that up until now, Room 10 is still in subsistence and is the only room that has not gone through any changes since it was

put up. Today the whole building stands as the Museo Negrense de La Salle, a showcase of the religious artifacts of the Diocese. Lasallian boys were also well known for the game, hand ball. In fact there used to be a large hand ball court where the MM classrooms now stand. The nursing cafeteria was also once a make shift stage which more of less explains the elevated platform the still remains. It also held the arts building which was easily recognizable by the large comedy/tragedy masks painted the wall. Beyond that was nothing short of an underdeveloped cemented area which was just recently refurbished and was christened as The Forum. The University of St. La Salle had been an exclusive school for boys up until the year 1986 when the brothers opened the way for female students in preparatory school. Soon the rate of girls has increased tremendously and they were welcomed openly into the High School department. To accommodate the change, the school had to replace the alma mater song entitled “Men of Lasalle” to something more befitting of both genders.

The school principal once held the reputable authority of executing a mighty, life changing wallop. A student who was doomed to such a demeaning fate either received a low deportment grade or performed acts of cruelty against the school’s rules.

It wasn’t long until the school transformed into a University. The buildings and rooms have begun to further increase in number as well as in population. But despite that, some things never change. The banners are still waving high and bright in the proud shades of green and white, St. La Salle is still remembered and given homage to and the Lasallian spirit remains strong and indestructible in each of the students’ hearts. Looking back, it is easy to see that the

University of St. La Salle has always been a progressive school. Not a year goes by without the customary sight of construction work being done around the campus. Being well aware of the back story that lies beneath the very foundation of the school is bound to show you how much the school has attained and achieved over the years. It is amazing to see that from an unnoticeable trace of land has risen one of the best schools in the province, one that has been and will continue developing through the years. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 37




he blew out the dust, wiped off the cobwebs, gently opened the decadesold shoebox, scattered all the contents on the floor and found the letter. Her hands became so despicably filthy, but she did not mind it. The old lady had to reread it several times before the first tear fell. For when there are tears, there lie memories. She recalls a plenty. The letter reminded her of a specific fateful moment, to be young and in love, such a blessing it was. She read it until she could feel his presence, until she recalled every bit of lost puzzle piece to a memory. Not until the year 1889 when German psychologist Dr. Hermann Ebbinghaus pioneered an experimental study on the human memory has the mystery been revealed as to how humans can retrieve forgotten events stored in the brain. General Science claims that nerve network patterns are able to travel and store all long and short-term memories in the hippocampus and we are able to recall a particular memory only when we activate that network of interconnected neurons. In simple terms and a story to explain it, imagine our brain to be an office; it is separated into two workspaces, the short-term and the long-term group, each with tiny filing cabinets sorted by a bored staff. Stored in the cabinets are infinite folders and each contains certain data that you , of course, cannot identify instantaneously not until the little bored workers help open the folder and trigger a resurfacing of memories within it. So, how exactly do we retrieve these “memories”? Remember our five friends from elementary school? Sight, taste, smell, audio and sensation are the keys for the workers to open the correct data file stored in the cabinets. Encoding is the first step in creating a memory through the data gathered by any of the senses. By sight. Memory is a biological phenomenon, rooted in the senses, that begins with perception. Take for example, the memory of when you first met your loved one. Your visual system registers in your brain their physical features, the color of their eyes, body structure and hair type. It is that type of memory that lives on every coincidental


“Memories. They are forever stored in the different parts of our brains. Some we remember in an instant, while others may take some time to recall. Learn how to uncover the mysteries of your memories.”

That feeling. We all remember the pain of an injection’s penetrating our skin; we dare not forget the touch of our lover’s hand, the sensation that draws feeling of pain, intimacy and familiarity. That feeling. We all remember the pain of an injection’s penetrating our skin; we dare not forget the touch of our lover’s hand, the sensation that draws feeling of pain, intimacy and familiarity.

occurrence of meeting someone similar to having the same features. The taste. We all have our say on food. Oh yeah, food. Oh, all the joy it brings! And we all have our favorites as well as dislikes; this is because we are reminded of their taste, awful or heavenly. A simple bitter taste takes us back to a memory when we first discovered coffee. A minty “Dynamite” candy will most likely remind us of our childhood. Scent. Strong-scented perfumes would, more often than not, remind us of our grandmother and the similar scent she wears. The smell of erasers and pencil shavings brings us way back to the moments in elementary school and how uncomplicated life was back then. A simple familiarization of a certain scent either makes us recall of a specific person, event or feeling. Hearing. Sometimes we are in awe as to how music has a way of bringing us to memory lane. A song can bring us back to a particular

moment in our lives. A victory perhaps, a dance or a goofy day can all be remembered if there was a specific theme song worth remembering. One genius marketing strategy is giving a product or company an unforgettable “jingle” to go with; a catchy music line to be irretrievable in the brain for a moment in time. Politicians do that every time in order for the masses to NEVER forget the name, brand, company or person. That feeling. We all remember the pain of an injection’s penetrating our skin; we dare not forget the touch of our lover’s hand, the sensation that draws feeling of pain, intimacy and familiarity. Dr. Richard Mohs of Discovery Company explains that even experts such as himself believe that the hippocampus, along with another part of the brain called the frontal cortex, is responsible for analyzing these various sensory inputs and deciding if they are worth remembering. If they are, they may become

part of your long-term memory. As indicated earlier, these various bits of information are then stored in different parts of the brain. How these bits and pieces are later identified and retrieved to form a cohesive memory however is not yet known. Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type of dementia, is a progressive kind of illness that greatly affects the ability of a person to remember past and current activities as well as deteriorates mental capacity caused by degeneration. In the severe cognitive decline stage of an AD victim, memory continually worsens which immensely influences personality changes. The mind depreciates by capacity and ability that the patient encourages extensive help to carry on with daily activities. Victims of the common dementia remember their own names but lose all information on their personal history. They are able to identify familiar and unfamiliar faces though they may not anymore recall their own spouse’s, children or caregiver’s name. Without supervision, the victims’ most common mistakes are putting on pajamas during the day, shoes on the wrong feet, sleep during the daytime and become restless at night. They have forgotten the details in using toiletries and experience major personality and behavioral changes, including suspiciousness and delusions. The sad part is that the patients tend to wander and become lost. Whether it is occasionally replaying a special event, recalling that brain-killing machine of a formula for that Calculus test or retrieving buried moments from the past, every bit and piece dwells inside of our brains but stored in different places. The game is retaining what is worth the remembrance and the goal is to keep a healthy, working brain. Drifted on her mind were familiar emotions, yes, she recalled them all, all feelings, their memories, once existed, a sudden lost, then found again brought only by a mere letter. It was difficult for her to remember and recall lost memories but this, for her, was therapy, it was a special time machine for fixing and reliving lost and important pieces. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 39




he sky is a sight to behold during the sunset. Up near the clouds, it is a shade lighter than the ocean but as it reaches the ground, it burns a light orange glow that seems like fire bursting from a focal point and stretching across the horizon. Deep in the heart of a sugarcane plantation, the scenic view of a mansion becomes a silhouette against the retreating sun. Breathtaking and beautiful, the picturesque sight can almost make you forget the black soot rising to the sky from where the ruined manor burned. In Talisay City, there stands the remnant of a grand historical landmark masking a fruitful yet tragic history. Its identity lost in the old pages of time, the skeleton of what was once Don Mariano Lacson’s home is now remembered only as The Ruins, the most popular abandoned mansion and must-see tourist attraction of Negros Occidental. 40 AUGUST 2013 THESPECTRUM

“Somewhere in Talisay City rests an age old mansion that houses the late Don Mariano Lacson’s legacy. Discover the history behind this iconic tourist spot.”

But forget talking pictures, watching sunsets and posing for jump shots for a while and imagine the eerie unpainted walls of the grand ancestral home as what it once was during the glory days. Revisit the time before our own; back to a time of old haciendas, war and sugarcane fields. BIRTH The marriage between Don Mariano Lacson and Maria Braga was a happy one, however short-lived. When she was carrying their 11th child, Maria suffered a tragic miscarriage which cost both their lives. Don Mariano was terribly heartbroken but life had to go on. Despite their untimely parting, Maria’s memory lived on in the mansion he built for her and their growing brood. Patterned after Italian architecture with neoclassical columns, the mansion was a testament to Filipino aristocracy

and a memento of Don Mariano’s love for his dear deceased wife. In constructing the house, Lacson’s father-in-law was believed to have played a big influence in the architectural design of the huge mansion having inspired the way the crown of the house is shell-like in shape thanks to his knowledge of oceanoriented art having been a sea man himself. Also, one amazing fact about the cement used during the construction of the mansion is that it was mixed with more than 490 million eggs. What good does this serve? Apparently, it is due to this that the manor itself changes color once sundown strikes. The floor of the mansion is lifted five inches above the ground to serve as ventilation. During the day, the big mansion was a sight for sore eyes with its aristocratic appeal and perfectly manicured flower beds. Imported lilies surrounded the fountain outside the mansion and you can just imagine the

Americans burnt the house with Lacson’s permission to avoid giving the Japanese a chance to use the mansion as their base. And when the flames came in full, the bright shining was both a terrible goodbye and a tragic means to an end.

younger Lacson children frolicking across the grassy plain, lost in their youth. Come evening time, the bay windows had a beautiful view of the sunset. According to the tour guide Roger Lucero, the Lacson family had often stood together in the porch area and watching the sunset, Don Mariano would tell his family, “All of these I’m seeing right now are all mine.” And no one would have disagreed, until much, much later.

they hired was an informant to the Japanese Military. It took three days for the Americans to fully burn the house as a precautionary measure to prevent the Japanese from using it as a headquarters. Americans burnt the house with Lacson’s permission to avoid giving the Japanese a chance to use the mansion as their base. And when the flames came in full, the bright shining was both a terrible goodbye and a tragic means to an end.

WAR TIMES Nothing lasts forever. The garden of the manor was tended to by Angelina, Don Mariano’s daughter but with a 440 hectare land area, she could not do it all herself. They hired a Japanese gardener to help care for the flora in the vicinity. Just before Second World War, he disappeared and it was only later that they found out the gardener

REBIRTH But despite the blaze, tearing through the floor, stairs and majority of the mansion’s interior, the structure and frame remained in fairly better condition than expected. With the care of the future generation of Lacsons, the beauty of the ancestral home was somewhat restored to its former glory albeit the roof, the door and majority of the rest of its structure already

removed. The huge home is just a memory now, and only the ghostly whispers of past days fill the gaps in the walls and the burn marks that taint the columns. Today, Raymond Javellana bought the land of Lacsons, but this lease excluded the Ruins. The Lacsons aren’t ready to let go of the landmark just yet. Because it’s making money? Because it’s a source good tourism? Or because it’s a memento from their forefathers? Only they know for certain. The sun goes down and the visitors each take their leave. The plains slowly become empty, the parking lots void of cars and motorcycles. The gardener turns in for the day and the café staff resolve to take their leave as well. The lights grow dim and the ruined mansion is left in shadows. In the darkness, the black structure of the huge house seems almost whole again. THESPECTRUM AUGUST 2013 41



When all the adults were in church, the Pied Piper played his pipe, and just like the rats, the children were lured and were then brought to the nearby hill of Hamelin.

“History recounts the tale of a man who used his magic pipe to kidnap children. Undoubtedly one of the freakiest tales ever told, delve into the world of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.” WORDS BY MARK HARMON R. MAGBANUA ART BY KATRINA TRISH C. ISIDERIO / ROBERT C. DINGCONG, JR.


egend has it that sometime during 1284, or a time that can be defined as “beforeMichael-Jackson’s-first-world-tour”, a German town named Hamelin mysteriously lost 130 children. Like some sort of magic, the children vanished from the town, never to be seen or heard from again. Only a few witnesses were able to recount the eerie event. According to them, there was a man, dressed in colorful fabric, armed with only a pipe, who lured the little ones away from the town, and into a mouth of a cave. When the last of them had entered, a giant boulder closed the cave, and the children were gone forever. The mysterious man became known as the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Now that is a tale creepy enough to send shivers down even Kirsten Stewart’s spine. But what exactly is the story behind the Pied Piper’s existence? And what really happened to the children of Hamelin? The earliest evidenced depiction of the eerie story was in 1300, in the form of a glass window that featured an illustration of the Pied Piper and countless children dressed in white. This window was placed in the Church of Hamelin, and destroyed in 1660. In 1384, an entry in the town chronicle had the inscription: “It has been 100 years since our children left.” Rats and the plague were added to the original story during the 16th century. During this time, the urban legend had transformed into a full narrative, in which the Pied Piper was believed to be a catcher of rats, commissioned by the mayor to rid the town of their rat infestation. The Piper agreed and used his pipe to magically lure the rats into the river. They all drowned, save for one. Because of this, the mayor refused to pay him. The Piper went fuming mad and promised to come back for revenge. He allegedly returned on the 26th of


June, 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul. When all the adults were in church, the Pied Piper played his pipe, and, just like the rats, the children were lured and were then brought to the nearby hills of Hamelin. The original story is widely believed to be just a fairytale, yet there have been quite a number of theories that explained the actual disappearance of the children. One such theory is that the children died of plague, since there was a mention of the existence of rats in the city. Others say the children died from a devastating landslide, because of the hills’ involvement in the story, and that the children became part of a military campaign and never returned to their parents. Today, the most logical explanation to the disappearance is that the children left in record

numbers to find their own colonies in different parts of Germany. A story published in 1842 depicted an event where several children from Hamelin disappeared and eventually resurfaced in Transylvania— somewhat “proof ” that these children were the founders of nearby places. The Pied Piper was believed to be their leader and commander. But still, this story remains a theory. Perhaps what happened in 1284 in Hamelin is forever lost in the sands of time. Perhaps the world will never really truly know the truth. But the town still exists and is forever haunted by the past. Justice is still not served. And perhaps it will never be. Who knows, maybe the children and Pied Piper are still locked up in a cave somewhere. They must have been big fans of Doomsday Preppers.


PARKING LOT DROUGHT -n. The event when the parking lot is filled up to the last slot. Usually observed during midday and on special events (Mondays included, because everyone hates Mondays). Me: Awww darn it. It’s 10 am already. There’s going to be a Parking Lot Drought in the Coliseum parking lot for sure! Next time, I’ll wake up at 5 am!


- n. The state in which one is exhaustedor feeling mentally, physically or psychologically defeated. Mostly used by girls and “girls” (wink2x). Haggard Person: Awww Dude. Counting planktons is tougher than figuring out if a panda is black or white. I’m so Haggardo Versoza today!

COMMANDER SWAGGER - n. Used to describe a person who thinks he or she has “swag.” More often than not, they are seen wearing varsity jackets, knock-off hats, fake Ray Bans, and sky-high sneakers that come in a plethora of colors (yes, even black). Guy 1: So I was walking down the Solomon Hall when this kid with a varsity jacket, a Pittsburgh Penguins hat, and yellow Nikes, bumped me so hard that I dropped my iPhone. Guy 2: Ooooh dude, looks like you’ve been owned by Commander Swagger! Personally, I blame Souljah Boy and Justin Bieber for the way they dress.

STRESS DRILON -n. The state in which one is stressed or under the effects of stress. Can be used in accordance with HaggardoVersoza. Stressed Person: So you think counting planktons is enough to make you HaggardoVersoza? Try doing the Harlem Shake while you do it. Ahhhh I’m sooooo Stress Drilon right now.

DLP KIT AVERSION -n. A condition where no one is willing to borrow the DLP kit from the AVRC. This is primarily because the students don’t want to wait in line for a long time and surrender their ID’s to get the kit. Teacher: Alright class! Can someone please borrow the DLP kit? *Awkward silence* *everyone pretends to be busy* Teacher: I see this class has the DLP Kit Aversion!

EARPHONES BREAKUP - n. happens when either the left or right earphones begins to stop functioning after weeks of use. The onset of earphone breakup is faster with cheap earphones compared to expensive ones. Guy 1: Hey man, can I borrow your earphones? Guy 2: The other earphone is not working because they broke up already.






MEMENTO by, Guy Pearce portrays Leonard Shel was a man seeking justice after his wife same the by d dere mur and brutally raped and him ered batt rely seve who rit culp , a selective caused an anterograde amnesia on’s pers a airs imp that cit defi ory mem s, orie mem icit ability to store new, expl ered rend gh Thou n. brai his in lop to deve rtunate incapable of remembering the unfo his that d ince conv is by Shel se, event, per the name of wife was murdered and vows in the criminal everything he believes in to find may prove and bring him to justice even if it a difficult task. Natalie He is accompanied and aided by aid barm etic path sym a (Carrie-Anne Moss), s to claim who no) tolia Pan (Joe y and Tedd feels wary be a sincere friend though Shelby tly on mos ing Rely on. reas e som of him for y and bod his on os hand-written notes, tatto to past the in n take s aph togr Polaroid pho , Shelby, remind him of his recent progress embark on together with Natalie and Teddy e do they a search for the true criminal. Littl ng the amo lies inal crim know, though, the . them of e thre n, A chilling tale of grief, self-deceptio n’s Nola her stop Chri ce, justi and revenge Memento is a psycho-thriller film can’t masterpiece. After watching it, you film the laud quite decide whether to app or job nal ptio exce an g doin industry for e often. A grumble why they don’t do it mor has gained film in the name of art, Memento emy Acad ding inclu ions inat nom ral seve Film and lay enp Scre Award for Original acclaim for Editing and has received critical ytelling. stor ing tand its unique plot and outs of the one as ored hon been has Memento tfully righ it h whic best films in the decade deserves. ite our The movie reminds us that desp what ory mem to keep we re, unstable natu d for we have in life, the things that stan having us and the universe’s reason for said, “I by Shel ard Leon t wha Like . alive us own my ide outs ld wor have to believe in a ns still actio my that ve belie to have I mind. ember have meaning, even if I can’t rem my eyes n whe that ve belie to have them. I Do I are closed, the world’s still there. it still out believe the world’s still there? Is to remind there? Yeah. We all need mirrors rent.” diffe no I’m are. we ourselves who




2 MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA Based on Arthur Golden’s novel, memoirs of a geisha is a heartwarming movie about Sayuri, a young woman whose dream to be with the man she loves pushed her to become one of Japan’s most famous and celebrated geishas. Directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Steven Spielberg, Memoirs Of A eisha is a brilliant masterpiece that balances romance, culture and good ol’ rivalry. The film merged the history and culture of Japan with a young woman’s life, creating one of the most beautiful and artistic movies to take on the mysteries of Japan. The cinematography is refreshingly pleasing to the eye; the actors and actresses of the film excellently brought their characters to life; and John Williams did a superb job with the movie’s soundtrack, bringing that feel of warfare amidst an elegant picture. All in all, memoirs of a geisha is a work of art.

vie, but have you You’ve seen the mo played the game? d Memories, you In Silent Hill: Shattere n who doesn ’t ma a play as Harry Mason, ded up in Silent Hill know how he even en r e thing: his daughte but is only sure of on y, om glo is dark and is missing. The town teeming with the d an fog th wi covered of the people who s rie ghos ts and memo ries hough these memo have lived there. Alt r, hte ug da his d fin rry and spirit s help Ha ser to the truth, a they also lead him clo rather not know. uld truth which he wo ough Silent Hill, As Harry ventures thr into states of subtle he oftentimes falls t ring these times tha madness, and it is du . life his for run ly Harry needs to literal of his mind, naked, For in the darkness come for th, chasing grotesque creatures him to death if they ng eri him and smoth ate, down. If he is for tun chance to take him d lea t will eventually Harry finds clues tha can lity rea But even him back to reality. ce il as nightmares. Pie ev as be es tim me so to ck ba ries come by piece, his memo f covers about himsel dis he at wh d an , him ing liv a kes his life and his daughter ma . are nightm x Studios and Developed by Clima t, Digital Enter tainmen published by Konami t firs a ve and set in this game is interacti . The great thing ew -vi -of int po person t it lives up to the tha is about this game was taken. From movie from where it r interacts with his the way the characte y way the story is slowl surroundings, to the is se en sp su d, ele rav and pains takingly un odhas puzzles and blo ever present. It also es isfi sat ich wh , els curling scenes and lev the tac tical and the the appetites of both ly down side to this thrill seekers. The on htmare mode, the nig g rin game is that du es sometimes become map, guides and clu rd to dis tinguish, ha disorganized and d character run aroun either making your de nu by wn do led mp in circles, or get tra r n can make the playe freak s, which in tur wits. his of t ou red sca deeply frustrated or attered Memories Overall, Silent Hill: Sh ve you screaming is a game that will lea n’t los t your voice ve ha u for more. If yo firs t, that is. screaming in fright



LOGO QUIZ GAME Have you ever stared at a brand tag and heard a voice in the back of your mind whisper to you that it wasn’t Gucci but a Guess bag? Ever ha d that feeling that yo u’re positive it’s a Ford an d not a Maserati jus t by looking at the logo em blazoned on the car ? Or maybe you could tell it’s a Heinz ketch up bottle and not Hunts by one glance? Well, feel free to put your know-how to the tes t in the new Logos Quiz Game. It’s fun, well, at least until you run ou t of brand names. Developed by Atico Mobile, Logos Quiz Game is as addicting as Gangnam Style an d Harlem Shake comb ined. Its mechanics are simple: guess the company behind the logo. If you’re stuck, you can use the hints that each logo has. Ea ch successful answer earns you a “hit”, an d a certain number of hits will unlock a new level where loa ds of other logos await you! Most logos have missing elements on them. For example, a Samsung logo with on ly the first and last letters on screen or a Knorr logo with on ly the emblem’s backd rop. The game doesn ’t require great hand-ey e coordination or a fancy set of skills, jus t a good memory an d a keen eye for brand identity. That’s what makes it such a treat to people of all ages! With more than 800 brands in the newest version, this game will surely occu py your attention span when you’re bored. From Adidas to Mulbe rry, Hermes to Yves Saint Laurent, Cham pion to Napster, all the logos under the sun are covered, popular or not! This is the ultim ate test of how aware you are of the world around you. If you su ck at this game, your su rname must be Gates or Kardashian and, in that case, you have no business playing this app. But what’s the best thing about it? It’s 100% FREE! Hurra y for free!



O B 5

FALLEN Lauren Kate heightens the growing fame of fallen angel novels with her very own, “Fallen”. This thrilling masterpie ce is the first of all three books and follo ws the story of Luce, an average teenager who meets Daniel, a not-so average guy who changes her life forever. Brought to reform school, Luce is squared with several other kids who likely fall the norm. To add up the weirdness, she finds out she’s met Daniel 15 years ago and everything happening was more than just familiar to him. She was more than just his memory. He was more than just human.

THIS IS IT On june 25, 2009, the King of Pop passed away, leaving behind not just several broken-hearted fans, but also an unfinished masterpiece. The documentary film of his rehearsals for an unfinished This is it concert at London’s O2 arena was still theatrically relased however despite the star’s untimely parting. And on October 26, 2009, Sony Music Entertainment released the soundtrack, the 6th since Michael’s death, featuring fourteen songs from his previous albums and two versions of the song “This is it”. If this was album was made for anything, it was to commemorate the beauty and genius of a great artist. Another great thing about the album is that it features four demos by the King of Pop including the Planet Earth poem (which Michael Jackson reads, not sings), which not only further completes its purpose of making people remember him, but it also gives listeners that feeling of being close to Michael. When Michael Jackson’s brothers found his demo for This is it, it was, by standards, unfinished and unrefined, even for a demo. So they added their own voices and some instrumentals and, lo and behold! Not only did it produce one, but two amazing versions of the song. The album is a great legacy of the King of Pop, and if you want to get groovy and treat your ears to something good, then the only thing to say is: This is it!



as roller skates! There’s a small button near the heavy-duty sole of the shoe and if pushed, a set of miniature wheels pop out. You can run and skip one minute and with a push of a button, glide across the halls the next. You can go back to “walk mode” if you return the wheels into their little compartments. Once the safety click sounds, resume regular strides. Inline skates were quite popular back in the day, so popular that they gave glow-step shoes a run for their money. But much like the latter, they too suffered from depleting media demand and phased out of the mainstream market. The hallways will never be the same again. Youngsters these days will never know the reason behind the secret giggles their older siblings, cousins and seniors exchange upon being reminded of these. The jokes, the reminiscences and the shared experiences of living in a time before technology became an omnipotent god to the youth will only baffle them. At some degree, the kids of today will never completely understand our weirdness. But then again, it’s probably better that way.

Movie Rental Shops

It may be hard to believe, but there was actually a time when torrents didn’t even exist yet. For a 90’s kid, the movie rental shop was the ultimate treasure trove of every video find. Rows and rows of brick-like devices called VHS tapes filled the shop and if a title ever caught your fancy, just bring it over to the desk and they’ll lend it to you for around three days, provided you have a membership card. If you exceeded the given due date, you have to pay a fee. The system is similar to 46 AUGUST 2013 THESPECTRUM

how you borrow and return a library book, if you think about it. However, despite its novelty, movie rental shops are now endangered habitats and many of its kind has gone out of business, much to no one’s dismay. But they will be missed. RIP Quadtech.

Inline Skates

Before pumped up kicks and expensive slippers were in fashion, inline skates were the thing. What are inline skates, you ask? Well, they are big, chunky, shoes with an even bigger secret. They can double

Real Entertainment

It’s nothing personal but when it comes to television shows, movies and music, a 90’s kid knows the meaning of real entertainment. Do shows like FRIENDS, The Nanny, My Wife and Kids and the ongoing cartoon legend, The Simpsons ring any bells? These famous family sitcoms remain unparalleled in terms of heart and humor and seriously need to be given reruns (or modern crossovers.) Because if Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother were to do a sketch with Joey Tribbiani of FRIENDS (“The fridge broke so I had to eat everything.”), regular television would be so much more interesting. Animated films of today still bow down to Simba in the hand drawn cartoon legend, The Lion King (1994), which still remains the king of the box office

alongside animated classics like Toy Story (1995), Tarzan and Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Thus proving that great stories aren’t measured by the huge budget or the latest computer program. Music produced back then was great too but its best left a secret it’s shared only by those with taste for the classics. Well, we could tell you what we want, what we really, really want but it’s far too soon for an unveiling. Perhaps when you’re older.

Mind Boggling Games

Aside from being a source of pain if stepped on, LEGOs are also a fun source of creative and architectural development. Before kids had Nintendo DS’ and iPads, they sat on the floor, building LEGO barricades and played pretend war. It wasn’t the most almighty of fortresses, but, hey, it was fun. Before digital devices redefined play time with good handeye-and occasionally footcoordination, these mind boggling games gave kids the gift of imagination. It wasn’t about reaching the end of a Boss stage, but back then, it was more of the experience of building something out of little things. Assembly toys like Zoids, Gundam robots and Tamiya cars took a toll on everyone’s attention spans and patience but these encouraged practice, perseverance and delayed gratification. And as far as mindless shooting games are concerned, Space Impact is the benchmark for success. Hands down.

Art by Robert C. Dingcong, Jr.

The Class Magazine August 2013  

Published August 2013 Volume 57, Number 2