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What’s Inside?

Xavier Ecoville gives permanent shelter to Sendong Survivors ❶

City Council approves water rate hike ❶

Overhaul ❷ Moreno plans to establish Phil Science High School ❸

A Night to Remember ❹

Issue

ONE

N A R U I D A ACT Daily Journal Volume 1 Issue 1 ǀ October 11, 2013

Xavier Ecoville gives permanent shelter to Sendong survivors

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endong Survivors wakes up to new beginnings as Xavier Ecoville (XE) celebrated the turnover of permanent houses during “Dayun, Padayun: Xavier Ecoville Hope Festival, Blessing of Permanent Houses” on July 6, Saturday. A Eucharistic mass presided by Xavier University (XU) president Fr. Roberto C. Yap, SJ at the St. Francis Chapel, opened the whole day celebration. This was then succeeded by the ceremonial blessing and turnover of all 568 houses in the resettlement area.

Bobby said in response to why it took one and a half year to install the permanent houses.

"Dili lang ta gatukod ug mga balay, gatukod usab kita ug isa ka kominudad… pero ang challenge karon ang pagpalig-on sa pagbarog sa atong usa ka komunidad nga himsog, baskog, ug magtinabangay ang mga tinuod nga silingan sa usag-usa,” he added. Besides the blessing of houses, the turn over ceremony also highlighted the signing of the

Aside from the houses, a livelihood center was ► Xavier Ecoville gives shelter, ❸ also turned over to the Xavier Ecoville Multipurpose Cooperative (XEMPCO) to ensure the sustainability of the community. On the other hand, sponsors, guests and community members were present during the event’s opening program. Newly elected Mayor Oscar Moreno also graced the event and delivered the opening remarks. According to an article in www.xu.edu.ph, Mayor Moreno announced in his speech that he made Fr. Yap the new Senior Economic Adviser to the City, paving the way for more collaboration between the University and the Local Government for the good of Xavier Ecoville and the rest of Cagayan de Oro. Fr. Bobby also gave his speech during the opening program. As quoted from thecrusaderpublication.com, his speech covered Ecoville’s history and highlighted the spirit of Magis, made evident through the people’s continuous effort and commitment. "Hinay hinay man mi pero mas hapsay man ang among pagpadagan dinhi. Ang among pagplano nga orderly, maayo ang pagbuhat sa mga balay, hinay hinay pero sigurado,” Fr.

City Council approves water rate hike

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he City Council approved a 30-percent increase of water rate for the residents of Cagayan de Oro, including Opol and Casinglot in Misamis Oriental. Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) General Manager Rachel Beja said that the water rate adjustment has been approved by the Local Water Utilities Administration during a meeting together with the City Council ► City Council approves, ❸


OPINION Overhaul

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he unending P10-billion pork barrel scam issue of Janet Lim Napoles and the Zamboanga warfare had taken over the spotlight in the country for the previous weeks. However, in a dim part of this limelight lies a pressing issue that we seemed to have overlooked – the upcoming Barangay elections particularly the controversial Sangguniang Kabataan poll. ‘School of Corruption’ Formerly, the Sangguniang Kabataan served a very principled and virtuous purpose as their main objective is to become a training ground for the country’s future leaders and become an avenue for the youth to greatly partake in our nation-building. However, instead of living up to its main goal, the organization has undesirably rotten through the years. Instead

of flourishing and producing dignified and moral leaders, it has contrarily become a school of corruption and a breeding ground for political dynasties. SK’s shortcomings To be just, it is important to note that the negative branding given to the organization didn’t apply to all barangays. However, the SK’s shortcomings are really more than visible in the society than not. First, the SK has become a starting point for politicians who yearn to establish a political dynasty. Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal claimed that most of those running for SK positions are children of politicians, worsening the problem of dynasties in the country and discouraging those without any

AGAINST THE WIND Antoinette Magallanes

Acta Diurna

political background who would willingly want to serve the community. Second, SKs today have turned out to be “puppets” or “accessories” by elder barangay officials. This may have resulted from the youth’s unfamiliarity of what is really mandated by law and the lack of the proper political training. Third, reliable studies show that the capability of the youth to run a governing body is unsatisfactory and instead of empowerment, the council exposes the youth to the corruption system and crappy ways in the government. Overhaul Overhaul transitive verb\ˌō-vər-ˈhȯl\ to renovate, remake, revise, or renew thoroughly This is what the present Sangguniang Kabataan system needs. The current SK setup is awfully sick and certainly needs to be treated with reforms. First of all, it is best that the age bracket of an SK official be raised to 18-21 years old instead of 15-21 years old. Secondly, the monitoring of monetary collections and disbursement of funds must be more solid and transparent so as to avoid exploitation of public money. Thirdly, SKs should be given relevant trainings which really focus on their functions as SK officials. With this, the SK officials are deemed to be more qualified to become a leader and trained the way they should go. Lastly, the government should impose provisions that would depoliticize the SK so as to avoid corruption and political patronage. The SK is flawed. But the SK being imperfect makes it more open for improvement. With all the tiffs on the SK issue, I am most certain of one thing; reforms are needed to be implemented and changes are to be made. What the whole SK system, including the youth, needs is a sincere amendment – a genuine overhaul.

Volume 1 October 2013


Acta Diurna

Moreno plans to establish Phil Science High School

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etting sights on improving the quality of education in the locality, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno plans to construct Philippine Science High School in the city. This was revealed by Mayor Moreno during the ManCom meeting of public and private school teachers in CDO. According to a report in CDO’s Official News Bulletin, Moreno said that PSHS would be of great help to students in the city especially in the field of science and would encourage other public schools to cope up with the city’s educational demands. He also urges teachers to support the said project for the city’s development. Moreno also stated during the meeting that the city government would thoroughly focus on the improvement of the current educational status of the city. The Philippine Science High School is a specialized public high school system in the country that functions as a service institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The school is well-known in the country for its scholars and exemplary achievements in the field of science.

City Council approves water rate hike from page 1

committee on public utilities headed by Councilor Roger Abaday on September 12, Thursday.

Different recreational activities and fun-filled games were lined up to cater people of all ages.

The said 30-percent water rate increase will be implemented on a staggered basis for 80,000 water consumers.

The festival included a photo booth, freedom wall, face paint, Henna Tattoo, family bingo and art-centric activities such as Art Attack, Chalk Art and Origami Making.

The first part will take effect on November 1 this year with a 10-percent rate adjustment generating the minimum charge from P168 for the first ten cubic meters to P184.80 for residential consumers and from P336 for the first ten cubic meters to P369.60 for commercial users. The succeeding adjustments will be carried out on February 1 and May 1 next year.

Several XU student bands also provided music for the people as they go around the booths and displays.

Acording to Beja, the approved water adjustment is proposed to maintain the utilities, perform necessary improvements especially on the reparation of pipelines and defective meters and to fund water expansion projects such as the non-revenue water (NRW) reduction program. The adjustment will also help cover the inflationary cost of electricity, oil and other consumables used in operations since 2007.

Xavier Ecoville gives permanent shelter to Sendong survivors from page 1

memorandum of agreement with Maybank Foundation, XEMPCO and the Xavier Science Foundation (XSF).

A variety of performances hyped up the XE community as they showcase their talents in singing and dancing during the evening’s grand showcase night. The showcase night featured live contemporary artistic performances from XE and XU performers. From ethnic songs and dances to modern and pop numbers, the evening’s festivities indeed offered full amusement and energy to the people. The launching of 80 red lanterns and a grand fireworks display wrapped up the day-long celebration. “Dayun, Padayun” was also a way of thanking the numerous benefactors who supported the project and made XE the flourishing community it is today. The festival was also in line with Xavier University’s Ruby Jubilee celebration this year. Xavier Ecoville is the 5.3-hectare resettlement site in Barangay Lumbia. It is the joint endeavor of Xavier University and the local government of Cagayan de Oro that aimed to resettle families who are victims of tropical storm Sendong that devastated the city on December 17, 2011.

Volume 1 October 2013


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feature

Acta Diurna

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he trees sway to the melodic breeze of the cold wind and the sound of the crickets echo in the deep silence of the dark. As this relaxing atmosphere envelope the home of a family in slumber, a sudden, unfamiliar sound broke the serene melody of what they thought would be a typical and peaceful night. A gunshot was heard… then a second gunshot… The family woke up in great adrenaline and shock for they then realized that the gunshots were aimed towards their house. Then a third shot… another… and then one after the other… The next thing they knew, they resorted to filing a case against their perpetrators for them to fight for the tenancy of their current shelter. This horrifying incident might be nightmarish to most of us but for a young lass, this was no ordinary bad dream. In fact, it’s as real as it can get. Mary Eurydice Responte, or known to her family and friends as “Dice”, is an 18 year old Chemical Engineering student who struggled her way to where she is right now.

A Night to Remember

A story of how a near-to-death experience fueled the life of a scholar

Born in a family where the only source of income is the work of her father, life was not much of a smooth trip for her and her family. Growing up, Dice saw how her family grappled against the unfortunate wheel of fate. Their family had to sell their land back then because of financial incapacities and living was unfavorable for them. There are times when the only food that’s left for them to eat is camote (sweet potato), camoteng kahoy (cassava), lugaw (rice porridge), or bulad (dried fish). Being exposed to the tough realities of life at an early age, Dice’s flame of willpower to be successful sparked even brighter. Dice capitalized on everyday that God made through persevering in her academics. Even though living and schooling is very difficult, she makes it to a point to let both ends meet.

Volume 1 October 2013


Acta Diurna

Withstanding the long travel from her home to school, bearing even the uncertainty of not being able to go to school due to financial plights, surviving the difficulties brought about by academic and extra-curricular demands and deeming the need to work things out at home and at school, Dice nonetheless managed to excel in her educational career. She was ranked as the valedictorian of her batch in her elementary years while during her secondary education, she was pegged as the most outstanding student in her class and also graduated with flying colors. Besides that, she received several other non-academic distinctions. She was awarded Girl Scout of the year alongside being a Service awardee and Spiritual Involvement gold medal awardee.

After a month or two, the waiting came to an end. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) officially confirmed that Dice was one of the grantees of the scholarship. Much to her surprise, she was given not only one but two scholarship grants. The first one which is under OSFA is the St. Francis Xavier Grant in Aid and the second one is the Vicente B. Bello Scholarship Program. Both programs provide assistance to the student in terms of financial obligations.

As Dice left high school, she now entered the unfamiliar realm of a bigger and more unpredictable world – College.

On the other hand, there are always cons in every aspect of life. Looking back, there are really times when she was not able to go to school because she had no allowance or even fare. There are also instances that her allowance was cut short due to financial obligations in school.

By this time, her father had already retired as a labor consultant which left their family with no stable source of revenue as her mother was only a housewife. Income from alternative sources and financial support from her elder sisters were not enough to raise their status of living and fund her college education. With all these unfortunate conditions existing around her, Dice knew that she could not succeed in acquiring the education she dreamed of without getting help to go beyond what her family could provide. Enrollment came, yet Dice was still on the waiting list of the scholarship applicants in Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. Determined as she is, she decided to enroll in XU and took up Chemical Engineering as a regular student – a decision that meant paying the full tuition fees and risking the possibilities of not being able to continue her education due to monetary constraints or even the prospect of not being able to continue schooling.

“So sa akong family kay dako jud kayo siya [scholarship] nga help since sa kadaghan sa among problems dili na siya ma-apil [It’s a really big help to my family since we already have a lot of problems and it’s the least we could worry about],” she said in an interview.

In addition to the struggles in her personal life, Dice is also battling against a jaw disorder called Temporo Mandibular Joint problem (TMJ). She had to undergo the splint treatment because of the severe headaches and jaw pains. Moreover, her family also had to face the expensive cost of the medication. However, detrimental these things may seem, these are only inferior to a challenge that lead to a 180-degree turnaround in the life of Dice and her family. The shooting incident, which they termed as a “massacre”, was one of the major adversities that Dice’s family has faced in their existence. It was as if death was right before their eyes. The incident, which happened in 2012, did not only threaten to take away their land, their home and their livelihood but most especially their precious lives.

The said near-to-death encounter was rooted from a conflict in the tenancy of the land which Dice’s family is currently occupying. Fortunately, her family outlived the situation unharmed and resilient although it still left a scar in their lives. But instead of pulling her down, the incident made Dice realize the importance of the things around her and every little thing that’s significant to her. Out of that dreadful experience, she saw her family and her scholarship valuable more than ever. For some, education is just a matter of getting a college degree but for Dice, it’s more than that. For her, education, particularly her scholarship, is their only way out of impoverishment; their only escape from oppression. The realization that no one has the justification to suppress their rights just because they are less privileged and less powerful people in the society pushed her determination even stronger to do her utmost best and exceptionally succeed in her educational career. Dice really saw the incident as a turning point in her life. Despite the insurmountable obstacles in her life, Dice prefers to focus and be positive about herself, her family, her life, her goals and her bright vision of the future rather than to relive the years she spent in struggle. Belief in herself, encouragement from her family and faith in the Almighty kept her holding on to what’s left that’s beautiful and promising in life. This attitude helped Dice to never set loose of her ultimate dream of becoming a chemical engineer in Nestle Philippines. By focusing not on the inevitable obstacles that she endured but on the lessons and skills she learned from them, Dice has learned to channel her burdens into a motivation to succeed. The incident that could have ended her life paved way for Dice to become who she is right now – a strong, wise and a beautiful product of life.

Volume 1 October 2013


JOURN FACTS

101

1. How hard it is to suppress the urge to correct one of your professors when they make a grammar-spelling error.

2. Sleeping for more than five hours is a luxury. 3. You hear the word -deadlineway too much.

4. There is nothing more satisfying than hitting your word count on an article for class.

5. But nothing more frustrating than having to cut down your piece because you-re over. 6. The horror of being asked why you decided to major in a -dying profession.7. Your voice played back on your recorder never sounds good.

8. Let alone watching your package played back in front of the entire class.

9. It-s more fun to gouge your own eyeballs out than transcribe an interview. 10. If you could get a coffee IVyou would.

Final Newsletter Compilation  
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