Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

COC Grand Rally Speech

Posted: February 26, 2014 in Articles
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To the faculty members around, students of the College of Communication, and the University Students Alliance which also fights to serve the College, good evening. I am Lara Jeunesse Iran Villaruel of Bachelor in Journalism 3-A running for the position of Chairperson under the mighty banner of Samahan at Ugnayan ng Malalayang Mag-aaral. I am your outgoing Assistant Secretary of the Student Council and will be willing to serve you for the next academic year.

Many of you might think that I may not be sincere of my candidacy because I am reading my speech. I must admit that though I can speak in front of a crowd, I can express myself better through writing. So, I decided to write and brainstorm what the content of my speech will be before I finally speak before you.

I am not a person who is fond of making promises. For me, the word “promise” is sacred. What I can offer you, my fellow-students, is the purity of my intention to help you and our College, and my commitment of serving all of you without expecting something in return.

I can say that leadership is like writing. In writing, you have to think and use the techniques that will satisfy the need of your audience, of whom you are writing to. Very close to leadership, for a good leader needs to be strategic and wise in combatting the problem and catering the needs of the ones who need him. And in this case, I would like to volunteer myself.

If asked what I have done in the Student Council for the past academic year for me to be voted again, I don’t have many things to brag. I satisfy my duties and responsibilities through waking up early morning for the sign in and it is a very difficult challenge to wake up at 6 and be around before 7 o’clock, especially for students like us. I also must say that what I contributed to the council have not been meaningful without the help of other officers. With cooperation, we enjoyed countless victories during the academic year 2013-2014.

We can make these victories again. Our College needs leaders in deed. We need Gange and Bacinillo as College Representatives, Ricamonte as Asst. P.I.O., Mariano as P.I.O., Bade as Asst. Auditor, Bayhon as Auditor, Escantilla as Asst. Buss Manager, Galicia as Buss. Manager, Frondoza as Asst. Treasurer, Pasit for Treasurer, Arzaga as Asst. Secretary, Torotoro as Secretary, and Bernabe for Vice- Chairperson. Not to forget Gerald Pinpin as USC Chairperson and Jerik Fernandez as USC Vice- Chairperson.

We have uttered our platforms during the room-to-room campaign. Basically, we propose that the College of Communication toilets will always be maintained of cleanliness and be filled with water. Through efforts, we will look forward for the extension of service of the radio station so everyone will be well-informed. Lastly, through your help, we will try to add our media equipment through private partnerships. I believe that together, we can make it happen.

Some of my colleagues have asked me why I ran under SUMAMA. It is simply because, I go with people with concrete and realistic platforms. I did not ran under SUMAMA just to give me justice of being a SUMAMA member last year, but because people in SUMAMA strives, motivates, improves, listens, empowers, and serves. For the information of everybody, SUMAMA originated in our College, so we hope that every one of you will support our party.

My dear COC students, please do not forget me and the rest of my party mates. Let me end by saying, vote wisely and let the winners prove that they are worthy. Thank you so much and good evening.

Conquering Jakarta in the first quarter of 2014 has never been a dream for me. I never thought that this trip will make my January awesome. Again, I am blessed to have this kind of experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I stayed in Jakarta for almost 5 days, and I never failed to see its beauty. Though Jakarta is like our typical Manila, where traffic is really terrible, the people there are also like Filipinos- hospitable, kind, and trustworthy. Thanks to my Indonesian friend, Septo Adi Kristanto Simanjuntak, who was my tour guide and he let me stay in his brother’s house for a certain amount of time. So hospitable, right?

My true purpose in Jakarta was not for mere fun only but for a Peace Conference. I arrived 1 day earlier than the conference, so I used that time to explore Jakarta. It was raining all the time, floods are everywhere, but my friend and I did not mind all the endeavors- we went around Jakarta riding a motorcycle but of course, with helmets on.

I just had with me a hundred dollars on my pocket to buy for souvenirs and everything I want. Basically, US Dollars is not the official currency of Indonesia but then it became the basis for all the currencies in the world. Before I left Manila, I asked a money changer kiosk at the airport if how much Rupiah will I have if I have a hundred US Dollar. The teller told me, I will have 750,000 Rupiah. But that was smaller than what I have expected. As I have read in the internet, 1 US Dollar= 12000 Rupiah. So I decided to convert my money just when I arrive in Indonesia. And poof! I became a two day millionaire with 1,200,000 Rupiah!

Before I land, I really asked my friend to bring me to cheap stores so I can buy many things. He didn’t fail me. We went to cheap stores where you can find everything that will amaze you- traditional food, souvenirs, and many more. I bought 9 “I love Jakarta” shirt and it just caused me 150,000 Rupiah, and that is like 540 pesos. Cheap, right?

After we bought the shirt, I heard my tummy complaining. Oh, it was time to eat. I was so hungry that I ate 2 pc chicken at KFC. Oh, I wished to eat traditional foods that time but I was afraid that they will not satisfy my hunger. But yeah, eating in KFC Indonesia was an epic fail. After we ordered, I was dying to look for spoon, fork, and gravy. There was none. I had to eat bare hands with ketchup and sweet chili sauce. It has been a tradition in Indonesia not to use spoon and forks in fast food chains like McDonalds and KFC. And by the way, what you see in the menu is not the actual appearance of your order. You will get bigger chicken, bigger size of drinks, and more rice- which is wonderful.

I bought mum a bag, which amounted to 50,000 Rupiah It’s not what you think that can easily be broken down because of its cheap price. No. It’s handy and durable, believe me. For myself, I bought a pair of shoes, for 35,000 Rupiah, it is a unique shoes cause I haven’t seen this kind of design in the Philippines yet. It is so comfortable and can be worn at all times.

At the end of the day, I felt my back aching cause we toured around Jakarta by just using a motorcycle and yeah, that’s one of a kind experience- stuck in the traffic where your travel is supposed to be just a 30-minute ride but you ended up falling in line with some other motor drivers for almost an hour and a half. Take note, we always park when we go to a shop, but we have to pay a thousand or two rupiah to the caretaker. There was a time that a men obliged us to give him 5,000 Rupiah. But that was fine, I was a 2-day millionaire anyway. LOL

In the evening, we went to Monas tower. I never wanted to be in the tower because I am tired already but my friend have been dying to please me to go to that place. Again he didn’t fail me. It was one of a kind. When I saw it, I was so amazed that I had goose bumps. I concluded that it was once in a lifetime opportunity so I must not fail to take a photo op. My friend asked one of the by standers, who happened to be staying in Monas with his boyfriend. Yes, they were both boys.

We stayed there for almost 10 minutes. After then, we went to Jakarta’s biggest mall. I just forgot the name but it was composed of 8 floors. It was jaw-dropping—very cold, very expensive goods, people in there are elites. But one thing that surprised me, on the 8th floor, they have a sex lounge. Yes, you read it right, a sex lounge where prostitution is legal. My friend told me that you just have to bring your passport, if you are a foreigner, and a just compensation, then you are good to go with hot, sexy, and beautiful girls. I just don’t know whether males are available.

My trip to Indonesia is really unexpected. I have encountered plenty of trials and circumstances just to make my trip possible. Of course, it wouldn’t have been meaningful without the support of the people who really cared for me. My seminar, “International Conference on Youth for Peace” gave me the idea that there are numerous people in this world are also looking forward for peace. Not only youths, but also the middle-aged people. With that, I conclude that peace has always an effort to make everyone united.

In terms tourism, I will encourage you to go to Indonesia. Not because of the traffic, but because of the nice and hospitable people that will accept you no matter what your raise is. I guess, anyone in this world has that unique identity because I have mingled with at least 55 nationalities during the conference. And I am not guilty of not making friends for that 3-day wholesome event.

Indonesia is one of a kind. That’s all I can say, that’s all.

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The year of the water snake has been a balanced of luck and despair. Of course, that’s what life is meant to be, to go on. I just would like to share my 2013 experiences hoping to inspire others and to give advices to many.

The first quarter of 2013 has been very extravagant for me. Surprisingly, I qualify for the Japan East-Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth- ASEAN Economic Batch 2.0 giving me the opportunity to visit Japan. Not only that, it is an all-expense-paid program by the Japanese Government. Words can’t really explain how grateful I was when that opportunity came into my life. Though I was a little hesitant, thanks to Prof. Ricky G. Abalena III for encouraging me to apply in that program.

Visiting the Land of the Rising Sun has given me the confidence of being myself. I became optimistic in all aspect, I became more patient, I became more understanding. Added to that, I was elected as the Assistant Seretary of our College’s Student Council. I grabbed the chance since it is an opportune time for me to share what I have got in terms of leadership and to take participation in the well-being of my College. I am a part of it until now, and I will never be sorry for committing myself.

My mid-2013 went on so smoothly. In fact, another angel has been added to our family named Bianca Marie Newhook. I was so happy because she is the first daughter/niece/girl grandchild in the Newhook family. I could not deny my parents’ happiness as well as we exchange our conversations through Skype. She is so adorable and jolly. Her smile and giggles can launch a thousand ships and crash a million planes.

In the last quarter of 2013, my world has turned upside down. There have been opportunities I didn’t see coming, and there are those which are not meant for me. At first, one failure is enough. But there was a time that I have received two bad news in one just one day. I got the biggest frustration of the year a day before my birthday. Hurting, isn’t it? I wouldn’t mention all of my failures because it may be used against me, which is something I don’t want to happen. To avoid the bitterness that I feel as well.

If there are two great lessons which 2013 has taught me, they would be:

1. Treasure every opportunity that has been given to you and ;

2. Expect the unexpected.

There are things in life that is not controlled by you. There are things that only fate has the idea. So if fate permits, be thankful. Make the most out of it and never ever forget to share your blessings. Failures are just little decorations that make your life colourful. Now, I am working out an opportunity again without having the idea what will the result be, may be failure again. If that happens, I will be hurt but I will cry no more since I have taken by heart the lesson number 2 that 2013 taught me. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.

My biggest mistake this 2013 was expecting too much. Therefore, I should have no expectations by 2014 to make my life more meaningful and stress- free. In the end, it goes back to the definition of life- Just go on because life is all about FIGHTING!

Happy New Year everyone!

December 25th

Posted: December 24, 2013 in Articles, Journalism
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Christmas is when you give love and not pain to others. It is when you give gifts without expecting something in return. Christmas is when to expect Jesus Christ and not Santa Claus.

Christmas is always noted as the best time of the year. Relatives come home from distant places, enjoy  the worthwhile occasion with kids, and most of all, give meaning to this yuletide season. Financial crisis has never been a hindrance to celebrate the Christmas.

As I talked to Yolanda victims, they say, there are lots of reasons not to celebrate Christmas. They don’t have homes, relatives died, no money, and the trauma that the typhoon gave them will never be forgotten. But they choose to celebrate this season since there are more reasons to be thankful for. They survived, they lost their homes and infrastructures and not their lives. As they celebrate this Christmas, they will mark this day as a sign as their hope.

People have different kinds of preparations this Christmas. To elites, they can afford to buy high-costing ham, Lechon, Keso de Bola, and other luscious food. For financially- challenged families, a pan of spaghetti and a loaf of bread is more than a blessing. Whatever kinds of food it is, as long as a home is full of love, understanding and forgiveness, everything will fall in their proper places. I think that’s what matters most.

You know, everyone has a very reason to be thankful for this Christmas. Every day is a blessing. When we open our eyes from a long-time sleep is already a gift. When we receive allowance from our parents is already a present. We don’t have to spend much money just to buy presents. You see, everyday is giving of gifts, therefore, every day is Christmas.

I admit that there are people who committed mistake against me. But believe me, I am trying my best to give you all, but the pain will always be there, I swear, time will heal. Also, I would like to utter my sincerest apology to those people whom I committed mistake to, may it be in one way or two. I may not be aware of that sin, but my heart says to ask for forgiveness every Christmas.

May all of you have a wonderful Christmas!

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                Complains are inevitable. As long as people see anomalies and transgressions on the Philippine government, they act like lawyers and decide like judges as to what to think and condemn them for. Can anybody stop and look at the other side of it, even just once?

                There is no part in the world where corruption doesn’t occur. May it be in school, institutions and most especially in politics. Yes, the Philippine Government have flaws as well. But if someone would think, those flaws are not a single tip of the good deeds and the invaluable sacrifices our government has given us. Everyone should know that the Philippine Government is as good as that of the USA because our laws and regulations were patterned after theirs. The only problem is, the application of such laws.

                Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has tested the Philippine government. They had been hit by complains about scarcity of goods, military power, and most of all they have been stoned by criticisms about slow relief operations. We could not deny that these are really happening. Most people say, there is corruption happening even just in the re-packing of the goods. Again, we could not avoid that.

                Government is composed of officials of different culture, ages, values, and doings. They have been hired because they are capable of serving the Filipino people and perhaps, it is our business to know everything that they are doing. Therefore, not all officials are corrupt so do not generalize. But, we cannot control them. What I am trying to emphasize is that, we, the Filipino people don’t have the power to control the official’s personal interests. It is natural to satisfy their needs and wants- it is just that, they are doing it in a wrong way and it’s up to their conscience to carry them, if they have one.

                As a simple citizen of the Philippines, what do you think can you contribute to help our country to surpass this big tragedy that happened in Visayas? I bet complains and anger wouldn’t give any aid at all, would they? There are many ways to help the victims recover. You can check your cabinets out for unused clothes, spend a bucks or two for food, and a family you will help will be more than thankful.

                You know, complains are not the only solutions for problems. Yes, it is sometimes effective as you are being heard by the authority but then you can make a step that will produce a bigger impact and utility.

                Stop complaining, help our government, help every Filipino people, help rebuild the Bisaya, Ilonggo and Capiznon, make Philippines stronger!

 

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                BANATE, Iloilo- People have been ready for Yolanda (Haiyan) to landfall even a day before. Some evacuated to the prescribed evacuation areas, but many have chosen to stay in their homes thinking that Yolanda would spare their houses. They were wrong.

Houses and establishments in Banate have been flown away by the merciless wind and hit by the hard pouring rain which harmed hundreds of families in just a couple of hours. Banate has been said to be the starting point where Yolanda has spread its crime.

Yet it is true that Yolanda didn’t kill anyone in this town, but it left many homeless families which until now crave for relief operations.

Gigantic mango trees and towering posts have been cut down by the strong wind. Cables and electricity wires have been left on the ground as well- the worst image of the town that the residents did not imagine in their entire life.

Barangay Talokgangan is one of the most affected barangays in the town as this barangay is located in the shoreline and the residents have their houses just few steps before the seawater.

Despite of what happened, they are thankful that no one had to end a life because of Yolanda. It doesn’t matter to them if Yolanda took away their homes, their money and their pump boats which is their primary tool for fishing every day. As long as Yolanda spares the entire family, everything is going to be okay.

Annabel Gayongorsa of the said barangay, continue to fight the trauma that the typhoon had given her and family. She totally lost her home when Yolanda hit the town and basically built a hut near the shore with fishing net as their wall and dried coconut leaves and wide plastic as their roof.

“ Dose na kabilog ang kabataan ko kag manug trese na sa sunod nga mga binulan. Ang balay ko tung una lapit sa iskwelahan galing ginlupad gd tanan ni Yolanda. Wala man kami may halinan nga iban kay halin sadto diri na ako.” (I have 12 kids and another one will be added for the next few months. Before I built a house here, I live near the elementary school but it was totally flown away by Yolanda. We have nowhere to go anymore because I have been here since I was a child.)

Annabel lives with her 12 children, most of them are still young, together with his husband. They live in darkness at night in their fish-like home.

“Agwanta na lang ta anay sang lambat kag dahon ka lubi kag trapal kay wala man kami inugbakal. Bisan tapi na lang daw budlayan pa kami mangita. Ang inug bakal namon, ibakal na lang namon sang bugas kag sud-an para mapakaon sa amon kabataan.” (We consider fish net and dried coconut leaves and plastic because we don’t have money to buy the materials. We can’t even afford to buy woods. Instead of buying materials, we choose to buy food to feed our children.

Annabel’s family is now depending on the relief goods that is being given to them since they don’t have any means of earning money anymore. She as well consider the fact that she might be delivering her 13th child for the next few months.

  “Isa na ka semana tapos sang bagyo, ka duwa pa lang kami nakabaton sang relief goods, halin sa Mayor kag halin sa kay Binay pagkadto niya di. Intsindihan man namon nga Tacloban grabe gid, pero ti, apektado man kami di kag kinahanglan man namon sang bulig” (It has been a week since Yolanda hit us, but we only received a plastic of relief goods twice- one from Mayor Cabangal and one from VP Binay. We understand that Tacloban has worse situation, but then we as well have been victims of the same typhoon and that we also need help.)

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                “We prepared for Yolanda, we just didn’t expect she was this cruel”, people from Northern Iloilo exclaimed.

                  As typhoon Haiyan rocked the Philippines on November 8, 2013, everybody was shocked and horrified about its strength. Posts and trees have fallen, roofs were flying and many lives have ended.

                Typhoon Haiyan made its landfall in Iloilo particularly in the Northern Part at exactly 11:45 in the morning of November 8.

                It was not the rain that melted hundreds of homes but the strong winds made people homeless. The strong winds lasted for just almost 6 hours but it left thousands of people who lost their houses, establishments, and lives which they protected for decades.

                5 days have passed but the number of death toll in Iloilo is still increasing. As of 11:00 AM of November 12, 2013, death toll due to super typhoon Yolanda in Iloilo soared to 150, while the number of houses totally damaged is 65,481 and those partially damaged is 44,370.

                Number of relief operations are now implemented. Even universities in Iloilo are campaigning for funds which can really be if great help to the typhoon victims. The West Visayas State University is now campaigning for “Tulong ng West sa North” in which this project asks for bottles of mineral water from their students and other fortunate people to be given to the victims since they for see that water is really a need.

                Capiz and Antique are the most affected on this situation. Until now, there is no easy way of getting in those area as their ways are not yet cleared from the fallen debris, posts, and trees. Thus, giving the people there the least chances of media attention, and relief and rescue operations.

                Governor Art Defensor of the Province of Iloilo has called the attention of authorities as Estancia, Iloilo had oil spill after Haiyan struck the area. Estancia, Iloilo is also a part of Northern Iloilo and the first town which discovered number of 30 deaths few hours after Haiyan had its landfall. 

People don’t know how damaged Visayas is. They thought that homes have been destroyed, posts have fallen, and trees have been unrooted. It is more than that. Lives has vanished.

This week has tested the Filipino humankind and their sense of volunteerism. Everyone is making a way or two to help other people who have been victimized by Yolanda. There is Tacloban where people have to shoplift the closed stores just to get anything that they can use. They do not get enough food, and worse, they don’t even get to satisfy their thirst. In Tacloban as well, there were more than 5,000 deaths that have been already recorded and countless are still missing. After the typhoon, corpses are seen hanging on the posts and trees, and many have been found under debris. Tacloban has been crying for help to the extent that no authority can handle them, thus forcing PNoy to call them under Martial Law.

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Since I belong to the Western Visayas, I will focus more on my area. Yes, every one of us here suffered Yolanda’s cruelty, but then there are really people whose situations are worse. The Northern Part of Iloilo has been the very target of Yolanda. Yolanda was successful. She hit all of the houses, ruined establishments, knocked out every tree, and she ended number of lives. From Anilao, Banate, Barota Viejo, Sara, Ajuy, Concepcion, Carles, Balsan, Estancia, Capiz, Antique, and Roxas City. Name it, damages have been recorded. Worst thing is that, Antique and Capiz has been very poor. Poor from Media attention and Relief goods. I wonder when will those goods arrive?

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As I was browsing on my newsfeed two days ago, I have seen news articles saying that numerous countries have donated millions of pesos to used for Yolanda victims. Thank you all to those countries who indeed help us financially. Thank you so much Denmark, Sweden, Norway, UAE, UK, Canda, Netherlands, Elements of Okinawa, Australia, European Union, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia.

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To those who are following my blog, here are some sort of help to all the people in the Philippines. Please continue praying! Thank you very much.

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P.S. I do not personally own any of the pictures. Credits will be duly recognized to the owners.

As I received the news that a super typhoon was coming, I acted like a normal creature. Acting like everything will be under control and everything is going to be alright like every other typhoon comes to our country. I was wrong.

The Philippines has been in grief these past few days. It was because of super typhoon Yolanda with international name Haiyan. It was the strongest typhoon for me because this was the first time I have seen the strongest winds that feared nothing. Electricity went out, different kinds of trees have fallen, and many houses have been destroyed. The tragedy has occurred few days earlier, and so the total number of death has not yet determined. All I know is that, hundreds of families is now in the state of trauma.

Yolanda had its landfall at exactly 11:45 A.M. of November 8, 2013 in our place, Banate, Iloilo. At first, you can only feel the whispering of the wind, the tiny drops of rain, and the sound of the dancing leaves. At the later part, the wind becomes stronger and the rain poured so hard, Yolanda was unstoppable. It begun to tear off the roofs of every houses and It begun destroying everyone.

Earlier that day, I rushed to the terminal so I can catch a trip from the city to my hometown. I decided to go home because I thought that Yolanda will be stronger in the city (just like what Typhon Frank was 3 years ago). I was wrong. During my trip, I have seen that the streets are empty- no vendors, not too much vehicles and PUJs. Some already cut off their tall plants to avoid unlikely happening when Yolanda arrives.

There were 4 of us who are staying in our house, my mum, my Dad, and someone who helps us do the chores in the house. When I arrived, my dad really looked worried. Just then I realized that me too should be worried since our house is 3 decades old and that it is made up of woods. It is just easy to be flown by strong the wind since it is a two-storey house.

Our loud prayer competed with the noise of the wind. I can clearly hear how it was like when the wind knocked out trees and posts. I was also surprised when our rice mill has devastated by the fearless wind. It blown away the roofs of the rice mill, leaving sacks of rice inside it, wet.

Billboards had broken down and sheds crumpled with each other like a paper. Everyone was nervous on what Yolanda can do, but most of them believed that prayers are the strongest. In other barangays, people just tie their roof and ceiling and hold them up so the wind will not be able to blow them up.

At the middle of the storm, I decided to visit our kitchen. I saw our tied dog, fighting his state of being afraid against the falling debris on the roof. I decided to go out, and tried letting him go so I could transfer him in a safer place. But then, I wasn’t able to do it because he closely bit me. I asked a man in our neighbourhood to do it for me.

The heavy rain and the strong winds ended at nearly 8 o’clock in the evening. Just then we realized how cruel Yolanda was to our town. We can see wires and cables down the street and the roofs scattered everywhere.

What we saw that evening was only 1/8 of the damage Yolanda has given us. At 6:00 o’clock in the morning of November 9, all went out of their houses, staring on the surroundings. Everybody was shocked and every one doesn’t know what to do. The sun came out as if nothing happened a day before.

Never did I think that everything will become this worse. Now, it will take a month or two before the electricity will be restored. Meaning, all the towns in Northern Iloilo will have to celebrate dark Christmas. Nevertheless, I really feel sorry in the parts of Central Visayas, particularly in Tacloban City. As well as in Antique, Roxas City, and Capiz as some of my friends live there. They need the most help. Every day for them is a struggle, fighting for their lives.

I think, the Filipinos do not deserve this test. But since God allowed this to happen, I believe that there is more adept reason behind why this happen. Please do not say that Filipinos did not get ready for the typhoon. We did. We did prepare to the extent that some already evacuated their area 2 days before. It was just, Yolanda was a monster, she was unpredictable, and we never thought that she was that cruel.

I believe in the Filipino spirit. Sooner or later, we will get by this. For now, everyone, who reads my blog, can do a little help to the Filipino people. I myself have been a victim but it is not a sin to help others who have worse situation than I have. Pray and Help for the Philippines!

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Flight

Posted: November 1, 2013 in Articles, Reflection
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I am bound to take off from my 18th. The seatbelt of happiness keeps me holding, my friends and families serve as my stewardess s through all the flight I am in, my co-passengers in the flight which aims to destruct and ruin me. But, I am the pilot of my own plane, therefore I have the right to decide on my own.

My 18th was a very good age for me. Though I wasn’t able to welcome it with fancy gown, red roses, luscious cakes and glamorous cotillion, I know that this age would give so much happiness to me.  At first, I feel disappointed when my parents told me that I will not be having a party (feeling of anybody teenager like me) but then, I realized that my parents are doing their best to earn money, and that, those money are used for me to study.

I turned 18 November 1 last year. I guess anybody who will read this will link my birthday to Halloween parties (lol). But yes, I do not regret that I was born in that day because all people do celebrate it in their own respective homes.

On March 2013, I again gave pride to my parents for being an awardee in Academics, Silver Medalist to be specific. I did this already for two consecutive years and I hope to maintain this, this academic year.

This year has also been a stepping stone for me. This year or academic year perhaps, gave me a chance to make a name in our college. I have been part of the Communication Student Council and of course, how could I forget my journey to Japan? Going there has given me chances to realize that I am lucky. Luckier than any other student out there. This trip will always stay in my heart and soul.

From the time that I turned 16, I feel empty every time my birthday comes. Though everyone is coming to my house to celebrate it my birthday with me, I just feel incomplete inside. I feel like something is missing and thus bothering me.

But now that I look back to what I have done in my 18 years of being, I can conclude that I have made a difference. Not only to myself but of course to other people. I did not fail to help others especially children who are the hope of our fatherland. From the reading advocacies to volunteer talks and seminars, I gave myself just to help them. But then it’s up to them whether to accept or reject it.

Of course, I have plenty of wishes in my life. But if I will be asked for one wish on my 19th birthday, it would be my family. I wish that my sisters will go home here in the Philippines. For your information, I have 3 siblings and all of us are girls and all of them are out of the country. The eldest has a family now in Canada, with her is my 2 nephews and 1 baby niece. I would love to see and hug them cause I just always see them in Skype. Me and my eldest sister haven’t seen each other for 7 years now. My second sister is in Dubai and I haven’t seen her for 3 years and next is in Qatar for 1 year now.

But I don’t feel bitter if they are away because I know that they have to grow for themselves as well. It’s just that, I miss them. But nevertheless, I really feel blessed that I have them because they help my parents to provide me the things I need.

Of course, I know that what I wish is impossible for now because of time constraints. But yes, I wish all the best for me and my family and I wish that all of my dreams( that have been realized just now) will come true sooner or later.

Thank you to all who greeted me both in SMS and SNS. I appreciate them, really. So I took time and effort to respond to all of those as well. To God be the Glory!