Rationalizations

Fondness I hear in his voice when he speaks of her
The eyes light up in delight and wonder
They are quite good friends, I say in my defense.
His special smile for her, because they are good friends.

He anticipates the end of the day for her.
He waits and meets her, they go home together.
They live near each other, I say in my defense
He walks her home, because they are good friends.

On her birthday, a poem he composes
He offers with it, a pretty bouquet of red roses
It’s her special day, I say in my defense
His effort in all of it, because they are good friends

Note: Hello, blog… It’s been awhile. It’s been more than a year since my last post.

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YMX: The first Orientation

I’m back after a very, very long hiatus. I’ve not been blogging for three months using blogger and almost  8 months using wordpress. I’ve been preoccupied much with other stuffs and I’ve been losing my knack for writing.

Anyway, I’ve decided to revisit my passion as a blogger because I feel like I want to share to the whole world the wonderful opportunity that I had been given. The Young Minds on eXplore or YMX for short give me an opportunity to travel abroad and visit two of Cebu’s sister’s cities located in Netherlands and Belgium. Most importantly, YMX gives me an opportunity to serve my city. Going to these two European countries will significantly open my minds to the cultural differences which will perhaps catalyze my maturity,and independence and will also help me know what I can do for my own city. Being given the opportunity meant being given also huge responsibilities. The travel is not the culmination of the hard work of preparations but will only be just a portion of the processes a delegate will undergo.

Last Saturday, February 4, 2012, the YMX delegates had the first group dynamic activities to help us get to know each other better and to help us understand team work better.

The delegates trying to untangle themselves.

In an activity similar to the children’s game Dr. Quack Quack, where we try to untangle ourselves until we form a free circle, tangles served as metaphors for problems. In this activity, we learned that a problem of one is the problem of the whole group and that we cannot just detach from each other. There is no ‘I’ in TEAM.

After a series of group dynamics, we had an orientation about the Dutch culture which heightened our excitement yet triggered a little apprehension among us.

The Dutch culture is very, very different from Filipino culture. I’ve never thought about culture as one of the adversities of the trip, but actually, I think it would be the biggest adversity of all. It takes a lot of openness and flexibility to overcome culture shock when I reach the Netherlands, but at least the orientation provided an overview.

One of the most interesting facts I’ve learned about the Netherlands is that it is a flat land  and most of area is located below sea level. But the Dutch managed to make land liveable by constructing dikes. This demonstrates how advance engineering and architecture is in Netherlands. As an architecture student myself, I’m looking forward to learning more about this.

I’m also looking forward to Queen’s day. It’s a very big festival in the Netherlands and I can’t wait to witness it.

Well, I guess this will be all for now. Stay tune.

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ALEx Interacts and Distributes Good to Fire Victims Kids

A fire broke out in Brgy. Labangon sitio Bugnay last May 29, 2011, razing 26 houses. in the area. For the mean time, the victims of the fire are currently living in tents near the chapel.

The Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence brings 65 ‘back to school’ goodies to the children of the affected barangay.  The goodies were from the donations of the Dutch partners of ALEx, the donations from UP chapter and the materials bought using the proceeds of the ALEx Shoe Sale conducted weeks ago.  A small program was conducted before we proceed with the distribution. The program began with a prayer led by Michael.

Michael volunteered to lead the prayer.

After the prayer, Vinder Singh, one of the active members of the Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence conducted the ‘Bring Me’ game. Not only the children were excitedly participative, their respective parents were as well. The winners got to take home toys, courtesy of the donations of the Dutch partners of ALEx.

Vinder plays Bring Me with the kids.Here he asks the name of the girl who has given him what he asked for.

After the ‘Bring Me’ game was concluded, ALEx introduced its members.

Vinder, the host had forgotten to introduced himself, too. When he asked the kids if they knew who he was, they all said ‘yes’, and shouted, ‘Alex.’ It was a good idea after all to introduce ourselves to the kids or they’ll think that ALEx is a person in the face of Vinder Singh.

Another game was started. This game was the famous parlour game ‘The Boat is Sinking.” Five winners were selected from the game and they received toys each.

This little boy is closely paying attention to Vinder. You can see how much he wants to win from how his eyes glitter.

The ALEx members started to distribute the goodies after the last game was finished.

Razilee, ALEx Chair and Clarizza,the program's head read the names of the children 0n the list and the other members (Cheyenne in the picture above) handed the goodies to those who were called.

The happy face of this child upon receiving the goodies makes ALEx members happy and fulfilled.

Such a huge smile on his face.

At the end of the distribution, Vinder had advised the kids to benchmark the members of ALEx who dedicated a part of their time in helping and making children happy. Razilee, the president gave the final words. Then, ALEx turned over a box of clothes to donate to the victims of the fire. The distribution of these school supplies goods is just one of ALEx’s activities to bring joy to less-privileged children. ALEx hopes to be doing more than this in the future.

The kids wave the bundle of joy they received from ALEx. You can tell that they love their presents and the camera as well.

ALEx with the Brgy. Captain of Labangon, Vic Buendia

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GREENIN’ Philippines and Run2Plant

The GREENIN’ Philippines Program is an environmental thrust program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. It aims to go beyond tree planting and develop real forests.

GREENIN’ Philippines’ objectives are:

  • to raise awareness in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation across sectors
  • generate public awareness to draw participation
  • consolidate and harmonize tree planting and reforestation activities, interventions and initiatives in the province and regions
  • contribute to the national and global goal for sustainable development through environmental program initiatives and interventions.

GREENIN’ Philippines’s goal is to cover the 2,900 hectares of land with 5 million native tree seedlings in five years. Why native tree seedlings? This is because native tree seedlings promotes  the growth of plants and animals and it balances the ecosystem, whereas exotic trees disrupts it.

In order to realize the goal of reaching 5 million, and to consolidate also with the thrust of other organizations and institutions, RAFI collaborates with the Cebu Provincial Government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with the support of Aboitiz Leader’s of Excellence (ALEx), Cebu Association of Biology Students, Cebu Bloggers Society, MCWD and CEAP to host a Cebu Wide event called Run2Plant.

Run2Plant is an event with two segments. From the program title itself that is comprised with two verbs: Run and Plant. The running segment and the planting segment. Running nowadays has become a fad and has become a lifestyle for some. There is also an emergence for reforestation. Putting these two together targets a bigger audience, both sports enthusiasts and environment advocates alike.

Run2Plant realizes the plans and objectives of not only RAFI’s GREENIN’ Philippines Program but the Cebu Provincial Government’s, DENR’s,  MCWD’s and the LGU’s as well.

Run2Plant will be held this June 25, 2011. Why June? It’s because June is the Philippine Environment Month. June 25 will also serve as our belated commemoration of the World Environment Day last June 5 as declared by the United Nations.

The Run2Plant has three run legs. There’s the 8km, 4km and 1km. Each has their designated assembly area and designated color.

8km

This is the first leg. It will be marked with Green flags to designate the specific route to take. Green symbolized the Greenness of the trees. The assembly area for the participants of this leg will be at the Talisay City Hall. This is good for those who are athletic, for those who have the resistance and endurance and for those who wish to shed off a lot of weight.

4km

If you want a challenge but a lesser stress, go for 4km. The second leg that will be marked by blue flags (Blue to symbolize the skies and seas) will assemble at the East Visayan Academy grounds.

1km

If you are passionate for the environment, though you know your physical limits, then go for red which means passion. If you wish to participate in the 1km leg, you will assemble at Lucia-Vista Grande-Pacific Heights Junction.

After the running, there will be a short program that will be followed shortly by the planting of the seedlings. The site is already prepared for the participants; holes have already been dug; and the seedlings are already positioned beside the holes. All the participants have to do is to unwrap the seedling from the plastic, bury its roots under the pre-dug hole and cover it up with soil. That’s it!

The Run2Plant is a free event. However, a little contribution is asked of the participants.

Participants will take care of the following:

  1. their attire. The official run attire is Green T-shirt.
  2. snacks and lunch
  3. Water bottles. There will be refilling stations in designated areas.
  4. transportation to Talisay City
  5. They may also bring protection from the harsh sun: caps, visors, shades, and the like.

If you are interested, you may register online at http://rafi.org.ph/. Or Visit the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. office at 35 Lopez Jaena Street, Cebu City, or any of the partner institutions:

Talisay City Hall, University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR), Metro Cebu Water District Office (MCWD), and the Local Government Units (LGUs) of the 50 Towns and Cities of the Province.

If you’re free this Saturday, June 25, 2011, Join the Run2Plant. Help yourself by helping the environment. You don’t just burn calories here. You cool the earth with trees. It’s not just a fad; it’s a good cause!

If  you don’t act now, you never know, the fun runs fifty years from now will require runners to carry oxygen tanks on their backs.

 

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GREENIN’ CIT-U

As Champions of GREENIN’ Philippines ( Generation, REdemption, and Expansion of Natural resources INitiatives in the Philippines, of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.), Cebu Association of Biology Students’ President Evanjohnn Mendoza, Cebu Blogger’s Society’s Vernon Go, and yours truly, Janelle Moran of the Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence (ALEx) held an Information-Education Campaign in the Cebu Institute of Technology-University.

Johnn showing us his life as a Freshman Medicine Student. Very thick books! Fast-paced lessons and problem-based learning. A semester's lesson congested into one discussion. Thank goodness I shifted. Whew.

The Trio, Champions of GREENIN' Philippines: Vernon, Me and Johnn... I'm quite intimidated by the imba factors of the two. One of them is a social media specialist who urges me to go for fame and fortune and the other one is a future Doctor who makes gives me nosebleed with scientific terms. Both are Canonistas, and both frowned upon me for choosing Nikon. Both are my idols for being such influential bloggers.

The participants of the seminar are student body officers from the different organizations of CIT-U. The seminar aims to make the students aware, to educate them, to encourage them to make an action and to inspire them to persevere and commit for their actions.

AWARENESS and EDUCATION

Science101 lessons from a Genius Biologist.

Evanjohnn Mendoza, the first speaker talked about some Cebu situationers, when it comes to biodiversity. He pointed out the importance of trees in the environment and he made me really think about ‘what is a tree?’. True, I know how a tree looks like, but when asked to define it, I couldn’t give an answer.

Johnn also surveyed who among us had been to tree-planting and majority had raised their hands claiming that they had. But when he asked if we were aware of the species of trees we planted, the people were taken aback. So yep, a lot have been to tree planting activities, but they really haven’t had a grasp of the significance of tree planting. More often that not, what is planted on tree-planting activities are Mahogany seedlings because they’re easy to grow. But even so, Mahogany is an exotic kind of tree and it disrupts the environment. When it thrives, a native specie of tree may die.

Johnn ended his talk with a quote. (Not verbatim. So, sorry about that, Johnn) A million is so big, but it starts with one. A million can never be a million if ‘one’ is missing. His quote challenges us to do something about the nature’s degredation.

Vernon listening attentively to Johnn. We were really awed at Johnn's expertise on Biology, especially when he cited the scientific names of the species he discussed.

ACTION

The next speaker was Vernon Joseph Go, a social media specialist who upon his ‘imba’ biography of an introduction, shuffled with laughter in his seat. (But I think he really loved the exposure. Here’s the guy who encourages me to go for fame and fortune, even quoting Brad Pitt as Achilles via twitter: “Immortality, take it. It’s yours.)

The speaker discussed little about climate change and its causes and effect. He also presented statistics of the current forest cover in the Philippines and Cebu and the urgency to reforest. In the statistics, it was revealed that in 1999, about 18% of the total forest cover are left. That was already the number in 1999. I wonder how much is left 12 years later. It was revealed that the estimate remaining forest cover left is no more than 4%. (Shocks!)

Vernon introduced to the audience Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.’s GREENIN Philippines Program of which our respective organizations (CBS, CABS and ALEx) are collaborating with. (For the information about GREENIN’ Philippines, I think I’ll make a separate entry for it.)

Vernon had given us the truth when he said that in taking an action for the environment, we are not actually saving the environment. Nature can heal itself and that’s no question. But what we’re actually doing is saving ourselves.

Vernon discusses the Current Philippine Forest Cover and GREENIN' Philippines

PERSEVERANCE AND COMMITMENT

The last speaker is me, Janelle Moran, who had not done seminars and talks since she set her foot out of high school. I miss the stage and the microphone, and I surely missed the experience of being able to share information and partake knowledge to other people. But I’m glad I’m given an opportunity to speak in behalf of the environment again. It’s been two years since I had my last talk about the Philippine Biodiversity back in High school Green Team.

My topic is about one of the programs of GREENIN’ Philippines which was Run2Plant. This activity fuses two events into one. There is going to be a running segment and a planting segment. Basically, it’s hitting two birds with one stone, or shall I say to be kinder to the birds, hitting two birds with one bread. This event makes use of fun runs and marathons, that has now become a vogue, to get people to involve themselves with the necessity to reforest.

Run2Plant is going to be a Cebu-wide event in commemoration of the World Environment day and in celebration of June as the Philippine month for the environment. This is hosted by RAFI’s GREENIN’ Philippines in collaboration with the Cebu Provincial Government and the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. The event will be held this June 25, 2011. The main event will reforest 5 hectares of land in Jaclupan, Talisay. Each town and municipality in the province will also participate by covering one hectare of land.

(I’ll make a separate post for GREENIN’ Phils and Run2Plant, but if you’re interested you can visit and register online for the event at RAFI’s website.)

Janelle Moran, two years of hiatus in speaking for seminars and talks, comes back with an information about GREENIN' Philippines Run2Plant.

Preparing for the audience's questions

Accepting my certificate of recognition from Ronell Padillo, president of CIT-U. I also received a token and a baller. I'm wearing the baller right now. (You can click on the picture to be directed to Ronell Padillo's blog.)

Me, Evanjohnn and Vernon with our certificates.

Credits to Glenna for some of the shots. Thanks, Glenna.

Thank you CIT-U for having us and for the hospitality. I especially loved the token, the baller, the framed certificate and the yummy snacks after. I also enjoyed the crowd. They were attentive and participative. :D

USC Weekly Evaluation

My first week in my new University is over. My first five days is actually like a roller coaster, but that makes it all so exciting. I’m totally loving the school minus the long queues and the food. (I still miss CDU’s food, especially the delicious tapa from Ksean and Honey Glazed Pork and who would ever forget my favorite desert: mango float). Anyway, I listed the highlights of my week below:

1. Got colds and cough. I get sweaty and hot under the sun while walking from one building to another and when I get inside my classroom, it’s air conditioned.

2. Made a few friends, though I doubt I’ll be as close to them as I were with my CDU friends. But me being able to make friends is actually a miracle in itself. I thought I was they shy type of person, but I was actually the opposite of shy. I definitely know now how to strike a conversation. Woooh!

3, Practiced Free-hand drawing. Our first activity in one of our majors was to copy my teacher’s drawing. He drew patterns and lines. Sure, they were easy, but that’s what you thought. It’s difficult to draw a straight line without any straight edge to use. T.T… Okay, I so sucked. So during my free time, I practice. If I don’t improve, I’d be damned to hell.

4. Become a nomad. I practically do everything alone. I’m an irregular student, so I don’t have classmates with the same schedule all through out. But being alone’s not so bad actually. I could actually mobilize faster and accomplish more tasks than when I am with a group.

5. Bought Archi Materials. Woah. T-square, triangles, scales, french curves, tech pens, pencils of all kinds… All my materials amounted to about 5,000 pesos. (Freakin’ expensive.) So I promised to take care of my things. I’m a little apprehensive though. I’m a klutz and I could end up losing all these things. What I did last night was label my stuffs with my initials/nickname ‘Jam’ and with it my contact number.

6. Wrote a journal using a scratch notebook. When you’re alone, a lot of thoughts run inside your head. It would be such a waste to let them pass, so I wrote them down. I’m seriously considering documenting my college life (5 years of it) in a diary or journal. I might start a blog about it, too.

Okay, that’s it for now. I gotta go and prepare for the GREENIN’ Philippines IEC for which I am a speaker. :D