Discovering Hong Kong

Our First Trip Abroad

I actually was planning to write a first-hand narrative of what happened. In fact, I already have four paragraphs. But the lazy bug bit me (eww, stupid cliche).

So, I will just post pictures and write cute captions or something. Teehee :)

Picture credits (because most pics aren’t mine) to Mary Joy MolinaKeeshia Joy San Juan, and Ezra Hilary Ceniza.

My travel buddies. We just arrived at the Mactan  Cebu International Airport.

My travel buddies. We just arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

I'm not in the picture. Hahahaha... I was sitting down on one of those metal seats on the side. I was thinking (because we came there at 4 AM), "Aren't we too early?"

I’m not in the picture. Hahahaha… I was sitting down on one of those metal seats on the side. I was thinking (because we came there at 4 AM), “Aren’t we too early?”

Oh, we weren't early. Gosh. I did not know traveling out of the country would be like that. Write down on papers. Pay here. Pay there. Questions everywhere.

Oh, we weren’t early. Gosh. I did not know traveling out of the country would be like that. Write down on papers. Pay here. Pay there. Questions everywhere.

But, after like an hour, we finally sat down and relaxed at the boarding area.

But, after like an hour, we finally sat down and relaxed at the boarding area.

Because I don't want to use the word "selfie." Oh, you know how Filipinos love to take pictures any time, any where.

Group selca. Because I don’t want to use the word “selfie.”
Oh, you know how Filipinos love to take pictures any time, any where.

Oh, I slept through the plane ride.  Joy, my friend, took this picture. Cool, uh?  Actually, minutes before we landed at HK International Airport, I eagerly looked outside the window.  It was a thrilling experience. All I wanted to see was how Hong Kong looked from the sky. But all I saw was a tip of the mountain and layers after layers of cloud. Hahahahaha.

Oh, I slept through the plane ride.
Joy, my friend, took this picture. Cool, uh?
Actually, minutes before we landed at HK International Airport, I eagerly looked outside the window.
It was a thrilling experience. All I wanted to see was how Hong Kong looked from the sky. But all I saw was a tip of the mountain and layers after layers of cloud. Hahahahaha.

Oh! I was amazed by their airport - carpeted floor, glass from top to bottom! It's a big WOAH! Because of that, shouldn't we take a group selca again? hahahaha :))

I was amazed by their airport – carpeted floor, glass from top to bottom! It’s a big WOAH!
Because of that, shouldn’t we take a group selca again? hahahaha :))

Have I already shared that their shuttle looked like a train cart? COOL! So we took a selca again :) We had to go through HK Immigrations. But, unlike in MCIA, it only lasted for 20 minutes.

Have I already shared that their shuttle looked like a train cart? COOL!
So we took a selca again :)
We had to go through HK Immigrations. But, unlike in MCIA, it only lasted for 20 minutes.

The airport was well-adorned for their week - long celebration of the Chinese New Year.  Those flowers and oranges behind us are real. Yes.  Those orange plants and fruits were in every store in Tsim Sha Tsui. Too bad we can't eat them.

The airport was well-adorned for their week – long celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Those flowers and oranges behind us are real. Yes.
Those orange plants and fruits were in every store in Tsim Sha Tsui. Too bad we can’t eat them.

We then checked in at Chung King Mansions. 

I did not expect our rooms to be small. Really small. It was different from the pictures on our online booking. It was like one third of a regular Philippine classroom. Well, because it was our first trip abroad, we decided to think positively. 

We booked in a travel budget hotel after all. Besides, even though the room was small, it had all we need – neat beds, towels, aircon, a toilet with heater, and even a hair dryer. 

After leaving our bags, we then expolred Hong Kong…particularly Tsim Sha Tsui –

The streets of Hong Kong






Oh, yes. We walked. We walked till our feet ached. 

Once again – group selca while waiting for the bus. (We also rode the bus.)34


The bus schedule.


Their buses were mostly double deckers. I loved it!


Selca on the second deck on the bus <3


With Joy, the selca queen of this trip.


oooh! I take pictures everywhere. This was at a park near the Tsim Sha Tsui Harbor.


Average sized buildings.



We were amazed by a certain fountain in Hung Hom. It looked like a shallow swimming pool!

There, a series of group selca began. 



Then we took random pictures while we were exploring Hong Kong’s streets.


Me with a cute bear in front of a Japanese restaurant. I don’t know. I guess when it’s your first trip abroad, everything just seems interesting. hahahahaha


My feet were actually aching when this pic was taken. It was like walked through Hong Kong for a week already. But the Indian was irresistible.


We rode an elevator to reach this pedestrian over pass. Hahaha.. I guess we were really tired to walk up a set of stairs. And I think the steps didn’t reach 40. The experience was funny actually >< We enter the elevator on the other side. We faced the closing door. As we reached the top, another door from behind us (which we didn’t notice earlier) opened. Amazing. 

We then attended mass at a building for sailors (I forgot the name). Most of the mass goers were Filipinos. Hahahaha. I just found that amazing. 

After the mass, we stayed in the building for a while because it was raining hard. Of course we took selcas once again. 


Keeshia and I.


Ezra and I.


You know how I found so many things amazing? These flowers were so adorable! They said they only bloom and display these during Chinese New Year. These flowers not only look good, it has a wonderful scent, too.

We also visited the Avenue of the Stars. Since most of the stars there were Chinese, we only looked for Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Hahahahahaa. It was so cold. Fog was everywhere and the cold wind was blowing. 



Joy Joy~


Mommy Keesh~


Keeshia with Tita~


Ezra and Joy~


Do you know him/her? Hahaha… We just took a picture of a random star >//<


Group selca while waiting for the light show.


Isn’t this a replica of a junk ship from our history books? Isn’t it amazing?

More pictures at the Avenue of the Stars…


32 34





And of course… I should not forget to take my own selca <3 :3


The Peninsula Hotel.


Pose pose at the hotel’s facade.


Let’s smell the flowers and check if these are real. And they were! Amazing! (That’s me, by the way…)


Joy loved the flowers, too :3


My late ‘I’M IN HONG KONG’ pose. We’re still at the Peninsula Hotel.

I forgot which day we took the following pictures…but we took these at a mall near Fa Yeun Street.  43




45.7 45


The guy’s looking weirdly at us. He didn’t know that this is the art of taking selcas. hahahahahaha :) Selca pa more~

Fa Yeun Street is a well-known shopping district in Hong Kong. Since we shopped and haggled and carried numerous shopping bags, less pictures were taken. 




HUGE fishes in an aquarium at a store near the main road. AMAAAAAZING!


Keeshia bought these Japanese nibbles at a Japanese store in Fa Yeun Street. These were really affordable and delicious that we came back and bought more the next day. :)

Joy just loves to take selcas <3



Our shopping bags were getting heavier. We got tired of haggling down. We all felt that our feet would go numb in any minute. In fact, I felt two large needles were piercing my feet. 

So, we decided to rest at a tea restaurant. 

It was a new experience. We bought new kinds of teas. Those which we considered as exotic. 


This was their best seller. I didn’t know why. It was salty. (I’m sorry) I did not like the taste. It was foreign. Too foreign. Keeshia, Joy, and Ezra didn’t like their teas, too. >//< But we had to finish our cups. So, we had a challenge. We documented it through a video. Secrets were spilled. Laughter roared. :)


Tired but happy shoppers ~


Group picture inside the tea shop.

Next stop – Victoria Peak.


We initially wanted to take the tram (the most popular transportation to reach the Peak). However, a long line welcomed us. =. =

So we rode the MTR (their train)…



…and a bus. 



I have to tell what happened during the bus ride. 

The road going up the Peak was a great zigzag. It didn’t help that my travel buddies were mostly not used to that kinds of roads. Also, the driver of the bus drove like he was filming Fast and Furious. 

Bragging aside, I’m used to zigzags and fast driving because I am from the province. So the drive up hill wasn’t a problem. In fact, I enjoyed the ride. It was great to see tall building nearly covered by the fog. it was also good to see greenery. 

So I was shocked when I saw how pale Keeshia, Ezra, and Joy after the bus ride.


Moving on.

Although we didn’t ride on a tram to go up the Peak, we had a picture with it :)



There’s a nature trail at Victoria Peak. Of course, we  went through it. It was great!

as you enter the trail, all you can see is fog. Fog everywhere. 










But somewhere along the trail, the fog lessens. There’s less fog that sun light passes through. 


I was soo happy when I took this picture! After 3 winter days, I could see and feel the sun! T.T


Did you notice that I wasn’t in most of the group pictures in the trail? That’s because I went ahead. HAHAHAHAHAHA I had my reasons. I’ll only say one – I love nature and I wanted to enjoy it ALONE. And I had fun. :)

I finished the trail first. 

It was already dark when my travel buddies finished the trail. They told me that they waited for me. 

I felt sorry. But that only lasted for a while.

Anyways… After that, we entered a mall at the peak.



This was the view from the top – A FOGGY HONG KONG WINTER.

Each of us posed with Bruce Lee, too. 





And before we left the Peak, we took a final memorial picture in front of our favorite ice cream shop.





We heard a mass in Chinese at a Catholic Church, Holy Rosary Church at Chatham Road. 

It was clean. Inside, there was a fusion of Chinese and Catholic traditions. 

The altar was simple yet fascinating. And since it was Lunar New Year, a pink tree with flowers and orange plants similar to the airport decorations were placed on the side of the altar.  

Hearing the mass in another language was amazing. And, I found it even more amazing when the Chinese attending the mass were so participative – they sang and responded with fervor and in loud voices.





The next pictures were taken at the Clock Tower near the harbor at Tsim Sha Tsui. 

This was after our ferry ride from the main Hong Kong Island. Although we had less pictures on the ferry, we (particularly Joy and Keeshia) took lots of pictures.

The ferry docked at a pier near the Clock Tower. We were lucky. We saw the light show and even bought more chocolates at a lesser price.  :)









Finally, we visited two universities in Hong Kong. Actually, we went to Hong Kong to look for universities which could offer great master’s degree training in Linguistics. 


Walk. Walk. Walk.


Pose for a while.


I really loved the scenery. It made the long and tiring walk worth it.


The obligatory ‘We’re here at CityU’ picture.


Hello, CityU! (the picture’s blurry because I used a 2g phone >//<)


Their campus was nice. I liked it because it was huge. It was closer to nature than HKU’s Campus (which was located at the center of a tall building).


A lion. Of course! We’re in Hong Kong. And it’s the Lunar New Year!


Let’s go!


It’s really a clean university! We were really amazed.


This is a painting near the main building entrance. It was beautifully taken. But didn’t you notice that my smile is just too genuine? That’s because I nearly stumbled down. I did not notice that the floor was sloping down towards the pebbles near the painting. >//<


Their library. HUGE.


And they even have their own bookshop just across the library!! And with shelves full of published thesis from the floor to the top! ><


Unlike the Department of Linguistics in my university which is at the ground floor, the Department of Linguistics in CityU and HKU were on floors higher than the fifth floor.

Sadly, we were not entertained by the department. But, as we saw it, everyone was busy. It seemed that they had a meeting. Or ….

But we sent them an email three months before our visit. They didn’t reply. I guess they don’t entertain guests on a holiday. It was Lunar New Year after all. 

So, we just toured around and took pictures. 




Hong Kong University was different. It had it’s own MTR stop. And it was located in the middle of tall buildings.  106




I noticed that both CityU and HKU had Run Run Shaw Buildings and Halls. Hmmmmm… I just cannot guess what these buildings and rooms are for.






Unlike CityU, the Department of Linguistics welcomed us warmly. We didn’t even expect to meet half of the faculty. We had our talk inside a conference room. Four professors welcomed us – Professor Diana Archangeli (the Chair), Professor Cathyrn Donohue, Professor Kofi Yakpo, and Assistant Researcher Jon Yip.

My friends and I asked questions. The professors answered our questions enthusiastically. They were amazed with our great interest in linguistics. 

It was a rich and wonderful experience to talk with well-published yet humble professors. 


Group picture!

We actually toured their library too. Sadly it was strictly NO PICTURE TAKING ALLOWED. We barely managed to get inside because Professor Kofi was with us. 

Gosh, their library is AMAZING! Unlike my university’s library, their shelves are actually full of books from the floor up to the cieling! And I’m not even exaggerating. 

Professor Kofi toured us on the floor with the Linguistics books. 

BREATH TAKING. I could literally do my thesis there since most of our proponents’ and related literature are on their bookshelves. T.T

There were several interesting books and journals in linguistics, too. 

Hong Kong – was very memorable. It’s distinct smell, the Chung King Mansions, the shop owners with whom we haggled with, their large food servings, their double-deck buses, and finally the thick fog. These were truly unforgettable.

We only toured two Hong Kong Islands. But it was fun and fulfilling. 

We’ll come back next time. Whether it’s for leisure or for educational purposes – we’ll never know. 


Last group picture in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong International Airport. (taken a few minutes before our departure)


Back at Mactan Cebu International Airport.



Kong ang matuod ug buotang higala maila ta sa mga higayong mapait uyamut, ang matuod nga anak sa lungsod, maila ta usab sa higayon nga ang iyang Yutang Natawhan magaantus sa daghang mga kaguol ug kasakit….  Sa tanang mga gugma, ang mga gugma sa Yutang Natawhan maoy labing balaanon, mainiton ug mabaskogon.  Tungud kaniya ginasakit lakip ang kinabuhi ug, kong ang labing balaanon ug mabaskugon imong hingkalimtan, unsa kahay dangatan sa gugma nga imong ginahalad kanako?

If the true and abiding friend is known in very bitter times, the true son of the country is also known in times when the days we are now going through are just a test.  Of all loves, the love for the native land is the most sacred, the dearest and the strongest.  Because of her everything is put to the test, including life itself, and if you can forget what is most sacred and strongest, what indeed will happen to the love you offer me?

VICENTE SOTTO Gugma sa Yutang Natawhan (Love for the Native Land) (1901)


The short story revolves around a woman named Aurora, the daughter of a wealthy man named Kapitan Anoy. Just like most of the selections, this is a love story. What makes this story different from other love stories was Aurora’s choice.

It was 9 in the evening, and Aurora was reading the newspaper while waiting for her fiancé to come. Without her meaning to, the first thing that Aurora read was a news item about her fiancé, Octavio, who had just been appointed as Justice of Peace in their town.

Normally, a girlfriend would rejoice after hearing such kind of news. However, Aurora was troubled. Remember that this took place during the American occupation and aurora, an educated woman who knows something about politics, viewed the news as problematic. Her fiancé being the Justice of Peace was contrary to her beliefs which she somehow picked up from her father who was nationalistic. Even though Kapitan Anoy did not join the revolution, he held views sympathetic to the insurrection, independent beliefs which would not be swayed even under threat of death.

Aurora’s behaviour when her fiancé and his sisters arrived was not then surprising. Though she greeted them in her usual cordial way, when her fiancé Octavio shared the news of his appointment as justice of peace, Aurora listened to him with great coldness and less concern.

Hours after her fiancé and his sisters left, aurora could not sleep and was deeply engrossed in thought. She thought about how Octavio would soon be justice of the peace of that town; she thought also of the state of the native land.

At last, she decided to break off their engagement by through. She could not love a man who does not stand true to his words. before the Americans came, octavio took up arms and expressed, both in writing and in speech, his love for his native land. Now, just so that he can become Justice of Peace, Octavio renounced his ideals.

In short, Aurora cancelled off her wedding plans with Octavio because of his treacherous act. He was disloyal to his ideals and to his love for his native land. In the end, octavio was abducted and killed because of treason while Aurora was married to a prominent land owner.

Now, how did this piece touch me? How does this relate with my life, you ask?

Well, first and foremost, I also have nationalistic tendencies or ideologies. Today, I wanted to share about my love for our country, particularly my deep appreciation for OPM and VISPOP and contrast it with my KPOP fascination. But then I thought, though not all know that I love OPM and VISPOP, everybody knows I love KPOP. Alkansi ang first speakers. They shared so much about themselves. So I had to dig deeper.

A person purposively pushes some memories to the unconscious because these are unpleasant. However, these memories would always return, like a boomerang. I wanted to bury those memories again but well, I have to let it out. Not because of grades, but because I never really have acknowledged those memories ever since.

As John Green once said, “Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”

I was never really a woman of a few words before. Expressing myself was not really a problem. I was as talkative as Ceska, as jolly as Mary Joy and Mae Lynn and as bright as sunlight. However, something happened when I was in first year high school. No it wasn’t really traumatic for a normal person. I don’t really know why it affected me so much.

Words. Words are very powerful. These can uplift people. Or these can break them.

And I was struck. I did not understand how I allowed myself to be broken by abstract things such as words. Words which were so plain. Words which literally came from my own mouth. I was the class secretary and we were planning for our Christmas party.  The class was rowdy, uncontrollable. It was already getting dark, so I shouted, “Unsa man jud? Di mo ganahag BYOP? Sige, nagsabot na ta ganina, ang dili mubayad walay apil sa Christmas party.”


You have no idea how I wanted to forget this incident. Maybe what hurt me most was the fact that those words were so simple yet it made so great an impact. First, my classmates who didn’t want to contribute complained to our homeroom teacher. Then, our homeroom teacher, I don’t know if she was annoyed or frustrated with the disobedient class, took my words literally. She did not attend the Christmas party even after we pursued her and said sorry several times.

I completely lived like a hermit for three months. My room was my home. Sleep was my activity. Silence was my companion.. I could remember my mom silently peeking through my door. I could presuppose her question: What happened? Why are you like this?

I could not understand why I couldn’t express myself anymore. I really wanted to tell her what happened. She’s my mom after all. But words, those lovely creations which I loved and effortlessly used before, suddenly would not come out. They would never dare to come out. I felt the words claw against my throat but I stop them. Basin unsa napuy mahitabo because of my words. Basin mausab na pud – my own words would turn against me, like a boomerang. No, I would not let that happen again.

I abandoned my hermit life to ease the worry lines off my parents’ foreheads. A new Dane came out – tight-lipped, pessimistic. Matud pas akong mga amigo, weird na daw ko. Hilomon na daw ko. Mu-smile ra daw kog kalit bisag ako ra usa. Magduko daw ko maglakaw. I just awkwardly smiled it off. But often times i thought, basin wa ko nagchange. Maybe this is the real me. Or basin autistic ko sa?

During those times, I tried to appreciate the joy of being alone. Pero matud pa nila, no man is an island. Soon enough, I was longing for someone to talk to. No scratch that. Someone who is willing to talk to me without me even talking.

I tried to hangout with my group of friends since nursery but somehow, even if my best girl friend was there, I felt out of place. Sometimes, I’d even get jealous of some of my friends because my best girl friend preferred to tell them her secrets first before telling those secrets to me. I couldn’t blame her. How could she tell me a bubbly thing such as the crush she’s having on my seatmate kung akong aura dark kaayo? In short, sayo kayo ko nag midlife crisis. The cause of that crisis was so plain, murag third world problem.

Then someone came to my life. Aside from God, who I was always happy to be with during that time. It was a guy whom I used to bully during my optimistic days. The outcast. Kay lagi he acts different. I don’t know how it started pero we just clicked. Remember how I yearned for someone who’s willing to talk to me without even me talking? God answered my prayer.

I could still remember the day when he became my best friend. I don’t know why it was already dark but we were already walking homewards from school. And for the first time after the absurd life-changing incident, sincere words, though a few, flowed out of me.

“Naunsa na bitaw ko? Wa na ko kasabot.”

Then I choked, cried and shook. And he did what I wished he would do: he didn’t give any comment, he remained silent, looked at me for a while, and continued to walk beside me towards home. Our friendship started there, and evolved to short talks and exchanging letters where we openly express ourselves and promised that we will be best friends forever. Childish sa?

After opening up to him, I was starting to be jolly again but not as jolly as before. I would talk with my friends, laugh animatedly, tell jokes, visit my friends’ house and even play games. How happy my parents were at that time.. matud pa nila, “di na ko anti-social.” I was so comfortable with my group that I forgot about new found BFF.

Until a day came when my group of friends came across my new bff and bullied him. They would always bully him. That day, I happened to be with them.

Ang mga adlaw, nga karon atong ginalatas, maoy usa lamang ka pagsulay.  Karon gibiyaan mo ang imong mga mithi; karon gitalikdan mo ang imong Yutang Natawhan aron lamang ikaw mahimong maghuhukom sa kadaitan (katungdanan nga, sa pagkatinuod, wala mo kinahanglana). 

Now, you have forsaken your ideals, you have deserted your native land, just so you can become justice of peace (a position which, truth to tell, you don‘t really need). 

What did you expect that I do? Reprimand my friends because they were harming one of my best friends? That was what I wanted to do. Pero matod pang St. Paul

I do not understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very things I hate.  (Rm 7:15)

I did not stop my friends. I did not help my new bff either. But I smiled whenever my friends made fun of him. And I knew that hurt him. Just as Octavio had forsaken his nationalistic ideas and his love for his native land just to become Justice of Peace, I renounced my words of being his best friend just to save my face from being known as a friend of a loser. Stupid, just plain stupid. Pero matud pa sa short story by Vicente Sotto, I didn’t have to do that. I should have acknowledged him as my best friend. However, that sense of belongingness thing made me deny someone who listened to me. I deeply regret what I did. But I kept doing nothing anyway whenever I’m with my friends and they bully him. And I kept on regretting.

So, did I end up dead like Octavio because of treachery? I almost did.

But as I said,

Words are very powerful. These can uplift people. These can break them. These can also mend them.

It was really hard for me to say sorry. I felt like I didn’t have the right to do that. And I didn’t know how to put it into words. I was afraid of putting my regrets and apologies into words. But I have to. And you know what, kung buang ko kay I was shattered because of simple words, mas buang siya because he accepted my apology. I literally only said sorry and broke to tears afterwards. Buang buang ming duha.

Vicente Sotto’s Love for the Native Land, aside for depicting a woman’s great love for her ideals and her country, it basically is about being true to your words, through gladness and misery. After my new bff accepted my sorry, I tried really hard not to be ashamed of our friendship. Yes, there were times na sungogon jud ko, at first – “Ngano nakigmigo man kag loser?” I just shrugged and smiled it off. Eventually, he was accepted by the group. After all, we “weirdos and losers”, though weak in expressing ourselves, are great listeners. In the end, the bully did not have to be ashamed of her friend whom she used to bully.

Finally, I end this talk with a light heart. I have unearthed my burden. I have rediscovered that I have a wonderful family. And a great herd of friends, particularly those who I’ve been with since kindergarten, She whom I talked crushes with, and he whom I used to bully. Words still cut my throat. But I have to get them through. All I need to do is a simple thing. I just have to talk.


Pedagogical Grammar: Teaching Suggestions on Certain English Language Grammar Rules

For someone like me who grew up learning three languages namely Cebuano, Filipino, and English, learning a language is similar to breathing. This might not be the case for other people though, especially those people who would want to learn English as their second language. It is even more difficult to effectively teach these ESL learners the rules of the English language. For instance, I had this Korean classmate before who asked me why this phenomenon in English language happens. He even added a question, “Why does it only have to be like this? Could it also be like this? If not, why?” I was deeply troubled. I have been learning English for most of my life but I have never really bothered to ask why this rule should be followed or why this word should not be placed after that word. So I answered, “Because…That’s just how English is.”

Embarrassing. From then on, I knew I am not made for teaching. Anyways, I would like to share some suggestions on how to teach certain English language grammar rules – particularly partitives, coordinating conjunctions, and logical connectors. Basically, I wanted to teach English language to ESL learners not in a rigid, old-fashioned way but in a way where they can use these grammar rules communicatively.

In teaching partitives, I suggest that as a warm up or lead-in, the teacher can do an activity which involves frequent use of partitives communicatively. For instance, a baking activity will do. The teacher can do the measuring and the baking activity and at the same time describe what he/she is doing. Or, the teacher can ask his/her students to describe what they are doing while baking. The teacher can even ask the students to narrate their baking experience after cooking. Afterwards, the teacher can start with the lesson officially by teaching his/her students that partitives modify nouns and are often used to denote a part of a whole. It is usually a phrase which follows this format: (det) partitive noun of count/non count noun. After teaching the meaning and form of partitives to the students, the teacher can now let them practice what they learned. Teachers can do this by letting his/her students experiment with the form of partitives:


The teacher should check the answers of his/her students and provide appropriate feedback by correcting mistakes and praising the students for answering items correctly.  As a culminating activity, the teacher can engage into a natural conversation with his or her students while eating their snacks or lunch. Partitive phrases such as glass of water, bottle of catsup, teaspoon of sugar, slice of pizza, and many more would surely come out naturally.

In teaching coordinating conjunctions, one could lead the students into the topic by narrating an interesting story. Make sure that the story chosen used a lot of coordinating conjunctions. Afterwards, the teacher can start with the lesson proper. Since coordinating conjunctions is a difficult topic, one could teach it by introducing its form, meaning, and use simultaneously. A teacher can, for instance, give out handouts with a table containing a list of commonly used coordinating conjunctions, their meaning and function, as well as examples of when these should be used. Then, the teacher can check his/her students’ knowledge through a test. The test may check their knowledge on the form of partitives through fill in the blanks and multiple choice test types. On the other hand, their knowledge of the meaning of partitives may be tested by providing them sentences with underlined coordinating conjunctions. The teacher will then let the students identify the function of these coordinating conjunctions and could even allow the students to look at the handout for reference. As culminating activity, the teacher can ask the students to list down their favourite cartoon characters as well as those cartoon character that they don’t like. Then, he/she could let the students exchange papers with their seatmates and make them write about the paper of their seatmates – if they like the same cartoon characters or not.

Finally, a teacher could let the students listen to pop music as a lead-in in teaching logical connectors. Before listening to the music, the teacher could hand out the song lyrics with missing words on sheets of paper. Those missing words are the logical connectors. The teacher will then instruct the students to listen to the music and at the same time fill out the missing lyrics on the papers that the teacher had just handed out. Then, the teacher can proceed to the teaching proper. For me, she should first teach the meaning of logical connectors, that these are words which combine ideas with particular relationships such as sequence, reason and purpose, adversative, and condition. The teacher can introduce the form and use of logical connectors through fill in the blank and/or multiple choice exercises. As a culminating activity, the teacher may let the students listen to the music again. Let us say that the chosen music was a love song. The teacher could let the students write a narrative about the song – the story behind it, why they like or hate the song, etc.

Basically when teaching language concepts, the teacher must first assess what his/her students already know about that certain language. Aside from the students’ knowledge on the language, the teacher must also be familiar of how his/her students learn things and accommodate their teaching methods and approaches to their students’ learning styles. For me, repetition will always be a great method in teaching. Not only does it help students remember language rules but also provides students numerous opportunities to apply these rules communicatively.


Freeman, D. & Murcia, M. (1999). The grammar book, 2nd ed. Heinle & Heinle Publishers: United States of America

Sorensen, M. N. (1997). Logical connectors. http://staff.washington.edu


Intramurals: Swimming

Female swimmers dive after hearing the loud bang coming from the starter gun. ©Precious Gandia

Female swimmers dive after hearing the loud bang coming from the starter gun.
©Precious Gandia

Swimming enthusiasts as well as friends and supporters of the different college swim teams flocked the USC swimming pool at the main campus of the University of San Carlos last Tuesday, September 9, 2014, and Thursday, September 11, 2014.

The preliminaries were held on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 7:30am. The events on this were composed of individual and group competitions.

Included in the individual events for females were 50-m butterfly, 50-m backstroke, 50-m breast stroke, 50-m freestyle and 4×50-m individual medley.

The individual events for the males, on the other hand, were the following: 50-m butterfly, 100-m backstroke, 100-m breaststroke, 100-m freestyle and 4×50-m individual medley.

The group event for both male and female swimmers on that day was the 4×50-m medley relay. Only the swimmers who finished their heats in the fastest time frame proceeded to the finals on September 11, 2014, Thursday.

The finals immediately started at 1:30 PM. After the final round, the awarding ceremony immediately followed.

For swimming women, the School of Law and Governance grabbed the third place, the College of Engineering grabbed the second place while the School of Business and Economics bagged the first place.

For swimming men, on the other hand, College of Architecture and Fine Arts claimed the third place, College of Engineering claimed the second place while the School of Business and Economics seized the first place.

A female pirate from the School of Business and Economics butterfly sprints her way towards the wall earning herself a gold medal. ©Precious Gandia

A female pirate from the School of Business and Economics butterfly sprints her way towards the wall earning herself a gold medal.
©Precious Gandia

Overall, the Red Pirates from the School of Business and Economics emerged as champions, remaining undefeated for the past three years. The swimmers from the College of Engineering and the School of Business and Economics followed as first runners up and second runners respectively.


The Journey towards the Wall

A groupie session after a tiring swim practice. ©Monique Gubatao

A groupie session after a tiring swim practice. ©Monique Gubatao

The swimmers from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) only had one aim, to reach the wall in the fastest time possible in order to win an award.

Their journey started on the last week of July 2014. Their coach, Ms. Monique Gubatao, posted an ad on the bulletin board which encouraged all swimming enthusiasts from CAS to try-out for the CAS swim team. Luckily, eleven swimmers responded to the call – Carl, Niko, John, Gian, Dane, Quinn, Mari, Micah, Michelle, Margaret, and Precious.

These amateur swimmers started as strangers but eventually came out as friends because of the trainings they had to go through.

“I liked the training this year,” Margaret said in an interview. She had also joined the CAS swim team last year. “It’s more intense. Not only did it improve my form and speed, I have also found new friends in the process.”

Who wouldn’t? The CAS Swim Team trains thrice a week. They jog in Abellana on Tuesdays and Thursdays while they do swim drills on Saturdays at the USC Swimming Pool.

“The jogging part was tiring,” Michelle remarked. “I’d prefer to swim lots of laps than jog around the oval for several times.”

Aside from group trainings, these swimmers also train by themselves. Carl and Micah particularly train every day.

“I’m anxious of my speed,” Carl said. “My opponents are very experienced. I’d like to give them a good game. Practicing everyday would increase my speed and my stamina. Thus, I could fairly fight with the experienced guys.”

CAS Swim Team cheering up before the events started. Their chant was, “Where’s the wall? Go CAS!” ©Quinn Sayson

CAS Swim Team cheering up before the events started. Their chant was, “Where’s the wall? Go CAS!”
©Quinn Sayson

On the day of the swim events, everyone was anxious. But coach Monique gathered the swim team together, gave them words of encouragement and prayed together with them. In the end, the CAS swim team did not get even a single medal. However, their spirits were not dampened.

“There’s still next year,” Micah remarked. “We’ll train harder and bag all the gold next year. Go CAS!”

The other swimmers in the team shared the same sentiments as Micah. They even suggested that they start training the week after intramurals.

The cheerful swim team of CAS AY 2014-2015. ©Precious Gandia

The cheerful swim team of CAS AY 2014-2015.
©Precious Gandia

That’s the undying spirit of the amateur swimmers of the CAS Swim Team. Individually, they are just but a drop in the large pool, but together as a team, they make waves.


Lakan at Lakambini ng Wika 2014

The winners of Lakan at Lakambini ng Wika 2014. © Ezra Hilary Ceniza

The winners of Lakan at Lakambini ng Wika 2014.
© Ezra Hilary Ceniza

As part of the annual Filipino Month culmination activity, the Filipino Department of the University of San Carlos hosted the Lakan at Lakambini ng Wika 2014 last August 29, 2014 in Rigney Hall which was filled with students taking up Filipino 1 classes.

Fifteen pairs of lovely and good-looking candidates came up the stage, introduced themselves in their assigned Filipino dialect and walked gracefully and confidently down the red carpet runway.  In a production number with the song, ‘Piliin ang Pilipinas’, these candidates also showcased their skills in dancing.

This year, the Lakan and Lakambini 2014 had two sets of judges – one set judged the Lakan candidates and the other judged the Lakambini candidates. The members of the set of judges for the Lakan candidates were Mrs. Christy Tan-Constantino, Mr. Kenneth Cavanlit  and Mr. Raul Gonzales. For the Lakambini candidates, the judges were Mrs. Rowanne Maxilom, Mrs. Luz Geronimo and Mrs. Cecille Quibod Castro.In the end, only 3 pairs of candidates won. The Lakan and Lakambini ng Wika 2nd runners up were Mr. Jason Kent Cuadra from BTM and Ms. Angela Nicole Elpa from BS BA. Mr. Neal Austin Sia from BS HRM and Ms. Kaye Empuerto from BS Che were Lakan at Lakambini 1st runners-up. Finally, Mr. Witchtofen Intong from BS Econ and Ms. Karen Kate Ting from BS BA were crowned as the Lakan at Lakambini 2014.

This activity also served as an awarding ceremony as the results and prizes were announced and given out for the different activities that happened throughout the month of August such as the Bangga sa Balak, Tagisan ng Talino, Bangga sa Banda and Larawikain.

During the culminating activity, birthday celebrants from the Filipino faculty were asked to come up on stage, too. Lakan and Lakambini contestants gave these celebrants bouquets of flowers while the crowd sang ‘Happy Birthday’.


A Critique Paper on the Freedom of Information Bill

The People’s right to know is a basic concept in a democratic country. It means that the citizens of a certain democratic country, have a right to know the activities happening in the government. Since the people themselves voted for the officials in the government, it follows that these people must be well-informed of the activities in the government. Moreover, for people to know the things that are happening in the government, it follows that the government should observe transparency. But citizens also have to understand that there are certain activities in the government which are deemed as ‘top secret’ because of their nature. These classified activities are of course identified as top secret because of legal criteria. It is the job of the government to effectively explain which activities are classified and which are not.

Invasion of privacy occurs when a person or a group of person acquires the personal information of a certain personality or a group of personalities without his/her/their permission. Invasion of privacy also occurs when a person, eg. A journalist, shares a personal information about a certain personality or a group of personalities without that person’s/group of persons’ knowledge or permission.

Libel and defamation is a statement expressed in any form of communication (print, video, etc.) which puts a person’s/a group of person’s reputation in bad light and eventually destroys and taints it. Usually, if one utters a negative statement against another person without appropriate facts, the person which receives the negative statement can file libel and defamation against the person who tried to destroy his/her reputation.

Freedom of Information is the people’s right to access government records and documents.Personally, I want the Freedom of Information Bill to be passed as a law. If that actually happens, it will be a great help to lawyers, mediamen and even ordinary citizens as this will improve the government’s transparency. The mediamen, being able to access the right government records and documents first hand can report the exact truth to the masses. The lawyers, on the other hand, can improve their knowledge in legal matters if they can access certain records and documents in the government.  I myself, if I will be a journalist someday, would like to gain access of the government records and documents related to Marcos declaration of Martial Law. It would be great and fascinating to know and examine how Marcos changed the Philippine Constitution to fit his goals and desires. Having access to these files would also help me as a journalist inform a more truthful part of our history since I have gained access to these files first hand.