Tuesday, July 29, 2008

List of my OCness tendencies

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an actual anxiety disorder, and is not just an expression meant to the take the Mickey on someone who is exhibiting an amusingly weird behaviour. Now I am not going to delve into the specifics and contentions regarding the said condition. What I do want to say is that I think, each of us have our own personal OC tendencies. We all have our own ‘things’. I will boldly go on and say that these weird tendencies help us create our own individuality – our own personality that sets us apart from the rest. It is how people remember us by.
I’ve always thought that among the six characters in the popular American sitcom Friends, I can relate to Chandler Bing more than the rest because like him, I like throwing punch lines at people every now and then. I’ve been re-watching the TV Series lately (Season 7 na ako! Hehe!) and I’ve realized that I share more common traits with Monica Gellar more than I realize. Yes, to a certain degree, I feel like I am a control freak.
So for my column debut, I decided to start with something personal. As I began to write this piece, I actually realized that the very theme of this column is an evidence of my OCness. Here’s a list of my own personal OC tendencies.

The way I like my ‘lists’.
Lists help us to be more organized with our everyday activities. Lists help us to be more informed in a way that is convenient and effective. To a certain degree (at least for me, and depending on the kind of list), lists help us to be more in control. And this is exactly what I hope to bring in this column. I will list things that are worth sharing.

Proof of OCness: I maintain many mundane lists on my laptop. Most of which I would be embarrassed to reveal, haha! But no, they’re not list of free porn sites.

The way I organize my mp3 files.
My music files follow a certain format (Artist – Title.mp3) which I have always employed since I started building my mp3 collection. The titles must be perfectly capitalized, even all the prepositions and conjunctions. I also follow certain rules when it comes to featured artists and duets. I also append “(Acoustic)” for acoustic versions and “(Live)” for live ones. All of them are converted to a bitrate of 96 kbps and have their volume normalized. And it does not end with the formatting and naming. All my OPM songs are in one folder, so are American Idol live performances, Christmas and Westlife songs (masyadu la kasing dakal, kaya separate folder la, ampo syempre, favourite ku la, hehe!). Whenever I download new mp3 files, I always format them first before I transfer them to my music disk partition. I also am finicky when it comes to my playlists. I currently have more than 80 of them (e.g., Mellow, Most Played, Love, Bitter Ocampo, Versions, UK, Workout, Live Acoustic, Exam Review, etc).
This OCness extends to the way I organize my laptop and the rest of my files. My most used shortcut icons must be in place where I can easily access them. My wallpaper must be changed monthly. The files must be in their right folders. The filenames should be representative of their contents. And the list goes on...
Proof of OCness: Come on, the whole shebang I’ve just related already proves it! Also, whenever I browse through someone's unorganized mp3s, I cringe deep inside and I have this nagging urge to organize it! Haha! Diba, Mike and Kevin? I do it for free, so come on!

The way I edit, layout and design my publication works.
I don't really have a professional or technical background/training when it comes to publishing, but given my previous work, I do have an eye (or mind) for it. And in producing results, I always apply my deep know-how of MS Word (or Publisher). I am such a fussy maniac when it comes to text boxes, margins, font and font sizes, alignment, etc – such details that are barely noticeable on the printed end-product anyway. A perfect example of this is how I indent my paragraphs. The average word processor user would just nonchalantly use a tab character to produce indents. But being the fastidious freak that I am, I use the inverted-triangular indent marker on the ruler. That’s why when I was still in-charge of the printed Aslag, it always takes a while for me to finish it. Collecting and managing the article contributions is just half of the arduous task. Laying them out and fixing all the details (and I mean ‘all’) is what keeps me up until the wee hours, especially right before the deadline.
Shifting to the online version of the Aslag did not make the job any easier. There are lots of HTML and CSS codes involved (I had to learn from scratch). And of course, there are the images that accompany the layout (I was forced to learn more Photoshop tricks).
Proof of OCness: The only difference between the printed and online Aslag is that in the online edition, I can easily correct any missed errors or flaws. Whereas, in the printed version, once it’s printed and photocopied, all the typo errors and misaligned elements are immortalized. And yes, seeing these errors bugs the hell out of me!

The way I manage my weekly allowance.
I call it ‘brute force accounting’. My ultimate goal is to add and subtract and eventually determine how much allowance I have left for the week. Never mind that I probably violate countless accounting rules and practices along the way. But hey, it works perfectly well for me, for all intents and purposes. Since 2nd year high school, I’ve been receiving my allowance on a monthly basis so at such a young age, I’ve learned how to properly budget my money. But I only started this bookkeeping thing around my 3rd year in college. I maintain an expenses file which chronicles my daily, weekly, and monthly cash inflows and outflows – right to each single centavo.
Each night or every other, I check if my expected cash still on hand is equal to my actual cash on hand, based on what I have been spending. If it doesn’t all add up (if for some reason, a few pesos are unaccounted for), well, that’s what the “Adjustment” entry is for, hehe! I consider it pretty effective because I get to watch my spending habits. I never get surprised and feel robbed when I realize I have already spent 80% of my allowance just midway into the week simply because I know where my money goes. I would know if I have enough moolah to watch the latest box office movie or treat myself to a fast food meal for dinner. Whether I am able to stay within my budget week after week is another story. But the answer is ‘not all the time’, hehe!
Proof of OCness: You can see for yourself how elaborate my expense file is for someone who has not taken any accounting subjects. I even keep track of my ATM Balance and my grocery expenditures!

The way I’m strict when it comes to house cleanliness. But only when it comes to our apartment, 34G. For if you compare how neat and orderly I am at 34G to how I am at my bedroom at our Pampanga home, you would be aghast. If the Pampanga version of me would be roommates or housemates with the Quezon City version of me, the royal household rumble would challenge the conflict between Laarni and the rest of the PDA 2 Scholars. The QC version of me is not exactly Stepford-like, but weirdly enough, I find myself being too keen when it comes to the division and accomplishment of chores. Like I’ve mentioned above, I feel the mild spirit of Monica Gellar in me. It really gets me when I see a dirty sala floor or a sink filled with unwashed dishes. And living in an all-guy household makes the task a little more challenging. But so far, all in all, the whole system’s been working pretty decently. Yes, every now and then, my housemates forget their chores. But being the big brother has taught me to exercise more patience. I don’t nag my housemates for I am not their mother. Whenever I clean the house even when it’s not yet my turn, I just fervently hope that they learn to be more responsible by example. And they have no idea how happy I feel whenever I see them exercise a little more responsibility than usual when it comes to house affairs.
Proof of OCness: I even have a house expense file for 34G, hehe! And yes, during our monthly collection of payments, each single centavo is well accounted for. We even have our own emergency funds that any of the housemates (and even other AguPips, ne Ferg? Hehe!) can borrow during the times when they run short on cash.



For me, there’s nothing wrong about being OC, especially if it’s just occasional. I say be as OC as you want, for as long as it doesn’t disrupt or seriously annoy the people around you. As for my own OC tendencies, I am not ashamed of them because I know that to a certain degree, having them makes me a better person by always trying to stick to a certain standard of doing things. Although sometimes, I must admit, being OC about certain things can be a huge hassle (there are times that I cannot even sleep at night!). But hey, if it produces the best results, why not, right?

So how about you, what are your own OC tendencies? You know where to comment! (",)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

HS senior students flock CEER 2008

By pekepate

July 19 & 26 2008 -- UP Aguman held CEER at Gabaldon Hall, Angeles City and Bulwagang Capampangan, City of San Fernando, respectively.


CEER (College Entrance Exam Review) is one of UP Aguman's major activities. It aims on helping high school senior students prepare for the UPCAT and other college admission tests. The two-day event blazed its own way to the roster of UP Aguman's most successful events.


LEFT: The AguPips pose after the successful 1st day.
RIGHT: High School Senior students take the mock exam.

185 senior high school students attended on both days of the said event. They had the mock exam, patterned with the specifics of UPCAT, in the morning and closely listened to UP Diliman instructors who discussed the questions on three major parts of the mock exam (Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics), in the afternoon. The instructors did not just discuss the questions but also gave tips on taking entrance exams. After the event, survey forms were also given to the high school seniors for evaluation.

Several Aguman Alumni graced the event along with applicants (batch Pinanari 2008), who got a taste of an AguMember's life.

The instructors for CEER 2008 were:
1st Day
Hardy Castada (Salagpi 2001A) - Chemistry
Ryan Aga (Kasaup 2002A) - Mathematics
Adelle Santos - Physics

2nd Day
Hardy Castada (Salagpi 2001A) - Chemistry
Gilbert Abueg - Mathematics
Marian Roxas - Physics

FOR MORE PHOTOS FOR DAY 1, CLICK HERE.
FOR DAY 2, CLICK HERE!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chocolate You

In the midst of my journey to a more wonderful life, I feel remorse for not thanking enough the people who lend their hands so that I can surpass every hurdle that comes to my way. More often than not, I just take them for granted and then pursue my own selfish wills. Now, I want to give back by sharing with these guys my favourite sinful chocolates.




Hershey’s
This is for the girl whom I entrust my secrets to. Thank you because your being jolly every time I see you makes my problems get a little lighter.

Hershey’s with Almonds
It’s for you whom I count on; for you who built a great friend right beside me. Thanks for being mad when I get crazy, for that makes me think that there is no perfect friendship. Thanks for being guilty when you can’t be there for me.



Reese’s
A crown of chocolate is for you who super duper helped me feel belonged in our organization. I hope you enjoyed eating this chocolate. It has the same flavour the donut I treated you.


Toblerone Special Dark
Man of wisdom, I thank you for always helping me fix every crap of my academic life. Thank you for all the pieces of advice you’ve given me since I was an applicant. You have more chocolates than I, King of Chocolates.


Cadbury with Raisins
I feel thankful because of the improvement of our org relationship. I admit that I hated you a lot before especially when you were pissing me off. Of course, everything changes; at present, I am happy to say that you are one of my committee-mates.


Snickers with Almonds
You are my mom in Aguman. Thank you for listening to my predicaments. Actually, you are my favourite member of our org. Also, sorry for the shortcomings I made.


Lindt with Alcohol
Thanks for always lending me some money. Haha! Kidding aside, I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that I appreciate the time you allot for me whenever I hurry to the malls. Thanks for being a good friend.

These chocolates are from my heart. Please accept them, for in my heart there exists so much gratitude to all of you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Prosaic

At one outrageously stupid point in my life, I got a zero over five in one part of my Math 17 fourth exam because when my desperately twisted manipulation of equations led me to the figure 0/1, I promptly stopped computing altogether and wrote that the final answer was "undefined’".

When your exam is only thirty five points IN TOTAL (a round of applause for my very generous prof!), a loss of five points is huge. So when I realized my mistake, I wanted to cry. Or kill something, preferably myself. I did not sleep a wink the day before the exam because I studied, studied, studied – and oh, did I mention that I studied? And all of it went to nothing because I still screwed up.
The low grade was not the insufferable part, since I never expected to do good in Math anyway. I was whining because of the pointlessness of my efforts. It would have been more tolerable if I wrecked my score because I didn’t study. But no, my magnificent Orochimaru-sama, the truth was that I would have gotten the answer right if I didn’t commit that blunder and proceeded with my computations. I couldn’t accept the fact that I scored zilch because I made a mistake that was so ‘unmistakable’.
I don’t know why my brain malfunctioned. I could still remember how my grade three math teacher drummed into my skull that “Zero divided by anything, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, is still zero”. I perfectly remembered that fact throughout the years that followed. I don’t know why I messed up the day it really mattered.
According to the class score sheet, only six students passed the exam. Fortunately, I was still one of the six despite my exasperatingly maddening mistake. My friends said I should just be thankful that I passed. But I knew I could never feel that way. Why?
Because there’s only one thing worse than screwing up big time. It’s screwing up small time and knowing that if you were just a little more effortful, a little more responsible, (and in my case) a little more SANE, you wouldn’t have screwed up at all.

************

His Friendster account profile name is "Undefined’". Currently, the profile photo is a seventies picture of his grandfather working on some papers in his office. He looks up to the dear old man very much. In fact, he’s taking Law in Ateneo right now because he wants to be like his grandpa. Love for studying runs in the family, I guess.
Still, that doesn’t change anything and the fact stands: he doesn’t study here anymore. He no longer jogs around the acad oval five times every Thursday afternoon, nor sits on the same chair in the library everyday to read those boring econ books, nor dons his royal maroon varsity jacket when it gets cold.
He hasn’t entirely forgotten, but he can’t spend all his time remembering. Sometimes he drops by, sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes I see him, sometimes I don’t.
But that’s okay. Whatever happens, I know that we’re still warmed by the same sun, we still look at the same clouds, and we’re still watched over by the same stars. After all, we’re still under the same sky.

************

After dinner, I cheerfully tell my mother that I’m really enjoying my Psych 101 class. She smiles and reminds me that she’s got a minor in psychology from her first undergraduate degree so I could count on her for help. Maybe I could get a psych minor too, she suggests. I shake my head and say that if I shift to BE next year, I can’t get a minor. The curriculum credits only two free electives.
My father overhears the conversation. “You’re shifting again?” he asks, sounding frustrated. “You’re in second year now. You should know what you really want to be.”
I stare back at him blankly, feeling vaguely guilty.
“What do you really want for yourself?” my father asks.
I cast my eyes low and stare at the dining room’s green tiles. I graduated with honors. I passed the freaking UPCAT and landed myself on my first course choice. I had been able to shift to BS Econ. Hell, I’ve been a US since I got here. Surely I know what I want for myself, right?
More silence. I try to think but it’s useless. I can’t think of anything.
My father sighs, exasperated. “Nei. What do you really want?” he asks again.
It’s my turn to sigh. I give up and admit defeat. “I don’t know.”
My mother looks at me sadly. Though she never imposed it on me, I know that she prefers that I earn a degree in economics for a reason I still can’t understand. Since I don’t know what I want, my mother knows what she wants for me and I’m a staunch believer in the saying that mothers know best, I’ve decided that I’ll do what she wants as long as I can take it. This way, I have a ‘direction’ and my mom gets what she wants, so everyone’s happy. So unless Dr. De Dios drags me by my feet and throws me out of his school cold and hard, I’m going to stay in SE. It’s that simple.
Unfortunately, my father does not see it that way. Being a mechanic and working with cars all his life, he believes that you can’t drive if you don’t know where you want to go. Or else you’ll only be driving around in circles and wasting precious gasoline.
He shakes his head. “You know what the problem is? You don’t know what you want. You don’t have a sense of direction. You’re too undecided… too… undefined.”
Later, as I lay on my bed waiting for sleep, I smile sadly to myself. When did I become ‘undefined’? As a child, I had always been the type who knew what she wanted and made sure she got it, who knew what she wanted to do and made sure she did it, from getting a stranger’s totally adorable puppy (I didn’t steal it! I got my dad to buy it. ^_^) to jumping from a pay loader at one of the family business’ quarrying sites (to see if I could fly). Growing up, I had a long list of ‘heroes’, people I really idolized, (like Arthur Conan Doyle, who created Sherlock Holmes and Emanuel Lasker, the world chess champion who had a doctorate in Mathematics) so inspiration should’ve come easy.
I hug my pillow tighter. Now I’m a seventeen year old econ sophomore who is surrounded by loving family, who is kept insanely sane by kick-ass friends, who is a member of the best organization in the world, (I mean that.) who is trying to enjoy her life. Apparently, these still aren’t enough for me to be someone. I am still undefined.

************

When I received Kuya Rex’s text message asking me if I wanted to write a ‘monthly and regular’ column for Aslag Online, I immediately turned it down. I’ve been writing for publication since I was in grade two, and goodness knows how sick I’ve become of it over the years. I enjoyed writing, but as Professor Monsod said, marginal utility decreases over time, and it will always come to the point when doing the things you used to like doesn’t make you ‘happy’ anymore.
I’ve always wanted to take a break and try doing other things (You: Like what? Me: Uh, I don’t know. Milking cows?). Unfortunately, because I started writing at an early age, I grew up being labeled as ‘the writer’. (Heck, I don’t even think I write that well. I think I just got the part because my reputation preceded me.) So when I enrolled in UP, I told myself that I was going to give Neicy Nicdao a fresh start. Here, nobody would know me as ‘the writer’, so I could be just ‘the ordinary girl’. I could finally be free- I’d have to write only academic requirements, and I could screw up all I want without having to worry about my works living up to my name. (Yup, that’s the reason why I never wrote ‘Records and Publications’ in my preferred committees even though my buddy was the Queen of Rec and Pub). I thought I was finally getting what I had wanted.
However, the King of Chocolates’ next message made something in my mind go off. “Hindi ka records or officer but I invited you anyway ‘cause I think that your writing is a great read for everyone to enjoy.”
Hmmm. How long has it been since anyone read something I wrote?
That was when I realized how much I missed my writing being read. I guess that even though I try my damnedest to deny it, I’m still a writer inside, good or terrible. To say the least, writing kind of ‘defines’ me.
Finally, I decided to give writing for publication a shot again. And so here I am.
Kuya Rex said I could use my first column’s appearance to explain why I chose the column name. I hope I got the reasons across. Apologies if it’s really lame. I’m still a bit rusty and it might take a while before I get into the writer’s groove again.
Ja, mata ne. ^_^

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spotlight: Thar She Blows!

ALUMNI EDITION


Full Name: MARIA RAMONA TORRES-CUTLER
Nickname:
Monette / Monwhale / Mons
High School: Republic Central Colleges (RCC)
Hometown: Angeles City
Aguman Batch: AKBE 1988A
Degree: BA European Languages, major in French (oui-oui, as in mangapali), minor in German (Heil! To the chief… me, op cors!)
Present Location: Davao City (also known as Durian Republic)
Present Occupation: OWNER/EVENTS MANAGER, Events Unlimited by MRTC; CORPORATE SECRETARY, Iluminada Farms, Inc.; ASSISTANT CORPORATE SECRETARY, Santos Land Development Corp.; WIFE, GRO, SEX SLAVE, NANAY, ALALAY, CHIMAY, YAYA, TUTOR, DISHWASHER, COOK (ala na ku kasing kayabe… my maid and I just parted ways this April), in short: SUPERWOMAN

*Pictured above is Atching Monette with her family last Christmas: husband Mark, son Dave and daughter Keri.


Favorite GE subject when you were an undergrad:
Hmmm… atin ba? GE… definitely, ali Math! I guess it would have to be Soc Sci 1 and Comm 2, because my prof in Soc Sci 1 was a declared, passionate socialist/communist, very fierce woman, super inspiring, brilliant teacher!; Comm 2 because our group report was on Sabong (Filipino culture) and our featured expert was my dad, complete with a visit to the cockpit, betting, handling of the cocks (hmmm…)

Favorite non-Aguman tambayan: Oblation! Site of illegal overnighters, first kiss with my now-husband Mark (hehe, memorable talaga); potang atiu ku karin, the stress levels just peel off, I swear. Even when I became a mom, I used to take my eldest son there whenever we had the chance, just to breathe in UP air!

I was convinced to join UP Aguman because:
Honestly, I needed a tambayan… joke! I wanted to be a part of the organization that tortured HS students annually, having gone through 2 excruciating years reviewing on history and literature, para lang hindi kami eliminated kaagad… but sadly, parati kami pa rin king Losers’ Pool! LONG LIVE THE PAUTAKAN!

My favorite Aguman memories are: BLOODLETTING! The blood compact when you become a member (hehe, it was actually a point of amusement for me, it took forever to sign my name.) QUESTIONS NIGHT(S); ILLEGAL TAMBAYS AT NIGHT TIME… we always spooked each other out with ghost stories (esp the one in Guerrero Theater); DINNERS AT COOP after GenMeets; PARTIES (and BULL SESSIONS at Diane’s); BEING CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD DURING PAUTAKAN (YES! Super yabang ku kanita, as in).
The best thing about being an AguPip is: it’s FOREVER!
Anyang resident ku pa, lagi dang bubusit kanaku ing: MONWHALE! Kasi pu, maragul kung babae, plus makatakut ku kanu. Ka-tandem ku king makanining pamumusit y Cecille Ibale, awus da naman kaya, CELEPHANT! Ka-cruel da reng kapanahunan mi ne?
The difference between college life and the real world is: In UP, you just have to mind your grades. You can goof off, because you’re subsidized, by parents, by school. You can cut classes to your heart’s delight, as long as you pass the exams, you can drop subjects if the teacher pisses you off (nya siguro magna ku… magna-nine years bayu mig-graduate!); In the real world… everything you do rebounds back to you, asnang kabilis; you pay your own way; in fact, you are now the money tree source of your dependents!

Back in college, the worst rule I had broken was:
Were there rules???? I’m sure I must have broken each at least once…
The best thing about my work is: Events-wise, I dictate my own pace, I work at home, I spend time with the kiddos. With being a corporate secretary, it exercises my mind, also, it’s kinda cool telling your much older colleagues they are out of order, hehe. As for the others, ing enjoy mu talaga, itang SEX SLAVE!

The most over-rated celebrity is:
BRAD PITT (two-timer!) and ANGELINA JOLIE (wife-snitcher!)
If I could food-binge on something for a day without health consequence, I would eat: Tibok-tibuk sa Susie’s! During my visit this April with the kids, it was our first stop as soon as we hit Angeles! And the palabok na rin. Razon’s halo-halo. My cousin’s sans rival. (Yes, Virginia, I am a diabetic!)
If I had more free time, I would: go back to school, take up law. I’d finish Keri’s albums, read gazillion books, go to spas, travel… read Aguman mails like I used to, reply to most issues, be up to date. I miss the list serve, especially Atching Claire!
The thing that I've been looking for but still haven't found is: --- cure for cancer??? Seriously, answers to questions my children ask me, like "If we celebrate Good Friday once a year, does this mean all the other Fridays are Bad Fridays?”
An old movie that should be remade for the new generation is: hmmmm. --- This is a very hard question... because I think aliwa na talaga orientation ing generation ayni. Maybe "It's a Wonderful Life." Consequence of our actions, acceptance of things that go wrong, moving on... etc, etc, etc.
The song I love to sing when I am driving alone in the car is: I'm Too Sexy! Hehehe. (By the way, eku parin byasang mag-drive, so the Eraserheads hit about driving... gusto kong matutong mag-drive, mag-drive, mag-drive! That should be my mantra ne?

Message to fellow alumni: What’s up doc? Hope all’s well with you all and I hope to be active again in our group.
Message to the residents: Have fun: eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, you may die! Enjoy being UP’s Iskolar ng Bayan. It’s a privilege!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

First Date

04:07 pm at the Arki lobby, you'll usually find zombies and laptops. And on the east side wearing a blue hooded happy jacket is me. Well, like the other zombies, I'm also busy surfing the net with my recently resurrected laptop. But besides the surfing, I'm also cooking… cooking the first sumptuous meal from my churky kitchen. I'd like my future readers to get to know me, so let me take you to a few of my favorite places.



Exhibit A. The Flea Market

We are now in the world where ukay-ukay reigns supreme! Great Finds at low low prices! And if the price is a little above the contents of your coin purse, go bargain! From pants to pillows, to edible shirts, name it, we have it!




Exhibit B. The Restaurants


Thank God we didn't get lost. Well it's quite easy to find right?


I think I the restaurant is a little shorthanded, don't you? But I'm not sure if the manager still wants new staff today! He seemed to have wanted them yesterday! Haha!


Well at least they have dinner choices, though I think they meant Dine in and Take out, right?






Exhibit C. The Park I thought it would be nice if I take you for a walk, talk about something poetic, laugh, you know. But there's seems to be a little problem… I think we're at the wrong entrance…
After the confusing entrance, and before we can take advantage of the beautiful sceneries, here are the house rules.







Rule number 1: beware of flying objects.


Rule number 2: Do not litter, you might endanger living creatures. And in case you have problems with the garbage cans, just tell the cashier?


Rule number 3: Use the comfort rooms, properly


Rule number 4: For further information contact Mr. Alulod!

So, I hope you had a good first time. I know you have seen those signs once in your college and after-college lives. I featured these uniquely Filipino signs because I know your funny bones will recognize them. They just say so much about the AguSpirit, to just have fun, to laugh about the silliest reasons. It’s almost a habit we learn from being around great peers with great wit. And if it is just for that reason, I’ll be excited to wake up every morning to STOP and SEE little things that’ll tickle your hearts. Tata!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

From the Deepest Recesses of my Thoughts

I really don’t know how to begin this. Perhaps I should first welcome you to my column! Really, I am a novice when it comes to things like this. Though I’ve had experiences of having my articles published in our elementary newsletter (God! Could you imagine how long ago that was!), I never had the privilege of having a column all to myself. I love to write because of the fact that it helps me keep sane. I am really not exceptional in this ‘field’. I commonly write for just myself. Though I used to have a blog in Friendster with a few entries, the last time I updated it was eons ago. So when Kuya Rex introduced the idea of us having our own columns in Aslag Online, I honestly got excited and scared at the same time. I am excited because I now have the chance of sharing my thoughts to more people. Scared because I have to do this on a regular basis, not just according to my whim and I have to write on a specific theme. But I guess this novel experience would perhaps be great and fun-filled for me. So, I invite you guys to indulge as I share to you my musings about school, love, politics, culture, life and anything under the sun! Feel free to comment back, rant and rave as much as you want! I would really appreciate what you have to say. =)

The Struggle

The initial hurdle I had to pass was to think of a title for this column. It should be something catchy or intriguing enough and of course it should perfectly encapsulate the theme that I want. "More Than Meets The Eye". Why this title? Well, most of you have probably recognized this theme from the movie, Transformers. This is I think one of the best loved movies of the AguPips. Personally, I am really not a fan of this movie. I have actually just watched this a few weeks ago and perhaps due to recency effect, this line from the movie popped-out of mind when Kuya Rex asked me to think of a title. This title seemed perfectly apt to what my column would contain.

Maling Akala

"Maraming namamatay sa maling akala.” This line I think is the most used-up salawikain of Filipinos but we still succumb to this common mistake of being judgmental. To be prejudicial I think is an innate characteristic of people. Even at first glance, we easily place people in mental boxes and categorize them according to how we initially perceive them. In Transformers, the Autobots perceived humans as a harmful and violent race but they later on learned that they were wrong. I’ve had my fair share of judging and being judged hastily and I usually end up being proven and proving other people wrong. There are also times when we fail to look at things closely because we think they are shallow but once we bother to take a second look, we realize that we are mistaken. This is generally what my column would be about. I would talk about things that at first seem mundane but are really significant. I would be sharing to you things that I have been keeping in the deepest recesses of my thoughts. My musings about the underlying significance of things that we think are just insignificant parts of our everyday lives. I would also be writing about my personal experiences of assuming things and discovering that they were really otherwise. I really hope I could think of interesting things that would suffice your need for reading pleasure and make you hooked-up and wanting for more. Stick with me as we take a closer look on things and discover that they are more than meets the eye.

An Invitation: Katatagan's 1st Lecture-Workshop on Kapampangan Studies



*Click image to enlarge.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

UP Aguman holds Acquaintance Party 2008

by pekepate

July 9, 2008 - UP Aguman held one of its most fun and anticipated activities, the Acquaintance Party. 2008 The party was mainly organized by the Membership Committee with tasks delegated to the other committees. The aim of the party was to welcome and gather Aguman members, alumni and guests like other Kapampangan students, freshmen and otherwise. The attendees flocked at Balay Kalinaw and spent three hours or so of the night together.

Daphne Villanueva (Kaputul 2004A), former President, led the UP Aguman Creed after a thanksgiving prayer. Current President Jennifer Castro gave the Opening Remarks and welcomed everyone to the Party. After the aforementioned, Mr. Bernard Afable gave a message on life as a UP student and as a member of UP Aguman.

After introducing the organization to the guests, Acey Duarte, Internals Vice-President and Membership Committee Head, initiated a name game as a means of introduction. Guests and members had to introduce themselves with an accompanying adjective that starts with the letter of their nicknames.

Everyone munched on solicited food - pansit palabok (Gloria's Fast Food), hamburgers (Bermont's) and food prepared by the committees - rice (Finance Committee), tocino (Socio-Cultural Committee), salted eggs and Mmngoes (External Committee), iced tea and bananas (Records & Publications Committee). While eating, the Executive Council members introduced their respective committees and committee members.

After the feast, the attendees laughed hard and enjoyed the two movie presentations prepared by John Carl Gozun (Baskal 2007A) and Felipe Pablo IV (Baskal 2007A), both R&P Committee members.


LEFT: Guests and members view the audio-visual presentation prepared by the Records
RIGHT: Oldest member Rex share to the guests what the UP Aguman is all about.

Because of time constraint, the attendees were able to participate in just one of the mayn games prepared by Educational Committee. Sure enough, everyone released all their energies left as they played the Exhaust Game, where the players had to enumerate answers based on a given category.

The guests did not leave empty-handed. Not only did they bring with them good memories of a great night, but also, took home tokens provided by the six committees - notepads (MemComm), bookmarks (Externals) CDs copies of the AVPs and UP Aguman brochures (Records), chocolate gold coins (FinComm), notebooks (EducComm) and ballpens (SocioComm).

The alumni who graced the Acquaintance Party 2008 were:
Daphne Villanueva, Kaputul 2004A
Hazel Tobias, Kaputul 2004A
Leah Salta, Sampelut 2003A
Argel Casupanan, Salagpi 2001A
Leslie Salunga, Ambula 2000A
Natasha Tabucal, Tuglung 1998A
Bernardo Afable, Jr, Tayid-Tayid 1997A
Gerry Pangan, Siklab 1980A
Malou Hipolito-Tungol, Sican 1983A


LEFT: Members Rex, Cindy and Demsen savor the delicious dinner.
RIGHT: The members and guests enjoy rowdy game of Exhaust.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

AGU Lingo: Sercial at Bongga!

By Felipe B. Pablo IV

Kapampangan ing major lingua na ning UP Aguman, ing amanung sisuan. Pero Siyempre,dahil keng 'globalization', 'churkiness', 'commercialization' at kung nanu pa na balu yu na, megka sarili yang lingo ing UP Aguman. Here is a short list.

App - n. 1 Short for aparisyon, mga members na milagro kung magpakita, magugulat ka kung magpakita man siya. 2. Short for applicant

Arthro - n. Matanda. Ex. Si Jer-jer!

Barug - v. Pagporamang nagsusumigaw

Baskil - adj. Basang Kilikili. Haha! (Ang harsh no?)

Bitrams - adj. Charantia or bitter

Boi - n. Pantawag, regardless of gender

Bongga - adj. Wonderful in an extreme level, but may be ironic

Chever - n. Someone you regard in a romantic way

Churky - adj. Kikay and cute in a whole new next level

Chuwariwap - n. Dakilang singit, i.e. Extra

Dydy - n. Cute (read: Yuck) na term for 'buddy'. Piling mems lang ang tinaguriang Dydy.

Garahe - n. A term referring to videokehan. Dito nagpupunta kung gustong ipagmayabang ng mga mems ang kanilang golden (not so golden) voice.

Girl - n. Tawagan ng mga kikay at churky na members, or basta pag feel lang magpaka-churky.

Goods - n. Confidential ito. Haha!

Headshot - n. Comment na sadyang sapul at personal, para makatama ng damdamin na papatamaan. Usually, slip of the tongue.

Jung - n. Korean ****. Haha!

Kere - v. Keri, Kaya. Carry.

Pesus - v. Pumorma. Pepesus means pumoporma

Pitik - v Pagpormang discrete

Purita - n. Skwala LumPOOR. Purita Jones, Hampas Lupa

Sercial - adj. Soysyal. As in WOW!

Slave House - n. Ibang tawag sa sizzler sa CASAA. Ito ay dahil mistulang alipin sina lolo at lola na nagseserve ng iyong pagkain.

Thingie - n. The inexplicable. Isang bagay na hindi ma-describe, kaya ang tawag na lang ay thingie. Short for thingiejiggymanicad.

O 'di ba? Unique? Pero since short listing lang ito, via the comment section, pwede mong dadagan (reng meisu kanta, reng mekalingwan na) para makagawa na tayo ng AguDictionary! Haha!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

CEER 2008: On UPCAT and other college entrance exams

UP AGUMAN, a socio-civic, not-for-profit, service-oriented organization of Pampango-speaking students based in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, will once again hold review sessions for the Capampangan graduating high school students.

The CEER or College Entrance Examination Review is a whole day event wherein guest instructors and professors will share their knowledge and expertise to help students prepare for the upcoming admission exams of different colleges and universities.

Graduating students are strongly encouraged to attend the CEER which will be conducted twice in two separate venues, one in July 19 in Gabaldon Hall, Angeles Elementary School and the other on July 26 in Bulwagang Kapampangan, Pampanga High School. Students can choose a venue and date at their convenience. On both occasions, registration will start at 7 o'clock in the morning and there will be a registration fee of only PhP 100, which covers the expenses for the review materials.

For inquiries, contact:
Aries - 0906 235 0051
Jen - 0915 331 5457

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EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 2009-2010

  • President:
  • KEVIN PENALBA
  • Internals Vice-President:
  • TRISH NACPIL
  • Externals Vice-President:
  • ARIES VIRAY
  • Secretary:
  • MICHAEL GULAPA
  • Treasurer:
  • BRYAN QUIZON
  • Educational Committee Chairperson:
  • RUTH HENSON
  • Socio-Cultural Committee Chairperson:
  • MINSKY GOCE

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