Sunday, September 6, 2009

Welcome to UP Aguman's Official Website

Welcome to ASLAG ONLINE 2.0, also known as the Official UP Aguman website, our new online tambayan! *clap clap* Since the Records and Publications Committee successfully instituted ASLAG into the virtual world two years ago, the committee never stopped and has continuously sought ways to improve the features and quality of what they hope to be the best Kapampangan online hangout. Inspired by the overwhelming support of the residents and alumni, the committee has constantly pushed standards through the inventions of new gimmicks and exploration of new grounds that bring not only entertainment and updates but also has strengthen the ties between Aguman resident members and alumni both here and abroad.

Now, as a part of yet another effort to broaden the Kapampangan online horizon, we bring to you the…. *drumroll* UP Aguman’s Official Website *clap clap*. Proudly brought to you by the Records and Publications Committee 2009-2010. We DO our thing.

To visit the new website, click here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Home is where the heart is

By Jhae Dela Cruz

I found out about Cory Aquino’s passing while I was getting my daily dose of online news from Inquirer. Since I’m a little far from home, I make it a point to keep in touch with local news.

What struck me most about Cory is how well she balanced being a mother to the whole country as well as a widowed mother to her own children. She always said in her interviews in the past that she was “thrown into politics”. But everyone, including her, has a choice, and she chose to be brave in order to serve her country. And that alone, is a very noble act because it’s a start of her lifelong sacrifice for the Filipino people. She stood up for her beliefs and led the whole country to the freedom that they wanted and needed, guided by her faith in God.

While reading the news, a realization hit me. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I don’t know that much about Philippine history. Sure, I know all about the basic stuff, with all those years in school but I felt like it’s not enough. In no time, I got addicted in reading about martial law and Cory Aquino (well, I have to start somewhere). At least, I can say now that I don’t feel like a hypocrite anymore in writing this piece. In my job, I spend a lot of time talking to guests from all over the world and I enjoy learning new stuff. Sometimes, I encounter people who visited or stayed in the Philippines at one point in their lives. They tell me stories about their experiences and then a friendly banter will start. I tell them about how the Philippines is now and how crazy it is living there. I talked animatedly about how a two-lane traffic can become 5 or how you can’t even use your cell phone in public places, lest you want to risk losing it to snatchers. I shared how public transportations work and how hot it is in the country. But I get surprised when they tell me that, “I bet you’re happy you’re in this country now…” I guess they misunderstood me when I shared all those amusing anecdotes about the Philippines. I’m not saying all those stuff because I hate my country. On the contrary, it just cures my homesickness by reminiscing about my crazy life in the Philippines. I didn’t tell them those facts to make my country look bad. I’m actually just sharing it so they can understand how it is living in there and to show how Filipinos adapt to things that they can’t change. After all, I always follow it up with this: Philippines may sound crazy to you, but it was, and still is home to me and right now, there’s nowhere else I want to be.

It might be crazy living in the Philippines, especially these days with elections just around the corner. But Cory, until death, believed in change and wanted nothing but the best for our country. Her love for her country is unmatched, even unbelievable. Cory’s death did something good. Filipinos all around the world united to mourn for the woman who helped bring democracy again to the country. It also reminded us how we should protect that gift. Personally, it made me to go back and try to learn more about my country’s history and trace my heritage. It also made me think of how of much I love the Philippines and how no matter where I end up at, it will always be home to me.

Janine "Jhae" Dela Cruz is an Aguman alumna from batch Sampelut 2003A and is currently based in Atlanta, GA. She actually started writing this piece about Cory and the Philippines even before Cory died, so now she finally found the inspiration to finish it. This is still part of the Aslag Online tribute to the beloved former Philippine President, Cory Aquino.

Monday, August 17, 2009

AguPips chow their way to cash

By Nic Dao

“Basta pamangan, pagkakitaan!”

True to former AguPresident Jen Castro’s words, current Externals Vice President Aries Viray and partner Felipe Pablo IV raked in a thousand pesos in cash after the two chewed and swallowed their way to the top of the podium in Tsibugang Pinoy a food-stuffing competition organized by Buklod Isip, held on August 7, 2009 at the Palma Hall Annex lobby.

Aries and Felipe chewed off over twenty other participating teams, including the tandem of current president Kevin Penalba and Internals Vice President Trisha Nacpil to claim the top dog’s spot in the three-round competition.

The two nailed in an early victory in the first round after finishing two sticks of fishballs each ahead of everyone else. Kevin and Trish finished two teams behind them, enabling both AguTeams to enter the second round, which saw Aries and Felipe lose the pole position and settle for second after another team finished a cup of isaw each first. Fortunately, their winning tandem was able to stage a ‘return of the comeback’ in the third round by downing three balut eggs in a speed faster than any other team could contend with.

The audience, AguPips and non-AguPips alike, cheered when Aries (who had to cut his Psych 108 class held at the second floor of PHAN so he could participate in the contest) and Felipe were declared winners of the competition and received five hundred pesos each as prizes.

Winning Form. Kevin and Trish chow their way to 3rd place (pictured left), whilst
Aries and Felipe emerge as the top winners in the eating contest (pictured right).

“Nakakatakot si Felipe. Ininom nya ng straight yung sauce ng isaw tapos nonchalant lang, kinuha pa yung kay Aries.” Said an amazed Mike Gulapa, the current AguSecretary, who cheered closely for the two AguTeams with fellow members Jen Castro, Justin Dungca, Ruth Henson, Nic Nicdao, Carou Diaz, Migs Esguerra and Julyn Tiatco.

Kevin and Trish finished third overall, but unfortunately the competition was a winner-take-all tilt. At the end of the day, the victorious AguPips all headed off to Vinzons Hall for two hundred pesos’ worth of fishballs and siomai courtesy of Aries and Felipe.

When asked where they drew the strength to chow away to a grand, Felipe answered, “Sa bato. Aries, ang bato! Ang bato ng balut!”

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cory Aquino in the eyes of a fellow Tarlaqueña

By Jet Rivera

I'm an Aguman member from Tarlac City - San Miguel, Tarlac City where the Cojuangco's Hacienda Luisita is located. Whenever I introduce myself and say that I am from Tarlac City, people would rejoin and mention, "Ah, Hacienda Luisita!" I would just smile, somehow relish at the thought that people associate me with the vast Hacienda. I would often tell my mom, "They also think that I am a haciendera."

Tarlac became prominent in our nation's history not just because of this place, but because of its noble sons and daughters who had carved a niche as gallant freedom fighters and valiant statesmen. To name a few, we Tarlaqueños are proud of Gen. Francisco S. Makabulos, a native of La Paz who fought during the Revolution against the Spaniards and later, against the Americans; Gen. Servillano A. Aquino, also an officer of the Revolution who became a delegate to the Malolos Congress; former Senator Benigno Q. Aquino Sr; national hero Benigno Servillano "Ninoy" A. Aquino Jr. and of course, the "simple" housewife who restored not only our democracy but more importantly, redeemed our national dignity before the world, former Pres. Ma. Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino – a feat no man had accomplished.

To many, she was just Ninoy's widow, or a little later, Kris' mom. But to all of us, she is CORY – the 11th President of the Republic of the Philippines – the first woman president (and unarguably the only well-loved, highly esteemed woman President up to this date).

The first time I heard about the name Cory was in 1986. We were then the only family in our barangay that owned a television set and so, all residents went to our house to watch history as it unfolds at EDSA, except for our neighbor the Capitan del Barrio who was a Marcos loyalist.

Since then, every classroom I went to had a picture of Cory, the President. Some of her critics from Tarlac used to lament the fact the Cory did not "urbanize" Tarlac the way Marcos did to Ilocos Norte. My family would always defend her by saying that Cory is a righteous leader who does not give unfair preference or favor just because she was from Tarlac.

With the outpouring of grief, love and support for the Aquino family during Cory's funeral, the list of Tarlaqueños I am proud of became longer. Added to it were Cory's children & their families for we have witnesses how unselfishly they have shared the last moments of their mother with the people! My respect for the former First Family grew! We could only yearn that our present and future leaders emulate their worthy example.

I was out of town when the news about President Cory's death reached me. I couldn't explain why it felt so heavy, as if I lost a relative or someone dear to me. I continued monitoring everything about her wake, My eyes were permanently glued to our screens – TV & computer alike, until the very last second of the media's coverage, never mind my deadlines. I felt that it was the least I could do to honor her memory and legacy.

Now I knew why I felt the loss. It's because the late President Cory was dear to me, so dear that I gathered my daughters with me while watching her funeral and patiently introduced to them President Cory and her contributions to our society.

Jet Rivera is an Aguman alumna from batch Diquit-Diquit 1996A. Like Ate Candy, Ate Monette and Ate Lec, shared such a personal post so we published it separately. She says she is really impressed with this Cory Specials idea. This is still part of the Aslag Online tribute to the beloved former Philippine President, Cory Aquino.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Of freedom, meekness and doing good - Lessons I learned from Tita Cory's life and death

By Lec David

For the past few days, I came to mourn together with the whole nation the passing of a former president who to me epitomizes humility, grace and kindness. I was in 4th grade when EDSA revolution came to be. I was always picked as the one to be Tita Cory in classroom plays or activities as I was still wearing glasses then.

Back then, the meaning of freedom maybe just superficial to a 10 year old kid – a showing of the "L" sign, the yellow color, the many makabayan songs (Magkaisa, Handog Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo, etc). But I remember how as a nation, we were happy and proud as Filipinos. It was like Cory = Proud Filipino.

Fast forward to August 1, former President Cory died at 3:18am. I just suddenly wondered, does this mean the death of the proud Filipino as well? As a co-Aguman also posted on Facebook after her burial, "What's next?" For almost three days, I have cried and laughed together with the Aquino family while watching her eulogies. For the first time, Kris was able to make me cry. Not just a tear or two but buckets of it. It just dawned on me how Tita Cory is genuinely the nicest, kindest soul a person could luckily meet. One can't copy that nor could one fake it. I once read an article by Bo Sanchez telling that a meek person doesn't mean a weak one, but a person who knows when to be firm and when to let go, when to serve and when to be a leader, of knowing which battles to fight and when to surrender. Truly, Tita Cory was a MEEK person.

As I was watching her funeral procession yesterday, I just had the realization of what really matters when you're alive - TO DO GOOD TO OTHERS. No one made a big deal that Tita Cory was valedictorian, that she had many honorary degrees or that she was the only Filipino to be TIME Magazine's "Woman of the Year". Instead, people who were able to know her reminisced at how caring, loving and respectful she was. It got me thinking, I just hope I am sowing some good stuff in my own little way, that someday when my time will come, I may also get even an iota's worth of what Tita Cory was given.

Now, she has finally been laid to rest. Her people gave her their final and much deserved respect. I am now back to praying that with her death we may once again find in us the strength and courage to do what should be done so we could once more be proud as Filipinos.

Elaine "Lec" David is an Aguman alumna from batch Pecat-Pecat 1993B. Like Ate Candy and Ate Monette, Ate Lec shared such a personal post so we published it separately. This is still part of the Aslag Online tribute to the beloved former Philippine President, Cory Aquino.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The different facets of Cory Aquino

By Monette Torres-Cutler

Cory has had a massive impact on me, on several fronts:

As the grieving widow who was suddenly thrust in the limelight, she moved me with her simplicity, and her faith, and the basic goodness that was oozing out of her pores. She was the epitome of grace under pressure, and I couldn't help but feel for her.

As the presidential candidate, she inspired the entire country with her quiet resolve to triumph over evil. Her statements, though short, were filled with truth and ringing with her convictions. Here was the start of her evolution, from being Ninoy's wife, a great feat already, to being the David leading a charge versus a mighty Goliath. She was courageous!

As the president, I could not help but admire her for her strength. It's not easy to be surrounded by wolves in sheep's clothing, but her integrity was unsullied and unquestioned. She brought decency back into governance. She inspired Filipinos, and the rest of the world. Her unshakeable faith in men was astounding, it's like she had no cynicism! It's as if she was above all the petty stuff going on around her (read: coups and infighting amongst her people). She embodied being noble.

As a private citizen, she simply awed me. Her relentless vigil to ensure the tenets of democracy were above and beyond the call of duty, yet she was forever vigilant against the abuse of power and freedom. Taking to the streets, being the beacon of light against the dark forces that were once again besieging the country, that was pure dedication and love for the Filipinos.

As a mother to her sane children (read: Ballsy, Noynoy, Pinky and Viel), she was the tops. Those children were low-profile, low-maintenance children, never taking their share of the limelight. They were sensible, and it takes a lot of maternal disciplining to pull it off when your husband is one of the key political figures in the country.

As a mother to Kris, who was more a Marcos than an Aquino when it came to publicity and attention seeking, I was simply rendered speechless. To be supportive of a child who aired her very dirty laundry in public, that takes gumption! And loads of patience! And tons of love! And the patience of a saint. But all throughout the foibles of Kris, you just knew that Cory would be there for her child. Endurance, reliability, unending love! WOW, Cory was a saint!

Ninoy, then Cory, made me proud to be FILIPINO! Though I didn't grieve Ninoy's assassination that much, because I was still young (in a sense, Ninoy belonged to my parents and their generation), Cory's death hit me hard, and deep. Watching the tributes, the mass, the outpouring of love and support, I feel the awakening of a deep unrest in me. The Filipinos are waking up again, and beware the wolves in power, because Cory's death might be the catalyst that will upset the horse and its cart that is lodged in the palace now.


Monette Cutler-Torres is an Aguman alumna from batch Akbe 1988 and is based in Davao City. Ate Monette shared such a comprehensive post so we published it separately. This is still part of the Aslag Online tribute to the beloved former Philippine President, Cory Aquino.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Talkback: Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, 1933-2009

Aslag Online pays tribute to former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, whose recent passing seemed to have reawakened a deep sense of nationalism in the hearts of millions of Filipinos. The AOL Team asked the UP Aguman resident and alumni members to share their thoughts on Tita Cory, the life she led, her political legacy, her death and how this will impact all of us personally and as a nation.

Corazon Cojuangco was born into one of the wealthiest families in the islands. Fated to be married off in one dynastic match or the other, she was courted by and fell in love with Benigno Aquino Jr., a brilliant and ambitious journalist turned politician whose own family was as illustrious though not quite as wealthy as her baronial clan. Benigno's popularity soon challenged Ferdinand Marcos, who had been elected President in 1965. And so, when Marcos assumed dictatorial power in 1972, he threw his rival into jail. Corazon then became her husband's instrument, smuggling messages out of prison and raising funds for the opposition. In August 21, 1983, Benigno Aquino returned to the Philippines after three years of exile in the US only to be shot dead even before he could set foot on the tarmac of Manila's international airport. Filipinos were outraged, and suspicion immediately fell on Marcos. At Benigno's funeral, mourners transformed Corazon into a symbol.
(Yahoo News)

Cory Aquino was the 11th President of the Philippines, serving from 1986 to 1992. She was the first female president of the Philippines and in Asia. The relatively peaceful manner by which Aquino assumed the presidency through the EDSA Revolution won her widespread international acclaim as an icon of democracy.(Wikipedia)

Aquino's achievements as President ranged far beyond the symbolic. She restored the democratic institutions Marcos had destroyed, presided over the promulgation of a constitution designed to be dictator-proof, freed political prisoners, launched a peace process that eliminated communist and Muslim insurgencies as major threats to national stability, and laid the foundations for economic recovery.
(TIME Asia)

Photos courtesy of TIME

The six-year administration of President Aquino saw the enactment of a new Philippine Constitution and several significant legal reforms, including a new agrarian reform law. While her allies maintained a majority in both houses of Congress, she faced considerable opposition from communist insurgency and right-wing soldiers who instituted several coup attempts against her government. Her government also dealt with several major natural disasters that struck the Philippines, as well as a severe power crisis that hampered the Philippine economy. (Wikipedia)

''She was headstrong and single-minded in one goal, and that was to remove all vestiges of an entrenched dictatorship,'' Raul C. Pangalangan, former dean of the College of Law at the University of the Philippines, said earlier this month. ''We all owe her in a big way.''

But Aquino struggled in office to meet high public expectations. Her land redistribution program fell short of ending economic domination by the landed elite, including her own family. Her leadership, especially in social and economic reform, was often indecisive, leaving many of her closest allies disillusioned by the end of her term. Still, the bespectacled, smiling woman in her trademark yellow dress remained beloved in the Philippines, where she was affectionately referred to as ''Tita (Auntie) Cory.''
(New York Times)

Time magazine made Aquino its woman of the year in 1986, the year she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 2006 named her one of Asia 's heroes. The magazine praised her "quiet courage", describing her as "the symbol of People Power and an inspiration to others around the world struggling against tyranny". Her courage, determination, and moral leadership are an inspiration to us all and exemplify the best in the Filipino nation.
(Manila Bulletin)

After Cory retired from politics, she enjoyed writing her memoirs, painting landscapes and perhaps her most fulfilling pastime was, playing with and visiting her grandchildren. Corazon Aquino was a very loving and sweet grandmother to her grandchildren. Aquino’s eldest grandson, Jiggy Aquino-Cruz, said his grandmother attended to her grandchildren like a “second mother” when their parents were not around. “To me she wasn't a president or a hero, she was my lola,” Cruz said.

Aquino died of cardiopulmonary arrest after complications of colon cancer at the age of 76 on August 1, 2009, 3:18 am, at the Makati Medical Center. Aquino's body lay in state at a public wake at the St. Benilde Gymnasium of La Salle Greenhills up to August 3, when it was later transferred to the Manila Cathedral. A crowd with an estimated number of 120,000 people showed up to witness the transfer of her remains from La Salle Green Hills to the Manila Cathedral.

August 5, 2009 will be a day remembered by millions of Filipinos. An estimated 150,000 mourners, mostly in yellow and flashing the “laban” hand sign, escorted the late President Corazon Aquino’s funeral cortege from the Manila Cathedral to the Manila Memorial Park, braving occasional heavy rains. Mrs. Aquino’s wooden casket, draped with the Philippine flag and surrounded by a blanket of yellow flowers, was placed on top of a truck. Some 100,000 lined up along Roxas Boulevard from Intramuros to Quirino Avenue another 30,000 gathered from Osmeña Highway to Buendia Avenue, 10,000 along the Sucat interchange, and 10,000 at the vicinity of the Manila Memorial Park. A human chain was formed to contain the crowd and allow the convoy to pass through the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. Among the mourners who lined up the streets were students and nuns of St Paul College, members of the Chinese-Filipino community, vendors, and ordinary citizens some of them as young as four years old. She was buried in a simple grave beside her husband, martyred Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., in the family’s mausoleum.

The death of Corazon Aquino brings an end to a remarkable saga in Philippine history. The quiet, unassuming woman who found herself thrust into an epic struggle against the dictatorial Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 would go on to emerge triumphant and take charge of the country. The Philippines is today a better, safer place because of the pivotal role Corazon Aquino played at a decisive moment in its history. A woman of huge self-esteem, Ms. Aquino made sure that similar self-esteem was restored in the lives of her people after the long dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Mrs. Aquino not only swept away the dictatorship, but faced down seven coups attempts as the nation’s military resisted civilian political control. She also leaves behind a nation that has been more or less democratic ever since. We will remember Corazon Aquino for the voice of democracy she was and always will be, in history. (Mysinchew)


Nakakalungkot lang kasi parang hindi pa ito yung tamang panahon para mamatay siya. Ironic -- yung pandak tsaka yung mayroong maraming sapatos kasi namamayagpag pa. Waaah! Nakakatibak naman.
~Quill Quioc, Pinanari 2008A

Tita Cory proved that a person who chose to be simple, can make great differences in reality. She's a woman of faith and humility, now an icon of democracy. I may not experienced the battle for freedom at EDSA, yet, a little yellow ribbon will constantly remind of me her undying legacy of selfless love for this country.
~Ian Bencio David, Pinanari 2008A

Tita Cory was truly a national figure to look up to. She valiantly gave up the comforts of being a housewife to take on the challenges of democracy and recovery in the country. After her term, she lived her life in simplicity. She was a mother, not just to her children, but to the whole nation. She was, in turn, loved by many and that was sufficiently justified by the number of people who came to her funeral to express love and gratitude.
~Nicolle Timoteo, Pinanari 2008A

Cory Aquino is a woman of great power. though I don’t her personally, I know that she is a good sister, wife and a mother, not only to her family but to the Filipinos as well. I believe that without her and EDSA 1, the Philippines would not be able to see the light of true democracy
~Erika Tuazon, Pinanari 2008A

Anyang minuna keng abalu ing pangamate ng Tita Cory, eku masyadung meapektuhan. Siguru uling eku pakanta ka-familiar kareng agawa na anyang panaun na. Ampo factor rin siguru na eku masyadong manalbeng TV recently kaya eku talaga pakanta ka-aware. Pero anyang ikit ku na talagang magluksa ya ing buong Pilipinas, karin ku a-feel ing magnitude na ning influence na kareng Pilipinu. Tita Cory is indeed more than an icon. She was, is, and will forever be our country's mother of democracy.
~Carousel Diaz, Pinanari 2008A

Personally, ala kung masyadung balu kang Tita Cory, lalu na anyang ala ku pa UP. I just knew her as Ninoy's wife. After her death, keta ku mu abalu that she is more than that. She has touched many lives. She contributed to a lot of things to and for the country, probably just as much as her husband did. Eku nabalu nung kaninu ku dimdam, istu ya itang sinabi na "their generation had Ninoy, while we have Cory."
~Bryan Quizon, Pinanari 2008A

She's one of the gentlest and at the same time strongest people I've ever had the honor and pleasure of meeting. Her genuine love for this nation and its people makes up many times over for whatever flaws her government may have had. She deserves and has long earned my respect, admiration and gratitude.
~Neicy Nicdao, Baskal 2007A

If you want to leave a legacy, plant a tree, write a book or be Cory Aquino. She is an epitome of benevolence and selflessness who in her simple ways touched the world in many ways. If not for the audacity she had shown, the democracy we now enjoy would have remained a myth. She is a good mother, a noble leader and a catalyst of change. Filipinos truly must celebrate the life of Cory Aquino, the life she whole heartedly dedicated in service to the Filipino people.
~Michael Gulapa, Lakatan 2006A

Sabi mo nga, "Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos na ako ay ginawa niyang Filipino..." Amidst the poor weather condition, the overwhelming support of the public says it all. You're a softspoken lady loved by all. You're well-loved and respected by Filipinos. You showed some guts to challenge such dictatorship. You served as an inspiration. It's not really because you're the country's first woman president, but what matters most is you simply symbolize a hard fought democracy. Goodbye President Cory. May you now be in good hands with our Almighty Father and your beloved Ninoy.
~Aries Viray, Lakatan 2006A

Minta kami keng Manila Cathedral kasi penabit na kami nitang prof mi, hehe. Eke pa makaying aappreciate y Cory kanta eh, adyang dakal na press releases about her siguru uling ekune man disnan. Migka-realization naku mu niyang atsu na kami karin. Maka-9 hours na kaming makapila kaybat ing assignment mi mag-interview kami at least 3 people about Cory. Oita, kanita talaga afeel ku na she really is someone to a lot of Filipinos. Kayakit ku kaya, I admire her as a person. Siguru kumpara mu naman kareng manungkulan ngeni ne, rugu, eka magtumbling kareng panggawang na! Haha! Aliwa ing feeling na abe ka ketang mismung malilyari. Maka-proud, kabalen ke pamo. Ilben ke ing libing na buung aldo adyang ating gagawang paper. Makatouch la reng messages da reng kapamilya na pati reng magobra kaya. Corazon Aquino – the mother of democracy, the light of our nation. Her legacy lives on forever. May she rest in peace.
~Jennifer Castro, Lakatan 2006A

It was the year I was born when the People Power was held. I didn’t know anything until I was in primary school. Most of our teachers told us something great about it and I was wondering then who Marcos, Ninoy and Cory Aquino were. When I went home I asked my dad about it and that’s where my knowledge of the late Cory Aquino started. She was well-known in Asia being the first lady president and a tough person. She fought for the Filipinos' independence under dictator Marcos’ regime. She ruled the country and let the whole world know what a mother can do to protect his beloved country. After her term, she continued helping Filipino people and give justice to what is right. I admire her for being ordinary because she never flaunt any of her millions or haciendas. She lived a simple life as the mother of the Filipino people. Her courage, kindness and simplicity made me remember her whenever I am wearing a yellow-colored shirt. I am truly honored to write something about the late President Cory Aquino and I salute her for being the greatest woman in the world!
~Cherry Gaor, Manyaman 2003B

Let’s mourn because we lost a mother. Let’s fight because she left an unfinished business. These days, power could be bought but never respect. On both personal and state levels, this is a wake up call for all of us.
~Celine Dagdag, Sampelut 2003A

Well, I still have goose bumps after that very long funeral. I’ve only shed tears for the death of someone that is not related to me twice. First is for the death of Pope John Paul II and second, that of Cory. If not for her and her husband, our country might not be the free country as we know it today. The number of people that attended the funeral from start until the end is a validation of how important Cory was and will be to us Filipinos. "I thank God that I was born a Filipino."
~Andre Galang, Salagpi 2001A

While everyone thanked her for the freedom and the democracy she led us to acquire. I thanked her for the hope and empowerment that she gave to all the women. She earned my respect by the way she reacted to events that happened to her. The absence of her husband, his eventual loss by assassination, taking care of their children by herself, made her stronger and even took over the responsibility or honor—to serve the country and protect the nation from dictatorship. Cory was always composed but still aware and vigilant to whatever bad things that may happen. She personified the true meaning of courage and empowerment.
A lot of times we are called to forget self integrity and be one with all the dishonesty and selfishness that surrounds us. But, she is one of the few reminders that it is still possible to survive in this world and be more loved by the people if you live righteously. My life is not perfect and a lot of times I was challenged, I call them extraordinary experiences, and several occasions I thought of giving up my ideals and just go the “easy” way--but I never did it, I just can't. I was not proud of it before, I called myself weird, martyr and “stupid”. Her death, which gave way to remembering everything about her and what kind of a person she was and the way she was honored for all of it, gave me hope and suddenly lifted my spirit to the highest level. Cory should be an icon to all women. I want to be like her to my son. I want to be like her to my future husband and I want to be like her to the nation. Not as president though. Pwedeng pwede siyang honorary member ng UP Aguman, we share the same principle, “not for ourselves alone”
~Leslie Salunga, Ambula 2000A

Tita Cory has been the symbol of democracy of the Philippines for she had played a very crucial part in the liberation of the country from the Marcos Regime. But this feat didn't make her presidency a smooth sailing one as she was often threatened by coup attemps and numerous critisms from Filipinos. But didn't stop them from loving and respecting her after her term was over. She is one of the pilars of the Philippines and her demise will be a great loss to gthe Philippines. But I personally is happy that at least her fight is over for she won't be suffering anymore. Colon cancer at stage four is a very difficult illness and her family knew that too that's why they have offered her also to the Lord when she has really began to slip. At least now we have an angel guiding over us. God knows our political system needs already divine intervention. To Tita Cory, thank you for everything you have done. Your contributions to the country will forever be remembered and honored.
~Arvee Salazar-Cruz, Tuglung 1998A

In third year high school, I lined the streets of San Fernando when the convoy carrying Ninoy’s remains returned from Tarlac to Manila. In first year college, I welcomed Cory at the AS Lobby during the launch of the campaign to gather one million signatures for her candidacy. Later that school year, I supported her battle against Marcos during the snap elections which ended triumphantly with the EDSA Revolution. Ninoy and Cory were instrumental in my political awakening. I did not agree with some of Cory’s decisions as President. I marched with fellow UP scholars in protest against her decision to retain the US military bases. Nevertheless, I never doubted her sincerity. Looking back today, I do not doubt her patriotism. She never lost faith in the Filipino. She ventured out of her private life when the national interest demanded it. She remained the antithesis of the traditional politician – decent, not hungry for power and free from corruption. I thank her for restoring democratic institutions and civil liberties. I thank her for proving that decency in government is possible and that people have the power to make it happen. I thank her for inspiring my generation. I hope the recent events surrounding her passing will inspire today’s generation. Ituloy ang Laban!
~Doby Pineda, Tanikala 1986A, Hong Kong

Thanks to all those who shared their thoughts! Special thanks to Kuya Glenn David (Diquit-Diquit 1996A), for helping out with the research on the introduction.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My sleepless nights watching in awe - My tribute to Cory

By Carissa Cueva

I sit still in awe, reveling in the awesome orations heard from the few chosen friends and family of the late Pres. Cory Aquino during necrological services for her, aired on Philippine TV.

I am taken back by the genuine grief I feel because of her passing. I am not family, nor friend. I am just one who monitored Philippine politics religiously even if I left the country more than 10 years ago.

I would browse through various Philippine newspapers online & have a premium Filipino channel subscription just so I could watch shows everything Filipino – telenovelas, entertainment & talk shows, travel shows and most especially current affairs. But all that has limits – I am usually offline and my TV is off by midnight. Anyone who knows me best would know how fond I am of sleeping – geez I could sleep for straight 8 hours and would be grouchy If I did not get my full 8. However, these last four days or so, since President Cory’s death, I have been having sleepless nights. Without really making a conscious plan to do so, I gravitated towards online updates and live TV coverage on the former President, lasting through wee hours of the morning. I have lost sleep but I’m not grouchy. I am sad but inspired.

All twenty orators talked of one common thing – President Corazon Aquino might have lived a very privileged life but she proved to be one of the most selfless and humble human beings in recent history who used her intelligence and religiosity to empower a people losing hope in achieving a better Philippines. Even in death, she managed to bring Filipinos together – either living in the homeland or scattered all over the world. My Facebook and Twitter pages show friends’ outpouring of sentiments, relentlessly.

I asked myself why and my initial thought is, of course, she was instrumental in ousting a dictator. She did not have illusions of grandeur as one of her friends described her. She heeded the call to step-up and be President when she could have chosen to continue to live a privileged life in exile in Boston, away from the circus of politics. All that was public knowledge, all that is written in history books. But nothing prepared me for the personal and poignant tributes given to her by unassuming friends, family and employees.

She was a regular mom who had a passion for painting and crafts and would show appreciation to family and friends by gifting them with personal hand-written notes, paintings and hand-made projects. She, the most prayerful woman I’ve heard about, loaning the famous rosary from Fatima to friends and family during turbulent times in their lives. She, who was one’s BFF (or best friend forever) who shared secrets, laughter and angst. She, much loved by a bodyguard who told the story of how she cooked for him a bowl of soup in the absence of household help one afternoon. She, who flew in commercial planes and refused private jets during her presidency. She, who ironically identified with the masses even as she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, educated in the best schools in the Philippines and in the United States. She, who became the dearest friend of her staunchest critic. She, who brought strong, respected gentlemen to tears (not that they lost their respectability). She who had a tycoon (who owned most of Makati’s business district) paying respects to her -- out in the streets, under the blistering sun and then rain, in the middle of the maddening crowd. My list could go on and on, but I have to stop, lest I bore my readers to death.

I found myself writing this perhaps as a therapy. Perhaps to have closure and to pay my last respects to an extra-ordinary woman, who is every inch an epitome of class and grace. Thank you and goodbye President Aquino. Your legacy to the Filipino people will live on. Now it’s your time to rest. Rest now in peace.

Carissa "Candy" Cueva is an Aguman alumna from batch Buknul 1989A and is based in California, USA. When the Aslag Online Team called for entries for its Cory Aquino special here on the blog, Ate Candy decided to share her own full post that she already wrote beforehand.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Announcement: Unity Night 2009A tomorrow night!

Unity Night of Sulu 2009A
5:30pm, July 30, 2009
At the Vinzons Rooftop

*All residents and alumni are invited! Let's show the applicants how fun being an AguPip is!
*Bring your game on! Haha!
*Applicants, make sure your sigsheets are at the very least properly covered already.
*Snacks and drinks will be served!
*For questions, just text TRISH at 09172441859.

See you all there!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

CEER 2009 caps off as a complete success

By The Pareto Efficient Allocation

Nearly two months’ worth of Aguman efforts and preparations finally paid off as the College Entrance Exam Review 2009 (CEER) was brought to its successful conclusion on July 25, 2009 at the Pampanga High School’s Bulwagang Kapampangan. In what came as a welcome surprise, a record number of 266 high school reviewees from various schools in Pampanga attended the second day of the entrance exam review.

“Medyo nagkaroon ng konting problema dahil hindi namin inexpect na ganon karami ang mga pupuntang participants. Usually kase around 150 lang ang pumupunta sa second day kaya ganon din ang inestimate namin," said current treasurer Bryan Quizon.

Due to the unexpectedly large number of participants, the review materials and Aslag CEER editions that the AguPips prepared a week prior fell short of over a hundred copies. While Quizon, Records and Publications Committee representative Nic Nicdao and Sulu (the current batch of applicants) assistant batch head Kim Tupe scoured San Fernando town proper for photocopying centers, the executive council voted for re-organized schedule of events that resulted to an earlier Chemistry lecture delivered by member Abigail Sunga at around 9:30 in the morning.

“Dapat 9:00 ang start ng mock exam pero dahil nga nagkulang sa materials, inuna na naming yung Chemistry lecture,” said Externals Vice-President and CEER 2009 Project Head Aries Viray. “Pagkatapos non pinag-lunch na naming yung students para makabalik sila at 10:45. Nasunod naman yung bagong schedule at natapos yung mock exam ng 1:45.”

The review lectures were carried on at 2:00 in the afternoon, beginning with former UP Diliman Department of Mathematics instructor Mr. Gilbert Abueg and followed by Institute of Physics instructor Rex Forteza. It was finally concluded at around 5:00 in the afternoon following the closing remarks given by current President Kevin Penalba.

Among the alumni who were present during the said event were former Presidents Celine Dagdag (Sampelut 2003A) and Rex Dizon (Salagpi 2001A), Jean Avy Dimabuyu (Kaputul 2004A) and Eleaze Valerie Santos (Kaputul 2004A).

CEER 2009 is arguably the most successful entrance exam review brought together by the UP Aguman in the recent years. Aside from the large number of participants that it drew, there were also a number of new names in the sponsors’ list.

UP Aguman extends their gratitude to co-presenters Mayor Francis ‘Blueboy’ Nepomuceno and Dr. Pearl, Sponsors Nepo Mall Angeles and Mayor Oscar ‘OCA’ Rodriguez and donors UP SAMANA and Tollhouse, without whose support the event could not have been as successful.

Total number of CEER 2009 attendees per high school:

Angeles City Science High School, 47
Brightwoods School, 11
CCEMI Academy, 7
Chevalier School, 30
Guagua National Colleges, 1
Holy Angel University, 34
Holy Family Academy, 28
ICT High School, 31
Mauaque Resettlement High School, 11
Mary the Queen Academy of Pampanga, 8
OB Montessori, 2
Pampanga High School, 101
Proverbsville School, 1
Republic Central Colleges, 1
San Lorenzo Ruiz Center of Studies & Schools, 3
San Matias High School, 1
St Scholastica's Academy, 72
University of the Assumption, 38
Total for the Day 1 and Day 2: 455
Note: 2 attendees did not indicate their high school in the registration

For more photos of Day 2, click here!

For photos of Day 1, click here!

*The Pareto Efficient Allocation wishes to apologize to all concerned for regrettably losing the list of the Day 2 mock exam topnotchers (entrusted to the Records and Publications committee for posterity) in a fit of panic during the traffic-related accident her vehicle got involved with that afternoon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

189 reviewees attend Day 1 of CEER 2009

By you-don’t-have-it-therefore-you-don’t-want-it

The pluvial weather caused by the departing typhoon Isang proved not enough to dampen the spirits of the 189 high school hopefuls from all over Pampanga who flooded the third floor of the Angeles City Library on July 18, 2009 for day one of the UP Aguman’s annual College Entrance Exam Review.

High school students from schools Angeles City Science High School (ACSHS), CCEMI Academy, Chevalier School (CS), Holy Angel University (HAU), Holy Family Academy (HFA), ICT High School (ICTHS), Mauaque Resettlement High School (MRHS), OB Montessori (OBM), Proverbsville Academy (PA), Republic Central Colleges (RCC), St. Scholastica’s Academy (SSA) and the University of the Assumption (UA) sat down from 9:00 in the morning to 12:00 noon to take the 285-item mock examination with questions from different scientific and language fields including Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, English. These topics are all included in the coverage of the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT).

HELPFUL TIPS. Annually, high school seniors attend the CEER hoping to get tips for the
UPCAT and other entrance exams in various colleges and universities.

After an hour-long lunch, the participants came back at 1:00 to listen to the review lectures of UP Diliman Physics and Mathematics instructors Jethro Salapare III and Gilbert Abueg repectively, and the Chemistry review of Aguman members Ruby Mamangun and Abigail Sunga, Engineering students who both procured laudable marks in the subject.

COMPETENT LECTURERS. UP Aguman invites faculty from UP Diliman to conduct the review
lessons. Mr. Salapare (pictured left with some members) and Mr. Abueg (pictures right) have
served as proctors for the UPCAT in previous years and shared inside information and their

“Very helpful yung mga tinuro, lalo na sa Math.” A reviewee commented. “Gusto ko talagang pumasa sa UPCAT kaya yung common errors na pinoint out nung lecturer sinulat ko talaga. This might be what could save me.”

The review wrapped up at around 5:30 in the afternoon after a short message from UP Aguman President Kevin Penalba, following the announcement of the mock exam top ten scorers.

The mock exam topnotchers are:
1. Calma, Camille Patricia Y. - HAU- 200
2. Mercado, Carlo Robert M. - UA- 178
3.5 Landayan, Reuben Jose Renato L. - ACSHS- 176
3.5 Dimal, Aimar Jay E. - ACSHS- 176
5. Mamangun, Royette Abby D. - HAU- 174
6.5 Adizas, Marc Neil V.- ACSHS- 172
6.5 Guatato, Bon Alexis T. - UA- 172
8. David, Shane Claudine F. - ACSHS- 169
9.5 Olofernes, Jonalee C. - ACSHS- 165
9.5 Llamas, Queenie Q. - UA- 165

IN THE SERVICE OF THE KAPAMPANGAN YOUTH. The mock exam topnotchers (left)
were awarded simple tokens by the UP Aguman. The members of UP Samana help the
Aguman members in the checking of the answer sheets.

Three AguAlumni were present during the event: former Presidents Celine Dagdag (Sampelut 2003A) and Rex Dizon (Salagpi 2001A) and former Treasurer Cyrille Bautista (Kaputul 2004A). Members from the UP Samana, an organization from UP Clark who tied up with UP Aguman, also graced the affair and helped out the members.

The event was organized with the aid of co-presenters Mayor Francis ‘Blueboy’ Nepomuceno and Dr. Pearl, minor sponsors Nepo Mall Angeles and Mayor Oscar ‘OCA’ Rodriguez and donors UP SAMANA and Tollhouse. Perfect White T-Shirts were also sold during the event.

CEER 2009 Day 2 will be held at Pampanga High School on July 25.

For more photos, click here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

By Abigail Sunga

If you think you’ve already experienced all the fun, hardships and excitement anyone can imagine now that you’re in high school, then you are wrong. You’ll find the next chapter of your academic journey and identity quest even more challenging and exhilarating. The success of this new venture greatly depends on your decisions, your plans and your willpower. To cut it short, college is all about YOU.
Culture shock is what they usually call it. You, as a future freshie, will soon learn how to observe, adjust and adapt to the new environment you will be stepping in. High school and college are far different from each other. Let us count the ways.

You call your mentors Ma’m, Miss or Sir. They help you with every problem you encounter, may they be about academics, discipline or probably personal dilemma. They spoon-feed you with the words you have to define, equations to use, variables to find, lessons to learn. You can easily consult with them in case you need clarifications, explanations or more examples. They get anxious when you frequently miss class or when you are under academic or disciplinary probation. You and your instructor establish a real student - teacher relationship.
Once you enter the arduous world of college, you will call the professors that you hate different funny labels or conceal them with names of famous characters such as Power Rangers and Power Puff Girls. They will give you thick books to read after each meeting. They will ask you to accomplish assignments that are hard to decipher. Each professor will have his or her own policies and rules in class. It doesn’t really matter if you absent or not. And if you will be unfortunate, your grade will depend on a game of darts, your gender or your smile.

You are tagged to be the class nerd, leader, jock, athlete, dancer, singer or Ms. Congeniality. People in school attach you to a certain stereotype. They know your life story, your achievements and your misfortunes.
In college, you are given the opportunity to reinvent yourself and establish a new reputation. The friends you’ll be meeting will not be concerned whether or not you graduated with honors, won in this competition or sang in this event. You start anew. From being a geek in high school, you can join a drama guild and be a theatre artist. Search for your passion and you can be who you want to be.

Your student handbook contains a list of minor and major offenses and the sanctions that go with them. Be late, comb inside the classroom, bring cellphones or mall in uniform and you will be reprimanded and worse, your parents will be called for a parent-teacher conference to discuss your disobedience to school rules. Many eyes watch the violations you commit and you have no escape. Defiance of these rules will result to punishment.
There is a Student Tribunal to put you in trial in case of academic dishonesty or any major offense but other than that, you’re on your own. Whether you eat in class, forgot to put your cellphone in silent mode or cut classes, the university will not penalize you. Responsibility is expected from you now. Proper decorum and behavior are things you should have learned in GMRC back in elementary or CLE in high school. By college, you should have learned how to act accordingly. You should be aware of the consequences of your actions especially when cutting classes.

You see the same people every day. You know every person in the campus, what clubs they are in, subjects they are good at and their boyfriends or girlfriends. You are familiar with every corner of your school. You have eaten all the kinds of food available in the canteen. You have found the perfect spots in the campus to hang-out or study. You stay in your chosen or assigned seat throughout the day.
Your memory must be really good if you know every person in the university. Chances are minimal that you know the person you come across the street. You will be meeting people of different cultures from different places of origin. Diversity is something you will appreciate. In terms of the university’s geography, it will also take you a long time before you will be familiarized with it. The subjects you are taking may be in different buildings and will require you to walk for miles in between periods. Start to learn how to walk fast to avoid being late.

You attend the first day of classes and you teacher hands you over the class schedule for the whole academic year. You can’t argue with the short time for recess and lunch breaks and for the late dismissal time. You are frequently reminded by your teachers on deadlines for your reports and projects.
You will make your own schedule for the whole semester, choose the subjects you want to take and have your adviser approve it. Time management is a key to survive college. Soon you will be bound to choose whether to study, sleep or eat first. Learn to prioritize. At times, cramming becomes a necessity but is often not advisable. Professors often give ample time for you to finish a report or write a technical paper. You have to learn how to balance your time for academics, extra-curricular affairs and personal leisure.

Sounds heavy? College can be very demanding. Your decisions become crucial. Responsibilities become heavy. It’s just up to you how to handle these. You can make college more enjoyable and stimulating than high school. Build a reputation for yourself, establish long lasting friendships and in time, make a mark in your university. But for now just ask yourself, are you ready to take the next step?

Application process 2009A officially started

July 16, 2009 -- The Membership Committee officially started the application process for the second semester for the current school year with the Buddy Bidding held after the weekly Genmeet. In the previous week, the new applicants were already orientated about the whole Aguman application process.

This batch of applicants decided to call their batch, "Sulu", which means "light" in Kapampangan. The batch officers are Mark Joseph Isip (Batch head), Kimberly Anne Tupe (Assistant Batch head), Hil Petersen Vargas (Secretary) and John Basil Dungo (Treasurer). They were elected by the applicants last July 9.

The buddy pairings (buddy-mem - buddy-app) determined during the Buddy Bidding are as follows:
*Feps - Mark
*Kenn - Basil
*Mae - Justinne
*Jer - Naida
*Ham -Charmaine
*Bencio - Shara
*Carou - Clarisse
*Erika P - Norika
*Abigail - Sarah
*Gboi - Gab
*Lawi - Kristel
*Bryan - Fred
*Jen - Kim Dasco
*Rose - Kim Tupe
*Erika T - Ernanie
*Quill - Kenneth
*Ruby - Carmela
*Nic - Ena
*Justin - Jane
*Santi, Hil, Lester, Choops, Alvin and MK don't have buddies yet

Here's the tentative schedule of the upcoming app activities:
July 30 -- Unity Night
August 3-14 -- Buddy Week
**August 5 – Buddy Que Yan & Mems Quiz
**August 10 – Scavenger Hunt
**August 13 – Buddy Get Up

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Roster of Members, 1st Semester, AY 2009-2010

President: Kevin Patrick E. Peñalba, Langgotsi 2006B
Internals Vice President: Trisha D. Nacpil, Baskal 2007A
Externals Vice President: Aries Ivan G. Viray, Lakatan 2006A
Secretary: Michael Roman S. Gulapa, Lakatan 2006A
Treasurer: Bryan Leonard M. Quizon, Pinanari 2008A
Educational Committee Chairperson: Ruth Elaine L. Henson, Langgotsi 2006B
Socio-Cultural Committee Chairperson: Romina Isabelle E. Goce, Baskal 2007A

Trisha D. Nacpil, Baskal 2007A
Roseanne V. Ramos, Bucayo 2005B
Jennifer H. Castro, Lakatan 2006A
Jeremiah C. Torrico, Lakatan 2006A
Felipe B. Pablo IV, Langgotsi 2006B
Hamuel Herald M. Cabuso, Pinanari 2008A

Aries Ivan G. Viray, Lakatan 2006A
Diana Rose M. Tan, Bucayo 2005B
Gerard Robin D. De Padua, Lakatan 2006A
Kenn Ian A. De Vera, Lakatan 2006A
Rex Anthony E. Roque, Lakatan 2006A
Lawrence Ivan L. Manalo, Pinanari 2008A
Katrin Raxiel P. Serrano, Pinanari 2008A
Erika Gayle T. Tuazon, Pinanari 2008A

Michael Roman S. Gulapa, Lakatan 2006A
John Carl T. Gozun, Baskal 2007A
Neicy Ann T. Nicdao, Baskal 2007A
Rosalyn Mae P. Sto Domingo, Baskal 2007A
Abigail P. Sunga, Pinanari 2008A
Nicolle S. Timoteo, Pinanari 2008A

Bryan Leonard M. Quizon, Pinanari 2008A
Justin C. Dungca, Lakatan 2006A
Lea Patricia L. Dizon, Langgotsi 2006B
Diogenes C. Dy, Baskal 2007A
Carmelo M. Cortez, Agyuan 2007B
Miguel Duval R. Esguerra, Pinanari 2008A
Julyn Nyril P. Tiatco, Pinanari 2008A
Erika May C. Pagapong, Langgotsi 2006B

Ruth Elaine L. Henson, Langgotsi 2006B
Cindy P. Paguio, Kadaya 2005A
Ferdinand D. Mallari, Jr, Lakatan 2006A
Denesse Marie B. Handumon, Langgotsi 2006B
Jewel O. Dela Cruz, Baskal 2007A
Maria Carousel S. Diaz, Pinanari 2008A
Ruby Ann D. Mamangun, Pinanari 2008A
Jona Pamela C. Salvador, Pinanari 2008A

Romina Isabelle E. Goce, Baskal 2007A
Allandail L. Rivera, Kaputul 2004A
Fergie Ann P. Panganiban, Kadaya 2005A
Khersien Y. Bautista, Baskal 2007A
Ian Bencio M. David, Pinanari 2008A
Quill P. Quioc, Pinanari 2008A

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guests, Aguman Alumni flock Acquaintance Party 2009

By Rosalyn Sto Domingo

If there is such a thing as a ‘second childhood’ that people experience during their older years, then one may suppose that this was experienced by the resident members, alumni and prospect applicants of the UP Aguman after attending a much-awaited kiddie party blast – the Acquaintance Party 2009, held on the first of July at Balay Kalinaw.

The Acquaintance Party is a long upheld tradition in the organization, with the aim of bringing together AguMems, AguAlums and other Kapampangans in the campus together to have fun and get to know each other. But despite the earlier description, the residents stirred things up by having a kiddie party-themed celebration, complete with kiddie attire, kiddie games, balloons, party hats and even kiddie food (like hotdogs and marshmallows on sticks).

Welcoming a whopping number of almost thirty Kapampangan student guests, the party, hosted by resident emcee Felipe Pablo IV, officially started with a prayer lead by former Aguman president Jen Castro, followed by the Aguman Creed as lead by current president Kevin Peñalba and the presentation of the Aguman Committees with their respective head and members.

Starting with the Socio-cultural Committee represented by Bencio David, the Educational Committee lead Ruth Henson with their welcome presentation: “Heal the World” (a tribute to the late Michael Jackson), the Externals committee of Aries Viray, the Records and Publications Committee headed by Mike Gulapa and the richy-rich Finance Committee with Bryan Quizon and finally, the super-prepared Membership Committee lead by Internals Vice President Trisha Nacpil, the members presented themselves and gave a brief introduction of their respective committees.

After a hearty meal of baked macaroni and hotdogs on sticks, the ‘kids’ lived out their youth with games such as ‘Lumulubog ang Bangka’ (the tagalong version of The Boat is Sinking), which sparked an animated private vs. public schools debate and an even more animated my-school-is-better-than-your-debate, Points on the Ground and the all-time favorite Exhaust.

Due to time constraints, most of the guests had to go by 9 pm, but the party continued for another half hour with the kiddie Agupips playing with the kiddie AguAlumni.

“We were surprised but at the same time very pleased kase ang daming pumuntang guests,” said Kevin Penalba, the organization’s current president. “And we are interminably grateful to the alumni for their relentless support to the organization. The members enjoyed the party and hopefully everyone else did as well.”

Alumni members who attended were: Alumni President Powie De Guzman (Siklab 1980A), Gerry Pangan (Siklab 1980A), Argel Casupanan (Salagpi 2001A), Rex Dizon (Salagpi 2001A), Israel Suarez (Kasaup 2002A), Ryan Aga (Kasaup 2002A), Mike Penalba (Sampelut 2003A), Daphne Villanueva (Kaputul 2004A), Eleaze Santos (Kaputul 2004A), Loree Sicat (Kadaya 2005A) and Jerome Caylao (Kadaya 2005A).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Position Paper on the Drafted 2009 Code of Student Conduct

Below is the official position paper of the UP Aguman on the drafted 2009 Code of Student Conduct. Last, summer this was submitted along with the respective position papers of other student organizations affected by this controversial draft code.

Duly recognized and accredited by the Office of Student Affairs of the University of the Philippines Diliman, the UP Aguman is a socio-civic, not-for-profit, service-oriented organization of Pampango-speaking students based in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Formally recognized in December 12, 1973, the organization embraces its aims to uphold the truth, to promote man's inherent goodness and capabilities, and to appreciate the importance of human relations.

As with regards to the student code, UP Aguman has seen some provisions that may hinder the very aims the organization upholds, as specified above. We find it unfair, that the newly drafted code seems to not recognize the deeds we continuously devote to our fellow men, amidst all of the constraints and lack of resources, and that some of the new code’s contentious, vague and problematic provisions sightlessly add up to these obstacles.

For almost 35 years, UP Aguman has been conducting activities, which are consistent to its aims and core values, in the service of its people. In Pampanga, the organization holds three (3) anticipated major events each year.

The Pautakan, which is endorsed by the Department of Education, takes academic competition in the province to a whole new level. Sining on the one hand is a whole variety program — a true celebration of the Kapampangan youth’s prowess in the arts — literature, music, drama, dance, visual arts, etc. And last but definitely not the least, UP Aguman also conducts the CEER (College Entrance Exam Review) every year, to high school students in order to increase their chances of making it through the premier state university and to other universities at par.

Last March 8, 2009, top winners of the Pautakan 2008 and Sining 2009 emerged as victors in the PatalaSanlahi of the UP Sanlahi Alliance, an organization of duly-recognized provincial student organizations in UP Diliman. It served as an arena where outstanding high school students from different provinces unleashed their academic and creative prowess, and at the same time, sharpened their minds in a spirit of cultural solidarity. Apparently, the organization, does not only operate outside the university but internally as well.

Together with the College ot Social Science & Philosophy Student Council, we, the Executive Council of UP Aguman, sincerely recognize the concerns and efforts of the University Administration to better regulate the academic community. We do recognize their capabilities and the fact that the existing sets of rules and regulations do need to be tweaked for the boon of the community. We, however, contest its prerogative to decide unilaterally and we oppose certain unreasonable, unnecessary and unjust provisions. Ergo, we join CSSPSC’s fervent call for the deletion and/or modification of particular rules and provisions.

As a university-based organization and more importantly as a provincial organization, we contest the 0.5% minimum membership requirement and the ‘no more than 49%’ rule. For 35 years, UP Aguman has been faithful to its aim of extending service to its people and it has successfully done so by having quality members who understand the organization’s thrust and who’ve met the specified requirements and qualifications, i.e. provincial origin. As an organization, we firmly believe that it’s better to have a modicum number of quality members, than an armada who bears the organization’s name and not its core values.

The tambayan provides space for group study and socialization thus aiding a student’s holistic development. We believe that each organization has the right to a decent and proper Tambayan that is not only regulated but also provided for by the University.

We oppose the rule that freshmen are not allowed to join any organization. UP Aguman has been a home away from home for Kapampangan students. For 35 years, it has been helping its people to adapt socially. Moreover, this rule belittles freshmen’s ability to decide for themselves.

We hope, that as we seek for the deletion/modification of these rules and provisions, the UP Administration do the processes transparently. We hope that representation from the students who truly understand the needs and situations within which provincial organizations operate are taken into consideration. Lastly, we urge the UP Administration to look beyond the organizations and to consider the people these organizations serve as well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Announcement: Acquaintance Party 2009

UP Aguman's Acquaintance Party 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
6pm at Balay Kalinaw (UP Diliman campus)

*All Kapampangans -- freshies or upperclassmen, undergraduate or graduate students -- in UP Diliman are invited to a night of food, fun and camaraderie with your fellow Kapampangans!
*AguALUMNI are invited, too!

*AguRESIDENTS, kindly invite your friends, schoolmates and classmates!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hindi Ko Alam Kung Ano Ang Itatawag Dito

As far as I can remember, I’ve only fainted twice.

The first time happened when I was in fourth year high school and it was our class retreat in the Benedictine Spiritual Something in Tagaytay. The facilitating priest (a grumpy old man who called my class plastics) had the class watch a video of the normal delivery of a child so we could understand what our mothers went through to have us. (Although later I drowned myself in denial saying that my mom gave birth to me through C-section so I need not feel guilty.)

I can’t even find the words to describe what I saw. But I clearly remember freezing in shock as I watched the baby’s big, round head tear apart the pink flesh that was the mother’s vagina.
There was an awful lot of blood spurting everywhere. I felt my head spin and my tummy curl, and the next thing I knew I was losing a fighting battle to keep the beef and broccoli I ate for lunch inside my stomach. I raced to the bathroom and threw up on the sink. I didn’t even have the strength to rinse my mouth – my legs felt like jelly and they gave out sooner than I wanted them to. I fell on the floor, slumping against the cold, tiled wall. I closed my eyes and blacked out.

The second time was during my induction to the family I gave my blood and sweat and tears to, the UP Aguman. As we all know, before you can officially become a member of the org, you have to… well, shed blood for it. The members didn’t really talk about how exactly the rites were going to take place, but we pretty much got the idea when we were told that we were going to need a few things that were used in medical (or criminal. ^_^) rather than domestic purposes.

I remember being brought to some corner of the Vinzons’ rooftop. They made me sit down and recite the org’s creed while they held my arm. “Sige, Nic, saglit lang to. Ituloy mo lang yung creed,” a member, (Ate Daph, I think) said. For the first time, it dawned on me that I didn’t know what was going to happen next, and it frightened me. Too overwhelmed to think straight, I did what I was told.

“…I have faith in man and mankind I will serve… I cherish kinship and kinship will be my way of life…” I recited faithfully, my heart strangely beating faster and faster with each word. Soon, I felt a sudden sting that was as inexplicable as the trickling sensation that followed it. I wanted to ask them what was happening, but I couldn’t find my voice. I suddenly felt lightheaded. I tried to move but soon realized that I couldn’t feel my body anymore. Now at this point I was scared shit.

A member told me to recite the creed louder. Hanging on to whatever was left of my sanity, I forced out the words but choked on each of them. “I… believe in…truth…and in…truth I will…walk…this earth…” I struggled to say. I was gasping, although I didn’t know if it was for the words or for air.

Finally, I heard the magic words: “Nic, okay na.” At that point, there was no longer any reason to hang on to sanity, so I let myself plummet head-first into the dark abyss.

So why am I recounting these experiences again? Funny, but whenever I think of my Econ 106 and 131, I think I’m starting to faint again.


It’s been lightyears since I last read a chapter summary or watched an episode of Naruto.

The manga/anime by Masashi Kishimoto shot to fame a few years back as a simple story of a complex individual who wanted to prove to his hometown that he was worth something. The curious credibility of the surreal plot and the dynamism of the characters drew me to the story and within days, I was a fan. I guess I got really hooked because I followed the story even though I disliked the main characters (Naruto’s life is cliché, Sasuke is conceitedly emo, Sakura is too Mary-Sue) and I rarely saw my favorite characters (among them Ino and Kabuto – the earlier reminds me so much of myself and the latter represents everything I want to be).

Expectedly, as more chapters came out, the story got more complicated. At first I found it thrilling, but after months and months of new subplots emerging, new characters being created and old characters getting killed, it just got too much for me. It didn’t help that Nara Animations dished out manga-unrelated arcs like A Feps Pablo in the English royal kitchen, in the attempt to buy more time for Kishimoto whilst he pondered which character’s neck he should break next.

Now I respect those who think that Kishimoto is doing a spectacular job (it’s a matter of preference, after all), but personally I’ve reached the point where I don’t care about the damn thing anymore. If Kabuto gets some airtime or Itachi turns out to be alive maybe I’d get interested again, but until then let’s just watch TMZ.

And sadly I realize that my enthusiasm for Naruto is just like almost every endeavor I’ve taken. It starts so sweet but ends up with a bad taste in the mouth. Let’s pray that my college life will be an exception.


My family says I’m the queen of negativity. All I see are faults, all I see are mistakes, all I see are things to complain about. My friends say that too. They hate how I’m a pessimist under the pretense of being realistic. They hate how I say that I’ll fail an exam even though I did okay. They hate how I consider relationships based on what would happen if things don’t work out.

I guess it’s true, one point or another. But hey, here’s something I’m not negative about. I truly, sincerely, fervently hope that this would be a good year for the org and for its members. So to you, my brothers and sisters in blood, sweat, tears and candlewax, with all the positivism in the world, I look forward to spending a productive and meaningful school year with you. I wish us all not just the best of luck, but more importantly, the best of ourselves. See you soon, AguPIPS!

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