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NASA Commends Filipino Culture in Quiz Bee

By: Airiz Mariel G. Lerios

Selected nursing students outwitted one another in UtaKultura: Dunong at Dugong Filipino organized by the Nursing Association of Student Achievers (NASA) during the Buwan ng Wika celebration last August 12, 2011

Ten teams, from different year levels contended in this event to gauge their knowledge about Filipino Language, Filipino History, Filipino Culture, Filipino Literature, Filipino Government and Constitution, and Rizal Course. The quiz bee started with elimination round, consisting of 36 questions equally divided into three categories namely: easy, average, and difficult. After the series of questions, the top five teams advanced for the final round.

The team of Dylan Taytayon (IV-10), Leonardo Dispo (III-4), Dominique Cesa (II-3) and Mary Grace Alagao (I-10) emerged victorious as they snatched the 1st place title with 39 points. Trailing behind with 35 points is the 2nd place team of Carl Ortiz (IV-7), Dunice Mata (III-7), Renmark Parreño (II-8) and Mariel Tipgos (I-11). Settling at 3rd place with a score of 31 points are Allan Co (IV-3), Nicole Chua (IV-3), Ron Carado (II-2) and Milkah Santos (I-7). Winners were given incentives on the subjects namely Chemistry, Microbiology and Parasitology, Literature, and Rizal Course. All participants were given certificates of recognition.

Prof. Elmer Hibek and Asst. Prof. Melanie Turingan graced the event with their presence and served as the resource persons of the quiz bee.


UST-CON Takes Part on Disaster Management Seminar

By: Hazel Vera Tan

In preparation for the earthquake drill on June 30, 2011, UST-CON Professors together with the selected officers of the class attended “Prepared to Survive, Emergency Preparedness Seminar”, an event organized by the Red Cross Youth Council, last June 29, 2011.

Under the Department of Education order no. 96 s1990 (Calamity/Emergency Drills in Schools and Offices, all schools and offices are enjoined to conduct periodic emergency drills for safe evacuation of the pupils, and personnel during natural or man-made calamity.

Guest speaker Dr. Lito Moragan discussed about crisis management and the evacuation plan during a disaster. He highlighted in the seminar to “Duck, Cover, and Hold” during earthquakes.

He emphasized the safety precautions during a disaster. Some safety precautions mentioned are the following: keep calm; keep away from narrow alleys; if in a building, one must seek a cover near or under sturdy furniture; after the earthquake, one must stay away from unstable objects or furniture; and finally, if beside a seashore, one must guard against waves.

He stressed that everyone must be familiar of the evacuation plan. This means that everyone must know the location of the fire exits, fire extinguishers, and fire ladders. There must also be an alarm system and diagram of the floor plans in the building.

At the end of the seminar, the students and professors were informed about the different floor managers and traffic control members in case of a disaster. They were also left with the contact numbers they can call during a disaster.


Keeping Up with the Korean Wave

By Frances Danielle Sabulao

It seems that the Koreans are the newest gods and goddesses to be worshipped these days. K-pop culture or simply K-pop has rapidly invaded the Filipino television and music industry. The Korean wave has been the newest trend these days that even rival networks would air Koreanovelas on the same timeslots in the hopes of getting better ratings. Boys and girls of all ages are hooked to them. Why is everyone so fascinated by them? What is so enchanting with these chinky-eyed porcelain-skinned Korean dolls?


Let's freshen up our memories and rewind everything to eight years ago. It all started with Endless Love: Autumn in my Heart in 2003. Who could forget the heart-wrenching story of Jenny and Johnny? If you’re a true blue Korean fan, you’d surely know them. Their story started when Johnny, as a child, mistakenly exchanged the nametags of two infants. One of which was actually his sister, while the other child was his would-be love interest. Along came Full House, Kim Sam Soon, Lovers in Paris and Princess Hours. The list of Koreanovelas is never-ending.

It was not until the drama Boys over Flowers (BOF) when the dawn of Koreanovelas was at its peak. It was all about an ordinary girl whose life turned a full 360° when she met the F4 composed of four young Adonises whose goal in life was to enjoy life to the fullest while they still can. It's a story of finding yourself, fighting for your belief, love and friendship. Every Filipino, young and old alike, grew fond over them. Everywhere you go, you'd see their faces, from the desktop wallpapers in the computers to mobile phones. Just look at the posters sold along the sidewalk. Most definitely, you'd see Korean faces smiling back at you. It took quite some time before the BOF mania went down. Even after the end of the Boys Over Flowers series and even after several rewinds of it, the Korean wave fever did not diminish.


With the internet and MTV as resources, the hoi polloi eventually found a new craze in the form of K-pop – DBSK, Rain, Lee Min Ho from BOF, Big Bang, 2NE1, Girls Generation, Wondergirls and Super Junior. Just recently also, the soap My Girlfriend is a Gumiho truly captured the Pinoy hearts. Even Korean restaurants are getting popular especially with Thomasians like Santorini in P. Noval and Hanayo in Dapitan (Antonio St. to be exact). Like an epidemic, the K-pop culture surged upward dramatically; accumulating hordes of avid fanatics everywhere. Slowly but surely, they made their way into the Pinoy music industry and the Filipino community embraced them like wildfire. You'll hear people in trains singing to the tune of "Fire" or little children on the streets dancing to the beat of "Nobody" which are songs by 2NE1 and Wondergirls respectively; both are popular K-pop girl groups. It doesn't matter whether the Pinoys can’t understand their language. They can always learn how to speak Korean and learn hanggeul with the aid of the internet.

Their popularity is so infectious that even countries like the USA, Taiwan, Japan, China and other Southeast Asian countries are catching the fever. Thanks to the internet, these countries can get their daily dose of K-pop and Koreanovelas. Fans are so passionate that they have their own blogs, fan clubs, forums, and networking sites. Articles in the internet even tell of a number of Pinoy fans who even go to South Korea just to watch their concerts. No wonder their tourism is booming!

Why Korea?

So, really, why do Filipinos love the Korean wave? One big factor could be their versatility. Before these Korean pop stars became that big, they underwent a very rigid training which lasts for 4-6 years. Until then, they cannot debut as an idol. For this span of time, they are trained how to dance, sing, act, model, rap and even speak different languages so that they could become what we call the “complete package”. Of course, their looks are just bonuses.

Another factor is their appearances; not only do they have white and smooth skin like porcelain dolls but they have this mysterious charisma about them. They are able to capture their fans’ hearts effortlessly.

Another thing is the variety of what they do. There’s a whole new concept with every album and concert. They never fail to keep their fans wanting for more.

Lastly, the fact that they are very different to what the everyday Filipino is used to is probably the greatest factor. With their uniqueness and energy, it’s no surprise that the fans are head-over-heels for them.


However, there’s no denying that along with the Korean wave fans are the haters. They go hand-in-hand, like the two sides of a coin. Some people get sick with the over-the-top cuteness and outrageous fashion sense. This is understandable since we all have different tastes and one just can’t please everybody.

Whichever side you’re in or whether you’re neutral or you’re apathetic about the whole issue, music is still music. As long as you’re still entertained with the drama you’re watching or the music you’re listening to, it does not matter. The fact that the Filipinos appreciate the diversity of other people's culture means that they understand how different we are from them. However, with this entire craze and fondness for other cultures, the challenge is to be able to retain their self-identity and the Pinoy culture.


Ang Babae sa Septik Tank: Pangangapa sa Dilim

ni Elmer C. Hibek

Ang Istorya.

Dalawang magkaibigang lalaki na kapwa mahilig sa pagsusulat at pagdidirihe ang nagkasundong gumawa ng isang pelikula na umiinog sa buhay ng isang ina na may pitong anak at nakatira sa isang lugar ng iskwater. “Walang-wala” ang pamagat ng gagawing pelikula. Sa pag-ikot ng kuwento, sumentro ang pelikula sa kahirapan ng buhay ni Mila (ang bidang babae) at ng kanyang pamilya na nagbunsod sa kanya upang ibugaw ang mga anak sa mga banyagang hayok sa laman ng mga kabataan.

Naging mapili ang direktor ng pelikula sa pagkuha ng artistang gaganap sa papel na Mila at sa wakas ito’y naiatang kay Eugene Domingo. Nakaharap ng magkaibigan si Eugene sa magara nitong mansyon at nagkasundo sa mga bagay-bagay na may kinalaman sa pelikula. Matapos ito’y inatupag ng magkaibigan na puntahan ang lugar kung saan ang shooting ang shooting ng pelikula. Isang lugar na iskwater na napaliligiran ng bundok ng mga basura ang napili ng magkaibigan. Habang sila’y abala sa paggalugad sa lugar, natiyempuhan nila ang panloloob ng mga kalalakihan sa nakaparada nilang kotse. Agad nilang inireport sa presinto ang insidente. Sa kabila nito’y natuloy ang shooting.

Naghahanda na ang lahat sa kukunang eksena sa septik tank nang biglang mahulog si Eugene sa tangke gayong hindi pa gumigiling ang kamera. Yamang siya’y nasa loob na ng septic tank, minabuti na ng direktor na ituloy ang eksena ni Eugene sa loob ng tangke.

Ang Tema.

Pangunahing tema ng pelikula ang kahirapan sa ating bansa. Pangalawa rito’y ang ambisyon ng taong makilala sa lipunang kanyang ginagalawan. Palasak na ang mga temang nabanggit at hindi ito nabigyan ng bagong pagpapakahulugan sa pelikula ni tinalakay sa isang maayos at makahulugang pamamaraan. Malinaw na ginamit lamang ang mga isyung ito upang makagawa ng isang palabas na manlilibang lang sa manonood.

Walang bahid ng pagtatangka ang pelikula upang itaas ang panlipunang kamalayan ng manonood nang sa gayon ay gumanyak ito sa isang kolektibong pagkilos upang harapin at lunasan ang problema. Sa kabila ng paglalahad ng isyu ukol sa kahirapan, tumatawag ng pansin ang makasariling pangarap/ambisyon ng magkaibigan upang maging bantog sa kanilang larangan nang hindi alintana ang paggamit sa buhay, dangal at kalagayan ng mga taong sangkot sa kuwento.

Ang Simbolismo.

Ano ang ginagawa ng babae sa septik tank? Bakit siya naroon? Ang septik tank ang pinakamahalagang aytem sa pelikula na may kakabit na kahulugan. Bilang simbolo, ito’y kumakatawan sa ating bulok na lipunan na isang malaking imbakan ng lahat ng uri ng kabulukang moral, sosyal, ispiritwal, politikal at pangkabuhayan. Ang babae sa septik tank ay sumasagisag sa lahat ng klase ng tao sa ating lipunan na nagtataglay ng kanya-kanyang “baho,” “dumi,” “yagit” at “basura” na nakakapit sa pagkatao, umaalingasaw, nakapandidiri’t kahindik-hindik kahit ito’y nakakubli.

Ang pagkahulog ni Mila sa septik tank ay mabisang pagpapakita ng patuloy na “pagkahulog” ng laksa-laksang mga maralita sa ating bansa sa mga patibong ng paghihikahos, gutom, sakit, kamangmangan, eksploytasyon, atbp. Ano mang talim ng patalim, kakapit at kakapit upang “mabuhay” at sa “pagbitaw” sa patalim, saan pupulutin? Sa septik tank na karimarimarim!

Pangangapa sa Dilim.

Sa halos dalawang oras na pagtakbo ng pelikula, walang malinaw na direksyon na tinumbok ito. Liban sa ilang eksenang nakatatawa, umikot na lang ang palabas sa mga eksenang ibig mangyari ng direktor sa kanyang obrang nais tapusin. Sa hindi inaasahang pagkahulog ni Mila sa nakabukas na septik tank nagwakas ang pelikula.

Mababaw ang pelikula sa maraming aspeto. Isa itong tipikal na pelikulang indie na ang tanging hangarin ay mang-aliw lamang. Ang pamagat ng pelikula lamang ang tanging pantawag pansin.

Nakapanghihinayang isipin na sa kabila ng matapang na paglalahad ng ilang usaping panlipunan, hindi binigyang pansin at pagpapahalaga sa pelikula ang pagtatangka ng mga taong gaya ni Mila na umahon sa lusak sa kabila ng mga balakid sa buhay sa paraang makapagpaparangal sa dignidad ng tao, makagaganyak sa pagbubuo ng mga positibong atityud at pananaw, at makapagtataas sa antas ng kamulatan ng tao na siya’y nilikhang kawangis ng Maykapal na marapat maluklok sa maringal na luklukan at hindi makulong sa loob ng nakapandidiring septik tank.

Malupit ang pelika sa paglalantad ng mga kahinaan ng tao subalit nangangapa ito sa dilim sa paghahanap ng liwanag sa makipot na lagusan.

Poster source: “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank” movie trailer and poster released! June 19, 2011



Opinion: Spoonfeeding and its Disastrous Results to the Mind


By Mari Begonia A. Cinco

A man can read fifty books cover to cover and know something, but a man who has intently read five pages of a single book can gain more. In itself, it is a puzzling concept. Is it not that with more knowledge, you gain more understanding? It need not be the case.

The people of today probably have more potential in learning than those who did a century ago. Actually, they have more potential than the people from a decade ago. Aside from the fact that man is slowly developing himself to become a more potential being of intelligence, he has made advancements to his environment to further establish this as well. With the power to invent, he has created for himself a world where information is literally at the tap of his finger. He can receive whatever data he appeals to with ease. Add to this society as a whole exchanging information through media and education, the result is a profusion of everything we know and can know. This phenomenon is where the trouble begins.

The world has become reception frenzy. It takes in everything the senses can process and builds up stacks of information which are later stored as knowledge. If it can be utilized for future purposes, it is now a matter of remembering. The effect of this, however, is not a world of understanding and wisdom, but rather a blunt one scarce of the two. The reason is that knowledge is not the same as understanding. Knowledge is information in the mind that has made interrelationships. It has made universal concepts and it is maintained in our mind. But to understand is to grasp the meaning of knowledge. We are no longer troubled by this however, because the answers are all given out by our educators (teachers, professionals, the media, etc.) so we do not have to sort out the meaning for ourselves. Even after they have discussed everything there is needed to know, it still is not understood. It is simply “recorded” and only “replayed” when necessary. It is still knowledge and not understanding. Hence, the world will not intellectually advance. The reason for this is the concept of spoonfeeding.

Spoonfeeding is the process of being given information and receiving it with almost no effort. It includes having all the information at the palm of our hands and all that information being pre-chewed into explained matters. When this happens, we no longer begin to think for ourselves. Thinking has been done by someone else for us. Our own thinking process is no longer utilized and this leads to atrophy. When thinking is atrophied, the mind will not function as it should when in use or it decays from no use at all. In short, the mind will not be able to understand independently, even less will it be able to judge for itself.

This is perhaps the reason why it is hard for people nowadays to analyze. The mind has become so used to things given with ease and explained beforehand that when it is time for it to analyze, it will either fail miserably or try to scrape answers from the source of its pre-chewed food. The danger of this is grave.

With various controversial issues such as the RH Bill, the works of Mideo Cruz, poverty, political conflict and others, it is important to be able to judge on these matters with full understanding and critical thinking. The atrophied mind will not be able to put itself to the job of understanding without immense difficulty. When it is hard to understand, it will therefore be difficult to judge. The closest the spoon-fed mind will come to judgment is when other people have made their opinions and arguments thoroughly explained (or not) and the mind will decide which seems the more appealing based on the senses it feels. When this happens, it will not really perceive truth, but just records of opinions which will be spout out and passed on the likewise, true or not. In effect, the world we will have is not a world that can understand, but the predicted world that assumes that it understands when matter-of-factly, it does not even know what it has processed.

Perhaps we have already adapted to spoonfeeding in our lives, but that does not necessarily mean we can’t learn how to feed ourselves. We all need our education and without the knowledge of others, we will be lost in our own. To be able to understand for ourselves using our own mind will allow us to be able to learn how to judge for ourselves, exercise our minds and come to discovery without bias. It will be a matter of making choices for ourselves and being able to judge individually to what is given to us. Not all things we believe to understand for ourselves will be valid, which is why we learn more and try to understand more. Not all things will come to understanding, but we are only human.

To be able to think for ourselves will help us make progress. Society would begin to make an upscale climb to understanding and wisdom. To be wise is to search, not have things found and given to you. If we learn to think for ourselves, it will mean the less liking of the blunt future that can be.


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