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I am an MBFI Scholar for Life!

My final essay for the Metrobank Scholars' Forum held last May 2010. Can't believe I wrote this. I just hope this would be ingrained in me again.


I am an MBFI Scholar for Life!

I highly consider my experience through five years of college as one of my most remarkable achievement. Not because I was able to graduate on time, or even was able to juggle both academics and extracurricular in school but because I was able to win all the challenges of college life. I could still vividly recall all the possible predictions I could possibly do, and I must say that college was never easy for everyone.
Learning to adapt to a new environment is one major reality that I had to face. Primarily, school demands are tougher than high school and professors have less intervention with regards to teaching. This perfect scenario in my first day of class in Algebra taught me two truthful realities. The scenario have taught me to become independent, that learning is not always a two-dimensional process where you can always have the privilege of being taught, while the other reality is to be able to adapt to different situations and as much as possible equip yourself with the necessary skill. Adjustments were also rigid during that stage, but luckily and with God’s grace I was able to survive.
Education is considered as a privilege. In a society where poverty and injustice exists, where inequality is a major result of innocence due to lack of education, I have realized that having quality education while studying in one of the most reputable educational institutions in the country are two privileges that I was able to have. In a span of five years, sudden physical, spiritual, and emotional maturity comes into place while the future is preparing my individuality to the hardest challenges of real life. I faced obstacles that I thought would be the end of the world. I lost in some of the games that I have encountered. I won battles that tested my capability as a person. An overhauling experience made me stronger and a better person.
Within this span of time, I also have realized that living life and living life productively are two different things. Each progression creates a certain milestone in my career. I have realized my purpose and my vision that is to serve people, and contribute to the society to the best way that I could. I have envisioned dreams and aspirations that I would want to happen in the near future. I have built plans for my career that as soon as I finish college, I would be pursuing various roads in order to define my contributions. Significantly, I have become more than a human being because of my education. I must say that I was able to internalize the essence of becoming a productive citizen of this country, not only through words but in actions.
These overall experiences have formed my entire being towards the formation of my individuality and strengthen my character. My skills are way too oblivious of what have happened during the past five years and now, I am facing a new center of attention and condition. The past five years have tried to recreate not only my personal goals and ambitions, thus recreated the way on how I think and perceive things and to always look on the brighter side of everything. This have become the most important years of my formation as a human being- a being with an individual thinking capacity for my future.
I always find every semester as once-in-a-lifetime challenge for all students, even challenging for scholars. Knowing for a fact that maintaining a certain grade point average is not as easy as what the majority believed. I have always encountered situations wherein I felt so tattered with school works, adding up emotional baggage from school to home and the restless nights spent on studies, organization works and others. I have believed that I was able to survive each semester with God’s help that I can only survive it with His guidance.
As soon as I became a scholar of Metrobank Foundation and Pacific Paints, the responsibility already deep rooted in my mind. I have assumed that this scholarship is something that I should take good care, and a privilege that should not be wasted. Tireless efforts in school are being expected from us in which served as one of my inspirations. The driving passion of successfully completing each semester with highly remarkable grades and the feeling of triumph when you were able to survive another semester is another bonus. The emotions that troubles us most of the time, during quizzes, major examinations, and mostly during the releasing of grades does not only add up tension and mental paranoia, but creates the most horrible situations in our mind if ever all else fails.
Having a scholarship grant is not about being in an elite society, or having any prestigious crown of some sort. Being a scholar is an added responsibility to the nation. The corporate social responsibility of a scholar does not end in school as soon as he graduate from college, but it only marks the beginning of the responsibility. In every event that I succeed, I always consider myself as a survivor. I was able to realize that I have been juggling more balls than what I can usually handle, and this proved the fact that people can eventually be trained to various tasks and various capacities. The entire way of living that I have lived during the days when I was struggling with my academic years in school have proved enough that this experience was already an achievement on its own merit. Somehow, I felt proud of myself for making it through the five years of my stay in college, and for giving the opportunity for my parents of not paying my academic obligations in school. These things are the things that I consider as remarkable achievements that can never be measured through monetary benefits. The benefits of being a scholar is truly from the experience itself, on how you will handle every possible situation without having your grades as sacrificial lamb in the end.
The challenge of the scholarship does not resolutely based on the grade requirements. We were also encouraged to attend activities of the scholar’s organization in the university making us torn apart during the days when we spend days and nights over a major project in school. There are times that we think we are failing, our thoughts falling apart, and as if everything is going to end. I have survived these tensions, these pressures, and these challenges that most of the student don’t face in their course of study. With this, the lifestyle that I was able to acquire is more than being a scholar on its own way.
The school where I graduated from in college is considered as one of the top schools in the Philippines that offers BS Architecture. Having this information already made us proud to become alumni of a reputable institution. The University of Santo Tomas is not only known for its quality education, but also in their long history of legacy marked in the Philippine history through its illustrious graduates that were able to contribute to the society on their respective fields.
To study is one thing and to study in a reputable institution like UST is another. Having both is pure blessing, and through Metrobank- Pacific Paints Scholarship I was able to receive such blessing. Thus, making me internalize the famous saying “To whom much is given, much is expected”. More than becoming a productive citizen is to become productive through social and civic works that would also help other sectors of society through nation building. With the aim and vision of my alma mater with the three C’s: Compassion, Commitment, and Competence, I see myself being involved within the community living up these expectations. Such privilege and blessing does require us to serve people more than what is expected and through which will become our social responsibility.
I always look back on the days when I go to school. I always reminisce the moments when my mentors would always say “you should always go back where you truly belong”. The institution which I have loved for my five years in college has brought me so much learning and experiences that cannot be measured. These experiences are truly unique of its kind and have molded us to become what we are right now. The successes and failures of every battle we encounter have become part and parcel of our individuality, our differences, our strengths, and our image.
Architecture has been considered an expensive course due to technical requirements and equipment that are required for us to have. Having graduated from UST is more than a privilege in education but also in facilities. I have visited other architectural schools and I can say that I am lucky enough to be in UST because resources are really scarce mostly in state universities. The kind of instruction and implementation is also different making UST a top school in architecture. With these advantages, I share sympathy to those students with meager resources and yet still strive to finish the course and eventually become a licensed architect. With in mind that the ability of other unfortunate students to handle scarcity of resources and the kind of environment that they have lived it is considered as a rare privilege it is imperative that I should put more dedication to my work and study.
It is no question that I will always be forever grateful to the foundation that helped me pursue my dream and to have the privilege of studying in a private catholic institution like UST. Through this, it is dictated upon us to extend our resources and share the blessings to those people who always give their best efforts to gain quality education. I will be a living proof of Metrobank- Pacific Paints’ benevolence and through that I would continue to serve people through my educational attainment.  The corporate responsibility of Metrobank and Pacific Paint in nurturing the youth through education and fulfilling their needs by investing in education is a primary key to a good nation building. Investments through people wherein people will also invest to other people will create a domino effect in the society where helping hand is always available during the toughest times. More than the responsibility to provide means of education, the foundation has set the standards of becoming concerned with the growth of its people.
At the end of the day, each one of us would reminisce the moments of being a scholar. At least once in our life, we were able to finish one big challenge during our college days and this moment mean significant. And now that we’ve graduated from college, the bigger responsibility and expectations from us are now different. Being a scholar during our study period is one thing and being a scholar after graduation is another. Now it is the right time to prove to ourselves how we have become a scholar in our individual ways.


Revisiting PNOY SONA 2011

Wang-Wang’- a word blatantly used to describe the type of bureaucracy that exists in the country coined by President NoyNoy Aquino. It is through which he campaign his sincerest intentions of removing the ‘Wang-Wang’ system with thorough investigation on the anomalies that allegedly happened during the past administration. Evident through his words, he is more than being persistent on finding facts and evidences, thus making him more agile to prove how the ‘Wang-Wang’ system brought the nation to poverty and instability.

Bureaucracy has played a vital role in the world of urban and regional planning. As planners always deal with government officials that primarily lead the success of implementation, these officials play the biggest role as planning implementation is concerned. However, on a sad reality where graft and corruption exists, it is in their hands whether a plan will ever be initiated, implemented, or will just be on the filing cabinets or shelves of their offices.

This is the system that we already grew up with, where planners more often than not deal with struggle at most. On a positive tone, the President aims to resolve this and revamp the old system that on his principle will consequently solve other problems of society. On my point of view, good bureaucracy means good planning implementation. If we have a good system of implementation, then plans can be easily implemented and take effect on the lives of its stakeholders. If these courses of action will be realized, then we can perceive that these plans will soon pay off and hopefully be integrated to the fibers of society. As more plans will be implemented, more lives will be enhanced and maybe then we can finally achieve a stronger republic that we ever dream of.

Aside from the woes of our government system, the President discussed the problem on budget and finance. Insufficiency on budget remains to be another problem that urban and regional planning is extensively dependent. On this particular issue, PNoy seeks to find remedies through proper taxation of professionals in which the BIR has filed several cases of tax evasion. PNoy acknowledges the value of the finance as part of nation-building. PNoy would like to strengthen the foundations of a good government- stable on economic and government procedures where everyone can conveniently address every problem with solutions that are properly funded, resource-allocated, and carefully reviewed and studied that is goal-oriented in whole similar to the system of planning.

Striving to find a solution on transportation, another issue that PNoy pointed out is on how to use local technology. Thru the partnership of DOST and UP Diliman, a transportation project aims to intensify existing local technology that is to aid the transportation problems in the urban areas. This transportation model, if soon found out to be a success will be replicated to augment the necessity of people to work on distant places away from their homes. This is a laudable planning solution on the principle of transit stations to be relocated within thriving communities. PNoy used transportation projects to solve problems attached to conurbation. It is anticipated to resolve massive urban congestion and will give more opportunities to multiple sectors of society.

In declaration of his stand on the issue of Spratly Islands, it is good to hear that the President fully recognizes and will all-out fight on the battle for the Philippine territory. Hoping in the future that we will win this case on the international court, an additional resource on land, natural environment, mineral and others can be obtain and may be used to reinforce our financial problems. These resources can be translated to jobs and livelihood, and more importantly to the receding coastline of the country resulted by climate change. Once these islands are declared to be part of our territory, plenty of options will soon be available but it should be assured that these resources will not be abused.

Despite all plans laid out on his SONA, the President is yet to bring out concrete economic policies, detailed projects that are very much critical to the entire nation. Though it is only a year that he has served as president, I fully understand the fact that ‘Wang-Wang’ system that existed for several years will really take time to abolish. Like every plan, the time element provided for this action should not be taken lightly. However, it is only a year ago when the change has initiated. I hope that it is in good conviction that he will remain loyal to his ‘Bosses’ as he continues to change the ‘Wang-Wang’ type of government on his way to ‘Tuwid na Daan’.

DISCLAIMER: Author's thought paper for Theory of Planning subject at School of Urban and Regional Planning,  UP  Diliman. Views expressed here is by the author and contents herein are from a vantage point of an urban and regional planning student. 

My First


Yes! Now I have a blog to keep, intended to keep all my thoughts and experience of my everyday living. I used to have a blog site before but I decided to create a new one to make it more personal and private (at least in my personal context of privacy). Despite the busy schedule at work and school, hopefully I will find time to write and compose a few articles for my personal consumption. I would keep this as a photo journal as well, so as to make it more interesting.

End of prologue

It was a hilarious day in the office with torrential rains in the background. Abby and I took the liberty to lead the bullying sessions in the office, and of course the best candidate next to Dorey is Nica (or should I dearly call ‘Nex’). Dorey had to leave the office for two days because of family errands.

BTW, Good thing that Ate Elsa was able to replenish pieces of GOOD stuff in her manual VENDO Machine and lowered down the price of some items (which we find really costly). I had 3 pieces of Hopiang Monggo for my early morning break and suprisingly it’s delicious! The entire box got empty right on that day! I hope she could keep the stocks readily available hahaha! Other items available are the ff:

Kabayan- a favourite Filipino version of cupcake
Biscocho- or crotons (buttered toast)
Banana loaf bread- should have tried this but found some molds on it
Cup noodles- with a lower price (that I have to make sure first hehe)
And others (insignificant) that I can’t remember

Oh well, at least Ate Elsa’s manual VENDO Machine got new items! FTW!
(Tomorrow I’ll post some photos =) )

Work mode

So what I did the entire day: Icasas Residence tile layout and CEAP reflected ceiling plans. Of course the deadlines are incredibly believable, but I had no choice. I was forced to do all that stuff within the day. My senior obliged me to email files as well (oh well that is no surprise!) and thank God I finished everything on time. When you are bombarded with so much work you couldn’t actually feel the time. This day was really fast I must say.

The BIG announcement

Late afternoon around 4pm our office secretary Ms.Apple told us that somebody has to go to Oman, next to Boss T. (Boss T is a senior architect in the office). As a requirement, we were obliged to have our passports scanned and drawing of lots will be held to determine who is going to be the next Oman candidate. As expected, everyone was so ecstatic! (That’s an irony!)

The spaghetti show

Sir Dan was insisting for THAT spaghetti party. (Yes, you read that right!) It’s the spaghetti party! I keep mum on that since I still have no money to spare, but he was really insistent. So to keep his wish granted, I asked him to give me money and I’ll cook the spaghetti that he wanted. And so he did. 300 Php for that quick-spaghetti-de-lata. Gerald and I went to Circle C to shop ingredients. As we approached the counter, I ended up paying for 380 Php. Now that’s 80 Php deficit hahahaha!

The spaghetti show will happen tomorrow, lunchtime. I’ll post photos tomorrow evening!


As I write these lines my roommate Gerald is sleeping at its peak. He ate 2 packs of Fita and took a cup of Milo drink before going to bed. Me, I had coffee for my midnight snack (if I should call it). I’m waiting for my eyes to get tired though I feel like having high blood pressure the entire day. I just hope I can get up early so to cook pasta for tomorrow’s spaghetti show!

I guess that’s enough for my first blog. Will keep you posted as I make this part of my daily routine. I'll be having a class tomorrow evening so I can't make guarantee if I can update this. But for now, Good night!




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