Another chapter comes to a close.

The first semester of A.Y. 2012-13 at the University of Santo Tomas, has come to an end. This has been a semester full of stories. Stories that I will share with you in this blog entry.

First up I would like to call: “Winning for Santo Tomas.”

I competed in two quiz bees this semester representing the university at this year’s PHILTOA Quiz Beeand the International Tourism and Trade Expo Quiz Bee. As one of the three representatives of the university, it was a great privilege for me to compete for the university in competitions. 

At the PHILTOA Quiz Bee that was held on July 11 at the Department of Tourism building in Manila, in which we competed individually. All of us made it to the semi-final round. Unfortunately, none of us made it into the Top 10 of the competition who would have competed in the Finals that was held in August. It was a very good learning experience for me, shaking off the jitters I had before the competition, knowing it’s been a long time

A few days after, we competed at the International Tourism and Trade Expo Quiz Bee at the SM City North EDSA Skydome in Quezon City. This time, we competed as one team. It was a tightly-contested competition. All of our fellow competitors put up a great show. In the end, Team UST came out on top. It was my first quiz bee victory as a college student.

Photo ©ITTE
 
It was a great victory for all of us, and made me proud to win a competition for the name of the university and our own college, the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Once again I will thank my senior teammates Kriskyn Cabrera and Marian Buenaventura for being supportive and helping me shake off the jitters I have before these competitions. As well as to my ever-supportive coaches Ma’am Amy, Ma’am Jane, Ma’am Joreen and Ma’am Connie as well as to the admin, our Dean Ma’am Tioc, Sir Win and Sir G (the latter two were my class advisers and know a lot about me well). I cannot wait for the competitions that we will join come next semester. This is just the start of something BIG!The next thing I would like to talk about,  I would call: “Shining in the Dark.”

The first semester was also marked with our Meetings and Events Management class. Where as one section, one 3T5. We came up with the event entitled “Silhouette: A Glint in the Dark, The Search for the Next Miss Tourism Ambassadress 2012”. As one section, we had to go through at the most, 3 months of conceptualizing, preparation and the final execution of the event itself. From practices, photo shoots, prep work, setting, promotions and marketing, pre-pageant, the event proper, and a lot of things in between, there were a lot of work put on by each and every one in the class. There were a lot of challenges along the way that tested the camaraderie of the entire section to pull off an event that will be remembered by many. Even I had to “play with fire” during the whole process, sharing my own suggestions, even to points where I get into disputes and play the role of a “Devil’s Advocate”.  

Photo ©Riana Frazil de Guzman

But in the end, all the hard work was all worth it as on one Sunday afternoon on the 23rd of September. It all came down to this event and fortunately, the event was generally a resounding success! Even though the event is finished, my work is not done. As a member of the Documentation committee, my work still continues today until all the documentation work is done and well on their way to the record books. It was also a great learning experience not only for me, but I think of all of us in the class, despite some setbacks and times when it was bad, this experience is considered as one of the best memories of my college life. 3T5 indeed, WE SHINED IN THE DARK.

Next on the list I would like to call: “One For UST!”

As a huge basketball fan, this UAAP basketball season will be one in the record books, especially if you are coming from UST. The 75th season of the UAAP is in my opinion, one of the best years to be a fan of UST Growling Tigers basketball. Where the Tigers finished 2nd in the elimination round with 10 wins and 4 losses, marking their first 10 win season since 1999. They were also call the “Comeback Cats” of the UAAP as most of their victories came off from coming back from huge deficits. The Tigers punched their ticket to the Finals by defeating the NU Bulldogs in the Final Four where they faced the four-time defending champions, the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Unfortunately, despite a valiant effort by the team and a tightly contested Finals series, the Growling Tigers were unable to repeat their feat in 2006 where they defeated the Blue Eagles coming back from a 0-1 deficit to take the championship. The Blue Eagles would sweep the series 2-0 on their way to a 5th consecutive UAAP men’s basketball title

 Photos ©Karl Carandang

This season for me, I was able to watch 3 games. The first one was the 1st round battle between the Growling Tigers and the De La Salle Green Archers in the very first meeting between the Teng brothers in the UAAP as UST’s Jeric faced off against his younger brother DLSU’s Jeron. It was also my first game watching from the Patron side of the court, and I watched it together with one of my previous professors in UST who had his education in La Salle and we share Claretian roots. The gamewas tightly contested and went into two overtimes, before the Tigers would pull away for an 84-82 victory. I was able to watch both games of the UAAP Finals between UST and Ateneo, both on the nosebleed sections of the arena (Game 1 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Game 2.at the Smart Araneta Coliseum). In both games, I was able to watch them with my fellow blockmates. Two years ago and last year, I would not expect them to watch a basketball game, but now it has happened and I thank them for it. Aside from them, I also saw my other friends around the arena and outside before and after the games. Whether the game ends in victory or defeat. Nothing beats the Thomasian crowd during the game. From the thousands of Thomasian students, faculty and alumni who come to watch the games to the trademark “Go USTe!” cheer accompanied by yellow ballons as well as the loud roars and cheers  from the crowd. Even a flashback from the 1990s with the Thomasian wave inside the arena during timeouts. Watching UST games this season has been a rewarding one for me, it’s a great feeling every time you watch a game live together with your friends and the entire Thomasian community in attendance at the games. I hope next season, we can do this again and the crown will go back to España!

Up next I would like to call: “Happenings in España.”

In times where there are no games at MOA Arena or at the Big Dome, and times when I’m not competing in a contest. A lot of other things has happened both inside the classroom and around campus. Inside the classroom, every subject this year has been a challenge. With most of the free time being used for the preparation of the event we organized this semester. It has been a tough challenge to take time and focus on other subjects. From the continuation of learning the French language to the calculations made in Accounting class. From the life lessons of PDSR class to the responsible acts for the environment in Ecotourism class. Even a visit on a passenger vessel for one of our school projects. Every subject this semester, has tested each and every one of us to the limit. I had to endure times of brilliance as well as times of misery, all semester long. I’m hoping I can make it back alive and well, and be back better than ever once the next semester comes.

Around campus a lot of things has also happened as well. There were plenty of suspension of classes due to bad weather and flooding not only inside and around the campus, but also in other places across the metropolis. It caused our semestral break to start a full week late than expected and also caused the postponement of the.annual Thomasian Welcome Walk for our freshies, not once, not twice, but three times when the freshies finally. get to pass the arch on September 24

Another defining moment around campus this semester was when Queen Sofia of Spain made her visit to the UST campus. I was one of the thousands of Thomasians who were there to see her during her visit. But before the convoy arrived, a crew from Solar News arrived and asked UST students about the queen’s visit and I was one of those who were interviewed. Unfortunately, when I checked their news program later that day. They did not show it on television. Fortunately, a friend of mine took this photo when I was interviewed by the news crew.

Photo ©Kaiz del Mundo
Also, it was a great honor to meet the players of UST around campus. Finally, after almost 2 years and a semester in campus. I got myself pictures with two members of the Growling Tigers. First, with the graduating court general, “The Captain” Jeric Fortuna. Second with dead-eye shooter Clark “Tata” Bautista.
 
Photos ©Fats Infante
 
Just like previous years, I also see other UST players around campus like Aljon Mariano, Karim Abdul, Kevin Ferrer, Kim Lo and the rest of the team. Two moments I won’t forget this semester was when I saw Jeric Teng the daybefore Game 1 of the UAAP Finals. I said to him “Good luck bukas!” “Good luck tomorrow!”He replied by saying “Thank You!” and seeing UST coach Pido Jarencio inside the UST Chapel as I was saying my prayers.
 
I also got to meet a lot of friends this semester, not only inside of our own college CTHM. But also, in other colleges of the university. It’s always a great feeling to get out of your normal comfort zone and step out to meet a lot of people along the way.
 
To cap this blog entry, I will call this: “What’s Next?”
 
Yes, my 5th semester as a Thomasian Travel Management student has come to an eventful end. Now begins, the semestral break which will last for three weeks. However, one week from now, the grades will be out, and the following week, it’s time to enroll for the next semester. I really hope for the best as this chapter of “My España journey” closes and a new chapter begins very soon. Right now, I can finally take that long and deserving rest from all the fun and challenges brought by this semester. To cap off everything, I take one final salute by the Manila Bay.
 
 Photo ©Riana Frazil de Guzman
 
HELLO SEMBREAK! 
k-smoove is all in.
K-Smoove
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