Remember I aimed for a comeback, guess what? I’M BACK!

It came out earlier than expected, it caught people off guard. As the grades for the second semester of the school year came out hours before the announced release date which was tomorrow. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first who were able to get in and glimpse on my grades. As it turns out, like any other semester. Some of the people who got to access their grades were happy with their grades while others had a tough time dealing with them. As of this time of writing, some of the people had been unable to get into the site to view their grades. Don’t worry guys! You’ll get through soon enough.

As for me, remember when I wrote in one of my previous blog entries that I was aiming for a comeback. Well guess what, ladies and gentlemen. IM BACK! Back on the Dean’s List, after missing the cut for the last two semesters. It turned out that I had the second best semesterin the six semesters I have finished at USTgrades wise I should say because this semester was the best one for me as stated in one of my recent blog entries. It was also the first time I got flat one grades in two subjects for a semester, and I have once again, not tasted a grade of 3.0 in any subject. But hey, I was worried with one of those subjects I took. Also, my GWAwent up by a small bit, thus improving my chances to graduate with honors.

Well, the semester lived up to its name as the toughest semester for a Travel Management student. But for me, aside from dealing with the everyday challenges of a student at school. I also had to deal with competing outside of the university. I did very well in majority of my subjects due to all the hard work and dedication I gave into coming back better during the semester. From our Feasibility Study which gave us sleepless nights to our other classes like Statistics, Tour Packaging, TTOM, Tour English, among others. However despite these success stories I had this semester, there were some letdowns that came along. Including the result of our Galileo Certification Exam for our Galileo course which came out the previous day. Despite preparing for this examination, long before we took the course this semester, I was unable to claim the Galileo certificate as I came up short on the required score on the examination to get it. However, I passed the course. That was my silver lining for not getting the certificate. As they say, You can’t win always. Despite some of these setbacks, all that’s important is that I‘M BACK, BACK with a BANG!

Six semesters down, two more left in the España journey. Our Junior Year is officially done, and now we’ll usher in our Senior Year. The “3” in 3T5 will now become “4” as we‘ll be called 4T5 next school year. First thing, we‘ll deal with our thesis. Afterwards, we‘ll be off to the field for our practicum, and finally it all culminates with graduation next year. So yeah, I’m all in for the FINAL PUSH to cap the journey with a BANG!

For now, I’ll be off to spend quality time during the Holy Week holiday as the summer vacation rolls along. Also, I like to say to those who will have their OJT/Practicum over the summer. Good luck and do your best at the workplace!

Like I said the last time we had this, CONGRATULATIONS to all of those who made it through another semesterespecially those who came out with high marks.

To those who had a rough semester, keep the faithand get better every single day.

all in for the final push. #SeniorYear
K-Smoove 

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San ka? Kampihan na!

Yesterday, I watched my first two PBA games at “The Big Dome”, the Smart Araneta Coliseum. I was already in the Cubao area since the afternoon since I was with my family who also bought some things there. So once the sun came down and minutes from tip-off. I went around the outside of the Big Dome and noticed some changes that have been happening. Gone was the old blue and yellow paint job on the outside. It was being painted white and glass was being installed on the exterior of the arena. Then at around 6pm, my friend from high school together with his little brother who had my tickets to the game arrived. Then we went inside The Big Dome for the double-header. It was also my first time watching a game at the Big Dome on Patron seats in the five times I’ve witnessed an event at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Later, my friend’s classmate arrived at the Big Dome as he was also invited by my friend to watch the game.

Both games were a treat. The first game was between the Air21 Express and the GlobalPort Batang Pier. Well, it was an up and down ballgame with the Batang Pier dominating the first half. However, the Express would come alive in the second half with hot shooting from their import Michael Dunigan as well as their local playerslike KG Canaleta and Mike Cortez as they defeat the Batang Pier 87-72. Unfortunately, I was unable to take photos from these games because I had to save my camera’s battery for the Main Event of the night.

It was the best team in the PBA this conference Alaska Aces going up against the SanMig Coffee Mixers. Well the “man of the moment” was San Mig Coffee star James Yap who has been in the news, not because of his on-court brilliance but of something personal he’s going through. I won’t go further into the details in this blog entry, since we’re all about basketball in this entry. Anyway, from tip-off it was an up and down game between these two competitive teams. Neither team did not waver all game long as both teams traded baskets and tough defense in a slow-paced game where both teams run the triangle on almost every play. For James Yap, it was an off game for him and it had something to do with the fact his personal troubles are getting the better of him. Both imports Denzel Bowles of San Mig Coffee and Rob Dozier of Alaska had a great battle inside. Alaska’s star rookie Calvin Abueva had a monster game despite the jeers he got all game long by the strong San Mig Coffee Planet in attendance at the Big Dome. In the end game, we were witness to one of the most craziest sequences of basketball I have seen in my life. Well here‘s what happened. It was 84-83 with the Mixers leading the Aces. Calvin Abueva was fouled on his way to the basket thus giving him two free throwsand a chance to give Alaska the lead. He would miss his first free throw, then when he was about to attempt his second free throw. Both backcourt players of Alaska and San Mig Coffee were called for lane violation thus resulting in a jump-ball. The Aces won the tip with enough time to go for the win. Abueva droved to the basket and missed the shot, then the Aces got the rebound and sent it back to Cyrus Baguio who attempted a wide-open shot for three, but the shot missed at the buzzer and the Mixers would escape with the victory over the Aces.

 Photo ©Karl Carandang
It was a great experience to watch the PBA live for the first time at the venue, after the experience of watching college basketball (UAAP and NCAA). As a Petron Blaze Boosters fan, that Alaska loss put a smile on my face, as that gives them a windown to take the lead from the Aces after witnessing a tough overtime defeat against the Talk ‘n Text Tropang Texters on television the previous day. So I’ll thank my friend for the free Patron tickets to the games yesterday. This won’t be the last time I’ll watch a PBA game live.
PBA: San ka? Kampihan na!
K-Smoove

Junior Year, thank you for all the memories. Hello Senior Year! Soon.

A.Y. 2012-13 has come to an end. Junior Year, Third Year, Year 3 of my España journey has come to an end. Six semesters have come and go, time really flew by very fast. It was like yesterday when we lined up and hoped that we will get accepted into UST, now it’s down to one final year as a Thomasian student. But before all of that, here are some of the stories that I would like to share from the second semester of Year 3 of the España journey.

Picking up where I left off the previous semester, I was back competing in quiz bee competitions for the university. I competed in three competitions this semester, all of which happened within a span of a month.

First was the 2nd National League of Tourism Students of the Philippines Skills Olympics Quiz Bee last February 9, 2013, where we went up north to the University of Baguio campus in the “City of Pines” in Baguio City. Our team topped the elimination round, however in the Final Round we were unable to duplicate our feat from the elimination round and we had to settle for 3rd Place. It wasn’t only us who competed there, my blockmates Jeanie Tan and Kimberly Tecson won 2nd Place in the Domestic Tour Package Proposal competition, while our fellow batchmate Rolando Sio Jr. won 1st Place in the International Tour Guiding competition. Also competing was another batchmate of ours Lyka dela Cruz who competed in the Domestic Tour guiding competition. At the end of the day, we did not go home empty.

A week later on February 16, 2013, the team was back again to compete at the UP Club for the Environment & Tourism Domestikwhiz 2013 held at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Social Hall in Quezon City. That competition also had a chip on our shoulders as it will be the last time we’ll compete as one team. As both of my teammates after the competition will prepare for their graduation. It was a tightly contested quiz bee. We thought we had lost it. However, we got a blessing as we came out as CHAMPIONS! It was the second time we as a team came out as champions. We won the cash prize of P6,000 which the three of us got to share with, medals for all three of us, a trophy we get to send back to España, and a Moonleaf planner for each of us (I would give mine in a raffle afterwards.) It was indeed a great way to cap off our run as one team with a BANG!

Finally on February 28, 2013, we went to the campus of Treston International College in Taguig City as we competed in the 7th National Tourism Students Congress Skills Olympics organized by UFTE/UFTS. It is the biggest competition of the year. This time however, I competed all by myself in the Quiz Bee competition. On that day was the elimination round for some of the competitions. As for me, I was able to get through to the elimination round as I finished second among the 11 who made it through to the final round. That day would turn out great as it wasn’t just me who got through to the eliminations, as all of us who competed that day made it through to the eliminations. Then the following day, March 1. We all came back, this time we brought along new faces who will only compete on that day. Then came the Final round of the Quiz Bee. It was a tightly contested battle, but in the end, just like in the eliminations, I settled for a runner-up finish. Aside from that, my blockmates Trudeece Ramos and Katlyne Bundal also won 2nd Place in the International Tour Package proposal, it was also a victory for our class 3T5 as all of us contributed to the success of the proposal in the competition. Then our batchmate Rolando Sio Jr. won 3rd Place in the International Tour Guiding competition. The others who competed were my blockmates Jeanie Tan and Kimberly Tecson in the Domestic Tour Package proposal, Shane Prepotente and Sheila Lao in the Poster Making competition, Trixia Alda who wore the costume designed by Justine Navato in the Kasuotang Pinoy competition and our batchmate Jhie Berbano who competed in the Domestic Tour Guiding competition

It was indeed a great way to cap off a great year of competition for all of us, and I’m so happy that all of us at 3T5 made a lot of noise this year through the competitions we competed all year long, and what great way to cap off the year was at the CTHM Awards 2013 held last March 12, when together with my teammates won the Benavides Outstanding Achievement Award as well as medals and certificates for bringing honor to the University and the College. Not only that, our class 3T5 took home the Outstanding Homeroom Class Award for the Travel Management Department as well as the Outstanding Class President Award for our class president Kimberly Tecson.

 

Photos © Karl Carandang


So for the last time, I’ll thank my senior teammates Ate Kriskyn Cabrera and Ate Marian Buenaventura. Being a part of this team has been a great honor and privilege. I’m happy we’ve achieved a lot of great things as one team. Congratulations as well on your graduation from the University. We’ll find time to hang out soon. Maybe this summer will do. You two may be signing off now with a BANG! We’ll continue what the three of us started together!

Also I would like to thank our mentors from the Dean Ma’am Tioc, our chairperson (one-time class adviser) Sir Win and our secretary (also a one-time class adviser) Sir G for all the opportunity to represent the university in competitions this year. I couldn’t have asked more. I would also like to thank our coaches this semester, Ma’am Jane and Ma’am Tin for being there for us throughout the preparations until the competitions themselves. But let me not forget our previous coaches in Ma’am Connie, Ma’am Amy and Ma’am Joreen (who is now in De La Salle Lipa). I hope to come back next year better than ever and once again bring glory to the university.

When I’m not in competitions, I had to go through the every day life of a Thomasian Travel Management Student. Our seniors always say that 3rd Year, 2nd Semester is the “most difficult” semester for a Travel Management student. Indeed it lived up to it’s word. From formulating a Business Plan/Feasibility Study in our Entreprenurship and Business Planning class which we were to defend in front of a panel of judges, it also gave us a lot of sleepless nights, but Thank God it came out better than expected. Also we had to go through writing booking files in our Galileo class which also comes with a shot at a certificate for the usage of the Galileo software. As well, to our French class which will be the last foreign language course we will take at the university, to our Statistics class with a twist, to our Tour Packaging class where we created an international tour package proposal and we used in competition, to the Tourism English class which was lively and very energetic, to the TTOM class where we went inside the basics of a travel company, and to the never forgiving Tour Planning class. Each subject gave all of us a set of challenges we had to endure over the past 5 months of the second semester. Most of the time, all was well, but of course there were times where we were pushed to our very limits. I’m really hoping with all the hard work that I gave all semester long, it will translate into positive results.

Aside from the school work, there were a couple of events that happened around the campus this semester, one of which was the annual Paskuhan event which happened on December 21, 2012. The day they say the world will come to an end. But we’re all standing here at this moment in the year 2013 alive and well. But anyway, during the Paskuhan we all had a great time together with my classmates, batchmates and friends as we spent the entire night having a blast. Also, some of my classmates and batchmates went on an International Tour to Seoul, South Korea. Unfortunately, I was unable to come due to the high costs to make the trip. So while they’re away in another country, we still found a way to have some fun for us who got left behind in the Philippines as I threw a pizza party with my blockmates. Then, there was The Search for the Ideal Thomasian Personalities competition in which Mr. and Ms. CTHM came with a first runner-up and fourth runner-up finish respectively. Aside from that, the USTET results came out where the list of prospective Thomasians came out including those who were given a chance to an interview for a shot to get into CTHM. Also, there was the annual student elections both on the university-wide and college level. Finally, yesterday was the Baccalaureate Mass for the graduating students of the university as they passed by the Arch of the Centuries for the last time as Thomasian students. Next year, it will be us who’ll be passing by the Arch and sitting on those chairs.

Yeah! So my third year as a Thomasian Travel Management Student has come to an end, and Summer vacation has arrived. It will be my last summer vacation as a student. I have to make this one count! The grades will be out soon, and once summer vacation has ended, it will be the start of Senior Year in my España journey. Thesis and then Practicum. Yeah it will be one busy Senior Year for me. But for now, I’ll savor the moment and relax over the hot summer heat. I’ll leave with a photo of mine with all the things I was able to achieve this year.

JUNIOR YEAR, thanks for the memories.
HELLO SUMMER!
Soon, HELLO SENIOR YEAR!
all in for the win.
K-Smoove

Thankful for every opportunity and chance to go all in.

It all began last July, when I was called in to compete for the very first time. Seven months later, four competitions in tow, already tested and proven, battlescars all over. It all came down on this hot Friday morning in Taguig. It was my last competition for the school year. As I represented the university at the 7th National Tourism Students Congress Quiz Bee organized by UFTE and UFTS.

But before all of that, on the day before probably, the biggest day of my life, with a team of 7 including 1 coach, we began our journey from UST to the campus of Treston International College in Taguig City. As we all had to go through the elimination rounds of the competition. With me competing the Quiz Bee, I was joined by my blockmates Jeanie Tan and Kimberly Tecson who competed in the Domestic Tour Package Proposal, Trudeece Ramos and Katlyne Bundal who competed in the International Tour Package Proposal. We were also joined by our batchmates Jr Sio who competed in the International Tour Guiding competition, and Jhie Berbano who competed in the Domestic Tour Guiding Competition. Accompanying us was our coach/mentor/mother Ms. Jane Devanadera.

When all was said and done, we all came home happy as all of us made it through the eliminations and we‘re all coming back tomorrow to compete in the Finals. I finished second in the elimination round of the Quiz Bee. Three points separated me and the one who topped the elimination round. While the others did a very good job in advancing to the Final Round. Aside from that, we saw some of our former mentors like Ms. Joreen Rocamora who is now in De La Salle Lipa and is one of the reasons I was able to get this far and the one who believed and gave a lot of faith and confidence in all my abilities, as well as Chef Ayie Cordova who is now in FEU.

Also, as the inner hoop junkie kicked in, I was thrilled to see the San Mig Coffee Mixers starring James Yap, Marc Pingris, PJ Simon, Joe Devance, Coach Tim Cone, among others, and I also got to see GlobalPort’s twin towers of Japeth Aguilar and Alex Crisano on the elevator. Too bad I did not have a camera with me so I was unable to take a picture with them.

Then it all came down to that Friday morning, with the seven of us back to compete, we were also joined by three of my blockmates, Shane Prepotente and Sheila Lao who competed in the Poster Making competitionand Trixia Alda who modeled the work of Justine Navato in the Kasuotang Pinoy competition. Aside from them, members of the Students Tourism Society Executive Board also joined us with Brandon Esperancilla and Korine Sanchez.

At around 11 am, together with 10 of my competitors in the Final Round, I stepped into the stage, took a seat, prayed for one last time, and the Quiz Bee began. It was a tightly contested competition, but in the end, I came very close to victory. I would settle for a runner-up finish. Four points separated me from the champion, while the one who finished thirdwas also four points behind me. Afterwards, I congratulated the champion who sat behind me as well as my other competitors for a good fight. The champion who I got to talk to afterwards came from De La Salle UniversityDasmariñas, while the third placer came from Lyceum of the Philippines University-Manila.

When the day was over, we also bagged in other awards. My blockmates Deece and Kat won second place in their International Tour Package Proposal of New Zealand which was a class effort by all of us at 3T5 who conceptualized the Itinerary, Costing, Marketing Video and Brochures that were used in the competition. Also, our batchmate Jr won third place in the International Tour Guiding competition. Jeanie and Kim on the Domestic Tour Package Proposal, Shane and Sheila on their Poster Making competition, Trixia on modeling at the Kasuotang Pinoy competition and Jhie on the Domestic Tour Guiding all did a good job and a valiant efforteven though they did not make it to the Top 3. Aside from that, we finished 4th Runner-Up Overall in the Skills Olympics which was won by Lyceum of the PhilippinesUniversityManila.Afterwards, we all went for one thanksgiving dinner in Chowking at the nearby Market! Market!

So yeah, what has been a great year for me competing has come to an end. I competed in five competitions this year. The last three all came within a span of less than a month. Two championships, one runner-up finish, one third place finish and one semi-finals appearance. It was indeed a great and learning experience for me.

I would like to thank all our mentors Ma’am Jane Devanadera who was a “motherly” figure to all of us through the last few days as well as Ma’am Christine Cabigao. Also, we would like to thank our families, our classmates (especially my block 3T5), our batchmates, and the entire CTHM and Thomasian community for all their support and prayers throughout the last couple of months in the journey we all took to this moment.

Finally we Thank God for all the blessings and the inspiration you have given us throughout these past few months. It is indeed very overwhelming on my part to have made it this far from the time this all began last year.

Next year, I wish I can play a part on improving our chances in winning competitions, especially now, I’ll be the only one left from our quiz bee team this year as both my teammates will be graduating this month. I took into heart what our mentors both old and new said over these two days in Taguig. Like every opportunity that I had this year, I hope I’ll get the opportunity once again to be a part of something BIG and bring glory to the university once again. That’s why I‘m saying to myself time and time again I’m all in for UST!

Now, it’s back to reality for me as we wind down on this school year. There is plenty more work to do right now. Projects to pass, papers to defend, exams to pass, get certifications and all those things. For now, I’ll savor this moment. For tomorrow, it’s back to work again!

Thankful and Blessed! Opportunities taken have bear fruit.
K-Smoove