Category Archives: 1st semester

The hardest lessons learned. Practicum, here I come.

It’s official. The semester is in the books. I will say with a open mind and heart that this was the toughest and the most difficult semester I ever had in the 3 1/2 years of my Thomasian journey. It pushed me to my very limits. From the very tough start to the year to the huge effort I gave to recover and bounce back at the same time the balancing act I did between my academic life and pursuits when it comes to competitions outside of the university. It was also took a grueling toll on myself both physically and mentally as I went through a lot of things in every day of the semester.

Even though this was the toughest semester I had and I fell a bit short on my goal for the semester, There are still things to cheer up about, I’m glad that made it through without any failures in all of my subjects both related to tourism as well as the few general education subjects we had to take this semester. At the same time, my winning ways continued into the semester with the two competitions I competed in.

With this semester over with, my academic life in college comes to an end. Also, I will not be able to see my classmates on a regular basis as we will now carve our own paths in the next semester, as we will enter the workplace and the industry itself for Practicum. I still have one last shot to prove my worth and most importantly get the necessary experience I will need to work well in the industry I decided to work on. It’s going to always be a challenge, but I’m sure it will be all worth it. I will work hard and do good in wherever workplace I will end up with when the right time comes. At the same time, I will get ready for my last tour of duty in tourism competitions, as I will soon pass the torch to my current teammates.

Seven semesters have come and passed, we’re all down to the last semester, our days as students are already numbered and on March 27, 2014. The Thomasian journey will come to an end and a new journey begins thereafter.

Almost there to the finish line. Got to finish strong.
K-Smoove

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The toughest one yet. Aiming for a comeback.

Yesterday, the “mad scramble rolled along as thousands of Thomasian students took to their computer sets to check on their grades for the 1st semester of AY 2012-13 on the myUSTe Portal. Some students stayed up well into the night of Friday until the early hours of yesterday to check on the grades. For the next 12 or so hours, there were no updates of the grades. At around 1:00 pm, the first round of students were able to check on their grades. Unlike the previous semester, where access was relatively smooth. It was a mixed theme this semester, for some people were able to access quicker than others. Some had to wait for a long time before they get their chance on the site. Generally, my friends had positive outlooks on their grades. Some excelled, while others were happy they made it through. However, there were some who had a difficult time in dealing with their grades.

As for me, well it was a case of “Thank God! I survived!. Well because, I did not return to the Dean’s List for a second consecutive semester and this was the lowest semestral average I got in my last five semesters in UST. Yet despite those setbacks, I never failed any subject thus I keep my status as a regular student
. I have not tasted a grade of 3.0 (on-the-nose passed) so far in any of the subjects I have taken, and I’m still in the running to graduate with honors. 

I admit, this semester was the toughest one so far in my España journey
. Because it came to a point where I almost failed a couple of subjects, and the fact that the semester tested me both on and off the classroom. A notable happening was when I played the role of a “Devil‘s Adovcate” in the conceptualization of our event for one of our subjects where I got into arguments with my blockmates and to points during the whole process that tested each and every one of us to the limit. Yet despite these things that happened, it ended successfully and we were all given high marks for it. A thing about this semester is that I excelled in some subjects more than others. These things happened because of my own decisions and work. I gave my heart and mind into everything that happened this semester. These were the best things that I can do and there is nothing I can do to turn it back again.

Five semesters down, three more to go. We’re coming to the conclusion of our own España journey. All I need to do now is to get enrolled for the next semester and as soon as I get back to continue my journey at the university, I’m going to aim for a BIG COMEBACK!
Next semester for sure will be a challenge for each and every one of us, I‘ll be coming in smarter to get back stronger.But that is easier said than done. It’s on me to make it all happen. I’m hungry and more determined than ever to come back smarter and stronger.

In the meantime, I can now sleep at peace for the rest of our semestral break and enjoy life free from tons of school work and the hassles of waking up early to get to school.


Once again CONGRATULATIONS
to those whoexcelledat the same time to those who are happy they made it through the struggles of school life.

A pat to the back to those who were not so fortunate with the results.
Keep the faith and come back next time stronger!


#thecomeback

K-Smoove

Let the "grades blitz" begin.

In a couple of hours from the time I‘m writing this blog entry, thousands of Thomasians will take to their computer sets, open their internet browsers and once again browse through the myUSTe Student Portal Website.

myUSTe Student Portal


As you may know already, the myUSTe Student Portal is where thousands of Thomasian students check their status in the university which includes their grades from every semester they took up, Wi-Fi account status, class schedules, course offerings, online evaluations as well as online enrollment.

Last semester, browsing through the website when the grades came out was relatively easy as students were able to see their grades much faster. I got to see my grades in less than a minute after I logged in to check out my grades.

Unlike in previous years, where the site always crash and students would have to wait from minutes to hours before they can pull through the heavy site traffic which the site can not handle back in those times to log in and see their grades.

A new feature that can be seen in the website is called Student Deficiencies. It shows the subjects a student has yet to take in order to graduate at the university. If a current subject you are taking shows up on the list. It could mean a couple of things, it’s either you fail, you’re incomplete, or the professor has yet to encode your grades.

As of this moment I write this blog entry, the GWA (General Weighted Average) of some of my Thomasian PEEPS had already changed, most notable would be from Pharmacy. So the grades are starting to be placed into the website.

So here we are once again. The long wait is over, our España journeys are on the line. Right now, all I can hope for is to PASS all subjects and still be a regular student. Being back in the Dean’s List (which I was a part for the first 3 semesters of my Thomasian student life) will be a bonus for me if Ill ever be back. But still I’m pursuing to finish with Latin Honors. A Cum Laude will be good enough for me. But as I say this, I believe that grades do not measure how good a person can be in life.

As I end this blog entry, I want to say to all the Thomasians out there, Good luck! and I hope we get through with flying colors.

KEEP CALM AND WE WILL PASS!
K-Smoove 

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