Category Archives: ufte

Capping off the greatest ride of my life.

I never saw it coming. I never expected I’d be embarking on what would become one of the best two day stretches of my life. Because prior to it all, I never expected that much. I knew I wasn’t able to prepare well enough for what I will embark and pursue to accomplish. But I know this will be my last ride, capping off a great run I had the past two years. Yet, for those two days, everything happened like it was a good night’s dream.

It all began on a Friday, February 28 at the Our Lady of Fatima University campus in Lagro, Quezon City. I took a short bus ride from my home to get there, and it would be the first time I will meet the rest of the team who will be there with me competing at the 2014 UFTE Cup. In last year’s tournament, together with some of my classmates and batchmates, we competed at the Treston International College campus in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. I finished second in the quiz bee competition, losing valiantly to a better man from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas. In the lead-up to the biggest final test I will have competing as an individual, I saw some familiar faces and saw new ones. Winning it all wasn’t in my head. I’d just wanted to put up a great fight. Then almost mid-day, the competition began. I fought against 28 fellow students from colleges and universities across the Philippines. It was a tightly contested contest, I didn’t knew where I am standing with the rest of them during the entire course of the competition. When the dust settled, the scores came out, and I won it! by three points over the lady and a good friend of mine from Lyceum of the Philippines University-Manila Lorraine Padilla who beat me in the PHILTOA Quiz Bee last year. I never saw it coming. It was an emotional victory for me as it was the first and only time I won a competition as an individual.

Then more blessings came along for our team, as the Tour Packaging pair of Angela Sonico and Janelle Payumo from class 3T1 won also, while the Domestic Tour Guiding participant Danica Esquilona also from 3T1 won. While Dan Quiaoit and Miya Morelos put up a good fight in their International Tour and Kasuotang Pinoy competitions respectively. The cherry on the ice cream is that we won second place in the overall standings which was won by Lyceum of the Philippines University-Manila who won for the second straight year.

Then the following day, with less rest coming into the next competition as the program last night finished unfashionably late into the night. I went in again, took a ride from home to the DENR Building also in Quezon City for the last competition I will embark on, the UP Club for the Environment & Tourism Domestikwhiz 2014. We were coming in as the defending champions where I was also a part of the team which won last year. The team this year, is a bit different from the team I started with the year, since both of them from the original team were unable to go since they were coming off a trip from South Korea. So I came in with a team composed of myself, Camilla de Guzman and Lia Tani both from class 2T3. This year’s competition is smaller than previous years as only 6 schools competed. We struggled out of the gates to start the competition, we had a tough time as our competitors gained ground on us. But we were able to do enough to get into the final round with 3 schools competing. We were happy that we will get a place at the end of the day, then in the final round, we made our move. We were able to recover all lost ground, when it all was said and done! We defended the title! It was a special feeling for me to defend a championship we won. We never saw it coming, yet we were there on top of the mountain once again!

Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
With that great run I had over these two wonderful days, my run as a quiz bee competitor for the University of Santo Tomas – College of Tourism and Hospitality Management came to an end. At the end of it all, the statline I compiled over the last two years:
1-time semi-finalist
1-time Third Placer
2-time Runner-Up (both as an individual)
5-TIME CHAMPION (4 as a group, 1 as an individual)
(4-0 when a competition was held in my hometown of Quezon City)
These would have not been possible without the help of the CTHM Administration led by Dean Tio Cuison, Sir Win Medina, Sir Granado as well as Fr. Roy Rodriguez our Regent who gave me the opportunity to compete not only for the college but for the university. To all my coaches over the years, Ma’am Connie Ang, Ma’am Tin Fajardo, Ma’am Amy Turaray, Ma’am Jane Devanadera, Ma’am Karla Colmenar for giving us the wisdom in all our endeavors during the times we competed, and a special mention to Ma’am Joreen Rocamora (who’s now in De La Salle Lipa) for believing in a guy who wasn’t even in the Top 50 of the batch to compete on the biggest of these stages. To all my classmates, my 4T5 family who have been there to cheer me on even if they’re not in body to be at all my competitions, to my fellow batchmates who will graduate soon, to the people who I joined this journey in, my teammates over the years Ate Kriskyn Cabrera, Ate Marian Buenaventura, Chamille Mercado, Miah Kogami, Camilla de Guzman and Lia Tani. To my family who supported me from the very beginning. And lastly, to God for all the blessings I got over this two-year stretch.
So with all of that, the greatest ride of my life comes to an end. 
This has been Karl Carandang, competing for UST-CTHM signing off.
The ride ends with a bang!
K-Smoove
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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

The busiest month has arrived. Because saying it’s the "love month" is too mainstream.

One month in 2013 is in the books, now the month February has arrived. Well, it’s the love month as most people would say because of Valentine‘s Day coming up a few days from now, but in this blog entry, saying that it’s the love month is too mainstream. I say, that February will be the busiest month for me.

I rant about it all the time every time this time of the year comes, because Valentine’s Day for me is “JUST ANOTHER DAY in my LIFE.” Well because, I got no special someone to spend it with. Others may not agree with what I say, but that’s how I see things on that day. Ask me a Valentine‘s Day question and I will not answer. It’s my personal choice of doing this every year. So when that day arrives, expect no flowers nor chocolates coming out from me as well as me making a move on a lady, well because I’m not into giving gifts because I don’t have enough money with me most of the time. Maybe one day, I could say that it’s really the love month, but now it’s just too mainstream in my view.

So that’s enough of the love talk, like the title says, February will be the busiest month for me. That’s because I got a lot of things to do. I’ll be joining competitions once again this year, not one, not two, but three! A week from now, we’re off to Baguio to compete for a quiz bee as a team(it’s also a consolation for me to get some cold weather since I’m not joining my classmates and batchmates who will go to Seoul, South Korea this month) and some of my friends who will also compete in other contests will join along, then a week later we’ll be competing again in UP for a Ecotourism quiz bee, it will also be the last time our team over the past year will compete together since both my teammates are graduating this March. Then finally, it’s The Big One!, as I will compete at the end of the month in the UFTE Quiz Bee at The Fort. With all of that, I’m now into intense training and preparation every after class until the end of the month to prepare myself for these things. I’m hoping for the best in all the competitions I’ll be joining this month. I made this and got some inspiration from shirt designs and slogans of adidas.

Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
Aside from the competitions I’ll be joing this month, I’ll also get busy with school work, because there are a lot of requirments to be passed, as well as work on different activities like quizzes, seatworks, assignments, among others. Even projects where I’m the captain, I need to step up my game a notch. It is going to be tough, yet it will be a rewarding experience when it all ends soon.
 
It was also tough to see one of my great mentors leave before the semester came to an end, well because that mentorwas great in their craft, at the same time being an inspiration not only to me, but also to all of the students that this mentor has touched over the years. That lead me to ask the question, “Why do the great mentors leave so early?” I have a lot of mentors throughout my entire life, however there are some who leave their mark and I remember very well of them than others. There are some who can relate to the students, some who have great minds and a lot of wisdom, and some who gave a lot of faith in you over the years. For that mentor, I wish all the best in their future endeavors and I hope to see you soon.
 
Anyway, this month is also All-Star month as the 2013 NBA All-Star Game comes to the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. This will be the second time in my lifetime, that I’ll see a All-Star game play out in Houston, home of my favorite team the Houston Rockets. I cannot wait to see James Harden play in his first all-star game after a breakout season with the Rockets after the trade from the Thunder before the season began, also a note on Chandler Parsons who will also make an impact in the Rising Stars Challenge.
 
Well, you can call the month of February anyway you want, but we should remember to make each day count. Time is flying fast these days.
 
Blessed and loaded for the win!
K-Smoove