Last Saturday, on a rainy day across entire metropolis with Typhoon Lando bound to hit Luzon bringing heavy rains and gusty winds over the horizon. It was an opportunity for me to do something I haven’t done in the last three years. Watch my beloved UST Growling Tigers live in action.
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 University–Dasmariñas, 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 PhilippinesUniversity–Manila.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.
On a cloudy Thursday afternoon, while most of my blockmates are out of the country and having their tour around the Land of the Morning Calm, I thought that it was a perfect day to do something big, because of the circumstances brought about by these events. I decided to throw my “victory party” on that daytogether with my blockmates who like me were unable to come to the tour up north. It was a “victory party”, because of my recent successes, and it was a better way for me to say THANK YOU for all their support and prayers in my recent endeavor. It was also a great opportunity to have some fun and celebrate, even if we’re not a part of the tour.
On the menu for the day was a 18” Hawaiian Yellow Cab Pizza, as well as Coke and Mountain Dew. Which all I paid for, as well as the cups for the drinks.
Last Saturday February 16, for the very last time as one team, we competed on our final competition on a hot morning at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City as we competed in the Domestikwhiz 2013 organized by the UP Club for Environment and Tourism.
We competed against eight schools from all over the Metro in this quiz bee. Like in the other contests, we came out swinging and got off to a great start as we got a good lead early, however in the final round the questions grew tougher and we failed to answer some questions, at the same time there were questions where no one got the right answer. At the end of the competition, we thought we haven’t done good enough. The emotion of defeat and the feeling of Baguio all over again was in us. However, faith had other plans for our team, as we came out as the CHAMPIONS in the Domestikwhiz 2013! It was indeed a heavy feeling being lifted away from us after the winners were announced.
Last February 9, after all the preparation and the long training hours leading up to this, it all came down to one day. As we competed in the 2nd National League of Tourism Students of the Philippines Skills Olympics 2013 held at the University of Baguio campus in Baguio City.
We arrived in The City of Pines, the day prior to the competition in the afternoon after a 6 hour trip from Manila. We stayed at the Hotel Veniz at the center of the city, which gave me fond memories of my last trips to Baguio which I had not visited for the last 3 years. As expected, we got a feel of the cool weather the city experiences, it was indeed an escape from the sometimes hot weather in Manila. We spent dinner at Tokyo Tokyo in SM City Baguio and also spent the night doing our final reviews for the competitions we‘ll be competing on the next day.
Then the following day, after breakfast at the hotel, we checked-out of the hotel, but kept our luggage at the lobby at the hotel for safekeeping and then went to the campus of the University of Baguio for the competitions. We had the smallest contingent in Baguio as it was only nine of us (7 students, 2 mentors) representing UST. Once again, our quiz bee team composed of my two seniors Kriskyn Cabrera, Marian Buenaventura and yours trulycompeted in the Tourism Quiz Bee. In the elimination round, we came out on top answering all but four of the 20 questions to advance to the final round. Unfortunately in the final round, we settled for a third place finish as we only got 3 of the 10 questions. The contest was won by the contestants from Far Eastern University while the contestants from St. Louis University Baguiofinished in second place.
It wasn’t only us who competed in Baguio for the Skills Olympics, two of my classmates Jeanie Tan and Kimberly Tecson competed in the Tour Package Propsal competition, they finished in second place together with the participants from Far Eastern University. The biggest winner of the day was our batchmate Jr Sio who won first place in the Virtual Tour Guiding International Category. Let us not also forget the effort put up by our batchmate Lyka dela Cruz who competed in the Virtual Tour Guiding Domestic Category.
The events of this week will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life. This week, I competed in two competitions outside the university.
The first competition was the PHILTOA (Philippine Tour Operators Association) Quiz Bee that was held last Wednesday. Me and two others represented the university for the competition. We competed individually. We all made it past the elimination round into the semi-finals. Unfortunately, our efforts came up short as none of us were able to make it to the Top 10 to advance to the finals which will be held next month.
The second competition was the ITTE (International Tourism and Trade Expo) Quiz Bee that was held yesterday. We were still together in this competition. This time, it was a group competition. This time, we were able to redeem ourselves and we came out as CHAMPIONS!