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España High! Through Black and Gold! Green and Blue!

On March 27, 2014. It all came to an end. 16 years of a whirlwind road to education for me has come to a close. The doors have opened to the real world for me. But before all of that, I’m going to do something I’ve done 4 years ago when I finished high school. So yeah, let’s do this! On this entry, I’m here to share my own stories during the course of my stay at my second home for the last four years.

The Royal, Pontifical and Catholic University of the Philippines
The University of Santo Tomas


Prelude to the Journey: Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight!

I took in the famous advertising line of Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat (which for some reason I’m not a big fan of that team) during his shoe deal with Converse to tell the story before this came fruit. As a high school student from a all-boys institution in Claret, fourth year meant you’re going to pursue college

I took three college entrance examinations, UPCAT (for the University of the Philippines System), ACET (for the Ateneo de Manila University) and USTET (for the University of Santo Tomas). As it turned out, I failed in both UPCAT and ACET. I had nothing to lose when taking the ACET, but the UPCAT back then left a sting on me. As for the USTET,  I was called for an interview for the course of Travel Management while I was on the waitlist in Computer Science. I went in for the interview, where I was interviewed by the great Dr. Dennis Ligan. Everything went well during the interview. I didn’t encounter any problem. 

Weeks later, the interview results came out. I had a notion I made it since a friend of mine came there said I passed. But my father came over to check again, then came the bad news. I failed the interview. It was rock bottom for me. Knowing I wanted to pursue the program. I felt bad about myself. A couple of minutes later, I composed myself and I started to fight for that slot. We applied for a reconsideration so we contacted the CTHM Office to ask for it. 

On March 24, 2010, I finally finished my high school education at Claret School of Quezon City. Yet the pursuit continued. Days later, I got the opportunity, I was called in for another interview at CTHM for the reconsideration. Prior to that though, I secured my slot for Computer Science, just in case all didn’t end well in my reconsideration at CTHM. On the day of the interview, I came in and I was right away interviewed by the Dean, she told me about my shortcomings and the reasons I failed the interview. I made it a point on the interview those things will never happen again, and that I kept my word of being honest during the time I had my first interview. As fate would have it, they gave me the slot. I will become a Travel Management student!

After a few deliberations, I proceeded with pursuing Travel Management at UST. Got my papers transferred from Engineering to CTHM and have myself enrolled. There I found out I would belong to section 1T5. I never met them personally on enrollment day, yet as the summer went by, I met some of them on Facebook and started to introduce myself to them. Back then, I did not know what will hit me throughout my stay at the university. Yet I was set to embark on a new chapter in my life.

Freshman Year: Entering The Portals of the Square-Shaped Campus!

On June 8, 2010, the Thomasian journey began. I finally got to meet my classmates for the first time in person. I found out right away, we were only three gentlemen in a class filled with ladies. It was a complete reversal from what I got used to throughout my life. Especially I came from a all-boys school. So this whole year was a period of adjustment for me. I had to get used to the fact I will not be able to do the old tricks and trips back in high school.

Then we all had our initiation at the University with the Thomasian Welcome Walk where we went in to the Arch of the Centuries, thus officially rendering us as true Thomasian students. Our first year at the university was a trying time for all of us. Our section back then was the talk of the town, but in a negative way. We feared that we may get reshuffled and will have to meet new faces the next school year. Fortunately, as the year progressed, the prospect went dim.

Of course we had our first CTHM College Week experience, which happened earlier than other colleges of the university. The Weinachtsmarkt (German Christmas Market) for our German class which was held in the campus of the Ateneo de Manila University. The very first Paskuhan festivities we had, which I spent with my high school classmates who came over for a visit. As well as the start of the Quadricentennial festivities as the university reached 400 years of establishment in the archipelago. As the days went by, I came to understand and live the culture of the life as a CTHM student. I was not an officer back then, yet I did things that I would do for the rest of my college life. One being the beadle where I was responsible for going to the equipment room as well as getting things ready. at the podium and the projector. As well as the notes guy, for I was sending notes to people. Yet I had to end it during the middle of my third year.

Then came my notoriety for singing and dancing in between classes, for some reason I was doing things that I thought I’m being bonkers for it. Imagine, a guy on a extra sized uniform doing the “John Wall” on the beat of “Teach Me How To Dougie”.  But yeah, I got caught once by the faculty doing it at a bad time, in which I surrendered my ID and I felt really bad for it. Though, I was able to forgive those who forced me to do it and it was all good afterwards.

Well, who can forget the year we spent in Filipino class with the great Sir Alvin Ringgo Reyes? From the cooking demo/promote a place in UST video to the baby thesis. He made Filipino classes enjoyable for all of us. Not to mention when everyone went crazy when the Thai sleeper hit “A Crazy Little Thing Called Love” was flashed in our classes. The intelligent and brain-teasing discussions in Philippine History and Rizal Course with Sir Gene Atanacio. The very interactive German class of the great Herr Wil Josue. The very fun Business Math class of Sir Robert Arenas. The cookery classes, as well as learning the basics of tourism. As well as the two PE classes the section took, in softball and social dancing. And many other courses that we took during our first year which unfortunately, I cannot remember what happened, so forgive me if I did.

It was during this point where I had a choice. Whether to stay in UST, or settle for a transfer closer to home at UP Diliman since my grades back then was good enough to apply for a transfer. Though the prospect was good, the fact that I fell in love with the vibes of UST, which validated my decision to stay. I was doing well and I came out looking forward to spend another year of the Thomasian journey.

Sophomore Year: Entering the Real Essence!

And so the journey continued, this was the point in time where our section really started to change our general outlook in front of our mentors. We began, to show how good we really became. I remember the Domestic Tour we had in Cebu and Bohol, where we came out to do well in front of the eyes of our mentors at the same time enjoy every moment together as one section. We got good props for being able to do great during the course of the trip. Then came BA Day, where I came in to field in a last minute replacement to go out and perform. Joined by my HRM batchmates Manj of H1, Miggy of H2 (who was also my HS batchmate), KP and Syd of H5 to form our own version of the “Kanto Boys”. We went out to perform which brought delight to everyone watching. It was one of the most memorable moments of this Thomasian journey. For us Travel Management students, the true test of the year came with the Mock Tour Guiding around the city of Manila. I was picked at the Ayala Museum in Makati. Once the dust settled, I came in third in our class behind the top 2 in our class Jeanie and Kim.

We also had our last two PE classes where we got to pick our preferred sport. For me, I got to take basketball during my 1st semester and handball in my 2nd semester. In both PE classes, I got to meet friends from other colleges of the university. It was also during this time where we got to have our NSTP classes. I was able to meet some of my batchmates as we were clustered alphabetically with TRM and HRM students together in one section. I also joined a couple of organizations during that year, with the Thomasian Nippon Sei (now known as Thomasian Nihon Kyouhai) and Pax Romana where I got to meet a lot of new friends as well. I was happy I found a solid group to be with among my classmates. They were there to support me.

Also, who can forget the dreaded GMSQ (Grand Major Short Quiz) during our BA class with Sir Jojo Villamin, as well as the basic accounting class. World Tourism and Geography where I thrived with because of the maps with our then class adviser Sir Win Medina. The Transportation Management class which I also thrived upon with my passion for transportation with instructor Sir Jim Nidea. The very lively speech classes of the great Ms Sheryll Sampang. Then came the transition from learning German to French. And many other courses which gave us more information about the industry we will go with.

We had our second college week where I took part in one of the games where I fell short in the end with my classmate Katlyne winning it all, I also got my first taste of competing in a quiz bee which was done locally, where our T5 family fell short by a solitary point against the T3 family, as well as the sportsfest where I got to play some basketball. The second Paskuhan, known as the “Quadricentennial Paskuhan”,  was a time where I got to spend it with a lot of people which included my blockmates and batchmates in CTHM. In addition, the year was ushered with the transition from Quadricentennial Year to Neocentennial Year. We were fortunately one of the lucky ones to witness this once in a lifetime occassion

I kept up my good performance throughout the year, though there were times I slipped, I was still doing well nicely. Though I saw that life as a Junior will be tough, I had no idea with how much will the next chapter on this story will bring to me.

Junior Year: Driven by Passion, Challenge Accepted!

Entering my Junior Year at the university, I had foreseen that it will be a tough year for all us. But I was coming in to a point, I thought I wouldn’t be in the first place. The invitation came from one of my mentors Ms. Joreen Rocamora, who asked if I could join the team to compete for quiz bee competitions. At first, I had my doubts since while I may a good student, I thought of the fact that there are a lot of my classmates and batchmates who were better suited for it. In the end, I accepted and I was in for a ride I will endure for the last two years of my college life.

During my Junior Year, I joined five competitions. I was joined with alongside my senior teammates Ate Kriskyn Cabrera and Ate Marian Buenaventura. The first one which was the PHILTOA Quiz Bee at the old DOT Building in Manila in which we competed individually, we all made it until the semi-finals, but unfortunately none of us made the Top 10. Days after, we were united as a group and competed at the International Tourism and Trade Expo Quiz Bee at the SkyDome in SM North EDSA, where we came out as CHAMPIONS. It was our first victory which we enjoyed together. The following semester, we went up to Baguio City for the National League of Tourism Students of the Philippines Skills Olympics. We topped the eliminations, but unfortunately we fell short in the Finals and had to settle for third place. That defeat, inspired us days after when we competed for the last time as a group in UP Club for the Environment and Tourism Domestikwhiz 2013, where we came out as CHAMPIONS! Then on the last competition of the year, I competed individually for the 2013 UFTE Cup at the campus of Treston International College in Taguig City, where I settled for a second place finish behind the representative from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas. Because of the good run I had, it was also rewarded when I was recognized by the college during the CTHM Awards Night with a special award they gave me, as well as the Benavides Outstanding Achievement Award which was the University’s recognition for all the efforts I put into during the course of the year.

Outside of the competitions, a lot of things happened as well. We had our events management class with Sir Arnel Cruz where our class came up with the event: “Silhouette: A Glint in the Dark, The Search for The Next Tourism Ambassadress 2013.” which was held on September 23, 2012 at the AFP Theater inside Camp Aguinaldo. We also had our feasibility study with Sir Ernest Alcano, my group in which I was the leader, came up with the bed and breakfast concept in a place in my home province of Batangas. Though we had some flaws, it came out good. Well, who can also forget the chase for the Galileo certification as part of our Galileo class with Ma’am Amy Turaray. I was doing well then, but I fell short. Back then, I felt bad about it, but later on I managed to move on as the solace came with all the victories I amassed over time. Who can also forget the PDSR class of Ms. Mae Fortuna, where I learned how to do the bow tie from scratch. Then of course we got a lot of mathematics with Financial Management class, Statistics class as well as Tour Packaging class where we got to use the calculators a lot. It was also a break from Theology classes. It was also during this time we got to wrap up our foreign language studies as we completed our French language courses. Then came the International Tour to Korea which unfortunately due to financial constraints and my preparation for the competition, I was unable to make the trip.

Outside of the life as a student, it was during this year where I got to watch a couple of UAAP basketball games. I was able to watch both Finals games that year where UST fell short against Ateneo. As well as the first game of the “Chowking Saga” as the Teng brothers Jeric and Jeron battled for the first time which ended with a UST victory in overtime. It would turn out to be the only game I watched LIVE where UST came up with the victory. Then came my third Paskuhan as well as the cap-off to the Neocentennial celebrations.

My life as a Junior student, was the most challenging yet it was I would say the best year of my life as a Thomasian student. With three years down, and one year left. I was all set to end the journey off with the BANG!

Senior Year: Capping Off This Roller-coaster of a Journey!

Entering my Senior Year, I was riding all the great momentum I was able to get from the previous year. I was coming in with a huge grin on my face. However, I didn’t see the worst coming in. Throughout the course of my last academic semester. I struggled mightily. I wasn’t the guy who had the belief that he can do better. The pressure of being a senior got the better of me. That semester was the worst performance I put up in my entire stay in the university. I accepted my fate with a heavy heart. Because of the poor performance, I fell off the honor roll. I thought I wouldn’t do enough to get me through.

Once the first semester ended, my academics came to an end, and I was set to go to practicum. For my practicum, I went to Marsman Drysdale Travel Inc., at their in-plant inside the UST campus. So I never left the building for my practicum. Others may say I was crazy for not going out, but I had good reasons to pursue it here. During my practicum, I experienced everything. I got to learn the basics from telephone etiquette to the more technical aspects of work like visa documentation. I was primarily responsible for recording sales transactions and editing paraphernalia using my skills in Photoshop. I got to interact with a lot of people over my time there. It was a very fulfilling experience for me. One I would never trade away for something else.

Though there were challenging times, there were some notable moments. One was with our Thesis where me and my groupmates went through a lot in getting the paper done. It truly tested our camaraderie and literally, we have to put anything else aside. We didn’t expect a lot, but our hard work bear fruit as we finished with the 5th best Thesis Paper as well as the 3rd Best Group Presentation. We also had our project in Recreational Tour where we went to The Village Sports Club inside BF Homes in Parañaque. For a sports junkie like me, it was a DREAM! Aside from that, who can forget the Marriage and Family class of the great Dr. Alviar. Though I wasn’t really a Theology loving person, I appreciate all the life lessons with every single meeting. And many other moments during the first semester.

It was also during this year I took in the driver’s seat, I had the task to lead CTHM in quiz bee competitions. On the first competition of the year, I was joined by my protege Chamille Mercado who I personally brought in to the team, we competed at the NLEX: Tara Na Sa Norte Quiz Bee Challenge at Robinson’s Place Manila, we came out as CHAMPIONS! in the competition. Then the following competition, I competed again in the PHILTOA Quiz Bee, alongside Chamille, we were joined by Miah Kogami who came into the team later. We did manage to get into the semi-finals. I barely made it to the Top 10, as both Chamille and Miah fell short. So I was all by my own representing UST, for the Final Round at the SMX Convention Center. I fought hard during the competition, I almost won the whole thing, but I had to settle for a second place finish behind my healthy rival Lorraine Padilla from Lyceum of the Philippines University-Manila. After that, I thought of retiring from competition and pass on the torch to my teammates. However as fate turned out, both of my teammates headed to Korea for their international tour which fell on the date of the competitions. I had no other choice but to compete for one last run. So yeah, I was back at it again for the 2014 UFTE Cup held at the Our Lady of Fatima University-Quezon City campus. There were familiar faces alongside new faces. It was a tightly fought battle, but fortunately in the end. I came out as CHAMPION! It was my first and only time I came out as champion competing as an individual. The following day, I came out to compete for the last time to defend the title at the UP Club for the Environment and Tourism Domestikwhiz 2014. I was joined by new teammates as my original teammates at that time just arrived from Korea in Camilla de Guzman and Lia Ciaris Tani. We started out badly, we were trailing for most of the competition, we got into the final round trailing, but we made a furious comeback and in the end, we came out as CHAMPIONS! once again and we got to defend the title. Those two days, were the most memorable days of my competition career. I came in not expecting much, but in the end God had other plans. It was indeed a magical way to cap off my run in competition. I retired on a high note!

Well aside from that, it was a last for everything else. I spent my final Paskuhan where there was no fireworks since the country was coming off the tragedy that was Typhoon Yolanda as the money for it was instead donated to victims of the typhoon. UST had a magical run to the Finals in men’s basketball, before falling short in a epic three game series against La Salle, it was a bittersweet feeling for me that we came close to celebrating a title on my last year at the university. We also had our retreat at Caleruega where I spent it with my classmates and the peeps from H5. We all had a good time, getting to know each other and having time to relax from the stress of school life.

Before I knew it, I was about to graduate. I finished everything. Time flew by very fast. Then came the waiting game. For the last time, I was honored for my success at the college level as I was given a special award at the CTHM Awards Night. Days later, it was the day of the baccalaureate mass, where we got to spend the day together with the 8,236 strong graduates from all colleges of the university. But before that, there was the announcement of the Latin Honors. At the back of my head, I was thinking I fell short again and I won’t make it. Yet, my name was called. I made it! All the emotions came through my head, accompanied by the nice cheers from all of my classmates and batchmates. At the afternoon, the baccalaureate mass happened. History shows that CTHM being the youngest college in the University were seated at the back side near the side of the Benavides Garden, and would be the last to exit the arch. However this year’s different. We were seated up-front and we would be the 4th college to exit the Arch of the Centuries. The night was capped off with the pyromusical with the theme from the hit Disney movie Frozen. I would say it was the most memorable fireworks display I have ever seen.

Then on March 27, 2014. It was the big day! The Solemn Investiture. Graduation. Whatever else you can call it. We assembled as one batch for the last time at the Albertus Magnus Building to wait for the ceremony and strap in our togas. We marched from the building to the Quadricentennial Pavilion for the Solemn Investiture. It was the culmination for all the hard work we’ve done the past four years. As expected, we marched for the conferment of the degrees, turned the tussle to signify our graduation and I was awarded with the Cum Laude medal. Then came the final surprises. On the part of the special awards, they started to mention all the winnings I got over the past year. I got another medal! A special award for all my contributions the past year. Then came the kicker! For all the contributions I brought into the college and being a perennial champion. I was given the sole distinction of the St. Hyacinth Award. I will never forget the cheers from every one of my classmates and batchmates who were witness to everything. I eventually put in a tearjerker moment when I came out to hug my grandmother, later I found from some of my friends, that moment made them cry. After we sang the UST Hymn for the last time as students. Before you know it, IT WAS ALL OVER!

So Yeah What’s Next For K-Smoove?

What’s next?!? Well, right now I’ll be taking the time off to rest. My fourth year life took a lot out of me. Add to the fact that I’m a college graduate without reaching the age of 20 is still lingering in my head. I’ve gone bonkers thinking about it. Besides, I want to enjoy myself without worrying about work for a good amount of time. Add to the fact I want to get the 2013-14 NBA season done and over, and see where will my team the Houston Rockets will go into the playoffs. I’m not bluffing about this. I really needed the time. I know some people want to get a job right away, but I’m in no rush to do so. I will get myself ready for the real world while taking the time off.

My Deepest and Sincere Gratitudes!

Well, before I cap this long entry, I like to offer my gratitude to everyone who were a part of this journey.

First off I would like to thank my friends from other colleges that I have met along the way. I may not remember you all by name, but you made a difference in my life at the university. Notable mentions to Alex Cerado of Pharmacy, Jonathan Genilla of Nursing, Sam Cada of Engineering, Kaiz del Mundo of Architecture, Camille dela Cruz of Engineering, Alexis Tivi of Accountancy, Errol Agacer of Education, Carlo Restoles of Music, Mel Agbulos of Commerce, as well as the TNK peeps whom I spent a good year with during the days at the old Tinoko Park and Botanical Garden. At the same time my high school batchmates from Claret who were also in UST. Notable mentions to German Salvador, Gelo Cruz, Rainier Ples, Nur Adiong, Patrick Foria, Siops Briones, Philip Abeleda, Albie Peralta, Edgar Ramos, Stephen Marcelo, Derrick Espinosa, Raymund Salumbides among others.

Next I’d like to thank my fellow students from other levels of CTHM for the fact I left inspiration to you guys. I wish you all the best in your student endeavors. Notable mentions to my homie Paolo de Guzman, Divine Reyes, Rochelle Engalan, Aya Lorenzo, Danica Esquilona, Dan Quiaoit, Angela Sonico, Janelle Payumo, Darlene Serran, Christine Calzada, Ina Venzuela, Sean Belbis, Vianca Castillo, Radja Castelo, Carla Bonifacio, Leo del Rosario, among others.

I would also like to thank my quiz bee teammates over the last two years years. Thank you for the opportunity to share this experience with you fellas. The run as a quiz bee competitor is something I will never forget. My mentions to Ate Kriskyn Cabrera, Ate Marian Buenaventura, Chamille Mercado, Miah Kogami, Camilla de Guzman and Lia Ciaris Tani.

Then I would like to thank the “Best Batch Ever!”, UST-CTHM Batch 2014. I may have known most of you along the way, though there were some I wasn’t able to know. I am always thankful that I was able to bring joy and honor to the batch. I couldn’t ask for more.

Notable mentions to Brandon Esperancilla, Rolando Sio, James Jandusay, Arvi Cabugao, Mico-Ehlo Chua, Jhie Berbano, Jeli Cadiogan, Shae Jose, Mimi Albesa, Naria San Juan, Rina Bingcang, Josh Naraja, Cha Sumbillo, Che Solis, RA Logana, Korine Sanchez, Fats Infante, Mel Uy, Lyka dela Cruz, Bianca Lim, Lizette Vicente, Nicole Voll, Mara Torres, Justin Babina, Luigi Antonio, Renz Cabiles, JR Rellama, Gelo Soriano, Jeremy Doinog, Kim Besin, Margie Barretto, Arny Fernandez, Micolo Palma, Gabs Jaymalin, Kenneth Cruz, Carlo Ramirez, Steffy Villalon, Den Gallardo, Dominic Dizon, Edward Queipo, Christopher Tamayo, Sese Sibal, Nicolie Tancioco, Marc Acob, Ervin Francisco, Edgar Lumawig, Dion Magahis, Belle Buendia, Matthew Cagas, Eycee Cabriga, Fonso Mercado, Jay Armocilla, Dos Bustillos, Popoi Valdez, Tin Caguimbal, my twin Matthew Villarama, Daryl Arceta, Nikki Deang, Charles Lobo, Elo Magas, Heather McNaughton.

My Marsman friends Denise Bersamina, Harley Abaño, Eden Magsino, Kuya Armand Villanueva, Klaire Villena. 

My CTHM-Claretian batchmates in Ziggy Chavez, Clarence Casem, TJ Abaquita, Ejay Clasara, Miggy Borromeo, as well as the two who left Naj Castro and Habi Santos-Cuyugan.

If I forgot to mention you, forgive me. But even though your names are not on, I’m thankful to each and everyone who made up UST CTHM Batch 2014, from those who made it and who fell short at the goal.


I would also dearly would love to thank the “Best Section Ever” in my book, The T5 family! I’d like to thank each and everyone who were a part of this section. For their unending support, in all of my competitions. It may not be the perfect section to be with, but they were the best family in school I could have. We could all have our differences, but we go the distance when we do things together and do wonders! I’ll never forget when majority of the contestants in UFTE of 2013 came from our section. So I’m giving a mention to everyone who were a part of this section. (Tropa! You will be honored later.)

Fatima Acuña, Trixia Alda, Hosanna Baek, Mela Balag, Ronileen Bauto, Badeth Bertulfo, Katlyne Bundal, Amethy Casal, Pricilla Cruz, JC España, Gui Echon, Jessica Eya, Abigael Ferrer, Ellah Galvez, Alyssa Garcia, Michelle Guo, Diane Jamero, Sheila Lao, Beah Legaspi, Jeruinne Ludovico, Kate Macabanti, Kristel Malabrigo, Mai Matienzo, Dek Mindanao, Hannah Natividad, Carmina Ngo, Justine Nieto, Rosary Ocampo, Era Padilla, Dja Patubo, Shane Prepotente, Precious Rigor, Angel Santos, Cza Sanvictores, Rejh Sasis, Hazel Sta. Maria, Jeanie Tan, Kim Tecson, Arjay Trillana, Kath Vasquez, She Velasco, Pauline Vergara and Lak Villanueva.

Speaking of “Tropa”, I wholeheartedly would like to thank the best group of friends I could have in my college life. Without you fellas, my Thomasian journey would never be complete. The “Tropa-GUISE”. We’re one large group! Best thing about our group is that when one leaves, another one comes in. But those who leave are never forgotten. You are the special bunch who made my college life very special! I will never forget each and every one of you! Majority of the moments I had in college was spent with you fellas. I hope that moving forward, we could keep in touch!

My very honorable mentions to you fellas:
Jean Bituin, Claudine Caganda, Cae Capiz, Kym Constante, Riana de Guzman, Ish Dumawal, Nicole Garcia, Krishna Kabigting, Marrick Magana, Deece Ramos, Yna Salamat, Marx Tapalla, Gie Wenceslao and honorary member Cyril Laurio.

I would also love to thank all of our mentors over the years. For giving us the wisdom and knowledge to be well-equipped with our chosen career path. You have inspired us to do well moving forward as we leave the portals of the university. I may not mention everyone but.


My honorable mentions are for the following mentors:

To Sir Alvin Ringgo Reyes, Sir Robert Arenas, Sir Jojo Villamin, Sir Mar Mendoza, Sir Ernest Alcano, Ma’am Rosh Raichandani, Sir Wil Josue and the rest of the CTHM faculty over my four year stay at the university. Thank you for giving us the inspiration and the wisdom in our daily endeavors as students as well as the skills needed as we set to go out to the real world.

To all my coaches in quiz bee competitions, Ma’am Connie Ang, Ma’am Christine Fajardo, Ma’am Jane Devanadera, Ma’am Amy Turaray and Ma’am Karla Colmenar. For giving us the wisdom and determination to be well-prepared for each and every competition we have competed. Without you my dear mentors, I wouldn’t have reached this point. A very honorable mention to Ma’am Joreen Rocamora, for putting faith in a guy who wasn’t even in the Top 50 of the class that he would be able to do well in competitions. Without your trust, I wouldn’t have won these competitions I joined with over the last two years.

Of course a my highest honorable mention to Sir Gene Michael Atanacio, who was my Philippine History and Rizal Course instructor. And a fellow Claretian. Thank you for all the times we spent inside and outside of campus. Looking forward to going out again when we have the time to do so. I have been very inspired by your teachings and ideals over the time we spent. You know that very well. Even though you left UST in the middle of my second year, we still kept in good touch. I am forever grateful to have been one of your students.

Then of course the CTHM Administration, to Sir Granado, our college secretary and was once our adviser in 3rd Year, you have inspired me to push forward in every endeavor I have done. To Ma’am Vangie Timbang, the HRM chairperson who also supported my endeavors whenever I compete. To Sir Win Medina, our chairperson and was also my adviser in 2nd Year, for giving me the opportunity to compete for the college and the university in quiz bee competitions. It was indeed a great honor to do something good for the university. To Dean Tio Cuison, without your approval when I applied for my reconsideration in CTHM, I wouldn’t be here in the first place. I did not let you down ever since! And of course to Fr. Roy Rodriguez, OP our regent, for the undying support in all of my quiz bee endeavors at the same time an inspiration for me moving forward in my life.

My very special mentions to my family, my parents Ronnie and Janet. As well as my two brothers Andrei and Miguel. They have been my support system since Day 1. Without them, I wouldn’t even be standing here at this moment in life. Thank you for being there through my roller-coaster journey. I’m sure you will continue this as we move forward. Also includes my relatives from both the Carandang and the Reyes sides of the family, they have been an extended support system for me. Everything I have done is also a tribute to my late brother Alexis who passed away almost 14 years ago at the age of 1. Every time I point my head up in the sky, it’s all for him.

Lastly, I like to thank God for all the blessings that I have received over the four years of my college life. Without his guidance and support, I wouldn’t even be here. I wouldn’t have the passion and desire that I carried over the last four years. I look forward to his everlasting guidance as I move on to the next stage of my life.

To end this long blog entry, let me take a quote from former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich:

“We had nonbelievers all along the way, and I have one thing to say to those nonbelievers: Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion!”
 
This has been my credo in my entire life. I’ve used this quote a countless number of occasions. In life, there will always be critics. I have encountered a lot of them in my entire life. I use every criticism to inspire myself to do better. Now I’m about to go down the hill and start all over again, I will continue to inspire myself from every criticism to make my self a better person for the world to see.
 
With that I end this entry, forgive me if I don’t put up photos, because the last time I did this four years ago, I had to do it on a Facebook note page where there wasn’t an option to put photos in and I’m not calling myself K-Smoove here. So I end with a few lines.
 
This has been Karl Danielle R. Carandang
A Proud Thomasian Travel Management Alumnus
Signing off.
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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

They may be on tour, but we found a way to have some fun.

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.

We’re not complete on this photo, since not all of us who were left behind showed up.
Also a special appearance by our Stat prof.
Photo ©Karl Carandang


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.

Photos ©Karl Carandang
So yeah, we celebrated over good music, great bonding time, and nice food. It was indeed fun for all of us, and I’m happy to have a great time with these fellas over here. I even raffled off the Moonleaf Planner I won at the last contest. Even though the time we spent on this was kinda short, it proves that we can celebrate and have a good time even if we’re not with the rest on tour.
 
Sorry, I can’t help but to show these photos of some of the people special to me. Hehe!
Photos ©Karl Carandang
I’m not sure if this will ever happen again in my lifetime as a Thomasian student, but I would like to thank my blockmates Gui, Trixia, Marx, Nicole, Amethy, Carms, Marrick, Era, Cza and Abi as well as my good friend Tony and of course our Stat Prof Sir Robert Arenas for the opportunity to spend this great time together last Thursday.
 
So as I write this blog entry, well they’re on their way back to the Philippines, and my “interesting” week comes to an end. Interesting in a sense, how would the school week go with most of people in my class gone on tour. Well, it lived up to what I expected of this week, and it’s back to reality for all of us next week, and one last contest for me to end the month with a BANG!
 
Thankful and Blessed. Who says we can’t have some fun?
K-Smoove

Who said it’s the END? I say, it’s just the BEGINNING of something BIG!

Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
Yesterday was December 21, 2012 and the date rings a bell, as some people believe on that day, the WORLD will come to an END as predicted by the Mayans (which they categorically denied) and popularized by the movie “2012” which was released in 2009. Yet, today is December 22, nothing bad happened, no doomsday scenarios happened, and we‘re all alive and well, and I’m here to share what happened on that day.
 
Well,before Thomasians head for the Christmas break. One special event happens here, a time for celebration and joy, that is the annual Paskuhan where thousands of Thomasians as well as our friends studying elsewhere and families converge in UST for a day filled with the spirit of Christmas.
 
The day began with our class Christmas party in the morning, where we had games like Eat Bulaga’s Pinoy Henyowhere unfortunately, me and my partner lost causing us to do a  dance, and I get to show them my version of PSY’s record-breaking hitGangnam Style. Other games include the newspaper dance and stop dance, as well as our traditional singing contest among the ladies. Then we had lunch, as well as a rafflewhere the grand prize was a Jansport bag. Unfortunately for me, I never won in the raffle, even the minor prizes I did not won at least one of them. Then came the exchange gifts. For me, I gave a book to my blockmate who I drew up with in the lottery. Then on my end, I also received a book from my blockmate. The book is entitled “Win Like Lin, a story about Jeremy Lin, the “Linsanity” story in New York, and the keys to his success. Of course, I always appreciate an underdog story since I can relate with it on my own life. As for most of my life, I have been the underdogand I always have to win my way to the top.
 
 Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
After the Christmas party, I took a rest drinking a cupof Coffee Jelly Frapuccino in a nice place around campus. Then I went along with one of my former mentors in UST for dinner and went around campus to see people aroundand settledby the field for the Paskuhan concert with some of my friends from another section. The highlight of each Paskuhan is the fireworks display, of course UST has a distinction as the Pyromusical Capital of the Philippines”. The fireworks lasted for around 6 minutes, it wasshorter than previous years, but it was still a sight to see. Then after, we went our own ways. Before I went out of campus, I got to see my high school friends (some of which I haven’t seen for a very long time) and got time to catch up with them for a bit. Afterwards, I went out of campus, for home. Despite having a great timeat this year’s Paskuhan, one regret I had is that I never got to spend a time of the night with my blockmates. But, I’ll make it all up to them as soon as we come back next year.
 
Now the Christmas break has begun, a break from schoolwork and a time to spend the holidays with my family and friends. For now, I can rest, sit back and enjoy this festive time of the year. To my blockmates, until then, see you next year!
 
The holiday season has arrived.
K-Smoove

We are well under way. Take out the boredom.

We are well within the semestral break which will last for the next 3 weeks. It’s an opportunity for the students to take their well-deserved rest after a grueling yet fun first semester of classes. It’s also gives students who live in the provinces to come home to their respective hometowns after living in dormitories or condominiums all-semester long.


For me, my semestral break did not start early. As I had to finish some schoolwork that has been left behind after the final examinations. Due to this, I was unable to go back to our province of Batangas to visit my relatives, celebrate the debut of my cousin and spend time in a resort by the Taal Lake and has a great view of Taal Volcano. After that, once I passed everything. My semestral break is now well under way.

Of course, the semestral break gave me an opportunity to do things that I was unable to do during the whole semester due to the busy schedule I have all semester long, and that was to play basketball early in the morning or take a jog if other people are playing at the basketball court. It gave me an opportunity to practice my shooting from inside and outside, at the same time it keeps my body active and in good shape. I really hope I can play basketball with my high school friends. It has been a very long time since I stepped on the court with my friends from high school.

Aside from that, I really hope in this semestral break, I can secure an original copy the PC version of NBA 2K13.

 ©2K Sports
I’m pursuing an original copy, because the last time I purchased which was NBA 2K12. There were a lot of glitches which stalled my progress as I played the game. Though it will be a pain on the pocket if I purchase an original copy. At least, it would be all worth the price. I cannot wait to try out Linsanity playing Rockets uniform. The many roster changes like Dwight Howard and Steve Nash going to the Lakers. Ray Allen in a Heat uniform. Brandon Roy’s return to the NBA and many more. Other things I want to try are the NBA All-Star Game which will be played in Houston. “The Dream Team” and the 2012 USA Olympic Team. The new myTeam mode as well as a reloaded myPlayer mode. NBA 2K has already made a lot of huge steps, from the time they were behind EA’s NBA Live series to being the best basketball game on the planet. I can’t wait to try it out for myself.
 
In the meantime, I will go back to being a child again, because of the Lego Digital Designer we just downloaded to build virtual Lego designs. However, nothing beats building a Lego in real life with the bricks and pieces. Well, The Lego Story on YouTube, shows the history behind a classic.
 
Aside from these, I cannot wait for the the upcoming 2012-13 NBA season, which will begin onOctober 31. This season will be very interesting from the many roster changes that had changed the landscape of the NBA to the new rookies coming into the league. It will also be the debut season of the Brooklyn Nets who moved from New Jersey and are donning new uniforms and a new stadium for the season. Games to watch out are the returns of players to the homecourts of their old teams like Dwight Howard in Orlando. Steve Nash in Phoenix. Ray Allen in Boston. Joe Johnson in Atlanta. Jeremy Lin in New York. Andre Iguodala in Philadelphia. Andrew Bynum in Los Angeles. Brandon Roy in Portland and a host of other players who changed teams this season. Also to watch out are the many rivalry gamesthat will happen all-season long. As well as the returns of injured players in the middle of the season like Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard and Ricky Rubio. As well as the upcoming 2013 NBA All-Star Game to be held in Houston. This upcoming season will be a sure hit.
 
It’s been a couple of days since the semestral break began. I really hope I can make the best out of these days before we head back to school this November.
 
Let’s make the best out of this.
K-Smoove

We SHINED in the DARK. But the work is not over.

After 3 months (at the most) of trials and tribulations, all the success and failures, the preparations and the events leading up to it. It all came down to one Sunday afternoon at the AFP Theater. As the class 3T5 presented Silhouette: A Glint in the Dark, The Search for the Next Miss Tourism Ambassadress 2012 which combines the two varying concepts pageant and dark tourism which has never been done before.

A lot has happened since the time we were conceptualizing the theme and concept for our event to the day of the event itself, to the times when our unity and camaraderie were tested on multiple occasions that tested our integrity and cohesiveness as a section, to the many successful ventures as well as ventures that came up short, now it all came down to one afternoon inside a large theater within a military camp, one shot of getting it right, and one opportunity to show everyone that we are one and we are 3T5.

On the event itself, I was up front at the lobby greeting the guests who are coming in and out of the venue as well giving out souvenirs to the hundreds of people who came in to witness the event.

Anything could go wrong during the entire duration of event, However, despite some criticisms, miscues and accidents. Our event was a resounding success. Even though the event started a little late, the production went well and the response from the audience about the event was generally good. Eventually, the title of Miss Tourism Ambassadress went to the candidate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Ms. Jo-ann Flores. I do not have the photos of the event as I am writing this blog, but we will have them very soon.

So once again, on behalf of class 3T5, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude each and every one of you who came out to spend a Sunday afternoon of your life with us as well as supporting our event through social media. Our event would have not been successful without your presence and support. Congratulations to all the contestants from the 15 other participating schools, you did very well during the entire duration of the competition. We would also like to thank our sponsors, our event would have not been possible without your support. We also would like to thank the UST-CTHM administration and faculty for extending support for our event. We would also like to thank Mr. Arnel Cruz, our instructor for Meetings and Events Management Class.

On a personal note, I would extend my biggest thanks to my fellow blockmates, the class 3T5. I may have been a “Devil’s Advocate”, the “antagonist”for most of the times leading up to the event, but I would like to thank each and every one of them for keeping me in check when the times were rough. So I will mention all my blockmates, starting off with our captain, “Cap” as I would refer to her, Michelle, our overall event chairman for keeping her integrity in every challenge we as a class had to endure for the past 3 months. To Hosanna our Executive Assistant, Carms our Production Head and Kat our Administrative Head for keeping all of us in check when the chairman is not around. Jeanie our Secretariat, and Kim our Assistant Secretariat. Isa our Budget Head, and Alyssa our auditor. Kym, our Creative Lead. The Programs committee led by Ronileen with Jeruinne, Beah, Cza and Rosary. The Marketing committee led by Cae with Jean, Nicole, Yna, Ellah, Ate KC, Gui, Angel, Badeth, Abi, Dek and Era. The PATS committee led by Claudine with Marx, Amethy, Kate and Ate Monique. The Personnel committee led by Arjay with Prici, Mela, Trixia, Mai, Lak and Shane. My secondary committee the Registration and Logistics committee led by Trudeece with Fatima, Hannah, Precious, Jessica and Hazel. Finally, to my main committee, the Documentation committee led by Riana with my fellow staffers in Pau, Marrick and Sheila.

Well, as a part of the Documentation committee, the work is not done for us. Actually, the real work has just begun for us. Since I’ll be responsible in writing down the events and happenings during our event. All I need right now is a lot of inspiration and dedication to my craft, as shown in all the jobs and tasks I accomplished leading up to our event. Aside from this, there are other commitments in school that we need to work on from research papers to video projects, to quizzes and other kinds of school activities that will come our was as the semester winds down to the last 2 weeks before the Final Examinations are up.

I feel awesome and good that it generally went well for us during the event and was a redeeming grace for me after all the failures I endured and lessons I learned leading up to the day of the event. even though there were some unfortunate events, at some points I myself got sick and had to miss time in class, it all went well. The hardest part may be over, but there are still a lot of unfinished business to work on, and I still need to push even harder to pull off a feat I am trying to achieve right now.

We SHINED in the DARK. 3T5 is all in.
K-Smoove

On a busy month. Let’s roll.

So yes, the month of September is well under way, and well I have been busy lately working on school work and other commitments. Until today, I have not found time to blog. Today is my chance so let’s get this show on the road.

Anyways, let me start off by promoting our own event:

Silhouette: A Glint in the Dark
The Search for the Next Miss Tourism Ambassadress
In cooperation with the League of Tourism Students of the Philippines and 
the Tourism Educators and Movers of the Philippines
It will be held on September 23, 2012 at the AFP Theater, Cubao, Quezon City.
For more information, please do like our official event page on Facebook:
and follow our official Twitter account:
 
We have been working hard to get this event rolling along, as last Wednesday and Thursday we went out for our room-to-room promotion among our fellow students in CTHM at the Albertus Magnus Building. Though there were mixed feelings throughout the whole week, it was a blast for me. Especially, I get to tell the details about getting to our venue. It was a great honor and awesome feeling to share our event to the people who were there during our room-to-room promotions.
 
This is just the start, there is still a long way to go, and there are other things to do as well aside from this event we are organizing like the schoolwork in other subjects like the Library Resarch Paper in English, the oral exams in French, and many other kinds of schoolwork.
 
Aside from life at CTHM, I am also here to talk about our “Comeback Cats”, the UST Growling Tigers. After a tough defeat against the De La Salle Green Archers on a Jeron Teng walk-off game winner 51-53. The Tigers responded with two come from behind victories. That’s why they are called the “Comeback Cats” of the UAAP this season.
 
First was a victory over the Adamson Soaring Falcons last September 1 83-79, the win caps off a undefeated elimination round for the Tigers playing inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum at 6-0. The Tigers were down 6 in the 4th quarter, but were able to pull off the comeback after Adamson’s offense deteriorated in the end game. The Tigers were led by Jeric Teng who returned to his old form before he got injured early in the 1st round of eliminations by scoring 22points and 6 reboounds, Karim Abdul added 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Aljon Mariano came up with a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds with 4 assists, while Clark Bautista added 11 points (which included three 3-pointers). The Tigers spoiled a career night for Falcons rookie Jericho Cruz who scored 33 points and 8 rebounds on 10-18 shooting from the field.
 
The second victory came today as they defeated the UP Fighting Maroons 75-68 at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Tigers trailed by 7 at the end of the 3rd quarter and were trailing 54-59 with 6:13 left in the 4th, but then they embarked on a 16-0 run in the next three minutes and sealed another come from behind victory for the Tigers. Karim Abdul led the Tigers with a double-double 16 points and 21 rebounds. Aljon Mariano also scored 16 points. While Jeric Fortuna who played the game with a flu also came up with a double-double 11 points and 12 rebounds including 2 crucial 3-point plays. Mike Silungan led the Fighting Maroons with 14 points.
 
With the two victories, the Tigers are now in solo 2nd place at 9-3. This came after the UAAP Board has waived off the FEU Tamaraws controversial victory over the NU Bulldogs last September 6 in which FEU guard RR Garcia nailed the game winning lay-up as time expired in which there was a question whether he released the ball before or after time expires. The game will be played again on September 23. After a win against the UE Red Warriors today, the Tamaraws are once again at 8-3 in 3rd place.
 
The Tigers have two games left in the elimination round. Here they are:
vs ADMU Blue Eagles, September 15, 4:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City
vs UE Red Warriors, September 20,  2:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City
 
The Tigers still have a chance to finish atop the standings, and the game against the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles will be a great battle as they challenge for the #1 seed in the Final Four.
Go USTe! One for UST! We Believe!
 
Going with the flow.
K-Smoove