Tag Archives: comeback

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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The monsoon gave me a chance to catch up on things.

This is my 200th blog entry since I opened this blog over a year ago. It’s been almost two months since I last wrote an entry here. Never did I think, that I’m writing this one in the middle of the monsoon rains that is caused by the typhoon up north in Taiwan. Well, the rains caused suspension of classes which opened up time for me to write this one. So yeah, as the title goes, it’s time for me to catch up on some of the things that happened from the time I wrote my last entry almost 6 weeks ago.

We start back on the week after the retreat, least did I expect that the lessons I got from the retreat would not kick in right away. I was hoping to come out swinging afterwards. But it wasn’t easy and I still had difficulty in catching up with things. But yeah, I was reminded that “storms” in our life will come after the retreat and so I calmed down and re-channel my attention on the important matters.

Then later in the week, another competition came along for me, the first one for the year which was the NLEX Tara Na Sa Norte Quiz Bee at the Atrium in Robinson’s Place Ermita Manila. I competed with a pair, which was my recruit from the third year Chamille. 9 schools competed in the competition. Well, it took awhile to finish the competition as there were a lot of controversies with regards with the questions. Despite that, it was a tightly contested battle. In the end however, we came out as champions by a mere solitary point. So we took home the cash prize of P5,000 which we later split as well as a certificate at the same time we had a celebratory meal at Yellow Cab. Then a couple of days later, our victory got put on a tarpaulin outside of our building.

Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
Driven by the recent victory, I slowly made my comeback bid a reality as I was able to find comfort in doing all the necessary schoolwork that I need to accomplish and I was able to contribute better in each project and homework that we have as the days progressed well until the end of the preliminary period of the semester. We also continued with our thesis work within the past couple of weeks. At the same time, my training continued as we prepared for the biggest competition in the semester and the most difficult and challenging quiz bee for the year which is the PHILTOA Quiz Bee exam, so it was me, Chamille and we were joined by Miah who was also a third year student. Then on August 7, we competed at the campus of Lyceum of the Philippines University in Intramuros. Just like the story last year, we all made it through the semi-finals. However, this version of the story had a change from last year. With my back against the wall, I was able to make it through withing the inch of my life to the Final Round on September 7 at the SMX Convention Center because I sat 9th out of the Top 10 that made it through to the Final Round. Unfortunately, my two other teammates were unable to make it through. Yet despite that, they gained experience in competing. We got something special coming up especially with more competitions lined up in the next semester.
 
Meanwhile outside of the life at school, as one of the many hoop junkies in this country, at the start of August, Filipino basketball fans were in for a great treat as the FIBA Asia Championship was held here in the country as three spots were on the line to represent Asia in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014 in Spain. It was also an opportunity for Filipinos to come out with their full support for the national team which is famously known as Gilas Pilipinas. Filipino basketball fans were not left disappointed as Gilas was able to gain the silver medal which marked the first time the Philippines finished at the podium of the FIBA Asia Championship and secure a ticket to the Basketball World Cup for the first time since 1978 when the country hosted the event. From the early heartbreaking setback against Chinese Taipei, to the chants of “Puso”, “Laban Pilipinas” and “Gary” (David) that rained down at the Mall of Asia Arena, to the emotional semi-final victory against long time archrival-tormentor in South Korea, and giving the eventual champions Iran a good fight for the gold. This tournament will always be remembered by a lot of Filipino basketball fans of this generation.
 
Photo ©Yahoo! Sports
 
Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to watch a single game live at the Mall of Asia Arena during the duration of the tournament, at the same time I have yet to watch a UST game this season. I also made it a point that I won’t watch an UST-Ateneo game again this season as three of the four games I’ve watched live were this matchup. Also, the Philippines was visited by NBA players from LeBron James in July to Kobe Bryant in August. However, there was one event that I was able to come to and that was the NBA 3X event at the Mall of Asia Music Hall where I saw James Harden and Eric Gordon in person. Fortunately, I was wearing an adidas shoe at the venue, and I was able to get a photo signed by Eric Gordon. Even though I didn’t end up with an autograph of Harden, I walked away happy and at least I got a photo of him.
 
Photos ©Karl Carandang
 
Well, there are still a lot of events coming up, from Derrick Rose coming over to Manila this September to promote for Adidas. As well as the anticipated NBA Global Games Philippines at the Mall of Asia Arena on October 10 as my favorite team the Houston Rockets will battle Eastern Conference finalists the Indiana Pacers in a fun match-up between teams that have loaded up their roster in the off-season as James Harden, Dwight Howard, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and the rest of the Rockets will battle the likes of Paul George, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, David West, Danny Granger and the rest of the Pacers. I’m fortunate that I’ll bear witness to history in the making as this is the first NBA pre-season game to be held in the country.
 
As of this moment, our preliminary examinations has yet to come to an end due to the fact that classes have been suspended due to the inclement weather across Metro Manila and nearby provinces. We’ve already finished four days of exams which also included our mock defense for our Thesis. While some are already done with their exams like my younger brother also in UST, I still have to take two more exams. With every suspension, a day is lost in the preparation time for the competition I’ll be competing in next month, at the same time my fear that there will be classes come October 10 could come true.
But then again, safety is above anything else and the fact that we should look after those that were affected by the widespread flooding. We’ll get through this tragic moment with our heads up high and the sun will rise again. Of course, I send my prayers to those who were gravely affected by the heavy flooding as well as the sinking of a passenger vessel in Cebu almost a week ago.
In the meantime, I’ll do something a Filipino is well know for which is finding happiness in tragic moments by looking back at the Claretian Dictionary from my days in my high school Alma Mater as I write on this Throwback Thursday. Well, the title states that it was time for me to catch up on things and now I did. I hope y’all stay safe and I take a line from the movie 3 Idiots “Aal izz well!”
Laban Pilipinas! Puso!
We will rise again.
K-Smoove

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenge accepted.

The second semester of the school year is well underway. They say this semester is the toughest of all semesters for a Travel Management student. Well, because the courses for this semester will be more technical at the same time the courses will be applicable when we go to work in our respective fields. So, we have met six of the eight professors this week. It will also be the last French language course we will take in the university. We will also get familiar with the Galileo system which is used for reservation systems. And for this semester, if we got enough money to proceed. We will go on a tour outside the Philippines together with my blockmates as well as two other section. Plus, a lot of other things that will happen this semester.

Well, a new semester also brought in new changes, there is a new leadership in tow for the section. I really wanted to pursue a position in office, because I really wanted to lead and this is what in mind would be my last shot to be able to do so. But, fate had other things in mind, and the fact that it wasn’t meant to happen right now. I’m still hoping that I’ll get the opportunity in the future.

The return to the university, also gives me a chance to see my friends at school again. After not seeing each other during the semestral break. I missed them a lot during my time off. Also, I did take the time away from school and the troubles of the past semester to get refreshed and ready for this semester. Things to look forward this semester is the annual Paskuhan, before the Christmas break, the CTHM College Week which is usually a first semester event, will now happen this semester after the ton of weather interruptions which postponed the event, and a lot of other events to come. I hope there will be another Sportsfest this year, I really want  to play basketball again.

This is a critical point in my España journey. There is no room for complacency and failure. Times will be hard, and there will be a ton of challenges coming up. but we’ll still find a way to enjoy this semester at the same time learn a lot of things as well. One week is in the books, still a long way to go. I’m not expecting that much this semester. But I’ll put my head down,get myself pumped up and get this rollin’ along. Get ready for a comeback! Easier said than done, but I‘ll do my very best.

THIRD YEAR, SECOND SEMESTER,CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
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

Back from the grave, we never say die!

The UST Growling Tigers together with the UST crowd celebrate as the Tigers beat the Bulldogs in overtime at the Smart Araneta Coliseum 58-57.
Photo ©Yahoo! Sports Philippines

After the devastating 27 point defeat at the hands of the FEU Tamaraws, call these Tigers once again the “Comeback Kings” of the UAAP as they pull off their 4th come from behind victory in UAAP Season 75 as they defeat the NU Bulldogs in overtime at the Smart Araneta Coliseum 58-57. With the win, the Tigers go up to 7-2 tied with the Tamaraws and keeping their sight on the league-leading Ateneo at 7-1. The Tigers were down by as many as 17 points during the game and were held to only 14 points in the first half. However, the Tigers once again showed their “never say die” attitude in coming back from large deficits to pull off big victories this season.

Aljon Mariano sets another career high in scoring this season with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block including the game winning shot in overtime with 4.4 seconds left in the overtime period. Jeric Fortuna scored 8 points, a season high 8 assists and 5 rebounds including the three pointer which sent the game into overtime. Karim Abdul finished with a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds with 3 blocks and 2 steals, but fouled out in the overtime period and was limited by the imposing defense of the Bulldogs big men like Emmanuel Mbe and Henri Betayene. Jeric Teng and Clark Bautista also scored 8 points each. While Kevin Ferrer only scored a basket which was off a missed three by Jeric Teng to keep the Tigers afloat in the 4th quarter, however he did a spectacular job of defending Bobby Ray Parks throughout the game.

Parks led the Bulldogs with a double-double 15 points (9 of them were at the line), 11 rebounds with 4 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals. Mbe also finished with a double-double 10 points and 13 rebounds but had to go through cramps in the final moments of the game. Mark De Guzman scored 8 points.

Next game for the Tigers will be against the De La Salle Green Archers in Round 2 of the Battle of the Tengs as UST’s Jeric once again squares off against his younger brother DLSU’s Jeron at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 12pm (delayed telecast on Studio 23 at 2pm)

Also, there was a revision in the upcoming schedule for the second round of the UAAP. Here is the new schedule for the games of your UST Tigers: 
vs DLSU Green Archers: August 29, 12:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
vs AdU Soaring Falcons: September 1, 12:00 pm, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City
vs UP Fighting Maroons: September 8, 2:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
vs ADMU Blue Eagles: September 15, 4:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
vs UE Red Warriors: September 20, 2:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay

Go USTe! One for UST! VIVA SANTO TOMAS!
NEVER SAY DIE! PRIDE, PUSO, PALABAN!
K-Smoove