Tag Archives: senior year

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 Marsman Chronicles.

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to write on this blog, primarily because of the experience I’ll be sharing with you today with this blog entry right now.

Now, why is it called “The Marsman Chronicles”, because this entry is about my experience as an practicum trainee (on-the-job trainee) at Marsman Drysdale Travel Inc. at their UST Inplant office inside the Albertus Magnus Building, so yeah for my internship, I never left the building and the UST campus.

It all began in November where 2 weeks after I went there for the interview, I was finally brought in to train there. 2 weeks later, my co-trainee Denise arrived. At first, we learned the basics from telephone etiquette, browsing e-mails of past work, and simple tasks like reorganizing file cases and all those things. Then came the complex part of the work. For the entire course of my internship, I worked on the Mock Tour Guiding from itinerary proposal to calling and replying to suppliers for the trip. I also got to do a little bit of airline reservation like getting into the stream of Galileo and Abacus CRS (computer reservation system). Then I also did a little bit of documentation for passporting (new applicants and renewals) as well as visa processing primarily to South Korea as we had two groups that went there this semester. However, my primary work was being the back office of the in-plant recording transactions on a daily basis as well as using my capabilities at the computer especially in Adobe Photoshop to design ID’s and luggage tags which were used on the trip.

Primarily my internship was a great experience for me personally and professionally. It was a fun working environment while there and I enjoyed coming to work every time. However, there were times where it wasn’t smooth sailing. There was a time I could have been booted out midway through it all, because of our lack of good performance. But, both of us interns worked our hardest and did a good job as the days passed on!

After 75 working days, the Chronicles came to an end yesterday. So I would first like to thank Mr. Albert Ricacho who was there from the very beginning of my internship until the end, for being a great motivator at the work place. It was fun working with you there. To Ms. Jenny Ylarde for also giving me the inspiration in tough times. To Ms. Lady Lou Pangilinan, once our supervisor for pushing us to do our best at the workplace. As well as to my co-intern Denise, we worked and complimented each other well. Lastly, to the company itself for giving us a complete hands-on experience on the inner workings of the tourism industry.

Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
It is finished!
K-Smoove
 
P.S. Sorry I can’t share all photos during my internship.

The hardest lessons learned. Practicum, here I come.

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

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

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

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

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

Went up the mountains to get away from it all.

It’s been a very long time since I wrote a blog entry here. With the rigorous schoolwork upon us, it was only now I found time to write again on this blog. So here we go with this blog entry for today.

Last Wednesday, my blockmates in class 4T5 as well as 4H5 took a break from the rigors and struggles of the life of a senior student as we went up to the mountains to have our retreat at the Caleruega Retreat Center in Batangas. But before we got there, we had lunch at Paseo de Sta. Rosa where I spent it with my friends at Cafe Breton. Then afterwards, we all went back on the road going to Caleruega. Along the way, there was a karaoke session on the bus. I tried my best singing the songs I picked on the song list, but the microphone’s modulation wasn’t good. Then in the afternoon, we arrived in Caleruega. At first glance, I saw a basketball court. I said to myself, I should have brought my basketball and played while there. But, I didn’t do my research on the place.Later, I’d realize even without bringing the basketball, I’d still have a great time all along.

On our first day, we were tentative on each other since most of my classmates do not know much about the people on the other block. Unlike me, where most of the guys from H5, I have met and known prior to this retreat. After a small orientation about the place, we went up to our rooms for the first time, where me and my classmates shared a room with three guys from H5. While the rest were on the other room aside from us. All the ladies were packed in one huge room. Then we went in for sessions for the rest of the day, the theme of our retreat was “Life is a journey.” at the same time having meals in between those sessions along the way. Also, we had a prayer session, I took in all the time I could. First man in, last guy out. We also got to know a little bit about the people from both sides. After the session at night, we all went to our rooms and worked on retreat letters along the way.

Then on the second day, I woke up to a very cool morning. It was pretty cold outside and I found peace within me. Then we went for breakfast, dropped some of the retreat letters I was able to write and had a morning session before going for lunch. After lunch, I got a chance to roam around the area. It was a bit wet since it rained in the morning. After exploring the retreat center, we all celebrated the mass at the Transfiguration Chapel (which was near our room) where I ended up as an altar server once again. Prior to the retreat, I’ve been an altar server in our college since I was in second year. It was a very inspirational mass to say the least. Then afterwards, we went for snacks before going to another session. It was also a time where I got to tell them a little bit more about myself. We had a chance to hug it out with all our closest friends. Then at night, well we got to know more about each other as we met each and everyone of us for 30 seconds at a time. It was special for me, for the most part it was more of rekindling my friendship with the people in that room, with my blockmates as well as some of the guys from the other block. Then I finally got to meet the rest of the people in their block whom I’ve never talked to yet. It was like the weight I’ve been carrying all this time went away in an instant. After the session, we all rested for the day.

On the last day, I once again woke up to a very cold morning. After breakfast, I packed my things up and brought them down to the hall for the last time. I also sent in the final retreat letters I was able to write during that night. Then spent some time bonding with my blockmates as well as the guys on the other block. Then in the middle of the morning, we went in for our last session where we looked back on what happened the past couple of days. We shared our stories about the retreat. Including my own story about the retreat, where I thanked each and every one for making this retreat very special not only for me but to all of us. I also got the chance to read out a retreat letter that was addressed to both sections from one of our former professors in UST. There were times when we all shared the emotions. Even I was shocked to find out that one of our classmates would be leaving the country before we march. When it was all over, we hugged with each other, first with our friends, then with our fellow blockmates, and finally with both blocks together while singing to some nice songs to end the retreat. After lunch, we all took one last picture at the entrance of Caleruega before going back to the bus that will take us home. But before we went straight back to Manila, we bought souvenirs to bring home. Afterwards, we went back on the road while having one last karaoke session. It was funny, while stuck in the middle of Makati traffic and while most were sleeping. I pulled off a trick where I sang Parokya ni Edgar’s The Ordertaker which woke everyone up and in the end got people pissed.

T5-H5: Friends forever
Little that people know, we both shared the same past where our image wasn’t that good. 
Yet, it didn’t stop us from being the best, and in time we all grew up and be better ladies and gentlemen. I’ll always have a smile on my face that I got to meet these great people out here.
Photos ©Vin Angelo Soriano
 
I admit, three days may not have been enough for me to spend a good time with everyone from both my blockmates as well as the H5 PEEPS who both have been very special in my life at UST-CTHM, T5, the block who always had my back every time as well as those who made me a better person in life and H5 who were the guys who welcomed me with open arms even though I belong with another course and another block. But hey, we still have 263 days left until the 27th of March when the Thomasian journey comes to an end and a new journey begins. March 27 will once again be a special day for me. Aside from what will happen next year, it was on this day 3 years ago when my Claretian journey ended with graduation. To those who gave me a retreat letter on my envelope, Thank you so much for the kind and inspirational words. Thank you as well to the people who talked with me during the retreat, I hope we’ll have time to sit down and talk again. I’ll be happy to say “Hi!” and have a good talk when we see each other inside the building, around campus or anywhere we may come along with our lives. I’ll never forget these people who’ve made my college life very special and worthwhile. I found my peace in this retreat, I left all the bad things that have been bothering me behind, and brought me some of the lessons and memories this retreat gave me. You guys made me very happy.
 
Life is a journey.
T5 and H5, you all made a difference in my life. I love you and thank you so much for all the great memories we shared!
K-Smoove
P.S. Do you know how to do the dougie?

Windup of the summer. The Final Push begins.

Summer 2013, arguably the last summer vacation I’ll experience as a student is in it’s conclusion. It’s been one nice summer for me. Going to different places like Subic Bay, Antipolo and Batangas to discover good places and have a good time exploring in the open road. I also got the chance to earn some cash along the way with some side jobs I took, my birthday coming along at the end of April, hanging out with my friends in places like SM and TriNoma, and the never ending watch of the 2013 NBA Playoffs as my team the Houston Rockets made a nice but short-lived run in the playoffs including a win in a do or die game on my birthday. Aside from the Rockets, it’s been a nice playoffs with upsets and great matchups from the 1st round to the Conference Finals. As we know it will be a great conclusion to the East Finals as the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat will battle for the right to face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals

I also got to meet members of Red Nation (Fans of the Houston Rockets FYI) from all over the world from those living in Texas who are arguably the proudest members of Red Nation in the entire world, as well as those from other places around the world, places like Australia, Taiwan (Jeremy Lin nation), even Norway which my friend there told me has not much of a basketball following like we have here in the Philippines. More on the Rockets, I can’t wait for them to come over to the Philippines to play a pre-season game here when they and the Pacers play this October 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena. I will not miss the opportunity to meet the Rockets players like James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Patrick Beverley and who knows they could bring in a big name in the free agency. Well it will also be fun to meet the Pacers, players like Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert, George Hill and the rest of this team who have gone all the way to the East Finals against the defending champions and have a shot at going to the NBA Finals.

Well, summer is winding down and “The Final Push” will begin in hours time. The España journey will continue. Two more semesters to work on to complete the mission, a semester of thesis and a semester of practicum. I am as determined as anyone to FINISH STRONG in this last push of my school life before heading out to the field and get a job somewhere along the line. Of course, it will be the last semester I will get to see my blockmates on a regular basis since we’ll be off to different ways come the time we take our practicum so I have to make each moment count. 

The journey is about to end, and after it another one begins. It will be one hell of a ride for sure. But just like what I have been doing for the past three years. I’ll sit back and enjoy the moments while it lasts. SENIOR YEAR in the words of Mike Goldberg, HERE WE GO!

I also would like to take a moment to remember my CTHM batchmate who passed away last Thursday, John Sinas. Though I never got to meet him more in person when he was around. It’s still tough on the heart to see a batchmate pass away early in his life. We hope you are in a better place man in the heaven’s above and we will see you again when the time comes.

THE FINAL PUSH STARTS NOW!
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