Thursday, January 29, 2009

They do come true...

My Dearest Students:

In the year you were born, I took the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) National Competitive Exam. To my dad's amazement, I passed the First Screening. For him, it was not just an achievement, but something that brought pride to the name I'm carrying.

But that was just the start of my series of achievements. I marched in secondary school with the highest honors, passed the premiere state university of the country, and placed tenth in the board exam. I didn't know that the Lord paved me that road way ahead of time. Hence, I was happy for myself, and my parents happier.

I never knew all of these would happen. Way back in grade school, I struggled to top my class. But despite all of those hardships, I landed sixth, eighth, or tenth. The highest honors I received was being 3rd honors in third grade, cliche, isn't it?

Today, Dr. Estrella F. Alabastro, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Chair of the PSHS System Board of Trustees, announced that of the 21,303 applicants, 1,119 examinees successfully hurdled the one-step screening administered of the PSHS National Competitive Exam administered last November 15, 2008.

Just like your parents, I am very proud of your accomplishment.

How can I ever forget you Naomi? You were a very sweet girl in fourth grade. A very shy kid, but really exerts your effort to understand the fourth grade Science lessons. I never knew that Science was your favorite. I should have encouraged you more back then...

Do you still remember the gift you gave me during the Holidays of 2006? The card wrote:

Dear Sir,

Please have a joyous Christmas.


How can I ever forget that card? It always makes me smile every time I read it. Unfortunately, I did not have a 'joyful' Christmas that year. Typhoon Reming struck my province a month before Christmas. My family needed to evacuate our house; strong currents of the river at the back of our house brought down our 3-meter high concrete fence. I was teary-eyed to see the leafless coconuts as my bus brought me home during the Christmas break.

But still, thank you very much...

By the way, I still have that bottle of chardonnay at home.

I was ecstatic upon hearing that Joshua will be a part of the GMA7 local version of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grade?" dubbed as "Kakasa ka ba sa Grade 5?" Janno claims that you were the smartest among the first batch of fifth graders for the show. Believe it or not, every time you mentions that your favorite subject is Science, I always feel a sudden rush of blood in my arteries.

You always challenge me in class every time I alienate you with a new scientific information you haven't heard before. You even bought a three-inch thick Campbell book for our Biology topics. You compelled your Mom to the bookstore because you want to use the same reference book as what I am using.

I was even flabbergasted to see the True Friend Test you've created when I googled my ego. It contains a question asking who your favorite teacher is. Of course, I answered the entire quiz just to prove that my hypothesis is correct!

Kitty, you're a Math expert. I've only realized that this year when you became a part of my advisory class. Hence, your analytical skills developed very much since fifth grade Science.

Look, here is a YM conversation that will prove me right:

All of us were surprised when we learned that you passed the PSHS entrance exam. You are very silent in my Science class. I even get mad at you every time you answers back with, "I don't know," and that happens very often. Grrrrr. I knew you know a lot of things! You're just too hesitant to push thru challenges given to you. I hope this one would be an exemption. I believe in what you can do. So please believe in yourself also...

JM is a very aggressive kid. He's very competitive. His alertness and agile sensory-inter-motor neuron stimulation caused their triumph over this school year's PSYSC Science Olympiad. Thus, he's really determined to bring home the bacon this year.

Our defeat during the 2007 competition almost brought down my sanity. And so I quote from my very first blog:

Remembering him teary-eyed after last year's competition gives me a sense of fulfillment when I saw him teary-eyed after winning this year's competition. A year of preparation paid off. It was a sweet victory for him. What more for me?

It seems that David has mastered already my teaching strategy. I have no more tricks left for him. He would always get a perfect score in my exams, surpass my standards in my requirements, and effortlessly digest and absorb all of the knowledge I share to him.

At times when he commits a mistake in an item in a quarter exam, I would really laugh out loud because he was not able to get that question. But when I return to him his paper, I would still reprimand him either verbally or thru my comments for committing a trivial mistake. Poor kid. I know, I am that bad. Sorry, Dave.

But how will I forget this comment of his on my Friendster page when he was just in fifth grade:

Teaching is a very crucial job. Teachers deal with lives. Fragile lives.

I've seen David grow for the past two years. Any parent would really be proud of this boy. I may not be a Science competition champion, but at this point, I want to brag that I've produced one. I'm really proud of you...


I flunked the second screening of the PSHS National Competitive Exam in February 1997. I failed my dad.

But from what you five have accomplished so far, it seems to me that I've passed already the most competitive high school entrance exam in the country.

And yes, dreams do come true...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Choosy. Sensitive. Passive.

I am a very flexible person. Cheerful. Friendly. But very, very choosy.

I am a very patient person. Polite. Courteous. But very, very, sensitive.

Hence, I am a very moody person. Temperamental. War freak. But very, very, passive.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The guru's oscar pickS

Let's take a break from serious issues and take a try to internalize the 81st Annual Academy Awards' Nominee List.

For the record, I've seen only 7 movies with Oscar nominations for this year, namely:
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - watched it at MOA with James
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona - from Davis' DVD collection
  • Iron Man - from Rafael's effort to download it for two weeks! Harhar.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army - at TriNoMa with Teni and Mark
  • Wall-E - at the PSO National Eliminations at Angelicum College
  • Wanted - at SM North with Susan and Mark
  • Kung Fu Panda - at TriNoMa, Eivy's birthday

Here are my biased predictions on who I WANT to win on the 22nd of February:

  • Actor in a Leading Role - Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). of course! i haven't seen any of the other nominated films!
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight). will they give the guy another posthumous award?
  • Actress in a Leading Role - Meryl Streep (Doubt). coz it's THE MERYL STREEP.
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - Taraji Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). i really love her performance in this movie, although Penelope was a in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
  • Animated Feature Film - Wall-E. simply, coz i love the story.
  • Makeup - Hellboy II: The Golden Army. and I dedicate this award to my one and only Hellboy. Rock on kid! LOL.
  • Music (Score) - Wall-E. just adore the soundtracks.
  • Best Picture - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. coz I haven't seen any of the other nominated films. Hekhek.
  • Visual Effects - Iron Man. and am still waiting for the second installment!

Well, that's it for now! I hope you learned something new from this post. Whatever it is.

Damn this migraine. Argh.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Increase the Salary of Filipino Public School Teachers Petition

The Senate of the Republic of the Philippines has already forwarded to the House of Representatives for their concurrence Senate Bill No. 2408, or the Educators in Basic Education Compensation Act, last July 31, 2008. Until now, there has been NO action from the Lower House regarding this bill.

To recall, the bill proposes a Php 9,000 additional compensation, to be given over a three-year period in three tranches, to public school teachers, locally-funded teachers, non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education and Philippine Science High School teaching and non-teaching personnel. It likewise seeks a Php 1,000 medical check-up annual allowance for covered beneficiaries and a Magna Carta bonus to public school teachers and non-teaching personnel of the DepEd.

Being the Representatives of the Filipino People, we urge the Lower House to pass a counterpart bill to Senate Bill No. 2408, and upgrade the salary of public school teachers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Of suspensions and drug tests…

Watching the news today alarmed me about the Quezon City Science High School (QueSci) conundrum. 4 STUDENTS WERE SUSPENDED FOR BLOGGING ABOUT THEIR PRINCIPAL. Their offense: they gave a false image about their principal thus, including the school, if I heard it right.

I am not familiar with the REAL story on what’s happening in the four corners of QueSci. But since last year, I’ve been hearing not-so-good-accounts about the said ‘principal’ from QueSci students, parents, and alumni.

I am bothered by this incident because this badly reflects the image of the Philippine educational system. The ‘system’ I am pertaining to not only includes the curriculum (what the students are supposed to learn), the government (who is fueling the general literacy program of the nation), but most importantly the bureaucracy (the people at the backbone of the educational system). This bureaucracy includes not only the teachers, but palpably the administrators —people who have positions in running the schools. Let us include in the list those public school principals, superintendents (read: ‘shooooperintendents’), supervisors (read: ‘shoooopervisors’), regional directors, and most importantly the ‘Czar of Education,’ I mean, Secretary of Education.

Why be bothered? Simply, because they reflect how corrupted the system is. Take note, ‘corrupted,’ that’s how worse it is. Corrupted not only in the sense of taking moolah or being plain graft, but corrupted in the sense of idealism, hence, rationality (if ever they have them).

Reading this blog entry of a QueSci student dated 17th of September 2008 and this one dated 28th of June 2008, gave me an insight of what’s going on in that school. From what I’ve read, I’m sticking to the rationality corruption of the administrators of the said school. Although I may say that I’m biased already since I haven’t heard the side of the latter, even my sixth grade students can tell that something is not right in the way things are handled in that high school. And IF EVER, she did say those quoted lines, what kind of evidence would you still ask for?

Why am I awfully bothered by this issue? Because I believe that QueSci produces great students. I know several graduates from this school who are really good, may they be my classmates in college or current co-workers. I may not be an alumnus of this school but I do have high regards with people who came from this school.

Why am I dreadfully bothered by this issue? One, because I have four previous students who are studying right now at QueSci. Two, because 12 of the 31 students from the graduating class I’m handling right now passed the first screening for the said science high. They will take the second screening in the last weekend of the month and I am very optimistic of the results of the test. In four months time, they will be in high school. And by that time, I don’t want them to experience such irrationality in their high school life.

In an interview of a Department of Education Undersecretary, he mentioned that the parents can appeal to the Regional Director regarding the suspension of the four students. It seems that they already know that something wrong is happening in that school. Isn’t that a hint already that they should do their own investigation about the said incident? In the first place, it’s their own personnel who are being castigated in this issue.

And so, I URGE the DepEd people to do something about this matter before it escalates to another level of disparity.


In another news, random drug testing will be done among public and private high school students staring this March.

The drug tests aims to “determine the prevalence of drug users among the studentry, assess the effectivity of school- and community-based prevention programs, deter the use of illegal drugs, facilitate the rehabilitation of drug dependents, and strengthen the collaborative efforts of identified agencies against the use of illegal drugs.”

I reckon that the rationale of this program is for the benefit of the country’s almost 7 million high school students. What a great feat indeed for the ‘antidrug czar’ of the Philippines, or should I say ‘czarina,’ Madamme president?

And oh! By the way, I just found out that the title ‘czar’ is designated to non-Christian supreme rulers. If you know what I mean…

I am not against the drug testing among high school students. Hence, I was ecstatic to hear that teachers would undergo such testing also. Then, why not?!! Let’s test all teachers out there to see who are always high when they start babbling in front of the blackboards. (I highly suggest that they should start at QueSci).

And another suggestion for the ‘Antidrug Czar,’ why not start with your own government officials?! Wouldn’t it be nice to see that ALL of the government officials are non-drug users (since they always claim that they are not drug pushers).

And so, I URGE the ‘Antidrug Czar’ to conduct first a drug test to ALL public officials to prove to the Filipino society that she’s determined to wage war against drug addiction.


Am not supposed to be writing this crap tonight. In fact, am supposed to be cramming my kid’s grades coz it’s card day on Friday. But heck. I badly need an outlet. Now back to computing grades…