A ‘Walk’ To Remember

Last February 2013, our Campus Journalism professor assigned us to write a detailed article of our walk around the campus. We had almost an hour to take down notes to help us for our composition.

I must admit I wasn’t really good at writing then and grammatical errors were a bit of a challenge for me (it’s not that i’m a Nazi now, but I think i’m better).

In front of the Main Building

Two years later, I found that I actually kept this article so I decided I could post it here. I thought that copying whatever was actually written in the manuscript was so much easier. But as I write it down, I changed some of my insights, and altered some parts.

The nostalgia also didn’t help because It caused me to wait until the championship game of UST vs FEU; which turned out to be the biggest heartbreak of the year for a bona fide Thomasian.

It’s true what elders say.

Mas masaya mag-aral.

It’s not that I don’t like working. It’s just that being in a university, especially UST, is not only the best thing to begin with, but it’s way more fun.

So here it goes:

A stray of sunlight lit parts of some kiosks inside the Quadricentennial Park of the Royal and Pontifical. University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Maya birds, a breed whose presence is ubiquitous, chirped to one another producing the harmonious ambiance. This part of the university is the home to dance crews from different programs and colleges, who hold rehearsals and trainings to showcase to the Thomasian community.

The lobby in the nearest building, the Faculty of Arts and Letters or St. Raymund de Peñafort bulding, serves as the drop off point of students, brought by their car services. Students who spend their leisure time together through chattering and laughing were comfortably sitting in one of the chairs in the pavillions.

It seems inevitable that many students still rush and briskly walk to catch up with their 11:00 classes. The wind hustles leaving the leaves scattering all over the platform, where the famous foundation lies. The whole area is almost deserted. The only noticeable object that stands there are the famous big letters which boldly state UST, blocked in yellow and black, where newcomers share a picture with.

Tracing it back in history, the university has been in constant revamping and improving. Construction works echo so loud, inaudible to students in isolated buildings such as the Beato Angelico, located in the corner of España Boulevard and Padre Noval Street. Unlike those busy streets in the school, the Quadri Park is a sanctuary for both students and animals. The tents provide shade for people who loves to study in a quiet place while cats and dogs roam the campus.

The banging of metals and the strays of sunlight suggest a dramatic rhythmic transition of events. The strays of light worked like a prism when those streak the windows of the Main Building, which houses the Science courses. Students would horde in the right side of the building just to indulge on the favorite dirty ice cream owned by Kuya (don’t know his name).

Furthermore, the structure of the park is very symmetrical since lamp posts station equally in front of the building and those give off relaxing, satisfying rays and shadows at dawn. University staff members are often seen on a late afternoon to clear up the wastes collected all throughout the day. Plants are also very well taken care of in the campus since they purify the air.

Of course who would not know Ate Yema? One of the most iconic people in the university because of her famous pastries, cookies, and sweets, sold for a little-more-than-the-expected price.

Every corner of the university is being protected by numerous CCTV (closed circuit TV FYI) cameras rotating in 360 degrees. Signboards and street signs are placed all over the university for caution and friendly reminders. In the not so far side of the Quadricentennial Park is the iconic statue placed in 2011, during the 400th year of the university, where renowned celebrities such as Piolo Pascual and Charlene Gonzales are engraved to life-sized figures, in honor of their beloved alma mater.

Of course, security in the university would not be possible if it’s not for the sometimes friendly, sometimes irritated guards, barricading every gate of each building. For some buildings, one can easily see at the entrance an inscription of the history of the building itself.

After a quite long walk around the campus, the earlier peaceful description of the park suddenly shifted when a large group of students from another school swarmed the earlier deserted place of the Quadri park. A fat cat ran fast as one silly student played with it, causing the green trash bins placed beside the plant beds move. The students made sure every moment was captured especially on the not-so-easy-to-miss letter standees that loudly exclaim U-S-T.

This is the daily setting of the university. This is a place where dreams are made, changed, realized, and where steps to success begin. This is a place where one can just sit back, watch people, listen to the stories of friends gathering, to the music of the students rehearsing, escape the floods that nearly rushes to your knees, walk through the Lover’s Lane, food trip and stress eat, have pride of cheering for the university athletes, and finally, have the honor of saying, ‘I was a Thomasian; I am a Thomasian; and will always be, a THOMASIAN.

Me at the Lovers’ Lane when I was a freshie back in 2011 
Quadri Park

Tears started flowing on my face as I try to end this article.

I was the type of person who likes dwelling in the past. I still am dwelling in the past. But this time, I make sure that the memories I had during my college years, will always be cherished.

My dear UST, you’ll always be loved by me. I’ll support every game, will cheer at the top of my lungs. I’ll always imbibe the values you taught me, competence, compassion, and commitment.

Thank you and continue touching and changing people’s lives.

The original manuscript




How to take advantage of the APEC break?


The MMDA suggested that to avoid traffic this coming days because of the APEC meeting, one should rather stay home.

Well here are some of the things one can do to be productive of the two to three days break:


  1. Exercise – Hit the Gym, Try Yoga, Run


There’s no better way than skip the daily hustle by staying fit. Instead of eating out and spending lots of money, one can actually be thrifty through jogging or running. However, if you’re willing to invest on something new, try Yoga or visit the gym.


Yoga places near Manila:

Oasis Yoga

Bliss Yoga Manila


White Space Mind and Body Wellness Studio


  1. Stay Home and General Clean

Because of the busy and loaded days, you might have probably forgotten to keep your place/bedroom clean and organized. Now is the best time to take out the unnecessary stuff in the room and let go of some trashy souvenirs.

It’s also a good way to stretch limbs and keep track of your inventory.

  1. Try a new recipe

Instead of going out and spending for a sumptuous lunch or dinner, why not try to make or tweak your favorite dish. It will be awesome to experiment!

  1. Go North!

Who says you can’t go out? It’s just advised to go to areas of Makati, Pasay and Parañaque. There are a lot of good places to see up north such as Pampanga, Pangasinan, Baguio, Ilocos and Cagayan Valley.

  1. Read a book, learn a new song

I’m pretty sure that a lot of books have been sitting in your bookends for quite some time. It’s a good time to get hold of these and choose which is very timely for your own mood to easily relate to the author’s metaphors.

  1. Check e-mail or get done with pending work

It’s not so nice to pile up all the things that should be accomplished over the weekend. Take some time, an hour or two to slowly finish one by one all the work to avoid being overwhelmed opening your email after a five-day break.

  1. Soul-search

Soul-searching doesn’t have to be expensive, such as going to secluded places. Not only is it unsafe but it’s sometimes more fun to share moments with someone than alone. However, this can be alternatively done by an alone time, turning off lines to meditate, taking some time to contemplate about life’s choices and plans.


What’s your plan this break?




EDSA traffic: An avenue of whatnots

Getting stuck in the EDSA traffic is no-joke especially when one has to experience it five days in a row. Alarming and annoying as it may be, neither a driver nor a commuter could do something about it at the moment. News, facts and opinions as to how to solve this ever existent problem arise from broadsheets, online articles, to tabloids. The government’s efforts are “well-recognized” on addressing to this issue, to the point of suggesting an extreme modification on work schedule, through the four-day work law.

giphy (2)

People have differing comments on the  “see-if-it-works” strategy of the government, saying that it is the one responsible for the chaos the Philippines undergoes, or that Filipinos have no discipline. Others who have partly made sense of some things would reasonably say it should be atonement between the two facets.

As for me, this traffic helped me a lot to keep me sane despite the hustle, and loss of economic profit and quality of time due to the hours of travelling to work. It provides me the time to unwind, observe, and think clearly.

My lengthy introduction would make one think this must be one of the other opinionated articles published to make people “think twice” of their actions. Probably yes… but probably not.

Each day, one of my duties as a media relations associate is to monitor press releases and client clippings in newspapers, that’s why I already made it a habit to skim news and articles. But what would interest me a lot are feature articles, especially those about the traffic. There’s this one I read this morning that says traffic is slowly killing Filipinos. Another one from a major broadsheet would suggest ways on how to be productive despite the bitter truth, instead of ranting.

In this case, I want to share what I’ve been randomly thinking whenever I engage in the gridlock.

  1. “Kasalanan ‘to ng gobyerno”


This item on top of my list is very timely for the election is at hand.  Several candidates have their own gimmicks, hand in hand contact with endorsers on who’ll be getting who in the celebrity industry. I’m sure that most of them would vie for ‘AlDub’ especially that the phenomenal love team top-notched not only the social media but also the hearts of the Filipino people. However, the fact that 130 presidentiables filed their intentions is already very alarming. One could not determine easily why this political joke is happening. But one thing is for sure, the record-breaking status of the country in regard to corruption is a major factor for all of these.

Their never-ending promises on the betterment of the country, on ‘I believe’, ‘we need’, ‘I will’ are some of the cliches we hear from these candidates, who could never address to the destruction of the Train Stations (MRT, LRT), that caused all the more traffic.

  1. The pasaway pedestrians and kaskaserong drivers


Honestly speaking, I never realized how important it is to follow road rules until I learned how to drive. I’ve experienced driving to main roads to back roads and my lack of knowledge on road signs made it difficult for me. But what’s more difficult to deal with are the uneducated attitude of Filipinos in terms of driving and walking. It’s very annoying to see vehicles turning on a no-left turn or no u-turn block, or beat the stoplight. These kinds of drivers who don’t know how to wait are major contributors to a few accidents, which caused more hustle. As for the pedestrians, I just want to address this: Do you have this thinking that you actually don’t care when vehicles are about to hit you just because you think you’re always right? Darling, there’s this thing you called pedestrian lanes, built for humans. You cannot instil in you the angst of crossing whenever/wherever you want, then putting the blame to the poor drivers who follow rules.

  1. Smiling is everything

giphy (1)

The Philippines is a tropical country which experience more time in heat than cool. There’s a saying that you can’t kill fire with fire. If everyone else is ranting and having a bad time because of the queue in the MRT/terminal, ask yourself whether adding up to the happening will do you any good or not. It’s really helpful to smile at frowning people and don’t be afraid to feel rejected when he/she doesn’t smile back.

  1. I might have probably met my one true love, or not?


Funny thing to say but admittedly, I’d often think whether I have crossed path with the man of my life or not. Sometimes, the stares and stolen glances help to ease the bad vibes on waiting for your turn. But everything happens in time, don’t they?

  1. Driving the road less travelled


“Don’t expect a different result when you keep doing the same ways”.

Indeed, EDSA is the main road. But one shouldn’t be afraid to take alternate routes. When I did my talk to UST ELSSOC during its general assembly, I compared my journey to driving and getting to a destination. The point is, never settle to one thing. The backroads and the secondary roads should be given a try because sometimes, they make one’s life easier. It’s the same thing as not settling for where you are now, but be an explorer. Go on an adventure. Make mistakes, pass by road blocks, no entry, and stop signs. After all, you’ll still get into your destination. Just make sure to use WAZE – or not.

My Food Escapades

Sharing with you the really cool restaurants i’ve been to for the past few weeks. 

Frankie's Wings World
Frankie’s Wings World
Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan’s famous buns
Bento in Kitaro Sushi
Rodic’s Tapa

Those are just some of the good restaurants i’ve been too. I’ll be writing an article/review on each of them one of these days!

Frankie’s at Mega Food Hall, 5th Level Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall

Tim Ho Wan is located in Mega B Ground Floor SM Megamall

Kitaro Sushi at F. Ortigas Road, Ortigas, Pasig City

Rodic’s Tapa at Masaya Avenue Corner Maginhawa Avenue, Old Capitol Site, Quezon City

Mantaro at Scout Tobias cor Scout Limbaga, Tomas Morato, Quezon City

Getting the sweet ‘love’ I want in the Mega Food Hall

During our lunch break at work, Denise and I both craved for buffalo wings. We traveled from Emerald Avenue to SM Megamall to line up to the famous Frankie buffalo wings. We bought 1/2 dozen of those, and beef burrito from Tex-Mex. 

We enjoyed our food trip that much, then realizing we should “finish strong” with a good dessert. The very dessert booth present there is the waffle stall on the left side of the hall named Waffos. 

Watching at the lady while she tossed the waffle.
Waffle wrapper
Chocolate Campfire


There were lots of options to choose from the menu. But as usual, whenever I get to try the restaurant for the first time, I would always get their best-seller. Well in this case, I ordered chocolate campfire because it’s a combination of the two of my most favorite desserts, chocolate and marshmallow (smores). 

Me, excited to eat my waffle
Me, excited to eat my waffle

Voila! After less than ten minutes of preparation, our desserts were done. And that’s me staring at my food,  couldn’t wait to feel so rewarded after a long weekday of work. 

Waffles are best eaten when hot, but Waffos broke that rule because it didn’t fail to satisfy my craving after eating it in a regular temperature. The waffle bread remained so soft, slightly crunchy, and the marshmallow melted well, neutralizing the sweetness of the chocolate. 

Yummy Chocolate Camper

Denise’s and my selections both cost Php 110. The other selections, containing more fillings would cost Php 145, while the savory selection cost Php 160.

Waffos is located at the Mega Food Hall, Level 5 Mega Fashion Hall

SM Megamall, EDSA, Mandaluyong City

What I learned so far as an English Language Major

  1. Grammar isn’t everything


As reference to an article which features the easiest and hardest courses in college, with those courses in Humanities being in the former, studying the English subject may be easy to pass. Even we study English courses doesn’t mean we only learn the basics of English. We barely talk about grammar anymore. When a person speaks, what he or she implies is what really matters and the grammatical structure doesn’t matter anymore!


  1. You can produce a research studying about the word “yeah”


Hell “yeah”! One may just find the word “yeah” insignificant but believe or not, we linguistics students can create a 30-page research or thesis that just studies the function of the word aforementioned.


  1. Save the money for xerox, instead of books


One who is a neophyte in the program may be a bit shocked because this isn’t high school anymore honey. You will not be referred to only one book but a series of books. So instead of buying all the books included in the course’ references, you might want to prepare your coins to pay for those book-thickened handout materials.


  1. Reading is everything

If you are not really a fan of reading, English Language Studies is not the program for you. Being in the program is being overwhelmed with lots of paper works, research, critique papers, argumentative essays, opinionated papers and any kind of paper works, so settling for just one reference is less than being mediocre.

  1. Your laptop or personal computer will be your long-time companion

If you are a techie person, you might want to invest on a laptop that suits your personal lifestyle, or a laptop unit which will motivate you, stays with you in all those long and sleepless nights, or gets you excited whenever you open your laptop for a research work.

A None Million Dollar Happiness

Tired. Hungry. Thirsty.

The smoke that belched out of the vehicles in the national highway did not stop me in seeing what my guy anticipated for this very particular day. The first born of his favorite uncle, who didn’t have any siblings for his whole marriage life.

We walked several blocks from the drop off point to the hospital. The place is surrounded with wet and dry market, and is often crowded. I told myself that I was given a chance not to agree to this agenda but somehow, this place was not something unfamiliar.

I was quite nostalgic upon reaching the area because we had settled there when i was still young.

When we reached the nearest block that borders the hospital, I saw food stalls which tempted me a lot, making the walk a lot more challenging. But of course, i cannot let those temptations consume me, else I cannot go home. I only have an exact amount of money in my wallet. I hated it when my pocket money is just exact for my expenses for a certain trip. I don’t feel comfortable since I was used to getting emergency money. So i decided to do some sacrificing, not eating my most craved dishes of all time.

We entered the hospital lobby and we thought that this hospital is better when we saw the facade. However, the cover doesn’t justify the contents as it is right?

A lot of people, men and women, congested the 50 square meter room with two people on each bed. Wait, did i just say it right? Of course! Two women in a bed. I can’t imagine how hard it is to let a child out of a woman’s womb, how painful it is, and how restless it might be, feeling more restless, knowing that you’ll have someone share with your only sanctuary.

These people are those i can describe as, not the low class, but those I chose to be practical. The hospital services were affordable, good enough for simple people to deliver their children.

My eyes kind of freaked out upon entering the room because I saw a lot of babies, small as a set of loaf bread. They are so gentle and I cannot risk to touch them. My reflexes are hard to control since I play sports as a hobby and i was used in a lot of hard works.

I looked at Tito and saw the sparkle in his eyes. He was a lot different when I see him in T’s house compared with his expressions while carrying the newborn baby. His voice was gentle when he talked to me so he cannot wake up such beautiful creation.

Suddenly, the baby cried. Sean cried. He cried so hard that the sounds his cry created bounced back on me as memories of yesterday and of the past.

Tita carry and hold him gently. His face pressed against her breasts trying to feed himself. I completely saw the smile that roses on her lips and the glistening on her eyes. Those two things were continuously showing while she was trying to endure the pain of breastfeeding. But no matter, because all the pain will take off, leaving the mother so joyful that nine months of agony and discomfort became the most life changing experience she had in her entirety.

T often told me in the past how desperate the couple could be to have a child. Seeing the movies which shared the same hopeless story, I empathize on how they feel. I saw how hard it is for them to share the love with other children, but cannot do it with their own because they don’t have any.

But now, they can share all the love they reserved for years. There’s no more room for sadness and tears.

We went home and finally got a chance to eat and talk at dinner.