Monday, June 11, 2012

My last 700 words as the 51st Corps Commander of PLM "Rajah" ROTC Corps of Cadets

TO OUR EVER SUPPORTIVE COMMANDANT AND STAFF,COL SUN, MAJOR PASICOLAN, CPT FENEQUITO, The best chief clerk: MSG OBENA. TO OUR POOL OF ROTC INSTRUCTORS AND OF COURSE THE ONE AND ONLY MSG GONZALES AND MS. ABBY MISLANG WITH WHOM I, WE, OUR UNIT OWE SO MUCH. TO MY BATCH MATES FROM CLASS BANTOG 2012. CLASS APOLLO. CLASS BALASIK. OUR DEAR AND NOW FELLOW ALUMNI. TO OUR NEW CADETS. A GLORIOUSLY PLEASANT MORNING TO ALL. I SAID GLORIOUS BECAUSE I LOOK AT THIS DAY AS A DAY OF JUBILATION. A DAY WHERE ALL MUST BE IN A CELEBRATORY MOOD BECAUSE NOT ONLY ARE WE, FOR THE NTH TIME, CELEBRATING OUR VICTORY AS THE CHAMPIONS, THE BEST ROTC UNIT FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE YEARS, IN THE REGIONAL ANUAL ADMINISTRATIVE AND TACTICAL INSPECTION BUT WE ARE NOW IN A THRESHOLD WHERE WE BEGIN A NEW YEAR, A NEW JOURNEY WITH NEW HOPES, NEW COURAGE AND MOST NOTABLY A NEW LEADERSHIP. AGAIN, MAY WE GIVE A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR OUR NEW CORPS COMMANDER, C/LTC MONICA ORBE. SOME 3 YEARS AGO, I WAS LIKE SOME OF YOU. WALA PANG ALAM KUNG ANO BA TALAGA ITONG ROTC NA ITO. BUT DESPITE THAT, I, TOGETHER WITH SOME 30 OTHER FELLOW CADETS TOOK THE CHALLENGE OF ENROLING OURSELVES TO WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD AS “COCC” THE CADET OFFICERS CANDIDATE COURSE. YOUR ONLY WAY TO OFFICERSHIP. YOUR WAY TO BECOMING LIKE US. LIKE THESE GUYS. GENTLEMEN OF THE FINEST ORDER. TODAY, I RELINQUISHED MY COMMAND AS THE 51ST CORPS COMMANDER OF ONE OF THE BEST ROTC UNITS IN THE COUNTRY BUT I DO THIS WITH PRIDE, HONOR AND GLADNESS KNOWING THAT I SPENT MY TERM WELL AND THAT I AM LEAVING THE SAME POST IN GOOD, OR SHOULD I SAY BETTER HANDS. TO OUR CADET OFFICERS, MOST ESPECIALLY TO THE FIRST CLASS CADETS AND OUR CORPS COMMANDER, I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST. THIS IS THE TIME TO PROVE YOUR REAL WORTH. THIS YEAR IS THE ONLY CHANCE YOU HAVE TO SHOW OUR COMMANDANT, INSTRUCTORS, THE CADETS, PLM, THE CITY OF MANILA, THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, OR MAYBE THE WHOLE COUNTRY, THAT YOU ARE INDEED PLM MARAGTAS CADET OFFICERS, WHO ARE UNIQUE AND OUTSTANDING IN VALUES AND SKILLS, AND ARE BLESSED WITH A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF LOYALTY, PATRIOTISM AND A PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE. WHEN EMBARKING INTO A NEW JOURNEY, WE USUALLY HAVE AN END POINT OR DESTINATION IN MIND. IN A LEADER’S VOCABULARY WE CALL IT A MISSION OR A GOAL. ALONG THE WAY OR EVEN BEFORE WE START, WE PLAN, STRATEGIZE AND LAY-OUT THE CARDS. I DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOUR PLANS ARE BUT LET ME JUST SHARE WITH YOU HOW I LOOKED AT IT A YEAR AGO WHEN I ASSUMED THE COMMAND. OF COURSE, THERE WAS ALL THE PRESSURE AND THE STRESS NA CHAMPIONS ANG BATCH NA NAUNA SA AMIN. ANG IPAPASA SA AMIN AT ANG KAILANGAN NAMING ALAGAAN AY ANG TINANGHAL NA BEST ROTC UNIT SA BUONG NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION. AT FIRST, I ENDEAVOURED TO MAINTAIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. THAT WHICH I THOUGHT WAS A CORPS COMMANDER’S CROWNING GLORY. “CHAMPION KAMI EH.” BUT LATER ON AS WE PROGRESSED AND SEVERAL TRAINING DAYS HAVE PASSED, UNTI-UNTING NAG-IBA ANG GOAL KO. WHICH I GUESS I HAVE SHARED WITH MY ENTIRE BATCH AND THE ENTIRE BATCH OF FRESHMAN CADETS NA HINAWAKAN NAMIN LAST YEAR. FOR ME, WINNING THE RAATI, (P.S. CADETS: MALALAMAN NIYO RIN LATER ON KUNG ANO ITONG RAATI NA ITO AT KUNG ANO BA ANG IPINAGYAYABANG NAMIN NA CHAMPION KAMI) WINNING THE RAATI IS ONLY A BONUS. WINNING THE RAATI IS ONLY A SECOND PRIORITY TO WHAT WE REALLY SHOULD ENDEAVOUR TO ACHIEVE FOR AND WITH THIS UNIT. AT ANO IYON? YUN AY ANG MAY MATUTUNAN TAYONG LAHAT AT SIGURADUHING ANG MGA NATUTUNAN NATIN DITO SA ROTC AY BABAUNIN AT MAPAPAKINABANGAN NATIN KAHIT MATAPOS NA NATIN ANG ROTC, KAHIT GRUMADUTE NA TAYO SA KOLEHIYO AT KAHIT HANGGANG SA MAGKAROON NA TAYO NG MGA TRABAHO AT BUMUO NG SARILI NATING MGA PAMILYA. WE NEED TO PROVE, AND ENDEAVOUR TO SHOW OTHER PEOPLE THAT ROTC GRADUATES ARE MORE THAN WHAT THE CRITICS THINK WE ARE. HINDI LANG KAMI, TAYO PURO MARCHA, PAGBIBILAD SA ARAW O PAGPAPAHIRAP AT PAGPAPARUSA. WE ARE SOMETHING MORE VALUABLE THAN THAT NA SANA MATUKLASAN NIYO LATER ON. IT MAY SOUND CHEESY OR CORNY TO YOU NOW, BUT IF OUR SET OF CADET OFFICERS HERE WILL SUCEED IN TEACHING YOU YOUR LESSONS. AASAHAN KONG KAGAYA NG MGA NAUNANG BATCH SA INYO, AY SASABIHIN NINYONG “THE BEST ANG ROTC” OR, “PWEDE PO BANG MAG ROTC ULET?” KUNG MANGYARI YAN, MARAMING SALAMAT NAMAN. 6 PARAGRAPHS OF ABOUT 700 WORDS. SA ANIM NA TALATA AT PITONG DAANG MGA SALITA KO LANG PALA TATAPUSIN ANG PAG-KACORPS COMMANDER KO. DI BALE HINDI NAMAN NITO MATATAWARAN ANG 1,008 ARAW NG TRAINING KASAMA ANG MGA KAPATID KO SA CORPS C/LTC REY GALIG G MACAJELOS C/LTC BENJAMIN R GALMAK C/LTC JAN CARLO O LUMALANG C/LTC FLORENCE DAWN G CARREON C/LTC LADY DIANA D SY HINDI NITO MATATAWARAN ANG MGA NATUTUNAN KO SA MGA MAHUHUSAY AT MAKIKISIG NAMING MGA INSTRUCTORS, HINDI NITO MATATAWARAN ANG MAHIGIT SA 4,000 MGA KADETENG NAKASAMA AT NAGING BAHAGI NG MGA BUHAY NAMIN, ANG 5 MAHAHALAGANG TAONG NAGING GABAY NAMIN SA AMING PAGLAKI SA CORPS, CLASS SPARTANS, ANG 2 NAMING MGA TATAY, CLASS BAGWIS, SIR VINCULADO, SIR CANILLAS, AND OF COURSE KUMBAGA PO SA PAMILYA EH ANG NAGING PINAKAILAW AT MGA HALIGI NG TAHANAN NA AMING KINAGISNAN SINA SIR GONZALES, SIR MATIBAG AND SIR SUDOY. MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO. MAAARING WALA PO KAYONG LAHAT DITO UPANG MARINIG ANG AMING PASASALAMAT AT MAKITA KUNG PAANO NAMIN IPINAGKAKATIWALA SA MGA BAGONG PINUNO NGAYON ANG MGA BAGAY NA NAGMULA RIN SA INYO PERO ALAM PO NAMING IISA PA RIN PO TAYO NG MITHIIN AT PANGARAP PARA SA CORPS, PARA SA PLM ROTC UNIT. HAIL PLM CORPS OF CADET OFFICERS. LET’S GO PLM! MABUHAY PO TAYONG LAHAT! C/COL AMADEUZ VINCENT JOHN R CELESTIAL Corps Commander, CLASS “BANTOG” 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A BIG BROTHER'S PIECE FOR HIS SIBLING My welcome speech for BALIKAYAN 2012 To Batch SANDINAWA: WELCOME TO THE FAMILY. Yes, we welcome you with joy and enthusiasm as you start with your new journey and as you follow the road travelled halfway (naka-kalahati na kami eh) or if you’d be braver, you might consider starting anew and go find your own road? Whichever the case, don’t worry because I think we’ve generated enough light and reserved some bread crumbs to guide you along the way. We, batch Simulangan, have suffered the birthpains to pave way for the major to finally be established in the lodestar college of PLM. It was literal. Long, exhausting days. Sleepless nights. Frustrating moments. Heartbreaking incidents. Dislocated social lives. Separation from our old friends, and maybe at times, our own families. Hurt feelings. Broken egos. Blahblahblah... Blood, sweat and tears they say. I have to say this, in part, to warn you about what you’re really getting yourself into (I mean, as I’ve said, we’ve travelled the unfamiliar road “halfway” and that may be the same as saying that the birthpains are not yet over). But more than warning you, I am saying this because I want to give you some pieces of advice. There will certainly be a lot of trying, difficult times – those moments when you would feel like quitting, when you would feel like this PR thing may have been a mistake or that PR is not for you – we’ve gone through the same and if it happens to you remember this: Go back to where and “with what” you started. You entered the major with nothing but hope, courage, guts (maybe some knowledge, talent and skills) and the belief that your destiny might be here. Hold on to that, breathe in, out, remember you’re not alone in this journey, then continue doing your part of job. It may sound stupidly easy, but it could really be as easy as that. As a PR major you should start developing such willpower and sense of optimism; that strong belief that EVERY SORT OF THINGS WILL BE ALL RIGHT. When you start looking at every sort of thing in a positive light, you’d surely survive each day. Again, don’t worry because there’s space for good fortune, victory and time for jubilation in this place. Mahirap lang talaga yung proseso at daan papunta dun. I was speaking of “part of the job,” well, you are not, and will never be, alone in this journey. As we’d always say, “we are a family here.” We do things together and that means we fail and succeed together. We love and care for each other and that’s our main ingredient for success and excellence. “Excellence all the way,” the PR majors’ motto wasn’t put there just for the heck of having a motto. It is our battle cry, an expression of commitment, a gesture of passion and dedication to real excellence. Excellence, in a PR majors’ point of view, is not and should not be exclusive, though. It is not a privilege that we seek and keep to ourselves. Rather, it is something that we should aim for and when we have it, it becomes something we gladly share with others. One of our goals for establishing a major in PR is to spread the “excellence virus.” We strive for excellence in everything we do and we infect our neighbours with the same. Batch Simulangan will be more than glad to share with you all the learnings, resources, wisdom and skill that we’ve gained so far. We just need you to trust us and be open with the idea of crossing bridges, defeating your fears, exposing yourself with new (and sometimes radical) ideas WITH US. You learn from us as we learn from you. But we are of greater responsibility here because of this promise: All the preceding batches (us being the first) should endeavour to produce BETTER PR MAJORS as time pass by. If we succeed in doing so, we will be ensured with the survival of the major. You, being the second batch of majors, should then be a better batch. Pressure? Yes. But “challenge” or “motivation” may be the better words. Please help us achieve this. Accept the challenge. Aim to surpass us and we will take that with delighted, never jealous, hearts. P.S. Don’t forget to be yourself, trust your instincts, be uniquely outstanding. And,of course, HAVE FUN. Matuto na kayong ngitian, tawanan, at hingahan na lang lahat ng darating. With this I close. Excellence all the way. Mabuhay tayong lahat! ~AJ Ramos-Celestial

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I am an Outstanding Youth Ambassador for Peace

Ang yabang?? AKO NA!! Hahahaha...

Nung isang araw ko pa dapat ito ibo-blog. Kaya lang walang time ehh. Pero ito na!

I attended the VSO Bahaginan Public Forum on Peace last September 14, 2011. I and kuya Mickey Santiago, co-peace ambassador, represented peacetech in a forum that's quite intimidating to me because it felt so serious and I was like the youngest person in the room. However, as the discussion went on, I felt more and more proud of myself and of all those people in the room because it's PEACE we're talking about. And being a peace ambassador, I've never felt so involved in peace-building until I was in that forum with everybody else, sector representatives, who wanted PEACE in the Philippines.


with Mr. Dominic Hannigan TD, Irish Member of Parliament

Hindi nag-iisa ang peacetech. Hindi lang OPAPP ang gusto ng kapayapaan. Hindi lang AFP at MILF ang dapat na nag-uusap para maisaayos ang ating lipunan at makamit ang katahimikan sa mga conflict-affected areas. KINAKAILANGAN ANG PARTISIPASYON NG LAHAT. During the forum, I realized that IF WE WANT HOLISTIC PEACE THERE MUST BE A HOLISTIC, COLLECTIVE ACTION. Yun ang ikinatuwa ko sa forum. May tao galing sa gobyerno, may AFP, PNP, MILF, mga propesor ng akademya, civic orgs at NGOs, international institutions gaya ng world bank, at nandyan din ang media. Lahat nagpahayag ng kagustuhang makamit ang tunay at inclusive o holistic na kapayapaan.

The Key Speaker for the Forum was Mr. Dominic Hannigan TD , Irish Member of Parliament. He presented before us, how ireland achieved peace in their homeland. Ang masaya nito, ilang beses niyang nabanggit sa kanyang presentation ang PeaceTech. Sa palagay ko, wala naman espesyal sa paraang ginamit ng Ireland para maging mapayapa ang bansa nila. Naisip na rin natin yun dito sa Pilipinas. Engage all sectors, use all means / media, maximize resources, emphasize dialogue, etc. etc. Ang mahirap siguro sa atin, dito sa Pilipinas, kulang sa commitment. Kung may commitment man, NINGAS KUGON. Amp diba? Pero OK lang yan. Ang maganda naman sa atin, di tayo marunong sumuko, hindi tayo nawawalan ng pag-asa.

The Forum was moderated by Prof. Nieves Confesor, Executive Director of Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership at the Asian Institute of Management. There was three (3) reactors after Mr. Hannigan's talk .

Dr. Francisco Lara, Jr. - Country Director of International Alert

Mr. Camilo Montesa - Former PHL Peace Panel Member and former Asst. Secretary of OPAPP

Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga - Member of MILF Negotiating Panel and Executive Director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies

I don't really remember who said what but here are some of the points I was able to take note of (syempre I took note of them kasi I guess it's relevant at nakakarelate ako):

It was recognized that conflicts resulting from misunderstanding and differences of culture and religious beliefs happens at the different levels of the society. So while trying to address these issues at a National Level, we must be able to look at it and attend to it in the community level. Because the communities have different experiences of the conflict, they have different "needs of peace." (may iba't ibang solusyon sa iba't ibang problema. . .hindi masosolusyonan ng isang engrandeng suhestyon ang maliliit at iba't ibang mga experience ng karahasan, kahirapan at diskriminasyon). May nagsabi pa "the national government do not always represent the interest of the LGUs in the negotiating tables."

There are many suggestions and approaches laid out in the forum to counter the seemingly reversed process of peace. One of them is Disarmament, sabi ni Dr. Lara. But as Mr. Hannigan answered it, disarming is possible, however, there is still some doubts in the process. Instead of disarming the "armed" there must be a prevalent "feeling of security." It is not removing the guns but REMOVING THE NEED FOR THE GUNS. When people feel secured, there will be no need of having to arm oneself for fear of possible attacks from "other" armed groups. This is the same as saying "remove the causes of conflict and remove the conflict."

Somebody from the reactors, seemingly have said, "maybe the reason why it was easy for ireland to achieve peace was because of their economic advantage." Mr. Hannigan said, NO. The good and stable economy of Ireland was actually a benefit of PEACE.

Another point raised, was REWRITING HISTORY? They mean, let's change what we teach the children. The history books should contain reality. It should include all our peoples, all that's happened, all the real stories. Kapag kasi pinepresent natin ang kultura at kasaysayan ng pilipinas, bida lagi ang taga-luzon at visayas. Nababanggit naman si Mindanao pero mas madami paring pages ang tungkol sa pananakop ng mga kastila, giyera laban sa amerikano, pananamantala ng hapon at ang tungkol sa EDSA people power. Medyo nagkulang ata ng kwento tungkol sa pakikibaka ng ating mga kapatid na moro.

Siguro ang pinakagusto ko sa mga nasabi was the Idealist approach (quoting Prof. Nieves) of Mr. Montesa. For him, enough of going back, analyzing and studying the past, the roots of it all instead, LOOK AT THE FUTURE. Medyo agree ako, kasi when we look back, naalala natin yung masasakit na nangyari and when we do bumabalik din yung galit, hindi natatapos yung conflict. Kung pwede lang kalimutan yung mga nangyari, at matuto tayo magcompromise, mas madali kasi yun eh Sabi pa ni Mr. Montessa, let us look at the many new points and areas of attention. Dun tayo magsimula. Singit ko na dito yung sinabi ni Prof. Abhoud na to achieve peace , there is a need to REDEFINE OUR RELATIONSHIPS even if it means changing the institutions (maybe he was referring to the common beliefs, customs and traditions of specific groups in the society). This "redefining of relationships" further requires STRONG POLITICAL WILL. The parties should agree to share powers. Key din daw yun for real "self-determination" to take place

Now, syempre bida ang PeaceTech sakin kasi yun ang org ko. During the forum kasi, the civic orgs and NGOs were also recognized. They play the important role of third siders in negotiations, and since these organizations have their own spheres of influence (networks of volunteers, audiences, beneficiaries, etc.) they help a lot in involving the different sectors of the society in our search for peace. The civic orgs and NGOs are the important key players in engaging the society in a holistic approach to peacebuilding. . But more than the role of these orgs, I want to emphasize the role of one sector to which i belong: THE YOUTH.

One MILF panel member asked Mr. Hannigan: "How did you address the issue of mistrust among the parties in conflict?" and Mr. Hannigan said they have these sport activities for the young people where they disregard religious and cultural backgrounds and the young people simply enjoy the company of each other in the same playing ground. Very simple initiative but quite effective. For this question, he used the PeaceTech initiative as an example. Nung nagtanong palang si Sir MNLF Founder about this, sabi ko na PEACETECH ANG SAGOT! hahaha. What's good about peacetech kasi is that we are investing so much in the young people. After all, tayo rin naman ang magpapatuloy ng lahat ng nasimulan at di natapos na problema ng ating mga forefathers . Balang araw, kung ano man ang napag-usapan ng matatanda, tayo na rin ang magtutuloy nun. But GOOD NEWS! with peacetech's approach to peacebuilding, i guess magiging mas madali na yung "balang-araw" na yun.

Para sa mga di nakaka-alam , ang PeaceTech ay isang non-profit org founded by Canadian Mr. Robin Pettyfer. Sa kasalukuyan ito ay funded ng mga international civic orgs (na hindi ko iisa-isahin dahil di ko kabisado). PeaceTech aims to bridge the gap between muslims and non-muslims and eventually establish harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship between them, and thus achieve peace. The peace we're talking about here is the holistic one. Di lang violence o conflict in the form of war ang dapat mawala. Dapat mawala rin ang diskriminasyon. Nabubuhay ang mga tao nang may fair na share of the resources, may trabaho, busog, nakapg-aral etc. Utopian?? I beg to disagree, at some level naeexperience na namin ehh...

What do we do at peacetech? Marami eh, di ko din kabisado. Hahahaha.. Pero basically peacetech educates many young people from Luzon and Mindanao (and soon visayas) about the each other's cultures, encouraging dialogue and interpersonal interaction without necessarily bringing them "physically together." Instead, peacetech maximizes the power of technology by conducting video conferences where young people from mindanao are able to see and talk to the young people from luzon and vice versa. There are different versions of this video conferencing, there's the classroom video conference which involves real students from real classrooms connecting two ends of the country in a venue where they are able to discuss things, share stuff and many more Meron ding mass video conference which involves hundreds or thousands of students na ganun din ang objective. Ang nangyayari during the video conference, pinapakita yung kultura ng luzon, pinapakita yung kultura ng mindanao and there's appreciation of both. At this, peacetech endeavours to "overcome prejudice and discrimination" which is a primary source of mistrust among muslims and non-muslims and thus conflict. May sharing din ng experiences, so yung mga negative ones nakekwento para di na maulit at yung mga positive naman naeemphasize para maka-inspire at mareplicate. .

Inspired din si Mr. Hannigan sa initiative na ito ng peacetech and even thought of replicating it sa kanilang bansa. Proud naman ako kasi Im part of peacetech being their ambassador.

Nabanggit na lang din ang pagiging ambassador ko, PeaceTech also conducts the Peace Through Technology Training Program, na siyang humuhubog sa mga Peace Ambassador tulad ko. Marami kang matutunan during the training pero ang pinkamahalaga dun , yung experience. Naeexpose kasi kami in an environment where muslims and non-muslims co-exists HAPPILY. I repeat HAPPILY. :))

Meron din day workshops catering to different groups like teachers, soldiers, and young pros. Ine-educate din sila about peace syempre!

Last point na naisip ko lang during the forum, maraming suggestions, maraming solusyon eh kung sobrang dami nila why not carry all of them out? The more people wanting to achieve peace, the closer we get to achieving peace. Basta ang end goal naman PEACE diba? Wala lang dapat pulitika. Di natin maiiwasan na ipilit o ipasok ang personal nating mga interes habang isinusulong ang kapayapaan e. However, dapat siguro kapag nagiisip tayo ng mga ganung bagay iconsider natin kung baka naman tayo lang ang makikinabang sa approach naten. Dapat WIN-WIN. Ang akin lang, wag natin ibox ang sarili natin sa papel. Maganda na may mga formal na kasunduan, mga plano, mga proyekto, mga resolusyon and even LAWS. pero iba pa rin yung commitment that we take by the heart. There are many CREATIVE WAYS that we could look into to address the issues of peace. At baka mas madali at practical ang iyon.

To close, I'm proud of PeaceTech for investing in the youth and believing there's hope in us. I say we won't fail you! Siguro sbi ng ibang nagbabasa, nasasabi mo lang yan iho dahil bata ka pa at wala kang totoong alam sa sitwasyon kaya ideal ka magsalita. But then, why can't we be ideal? Siguro kasi may pinoprotektahan tayo. Pride? Hurt feelings? Power? Ewan. Basta kaming kabataan, nagkakaisa kami. Gagawin namin ito sa paraang alam namin at kaya naming gawin. You adults do your part. PARA SA KAPAYAPAAN, ito ang blog ko. Magandang Gabi. :)

[walang edit-edit. kapag may mali pasensya na. lahat ng nakasaad dito ay opinyon ko lang kaya kung may nasaktan po, patawad. at kung may natuwa, salamat! Comment ka sa baba!]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

For my High School Batch, Remember our story, Read to the end! :)

What it means to be in our batch: The Class History of Batch 2008-09 of Arellano University, Juan Sumulong High School
Written and Told by Amadeuz Vincent John R. Celestial
Vice President, IV-Obedience

Graduation day is every student's day. And it feels great to be in that moment where all you have to do is to climb up the stage wearing the generation-old toga (and generation-smelling, i should include) and receive that rolled parchment where your name is written in bold. But the great-feeling moment stops at that point because during graduation, you cannot get away from coming face to face with the tough part.

March 2005 marked the end of my elementary days. I remember myself singing our graduation song with tears in my eyes as I try hard to cover my very fat classmate (and seatmate during graduation) with my very short and skinny arms. Of course, obviously, these people here, your seniors have all gone through those very same moments that same month and year. OKAY, let's get straight to the point: GOOD BYE CHILDHOOD! HELLO ADOLESCENCE! I mean, High school!

Yes, high school! After elementary graduation, next step? Find your high school. Oh, yes! We found Arellano University, Juan Sumulong Campus, 2600 Legarda Street, Sampaloc,Manila. High School Departmen, duh!?

Fix your face, go to the studio and have at least a hundred copy of your 1x1 or 2x2 say-cheese-close-up-flash-the-killer-smile photo. Show your class card. Ask for a form to fill-up. [Note: you should have practiced your handwriting so you wouldn't have to ask your mom or dad or ate or kuya to fill up those forms for you]. INTERVIEW: Practice your speaking, Ma'am Canilang is on post! (She asked me to read a short news article, and so i did!)

Ok, let's move on with the class history. . .after that very looong introduction, FIRST year, FIRST day. Everything's new, everyone's new! All of us, excited, nervous and kinda sweating, found ourselves scaling the stairs of Rizal Building up to the third floor and straight to the bulletin board where you're supposed to find your name and know your room and section. I-Generosity, I-faith, I-Charity. . .A, B, C. "Oh, there's my name! Where's yours?" Thank God! The sweating is over! The room was air-conditioned!

Friend-making time! Others, "Hey it's time for recess mind if I come with you? By the way I'm . How about you?" While others chose to be alone or be with older friends or acquaintances. Mrs. Lomuntad, Ms. Reyes (Soon replaced by Ms. Balmes) and Ms. Anonuevo, our FIRST mothers, had pretty good ways of introducing each and every one of us to each and every one of us.

Freshman year was a tough time of adjustments, getting-to-know each other, trying to show and share about one's self and becoming "in."

Every event in our FIRST year as high-schoolers were as exciting as the other. As early as the FIRST quarter, the entire batch were already good friends. Later, stronger bonds were formed especially when I-Generosity were divided and merged into Charity and Faith.

FIRST year, FIRST quarter, FIRST set of home room officers and FIRST major elections for FIRST year level representatives. The leaders were FIRST presented here and we can see most of them still active today. Their FIRST project, together with the other officers of the Student Council, was the Acquaintance Party at the gym. It was fun but we felt like we were five year-olds.

Our FIRST linggo ng wika, pista sa nayon, was a great experience. We sang and danced and ate. The three sections, altogether, shared what was there to be shared. The FIRST honors' assembly followed: Best in Attendance, FIRST year charity [we held the record till the last quarter]! Quiz bees and other events like the Search for Ms. UN weren't so interesting to most of us but we were there, clapping our hands. Before the year ends, February is the time for our FIRST field demonstration, Crazy Frog!!! (Oh, please don't make me show you our favorite step!)

Oh, before I forget, we have choir members, drum and lyre members, boy scouts and girl scouts, actors and dancers! and they are all still here!

Our second year was a fast paced one. I don't know, but before we knew it, our second year as high school students were over. Being a sophomore introduced us to: Animalia, polynomials, cooking and memorizing long lines for our plays. The highlights were also the Linggo ng Wika celebration, Acquaintance Party,UN Trivia Challenge, Field Demo - SWAY! - and the back to back championhips of our senior and junior basketball teams! "1,2,3... Arellano Pamantasan Namin, lalala." Our advisers: Mrs. Gumban for II-Humility and Mr. Moulic for II-Loyalty.

Third year means "chemistry and geometry." Chemistry and geometry as in foundations and lipsticks, and flowers and love cards and boys and girls and dates and a lotta money and gossips, etc. etc. We loved parties! We socialize a lot. Found great friends in and out of campus. Went out a lot, ate a lot and drank a lot (of water, lol). Groups of friends, which started back in our sophomore year started to show themselves as distinct from the others. But this "stratification" didn't mean we were divided. This only showed that after three short years, we were able to form stronger bonds which together make an even stronger batch.

Our favorite, acquaintance party and our FIRST JS prom! the acquaintance taught us that we're at age and we're on a different level now. Same with our FIRST prom where everyone wore the best fitting suit or gown, face powder and lip gloss of pink. Yes, pink is the color of the year but the atmosphere during the prom suggests it should be HOT RED! It was, surely, a night we would never ever forget. By the way, who forgets a FIRST time? Dancing brought light to these parties, oh we loved it! Everyone got their own dates. The music was sweet and the dance made us sweat! I'm talking about the Rigodon de honor and the occasional playing of fast-tempo dances. And that's it! Field demo - Carinosa. The year has ended again. Our advisers, Mrs. Detoyato-Tongol for III-Kindness and Mrs. Salino for III-Modesty.

Fourth year, senior year, last year, last chance. The start of this school year was a different one. We know that an end is coming and that we have to start making the most out of our remaining moments in this high school. We befriended all the people: all students, freshmen to fellow seniors, the teachers, administrators, the bursar, registrar, janitors, guards and event the canteen crew. . .making sure these people wouldn't forget us by spending the most time we could...doing the same old stuff that meant special to us.

Senior year is congruent to serious year. The expectations are high and all eyes are on us. There are so many things that we have to accomplish. We listen a lot, read a lot, write a lot, talk a lot, research a lot, memorize a lot, analyze and compute a lot and have a lot of things in our big bags. Yup, we're back to the big bags because senior year also mean thicker books, and thicker notebooks and lots of ink for writing. We need to triple our patience and perseverance. We might run out of the things I've mentioned but what we'll never run out of is HUMOR! That, I think, is our key to success. HUMOR! We make fun,or should I say, they make fun of anything and everything whether it be a serious matter or a totally senseless one.

Let me call our last year a year of vitory. It's obvious. Please don't regard this as boasting but hey, you all witnessed it! From speech contests to singing and dancing to painting or drawing. . . WE HAVE IT! But we also admit that we are not perfect. We commit mistakes (that are too many to mention here) and we are not always the good role models.

When I walk through our corridor and see the younger once, I remember that I was once like them. We were once - - them. Childish, immature, irresponsible, underdeveloped, unripe. But now, we are old. I mean, older than you are. Entering college which means we're likewise entering adulthood, responsibility and a life that we still have to draw. The school year, like the past ones, has to come to an end.

March is fast approaching and we don't know if it's gonnae be our last march here in Juan Sumulong. Ms. Pamela ayala and Mr. Isaias V. Antonis, Jr. our advisers, our much loved advisers.

This is the time to recollect all the memories, whether they be good or bad. The last field trip was the best one to play back again and again. This is the time to say thank you, i'm sorry, i love you, good bye. This is the time to relive our history. This is our story.



ito po ang aming kwento:


• Pagkakaibigan
• Pag-ibig
• Samahan
• Barkadahan
• Patintero
• Counter Strike at DOTA
• Pustahan
• Lakwatsa
• Birthday Party
• Make-up
• Picture-picture
• Bahay ng kung sinu-sino
• Unlittxt at Pasaload
• GMgm at Friendster
• Ng Matataba at mapapayat
• Kodigo at kopyahan
• Internation RED HORSE code
• At GSM Blue
• 1 whole, 1 half, 1 fourth, 1 eight pati nga 1/16 ni mam salino
• Mataas na demand sa pulbo, salamin at suklay
• Bentahan ng assignment
• Habulan ng project
• Ni Pythagoras at ng triangle niya na hanggang ngayon ay pinoproblema ng lahat
• Pilay na upuan
• Graphing board, white board, bulletin board at lahat ng iba pang uri ng board gaya ng board na ginagamit sa surfing o kaya yung pinaghihiwaan ng baka at manok sa TLE room sabay sabing “Bawal ang pork, may muslim dito!”
• Nawawalang eraser
• Lumillipad na eraser
• Invisible na eraser
• Marker na walang tinta
• Sound trip, Karaoke trip, Food trip, field trip at lahat ng pwedeng mapagtripan
• Cantunan
• Mazurka
• Senyasan
• Ligawan
• Lokohan
• Asaran
• Batuhan
• Iyakan
• Tawanan
• Harutan
• Mga umalis
• Mga bagong dating
• Mga alaala
• ...sa pansiterya de macanista ng El Fili
• Ng medalya, certificate at palakpakan.
• Ito po ang kwento n gaming tagumpay.
Maraming Salamat at Mabuhay po tayon lahat!

My Speech during the Courtesy Visit to the Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines

With utmost respect, to Your Excellency Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Makoto Katsura, all Embassy Personnel and Staff, Coordinators and Staff from the Japan International Cooperation Center,Officials and Representatives from the National Youth Commision, to my Supervisors, and Co-student Ambassadors:

KONBANWA, Good evening, Magandang Hapon po sa lahat!

Today, I am tasked to speak in behalf of my fellow student ambassadors. And for that, let me share with you a short reflection. . .

Leaders are both born and made…

I believe all people are born with unique leadership potentials which require not only time but the cooperation of the immediate environment for it to develop and be utilized in the future. Our parents, siblings, other relatives, school teachers, classmates, friends, and all significant others affect the development of such potentials. It is the wisdom and knowledge we have gained from these people and through direct experiences that hone our talents and abilities to its fullest. Unfortunately, not all people are given the chance, the right opportunity at the right time of their lives, to nurture their gifts of leadership because of circumstances, such as physical or mental deficiencies, poverty and the like, which hinder all the opportunities there are for them to grab.

Many are called but few are chosen…

We are indeed very blessed for having been given this rare opportunity, (this rare) privilege of
representing our country, the Republic of the Philippines, in this one of a kind programme that aims to promote international cooperation and solidarity and (not only that, but also) to develop the youth as the future leaders of this generation.

But the price of great leadership is greater responsibility...

We are aware that our roles as student ambassadors do not expire in ten days. So, [may I ask my fellow student ambassadors to please stand and repeat after me as I pledge] from today, we commit ourselves in promoting international unity (international oneness) by growing in ourselves and sharing to our countrymen what we will be learning and experiencing in this programme.

Without further adieu, and in behalf of all the student-ambassadors of this batch, our sincerest thanks and appreciation to all the people and organizations, the Japan International Cooperation Center, the National Youth Commission, and most especially to the government of Japan and the Embassy of Japan for your initiative and continuous effort, for allowing the possibility of this international exchange programme that assures us, our country, your country and hopefully the whole world, of a bright, progressive and peaceful future firmly established by global oneness and LOVE.

That’s all. Domo Arigato Gozaimasu and Mabuhay po tayong lahat!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Closing Remarks for the LAUNCHING OF THE PRACTICAT PROGRAM AND THE BMC PR MAJORS

CLOSING REMARKS
Amadeuz Vincent John R. Celestial
Batch President, SIMULANGAN

To our distinguished guests, our Guest Speaker, Mr. Max Edralin Jr. APR, Ms. Ching Abraham-Reyes, best-friend of the late Emcy Corteza-Tinsay, my dear alumna and former PRSSP President, Ms. Pauline Capacete. To the very supportive deans of the different colleges, our university officials, my beloved College of Mass Communication Dean, Prof. Ludmila Labagnoy, College Secretary, Prof. Abigail Enriquez, other CMC Faculty and staff, the alumni who took the time to witness this remarkable event, my colleagues in PRSSP, my brothers and sisters from SIMULANGAN, friends, students (have I forgotten any?) and of course, our dear and most precious adviser of Batch Simulangan and of the PRSSP-PLM, Prof. Roel S. Ramirez, APR an OVERWHELMINGLY pleasant afternoon to all.

It is my honor and pleasure to bring to a close this very significant event that shall mark, I assume, the College of Mass Communication and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila’s history forever. Because today we officially begin a new era of excellence.

A while ago, you have witnessed a presentation of 28 students who took the risk of following the untraced path – a path that nobody has dared walk before; one that we are unsure of but one that we choose to pursue.

You know what PR has taught me so far? That it is good and recommended to stick with what’s conventional, stick to the traditional – that which have been tried and tested and proven effective. But it also has taught me, that it is not bad to be innovative, it is actually better to be creative and that it is OK to be ambitious. Think outside the box but if that box continues to distract you, THINK WITHOUT THE BOX. We can think of greater and better things. Sabi nga nila walang masama at libre lang ang mangarap, at kung mangangarap ka na rin lang, taasan mo na. And PR tells me that we can actually make our dreams come true. We just need some skills and master them, some hard-work and passion and some material resources. But most importantly, we need PEOPLE. That I think is the most important thing I am learning from PR. Invest all your energy, love and compassion to people. Build and maintain harmonious and mutually beneficial relationships. AND CERTAINLY, YOU WILL AND YOU CAN GET THERE. Ano kung madilim ang daan, kung marami kayo, sama-sama, tulong-tulong, at walang nag-iiwanan siguradong walang mawawala. Together, we’ll find the light. And soon [ano’ng malay niyo, kayong mga first year at second year dyan] everybody else can walk that same path.

More than telling you these aphorisms, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone.

First for attending this event and celebrating with us our official birthday here at the Pamantasan.

Second, and more importantly, for your assumed and anticipated support and contribution to the success of this first batch and of the succeeding ones. Yes, assumed and anticipated because I believe this would not be the last time I will be thanking you for helping us accomplish our goals because in order for us to achieve real excellence, we’ll be needing your support, understanding and cooperation ALL THE WAY. But don’t worry we are PR students and our goals and activities are always a WIN-WIN.

Here’s the deal Pamantasan: support us all the way and SIMULANGAN and the rest of the coming batches of PR majors and the College of Mass Communication as a whole will bring you consistent, unfaltering honor, pride and prestige. THAT WE PROMISE.

Dear Ma’ams, Sirs...I may sound very arrogant at this moment but these very statements shall serve as a challenge to us, the PR Majors and this College, to remain consistent and full of zeal in our quest for innovation and display of excellence.

At this, I would like to end by saying SIMULAN NA NATIN ANG KAGALINGAN. It’s gonna be excellence all the way! Muli, magandang hapon at mabuhay po tayong lahat!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Lesson of Loyalty for the AFP

Celestial, Amadeuz Vincent John R.
AFP Corruption
The Wall Post
February 22, 2011


Title

“It’s demoralizing the soldiers,” says Cpt. Xavier C Celestial, my father, a soldier, a loyal servant of the nation and member of the AFP. It is indeed demoralizing for any subordinate to find their leaders conducting misdeeds against them and their institution. The once very wholesome, most dignified, hero-like image of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has come to a breakdown. In a snap, the generals we have saluted and looked up to before have become enemies of the state – corrupt, unethical burglars and cheats.
Soldiery, they say, is the noblest of professions and the best way to serve the nation. It is the only institution that warrants its members to work and stay alert 24/7. Their motivation: military professionalism, the soldier’s epitome statement - ever loyal, solid, and selfless. But of all military values, the most emphasized among them is honor – the soldier’s crowning value, and considered more precious than life itself – and their unflinching loyalty to the AFP and the nation.
The AFP has always been a unique institution, their love for country, their passion for excellence and their unwavering obedience to what they call the “chain of command” are but a few of the distinct practices of the AFP. Obedience and loyalty being said here, is what’s being tested as of the current issue of corruption in the AFP.
Officers have always been loyal to their co-officers and superiors but as we can see now, the AFP has come to a different ground – generals “squealing” other generals, younger officials and ex-military officers disregarding the class system and the tradition of military courtesy, military men engaging in devious acts such as the “conversion” anomaly among other activities.
Corruption has long been a part of the Philippines’ “systems.” Families, schools, religious groups, LGUs, NGOs and the higher Government among other institutions have, for generations, been practicing some level of this ill-doing. But it is not fitting for the Armed Forces who are expected to be the loyal servants of the Nation to do something that can be considered treason.
“A cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do,” the credo where every soldier begins and ends has failed. Corruption has infiltrated the troops’ lines and what’s most painful about it is that the “virus” started from the “Head,” causing and making the entire body, the AFP as a whole, suffering, immobilized, and unable to react.
Nevertheless, some people find it necessary that these malpractices be exposed to the public, be heard and investigated upon, be resolved and acted about, and be eradicated. This is the only way that the AFP can rebuild its broken reputation. It will surely hurt the organization but it will be better that they try uncovering the issues. Admitting one’s faults will never be easy but it will, hopefully, achieve for the AFP a renewed public trust and confidence.
The president also looks at this issue in a positive light. PNoy sees it as an opportunity to introduce and continue the reforms in the AFP and showcase that the AFP has changed to a better organization under his administration. Among the reforms are:
• Organizational abolition of J6 (comptrollership office) and replaced resource management office, office of the internal auditor and management and fiscal office;
• Imposing a no conversion/cash advance system, devolution of funds particularly the provision for command directed activities (PCDA); and
• Leadership – by instituting the Daang Matuwid campaign of the Commander-in-Chief.
With this, the President, the AFP and the Filipino People, are on the lookout for the closing of the issue, ensuring that issues are addressed and the problems are resolved and making certain that the hero-servants of the Philippine islands remain honest and faithful to their duty. After all, soldiers are not really trained to become loyal servants of his superiors in the military or of the higher government officials, but to become loyal defenders of the Philippines, its constitution and its people.