Monthly Archives: July 2013

Ready, Set, Go! Thailand, Here I Come!

It’s been a few days since I last blogged and even if there are several topics that I want to blog about, I haven’t been able to find the time due to my super hectic schedule. The previous weekend of mine was eaten up by the Philippine Model Congress event I attended and during the last few days, I’ve also been really busy preparing to leave for Thailand for the 1st ever Asian World Schools Debating Championship.

Right now, I feel really languid and ambivalent. I’m honestly not sure anymore of what I’m doing and whether or not I’m making the right choices. Everything is starting to pile up and I’ve been bombarded with a to-do list that never seems to end.

I’m blogging right now to just clear my head and try to regain the zeal and passion I had at the start of the school year. I’m honestly feeling really drained right now but I can’t give in for there is still a long journey ahead of me. Things haven’t been going my way and I’ve been feeling really sleepy and tired during class time. I’ve also been really grumpy and easily irritated the past few days.

On the bright side though, I’m really excited for today as I leave for Thailand. This is my first time to go to Thailand. Throughout the years, I ‘ve heard how wonderful Bangkok is and how cheap and good the food is. Aside from that, I’m also excited to meet the other delegates and participants of the tournament. From what I heard from my coach, the schools participating in this tournament come from 14 different countries so it will without a doubt be a very diverse and unique experience.

Going to this tournament is also a chance for me to sit back a little and get away from all the other things I’ve been worrying about. I have my ticket with me and there’s no looking back. I can’t think about all the lessons and assessments I’ll be missing because of this trip. What I should focus on is doing my best in every round of the tournament.

The least I can do right now is make the most out of this experience. Not everyone gets the chance to represent his school in an international competition like this. This is also my first time to go abroad without my parents so it’s a novel and at the same time very exciting experience for me!

I’m really thankful to God for this opportunity and I will definitely make every day in Thailand count! And off-course, you can be part of my journey for I will make sure that I blog about the experience and all the lessons that I will surely learn in this experience like no other!

As  I end this post, I’m glad that I was able to slow down a bit and reflect upon what has transpired the past few days before I leave for Thailand. Blogging truly is a beautiful way to set your mind and emotions free from everything that has happened. I feel a lot better now and reassured that I made the right choice to be part of the team going to the first ever Asian World Schools Debating Championship! My mind is now clear of distractions and I’m good and ready to go!

-DOitChoco

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We Are Generation Next!

Article taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer about how my school, Xavier School has revolutionized the way we learn! http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/116111/we-are-generation-next

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In Xavier’s School (XS) bid to mold its students into catalysts of social change, the school constantly tries to offer an innovative curriculum both inside and outside the classroom.

In keeping up with the 21st century technological boom, the school has, for the past three years, undergone several revolutionary changes like the One2One program, where students are required to bring either MacBooks or iPads to further enhance their learning experience.

Information supplement

With these gadgets, students are able to take their learning to the next level. When a foreign term or topic is discussed in class, students harness the power of the Internet to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. They also have quick access to Google, Wikis YouTube, and other websites that supplement information in class discussion.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program, in which independent learning is pushed, was also introduced to third and fourth year high school students on an optional basis.

An influx of novel clubs like the Xavier School Next Lab was launched to help cater to the students’ learning interests.

Last Thursday marked the start of the third year of the XS Next Lab. This club is a venue for students to learn more about the arts, sciences, technology, and design. Students are encouraged to turn their dreams into reality in the XS Next Lab.

Vision

According Martin Gomez, moderator of XS Next Lab and a Xavier School alumnus who did research with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), “the vision of XS Next Lab is to enable students to become independent tech learners, to express themselves freely with computing (programming) and learn about electronics/hardware/robotics, so they may make things for the future.”

Bringing imagination to life

From learning how to create games, to making robots to assist in household chores, XS Next Lab inspires students to bring their imagination to life through technology.

Xaverians are very enthusiastic about technology and learning the ins and outs of computer programming. As I stepped into the first Next Lab club meeting for this school year, I was surprised at the number of students who were so keen on learning how to build things and programs.

In fact, I found out later that 100 students had to be turned down to limit the club membership to a more manageable 50.

Bowled over

As I got to talk to my fellow members, I was bowled over by an eighth grader who was already creating his own computer game. I also got a chance to chat with a ninth grader who was working on building his own computer. How these kids are able to do these things is beyond me.

When I was 12, I wouldn’t even dare tinker with my gadgets, let alone open them up like what another ninth grader said he routinely does.

To cap off the first club meeting for this school year, our moderator also invited a company called Big Pix Graphics to demonstrate how a 3D printer works. We were all amazed at what the 3D printer could do. From making prototypes to creating life-sized cars, 3D printing is something that will definitely change the way we live.

Endless possibilities

The moment 3D printers are further developed and mass marketed, the possibilities will be endless, so you better watch out or you won’t know what hit you!

We truly live in the technology age, and I’m glad that Xavier School isn’t getting left behind and is even at the forefront of this revolution. With all these innovations and opportunities, along with an enthusiastic bunch of students, I can only imagine greater things ahead.

During my conversation with XS Next Lab President and high school junior King Alandy Dy, he talked about how he wants to bring all the innovative concepts and ideas of students to life through XS Next Lab.

Aside from that, he also hopes that students will join technology and programming competitions and bring pride to Xavier School through XS Next Lab.

Through the XS Next Lab, Xavier School is taking the right steps in persuading their students to think out of the box. And as an XS Next Lab member myself, I am really fortunate to witness the magic right before my very eyes in my final year at Xavier!

My First Debate Tournament – A Humbling Learning Experience

Yesterday marked the first time I ever joined a debate tournament. Prior to yesterday, I didn’t really know what to expect from an actual debate tournament. Sure, I’ve been training with the team for a few weeks now but competing in an actual debate tournament was an entirely different experience.

My First Debate Tournament, Idea Lite in St. Paul College, Pasig!

My First Debate Tournament, Idea Lite in St. Paul College, Pasig!

As I entered the convening hall, I was surprised to see how many participants there were coming from several different schools. I couldn’t believe that this was supposedly just a minor tournament yet there were so many participants already. Everyone was either reading their books, writing down their notes or talking with their teammates.

I have to admit, I was a bit culture shocked at the start. I was really happy when the room assignments and the motion for the first round was announced. I honestly just wanted to start my first debate and get the first time jitters out.

My first debate which was THBT prisoners should be allowed to vote, went pretty well. The thrill and excitement I felt during this debate was just so amazing.

However, me and my partner were screwed over during the second round where the adjudicator, in my honest opinion was very very biased. We ended up with zero points during that round which significantly destroyed our chances of breaking.

I felt really bad after that round and didn’t even want to do the last round anymore. I couldn’t believe how we were given a zero for that debate when I we were able to present sound arguments and kill the points of the other side. The worse thing is that when we asked the adjudicator for comments after the round, all the things she said that we didn’t do were things that we did do. (by the way, the motion for this round was THBT the US should use military force in Syria)

I was really annoyed and at the same time, devastated. It really hurt deep inside for I’m a very competitive person and I really wanted to break during my first tournament. She didn’t even give us 1 point.

There was still one more round for preliminaries and I honestly didn’t want to go through it anymore because of what happened in the second round but I still did for pride. The final round’s motion was THW stop the funding of all space exploration programs. During this round, I was able to deliver my best speech and ended up with first but it didn’t really matter anymore since we got a zero during the second round.

Countless of Lessons Learned

At the end of the day, even if we didn’t break to the next rounds, I really learned a lot from this first debate tournament of mine. Things won’t always go our way but in everything we go through, there is always something to learn.

There are somethings we just can’t control. There will be times when we give our best yet it’s not enough. There will be people who are biased but we shouldn’t allow this to make or break us. Looking at it form the picture, it really is up to us what we make out of the different challenges and shortcomings we have in life.

Humbling Experience

To be fair though, thinking about it now, one day after the tournament, I could have done so much better. I am obviously still a beginner and I still have so much to learn.

It was such a humbling experience that right now, I feel really motivated to do better during my next tournament. There are so many talented debaters out there and if I want to be just as good or even better, I have to put in the work. Right now, I still have a long way to go but like they say, you have to start somewhere.

Mix of Emotions

After going through my first debate tournament, I can honestly say that debate is something I really enjoy. The mix of emotions you get during the entire duration of the debate tournament is simply amazing. One moment, you feel so scared, the next, you feel so confident. One moment, you feel so happy, the next you feel so devastated. Yet in the end, no matter the result, you always learn something after every debate! 

The thrill you get before and after every round is priceless. After everything that happened during my first debate tournament, I’m really glad that I joined the debate team.

Overall, the experience was one like no other and I can’t wait for the next tournament I join! This is definitely just the start of greater things to come!

With my partner in crime! We may not have gotten the results we wanted, but we definitely learned a lot! It was really fun teaming up with you Jason! :D

With my partner in crime! We may not have gotten the results we wanted, but we definitely learned a lot! It was really fun teaming up with you Jason! 😀

-DOitChoco

In Pursuit of Happiness – A Game of Hide and Seek

In Pursuit of Happiness – A Game of Hide and Seek

(This post is inspired by a movie I recently watched, “In Pursuit of Happyness,” which I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t. Aside from that movie, our recent lesson in Economics about the different happiness levels of people also pushed me to dig deeper and write about happiness)

Poster-pursuithappyness Happiness is something that is not quantifiable. You can’t really give a concrete example of happiness for it varies from person to person. Happiness is also something one cannot touch; in other words, it’s abstract.

There will be things that make some people happy and at the same time, make others not as happy. Candies can make a kid extremely happy but giving those same candies to an adult might not yield the same happiness effect.  This just shows that what makes someone happy constantly changes.

Furthermore, without a doubt, happiness can be found in the most abstruse of things. I’ve heard crazy stories where Hello Kitty figurines are bought for $100,000 dollars on Ebay. When I first heard about this story, I was like, what kind of retard would pay 100,000 for a Hello Kitty figurine? Then I realized that every person views things differently. Continue reading

My Singapore adventure: A world with no boundaries

Taken from: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/113191/my-singapore-adventure-a-world-with-no-boundaries

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It’s been two weeks since the financial management program for young adults I attended in Singapore ended, yet I still vividly remember all the surreal moments I had.

It was such an awe-inspiring experience meeting so many unique individuals from different countries and cultures. Everyone had his or her own story to share, and each one brought a unique and diverse personality to the mix. There were so many talented individuals that I felt really fortunate just to be in the same room as them.

There was one Indonesian participant who was only 18 yet already finished with her university studies. On the other hand, there was a Singaporean who was just starting his first year of college at 20 because he had to go through two years of national service.

There was another Singaporean who had finished his masters in New York University and was about to start his legal career. And of course, there was all 17 years of me, still enjoying what’s left of my final year in high school.

Quite extreme, huh? Well, the diverse profiles of every individual combined to create an unrivaled learning environment. The advanced thinking skills and maturity of the older participants, fused with the overflowing creativity and youthful exuberance of the young bloods—it was basically the best of both worlds. Continue reading

Finding Ones Passion, Working Hard and Dreaming Big – Why you can be who you want to be!

Repost from: Youth Are Awesome!

http://www.youthareawesome.com/finding-ones-passion-working-hard-and-dreaming-big-why-you-can-be-who-you-want-to-be/

Finding Ones Passion, Working Hard and Dreaming Big – Why you can be who you want to be!

We all want to be the next Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Taylor Swift, JK Rowling or what not. The problem with most of the youth today is that we’re either very spoiled or have too much distractions in our life. Technology, social media, and other different mediums have clouded our minds as to what it takes to achieve success.

DreamBig

A lot of us think that it’s impossible to be the next Michael Jordan or the next Bill Gates. However, we must remember that all these successful individuals all started somewhere. They weren’t phenomenal performers or multi-billionaires from day 1. They started out just like you.

After reading several biographies of the most prominent individuals inthe world, I’ve found a couple of similarities in these men and decided to highlight some key traits and things that helped these individuals change the world.

Find Ones Passion

 The most successful men in the history of the world all had one thing in common. They all had a PASSION.

Passion

Passion is a word that is thrown around and mentioned so many times to us youth that sometimes it sounds so cliché already. The funny thing is we don’t truly understand what passion is and what it means to have a passion.

Passion is something greater than you can imagine. Passion is not just about interests or hobbies. Passion is about being dedicated to something and really going the extra mile. What allows one to be passionate is the sole fact that you love this something so much that you’re willing to do anything to achieve your goals.

You can be passionate about practically anything but it has to be something. Passion is where everything starts. From Justin Beiber to Steve Nash to Bill Gates, they all had something they were passionate about–––something they were willing to spend all their time on just so that they could be successful in that something.

“Do what you are passionate about, the rest will follow.” – Praveen Sherman

Continue reading

Positivity Everywhere, Anywhere – There’s Always Something To Be Thankful For!

Sunday is one of my favorite days because of the fact that it is known as the “rest” day. A chance to relax, spend time with your family and simply get away from the everyday routine of either working or studying.

To be honest, I’ve really been stressed out the past few days trying to keep up with everything that I have to do. There’s so much things in my mind and the fact that almost every conversation I’ve had with my parents always redirects to college doesn’t help.

It’s amazing though how I was able to end up reading this interesting article about positivity just a few hours ago. It was an article about happiness, positive thinking and releasing stress. It talked about the importance of always staying positive and looking at the bright side. It stresses the importance of seeing the positivity in everything and being thankful for these things.

Positivity is the key to success!

Positivity is the key to success!

Positive people tend to not only be happier and more successful, but also more liked. Positivity is contagious and a positive outlook in life can be developed.

A routine that they suggest to be a happier and more positive person is writing 3 positive things at the end of every day. It doesn’t matter how bad your day was, I’m sure there were at least 3 positive things that happened on that day that you were thankful for. Continue reading