Monthly Archives: October 2013

How A Not So Ordinary Article Became The No. 1 Read

Hundreds of comments, thousands of shares, top reads for the last 7 days, top 5 reads in the last 30 days, who would’ve imagined that a simple story about a high school student’s experience bagging in a SM supermarket immersion would generate this much attention.

What started out as my friends just thanking me for using their picture quickly escalated in a matter of days into the talk of the down. I was honestly surprised as my parents were telling me how much shares it was generating. At the start, I was also shocked that my article was actually getting comments. Then, on one night, my friend just messaged me to check out the Carlos Celdran post and the rest is history. Suddenly, overnight, my article became the top reads of not only the day but also the week.

(The article is seen here:

Was the number one read for quite some time!! Really shocking and surreal!

Was the number one read for quite some time!! Really shocking and surreal!

Social media has truly transformed the way we live our lives. In a matter of days, my SM immersion article had gotten so much attention that my friends would talk about comments that I never even heard of. For instance, just the other day, when we were debating about education, my friend found a way to use my SM immersion article as an example.

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In A Blink Of An Eye, We’re Half-way Through

It’s been an incredibly tiring week like no other, zapping the every ounce of energy I had. But in a blink of an eye, it’s already sem-break — one semester over, one semester to go. The sem-break couldn’t have been timelier.

The 2nd quarter just like the 1st quarter of my Senior Year has been simply amazing. At first, I thought that my first quarter couldn’t be matched. With my trips to Singapore and Thailand and numerous other conferences and tournaments and memorable experiences, I was resigned to the fact that my 2nd quarter wouldn’t be as surreal as my first quarter. But to my surprise, my 2nd quarter was just as magical and in some aspects even more so.

When you have your grad-picture taking, you know graduation is coming soon....

When you have your grad-picture taking, you know graduation is coming soon….

From studying and taking the SAT subject tests (particularly my US history experience :)), participating in the SM Immersion, going through the Fully Alive Retreat, generating a lot of discussion and attention with my Inquirer Article, the launch of Project Jeep by Green Team, and the countless of invaluable memories in between, the 2nd quarter has managed to to surprise me in almost every possible way. All these experiences of mine weren’t just fun and memorable, they were also full of numerous life lessons and realizations that will surely help me in the final two quarters of my Senior Year! Continue reading

My stint as an SM grocery bagger

My SM immersion article taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer,

My stint as an SM grocery bagger by David Ongchoco

 Every year, fourth-year high-school students of Xavier School embark on a four-day “adventure” where they get to experience what it’s like to be an SM employee. This is under the school’s SM Supermarket Immersion Program.

Entering our senior year, my classmates and I were really looking forward to the experience, as it’s not every day that you get these  opportunities.

On the first day, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. Just entering the employees’ workplace of the SM Marikina supermarket was already a completely novel experience for a lot of us. It was the start of an “insider” journey that many of us will surely look back on as a highlight of our senior year.

To start things off, we were greeted warmly by the SM supervisors and given a few guidelines and reminders. We then headed to the SM supermarket proper and learned about the different sections.

Then the fun finally began as we got to try out the different jobs in the supermarket.

From boxing and bagging items and goods to the chopping of  chicken, experiencing every work station for ourselves really showed us students what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence. Continue reading

In Search of the Picture Perfect Moment

I couldn’t help but walk down memory lane as my classmates and I had our grad picture taking last Saturday. Thinking about what I would wear for my creative shot made me look back at my high school journey. I honestly didn’t know what to wear for my creative shot for I wanted to wear something that would encapsulate my high school experience.

My high school journey has been alien-like; no, it has been MARTIAN-like, unpredictable and capricious in the most abstruse of ways. A lot of people say I’m different but I’ve become a firm believer that it’s the choices that we make to be different that allows us to be who we are.

As I pondered upon how I could encapsulate my high school experience in my creative shot, it hit me that I wouldn’t be able to come up with a perfect costume or outfit to embody the diversity and uniqueness of the entity of my entire high school experience.

Just like my senior year, my creative costume couldn't have been more eccentric, crazy or unique as wearing a Martian jersey with a Pikachu hat =))

Just like my senior year, my creative costume couldn’t have been more eccentric, crazy or unique as wearing a Martian jersey with a Pikachu hat =))

Many times we wonder whether or not we could have done something better. At the end of the day, there’s no such thing as a perfect shot or moment. What makes a moment so picture perfect is how imperfect it is. The mistakes, the flaws, the craziness and all the imperfect moments is what makes high school, high school; In a much bigger scale, it’s what makes life, LIFE!

The closest thing to a picture perfect shot that I could come up with was by wearing my Martian Galaxy Jersey along with a Pikachu hat made by my mom.

Why the Martian Galaxy Jersey? Well, being a Martian is about being different and embracing all the unique individuals around you. It’s about not being afraid to look like an alien. It’s about doing something that nobody else would do. It’s about making every moment count! Continue reading

Stop Over thinking, Just Do It, Just Blog It

The last few weeks, I’ve lost myself. The combination of finally taking the SAT subject tests, going through the SM immersion and the Fully Alive Retreat (an overnight school retreat), and then spending the long weekend trying to work on an out of school project has left me in a whirlwind, drained, confused and unsure of my priorities and goals.

It was only the last few days when we finally got back to school that reality finally hit me. I wasn’t use to sitting down in the classroom anymore because of all the holidays, extra-curricular activities and out of school disruptions. Right now, a few assessments are popping out here and there and I’m feeling so drained already.

I also haven’t been able to blog that much because I’ve ran out of words. Whenever I try to write or think of ideas, my brain either gives me no ideas or a messy scatter of ideas. Then, my subconscious starts to go, why should I write about that? Does that topic really matter? Somebody probably wrote about that already or people won’t care if I write about that.

The last few days, I’ve tried to muster up enough energy to write at least a few blogposts since I haven’t really posted one in more than a week already. Despite the fact that my writing assignments and ideas notebook has quite a few ideas in it already, whenever I try writing an article, I have an extremely hard time focusing and composing an article worthy of posting. But yes, I’ve finally found a blogpost worth posting and this is why I wrote this blogpost. Continue reading

SM Immersion Day 4 – Thankful For The Opportunity!

SM Immersion Day 4 – Thankful For The Opportunity! 

The last day of the SM immersion was definitely a day to remember! From the start of the day, where I had to first take the SATs then head straight to SM Marikina to spend one more hour working and learning how to cut a whole chicken to our dance performance around the Supermarket to the final program where several of us performed and shared our performances, there was simply no better way to end the immersion!

As we said goodbye to all the new friends we made, we were all very nostalgic and sentimental. It’s not everyday that students like us get to experience being a bagger in an actual Supermarket. It’s not everyday that students like us get to converse with everyday employees of SM. Seeing our ate’s and kuya’s perform for us during the last day was also really heartwarming.

In return, a few of my classmates all gave very note-worthy performances! One of my classmates even dedicated a song to one of the store-managers. A lot of us were laughing our hearts out as he knelt down in front of the store-manager and sang a really touching song! Simply put, this is why I love last day programs because people tend to step out of their comfort zone and show others how much they appreciated the program!

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SM Immersion Day 3 – Working Can Be Fun!

Day 3 Working can be fun!

Day 3 of the SM immersion was really memorable for me because I got to try a lot of new things and at the same time have fun while doing it. During the first two days I was stationed in the cashier area as a bagger so during the third day I was stationed inside the supermarket.

To start things off, I was stationed in the meat area where I got to learn about the different cuts of the meat and what customers usually buy. Furthermore, I was able to try breading the pork meat to make Tonkatsu. It was also literally COOL visiting the storage or cold room where I got to see whole pigs hanged ready to be sliced up.

The best part though was meeting Kuya Jess and hearing talk about how he’s been on the job for almost two years already. He talked about how it’s sometimes boring but he has no choice since he needs to earn money. It was quite surprising though how he was just 21. I was truly amazed by how positive and enthusiastic he still was. He plans on going back to college one day to finish his degree and hopefully get  a better job. Continue reading