Category Archives: Junior Year

2013 – A year of lows, A year of highs, A YEAR TO REMEMBER!

I sit here wondering how Christmas could fly by so quickly this year that I didn’t even feel the Christmas vibes at all. Then suddenly, it’s just a few hours before the start of the new year then it’s already the new year, yet how did I spend this day and the last few days at that? Glued to my laptop, drafting up essay after essay in search for the perfect combination of words that would encapsulate my first 18 years of living as I wrote my personal statements for college applications.

I guess that as this year comes to a close and another new year starts, it’s just right that I actually take a break first from finishing all my College applications and pause for a moment to look back at what an incredible year it has been.

A year of extreme lows and extreme highs, a year like no other indeed :)

A year of extreme lows and extreme highs, a year like no other indeed 🙂

Who would’ve imagined that my lowest moment would catapult me into a much bigger world where I got to venture into new countries and exchange stories with newfound friends?

Honestly, the year 2013 has been my most memorable year so far. From experiencing a right of passage in Prom to attending the Ateneo Chemistry Camp to all the SAT review sessions to tearing my ACL to joining Debate to writing for Inquirer to starting my own business to all the other experiences and moments that I enjoyed with both new and old friends alike, this year truly has been a year like no other and I’m glad, I can one day look back at my blog thankful for every single moment of this year.

2013 truly has been one hell of a ride. As I scroll down right now and look through my blog posts, I can’t help but feel nostalgic as I remember all the laughter and the tears this year has brought me.

Yet in all these moments were silver linings that have ultimately made me realize that anything is possible in this world for life is what we make it – something I will keep in mind in the new year, which will hopefully be just as memorable or even more. Ultimately, no matter how dim and hopeless a moment can be, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel for things do work out for the better!

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Silver Linings in January 2013 – How A Grade 7 Video Blog Started It All

*This Silver Lining Series is to celebrate all the memories, experiences, friends and silver linings in the year 2013. It truly has been a year like no other for me and I’d like to spend a few minutes in these next 8-9 days before the year 2013 comes to a close to simply reminisce upon both the small and big moments of every month of this magical year and how much it has meant to me

January 2013 

I type down doitchoco.wordpress.com into my browser and I scroll down to the very first post of my blog and in this January 24, 2013 blogpost, I come across the link of a video blog that I created in 7th grade about, you guessed it right, blogging. I click on the link and the title, “Changing the way you live with blogging” leaves me speechless as I shake my head in disbelief at how the title of the video I made close to 5 years ago could so perfectly encapsulate what blogging has done for me, yes, without a doubt, it has changed my life.

(Here’s the link to the video blog with 13 year old David in it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trEsw8mYAwk)

Watching this vlog of mine years ago just brought back so many memories :)) totoy days with weirdo haircut for the win! =))

Watching this vlog of mine years ago just brought back so many memories :)) totoy days with weirdo haircut for the win! =))

It’s mind-blowing how my first blogpost was titled, “A Not So Ordinary Day – Life Is What You Make It” and ever since that day, no day has been an ordinary day for me. This year has been as unordinary as it could get. That day I first decided to start my own personal blog, I remember telling myself that this would be the start of greater things to come. I remember telling myself that 2013 would be the best year and that I had to document all my adventures so that I won’t forget how amazing it will be.

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No Such Thing As A Wasted Moment

I was honestly a bit burned out after all the hardcore marathon review sessions for the SAT

I was honestly a bit burned out after all the hardcore marathon review sessions for the SAT

It’s been a week since I last blogged and this past week after taking the SAT was really a chance to start exploring again, preparing for Senior Year and also taking time off to reflect. To be honest, after taking the SAT, I felt really relieved but at the same time a bit burned out after all the marathon review sessions I went through the past month just to put myself in the best position to get a good score. I really needed this week where I had to cut back on studying and I just had to slow down a bit since I was probably reaching max speed already and I wouldn’t have wanted to go overdrive yet at this stage.

The ball that showed me how round the world is...in other words, you can be on top one second, then at the very bottom the next!

The ball that showed me how round the world is…in other words, you can be on top one second, then at the very bottom the next!

Aside from having my energy at a low after the SAT, I also had to face the decision this past week whether or not to go through surgery and have my ACL reconstructed. Previously, although I was really ambivalent about going through the process, I was all set to get the surgery over with however after long talks with a few doctors and also with my parents. However, I ultimately decided not to go through with the surgery for several reasons. First of all, my growth plates were still slightly open according to an X-ray. Second, even if I went through surgery, I probably still wouldn’t be able to return to the court this senior year of mine for it takes 6-8 months of rehab before I can go back to ball sports so the hassle of going through the process was looking more and more tedious. Third, the surgery process is really complicated and there are several risks that I deemed unnecessary since either way, basketball isn’t my future career.  So with all those uncertainties and ambivalence, I think I made the right choice not go through with it for now.

Sometimes, we just need to reflect upon life....


Sometimes, we just need to reflect upon life….

These last few days though, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic as I weighed my options, talked to the doctor, discussed with my parents and in the process, looked back at my basketball journey and everything I went through the past years. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears and think about the what ifs. What if I decided to spend my time on something else? What if I was more open minded and not closed up in my own small world because of basketball? I was actually ranting at my parents how I wasted my teenage years so immersed and engrossed in basketball only to end up tearing my ACL. However, this is life. You can’t have everything and sometimes, things just won’t go your way. Those years I spent playing basketball seemed like such a waste but then I realized I learned so much from the journey. It truly was a humbling experience that taught me a myriad of things about life. Like the saying goes, “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the JOURNEY!”

322470To honest though, I regret alienating myself from almost everything and everyone during the previous years just to focus on basketball. The past is the past though, and all I can do is learn from my mistakes and look forward. This is what I’ve been doing the past few days, looking ahead and trying to prepare myself for one hell of a ride, SENIOR YEAR.

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The past few days, I’ve been contacting friends, working on projects for my Committee and Club and at the same time, reading as much books as I can. Aside from that, I also recently tried out for the Debate Team. A lot of these things I probably would be too busy to do if I was still part of the basketball team. It’s truly amazing how the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” In my case however, I’ve come to realize that there are so much more doors out there that I can open. Maybe injuring my knee truly was a blessing in disguise from God and everything will work out in the end. Right now, I’m just thankful to God for all the blessings He has given me and hopefully, this is just the start of more amazing things to come!

There will be really high moments and there will be super low moments, but I’ve come to realized that there’s no such a thing as a wasted moment for no matter what happens, there’s always a silver lining behind it. We may not realize it in the moment itself, but as long as we believe and are open to the possibilities, things will eventually work out for the better. 

-DOitChoco

It’s Finally SATurday! May the Odds be in our Favor!

It’s finally tomorrow, the day I’ve been preparing for for a month now, the day of the SAT. Profuse amount of time spent learning both new and old concepts, thousands of new words stuffed into my brain, countless of hours answering worksheets and practice tests, tedious moments figuring out why I made a mistake, and it all boils down to one test and that test is tomorrow. To be honest, this is probably the one written test I’ve prepared for the most in my entire life. I don’t know if I’ve done enough but what I do know is that I’ve tried everything in my power to prepare myself to a certain extent given the time.

IMG_2991I’ve done everything that I can to control what I can control and learn what I can. Like they say, “Do your best and God will do the rest.” I just have this feeling inside me that this Saturday will be my lucky day.

Like the old adage also says, “Pray for the best but expect the worst.” Reviewing for this test has definitely been quite an experience in itself. From the early stages where I was still a bit lax and complacent to the past few weeks where I’ve been pushing myself to my limits. I’m really thankful for this experience for not everyone has a chance to apply to colleges abroad, let alone take the SAT.

IMG_2931 Reviewing for the SAT, reading success stories online, reading about tips and tricks from successful test takers and simply learning as much as I can has really opened my eyes to the power of knowledge and the joy of learning. I may have gone to an SAT tutor for a while to brush up on the fundamentals but towards the latter part, it was truly all on me and whether I was up to the challenge. The 8 hour a day self study sessions, the memorizing of vocab while eating breakfast, the late hours solving a math problem will all be fond memories of mine when I look back at this period of time.

63_20120409_081736_shoot_for_the_moonTomorrow, I’m shooting for the moon so even if I fall short, I’ll end up in the stars! I’m going to seize the day, give it everything I got and leave the testing room knowing that it definitely has been one hell of a ride reviewing for the test! I’ll probably forget a good chunk of the vocab words I’ve been cramming into my brain but all the profound and eye-opening insights, realizations and even the constant headaches I gained from reviewing for the SAT are things I’ll forever remember.

I may not have the best study habits, I may not have been the most studious student during the past years, but one thing I can say about the last few weeks is that I really gave my best in trying to make every second count as I prepare for probably the biggest written test in my life so far! Without a doubt, it’s been a growing process, and I’m proud to say that I didn’t just grow as a student or learner, but I’ve also grown as a person!

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Good luck to everyone taking the SAT and may the odds be in our favor!

-DOitChoco

A Picture Perfect Ending – PROM

It was finally the day that every Junior had been waiting for ever since the start of the school year, the most anticipated event and highlight of Junior Year,  Prom. Everything happened so fast that it seemed as if Junior Year just started, and yet, just like that, it’s already all over.

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For most if not all Juniors, March 9, 2013 will always be a special day that truly symbolized a passing of rites to adulthood, a transcending moment, a strengthening of bonds and definitely both the end of a roller coaster ride of a year, and the beginning of greater things to come.

For me, it was definitely the most appropriate and picture perfect ending to such a surreal and phantasmagorical Junior Year, which was definitely, the best year of my stay in Xavier School. There were so many different firsts, experiences and memories that were made during Junior Year. Almost everyday was a meaningful and adventure filled day and no doubt, there was no better culminating event to sum up everything that just occured than PROM.

Prom Photo Collage

Looking back, it’s amazing how much time I spent and how much preparation I went through just for that one day to make sure that I made the night of the one person who was arguably the main reason for such an awe-inspring year, a special and memorable one. I really just wanted to show my appreciation and thanks for she was truly the catalyst of such a surreal year. To say the least, the year just wouldn’t be the same if I had not met her.

Whenever I look back and think about everything I had to go through during my Junior Year, I can’t help but feel sentimental that it’s all over. Even with all the tough times, turbulences, challenges and problems I faced during my Junior Year, I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way. I am truly thankful to the Lord for all the blessings he has given me throughout the past school year.

Before Junior Year started, I kept asking myself, why do I even bother to go to school when every single day seemed so mundane and lackluster, and I’ll eventually forget everything I’ll learn anyway? Now that Junior Year has ended, I’ve finally found the answer, “I go to school because of the people (my friends, teachers, teammates, classmates, etc) who make each and everyday special, and because of magical experiences just like PROM.”

When the year began, I was lost, trying to search for my identity but I’m glad to say, I’ve found the light. In so many different ways, it truly has been a life changing year. To be frank, even a million words wouldn’t be enough to describe and capture the essence of what a Junior Year it has been.

The closest quote that can sum up what a year it has been is a quote from the Disney Movie Prom,

“Prom…a night when nice guys might not finish last. When friends might completely surprise you. When the person you where at in high school, could change in an instant. Maybe you find what you’re lookin’ for. Or maybe you just find, yourself. It’s true one night can bring us all together but it’s more than that. ‘Cause when it ends, it’s really just the beginning.” – Nova from Disney’s Prom

From the first day to the last day, it had definitely been a year like no other, but it truly is just the BEGINNING!

Prom - A Picture Perfect Ending To My Junior Year

Prom – A Picture Perfect Ending To Such A Surreal Junior Year

-DOitChoco

My Filipino Movie Making Experience – Something I’d Like To Call FUN!

My Filipino Movie Making Experience and The Many Things I Learned From This

As we reach the midway point of this week, it is very satisfying to be finished with all the assessments and only have the Quarterly Tests to worry about. It was especially fulfilling to close the book to two of the more memorable assessments that I had in this year, my English Research Paper and our Filipino Movie.

Although Filipino isn’t considered part of the Big 3 Subjects (English, Math and Science), it has always been one of my favorite subjects and my forte ever since high school started. This year was no different and my Filipino Class experience this year was the most memorable one so far. From the start of the year when we tackled Noli Me Tangere, a must read classical, to the very last assessment, our Filipino Movie.

Poster of our movie, "Anong Gagawin Mo"

Poster of our movie, “Anong Gagawin Mo”

Making this Filipino Movie was such a surreal experience and was truly one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in Junior Year. In the process of creating this movie, I learned so many different things and at the same time, I also got to know some of my classmates better. I am really thankful that the Filipino Department decided to give this project to us instead of having the mundane and routinely Quarterly Test that happens every year. They probably understood the fact that making a Filipino Movie would teach us so much more and would be a whole different learning experience compared to a test where we sit down for one hour and answer lackluster questions. If we had our Quarterly Tests, we would have probably taken the test then forget about everything we reviewed and what we just took, but with this Filipino Movie, we will most probably forever remember the experience of making this movie and everything we learned from it.

When I first heard about this project of ours from our Filipino Teacher, I was really excited and filled with exuberance especially since just recently I’ve become an avid fan of movies, and at the same time, I’ve always loved projects, especially major projects, where we need to apply several different skills and really put time and effort into it.

In creating a movie, one must first start with the formulation of a story and the writing of the script and sequence treatment. To be honest with you, this seems like an easy task, but it was actually very difficult and challenging to write an original story that would also fit all the guidelines that were given to us for this project. At the start, I really had no idea what my story was going to be, but as I dug deeper and looked around me, I came up with the basis of my story. I chose to base my story on a recent and unconventional experience of my friend.

Once I had the basis of my story, I had to add something that would make the story deeper and even more unique. As the days passed, different twists and ideas quickly came pouring into my head that I was able to put together my story and script. Looking back though, I think that I overdid it and my story turned out to be too complicated for a short film which ended up biting us in the back later on not only in creating the movie but also in the Film Festival, where we weren’t able to achieve our goal of first place, but then again, nobody’s perfect and life is about making mistakes and learning from them

The creation and filming of the movie was a whole different experience, where I was truly able to bond with classmates who I never really talked to throughout the school year. This is what I love about group works, where the you chose your group mates randomly. You’re forced to work with them and most of the time, you end up with at least one group mate who you never really talked to, but since you’re group mates, you are able to get to know each other better.

I’ll be frank with you, filming the movie was no cakewalk. We literally had to pour our blood, sweat, and tears during the four or five days we filmed. We offered two of our saturdays, one of our school holidays and several other breaks and hours in filming and editing this movie and trying to make it the best possible movie not for the grade but for what a Junior Year it has been and how we want to end the year with a bang. Because of this, we were sort of perfectionists and had to re-take different scenes several times, but seeing what we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time was truly awe-inspiring.

The only dismal and melancholic part was that we actually had to cut our film short because it was way above the time limit and our teacher told us that we would be disqualified if we didn’t. This was really painful because of the fact that we really worked hard in filming the parts and I really place a lot of thought in writing the story and making the script. To add insult to injury, during awarding ceremonies we didn’t place in the best movie category probably because the flow of our movie was not so smooth because first of all, we had to shorten it and cut some parts, and second, because of the already rigid time limit, we had no choice but make our ending an open ended one. Nonetheless, I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter if the judges didn’t choose our work, because deep down, I honestly know that if we were given a chance to show our full movie, it would have been the best, hands down.

Best Actor Award - I didn't win it, my GROUP did!

Best Actor Award – I didn’t win it, my GROUP did!

As a consolation, I was awarded best actor but it didn’t really feel so fulfilling, I actually felt quite dejected and apathetic especially after I found out our movie didn’t place in the top 3. I would have honestly preferred that our movie placed than me receiving an individual award. Nonetheless, I’m still grateful for this award and I’d really like to offer my award to all my group mates who made this Filipino Project a crazy, fun-filled, surreal and memorable experience like no other.

Group picture during one of many tiring but at the same time fun-filled filming days.

Group picture during one of many tiring but at the same time fun-filled filming days.

No matter what the results were, this movie making project will always be part of my favorite memories in my stay in Xavier. It ranks right up there with all the other memorable projects and experiences I’ve had. All the saturdays spent filming, all the sabaw moments, all the laugh trips in filming, all the lunches together with my group mates, all the retakes and bloopers, all the days staying after dismissal to work on this movie made this project something more than the grade, something bigger than school, something I’d like to call FUN!

To sum up everything I’ve learned from this experience and to sort of sum up this last academic week of Junior year, I’d like to quote a statement that I said during my English Oral Defense speech, “School is not just about the grades and the numbers; it’s a whole lot more than that! School is about learning. Learning not just facts, terms, names, equations, formulas, but learning VALUES and SKILLS that you can use in the future.” Projects like these really do give us students a chance to bring out our creativity and talents in ways that we could never fulfill inside a classroom.

To add to that statement, school is most importantly about the people we are able to meet and the FRIENDS we are able to make. This is something that I truly realized in making this project, the importance of working with others, getting to know people and building FRIENDSHIPS that lasts forever. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better way (assessment) to end my Filipino Junior Year experience.

-DOitChoco

PS. In writing this post, I’ve pondered upon what I would answer to our movie teaser, “Kapag lahat na lang ay nawawala sa iyo…..Anong Gagawin Mo?” or in English, “When you’re losing everything already……what will you do?” As I end this blog post, I think I’ve finally found the answer to that question, but then again, maybe I haven’t, but that’s why I live LIFE…….the DOitChoco way! 🙂

Highlights of the Week – Things to Be Thankful For…..

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There are so many different things that go on in our lives that we aren’t able to fully grasp and appreciate everything that happens to us. Most of us are very busy and pre-occupied with either our school work, extra-curricular activities, work and other obligations that we tend to disregard all these little things in life.

When I started this blog, I mentioned how I want to turn all those ephemeral and fleeting moments into lasting memories by writing about each and everyone of them but I’ve come to realize that it is very hard to detail and talk about each and every moment that flies by during each and everyday. This is because of all the other commitments and activities I have added to my everyday school work. This really got me thinking as to how I can still crystalize all the awe-inspiring moments that happen each and everyday despite those busy days where I just don’t have time to write a blogpost.

Just this week, my older sister mentioned this very innovative organization in her school, HKUST that delivers something called, the One Minute News, every week. This One Minute News segment caters to the very busy and occupied students of HKUST who don’t have time to catch up with recent happenings and news headlines. This One Minute News summarizes and highlights all the important headlines and happenings that the very busy students may have missed all in one minute.

This idea led me to start this segment of mine called, Highlights of the Week – Little Things to be Thankful for to help me recall and remember all the highlights both big and small that I may have forgotten and under appreciated because of the nature of life and how fast everything occurs. In my journey to becoming a happier person and living life to the fullest, I find looking back and being thankful for everything that happens to you, may it be something life changing or even heart wrenching or just an ordinary incident, very essential in growing as a person and keeping a positive outlook in life for like they say, YOLO, you only live once!

So during this past week, Feb 18 – Feb 23, these are the memorable moments that I am thankful for

1. Finalization and Submission of our Filipino Short Movie titled, “Anong Gagawin Mo?” (or in english, “What Would You Do?”) – This is one of the projects that I really poured a lot of effort into and it feels really fulfilling and gratifying to see the finish product. Hard work never gets old, especially when it pays off in the end. I am really happy that our movie was chosen by our Filipino teacher to be the one to represent our class in our film festival especially after all the saturdays and holidays me and my group mates spent preparing, creating and filming this production. Working on this project is definitely one of the more memorable moments of my Junior Year!

2. Accidentally dropping my phone to the ground (which led to the screen getting shattered) – Thankfully though, I was able to get it repaired, and it looks good as new. The feeling of anxiety that I got when I saw what happened to my phone which is one of my more valuable possessions and is something I use each and every day, was really nerve racking. I truly learned my lesson and this time, I’m gonna make sure that my phone is protected and ready just in case another accident, where I end up dropping my phone occurs (off to buy my otter box!).

3. Farewell speech of Father Go – Our School Director, Father Johnny Go’s Farewell Speech during our last general assembly for the year was one of the most heart warming and inspirational speeches I’ve ever heard from Father. Father Go never fails to move people whenever he speaks, his homilies, speeches and talks will be missed! I was truly fortunate that I was awarded a Chinese Writing Award during this last general assembly for I was able to shake Father Go’s hand one last time.

4. Last Mentoring Period for my Junior Year – How time flies by; it seemed just like yesterday when Junior Year just started and I was joining a whole new class with a completely different set of classmates in 3A. Looking back, despite all of the challenges, quandaries, setbacks and all, it was one no doubt one helluva of a crazy year indeed and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

5. Fountain International School Science Fair – Attending this science fair was one crazy experience. Witnessing innovative and creative minds of talented individuals ranging from all ages was a truly breathtaking experience. Add to the fact that I was able to meet new people and gain new friends was the icing on the cake. To top it all off, I also got to meet my “former” and “favorite” turkish math teacher.

Looking back at these highlights, I can say that I am truly blessed to be living such a fortunate life filled with so many awe-inspiring moments and adventures. I am truly thankful for everything that happened to me during the past week and hopefully, the coming weeks will be just as awesome or even better.

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-DOitChoco

PS. I will try my best to make separate blog posts and expound on some if not all of these highlights for there were a thousand different things I learned from every second of these moments.