Saturday, January 31, 2009

cinemagis - winners

Congratulations to the winners of Cinemagis 2009 - Northern Mindanao's First Digital Film Festival. Kiss the Rain (Iligan) won Best Film for the Student Category and Kasing-kasing Amang (Cagayan de Oro) for the Senior Category.

Ok, so I'm a part of the steering committee for Cinemagis however, I cant help but admire the students of MSU-IDS for creating beautiful works. Having to watch and scrutinize all 20+ short films in a single night proved to be challenge for those of us involved in the prejudging.

Even the students at the high school were inspired of their work. In the end everyone involved got to learn more from each other and that's what I believe matters most.

Ukit - There is something about the point of view of the film that makes it fresh and appealing to the audience.

Kiss the Rain - I like how something local can look so foreign without having to try very hard.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

5 and up!

Who would have thought I am now in my fifth year in teaching? When I applied at XUHS they asked me about my length of stay and I said I would probably be working for ten years or so. Until now, I'm still trying to find my niche in the teaching community and I have been moved by the experience of educating students. My life is still a search and a struggle. The funny thing that happened was I there seemed to be a neglect or omission on the part of the personnel that I was supposed to be not included in the awarding. It was the other teachers who were concerned about why I was missed and they were able to correct it before the service awards.

my toefl score

I just got these tonight.

Test Test Date Reading Listening Speaking Writing Total
TELXML January 10, 2009 29 30 27 30 116

Reading Skills Level Your Performance
Reading High(22-30)

Test takers who receive a score at the HIGH level, as you did, typically understand academic texts in English that require a wide range of reading abilities regardless of the difficulty of the texts.

Test takers who score at the HIGH level, typically

  • have a very good command of academic vocabulary and grammatical structure;
  • can understand and connect information, make appropriate inferences, and synthesize ideas, even when the text is conceptually dense and the language is complex;
  • can recognize the expository organization of a text and the role that specific information serves within the larger text, even when the text is conceptually dense; and
  • can abstract major ideas from a text, even when the text is conceptually dense and contains complex language.
Listening Skills Level Your Performance
Listening High(22-30)

Test takers who receive a score at the HIGH level, as you did, typically understand conversations and lectures in English that present a wide range of listening demands. These demands can include difficult vocabulary (uncommon terms, or colloquial or figurative language), complex grammatical structures, abstract or complex ideas, and/or making sense of unexpected or seemingly contradictory information.

When listening to lectures and conversations like these, test takers at the HIGH level typically can

  • understand main ideas and important details, whether they are stated or implied;
  • distinguish more important ideas from less important ones;
  • understand how information is being used (for example, to provide evidence for a claim or describe a step in a complex process);
  • recognize how pieces of information are connected (for example, in a cause-and-effect relationship);
  • understand many different ways that speakers use language for purposes other than to give information (for example, to emphasize a point, express agreement or disagreement, or convey intentions indirectly); and
  • synthesize information, even when it is not presented in sequence, and make correct inferences on the basis of that information.
Speaking Skills Level Your Performance
Speaking about familiar topics Good(3.5 - 4.0)

Your responses indicate an ability to communicate your personal experiences and opinions effectively in English. Overall, your speech is clear and fluent. Your use of vocabulary and grammar is effective with only minor errors. Your ideas are generally well developed and expressed coherently.

Speaking about campus situations Good(3.5 - 4.0)

Your responses indicate an ability to speak effectively in English about reading material and conversations typically encountered by university students. Overall, your responses are clear and coherent, with only occasional errors of pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary.

Speaking about academic course content Fair(2.5 - 3.0)

Your responses demonstrate that you are able to speak in English about academic reading and lecture material, with only minor communication problems. For the most part, your speech is clear and easy to understand. However, some problems with pronunciation and intonation may occasionally cause difficulty for the listener. Your use of grammar and vocabulary is adequate to talk about the topics, but some ideas are not fully developed or are inaccurate.

Writing Skills Level Your Performance
Writing based on reading and listening Good(4.0 - 5.0)

You responded well to the task, relating the lecture to the reading. Weaknesses, if you have any, might have to do with

  • slight imprecision in your summary of some of the main points and/or
  • use of English that is occasionally ungrammatical or unclear.
Writing based on knowledge and experience Good(4.0 - 5.0)

You responded with a well-organized and developed essay. Weaknesses, if you have any, might have to do with

  • use of English that is occasionally ungrammatical, unclear, or unidiomatic and/or
  • elaboration of ideas or connection of ideas that could have been stronger.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

messed up

I cant even get to stay in my cubicle now. Its loaded with so many stuff. Its unbearable I couldn't even dare show it to everyone. A visitor came to visit me and I felt so bad that they had to see all the piles of papers. I wish I could do something about all the workload I'm doing for this part of the school year. Please let this all end!

My back aches and I seem to have something wrong with my eyesight. They say its psychosomatic. I say I need to clean up the mess I have in my workplace.

Monday, January 26, 2009

fish for something

I remember having to take care of angelfish in an aquarium that needed a whole morning to be cleaned.

I really don't know why I have been featuring food in this blog lately.
But this one is a favorite from Sentro 1850. Balinese Swordtail Fish.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

the tikoy revelry

My mother said tikoy is common food in Cebu. Bakeshops serve them like the pan de sal. She still wonders why they only get sold extensively here in Cagayan de Oro when its the Chinese New Year.

My sister and I never said a thing. We were munching tikoy and we were taught not to talk when our mouths are full.

Friday, January 23, 2009

cinemagis - awards night

With the executive director for Cinemagis - Mr. Hobart Savior

Jake is the musical director and Dr. Mike Rapatan is the keynote speaker for Cinemagis 2009

Stage Manager, again.

We had Kaimerah to perform for the awards night.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

obama's words

"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Monday, January 19, 2009

i'm not into coffee, really!

Mocha Jelly Mint Primo - only from Bo's Coffee. I got my first last holiday break and I'm happy they still serve this stuff. I hope they make this a part of their regulars.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

my choice at Loreto's

Nothing beats having Loreto's Spicy Stuff Squid. Well, if you're not really that into seafood, why not try their Lechon Kawali. We came from a rehearsal for the programs for Cinemagis and needed time to breathe and eat too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

me talking again

I was invited by the Edmund Campion Club to give a talk to second year students for their storytelling contest on February. I tried to echo to them a seminar I attended last September on the Hero's Journey. We started Friday afternoon and I let them see the movie Kung Fu Panda.

Stories are mostly patterned to what John Campbell as the hero's journey. I introduced to them the pattern which they can use for their story. We had the whole day in Saturday to make their own stories to tell for their storytelling contest.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

cinemagis - a first in northern mindanao

Preparations are ongoing for Northern Mindanao's Digital Film Fest, aptly entitled Cinemagis. Xavier Science Foundation (XSF) and the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) in cooperation with Xavier University Culture and Arts Office (XU-CAO), SM City CDO, XU Central Student Government (CSG), and Teachers' Guild (TG) have collaborated to hold this festival on January 21-23 at the XU Little Theater and SM Cinemas.

Cinemagis will harvest the film making potentials and will give venue for a creative and developmental film making festival through a competition that allows our film making enthusiasts to address and reflect on Mindanao experiences, voices, aspirations and issues.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

who says i am only good at eating?

I had to make the family dinner tonight. I never really got to work because we were already informed that there would be no classes again (this is the second time this week). Nobody was at home to help me out with this chore. Everyone else was very tired (its not like I don't have anything to do, mind you I have so many things in mind) because of the bad weather. Just an ordinary spaghetti, nothing special to talk about it. I just did everything (that includes the cleaning and washing of everything).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

so this is what it looks like up there

Marvs sent me an image straight from the Kochi University Weather Home from their website. From there you could also see how the weather moves for 4 days in animation (mpeg format) and boy, things aren't getting any better.

One can't even see Mindanao from up there! Again, classes are suspended and I have this feeling that I'm actually getting the hang of this - until I was reminded by my mother to cook spaghetti for dinner.

Monday, January 12, 2009

comfort music - upside down

Everything has been so messed up since the start of the year and so I bumped into this very beautiful song last year when I saw the film version of Curious George. I never thought listening to it again could lighten my spirit. Despite the drenched surroundings outside my house today, having to see this songwriter, singer and surfer in this picture sure makes you feel like something bright is coming (although they say things are going to get worse since it will still rain until the weekend.)

Thanks Jack for the music.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

nature scores a spare

This actually isn't right anymore. The weather forecast never mentioned of any tropical depression nor typhoon. This was just suppose to be a cold front. But the heavy and continuous rainfall alarmed everyone in the city. Recently, CDO had one of its worse flooding with a sudden water surge just a week ago and I can't see why it felt like the city is not prepared for emergencies like this.

It was already 10 in the morning and it was time to go back home. I called and my sister said the heavy rain already made the streets of Nazareth impassable. I said I wanted to get sleep so I would rather get wet. Although it was raining hard, Jake and I were able to hail a taxi along Patag and we couldn't pass through Liceo because the street was already flooded. Then we tried to go pass Tejero and the main highway, but both were also flooded. Flood waters near the Bulua terminar was waist deep. It was like being in an action-suspense movie where we tried to find a way where we could go downtown. The taxi driver was very kind and patient with us even if there was heavy traffic everywhere.

We still had one option, and that was to make use of the Macapagal Road. We thought of going uphill and go to Masterson and use the new bridge and be able to go downtown from Macasandig. We thought of that as our last course of action. When we got to the area, there were a lot of landslide prone areas and mudflow was evident. Unfortunately, we still couldn't pass through because that part there was also flooded. I felt like there really wasn't any way out of it. The taxi driver said he had exhausted all ways to get us to Divisoria and said he will have to drop us back to Patag. We even laughed at the whole idea since it looked like we just has a joyride around and back (of course we had to pay him). He said we should try taking the jeep because they are more elevated.

And so we did and this we encountered. The jeep was able to cross the Liceo area but it was really slow.

I prayed the jeepney would be able to pass through successfully. These student police came from their school in Patag and did most of the traffic monitoring and getting rid of debris of what were washed away from the rain.

The flood was actually everywhere - even in Carmen market. We were able to reach Divisoria and i was able to reach home by 2pm.

I got a text message a friend had to leave their house because of the flood in Barra Opol. I also got a message that there would be no class tomorrow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

head, shoulders, knees and toefl, knees and toefl!

I have heard from people that I have to study for it, while some said it would just be a breeze. Well, I got myself the book for the new year (along with the $23 price tag). Aside from the start of the classes from the holidays, CINEMAGIS, GMA Kapuso Foundation Relief Support, English Month preparations, and the upcoming JBEC Meeting I am trying very hard to get some time to make use of whats inside the book before doomsday. I am scheduled to take the TOEFL-iBT on Saturday.

I received the email which included the toefl voucher (the $170 cost for the exam) and the instructions as to how to register online. Checking the site, I found out that they already have a testing center here in CDO. A colleague of mine had to take her exam in Davao and another one took hers in Cebu. I was spared to spend more for traveling far just to take it. I went to check with the testing center ( just to make sure I dont get lost on my way to the place) and they told me I will be one of the first test takers who will use their facilities (I think I just saw some people painting their walls white). I hope the fumes don't put me to sleep while I sweat my way through the TOEFL-iBT.

Test taking itself is a skill and I want to learn the nuances of the TOEFL-iBT test. Although it covers the basic 4 macro-skills of the language, they are done in such a way that they are combining two or more skills in one test. Integrative means it will be more challenging.

I have to work on the speaking and the writing components. I don't feel very confident with these two since these are not usually part of standardized tests I have encountered.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 5, 2009

now showing... doubled with

Then, I grew up with movie houses in the city that would show two movies for a price of one. When we would go to Cebu, watching a movie was never a problem. The trick then was to help prepare for my grandfather's lunch when we would have our summer vacations in the queen city of the south and gleefully go the cinema and go straight ahead to the projector room and do the routine "mano" to that very tall guy (that's were I got the genes for the height, I suppose) working steadily with the rolls of film. Our lolo will then tell us to go and take our seats inside the movie house. I guess he wouldn't want us to see what happens inside the projector room. But I would insist to stay and wait until they change the rolls of film in between films (yup, they do. Its too fast you don't see them change from one roll to another) and they would have to rewind it by hand using a machine like that which pricked sleeping beauty (again, yup they dont have those rewinders we had for beta max or vhs players) and give it to that young guy with a bike so that he would hand it over to another movie house. When we've gotten bored of having to watch the movie twice or more, we then head back to bade goodbye to lolo and head straight back home. I think working then as a projectionist was something people looked forward to. My nanay would proudly say that my grandfather was able to learn then how to make television sets (That must have been an accomplishment for a time when the cinema was the norm and television was just starting) after a training from American teachers. Those are fond memories I could still remember of my grandfather.

That must have been one reason why I have also loved the cinema.

I share this passion with my students and infuse it even with my helping them learn in my classes. For my second year class, I showed to them "Not One Less".

This is a story of a girl assigned to substitute for a teacher who was leaving the school. Since the number of students was getting smaller and smaller, she was told that she would get her salary if all students will be there when the teacher comes back. However , one boy goes to the city to work and she had to find her way to the city to find the lost boy. I find the movie very touching and would always start with an introduction by saying, "When you see this film, you'll never waste a single chalk again."

For the fourth year students, I showed them "Crash". Students would scratch their heads and wonder why this film isn't as popular as other Oscar-awarded movies around. Of course they would easily identify that Luda Chris is in this film. Most of them find this and the child scenes very moving.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

new year, new challenge

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Floods caused by intermittent rains since Friday afternoon swamped low-lying villages in the key southern cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan on Saturday, officials said.

Among the barangays hardest hit in Cagayan de Oro were Carmen, Macasandig, Tibasak, as well as villages along Burgos Street, Consolacion, Macabalan, and Gusa.

In Iligan, the areas affected were barangays Mahayahay, Tambacan, and sitio Manuang, where four houses were reportedly washed away or damaged, while in Bayug Island in Hinaplanon were trapped due to high waters while th sea waters are on high tide.

Evacuees were temporarily housed in nearby elementary schools and were being assisted by the social welfare offices of the two cities.

Cagayan de Oro city administrator Criselda Joson told GMANews.TV that she could not yet give the number of victims affected as the city government prioritized on providing food, used clothing and medicine to those who have been brought to different evacuation centers.

"This is so sudden and we are still expecting the water to rise on Saturday afternoon. We are closely monitoring the residents especially on Isla de Oro and Isla Bacsan," Joson said.

The two islets are located across barangay Carmen and Burgos Street and Barangays Kauswagan and Consolacion, respectively.

The residents in the different barangays said they were all caught by surprise as water rose to high level at about 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Nilda Bacong said she got a call from her mother who resides in sitio Kala-kala in barangay Tibasak, one of the riverine barangays.

"My mother said that most of them are on top of the roof to seek protection as the water rose high. The last meal they had was on Friday night, and I am worried about their situation," Bacong said.

She disclosed that her relatives of 10 families were affected by the flood. As of this posting, she said the water had gone down, but her relatives could not yet leave the house and they were starving.

Cong Corrales, a reporter in a local daily, said when he woke up he found the toilet in their house already submerged, while three of his neighbors' houses were already under water.

"We have been used to the flood but today, we were all caught by surprise as the water really hit the streets. Residents here in barangay Consolacion recalled that the worst flood occurred on January 1956, another was on January 1986 and this one," Corrales told GMANews.TV.

It was the first time that Corrales experienced the worst flood that hit barangay Consolacion since he lived here in the mid 90s.

Mercelita Jandayan-Labial also got a call from her mother informing her that they were seeking protection on top of a warehouse inside the seed lot of Aberasturi Livestock in sitio Tambo in barangay Macasandig.

"My husband is helping rescue my relatives in Tambo. I was told the water has gone down but the current is still strong preventing them to wade the water," Labial said.

Fanny Pabito, the acting City Social Welfare Officer, said her team was feeding children at the West City Central School in barangay Carmen. Pabito also could not give an initial number of the affected residents.

In Barangay Gusa, seven houses have been totally washed out in Purok 8, which is a remote area near the hills.

The police were the first to respond to the rescue operations. Neighbors who were not affected also helped the families who are starving. Donations coming from private groups arrived first.

Amor Sanchez, a resident in Tibasak and the president of the employees union of the Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co., said power supply for areas affected had been cut off due to the ongoing rescue operations.

"I have organized neighbors here in Tibasak to provide initial help to those houses submerged along the riverbanks," said Sanchez, one of the lucky ones who house was not submerged in the flood.


Nova Chavez, a resident of Sitio Ilang-iliang in Hinaplanon barangay told GMANews.TV that she managed to grab only a bag of personal belongings and her baby after her house was submerged as the Mandulog River overflowed amid heavy rains Friday.

Iligan Mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz has directed the Iligan City Disaster Coordinating Council, Philippine National Police and rescue teams to mobilize and respond in severely affected areas. The 104th and 403rd Brigades of the Philippine Army were also helping in relief operations.

Officials said the disaster council was still assessing how many families were affected. No casualties were reported as of posting time. - GMANews.TV

Friday, January 2, 2009

can you tell me how to get back?

Who would have thought that the show that taught me how to memorize the order of the planets (yup, everyone sing with me... My Very Educated Mother, Just Served Us Nine Pizzas!) is now on its 39th episode.

I must say I have learned a lot from the show. Can the kids nowadays say they have learned much from Spongebob? or Barney?

I think I still have my Ernie, Elmo and Bart stuffs (where did I placed them?) I got in a store in Butuan when I got there to visit my sister.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

reads for the new year

Thanks Lera for being so generous and providing me with something new to read. I so wanted to read Tolle since summer. I have already started to read and appreciate what the book is all about. I hope I can finish it though.

Thanks Fr. Pen for Magis, I started reading Queena's introduction of the book and she has poured out her self in writing about her life struggles.