SMCM at 100: Random thoughts of a Marian teacher

Since becoming a teacher, I have worn many school colors. Understandably, I would always identify myself primarily as a Fighting Maroon (although the university hymn says luntian at pula) but wherever I teach, I proudly wear the school colors. This 2016, aside from gold and green, I wear blue for St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan (SMCM) for the third time.

St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan (formerly St. Mary’s Academy) in City of Meycauayan, Bulacan turns 100 this 2016.

The first time was in 2002. I was a late addition to the highschool faculty as classes had already started when I joined to replace a member who decided to teach in a public school instead. I must admit that it felt a bit strange to be teaching in the school I had considered to be my high school’s rival. Obviously, I had some preconceived ideas about Marian students. Those would of course change over the course of my stay at SMCM. Marians would be among my closest friends, fangirling buddies, and travel and foodtrip companions. My first year of teaching at SMCM was not exactly a walk in the park but it was a memorable one. For one thing, as a young teacher at that time, I felt supported, valued, and loved. I would stay another year, and even when I decided to take a break from teaching to pursue another path, I came back for a few weeks as a substitute teacher in 2005.

The second time was in 2011. SMCM was the first to give me an opportunity to teach in the college level. Now I have former students who are members of the Integrated Basic Education (IBEd) faculty. Seeing them in the school never fails to make me smile.

I am just happy to be back for the third time since November 2015 on time for the centennial celebration this year. Now I declare myself a centennial junkie haha! Kidding aside, I think I will always think of SMCM as more than a school. To me, SMCM is like home. It is like my old neighborhood, always warm and familiar. This is why I am looking forward to see other Marians and Marians at heart to come home and celebrate 100 years of faith, service, and excellence with us. See you February 8 to 13 Marians!

SMCM at 100: A Centennial of Faith, Service, and Excellence




SM x Chan Lim: Ushering in A New Light of Prosperity

Over 100 Chinese paintings on lanterns by the Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students are on exhibit at The Block Atrium until February 11. The exhibit launch held last January 24 kicked off SM City North EDSA’s Chinese New Year celebration.


Meeting and learning from the master: Alex Chan Lim

Before the exhibit was formally opened to the public, there was a Q&A with and an on-the-spot demonstration by Alex Chan Lim. Like his siblings Felix, Rolex, and Jolex, Alex is an engineer by profession, but he has kept painting since he was 11 years old. The name Chan Lim is formed by combining the last names of the siblings’ parents. The family patriarch, whose real name is Jose but signs as Chan Lim, has dabbled in Western art, specializing in oil and watercolor.


Alex Chan Lim finishing his Chinese painting on rice paper.

The Chan Lim family of artists have conducted numerous art classes, workshops, and on-the-spot demonstrations, and have joined several art exhibits locally and internationally. To date, they have held 14 family exhibits.

Experiencing Chinese painting

I have always been interested in Chinese painting but never gotten around to attending a workshop until yesterday. The Chan Lim Family of artists and students helped us participants set up the materials (paper, Chinese brush, ink, water) and patiently guided us in making our first brush strokes.

This is me with Chan Lim painting student Ma’am Linda who became my teacher for the day 🙂


More activities to celebrate the Year of the Monkey at SM City North EDSA

Aside from wishing all its visitors a bright future with the grand collection of beautiful hand-painted lanterns at The Block Atrium, SM City North EDSA has lined up other exciting activities in celebration of the Chinese New Year:

  • Oriental Culture Market, February 2 to 15, mall hours, City Center East and West Mall 2nd Floor
  • Astrological Forecast with Marites Allen, February 7, 5 PM, The Block Atrium
  • Golds of Fortune, January 24 to February 11, The Block Ground Floor and the Annex Ground Floor
  • Oriental Classics, January 31, 5 PM, The Block Atrium
  • Chinese Wushu Arts, January 31, 5 PM, The Block Atrium
  • Chinese Arts in Letters Calligraphy Workshop, February 6, 2 PM, The Block Atrium
  • Chinese Court & Folk Dances, February 8, 2 PM, The Block Atrium


Thoughts on KCON2015 I’m Coming Home

Back from blogging hiatus! 🙂

I’m writing this on a Thursday, November 25, a week after the KCON 2015 was supposed to have started. Originally, my plan was to participate on Thursday, then have my friend Ku attend on Friday and Saturday because I couldn’t take a leave from work, and then come to the Grand Feast. Due to APEC road blockage, however, the four-day event was shortened to two days—21 and 22—with the Thursday activities moved to Saturday and Friday activities to Sunday morning. Though I could only attend the Grand Feast on Sunday afternoon, it felt like I have really come home.

I have been a Kerygma reader since 1993 when my second year HS adviser gifted me with a subscription for my graduation. I renewed that subscription, but stopped after some time. In 2000, I met a Kerygma shepherd during one of my daily commute to the office. That shepherd eventually became my soul sister. Ate Mhean introduced me to the Light of Jesus Family, and invited me to my first Feast in Camp Aguinaldo.

Though I haven’t been attending as consistently as I did back then, LOJ is indeed like family—warm and welcoming. There were thousands of attendees, all friendly faces. Like home, there is something very comforting with the old and familiar (although there were also many new things). Because I came late, I was expecting a general admission ticket but a member gave me his upper box ticket (Salamat, Kuya!)

The messages were all moving—from the homily to Bro. Justin Fatica’s “You’re amazing!” reminder, from Bro. Alvin Barcelona’s thoughts on coming home based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son to the reps (Bro. Eng Si, Bro. Jon Escoto, and Bro. Velden Lim) of the three generations of Feast Builders’, and Bro. Bo’s “You already have it!” I got all the affirmation I ever needed to overcome the challenges I am facing, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Championing creators and users: The Korea-Philippines Copyright Forum 2015 on Fair Use

Resource speakers respond to queries during the Open Forum at the 2015 Korea-Philippines Copyright Forum on Fair Use last June 25 at F1 Hotel, BGC, Taguig City.

More than a hundred participants of the 2015 Korea-Philippines Copyright Forum have learned about Copyright and Fair Use in Korea and the Philippines from distinguished resource speakers. Organized by the Korea Copyright Commission (KCC) and hosted by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST) of South Korea, the forum was well attended by academic personnel, students, researchers, IT service providers, and bloggers last June 25 at the F1 Hotel Infinity Hall, BGC, Taguig City.

Senior Deputy Director Sung-Woon Hong of the Copyright Division Policy, MCST, gave the opening address while the welcome address was given by IPOPHL DG/OIC DDG Allan B. Gepty. Ambassador Jae-Shin Kim of the Embassy of Republic of Korea in the Philippines and Chairman Seung-Jong Oh of the Korea Copyright Commission congratulated the organizers, hosts, and participants of the forum.

The talks were divided into three topics: (1) current enforcement status regarding fair use in copyright and the policies of the two countries; (2) fair use of copyright works in the digital environment; and (3) current activation plan for use of copyright of the two parties in the digital era.

Under the first topic, Mr. Hyun-Wook Jung of of the Copyright Industry Division, MCST, gave an Introduction to Legal System for Copyright Use in Korea. He shared about KOGL, which is a set of licensing marks that helps the public to easily understand the condition of use when they attempt to exploit the works created by public institutions. The goal of KOGL is to realize a creative economy in Korea by establishing the basis for free use of the public works.

Mr. Hyun-Wook Jung and his Introduction to Legal System for Copyright Use in Korea
Mr. Hyun-Wook Jung talks about the legal system for copyright use in Korea.

Atty. Mark Herin of the Office of the Director General, IPOPHL, gave the counterpart talk on the Introduction to Legal System for Copyright Fair Use in the Philippines. He emphasized the four factors to be considered in determining fair use as stipulated in Section 185 of the IP Code (Fair Use of a Copyrighted Work).

Atty. Mark C. Herin and his Introduction to Legal System for Copyright Fair Use in the PH
Atty. Mark C. Herin defines copyright during his talk on Introduction to Legal System for Copyright Fair Use in the PH.

For the second topic, Ms. Soohyun Pae, Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator of Creative Commons, talked about the Development of Internet Service and Fair Use of Copyright Works. She shared how civic communities, public offices, and institutes have collaborated on various projects to promote the reuse of data, knowledge, and content in Korea, and how Creative Commons Korea plays a role in promoting open knowledge and creativity in Korea.

Ms. Soohyun Pae shares about Open Knowledge and Creativity in Korea.
Ms. Soohyun Pae shares about Open Knowledge and Creativity in Korea.

Associate Professor of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law Atty. JJ Disini talked about Fair Use Issues in the Commercial Sector.

Atty. JJ Disini discusses Fair Use Trends.
Atty. JJ Disini discusses Fair Use Trends during his talk on Fair Use Issues in the Commercial Sector.

For the third topic, Mr. Chul Nam Lee drew analogies from culture and the cultural industry (Kpop and traditional Korean music) when he talked about Copyright Protection and Fair Use In View of Technology, Market, and Institution.

Mr. Chul Nam Lee discusses Copyright Protection and Fair Use In View of Technology, Market, and Institution.

Atty. Aileen V. Sicat drew from her experiences as a professor in the College of Law of the Lyceum of the Philippines for her talk on Issues and Challenges Regarding Copyright and Fair Use in the Academic Sector.

Atty. Aileen V. Sicat discusses Issues and Challenges Regarding Copyright and Fair Use in the Academic Sector.
Atty. Aileen V. Sicat discusses Issues and Challenges Regarding Copyright and Fair Use in the Academic Sector.

After the talks, the resource speakers responded to the participants’ questions on copyright and fair use.

A UP kind of Saturday: Attending the 2015 UP Curriculum Studies Symposium and watching Ekstra at Cine Adarna

Curriculum Studies Symposium 2015 event poster from UP Curricularist Society Facebook page
Curriculum Studies Symposium 2015 event poster from UP Curricularist Society Facebook page

I just got back from an almost week-long trip to the North but there was no way that I would miss the 2015 UP Curriculum Studies Symposium which I pre-registered in as soon as I had learned about it from Sabrina, my friend and colleague at FEU. Held at the UP National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education Development (NISMED),  the symposium this year has the theme “Curriculum Studies and 21st Century Skills.” Hosted by the UP College of Education Curriculum Studies Area in cooperation with the UP Curricularist Society, it provided a platform for curriculum studies undergraduate and graduate students to present relevant researches with respect to how 21st Century Skills impact the curriculum.

The plenary speakers and topics are as follows:

  • Strategic Thinking and 21st Century Skills 
    Mr. Ho Sun Yee, Managing Partner, Decision Processes Int’l, Singapore
  • Alternative Curriculum Design
    Fr. Onofre G. Inocencio, Jr., SDB, Superintendent, Don Bosco and TVET Schools
  • Mother Tongue-Based and Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) and 21st Century Skills
    Dr. Romylyn A. Metila, Assistant Professor, UP College of Education
  • Media Information Literacy (MIL) and 21st Century Skills
    Dr. Ferdinand B. Pitagan, Education Technology Specialist

The symposium was fully packed in terms of both attendance and relevance. Each of the plenary speakers left me with thoughts to reflect on or questions to think about, for example, the need to challenge existing attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, norms, and practices and to tap latent strengths that Mr. Ho emphasized in his story about Singapore’s water problem and the solution that Singapore came up with. Fr. Jun narrated how they design and implement TVET in their institution. Dr. Rom shared her observations/research on using MTB-MLE and how MTB-MLE can help increase academic achievement, establish home and school connection, and facilitate the learning of subsequent languages. Dr. Pitagan pointed out how important curriculum design is in MIL.

I saw some familiar faces in the event which made me miss the days when I was a graduate student of the Curriculum Studies Area. Sigh.

Right after the symposium I proceeded to UP Cine Adarna to watch Jeffrey Jeturian’s Ekstra which got a Bronze-Best Feature Film in the 2015 New York Festivals in addition to the other awards and recognition it has gotten so far.

A well-spent Saturday in one of my favorite places: I could use more of this.

And just so I won’t forget, I’m putting another one of Mr. Ho’s points here:

Just because you can count something doesn’t mean it counts. Just because you cannot count something doesn’t mean it does not count.

Join: The Creative ASEAN Jewellery Design Competition 2015

The Creative ASEAN Jewellery Design Competition 2015 is one of the initiatives under the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Action Plan 2011-2015 jointly co-organized by the 10 ASEAN Intellectual Property (IP) Offices, and the European Community and ASEAN Project on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights: ECAP III Phase 2. This project aims to recognize the work of experienced jewellers as well as scouting new talents, encourage interaction between creators and designers from different nationalities, and protect and raise awareness on IP protection.

Five entries will be selected by a panel of national judges: jeweller Mr. Hans Brumman, fashion designer Ms. Lulu Tan-Gan, Executive Director Myrna Sunico of the Design Center of the Philippines, Architect Daisy Palattao of De La Salle University – Dasmarinas’ Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO), to be subsequently forwarded to the ASEAN phase’s panel of judges, who will be selecting one winner from each country.

The creator of the top entry per country will be given the opportunity to showcase their piece/s at the 56th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair on 10-14 September 2015 in Thailand. They will also receive a trophy and a week-long study program with world-renowned jewellery company John Hardy in Bali, Indonesia.

Interested participants must fill out the submission form and submit it together with the other requirements stipulated in the Rules and Regulations by 20 May 2015. Inquiries and clarifications may be addressed to or or call (02) 2386300.

CREATIVE ASEAN Jewellery Design CompetitionRules & Guidelines

The magic of Cynthia Alexander’s music

is that it can be timeless such that the words still speak to me even if I have not heard them for some time. It can transport one to another place and time, most likely to that moment of one’s discovery of her music. In my case, that would be in 2000 when I was a relatively newbie in the publishing industry. Her second album Rippingyarns had just been released, and it was what I asked my secret Santa for Christmas. I would play the cassette tape in my portable player (Watashi no Aiwa wa doko desu ka?) over and over until I have memorized her songs. I eventually got a copy of Insomnia & Other Lullabyes I think at the UP Shopping Center where I usually find albums of my favorite singers-songwriters.

Sadly, I did not catch any of her farewell shows. That’s why I was excited when I learned that she was coming home to play at the Jack Daniels Indie Music Awards. The schedule was a problem for me though as I had to proctor final examinations early the next day. Then the Teatrino show was announced but the balcony tickets were quickly sold out. The Conspiracy Cafe gig was my last chance to see her before she left again for the US.

But who would go with me? Gigs, particularly the special ones, end way past midnight. But it really was a special one, so I asked my very important person–Nanay–to come with me to Cynthia’s show.

Our Cynthia Alexander at Conspiracy Cafe tickets
Our Cynthia Alexander at Conspiracy Cafe tickets
Isn't my Nanay cool?
Isn’t my Nanay cool?

I actually shamelessly messaged Conspiracy Cafe’s Facebook page to ask for a reservation to which I got a positive reply (I just love Conspiracy!) but I understood when I saw a note on Cynthia Alexander Music Facebook page later on that the show would be on a first come first serve basis and that Conspiracy gates would open at 6 pm. Nanay and I got there around 7 pm and had yummy sisig and rice for dinner.

Conspiracy Cafe's sisig with egg
Conspiracy Cafe’s sisig with egg

What made the night more magical was Vin Dancel of Peryodiko. That “Dear Prudence” cover! (Cynthia would later sing “Blackbird.” Loved both.)

When it was Cynthia’s turn to perform, I had to stand on a chair because my view of the stage had been blocked.Good thing was that no Conspi staff asked me to get down. At some point, even Nanay stood on a chair. We all have missed Cynthia and her music that after her supposed last song “Comfort in Your Strangeness,” we did not want to leave yet.

Cynthia actually stood in front of me during the set break to talk with some friends but I got too shy to ask for a photo op. Her friend helped me get my CD signed though.

My signed copy of Walk Down the Road
My signed copy of Walk Down the Road

I am so grateful to be there and feel the magic of Cynthia Alexander’s music. I hope I get to be there when she holds a homecoming gig again.