New Things

“This is not a good idea.”

I was totally unhappy when I found out that we’re set for an internship in the 2nd semester of our NSTP class. Honestly, I like our 1st sem NSTP meetings – sitting in the auditorium and listening to remarkable speakers tell their stories on various topics. Now, we have to go outside UP and do what NSTP is all about. My group will be spending the rest of our 2nd sem Mondays with Freedom from Debt Coalition.


We left UP an hour and thirty minutes before two in the afternoon to make sure we’ll get to FDC on time. On our first day of internship, Sir Marc and Sir Sammy discussed what the Freedom from Debt Coalition is all about (history, what it does, other works, etc.). They also told us what our role will be for the rest of the semester. Our group was assigned to the monitoring team for Yolanda-related stuffs such as donations, FAiTH, current news, and programs. We were given our first task; mine (and my partner’s) was a paper on Yolanda-related issues due next meeting. At first, I thought it was too much for a first day but I actually learned a lot while doing the research. I thought I already knew a lot about Yolanda, but I was wrong. We had discussions about our paper and we were asked about our insights on what we’ve read (and learned). I never had the confidence of speaking my thoughts, but I was surprised I was able to discuss what my paper’s all about. We also had one meeting outside FDC, we were able to witness a rally (by FDC) outside the Asian Development Bank. Again, this is something new to me. It was tiring but a knowledgeable experience. I got to interview some of the people in the rally and some officers of ADB.


So far, I’ve already learned a lot of things but I know a lot more is set for me to see and to experience. (I’m taking it back, “This is a brilliant idea!”)


-Katreena Mae T. Villanueva 2012-30409



I flicked through the screen of my phone, searched for songs in my music list which I dedicate to those who are moving on. I’m not talking about love.

  • Let it be The Beatles – “…And when the night is cold there is still a light that shines on me, shine on until tomorrow, let it be. I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be…”
  • People help the people Cherry Ghost/Birdy – “…People help the people and if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it. People help the people, nothing will drag you down…”
  • There is a light that never goes out The Smiths – This is a love song but the lyrics are really touching and the words there is a light that never goes out can never be true enough. Temporary lights will flicker, but believe that there is a light that never goes out.
  • With a smile Eraserheads – “…Lift your head, baby, don’t be scared of the things that could go wrong along the way you’ll get by with a smile, now it’s time to kiss away those tears goodbye…”
  • Learn me right Mumford and Sons & Birdy – “…We will run and scream, you will dance with me. We’ll fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free, we will be who we are and they’ll heal our scars. Sadness will be far away…”
  • Carry on Fun – “…If you’re lost and alone or you’re sinking like a stone, carry on. May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on, carry on, carry on…”
  • Huwag kang matakot Eraserheads – “…Huwag kang matakot, ‘di mo ba alam nandito lang ako sa iyong tabi, ‘di kita pababayaan kailan man. At kung ikaw ay mahulog sa bangin ay sasaluhin kita…”
  • The Cave Mumford and Sons – “…But I will hold on hope and I won’t let you choke on the noose around your neck. And I’ll find strength in pain and I will change my ways, I’ll know my name as it’s called again…”
  • Make you feel my love Bob Dylan/Adele – “…When the rain is blowing in your face and the whole world is on your case, I could offer you a warm embrace to make you feel my love…”
  • Here comes the sun The Beatles – “…Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say, it’s all right, it’s all right…”

To all my fellow Filipinos hit by the typhoon Yolanda, to all those people losing hope because of all the problems that life offers, maybe no words are enough to cheer you up. But in silence and in sadness, let the good music be playing.

-Elizabeth Y. Borromeo



Recently, the movie adaptation of Catching Fire, the second book of The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, had been a hit to many, especially to us teens. With the plot twists, special effects and the story itself, we were left mesmerized and stunned.

But looking beyond the screen, maybe Catching Fire is not just a make-believe story or a Science fiction film. I see a certain connection between the movie/book and the situation of the real world today.

Injustice. This is the main theme of the trilogy. The story revolved around this and how the main character, Katniss Everdeen, fought to overcome this injustice present in the fragmented society where she and her loved ones lived.

Coups, revolutions, rebellions. These words are not new to us, especially to UP students. Katniss led the rebellion against the Capitol, against the inequality in her society. She had been through a lot of hardships but in the end, she got what she wanted – a peaceful life and the end of the Hunger Games, the start of equality – though she may have lost some of her loved ones during the process.

Hope and bravery. These are what I got from reading the trilogy and from watching the first two film adaptations. With these two, the main characters overcame whatever was on their way to attain what they wanted and that is freedom.

At present, where injustice prevails and where wars are here and there, hope and bravery are two things that we should all have.

The Hunger Games Trilogy is not just a literary work to be read and adored or movies to be watched and admired, these should be reflected upon because these serve as mirrors to what our society looks like today.


-Elizabeth Y. Borromeo


Pantene Breaks Down Every Sexist Workplace Stereotype in One Ad

Double standards between men & women had long been there and in 60 seconds Pantene Philippines turned things around. Kudos to the team! #WhipIt

Business & Money

In 60 seconds, Pantene Philippines used an ad to deftly break down the double standards men and women face in the workplace.

While a man is a “boss,” a woman is seen as “bossy.” Men are “persuasive,” while women are “pushy.” If a guy works late, he’s “dedicated,” but a woman is “selfish.” A man who struts down the street is “smooth,” but his female counterpart is “showy.”

And if you needed any more reason to watch the commercial, made by BBDO Guerrero in Manila, then take Sheryl Sandberg’s endorsement of the spot:

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Activate Proactivity

Often we say, prevention is better than cure. But how often do we practice what we preach?

Yolanda was a tragedy we wish would never have happened and will never again happen. We did not just lose a number of people, we lost lives whose values cannot be expressed by numbers. We, who have been fortunate enough to not have lost as much as our sisters and brothers gravely affected by the typhoon, are called to help.

That is almost always how the story goes. We fall and we rise. We react upon a situation. But it doesn’t have to be like that all the time. We have to be more proactive than we are reactive. I am not saying we did not do anything to prevent such losses. We do prepare. We were warned and we prepared. We were prepared. We have food enough to keep us alive days after an expected tragedy. We have our first aids ready to cure cuts and bruises. We water proofed our documents. But are these enough? We cannot prepare just days or weeks before a big storm. But it’s also not possible to have prepared months and years before Yolanda had happened since we weren’t expecting Yolanda to happen. We did not see Yolanda coming or where it would hit us years ago. Nevertheless, we can prevent another Yolanda or something worse if we had long-term preparations as solution to the worsening climate. We can prevent the climate from worsening.

It will take us years to rise again from this big a fall. And it shall take years to prevent us from falling as much if it were to happen again (hopefully not). Start now by planting a tree!



The Convenient Amnesia

People forget.

That is what happens months after a calamity strikes a society. The grief, tragedy and loss of the victims are buried under the pile of more current sizzling issues – issues that when looked upon closely deserve less audience compared to the intense need of the victims. But that’s just it.

After the news has gone stale, people naturally acquire a convenient amnesia to cover the fact that, NO, things aren’t still okay in the affected areas and that aid and relief operations are still very much needed. Let’s just admit it: not all people are willing to lend a hand and unconditionally care for years until full recovery. The attention lasts for a few months, tops. After that, the victims will just have to lean on the silent helpers of our society such as the devoted NGOs and various other humanitarian organizations to help them stand back up. But with the reduced work force, the supposedly resiliency of the said victims will diminish significantly so that recovery will take additional years to be achieved.

I am guilty of such charges. I was, at least.

I care enough ’til the fire burns out and then I just forget. I turn to the foolish optimistic side of things and think that the victims have also moved on from the tragedy just like how the media did. And that everything is alright now.

But attending the first meeting of our group with La Liga had me thinking. La Liga is a Non-Government Institution concerned with the Marikina Watershed and the area surrounding it after typhoon ‘Ondoy’ struck in 2009 where the cause of the massive flooding in Metro Manila was traced back to the Marikina Water Basin.

It amazes me how even years after the incident, La Liga, together with the Alliance of 7 (A group of the 7 cities closest to Marikina), are involved in a long-term project that aims to restore the forests surrounding the Marikina Watershed area so that calamities like ‘Ondoy’ will cause less flooding as well as damages.

I was inspired. Being involved in a great project like this concerning the welfare, not only of the current residents around the area, but also of the future generations that will reside there encompasses the true meaning of ‘helping’ in many ways that one.

If only we could all participate in a greater cause such as this.

If only all of us forget our Convenient Amnesias.