China in a Glimpse

China is a very unique and beautiful country, it has one of the strongest political systems in the world. China is known for countless of things such as making the best businessmen, companies worth millions that take over the world, and my personal favorite, the invention of the famous noodles. China has many good features about it; however, that doesn’t stop people from criticizing the country and its people. It is criticized by how polluted it is and is discriminated for the appearances of the people.

This Semester Break I headed to China not only to visit my father but also to see the positive and negative sides of the country and to really understand if what the media says about it, is true.  In this Photo Essay, you will follow me on my adventures and read my own thoughts about them in my short visit to China.

Noodles – a cheap, quick way to stuff your belly.

Ancient Chinese Stone Writing – The history of the Chinese language.

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Robotic Musicians – Proof that robots are taking over the world.

Next-Gen Fashion – When manufacturing goes wrong.

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Work Hard, Play Hard

Contemporary art is defined as the modern day art. It is easy to make contemporary art nowadays since a lot of rights and privileges are given to the artists. There are many ways an artist can make contemporary art, and the many different art forms make it easier for an artist to think of new masterpieces to create.

Contemporary art can be a copied artwork from a previous artist and just by adding a few more little details, it becomes a whole new image. Thus copyright is not an issue in creating contemporary art. The existence of technology allows an artist to publish and sell his/her artworks online and on social media. This means that contemporary art is not confined in a museum. Contemporary art can also be created using unconventional materials, such as blood, eggshells, and many more.

In our Philarts class, we discussed many topics and things about contemporary art, and even created some on our own.

Here are a few:

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Digital Me

This was the first ever contemporary artwork I have created in class, and it is entitled “Digital Me”. We had to create a self-portrait of ourselves, and I chose to do it digitally and use the artform ‘minimalism’. The message behind the artwork is “Beauty comes in the very little details.” It is considered a contemporary art because of the use of technology in making it.

 

This was the next contemporary artwork that I have completed in class, and it is entitled “Miniature Bahay Kubo” We had to create a 3D artwork; however, the twist was that we had to use unconventional materials. The subject of the artwork was the wooden house, it consisted of materials like toothpicks, bandages, real leaves, and actual coins. The message behind the artwork is “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” because what I wanted to give to the world was a house, a house that would protect people from disasters. And although it’s not the best house a man could have, it is still able to save hundreds of lives. It is considered a contemporary art because of the use of unconventional materials in creating it and that it doesn’t need to be confined in a museum.

This is yet another artwork I have completed in class, and it is entitled “High Five”. We had to create an artwork using the artforms given to us, the options were creating a frottage, montage, collage, etc. For my artwork, I chose to create a frottage since I failed miserably in attempting to creating the others. The materials that I used were simply just cardboard and a five peso coin. The message behind the artwork is “The world can be alike and have peace if we are all united by one goal.” It is considered a contemporary art because it doesn’t need to be confined in a museum.

This was the last and final contemporary art that I have done in the first term of my academic year 2017-2018, and it is entitled “Bambank” which is a coin bank where the main subject is the bamboo” We had to use local materials in constructing the artwork. Local materials like yarn and bamboo were used in creating the artwork. The message behind the artwork is “Each coin represents a person, and if we all work together, anything is possible.” It is considered a contemporary art because it doesn’t have to be confined in a museum.

In conclusion, the whole course made us more creative and understanding of the Philippine culture and how art developed from old traditional art to modern contemporary art. The course also made me realize that is doesn’t matter how beautiful your artwork might be, but how beautiful the journey in making it was. I understand that there are more to The Philippines and its art world, and I am surely looking forward to the rest.

Grades in a Nutshell

Most people think negatively about the getting of good grades. They think that it doesn’t determine the outcome of your impending future. However, I am a strong believer that grades do actually matter in making the outcome of your future great, and for you to better peruse your dreams and goals in the upcoming future.

According to the educational systems in Finland, they believe that grades are not really needed. They say having grades would just stress the student out, causing them to lack their full and absolute potential. They say, people have potential in themselves that could get them a great career in the future such as being very skillful in a task, or having great character traits.

Being skillful and having great character traits could help you get a job, however, it is commonly not a decent one. If you do get your grades up, you could have a high-income job, or jobs that you could really rely on.

But the truth is getting good grades in high school could get you into a decent college. Most people don’t see high school as something important for your future until you reach the last few years of your high school life. The admission officers for colleges would really see how you are able to improve in what you are lacking, or just keeping your grades in a straight line.

Although your subject grades matter, most colleges often look at your SAT scores, meaning having a good score in your SAT’s in high school would leave a high chance for you to get enrolled and accepted in a college of high standards and proper education.

Having good grades in college, would allow you to be acknowledged by employers. Most companies determine your intelligence from your grades. Grades also help you build a strong resume.

There are many reasons why grades in college are important, one being that you will have to pass your classes in order to get your degree, which was the point in going to college in the first place. If your GPA (grade point average) drops below a certain threshold, you would be placed on academic probation, which could ultimately affect your resume.

Since getting good grades do actually matter, all you have to do is give your time and effort in making your grades high. Getting good grades would allow you to have more general knowledge and possibly a good and high-paying job. It would be the best thing you could do other than slacking off, and thinking that u could get a proper future without the help of getting good grades.

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Achieve your dreams, by getting high grades.

The Royal Exhibition 2.0

Gather ’round the small council for there is a mystery to uncover because, in this photo essay, I will show and tell you about my Taal immersion experience that was held on the 2nd of September. We visited 6 different places at the City of Taal: St. Martin de Tours Basillica, Beil Tower, Taal Market, Apacible Ancestral House, Aconcillio Ancestral House, Tampuhan Café.  After each visit, I learned more about the country and the people it consists of.

 

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Ta3l (‘come’ in Arabic chat language) to Taal. This immersion, we headed to Taal to learn more about the country and its society.
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Holy sight. Martin de Tours Basillica is a wonderful place to bring people together or closer to god. The antique structure shows us that it survived for a very long time, but still is a beautiful sight to all.
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Fountain of Wishes. Where wishes rust away.
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God’s Eye. This is the amazing view of Taal from up top of the Beil Tower.
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The Mother of the Philippine Flag. Marcela Agoncillo created the modern day flag of the Philippines.
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Art in forms. These are some of the artworks presented in Tampuhan Café. Despite the different art forms shown, all the artworks are similar in being beautiful.

The Royal Exhibition

Pull out your royal capes and sit upon your throne because, in this reflective essay, I’m going to talk about my Lipa immersion that was held on August 19. We visited four different places in the city of Lipa: Plaza Independencia, Casa de Segunda, Purple Beetle Café, and San Sebastian Cathedral. In each visit, not only did I learn many things, but I also became more confident when it comes to saying something in public or simply communicating with random strangers.

 

I expected to notice an improvement in my communication skills the next time an opportunity such as the Lipa Immersion occurs. Knowing how much I strive to become better than I once was, I always push myself as far as I can possibly go, so that I can see my mistakes and understand what went wrong.

 

Our first stop was at City Plaza, where we had to perform a social experiment to see how people would react. My group mates, who were responsible for acquiring the reactions of people, consisted of Steph, Maurine, and myself, with each of us having similar roles but a different backstory. Our job was to ask people whether it was possible to make a phone call using their cellphone. The people whom we ask in particular were two teenagers, two adults, and one elderly. The experiment determines whether people are able to trust others in handling their property. The experiment may also show whether some people have trust issues, or whether they are ‘good-willed’ people with a ‘good heart’ who have the intention to help others in need.

 

Our vans were parked behind the main entrance of the plaza so that it would be easier to keep a low profile while conducting the experiment. To prevent raising any suspicion on the experiment, we made an anonymous exit off the vehicle. Those who were to document the experiment through video were the ones who left the van minutes earlier than those who were to conduct the experiment first-hand.

 

I felt very confident that I would get at least three phone calls out of five. I aimed for the Cathedral because it usually consists of many people, and I started the experiment there.

My first attempt was on a group of teenagers, and the resulting reaction was a full-on rejection and inconsiderate of my presence.

My second attempt was on an adult, her reaction was to forward me to a shop that could help with my problem. The shopkeepers did help me and lend me their phone, however, the woman I asked and expected to did not. This attempt showed some success since the woman did offer a way to help, despite not lending her own cellphone. The possible reasons that she did not lend her cell phone may be that she had trust issues with lending her own property to others, or that she had different non-determinable reasons as to why she did not lend it. However, the attempt showed that the woman was still ‘kind’ enough to offer help so that others may receive their needs somewhere else.

My third attempt was on an elderly man who gave as much time as he could give me in telling me to “Shoo, shoo!” The resulting reaction gave me enough information to say that some old people just don’t like to be bothered.

My fourth attempt was on an adult male, and the resulting reaction was to make an excuse not to lend their cellphone, to say that they “didn’t have one.”

My fifth and last attempt was on a man working in a shop, and his resulting reaction was to agree to lend his cellphone and have me use it to make a call.

 

On the way back to the van, I saw one of my classmates from another group successfully portray a homeless child. People gave him, not only money, but also food and water, which was quite a heart-warming sight (despite knowing that he wasn’t actually homeless, and he is in no way in need of food, money, or water from random strangers).

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Photo Courtesy by Cem Alcance

After having experienced performing the social experiment. I was able to understand that, although some people may not have the heart you imagine any ‘good-willed’ person to have, others still do care and allow us to gain faith and hope in humanity and that it could one day possibly be a world free of hate and full of good. It is seen how people look at people who are different from them; people always seem to have a strange and judgmental look as they do so. But, because of this social experiment, I am sure that there is faith in humanity, and I am hopeful that there is good in its future.

 

Our second stop was at Case de Segunda, where we learned about the past history of the place. The place was named itself because of Segunda Solis Katigbak, who was widely known as the first love of national hero Jose Rizal. The Katigbak family was a very prolific family, where most of their wealth came from their major coffee business.

 

I really appreciated being in Casa de Segunda. The architectural features were astonishing in my opinion. The items and furniture were hundreds of years old but are still beautiful. The fact that it is still standing strong even after World War II makes it a historical place where people can reflect or talk.

The third stop in our immersion was the Purple Beetle Café, which was an art based cafe where customers could satisfy their needs. It wasn’t my first time being there though, so I was already used to the atmosphere. The idea of allowing customers to feel at home was great. We could play old childhood games or just relax on their quite convenient couch.

 

Not only were the foods a unique and delicious part of the cafe, the fun was amplified when we set our own open mic show. Most of our classmates participated in the gig, and for my performance, I recited one of my favorite and most memorable poems written by me. It was a poem I wrote in grade 10 for Poetry Night. I dedicated it to my amazing mother, who I wished could have been there.

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Photo Courtesy by Cem Alcance

Our last and final stop of the Lipa immersion was at San Sebastian Cathedral. In that time, I felt I had the opportunity to ask my classmates about their religion’s stories and signs. Upon entering, I was in awe of how large and beautifully-decorated the inside of the cathedral was. It is the largest cathedral I have witnessed in my life so far, despite not having visited too many in my lifetime.

 

While roaming around, I found many different sculptures and art pieces made in light of the religion, Christianity, which were fascinating to gaze upon. I also encountered a respected and observed system that I was not familiar with at all: a device in which one drops two pesos for the exchange of one candle. With that candle, one lights it, then recites a prayer. Shortly after experiencing the cathedral, we went back to the van and headed home.

In conclusion to the wonderful events that took place on the 19th of August,  the exhibition immersion was a total success. I was able to learn many different things while still having fun. I was able to experience the wonder of the history of Lipa City in Casa de Segunda, the exhilaration found in the bond of friends with music, poetry, and food in Purple Beetle Café, and the greatness and grandeur that was the San Sebastian Cathedral, which was an eye-opener to me and the religion Christianity. Not to forget, the social experiments that my classmates and I conducted provided a large amount of insight on who the people of Lipa City are and how they respond to the needs of others around them. The series of events that took place made sure to leave a royal mark of the wonders of Lipa City in each of our hearts, and I am definitely looking forward to the next adventures that summons me.

A King’s Road

               Skydiving without a parachute, that is what I have been experiencing for more than two at Stonyhurst Southville International School Malarayat. The worst part was that I couldn’t get a break. The end of the academic year of my previous school was the beginning of the academic year at SSIS. Thinking of not having a summer break was honestly one of the saddest things that a young teenage highschooler could think of. I was forced to live on with it. I had an absolute hatred for school at the time.

               Before SSIS, I studied in a school in Dubai, UAE, where the passing percentage of any subject was a kind fifty percent. Because I didn’t have to prove anything to pass the school years, the majority of my time-passing was composed of gaming and more gaming.

              As soon as I came to Philippines and found out that the passing grade was a sharp eighty percent at SSIS. I totally freaked out. I had to let go of the lifestyle I used to lead, the one where I just play games all day, to lead another that could solely focus on my education at school. I later learned that it was not so bad losing game time to gain time in learning new things for the benefit of myself.

               The first days of my life as a Stony King began in ninth grade. I was just a short, unknown foreigner kid who enrolled at the same school. When I first arrived to class, I was surprised to find how welcoming everyone was towards me. Everyone socialized like they were close friends.

              During the first hours of school, the teachers gave us a lot of games and activities. That led me to have the impression that this school was pretty fun. By the coming of the second week, however, assignments and quizzes piled up, and I began to think, “I thought this was going to be fun! I was fooled!”

              Even after I met my classmates and teachers, and still I felt like a strange man in a strange world. The culture here is completely different from that of the United Arab Emirates. I understand why that is. It is mostly because the schools in the United Arab Emirates had a strict rule of separating all the boy and girls into their own sections. Because of that, I hardly ever spoke with girls, and when I arrived to SSIS, speaking to a girl was equivalent to speaking to an alien. It took me quite some time to adjust myself to the system at Stonyhurst Southville.

         Currently, I am in the eleventh grade, with the class of Grade 11 Egypt, and with more knowledge about this school, its community, and more knowledge about who I am than I ever had before. I understand how the people here work and do things to get ahead in their lives; they plan, make a point, and work towards it until they are unable to do so. I also understand that there will always be people who are not true to themselves and change who they are to fit in with the rest of the society, for the gain of reputation and status despite the loss of self-identity.

               I did my duties. I walked the path of learning about us, humanity, and still I walk. I look forward to seeing more of what this school and its community has to offer me in the coming academic year, my very last one in high school. Until then, I will be able to pleasurably sleep at night knowing that I survived . I can better myself and become stronger even then. I can become king if I wanted to and still survive that responsibility. I thank Stony for that.

Home of the kings
Building.jpg The home that transformed me from a young knight, to a true king!