Sunday, June 15, 2008

Usapang Tatay

Yes, this post is primarily dedicated to all fathers in the world. Unsurprisingly enough, the word father would go beyond as a reference to a man who has biologically sired an offspring, for at one point or another in our lives, we meet people who act like real fathers to us. To all of you, HAPPY FATHERS' DAY!

And for the occasion, allow me to talk about my fathers. :)


HEAVENLY FATHER After several attempts, I had finally attended a Christian service at the Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF) U-Belt. Thanks to chummie Marga for the invitation! It has been four long years since I have attended one, because of my preoccupation in school. I think it is about time to renew my relationship with my Creator (if the word renew is even valid).
I instantly embraced the atmosphere & was happy to see young people who comprised the biggest portion of the crowd. Not to mention, the pastor had been very didactic & effective. I was a bit emotional though as I listen to his words. It was VCF's Fathers' Day Special. I just have one realization: I have been too busy to enrich my spiritual life. I am thankful to the fabled FEU Chapel still for the open arms whenever I feel the need to have solemn moments with my God.


MY FATHERS IN SCHOOL In FEU, I have two people I reckon fathers. One is Prof. Jose V. Faustino, Tatay Jo, & the other one is Michael Alexander Pamular, dad mike. Allow me to talk about them separately.

Tatay Jo (Prof. Jose V. Faustino) is the current coordinator of the Bisig Tamaraw, the community service arm of the Far Eastern University. He was actually my first professor in college, being my Economics with Taxation mentor. As three-time officer of the FEU Tamaraw Volunteers, I apparently had close encounters with Tatay Jo as he at the same time serves as the senior adviser of the organization.

Tatay Jo & I during FEU's 80th Commencement Exercises

As my tatay, he was able to teach me significant lessons. As a student journalist himself during his college days, he would remind me to adhere to journalism tenets which I sometimes tend to disregard, either consciously or unconsciously. He would tell me to focus on making sustainable community service projects & remind me how important task distribution is esp. in times when he see me doing multi-tasking with no one beside me. With no question, he has been a perfect father figure to me: a friend, a confidante, and a mentor.

My second tatay is a tatay to many, for he had served as the President of the FEU Central Student Organization in 2006-2007. I first worked with Michael Alexander Pamular, Daddy Mike, in the FEU English Language Circle, the academic organization for AB English Language students at FEU.

Joma, Marga, Ira, Dad Myk, & I during the 32nd YMCA National Congress for College Students in Baguio
Having worked with him in the earlier years of my being a student leader, his influence to me is in terms of leadership style. During our term in ELC, we pioneered the Grammar Fest, English across Barriers & Speak English Campaign. As a person, he is thoughtful & loving. :)

I AS TATAY It is surprising how one can be a father even at the age of 20. I was a tatay to my organizations: FEU Tamaraw Volunteers, FEU English Language Circle, FEU Altruist, & FEU Paragon; a role which helped me grow as a person. I was a tatay to the ponkans and happy to have sired: Alex, KG, Will, RM, & Nerrie. Ang sarap pala maging tatay. :)


This post could not be ended without me talking about my real tatay. Papa was a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. You think he's scary? Well, he definitely is. In fact, I credit him for me being so disciplined, sometimes to the extent of wanting to please every people I meet. Everybody. That was the setback. Want to know if I love him? I will now. :) It's funny how a preacher's talk, who do not know anything about your life, could go straight to your heart.
He is not a perfect father: he smokes, he drinks, he even womanized. Want to tell me you can relate? Well, every situation is an isolated case. I used to hate him like nobody in this world. He would cause mom heartaches and headaches. They would yell even during the unholy hours. He would observe every minute action we would do. And I loathed him for that.
But as a grown up, I have learned to understand things in a clearer view. Now I am ready to start our relationship anew, for at the end of the day, he is partially to blame why a JOHN PAUL UMINGA exists. Thanks to the VCF Pastor for reminding me that by honoring our father in Earth, we honor GOD.

Again, HAPPY FATHERS' DAY to ALL! (for at one point or another we act as fathers to our friends, to our loved ones, to our community) =)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

TOSP NCR 2008 Slideshow

THE SLIDESHOW Photos taken during the Ten Oustanding Students of the Philippines National Capital Region Formation, Interview & Awarding Ceremonies (Photo Courtesy: Maj Dizon, Rafael Calinisan, Mau Paz)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bidbook, Done! (Finally)

I have finally submitted my bidbook for the national search of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines 2008 yesterday. I owe 'thanks' to people who helped me accomplished the task which took me almost one week: Alex, Darwin, RJ, & Marga for helping me in attaching the remaining photos the night before the "deadliest" deadline (quoting Kuya Prim, TOSP Secretariat).


BUSY TUESDAY. I slept at 400am and had to wake up by 800am. After preparing my breakfast, I resumed completing the final touches for my bidbook which, at that time, was yet to be bound and duplicated. After arranging the files & putting pages in the Achievement Profile section & supporting docs, I faced the computer to edit remaining three documents for printing. Feeling the need to release the pent-up panic, I had to text Kuya Prim of TOSP Secretariat to tell him Maj & I would be a bit late, for deadline was set at lunch. Alas, at 11am I left the flat! Deadline was extended.

I had to fly to Nicanor Reyes to have the original copy duplicated. Good thing I have a natural talent to mentally list tasks in order for me to save every single minute. While my papers were being photocopied, I rushed to print the remaining files & grabbed green special paper in MW. (of course, I paid *grins*). In less than an hour, I was already negotiating with the manong who would be bookbinding my college life. Yes, at the few moments I chanced browing my profile sheets, I actually have thought that I was looking back at the past four years of my life: the time spent in the University. With tears 'yan! As ever I was nostalgic. Badly I have been missing school.

The bookbinding cost me Php300 and since I would have to wait for an hour, I chose to stay at the Guidance Office. I had brief moments with Nicolai Custodio, who was actually the first ever champion of the English Language Circle (one of orgs) - sponsored Grammar Fest, with KD, one of the guidance counselors who is close to my heart, & Arcille, now a Student Council officer.

At 100pm, I was able to get the two heavy bidbooks which forced me to return the Labor Code book I just borrowed from KD. Upon knowing that Dr. Marcon, our student leadership coordinator, was not present, I proceeded to Boni McDonalds where I would be meeting Maji. I had my fast lunch before we hurried to RFM. Finally, they have it! =)

Maj & I decided to have our dinner in KFC Trinoma. That was such a day! Results will be out on Monday (*fingers crossed*). As we have always thought, this is no longer about us or our school, it's about the region. Pray for the best! :)

THE SLIDESHOW Photos taken during the Ten Oustanding Students of the Philippines National Capital Region Formation, Interview & Awarding Ceremonies (Photo Courtesy: Maj Dizon, Rafael Calinisan, Mau Paz)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

060808 Hodgy-Podgy

I barely have two (2) days for me to accomplish everything concerning with my bid book for the national selection of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines. Feeling the need to improve my BB, the old 24-page is turned to 41 leaves, plus a super improved supporting documentation files. Hehe. I have already shelled out nearly Php1, 000.00 printing photos, which is hoped to be reimbursed as soon as OSACS get back to office after the student leaders' training in Baguio & the upcoming holiday.

I received an invitation from Baliuag University to be their guest speaker for a Galing Pilipino Kapihan this coming June 12. I was informed that my topic would be: GP Kabataan para sa Kalayaan, which I am yet to ponder on because of my pressing TOSP deadline. I haven't confirmed or said no to Luianne at the moment. While I have gotten used to speaking in the public, this, if ever, would be the first time that I will speak as a guest speaker in an event whose crowd are non-Tamaraws. It's really going to be 'me going out of my comfort zone' & the idea excites me.

Hours are counted and a new academic year shall be starting. I am happy about how my fave organization is performing even before the year starts. Well, trademark na talaga yan ng TAMVOL. Walang baka-bakasyon :) I haven't done preparing the materials which I shall be using for a heart-to-heart talk with Argi, my predecessor. I just couldn't allow me being pathetic and complacent about how TAMVOL will become without at least words of advice, to be taken not from a former President, but to a TAMVOL member who has been in the organization for more than three years. I always believe that EVALUATED EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER, and at this point, I would like the new breed of servant leaders to be connected in the past while maintaining the fresh outlook for the future.

Needless to say, I am yet to jumpstart my career. It's June already, and I am itching to thread a new path...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Got my bronze alumni card!

I finally have my FEU Alumni Card just yesterday. It was a bonze card just suit for a fresh graduate. It did not take me more than an hour to process everything. I even chanced talking with Sir Rafael, a staff in the Alumni Affairs Office, and was immediately informed how the office works. Inquisitive as I am, I asked about the programs of the Office (the Office is different from the Foundation) & was impressed about how Mr. Marlo Valencia, the current head, worked. I was deeply saddened though giving no clear answer as to whether or not there is an existing Alumni Foundation for the Institute of Arts & Sciences, which I can more or less understand since ours can be considered a melting pot of fields: arts & sciences combined.

Certified Tamaraw: My Bronze Card
For the benefit of those who are yet to acquire their card, these are the easy steps to follow
1. Go to the FEU Affairs Office (AAO) located at the FEU Administration Building 2/F & request for an endorsement letter, which you shall be presenting in the Cashier's Office

2. Proceed immediately to any "paying points" in the University, and pay the price of the card of your desire: bronze discounted (Php250 for two years), silver (Php1,000 for two years) & gold (Php5,000 lifetime)

3. Upon paying, return to AAO. This time, you will be asked to sign a form, for alumni tracking/ database purposes. After signing, you will be given a blank card where your card shall be printed.

4. It is time to proceed to the ID Section located in the alleyway connecting Nicanor Reyes Hall (NRH) & the Science Building (SB), where you will have your photo taken and undergo the same process applied when applying for the Student ID.
5. After ten minutes or so, you are now a FULL-FLEDGED TAMARAW!

While we cannot swipe the card in the FEU electronic portal, we can visit the campus anytime without the hassle of lining up for the visitors' ID. Free access to our library is also granted aside from establishment discounts which I am yet to inquire about. So there! Get your card na, fellow Tamaraws! :][:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Si Jap at ang Assumptionistang Cowboy :)

These days, it is becoming normal for me to sleep in the wee hours of the day. You see, it is already past 2 in the morning and I am still key-ing words in this blog which I renamed yesterday (was it yesterday?). Embracing the pillows at 3 or 4 is something that I am getting accustomed to since last week. While this may not cause major issue on my part, I couldn't help but wish that I could get back to what people consider normal daily routine (that people should have rest in the evening, be active and occupied in the morning; define 'normalcy'). How I wish.


I met with TOSP NCR batchmate, Maj Dizon at 300pm. I spent at least 30 minutes playing hide-and-seek with her for I wasn't able to find her immediately. At least now, I developed a panoramic view of the MRT Recto North. Sometimes, we just really have to be positive about things by choosing better, if not the best, perspectives.

I had fun in her company. She's not everybody's stereotyped Assumptionista. Very cowboy! I (pseudo)-toured her in the FEU campus and spent the rest of the day working for our nationals bid books & talking about what we do in life. Maj, a BS Industrial Psychology graduate, was the outgoing President of the Assumption Student Council & has a very inspiring civic involvement. (talk about national concerns: Jun Lozada, ZTE Broadband Deal, Sumilao Farmers, etc.). Such an empowered young woman! =)

Maj & I during the TOSP NCR Formation Program
The short moments that we had together are enough reasons for me to allow her to call me Japi, instead of John, which is far too impersonal & (oh well) distant. :) Aside from being a look-alike of Ms. Gang Badoy of RockEd Philippines, she also resembles one of the more popular cartoon character, Dora the Explorer:

For now, allow me to bid goodbye in Spanish: ya medespido! Til my next post!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Outstanding Pinoy Youth!

For some reasons, it took me three days before I could finally write something about TOSP NCR. Last Saturday, the thirteen finalists of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines National Capital Region were face to face with some of the country's top exeutives. Everybody had said his lines, and the question of who would be representing NCR in the National Search was already answered. It was no denying however that the results, solely based on the interview, were rather subjective. To my TOSP NCR 2008 family, we very well know that being one of the thirteen is already a feat to consider. With this, accept my warmest CONGRATULATIONS! :)

Together with me in NCR's MAGIC 7 are:

1. Clark Cue (Ateneo)

2. TJ Yusun (Ateneo)

3. Maj Dizon (Assumption)

4. Richardson Navor (UE-C)

5. Rafael Calinisin (Ateneo)

6. Benjo Delarmente (UP-M)

BID BOOK UPDATE: Kuya Prim of TOSP Alumni Community is insistent on reminding us of the deadline. I was supposed to meet with Maj today but had to cancel it so I can edit my profile sheets. I am also done collecting the photos which I shall be including as supporting documents. Dr. Marcon told me he'll be sponsoring the printing. :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

I can still swipe my I.D.!

I met with Dr. Marcon this afternoon to discuss with him things he needs to know concerning TOSP National. I had my 'bid book' back the night we were awarded and we were ordered to improve on it, as the selection for the top thirty is expectedly tougher. Gladly as ever, I was offered with the necessary help. I will be coming back tomorrow to have the photos [supporting docs] printed. But before that, I will still have to meet with Maj [TOSPNCR batchmate] to get my other bid book & probably have coffee talk before I head back to school.
I was surprised that I could still swipe my I.D. and be given a pass using the electronic portal at the FEU gates. Classes are upcoming so I also took the opportunity to inquire about the FEU Alumni Card. I know my e-access will soon be unavailable that was why I was a bit insistent about having my alum card very soon. I shelled out 250 bucks for the bronze version, the cheapest available.
Just a moment ago, I was exchanging SMS with one of my dearest friends. We were talking about second chances & forgiveness. But I guess, I am really not ready for it (at the moment?). Many a times would I contemplate, but still, what happened pierced me that I just want to forget. Sensitivity begets sensitivity. I didn't deserve what I bargained for. Now, just allow me to express myself.
To end this hodge-podge on the positive note, allow me to congratulate my housemate, RJ as his first day of work is today! Pasta! Pasta! What else? Will & Alex are officially residing in the *ponkan house*. I will be having my dinner with Keiji tomorrow. Kid made it to the top 20 [?] of the Pinoy Idol. Finally, I will be having my tarp at FEU anytime now. =) Enough reasons to be happy? Yes, at least, for now.