Of Condoms and the Filipino Youth

For the past few years, there has been a long-debated issue regarding sex education and its impact to young people. In a conservative Christian nation like the Philippines, majority of the people frown upon the idea of its inclusion to the curriculum. But it is business as usual as Department of Health (DOH) announced its plan to give out condoms in schools as part of its intervention amid the alarming rise of HIV and AIDS cases especially among 15 to 24 year olds. DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubail said condom distribution will start as soon as policy formulations are established with the Department of Education (DepEd). In response, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones asserted the need for a careful evaluation of the program before its implementation.

Scientifically and reality proven, condom is an effective tool in preventing the spread of HIV when used ‘consistently and correctly’. But the real concern is, should schools be involved with its ‘distribution’? One interesting fact to ponder, even DepEd reiterated the need for thorough discussions with DOH to settle whether such policy is proper to cover schools and learning institutions. Indeed, schools are venues for teaching-learning processes and sex education is one area that students must be aware of. But there are certainly more age-appropriate means to provide information such as lectures and symposiums, etc. To put it bluntly, those students who engaged in pre-marital sex have long known where to get condoms and making these readily available in schools is synonymous to saying that what they are doing is acceptable.

This now leads to another discussion of whether to support this policy or not. For while safe sex is one practical strategy to address the problem, are our teachers and school administrators ready to take the responsibility of handing out condoms to their students? More so, are our students prepared to handle the pressure amidst this whole issue? Because as news about condom-giving makes way to TV Patrol or 24 Oras or in any other media platform, curiosity will work in more ways than one and it all starts with the mind. Wonder what a condom is? Wonder what will I do with it? Wonder how sex feels like? Wonder, wonder, wonder. And without proper guidance, promiscuity and pre-marital sex might just be the outcome.

It is then important to deal with the root cause of HIV/AIDS cases among young people. And what causes it? Basically, pre-marital sex, unsafe pre-marital sex. In 2013, a survey done by the University of the Philippines Population Institute revealed that 1 out of 3 Filipino youths aged 15 to 24 had pre-marital sex. More disturbing than this is the statistic that “78% of those who had pre-marital sex for the first time in this age bracket did not use any protection”.

But there is a sure fire way to protect our young people from sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. And it is more effective than all latex or polyurethane condoms combined. The power of abstinence and keeping one’s purity are the best things our children can do to guard themselves — physically and emotionally. Schools, churches, and families must work hand-in-hand to uphold true Christian values and pour it out to the hearts of our Filipino youth.

The scripture says, Romans 16:19 “Be excellent of what is good, be innocent of evil”. In this context, it is a call for this young generation to devote their time to worthwhile and productive things — that they become so passionate about it that they don’t think about something corrupting, like pre-marital sex.

And when that happens, perhaps DOH might use P50 to P100 million on feeding programs in schools rather than purchasing condoms. (AJC)

J’ai rêvé d’un rêve triste

Des fois je me demande
Si les rêves deviennent réalité
Parce que s'ils le fon
Alors mon coeur sera brisé en morceaux

Parce que hier soir
Pendant que la lune régnait
Et chaque âme était dans un sommeil profond
Le mien était très éveille
Réveillé dans mes rêves

Dans mon rêve
Vous étiez avec quelqu'un d'autre
Et vous avez l'air si heureux
Et bien que je déteste l'admettre
Vous avez l'air bien ensemble

C'est le souhait de tout le monde
Que leurs rêves deviennent réalité
Et moi aussi
Et maintenant
Mon seul rêve
Est-ce que ce rêve ne se réalise pas

-AJC-
04/02/2017
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 

Jo and Clyde’s Biliran Wedding

 

“Every once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life , love gives us a fairy tale…” 

Stories of love always fascinate me. From start to finish, I would diligently watch a movie, read a book and listen to a friend’s lovelife drama with all eyes, ears and heart. (Char!)

Childhood years have given me so much faith in love. There were my uncles, aunts, relatives, and yes, my dear parents who showed me that despite imperfections of two conflicting beings, love prevails and ‘they live happily ever after’ does not only happen in fairy tales.

And perhaps I can give the accolade to  Ate Josephine – a petite, soft-spoken, talented, lovely teenager who would patiently tell stories to a pack  of naughty, pesky, demanding grade school cousins.

“Te, storya na pud te!,” we would gather around her and off she starts with her romantic, love tales derived from books, movies and most of the time she made stories with  her  audience as the characters.

Now fast forward 15 years, our Ate Jo is to share with us her own story of patient, true love. It’s like memories flashed back to the day when she was telling us the movie “Ever After” (starring Drew Barrymoore) and now it’s 2016 and she’s off to to live  her ever after with the man of her dreams.

So that fateful day came – June 25, 2016 at the lovely, scenic town in Naval, Biliran wherein families were gathered to witness this momentous affair.

 And now, as  I show you the photos, ladies and gentlemen, you are welcome to swoon with me and together let’s say “May Forever!”

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The serene, cozy resort – Marvin’s Seaside Inn, Biliran, Leyte. We stayed here the night before the wedding, during the beautification rites (hehe) and the reception.
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The wedding gown resembles the bride’s taste in simplicity, class and elegance. Yes, we know right, Ate Jo is  the woman!
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Photo Courtesy: Dwight Anthony Tan Inchoco
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She looks so beautiful in white! Photo Courtesy: Dwight Anthony Tan Inchoco

 

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Photo courtesy: Dwight Anthony Tan Inchoco

 

Precious photos of families and friends.

 

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Sealed with a kiss! Photo Courtesy: Dwight Anthony Tan Inchoco

 

Back at Marvin’s Seaside Inn for the reception.

Today, 25th of June 2016 will always be a special  day for we have witnessed a union of two souls  who have patiently waited until they found the love they’ve been yearning for.

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To Ate Jo who is now Mrs. Gorme and to Kuya Clyde who has won her heart – all the best!

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Watch a video tribute I’ve made Jo and Clyde Wedding for a dose of kilig! Also, all professional photographs you have seen in this post are from Dwight Anthony Tan Inchoco of D & N Production. Thank you for viewing and let’s all spread love, love and nothing but love!

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Hugs and kisses from your all-time hopeless romantic…

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MCD campus journ mentors join RTOT ’16

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ” – Alvin Toffler

Learn. Unlearn. Relearn. These words from Alvin Toffler play a huge role for 21st century education. The curriculum, teaching methodologies and assessment have undergone a major ‘face lift’ over the years. Change has come especially for teachers. Gone are the days where educators are stuck in a four-walled classroom giving lectures and tests. Today’s molders of future leaders have side-line duties as accountants ( MOOE liquidation, anyone?), computer operators ( hello ICT coordinators!) and researchers( salute to our Master Teachers!), to name a few.

But there is one role of teachers which  them to inspire young minds to be an active part of society and that is being campus journalists. Campus Journalism is stipulated in R.A. 7079 “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION OF CAMPUS JOURNALISM AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” which moves the government to develop budding writers, and points the Department of Education  to manage  competitions, press conferences and training seminars for student writers and for teacher coaches/mentors.

Speaking of training, DepEd Region 8 hosted a Regional Enhancement Training for Division Mentors on Campus Journalism last June 4-7, 2016 for Elementary School Paper advisers and June 7-9, 2016 for Secondary Batch. This training envisions to upgrade the teachers’ journalistic skills so as to cascade their learning to their respective school divisions and more importantly, to their young journalists.

Enough of lengthy introductions…hehe. Let’s get it on!

Morning of June 4, 2016 we traveled to Tacloban City and were accommodated at Villa Lolita Apartelle. Each room has its own entertainment set, dining and kitchen area, bathrooms and ….a fridge! We just love this place! Check these photos out…

 

The training was held at Leyte National High School, Tacloban City participated by  school paper advisers, division mentors/coaches and journalism coordinators  in the region. Different journalistic categories were tackled with corresponding write shops to practice skills.

This year’s training was significant with the presence of Dr. Gerry Alkuino, a multi-awarded teacher-journalist who authors various journalism books.

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Grab the opportunity! haha We asked Dr. Alkuino if we could take a photo with him and he gladly accepted our request. Thank you Sir!
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Give me a sign! hehe Dr. Alkuino was kind enough to sign his book which I’ve bought  less than a year ago. He wrote, “Keep your star shining!” Thanks Sir!

First day of training also means first chance of ‘gala’. The ‘Lagalag’ team Ma’am Libeth, Sir Raymond, Sir Carmel and myself went  window shopping at Robinsons Tacloban.

 

And the training continued…

Break-away sessions were established wherein participants underwent workshops together with the expert regional trainers. This is where much of learning, unlearning and relearning took place.

 

After a mind-wrecking write/workshop, Maasin City Division campus journalism mentors garnered some best outputs in News Writing, Copy reading and Headline Writing, Editorial Writing, Editorial Cartooning, Feature Writing, Radio Broadcasting, among others.

 

But above all, what’s best in affairs such as this is being able to brush elbows and bond with co-educators. Learning valuable insights from campus journalism experts is also a plus factor. It’s such a sight to behold and a wondrous moment to remember.

 

June 7, 2016. The four-day workshop has come to an end but in reality, the training would never cease as we continue to transfer what we have learned to our respective divisions, schools, co-mentors and pupil-writers. We are your Maasin City Division mentors, and we will work together to develop social awareness among young citizens through campus journalism. So help us God! 🙂

 

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Ooops, not so fast! View this video Regional Enhancement Training for Division Mentors on Campus Journalism to see what we were up to during this event. Thanks for dropping by and see you in my next post! 🙂

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ANDAmazing Family Day!

“Oh how good it is when brethren dwells together in unity…” Psalms 133:1

May 7, 2016 – Jesus Lord of All Fellowship (Assemblies of God) brethren of Poblacion, Candijay, Bohol had its family day at one of the most sought-after beach destination in the province – Anda! With its 16 barangays, Anda offers long, white sand beaches which is just the right place to spend time to unwind and forget the daily hassle of life.

But for us JLOAns, the relaxation part is merely the icing on the cake, since the main reason for having this affair is to fellowship with our brothers and sisters and to worship God in His nearness through being one with nature (naks!). Hehe.

So without much further ado, let me take you to East Coast 2, Anda, Bohol, Philippines!

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From Candijay, we traveled to Anda and reached East Coast 2. This banner welcomed us as we entered the premises of the resort. Big thanks to Bro Eric Piquero for bringing us here.

While waiting for others to arrive, we had the time for  ourselves to prepare and relax a bit after an almost 30-40 minute drive. And our way of resting is through baby sitting. Check out who is the best baby sitter in town! You be the judge! haha

 

But of course we can’t beat Sis Wilma who owns this sweet doll Charice ^.^

 

Soon enough we started the event through  a praise and worship as well as sharing  God’s word. (First things first, right?) In moments such as this, it is but worthy to be grateful to Him for creating a wonderful world for us to wander and enjoy.

 

‘Chowtime’ (yes, our all-time favorite) came and followed by ‘Showtime’ where series of games were played – where we discovered hidden talents of acting, creativity, alertness and not to mention a plausible “climbing” talent exhibited by Sis Odessa. Ever experienced laughing ’til you cried? Whoooaaa! We had loads of those hearty laughs during this segment. Hahaha (can’t help grinning as I was typing this paragraph) =)

 

And now (drumrolls…)  brace yourselves for  B E A C H T I ME!!! (Showing you few pics though, for I enjoyed so much that I forgot my photographer self. I will try to update this post if I can gather pics from others.)

 

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But wait, there’s more to this resort than it’s clear blue waters. Adventure lurks from deep and  down below… Yes ladies and gents, there’s a cave within this ‘beachy’ paradise! Won’t you believe me? Let me show you…

 Did I forget to mention that there’s actually a fresh, almost river-like body of water inside this mysterious abode? Some even took a bath inside and I guarantee the water  smells nothing short of a perfume. And the rocks? Well, they rock! Hehe…

On a sad note, this blog must come to an end without a video presentation as compared to the previous ones (I was too “in the moment” and was a really busy bee running errands haha). But I smile at the thought that I can always come again to this paradise and when that time comes, I’ll film it – that’s a promise!)

So what can I say? It was absolutely a fantastic day! A toast to more times like this where we can celebrate our oneness as a Christian family. And thank you East Coast 2, you are ANDAmazing, just the way you are!

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Trekking at Kantoligsok Hills

Whoever said summer is just meant for the beach is absolutely wrong. In a country which stores a hogde-podge of travel destinations, one can never limit his/ her trips to water  adventures alone. But a hot weather calls for a cool place to plunge in, you might contest.

Well, wait ’til I  take you to this out-of-the-box yet equally cool trip I ventured together with  a bunch of friends. You simply have to locate Mahangin, Candijay, Bohol, Philippines to get here.  Just so you know, once in  a while we can be  discoverers of  new sights for others to behold!

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Jump starting our trekking adventure at about 6:00 am, we had the luxury of time to goof around for a photo-op. Smile, trekkers!
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Oftentimes in our daily grind, we can no longer witness how the sun wakes from its slumber. So in this hiking trip, we just stood for a moment to capture this beautiful sunrise. Indeed, what an amazing God we have!
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The path that leads to Kantoligsok hills can be tricky at some point but it’s absolutely ‘yakang-yaka’ just like Josephine who managed to capture a groufie. hehehe
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Resting for awhile to catch our breath because this 30-minute hike is not something we do everyday.  For health enthusiasts, this is a great way to burn those calories.

Now I am at loss for words to describe the amazing view once you get from the hilltop, so I will just let the photos do the talking…

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Inspired by the beauty of God’s creation, we proceeded with our photo shoot. hehehe

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And after an arduous journey, the real ‘hunger games’ begin. hehehe.

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Feasting on our “pandesal” from Guindulman, Bohol.

Showing you more photos…excusez-moi for we’re just some sort of frustrated models. hehehe ^.^

 

And finally, closing the trekking adventure with a group pic.

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Indeed, there are a million ways to celebrate summer and this trekking adventure at Kantoligsok Hills was a simple yet breathtaking (literally, haha) experience we will never forget.

So click on this link Trekking at Kantoligsok Hills to see the video. Enjoy!

Bohol Adventure – a sweet travelscapade!

Here in the Philippines, as soon as the first day of April comes, every person imagines to be somewhere, somehow, with something great to do at the entrance of summer season. Who wouldn’t be excited about summer when our country boasts picturesque places, virgin islands, white sand beaches and amazing people?

In the Visayas area, there is one special place every Pinoy knows. A place where magnificent tourist attractions are in store for all to enjoy and experience. This place has captured the hearts of both local and international traveling souls. Where is this? Well, no time to guess – the title of this post tells it all.

So yes, Bohol is that warm place I am talking about. Surely, a perfect get-away for summer and holidays. In this post, I will share to you our family’s escape to a paradise – Panglao and Balicasag Island…

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From Tagbilaran City, we ventured a 30-minute  drive to  Alona beach in Panglao. Motor boats are practically abundant in the shore waiting for tourists for island hopping adventures. The resort boasts a white sand beach and clear waters.
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Tres Marias? Nope, the one in the leftmost is our momma. Posing for a photo-op in Alona beach. We wore rash guards to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. hehe. Really, the sun can get so super hot during summer season.
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Riding a motor boat, we are now approaching Balicasag Island. Ohhhh.. that clear water!
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Can’t help but take a quick shot of this happy family! Enjoy folks!
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One of the best part – lunch time! There are food kiosks in Balicasag. You can bring your own food and just rent a space or table. But then again, you can’t control yourself to order sea foods available on their menu.
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It’s time to find Nemo. hehe. To snorkeling off we go! You need to rent snorkeling devices and have an underwater camera ready.
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At last! We found them! hahaha.
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Whoooooaaaa! Amazing feeling! I have conquered the deep blue oceans of the world.
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Another island worth your time, talent and treasure! This is a must-visit, Virgin Island!
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And of course, a requisite family jump shot here in the Virgin island sand bar!
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Sister act! Such a great backdrop, just perfect!

More photos…featuring some underwater shenanigans..hehe

And more.. hehe..

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But sad to say, all good things come to an end. So we sailed back to Alona beach. But surely this is not goodbye…

And to wrap this blog up, here is a little memento. Bear with my amateur video-editing (hehehe). Panglao and Balicasag Island Adventure, give that a click for the video! All in all, I highly recommend this journey to all wanderers! Book that trip now!