Sunday, March 24, 2019

2019 TEDxYouth@SJCS

TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring people across different backgrounds together for idea-sharing and development. From those who seek interest in new insights to those who build upon existing knowledge to develop newer ones, TED brings everyone together in the spirit of sparking great conversation.

Likewise, SJCS upholds a commitment to excellence and service, as well as promotes qualities such as acceptance and international-mindedness, which are among the main values advocated by the IBDP. To tie in the ideals of both TED and SJCS, we, the organizers, have chosen the theme, “Uncensored: Perspectives Worth Challenging ” for the event. With this theme, we would like to bring forth new perspectives on the untouched topics, such as divorce and LGBT-Q, to our institution so to spread awareness on modern issues to the SJCS community. This activity was held last February 6, 2019, at the Father Peter Yang Hall.

The topics, main points, and speakers, of this talk, are as follows:
1. Jeepney Journey: Richard Juan
- Debunk what it truly means to be a Filipino even if you have foreign blood.
2. Reification by Justice Marivic Leonen
- What it truly means to have freedom of speech, its implications, and responsibilities. 
3. Revisit, Not Revise by Maria Christina Bawagan
- Uncensoring the prevailing issue of historical revisionism through media censorship in the Philippines setting.
4. Shedding Light on the Dark Web by Carlos Tingson
- How unsafe people are really on the web?
5. Captcha: I am Not a Robot by Regiena Siy
- The struggles of youths nowadays in trying to fit into the educational system of schools.

Set-up of the Stage.

This event's energetic hosts are no other than Mr. Ian Pangilinan and Ms. Shania Felizarte

The opening prayer was lead by my co-steering head Ms. Sharisse Chan

The opening remarks were lead by Saint Jude's school principal Mr. Paulino Belamide, SVD

Speaker 1: Mr. Richard Juan

Speaker 2: Mr. Leonen

Speaker 3: Mr. Tingson

Speaker 4: Regiena Siy

Speaker 5: Mam Bawagan

After all of the heavy discussions brought by the speakers, the crowd was serenaded by SUD

Closing remarks by this event's overall coordinator Ms. Khryza Co

Group Photo (spot me)

***For my IB CAS Requirements:
My role in this event is to serve as a deputy for the steering committee. I will take part in the steering committee who will spearhead all the whole activity. The steering committee is in charge of contacting all speakers and ensuring that the event runs smoothly. Additionally, the steering committee was divided into different sub-committees for us to be able to overlook the other committees. I was tasked to be a representative in the media committee.

When Mr. Villas gave the news to me that I am one of the chosen heads for this year's TEDx event, truth be told, I am really hesitant to accept the position because I know that since this is my last year as an IB student, the academic workload will really be hectic. Furthermore, there are a lot of college applications that I must accomplish and pass alongside this academic workload. I have this attitude wherein if I am the leader of something, I really want to make sure that everything will fit the standards of "Sobina." I don't want to create an event just for the sake of creating one. However, among all of my classmates, I was selected to be the leader, which is why I agreed to take on the position. Thankfully, through my perseverance, dedication, hard work, and balancing skills, I was able to manage my time carefully to balance all of the things I must do this year. I must say that achieving this is not easy. Often times, sleep must be sacrificed to pave way for group planning or to get that 7 in a test. However, since I have my priorities straight, I didn't bother these hardships, and I persevered (balance, LO2, and LO4).

This event was spearheaded by me and with some of my classmates. In order to make this event as successful as possible, we planned and constantly update each other about our progress and the things that need attention. We were able to achieve this by being a communicator. Furthermore, our attitude of working collaboratively with one another allowed for the success of this event (communicator and LO3, and LO5).

I might be mistaken, but I believe that the primary reason why the teachers chose me to be one of the heads is because of my experience in planning events and my ideas. Even so, these strengths of mine are not enough to prevent me from encountering difficulties. Hence, I was able to develop new skills such as time management, grace under pressure, and being calm (LO1).

The topics we presented in this year's TEDx talks are taboo topics which society normally doesn't feel comfortable to talk about. These issues are not only specific to the Philippines but to the rest of the world also. Therefore, by choosing to create a talk which encourages critical thinking and empathy all over the world, we are able to show global significance, and in the process, our knowledge about these issues increased (LO6 and knowledgeable).

I hope that this won't be the last TEDx event that I will organize. More so, I hope that the participants learned a lot about the taboo topics we presented, and in the process, learned how to be more accepting, not just tolerating. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

2019 AstroKNOWmy: An Astronomy Quiz Bee

The Judenite’s Astronomical Organization (JAO), which is the first and official astronomical community in Saint Jude Catholic School, has a primary aim of promoting the education, understanding, awareness, and interest involving astronomy among the Filipino youths through various hands-on activities designed to pique their curiosity. In line with our desire to promote astronomy to the Filipino community, the JAO will be organizing a quiz bee entitled “AstroKNOWmy: An Astronomy Quiz Show” at Saint Jude Catholic School on January 24, 2019, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

The nature of the questions of this competition delves more on analytical and computational skills. Hence, the usual competition questions of identification are avoided in this quiz bee because the organizers (yours truly) believes that a true measure of gauging the knowledge of its participants is through knowing the concept more than the terms.  Overall, there are ten categories in this quiz bee namely: Sky, History of Astronomy, Solar System, Astronomy News, Cosmology, Stars, Galaxies, Astrophysics, Theory of Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics.

The program started at around 8:30 AM. The participants were briefed first about the contest mechanics. Furthermore, warm welcomes were given to the participants from Father Emil Lim, Saint Jude's school director. The elimination round started at around 9:30 AM. The final round started at around 1:30 PM due to difficulty in checking the papers. The program closed at around 3:00 PM with a closing remark from Father Paulino Belamide, the school principal of Saint Jude.

Overall, there are 11 schools who have participated namely:
1. Philippine Science High School - Central Mindanao Campus
2. Sta. Lucia High School
3. Unida Christian Colleges
4. Bestlink Colleges of the Philippines
5. Informatics College Caloocan
6. Saint Peter the Apostle School
7. Far Eastern University High School
8. Chiang Kai Shek College
9. Ateneo de Manila Senior High School
10. Philippine Science High School - Main Campus
11. Informatics International Colleges - Cainta Campus 

The top ten finalists are the following:
The winners are:
1. Champion: Philippine Science High School - Main Campus Team C
2. First runner-up: Philippine Science High School - Main Campus Team B
3. Second runner-up: Ateneo de Manila High School Team A

Other pictures from the event:
Registration table. JAO members Curt Bernardo and Diane Tan manning the registration table at the event.
Participants waiting for the program to begin.
JAO members Linnel Sytat and Geanine Balolong playing music for the participants.
Diane Tan leading the prayer for this event
Father Lim's opening remarks. 
Janina Uygongco and Jeremy Ace Ng serve as the host for this event
Participants listening to the contest mechanics. 
Participants going down to the science laboratories for the elimination round
Curt Bernardo guarding the participants for the elimination round
A participant taking the elimination round
From president to liquid eraser carrier real quick.
Checking of elimination round papers
3D printed medals and trophies for this event
Group photo

The goal of this competition is to spread the importance and awareness of people in the field of astronomy and physics. I, together with the organizers, are confident that we are able to achieve this goal because, after the competition, the participants and the coaches are approaching us to ask more about physics and astronomy. Ad Astra per Aspera!

***This is for my IB CAS Requirements
My primary role for this competition is to serve as the overall coordinator for all of the committees of this competition. Because of this, there is a need for me to constantly hold meetings to ensure that everyone is doing their tasks and to make sure that all the details are perfect and running smoothly (communicator and LO5). Not only did my task end here. Aside from the fact that I have to draft the invitational letters and contest mechanics to the different schools, I am also assigned to construct all of the questions for this quiz bee and to verify its accuracy. My integrity is greatly challenged in doing this. Honestly, some of the participants in the quiz bee are my personal friend and I know that they studied hard because I know they want to win this competition. If I am not principled, I would've leaked the questions to them, but since I am principled, I didn't and I am proud of it (principled).

I honestly thought at first that organizing this competition will be easy since I have prior background experiences already when it comes to organizing competition. Little did I know that this undeniably would be the hardest event that I organized. I am confident that since I was able to send the invitational letter to different schools a month prior, a lot of schools would immediately sign up (late November 2018). However, come December 2018, and only one school signed up for the competition and my club moderator and I are really panicking already. There are a lot of questions that ran in my head like, "What if schools weren't able to receive my letters?" to "Are my organizing skills are horrible?" to "Oh I must have done something to receive such little participants." Honestly, the only thing that is keeping me from scraping this competition altogether is my integrity. I am afraid that I will lose my professionalism in my field if I would just announce that I would organize something this day and the following day I would just take my words back. Because of this, since I know that there is no turning back already, I took the risk of not scrapping this competition and I worked hard to get participants. I would constantly resend and resend letters to ensure that schools would be able to receive my letter. Because of this, we invited a total of more than 100 schools. Not only did my problems end here. Since I want the contest questions to be more analytical than identification, and the questions that I am asking are not the usual ones, I have to research a lot. Because of this, I developed more knowledge in the field of astronomy and physics. This is honestly hard to do since I have tons of IA to write. I wished I have nothing to do, but no. IB is so real this year 2. Because of my perseverance and dedication, I was able to overcome these two problems and a lot more problems which arose in this event (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, knowledgeable, and risk-taker)

Even though I encountered a lot of problems in organizing this event, altogether, I am very happy that I pushed through this despite all of the hardships that I encountered. I can honestly say that after this event, my stress management skills are better. Furthermore, my bad attitude of having a panic attack easily was improved since during the competition, despite some problems surfacing, I was able to remain calm. Last but not the least, the very goal why I organized this event is to spread the importance and awareness of astronomy and physics to the Filipino community. I am very happy that I was able to achieve this.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Mind Museum Field Trip

The Judenite’s Astronomical Organization (JAO), which is the first and the official astronomical community in the Saint Jude Catholic School has a primary aim of promoting the education, understanding, awareness, and interest involving astronomy among Judenites, by providing various hands-on activities, designed to pique the curiosity among its members regarding astronomy. Due to our desire to promote astronomy more to the community of Saint Jude Catholic School, the JAO organized a field trip at the Mind Museum on November 29, 2018, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Mr. Russel Odi, the club moderator, is the teacher facilitator for this event.

JAO left the Malacanang grounds at exactly 7 am and arrived at the Mind Museum at 9 am.

Science Exhibits at the Mind Museum
The Sky at the Astronomy Section of Mind Museum
For My Love for Fashion
Science Interactive Inside the Museum
Food is Life, but Plants is Lifer (I Know my Grammar)
Since I'm 18 Now
I Saw Barney in the Museum!!!
Largest Seed in the World (Bigger than my Brain)
These Rovers are on Mars Now While You're Reading this

Group Photo

IB Fam

It's so Tiring to Wait

***This is for my IB CAS Requirements:
As evident in my previous CAS engagements, this is not the first time that I organized an activity for my fellow schoolmates to engaged with. However, this is the first time for me to include kids in an activity that I organized. This is a big risk for me that I had overcome because due to my previous bad experiences with kids, I kind of build up this personal phobia which left me scared to interact with kids. Furthermore, I keep telling everyone that in any outdoor activities, there is always a risk associated with it since we are away from our comfort zone with is Saint Jude. Thankfully, due to the rigorous planning that my team and I had prepared, nothing bad happened in this activity (risk-taker, communicator, caring, LO3, and LO5). From time to time, we would make sure that we would update each other about the updates on our specific task for this activity. This gets to show the degree to which we are applying our communication skills for the effectiveness and success of this event, that we had organized. Even though we each one of us had our own IAs and EE to accomplish, but we were able to balance our time well to organize and participate in this event (balanced). This problem in academics is not the only problem we encountered when organizing this event. Due to the transportation problem which I was able to learn only less than a week when this activity was initially scheduled, I have to resubmit and resign a lot of letters. In order for me to do this, I really need to learn how to be patient because it's very tiresome to get an activity to be approved by the school administrators. Because of this, I was able to learn a lot of soft skills such as the best way to deal with kids (LO1, LO2, and LO4).

Even though a lot of people would consider my knowledge of science as adequate already, but still, I would admit that there are still a lot of things that I don't know. In addition, I am struggling with short-term memory loss, and because of this, I constantly have to relearn a lot of things. By visiting the mind museum, I was able to gain more knowledge of science through their exhibitions. In addition, through the various interactives present in the museum, I was able to see in real life some of the scientific processes that are taking place in the theories that I am studying. The effect that this have on me is that I become more inquiring and thinker, which was able to let me gain more knowledge (knowledgeable inquirer, and thinker)

I mentioned in my CAS form 5 that the biggest take that this experience has on me is not the learning of scientific skills, but to enjoy life even though I am busy. As much as I hate to say this, but being an IB student, a lot of times, I feel like I am a robot already. Instead of doing a lot of things because I love them, I am doing it because it is a requirement and I have to pass them. Even though I know that there are really a lot of things which I have to accomplish, whether or not I like it, but still, this shouldn't be a reason for me not to be happy. I realized that I should just look at it in a positive manner because no matter how useless or irrelevant it might be, it can still give me a life lesson.