7eleven: Good Morning Welcome!

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As I entered the store the crew greeted me “Good morning Welcome!”

I paused and thought “Who’s Welcome?”

And another customer entered, then the second crew said

“Good morning Ma’am/Sir! Welcome to 7eleven!”

Moments later a group of friends came in, then again the first crew greet them

“Good morning Welcome!”

The customer smiled to the crew and told his friend

“Did you know who’s Welcome? Haha!”

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This simple misinterpreted greetings could be fun -depending on the receiver’s perspectives, but this makes sense too!, you could probably look to other customers when you both heard the lines “Good morning Welcome!” Then, there would be an exchange reaction after. I am not dealing to how she greeted the customers. She just made my day everytime I enter in 7eleven.

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7eleven (seven eleven) is one of my first target place for a short stop-over every after morning class, because it’s just a walking distance from our building. Also, it is a very convenient store for the people, students and individual, who like to do charging their gadgets like, cellphones, tablets, laptops, and etc. There is a vending machine that has different types of cable pins available for any common gadgets.

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If you need a mobile load you can also get the prepaid card at the cashier.

If you want a hot coffee (not available in this store) Noodles, Sausages, Siopao (Steamed buns), Donuts, Breads, you can also find all these here.

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If you feel thirsty and you need cold drinks, local and international drinks are available too! Even a single pack of chips, biscuits, candies, can be order separately; you don’t have to buy the whole pack just to eat one. Very convenient! Right?

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Every time I had my stop over, because it’s too hot outside the store. I used to order their Sundae Ice Cream in a cone; it will just cost you 18.00 Php only. Then, you can stay in the store until you finish your foods.

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This time, I bought Sausage worth of Php 29.OO and a 16oz cup of Mountain Dew for Php 20.00 only.

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Inside the 7eleven, they have corners for the customers and there were 4 to 5 tables that are good for 4 persons each table. So, it’s perfect for other business meetings.

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What I hate sometimes in other 7eleven store, SLURPEE isn’t (always) available. Every time I look for something very cold to drink, I almost thought about the Slurpee as it is perfect to ease the thirstiness, and then! what you’ll see is the “Not Available” signage attached on the machine! This is hard though the feelings (again and again), that you have to switch to another alternative drinks. We need Sluerpee back to its machine now!

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Anyway, majority of the 7-Eleven stores are open for 24 hours a day.

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Maruya! Do you like?

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Hello! I’m back! After almost a year now without blogging, this time I think I’ve missed the sound of my typing keyboard, especially the “Backspace” key.

Well, here I just want to share something. But, I want you to know that I am not a food blogger. Hehe.

To my friends out there, the reason I wasn’t able to blog is because I’m continuing my Bachelor Degree in Computer School.

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Just to add stories on this site. Here it is! My favorite snack food, the MARUYA!

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Maruya or Banana Fritters, you will like it if you are so.. so.. hungry!

It’s a fried food that usually made from “Saba” bananas or plantains. As you can see on the picture, the bananas are thinly sliced.

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Above the maruya is Lumpiyang saging or turon

Well, if you will try to DO IT ON YOUR OWN here is the very basic! First, slice the banana, you can do any type of slices, whether you want it look like potato fries, square, triangle, circle…. whatever! or you can smash it.

Second, you’re going to make a simple preparation for batter, which you will need the following: flour, sugar, vanilla and don’t forget the binder! the EGG!

And lastly! Of course pour enough oil in the pan where your Maruya could swim.

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This is perfect for mid-afternoon snack, but I used to eat this as my breakfast before and after class in the morning. Two reasons why I love this! One, it is cheap, like 8 to 12 Php only. Two, sweet and delicious!

You can also try different cooking’s of Saba bananas.

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Bananacue

There is “Bananacue”, the banana on stick coated with brown sugar also one of the best-selling street food, you can find it anywhere in the Philippines. Hhmmm! Delicious!

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There is “Turon” or known as “lumpiyang saging”. It is also made with thinly sliced banana with jackfruit, dusted with brown sugar and rolled in a spring roll wrapper, and fried. Hhmmm! Delicious!

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Camote Cue can be found too! It is made of sliced sweet potato and coated with brown sugar, like Bananacue.

Also, Camote fritters, similar with Maruya.

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I like eating these foods—as it is I think the safest in line of street foods.

Come on! Try it!

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Anyway! Maruya is best partner with Buko juice!

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Color Me

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No color

My life won’t be colorful today, if I did not learn to accept the criticisms of people around and or if I did not learn to explore and see what’s the world can give to me. I am proud that today, with this freedom I can now express the feelings of, like, the happy moments of all the blessings I have with my families and friends. I can say, I am blessed to share what I have achieved during these days, not only here but with my friends, close friends, colleagues and classmates. And the people who visited my site and leave their comments—really inspires me to do a lot more which add another colors to my life.

Thank you!

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Italy 2014 Medical Mission in Samar With friends and Colleagues

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

Semana Santa

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Me: “Grandma, I will do my laundry this afternoon”

Grandma: “No! You can’t wash any of your clothes today – okay?”

Me: “Why? I don’t have any —I need at least a pair for tomorrow”

Grandma: “No-no! You can’t, Jesus is dead today’ ‘you know that? … wear your dirty clothes”

Me: “OH-MY-GOD-!”

(left) Lucia, (middle) Arencio, (right) Purit
(left) Lucia, (middle) Arencio, (right) Purit

In my 23 years of living on this earth, finally! I had a chance to spend the first “Semana Santa” in my hometown province of Oriental Mindoro. It wasn’t a huge culture shock although it’s not new (things I can’t do) since birth–I’ve known Grandma. Haha! The only thing is’ until when she will recover on that superstitious belief?  I’m not a kid anymore? –I could understand it now. It is whether you believe or not, but she never stops telling me those superstitions during every holy week. But this time is different.

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No water, No noise, and No travel.

 Okay…

Good Friday, it was commemorated with a solemn street processions, with Jesus–his way with a cross on his back and the Seven Last Words.

I have seen the movie of Jesus many times, since my parents forced me to watch instead of those cartoons on satellite channels. I realized it was too painful to see him how he suffered from the Roman soldiers. The saddest part was the time between six and nine o’clock when Pontius Pilate pronounced the final sentence for Jesus, “the crucifixion”. Then the excruciation of punishment in his life happened. The scourging of Roman soldiers using a whip called “flagrum”, that I found out through my research says it had pieces of sharp instruments embedded into the cord and it was designed to remove the human flesh quickly, I can’t imagine the feeling being hit of that cord. And the moment he was mocked and the soldiers placed a crown of thorns upon his bruised head and pinned it down until… his blood… his tears …… I almost cried on the first time I saw the movie.

Therefore, a day of mourning to remember Jesus who died for us, and of course with my grandmothers around who she knows the whole lot things about than me, and in tradition in Philippines it is the powerful day of superstitions.

First:

NO WATER, according to the olds water signify either good or bad, that is why there’ll be no baths, laundry or even going to the river. My grandma said if I will disobey this belief I will be befallen by evil. “Scary!” and at exactly 3 pm of Good Friday it is considered the hour of Jesus Christ’s death, the time of without Jesus, who we will be calling above?

“Nikko! you can’t take a shower today!” grandma reminded me

“Oh! Jesus, please come back!”

Second:

NO NOISE, it is considered to be a solemn time for Jesus. That is why, there will be no unnecessary sound during this time, and then I was also forced to shut down the TV and Radio even though it is not that loud.

When the boredom strikes me, since I was stopped to do my laundry — I picked up the guitar and played it in a very low mode. Then I was stopped too, and said if I disobey it will add more sins (though we all born as sinners.)

I’ve got the guitar when grandma found me “Nikko! You can’t play that guitar!”

And me’ was like “No’ I just want to clean it”

“No! That’s not yours!” grandma said

“Hahahaha!”

“DON’T LAUGH!” she shouted

“OH-MY-GOD!” I whispered

“Oh! Jesus, please come back!”

And the third:

NO TRAVEL, no cruising, Even I want to buy “halo-halo” in exchange on a very hot summer season in the farm and the need of motorcycle to reach the store were then again blocked, and I wasn’t allowed because we are prone to any accident. I should not get wound because it will be slower to heal or it will be wound forever. And also there’ll be no sharp knives on the kitchen or table, no broken glasses and even any pointed objects around should be kept while Jesus is dead to avoid getting wound.

“What I did is to keep myself off of everything, just sitting on the sofa with a book, the only friend I can have on every occasion without exemptions”

But wait! I thought it was the end of my day with just a book. And for that, I was surprised when Grandma and my Mom told me that we will join the procession after the mass.

B-I-N-G-O! “yeah! I’ve found the reason why I am being barred with so many do’s and don’ts today.”

the arch of Pola
the arch of Pola
The miraculous church of Pola.
The miraculous church of Pola.
The Seven Last Words Mass
The Seven Last Words Mass
The Seven Last Words Mass
The Seven Last Words Mass

And finally! We went to the town of Pola to watch “Moriones Festival” and they are about 40 persons wearing its own-made colorful costumes paraded in the streets around the town. They are portraying the role of “Roman Centurions” who made Jesus suffered to death. Fearsome, scary faces like they are going to eat you alive. That’s why most of the children are out on the streets once a group of them are coming to their way. They are roving around to gather votes and those have bravest masks are closed to the trophies.

The procession after the seven last words mass.
The procession after the seven last words mass.
Moriones
Moriones

procession

the last part of the processions.
the last part of the processions.
with my aunties
with my aunties

K-12 Prolonging the Burden

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by Al Nikko

The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or commonly known as the K-12 program was signed by President Benigno Aquino III last May 15, 2013 and was implemented for the S.Y. 2012-2013. With this new law, children are required to go through mandatory Kindergarten at the age of five years old and 12 years of basic education. The K-12 adds two years in the current educational system; six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School and two years of Senior High School before students enter higher education.

On signing the K-12 law, President Aquino noted that this will be implemented in public and private schools. He believes that having a senior high school will help the Filipino youth choose from specialized tracks like technical, sports and arts, and this guarantees that they can reach their dreams.

A solution or another burden?

According to the government data, 29% of the work-force are jobless or underemployed. This can be attributed to the lack of industries in the country. The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported poverty incidence at 27.9% in the first semester of 2012 while IBON estimates that the reported poverty incidence would be around 26.8 million poor Filipinos. According to IBON, thefigure from NCSB underestimates poverty, as the NCSB‟s poverty threshold is just Php52. With this fact, majority of

Filipino families cannot meet their food needs as well as their non-food needs including education. Most families have difficulties in coping up with high costs of sending children to school – transportation, projects, miscellaneous fees and food/snacks. Thus, adding two more years of schooling will mean an increase in a family‟s expenses and would only mean that more children will not be able to go to school.

In the current educational system, Filipino children face the lack of class-rooms, textbooks, chairs and other educational facilities which is a result of minimal budget allocation for education by the Philippine government. Teachers have low salaries and each teacher handle around 50-70 students in a single class which force most of them to work abroad.

As a matter of fact.

The implementation of the law was untimely. With the mandatory kindergarten, there were an over-whelming number of enrollees in public schools. Number of trained day care teachers did not suffice and most of them would have to attend three sessions in a day. Five year olds crowd classrooms without electric fans and inadequate chairs.

Chaos was highlighted during the opening of the school year in June 2013 when teachers complained as that most of them have not yet been trained and were groping on what to do and how to implement the new curriculum. Moreover, textbooks have not been revised to fit the new curriculum while students face the same problem of dilapidated school buildings, crowded or lack of classrooms, insufficient text-books and various school fees.

Copyright of Association for the Rights of Children in South East Asia “KN2K News Letter” 2013

Me’ as a Child Rights Advocate

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Before everything else, for the purposes of every event attended, this (Journal) report has been submitted to “ARCSEA” (my past company). I just want to share this wonderful opportunity I had experienced as delegate, which I learned a lot of, not just the culture but the dissimilarity of our nation.

November 27 to December 5, 2014 (Journal)

Il cuore si scioglie 2014

Every year delegates of Association for the Rights of Children in SouthEast Asia (ARCSEA) are participating in the Solidarity Campaign of “Il cuore si scioglie” in Florence, Italy, with its long-time partner ARCI Toscana and UNICOOP Firenze for almost ten years. The campaign is about raising awareness of children’s rights. They are three countries delegation participated in the campaign Niger, Peru and Philippines.

The delegates from Philippines are Al Nikko John M. Nagutom – Project Officer of Association for the Rights of Children in South East Asia, Jacquiline D. Ruiz – Executive Director of Children’s Rehabilitation Center and Marissa Cabaljao – Spokes Person of People Surge, presented the country’s situation especially children. The three delegates roamed the schools and universities of Florence to represent their country and its cultures, since the focus is about the children; delegates shared the different situation of children in their country and the children around the world.

“La Compagnia Del Cuore Nella Nostra Citta”
“La Compagnia Del Cuore Nella Nostra Citta”

November 27, 2014 – The forum entitled “La Compagnia Del Cuore Nella Nostra Citta”. It discussed the importance of water around the globe. In part of ARCSEA’s participation Al Nikko John Nagutom – Project officer of ARCSEA, shared about the project implementation of “Potable Water System Development in Sarangani Province, Mindanao” that has seven (7) community beneficiaries including the Blaan Tribe. While Jacquiline Ruiz – Executive Director of Children’s Rehabilitation Center, also shared about the major situation of children in rural areas in provinces  that several cases of children victims of water crisis is the highlight and the effect of the privatization of water. Marissa Cabaljao – Spokes Person of People Surge, also shared her experience during the Typhoon Yolanda, in particular to the effects of “Climate Change”.

[On the picture] There are three delegated participants from different organizations who shared their views, opinions and assessment regarding the water crisis in the world. They are Stefania Magi, Assessore alle Politiche per l’integrazione del Comune di Comune Arezzo, Matteo Cernison, Ricercatore COSMOS Università Europea di Fiesole, Giulio Betti, Laboratorio di Monitoraggio e Modellistica ambientale per lo sviluppo sostenibile (Consorzio LaMMA), Luciano Rossetti, Direttore Organizzazione Soci Unicoop Firenze.


November 28, 2014 – Individual members and member organizations of Regione Toscana and Unicoop Firenze gathered in La Citta Del Teatro – Cascina, the event is conducted annually to strengthen the partnerships in different organizations. The highlight of the event was about children participation. How member organization helps contribute to the children in other country. ARCI Toscana one of the member organizations presented their contribution in Peru, Niger and Philippines. ARCSEA in Philippines shared the Water Right Projects, Tabang medical mission project for the victims of typhoon and other projects. Marissa Cabaljao spokesperson of People Surge, also shared her experiences during the super typhoon Haiyan “Yolanda”, and after the program it was followed by an organized play from the youth students of Casina, a nondramatic theatre oral and musical presentation.


November 29, 2014 –A forum of Il coure si scioglie with ARCI Toscana delegations and member officials of ARCI Circolo Ravacciano. In this forum discussed the different issues of children around the world. One of the highlight was the increasing number of child labourers especially in the third world countries including Philippines. ARCSEA had the opportunity to share the situation of children in Philippines that according to study of National Statics Office and International Labor Organization in 2011, there are increasing numbers of children-workers and children in hazardous works particularly in the areas of provinces like “Mindanao”. Members took its part on how they can contribute to prevent the increasing number of children in different issues by implementing projects where children’s participation is the priority. And it ends with the continuing support of ARCI.


November 30, 2014 – With a warmed welcome! ARCSEA delegates invited in a dinner with Circolo ARCI L. Bugiani, Pistoia, an exclusive member gathering of ARCI Pistoia; delegates’ had the opportunity to share the implemented projects in Philippines with ARCI’s members.

ARCI Pistoia with Unicoop Firenze had a project in Philippines way back year in 2008.


December 1, 2014 Al Nikko, Project Officer of ARCSEA had a discussion with the students of Benedetto Varchi Liceo Scientifico Con Sez. Classica Annessa in Montevarchi.

Nikko started the presentation with the general information of the Philippines, the culture and the history, and followed the national situations and the projects of ARCSEA in helping the children in communities. After Nikko discussed the major points there was queued questions followed from the students. “How long did children stay in schools?”, “Are the teachers live in the community?”, “How many books they have in school?”, “Are they using computer also?”, “What are the activities of children after school?” etcetera. In this meeting with students, the questions are all answered with the help of a Filipino translator Ms. Mayet Garbo from Cebu.

After the question and answer, the students of Monte Varchi prepared gifts for the Filipino children as they knew that children in rural areas are lack of school materials.


December 2, 2014 – Three ARCSEA delegates also visited the Scuola Media Statale “Luca Pacioli” in Sanseplocro. Students for 14-17 years old, they were excited to know about the Philippines and so they are all prepared with questions. They’ve met three classes on the same day. Many questions followed from the students, they asked the lifestyle of children in provinces “What are they eating?”, “Are they wearing shoes in school?”


 December 3, 2014 – At Istituto Scolastico Comprensivo Di Signa Scuola Media “Alessandro Paoli”. They are six classes all gathered in the activity area for Il cuore si sciogle campaign. Nikko introduced the Philippines and the organization then questions are followed from the students. The highlight of this event is the situation of children in education.


December 4, 2014 – Three delegates at Fiesole. Nikko shared the projects then Marissa had her opportunity to share her experience during typhoon Haiyan. Then after a set of football costumes were donated to ARCSEA for the children in Philippines.


December 4, 2014 – at Tuscany region, Italy, ARCSEA together with officials of different organizations gathered in a forum and discussed about the importance of water. Every present organization on the forum has the projects implemented around the world.

ARCI Toscana partnered with the Water Right Foundation (WRF) together through ARCSEA Philippines as they gathered funds to implement the Potable Water System Development in Saranggani province in Mindanao. The goal is to help the people in rural communities to have free access of water. Manobo tribe is one of the beneficiaries who have no access in water. Those communities are forced to trike for almost two hours carrying with their gallons of water; more often ways to the upstream were hard to access because of mud, where the people are vulnerable in any accidents. The highlight of the forum was about the water crisis around the world.


December 5, 2014 –Dinner with ARCI Cecina. They asked more about Marissa’s experience during typhoon. On the next day, they had a meeting with two classes from different schools and shared about the Philippines and the role of its organization as part of Il cuore si sciogle campaign.

Malundras Family Reunion 2015

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Kabilang Ibayo resort, Pola, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines (known as K.I. resort)

Finally! The first reunion of the Malundras family happened this 2015. Thanks to Ms. Lucy Malundras and her family who patiently organized the event.

Yes, it was a successful reunion, but like in any successful event, there were still unavoidable circumstances.

On the day of the reunion, the party was supposedly started at exactly 1:00 in the afternoon but due to some misunderstanding with the owner of the resort, it was still occupied by other costumers during that time. It was already 5:00 in the afternoon when the program started through the introduction of each family member.

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(Left) My mom, (Right) Ms. Lucy Malundras

“It is good that we see each other as a family so that when the time comes that we are on the same street we will not just ignore each other. Now we are able to recognize our relatives and that is the essence of reuniting with the family,” Lucy stated during the event.

The grandparents also had a lot of surprising revelations.

“Let us adopt this tradition that we, as family should not wait until each one of us die, before we reunite again. Some of our relatives already died without our knowledge that he/she is our cousin,” Lucy added.

The program was followed by a family dinner with an array of food specialties that were contributed by everyone in the Malundras clans. And of course, like a tradition in every gathering, there was a place for liquors and video karaoke. TAGAY!

The reunion is not yet over and part two is already set in the calendars of the Malundras family. So, see you all soon!

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