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A bright child from a poor family wants to finish high school but cannot afford the tuition. The family lives on less than $1867 USD a year. It would be a crime to do nothing and just let this bright child’s mind languish and go to waste.

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Whatever Happened to. . .

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“I’m so glad to get out of this concentration camp!” Carmen declared as she received her high school diploma. Somewhat hot-headed, she’s had several run-ins with the school principal, Reverend Mother Marie Cabrini. Carmen was a straight A student. Excellent in athletics she represented the school in the inter-provincial intramural contests as the varsity volleyball team captain. Under her leadership they have won titles two seasons in a row.

That summer we heard Carmen won a full athletic scholarship to the University of the Philippines, the most prestigious college in the entire Philippine archipelago. It came as no surprise. The class overwhelmingly voted Carmen most likely to succeed. Carmen’s good fortune was the talk of the town. Her securing a full scholarship inspired many from her graduating class. Even those who had no plans of attending college. Why, the news even prompted Dalub Guro, an otherwise shy and timid geeky young man, to apply for acceptance at Saint Louis University in Baguio City. Dalub was going to just hang out, watch the bull rushes grow by the sloughs of Barangay Dardarat and gather edible snails and frogs.

disadvantaged

Carmen’s Family – (L-R) Muslim Pearl Diver Limahong Al Habandi, Limahong’s mother Palestra, two older children, and Carmen holding the baby.

Their graduating class held a reunion recently. A little over half the class attended. For many, class reunions turn out either good or bad depending on many factors. That’s one reason for the low turnout. Some class members had gone overseas to work, many of them settling for mundane, domestic jobs. Most of the overseas workers didn’t make it to the reunion. Carmen was not in attendance. Everybody looked for her. She was nowhere to be found.

Dalub Guru was there though. Resplendent in a three-piece suit, Dalub was a changed personality. He was no longer shy and timid. He had gotten rid of his terrible acne, traded his thick horn-rimmed glasses for contact lenses and took on the persona of a Tommy Lee Jones. There were rumors that Carmen wound up in Mindanao teaching Math and Science at a local high school. During a class excursion to the coast that Carmen supervised, a secret admirer, a Muslim pearl diver, one of her older students in her class allegedly abducted her. He kept her sequestered in his house for at least six months before letting her free. She married him unwillingly. But as dictated by the local laws and morality rules she had no choice.

Class reunions, where, “Whatever happened to. . . .?” questions allow folks to catch up with former classmates. Class reunions, where the answers given are bound to shock you.

Tagudinian Association of Canada (TAC)


Story filed by Jocelyn Aglosolos Wing

The Tagudinian Association of Canada (TAC) held a Hawaiian Night Dinner and Dance Party last Saturday, November 1st 2014 at Garnet A Williams Community Center, 501 Clark Avenue West Thornhill, Ontario L4J 4E5.

Organized by TAC President, Mr Gerry Leal, and ably assisted by his lovely wife, Mrs. Norma Leal from Ambalayat, the dinner and dance event was well attended and was very successful. Jen Consentino and other TAC officers helped plan and facilitate the event.

The celebration gave all of us who attended an opportunity to see and meet our kababayans and neighbors, former classmates, neighborhood friends, relatives and friends – Josephine Villanueva Lasquite, SAS alumna, Jennifer Lacasandile Cosentino, and Maricar Bangsoy were some who attended.

More Power and GOD BLESS US ALL.

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Career Workshop


“How many of you here are thinking about going into the field of medicine? Oh, perhaps to become a doctor, a dentist, a gerontologist, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, neurologist… there are many fields in medicine,” the day’s speaker opened her presentation. Not very many hands went up.

For these poor kids, doctor of medicine is a lofty profession. It costs money to attend medical school and it takes many, many years of study. It means endless hours of study, research, passing the board and licensing exams. Then there is residence time, apprenticeships, internships. To open up a clinic you need expensive equipment – modern enough to use today’s technology and software.

Medicine is for the rich and wealthy. The room became quiet as a tomb.

Unfazed by the silence, the guest presenter continued, “How many of you have ever heard of Chiropractic? Or have visited a chiropractor? You know, like when you have a neck ache, or a severe back ache? Anybody?”

No hands went up.

“Okay then,” she continued. “I’ll share with you an overview of Chiropractic – not chiropractic medicine, mind you. Just chiropractic.” The guest presenter thought for a moment… my kind of crowd.

“When I studied at Emory University I visited a chiropractor’s office in Lawrenceville. Very excellent clinic with a friendly and competent staff. I was so impressed I aspired to emulate that kind of practice.”

She projected the following chart on the screen and talked about the points at great length.

diff_largeThe room buzzed with side comments. Some hands went up. Questions were asked. There was mounting interest.

“Yes,” the presenter pointed at a student in the back. “Do you have a question?”

“This looks like an interesting program,” said a young athletic looking man. “What are the prerequisites? I mean, what does it take to study chiropractic?”

“Well, do you feel good when you help another person deal with a problem?” she asked. “Because in chiropractic, we see and treat the person as a whole – not just body parts.”

Laughter erupted in the room.

“I want some of that,” exclaimed an excited girl with braided hair. She looked like orphan Annie with black hair.

“Some of what?” replied the presenter. There was palpable interest.

“My grandfather complains a lot about back pain,” announced a high school senior. “Maybe I can do something about it using chiropractic…”

The presentation ended with some students surrounding the presenter and asking her questions.

Oldies but Goodies


BreakTWOCRPDOur students listen to all kinds of music. They enjoy singing and participating in glee club type singing events. During the July meeting attended by the President, Leonardjon L Buenavista and the VP of Field Ops, Albert Bunoan, they had group singing during their breaks. Leonardjon played guitar and Albert led the group.

To their amazement, some of the songs the group enjoyed were the oldies but goodies songs. Songs of the 50’s. Who would believe they knew songs like, “Teddy Bear” by Elvis Presley and “Puppy Love” by Paul Anka? And how about Both Leonardjon and Albert were pleasantly surprised.

A SAS Ai board member, Tina, who lives in Toronto, Canada and who has since retired from her government job was there in Tagudin vacationing at the same time the meeting with the scholars was held. She came by and attended the meeting, staying to visit with both Albert and Leonardjon afterward. She commented she also liked the Oldies but Goodies because the songs are melodic and easy to sing.

In the conversation Tina recalled attending the wedding of a dear colleague’s son, Jim – whom Albert and Leonardjon knew.

“And how did that go?” asked Albert. Jim was his classmate at SAS. “And who did ole Jimbo marry?”

“The band that played the wedding was the thing. I mean they were good,” Tina beamed. “A friend suggested they Google  Wedding Band Toronto (search engine prompts) and voilà! These guys were outright fabulous.”

“Did they play Unchained Melody?” Leonardjon interjected. “That’s one of my favorites.”

“Oh yes!” Tina replied. “Many people who attended the wedding commented positively and gave them high marks. They couldn’t stop singing with the band… it was something.”

Sounds like we’ll have to pay Tina a special visit in Toronto. Who knows? We might get lucky and listen to this Toronto Wedding Band.

“We Gave Them Everything. . .”


FatherMasonryWork

Masonry is hard backbreaking work.

Parents, at some point, lament their having been so doting, caring, and overly giving to their kids. Specially when things go awry. Their child gradually turns deaf, steadily becomes belligerent, goes wild and joins the tattooed, chain and stud-adorned masses. What went wrong?

Psychologists write volumes on human behavioral case studies, on human bowling balls hitting the gutters, on dysfunctional families. They write, analyze and endlessly discuss humans gone bad and enmeshed in hopeless situations.

Our case is simple enough. The parents work tirelessly. For those who are fortunate, Grandma and Grandpa help babysit. In most cases, the kids come home to an empty dwelling. Towards the end of the day, the parents come home from work, dragging, tired, hungry, irritable, angry at what happened at the plant, office, or ward. They eat in silence too tired to converse. After a beer and some TV they crash.

After her husband died, she suffered a severe stroke

Operating a small cafeteria is just as demanding.

Meanwhile, the child’s sequestered in his or her bedroom, playing Nintendo, Xbox, or Smartphone, laptop or any Internet capable gadget. They’re into texting, sexting, nexting, whatever. Heaven only knows what sort of pornography the child accesses.

In school there’s bad company. The kid feels no self-worth. Feeling worthless, wimpy and below par, the kid invites rough treatment from other students. The wish to belong and to be accepted mounts. The kid wants to be cool. His parents don’t and can’t give this brand of coolness – but some kids in school can. The kid gravitates towards the vortex of cool and gets sucked in. Bad company, bad habits, vices, addictions. . . even glorified promiscuity and the lack of regard for authority. Immorality, depravity, and sexual perversions come next, heavily accented by failing grades.

The parents throw up their hands and despondently cry out, “We gave them everything… we slaved and toiled so they could have everything we never had. And now this?”

Melanie gifts

At SAS Ai we look after the welfare of our students.

At SAS Ai, our Field Operations Team looks after the welfare of our students. We make no room for bad attitudes. We stop such unwanted seeds from germinating. We acknowledge our students for their hard work in school, and we recognize them for their good grades, exemplary behavior, and academic progress. We promote a positive attitude, gratefulness and good citizenship.

At SAS Ai we ask our students to help their parents with their chores at home in addition to their rigorous homework studies. We inspire them to collaborate, coöperate, and work as a team.

We offer mentoring, coaching, and encourage group study sessions. We believe in our students being tech savvy. We offer Virtual Classroom activities, Internet Cafe for research and electronic mail.

Entertainment Break


President with scholars July 5 011The meeting went on tightly following the agenda and schedule. Students wrote their expectations on the whiteboard. They then discussed how they intended to achieve those expectations. The group attentively took part in all the discussions, coming up with ideas and suggestions. One such suggestion was “peer help”. Students who lived in the same Barangay can have mutual access arrangements among themselves for peer help.

Currently, the organization has two laptop computers for the students, one donated by a generous supporter and the other purchased by a board member who prefers to remain anonymous. The kids can get access to the Internet, work on the SAS Ai virtual classroom activities and process electronic mail. This in addition to their computer lab courses in school.

At this particular July 2014 meeting, President & CEO, Mr Buenavista himself entertained the group during the breaks, playing guitar and leading in the sing-along. Some of the more outgoing students sang solos and their favorite tunes.

Students meet with President & CEO


PresidentJULscholarsCRPDLast July, President & CEO, Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista took a special trip to the Philippines to meet with the students who take part in the SAS Ai financial aid program. Mr Buenavista paid for his own trip and expenses. SAS Ai gave no funds to help defray the cost of his visit.

For the benefit of our donors and supporters, we want to state this upfront to reinforce our statement that we do not have any administrative costs connected with our financial aid program.

The meeting agenda included topics on leadership, teamwork, peer-to-peer help, group study, and participation in the Virtual Classroom activities. By all accounts, everybody had a great time. The meeting enhanced camaraderie among the students and provided student access to SAS Ai’s officers. Field Operations VP, Albert D Bunoan helped set up and conduct the meeting.