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Fun Way to Learn Spanish

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“Today’s word is ventana,” announced Cleotilde, our self-proclaimed Spanish instructor. She hails from Central America and she’s full of zest for life. She tells us countless stories about how she managed the arduous thousand mile trek across the desert to come here. It took her a couple of years, working odd jobs along the way, scrimping and saving. And, here she is.

officewindowsventanaCRPD“Okay fine, but what does ve…, or did you say wenta…” one co-worker began to ask.

Cleotilde cut her short. “Oy… listen. I said, ventana, the ‘v’ is pronounced with a ‘bea’ sound, not ‘v’ as in ‘Victoria’… O keh?”

“So what does ventana mean?” asked Isidro, our Filipino accountant.

“It means, window,” replied Cleotilde. “So today, we learn window… ventana. Ventana… window.”

A voice from the mail room joined in. “You mean like Windows? Like Windows 7?” Laughter.

Cleotilde was not amused. “That is windows,” she said. “More than one. So ventanas.”

“Yes. Sem ting,” chimed in Lee Ku Huang, our senior sales clerk. “Window is window. So ventana is ventana. O keh?”

Huh? Oh boy, this lesson is quickly turning out to be a UN meeting. But the lesson is free, so we keep going.

“Hey, I’ve got an idea.” It was Cleotilde. “A quiz.” She comes up with these pop quizzes – like clockwork. She says it’s good for understanding and word recognition. “Okay. So Windows is ventanas and 7 is siete.”

I think she lost the whole office crowd at this point. We went back to work. I thought about the word for the day, “ventana”. Good word to know. Ventana is window. Window is ventana. I mentally repeated the word – even silently mouthing it, you know, like Milli-Vanelli. I had the sudden urge to use the word. Why not? All they can do is laugh at me, right?

“Hey Lee, do me a favor and open that ventana,” I looked at Mr Lee Ku Huang who sits by the office water cooler. “Yeah that one,” I said, pointing at the window by his desk above the water bottle.

“O keh. I open ventana,” Lee said grinning as he reached up to crack open the tiny window. “Ventana… window,” he mumbled the words to himself.

Later that afternoon, Linda, our executive secretary came in after attending a corporate luncheon meeting. “Hey guys,” she waved as she zipped by our desks. Slowing down, she looked back our way. “Oh… ya’ll want to know where next year’s presidential awards will be held?”

“Sure, we do… but who all is going?” asked Cleotilde.

“You guys are eligible,” replied Linda. “All depends on the sales, the profit margin, you know, the bottom line.”

“Okay where?” we all chimed in. “This better be good.”

Linda, with dramatic flair said, “In Costa Rica… and… ta da… drum roll please. We’ll be staying at a place called… let me see….” She opened her case. “Ah… here it is. At a resort called Las Ventanas. Ain’t that cool?”

We looked at each other. Well, well… we know what that word means… ventana… yes, Ventanas… windows. We surely learned a good word today.

A Teacher’s Gift


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Meet Ms Paz Hadoc, teacher at St Augustine School, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. She knows how important and critical her job is in shaping student behavior, not only in cognitive skills, psycho-motor skills but also and more importantly in attitudinal skills.

To the seriously motivated student, Ms Paz Hadoc exemplifies perfection. What gifts does a teacher give besides her attention and devotion to her profession and students? Plenty. Just look at the photos in the slide show. Come up with your own answers.

Whatever Happened to. . .


“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.