Kyle Zyra Lazo, PMA Class 2021


Kyle Zyra Lazo

Kyle Zyra Lazo, SAS Ai Scholar Class 2014-15

SAS Ai stands proud of one of its outstanding scholars, Kyle Zyra Lazo, Batch 2014-15. Congratulations Kyle Zyra!

She was admitted to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), a promising member of PMA Class 2021.

Ms Kyle Zyra was a very disciplined high school student. Her strong suite has always been leadership, team play, a hard driving effort – all traits of a good soldier. She declared early on in the program about her plans to eventually seek a scholarship at PMA and a Congressional commission to serve in the Philippine Armed Forces as a commissioned officer.

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Cadet Lazo’s first photo at PMA

Her dreams came true. She was admitted to PMA.

But before she could outright enroll and register at the military academy, Kyle Zyra had to work very hard to prepare for the very competitive nationwide admissions test that also included a multi-faceted and rigorous physical exertion test culminating in a thorough physical examination.

May 28, 2019. It was incorporation day. Kyle Zyra was formally admitted to the academy on this day and became a proud member of PMA Class 2021.

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Cadet Lazo in full dress uniform

PMA Cadet Lazo, fully attired in her dress uniform, stood at attention by her neatly made up bunk,  awaiting further orders.

Notice the clean, spartan and minimal amenities that furnishes a cadet’s sleeping quarters.

Before the official day of incorporation, and while Kyle Zyra went through the processing phases, she stayed in a transient barracks along with the other cadets. Her family was granted a few minutes every day to visit with her.

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Mr Lazo and Cadet Kyle Zyra Lazo

Here is Mr Lazo (photo at right) visiting with Cadet Kyle Zyra Lazo at the transient barracks. Notice how proudly Mr Lazo stands by his daughter.

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On a Bivouac

A helmeted Kyle Zyra Lazo (left bottom) grinning and enjoying the trek, along with another cadet who participated in a bivouac during her physical training prior to being admitted at the academy.

We at SAS Ai feel privileged to have reached out and extended financial aid to Kyle Zyra Lazo’s high school education – an excellent investment.

We thank our generous donors who believe in and stand by our mission and cause and who support all the kids in the program. We thank our many supporters, benefactors, and volunteers for believing that Education is Freedom. Below photo is Kyle Zyra Lazo’s graduating class of 2014-15. She stands second from the left in the front row.

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(L-R) Front Row:  Leonardjon Buenavista (BOT), Kyle Zyra Lazo, Kristine Joy Cardenas, Kim Shelly Tan, Melvie Legaspina, Melanie P Florentino (SAS Ai President & CEO). (L-R) Back Row:  Albert Bunoan (Fld Ops VP), Everlyn Jamandra, Maiah Genelle Dauz, Mariella Stephanie Tacho (Graduating Class Valedictorian), Rocel Ann Vinluan, Krisha Teodosio, Geraldine Layco, and Tina Laycano (SAS Ai Auditor)

 

Charity Begins at Home


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Juzel Ann Macanas (right) with her Mom upon receiving her award certificate

“Dear Sir,” her email message to me began.

“I will not be able to attend the scheduled scholar’s meeting with Mr Bunoan because…”

I paused reading her email message. For a long moment my mind painted the word “Excusitis.” This can’t be.

“I have a scheduling conflict,” the email message continued.

And why is this young lady sending me this email message? I am chair of the scholarship committee and I work closely with Mr Albert Bunoan, VP Fld Ops, taking care of our scholars’ needs. It was a courtesy email message.

It turns out that our scholar-email-message-writer and 10th grade honor student, Ms Juzel Ann Macanas from Barangay Libtong, was scheduled to work with Libtong’s Local Community Charity organization that same day. She was slated to help distribute food to the homeless and hungry on that same day as our scheduled scholar’s meeting.

the face of poverty

Father and his child try to sleep away their hunger

My answer was simple and immediate:  “Juzel Ann – Go distribute food. Attend the next meeting. Let Mr Bunoan know.”

How impressive is that?

Juzel Ann Macanas, SAS Ai scholar actively involved in community volunteer charity work for the needy.

How many young people would bother to do such thankless volunteer work, much less surrender their precious leisure time? Not many I’d venture to speculate.

What Juzel Ann is doing with her free time, helping feed the poor, is noteworthy. It bodes well for her future. This same act of charity serves as a testament to the effectiveness of the financial aid program wherein she is a beneficiary.

Charity begins at home.

SAS Ai’s Christmas Angel


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Imelda visiting the Tagudin Plaza and Municipal Hall

Ms Imelda Villanueva attended Saint Augustine School (SAS), graduated (Batch 81) and went on out into the world of work to make a name for herself. She and her family currently live in New York where she works.

She is one, among the many friends of SAS Alumni International, who takes quite seriously, our mission of outreach to bright kids from poor families in their quest to finish high school at SAS.

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“Daklis” or dragnet fishing involves the entire community. Imelda joined the fishing effort.

Currently vacationing in the Philippines, she’s enjoying the company of family and friends from the old country in Tampugo, while taking care of personal business in metro Manila and Makati city.

Home in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, she’s seen participating in the community tradition of “dragnet” fishing, or daklis in the Ilocano vernacular. At Tampugo Beach, Imelda tasted fresh “Aryaw-yaw” – or silverfish fry caught by the daklis and salloy.

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Albert receiving the Christmas gifts for the students from Imelda

More importantly – and this is what Imelda takes the most pride – she brought home Christmas presents for the kids in the financial aid program. She did this act of kindness in addition to financially supporting the cause.

Now, how thoughtful and kind is that?

She got together with Mr Albert Bunoan, our SAS Ai VP of Field Operations and presented the gifts for the kids before leaving for Manila. Time constraints prevented her from personally meeting with the kids. Maybe next time.

Indeed we are grateful and deeply touched by Ms Imelda’s generosity to the kids. In turn, the kids will treasure their presents and thank Ms Imelda Villanueva by successfully graduating high school!

Letter to our Current Scholars in the Program


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“College and High School are totally different. They have only one thing in common:  that you need to study hard to make it.”

Dear Co-scholars,

Hi! How are you guys? Are you enjoying high school? Are you working hard on your studies? I hope you are. Don’t be “easy-go-lucky”. College is so different from high school. College and High School have only one requirement in common: that you should really study hard.

Some disciplines we are learning in college were also taught in high school. If you are already in the habit of studying hard, you will NOT be left out. Here in college, knowledge and skills are mostly self-learned. Instructors are not going to explain everything. They are not going to do all the talking. They are not going to chase you and beg you to listen to their lecture. No Ma’am. No Sir. It is your responsibility to help yourself.

By the way, you should expose yourselves to doing different activities, such as, speaking in front of a large audience. It will help you with your self-confidence. You should also talk more using the English language because they are not going to let you speak in Tagalog, not unless you are in a subject, such as, “Filipino”.

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“Studying Hard is a good Habit to Form.”

You should take time to rest when you can. Do not get used to the idea of “mañana habit,” otherwise known as procrastination. Do not be a slacker – forget the “bahala na” attitude. Time flies fast; you need to use your time wisely. Have a mature outlook, be serious and focused. Be independent but ask for help if you need it.

Anyways, enjoy while you still can. I hope you all the best guys. God bless and Good luck.

Signed/ Kristine Joy Cardenas

 

 

Under a Pile of LAB Requirements & Reports


A letter from one of our graduates:  Arthien Lovell Pelingen – SAS Ai 2012

Sunday, February 01, 2015

To: The SAS Ai, Inc. Family

From: Arthien Lovell Pelingen – SAS Ai, Inc Scholar and graduate 2012, now a Junior at the University of the Philippines (UP), Baguio Campus

Whoa... February 2015 already?
Whoa… February 2015 already?

Greetings! I just flipped the calendar to change the month and February 2015 stared me in the eye. Whoa! I realized it’s been a long time since my last update and I am deeply sorry for taking this long.

My Junior Year as a Biology Major started last August (2014). Second semester recently started and everything’s getting serious now. I can’t imagine how my Senior Year will be like. Anyways, the major subjects I am now enrolled in are:

  • Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Limnology

BIOLOGYAlong with minor subjects, I think I’m going to lose weight again this semester due to a pile of laboratory reports and nerve-racking examinations, oral reports, etc. However, there’s a bright side to studying biology. We get to enjoy learning outside the classroom.

Actually, we’re about to do fieldwork in Sagada, Mt. Province, famous for the Hanging Coffins, to study inland water bodies there. It’s pretty exciting, right?

Oh, speaking of fieldwork, I would like to share my learning-outside-the-classroom-experiences and some studies my classmates and I worked on for the past semesters. I want to share these to give you a glimpse of what people enrolled in a Biology course actually do.

Not all stars are in the sky. This is my favorite sea star commonly known as Blue Starfish, Linckia laevigata.
Not all stars are in the sky. This is my favorite sea star commonly known as Blue Starfish, Linckia laevigata.

First, in my Invertebrate Zoology class, we did fieldwork at Bolinao, Pangasinan. We specifically studied the invertebrate species such as sea stars, sea cucumbers, corals, clams, and sea hares. I can’t describe how amazed I was when I learned all about them.

Second, we did our Plant Taxonomy class in Atok, Benguet where we collected plant species of our choice. We tried to name, classify and describe these plant specimens as an addition to the Herbarium of our teacher. (I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.)

Third, in the Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy class, we dissected a cat and a shark (the species of shark dissected is not the endangered one). And that’s when I felt like a doctor since we were dissecting actually live animals. We just felt sorry for the sacrificed cats and sharks for this kind of learning.

Misty Mountains. We were roaming around the area of study which is near the non-polluted river. (I’m the leftmost one in the photo)
Misty Mountains. We were roaming around the area of study which is near the non-polluted river. (I’m the leftmost one in the photo)

Fourth, we did Parasitology, which I enjoyed as we dealt with so many kinds of parasites. And that’s when I learned the founding of the Tagudin General Hospital and Capillariasis Center. An epidemic caused by Capillaria Philippinensis took over and overwhelmed the vast areas of Tagudin and nearby towns.

Fifth, we did Plant Anatomy and had to do the required Case Study entitled Comparative Xylem Analysis on Imperata cylindrica from Polluted and Non-polluted Rivers conducted at Tuba, Benguet and La Trinidad. We were deep into real research – from problem formulation to data gathering, to the analysis of the results. It was really a tough a job, honestly.

The Search. I and my friend trying to find different species of algae in the middle of the sea.
The Search.
I and my friend trying to find different species of algae in the middle of the sea.

Sixth, we did our Phycology class which made me more curious about marine life. When I took this subject course, I learned that “ar-arusip,” a seaweed edible in the Philippines, is actually an alga. I started a great interest to algae since our fieldwork in Bacnotan, La Union.

Pagudpud. These are my colleagues since first year. (I’m the leftmost one in the photo)
Pagudpud. These are my colleagues since first year. (I’m the leftmost one in the photo)

Lastly, our Ecology Class last semester took us to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Its beauty is jaw dropping. (I suggest you visit this place when you have time for a vacation in the Philippines. I’m sure you’ll feel happy as you set foot on its white sands.) We enjoyed a 2D/2N-stay in a hotel beach resort. I can tell that this is the most fun-filled fieldwork I ever had.

Bangui Windmills. One of the advantages of having fieldworks is the fun of exploring the place itself because of the side trips.
Bangui Windmills. One of the advantages of doing
fieldwork is the fun of exploring the place itself and the attendant side trips.

What I’m preparing for now is my Summer Practical Training Program in June-July this year as required by the Department of Science and Technology Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) for all of their scholars to apply their chosen fields in a real setting. I’m considering:

  • Philippine Rice Institute in Nueva Ecija,
  • Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in La Union,
  • Institute of Biology in University of the Philippines Diliman and
  • National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology also in UP Diliman.

 

Portrait of a future Biologist.  There is only one “ME,” Arthien Lovell Pelingen at your service!
Portrait of a future Biologist. There is only one “ME,” Arthien Lovell Pelingen at your service!

 

 

I like to have as many options as possible to learn more career ideas and to stimulate  interest into possible endeavors in the future.

Thank you very much for reading this letter!  God Bless you all and the SAS Ai organization!

Farewell!

Sincerely,

Arthien Lovell Pelingen – SAS Ai 2012

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.

SAS Batch 80 and Batch 81


Our VP of Sales & Marketing, Melanie P Florentino filed this report:

SAS Batch 80 and SAS Batch 81

SAS Batch 80 and SAS Batch 81

Dear SAS Ai Family,

Here’s hoping all is well with you.
Please be informed that the campaign for Batch ’80 to support the “$10 dollar allotment per month for scholarship funding” is ongoing since its launch last summer (May 2014). The response is kinda slow but it’s moving nonetheless and gaining momentum.Smile
As of yesterday, Elizabeth dela Cruz (based in Winnipeg Canada) remitted PhP 4,000 pesos to my bank account which I have withdrawn and deposited to Albert’s PNB account earlier today. The amount represents her first initial support to the campaign.
Ramon Octavo (also in Canada) informed me a few days ago that he will send his donation at the end of this month. He also mentioned that he started talking to other batch-mates in Canada and hopes are high that they will join the fray. God willing.
Just for accounting purposes of remittances to Albert’s PNB account between May and July 2014.
Annie (80) and Joey (81) – PhP 4300
Digno Follosco (81) – PhP 6,000
Elizabeth dela Cruz (80) – PhP 4,000
Not much really so we need to work harder.
Thanks and warmest regards,
Melanie