August Adventure


 

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Alexis Kyla A. Costales, 9th Grade, Junior High School, SAS Ai Scholar

My August Adventure – by Alexis Kyla A. Costales

 

Monday. August 6th. It was either a highly anticipated day, or a somewhat dreaded day. It was the first day of classes for the new school year.

For me, it was fun! It was a flea market, a veritable bazaar. Orientation galore. I saw old, familiar faces – friends, classmates from last year, and a few new faces. In the crowd I recognized a familiar figure.

“Hey you… Yes, I do know you… remember me?” I tried to get my friend’s attention lightly tapping her shoulder.

“Oh… hey Kyla girl, how’s it going?” my friend reacted, twirling around to face me. “So good to see you!” We hugged and laughed, well, and giggled more or less. “Welcome to Saint Augustine’s School…” my friend tried to mimic our School Principal. It was okay.

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The Costales Family – Kyla is seated center.

It was so good to see one of my school buddies from last year. We talked about many things, catching up on current events, vacation time, and family things.

 

Of course the orientation included the announcement of the school’s expectations – the big picture, or year-end goal. We were also “refreshed,” and “reviewed,” of the School Rules and Regulations. That part wasn’t so much fun, but necessary.

The second week followed quickly. We elected our class government officers. I accepted a minor class officer position – hey, don’t knock it; I was duly elected. Okay? We were also asked to choose our Sectoral Interest Group (SIG). Since I was already in this Interest group, I chose to remain with the “Awit at Gitara,” SIG (Song & Guitar). This group allows me to showcase my musical talents and, more importantly, share my love for music.

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“Awit at Gitara”

The event of Week Three, “Araw ng Kabataan,” (Youth Day) was held with the participation of all the local schools in town. Student-officers were invited to join the event and so we did.

Regular classes followed. As the week flowed, I felt a little shaky, like when one first gets up after squatting for a while. I felt like my mental cobwebs were being cleared. Gradually my feelings of school joy and happiness returned. After all the consecutive “out-of-classroom” programs, it felt great to be back on the “Ed-Track” again, gaining more knowledge and learning something new every day.

 

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Saint Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church

Today we attended Holy Mass in celebration of the Feast of our Patron Saint, St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Doctor of the Church. We commemorated and, at the same time praised St Augustine’s great works, writings, and teachings important to Christian life. To a lesser degree in importance, today was also Intramural day. Exit polls taken revealed that everyone enjoyed the games.

With that, I will close.

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The road to the mountain top

I look forward to a great school year, relishing the thought of my upcoming educational journey.

With grateful wonderment, I eagerly anticipate the many thrills, challenges, and surprises that I will encounter – for certain – along the way.

 

 

 

 

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Incoming SAS Ai Students for School Year 2018-19 Announcement


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(L-R) Mrs Miranda (Dylan’s Mom), Mrs Costales (Kyla’s Mom), Kyla Costales (9th grade), Mr Sables (Hazeldee’s Dad), Hazeldee Sables (11th grade), Mrs Sables (Hazeldee’s Mom), Esther Anne Sarmiento (7th grade), Mrs Sarmiento (Esther Anne’s Mom), Dylan Rodge Miranda (7th grade), Ms Margarita “Garet” Bayan (SAS Ai Student Activities & Affairs Coordinator), and Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, (Member, SAS Ai Board of Trustees) – Venue Photo taken at the Buenavista Family Inn (BFI), courtesy of Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, President of BFI

We welcome our new students participating in the SAS Ai financial aid program, starting this school year 2018-19.

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Dylan Miranda

Mr Dylan Rodge Y Miranda – moving up to 7th grade (SAS) (far left)

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Esther Anne Sarmiento

Ms Esther Anne N Sarmiento – moving up to 7th grade (Tagudin Central School) (far right)

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Kyla Costales

Ms Kyla Alexis Costales – moving up to 9th grade (SAS) (left)

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Ms Hazeldee Sables – moving up to 11th grade (SAS) (right)

 

 

Today, June 24, 2018, Ms Garet Bayan, (SAAC), met with the students and their families to discuss the particulars of the SAS Ai Financial Aid program:

  • Family financial (annual gross income) requirements.
  • Applicant’s grade point average (GPA) requirements.
  • Articles of Faith and Understanding covering the responsibilities and expectations of all parties involved:  (1) SAS Ai, (2) the student’s family, and (3) the student.
  • General Guidelines – SAS Ai expectations from its students participating in the program.
  • Academic, Social, Spiritual, Personal leadership development while in the program.
  • Q & A

Mr Leonardjon L Buenavista, a member of the SAS Ai Board of Trustees, and one of the original drivers of the program since its inception, was present at the meeting. He freely shared his knowledge and expertise about the financial aid program. He covered SAS Ai history and its program success record to date, and answered most of the questions, as he helped Ms Bayan facilitate the meeting.

Join us in welcoming all our new students to the SAS Ai program! “Education is Freedom”

“Learn to Concentrate…”


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Our SAS Ai scholars pose for a group photo during a quarterly scheduled meeting

“You must learn to concentrate,” the home room teacher, Mrs Salve Lascota advised one of her brighter students. “There are just too many distractions out there. You cannot let your mind wander.”

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Heavily distracted

Young Cristina nodded her head. “Thanks Ma’am Bing,” she replied, somewhat embarrassed for having been caught daydreaming. She redirected her gaze from the window back to her desktop. She even shook her head lightly – as if to clear the cobwebs that seemed to cover her brain. It was two o’clock in the afternoon and she felt drowsy. She and her buddies had generous servings of Halo-Halo topped with ice cream – a deadly combination of high sugar and fat.

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Halo-Halo with Ice Cream

She seemed to take in the advice. But… then she thought, “Concentrate on what? What could Ma’am Bing be talking about?” Cristina is no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. She is a bright young lady, serious and motivated, who dreams of being a dental hygienist someday. But man, it’s hard to stay awake in class in the afternoon, in the oppressive heat, in the asphyxiating humidity. Add to that Mrs Lascota’s sing-song-y presentations that’s so soothing it can lull, even an ornery Tasmanian devil, to sleep.

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Infatuation can be distracting

Truth be told, Cristina is distracted. Big time. And she knows it. It’s that Aglosolos boy from Libtong. Yes, he is a bit rough around the edges, sometimes rude and often ill-mannered but he is a solid young man with a great personality. Charming, crafty, and clever as the asp that long ago coiled around the apple tree in the garden of Eden and seduced Mother Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. So Cristina drifts into dreamland every now and then, thinking about that Aglosolos boy who haunts her every waking moment.

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Concentration

Ah… the perils of puppy love. Infatuation. First awakenings. And in high school, things can morph into a wilderness scenario so very easily. Fortunately, we have teachers like Mrs Salve Lascota who, out of love for their craft, their students, exert influence over them, encouraging them to channel their attention to their studies, to focus on their goals, and to concentrate on things that are relevant and important.

Reverie


There were mornings I didn’t want to get up from bed. This was one of those mornings.

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Night Rain

It rained during the night. I fell asleep to the soft, intricate maracas-like sounds of raindrops falling on the co-goon grass roof of our small and humble cottage. The rhythmic sounds were further made into tight percussion riffs by the crickets and night crawlers chirping, by the tiny fruit bats with their syncopated chomping on “kapas-sanglay” fruit, and by the herd of cicadas playing their inebriating kazoo music from the stand of acacia trees.

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Gardenia – Rosal

I woke up to the familiar, musky, animal dropping laced smell of freshly soaked ground – a parched patch of earth that once stood arid and dry for many weeks. The ground percolated and came alive with the rich water infusion, loosening small boulders and clods into mud, awakening the docile earthworms already on the job, laboriously digging, burrowing, all the while leaving round, marble-shaped mud mounds in their wake.

The pervasive scent of flora came from the gardenia, its white blossoms giving out that sweet, unadulterated perfume. Then there were the sweet-sop trees, their branches sagging under the weight of ripening fruit. The guavas, pomelo trees, and goose berries added to the

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Atis – SweetSop

overall garden aroma, accented only by the blooming orchids hanging in their coconut husk nests.

From my cot bed I filled my lungs with healthful rain-cleansed morning air. The spectacular sunrise burst out in splendor lighting up the morning firmament; I wasn’t moved. I just wanted to linger and lounge on my cot bed, wax the grateful dead, oblivious

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Pan de Sal

to life itself and remaining zombie-like.

And so I tarried, half-asleep, but enjoying the smell of freshly brewing roasted-rice coffee. I heard the familiar cry, “Pan de Sal,”… “Pan de Sal,”… the Doppler effect taking over the sound fading into the distance.

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.

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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.