“Learn to Concentrate…”


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.”


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.


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.


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.

Thinking man


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.


A Mother’s Pride – by Juzel Ann Macanas

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Juzel Ann Macanas (right) poses with her mother onstage after she received her recognition award certificate

At last year’s graduation ceremonies, Juzel Ann Macanas, SAS Ai scholar class of 2012, made it to the honor roll receiving a recognition award for her excellent school work and good grades. To pin Juzel’s ribbon and to stand proudly by her daughter, Mrs Macanas attended the graduation ceremonies along with other SAS Ai scholars families.

As the ceremonies came to a close, the crowds morphed into smaller conversation groups. Juzel and her mom joined other honor roll students. They had hot coffee while others had iced water and soda. The conversation revolved around the obvious feeling of pride the parents felt for their kids excellent performance.

“I am so thrilled to see my daughter receive recognition for her work. She studies well into the night her father and I sometimes have to tell her to get some sleep,” stated a proud mother.

Mrs Macanas spoke softly and confidently, “My Juzel has done very well ever since elementary school. Her father and I keep our expectations for her at a very high level. I expect her to fully continue receiving recognition for her excellent school work. We believe she can transition into a government-funded college scholarship. Someday….after she finishes high school.”

Juzel blushed a little upon hearing her mother speak so highly of her expectations of her. She knows her family financial status. There is no money for college, why, there wasn’t even any money for high school. What was she thinking about? Yet from the way her mother speaks, she detects her confidence, she senses her deep pride in her daughter’s ability to succeed.

Mothers have high hopes and dreams for their kids. In Juzel’s case, Mrs Macanas takes great pride in Juzel’s abilities and hopes someday her daughter will succeed in whatever she wants to do. To that end, Mrs Macanas, like most mothers, will work hard and sacrifice her own self-comfort so that her children may succeed.

At SAS Ai we hear about, we see their pain, and we help these disadvantaged families in their daily struggle for sufficiency and dignity. We recognize that Education is Freedom. Therefore we help these bright kids who come from poor families get a good high school education at SAS. This is our mission and we aim to do a great job. With your help we can make that difference and support these parents whose pride and joy lie in the bright future of their children. Donate to the scholarship fund today.