Netship Management Incorporated conducted their seafarers English Proficiency class last February 2016, with 10 students waiting for embarkment. The training included basic English grammar, effective communication, and English for cultural purposes.
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Everyone wants to be great but only few would stay late and practice.
I was writing this while my friend is busy playing guitar at 3am… practicing his skills, not for an expected performance but for whenever season calls for it.
It has always been the secret of the few humble and seemingly “seasoned” ones: diligence and hardwork.
Some people might be just gifted, and I admire them for being such. But that doesn’t mean we cannot be at par with them. In fact, someone can start worse but can, along the way, become even better than the gifted. How? Again, diligence and hard work.
Diligence means persevering determination to perform a task. It keeps one focused and motivated. While everyone else is done, a diligent person pushes through and adds more effort.
I wish I was the most intelligent person in the class when I was younger. But I wasn’t. And I would always envy those who are bookish and teacher’s favorite, simply because they are admirably intelligent in my eyes… But one thing it has taught me is to be diligent. Because I don’t have the braincells of a nerd, I have to double effort. I have to study more. I have to stay late and wake up early. I have to do the hard work. I have built that discipline, which led me to where I am now… still studying. Still pushing through.
In any discipline, the diligent can always surpass the gifted. The key is hardwork.
Now, imagine the potential of being already gifted, and still wants to improve? That is absolutely amazing!
God has given each one of us gifts of skills and talents. And in the same way, God has given us the grace to continue to improve and hone it. The downfall of a person is when he pridefully just relly on gift, without the desire to take care of it and to bring it to the level of excellence.
May we take time to acknowledge the gift God has deposited in us, and may we take care of it, grow it, hone it, and honor the Lord through it.
Everyday faithfulness has greater impact than few big shots.
It was around 3rd year high school when I realized I wanted to be an educator, just like my parents. My dad and mom are both serving as public high school teachers, trying to meet ends and carry on the challenge of raising 6 boys with the salary of, well, a public school teacher.
My dad is a frustrated lawyer. This is just my way of saying he did not have the opportunity to study law, which is his dream; and end up being a history major at Arellano University, of which is by his own ‘diskarte.’ He is a self-made man. He told us of his story on how he managed to work at a young age, selling newspapers and doing side jobs, just to be able to study in college. He was completing his Masters degree when he decided to focus on raising us and continue serving in the Department of Education as a teacher.
My mom’s family is our opposite. They were 4 girls raised, for the most part, by her mother (my lola) alone. She finished her college degree in sociology at the University of the East. She decided to be a social science teacher in a public school in Malabon City, where their love story started, and until now, is still being written. Because of that, fast forward today, 6 Paras boys… well, men now, are going through life.
Among us, I (number 5) and my brother, Kuya Remus (number 4) followed the footsteps of our parents, molding the minds of the next generation.
Prior to meeting my English teacher in 3rd year high school, I wanted to be an Actor. (Don’t judge me… I really thought of being one to influence this nation hehehe). But it was in that specific English class during 3rd year, when Miss Riva (She already passed away due to cancer… or maybe the lack of financial support from… anyway…). I don’t exactly remember what our specific literature lesson was that time but on the motivation part of the class (you, teachers, know what I’m talking about), she asked us to be silent, listen to a song, and get the message. And so it plays… “What is life to offer me when I grow old… what’s there beyond sleep, eat work… (goes on… goes on…) for in this cycle that we called life, we are the ones who are next in line…”
My world stopped for a moment. For a short time, the happy-go-lucky, loud, arrogant me started to think… “What do I really want to do in my life?” Then I realized I wanted to inspire people… I wanted to be, like my parents, in their own way, serve people beyond what they are supposed to give. I wanted to change this nation.” Miss Riva has made an impact in my life that I decided to be, just like her, a literature teacher.
I entered college, few years after, in The Philippine Normal University, wanting to change this nation through education. It was during 1st year college in PNU when someone introduced Christ to me. The dream of wanting to be a teacher to serve progressed to desiring to be the next Department of Education Secretary of the Philippines. I learned that in Christ, I can dream bigger and I can serve in a bigger capacity. I learned that if I want to change this nation, the key is to reach the next generation for Christ. To allow them to see their God-given purpose in life. To raise a generation of young people who will be nation-builders and world-changers.
After college, I made a decision to serve as a full-time campus missionary, which initially was a decision to give my first fruits of labor to the Lord for a short season, which has not ended yet. But along the way, I’m still preparing for something big in the future. Pursuing graduate school and investing on skills and trainings might look aimless for others, but I just know in my heart that someday, the Lord will open that door to me… The one I set aside for a season… The public office of the department of education… or maybe more than that, who knows. But wherever God would call me, I will make sure that I will come prepared. I want to be the best, and to give my best, in whatever calling God has for me.
Looking back… I was sitting on that rusty public school armchair, listening to that song and thinking of what I want to do with my life… until today… one thing is still burning in my heart… I want to change this nation! But one thing is certain: This nation will surely change! God is in the business of transforming this nation. So you might as well join God’s agenda of changing The Philippines to a nation that honors Him, and where righteousness prevails.
Thank you, teachers! Your impact is way beyond what your lesson plan and sleepless nights can dare imagine.
It’s Metro manila Film Festival season again. It’s the time of the year when Christmas and New Year celebration are made colorful by Filipino movies in major cinemas in the Philippines. While many would give negative comments on the quality of movies our industry can offer, It is still a part of our holiday tradition during December. Many would still look forward and watch with their families and friends.
This year, we have seen the usual comedy, romantic, horror and drama, among many. What’s new are the line up of actors, although some are still familiar big names.
Topping the gross are My Bebe Love and Beauty and the Bestie. The first one features the sensational AlDub (which I suppose is the main reason why it went as an explosion). Good part of the story is how it caters to family. It is wholesome and has minimal to zero explicit language, action or material shown. It is good for family viewing, even with kids around. A better improvement would be the barrage of advertisement, both deliberate and subtly shown. Although this would be the condition of Filipino Film fest entries due to the lack of budget (So we need to support our own to level up the quality and not to depend much on ads).
On the other hand, Beauty and the Bestie is also a nice comedy movie, featuring Vice Ganda, Coco Martin and the popular JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre). This is a story of two friends trying to reconcile with one another through an interesting separate individual adventures, but ending up helping each other. Good side of the movie is the strong family and friendship values. It is also a “Good Vibes” kinda one! If you are expecting a logically cohesive plot, this is not for you. But if you just want to enjoy and laugh the day out, this can be recommended. However, you need to be watchful of foul language, sarcasm and the typical “Voce Ganda” punch lines (You know what I mean) Kids might not be ready to see such. There are also some “skin” shown.
Moving forward, here’s my TOP 3.
(Disclaimers: This is review by a Literature major and an avid movie goer, not a professionally trained movie critic. This is also carefully written as to not SPOIL the story, as if you guys are really interested LOLs)
#3 – All You Need is Pag-ibig
Story of different people finding their ultimate connection in LOVE. The movie is not just about romantic love but also, as the intro narrator said, “Different Kinds of Love.” It also highlights the value of loving your family, Father-Daughter reconciliation, High School reunion, and helping others find their way to love.
😁 The language is plain and clean (with minimal foul words only, mostly on expressions).
😁 Shows strong family values.
😁 Cleaner fun
😁 Realistic plot (Not far from what typical Filipinos are going through)
😭 Dereck’s quick show of skin. (Not appropriate for Kids)
😭 Some sexual undertone.
😭 Minimal Foul language (Cursing)
😭 Advertisement. Thank you, SM Malls, for being the star LOLs
Overall, It’s my 3rd best one this year. With all due respect to the 2 Top Grossers, this is a better story, casting, and setting than those. While the comedy the other 2 offer is as “expected” as that of a usual yearly entry, this one is better. It’s a mix of big cast (I would say the most number of BIG artists combined) and although individually they are already well read by people, It brings something new when they are combined. Remember: *clap clap clap* Powerful!!!
#2 – Honor Thy Father
This one is made differently. While most MMFF entries would give you a “Pinoy Film” effect (You’ll get one if you see tons and tons of Tagalog Movies), this one is kinda different. It is internationally ready and, just like those indie-films-made-big-internationally, this one is one of the best so far (Of which my 1st is Heneral Luna)
The title “Honor thy Father” is a biblical allusion of the 5th Commandment (Honor your Father and Mother – Exodus 20). It depicts the use and abuse of religion, and how one can fall to religious fanaticism in the name of “the Father.” It is also because of the father of the wife of the protagonist that made them struggle, and the rest of the story is about how they tried to survive from that. It also shows the “Coming to Age” of the Protagonist, trying to get the honor he deserve as the Father (and head of the family), which got lost when he previously disobeyed his father (now that’s another father), and live separately from his family in Bontoc.
😁 Very interesting plot twist. Not the typical predictable plot
😁 Cinematography is superb. It’s internationally ready, like what I’ve said.
😁 John Lloyd Cruz. (What else can you say? LOLs) He’s consistently good on heavy drama.
😁 Gives you the feeling of wanting to be involved and change the story. It means it is effective.
😁 Courageously bannered some of the blindspots of our nation.
😭 Morbid. Not for kids.
😭 Too many cursing and foul words.
😭 Might be sensitive for “religious” people.
Overall, We heard of the controversies this movie faced, including being disqualified for best picture and some political assaults, not to mention religious assaults from some denomination). While I agree with the quality of this movie, I also want to respect the decisions of those who screened it. Some strong evidences of violation were shown, including being played in different cinema and sent as entries prior to MMFF. I Placed it as my 2nd (only) not because of those controversies but for some other reasons, which I will partially explain below on my #1 spot.
#1 – Walang Forever
The story of a writer (Played by Jennylyn Mercado), finding her way to inspiration again as she reclaims her title as the ‘most acclaimed popular movie writer’ parallel to significant events in her life, which mainly is affected by her “forever” – played by Jericho Rosales. Her movie scripts are marked by their highlights as a couple, which was greatly challenged because of a sudden twist in their love affair. Towards the end, a shocking revelation (Not the typical “May ibang babae” or “It’s not you, it’s me” kind of twist) will make audience cry. It’s a bitter sweet story. In as much as I want to spoil it, I respect those who are still planning to watch.
😁 Very realistic story. It can be happening to some people you know, who are afraid to talk about it.
😁 Shift and flow of the story. The plot is well arranged. The conflict is well laid down. The choice of setting is realistic.
😁 Well written script. Daming quotables as well =)
😁 Combination of reality and documentary feels. (see what I mean when you watch the movie)
😁 The acting is amazing. While some of the entries are straight drama or comedy, this one shows strong versatility in changing roles. At one point you are laughing heavily, and on a split second you will burst into tears. It is probably the reason why both lead stars got the Best Actor/Actress respectively. I appreciate other big names in the industry opposite them, but most of them (although very good) show only one side of acting. These two are very mature and promising in what they have shown. And of course, the signature Jericho Rosales tears!!!
😭 Bed scene and other (minimal) sexual undertone.
😭 Foul words.
😭 They started in “Campus Ligawan” Might not show good values for students, but definitely depicts what really is happening in the campuses. (Don’t worry, It’s just a very quick scene)
Overall, It is my number one, heavily because of how the actors move the story, and the audience for that matter. The twist and turn of events, the unpredictable ending, the puzzle it will give you, trying to connect every event and having a moment of “AAAHHH THAT’S WHY!!!” towards the end of the movie. It also kinda redeem the value of love for one another. What you can do because you love the other person. It is Comedy, Romantic, Drama and Suspense (Not the horror kind of suspense, but the anticipation on the turn of events) in one.
What else can I say? Filipino movies are getting better and better. Hopefully you will consider supporting it. We will only go to the level we desire if we support it, and not just compare and complain.
Mabuhay ang Peliculang Filipino!
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