I am ashamed of many things in my life, but admitting I’ve been suffering from anxiety and depression disorders is not one of them. Not anymore. I used to believe that I was an anomaly, but it took some heavenly spark of optimism from others to make me realize I was not different. There were three people who made it possible for me to live to tell the tale. For confidentiality purposes, their names are masked as Courage, Hope and Strength.

The first is Courage. She has been a friend of mine since our first year in high school and is one of the bravest women I know. Being a new student that year didn’t stop her from expressing herself. I envied that about her. We were both editors at our high school newspaper and I admired her passion for writing and poetry. What drew us closer together was when I found out she was also battling depression. We both saw each other’s demise just from the look in our eyes. When you’ve felt the grip of depression, it’s easy to set apart the sad people from the crowd. It was always the same hollow, lifeless looks, the bowed heads and the aching twitches of their mouths when they tried to smile or keep themselves from crying. Even when I knew she was hurting, she talked to me when I was alone and gave me big bear hugs. She helped set a fire for me so I could see my way back even if it was temporary.

The second is Hope. I’ve known her for many years and she has been a trusted friend but we connect more through social media. We strike conversations on Twitter or Facebook which would last for hours in the middle of the night. She possesses the sincerity and humility of one that effectively brings out the best in people. In a significant time when I almost came to self-harm, I saw that she left more than a few kind words for me on Facebook as a reply to a letter I gave her. She wasn’t a depressive like Courage and me, but she understood. She didn’t exactly know what to say, but just listening was worth any kind of response. Her enthusiasm and curiosity about the world gave me hope like no other.

The third is Strength. She is one of my most cherished friends. Three years of knowing each other already feels like a lifetime. If I were to rank these three, Strength is the first and her presence at a suicide attempt proved that. When I was confined in hospital, she stayed for hours even if she had school the next day. She sent me flowers and get-well-soon cards, but most of all she sent me her love. She has seen me at my best and worst, and yet she’s still here.  She stayed with me and listened to me, never judged me, and never made me feel so alone. It wasn’t just in my utmost time of need. In her little cat-littered home, we’d go as deep as if we were still stardust and as shallow as skimming pebbles on a pond. My family taught me how to open my heart, but she’s the one who made me do so, and that takes a truly one-of-a-kind strength to do..

Read the rest of the story at the Philippine Daily Inquirer Young Blood >> opinion.inquirer.net/77884/kindness-saves

Miriam College Child Study Center held a Parenting Seminar-Workshop for Kindergarten Parents entitled, “Home Base: Life Skills Building for Children” last August 2 at the Angel Uriel Hall of CSC. This was facilitated by Michele S. Alignay, a Registered Guidance Counselor who is also well-known as a Family Life Specialist.  
The seminar-workshop aimed to make the parents become more aware of their role in developing the three important aspects that will make their children cope and adjust easily in life.  These are sense of independence, self-help skills and self-expression. Parents gave a positive feedback on the seminar-workshop saying that they now  “appreciate and realize the importance of creating and establishing a strong attachment with their children.”

Celito Arlegue, senior lecturer from the College of International, Humanitarian and Development Studies (CIHDS) spearheaded a political party management workshop for members of the National League of Democracy (NLD) – the political party of Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The three-day workshop, which took place at NLD’s Capacity Development Centre in Rangoon, Burma last August 8-10, aimed to capacitate NLD with the knowledge and skills in winning elections, drawing from electoral theory and practice in the Asian context. Around 40 prospective candidates and campaign officials from the NLD attended the event – many of them former political prisoners.

Arlegue is also the executive director of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, a regional network of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia.

Fourth Year BS Accountancy student Sharmaine Gonzaga won First Place at the 2014 Student Camp Essay Writing contest organized by the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA). Her winning essay covered the theme “Values Education: Rediscovering our Values to Foster a Better You and Build a Better World”.

The event was held at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan from August 11 to 15. Sharmaine Gonzaga and Sophia Dianne Garcia (Fourth Year International Studies) both represented Miriam College at the student camp.

Enactus Miriam College (MC), comprised of Entrepreneurship students, made it to the Enactus Philippines National Finals and landed 2nd Place of League 4. The event was held last July 25 -26at SMX Convention, Manila.

For the first time, MC braved it with 18 seasoned Enactus players coming from different colleges and universities all over the country. They came to win and represent the Philippines at the Enactus World Cup which will take place in Beijing, China on October 22-26, 2014.

IMPACK is the social entrepreneurship venture entry of MC which was developed as  a “disaster and survival preparedness product” by a team of entrepreneurship students and faculty advisors for their course. The product aims to save and transform lives.

IMPACK is a universal lightweight life vest bag that contains different compartments to store survival essentials such as bottled water, canned goods, and first aid kit. It comes with a detachable duffle bag to store other personal belongings, and a sleeping mat to provide padding and thermal insulation which also doubles as a decent body bag. By valuing life and soul, the life vest allows user to float in cases of flooding and save precious lives. The product is currently being tested at the Department of Science and Technology Laboratory.

Part of the venture is to bring hope to out-of-school youth and underprivileged families by tapping them to create the bags through a micro enterprise set up in Antipolo.

The faculty advisers were Theresa Cruz and Asst. Prof. Maria Luisa Gatchalian of the Entrepreneurship Department. CBEA faculty Bobet Romuladez and Stella Fong were the coaches for the presentation during Enactus National Finals last July.

The Department of Entrepreneurship will continue with IMPACK-Enactus Miriam College as its social venture project. It intends to create new products and  invigorate its commitment to forming young women entrepreneurs and leaders.

Photos show (top left) the Enactus Miriam College team with Senator Bam Aquino and Enactus Philippines Chairman/CEO Jose P. Leviste with the Trustees; ( photo insert) Danina Chua presenting IMPACK’s features; (bottom) the team with former Miriam College President and now Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan; and the group (below) with Asst. Prof. Malou Gatchalian.

The Miriam College High School was named Overall Champion, a 6-peat feat, at the WNCAA’s 44th Season. Photos show the eight teams which competed at the WNCAA with Dr. Fermin. The trophy was awarded last August 9. The eight teams are: Basketball (1st runner up); Volleyball (2nd runner-up); Soccer (1st runner-up); Pep Squad Hardcourt (1st runner-up); Badminton  (Champions); Softball (Champions); Swimming; Taekwondo and Table Tennis.

Grade 7 students Amanda Luisa M. Roque and Marina Sophia C. Fagela were chosen as Junior Ambassadors to the 2014 Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) held last July 10-22 in Fukuoka, Japan. The APCC aims to foster global citizens who are able to think of the world beyond national boundaries and work towards peace and co-existence. Amanda and Marina joined six other ambassadors from different schools to comprise the Philippine delegation.

“Being chosen as a junior ambassador for the APCC changed my life. It changed the way I see the world. We stayed for a week at a marine camp and another week with a Japanese family. At the camp, I met people from 42 different countries. This taught me to be more sociable and to respect other cultures,” says Marina Sophia of 7-Kasilag who also had a three-day visit at a local school.

Apart from meeting new friends, Amanda Luisa  of 7-Tandang Sora shared that her homestay was one of most memorable experiences in her trip. “My host family was loving and hospitable. They took me to so many places, took care of me and made me feel I was part of their family. The lessons I learned are not to judge people without knowing them first and treat everyone like your family,”  she said.

“May nangyari na (Something has already happened)” is the terse explanation given by a Filipino parent when queried why she (more frequently it is the mother) is marrying off her daughter. That “something” is usually sex, usually after the daughter “elopes” with her boyfriend or comes home after an unauthorized night out.

There is even an unsavory Filipino saying to explain why the family honor must be upheld: Kapag  ang  aso  kinagat  ang  buto,  hindi  pwedeng  ito’y  hindi  malawayan  (roughly, when a dog runs away with a bone, there is no way it won’t be licked), so that even if the young couple loudly protest that in fact “nothing happened,” nobody would believe them.

Coming home to her hometown of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and looking for a research topic for her doctoral dissertation, Maryknoll nun Sr. Teresa Dagdag (“Sister TD” to her friends) asked influential persons in her community what they considered the “biggest” problem in society. The common response, from parish priests to parents, was teenage marriage—young people getting married even if they lack the necessary preparation for it simply because the bride is pregnant. Initially planning her dissertation to focus on the “indigenization” of the Catholic marriage ritual, Sister TD decided to probe deeper into the social and cultural roots of early sex and marriage.

The book “May Nangyari Na: Mga Kuwentong Kabataan” is a distillation of Sister TD’s research and analysis, an effort to bring her findings and conclusions to an audience beyond academic circles. At its heart are interviews and case studies with 10 young women (out of about 60 interviewed) in Nueva Ecija and in Jala-jala, Rizal, where the Maryknoll sisters have a mission.

“This book takes a studied look at the junctures from socialization to marriage,” writes Sister TD, “a path which is marked by decision making.” When forced to make a decision—to enter a relationship or not (courtship), to take the relationship seriously, to engage in sex, to enter into marriage—young people need “the anchoring and connectivity of their parents,” says Sister TD. But too often, this parental help line is unavailable, judgmental, or half-hearted.

* * *

Key to how a young woman survives the transition from girlhood to adolescence to womanhood, says Sister TD, is the “mother-daughter dyad,” their exchange of communication, information, values and confidences, and how these bear on the process of making life choices. In much of her research, says Sister TD, “the father is usually invisible or absent.”

But what happens in many cases, the Maryknoll nun finds, is that in the absence of a genuine mother-daughter dynamic, when “something happens,” social factors come into play.

We are all familiar with the pressure put on the family of the  disgrasyada  or disgraced woman, who is suddenly burdened with the responsibility of upholding the family honor. And much too often, this means marrying the father of one’s child, thereby “restoring” the family’s name, or “face.” And thus does marriage—hurried, furtive, falsely celebratory—become what Sister TD describes as “a community response to an otherwise stigmatized outcome.”

* * *

Explaining why she persevered in the years between research, writing and publishing, Sister TD says that foremost in her mind was the desire “to share with parents, mentors, educators and counselors and with young people” the thoughts, feelings, experiences and life-lessons shared by the teenage wives and mothers she interviewed.

She also wanted to encourage youth-carers “to support and accompany young people as they explore positive sexuality,” as well as to share the aspirations “of young people who had become mothers.”

A supporter of the Reproductive Health Law, Sister TD advocates the crafting of a sex and sexuality education curriculum that takes into consideration young people’s values, self-image, and aspirations, as well as awareness of one’s body, emotions, and reactions. At present, the Maryknoll nun observes, “sex education is only about menstruation,” what was once known as “hygiene.”

Sister TD also thinks a serious examination of gender structures and gender expectations is needed when teaching healthy decision-making among young people. She cites the language used by many of her respondents: “ginamit” (used), “nilaspag” (run to the ground) when referring to their sex lives, references to their view of themselves as machines.

* * *

During the book launch of “May Nangyari Na” at Miriam College, two reactors gave linked and contrasting testimonies around the matter of teen sexuality.
Edna, a community leader, spoke movingly of early sex viewed from the parent’s perspective, telling the story of her daughter who left home while still in her early teens and putting them through the wringer as they traced her journey through delinquency and even prison.

Erika, on the other hand, spoke of her experiences of being an 18-year-old “single mother” who, supported in her decision by her parents, continued to pursue her college education and is now gainfully employed. “It’s not easy,” she told the audience, especially because she is no longer in a relationship with her son’s father, “but I am thankful my parents did not force me to marry him.”

When “something happens,” young women face a crossroads in their lives. In her book, Sister TD points out that there is no single path, no single destination, for them. The young woman has her whole life ahead of her, and she can make the right choices for herself only if the significant adults in her life take time to listen to and respect her story, her feelings, and her dreams, and provide support and emotional anchoring in a tumultuous time.

SOURCE: Philippines Daily Inquirer >> http://opinion.inquirer.net/77547/when-something-happens#ixzz3ChOyv1S7

If we survived the stress brought to us by high school exams and especially college entrance tests, college mid-terms should be a piece of cake. However, we shouldn’t take it lightly, in fact, now that we’re in college, we must step up our game. Here are some of the survival tips that I wish to share which will hopefully help my fellow freshmen:

1. Prepare.

If you’re the kind of person that easily gets anxious because exams are coming, here’s the best tip for you. Prepare ahead of time so that it would be easier for you to study for the upcoming tests. Make sure you know all the topics that will be included in your exams so you won’t miss out on anything!

2. Be organized.

This tip is very important and essential not only for those OC people (like me) but for everyone in general. Organize your notes and keep the reviewers you’ve made for the quizzes you’ve had before the exam. This will help you save time and accomplish more.

3. Prioritize.

Know your priorities. Focus on what you have to do first and finish it before you start doing another task. If you start on two tasks at once, it will be less likely for you to finish faster.

4. Manage your time.

The best thing to do is make a schedule and be sure to stick to it. Don’t spend too much time on one thing instead, make sure you allot enough time for each task.

5. Avoid cramming and procrastinating.

Never ever practice these traits. We’re already in college; we must have the initiative to accomplish things. Don’t ever procrastinate because in the end, you’ll cram and if you do, you won’t produce high quality works.

6. Avoid distractions.

Cut-off the sources of distractions like cellphone, tablet, laptop, and especially social media. Like what I said earlier, know your priorities, and these things shouldn’t be on top of your lists. 

7. Take advantage of the consultation hours.

If you cannot understand a thing your prof said during class, don’t hesitate to consult him or her during consultation hours. Every prof allots a specific time for consultation; you just have to ask them about it.

8. Find a study style which best works for you.

Everybody has their own way of studying. If a quiet place works for you, then go for it. On the other hand, if study groups work for you then go find yourself some study buddies. Settle for what is comfortable for you and what will make you focus more on what you’re doing.

9. Take a break.

Don’t stress too much about the upcoming exams. Take a break every now and then to refresh your mind and to regain energy. Yet, don’t take too much breaks that you end up procrastinating.

10. Sleep.

Do not ever sacrifice sleep to study. Everybody needs to sleep. What some people do is that they take a power nap that lasts for about 20 minutes to 1 hour only before starting to study. Pulling up an all-nighter could drain you for the next day which is why it is important that you allot enough time for sleep.

Some of my batch mates from high school shared their own ways on how to prepare for the upcoming exams. Take a look at what they said!

“Get sleep before midterms.” – Gia Cordero (BS ETC)

“Never procrastinate. Set your priorities straight. A teacher once told me that we should already prepare ourselves for exams a week before, so the weekend before the exam we are able to relax and rest.” – Mikyle Ilustre (BSCDE-SPED)

“Before my exams, I ensure that I have notes and I rewrite it to make a reviewer because it helps me to remember the lessons easily. I let myself to focus more; it means no distractions so that I could ace my exams. I also ask for God’s guidance so that He could help me make through the exam week.” – Mariela Fellone (BS BIO)

“What I did back in high school was I’d summarize my notes (with more examples and things like acronyms) and for me it was an effective way of recalling the topic since it becomes fresh to my memory. Another was I’d talk to myself about the topic, medyo weird but it works.” – Selina Almario (BS PSY)

“I study again 15 minutes before the test so that everything sticks!” – Denise Villarino (BA PSY)

“Complete tasks, one by one. Sometimes multi-tasking makes it more complicated.” – Elyse Enciso (BS PSY)

Hopefully, these tips could help you throughout the exam week! Study well and good luck!

Carla Egargo

Carla is a college freshman taking up Psychology in Miriam College. She loves travelling and dancing. She also has the heart for arts and music.

 Would you like to contribute to MC News features?
Email us at externalaffairs [AT] mc [DOT] edu [DOT] ph.

Ana May Dominique De Dios (3rd year BA Communication) did it again! De Dios was among the finisher of the 38th MILO® Manila Leg Eliminations Marathon held last July 27 at the MOA.

De Dios finished 42K in 5:39:30 running time and ranked at 1843 out of 2541. The  gun started at 3:00 a.m. with the starting and ending point at Corner Bayshore Ave.

De Dios has made a mark at the Bataan Death March Ultra-marathon race last March and last June at the Independence Day race.
The MILO® Marathon is the longest-running and most-attended marathon in the Philippines. Since its inception in 1974, more and more people have joined, making it the brand’s biggest and grandest sports event.  – Patti Morales

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