Thursday, September 29, 2005

AUF Cultura Competition

One of the big event annually celebrated by the Angeles University Foundation under the project the AUF Center for Culture and the Arts is the Intercollegiate Cultural Nights Competition. This annual event is the must prepared competition of every colleges wherein every colleges wanted to win. The effort was so great that they hire the best choreographers and conductors, get the most talented students of their college, spends a lot of money for props and costumes and most especially, staying very late in school just for rehearsals.

It is a three day competition from September 14-16. On September 14, the Choir and Solo singing was held; on September 15 is the band category and on the 16th day is the highlight and the main event of the Cultural Compettion, and that is the Dance Category.

Every year, the most given attention of the Cultural competiton is the Dance Category. Unlike the Choir and Solo Singing category which does not really change its theme, the Dance Category anually changes. This year’s theme was “Icons of the 20th Century.”

Each Colleges was given an icon to interpret. The Icons are: Albert Einstein(CCS),Helen Keller(CED),The Beatles(CAS),Pope John Paul II(CBA),Proncess Dianna(CMAP),Mother Theresa of Calcuta(CE),Muhammad Ali(CON).The College of Arts and Sciences bagged the Grand prize in the Vocal Solo Category,2nd prize is the College of Computer Studies and the College of Business Administration got the 3rd prize.In the Choir Category, the College of Arts and Sciences ranked 3rd ,the College of Nursing,2nd and the College of Education bagged the Grand prize. CAS also got one minor award which is the Best in Choreography(CHOIR).

In the Band Category, the College of Business Administration ranked 2nd, the College of Arts and Sciences ranked 1st and got the Best Slow RnB, and the College of Nursing got the Grand Prize.

In the Dance Category, The College of Education ranked 3rd plave, the College of Business Adminstration ranked 2bd,. And the College of Engineering got the Grand Prize and the Best Performer also came from thos college.

AUF really is the Center for Culture and the Arts.

Man of La Mancha -- The Preview

Who can write something about the first play ever staged of the Angeles University Foundation Center for Culture and the Arts Repertory but someone who is a part of the play itself? This article would not only be about the play as how the audience percieved it but as a whole from the rehearsals to the big night itself.

I may not be a part of the artistic staff but I am there to witness the commitment, the dedication and the hardwork of all the people involved to produce such an ambitous play. (I described it ambitous because as i have stated earlier, it is the first play ever staged of the fresh group of AUF and I think it is a "bigating" piece for amateur performers.)

Being a performer myself, I know what it should take to be a part of the AUF Repertory. Even from the very beginning, the famous director and actor, Tony Mabesa, wanted commitment and dedication once a person joins in the group. In fairness to Mabesa, though he is very ambitous about the chosen piece and demanding to all the peole involved, he has taught all of us to become professional artists.

As part of the Performing Arts, Mabesa wanted the dance troupe to be part of the play. He assigned us to be the crew of the play. As how Mabesa put it, we are the "unsung heroes" of the play. He said that we have a big contribution to the play as set changers and as assistants of the artists at the backstage.

It is a big turn of event for me since I have been an artist, as a dancer, for four years now. At this time, I may not be performing as one of the cast of the play but i do believe that I have contributed a lot from the play. And as a Mass Communaction student,I have learned a lot from the Mabesa about theater, from artistic directing to the technicals. I may say that it is a privilage and a great honor to be working with the legendary Tony Mabesa.

Regarding the preview of the play, i may not seen it as an audience but i have seen it so many times. I have seen the play at its best and its worst.

I can say that the preview of Man of La Mancha last September 27 was not yet the best that the performers could give. Since it rained so hard on that night, the voice of the performers were drowned by the sound of the rain pouring on the roof of the auditorium. There were also some lines mixed up and some forgotten. There was also the part of the leading lady, "Aldonza," wherein she lost her voice when she was siniging her song "Dulcinea."

At the end of the play, we have our regular company call wherein notes where jot down to know what are amiss from the play. According to Mabesa that is the purpose of having previews, to know how the audience will take in the play and know the artistic and technical problems that had happened so it would be given attention so that the play would be better the next time we
stage it.

I think the performers could still give more to justify their roles and satisfy the audience who paid P150 for the tickets. In fairness again to AUF Repertory, the tickets are already sold out.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Kapihan (Fiscal deficit)

The guest on September 21 Kampus Kapihan was Professor Leono Magtolis Briones is currently the Co-Convenor of Social Watch Philippines and an active member of the global network of Social Watch.

On the said event, She mentioned three ways that may help in solving the country's deficit problem. These three solutions that we could use are to 1.) Increase the revenues; 2.) Selective expenditure cuts and; 3.) Manage the debt.

The first solution ,that is to increase the revenues of the people, is not a good idea for Briones. Why? Because she said that the collection the of taxes would be indirect. It would be paid for every products or goods or services that we consume. She also added that it would make the poor peoples' lives more difficult because with every move that the people will be doing, they are paying taxes, which is unfair.

As what most people know it, it is called the Value Added Tax (VAT) that will surely hit the poor people because indirect taxes are consumption-based, as i have stated earlier. Briones also said that VAT has a very dangerous political and social consequence.

What briones apprpoved of is the direct taxes, wherein the tax would be paid through the peoples' salary. So it means that the bigger a person's salary, the bigger is the tax that would be getting from it. For Briones, that is the fair way to pay the taxes.

The second solution to the copuntry's deficit problem is the Selective expenditure cut. With this, it would mean that we should give priority to much more important sectors like health and education. Briones shared a little obvious situation that is happening in our country today and that is the lack of nurses and doctors on public hospitals. it is sad but true. most nurses now are leaving the country to work on the hospitals abroad while the doctors are now studying again to be nurses and again, just to leave the country.

And lastly, Manage our debt. The problem in our copuntry is we do not have someone who who manages our debt. Briones shared that the money loans are not recorded in specified items. so no one will know where that money was used.

For me, I think this is the most saddenning part of the Kapihan. According to Briones as of June 2005 our debt amounts to P6.163 Trillion. She even emphasized that a trillion has 12 zeros in it. So just imagine how big that is. she even said that in time, the responsibiltiy of paying that big credit wpuld be passed on to us since we are the future of this cpuntry. And to tell you the truth, it scares me. Now, i am indirectly paying taxes with the food, clothes and the pre-paid cards that I buy, what more when im already working? I can't imagine the thought.

One of my classmates, Micheal Bodin, asked a question to Briones. He asked if fund raising activities can be a feasible option to solve the deficit problem of our country. What Briones answered was no. Fund raising is not a possible way to solve our deficit problems because there will only be few people who trusts our government. And to be able to put up a fund rasing, it would need a hell lot of credibility. Though in some countries like Korea, fund raising was a success, where in women gave up their jewelries to help the country. but here in our country, Briones doubt if there would be people who would be doing the same thing. Honesty is lost in our government and so is trust of the people.

There was a quote of a columnist that Briones shared in the Kapihan who said that “it is only a question of time, it is inevitable that we will go to the International Monetary Fund.” It is because we do not have enough resources to pay for our debts. What had caused this is the mere fact that our country borrows some money that is far beyond our capability to pay for it.

Now, as citizens of this country, it is a must taht we should know the fiscal deficit of our country for us to to aware and eventualy help and not contribute more to our problem. Since we already have three options on how to solve the problem, the next wise thing to do is make it happen.

spurce of image:

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kapihan (first entry)

The topic on the Kampus Kapihan held yesterday, September 7, 2005, was about the safety, peace and order here in Pampanga. We are very lucky to have PS Supt. Leonardo A. Espina, Provincial Director, Pampanga PPO and PS Supt Policarpio Segubre, Chief of Police, Angeles City, as guests to give a talk on our press conference.

The presscon was headed by Mr. Federico Pascual, Director of Institute of Mass Communications. He opened the event by offering a short prayer.

The talk started by supplying us statistics regarding the population of the policemen in Pampanga. Segubre said that there is a ratio of 1:500. It means that there is only one police for 500 populations. He also added that there are 110, 000 police in Pampanga.

Espina also shared the problem being encountered by the police. He said that their problem primary lies on the budgetary constraints. He sited an example that on the 100% budget, 94%-96% are allocated for general appropriations like the policemen’s salary, allowance, retirement benefits, etc. The remaining 4%-6% are allocated for their operating expenses like their vehicle to do some rounds.

Espina sited the top five crimes committed here in Pampanga namely Physical injury, robbery, thief, homicide, murder and rape. He said that there is a decrease in number of crimes this year 2005 than last 2003-2004.

On 2003-2004, there are a total of 286 crimes. But this year there are only 280 crimes committed. Espina breakdown these crimes: Physical injury, 65; robbery, 65; thi9ef, 94; homicide, 9; murder, 30 and rape, 27.

Espina and Segubre made it clear on their talk that there are two kinds of crimes: index crimes and non-index crimes. Index crimes are crime which are universal that has regular occurrence and are used as parameters. There are also two categories under index crimes: Crime against person and crime against property. On the other hand, non-index crimes are crimes which cannot be used as parameters.

Another question was raised by Pascual. He asked the guests “when is a crime considered solved?” Segubre answered it by saying, “a crime is considered solved when it has been filed in the fiscal.” This is the technical way of saying that a crime is considered solved. Even though the suspect is not yet put to jail but eventually, the suspect would not be able to go out of the country so it may be considered solved.

“Pampanga is a very very peaceful area,” said Espina. What he meant by this was since we cannot prevent crimes from being committed, the least they could do is to solve each and every crimes.

The guests said that the major problem they face now is drug addiction. Espina said that the pusher and the user must get the same punishment because if there are no drugs, there is no crime. On the person who possesses the drugs, it depends on the weight of the drug that they may decide on his punishment. He added that most of the shabu laboratory that they have raided, most of the drug lords are pure Chinese. Out of 33 barangays in Angeles, five issues on drugs are not totally diminished yet.

The issue on cybersex was also opened by Bong Lacson, a media practitioner also invited in the presscon. Segubre explained this unending issue. He said that as of last year, they have only raided five cybersex dens and he admitted that among these five, all still do not have convictions. His explanation was because up to now, there is no specific law that will cover cybersex. There is a law on prostitution, on minors and women trafficking but still, there is none that may cover cybersex.

As what Espina have said, our constitution has too many laws in it but still, it is being left behind by the rapid development of technology.

On the question and answer part, two of my classmates, Lui and Sam, asked the guests concerning us students. They asked if there is a prescribed distance for stores who sell alcohol and to Internet cafes that has online games near the vicinity of the schools and if these Internet cafes are all monitored.

Segubre answered that there must be at least 200 meters distance from the school. Unfortunately, he has nothing much to say.

Pascual also asked the guests that in case the citizen were in trouble, what emergency number they should be calling. Segubre gave the national number Call Center 117, which is the same as 911 in United Sates. Pascual rebutted the effectiveness of 117. He shared his personal experience of once calling the number and he said that the call centers appear to be not well rounded and not credible in their jobs. Segubre seconded Pascual’s opinion on the call centers. He said that they are the problem why 117 i9s not effective. On the other hand, Espina also gave a local number that the citizens of Angeles may contact. It’s 0919-273-8688.

Dance Your Way to Success: Struggles of a Dance Guru

I chose to write something about the senior colloquium on entertainment because I personally can relate to it and my passion is the same as the guest’ and that is dancing.

The guest on August, 2005 senior colloquium was the good looking Kim Min Sun, a professional dancer in Korea. His English name is Terry. He is an exchange student from Pai Chai University and he enrolled here in Angeles University Foundation to study English.

Terry is a typical teenager who has typical problems. Just like any other teenagers, every parent wants their children to pursue their education before anything else. Sometimes, it may come to the point wherein they choose the course that their children should take in college.

Same thing happened to Terry. All his parents want is for him to continue his study and nothing else. But when Terry turned 20 years old, a dream had formed and he wanted to take a different path. Not like what his parents wanted.

Terry has a knack in dancing. His passion for it was so great that he decided to stop studying though his parents forbid it. He did not let anything or anyone hinder to follow his dream.

Before Terry attain what he has now, he experienced struggles just like any other person who want their dreams come true. Terry attended every concert of his admired singers and dancers and always makes sure that he is on the front row near the stage. He is one of the fans who are persistent just to see their idols.

But faith is good on Terry. He audition on a dance contest in the Internet and he got in. And that is where it all started on his career. Big opportunities came in like he danced as back up dancers with the famous Vaness Wu of the F4 band and Rain of the Korean novel titled Full House.

For six years, Terry danced his way to success. Now at late 30, his dream had a sudden shift. For him, his dancing experience is enough. He now wanted to become a flight attendant that is why he is studying English in AUF.

For him, dancing is just a stone throw away. He can always come back to it because it is something innate. But now, he is trying his very best to make another dream come true. And that is to become a flight attendant.