Sunday, 12 July 2015

Looking Back: Senior Highs

It's been a little over a month since I graduated, and I still can't believe that my university life is over. Everyday, I find something new to miss about college - seeing my classmates in school, my daily commute to and from Manila, and more recently, with the monsoon season kicking in, class suspensions.

The so-called real world is more cruel than I thought it would be. After a couple of interviews and writing tests, I finally landed a job as a copywriter-slash-editorial assistant at an online magazine. It's a nice place to get the hang of office life, but honestly, I don't see myself holding that job for a long time. I have yet to realise my real goals, but once I get hold of them, I will surely do my best to achieve them.

In this post, I'd like to look back at my last few months as an undergrad, as I never had the chance to write about them...

13 March - 2015 Philippine Journalism Research Conference
I have never really been the kind of student who would join competitions. Knowing that I write okay is enough for me. I never felt the need to apply for awards or contests to affirm that.

Last March, however, I found myself competing in the Special Projects category of the 2015 Philippine Journalism Conference. I honestly didn't want to join, but a professor of mine was insistent. He told me I should submit the paper I wrote about the Kalinga tattoo.

Thinking it would never get through anyway, I emailed an excerpt to the board in my Uni. The next thing I knew, my work made it through the screening processes, and I had been named as one of the finalists in a national competition. What's even crazier was that I was going to present alone!

Almost every output in the category would be presented by groups or partners, and I had to go A-L-O-N-E! Geez! You don't know how much stress the fear of speaking in front of an audience and a panel of judges caused me. I was cursing myself for submitting my work in the first place.

But on the day of the competition, things went really well. Call it what you will, a miracle or Divine Intervention. It was unbelievable that I pulled off such a presentation. None of the judges gave me negative comments, only suggestions and looks of approval. For a moment, I thought I was going to win. But I didn't, and that's okay. At least the experience helped me realise that I was capable of doing something I never thought I could.

The only photo of me while presenting, taken by my friend Kai :)

With some classmates, who competed in the Investigative
Report category

30 March - Journos on ice
Growing up watching ice skaters like Kristi Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan, and Tara Lipinski performing, it had always been a dream of mine to try skating on ice, so I was super ecstatic when my Sports JRN groupmates liked my idea of interviewing a friend of mine who's a figure skater for our final project, a magazine show. I knew it was my chance to test my feet on ice, so, we scheduled the interview, and went on with the shoot.

Gosh, I didn't like being on ice at all! Haha! I was constantly worried about slipping and fracturing my skull that I didn't get to enjoy the experience anymore. And I wasn't alone, my team also found it quite tricky getting on the other side of the rink, where the lighting was better. After that day, my respect for figure skaters shot up to a whole different level.

Pretentious sk8r journos with figure skater Emee Dy

11 April - Thesis it!
After all those sleepless nights, consultations with statisticians and advisers, seemingly endless collection of surveys, and long hours spent at the library (revising, encoding, and whatnot), we finally got to defend our thesis successfully. It's one of the most relieving moments of my entire college life.

If you're wondering what our thesis is about, we focused on fake news on Facebook. So, it's all about analysing news stories that appear on Facebook, checking facts, hunting for hoaxes, and trying to find out how much UST journ students believed the fake news stories we selected for our study.

The golden trio

The fruit of our labour

Our obligatory post-thesis defense disorder syndrome photo

12 April - Fly on the Wall
The day after our thesis defense, we shot another segment for our sports magazine show: wall climbing! I was about 10 years old when I first tried wall climbing and I totally enjoyed it. Ten years later, I still found it fun! Totally loved the adrenaline rush!

21 April - PR Presentation
While our thesis defense is like the BIGGEST requirement for us to graduate, there's another that comes close enough: our presentation for our Public Relations course. We had the best professor to teach the subject, which can be a good and a bad thing at the same time - good, cos we learned a lot from him, and bad, cos his standards and expectations were pretty high.

The group I was part of had to revamp the PR department of a construction company, and I was in charge of making the layouts for a coffee table book featuring the projects of the company and other promotional items. Preparing for the presentation was really stressful  for everyone, having been drained (brains, bodies, and pockets) by our other projects, but getting a smile of approval from our professor meant a lot. It was also the last senior requirement that we had to deal with, so we celebrated with some pizza and pasta right after.

With the JoMa Carlos

28 April - Dapitan book launch
One of my biggest frustrations is not being able to get any of my written works published on Dapitan, the official literary folio of the Flame. So, in my senior year, I ultimately stopped trying and accepted the fact that I'm not much of a lit writer. But, somehow, by some miracle, I made it in this year's Dapitan, and not as a writer but as an artist.

Our art director took notice of some of my paintings and suggested to the literary editor that I illustrate the chapter divisions. Needless to say, I was thrilled. I may not be good enough a writer to be published on Dapitan but, at least, I'm artsy enough to illustrate its much-needed chapter division images. Also, a photo I took was chosen to be featured on the cover, so I was extra stoked about the whole Dapitan thing.

The theme of this year's Dapitan is Time. Check out Prague's Astronomical Clock on the cover

The shameless senior Flame crew

Here are some of the paintings I made for Dapitan:

2 May - Deadline of Thesis
Good riddance!

15 May - The Send-Off
Remember four years ago when I posted about the Thomasian Welcome Walk? Well, this time, we had our farewell walk - or farewell run, or farewell walk-and-run-and-jump - and it happened on the, best night of my entire college life!

The send-off started with a parade (each college had its own gimmick - we wore flower garlands), followed by the baccalaureate mass, then  a couple more university traditions (oath-taking, exchanging of the Dominican Cross, lighting of candles, and others I can't quite remember anymore) , which was capped off by a kick-ass Rock of Ages-themed fireworks display, before we mobilized towards the historic Arch of the Centuries to make our much-awaited exit.

Like eager children, we broke into a run out of the Arch, and that was it - one step was all it took for us to realise that we are finally putting an end to our college days. Just thinking about it now still gives me goosebumps, and I might even be a wee bit emotional as I type this. That night really was the highlight of my Thomasian life.

Writing short messages on our uniforms is tradition
Having to wear a blouse or polo with a Sharpie-drawn dick is a curse

Thesis mates

Flame peeps

With my confidantes

Mr. Class President and the bane of his existence :D

Joan and Andy - inseparable since 2011

My attempt at a #selfie :D

Forever seatmates :D

Free at last!

27 May - The Finish Line
Graduation Day. While the ceremony itself was long and boring, I was happy enough to spend the occasion with family and friends.

I hate having to get glammed up, but I graduate from college only
once, so I thought I might as well. Haha! Not wanting any fuss, I
kept things simple and did my own hair and makeup.

I so loved Shraddha Kapoor's campaigns for Anita Dongre's Global Desi that I swore 
I would wear a dress from Global Desi on my graduation day, and I did! Had to have 
it flown all the way from India. Belt's from Stradivarius, while the bag was gifted to 
me by designer Cora Jacob. My nails are inspired by the signature colours of 
UST - black, gold, and white. I also painted my fingers with henna.

4 June - 4 JRN 1 Farewell Party
I don't usually attend parties, but for some reason, I felt the urge to attend my class' farewell party. It was a simple overnight house-slash-pool party (we were trying to catch up on summer) and only about half of our class made it, but it was fun nonetheless.

A different setting for 4JRN1


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Before They Were Stars: Bollywood Edition

It's always a delight to see photos of celebrities before they shot to stardom. It makes the fact that they're normal human beings just like us even more believable. 

A while back, I posted a compilation of childhood pics (embarrassing yearbook photos included!) of Hollywood's hottest stars. And since I'm a huge fan of Bollywood too, I thought why not create a similar post especially for B-town celebs? So I took the liberty of Googling and saving some old photos of today's most talked-about Bollywood actors, and here are what I found:

Shraddha Kapoor
The Aashiqui 2 stunner wasn't always as flawless as she looks now, but
admit it, she's always had that infectious smile! Catch her next month 
in the Disney 3-D dance flick ABCD2 with Varun Dhawan!

Shahid Kapoor
Judging by the photo, looks like Shahid was quite a naughty boy back in
the day! Well, the Haider actor grew up to charm millions of hearts across
the globe. Too bad, he's off the market. Word is, he'll be tying the knot
with fiancée Mira Rajput in June!

Alia Bhatt
Don't you just want to pinch those cheeks? Alia has some of the cutest
baby photos on the web that I couldn't resist sharing two more with you! 

Ranveer Singh
Seems like the Gunday star was born to be in front of the camera! But
before joining the roster of Bollywood's hottest actors, did you know that
he completed a degree in Creative Writing?

Parineeti Chopra
Doesn't the photo on the left remind you of her avatar Meeta in Hasee Toh
? The ever smart and sassy Pari hadn't always seen herself becoming
an actor. She actually eyed a career in investment banking! Whuuut?

Sidharth Malhotra
The Ek Villain stud said in an interview with Zoom that he enjoyed an
active childhood, spending most of his days playing outdoors. He soon
took interest in sports like basketball and rugby. In his upcoming movie
Brothers, an official remake of the 2011 Hollywood drama film Warrior,
Sid will be exhibiting his skill in mixed martial arts.

Yami Gautam
Being part of thought-provoking movies like Vicky Donor and Badlapur
Yami Gautam is proving that she's on her way towards becoming one of 
Bollywood's hottest leading ladies.

Varun Dhawan
It's pretty hard to imagine that someone who played such a dark role in
Badlapur was once an innocent little cutie pie, who's nicknamed "Pappu"

Raise your hand if you can't wait to see Varun showcase his stellar
dance moves in ABCD2!
*raises both hands*