Monday, September 22, 2014

Helpful Gas Attendants in SLEX earn admiration

The thing about working overseas is that we get to develop strong sense of patriotism. I don't know if it's only me but hearing good things about Philippines just gives me this feeling of great joy and pride. But that's not case most often because with all the political bruhaha, news of left and right corruption in the government, the never-ending calamities and crimes, it's more like hope goes down to its lowest level most of the time.

But this story is different. In Facebook, Mei Pop shared this story: 

From Mei Pop's FB page
Faith in humanity restored.

While I was preoccupied by so many things and SLEx was almost zero visibility because of the typhoon, I forgot that I had to make a pitstop to get cash from an ATM at a gas station just before my exit at Southwoods. That's after making a mental note that I had to do it since I only had 90 bucks on me and I need 62 bucks more to pay the toll fee. Rattled, I decided to go to the next and last gas station southbound, which was two exits away from where I was, only to find out from the gasoline boys, after briefly telling them about my problem, that no ATM machines were available there.

So I parked the car as panic was rapidly setting in and tried to contact my husband for SOS. At that point, one of the gasoline boys came up to me. Upon rolling the window down, I saw that he was handing over a few 20 bucks and said that he and the others chipped in in order to help me and that they were hoping that the money amounting to a hundred is enough for me to take the next exit and look for an ATM machine.

I was so moved by their kindness, knowing that the money could've easily been a big portion of their very limited allowance for the night. Tearing up, I told him that I will get cash and bring their money back right away. To which he responded with "hindi ma'am, tulong na po namin yan sa inyo."

I didn't know what else to say. I felt like thank you will never be enough for the kind of compassion they extended towards a stranger like me.

After finally being able to get money, I went back to Caltex as promised. They didn't want the money back but I insisted. I tried to offer a little extra too but they said that they helped me without expecting anything in return. I was simply floored at how amazing these people are!

Thank you again, Shaun, Joel, Orly and Rendel! All of you are living testaments that there indeed is hope for humankind. There should be more people like you! I can never thank you enough. Ever.

Now, this is something that I want to hear and read about my country. This is something worth sharing, indeed.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cheers to the Term Break

Exam week! 

Just few days more and the first term of the school year ends. Yes! I could finally say that I have survived the first five months in my new school - the "boys school" no less. It is quite a transition I must admit, having taught at the "girls school" for two years. As they say - boys are from Mars and girls are from Venus because they live  totally from distinct worlds. As for my part, the experience itself is both interesting and challenging in the sense that there's a big disparity in teaching between boys and girls when it comes to their learning styles and attitude. But that's where the "challenge" comes in and I'm not backing out (wink).


My first year in Buddhachinnaraj School was the turning point of my teaching - a real baptism of fire, indeed. Having only 15 students under my advisory class back in the Philippines, it was a shock for me to face more than 50 students in a classroom who had difficulty in digesting my lessons because of language problem. The positive part is that the Thai teachers in the department were all supportive so it made my adjustment period pretty fine and while I mentioned that there were students who require more efforts to teach, there were also students who made those 2 years worthy to reminisce.

These are just few of my students who made my 2-year stay
in Buddhachinnaraj School worthwhile.

The experience in Chalermkwansatree School was real smooth because I had the chance to teach students who are under the English Program (EP). Not only do the students have better facility of the English language, let's face it "girls" are the loveliest creatures to teach (no offense to the boys meant in here) :).

LE Family. They call themselves Lok Enzo (Enzo's Children).
 What could be more sweeter than that?

So far, so good

Being here now in Phitsanulok Pittayakom School means a lot of things for me - new school, new students, new beginning, new experiences, new challenges. These past five months have given me much of them already and so far - they have been very good. 

And I'm looking forward to having more of them but for the mean time - let me enjoy my term break first! 

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pinoys dominate Australia's X Factor Auditions

Marlisa Punzalan

Filipinos singing voice is continuously heard all over the world and in the recent auditions for Australia's 2014 Edition of X Factor, so far, there's not just one but four "Pinoys" earned standing ovations and remarkable comments from the celebrity judges.

Mary Ann Van der Horst (Halo)

Justin Vasquez (Sunday Morning)

Marlisa Punzalan (Yesterday)

Jal Joshua (Open Arms)

With all these remarkable talents, it is a big possibility that a Pinoy will bring home the Australia's X Factor 2014 title.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

P'lok helps Haiyan victims

Phitsanulok, Thailand.

It started with a post in the FB wall on November 11, 2013.
Many of our "Kababayans" in the Philippines are in most need of not just our PRAYERS but our generous hearts to extend something to at least lessen their suffering. Many of them need FOOD, WATER, CLOTHING, MEDICINES, TEMPORARY SHELTER, etc and since it is impossible for us to hand them these things personally, our CASH DONATIONS (aside of course from our CONSTANT PRAYERS) might just be the best thing that we could offer at the moment. 

For those whose hearts are touched to can hand in your donations to any SNCFC Officers and rest assured that the little amount you may extend will go to a reputable agency (initially planned: SAGIP KAPAMILYA of ABS-CBN) to do the aid on our behalf. 
Little did we know that what was supposed to be a little request of help for the victims of the  super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines will turn out into something bigger than what we imagined. The post was re posted and shared by the SNCFC officers in their FB wall and in no time, it gained hundreds of likes and overwhelming response. 

Ajarn Wanlapat Suksawas, an instructor at Naresuan University here in Phitsanulok has read the FB post of Letty Comeros, who is her son's teacher in Anuban Phitsanulok School. Ajarn Suksawas then created another post in Thai Language on her own FB wall and mobilized university students to go around the university to collect donations for the Philippines. In less than a week, Ajarn Suksawas and her students were able to hand in to us a total amount of 29, 606. 00 Baht.

When Ajarn Orawan Tagong, the EP Department Head of Chalermkwansatree School learned of the fund-raising activity for the Philippines, she informed the school director of the said project who never hesitated to give her permission to collect donations from the students. The next day, the seven Filipino teachers in CHS including myself were given the opportunity to share about the project to the students and teachers. After saying a few words, the collection started. It was a sight to behold. Our hearts melted seeing the students and the teachers who unselfishly shared for our country. The school director personally handed to us 52, 200 Bahts which we later send to the SAGIP KAPAMILYA of ABS-CBN.

COUNTING. Class leaders count the amount they have raised after the collection.

AJARN ORAWAN. EP Manager supervising the fund raising activity.
 The SNCFC set of officers approached Rev. Fr. Prasert Sitti, the Parish Priest of Saint Nicholas Church and School Director of Saint Nicholas School in Phitsanulok, to ask for his blessings for the group to have a little time in the school's flag ceremony to share about the project to the students. Fr. Prasert did not only gave us his permission but his 100 % support to the endeavor. Before we went out from his office that evening, he gave us an envelope containing 10, 000 Bahts. Two days later we went back to the school, most of us with heavy hearts brought about by the heart rending news we got from the grief stricken places that were hit by the catastrophe. As we sang songs for the students, we weren't able to hold back our emotions but we managed to finish the songs that we prepared for them even with momentary sobs. We were even more touched when we received their donation - 10, 000 Bahts from the School Administration, 23, 870 Bahts from the students and 2,000 Bahts from Vincent de Paul Youth Organization.

1000 BAHTS. A teacher shows her love gift for the Haiyan victims. 

BOX. Teachers and students fell in line to drop their donations.

Through the concerted efforts of the Filipino teachers and the administration in the different schools around Phitsanulok and even in the nearby provinces, cash donations and relief goods continued to pour in.

Anuban Phitsanulok School was able to raise a total amount of 35,043 Bahts which was later distributed to their teachers who were directly affected by the typhoon and the earthquake in Bohol. Janokrong School was able to donate 9,831 Bahts while Teeratada School had raised 10,000 Bahts. Meanwhile, the same fund raising activity was done in Rajabhat University - Kamphaeng Phet, Phitsanulok Pittayakom School, Watyang School, Wangthong Pittayakom School and Triam Udom Suksa School of the North (Phitsanulok).

LOVE. Overflowing act of kindness from Janokrong School students and teachers.
JR SCHOOL. A student leader who helped the teachers in going around the school to collect donations. 

The long list does not end here as there were more donations that came in coming from private organizations and concerned individuals that contributed to the total amount raised of 231, 629 Bahts.

To all of those who helped SNCFC in this endeavor - the students, parents, teachers, friends, the people of Phitsanulok and Thailand...


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Monday, September 2, 2013

EP Open House '13: CHS reaps top honors

EP (English Program) students of Chalerkwansatree School once again brought home honors in the recently held EP Open House, August 23 -25 at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University (CRU) in Chiang Rai. 

The students earned top places in the different contest categories; Singing, Spelling Bee, Skit, and Impromptu Speech Contests which were participated by around 20 schools from the Northern Region of Thailand. Meanwhile, CHS-EP booth was one of the most visited booths in the two-day event.

EP MASCOTS.The CHS-EP Mascots were a hit to the kids and adults alike.
EP SONG. "Hey, show us your smile...we'll tell you about EP at Chalermkwansatree..."
The winners were Natyada Srilaphruek, 1st Place (Singing Contest); Supichaya Khaewkamnerd, 1st Place (Spelling Bee); Phattarawadee Buabmee, Saraya Srisathun, Tranwimol Wangtrakuldee, Saranphon Phethan and Aviga Oprasertsawat, 2nd Place (Skit) and Thittawan Noenpompisut, 3rd Place (Speech).

HAVE YOU SEEN MY CHILDREN?. The actors who won second in the Skit Contest.

COACHES. The proud coaches of the winning students with the lady boss, Ajarn Orawan Tagong.

Chalermkwansatree School of Phitsanulok commits itself to enhance students' knowledge, skills and competence in English that will enable them to be confident and successful. This year's performance in the Open House proves that the school's curriculum is taking effect among the students.

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