Thursday, April 4, 2013

almost a year of silence...

Wow! It's been almost a year since I last came to this blog of mine. When I tried to log in this morning my first try failed since I could not remember anymore my exact password for this site. Then I got some help from blogger so now I'm up and about. I am excited to make this blog alive again.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I got

The other day I flagged a tryke and told the driver I was going to Bethel, one of the popular hotels in the city. I always make sure my "E's" and "th" are properly enunciated when I say "Bethel." But the driver corrected me. When I said "Bethel," he instantly corrected me when he said matter-of-factly--Bitil. Oh.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

one funny story

A friend one day narrated a delightful story which happened when she was a little girl. According to this friend of mine, they were so poor that her parents could only afford to buy her one panty. Because of this there were days when she would go around or go to school not wearing one when it was wash day. She would alternately wear the panty and go around without it--every other day. Her classmates in Grade 1 seemed to know about this so one day they played a trick on her which made her jump and fall to the ground. This was her no-panty day so you can just imagine the laughter her falling caused.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the decline of English

Whether you want to accept this or not, reality is here to haunt not only teachers but also parents of kids who pay much to give their children quality education. Children today no longer care about the printed WORD. Most of them do not like to read and so therefore what do you expect when they go to a spelling bee? It's sad and likewise confusing because our educators do not seem to be exactly sleeping-on-the-job. We hear about the numerous seminars these key education players have to attend annually. Why? What are they learning in these seminar-workshops which cost the government lots of money? One teacher jokingly said that they like to go to such seminars because of the food and the "eating" that are part of those events. Of course, teachers gotta eat, too. But what do these annual gatherings accomplish except for the additional mound on our teachers' bellies?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

the use of English to teach Filipino

It is a fact that most students know English better than they know their national language Filipino. Ask the students themselves. Make a study and find out what they think of Filipino subjects. THEY HATE THEM! That is why most of our very own Filipino students hit rock-bottom grades in a subject they are supposed to know. So what is happening? First off, it is how the subject is taught. Lamentably, teachers teaching the subject teach it in PURE FILIPINO. Are you kidding me? Why? Not all students are from Manila! Visayans do not speak Tagalog or Filipino and it is hard to fathom why Visayan teachers insist in teaching the subject purely in Filipino. Just imagine any Visayan student listening to a Filipino teacher lecturing,"Ang mga uri ng pandiwa ay ang pangkasalukuyan, pangnagdaan, at panghinaharap." Whaaaat? Filipino teachers should know better. They should be trained how to teach a subject that sounds like French to most students. Whose fault is it? English happens to be our medium of instruction and students are more exposed to this language more than their own. And fyi, students will be able to use the global language more when they go out into the real world to look for work. So what's the big deal about making the students adept at our own national language? Okay, so we want them to know our very own national language, but you better teach the subject the right way!

Since the students know and understand English more, Filipino teachers should use this as a tool or means to teach Filipino, a subject now hated by many students who struggle to learn it. Teachers teaching Filipino should use their COMMON SENSE. Teach Filipino alongside English. Explain difficulties in English. When you talk about SIMUNO for instance, give the equivalent of the word in English and give loads of examples in both Filipino and English.

Stop talking French in your Filipino subjects, ma'am, if you want the students to learn. Our students hate your subject already, so please, MAKE THEM LEARN the subject so that at least they will be able to speak it the simplest possible way.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

enhancing English skills thru a sitcom

A workshop that trains students how to act using the English language has been offered this summer. The participants practice one script per week and by the end of the workshop they would have performed a total of nine sitcoms which were aired on local television. So far, the actors had already performed the following:

"Accelerated," "The Snack Monster," "Friday the 13th," "Pimple,"

"The Prince," "Gossip," and on Tuesday they should be ready to shoot "Love

Letter." Still to be rehearsed are "The Fight" and "Time Out Goes Glee."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

high school students forced to make theses?

This is now the era of teachers not knowing what they are teaching. There's the case of some high school teachers who require their poor students to write, submit and defend a thesis! Yes, a thesis, as in complete with all the characteristics of a thesis that graduate students are expected to write---Statement of the Problem, Theoretical Background, Conceptual Framework, Research Design, Methodology, Statistical Treatment, etc.----are they crazy? Don't you do your RESEARCH before teaching the subject? Por dios! Please! Don't you even go over the contents of the book you are asking the students to buy for this particular subject? It's a book for graduate students! What other trash are you teaching the students? Will you please get a book and study how to teach term paper writing or simple research writing to your high school students before attempting to teach this subject which you obviously do not know anything about?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

game show host gets too homey and uses pure Visaya in school game show....

Really, I have nothing against our very own Visayan dialect; in fact, that's what I use much of the time. However, hearing it for hours boomed over the microphone by someone who was hosting the event was, to me, the opposite of teaching students to improve on their use of the English language. The said host felt so familiar and homey that the whole time she sounded like she was giving directions to illiterates or to those who have never gone to school and know no English. Why? What is this teaching the kids on the said school? They are playing games all right, but these people can understand instructions and comments in simple English. Couldn't we at least put someone there who can do this? It's a school, and a private school at that. Let us hope that schools will extend better learning environment for the kids even when they are into games.For as long as the kids are on campus, I think it is still the school's responsibility to provide a good learning environment to its students. It does not do any good for these students to be hearing the language that we all use at home and in the streets. It is highly expected that the school should give the kids the kind of education that improves and not diminishes the students' capabilities.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Four months!

I've been away from this blog for four months and I feel guilty about this since this is my first blog. How could I have the heart to neglect this when I have put my heart and soul into this blog? If you go through the first posts I had done, you will be entering a very private zone where I had spilled my everything there--almost. I hope to do better by doing some updates here. "I'll be good. I'll be good. You'll see."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

From the Daily Inquirer, May 31, 2010 edition

Director wants kids to see his new film
By Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 16:31:00 05/30/2010

Filed Under: Cinema, Entertainment (general)
Most Read
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Independent filmmaker Joselito “Jay” Altarejos, whose work “Pink Halo-Halo” is competing in this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, says his goal is to have the movie seen by as many schoolchildren as possible.

Altarejos is one of five filmmakers in Cinemalaya’s first-ever Directors’ Showcase category. “Pink Halo-Halo” is up against Mark Meily’s “Isang Pirasong Pangarap,” Joel Lamangan’s “Sigwa,” Mario O’Hara’s “Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio” and Gil Portes’ “Two Funerals.”

“Halo-Halo” is about Natoy (Paolo Constantino), who finds joy in the simplest things, especially in eating halo-halo with pink gelatin and red sago. Thus he leads his simple and happy life until, one day, he catches a TV report about a wounded soldier pleading for rescue. The soldier is his father. Natoy’s sudden transition into adulthood starts when he and his mother Sonia seek help.

“More than touring the film abroad, I’d like to arrange screenings in at least 20 schools nationwide,” Altarejos told Inquirer Entertainment recently. “Cinemalaya films should reach a bigger audience than those who go to the Cultural Center of the Philippines.”

He added, “It doesn’t matter if they can’t pay for tickets. I’d like students, especially in the provinces, to see this movie.”

“Pink Halo-Halo,” written in 2004, was Altarejos’ final paper in a Creative Writing course at the University of the Philippines. “I dreamt of making a movie out of it,” he said. “It wasn’t exactly easy.”

One-week shoot

Altarejos earlier directed the indie films “Ang Lalaki sa Parola,” “Ang Lihim ni Antonio” and “Ang Laro sa Buhay ni Juan.” While he normally finished a film in three days, he said, “Halo-Halo” took a week.

“We had a lot of day scenes and exterior scenes. Since our lead actor was a minor, we couldn’t work late at night. We were bound by the rules of the Department of Labor and Employment,” Altarejos explained.

The film was shot in San Jacinto, Masbate. He recounted, “We tried to get help from the provincial government, but since it was election period, the officials had other priorities.”

The Directors’ Showcase category is for Filipino filmmakers, who have directed at least three full-length feature films that have been released commercially.

Altarejos refused to be pressured by being pitted against veteran and award-winning directors Lamangan, Portes, O’Hara and Meily.

“I’m not after awards,” Altarejos stressed. “I just want to make a decent film. Winning would be a bonus.”

He added: “It was tough getting into the competition. I have a lot of good friends whose movies were rejected.”

“Pink Halo-Halo” also features Allen Dizon, Angeli Bayani, Dexter Doria and Mark Fabillar. The 2010 Cinemalaya film fest will be held at the CCP from July

My second for 2010, Jejemon text messaging....

I am sorry to be so neglectful to this blog but it seems like I just have too many blogs for a person like me who's got a lot of concerns. Well, here's my second blog for 2010. I do not want to wait another year for my next entry. That would be too thoughtless of me.
So what's new? Jejemon text messaging has recently occupied a lot of space in many local newspapers and even gaining the DepED secretary a number of television interviews. How important or crucial is this issue? Some sectors believe that the DepEd is just wasting so much time and energy on this new trend of text messaging. While it is true that this may negatively affect the communication skills of our students, but there are more important concerns in education that the DepEd people should be working on. For instance, it should get busy training teachers to teach better especially in the area of English. Jejemon or no Jejemon, the students' ability to spell or write or speak in good acceptable English will still depend on the teacher. When students know their spelling and grammar very well, Jejemon will never be able to put them down.

Friday, January 8, 2010

from teaching to television....

From teaching to television hosting. Well, some might consider this career shift too late and too drastic for someone like me who'd been in the teaching profession for a total of 27 fruitful years. But if you ask me, I consider this change a sort of moving forward. Getting stuck in the teaching profession for 27 years wasn't really that bad but we need to grow, right? We need space, we need to see the other side of the pasture if there are some greener areas there for us. Honestly, in my two years of producing and hosting a local TV show, it is only now that I can have some money stashed away for savings. My 27 years of teaching never allowed me to save a single cent. And that meant lots of work and time investment. I believe that there is really nothing wrong with career shifts at any point of your life especially if it leads to better working hours and compensation. Forgive me for saying this but I should have done this 20years ago. But for as long as the clock still ticks and the earth still revolves in its own axis, I'm feeling good with what I have now.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

teachers speaking "carabao" English?

That's simply catasrophic! A teacher, supposed to be the model to her students, is no better than a "carabao" in using the medium of instruction. That is why our graduates aren't any better because many teachers in the grade school, high school, and even in college have inherited the problem from their own teachers and so it goes on and on unless some solutions are done to screen out students who want to become teachers. I believe that this is the root of the problem. Little or no screening is done among those who want to finish a degree in education. It seems like the teaching course only succeeds in inviting students with mediocre IQs and why not? Brilliant students know which courses will lead to good pay and more opportunities. So one good way of solving this problem is by raising the standard of the teaching profession by giving educators better pay and better benefits. Otherwise, we will be hearing more "ungas" than necessary.

Friday, November 13, 2009

teaching is 50% knowledge & 50% communication skills

The value of having good communication skills in the teaching profession can not be taken lightly. Knowledge of the subject matter alone is not enough. A teacher in order to be effective must acquire good communication skills so he or she can effectively teach or transfer information or knowledge to the learners. However, it is sad to note that many teachers do not have the other half of the pie. As majors of the subject they are expected to know it fairly well, but that is not just enough. Being competent in the language that will be used in the teaching process is also as important. Otherwise, the transfer of knowledge will not likely to happen. Seminars and trainings should help but not much.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

almost abandoned but not really.....

Where have I been all these months? It's almost like a year ago since I last did my last blog here. Too bad. I got busy with my other online activities so I thought that I could make this wait. When I visited it today, gosh, December 2008 was my last entry, how embarrassing. Anyway, here's an update: English for Kids and English for Adults are offered starting August 3. Of course they have separate time slots. For more info contact

Thursday, December 11, 2008

on teachers who don't teach

There is no teaching going on right now in many classes in the country, and if there is, probably only just very little teaching is happening. One boy in Grade 1 is burdened with school work he could not answer. Why? He does not even know how to read. In Mathematics, he has not even learned the concept of subtraction and addition, but his teacher does not see this. He goes ahead with the next lesson on Roman Numerals, then counting money, on and on. The boy does not even know how to read and write numbers! How can he perform the tasks assigned by the teacher? Obviously, the "teacher" is not doing any sort of teaching. He just presents a new lesson no matter what. He does not know where his students stand. He marks and crosses the boy's works in which he was getting failing marks each time.Poor, poor boy. The parents have to hire a private tutor to make the boy understand his lessons but even the tutor is flabbergasted because the classroom teacher just keeps on bringing in new lessons without thought on whether he had succeeded in making his students understand the lesson. What a rotten teacher this one is.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

English for Koreans or non-English speakers

Koreans or other non-English speakers can learn to speak English the fastest way. There will be a lot of interactive learning, feedbacking, and situational conversations that will surely make the learner acquire fluency of the target language in the shortest time possible. Interested? Text or call cellphone no. 0918-642-1670

Friday, August 8, 2008

like she owns the road

There is something very annoying about people who cross the street and are doing so in slow motion like they have all the right to dilly dally or delay other people.This is just one of my rants but I really have to express this. Please, when you cross the street, can you do it with more purpose and courtesy? What I mean here is, those waiting for you to reach the other side could be in a life-an-death situation and here you are taking your sweet time. This is the city with many vehicles plying to and fro. You might be so used to your hometown or place where no vehicles tread the roads you could even sleep in the middle of them, but when you are in the city and even if you are using the pedestrian lane, please cross the street with more purpose and courtesy. Time is gold and you have no right to waste other people's time with your lazy walk.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Toastmasters' club for kids

ABC Learning Center in Dumaguete City is launching a toastmasters' workshop in their school. This is going to be a once-a-week training in public speaking for grade schoolers who have the potential or gift of gab. This is going to be a very welcome program that will surely develop the kids' self-confidence and their speaking talents. This will also boost the school's curriculum, turning the school into another cool place to hone talents.

Friday, June 13, 2008

why not?

After-school lessons in ballet, piano, guitar, karate, etc. are offered to parents who desire to develop their kids' full potential. An after-school training in communications should be a most welcome addition since some parents want to better the communication skills of their kids, so why not? Is this a redundance or repetition of what schools are teaching our kids?
Not really because this after-school training in communications is a specialized kind of school where there is emphasis on the honing of the kids' speaking skills. Schools can only do so much and reinforcement should be most welcome.