Review: The Wine Cellar CDO

9:49:00 AM

Smooth jazz music, good fragrance and celebrated wines in the world – these are just words you can describe a one of a kind wine house in Cagayan De Oro City. 

Bitter Bites of K to 12

12:59:00 PM

Bitter Bites of K to 12
by Jenelyn Amestoso-Cid

                 Five and fighting!

    The K to 12 Program of the Department of Education has been around for five years since its implementation in 2010. Yes, five years has passed yet we still debate whether K to 12 is a help or harm, bitter or better, and go or no.  We still talk of it like bread out of the oven, fresh and warm. Up until now, we still share the same worries and fears.
           Last May 9, 2015, thousands of people gathered around Liwasang Bonifacio and rallied for the suspension of RA 10533 otherwise known as K to 12 Law. The call against K to 12 was led by Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV. They laid out, one after one, bad and bitter bits of the K to 12. They argued that Philippines is not ready for that one giant step. Their concerns include lack of classrooms, shortage of teachers, loss of jobs for those teaching in college, and more expenses for the added two years in high school.  
           At some point, they may have a good score. The new program entails gigantic preparation. We can’t just sit around and play safe. We want to be sure than sorry. It needs further and stronger study. Better yet, get everyone involved in a survey. This big change doesn’t and shouldn’t happen overnight. It needs more time. If it was a piece of cake, it would come out half-baked.

           We can’t just close our eyes and play dead amidst these possible problems. Classrooms, if not out-of-number, are out-of-order. Students and teachers struggle in make-shift classrooms. Some even hold classes in the gymnasium. More than 60 students crowd themselves inside a small classroom. We even need more books, manuals, and materials, especially that pupils in primary education use their native tongue as medium of instruction due to the MTB-MLE (Mother-Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education) which is a major part of K to 12. Add to that, teachers need to undergo seminars and trainings to orient them of the new methods, policy, and grading system. The program is in need of thousand more teachers particularly for the classes required for junior and senior high schools. Even prior to the implementation of the said program, the country is in dire want for teachers, which the government can hardly cope with.

            Two of the strongest points against the program are unemployment of teachers and employees in universities and colleges, and the two more years which parents and most students consider a burden. One more year and the pioneers of the new curriculum will have entered Senior High School. It is during this initial stage when enrollment to colleges and universities shall drop for two school years. This will mean massive unemployment of college instructors, employees, and staff. What will these workers do? Where will they go?

            Next year, Senior High School shall start operating. Questions are coming up like pop corns or mushrooms from nowhere. Are the institutions ready? Will there be enough schools to cater to the first batch of SHS students? What courses or skills are available? These are the possible queries of students. But the big burden for parents is, “how much?” Sending your child for additional two years to school when he or she must either be working or going to college indeed feels like the world is on your shoulders. This would entail additional budget from the parent’s pocket for daily allowance, fare, food, etc.

To all these doubts and dangers attacking the program, Deped Secretary Armin Luistro remains otherwise confident and optimistic of its positive performance. He prides himself of the achievement of the program in a span of five years despite countless challenges.

“On this 5th year of K to 12 implementation, we are running a marathon and I can already see the finish line. We are on our last mile,” Luistro said.
From 2010 to 2014, DepEd has hired 128,055 new teachers and built 88,805 classrooms. About 1.2M to 1.6M students from public high schools are expected to enter Grade 11 in 2016 and 2017. Of the 7,914 public high schools, DepEd identified 5,020 as potential Senior High Schools that are expected to accommodate 1.6M to 2.2M students. The remaining 800k to 1M students are expected to go to non-DepEd providers such as private high schools, private HEIs, SUCs and LUCs offering Senior High School. As of March, there are 1,116 private schools that applied for SHS permits for SY 2016. Answering to claims about unemployed teachers, Luistro assured that 30,000 to 41,000 high school teachers will be hired, and that priority will be given to the displaced college employees.

            It’s a good thing though that DepEd has been pushing limits for the program. At least the facts and figures would calm our fears. But let’s just see about that. The battle has begun but it’s not over yet. It’s too soon to celebrate victory because here’s another thing to worry.

            I can’t help but think if the K to 12 program will really be sustained. Will it be here to stay or it’s just a phase? Will it be just like ningas kugon, only good at the start? K to 12 is the flagship program of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III. It was him who pushed for this change of curriculum. However, he has no more plan of running again for presidency in the 2016 elections thereby leaving us groping in the dark. This would simply mean a change of presidency and a change of policy. Who knows the upcoming president might introduce yet another educational advocacy? Truly, there’s nothing constant but change.

One more bitter bite?

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Optimism Optimized!

1:34:00 PM

Optimism Optimized!
by Jenelyn Amestoso-Cid

             The idea of positive thinking sprouts from the fact that there are some things in life that you can’t control. You wouldn’t know when it rains. You can’t be certain with death. You never be sure of brownout. During these dark and dull days, one has to think of bright and beautiful thoughts instead of drowning in tears and fears.

          Optimism is the belief that good things will happen in the future. It is seeing good things from the worst occurrences. It believes that there’s a rainbow always after the rain. It is enjoying the doughnut rather than murmuring about the hole in it.   

Yes, there is so much power in positive thinking. It can turn a life around. It can either make or break. One positive word can save a life. One positive gesture can lift a spirit. Imagine then how millions of positive acts can change the world.

           Optimists are wanted in this world nowadays. We need positive thinkers around us. Isn’t that why Vice Ganda rose to fame? Isn’t that why Yaya Maya of Be Careful With My Heart became phenomenal? Isn’t that why KalyeSerye of AlDub became an instant fever? Isn’t it the same secret why books about success become best sellers? All these send us some sorts of good vibes that give us energy, strength, and smiles on our faces to shake the stress away.
            How then can we optimize our power of positive thinking? Here are ten tried and tested tips.

1. Surround yourself with positive people. Avoid friends and office mates who are negastars or pessimists. Be with people who make you laugh. Should you have a bad-hair-day, then don’t double the burden by dwelling with bad people.   

2. Appreciate people. Learn to compliment something good in people, perhaps their new hair-do, new shoes, etc. Say something nice even to a stranger or to an enemy. Congratulate your classmate for a perfect score, your co-worker for a promotion, even your neighbor for a new fridge.  

3. Talk to yourself. Practice facing the mirror and tell yourself “You look awesome today!” Say “I can!” Try weighing your strengths and weaknesses. Keep doing what you do best and work out on your not-so-good side. If you can learn to accept yourself only then can you boost your confidence.

4. Prayer Power. The moment you open your eyes in the morning to start another day of your life, please pause for a prayer to praise God. When people treat you well, give thanks. When people threaten you, give thanks. Give thanks for the blessings, even for the burdens. Meditate by attending yoga sessions. This will drive away the bad vibes living inside you.

5. Do random acts. Learn to let loose sometimes. Allow yourself to be crazy. Do unplanned things like playing under the rain, shouting on roof top, waving to strangers while on the bus, climbing up a tree, and dancing on the street. Many of the spontaneous stuff that we do turn out to be life’s most memorable moments.

6. Don’t compare. Envy starts from comparing. When your sister has more pizza, don’t fuss. Give it to her, she’s thinner anyway. It’s hard not to compare because human as we are, we have the habit of comparing things and targeting to get the better one. Put it this way, at least you must be grateful that you got something for yourself, might not be the better and bigger one, but you have something that others don’t have or have to work hard for.

7. Post only of good things on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become online diaries for the world to know. Never shout out about your family problems, your lost love life, your rage over your enemy, and your tiring job or strict boss. Don’t spread your dirty laundry. And please never ever curse or say the big bad F word.

8. Do a good turn daily. Like a Boy Scout, make it a habit to do something good every day. You can try helping an aged woman cross the street. You can perhaps pay for the multicab fare of your former teacher. You may consider offering your seat to a pregnant woman. It feels like heaven to help.

9. Remember the good times. Should your glory days turn to gloomy nights, try to think again of the wonderful moments you had with someone special. Reminisce the good old times. This will bring forth good vibes into you.

10. Let Go, Let God. We can’t be perfect. It isn’t always sunshine for all seasons. There has to be rain and pain. For all of life’s problems, learn to let go and then let God do His ways and pursue His plans.

As I was about to step inside the cafĂ© to celebrate my birthday with family, a bird just pooped onto my head. That could’ve been disgusting but I looked at it as a sign that my wish will be granted. I still pushed the door and then came the birthday song. Life is truly how you see it. Let us look at life at the brighter side.    

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Yours truly,

Yours truly,