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A snowy day in London
February 18th, 2007 posted by arlene.p under Alumni Stories, Living Overseas. [ Comments: 1 ]

It snowed in London a week ago. It was a Thursday and my mum and I had already planned to go to Billings Gate (London’s fish market where you could buy any seafood imaginable at reasonable prices!). Not even a snow storm could cancel our plans(some friends wold come to visit during the weekend and we had to go no matter what!). It took us more than 30 minutes to get on the bus and the usual 30 minute ride took an hour! It was snowing like mad when we got off and Billings Gate was still a 10 minute walk away (without snow, an endless 20 minutes on a snow-covered ground!). My face was numb from the cold, and I kept on telling my mum that I am probably suffering from frost bite! I was exaggerating of course, but I was very, very cold. Anyway, we got what we wanted but not without a cold. I was sneezing on our way back, never again will I go out when it is snowing!

Most Filipinos who travel pray for the snow. There is probably no Filipino abroad, without a snow pic somewhere. It is just too hot and too humid in the Philippines and the cold weather gives us a breather. it is also something new to us, and almost everybody looks forward to something new. But the snow could be something of a disaster, it affects the traffic and London that day had travel delays everywhere, it was a nightmare! After the experience, I prefer a sunny day.

arlene.p has blogged 3 posts

Juni Vargas, In Memoriam
February 18th, 2007 posted by arlene.p under Uncategorized. [ Comments: 2 ]

Juni was more than just a student, she was a friend. I could not even believe I am now writing about her in the past tense but she is indeed gone. Her life was rendered kaput just like that. I will never hear her laugh again. It is very sad to even think I will never see again.

The last time we were together (sometime in 2003 or late 2002) she would not let go of me. We chanced upon each other at Glorietta, she was a mall rat just like me. She was shopping, I was waiting for my husband. We talked endlessly. She was her usual self, bubbly,energetic, so full of life. When my husband came, she tagged along. She wanted to meet him. She knew about my lovelife and was so glad I was finally happy. She could not help but shriek when she saw my husband. “Papa, mam arlene, ang galing mo!!!” she said. We ate for the longest time in McDonalds. She told me about her successes and her misfortunes (but not with a sad note; Juni has a way of laughing at her failures like it was just that, nothing to be mournful about). She did very well, actually, by that time, she had built a house for her parents, she had a car, she had a job (at a call center). She had traveled. We talked about her life mostly, there were things that I could not share with everyone. She had regrets but she had accepted her fate. She was her family’s breadwinner and there were things that she did for their sake. We exchanged phone numbers but our busy lives (I was in and out of the country at that time) made it impossible for us to keep in touch.

After 4 years, I got an e-mail from one of her co-MASPs, saying that Juni died in an accident in Dubai. Initially, I was shocked and I insisted it wasn’t her. We tried to find her or news about her on the Internet, and Ellen (a former MASP based in New York) found an article about her passing, there was a phone number of Juni’s sister in the thread. I phoned that number and confirmed from her family that she is indeed gone.

Juni, wherever she is now, is probably having a ball. She would have accepted her fate, like she always did. Perhaps she would have regrets, there was still so much that she wanted to do, she had big dreams but she would have moved on and just shrug it off. She would still be vain (lol), she could never go without lipstick and powder! Her hair would still be gloriously flowing. She would never age. She would love the fact that in her friends’ and family’s memories she would remain that beautiful Juni with the great laugh, the great bod, but most of all the great soul. We shall miss you Juni. Your short life had been spent well, it was certainly full of colour.

arlene.p has blogged 3 posts

Adamson’s real gem
December 20th, 2006 posted by arlene.p under Alumni Stories, Career Tales. [ Comments: 4 ]

Adamson was my home for 16 years. It has granted me opportunities a fresh college graduate would probably only dream about. I was a freshman at 15 and barely 20 years old when I started teaching, armed with only a bachelor ’s degree and a 1-year teaching stint as a speech instructor, I felt I was not good enough. I enrolled myself in post-graduate school (PNU) so I could be better at my craft. However, after two semesters, the English Department (now, the Foreign Languages) recommended me and a colleague to a post-graduate program for English Language teachers sponsored by De La Salle University. The experience and the degree gave me the confidence I needed to be good at what I do.

My students were my life then. I lived and breathed for them. I would be in school as early as 7 AM and would come home as late as midnight! There was so much to do with so little time! Aside from my regular classes, I trained speech contestants, produced school plays, supervised the MASP, counseled students, hosted programs, attended seminars, etc. I had the time of my life! I did not mind the busy schedule, I loved everything that I did (except checking papers!). Working with young minds with fresh and creative ideas inspired me to make a difference.

Joebert, Jomar, Aimee, Bob, Peewee, Pet, Maui, Alvin, Emilson, Janette, Venus, Maureen, Cynthia, Jerbeck, Joy, Mike, the MASP’s, the Masscom Students, etc., there are so many of them (I’ll never remember all their names but they are all in my heart!) who have touched my life and who have made every minute of my stay in the university worthwhile. Adamson may not be at par with other universities as far as facilities (at least during my teaching stint, there has been a tremendous change!) or even teaching staff (we need more with post-graduate degrees in their field of study) are concerned, but its real gem are the students who may not always be proud of their alma mater but who always try to be the best at what they do so they could compete with students from other universities, preconceived to be better than theirs. It’s no easy task to be always the underdog, but it is definitely a feat when the underdog emerges the champ!

I have seen it done many times.

arlene.p has blogged 3 posts



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