Sunday, November 20, 2011

[[ How to Review for the NMAT When You Just Don't Have Enough Time ]]

I have bee receiving inquiries lately regarding the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT). They ask me where to start in reviewing, what to read about, how difficult the exam is, and so on. Thus, I decided to write these tips that I hope can help the NMAT takers this December or this summer even.

1.  Set a time that you can be alone and answer the practice test.  When you apply for NMAT, you get two sets of Practice Test. Here's a fact: the actual NMAT is very similar to the practice test. So when you answer it like as if you are taking the real test, you will gain an insight on what it's like to take the test. You'll get the feel of it.

2.  Check your answers. Do not get frustrated if you got a low score. The good news is you'll know what area you should review more. 

3.  NMAT Part I covers the following areas: verbal, inductive reasoning, quantitative, and perceptual acuity. Part II covers:  biology, physics, chemistry and social science.  My tip is to review one subject matter at a time. If you want to review chemistry today, concentrate on it. Part I does not require review but practice. Eventually, you'll develop your own techniques in answering comprehension test, sequences, math problems, etc. in a really quick way.  Part I needs alertness and quick answering.  In fact, I was not able to answering 4 questions due to time constraints (chinamba ko na lang, lucky shading kumbaga).

4.  Unearth your textbooks. This is for the Part II.  I found the questions in biology, chemistry, physics and social sciences more difficult than basic. You really have  to review the basic as well as not so basic concepts in those areas.  Chemistry includes organic chemistry so review on that too. Physics--it's enough to review Physics 11 ans 12. Social science--sociology and psychology--more on terminologies.  Biology--lahat lahat.  :)

5.  Level up your review usung the MSA NMAT Reviewer available at National Bookstore. All the questions there are out-of-this-world difficult.  But it helped me remember the long-forgotten lectures I've had.  i felt more prepared after having finished answering it.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me, through blogger, twitter, fb, and even in person. I'll be glad to answer your queries.  Good luck!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[[ Environmental Writing and Action Workshop ]]

      October 11-15, the US State Department in partnership with the PARFUND and University of San Carlos held an Environmental Writing and Action Workshop for a group of USG alumni. I am privileged to be a part of that said workshop that educated us that in making programs to conserve the environment, we should make sure that our approach is "ridge to reef". What I learned was that whatever you do at the ridge, or the mountains", it inevitably affects the lowlands up to the reef, or the bottom of the sea. These are the pictures I took from the trip. I'd be talking about the other details soon.

The Philippine Youth Leaders Program Youth.


Entrance to the Butterfly Farm

I like the T-shirts and bags the organizers provided. :)

I just had to take a pic of the flowers in the butterfly farm. Lovely noh?

The tree house at Archival's house--the house that is so environment friendly.

They have organic garden within the premises of the house.

This one is where they put biodegradable materials to produce bio-gas.

Wood from construction sites are recycled into beautiful furniture.

Me and my Pocari Sweat drink. Thanks Ryan Limos for the thirst-quencher!

Paw, our official photographer.

Ceiling of Archival's House. Surprisingly, the house is cool inside without any cooling system. This architectural design helps in the cooling and ventilation of the house.

Cutest recycled furniture I've seen.

Those Nips-like thingies are actually bottle caps.

Mangrove planting. It's easier than your regular tree planting. 

Cebu, I'll be back!


Saturday, September 24, 2011


We, the young filmmakers and film enthusiasts of Lanao del Sur, are very honored and grateful for having met and mentored by Raymond Lee, one of the best, if not the best, screenwriters of our time. We had a two day workshp entitled Introduction to Writing at Mamitua Saber Research Center. I have learn so much in those two days than I thought I would ever would have about screenwriting. It is more complicated than most of us thinks. And so much fun too.Thank you so much Raymond Lee for sparing us your time. And the National Film Development Council of the Philippines for this opportunity. And to our beloved First Lady of Lanao del Sur, Madamme Raifah Rakiin Adiong who has always been very supportive of the youth and the arts.

Raymond is so humble and sown to earth, I wish I had more time with him. Have I mentioned that he is indeed very brilliant that his achievements are no surprise. He wrote Anak, Tanging Yaman, and Milan among his many box office hit movies.

It was a intimate workshop, conducive to wringing out the creative juices out of us.

That's me in grey scarf.

Kuya Pogs Zacaria, the first place winner of the FDCP Lanao del Sur Short Fil Competition.

We received certificates. Yey! From left to right: Madamme Raifah Adiong, raymond Lee, moi, and Princess Pacasum of the FDCP.

The luck few. :)

We are thinking about joining the National Film Competition. Malay niyo...

This is the point in my life where I am asking myself whether I am setting aside my writing and filmmaking ambitions as merely hobby or to pursue them full time. When fate brings you closer to what you really want... is it even right to turn away?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

[[ FRAGILE 4 ]]

                This uneasy feeling in my gut that probably falls under the premises of guilt made me spend an entire afternoon writing this letter. What are the right words to say when what we want to say feels wrong? How are we supposed to break hearts graciously? How do we say painful words in the sweetest way? Here goes the letter…
                Dear Dear,
                I should say this personally but my cowardice got the best of me. I may stutter and say the wrong words then. Saying the right words in the right way may not even matter now but I believe that I have to do this in the best possible way I could.
                What I want to say is…
                that we can’t be together.
                Remember those days when we were getting to know each other? We were happy. I was happy. Because somebody found me, somebody loved me. You did your best to put back together what was once broken.
                A week ago, I found out about a girl HE is very fond of. That’s when I knew that we can’t be together because I wanted to be that girl HE has his eye on. I guess I still love him. Because it still hurts. Because I still daydream of the day we’ll meet again. Because my passwords are still based on his name. Because he makes me feel so lonely and being with you doesn’t make a difference. I still feel lonely.
                I am sorry. Maybe it’s time to stop wooing me. I don’t deserve your love. I wanted to believe that I’ll learn how to love you, but it never happened. I can’t let our story drag for long when I know we’ll just end up hurting each other. You are a great guy, when the right girl comes along, you’ll see that she’ll love you more than I could.
                I am hoping that you’ll understand, because you know what it’s like to love someone. It doesn’t matter if they love us back, as long as we feel that pain of wanting them that makes life sweeter. It doesn’t matter if we get wasted crying over them at night when we wake up in the morning inspired to make their dreams come true for them. We are fragile yet strong, wise yet foolish, sensitive but numb, impatient but perseverant, needy but generous, empty but complete.
                Surely hesitant,

(Need I remind you again that this is but a fiction? :D )

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


One summer while I was in Illinois, there was this group of students who were promoting a spring break event. They gave yellow pens, paper clips, and even Frisbees to passersby. Those items were personalized, on them were messages pertaining to the event that they were promoting. I thought that was a great way of advertising. Hey, when you receive those items, it will surely be difficult to shake off the thought of how great that event must be because their promotional giveaways are amazing too,
So that was ages ago when I haven’t learned the power of the World Wide Web.
Anyway, my blogversary is like three months from now and already I am thinking about you know, giveaways like every respectable blogger does. However, I don’t know what sort of things my readers will appreciate or would love to receive. So my thoughts went down memory lane to that time that I got promotional items for that spring break event. How about something useful that will benefit my followers, which is personalized with something that will promote my blog like the go promos ink pens that are very good for note taking. Perhaps a mug printed with the logo and url of my blog.
What do you think? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It's been more than a month since I last posted something in here.
You may be wondering what on earth could possibly keep me from
blogging. I owe it to my readers an explanation on where was I all
this time that this blog has gone so silent.

Here's the story.

I actually volunteered myself to reviewing fourth year students in a
barrio school for the college entrance tests that they will be taking,
especially the MSU SASE. It's a sad reality that many students around
Lanao del Sur do not qualify to study in MSU due to poor learning in
their formative years. Around here, MSU is the best university one can
go to. It is one of the top universities in the country at
unbelievably low tuition fee. What more can anyone ask for? I thought
to myself, instead of bumming around, why not spare my time and energy
to these kids. They badly need some reviewing.

I could have blogged still if Globe Tattoo signal can reach me there
in that remote area in my mother's hometown. It is so rural that I
can't even send a text message. I thought I wouldn't last a day but a
week into the review, I fell in love with the kids. I haven't been
this consistently happy for a long time. And I hope you, my readers,
will understand that working for a cause and having that kind of
fulfillment in return is worth some time away from the blogosphere,
Facebook, and Twitterverse.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Girlfriend received a message from his boyfriend that he was out with the boys. Not to be worried. No grounds for suspicion. Months later, post-breakup, she learned he was cheating on her that night.

For some people, being constantly reachable creates new reasons to be deceptive.
If a person isn't physically in front of you during a discussion, you have no real way to judge as to whether or not he is telling the truth. There are no gestures and facial expressions to judge, and minimal emotional cues if any.Many believe it is easier to lie by text than by phone or in person, but that's not necessarily true.

People have always lied. The funny thing is that new technologies are merely changing the ways and the reasons we lie. Witness the "butler lie" that describes lies that politely initiate and terminate instant messaging conversations. Excuses like "Gotta go, boss is coming!" Like butlers, they act as social buffers, telling others that we are at lunch when we are just avoiding them.

Being constantly reachable makes butler lies necessary to many people because the ambiguities inherent in traditional texting also made them easier. Texters typically do not know when outgoing messages are read, where their recipients are or what they are doing.

Yet technology is already laying siege to the butler lie. Have you heard of the services like BlackBerry Messenger that enable mutual users to track when their texts are read? They are effectively torpedoing the "sorry, phone died last night" excuse. "Friend tracking" applications like Google Latitude allow people to geographically pinpoint their friends' mobile phones. So much for "stuck in traffic" when you really overslept. Cool? I think so too. :) But maybe not.

Butler lies and lying-and-texting in general is based on ambiguity that the medium gives you. As you start to threaten that ambiguity, it changes the way that you lie. People are already adapting, finding how to circumvent BlackBerry Messenger and read texts undetected. But if technology has spawned new ruses, are we actually lying more?

Texting and other digital forms of communicating are really new, so our beliefs about them tend to be more on the negative/suspicious side. Don't you think people actually lie more often by phone than by text, aware that lies are reproducible once spelled-out and sent?

Saying anything that you don't want shared in a text is a terrible idea. You're essentially giving the target of your lie a copy of the lie.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm sending this post through e-mail.

Yeah! For the first time in my life, I actually made it to the newspaper without being the most wanted person in the Philippines, being run over by a bus, nor exposing a big scam in the offices of big people in the government. I just did a short film and viola, my face is really there in the entertainment section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I am still recuperating from an illness but I am high. Whew. Can I make films all my life just to see myself on the papers every day? Nah! Just kidding. 

If you want to see the full article, here's the link:

David of Denasology,

Tweet me or add me in FB so we can make arrangements again for our guest posts. You know I've been very busy last week, but we can still pursue our plans, can't we?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

[[ FRAGILE 3 ]]

Two weeks ago...

I was pacing back and forth in my bedroom glancing every minute at my cellphone. I would lie in bed, toss and turn, sit, and then pace around like a palace guard on duty. The cellphone beeped, my heart jumped along with my feet as I grabbed the poor thing to see who sent me a message. Was it from him?

"Oh hi. U may come 1st week of july so long as u are fine. Do continue taking ur meds until i see u."

It's from my doctor. Damn! Dammit!

I turned on my netbook, browsed my media files. I played random music and watched random videos. But I couldn't keep my eyes from not checking the damn cellphone. I missed you. I missed your call. I missed your voice. I missed how we would laugh at every little thing. I missed you. I really did miss you.


My cellphone lies untouched on top of my cabinet. It's battery is drained and I did not load it. I couldn't care less if someone calls or texts. Whoever does, I simply do not care at this moment. Because I am content today. I'm not thirsting for a drink, craving for a comfort food, and not even really missing you.

Maybe because someone else sent me flowers yesterday.

Someone else makes me feel beautiful,

Handles my fragile heart with care.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Pardon me because in the next lines, I will be talking about a pair of red shoes like as if they might just change the world and make it a better place. If you don't care about shoes as much as I do, do not read further. :)

These shoes are the prettiest among my shoes, I believe. They are the second tallest with about 5-inch heels. They are the hottest because of the sexy peep toe hole and fiery red color. They match my personality because they are covered with velvet and have some zipper detailing--feminine and edgy. 

Here's the story of the red shoes. I bought them on the morning of June 29. I had nothing to wear on the opening night (girls always feels like they have nothing to wear on big events anyway.) I thought I will just buy a pair of new shoes to compliment my old clothes and glamorize them. The event calls for smart casual and I have to strike a balance between glam and casual, When I saw those red babies on the rack, I knew I had to buy them or else I'll regret it for the rest of my life. I have this shameless adoration for shoes that I see them as the focal point of every outfit. Moreover, I am influenced by this line from Giovana Battaglia: "The lower I feel, the higher the heel." On occasions that calls for a boost of confidence, a pair of pretty shoes never fails me.

I wore them on the opening night and the next day. Look how dressed down they were when I paired them with an over-sized T-shirt and boyfriend jeans. What is funny about them is that Direk Sherad Anthony Sanchez and Direk Gutierrez Mangansakan II remembered my shoes. After wearing them on the screening day(a rainy and hectic day for everyone of us), the next day when I attended a lecture workshop with the two direks, the first thing they asked me was "Where are your red shoes?" They remembered me not necessarily for my film but certainly they remembered me with those shoes. Now that's making an impression. 


I'd like you to meet Stephan.

He is a French guy who documented the film fest. I met him on the 30th of June when he interviewed me with Malcolm who was videotaping the interview. I like that he is easy to talk to. He is not aloof. When he photographs or videotapes, he is so into it that he seems so detached yet absorbed in everything around him. He looks at people with genuine interest. He smiles a lot. And when he smiles, dang! His gray eyes lights up. He seems to be always blushing. He has a sexy French accent to his English. Maybe that's why I was crushing on him, because he is French and I've always been curious about French people that I gave him a little more attention than necessary.

Isn't he lovely? :-)


(from left to right: Lanao del Sur Assemblyman Zia Alonto, Congressman Hussein Pacasum Pangadamen, Film Development Council of the Philippines Chairman Briccio Santos, First Lady of Lanao del Sur Madame Raifah Raki-in Adiong, a representative from the French embassy, Director Brillante "Dante" Mendoza, Direk Sherad Sanchez, Direk Teng Mangansacan, co-participant Doss Lucman Pacasum)

Dear lovely readers,

I have been itching to "make kwento" (tell a story) about what happened to the Sineng Pambansa Lanao del Sur Film Development Council of the Philippines Film Fest. Here I go.

In celebration with the 52nd founding anniversary of the province of Lanao del Sur, the Film Development Council of the Philippines held its fifth leg of the Sineng Pambansa Film Festival here in Lanao del Sur. From June 29-July 1, there were screening of independent and mainstream films in the Kambayoka Theater and Mamitua Saber Conference Hall in Mindanao State University in the day time and social events at night.

The opening night of the Sineng Pambansa Lanao del Sur Film Fest was held on June 29 at the Capitol Guest House sponsored by Assemblyman Zia Alonto who blew my mind with his eloquent extemporaneous opening remarks. It was my first time to meet the directors and other film enthusiasts who came all the way to Lanao del Sur. It was daunting at first but eventually, everybody loosened up because those direks are really cool and down to earth people. Real artists. What was so cool too was that the other two finalists were my friends Doss and Kuya Pogs.

June 30, screening of the films made by us, the three finalists, to be judged by the direks and some local and international figures. That day, I had to endure three interviews, running around under the rain with my 5-inch stilettos. It was fun but during the screening, when the lights were dimmed in the theater and my film was rolling, I wanted to melt and die. My film is very symbolic and abstract that to grasp its meaning, you really have to think, and the quality of the film isn't good because I didn't have the right equipment and editing software. It's a bad feeling, with hundreds of people in the theater watching knowing that most likely they won't like my film because it's really not fun and entertaining.

July 1, awarding and recognition night in Ayala Resort Hotel. I was not expecting anything and I knew in my heart that if I get the third place(because the three finalists are winners already but what would make the difference is who made it to the top) I was ready to accept it. The three participants, Kuya Pogs, Doss and I, were seated together when Paolo Bertolin of La Biennale di Venezia, the organizer of Venice International Film Festival was starting to announce the winners. I could sense how we were all so nervous. Here's the thing, I did not win it. Najib Alyhar "Kuya Pogs" Zacaria got the first place. But! But I did not get the last place either. The judges had a hard time choosing between my film and Doss's because the two have very different weaknesses and strengths. So they decided that we are tied at second place. Paolo explained that Doss's film had showed the outstanding technical skills of the filmmaker and best in screenplay and
everything technical. Mine rendered the theme best and has excellent scriptwriting. I did not hear everything due to the tension and excitement.

The fun part for me was the acceptance of our awards. It felt, at least for me, like an Oscar so I delivered a LONG speech for a SHORT film competition. At the end of the night, we're partying and taking photos. I can't post everything here because I am posting this through e-mail. The photos are all uploaded in my Facebook account(add me if you like).

Finally, I'd like to reveal that the picture above depicting me and the big people on the stage is my favorite moment of the night. Just look at the expressions on their faces as they look at me. Because you know what, if you give me a chance to speak, I'll really grab it and make the most out of it.

P.S. I'd be posting more about the film fest in the next days. I can't do it like right now because I am sooooo sick. After a week of stress-packed days, sleepless nights, and rainy afternoons, my health took its toll.