Monthly Archives: March 2014

Marking The Filipino Scribe’s third anniversary

Yesterday was the third anniversary of The Filipino Scribe (TFS). I can still remember the exact circumstance when I began this blog. It was late afternoon of March 31, 2011 and I am still working as an editor for a book publishing firm.

I haven’t really written in a long time so I felt an urge to have an online diary of sorts for my thoughts. I never imagined that within the next three years, my life would be greatly shaped by this blog. We’ve had 538 blog posts so far and 2.6 million total page views.

I want to personally apologize to all the readers of this blog. You may have been disappointed by the fact that TFS has gone untouched for over three weeks last month. Believe me, that’s not something I wanted to happen.

the filipino scribe mobile

The Filipino Scribe’s interface as seen mobile (credits to my student Miguel Maravilla)

No matter how much will I have to write, working as a full-time college professor took most of my time. The past few weeks had been extremely busy for me since it coincided with the end of the past semester (where we got flooded with tasks like checking papers and computing grades). Now that I’m already on a summer break, expect TFS to have more frequent blog posts.

Anyway, I’d also like to share that I have just completed two school years teaching in college. By my estimate, I’ve already handled about 1,000 students. I enjoy interacting with students from diverse backgrounds and different personalities.

I’m happy to be part of their college life. Needless to say, they’ve also become a part of my life. And I firmly believe that our paths crossed for a reason.

Teaching is a grossly underpaid profession, but it puts you in a position to influence minds and shape the future like no other. Whichever direction the wind takes me in the future, I’d look back at the past two years with much pride and happiness.

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You just failed in a class. What now?

Getting a failing mark for a subject at the end of a semester is one experience every college student should never wish to encounter. Aside from the bad psychological effect of having a grade of 5.0 indicated on your transcript of grades forever, failing a subject also has two more implications.

Since you failed, you will necessarily have to take the subject once more (I loved telling my students that “Starting Over Again” is the theme song for flunking kids).

That means spending another four to five months on the same subject! If the subject that you failed is a prerequisite of a higher level subject, you may not be able to finish your program on time.

And by the way, you do have to tell your parents that you failed and have to retake the subject as a consequence (brace for some volcanic eruptions!). Like any catastrophic event that we know, you getting a failing mark will not happen without any warning signs.

Why students fail

Your performance in a class is a matter that only you and your professor know best. In my two years in the teaching profession, I can say that students will not fail a subject just because he or she flunked the finals test (that will be another incriminating circumstance, though).

He/she will a grade of 5.0 because of frequent unexcused absences. A student who’s not attending classes is bound to miss a lot of quizzes and class activities. He or she is also the one who’s always not aware of class requirements.

technological institute of the philippines students

Giving a shout out to my students at the Technological Institute of the Philippines!

Is it avoidable?

Of course it’s a given that a student has an obligation to attend his or her classes regularly. He or she is also expected to perform to the best extent possible. Your parents are not wasting their money on you, right?

It’s a matter of recognizing that there is a problem and having the willingness to address it head-on. Will doing a special project solve your problem? Ask about it!

Maintaining an open line of communication with your professor will be a big plus. If you sense that you have a problem with your class standing, don’t hesitate to ask the teacher about it.

Teachers are required to be able to show students their class standing when asked for it. Needless to say, teachers must be approached politely. It must also be stressed that students should know how to get in touch with their teachers outside the classroom.

Uhm, grades are now entered and I got a 5.0. What do I do?

If you think that the grade you received is erroneous, make sure you have all the evidence (e.g. checked papers, returned quizzes, etc.) to back up your claim.

Grades, even if already encoded in an online portal, can be changed as long as it can be established that it is wrong. Notably, teachers are usually punished for such mistakes.

What’s next for you?

So, you’ve already come to terms with the fact that you got a failing mark for a particular class. How will you move forward from there? Are you going to get disheartened from doing your best in the coming semesters? Or will you take the failure as a sign for you to strive a little harder next time? The choice is your to make. 🙂

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April 9 2014 – Araw ng Kagitingan holiday

The Philippines will be marking the 72nd anniversary of the Fall of Bataan this coming April 9,Wednesday. The day, referred to as “Araw ng Kagitingan,” is a regular national holiday based on President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation 655 which he signed last year. Read more about Proclamation 655 here.

The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Handbook on Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits stipulates that employees “are entitled to at least 100% of his/her minimum pay” even if he/she did not report for work on this day. The labor department emphasized that employees “must be present or is on leave of absence with pay on the work day” immediately preceding the holiday (April 8, in this case). Read the above mentioned DOLE handbook in this link.

On that day back in 1942, Filipino and American fighters in Bataan under the leadership of Major General Edward P. King of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) surrendered to the Japanese invaders after realizing the “futility of further resistance.” Allied forces had been fighting the Japanese for four months already prior to the Fall of Bataan, and thousands of them had already died by that time.

PS: The expression “isinuko ang Bataan,” obviously derived from the events of 1942, has gained sexual connotation. How can an event commemorating the surrender of Filipino World War II combatants come to mean giving up one’s virginity? 😀

UPDATE: There is in fact a law which designates April 9 as a legal holiday. It is Republic Act 3022, signed by then-President Carlos P. Garcia back in 1961. Check it on this link.

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AirAsia’s network realignment triggers massive flight cancelations

International airline firm AirAsia is facing online backlash from dismayed travellers after its wholesale cancellation of flights to a number of several domestic destinations beginning March 30, 2014 onwards.

My friends and I for instance has long planned a trip to Cagayan de Oro scheduled for April 23 to 27. We booked the flight as early as February. However, last March 18, AirAsia sent us this advisory via text message:

Our Cagayan de Oro to Manila flights will be temporarily suspended effective 30 March 2014 onwards due to network re-alignment.

We apologize for any inconveniences caused. You will be notified about your alternate flight options via your registered email…We thank you in advance for your kind understanding.”

air asia network rerouting

AirAsia canceled its flights to several Philippine destinations effective March 30

Disgusted travellers expressed their displeasure by flooding AirAsia Philippines’ official Facebook page with negative comments. Since AirAsia’s ill timed “network realignment” coincides with the summer season, the airline for certain ruined the plans of thousands of vacationists.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that AirAsia seems to be bent on observing its rule that refunds will only be completed after 30 business days.

Since we got the cancelation notice last March 18, it will probably take until early May for us to have out refund. Can’t they process the refund faster as a sort of consolation for us?

According to a news report from dated March 10, AirAsia decided to realign its operations “because of overcapacity in the domestic market.” In other words, the Malaysian-based airline firm will instead focus more on its international flights.

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Araw ng Dabaw 2014 Holiday

The people of Davao City will be marking this year’s Araw ng Dabaw festivities on March 16. The day, which falls on a Sunday, is a special non-working holiday in the city as declared by Republic Act 7551.

The law came into effect in 1992 during the time of then-President Corazon Aquino. It stipulates that officials of Davao City shall “lead appropriate and meaningful celebrations and activities participated in by officials and employees of the national government agencies or instrumentalities, civic, religious and nongovernment organizations, and private companies” in the said southern Mindanao city. Read the full text of RA 7551 here.

According to, the month-long celebration will include the following: the cultural presentations of the various ethnic tribes in Davao City, Mutya ng Dabaw, a sports festival, and street parade.

Davao City was formally established in 1936 when Romualdo Quimpo, a congressman from the region during the Commonwealth period, filed Bill Number 609 which created the City of Davao by merging the town of Davao (Mayo) and Guianga District. Davao was inaugurated as a chartered city by President Manuel Quezon on October 16, 1936.

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