Bike to School

12351820_1094880340563135_556167023_oIn this age of high speed communication, technology and transportation, a bicycle may not be the ideal and fast way to get to a place on time. It’s just like getting into a time warp when roads were rough and narrow and bullet trains were not even in mankind’s imagination.

Today however with all these consciousness on environmental protection and nature conservation, bicycles have a great place, especially in what we call “Green Cities” and “Green Schools.”

So, why not pedal your way to school?

The bicycle has been a handy form of recreation, sport and transportation means since it first took the roads almost two centuries ago – in 1817.

No less than Br. President Manuel Pajarillo FSC is giving a nod to the idea.  Bro. Mawel, himself a biking enthusiast, recalled that in his “six years of studying in Belgium, bike used to be my transportation on my way to school too and that was the healthiest times of my life.”

Parajillo added that biking is beneficial especially that in can cope with the country’s problem on traffic congestion and air pollution. “It promotes good health, energy efficiency and it is a way to show environmental respect,” he said.

Students, too, welcome the idea.

Athena Esona, junior Accounting Technology student said that using a bicycle as a means of transportation can help in minimizing air pollution and if everybody uses bicycle it can also lessen traffic and would avoid students in getting late in school.

“Bike-to-School campaign could also help the young generation to lessen the time we spend to our gadgets, by this campaign socialization and healthy lifestyle among our generation could also be improved,” said Andrea Salillas, Hospitality Management student.

While it sounds an easy proposition, the campaign needs thorough study and planning.

Legislation is one important aspect that The LEAD has to engage in through lobbying with city officials. It is more than just using safety helmets. Facilities must eventually be in place, like road lanes, for strict use and safety rules.

On campus, bike racks must be installed for parking, a similar need also in public places where cyclists can park their two-wheelers.

Legal requirements, like bike lights and reflectors, must be made part of the legislative details.

Austere Gamao, a LiaCom senior, recognized the bottlenecks, like the cost of constructing bike lanes and road risks for bikers but, otherwise, he added, it has positive effects on the environment, including the shift from oil consumption to human energy.

The campaign has also gained initial breakthrough with what Br. Dindo Maralit FSC, vice chancellor for administration disclosed. His office, in coordination with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Mission and Development, is planning “to create a design for bike rack location”. The design will be appealing enough so that we can promote members of the Lasallian community to get interested in riding their bikes to school, he added.

Also endorsing The LEAD proposal are Education Gov. Angelo Cachero and Arts and Sciences’ Gov. John Rey Blance, a Communication senior.

The campaign when materialized will achieve two things – health and fitness awareness and Lasallians contributing to efforts on pollution reduction. Cachero said.

The CAS College Council, Blance said, will support the plan all-out because it is beneficial to the student and the environment.

The Bike to School campaign, he added, will truly make La Salle a greener campus, he reiterated.

The campaign can only succeed through a persistent program that will educate bicycle users, motorists and other commuters to ensure public safety.

Said Br. Mawel: “The people should be educated so that bike culture can be sustainable.”

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Roman-tically Horrifying

A dark room filled with creepy sounds and sudden screams. And inside flickering lights reveal ghost-like beings covered with blood that sometimes walk, crawl and run towards you as if they are chasing your fears. The University of St. La Salle’s Lasallian Week would not be complete without this scene.

Lasallian week is an annual exhibit of talent and skills of USLS students through activities sponsored by academic clubs and the student government. Mass Communication Society’s Horror Room is one of the top grossing attractions during this event.

This year’s theme is Roman, a story about a sadist man who has a desire on pain and death of others. It revolves around their house that was renovated into a ‘Space for Rent’ building, here he slaughters different lives.

In the different spaces of the building has the story of the persons who rented in it. First is the tale of a frustrated ballerina teacher who trains her students in a form of punishment. Second room is a clinic where the mad doctor operates abortion to get a ‘youth serum’ to fresh fetus.

The third room is the room of an angry mother who is very impatient to her students and has a child who was possessed by different kinds of demon. The last room is of Roman were all of his killings and murder is found.

“This is the application of AB Communication students’ skills in theater acting, events management as well as marketing and advertising,” Knica Klein Kalalang, director of the horror room.

The concept of this year’s Horror Room was written by Adely Grace Tomaro and Mark Raymund Garcia. The production spearheaded by the 4th year AB Comm students and served as another event produced after the Bilib Awards and theater plays entitled ‘Tayog’ and ‘Cuerda.’

She also added that the production team had been doing workshops for the actors for almost two months participated by the freshmen aspirants and some sophomores. Proceeds of the Horror Room will go the benefit of Kalipay Negrense Foundation and for the preparation of senior’s trip to Manila.

“This is my first time to be an actor and we are very excited to scare the people who would enter the house of Roman,” Jim Lubrico one of the actors said.

The week-long celebration will be on Sept. 14 to 18. The horror room is one of the events prepared by the Mass Comm Society alongside with the Sinemasscomm that will show films made by the Communication students during their film production classes.

With this year’s theme “Tessellate: We Come as One,” University Student government will also include activities like U-splash, Ignition, Animo Show, La Salle  Gives Back and among others together with the Artist’s Hub’s the Golden Voice competition.

“I hope that this year, more people would enter the Horror Room and experience the scream and adrenaline rush brought by the story of Roman,” Kalalang added.

From Suyac to Molocaboc: Stories of Resilience

It was 5:30am of December 22 after Misa de Gallo. Some may return to their houses, and others may be sleepy. But in the case of University of St. La Salle relief volunteers, it is not. They were awake enough to head not towards their homes but towards the island of Suyac and Molocaboc to do some relief work this Christmas.

Thirteen volunteers of USLS Operasyon Yolanda went to the said islands of Sagay city to give some relief goods and roofing materials this last December 22 and 23. They were headed by Rhoderick Samonte, director of Center for External Relations and Institute for Negros Development and were composed by representatives from CER, IND, Community Outreach of USLS-Integrated School and varsity players of the university.

“I am very thankful to the volunteers who have joined and may God continue to bless and for them to continue their mission”, Samonte said.

They have distributed goods to more than 80 households of Sitio Suyac and more than 200 kids received candies, toys, apples and oranges. Also to help them in reconstructing their houses, the relief volunteers also gave 120 roofs and more than 40 kilos of nails to Suyac. While more than 300 families and 500 kids also received goods in Puroks Magay and Cotcoton, Molocaboc.

“Thank you to the volunteers who have helped us in giving our people the things they needed”, Jessica Marco, Barangay Kagawad of Molocaboc said.

Aside from food shortage, Sitio Suyac also seen that their Mangrove eco-park was destructed by the typhoon. On the reports of Ma. Lyn Lacson, Community Organizer of Sagay Marine Reserve, 8 to 10 percent of the park was damaged. They already assigned emergency employees to help in restoration of the mangroves as well as to help the community there.

“It is also a help not just to the environment but also to those who lost their jobs after Yolanda have hit them”, Lacson added.

Nine houses in Suyac were totally damaged and 88 were partially damaged and in Molocaboc, 700 houses were damaged. 62 boats were damaged in Suyac while in Molocaboc were 94 which includes motorized and non-motorized pump boats.

Lelita Juliano, 67 years old, all alone with her two grandchildren was one of those affected in Suyac. She said that the typhoon left their house roofless and because it is made of light materials, their house was left only by some ‘haligi’ and torn walls. Their house was one of the nine that were totally damaged in Suyac.

“We just cover our home with curtains and ‘trapal’ for us to have our temporary roof during nights. We just hope that it won’t rain”, she added.

Alongside with Lelita is Jeremiah Macapas, 38, also left by Yolanda jobless because the pump boat were he used to do his job was damaged. He did not expect that the typhoon would have been that strong.

Macapas also added that they did not evacuate because their elders said that the storm were just that ordinary, but when the storm came, it blown the strongest winds he never experienced in his entire life.

“It was a miracle that the storm turns it direction and I thank God because whatever storm that may came, He is still there to protect us”, Macapas said.

On the other hand, Maricris Batiansala of Purok Cotcoton cannot forget their experience during Yolanda. According to her, their situation became worse because the well, their sole source of water there, became salty. It is either they will buy to Vito, a place in Sagay or to wait that rain will pour down in their big jars. But some of their jars were also broken by the typhoon.

“That is why until now, some of us cannot take a bath and wash our used clothes weeks from now,” she said.

Lelita, Jeremiah and Maricris were among of those who received relief goods through the Operasyon Yolanda. They have received can goods, rice, water and some toys for their children. Also Lelita and Jerimiah received roofs for their houses.

Lelita said that she is thankful that the relief operation has seen her situation and gave her 10 roofing materials. “I will never forget this help they have given to me. I hope that God may bless them,” she added.

Totaling to more than 2000 individuals was given relief goods by the USLS volunteers. Samonte said that he is very thankful that they have finished their mission to the two islands. He also thanked those who donated relief goods to the Operasyon Yolanda.

“To the Lasallian Community, partners, students, and other who were unknown that helped in donating goods, thank you very much that you have been a part of this relief operation”, Samonte said.

The relief operations will not stop and “will continue until those communities will be restored”. Samonte, together with the volunteers also plans to go back in Cadiz city this December 30 to help in painting and distribute those donated pump boats to the families who lost their fishing boats. They also plans to visit Tacloban this January.

“Christmas becomes real if everyone is engaged in the act of giving. Thank you very much to those who made their part in this relief operations because you have defined the true meaning of Christmas”, Samonte added.

At around 4:30m of December 23, the volunteers now head towards Bacolod. With them now were not relief goods but their cheers of having a ‘good job’ in the relief ops they have conducted in Suyac and Molocaboc.

“Good Job! Good Job! G-O-O-D J-O-B! Good Job! Good Job!” they said as they head now towards their homes.

Kids in their big realities

We had an outreach program at the Sto. Niño Orphanage, located at Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City. The event was filled with fun and excitement as Sir Entila’s classes in RS3 gave goods and food to the children and have fun with them. The kids also share their talents as some of them sings pop songs. Outreaching to them was inspiring as we hear their stories from where did they came from and how do they struggle at their young age. We share stories and thoughts to them to make them inspired by us as they inspire us a lot too.10717523_10204971261379484_1699648460_n

I met a girl named Marissa Pelagio. She is eight years old and in grade three. She studies at the Queen of Peace Elementary School located and Brgy. Singcang-Airport, Bacolod City. Together with his brother Gian, six years old, they have gone a lot more than what a child should undergo. Their mother died and their father seldom go to see them because “he has a work”. Teary and shy when she talks about it, she wanted to be a nurse and she didn’t answer why. They play ‘unders’ during non-school days and bond with his brother. She is satisfied with the care of the sisters to them but she really misses her parents.

In that moment, I realize many things about my life and their lives. We should be thankful to have a family when we were child because I can see to them how lucky we are to have parents. I could see to them that they wanted also those things and all we could do to them is to help them and create smiles in their faces. I am very lucky to talk with those precious children as they willingly share their thoughts to us. They really made me grow more and think of the things that I have not just to be contented but also to be happy with it. I cannot see their future but thank God they are strong enough to conquer the reality they have now and just enjoy their childhood. I am sad to what happened to them but I know God has a purpose and in that purpose comes the love from other people and care that fulfills what should their parents could give them. I don’t blame their parents because I don’t know where they are coming from or what their motivation is. I pray to God the best for those children that they could reach their goals and dreams in life. Nevertheless, I am lucky to talk with them even in a while.10723483_10204961034003806_1520140116_n