2008 in Photos: Volunteerism, advocacies, photography and love

The year 2008 has been awesome for myself, my fellow volunteers and friends. I hope you’ll join me in this long post that looks back at the past events that I joined, witnessed and become part of this past year:

February

the whole gangEver vigilantSir Edwin of LCDC3rd Checkpoint Negotiations

We held our breaths as we delegates to the Students’ Constitutional Convention and officers of the University Student Council 2007-2008 waited for the results of the plebiscite on the newly revised University Student Council Constitution of DLSU-D. Thankfully, it was ratified!

With the new USC Constitution ratified and in effect, we then focused on our advocacies such as taking a stand on the NBN-ZTE corruption scandal. On this day, the University released a statement regarding its position on the said issue.

The move was followed up by a University-wide forum on the NBN-ZTE scandal to better inform the academic community about the issue and to remind everyone of the stand the University has taken.

A day to reckon with, the DLSU-D contingent of students, faculty and several adminstrators in a convoy of two school buses were harassed and blocked by Bacoor Police first at Daang Hari then at Emilio Aguinaldo Hi-way in our peaceful attempt to join the Inter-faith rally at Makati.

New beatAt the end of the month, I visited the Cavite State University in Indang as a guest speaker on the basics of blogging in a seminar that tackled new trends in media. I thank Neil Bernardo of Es2pido.com for the honor and opportunity. And of course for the kapeng barako they gave me.

March

Students from De La Salle - AranetaWalk for truthStage

The third month of 2008 was less intense than February. On the first week, we the brave 85 Lasallians who were blocked and harassed and prevented from joining the Makati rally finally met with Jun Lozada at a forum at La Salle Greenhills. Lozada and the other delegates were appalled when they heard us re-tell the story of that infamous day.

Inspired from that encounter and having learned from that experience, we returned to DLSU-D and organized the Cavite Inter-faith Gathering so as to make known to the country that Cavite is not “GMA Republic” as some of her supporters claim.

With the closing of the school year, a good friend and fellow volunteer of mine capped it off by joining the Youth Action Day at Liwasang Bonifacio. It was a fun and encouraging experience to join ranks with other youth and students in standing for what is right and just for our country.

April

Go USC!Bro Armin Luistro, FSC & Fr Joe Dizonang tropa sa galera

Come April we held a small party for scholars, committee members and avid supporters of the University Student Council 2007-2008. It was the least we could do to reward all of them who have helped us in the USC in carrying out our duties, projects, programs and activities. They were with us through the toughest times and the lightest ones.

Quickly after that, we were back on the streets, marching towards the Supreme Court which decided in favor of Romulo Neri on the issue of using executive privilege during the Senate hearings on the NBN-ZTE scandal, to appeal that ruling. Sadly, the Supreme Court upheld its decision.

Moving, it was time for some serious break from all the hard work at the University. I went away to Puerto Galera with my barkada to celebrate the birthday of my best friend’s younger brother. Three days and two nights of beach, fun, parties and babes. It was awesome!

May

Bloggers going gagga over the Asus Eee PCLa Salle Jeep-IkotSemi-side viewDSC01709

The last month of summer break was quite memorable contrary to what I believed the month before. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the press launch of the Asus Eee PC 900. We all know how it went on from there right? The face of mobile computing has never been the same.

After that, I was back at DLSU-D for another exciting and joyous event. The blessing of our last project in the USC 07-08; the DLSU-D Jeep aka “Ikot La Salle”. It’s a safari-type passenger jeep that will make rounds in DLSU-D’s large campus, saving students from the pain of walking around campus. Plus, they are able to keep their fellow Lasallians in school because a huge chunk of the earnings will go to the scholarship fund.

On the last week of May, another blessing came my way. My very first laptop, a Compaq Presario c765TU. My blogging has never been the same.

To wrap up my summer break and to prepare for the coming school year, I joined my fellow volunteers and faculty from the LCDC in an exposure trip to Subic. Though I did not enjoy the beach, visiting the Preda Foundation and learn from their experiences in taking care of juvenile delinquents and youth which are in conflict with the law.

June

DSC01754i haz uMobileDSC01889DSC01897

June opened with a bang for me and my fellow bloggers at Bloggers’ Kapihan when we trouped all the way to Angeles City, Pampanga to help in the launching of Gov. Among Ed Panlilio’s blog. We’re so excited to have Among Ed blogging because it’s another way to make blogging more relevant to the Kapampangans and for the good governor to reach out and spread the virtues of good governance.

It was also at this time that a new mobile network came out. uMobile and they have one fancy idea: give the subscribers free credits every time they view an advertisement. Sounds cool, but eventually the idea never fully took off and its parent company Smart Communications, Inc. re-branded it into Red Mobile which is set to compete with Sun Cellular.

June is also the opening of the new school year and so it was back to my usual work load. Actually I had more this time around as I was elected as the Coordinator of the SERVE volunteers. Our very first activity was the General Assembly for all volunteers, especially the greenhorns because it was aimed at welcoming and orienting them into the world of volunteerism.

Asides from being the “Kuya” of the SERVE volunteers in DLSUD, I was once more donned my director’s cap as I facilitated the yearly Theater Acting Workshop for the theater group of my high school Alma Mater, Infant Jesus Academy’s Teatro Artistico. Didn’t know I was in stage acting didn’t ya?

July, August & September

DSC00830IMG_0593KatotohananChe with EEE31

These months were quite low in terms of the number of activities and events I joined. Mainly because it’s the middle of the 1st semester and so academics were my priorities. The few events that took place though were big ones. Jun Lozada was finally able to visit DLSU-D and shed more light on why we must come together in seeking out the truth.

Come August, our new volunteers had a taste of what it’s like to be one. The annual SelfAwareness and Advanced Leadership Seminar were held with almost 100 volunteers making up the contingency. It was three days of fun, learning, bonding and getting the hang of being a volunteer.

Another big event that closed my August is the grand Truth Festival held at the Raha Sulayman Park in Manila where artists, activists, priests, nuns, students, musicians, performers, street children, and common folk joined together and used art, music, lights and dance to send one message: the people seek the truth.

Come September, I held a swimming party to celebrate the birthday of my significant other.

October, November & December

Final sharingNikon D40DSC_0923_494LCDC_013_BloodLettingDLSUD_003_LanternParadeLCDC_076_HRForumFree Jonas BurgosSilang_123_GiftGiving

The last three months of 2008 has been equally momentous to me. The sem-break was spent quite well with a gathering of all student volunteer groups in DLSUD with Bro. Ceci, FSC where we discussed possible closer collaboration between the different volunteer groups.

November saw another awesome gift for me, my very own dSLR camera, a Nikon D40. You’ve probably noticed by now how my photos seemed to have changed compared to the ones from the earlier months.

Also in November, I returned to becoming a playwright and director when together with the senior students of Infant Jesus Academy, we mounted an epilogue of the classic Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice. All this in part of the Book Month Celebrations of IJA.

December opened with us caring for the needy. We volunteers helped the LCDC with the Blood Letting project. The demand for blood has been increasing in Dasmarinas because of the various accidents and illness inflicted upon the residents. However, we remain vigilant in helping them in any way we can.

Another growing tradition here in DLSUD is the annual lantern parade. It may not be as big and famous as the one held by the University of the Philippines, but we Lasallians are sure on our way.

In celebration of the International Human Rights Day, we organized a round-table discussion about the state of human rights cases here in Cavite. It was then followed up by a bigger commemoration gathering at the Imus Cathedral where mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos, Ms Edith Burgos was joined by Axel Pinpin, known as one of the ‘Tagaytay 5’ on the panel of speakers.

Lastly, I wrap up 2008 with the Gift-giving/Christmas party organized by the Nuestra Senora de Candelaria Parish here in my home town of Silang, Cavite for the poor and marginalized in our parish. It was a day of sharing and having fun.

I thank you so much for making it this far. Thank you also for going down memory lane with me, 2008 has been colorful, fruitful, and an awesome one for me.

How was your 2008? I’m sure have interesting stories and memories to tell as well. Do share them through the comments below and lets enjoy the closing hours of 2008 while we look forward to a more hopeful and fruitful 2009.

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