Posts Tagged ‘ateneo’

pop goes the world: celebrating love and literature

POP GOES THE WORLD  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  7 February 2013, Thursday

Celebrating Love and Literature

Once in a while I feature in this column the literary events of the season, and here’s what’s happening in this month of love:

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When you have a lost a loved one, how do you mourn?

Each person finds a way of coping. Support groups help; articles and books yield valuable tips. But ultimately, each one deals with grief and the pain of loss on an individual basis.

University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters associate professor, published poet, and performance artist Nerisa del Carmen Guevara lost her beloved to violence last year. This year, she spearheaded an interdisciplinary project at UST that brings together 11 colleges including the College of Science and the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in a collaborative effort that explores the many different forms and faces of love.

“Making: Love in Fourteen Collaborative Acts” will run from February 11 to 15 at the Main Lobby of the historic UST main building. It will showcase fourteen literary works – poems and excerpts from stories, essays, and plays – translated into other forms of art and science, all focused on love.

The project is organized under the wing of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS) headed by Dr. Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo (also professor emerita of the University of the Philippines College of Arts and Letters).

“Making: Love” carries further the old UST Creative Writing Center’s project “Brushes with Words and Chords,” which featured works of literature, painting, and music.

The artists and collaborators will be at the exhibit for meet-and-greet and photo opportunities. On closing night, they will read from or perform their work.

Professor Guevara invites the Thomasian community and the public to the event. She adds, “I will be performing on February 15. This performance is called “Elegy.” I have collaborated with an architect, a mathematician, and a musician. I asked them to build me a bridge between life and afterlife.”

This is a love-in of literary, artistic, and scientific proportions. Bring your Valentine to UST to witness, experience, and taste “Making: Love.”

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This event comes soon after the revitalized CCWLS under Dr. Hidalgo revived the UST literary journal “Tomas,” during an event that also saw the blessing of the Center’s new offices.

Established in 1998, the center used to be under the Faculty of Arts and Letters but is now an autonomous unit under the Office of the Rector. “Tomas” will be published every semester.

But wait, there’s more from UST. “The Varsitarian,” UST’s 84-year-old student publication, is organizing the 5th UST J. Elizalde Navarro National Workshop in Criticism on the Arts and Humanities and is now accepting applications.

The workshop will be held in Baguio City from May 26 to June 1 this year.

Fellowships will be awarded to 12 promising young critics who wish to enhance their analytical, research, and writing skills. Applicants must submit a scholarly, properly documented essay, 15-25 pages, on the following art forms – painting, sculpture, architecture, dance, drama, music, film, photography, and literature – on or before March 15, along with an updated resume and a recommendation letter from an academic mentor or art critic.

Send email to workshop convener Associate Professor Ralph Semino Galan at ralphseminogalan@gmail.com for details.

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The admirers of Jose Garcia Villa will have a chance to see books and papers from his personal library at the Ateneo de Manila University starting today, February 7, 4:30 pm, at the Pardo de Tavera Room of the Rizal Library Special Collections building.

The Villa Estate donated rare Filipiniana, documents, and ephemera to the Rizal Library. The exhibit runs until May 30.

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Tomorrow, February 8, the Literature Section of the University of San Carlos will hold “Minugbo: A Forum on Contemporary Visual Media” in Cebu City.

The forum will feature lectures by Jiji Borlasa (who will speak about Cebuano filmmaking), Anne Lorraine Uy (storytelling through pictures), and Diem Judilla (cinematic writing for short films).

This is a parallel event of the short film contest sponsored by the Section.   *** 

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pop goes the world: house rules

POP GOES THE WORLD  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  11 October 2012, Thursday

House Rules

The September 30 editorial “Of lemons and cowards” published on the University of Santo Tomas’s “The Varsitarian” student publication website, assaulted the pro-reproductive health bill stance of some professors from two other Roman Catholic universities and in so doing did more harm to its cause than good.

The cliché-studded, grammatically-challenged, and logically flawed Varsitarian piece called the pro-RH Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University faculty members “intellectual mercenaries” and “intellectual pretenders and interlopers,” while contradicting itself by claiming that by joining “the bandwagon,” they are “dishonest and don’t have the courage of their intellectual conviction.” Does not the fact that these professors came out in support of the controversial RH Bill show courage and conviction?

I got a laugh out of this declaration: “It’s quite shocking that Ateneo and La Salle professors should harbor naïve and misguided thinking about health and social problems.” I can imagine an elderly maiden aunt with hand on breast saying this, but a student? Que horror!

Please go online and read the entire piece (if you haven’t yet) to savor the full flavor of its arrogance, fanaticism, and claim of moral ascendancy and superiority.

But then again, as the editorial pointed out, Catholic and all sectarian universities have their own house rules that, if broken, would merit sanction by the school administration, and UST professors do not have the liberty allowed the faculty of AdMU and DLSU to publicly declare their personal beliefs if these are against UST’s.

According to the Varsitarian editorial, “It is quite gratifying that UST has cracked the whip and reminded its faculty members that they’re members of a Catholic institution and should toe the line.

“UST Secretary General Fr. Winston Cabading, O.P. [said in a letter that] “In the light of recent events where some faculty members of Catholic universities have publicly expressed dissenting positions from the Catholic bishops on matters of faith and morals, we in the University would like to reaffirm our fidelity to the magisterium of the Church as the Catholic University of the Philippines.”

Cabading’s letter was also quoted as stating “all faculty members of the University are to refrain from teaching or expressing their personal opinions within the bounds of the University anything contrary to Catholic faith and morals.”

There you go. House rules. But those are UST’s, and thankfully, not AdMU’s nor DLSU’s, otherwise there’d be two fewer universities that allow scope for intellectual freedom and critical thinking. It is good to know that the Jesuits of AdMU and Christian Brothers of DLSU treat their faculty members as the professionals that they are, and not slaves that have to be made to toe the line with cracks of the whip.

Soon after the Varsitarian’s editorial was posted online, it drew many negative reactions ranging from furious comments to satirical blog posts.

With public outrage on the boil, UST administration then felt a need for some damage control by coming out with a statement on October 9 that while it supports the Varsitarian “in its stand against the RH bill…the University does not impose its will nor exercise prior restraint on the opinions of the school paper’s writers nor the manner by which they are expressed.

“Thus, the opinion expressed…insofar as it supposedly called the pro-RH Bill professors of the Ateneo de Manila University and the De La Salle University as “intellectual pretenders and interlopers” does not bear the University’s imprimatur.”

Save for that crack againt the pro-RH professors, then, the rest of the piece has UST’s support. This is not surprising, given that the letter of Father Cabading’s was no less than a directive.

The student publications of AdMU and DLSU reacted with their own editorials on October 9.

AdMU’s “The Guidon”, in its “Our duties as student journalists,” said, “Throughout its 84-year history, The Varsitarian has certainly had many moments of brilliance, but this most recent piece is an unfortunate stain on that record…

“With our conviction that a student newspaper must promote rational dialogue and the fruitful exchange of ideas for the benefit of the larger community, we find The Varsitarian’s willingness to employ a kind of dismissive language that verges on the fanatical as completely unacceptable.”

DLSU’s “La Sallian” came out with “With all due respect”: “In our opinion, however, the method of expression used [in the Varsitarian] to express the matter veered away from the real issue, while creating new and unnecessary ones…

“The RH Bill is an important issue that deserves constructive discourse. None of this constructive discourse, however, can come from ad hominem lambasting from any of the parties involved, whether Pro-RH or Anti-RH. We believe in sticking to the issues, and backing conclusions with substantial, objective arguments.”

DLSU’s “Ang Pahayagang Plaridel”, in its “Responsableng pagpiglas sa malayang pamamahayag”, chided The Varsitarian for forgetting the true spirit (diwa) of an editorial, and for putting down the AdMU and DLSU professors while crowing about UST’s superiority (pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko).

You do not need to emphasize the faults of others, Plaridel said, to raise and prove the truth of what you are fighting for, adding “Mas magiging lubos ang kahulugan ng mga pahayag kung may sarili itong pundasyong magpapatibay sa kredibilidad ng mensaheng nais nitong iparating.” (Any declaration would be more meaningful if it were built on a foundation strengthened by the credibility of the message it wishes to convey.)

Their editorial cartoon is the best I have ever seen in my entire life.

But UST has its own house rules. It can do whatever it wants, like waiving its own academic requirements by bestowing a PhD degree upon former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona by accepting a public lecture in lieu of a dissertation. (Shocking!)

The Varsitarian said the pro-RH AdMU and DLSU professors should resign from those universities for their anti-Catholic stance.

In the same manner, students and faculty can take what UST’s dishing out, or leave it. They can choose to stay where whips are cracked or they can choose to belong to a school that values and encourages intellectual liberty, critical thinking, and freedom of speech – the hallmarks of a rational institution that promotes genuine education and edification.  *** 

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starbucks at power plant mall

We continue our tour of Manila’s Starbucks branches with a visit to the one at PowerPlant Mall, Rockwell, Makati. The store looks pretty much like the others inside, with the same furniture and lamps. The baristas here are very helpful and gracious.

Their glass cases full of pastries are a visual treat. They always seem to glow and make the food look extremely appetizing.

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It’s a very small store that is always packed with shoppers and students from the nearby Ateneo Professional Schools. This branch should really expand and get more space. It’s always so crowded. When I was attending the Ateneo Graduate School of Business for my MBA from 2005-06, my classmates and I preferred the Starbucks that used to be beside the tennis court as it seemed to be slightly more spacious. (It and other nearby restaurants have been moved several meters closer to Ateneo to make way for the construction of One Rockwell.)

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ateneo mba defense

Looking back at the events of 2007, I count my MBA defense as one of the most significant.

February 12, Monday, was the date of my oral defense at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB), the final academic requirement for my MBA degree. My Strategic Management (Strama) paper was entitled “Manila Jockey Club: Strategic Directions for Thoroughbred Racing”. It was exactly 100 pages, and had quite a few charts, tables, and photos. (“Be creative!” said my Strama professor, Albert Buenviaje.)

I had submitted my paper on the second deadline (Jan 20), 30 days after the first deadline. Prof Buenviaje told us that there would be a deduction of 0.5 from the grade for the paper for those who would submit on the second deadline. So I knew that the highest grade I could get for my paper would be 3.50.

My defense was for 2pm, and my panelists were Professors Buenviaje, Ralph Ante (my Quanti teacher), and Gary Grey (Infote, but I didn’t take him). I went to the Faculty Office to find out the room assigned to me, and there I saw Prof. Ante. He called my name and said, “Galing!” Just that. I said, “Hunh?” he smiled and said he was one of my panelists.

I figured he was referring to my paper, and I thought he was just being nice. But before my defense started, he complimented me again on my paper.

The presentation itself went quite well, considering that I had made the Powerpoint for it just two hours before! Talk about “procastination” and “unpreparedness.”

The entire thing, including Q&A, took only 45 mins (1 hour is the maximum time allowed). I was asked to step out for a minute, and when I returned to the room, my panelists showed me the grading sheet.

All 4.0 across the board! Prof. Buenviaje said that even if my paper was late, he was not going to deduct 0.5 and would give me the full 4.0 for my paper! and that was my final grade as well.

These are my professors’ comments:

Buenviaje and Grey: “Part owner ka ba ng MJC? Kasi the way you write it’s like you own the place. Alam mo lahat.”

Grey and Ante: “Galing, it’s the best paper I’ve read!”

Ante: “It’s the first time I have given a 4.0.”

Grey: “Are you going to write a book? Give me a copy, ha.”

Buenviaje: (big big big proud smile)

Far as I know, I am the only one in our batch that has been given 4.0 for both the paper and the defense. Of course I was very proud and happy. Just last week, one of my classmates, Edmar, told me that I was the only one of our batch who did not have to do a revision of the Strama paper.This is one of the biggest achievements in my life!

Edmar, Gina, Cynthia, me, and Wilma at our graduation ceremony at Ateneo – Loyola in August 2007.

Gina (my classmate) said she talked to Prof Buenviaje a couple of hours after my defense, and she told me that he was “super happy” with my performance. High praise indeed, since Prof Buenviaje is also the Assistant Dean of AGSB and the program director for Ateneo-Regis MBA (the program I took).

Okay, that wraps up that chapter of my life. My deepest thanks go to my sister Aya who paid for my tuition and, most of all, believed that her ate could do it; my kids for the support; my friends for all their help and encouragement. Thank you, all!

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ateneo gsb commencement 2007

Finally, nairaos din!

This was the sentiment of us graduates of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB) of the Ateneo de Manila University at our Commencement Exercises held August 5, Sunday, at the Irwin Theater, AdMU-Loyola Campus in QC.

The activities started at 330 pm with a processional of graduates (by program) from the Grade School auditorium adjoining Irwin Theater. We trooped into the Theater as our professors waited by the doors, pride beaming on their faces.

I walked inside with Ik (Aya was waiting for Alex at UP, who was taking the UPCAT that same day) and took my seat in one of the center rows. We were arranged alphabetically and according to program (Standard, Middle Manager, Regis, Special-Allied Bank, Special-ADB, and so on).

As an honor graduate ( Silver Medalist), I was allowed two guests, with assigned seats near the stage. As I was first in line alphabetically, Ik got a good view of the proceedings and was seated near the aisle.

At 4pm, a Baccalaureate Mass was held, AdMU president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, presiding. After the Mass, the altar was taken away and the stage curtains raised to reveal a beautiful set, all blue and gold and silver, covered with masses of real flowers – pink and red roses, yellow mums, red anthuriums, purple and blue blooms, green ferns and foliage, all in a riot of colors, almost as if we were in a garden.

The Commmencement Address was delivered by the former dean of AGSB and now dean of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Alfredo RA Bengzon. It was a stirring speech that reminded all us graduates of our school’s “value proposition” – “My Business, My Country”. Wherever we are, Dr. Bengzon reminded us, we can all make a difference towards positive change and growth for nation-building.

Next came the medal awarding ceremony. Again, alphabetically, I was the first one called forward to receive my silver medal from Fr. Nebres. Since Aya and Alex were still at UP, it was Ik who went up on stage with me, and afterwards hung my medal around my neck.

After all the awards were presented, next came the awarding of diplomas, by programs. Edmar (de la Torre), who was seated behind me, passed the word that we would all yell when Regis was announced. (Pasimuno talaga sa kalokohan.)

Sure enough, when it was our turn, we let out a chorus of yells and applause when AGSB Dean (and my Strama professor) Alberto Buenviaje called on the Regis graduates. We walked down the aisle (me in front again) shouting and clapping as everyone stared. By this time, Alex and Aya had arrived and just shook their heads at our kalokohan.

As I passed the faculty seated near the stage, I shrugged and told our Quanti prof, Prof. Ralph Ante, “Sir, pasaway talaga kahit kelan!” He said, “It’s normal!” meaning he knew our batch was up to its old antics as usual. See, none of the other programs were as loud and vocal. They were staid and boring, teehee. And to think most of them were younger than us Regis students.

We received our diplomas (original, in Latin), one by one, so it took time, but we were all very happy to finally end our MBA education with such joy and laughter. We ended on a tearful note with all the graduates, faculty, and staff singing the Ateneo Graduation Hymn “Mary For You” complete with battle chop.

The whole stirring ceremony inspired Ik so much that she wants to go to Ateneo – and nowhere else – for college! Alex will be taking the exams for Ateneo soon; hopefully she will pass them and receive the Jesuit training that I am proud to have experienced.

Congratulations, 2007 MBA graduates of the AGSB! Primus inter pares!

Our barkada and batchmates – (L-R) Capt. Edmar de la Torre , Gina Matawaran (gold medal), Cynthia Jose, me, Wilma Torralba.

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My MBA ring. I chose a blue sapphire (an Ateneo color) for the stone.

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One side of the ring has the Ateneo Eagle; the other, St. Ignatius of Loyola at prayer, along with the year of my graduation and the degree.

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