Category Archives: Feature

Gardeners of the Mind

By: Angelica Kim Estopia

          “What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches you something, but someone who inspires a student to give his best in order to discover what he already knows.”- Paulo Coelho.

                A teacher isn’t just someone who dresses up, goes to school and lectures. We need to broaden our mind beyond the enclosure crafted from what we see from our teachers daily. They move with purpose, with missions to accomplish every day. A teacher leaves bits and pieces of knowledge in his students, patch by patch, slowly and with conviction.

                It’s like they possess a spirit, a spirit which inspires you, motivates you and finally pushes you to set yourself in motion to make that burning aspiration lingering within you for so long possible. Sometimes, they must use other ways in order to let their learners understand something, but it also depends on the students on how to grasp on what the teachers want them to know, and why they are doing that. That’s what teachers are for, right? Knowing everything is impossible, but through them we can stuff our mind with all the erudition we could harbor until they’ll reach the point of bursting, flowing from us for others to have and to possess. They will never give up on you even if you yourself want to. Teachers for me radiate rays of promise of the future, scintillating and full of good things, a future they want you to sow and reap yourself, with their lasting guidance. It must be embodied by every student what his or her teacher wants to impart on him or her, an obligation that must be fulfilled because without it, the mentor’s perseverance and hard work will be just a gust in the wind, fading, losing itself.


                Being a teacher is hard, that’s needless to say for it is a staple truth, but why do people still keep on pursuing this career? For me, as a student, they come off as gardeners who selflessly undertake themselves to sow our gardens, which are our minds. We are nothing without them, and it’s a big triumph for our teachers when we reach stars-our mission from the very beginning.

                To our teachers, who steered us from the very start and gave us endless courage to mount our already sinking belief of ourselves that stemmed from our blank pages and messy ones, we could never convey a better statement on how much our gratefulness is to you. We express our profound thanks to you people who had helped us buoy our faith over and over as we were losing it, and always saw through us whenever we thought we were hopeless. You have our deep admiration for opening our eyes to possibilities we never noticed in your own simple, beautiful ways. Through the triumphs, thank you for celebrating it with us through the failures and stumbles, thank you for falling with us and giving us a little push to stand up again, and through the whole year, thank you for being a friend who continues to endure, to inspire, and to nurture.


Metropolis of the Mountains

          Of all the sublime places in Bukidnon, why choose MANOLO FORTICH?

          Fish out your dog-eared Mindanao map and look for it. This municipality, nourished by pineapples and plump with local wonders, is perched on the the northern peak of the Bukidnon highlands. Manolo Fortich is dissected into twenty-three richly forested barangays. Have you seen it? In the map, Manolo Fortich may look vast, as if on the edge of becoming the first city amidst the sierras

          On the outside, where there’s no map you can trust, a young local like me could say that Manolo Fortich is a quaint but well-built town, complete with its own hospital, banks, libraries, bakeries, gyms, recreational spots and schools down to its booming marketplace which noisily operates on steamy Saturday mornings. The only things left to build are a theater and a mall.

          When my kin moved here in 2007, what I saw in its center were dime eateries and rickety, bamboo boards to display fish and meat, a collection of businesses bound by a looming hall whose columns were seriously cracked and fissured.

          For the last two years, under the mayor’s leadership to fulfill the frustrated public, the spider-webbed and dismal halls were scooped away to give birth to a food court and emporiums for wet and dry goods, now hammered with gleaming steel rails and concrete stalls.

          The hiss and belch of machines signify the coming of a new and improved terminal for the community. Until now, the sight of them always makes me think of urbanization finally putting its big foot down to my town!

          Taking you away from the cluttered heart of Manolo, there are still places here without a streak of petroleum or a scratchy hum of wheels. There are places here where a heart could sate itself with adventure and a soul could shed all its exhaustion.64_big

          When armed with the right directions, one could reach Dahilayan Forest Park and Resort pretty fast. Dahilayan Forest Park is nestled at the foot of the rugged Kitanglad Mountains. It was constructed with the vision of helping develop the rising tourism industry in Bukidnon and the whole Philippines as well.

          During the fine, misty morning, a horseback ride accompanied by the sight of dawn leisurely flooding the countryside will surely settle peace in one’s being. Under the midday sun, try riding the zip line, then jump off to bungee jumping, and ride through rappelling. At the end of the day, these activities shall gladly stir the blood and reassure the wallet that it was worth the thinning.

          Kampo Juan, like its rival Dahilayan, has championed in fraternizing our old-fashioned Nature with a kick of adventure. Named after agricultural maven Dr. Juan Acosta, it includes the Philippine’s first (and only?) Anicycle chained to a 600-ft cable hanging on 100-ft deep ravine. It is a destination where man could constantly glimpse on Nature through activities benefiting the mind and body.

          Locally handsome marvels are the age-old rivers of Mangima and Kumaykay. A family or two might try to sneak into their yearly budget a three-day vacation beside these crystalline torrents encircled by native mystery and legend.

          Word could paint experience, but experience itself is far truer, greater, deeper. In trying to explain Manolo Fortich in little, nuanced sentences, my hold of giving it a perfect image has loosened. It endows us with blessings we must gladly receive. It has flaws we must accept. When one grows to love a place, one would not be in need of explanation.

           I look up once more to the sun setting in my town, shield my eyes and feel its warmth on my palm, breathe in, and walk to where the mountains are.

Drifts of Technology

The Era’s Vogue and its Power

By Angelica Kim Estopia

                        Internet spreads like a wildfire, so fast; its fleetness becomes as even as speed of light. Digital trends become famous to everybody-gray-haired, mothers, teachers, wrinkled and juvenile and juvenile at heart- distinguish this virtual superhighway as a diurnal necessity for living. I think the internet is interminably notorious to all because it may possibly be the only instrument of everybody no matter what circumstances their lives revolve to in achieving liberty, and liberty means (for them) to be able to boldly express themselves in a no-boundary zone, especially in words and in actions. Adolescents cover up a large portion of the population, and, with technology’s generous contribution, we each outline our own definition of what they call “free” through many forms, and one of these is by simply taking a picture of yourself, called the “Selfie”.  How could this be called an instrument of emancipative self-expression? The uncertainty of many comes to a question, does the “Selfie” crusade pose a negative effect to society or a positive one?

                   Today, teenagers and minors are famous in their own ways through the internet. For instance, in order to become popular in a certain site, particularly Facebook and Instagram, you must post a photo of the prettiest or cutest face (depends on how you describe your picture) you could ever form and seconds later, it must also get the highest number of likes. Individuals, predominantly adults (parents, grandparents, experts and whatnot) who have kids experiencing pubescence often question this incessant obsession of taking pictures of oneself whether a serious addiction or a constructive step to enhance one’s self-esteem. Believe me; I myself have experienced undergoing this issue at home, even if I’m not a big fan of taking photos of myself that much. I remember one time when my mother asked me why “Selfie” is done so much by teens and grown-ups alike these days, and I just said, ‘’I dunno. Why don’t you try doing it?” And she did; now she can’t stop, and I asked her why she was doing it herself. She’s doing it because it makes her feel wholesome. To be purely honest, they are both characteristics of the selfie. Considering the fact that it is officially ubiquitous and is still done by many, it may be termed as a great help not just to the youth but also to adults to feel better about themselves by just flashing the camera. The sense of motivation people get after getting many likes of a newly posted selfie improves the individual’s feel of self-worth. It evidently creates an encouraging evaluation to a person’s psychological and emotional being-if favorably received- especially when it comes to the youth, for this stage is the most influential phase of life and this is indeed the most critical time the interior condition of a human being develops through the response they receive around them. Now that social media and selfie work together and are both widespread, the developing of young people nowadays is exceedingly induced to various levels of “self-esteem” due to their great usage of such computer-generated paraphernalia, where they trust their own measurements of their character and quite probably their whole self to a great extent.

               We could also never deny or set aside the fact that these virtual inventions possess tenacious impacts to society. Negative interpretation of the populace to a certain individual’s action-such as the aforementioned selfie-prominently affects the whole person’s character and position of his or her feelings of his/herself. Everyone has been bashed by what they do and they post in the internet, we can’t keep turning a blind eye to that fastened truth in the social media. A diminutive feat of taking a picture of yourself is a starting grid to both positive and negative forces you yourself will be responsible to weight. YOU decide if you let it affect you or not. Even so, it would be utter hypocrisy if the ones criticized would turn around and criticize others also. I think the only solution we all can give ourselves if we get offbeat rejoinders from others when we post our self-appointed selfies and a whole lot of other things in the web are to first analyze why we let them judge our actions, actions we think what make us better people, even by just in virtual reality.

                  It depends on the person on how he or she receives the comments of others when doing something, not just the selfie. Self-esteem is a vital factor in an individual’s whole being. It has its own vicious impact to one’s life, and nowadays technology has invented cyber-tentacles that reach to the nitty-gritty sides of reality, even to the most inner self of the person, when he or she enters this man-made world. Within the social media, our actions are gauged by everyone based on what they see on those, but it’s also up on us on how much significance we’ll put on them, both the bad and the good things. So, keep on doing selfies! Keep on doing it IF and only IF it makes you feel good about yourself, because this life is too short and numbered to feel depressed because of others. But don’t make it a bad habit that will drown you to a world of ridicule. Keep on loving yourself, because that’s what life is about.