By Jerome L. Abellera, PCAFPD Scholar – Master of Arts in Education, Major in Guidance and Counseling

As a master’s degree student working as a teacher during the weekdays, it is a great challenge getting all my requirements fulfilled and attending classes every other Saturday. The school decided to shift from full online classes to blended form where online classes are alternated with face-to-face classes. Considering the distance from my workplace to my school, it is a bit of a challenge.

The first semester of the current academic year started rough and continued similarly. I, again get to face my waterloo – statistics. In my struggle with this subject, I found friendship and cooperation with my classmates who are more versed in this subject than I do and eventually able to get a passing grade on the said subject. Statistics this semester gave me a different perspective on it. It is a vital part of what I am trying to master, it is an indispensable tool in research and development so, it gave me more reason to develop my skills in it.

My other subjects are as challenging yet more enjoyable and fulfilling. It gave me a lot of opportunities to help society in many ways. Ways in line with my profession and expertise. One of my career guidance subjects allowed us to conduct several career guidance seminars targeting senior high, graduating students. These seminars are focused on helping these students with ways to better make career choices that are vital in their development and productivity in society in the future. I was given the privilege to be one of the resource speakers and did a talk on insuring awareness of career choices. We had more than a hundred students who participated in the said event.

My learnings and exposure in my line of study didn’t end in school-suctioned events and programs. I made sure that I can apply it to helping people, especially the youth in any way I can, considering that my major is in line with what we call the helping professions. In partnership with a church youth organization here in our community, we spearheaded a seminar on overcoming stage fright and a training -workshop in public speaking. This activity is based on the needs assessment we conducted towards the needs of the students in the organization with school and church works. I was one of the speakers who talked about the psychology of public speaking and oral communication 101.

Overall, my learnings in this course had been a great help in my passion for helping the youth, especially the students who are to be the hope of the future. I also wanted to express my deepest appreciation to PCAFPD for the support they are giving to students like me in pursuing our studies and our dreams. More power!

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Hills and Valleys By Joan Pacio Gadgadan, PCAFPD Scholar

“Walk a life holding on your dreams and always do your best to reach the top of the mountain”, this is what I learned from the first semester of my third year in Bachelor of Science in Biology. BS Biology challenged and molded me to become tougher and braver in facing realities in life. My courses such as cell and molecular biology, fundamentals of genetics, Statistics, Physics, Environmental Science, and Life and Works of Rizal continued to give me important knowledge about plants, animals, humans and even microorganisms. Taking these units of courses was like walking through hills and valleys, there are times that it is really hard to understand our lessons but there are also times that I easily comprehend them. 

I love everything I learned from the units of courses given to me this semester. For instance, in Cell and Molecular Biology I learned this course’s current trends such as DNA fingerprinting, Recombinant DNA Technology and Nanotechnology. DNA fingerprinting is a test to identify and evaluate the genetic information called DNA in a person’s cells. Recombinant DNA Technology on the other hand, is used to splice DNA from different species or to create genes with new functions. While, nanotechnology is the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering. All of these current trends in medicine, technology and engineering are very interesting field for me. Their applications such as the synthesis of new medicines for currently uncurable diseases, advancement in diagnostic tools and imaging and even for therapeutic purposes motivated me to continue pursue BS Biology. Meanwhile, Fundamentals of genetics was also fun and interesting because in this course I was able to acquire knowledge about paternity dispute, how recombination occurs and learned that variation in traits of living organisms are very important for adaptation and survival. Yet, this subject was also the hardest for me especially during computation of genetic and phenotypic ratios of offspring of organisms crossed over. On the other hand, Life and Works of Rizal is a very motivating and patriotic course, it helped me build up patriotism within me and appreciate the works of Dr. Jose Rizal, encouraging me to also do my best, for as he said, “youth are the hope of the fatherland”. Environmental science had taught me of the importance of taking part in action to save and preserve our nature. Taking part on the sustainable development. On my extra-curricular involvement, I had received certification as BS Biology representative and was re-elected for the same position where I learned leadership, time management, organization, and communication skills.

Overall, this semester is full of ups and downs that continued to build me up as a student and as a better person. I am very thankful to the support of the PCAFPD family because without PCAFPD I won’t reach this far. I know that there are more hills and valleys to go through but I believe that by the grace and help of God and the PCAFPD family I could one day reach my dream of becoming a professional Biologist.

By Florame Fortaliza, PCAFPD Scholar

This semester was quiet hectic. Unlike the second semester of the last school year, this semester was conducted with full face-to-face classes. It was nice since it seemed like we are already going back to normal. I also got to know all my classmates and I am close friends with most of them now. 

The part that I enjoyed the most was PE. In the last few years, I never really liked sports because I was more of a book person. But ever since the start of this semester, I started to develop interest in it. I was particularly interested in volleyball. And it is a good thing that our PE instructor gives us opportunities to participate in such activities. We had a practical exam on this subject. Me and my classmates worked hard practicing. But since our university does not have a proper gym or court for volleyball, we often practiced just anywhere we could, without the net and other equipment. So, when the exam came, we had to play with a net and the distance where one would serve the ball was very far from the net. Sadly, I was not able to serve at least one ball past the net. But nonetheless, I enjoyed the game and it was a great experience.

This semester also became one of my most memorable experiences. We had an Engineering ball last November 18, and I participated in the cotillon dance. This was one of my first experiences since I never experienced this on high school. I really like the part where an intermission made by our senior seemed like a concert, with the lights off and flashlights from the phones in the air, waving with the music.

This semester was fun, it is just tiring because we always get dismissed from school at 6 in the evening every day. We always walk from school to the town plaza, where tricycles are stationed. This has become a routine for me and my friends ever since the face-to-face classes started. And it is also a way for us to relieve our stress from the tiresome day we just had. 

This December was exhausting. We were very busy complying with the requirements, as well as the upcoming final exams. I was lucky since I had a laptop, thanks to PCAFPD, and I was able to finish working on my requirements before the deadline. An instructor required our whole class a “parol” project, about 2-3 feet big, to be submitted in just three days with the exams coming right after.

When the exam ended, we were exhausted that we did not even have time to prepare to the Christmas party that scheduled just the day after the exam. We ended up just ordering food for the event. We did not even have much Christmas décors. We just had a simple lunch together with my classmates, exchanged gifts with them, had fun with the karaoke. It was simple but I had fun. I also got to enjoy time with some of my friends from high school.

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Scholar Essays Fall 2022, Circular 2