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Thomasian nursing student named ‘education hero’ by US organization

US-based organization Youth Service America awarded a Thomasian nursing student for spearheading a literacy program for Filipino youth. 

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Photo from Streets to School Official Facebook Page

US-based organization Youth Service America awarded a Thomasian nursing student for spearheading a literacy program for Filipino youth. 

Qjiel Mariano, as announced by the University yesterday, Feb. 23, has been recognized as an “education hero” for starting the Ladders to Literacy program, which aims to teach illiterate children to read and write. 

“Ladders to Literacy is a literacy initiative under Streets to Schools in which we teach illiterate kids how to read & write and measure it by having them publish their own storybook,” Mariano, founder of youth-led organization Street to Schools, told Tomasinoweb.

Youth Service America also acknowledged Mariano’s effort to extend his hand to help Filipino children amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has rallied numerous efforts to be able to provide radios, hygiene kits, school kits, and more to ensure that distance learning can thrive among those left behind the most,” the organization said. 

‘Making a difference’

According to Mariano, Ladders to Literacy was inspired by children who were bullied for being illiterate. He believed that literacy is a “fundamental human right” and a “basic skill” one must possess to promote equality. 

“This is why we must commit to ensuring everyone is able to read and write, not just to end small grassroot problems like bullying, but to ensure that every child may grow up to become proactive citizens,” he said. 

“We envision them to become both literate and passionate about making a difference especially that it is their future at stake,” he added. 

With nurses being the “heart of the hospital,” Mariano expected to be always at the forefront of human dignity just like other professions. 

Being a nursing student also influenced Mariano to improve his organizational skills and his interpersonal relationships. 

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Artlets theater guild premieres first online play

According to writer and director Sophia Eugenio, Artistang Artlets spent over four months planning “Kisapmata” before the actual preparations began to ensure that all concerns in an online theater setup were addressed.

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Photo from Artistang Artlets official Facebook page

Faculty of Arts and Letters official theater guild Artistang Artlets (AA) premieres its first online production this March.

According to writer and director Sophia Eugenio, AA spent over four months planning “Kisapmata” before the actual preparations began to ensure that all concerns in an online theater setup were addressed. 

“That’s four months of endless meetings,” Eugenio said. 

Despite the lack of face-to-face interaction, the organization tried to preserve the theater experience from rehearsals to recording.

“It seemed weird at first, stretching limbs and shouting in front of a laptop for voice warmup, but overtime we got used to it. This is theater’s new normal,” Eugenio shared.

Rehearsals were arranged based on the actors’ class schedules to guarantee that no classes will be compromised. 

However, the unstable internet connection brought by the series of typhoons last November, according to Eugenio, forced the guild to postpone rehearsals. 

“I wanted to make a production calendar na feasible for everyone kaya adjustments were made…[e]specially nung sunod-sunod na linggo may bagyo. Ang daming nawalan ng internet so we had no rehearsals,” Eugenio said. 

“It’s like everything was happening so fast—kisapmata talaga,” she added.

Behind the scenes

The psychology-inspired play, Kisapmata, was shot in one take and features the story of three characters—Sam, Lucy, and Kyle—who control the mind of a boy named Alex.

“Despite the technicalities ng pagrecord and pagstitch ng introductory clip sa beginning and commentary sa end ng play, it’s still theater—the play itself was done in one take and walang cuts in between,” Eugenio explained. 

The play, according to its director, made use of Sigmund Freud’s id, ego, and superego to flesh out three of the four characters.

“In a nutshell, Kisapmata is about internal chaos—basically addressing the rapid flow of thoughts, doubts, choices, and feelings in our heads,” Eugenio said.

Part of the adjustment involves the script, to which the director highlighted was really tailored for an online production. 

“First time ng AA to do an online play and magkaibang-magkaiba ‘yung platform ng actual stage sa, you know, Zoom, kaya I doubt na we can do a for-stage script enough justice considering na we’re still adjusting. Kaya I wrote a script na fashioned talaga for an online play,” she said.

“Kisapmata” is live streamed on Artistang Artlets’ Facebook page from  March 1 to 5, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The play was originally scheduled on December 2 to 6 last year, however, the organization announced on December 3 that the play could not be shown that week.

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Architecture students bag bronze in 2020 ARCASIA; project to revive Pasig River transpo

“[T]he design aims to build resilient structures that connect us and improve our cities mobility to brace the unpredictable nature of our natural environment,” Arambulo, the group’s team leader, told TomasinoWeb.

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Fourth-year architecture students (from left to right) Thomas Benjamin Intal, Michelle Anne Tanieca, and Timothy James Arambulo.

A group of Thomasian architecture students bagged on Wednesday, Jan. 6, a bronze award for their proposed Pasig River project in the 2020 Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) Design Competition. 

In their project titled, “Bayanihan: The Filipino Spirit of Unity Working Together to Achieve a Common Noble Purpose,” fourth-year students Timothy James Arambulo, Thomas Benjamin Intal, and Michelle Anne Tanieca proposed to revive the Pasig river as a transport hub and an urban space linked with a biking infrastructure.

“[T]he design aims to build resilient structures that connect us and improve our cities mobility to brace the unpredictable nature of our natural environment,” Arambulo, the group’s team leader, told TomasinoWeb.

Their project includes building a facility with a disinfection zone, non-contact ticketing system, terminal area, foodcourt, ferry network headquarters, and a hyperloop biking infrastructure to encourage the use of cycling and ferry systems as an alternative means of transportation in the city. 

An architectural rendering of the commercial space of their project “Bayanihan: The Filipino Spirit of Unity Working Together to Achieve a Common Noble Purpose.” (Photo from Intal, Tanieca, and Arambulo)

These systems, according to Arambulo, are in place to help enforce social distancing and other pandemic regulations.

“Through creating resilient urban spaces with biking infrastructure and a revamped ferry system, it provides an alternative way to navigate the city. Keeping mobility is key to help continue the growth of [cities] under unpredictable circumstances,” Arambulo said.

This year’s ARCASIA design competition theme was titled, “Resilience by Design” which aims to address the social inequities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pasig river 

The Pasig river connects Laguna de Bay, the country’s largest lake, and Manila Bay. It is approximately 27 kilometers long and flows through the cities of Taguig, Pasig, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, and the municipality of Taytay, Rizal. 

According to Arambulo, they want Manila mayor Isko Moreno to consider their proposed project. 

“[This] can help improve their plans for PAREX (Pasig River Expressway), [which is] not necessarily a bad thing, but looking at it [from] preservation’s perspective, the skyway will ruin the Pasig river’s look,” he said.

The PAREX is a proposed elevated toll road which will be built along the Pasig river. 

This  joint project between the Philippine National Construction Corporation and the San Miguel Holdings Corporation aims to minimize travel time for motorists heading from Rizal to Manila and vice versa.

“The plans they were planning for the Pasig river was a skyway development; [And] I believe we commuters and Manileños have a chance to stop that from happening. Our design keeps the river intact and makes it super accessible to all bike riders and commuters,” Arambulo said.

Taking the challenge

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Arambulo shared that their team was at an “extraordinary position” to initiate new ideas for a better and resilient environment.

“[T]hrough the power of collaboration in web conferencing technologies, we have surfed the web and sat through a myriad of webinars across different continents searching for new ways to embrace the unpredictable,” he explained. 

Tanieca and Intal also highlighted the role of online platforms when they were crafting their project.

“Despite not having face-to-face interactions, I believe we were able to achieve our goal and our expected output with the help [of] online mediums,” Tanieca told TomasinoWeb.

Intal revealed that their brainstorming sessions were mostly done via Zoom, while they exchanged ideas through annotations.  

“[W]e took inspiration from the endless online resources we found as well as webinars related to our design problem,” Intal told TomasinoWeb.

“It was a difficult process but a rewarding journey,” he added.

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Accountancy junior among top 8 in int’l tax competition

Thomasian accountancy junior emerged as one of the top eight finalists in an international tax competition on Saturday, Oct. 17. 

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Screengrab from the UST Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy official Facebook page

Thomasian accountancy junior emerged as one of the top eight finalists in an international tax competition on Saturday, Oct. 17. 

Rovi Vitug was among the 10 students invited by Accountancy Department Chair Albert Cruz to join the “Young Tax Professional of the Year 2020 (YTPY).”

Vitug was among the Top 17 contestants, along with two students from De La Salle University and Polytechnic University of the Philippines. 

According to him, competitions like YTPY serve as an advantage for accounting majors as it informs them of the current situation and issues in the international accounting and taxation arena. 

[J]oining this competition really made us aware of the challenges faced by multinational companies in different countries today and how these challenges are being addressed,” Vitug told TomasinoWeb.

The case studies given to Vitug enabled him and three other Filipino contenders to provide solutions to pandemic-related challenges faced by multinational corporations, which, according to him, could be utilized to advance the country’s national tax system as well. 

“[T]hey can greatly help in improving the current national tax system in the future, one that addresses the challenges faced by local business as well as well as the challenges faced by the government,” he said. 

The YTPY 2020 was organized by the Ernst & Young Global Delivery Services, which was joined by more than 3,500 students from 25 universities across Argentina, India, and the Philippines. Wendell Adrian Quijado

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