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Tourism students bag awards in skills competition

Martin and Balite won the flight attendant showmanship category, while Fajardo and Laboy won fourth place in the travel commercial category.

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TOURISM CHAMPS—(From left to right) Floresca May Martin, Ruby Gayle Balite, Allysa Nicole Fajardo, and Yaira Wren Laboy

Four College of Tourism and Hospitality Management (CTHM) students bagged awards on Saturday, April 24, in the annual students’ congress and skills competition of the Union of Filipino Tourism Educators (UFTE). 

Floresca May Martin and Ruby Gayle Balite won the flight attendant showmanship category, while Allysa Nicole Fajardo and Yaira Wren Laboy won fourth place in the travel commercial category, the University announced yesterday. 

Time constraints in preparation and unstable internet connection, since both Balite and Martin reside in provincial areas, made the competition challenging for them.

“[I] think the challenges arose primarily as a result of the competition’s nature, limited time and a tensed-up environment. We were just given a day to prepare for everything,” Martin told TomasinoWeb 

Fajardo and Laboy faced the same difficulties as they were only given 11 hours to plan and create videos for the event. 

However, the four of them believed that the competition is a way for students to fully understand their profession. According to them, it “pushed them out of their comfort zones to show their capabilities.”

“[I] think the most important thing to remember is that a competition journey is a process rather than an endpoint. Any performance is merely a stepping stone to the next stage of the journey.” Martin said. 

Balite also learned how to remain calm under stressful situations and to have faith in God as well, while freshman student Fajardo considered the experience a “foundation” of learning.

The UFTE Annual National Students Congress and Skills Competition is an event that aims to highlight the tourism industry amid the pandemic.

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Educ ex-dean is new co-editor of Routledge gerontology journal

De Guzman will be replacing Nieli Linger from the College of New Rochelle. He will have a four-year term from May 2021 to December 2025. 

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Prof. Allan de Guzman, Ph.D

Former College of Education dean was appointed yesterday, May 4, as the new co-editor of  the Routledge-published Educational Gerontology Journal. 

Prior his appointment, Prof. Allan de Guzman, Ph.D, who leads the Educational Gerontology Research Interest Group in the UST Research Center on Social Sciences and Education, has already been serving as an international advisory board member for the journal. 

De Guzman will be replacing Nieli Linger from the College of New Rochelle. He will have a four-year term from May 2021 to December 2025. 

He already published 126 articles in various ISI-listed journals and worked as an editor, board member, and reviewer for top international journals. 

His field of research is usually on topics related to adult learning, teacher education, comparative education and educational leadership and management. He is currently handling research courses in both CTHM and UST Graduate School. 

De Guzman is currently working as a research fellow for the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Regional Centre for Innovation Technology and he president of the Metrobank Foundation Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators.

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Journo kickstarts community ‘meryendahan’

Instead of giving away vegetables for ingredients just like in traditional community pantries, Lora’s community meryendahan provides cooked meals. 

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Photo courtesy of journalism sophomore Alexandra Lora.

Despite the heavy workload and multiple writing commissions, second year journalism student Alexandra Lora kick-started a “community meryendahan” in her Barangay Hulo neighborhood in Mandaluyong. 

The soup kitchen style community pantry started on May 1. Instead of giving away vegetables for ingredients just like in traditional community pantries, Lora’s community meryendahan provides cooked meals. 

“I came up with this concept of community pantry because I know for a fact not everyone, especially those who are in need, has the resources or appliances to cook or prepare food. Giving them cooked and prepared food, as in kakainin nalang, I believe, will help them a lot,” she told TomasinoWeb.

Knowing the struggle of putting food on the table since the pandemic began inspired Lora to set up her pantry. 

“The number of people in Mandaluyong that I know because of the prolonged lockdowns is struggling to place food on their tables,” she said, adding that the Maginhawa initiative inspired her as well.

“The community meryendahan cooks and prepares food for Mandaleños, specifically around Barangay Hulo. The food prepared is also from a karinderya across our house, which is owned by an elderly couple who, up to now, is striving to get through every day,” she said.

To fund the pantry, Lora raised money by doing poetry, short stories, and sometimes essay proofreading commissions. 

The pantry functioned for two days. Lora said, however, that it may continue if donations would pour in. 

“I aim to keep it up longer than May 2, but for that to happen, donations would be highly appreciated. Donations both in kind and in cash will help a lot for us to continue to buy what is needed to keep cooking and serving those who are in need,” she added.

Community pantries started in April at Maginhawa Street, Quezon City by Ana Patricia Non, which eventually sprouted across different parts of the country and even abroad.

As of this writing, there are at least 350 active pantries in the country, including the community pantries set up by the UST Center for Campus Ministry along the streets of Dapitan and P. Noval.

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Thomasian nurse makes history in administering first COVID-19 jab

Thomasian alumna May Parson marked the historical moment of inoculating the first Covid-19 vaccine last year.

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Photo courtesy of Jacob King/Pool via Reuters

Starting her career as a scrub nurse at the UST Hospital in 2003, Thomasian alumna May Parson marked the historical moment of inoculating the first Covid-19 vaccine last year, Dec. 8. 

The British-Filipina nurse was hailed from the batch 2000 of the College of Nursing. She later decided to work in the United Kingdom and became a clinical lecturer.

Parson vaccinated the 90-year-old Margaret Keenan at a local hospital in Coventry, United Kingdom. She works as a modern matron or the department head of the hospital’s respiratory diseases ward. 

“I’m just glad that I’m able to play a part in this historic day. The last few months have been tough for all of us working in the NHS (National Health Service), but now it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. 

Parson shared how happy she is to represent and prove that the Filipino community can make a difference. Thomasian values, according to her, have set her apart from her other medical workers providing help to their patients. 

“At the end of the day, the culture that we have, the values that have been instilled in us is really important, kahit ano pa trabaho mo. If your values are shining through the care that you are giving, it makes a lot of difference,” she said in an interview with the UST Nursing Journal. 

Parson also advised Thomasian nurses to always “speak their values” and to remember not to let academic hardships define them as professionals. 

“Just because you are struggling with a subject, it doesn’t define your nursing education. There are things that you are going to be strong with. Speak to your values and your compassion as Thomasian nurses will set you apart from other nurses,” she said.

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