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A letter from the editor

To say that 2017 was a challenging year is an understatement: 2017 was a terrible year—which is honestly funny, considering how just exactly a year ago, we were all probably tweeting how 2016 was the #WorstYearEver (it’s Twitter; sharper expletives are welcome).

If anything, the past year was merely a teaser for worse things to come, and it seems that 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: The Growling Tigers continued their dismal performance in the UAAP, securing only a single win this season; the government’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs continue to claim the lives of thousands, even teenagers; and hazing has killed another student, and this time, it’s a Thomasian—all while the Dutertes enjoy lavish photoshoots in the Malacañang.

Mocha Uson is now an actual government official (which, more or less, gives legitimacy to her blatant misinformation frenzy), martial law is in full swing in Mindanao after a series of terror attacks, and candidates who lost to abstentions in the student council elections have threatened to take over the vacant posts.

It was a terrible year, but it was also the year we fought back.

A hashtag has given sexual harassment victims a voice to decry and expose abusers. Thousands marched in the streets of Manila last Sept. 21 to protest the government’s inhumane drug operations and harassment of farmer and indigenous communities. Mental health advocates also fought the stigma surrounding mental health conditions with a hashtag and Ariana Grande showed the world that we could respond to terrorism with love and solidarity.

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It’s undeniable that we are living in dangerous times—and that we are facing even more challenging times ahead. Despite all the things we hated this year, we are here, on the last day of the year, hoping that we could fight our way through 2018 like we did this 2017.

With that, I now present to you the top 20 people, issues, events, and trends that defined the spirit of 2017.

My comrades, Thomasians, Filipinos, netizens: Here is #TWenty.

The fight continues,
Philip Jamilla

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News

UST garners 90 percent passing rate in chem tech boards

27 out of 30 Thomasian chemical technician board takers and 6 out of 15 chemist licensure examinees made it to the cut.

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Jester Ramos/TomasinoWeb

The University recorded a 90 percent mark in the October 2021 Chemical Technician Licensure Examinations, and a 40 percent passing rate in the Chemist Licensure Examination, released on Friday, Nov. 5.

27 out of 30 Thomasian chemical technician board takers and 6 out of 15 chemist licensure examinees made it to the cut.

The University’s passing rate, however, waned from the October 2019 Chemist Licensure and Chemical Technician boards, previously at 83.87 percent and 98.63 percent respectively. 

University of the Philippines – Los Banos (UPLB) emerged as the top performing school in the Chemist Licensure Exams. Adamson University, UPLB, and Mindanao State University clinched the top spot for Chemical Technician Licensure Exams with all four schools scoring a perfect passing rate. 

Ateneo de Manila University student Mac Ivan Dominic Catipon Fang led the batch of chemists with a score of 87.50 percent. Mary Dorothy Dumancas Dinampo of Cebu Institute of Technology University claimed the top spot for chemical technicians with a 92.00 mark.

Only institutions with five or more examinees for the Chemist Licensure Exams, and 30 or more takers for Chemical Technician boards were eligible to be considered as top-performing schools.

This year, UST deployed a total of 45 board takers which is a significant decrease from the 104 takers in 2019.

The Professional Regulation Commission announced that 134 out of 369 passed the Chemist Licensure Examination, and 1,074 out of 1,322 passed the Chemical Technician Licensure Examination given by the Board of Chemistry. The exams were conducted in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Koronadal, Legazpi, Lucena, San Fernando, Tacloban and Zamboanga on Oct. 27-29.

Angela Gabrielle Magbitang Atejera
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E-Sports

Thomasian esports CEO partners with Blacklist after PH CODM Champs victory

“Through this kind of platform, you can most likely meet your future business partners and friends so never limit yourself and always aim to go for greater things,” Gloria said.

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Thomasian CEO of Team Ultimate EPro Matt Gloria. Photo courtesy of Matt Gloria’s Facebook page

Renowned gaming organization Blacklist International is set to enter the world of Call of Duty: Mobile (CODM) after partnering with the new kings of Philippine CODM, Team Ultimate EPro.

18-year-old Thomasian psychology student and CEO of Team Ultimate EPro Matt Gloria made the partnership possible. As one of the youngest CEOs in the country’s gaming industry, he aims to break barriers in the PH esports arena.

Team Ultimate EPro will compete as Blacklist International Ultimate in the upcoming CODM World Championship 2021 — Garena Finals.

As a young adult, Gloria admitted that being a CEO and a student at the same time is not easy.

“I was able to learn how to balance everything right now and I guess it all became worth it despite the hardships I faced,” Gloria said in an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb.

Gloria managed to maneuver his life as a CEO and as a student by making countless sacrifices to juggle his responsibilities.

“During my first year at UST, I had a hard time balancing my academic life and my life as an esports team owner due to the conflict in schedules. I admit that I missed some of my classes due to nightly meetings,” he added

Achieving three major events in just a couple of months, Gloria admitted that it was not an easy task for him to handle. But his vision of uplifting the PH esports community made it all possible.

“I believe that it takes a brave soul to take risky decisions and it showed. Team Ultimate won a collegiate event hosted by Fight Esports a few months ago for UST,” the young CEO said.

After sponsoring small teams that won local tournaments, Gloria trusted the process to mark his squad’s footprint in the local esports industry.

Placing first runner-up in the Philippine Pro Gaming League last December 2020, Gloria aggressively did everything in his power to bring in championship-caliber players that could help Team Ultimate EPro.

“I was being looked down on during the past few months and they would question the way I manage due to my aggressive offers on players and my aggressive buyouts from other organizations,” he said.

Gloria also acknowledged that his achievements would not be possible without the help of his management; they took things one step at a time, even without the guarantee of success in the path they are taking.

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“I’ll be honest, I thought doors closed on me already but it’s never about just that one door. It’s either you quit, find another door, or do everything to get in,” the esports team owner added.

Ultimate EPro climbed its way from the lower bracket to represent the Philippines in the CODM World Championship 2021 — Garena Finals.

Not only did they receive P330,000 as prize money, but they also left their mark on the local CODM scene, as they defeated the former Kings of Philippine CODM, Smart Omega Esports, or more popularly known as NRX Jeremiah 29:11

“The twice-to-beat advantage of Smart Omega was one of the things that intimidated us but the boys pushed through with everything they got,” Gloria said.

According to Gloria, it was this triumph in the National Championships that caught Blacklist International’s attention.

“Blacklist International saw the potential of my players and decided to give them a shot to represent their org as Blacklist International Ultimate,” he added.

With the achievement, a six month co-sponsorship from Blacklist resulted. Gloria also hopes that his team’s continuous success would leave a lasting impact on the Thomasian esports community.

“I encourage all the Thomasians out there to go outside of their comfort zone,” he added

Gloria also reminded the Thomasian community to explore new games and opportunities, meet new people, and most importantly, have fun.

“Through this kind of platform, you can most likely meet your future business partners and friends so never limit yourself and always aim to go for greater things,” he said.

Ultimate EPro is composed of team captain John Benedict “Jaben” Julio, Railey “Yobabs” Abrenica, Gian “Yato” Socao, Martin “Tin” Yap, Neil “Flex” Perez, and Aj “Eiji” Agbing.

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Opinion

The regress of political discourse

Such statements coming from politicians are bothersome because it is as if they are not willing to listen to other people’s ideas, and given how they are handling the health crisis sloppily, they are not eligible for that kind of attitude.

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Engaging in political discourses on social media can be heated and toxic most of the time, but what is worse is when the elected officials tell the people they swore to serve, “kayo na lang tumakbo” as a response to constructive criticisms. This kind of ignorance is not new, but it seems that in the last five years, this has become the go-to reply not just for supposed “public servants,” but also for the supporters of an administration that shuts down criticsno matter how substantial their views, or even suggestions, are.

In this pandemic, the advice and suggestions of medical experts are crucial, such as increasing testing capacity to more than 100,000 per day—DOH’s April 9 figures showed that the Philippines was only able to have less than 40,000 tests in a day), improving the country’s contact tracing strategy—and boosting hospital capacity by at least 50 percent.

Last April 10, an elected official said on Twitter that these should have been continued, given the recent surge in coronavirus cases. “We just have to admit that gov’t (including myself) relaxed when cases plateaued at 2k/day,” the official tweeted.

One of the netizens, who is a friend of that official, responded to his tweet. “It took you 1 year to figure this out. Better late than never I suppose,” the netizen said, but the official clapped back by saying that if the former had figured this out a year ago, “you should replace Madame Auring. Better yet, become our president.”

The exchange did not end there. The elected official interpreted his friend’s constructive opinions as insults and insisted, ironically, that they can discuss issues “squarely and as friends.”

Such statements coming from politicians are bothersome because it is as if they are not willing to listen to other people’s ideas, and given how they are handling the health crisis sloppily, they are not eligible for that kind of attitude.

Section 4 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (or Republic Act No. 6713) states that every public official and employee must observe certain standards of personal conduct in performing their duties, but reality tells us that this provision is often reduced to mere sentences written on a paper, and this example is just one of many.

Worse yet, this behavior emboldens supporters and propagandists to act the same way as their idols do. Criticizing the errors of state policies usually leads to their fanatics responding with statements like “sumunod ka na lang” or “huwag nang magreklamo—the typical mentality of those who bathe in so much privilege and leave no space for intellectual discourses. No wonder why many find social media as a place bad enough to be in. Others have even quit the internet altogether as a result.

The bottom line: many no longer know the proper exchange of intellectual discourses on pressing issues. Factual-based arguments are a must, and fallacious or baseless accusations that go as far as endangering people’s lives are superfluous, because hostility to constructive criticisms, especially in cases like this, does not make you look cool. It only makes you look stupid.

We must stop acting like we are members of a cult, because at the end of the day, the public plays a huge role, too, in shaping the society, and that includes challenging officials to use their power in correcting the system, and along with it the policies, that is dysfunctional.

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