Tag Archives: philippines

My story of passing the Civil Engineer Licensure Board Exam

The story of a sleepy civil engineer who once lost motivation but passed the Civil Engineering licensure exam November 2019 in one take.

I graduated last April 2019. After I got my diploma, I knew my next goal is to pass the board exam and earn that license.

Early May, the review center classes for Civil Engineering began. There are a lot of good review centers for the CE Boards, there is the oldest one, Besavilla Review Center, Padilla, the Caltech friendly Mega Review Center, the well known Review Innovations (R.I), the new ones like Esplana and so much more. Our school is somehow associated with Mega and R.I so majority of us went to those. Together with my friends. I made a downpayment at Mega Review Center as we were convinced by their calculator technique. Some of my friends went to R.I and Esplana though.

I was excited at first, enthusiastic in attending the review classes in Mega even if it was so damn early (7am classes y’all!). I was motivated as well when I did well on their evaluation exams and diagnostic exams. I had these small notebooks where all the necessary formulas are written.

I studied at different cafes around Mendiola after classes since our review class ends at 12:30PM but then around the mid of July, I began to feel unmotivated. I once missed a class and then it was followed by another absence and another until I found myself just sleeping and being all lazy at our apartment for two straight weeks. I felt lost and stuck. Everyone was studying and then here I am sleeping around.

I don’t want to go with them either just like what most people say that you should go with diligent people so you’ll be like them. No. That’s not it. I just felt off whenever they brag about how much they know that moment, sure you can review with that but it’s just not for me.

After then, I decided to revise my plan. I asked myself why do I feel lazy attending the review center, Mega was a great RC, the problem is it just doesn’t match with my ways. I felt bored with their super detailed lectures, I only wanted their caltech. I didn’t like how their evaluation exams are so hard, harder than the actual board exam because it was designed not to be back-solved, or be answered by caltech or be answered easily in general.

I attended our school’s refresher classes with my closest CE friends where the top 3 of CE board exam 2017, Engr. Hans Lawrence Dela Cruz is our lecturer hoping I’ll get motivated again. I did, but it wasn’t enough.

I wanted a review center that is straight to the point, I don’t want to know other things, I wanna know the types of questions that comes out of the board exam, teach me how to solve it, make me master it up to the point that when I see a question, I know how to answer it. Besides, this is about passing the board exam not knowing everything about Civil Engineering. That’s when I decided to finally stop attending classes and I studied on my own everyday, alone. I quietly studied on my own not letting my friends know which part I am on and where I study because it wasn’t necessary.

August 16, I went to Naga City, a pilgrim city, with my Dubredo friends and did a church hopping to pray for my board exam, wishing that I’ll pass. This served as my last vacation too for this whole review era.

My friend, Tyrone, then passed his licensure exam around August, he’s now a licensed Mechanical Engineer. I asked him for tips and he said it’s hard to pass without a review center. He said the board examinee really need an RC to be confident on. With his advice, I began to reevaluate things again, I needed a review center and in perfect timing, my mother texted me and said I should enroll on Besavilla Review Center even if it was quite late already, so I did.

After months of doing self review, I had my last months review and coaching at Besavilla Review Center in España. I really didn’t want my friends to know about it because Besavilla is really a big thing for CE and I didn’t want them to expect so much from me and bombard me with pahingi ng module niyo, notes niyo, reviewer niyo. I needed to focus but jokes on me, they still discovered about it.

Just like the early days, I was excited to attend my review classes on BRC but unlike in Mega, I didn’t miss a single class here. I took the weekend schedule, our classes run from 8AM to 5PM in the afternoon. Throughout the review, I had three repeating lecturers, Engr. Palma, Engr. Bachicha and Engr. Quizon who were really great.

October 3, days after our refresher course began, a horrifying announcement from PRC came out and really made us devastated. It was the banning of the Casio 570ES Plus calculator that we’ve been trained to use since college and they happen to decide to ban it just a few weeks before the board exam!!!! Then they decides to replace it with an older model Casio 82EX and Casio 350EX which doesn’t have shift solve, 3 equations 3 unknowns, differential, integration and vectors. NAGULANTANG KAMI LAHAT.

Simpleng reservoir sa Hydraulics Engineering aabutin ka ng siyam siyam kung walang shift solve what more yung sa design? Moment capacity? Finding ‘a’? Finding no. of bars given the axial capacity of column? It will take us several minutes without shift solve and take note, we only have 5 hours for Mathematics, Surveying and Transportation Engineering, MSTE (75 items), 4 hours for Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engjneering (50items) and 5 hours for Structural Engineering and Costruction, SEC (75 items). Time matters in board exam. It would be fine if we’ll be given less number of items but no.

Once again, I felt weak and unmotivated and disappointed. I continued solving past board exams and I noticed how the new calculator is making me so slow in answering the questions and I can’t be fine with that. The board exam has time. TIME MATTERS.

I visited my soul mommy, VP Leni at her office early in October and ranted about the sudden calculator change just to ease the tension inside me a bit and she sympathized but she focused on motivating me by saying that she’ll be praying for me and she’ll be proud if I pass and even if still haven’t, she’s still proud. I’m so soft for her.

Because of her words, I recalibrated things and stopped complaining about the calculator and thought it’s just between deal with it and pass or give up.

I asked myself, what do you really want? To become a topnotcher, to pass, I replied. I tried to motivate myself but I must admit, it didn’t feel quite enough.

Good thing, I was lucky to be able to be lectured by the super lolo legendary Engr. Venancio Besavilla Jr., himself. He taught us design topics, slabs and foundation design. He taught us everything he knows and gave us his own lecture notes for us to study to be able to counter Ma’am Praxy’s SEC exam. He also told us that he flew from Cebu to Manila in order to send a request letter to President Duterte about the calculator because it’s just a few weeks before the board exam and the stocks of the newly allowed calculator turned zero despite that there are still a lot who doesn’t have it. He also encouraged our class to take the personalized coaching classes because that’s BRC’s most powerful weapon among the other review centers. Only BRC has the strongest coaching for MSTE. Most review centers rely on teaching everything under Mathematics, Surveying and Transpo but BRC have their special method for this, they have the most accurate predictions and topics to teach. BRC’s MSTE refresher and coaching are really the sharpest weapons vs MSTE.

(Ma’am Praxedes Bernardo, by the way, is the PRC CE Examiner for SEC which is known to be the toughest enemy of the aspiring civil engineers. She was a graduate of Mapua Institute of Technology, a CE topnotcher during her time, Engr. Venancio Besavilla Jr was the top 2.)

After Engr. Besavilla’s lecture and motivation period, I swear to God, I mastered the topics he taught, I was highly motivated. I felt powerful, I felt half ready. Kahit anong calculator pa yan, I’m ready.

Our refresher course continued and because I was highly motivated, I finished all the topics covered on the past licensure exams and I decided to focus resolving the refresher quizzes over and over with the assistance of Besavilla’s CE Licensure Examination book and Gillesania’s CE Reference. I did it at home in Cavite since my classes are only during weekends.

I went back to Manila at October 25, Friday and passed by St. Jude Chapel. That’s when I pledged to God that I will be doing a fasting of not drinking any milk tea, no samgyeupsal and I will be lighting a candle at St. Jude everyday no matter what happens, rain or shine. I even bought my own lighter because there were times at night that there were no lit up candle left in the chapel and I had to light up my own. It was my voluntary sacrifice to resonate my wish of passing the board exam to the higher.

I continued this routine and as our refresher ended and holidays came, I scheduled myself to wake up at nine in the morning EVERYDAY, take a bath and study at Just In Time study hub in Mendiola from morning up until 5am the next day because they offer a P180 all day pass for all board examinees that will take their exam in less than a month. I made the most of it. It was a new study hub in the place, it was near our apartment, just one jeepney away and it was really conducive for learning. I can also take naps there when I feel exhausted or drink free coffee if I feel sleepy. I am so grateful for their cheap rates, I mastered the topics well in this place.

As per my schedule, November 4 should be the last day of my self review. I should have covered all the topics and mastered it by that time. The next days will just be browsing and mentally thinking of how to solve the pass board exams by just looking at the questions and the given. Luckily, I managed to achieve that and follow my schedule.

November 4 was the beginning of our coaching in BRC as well. EJ and Rex enrolled on BRC’s coaching and it was thrilling for me to have my friends on the same class because ever since I entered BRC, I didn’t have close friends though I managed to have new friends like Bea and Iana. It was intensive and specific. The questions were answered faster than the refresher (more bc the lecturers assume we know it already and passed through it over and over because it was on our review modules and refresher quizzes and CE Licensure Book) and it’s just the past board exams and the May 2019 board exam (most recent) questions being answered over and over. It’s really impossible for you not to master the ways of the examiners with the number of times we solved their past sets of questions.

After I finished covering all the topics, I felt ready and powerful but after our classroom coaching, I felt even more powerful. I knew from the last day of our classroom coaching that I will pass the board exam. Our lecturers made me feel that and this must be the effect of BRC’s way to me. It made me confident.

November 7 was our last day of classroom coaching. November 8, 2PM, we were called at Madison 101 in Quezon City for Besavilla Review Center’s Hotel coaching. EJ, Rex and I passed by St. Jude Chapel in Malacañang to light a candle and ask St. Jude our wish for the last time since we won’t be able to visit him again once we enter the hotel coaching, going out is strictly prohibited.

BRC’s hotel coaching is where they teach the most accurate predictions for MSTE and Hydrau/Geo. All our phones and gadgets were confiscated the moment we entered the hotel so there will be no leakage of the coaching happening inside. It’s like we’re in PBB house lol. But it was nice because we were highly focused on the board exam without our phones with us and it kept us away from distractions. No emotional, mental or intellectual distractions from the social media and texting world. It’s just us and the review materials and our comfortable rooms. Included in the coaching package is transportation transfers from our hotel to our designated testing centers, our meals, exclusive of lunch since we’ll be on our testing centers during lunch time but for our breakfast and dinner? BRC got us some good homemade meals.

My room assignment was on St. Jude College in Sampaloc, Manila, room 403 at BED Bldg.

Room assignments were announced Thursday and the moment I knew my room assignment, I searched for some horoscope (lol) and it was such a coincidence that the lucky number of rat for this year is 23 and I am no. 23 on the room list. Woah. I felt even more powerful.

After then, BRC staffs knocked on our doors at three to wake us up since we had no alarm clocks and gadgets. After I took a bath and dressed up, I went down to get our breakfast. You might wanna ask if I wore the famous red undies as part of the beliefs of the exam takers, my answer is YES! Lol! I did wear red undies on my first day of exam hoping it will make me feel more confident and ready. Wala namang masama ‘di ba?

Friday night was really a tough one. I don’t know if I’m excited or nervous or what but we all struggled to sleep. I was able to sleep for an hour or two but it wasn’t that deep but this is normal, I guess?

BRC drove us to St. Jude College, there were different vans for each school/room assignment. I arrived at the place around 6am. There were policemen in the entrance checking our NOA and calculators before we head up to our rooms.

I took the MSTE exam at 8am. It was inevitable not to tremble or feel nervous once you see the questionnaire being distributed. As soon as I got mine (set A), I skimmed through the pages trying to look for the easy and familiar ones first to build up my confidence and ease my anxiousness. At first I was intimidated by the long problems but then I continued answering the easy ones first and faced the long ones after I built myself, I barely noticed how I already answered over 50% of the questions and I am certain of all that. I felt empowered. At this moment, I began answering the tough questions then I told myself “Jam, I believe in you. This one’s for you, God.” Then naturally, I lost all the nervousness and worry, I finished answering an hour before the time I was able to take a careful nap because I was sleepy(careful nap means napping without folding my paper lol) and whenever I feel drowsy in the midst of answering, I eat my snacks (Meiji dark chocolate bar and Chips Ahoy Chewy Cookies). Then just a few minutes before the time, our proctor said we can pass our papers already if we’re done. Then I did and I went out to have my lunch, I had Sinigang at Lakay Restaurant for only P60. Yum!

I went back to the 4th floor and took a nap again outside our room assignment. I was hell of drowsy after the MSTE and even before our Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering began. If I remember correctly I fell alseep for about ten minutes during this period. I panicked when I woke up because the exam is only good for four hours and the questions looked quite different from the past board exam questions, it wasn’t situational that you can easily back solve. Yet, I didn’t let this fact bother me, I told myself, I mastered Hydraulics and Geotechnical engineering a long time ago, nothing scares me. Then my mind absorbed that instruction.

I managed to answer the questions well and even the new and unfamiliar ones. I admit I wasn’t sure of everything but again, I made sure that I am sure of at least 50% of my answers and yes, I was sure of half the whole exam. I finished earlier than the due time again so I took a nap again. I wonder what the proctors think of me that time. Wala na ba ‘tong masagot kaya natulog nalang? One can only speculate. I went home confident that I did well though.

For the second day of my exam, I prepared myself for the toughest one. Ma’am Praxedes Bernardo’s Structural Engineering and Construction. It’s always intimidating because structural is very technical and code based topic and our exam consists of 34 pages — the hardest but then again, I had to condition myself. I cannot let anything intimidate me, I told myself “Kaka-master mo lang ng design, fresh pa yan sa’yo. Si Engr. Besavilla at Engr. Palma ang nagturo sa’yo niyan sa review center. Si Engr. Delima ang prof mo sa RCD at PCD, si Engr. Sarzaba ang prof mo sa Mechanics, TOS at Strength nung college. Plakado ang mga nagturo niyan sa’yo. Halos six months mong inaral yan, anong ikakatakot mo?” My confidence began to rise.

I skimmed through the pages looking for the easy and familiar ones then I managed to build my confidence again. I admit that there are problems in the exam that I never encountered before and are purely code based and I clearly have no idea of how it goes but I told myself that if it was based on the code and the code is attached on the exam questionnaire, I could use it to find the answer. I calmed myself down and thought it was my way during the time I was self studying. I didn’t know anything, I relied on the books and resources and this time. I simulated my mind and imagined I was just reviewing. I studied the tables and codes given and then suddenly I just knew how it works. I felt resurrected, I continued answering and then I realized I managed to surely answer 50% of the questions again. This time, I was confident that I’ll make it.

The ones I can’t understand and had no idea of can be counted by fingers, I told God that I really have no idea of how it goes. I apologized in case I answer it wrongly because I told him that exam was for him and I didn’t want to give him so many wrong answers. I owed it to him.

Again, I finished earlier than the other again. I rested my mind for a few minutes before I decided to pass my paper and leave the area.

As I leave the place, I fathomed about my whole examination experience. I evaluated myself and I was 85% sure that I will pass and it was enough. I went back to the hotel to get my things and went home to Cavite right away since the exam ended at 1PM. I wanted to see my family immediately so that I get to see the people who believed in me before I did.

Today, November 14. Just a few minutes before 12AM, the results came out and I saw my name on the passer’s list.

Out of the 15,075 civil engineers who tried, only 6,510 passed and I am one of them.

I knew I’ll make it.

Though I failed to make it to the topnotcher’s list. Yepp, I was that confident of myself that I thought I’ll make it to the top but sometime’s you just got to believe in yourself, believe that you can be at the top so that if you go a little lower, you won’t fall towards failing the whole examination. I don’t regret anything and I am proud of myself. Aim high!


As for my review center recommendation, I suggest you take Mega’s review classes and then take Besavilla’s refresher and coaching sessions. Perfect combo with your self reviews. Mega’s detailed review might just be the perfect foundation for you and Besavilla’a refresher and coaching are the greatest source of confidence for your last days. Tapos na lahat ng review, refresher at coaching ng ibang review centers pero si Besavilla hanggang sa huling araw ng exam mo, hindi ka iiwanan.

Lastly, this may sound really cliché but believe in yourself. Calm down and DON’T let anything intimidate you during exam.

Less than 45% passing rate? One of the hardest board exams? That’s nothing to an examinee with a will to pass, a faith to believe and a trust to one’s self.

Do your part, study well, pray to God and a day before your exam, tell yourself:

And you will.

Now that I am officially a registered Civil Engineer, it’s my time to serve our country and contribute to our industry. Once I start earning well, I promise to help people in need.

Good luck to the next batches of Civil Engineers to take the licensure board exam! You can do it!

REVIEW: Taste from the Greens Milk Tea in Scout Torillo, Quezon City

It’s been a while since I tried a new milk tea source and I’ve been receiving a lot of requests of the milk tea drinks that I should try but fortoday, I’ll be reviewing a new milk tea source in Quezon City called Taste from the Greens.

Just a little background, TFG is originally from Pampanga and seems to be well known in the said place. It caught my attention because usually, the good milk tea sources are from another country but this one is from our very own. Their drinks are also organic and are homegrown.

They recently opened a branch in Scout Torillo, Quezon City just a few minute walk from the Boy Scout circle. Landmarks are Tramway, Steak 77 etc.

Me and my two other friends tried different drinks to review and assessed its quality but of course let me post my photo on their green themed place, lol.

Of course, I used metal straw because we want to reduce the use of plastic straws to save the turtles! Anyways, these are the drinks I tried.

1. Dark Chocolate w/ Pearl – Aside from milk tea drinks, I am a fan of chocolate drinks as well and TFG’s Dark Chocolate w/ Pearl and Creampuff is a good drink for me. I promise it doesn’t taste like Ovaltine, Milo or Nesquick! It’s a different chocolate that you cannot just buy from a mall or grocery but then I cannot say it’s the best chocolate milk tea drink I’ve tried either.

2. Choco Malt Creampuff – It’s one if their best sellers and I was expecting it to be somehow like Affinitea’s Milo Dino but then upon trying it out, I realized it’s more of Taste from the Green’s homegrown chocomalt. This one has a milk tea base but I think the chocomalt overpowers that so if you want a leafy tasting drink, this one’s not for you.

3. Cookies&Creampuff – This has to be my favorite since I’m a fan of cookies&cream or Oreo flavored milk tea drinks. The mixing of creampuff, cookie bits and milk tea just soothes my craving. If I were to go back, this is definitely the one I’m coming back for. Then again, if you’re looking for that leafy tea taste, then this one’s not for you but if you love Oreo flavored milk tea drinks? You’ll not regret this one.

They recommended these ones and said creampuff is one of their trademarks so me and my friends added creampuff to all our drinks.

I’m gonna start with the milk tea base since we’re talking about milk tea here. I’m gonna say that among the three milk tea drinks I tried, I really missed to have that green leafy tea taste on my mouth. The drink didn’t really have that much of the tea taste but I’m assuming it is because the creampuff and flavors are overpowering the whole milk tea base taste.

About the creampuff, all I can say is it’s definitely a good competitor of Affinitea’s creampuff series and Macao Imperial Tea’s Cheesecake and Pearl’s cream. TFG’s creampuff is thick and pure. It’s not just milk or cream, it’s really a cream puff. It’s perfect blandness and slight saltiness just equalize the sweetness of the flavored milk tea base. I really like their creampuff, no wonder why it’s their best topping. If I’m not mistaken, their creampuffs and creamers are HALAL certified so everyone can have a sip!

I also like to commend their wide variation of flavors because you have a lot of flavors to choose from unlike most milk tea sources that have a very few ones to pick from. It feels like there is always a new flavor to try with TFG.

About the flavors, it’s really flavorful and of quality. It’s not just some cheap powdered flavors they mix with the milk tea base for the sake of having flavors. It’s taste is distinct. You can also adjust sugar levels by request.

Packaging. The packaging is kind of plain. It’s not very amusing to me compared to the other milk tea cups I have seen but at least it’s not the milk tea cup with a smiley face on the top right? It’s not that bad for a local and starting milk tea business but I hope they improve and think of a better cup design in the future just like how nice their interiors are in their branches.

To sum it all up, TFG is a good one but it doesn’t really excel at this point. It is something I would go back to if I crave for that creampuff topping or I want a drink with creampuff again. Moreover, I’ll prolly continue supporting this milk tea source not just because its milk tea drinks are good but because they originated here in the Philippines. Kudos to Pampanga for this milk tea gem.

Have you guys tried Taste from the Greens? Tell me what you think about it on the comments below.

Summary:

Taste: 3.8/5

Price: 3/5

Packaging: 3/5

Top Branded Milk Tea Sources in PH 2019

Since like 2015 I’ve been drinking different kinds of milk tea from different sources, even before milk tea was a thing. I started with Ochado in Cavite, idk, if you guys know that milk tea source.

Anyways, just today, I felt like I have to make this “top” milk tea blog post to guide those newly milk tea lovers out there.

I wrote this impromptu so I MIGHT forget some other milk tea brands on my list but more likely they’re not that good because if they are, I will remember.

So after years of tasting, these five sources made it to the top of my list.

1. Dakasi

2. Macao Imperial Tea

3. Affinitea

4. CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice

5. Happy Lemon

6. I Love Milk Tea

7. D’Cream

8. Tiger Sugar

9. Chatime

10. Gong Cha

11. Moonleaf

12. Zentea

13. Serenitea

14. Infinitea

15. Happy Cup

But of course, I won’t just list it down for y’all. Let me share a little commentary about those branded milk teas listed above.

1. Dakasi – God tier milk tea source. Their Okinawa Milk Tea is the mother of milk teas. The perfect blend of creaminess and leafiness. Hindi nakakaumay sa tamis. They have wide variation of milk tea flavors and drinks too.

2. Macao Imperial Tea – Another God tier milk tea source. Sinong milk tea lover ang hindi nasarapan sa Cheesecake and Pearl Milk Tea nila? Nobody. Their CPMT is just so unique, they’re the first one to put out this flavor. Trademark. Their other drinks are legit too. You can taste the brewed leaves from their milk teas, dahon kung dahon. Quality drinks and wide variety of flavors available. If you don’t like it then raise your standards. Char.

3. Affinitea – Top tier milk tea source. Their Dino Milk Tea with Nature Salt & Cheese, Oreo Milk Tea with Cream Puff and even their basic milk tea called Premium Milk Tea are just perfect. They have so many rare unique flavors and that’s what makes them make it to the top tier list. Their milk teas are also of good quality. Dahon kung dahon never powder.

4. CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice – Another top tier milk tea source but I won’t say it’s because of their Panda Milk Tea or 2 Ladies drink which goes usually in front of their menu list. Their best drink is Salty Cream Milk Tea, a unique milk tea mix that equalizes the saltiness, leafiness and creaminess at the same time. I have to say that they might be the mother of all salty cream/rock salt cheese/cream topped milk teas. Just smooth.

5. Happy Lemon – This is where the mid tier begins. Happy Lemon has wide variation of milk tea flavors and their milk tea bases are also of good quality which enables them to fight but I have to say that they’re blends aren’t that catchy to my tastebuds compared to Affinitea’s variants.

6. I Love Milk Tea – Still a mid ties to me. They have quality milk tea bases and wide variation of drinks that I’ve tried but nothing convinced me to keep going back to them.

7. D’Cream – Also a mid tier to me only because of their D’Cream special that reminds me of Dakasi’s Okinawa Milk Tea (slightly) because of it’s creaminess though I honestly think it’s too creamy that I don’t taste the tea anymore. I believe their tea aren’t that concentrated, that’s why. Their variation of drinks are also limited so yeah.

8. Tiger Sugar – An overrated mid tier milk tea that earned audience because they launched their first branch in the Philippines during the peak of milk tea’s bandwagon and trend. I have to say that their milk tea base are quality and they are the first one to have the brown sugar milk tea as their front flavor but there’s nothing really special about it. Quality milk tea though.

9. Chatime – They have quite a lot of milk tea flavors but I feel like they all taste the same. Their basic milk teas are quality but nothing is really special here.

10. Gong Cha – Low tier. Sorry. Another hyped milk tea source only because they have a lot of branch and most bandwagons and starters start here. Their milk tea base feels like a blend of diluted tea and milk tea powder to me. It’s not a real tasting milk tea (idk how to explain it) but try to taste their basic milk tea (Milk Tea and Pearl Jelly) and compare it to Affinitea’s Premium Milk Tea or Macao’s Black Pearl Milk Tea, walang panama.

11. Moonleaf – Low tier again. Only made it to the top 11 because it’s branches are always around university belts. It’s drinks are just a so-so. Not too quality drinks but pwede na.

12. Zentea – Low tier. Just like moonleaf.

13. Serenitea – Shit tier. I thought it would at least serve drinks with quality milk tea bases like Chatime despite it’s boring variety of flavors but man, their teas taste weird. Sure it’s made of brewed tea leaves but it feels like all the bases are from Earl Grey milk tea plus their flavors are so weird, have you guys tried their Black Dragon? Kill me.

14. Infinitea – Shit tier. A lower class of Gong Cha. If Gong Cha milk tea bases feels like diluted milk tea + milk tea powder to me then Infinitea is purely milk tea powder. A lot says it’s good because they have a lot of branch and starters start here and call themselves milk tea lovers. Not legit milk tea. Sorry lol.

15. Happy Cup – Shit tier. Trashy powdered milk tea hyped by its celebrity owners. Sorry.

These are all my honest reviews. If you have any questions, feel free to comment down. If you have suggestions and violent reactions then ok sure, Jan.

For more info, check out my other blogs about my milk tea reviews and recommendations. Thank you! Mwa!

What did Otso Diretso 2019 slate lack?

I’ve been a staunch follower of President Duterte and VP Leni Robredo and I have to say this because witnessing what they did during their campaigns last 2016 gave me a foundation and background to logically criticize political strategies of an aspiring politician/public servant (at least).

It surprised a lot how the Otso Diretso slate are leading the university mock elections and Twitter voting polls and surveys yet none of the eight aspiring candidates made it to the magic twelve of the official election. Cheat? Manipulated? I don’t think so.

Groundworks. I think this is a heavy one. It seems to be that the Otso Diretso became quite confident and comfortable when they started to lead the university mock elections and surveys plus the Twitter hashtags and online polls/surveys but here’s the thing, who are they following? Who are the people on their friend list sharing those surveys favoring them? They are in their echo chamber, I should say. The elections are nationwide not just on their yellow leaning or opposition leaning or whatsoever audience.

There are farmers, social workers, adults, who doesn’t have social media like Twitter or Facebook. There are illiterates who can’t read even if you show them a graphic poster of the candidate and their credentials. How will you convince them to vote you if you’ll give less effort just because you see how strong you are on social media? There is life outside the internet and I think the Otso Diretso slate lacked effort in reaching them.

Reach out to them. Touch their hearts. Let them remember you. Be the light to their hopes. Give them the reason to vote for you.

I was expecting them to reach them out as much as VP Leni Robredo did during her 2016 VP campaign but I don’t think this slate did as much as she did because I believe that if they did, they would have shared the same faith as hers during her race. I’m not saying they didn’t exert effort but what I can say is they could’ve done more.

Opposition Image. A good opposition doesn’t just oppose and criticize the flaws negatively. A good opposition knows when to oppose and when to support.

That’s the opposition that we need.

If you’ll just keep on opposing everything the administration serves then that’s travesty — you’re a whiner. An opposition opposes bad policies but one should know when to support too and trigger the people to appreciate the good policies, programs and projects of the government because that is progressive.

Can you imagine being a normal apolitical citizen and all you’ll ever hear is the bad works and flaws of the government? If you are that citizen, will you still trust the government? No. You’ll be conditioned to think that government is a total trash and there’s no more hope. We don’t want that. We don’t want our own people to loathe us, we need them to trust and believe us. We’re a team.

Moving to my point, I watched the debates and listened to the (majority not all) statements of the Otso Diretso slate and I was honestly disappointed with their responses when they were asked if they like any of the policies implemented during this administration. Some said none, some only mentioned one. Do they lack awareness or they just don’t want to recognize the good policies/programs/projects of this admin or are they trying to pull off that I am pure opposition kinda guy?

Newsflash: Appreciating the good policies doesn’t make you less of a person nor a bad opposition.

Honestly, I think this is one of the thing they went wrong. They failed to convince the non-supporters that they can be a rational opposition because they had that all oppose image. I think, I’ll generalize their supporters as the coalition of their circles, anti-Duterte, anti-Administration and some lefts. That would give quite a number but it’s not enough. I think the election results prove this argument.

All against the President. I think this might be intertwined with the previous one. The Otso Diretso slate went too far in showing how they are opposing the president — yes, I’ll say ‘just’ the president because Leni Robredo is endorsing them and she is the vice president of the current admin so I don’t think it’s accurate to say that this opposition slate is opposing the current admin. You know what I mean?

Yet then, the previous surveys about approval rating of President Duterte still favors him so this actually backfires to the Otso Diretso slate. Yes, it may be just a small group and just a survey but man, this is politics, you gotta consider that.

As I’ve said earlier, they could’ve shown a better opposition face by showing how they oppose and how they support. I’d like to mention some critics of the President and the admin who also knows how to support and appreciate: JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Grace Poe (I’m not endorsing them or what but they are just the names I remember as of the moment.) With such tactic, they could have convinced more people to vote for them, they could have made some people consider them but no, they kept that staunchly opposing image, bad idea, and what’s a more bad idea is they highlighted their opposition against Duterte. First of all, he’s not on the ballot list to be a good bullseye to target, secondly, objectively speaking, Duterte is still strong up until today, a man hard to topple and because they keep using him to strengthen their opposition face, it backfired. Yepp, that’s it.

Pakulo. Otso Diretso slate members may be packed with academic and professional achievements, public service and legal service backgrounds but then in politics, it’s not enough to be just bright, you also have to be wise (madiskarte) and one should have this so called “maraming pakulo” that will help them campaign themselves OUTSIDE their echo chamber or be viral to reach those registered who aren’t very political or aware.

Look at that budots of Bong Revilla. That budots pakulo did well, right? He made it to the top twelve so don’t argue. (P.S: not a supporter of him). Before you bully me for saying that, let me just tell you that I am not here to bash or drag the Otso Diretso slate but I am here to point out what they lacked (in my opinion), if you don’t agree then you either continue reading or get the hell out.

Unity Aura. Another one worth mentioning. Otso Diretso is a group of opposition, let me say that again, a group with an objective of being an effective voice of opposition but how can they actually convince they can be a solid group to be the voice of opposition if it seems to be a struggle for them to make all their members attend the events. I don’t want to further know the reasons why but just look at how Mar Roxas is absent on most Otso Diretso early ground campaigns. We need a united opposition if that’s what they are promising to offer us. Start small by showing us how each of them are willing to be present in every campaign event.

I personally admire most of the Otso Diretso candidates with their jam packed academic achievements and accomplishments, political, legal and professional works and I wish them luck in case they plan to run again.

What about you? What are your thoughts?

Trip to Masasa Beach Tingloy, Batangas

IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!

A place without wifi signal and cellular signal, a place where you’re left only with clear beaches and cheap houses for rent.

I won’t say that Masasa Beach is as stable and marvelous as the newly renovated Boracay or other established beaches in the Philippines but one thing I liked about this beach is it’s so raw. It’s like a newly discovered beach that hasn’t been overly used or populated by visitors. It’s raw, it’s hidden, it’s a sanctuary.

From Anilao port, you have to ride a boat to Masasa Beach for about P60 if I remember correctly, there is NO other way than to ride a boat as the beach is in an island about 30-45 minutes away from the port.

Upon arriving in Masasa, there will be a lot of people welcoming you and offering your cheap house rentals for you to stay in during your vacation and I must say, they’re SUPER CHEAP.

We rented a house having P300/person per night. The house owners were also there to assist us buying coals if we wanted to grill, cooking rice for us as we rest ourselves from the long trip, cooking and grilling foods for us, entertaining us. They also accompany us with free tricycle rides whenever we go down to the beach which is about 5 mins away from the inn. They also served as our tour guide and photographer during our whole stay. They just made us feel at home.

The house was big enough to accommodate all of us (10 persons). It has three bedrooms, comfort rooms and karaoke.

Let’s now talk about the beach. We went snorkeling and Pawikan searching. We rented two boats for P600 each with a capacity of 5 persons per boat plus the tour guide.

The boat drove us to three islands and stopped somewhere in between the beach so we can snorkel down and see the huge Pawikans swimming down about 30 feet below the surface of the water. We also fed fish with some bread after the Pawikan search. It was indeed mesmerizing.

Sorry I wasn’t able to take photos of it, I was too busy appreciating the beauty of the animals in their habitat and the wonders of nature and of course, the Philippines.

We also visited the lagoon with such sky blue waters and the cave with two entrance which is quite terrifying because the waves suddenly raged when we entered the cave as if it doesn’t want us to leave. Yikes.

The whole place really didn’t have much cellular signal and if you happen to get some, it’s not even enough to send a message. We had some social media and onlien detox during this getaway. Me and my friend purely bonded because we didn’t have much reasons to hold our phones and be distracted — which is cool.

This vacation felt like a get away from all our stresses and problems in life. Masasa Beach is like another world to us, it gave us sanity and peace of mind. The views gave us solace and the nature didn’t fail to impress us.

Roughly computing my budget for this trip back and forth from Manila is about P1,800 including all the foods, meat and other pasalubong I bought. Not bad for a perfect getaway.

When President Duterte and VP Leni talk about each other

As much as I think VP Leni feels so liberated talking about President Duterte on her interviews, talks and media engagements, President Duterte feels the opposite. Not that he feel oppressed or he doesn’t enjoy talking about her but it’s more of that he doesn’t feel very comfortable talking about her maybe because he is afraid that his words and opinions about her might get misinterpreted — by her or the people — just like what happened in Tacloban last November 2016.

When President Duterte talks about VP Leni

President Duterte is not so good in expressing his thoughts straight to the point, I can say that even if I am a staunch supporter of him, it’s kind of like his weakness. Now there was a time he spoke about VP Leni in front of the public and everyone misinterpreted his whole thought from the real idea that he wants to convey — wanting to protect her from the eyes of the others — to the whole idea that he was ogling at her legs and perverting around.

Ever since that instance, I felt like he changed. He started to feel insecure talking about her in public.

Whenever he is composed and the media asks him about her, he strives so hard to pick the right words. I remember observing his gesture of snapping as he try to think of the most precise and accurate word to describe VP Leni and her works. Other than that, when he also describes her (physically and intellectually) as follows:

1. Beautiful – yes, he uses this term to describe her all the time and he never described her as just a pretty or cute or hot or alluring — she is purely beautiful to him. Pay attention to that choice of word.

Continue reading When President Duterte and VP Leni talk about each other

The struggles of Dubredo Army • Duterte-Robredo on Leni Robredo’s side

People usually think Dubredo Army • Duterte-Robredo is just a typical support group of President Duterte and VP Leni Robredo but this core group is more than just a group of people who supports two same people. After all that we’ve been through, this core group is now like a family that you can’t just brainwash or wreck apart.

We started from zero, no connections to President Duterte or VP Leni Robredo but we decided to work on reaching out to VP Leni first. Most of the people today think it was so easy for us to reach VP Leni but God knows how much we struggled as we paved our way to her. We came across her millennial supporters who didn’t welcome us warmly because we support President Duterte.

Specifically, we came face to face with the Mar-Leni supporters, the Leni-only supporters who criticized our core group, told us we wouldn’t last long and we would part ways after 2016 because Duterte and Leni’s tandem isn’t just possible at all. Most of them told us that VP Leni wouldn’t like our group at all because she doesn’t like Duterte and that time, I didn’t know who Leni Robredo was in depth so I had nothing to hold on to than my own mind telling me that I should keep paving our way to her so that I can determine with my own eyes and ears if Leni Robredo would actually support this Duterte-Robredo support group. I didn’t buy any of their comments and discouraging words, the only thing I believed in is that Leni Robredo is a good person and one day, if she meets this group, she’ll appreciate Dubredo Army.

Being the founder and leader of this group who’s very new to the world of politics and governance, I felt so degraded and hopeless being surrounded by people who discouraged us to push through. I never talked to Leni, I wasn’t aware of her person in depth and it wasn’t easy to make myself hold on to the fact that she will ever notice us, I mean, as we made our way to her, we met so many people supporting her and working for her and about 90% of them doesn’t like the man (Duterte) we support pero hindi ako sumuko, pinilit kong isipin na ‘no, her people doesn’t define her. Just because ayaw ng karamihan ng mga taong nakapaligid sakanya kay Duterte eh ibig sabihin non ayaw rin niya kay Duterte. She has her own mind, she is her own person.’

But man, that was the only thing I was holding on to during those times.

Scheduling a meeting VP Leni isn’t as easy as most of the people think. We had to talk to several people to walk us into her office for a courtesy call or meet/greet with supporters and for the record, those people we had to talk to are the ones who had their social media accounts filled with criticisms against Duterte. We had to stay professional and casual with them despite that, just imagine that.

We joined this ‘social media group’ of someone who once worked at her office (not dropping names) together with the other millennial Leni supporters who made us their utusan. This person asked us to make graphic artworks, directed us to post things on our social media accounts, asked us to repost things about Leni, some of the Dubredos felt like we’re working on making their work easier. Of course, we thought he/she is our only way to Leni so we did what he/she wanted us to do. We spent time to edit graphic artworks but instead of being appreciated, we only heard criticisms and judgments from him/her and the other members of the group.

Hindi maganda yung pagkaka-edit nung graphics.

Ang liit ng text.

We spent hours editing but our works were never posted, our edits were never used, sometimes they would just ignore the graphics we edited for hours — they just wasted our time, didn’t even thank us for trying.

As a part of the social media group, we also expressed our suggestions and ideas to help promoting VP Leni’s works and advocacies but then these people never listened because Dubredo kami eh. There are times that we just happily share new articles about President Duterte and VP Leni just because we are pleased to see them all fine but all we get from these people are scolds.

Bawal ang Dubredo dito.

Luh. Please don’t mention Duterte.

About Leni lang ang pwede dito.

From the very start, they already assumed that VP Leni Robredo would never appreciate us so they never valued us as her supporters. Sabit lang kami sa other Leni supporters noon.

But then, sino nga ba ang Dubredo Army • Duterte-Robredo supporters para i-please or pakinggan nila ‘di ba? Syempre kung gusto nila magpalakas kay VP Leni doon sila didikit sa mga Leni supporters kase uncertain rin naman nga sila kung magugustuhan ba talaga ni Leni yung Dubredo Army. Baka mamaya kapag lumapit lapit sila saaming Duterte-Robredo, imbis na lumakas sila kay Leni, humina pa sila.

So we, Duterte-Robredo supporters had to get along with it. Nobody liked us, nobody believed in us, nobody appreciated our mission. We also had doubts if Leni would appreciate us but during our early days, we just wanted her to know that there are people who supports her and the president, yun lang, masaya na kami.

Hindi namin hinangad na maging bida sa office ni Leni, we never asked to be treated special. We didn’t want to meet Leni Robredo to earn some bragging rights or to just earn a connection. We just wanted to empower the idea that it is better to support the president and the vice president instead of pitting them against each other. But since we’re so new to this political supporting world, the people who had much knowledge played us and then used us. I’m not taking it back, I’m not holding my words back, pinagtripan kami and then ginawang utusan para mas mapadali ang trabaho nila.

I told some of our members before that it’s okay, let’s be understanding, during that time some of the Dubredo Army members started complaining because they felt like a slave on that group — most of us are professionals pero anong ginawa nitong mga millennial intern saamin? Ginawang taga-edit, taga-post and then made us a laughingstock because sumusunod lang kami. I told the DuBredos that one day they’ll appreciate us especially if we meet VP Leni already. Tiis tiis lang.

Continue reading The struggles of Dubredo Army • Duterte-Robredo on Leni Robredo’s side