Month: April 2011

Together We’re Big: A Winning English Olympics Essay

2008 Division English Olympics
Division of Bulacan
On the Spot Essay Writing – 1st Place
Topic: Global Warming

The cool breeze that touches my face every night I look for companion seems to blow itself away from me. The melody the chirping of birds brings every morning seems to fly with the cast of the unknown. The safe grounds, where I used to stay, seem to overflow with dying cries and tears. All dreams were gone, everything vanished in an instant.

As the world’s progress upsurges every minute, the reverse side seems to bother the environment. With every tick of a clock, more and more resources are being ruined as new gadgets and technologies are being produced. The environment appears to be suffering as we exchange its gifts for science, fame and desire.

Global warming has lately become a hot issue on the planet. Heavy industries, manufacturing companies, and the proliferation of cars, are just some of the primary contributors for the Earth’s atmosphere to become a solid layer that does not reflect solar radiation back in space. With this, and the addiction of man’s habit of smoking and burning, the temperature of the earth’s surface increased by 90 degrees. Thus, human activity is slowly frying the planet.

Industrialization and urbanization had led to a lethal destruction of nature’s virginal areas. The tall buildings and other massive structures also mean a huge obliteration of the environment. Although workers plan to preserve nature while creating their establishments, still the soil, water, and air are contaminated, thus, shaking the balance of the ecosystem and even leading to extinction of species. Building must not interfere with natural life.

As youth, we are called to act and not merely be spectators while witnessing the nature to vanish. Our knowledge and other skills should not be stocked within, instead, be exposed to help Mother Nature. We are now urged to apply what we learn and initiate environmental stewardship. We are requested to act and to help, not just stand.

Although we are looking forward in technology and science, and we might think we do not need nature, in reality without nature humans would extinct. The animals, plant, water, air, and soil are all in tight connection, forming the perpetual circles of life. We should not forget about saving nature.

Nature is the very form which we all came from. Even though we’re just steps away of developing another engine flying in space and robots doing human activities, still we are inseparable parts of nature, on which we depend and must live forever. We should not destroy it, for even hurting it means destroying ourselves.

The time maybe running out now, but preserving our home counts no time. Today, we may be small, but as we face tomorrow together, we sure are big.

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An Essay on Nutrition and Health: A Winning School Essay

St. Paul College, San Rafael
Nutrition Month 2009
Essay Writing – 1st Place

As technology and modern advancement bind the earth little by little, more and more dilemmas are uprising and creeping sluggishly, pulling the earth towards the mud of eternal unknowingness. The more industrialization establishes itself, the more natural resources are being eradicated and murdered to death. More people are getting sick, more are dying, more are parted from their dreams. Everything just seem to vanish in an instant.

Proper nutrition and its maintenance had been one of the most intriguing focuses in the world today. The determining factor in the total health of an individual seems to be a thing that is very hard to catch and get that even the most advance machineries cannot offer any help. It is, indeed, even separating itself from people, whom are which hypnotized by the hex of technos and gizmos. Thus, people nowadays are attacked by illnesses and diseases, most of which leading to the extinction of life, the abolition of existence in the world.

One of the factors involved in the attainment of proper nutrition is eating. The hectic world today provides a view of a high number of people eating just to satisfy hungry stomachs without considering any nutritive value of the food being taken. Most food establishments, restaurants, and markets offer instant food, many of which are acknowledged and favored by majority and yet considered as the worst to human health. Reality speaks that the food appeal is taken into consideration rather than its nutritional content.

La Rochefoucauld once said: “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art,” thus pointing to the actuality of a call toward reorientation of the people between eating and health. Modern gadgets will not provide the nutrition one needs in his stay on the grounds of earth. Prevailing devices neither science can’t provide any help in the upbringing of one’s health. It is still the nature and discipline of an individual that counts in the end.

Good nutritional status is noted when man benefits from a well-balanced dietary intake, manifested in a normal organ development and function, normal reproduction, growth and maintenance, optimum activity and working efficiency, resistance to infection and ability to repair bodily damage or injury. Thus, a well-balanced diet, daily exercise, and practice of discipline reveals the necessary things one must have to attain good nutrition.

Proper nutrition means invincibility to diseases. Recently (even up to now), the world was embraced by the endemic Influenza A (H1N1) virus, an illness that killed a lot of human and left the world with fear and anxiety. This shows that most people are vulnerable to diseases, with causes mostly because of improper nutrition. Due to technology, the world is left suffering. We may not notice but our continuous act of ignoring nature is killing us little by little.

Eating the right amount and kinds of food everyday is a tremendous contribution of nutrition to prevention of diseases. Inadequate calorie intake has been demonstrated to bring about an impairment of physical efficiency, low production output and poor muscle strength and endurance. Vitamin deficiency affects physical fitness and well-being. Protein deficiency results to muscular weakness, fatigue and overall work performance.

We are challenged not to be bound by the modern world. All the products of science and technology will mean nothing if we die at 20 or 30. It will not give us the nutrition that we need to avoid H1N1 and kill every virus, disease, and infection in the world. It will just catch our attention, pull us to its deepest attraction, and we’re done, we’re gone. We’ll be dust and ashes in the split of time, in the blink of an eye.

Proper nutrition is the very thing we need now. Our existence will mean a lot as well as our goals if we can utilize this. If only we can set aside every earthly distraction and pay close attention to health and life, then every man can wake up each day facing the new hope of the golden sun and providing the wellspring of progress in the world.

Some new things

23 April 2011 | Day 047

5:58 pm

Since I haven’t been productive these past few days, I decided to compensate for those lazy hours today. Not only that, Flaming Eternity is getting some serious attention.

Firstly, with the serious attention. Well, yesterday, someone from Boracay.com.ph sent me an email stating that he’s interested in buying a link from this blog site. I was interested of course. This might be the start of some legal business for the young me. Too bad I’m not used to the said transactions. Hopefully, he considers me  being novice.

Second, I added and will be adding more features and articles to this site. As you all know, I started Friday’s Five Roll yesterday. Today, I added some new posts in the Speeches category. Check them out here. I will be adding a new category soon called Essays. The said category will include winning essays from high school contests that extended up to regional levels. It will also have inspirational and beautiful essays especially written by me such as the essay for my Ateneo college application. Wait for them in the coming days. Also, check out the Videos section in the next few weeks for some video uploads.

Well, lastly, I was able to do lots of things for my Nintendo 3DS today. I was able to properly configure my wireless connection to have 3DS system update. With that, I was able to play Street Fighter with players around the globe. Too bad, I wasn’t good enough. I lost lots of times and won only once, thanks to E. Honda. Lastly, I managed to continue my Pokemon items transfer from Pearl to Plantinum.

That’s it for today. Keep in touch with Flaming Eternity for more interesting articles!

– Erson (6:36 pm)

A Journey Towards Excellence: Kumon 2010 Inspirational Speech

“No man ever reached excellence in any one art or profession without having passed through the slow and painful process of study and preparation,” thus Horace once said.

Teacher Ricky Santos, teachers, parents, fellow Kumon students, friends and guests, good afternoon.

Education is one of the very important aspects of the development of a person. It determines the future of a being as he encounters bumps and surpasses loops along his way of acquiring knowledge. It brings confidence to face the growing complexity of the world and the ever more changing situations one may be into. Thus, having good education gives an individual the sharpest edge to be able to stand out in this complicated earth.

Kumon is one of the greatest sources of good education. It develops not only brains but also character and attitude which are far more important than any knowledge. It brings the best in any student as he climbs the ladder of excellence with determination and perseverance.

In my three years of studying in Kumon, I can say that I’ve become the best of who I want to be in many ways. It sharpened my knowledge and molded my inner self as well. I used to be an underdog in Math when I was in elementary up to my year one in secondary. I know very well how difficult Math is and why a lot of students hate it and consider it as a huge problem. It is still in my memory that I was using my fingers to perform simple addition and subtraction during those days. And how can I forget the time when I used to list the multiplication table during exams just for me to answer my test questions.

Freshman days in high school were not so good for me. And so, during the vacation that year, mom decided to enroll me in Kumon. AND NOW, HERE ENTERS KUMON IN MY LIFE. First impression? Oh man..grrrr. I was afraid to enter the institution for I see it as a room only for students who have unusually large head and/or bulging foreheads. I’m not one and I never dreamt of becoming one.  But I was determined to make a difference in myself, so I took the challenge.

I started level B in Math Program April of 2007. That seemed very low for a 13 year old doing subtraction, I thought. I was even ashamed for a while. But then, that’s it, I could do nothing to change my starting level. I just did my best in each sheet that I was tasked to do. And so days passed and my level was getting higher and more advanced. Level G, H then M, N and O! I pushed myself in every sheet. I did everything I can in order to be in time and accomplish every item accurately. It was not easy. It was never easy especially when school assignments and projects come in the way. It was not easy when there will be a report and five quizzes the next day. It was not easy when periodical examinations will occur the following three days.

But never quit. I did my best even though a lot block the way. And now, after three successful years, I finished and completed Kumon Math Program. It’s just a matter of perseverance and urge to be successful. And for now, Kumon had done me lots of miracles. The previous fear in Mathematics had now vanished. Math is pretty simple. Math is now easy. And I’m proud, that Kumon is there, to help students cross the right road towards the fulfillment of dreams.

For all of you here, do your best and never get tired of acquiring knowledge. You’ve enrolled in a great institution so don’t waste the given chances. For those who are thinking of quitting, nah…forget it. You’ve enrolled in an institution that says: WE ACCEPT NO QUITTERS.

I would want to take this opportunity to thank our Kumon teachers for their undying effort to push us to what they know we can be. I personally thank Teacher Ricky for never giving up on me. Teacher Chris, thank you for being my teacher for the most part of my journey. To my previous teachers, thank you for building the foundation of what I’ve attained now.

As I end this speech, let me leave you with this: one Aspire issue said: “Your study in Kumon is a journey towards excellence – a journey that will uncover your boundless potential.”

Thank you and good day.

Uncover Your Boundless Potential: Kumon 2008 Yuletide Speech

“Uncover your boundless potential,” thus one of the Aspire’s issue says.

Teacher Ricky Santos, teachers, parents, fellow Kumon students, friends and guests, good morning.

When my mom told me the other night that I was tasked to deliver this testimony, I couldn’t think of anything to say. For one reason, I was doubtful if what I’m going to say will be right and appropriate for the occasion. Second, I really don’t know what to say.

But nevertheless, I’m here. So allow me to start…

Ever since a five-year-old kid step his foot on the grounds of a creepy and scary school, a massive input of knowledge awaits the excited pupil. From a simple ABC and 123, until he may master all equations, the processing of knowledge still continues and never will it stop.

Thus, Kumon is one of the greatest sources of knowledge for any student. I’ve enrolled in Kumon for nearly two years now and I consider it as a great help not only in my academics but also in my life. And for sure, for every student who is seated here now, you’re thinking of the same thing.

I was once an underdog in Math and I know how difficult Math is. I remember my grade school years when I’m using my fingers to perform addition and subtraction. And how can I forget the time when I used to list the multiplication table during exams just for me to answer my test questions.

And so here comes Kumon. At first, I was afraid to enter the institution for my first impression was that all students were brainy and I don’t even deserve one corner of the school. But I was determined to make a difference in myself, so I took the challenge.

And for now, Kumon had done me lots of miracles. The previous fear in Mathematics had now vanished. In fact, it’s the subject that challenges me the most and pushes me to do more and strive more. Thanks to Kumon, I can now go head-to-head and toe-to-toe with our Best Math Student. In fact, I’m a consistent contestant in Math tournaments in and out of our school. And I’m proud, that Kumon is there, to help students and fulfil their dreams.

Yet, I know, it is not that easy to surpass every worksheet. We encounter problems and calculations that are hard to understand. We get irritated if we cannot answer and thought of quitting. In fact, I know some of us now are planning to hold off. Well, that’s a challenge for us. We are urged to do our best and overcome our limits. We are asked to UNCOVER OUR BOUNDLESS POTENTIAL. And in fact, Kumon says: We accept no quitters.

Yet Kumon is not merely seen on what it teaches. For me, the knowledge is just half of what Kumon can offer. The FRIENDSHIP and CAMARADERIE that revolves around with the students occupies the other half of the institution’s goals. Knowledge will be nothing if we do not have friends to share it with. It is, indeed, but inspiring that Kumon does not only offer quality education, but the real essence of how life should go – FRIENDSHIP.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all persons who were involved in our success and victory.

Let us not forget to thank our parents who had given us all the opportunities to study in this prestigious school. Thank you, our dear parents for all the sacrifices you’ve done for us.

And who would forget our teachers here in Kumon? To our teachers, who now became our second parents, thank you very much for believing in us, compelling us and teaching us to explore our talents that lie within ourselves. Without you, this institution would mean nothing. Thank you very much.

As we celebrate this Yuletide season, let us always remember, and may it be always instilled in our hearts and minds, that Kumon had been one of God’s greatest gifts to each of us. It is indeed one of His extra special presents for us this Christmas for we gained new knowledge, gained new friends, learned from our mistakes, and learned from our mentors. May Kumon and its goals be an inspiration for all of us to celebrate this season with smiles flashing from our faces and joy bursting from the deepest parts our hearts.

As I end this speech, let me share to you one quote. “Happiness in life is not measured on one’s success or victory. It is measured by how we played the game.” Let us always UNCOVER OUR BOUNDLESS POTENTIAL.

Merry Christmas and may God bless us all.

Good Friday

22 April 2011 | Day 046

7:27 pm

It’s the day of the death of our brother, Jesus Christ. Let us always remember to keep this day holy.

Today is, well, holy and quiet. We went to some church here somewhere in Bulacan to maintain our tradition. There was a significant increase in the number of people today than the past year’s Good Friday. It was hot, terribly hot. But we managed to hold on and live up to our devotion.

I started a new feature in this blog. It’s Friday’s Five Roll wherein I list my top five favorites of any random thing weekly. It’s not much, but I wish to share it with you. Today’s top five is about movies. Check it out here.

Lastly, I guess my blog is getting some attention. Well, I just hope it isn’t bogus.

That’s it folks. Be holy and live in God’s presence.

– Erson (7:34 pm)

Friday’s Five Roll: Movies

Movie Roll #5 – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [2007]
Defining Blood in Musical | Directed by Tim Burton

Full of pith and Grand Guignol grossness, this macabre musical is perfectly helmed and highly entertaining. Tim Burton masterfully stages the musical in a way that will make you think he has done this many times before. – Rotten Tomatoes

Sweeney Todd strongly made an impact on how musicals must be portrayed in movies when it hit the screens in 2007. Directed by Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland, Corpse Bride), Sweeney Todd is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler‘s Tony Award-winning 1979 musical. It featured an all-star cast in Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech) and Allan Rickman (Die Hard, Harry Potter).  The blood, grossness, revenge theme and the Tim Burton effect perfectly blended together, making the movie entertaining rather than disturbing. The tandem of Depp and Bonham Carter proved to be successful as they showed professional chemistry on screen.

Depp’s performance was excellent. Who would have thought Captain Jack Sparrow sings? And who would have thought Captain Jack Sparrow sings while killing people with a razor?

It is the only musical that I appreciated and it even made it to one of my all-time favorites, considering that I really hate Zac Efron and the gang. The story and theme were nice, especially the never dying idea of passion for revenge and slitting some random people’s throats.

If you’re a huge fan of musical movies like Chicago or simply loves music, then this movie is the right film to add to your movie collection. It can be nauseating at times, but that’s how it works. Just be careful not to mess with Sweeney unless you want your throat be slit.

Movie Roll #4 Avatar [2009]
Your ideal 3D and animation and blue monkey invasion | Directed by James Cameron

James Cameron has turned one man’s dream of the movies into a trippy joy ride about the end of life — our moviegoing life included — as we know it. – Manohla Dargis (New York Times)

As far as I remember, I watched Avatar around five times – one at the cinema, thrice on my PC and the extended edition on our LED – and until now I want and am willing to watch it again. That’s how addicting this film is. For Avatar isn’t just your ordinary technologically enhanced movie animation yet it is also the highest grossing movie of all time that makes the story of human apocalypse an interesting article to write on.

The epic science fiction movie was a goal long dreamt by director James Cameron. He started writing it in 1994 and began working bit by bit from then on. No wonder, from hardwork and technology, Avatar is never a cliche movie that solely relies on animation, instead an action-packed film with inspiring story and interesting scenes. It starred Sam Worthington along with Zoe Zaldana (Star Trek).

Though the actors’ performances do not add much to the film, the movie’s story on Pandora and direction surely keep the audience interested. I highly recommend Avatar for younger audiences like me. If you want some intelligent animation with intelligent story, then Avatar is the perfect blue monkey invasion to your DVD collection. If you aren’t satisfied yet, wait until Cameron releases the back-to-back sequels on 2014 and 2015. Well, that is, if you can survive 2012, which I will. *evil grin*

Movie Roll #3 – Magnifico [2003]
Melodrama at its best | Directed by Maryo J. De los Reyes

The very definition of sentimental overload. It’s also impossible to resist. – Ken Fox (TV Guide’s Movie Guide)

Magnifico is one of the only two films that made me cry. And I must say, you can’t help but let your precious tears drop while watching this Filipino epic masterpiece.

Magnifico does not have any special effects nor great animation, it even has bad lighting, yet it has an all-star cast that gave such promising performances and a brilliant director with exquisite direction. It won 30 awards and 11 other nominations in different movie and film industry awards including Best Picture and Best Story in FAMAS 2004. This movie not only represents the obvious poor culture of Filipinos but also states what Filipinos have to offer in the movie industry.

Lorna Tolentino, Albert Martinez, and Jiro Manio, no doubt, gave heartwarming acts that easily pierces through people’s hearts. The story represents God and the common Filipino in an amazingly effective melodramatic way. I’m not a fan of “crying” movies. I don’t even cry almost all the time even when people are already crying. But Magnifico is really something that it touched me and made me think.

I am proud to be a Filipino and this movie, in one way or another, can tell you why.

Movie Roll #2 – The Dark Knight [2008]
Salutes to Joker, Thumbs up to Nolan | Directed by Christopher Nolan

Dark, complex and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga. – Rotten Tomatoes

Who would forget the late Heath Ledger? Oh well, anyone. But I’m sure no one would forget the Joker.

The Dark Knight has everything – solid cast, excellent performance from the solid cast, exceptional director and macho Batmobile. This movie is perfectly awesome! It isn’t a mere lame adaptation like Catwoman, Daredevil or X-Men Origins but a beautiful masterpiece of intelligence, high-class acting and cool props and effects. It starred Christian Bale, Ledger, Michael Caine and Aaron Eckhart. I’ve always been a fan of Batman but never of Joker. But with this movie, I, for once, liked Joker more than The Caped Crusader. That explains how good the actors here are, specially Heath Ledger.

Everything had been said about this movie. It is excellent, beautiful, everything. It isn’t just your traditional comic book idol revived in movies. It is the movie that will make you read comic books and graphic novels. It is purely the best out of the many Western films out there and arguably the best superhero film ever. I’m also sure you’ve watched it. Everybody did. If not, then you must be living under a huge boulder in the desert.

Movie Roll #1 – Ip Man [2008]
Kick ass Kung Fu magnum opus | Directed by Wilson Yip

Wilson Yip has crafted a gripping, rousing, beautifully structured yarn, built around a calm but charismatic star performance by Donnie Yen and magnificent action sequences choreographed by the legendary Sammo Hung. – Andre O’Hehir (Salon.com)

Kick ass. Perfect. The best.

Ip Man is the movie you don’t want and can’t miss. Whether or not you like martial arts and Bruce Lee, this movie will make you sit on the edge of your chair and finish your popcorn even before you know it. Action, drama and even some comedy, all in one great movie!

What clearly makes this movie stand out among others, beside the kick ass (yeah, I love the word!) Kung Fu, is the cultural portrayal of China and its people. Though it isn’t obvious, it can be seen through this movie how Chinese people are proud of their country and its history before and now. For Chinese people, this movie is simply heartwarming, thrilling and morale-boosting. For foreigners, this movie is simply amazing.

Donnie Yen here is simply admirable. Everybody knows he’s good at martial arts, but nobody expected he can act this well. His character is best portrayed – quiet and adorable but deadly and nationalistic. It’s like Ryu comes to life to do some Street Fighter action. KICK ASS!

I’m out of words already. But seriously, this movie is the greatest out there. Watch it and be ready to do Kung Fu, or you know, WWE, with your little brother!