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Monday, December 31, 2007


Welcome 2008
Happy New Year youngsters!
Stay S.T.R.O.N.G!

what are your new year's resolutions?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

UA&P I AM S.T.R.O.N.G. : Confidence!! :)

Jewelz says:

When I was in middle school and high school, I didn’t have much self-esteem. I would always compare myself to others and always think that there’s always someone better than me.

There would also be social groups: the popular ones, the cheerleaders, the jocks, and so on. The group of friends that you hung out with also shows who you are. This puts a lot of pressure on me aside from my schoolwork because I would always think about the way I dress and the way I look.

It was only later that I realized that I didn’t have to dress up to please anybody or project a certain image to show who I am, rather, I started dressing up in clothes that I feel comfortable in.

I was able to develop confidence in myself and I started feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I think being able to accept who you are, your hair, your eyes, your nose, and everything about you is one of the first steps in building confidence.

At first, this was quite difficult since I always compared myself to others and in middle school and high school, we are all experiencing changes. When I started accepting who I was and knowing that I couldn’t change it, I started believing in myself and started thinking of ways how I can improve myself. I first started getting to know myself” again by finding out my strengths and weaknesses. Once I figured that out, I started working on my weaknesses.

For example, I knew that I was really shy and it stopped me from participating in class. It dreads me having other people look at me when I speak. I would then challenge myself and participate the next day. Every time I would participate in class, I would feel much better and happy I was able to accomplish a little goal. When I felt comfortable participating in class, I started speaking in front of the class. Little goals can help in achieving my big goal of overcoming shyness by speaking in front of the class.

I think having confidence has done a lot for me. It made me look better since I can hold my head up high and not walk with a slouch. I can communicate with others better by looking them in the eye. I can talk in front of the class and deliver a presentation, although I get nervous sometimes. In flag football tournaments, I can play well because I know my capabilities.

I believe that we first have to trust and believe in ourselves before we can trust others.

What are other ways to boost our confidence? And when do you feel confident? :)

UA&P I AM S.T.R.O.N.G. : Mutual Understanding- Do we really understand what this means?

Sara Badr speaks,

How do we know when/if someone likes us? Of course, sometimes, we assume by the way someone acts towards us. We will only truly know if someone likes us when he/she tells us so. However, when we do know if we feel the same way for each other, are we ready to get into a relationship right away? Or do we keep things the way they were?

I remember back in high school, or even grade school, people would use the term “MU when their crushes liked them too. I remember being teased a lot with my crush, which gave me a clue or an assumption that most probably, he too, felt the same way. Then, people would go around telling other people that I have an “MU”. “MU” must have meant someone who likes you too. It would be expressed in the daily Taglish lingo, “Ka-MU ko sya.” It would also be expressed as a sort of status of the relationship, “MU na silang dalawa.”

When we look at the true meaning of this two-letter expression, “MU” means mutual understanding. Mutual means a feeling experienced by both people for each other, and understanding means they both know it. Apparently, from what I see and from what I have experienced, it is that level of the relationship between two people, which is deeper or higher than friendship but lesser than a real commitment with someone. Having an MU with someone does not necessarily mean that you should get into a relationship with him/her right away. This also does not mean that you are both exclusive to each other, although this may appear to be the case in grade school or high school.

MU usually is a complicated state to be in. You would not know how to act towards the person and you wouldn’t have the same rights of a girlfriend or boyfriend.

Being in a mutual understanding with someone, though, will give you time to know the person more before entering a relationship that needs commitment. We have to think of our priorities and what we really want before making important decisions.

How about you? How did your MUs work out? Did they work out? I’d love to hear what you went through in this “complicated” relationship. Tell me if you agree with me or not. I’d love to hear your side as well.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

UA&P I AM S.T.R.O.N.G. : IM my DAD's KID

Krystle shouts:

The holiday season always brings a heart-flipping, pulse-racing feeling to me. From flipping to the last page of the calendar to jumping up and down on New Year’s Eve, the season never fails to give me that happiness that could never be felt exactly the rest of the year. I’m not sure if it’s the Christmas trimmings, or the chilly but inviting air, or the thrill of shopping, the excitement of receiving presents, the fun in giving, or the sudden generosity of everyone—all I know is that the holiday season gets everyone—not just me into that sort-of-crazy happiness that gets everyone to act different (in a good way =P).

For one, we are nicer to everyone. That is why the holidays is the perfect season for us to evaluate our relationship with others. And to whom do we start but with our families. Personally, I think about how my relationship with my family has become compared to the year before: Have I become closer to dad? Can I open up to mom about that boy I like? Are kuya and I talking more? Did I bond more with my little sister? Do I know more about my little brother than I did previously?

Like almost every girl out there, I never really opened up to my dad about certain concerns. There was a time that we do not even talk that much because there was nothing to talk about. So besides talking about how our days went by at dinner time, we never really talk. Also, he is really pre-occupied with work. Helping run the family business talks most of his time and energy that whenever he gets home, we’re already in bed. So we were never really close. When I started going to college, the gap between us became bigger.

But everything changed when my mom left for the states. Dad had to be our mom as well. This meant that in order for us to have a functional relationship, he had to spend more time with us (despite the fact that he had to work double) and eventually, he had to know and get closer to each of us. This is especially hard if you have a son who already works, a daughter in college and two more kids in high school—but my dad made it work.

Despite having to manage the family business and putting up his own, he makes it a point to be the one to bring and fetch my 2 younger siblings to and from school; spend his weeknights at home or on a night out with us; dish out a lot of stuff to talk about on the dinner table or in the car (from our school to his business, from our mom to our friends, from his experiences as a student to ours, from his problems to ours, from what went on when he partied the night before to what went on when we partied… and so much more)—in other words, he was able to facilitate a more open relationship between us.

Although such openness came due to mom’s absence, I am still happy because my dad put so much effort into making our family closer together-- but of course, we had to cooperate. We miss mom, but now we know that dad is and will always be there for and with us no matter what. I guess me and my siblings are very lucky to have such an open relationship with our dad now because we can relate better with each other now—he knows what’s going on with us so he knows how to help us deal with stuff we find ourselves in.

My dad’s real cool. I bet if you get closer to yours, you’ll find out that he is too!

How are you and your dad? Are you close? Getting there? Tell me! =P

Friday, December 21, 2007

UA&P I AM S.T.R.O.N.G. : Stressbusters!!

Jewelz Lim says:

Just the other day I was thinking how people manage their time and deal with stress. Once in awhile we have work to do that suddenly piles up. Then what do we do? I just want to share a few ways how I deal with stress.

First, take a breather. There's no better way to relax. I think once in awhile we should stop everything were doing and take at least 5-10 deep breaths. It would be good to close your eyes too. -.- This provides more oxygen to your brain so that we could think better!

Second stressbuster, take a walk. Sometimes we should take 10 minutes outside the room. Leave everything behind and get a little exercise.

Third, eat. Have a light snack, like fresh fruits. This would also be good for your health. You might get caught up in so much work that you forget to eat meals, hehe! Sometimes happens to me.

Fourth, play a sport. At the end of a long week, I would play flagfootball to release stress. I think it worked for me because I focus more on the game and I don't think about the pile of work I have to do.

Fifth, watch some funny videos. One of my favorite videos on youtube is humantetris. One of my friends told me about the japanese game show and I just can't get enough.

Here's another favorite..

Stressbuster numero 6, chat with one of your friends. They never fail in cheering you up. I have this friend who I can always talk to whenever I'm down (or even when I'm not). She just completes my day.

7. Think of a happy place. I know this might seem funny and I used to think it was funny when I first heard about it, but it really works. I'll share my happy place: It's a view over looking the ocean of the sun setting. I'm surrounded by tall swaying coconut trees and I could smell the seabreeze. I could hear the waves washing up the shore and feel the humid, warm air on my arms. Create your own happy place! :) It's a place where only you can go.. or anyone you want to imagine. Don't forget to smile..

Eighth stressbuster. Play with children. I always feel that there will always be a kid in me. They say the most innocent and hilarious things. They also don't judge who you are. I think it is also very rewarding.

Nine. Try something new. My list is just growing! But I'm glad I'm typing them down so I can refer to it anytime.. and hopefully people can add to my list. :) I always like to try new things. Whether it be tasting new kinds of food, new sports, learn a language, read about how things work. For me, this is one way of relieving stress because it allows me to find out my talents and learn more about who I am and what I can do. I've tried scuba diving, spinning poi, karting, football, wall climbing. I also join contests like the amazing race held in Subic. Trying something new can also be learning how to type using the proper fingers (I just taught my mom that and I think she's really enjoying) or painting!

My tenth stressbuster is giving myself a little treat. This could be in any form... like a lollipop, kitkat, caramel puffs. After finishing a task, I give myself little rewards.. or they could be big rewards for accumulated tasks, hehe!!

Let me know other ways how to fight stress and rejuvinate. I'm excited to hear other ways to unwind. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

UA&P I AM S.T.R.O.N.G. : on PEER PRESSURE (a must see)

Heads up young people! This video is a must see for those who are having difficulties in dealing with peer pressure in school. The moderators of this blog got this video from KevJumba in YouTube. KevJumba, like most of the intended readers of this blog, is also a high school student but he resides in the U.S. He has been getting a lot of appraisals and feedbacks from different viewers around the world with his very amusing and insightful videos.

Enjoy watching and we hope to get comments from you guys!

Monday, December 17, 2007

UA&P I AM S.T.R.O.N.G. : The Shorter The Better?

By: Joie Soberano

According to popular belief, “we are what we wear.” If that’s the case, how then would you perceive these celebrities?

Do you think they look attractive and sexy? Or do you think they are revealing too much?

There are obviously two sides of the coin. Some people may admire these girls for their being able to wear fashionable skimpy clothing, but some would consider them people who are not worthy of respect because of how they present themselves to the public.

The truth is fashion will never be just fashion. Your own fashion statement-- how you dress up every single day will reflect your personality and will dictate how people treat you.

However, fashion trends today are disregarding this fact.

The shorter, the better; if you show more skin, the more fashionable you are.

Hollywood celebrities set this standard, and a lot of people seem to be following this trend.

What do you think of our fashion now? Does a person have to wear skimpy clothing to be in fashion?

Friday, December 14, 2007

UA&P I AM S.T.R.O.N.G. : Studying in High School

by: Jewelz Lim

I studied high school in California and in Cebu, during those times I never realized the importance of studying. I always turned in my assignments but I just made them to pass the class. I spent a lot of my time with my friends, going to the mall. It was only when I got to college that I realized how important studying was. In class, I felt like I was the only student who didn't know the answers... But that was only because I didn't read the assignment. After a couple of weeks in college, I got my act together and I started studying. It was then I realized that I should be doing it for myself. I was happy because I not only learned many new things. I also gained more knowledge about everything around me. I made it a habit to always complete my assignments so that I can be a better person.

Sometimes I wonder how other people study.. If its during the day, or night. If they can study better with others, or if they study in the library.

For me, I enjoy studying at home because I like it quiet and I can concentrate on what I am reading. I also have a hard time studying with others because I tend to talk to them and make kwento. I also take breaks every 1 hour or so. This lets me gain energy to continue studying again.

What other studying habits do other people have?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Welcome to UA&P- I AM S.T.R.O.N.G

This blog is in support of the I AM S.T.R.O.N.G organization and is dedicated to help the youth in their day-to-day decision-making. We want to hear about what you have to say about life, relationships (family, friendship, love), school, and virtually anything under the sun that concerns you.

We are your ates and kuyas from the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P). And we are here to guide you through different situations and help make you make the right decisions to such the way we know it. Issues related to your teenage life will regularly be posted so we can discuss and talk about them together.

We are excited to get replies from you soon!!

It's time to meet your Ate's and Kuya's

Name: Joie Soberano

Age: 20

School: University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)

Hobbies and Interests: Reading and writing, dancing ballet and jazz, doing volunteer work and traveling

Position: Overall Administrator

Virtue: Respect

Why am I respectful:

I always make it a point to be respectful because I believe that everyone deserves to be respected regardless of their race, gender or status in life. Saying kind and polite words such as “Thank You”, “Your Welcome” & “Please” should be embedded into everyone’s vocabulary. It shows that you respect the person you are talking to, and it speaks a lot about a person’s character. People will respect you if you show respect to them in return ☺

Name: Sara Badr

Age: 20

School: University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)

Hobbies and Interests: watching movies, acting, playing indoor soccer and travelling

Position: Art Director

Virtue: Steadfast

Why am I steadfast:

In whatever I do, I see to it that I do good in what I put my heart into. I engage in a lot of activities in school, such as theatrical plays and sports, along with my heavy-loaded academics. In all of those, I set goals and whatever I do must lead me to achieve those. If you show this kind of determination to be the best and to never let anything put you down in the process of getting to where you want to be, people will eventually follow. ☺

Name: Kristle Victoria Agbayani

Age: 20

School: University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)

Position: Featured Writer

Watching movies, Traveling (going to the beach and to far places), Dogs, Hanging out with friends, Reading, Playing recreational sports

Virtue: Open Minded

Why I am Open Minded:

When establishing a relationship, it means that you are welcoming others into your life.
In order for the relationship to work, you must not only think of yourself, but think more
about the people you are in the relationship with. A relationship of any kind—whether of
family, friendship, professional or love will only work if all who are involved are open to
the thoughts, ideas, and feelings of each other.

Open mindedness is the key to keeping a strong and lasting relationship with others
because it is though it that we understand and truly get to know them.

Name: Juliene Lim

Age: 22

School: University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)

Position: Peer Councilor

Hobbies: wall climbing, shopping, studying, flag football, going to the beach, spending time with friends and family

Virtue: Trustworthy

Why I am Trustworthy:

I enjoy chatting with my friends about life, love, family, and school. I can also be a good listener. I have a few close friends that are comfortable sharing their secrets with me. I can be fun and out going, yet, I can also be serious. I enjoy learning and trying out new things.

Name: John Almendralejo

Age: 20

School: University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)

Hobbies and Interests: Going to the gym, outdoor and water sports, extreme adventures, traveling, and clubbing

Position: Webmaster

Virtue: Gutsy

Why am I gutsy:

They say a gutsy person is ready to do what must be done and endure what must be endured for the greater good. I guess that is me! I face life’s challenges wholeheartedly because I know God made all of these to test me. And oh boy! I’ve been through quite a number now. I see them as life’s greatest lessons that should be learned and experienced for my betterment as a person.

Name: Ruther Chan
Age: 21 years old

School: University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)

Position: Head advisor

Hobbies: reading

Virtue: Noble

Why I am noble:

In this polluted society, it is important to always stand for what is right even if circumstances require you to lie. One must make sure that his integrity is intact for the choices that he or she makes. He should also learn to live in a high moral character for it can be rewarding. Honor, courage, and generosity for oneself are important in living a noble life.