By Elisha Judy Tabaque
IN THE past 365 days, something that happened to you must have stood out, something so remarkable that when you’re asked about the highlight of your year, a memory automatically pops up in your head and makes your heart leap for a second.
Before we finally bid goodbye to the year that was, get a glimpse of our SunStar readers’ 2017 highlights, and at the same time, ponder on the best thing that happened to you in 2017. And in doing so, take the chance to greet everyone a Happy New Year!
Ivanne Dave Guape, 22
Lead Freight Operator
“As the year 2017 started, I already knew how stressed and pressured I will be since the company I am working right now applied for a certification on International Organization of Standardization Quality Management System (ISO QMS) 9001 & International Organization of Standardization Information & Security Management System (ISO ISMS 2700). There were a lot of preparations, lectures and application that were done. I, as one of the team leaders in the operations department, also did a lot of preparations myself since my team will be interviewed during the final audit. Luckily, I was the one chosen to be interviewed during the audit for the ISO QMS 9001 and gladly, it went well. After all the preparations, we did reap what we sow and the office is now an ISO QMS 9001 & ISO ISMS 2700 certified. 2017 for me is all about building strong career foundations and striving for excellence. Hardships will always be there. It’s just how we deal with it. Life is always developing – developing yourself to become one step higher than before. Seek strength from the Lord and do all things to glorify Him.”
Johnrey V. Cabague, 22
“What was the highlight of my 2017? Well, a lot of things happened to me this year but one of the most memorable was when I joined the competition in our company titled “Unleash your creativity using FolioWebsite Builder.” All winners will receive a one-year free subscription, the prize of the competition suggests. Everyone was invited to join. So, I took the time to cherish every moment, enjoyed it and did my best – learning and having fun. Using the folio system, it is quite difficult at first but if you spend time exploring the system, it is really awesome! And then months passed by, results came in, I didn’t recognize right away that I was the second placer among the most creative website designers in the company and that is indeed incredible! I really thank God for this year because if you really delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart!
May Flor E. Cabañog, 21
Elementary Teacher at Philippine Christian Gospel School
“As the year comes to an end, I’d like to share my highlight of 2017. After I graduated (March 2017), my mind was preoccupied with a lot of things. ‘Which school should I apply? Will I really go into teaching? How ‘bout my review for LET? What if I don’t pass the LET?’ These questions kept bugging my mind and for some reasons, these have kept me from remembering God’s favor to His people. But even in those times, He has been working in my life. Fast forward, I got hired at Philippine Christian Gospel School. My first four months were full of challenges because I had to teach while reviewing for BLEPT. By God’s grace, just this November, I passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers. As a teacher, I now know at heart, the joy of teaching and the pain, too. I am immensely grateful to God for putting me in this profession. Teaching offers untradeable opportunities to experience joy more than the pain. This year, God taught me to remember – his true character, not only is He a promise-maker, but a promise-keeper. In life, we sometimes forget that God is with us. At times, we become bitter because people leave us with promises that were eventually broken, unkept. But if there’s someone who always keeps His promises, it’s God. I believe God is not just reminding me this, but also you, you who is reading this right now. KEEP CALM. BELIEVE IN GOD. CLING TO HIS PROMISES.”
Ed Samuel A. Bacaltos, 20
BS Biology Student
“For me, 2017 is a year I had reaffirmed myself to be with the marginalized people in our society. I, together with several youth organizations, had the chance to integrate with our national minorities, peasants, and fisher folk who came here to Cebu for several days to do their Lakbayan or journey with a purpose to intensify their campaigns and gain the support of the Cebuanos. I and my organization conducted donation drives in UP Cebu for their necessities during their stay here in Cebu. Gladly, the students and faculty members donated for our fellow Filipinos. Moreover, in those days, I witnessed a great social movement fighting for human rights. With the Lumads and Moros, I heard narratives of displacement and human rights violation from their community brought by militarization, corporate interests, and state negligence. Yet, I also learned about their rich culture, tradition, and mass-oriented educational system that they have preserved. I also heard the struggles of our peasants and fisher folk on living wage and sustainable livelihood. Up to now, majority of our peasants still do not have their land to till despite being the ones who cultivate our food. Even our fisher folk are affected by unfair policies that hamper their work. During those times, I realized that these things experienced by our basic masses must also matter to us. We must also know their plights and immerse with them. We may not have direct personal gains, but it is a step towards social change. If we want genuine change in our society, their voices must also be heard and listened to. We must have the people’s interests and the sufferings of the oppressed majority, and the year 2018 is another opportune time to take that challenge.”
Kristian Kobe Bryant P. Seno, 19
BA Political Science major in Public Management and Development Student
“What really made this year the best was when I applied for a part-time job (my very first job) at an English-Tutoring company and fortunately got accepted. At first, I thought it would ruin my full focus towards my studies given that my time would be divided but I realized, having to work and study at the same time is not really that strenuous. I just need to master the art of managing time, that’s all. Not only does ending this year with a job develop my time-management skills, but it also developed me as a person. It increases the sense of independence in me. The capability to live in this world by my own will is something new, an escapade to venture. This job will serve as the foundation of the future jobs I will be applying for and I will do everything in my power to impress the company and to show the world that whatever gets in the way of me achieving my goals, I can manage. That was the highlight of my 2017. What about you?”