PSHS-EVC celebrates SMT Fair 2023 

by: Frances Katharine Manalo || Photo Credit: Kiara Gaut

After two years of online learning amid the pandemic, the Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus (PSHS-EVC) is back-on-track as it launched its face-to-face celebration of the annual Science, Math, and Technology (SMT) Fair 2023 on March 28-31, 2023, with the theme, “Sustainable, Renewable, Inclusive.” 

This year’s affair was organized by the SMT Unit. 

The three-day event commenced with a program that formally opened the community fair. The Plenary Talks then followed, graced by seven speakers, namely Hillary Diane Andales, Batch 2018 Alumna, Lord Byron Torrecarion, Office of Civil Defense Director, Sofronio Agustin, Balik Scientist, Jay-Ian Camposano, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Weather Observer I, Franz Louis Cesista, Software Engineer, Leni Yap-Dejeto, University of the Philippines (UP) Tacloban College Biology Professor, and Jon Michael Mancao, Batch 2009 Alumnus. 

On the second day of the fair, scholars from Grades 10 and 11 gathered for the Research Congress, wherein Grade 12 students presented their research studies to panelists and willing audiences. Simultaneously, Grades 7 to 9 scholars participated in two conferences, the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Talks and the Meet Your Scientist: Empowering Women and Girls for Science.

On its last day, the SMT fair festivities pushed through with the Science Olympics and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Quiz Bee, where PSHS-EVC scholars took part. Furthermore, the Regional SMT Quiz Bee was participated by elementary students from around the region (Eastern Visayas) and was also held on the campus. 

The event concluded in the evening with this year’s Blaze: Rekindling of the Scholarly Flame, which was hosted by the Society for the Advancement of Research in Science (SARS), the official STEM organization of PSHS-EVC. The scholars gathered in the school quadrangle to witness the tradition of lighting a bonfire and pledged to their duties as scholars of the Filipino people. 

The SMT Fair is an annual tradition in the PSHS-EVC community held to demonstrate the school’s commitment to the development of science and technology. It ignites the fire of the scholars in their passion for the field.

Astronomers Discover a Young Milky Way Doppelganger from Billions of Years Ago

by: Qwynz B. Bonachita || Photo Credit: Artist’s Impression of the Milky Way in its Youth by James Josephides, Swinburne University

Did you know that even our Milky Way can have a doppelganger? Through the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), astronomers discovered that the Sparkler galaxy, galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, is a mirror image of the Milky Way in its youth. 

The Sparkler has been found in the southern sky in the constellation Volans at a redshift of 1.38, implying that the galaxy was discovered 9 million years ago—a few billion years after the well-known cosmic explosion, Big Bang. It is known for having two dozen sparkling globular clusters orbiting around it, surrounded by red and yellow sparkling dots, and a few dwarf galaxies slowly being swallowed up, similar to how the Milky Way was formed in the past.

Its mass is only 3% that of the Milky Way; however, it will soon advance and expand to become the size of our galaxy, with a growth spurt similar to what the Milky Way might have experienced.

The research was led by Professor Forbes of Swinburne University and Professor Aaron Romanowsky of San Jose State University.

“We appear to be witnessing, first hand, the assembly of this galaxy as it builds up its mass – in the form of a dwarf galaxy and several globular clusters,” Professor Forbes stated. 

He adds, “We are excited by this unique opportunity to study both the formation of globular clusters and an infant Milky Way, at a time when the Universe was only 1/3 of its present age.” 

Professor Romanowsky also commented, “The origin of globular clusters is a long-standing mystery, and we are thrilled that JWST can look back in time to see them in their youth.”


“Reconstructing the genesis of a globular cluster system at a look-back time of 9.1 Gyr with the JWST” by Duncan A Forbes and Aaron J Romanowsky, 26 December 2022, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slac162

The Ironic Commemoration of the People Power Revolution

by: Kassie Fallorina || Photo Credit: Alchetron

On February 23 last Thursday, Malacañang issued Proclamation No. 167, moving the celebration of the EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary “from 25 February 2023 (Saturday) to 24 February 2023 (Friday).” The switch in dates, the proclamation states, will enable Filipinos to enjoy a longer weekend pursuant to the principle of “holiday economics.”

Perhaps realizing that the Palace advisory, as worded, appears to assign a greater value to the enjoyment of a long weekend than to the commemoration of the event itself, whoever wrote the proclamation added the following, obviously as an afterthought: “provided that the historical significance of (the) EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary is maintained.”

This use of awkward phraseology is representative of the ironic situation we face today as a nation. We have a president who, in his official capacity, enjoins the nation to remember and celebrate a historic event that booted his own father and namesake from the presidency after decades in power.

A brief look at official news sources would reveal that the martial law era was never a “golden age,” contrary to what your relatives claim nostalgically, or what social media trolls insist on belligerently. Students, teachers, activists, farmers, and suspected dissidents who dared protest were either caught, tortured, killed, or salvaged. Amnesty International estimates that the Marcos regime killed, tortured, and wrongfully imprisoned at least 177,200 people, with most surviving victims yet to be compensated by the state for the human rights violations they sustained under the late dictator’s rule. 

In an interview with CBC Radio, Chris Sorio, a student activist during Marcos Sr.’s tenure, recalled his experience of being tortured and detained in a prison camp for two years. 

I was just looking at the ceiling and I was praying and … prepared myself to die at that point,” he said as he narrated how he was forced to strip naked as military officers tied him to a chair and administered electric shocks to his private parts.

Despite hearing countless firsthand accounts of human rights violations, members of the Marcos clan continue to undermine the damage caused by their late patriarch’s regime. On February 25, Senator Imee Marcos uploaded a Facebook post saying that her family never stopped wishing for “peace, healing, and progress,” even going as far as giving “a big hug to those who loved (her) family.” For his part, President Bongbong Marcos offered a “hand of reconciliation” to those who hold different political views, saying that he joins the nation in remembering the peaceful EDSA uprising, which he described as “a time in our history that divided the Filipino people.”

The hypocrisy in these tone-deaf statements proves that clearing their blood-ridden surname precedes the best interests of the Filipino people. 

As poverty, corruption, and economic hardships continue to define our national life, the euphoria of those four glorious days has slowly dimmed for some, with revisionists questioning and belittling that pivotal event in Philippine history.

The memory of something does not need to be experienced firsthand for people to express empathy and solidarity. To remember is to memorialize those who sacrificed their safety and personal lives so that future generations would not suffer what they did. 

It even becomes more imperative that we remember, especially now that disinformation, historical denialism, and the Marcosian myth continue to persist. Ironically, they are back at the Palace, and we somehow find ourselves once again on a similar page of history. 

Like an audience of a teleserye with no control over the plot, spectatorship is our default mode of involvement: we take sides without demanding active participation. 

EDSA represents the hope that such passivity has not always been the case. In those fateful moments in 1986, the idea of democracy became greater than the people who claimed to be its champions. 

Serving Food for the Rich

by: Esmar Angelo M. Abobo || Photo Credit: AFP-JIJI/The Japan Times

It is without a doubt that onions are a staple in Filipino cuisine. From homemade meals to haute dishes, onions are highly desired with an average monthly demand of 17,000 metric tons. However, entering the year 2023, the country has been continuously experiencing a shortage of onions, causing a massive increase in inflation, with prices soaring to around 600 to 700 pesos per kilogram in local markets. 

Are onions even necessary?

“I can live without onions,” stated Senator Cynthia Villar – Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform – in an interview regarding an issue on smuggled agricultural goods.

 Given Villar’s position, this statement is not only uncompassionate to those who are affected by this crisis, but it also signifies her lack of knowledge on how a simple crop is essential to many Filipinos’ lives, especially considering that onion continues to be a staple in Filipino cuisine.

What are the causes of this shortage and massive inflation and how is it currently being addressed?

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, onion production in the third quarter of 2022 was recorded at 23.30 metric tons, which is only a 1.7 percent increase from an unacknowledged output in the same quarter of the previous year.

Along with the absence of an experienced secretary for the Department of Agriculture, there is a multitude of other reasons that may have caused this price hike. For one, the Philippines, as a tropical country, is relatively subject to climate change with rising temperatures, fluctuations in the weather, and increased rainfall, therefore making the country’s crop growth susceptible to disruption. On top of that, the Russian-Ukraine War also contributes to this issue. With the constant global supply chain in disrepair brought by the war, prices also have increased due to the shortage.

Although President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. acts as the current secretary for the Department of Agriculture, the focus on agricultural problems has significantly lessened. With the duties he has as the head of the country, juggling the roles of both vital positions is definitely not the best way to go about this crisis. The president must appoint a skilled DOA secretary that would not just attend to the current onion inflation but also other problems in the agricultural sector.

Currently, the government has resorted to boosting onion importation, increasing the prices due to overseas transport, and overlooking the country’s local farmers. Up to this day, the public is still in the dark about whether or not there’s a guaranteed permanent solution to the shortage. The once standard ingredient that was made for every Filipino now suddenly turned into a delicacy that only the higher class can enjoy without worry. And as its prices continue to increase,  the longer the public continues serving food for the rich.

White Beaches and Dead Fishes: The Beautification of Manila Bay

by: Nathaniel Dela Torre || Photo Credit: George Calvelo/ABS-CBN News

The Rehabilitation of Manila Bay started three years ago, along with ongoing reclamation projects. Beyond the white beach and dead fish stands an ecosystem endangered by these reclamation projects. The rehabilitation of the bay cost a whopping PHP 389 million, with PHP 28 million spent on the crushed dolomite alone. 

Recently, the topic of Manila Bay being incapable of hosting marine ecosystems started to rise, as reports say that local government units have declared the bay dead. Fisherfolk, who rely on the bay for a living, deny the claims but emphasize that the ecosystem is at risk due to the several reclamation projects slated for the bay. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) likewise denies the statement by citing studies showing the bay’s diverse life, such as fish, corals, and mangroves.

Let us look back to when the supposed rehabilitation project was in its early phase. The reconstruction plan was spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2019 after the supreme court ordered agencies to restore the water quality of Manila Bay. 

The project’s first phase started with desilting and dredging operations. The rehabilitation report of DENR recorded more than 3,810 tons of garbage, water hyacinth, and silt were removed from the coastlines and drainage systems leading to the bay. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) then started the project’s second phase by relocating informal settler families. Then, on September 3, 2020, the Manila Baywalk was dumped with ‘white sand’ or crushed dolomite boulders.

From the start, the decision to make a white beach was already questionable. In an economic sense, the funds allocated for this project phase could have been used for more critical projects, especially as this was done during the height of the pandemic. The funds could have been used to pay the healthcare workers’ salaries, fund hospitals, and buy equipment – all pivotal in fighting the pandemic. 

Echoing environmentalists’ concern, the decision to dump hazardous dolomite sediments on top of polluted waters will not help DENR reach its goal of restoring the water quality of Manila Bay. The crushed dolomite can cause adverse effects on health and cause damage to the ecosystems around the bay.

When the dolomite sand was overlaid along the Manila Bay coastline, the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) emphasized, “There are no shortcuts to a cleaner environment. The use of crushed Dolomite sand will not help solve the environmental problems in Manila Bay.” 

“At most, it is a beautification effort that is costly and temporary,” they added.

According to their statement, the dolomite sand will erode and will be washed away, given the coastline conditions during storms. This would mean that the sand needs to be replaced every time it is washed out, making it prohibitively expensive and not cost-efficient simply for a rehabilitation project. Above all, the dolomite sand will also not solve the potential acidification of the ocean, and inhaling its particles may even be detrimental to humans. Since the first layer of dolomite sand was applied in 2020, it has been reapplied constantly in the past two years due to typhoons and tides washing it away. This is not to mention the hazard of dolomite sediments being washed up into other parts of the sea. 

The UP Institute of Biology has also released a statement against the dumping of dolomite sand. The institution emphasized the project’s effects on the area’s biodiversity and ecology. In their statement, an alternative for the project was also suggested—mangroves, more specifically, rehabilitating mangroves, as it is one of the more effective nature-based solutions. According to the statement, it can significantly contribute to biodiversity and reduce heavy metal contamination, both relevant to the bay in the discussion. This goes to show that there are more effective solutions, both economically and environmentally, for the rehabilitation of the bay. The government just has its mind set on the ongoing detrimental project.

Rehabilitating and restoring the water conditions of Manila Bay is definitely crucial for our country; however, it should not have been the priority during the peak of the pandemic. Additionally, the dolomite beach phase of the rehabilitation program is more detrimental than beneficial. As environmentalists and scientists have suggested, there are more beneficial projects that the government can implement, such as mangrove forests and the like, instead of the controversial white beach. What was supposed to be a rehabilitation of the bay turned into a beautification project. At this point, the bay’s future relies on the government’s decisions. It is only when the government trusts in science and pushes back their reclamation dreams will the bay thrive.

Earthquake strikes Turkey and Syria, more than 40,000 killed

by: Aya Ecaldre || Photo Credit: Erdem Sahin/EPA-EFE

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by a series of aftershocks, devastated southeast Turkey and northwest Syria last February 6, 2023, at 4:17 A.M (GMT+3). More than 10,000 injuries have been recorded, and the death toll has surpassed 40,000. 

The earthquake’s epicenter was near Nurdağı and Gaziantep, home to approximately 3.5 million Syrian refugees, according to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Several provinces with significant hubs for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) supporting Syrians have been heavily affected in Turkey. Syrian cities of Allepo, Latakia, Hama, and Idlib, which relied on humanitarian aid after the civil war, have also been affected. 

Rescuers have been aiding the victims, but the cold weather and shortage of fuel and vehicles are currently slowing down efforts. 

The aftermath has left hundreds of thousands of families homeless, facing a significant risk of hypothermia as they struggle to survive in sub-zero temperatures. Children are now at a heightened risk of catching diseases such as cholera and Hepatitis A due to shelter and water infrastructure damages. 

The authorities of Turkey have arrested at least nine contractors for violations of building codes that may have caused the collapse of several buildings leading to an increase in deaths. 

According to the United Nations (UN), Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to open borders to allow and accelerate relief operations. In line with this, the UN announced the launch of USD 397 million humanitarian appeal for Syria and Turkey. Additionally, the organization has also released USD 50 million from its emergency funds for earthquake relief. 

At the same time many international rescue teams have left the vast quake zone, survivors were still being found from under a multitude of flattened homes and buildings.

Several humanitarian organizations working in Syria also called for an increase in international support and relief operations to grant aid for the earthquake victims.

PJPS 2023: 7 Years of Amity

by: Reese Camposano || Photo Credit: Kendra Osias

The sun shines through the plane’s window on the Ritsumeikan delegates’ faces as the aircraft gently descends and its wheels bounce on the tarmac. Simultaneously, the bus outside the airport vibrates in anticipation of their arrival as it glows beneath the daylight. After two years, the Philippine-Japan Partnership Summit (PJPS) has finally been brought back as the world now adjusts to the new normal.

Keiichiro Izumi, Miyu Ishikawa, Ryosuke Chiaki, Riko Témma, Kótaro Mizue, Shingo Morikawa, Hiroki Takada, Asahi Kinoshita, Aoi Sano, Hinata Yoshimoto, and Koki Havase were the 11 students from grades 9 to 12 who represented Ritsumeikan High School in the PJPS last February 1-4, 2023. They were accompanied by their teachers Karin Suehiro and Yoshiki Matsuyama. 

Upon arrival, they were taken to the Divine World Hospital for a health check before settling at the hotel to rest before the first day of PJPS. 

Before the event’s opening program, each delegate was assigned a buddy from grades 10-12 of PSHS-EVC to accompany them during their stay. The assigned buddies accompanied the delegates in roaming around the campus and in exploring the school facilities. They also demonstrated and explained all there is to learn about our country, the Philippines. 

Aine Latoja, the buddy of Kotaro Mizue, shared, “It [buddy system] helps in giving them a more local approach. Since there is a language barrier, it’s very important that we guide them and introduce to them what student life is like in the Philippines.”

The buddy system significantly encouraged engagement with other students on campus, with some of the buddies’ friends introduced to the delegates, creating more interactions with the foreign visitors.

“I think it’s nice since their main goal in visiting Pisay is to immerse themselves in the Pisay culture, which includes connections among the students,” said Frances Canicon, a grade 12 student at PSHS-EVC and buddy of Ryosuke Chiaki.


The boom of the speakers could be heard throughout the gymnasium as the opening program began with all of the Sportsfest houses seated on the bleachers. Ms. Yvonne Esperas, the campus director, gave a warm welcoming speech to the Japanese exchange students for this year’s PJPS. As another way to welcome the exchange students, this year’s Sportsfest cheer dance champion, House Euthymia, performed an intermission number that once again earned loud cheers and applause. Afterward, each delegate was then enjoined to introduce themselves on stage.

Following the program, the Japanese delegates were introduced to Laro ng Lahi, where they played traditional Filipino games such as Limbo Rock, Piko, Sipa, Pukpok Palayok, and Pabitin. Every game brought out the child in everyone, including Pisay students who were simply watching and cheering for the delegates. With smiles on their faces and the prizes from Pabitin, the exchange students were eager to experience more of the day’s scheduled activities.

After their break from playing games under the sun’s heat, they toured around the campus and surveyed the various facilities, such as the Learning Resource Center (LRC), Center for Research in Science, and Technology (CReST), gymnasium, and other laboratory and research facilities. After familiarizing the different features of the campus, the delegates and their companions explored the Fabrication Laboratory to learn the use of each facility. 

Once done with their lunch, the delegates, along with their buddies and the teachers, boarded the bus that would take them around Tacloban City. However, due to limited time, they were unable to visit all of the destinations on the itinerary, but still, they were able to appreciate the several must-see attractions in the city. 

They stopped by the Astrodome Yolanda Monument, where they bought a lot of souvenirs in one of the shops. This was then followed by a visit to the Sto. Niño Church and the UPVTC Leyte-Samar Heritage Center, where they toured the locations with the help of their buddies to learn more about Philippine culture. They also visited the New Leyte Capitol Building and one of the most renowned bridges in the country, the San Juanico Bridge. They shot countless photos at each destination as each was so different from traditional Japanese places.

On the final day of PJPS, February 3, 2023, the Japanese students spent most of their time immersed in the Sportsfest 2022: The Charistesia. Delegates mingled with the Pisay students by taking selfies with them, chatting, and joining them in playing different sports. Some delegates watched the championship matches, such as the Aglaea vs. Thalia Basketball Championship, while being surrounded by voice-rasping cheers and intensifying moments. Of course, their Sportsfest experience wouldn’t be complete without the booths from the love-stricken marriage booth to the alluring body painting at Itsura Pintura.

By noon, they learned more about Filipino culture. The delegates were taught how to write Baybayin, an abugida used to write Tagalog and other related languages in the Philippines until the 17th century. The characters of the ancient script could even be considered art in and of themselves, representing the entire nation and its people with the stroke of a pen. Traditional folk dances, or Kuratsa, were also taught to the delegates, who danced with their buddies as partners.

Later that day, they had their fellowship night where the delegates, their buddies, and PSHS-EVC personnel were dressed in traditional Filipino attire like the Barong Tagalog and Baro’t Saya. As performers of the night, Pisayaw demonstrated their firm and precise movements of Filipino culture, followed by Musikanta’s soulful and sweet singing to Kwerdas’ graceful strumming and rhythmic melodies. The distribution of the certificates and souvenirs to the delegates followed suit to mark as a memento of their time in the Philippines. Finally, all sang and danced as the night progressed, enjoying the last day of the 7th PJPS.

Being exposed to the sun’s searing heat while playing folk games, surrounded by the deafening cheers of basketball games, and pulled in by the Filipinos’ festivity, we cannot help but wonder how the Japanese students think after getting a grasp of the Pisay culture. 

Most of the delegates, if not all, expressed their gratitude to everyone for their kindness and welcoming enthusiasm, as they have made many memories and friends at Pisay.

When asked about their favorite activity in Pisay, Shingo Morikawa, a grade 12 student from Ritsumeikan High School, shared that watching the basketball championships was his favorite.

“I congratulate Thalia for their achievement. The basketball championships were certainly very nerve-racking to watch; some say it was more of a wrestling match than basketball,” he stated.                                                                                                                                                   

Meanwhile, Miyu Ishikawa, a 10th-grader, said she favored the traditional games they played, specifically Sipa, more than the other activities.

Despite the limited amount of time available, this year’s PJPS brought everyone together to immerse themselves in each other’s cultures and become more connected with one another in a variety of ways.

New Year, New Me? Setting Realistic Resolutions for 2023

by: Aine Latoja || Photo Credit: Andrea Atkinson/The Daily Nebraskan

A lot of times, we pressure ourselves to automatically change into someone new the minute the clock strikes midnight. As we jump to the sound of torotots and sparkling fireworks, we whisper small promises to become a better version of ourselves this new year. But the premise of becoming anew right away is something we know all too well. After all, bad habits do die hard. 

The month of January brings in all kinds of things. As the calendar turns a new page, everyone anticipates a fresh start. With that, we create new year’s resolutions –  a means to improve ourselves from the versions that we were in the past year. It may be the case, but the first step in doing all this is learning how to make realistic new year’s resolutions. 

Finding Purpose 

Finding your purpose is the most vital aspect of creating a realistic resolution. Many people find it hard to stick to their goals and continue pursuing their dreams, short-term and long-term, without that something that keeps the fire burning within them. It can be anything or anyone, in all shapes and forms; finding something that truly keeps you going — be it friends, a new hobby, or even a TV show — makes working towards your goals worthwhile.

Take It Slow 

Another reason why these resolutions get dropped mid-year is that we expect to be consistently good at something right away. We would immediately deduce that this new “thing” isn’t meant for us just because it didn’t work out as we expected it to be. By taking slow steps and creating easy-to-accomplish goals, our resolutions are more likely to have longevity. Think of it as stairs, slowly climbing up, step after step. 

Working From Within 

Most importantly, no matter how corny it sounds, the only way we can resolve these resolutions is to work on ourselves first. Build self-confidence, try new things, and have an open mindset. These are just some of the ways you can practice. But this doesn’t mean that self-improvement has to involve objective-oriented activities. Sometimes, the tiniest acts of self-care are just as much as self-care than things like trying a new diet to improve your lifestyle or fixing a sleep schedule. 

But if you genuinely desire change in your life, you must be willing to make it happen at any time, regardless of what date or month it is. Believing that you can only start fresh at the beginning of the new year only adds to the notion that achieving these goals is just to prove something to someone and not to yourself. 

However, I believe we put too many expectations into changing for the new year that we tend to forget what we already have and the progress we’ve made in the past, how far we’ve come, and how we’ve grown as a person. Letting go of toxic habits and leaving things that no longer serve us behind are small feats in themselves, and we should pat ourselves on the back for that. 

As scholars, we stress ourselves way too much; maybe it’s just how we are. Let this be a reminder to set goals for prioritizing mental health, maintaining a healthier lifestyle, and discovering more about ourselves this year. It would be a great start to 2023 to have an open mind and take it slow despite the strenuous academic workload. 

As we go forth with the new year knowing how to set attainable resolutions, may this year be one that we can truly remember.

PSHS-EVC Sportsfest 2022: The Charitesia commences

by: Frances Katharine Manalo || Photo Credit: Kendra Osias

With the theme “Unity in the Spirit of Camaraderie,” the PSHS-EVC finally kicked off Sportsfest 2022: The Charitesia last January 30, 2023, in the school gymnasium. Hosted by Batch 2025, the week-long event will end on February 3.

On Monday morning, the opening program, hosted by Benj Salvatierra and Max Phipps, began with a prayer and the singing of the Philippine National Anthem. This was followed by an opening message delivered by the Campus Director, Ms. Yvonne Esperas, who then voiced the declaration of this year’s Sportsfest.

Upon the opening, the Lighting of the Torch was done by the Athletic Council Presidents of Batches 2023, 2024, and 2025, namely Alchris Ceballos, Charles Uy, and Maud Mejias, respectively. The program then proceeded with an opening salvo performance by PSHS-EVC’s official dance ALA/Club “Pisayaw” and an Oath of Amateurism led by the Athletic Council Vice President, Gabrielle Cordeta.

Various competitions also took place during the opening, where Houses Aglaea, Thalia, and Euthymia earned their first house points. Each house showed their uniqueness and unity through the lively cheers roaring through the whole gymnasium, the shining vocal solo performances, the energetic cheerdance stages, and the dramatic vocal duets.

The winners were immediately announced at the end of the morning program. For the cheer competition, House Aglaea was awarded first place, House Thalia second place, and House Euthymia third place. In the vocal solo performances, House Aglaea once again claimed the first spot, Thalia in second, and Euthymia in third. For the cheerdance competition, House Euthymia was awarded first place, House Thalia second place, and House Aglaea third place. Lastly, in the vocal duets, House Thalia came in first place, House Euthymia in second, and House Aglaea in third.

The Charitesia continued in the afternoon with the long-awaited and much-anticipated Sportsfest games and festivities, such as the booths conducted by Batches 2023, 2024, and 2025.

Ibang-Iba Talaga Ang Pasko Sa Pinas: What Makes Up A Uniquely Pinoy Christmas

by: Zenas Agnila || Photo Credit: Diversify 

Umagang may dala ng bagong pag-asa—, the loud, abrupt carols of the neighbors’ prepubescent children blend in with the subdivision’s already Christmas spirit-infused evening atmosphere. The scent of Tatay’s adored sweet-style spaghetti lingers throughout the residence and in everyone’s unassuming nostrils. And coming in clumps, extended families slowly arrive to saturate the house that now feels like home. 

There must be something so beautiful and memorable about a Pinoy Christmas that sets it leagues apart from the rest of the world’s holiday celebrations.

In truth, its beauty is not entirely centered around the grandest of Noche Buenas or the prettiest of exchange gifts. A genuine Christmas in the country has pillars that lie on the simplicity of our faith, food, and family.


The Philippines being a predominantly Christian nation, faith is undeniably a fundamental aspect of our country’s culture, and unsurprisingly, so is Christmas. For most, the heart of the holidays lies in the Christmas church services and Simbang Gabis, which does no less than acknowledge and honor the birth of Jesus Christ—our reason for the season. Far detached from Santa Clauses and the numerous other figures that make up most of the western celebrations, Filipino holidays are punctuated by evening church trips with family, merry thanksgiving to the Lord, and countless other nostalgic church Christmas traditions with relatives.


Food is every Filipino’s love language and the star of every home’s Christmas. It is the highlight, if not the most sought-after aspect of our holidays, whether we like to admit it or not. The sight of the pre-Christmas night is decorated with our nanays, tatays, titos, and titas dominating the kitchen scene in a chaotic war of prepping up Christmas dishes mixed with just the right amount of chitchat and unhinged laughter. Once prepared, on the dinner table lies the ubiquitous and saliva-inducing Lechon, the sweet Filipino-style spaghetti that Italians would go berserk about, the seared, sweet-savory Christmas ham, mango float, fruit salad, bibingka, and countless more dishes that remain unnamed yet are as ever-present and ever-delectable on the table. Such a feast is made possible through the time and effort families pour into meticulously preparing and cooking the night’s Noche Buena, so hats off to our humble kitchen heroes. In such a way, it is with great certainty that we go home with more than just our hearts full, but our stomachs as well. 


It’s the people who make Christmas worth showing up for — whether they’re the openhanded aunts who unhesitantly give out the crisp blue bills, the cousins from far away who come home to spend the year-end with us, or even the closest friends who become family too. For us, the holidays are family reunions in disguise, the golden opportunity to catch up on everyone’s fast-paced life and rekindle the spark of closeness lost by time and distance. The human interactions, lighthearted games, small talk, and sweet nothings that comprise our holiday festivities make celebrating Christmas with the loves of our life all sweeter and warmer. 

We Filipinos pride ourselves on a Christmas rallying around faith, good food, and the warm company of family. 

Even so, there are many ways to celebrate the holidays; it can be as simple or as grand as how we’d like it to be. In whichever way we choose to celebrate this very special day, there is an assurance that despite the prospect of uncertainty that the other days bring, we Filipinos always find ourselves making the sweet effort to make that time of year an extra special one. In a nutshell, our Christmas celebrations are deeply rooted in the spirit of thanksgiving, contentment, and joy against all odds. 

Our Paskong Pinoy is one filled with simply celebrating the gift of Christ’s birth, mouthwatering feasts, and genuine relationships with the people we can count on throughout the new year.

So, as the holiday season comes to a close, we wait in giddy anticipation—eager to relive those candlelit moments anew. And as we find ourselves storing away the Christmas lights and decorations, we keenly look forward to the next Pinoy Yuletide, ready to display those colorful ornaments again the next time that special time of year makes its way around our calendars once more.