Sunday, June 14, 2015

67-year –old Grade 10 stude wants to finish K-12

Scene: From Reigh Monreal, this info he posted on Facebook: Congratulations to Boholano Scientist Caesar Saloma from Baclayon for having been ranked 8th by Google Scholar as among the top Filipino scientists in the country in terms of H-index, a measure of scientific productivity and citation impact based on their bodies of work as scientists. Dr. Saloma is a professor of the National Institute of Physics (NIP) at the University of the Philippines College of Science and a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology. He previously served as Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is included in the Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering 2011-2012 and in the Ultimate List of 15 Asian Scientists To Watch that was published by Asian Scientist Magazine in May 2011. Also an achiever, Saloma’s younger sister, Dr. Czarina Aya-ay S. Akpedonu, was also named Outstanding Young Scientist by the National Academy of Science and Technology. She earned her Master of Arts in Population Science from Peking University and doctorate degree from the Universitaet Bielefeld in Germany, magna cum laude. She co-authored “Casa Boholana: Vintage Houses of Bohol” (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2011) with her husband Erik Akpedonu. She is concurrently the Director of the Institute of Philippine Culture of the Ateneo de Manila University and Vice President of the Research Committee on Science and Technology of the International Sociological Association.
JR at Mag-aso Falls Courtesy: Jojo Baritua
Scene: Spotted in Bohol last week was soul singer Jay R. He was here for a photoshoot for 2GO travel magazine. Jay R went to Ma-aso Falls in Antequera town and in Santa Monica Church in Albur. Also spotted in Bohol was Drew Arellano who was here for the nth time to shoot a segment at the Cuisina ni Tisay for his Biyahe ni Drew. Cuisina ni Tisay offers authentic Boholano cuisine.
Scene: Remember this popular line, “And mundo ay isang malaking Quiapo. Maraming snatcher. Maagawan ka.”? Our socialite VRS (I miss you!-LPU) who works at the Bohol’s center of power and might shares this latest explosive news that the “other woman” finally broke-up with this man (who loves to click the camera) she loves so much. “She cries a river, guwapo baya ang bayu,” says VRS.  The “other woman” wanted to make their relationship open. Quoted, “You can call me whatever you want, snake, bitch or other woman, but I promise you, I will never be a pathetic and boring housewife.” Well, the “real woman” was happy to learn about the separation. She was quoted, "Kung ahas siya mas ahas ako! Tahimik pero kapag kinanti – nanunuklaw!" No, not the quote from Amor Powers: “Lahat ng hirap at sakit, ibabalik ko sa inyo Matitikman nyo ang batas ng isang api!”
By the time Virgilio Ganade Penticase finishes school, he'll be in his 70s.
As a grade 10 student at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS)  in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Penticase listens to lectures from younger teachers and sits with classmates who are old enough to be his kids.
"Walay problema nako na kay gusto ko makakat-on, " says the 67-year-old tuba gatherer (manananggot) and farmer.
While classes opened on Monday, Penticase wearing the school’s prescribed uniform diligently attended his classes. He is officially enrolled as Grade 10 section Young. He attends classes in the afternoon since the school has two shifts (grades 7 and 8 in the morning and grades 9 and 10 in the afternoon).
Tessie L. Sumampong with Drew Arellano at Cuisina ni Tisay.
He says he was excited to see new classmates and teachers.
Born on June 26, 1948 to Antonio and Eusobia (both deceased) in barangay Catarman, in Dauis town, Penticase has one sibling, Leonardo, who is 65 years old.  
Penticase, who finished elementary in Catarman Elem School, didn’t pursue high school.  He says he was born after World War II that not everyone was interested in his community to get an education.  At eight, he joined his neighbors sailing to the sea to catch fish. He also helped his parents planting veggies and plants.
Penticase explains why he wanted to return to school.
“Daghan na panahuna nga sige ko ilarun kay dili man ko kamao mokwenta, lisud jud kung wala kay grado kay ilarun man ka,” he says.
It was his brother Leonardo, who lives with him, persuaded him to go to school.
“Siya ingon nako nga moeskwela ko dapat pero siya dili moeskwela kay mauwaw,” says Penticase.
Penticase is still single like his brother. He shared he had a girlfriend when he was young but he remained untied.”
“Mao tingali ni akong kinabuhi, walay swerte kay wala maminyo,” he says.
On June 4, 2012, with only P20 pesos, he went to DCPNHS to enrol. He brought with him his old birth certificate and a certification of good moral character from his barangay captain.
At first the school principal III then Mrs. Concepcion Bagotchay turned him away but soon understood how committed he was to learning.
“I was hesitant to accept him because I didn’t know his purpose. He’s already a senior citizen then mga bata iyang mga kauban tingali tudluan niya og binuang,” Bagotchay says.
Virgilio Penticase, 67, a Grade 10 student of
 Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School in
Tagbilaran City, Bohol, believes  that
completing his education is his only way
 to learn. 
Penticase was accepted after his pleading that he just wanted to finish school.
“I told him to enrol in other school in his hometown but he was persistent to study in Putong,” adds Bagotchay.
Penticase’s teachers confirm his diligence in attending schools since the town of Dauis is a 20-30 minute ride by a jeep going to Tagbilaran.
Penticase shares he has not experienced being bullied in school.
‘Wala ko kasuway i-bully sa mga bata. Tahud na sila tanan nako, mag-Tatay, mag-lolo. Gitun-an- tingali na sila sa ilang mga ginikanan ug sa mga maestra,” he says.
According to Penticase, Filipino and Araling Panlipunan are his favorite subjects. English, Math and Science are his least favorites.
But he has proved his worth as a good student. He finished Grades 7, 8 and 9  with passing grades.
As a student, Penticase gets “student’s discount” from tricycles and PUJs.
“8 pesos ra akong bayad instead nga P10 kay naay discount basta student,” says Penticase.
He shares he has no senior citizen ID since he didn’t apply for a membership in his locality.  He has no SSS as well.
On Saturdays, Penticase stays at home. He gathers native coconut wine.
“Mananggot ko ana kay himuon nako og suka kay mao akong ibaligya. Kung tig-uwan mag-uma nasab ko ana mananum og mais ug unsa nga lagutmon,” shares Penticase.
He says he goes to church on Sundays.
Penticase has to stay in school for another two more years because of the Department of Education’s 12- K Program. But he says he is willing to wait to complete his studies.
“Paningkamutan nako mahuman ang k-12 basta tagaan sa Ginoo og maayong lawas.Pero nay diperensya sa lawas dii jud na madayun dili maabot mounding nalang ko. Ako kayanun nga mahuman nako ang k-12,” says Penticase.
He shares he wants to major in carpentry in Grade 11.
“Ganahan lang ko magpanday, mao nga kana akong gusto i-major puhon,” he says.
Virgilia Omictin, Ll.B. is the new principal
of Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School
with 4,000 students.
Because of his age, Penticase has experienced numbness in his right leg. He has also poor eyesight. Last year, the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of DCPNHS president Dr.  Angelo Plaza gave him a pair of eyeglasses so that he could see and read clearly.
“Nakit-an nako siya naglisud og basa. Giduol nako siya kung unsay problema. Naglisud diay basa mao gitagaan nako siya og eyeglasses para magamit niya sa iyang pag-eskwela,” says Dr. Plaza.
Jun Gutierrez says the PTA shoulders Penticase’s school supplies.
“He will inspire children to get an education, nga ang kawad-un ug edad dili mahimong babag sa atong pangandoy,”  says Gutierrez.
Asked if he has dreams to achieve, Penticase answers, “Dili nako mangandoy nga mahuman  ko og college tungod sa akong edad. Ang Ginoo ray masayud.”
For Penticase, it’s never too late to learn.

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Gian Ale chases his dreams

SceneEl Gamma Penumbra will be performing in Tagbilaran City on July 27, 8:30 p.m. at Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium. This is their first public performance after winning Asia's Got Talent in Singapore.
The Voice Kids Philippines Season 2 has just been started last Saturday, but the nine-year-old Gian Luigi Ale of Cogon District, this city, already spiced up the stage with his undeniably amazing blind auditions performance.
Gian Luigi Ale on the Voice Kids Philippines 2 Courtesy: ABS-CBN
Gian made all the three coaches turned for him when he sang the hit song “Thinking Out Loud” while playing guitar. Just when I thought I'd seen every cover of "Thinking Out Loud" in the known universe, Gian’s might be the best (and the cutest) version.
"Masarap lang 'yung tapon mo eh, parang steady lang, very cool, hindi trying hard. Alam mo kung sino ka bilang artist," Lea Salonga told Gian.
Sarah Geronimo said, "Pwede kang mag-ballad, pwede ka rin 'yung chill lang na parang nagkukwento lang. Pwede ka ring bumirit nang palaban."
"Masarap lang 'yung tapon mo eh, parang steady lang, very cool, hindi trying hard. Alam mo kung sino ka bilang artist," Lea Salonga told  Gian.
"Pwede kang mag-ballad, pwede ka rin 'yung chill lang na parang nagkukwento lang. Pwede ka ring bumirit nang palaban," Sarah Geronimo added.
Bamboo MaƱalac then joked that Geronimo was describing him, pointing out that  Gian also plays the guitar.
"Parang ako 'yun, parang ganun, parang ako ang dinescribe mo eh. Oo, ganun, eksakto, tapos may gitara pa."
He then told Ale: "Gian, ang gusto ko sa boses mo, 'yung puso, very soulful, kung English. Soulful 'yung pagkanta mo. Natutunaw na kami."
Gian Luigi Ale after his performance during 
the birthday celebration of Engr. Jerome 
John Gabin (2nd from right)... with (l-r)
 his father Arthur, Wincesa Espejo- Araoarao,
 Fiel Angeli Gabin, Cielo and Renji.

Gian chose to be part of Team Sarah.
Incidentally, last Friday, Gian performed at the birthday party celebration of  Engr. Jerome John Gabin of DTI-Bohol who turned 45 (His wife Miss Tagbilaran 1987 Fiel Angeli Araoarao-Gabin shared this message on Facebook: ‘Happy 45th Philippine Independence Day Birthday to a man who is loving, caring, endearing, understanding, responsible, generous, supportive and thoughtful in the superlative degree! Your loved ones are here because you are well-loved... You are a blessing to all of us, Hon. You have done so much for so many people . Thank you so much for everything! With much love from all of us!’).
 “At first, I felt nervous when the judges had not yet turning their chairs around,” Gian told Butch Bernas of Tagbilaran City Science High School cum cultural worker who conducted the interview. “When Bamboo and Sarah turned their chairs I was very happy and finally coach Leah. I’ve got a standing ovation from the three of them that made me proud of myself.”
Butch Bernas with Gian Ale
Gian started singing when he was seven years old, mostly at home. When his teachers and classmates he could sing well, he was asked to sing in school’s activities when he was a grade two pupil at Cogon Elem. School.
Gian said he plays the guitar, drums and the ukelele. He shared he likes Ben of Michael Jackson.
“I used to play drums, play karatedo at Holy Infant School,” shared Gian who is now a Grade 5 pupil at Holy Infant.
His father Arthur and lola Criselda give him sound advices.
“They told me to keep feet on the ground... and always be thankful to God,” said Gian.
Hundreds of fans say they are hoping Gian will be the next Voice Kids.
“I hope they will support me in the competition so I can reach up to semi-finals and the grand final. Please pray for me,” said Gian.
The Voice Kids has helped Gian to showcase his talents.
“After the contest, I found myself like an artist already,” said Gian who dreams to become a pop artist.
"The Voice Kids," which is hosted by Robi Domingo and Yeng Constatino, airs Saturdays at 6:45 p.m. and on Sundays at 7:30 p.m.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.